Recently Seen

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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:22 am

I estimate I watch about 70-100 movies a year, which I think is just about right for me. Anything more than that and it can actually become too consuming or even feel like a grind at times and it's supposed to be a pleasure.
I think my September/October schedule, which is usually between 50-65 movies over those two months, works out great, it's like a big meal and then I can relax the rest of the year, watch a movie or two a week which is very comfortable and keeps me fresh to take on challenging films if I'm in the mood and keeps me enjoying the process.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:25 am

Also, holy fuckballz, West Side Story is so fucking good.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:10 am

Wooley wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:25 am
Also, holy fuckballz, West Side Story is so fucking good.
I think Shakespeare adaptations which don't modernize his plays are what I typically prefer, but I still loved that one. I think my favorite adaptation is the '68 version.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:15 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:10 am
I think Shakespeare adaptations which don't modernize his plays are what I typically prefer, but I still loved that one. I think my favorite adaptation is the '68 version.
I can't even figure out what's best about the movie. The music, the dancing and choreography, Wise's direction (and Robbins' influence), the set-design, the lighting, several of the actors, ...
Wow. Haven't seen it in 6-8 years. I had pretty much the same reaction last time.

Haven't seen the '68 version, I'll look for it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:23 am

Wooley wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:15 am
I can't even figure out what's best about the movie. The music, the dancing and choreography, Wise's direction (and Robbins' influence), the set-design, the lighting, several of the actors, ...
Wow. Haven't seen it in 6-8 years. I had pretty much the same reaction last time.

Haven't seen the '68 version, I'll look for it.
I saw West Side Story in school a couple years ago, and it reminded me of the good old days when actors actually knew how to dance. I rewatched La La Land recently and damn, dancing choreography has sure gotten worse.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:37 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:23 am
I saw West Side Story in school a couple years ago, and it reminded me of the good old days when actors actually knew how to dance. I rewatched La La Land recently and damn, dancing choreography has sure gotten worse.
Definitely wasn't much good hoofin' in that one.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:09 pm

Wooley wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:25 am
Also, holy fuckballz, West Side Story is so fucking good.
This guy agrees 8-)
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Schindler's List (Spielberg, '93)

Post by Stu » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:09 am

Image

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.
A match suddenly sparks to life in a dark room, lighting a candle with a small, fragile flame, and, as a Hasidic family begins to pray around the dinner table, the candle burns to a smoldering heap before finally extinguishing, all the color slowly draining away until it becomes a cold, stark, black-&-white, before the wavering whisper of smoke is abruptly replaced by the towering pillar of smoke erupting from a train, as we're suddenly transported back in time to the dawn of World War II in Poland. And, as the invading Nazi troops force Jewish citizens nationwide to crowd into a few cramped ghettoes in the cities, and coldly, bureaucratically "register" them for what would become their eventual annihilation, we witness the scene being set for the unspeakable horrors of The Holocaust, which we will spend the next 3+ hours exploring in Steven Spielberg's masterful historical drama Schindler's List, what I personally consider to the best movie from a man who is (obviously) one of the most iconic directors in Hollywood history, and who, to be perfectly honest with you, made what is quite possibly my favorite movie of all time.

Liam Neeson magnificently portrays Oskar Schindler, a real-life German businessman and swastika-wearing member of the Nazi party, a man who initially sought to profit from exploiting the "free" Jewish labor available to his factories during The Holocaust, but, through the process of witnessing the pure, unrelenting evil of the genocide firsthand, eventually seeks to save the lives of his workers, and eventually, by spending his entire fortune bribing Nazi officials, ends up rescuing 1,200 people from a certain death. But, to imply that List is nothing more than a straightfoward biopic of its title character, or some sort of unblemished, secular canonization of a modern-day saint is doing a grave disservice to Spielberg's masterfully balanced storytelling, as, rather than seeking to whitewash the more unflattering aspects of Schindler's persona, Spielberg instead magnifies them, focusing on his brazen womanizing, his disgusting wining-and-dining of prominent, high-ranking Nazi officials, or the grotesque manner that he initially seeks to profit off of the occupation, when he brags about how wealthy his enslaved laborers has made him. In addition to that, we also view Schindler's flaws through the outside lenses of a number of other characters throughout the film, such as his wife's frustrations with his constant adultery, to the point where maître d′s just assume that she's another one of his numerous mistresses when they see her, or the way that Schindler's personal accountant Itzahk Stern serves as the stubborn, resilient manifestation of his boss's initially non-existent conscience, outright refusing at all to indulge in his Oskar's celebrations of his own war profiteering.

But, rather than turning us as an audience against him, this warts-and-all approach instead greatly humanizes Schindler, so that, as we witness his slow, gradual change of heart over the course of the film, instead of being elevated over us, he seems so much more fallible and real instead, showing us the ways that great, world-changing acts are always undertaken by people who are, in the end, as fundamentally flawed as any of us. And of course, all of Schindler's exploitations end up paling far, far in comparison to his ultimate mirror image, camp commandant Amon Goethe, masterfully portrayed in a soul-chilling performance from Ralph Finnes, who gives one of the greatest villainous performances in film history for a man whose existence was the definition of pure evil, whose sheer, icy malice and soullessness is proven time and time again from his abrupt, senseless murders of random innocent people in his camp for "fun", the way he regularly terrifies and beats his housemaid to a pulp (a cover for his own self-rage at being attracted to a Jewish woman), and even the brief stretch of the film where it seems like he's considering becoming more merciful (which was brought about merely because Schindler temporarily convinces him that restraint is a way of showing "true" power over his prisoners) is quickly ended when he embraces his true self, and shoots a Jewish boy in the head for failing to cleaning his bathtub properly.

But, to also imply that List is nothing more than a simple tale of historical good vs. evil as represented by its main villain/protagonist is again, to do the film disservice, specifically its screenplay (which was rewritten at one point to more prominently emphasize the Jewish characters and their perspectives), as it achieves a basically perfect trade-off between the personal and historical, displaying unspeakably visceral individual horrors like a family having to swallow their own diamond rings (surely ripping their insides to shreds in the process) in order to conceal an amount of wealth from the Nazi regime, or a man being forced to stand and wait as everyone else around him is randomly shot in order to force a certain confession out of him, or a child having to escape from a sure death by hiding in a pool of human filth down inside of an outhouse (where there are already other children cowering in fear). But, at the same time the film balances these individual experiences out by remembering the overall mass of humanity who suffered, and by exploring various facets of the overall genocide whenever it can, whether it be the conversations that show Jewish people minimizing their persecution by choosing to believe that it can't get any worse, the way they refused to believe that they were being wiped out with the rationalization that they were the "essential work force" for the Nazis, or a particular sequence in Auschwitz that concludes with a lingering shot of a line of people being calmly herded like lambs to the slaughter towards one of the camp's infamous "shower" facilities, a shot which includes a particularly ominous billow of smoke arising as the result of the flames of that human-made Hell, one of many sobering reminders in the film that, although it's about the story of 1,200 people that were saved from The Holocaust, the vast majority of European Jews were far, far less fortunate.

And finally, stylistically, Schindler's List surpasses feeling like the historical reenactment that it fundamentally it is, and even goes farther than having the relative intimacy of a documentary, as cinematographer Janusz Kamiński balances the potential distancing effect of his crisp, period appropriate black-and-white imagery (which I find only adds to the overall starkness of the experience anyway) with his usage of intense close-ups, point-of-view angles, and disorienting, unstable handheld cameras to make us feel like we're actually there, personally experiencing the many depicted horrors, as SS men shout in our faces for us to present our papers, we line up for "inspections" to see whether we're judged worthy to live, and the ashes of our cremated brethren fall on us from the heavens, like a sick, out-of-season snowfall. Even at over 3 hours long, the fact that the film ever ends still ends up making it feel far too short anyway, as the entire experience is just such an intensely visceral telling of such a traumatic chapter in human history that the raw emotion depicted within more than justify whatever occasional Spielberg-ian sentimentalities that exist in it, as List ceases feeling like a "movie" at all, and just feels like pure... experience, placed onscreen as a warning to never let such horrors repeat themselves, a lesson humanity has sadly proven itself all to eager to forget. However, towards the absolutely heart-rending end of the film, as a character quotes the now-famous line from the Talmud, "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire", we can't help but be reminded that, although this world will always contain evil and people willing to commit it, one person's actions can make all the difference in that world, at least, that is, to the people their lives touch.

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:33 pm

Late to the film watching conversation, but I'd just like to say that one of the main motivations for the monthly "challenges" I'm making is precisely to force myself to watch more films. A couple of years ago, I was barely watching one or two films per month, maybe because I was more focused on TV shows or I just kept browsing and browsing not sure what to watch. The "challenges" have helped me streamline my choices while giving me some leeway into what I want or don't want to watch, while also being focused on a specific *and* realistic goal. That said, I don't think I could ever reach the levels I've seen on some people, watching 3 or 4 films per day. I usually feel like I need some time for the film to settle in my mind in order to digest what I've seen.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:27 pm

I often question if watching movies, any and all movies,is healthy consumption. all of it feels like either dessert or heroin.

once I clear off a few dozen movies on my computer, I think I'll start a thread where you can request a movie for me to watch. that way I get to share in whatever it is you people enjoy.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:33 pm

also Schindler's List is fine (assuming you get down with the Spielberg brand (and if I'm gonna watch one of his movies then I gotta be ready to get on that level)) but I have the unfortunate memory of watching it in a grade-wide assembly in 9th grade and everybody laughed so loud and got so rambunctious at the nude parade scene that they had to shut it off (plus some wolf-whistling when they showed Ralph Fiennes's lady friend's boobs beforehand).

kids in large groups are assholes, don't let anyone convince you otherwise. (me? I preferred to be an asshole on my own so at least all the attention was on me, nyah)
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:45 pm

This is probably another discussion entirely, but my problem isn't so much having time to watch movies as it is deciding what to watch. Even though my combined watchlists amount to 400+ movies, I still draw a blank when I have time to watch something. There have been occasions when I've spent more time browsing through my lists than watching whatever I've selected! I will say that it helps if a podcast I like has an episode about one of the movies.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:06 pm

There's definitely too much access to movies for our minds to properly process and make choices on (or, at least, it's much more difficult). I'm quitting Netflix this month (probably the third or forth time I've done so), and the second I did, finding the stuff I wanted to watch became a lot easier.
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The above-written is wholly and solely the perspective of DaMU and should not be taken as an effort to rile, malign, or diminish you, dummo.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:16 pm

Was finding what you wanted easier because you didn't have to sift through hundreds of shit-tier Netflix originals?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:45 pm
This is probably another discussion entirely, but my problem isn't so much having time to watch movies as it is deciding what to watch. Even though my combined watchlists amount to 400+ movies, I still draw a blank when I have time to watch something. There have been occasions when I've spent more time browsing through my lists than watching whatever I've selected! I will say that it helps if a podcast I like has an episode about one of the movies.
number them all then use a random number generator. let chance decide.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:53 pm

I usually use a random number generator when deciding what movies to watch from big lists. It's much simpler.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm

What would you guys say are the best short films of all time? I'm looking for recommendations. Here's what my current top 10 looks like:

Apaches
The House is Black
The Killers
Land Without Bread
La Jetée
Lessons of Darkness
Meshes of the Afternoon
Night and Fog
The Red Balloon
Un Chien Andalou
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Torgo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 pm

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1961)
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:52 pm
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1961)
That one's also the Twilight Zone episode, right? If so, I also saw that one and I really enjoyed it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm
What would you guys say are the best short films of all time? I'm looking for recommendations. Here's what my current top 10 looks like:
I don't have standalone recommendations, I don't know where to find those, but Japan has some fantastic anthologies. Memories (1995), Robot Carnival, Short Peace and Neo Tokyo from there and The Animatrix in general.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:02 pm

Charles wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:00 pm
I don't have standalone recommendations, I don't know where to find those, but Japan has some fantastic anthologies. Memories (1995), Robot Carnival, Short Peace and Neo Tokyo from there and The Animatrix in general.
I'll check them out. The Animatrix has been on my watchlist for some time.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:12 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:45 pm
This is probably another discussion entirely, but my problem isn't so much having time to watch movies as it is deciding what to watch. Even though my combined watchlists amount to 400+ movies, I still draw a blank when I have time to watch something. There have been occasions when I've spent more time browsing through my lists than watching whatever I've selected! I will say that it helps if a podcast I like has an episode about one of the movies.
I'm pretty sure most people here will identify with this. That's part of why I like "limiting" my options with the challenges I'm doing. Of course, then there's the flip-side where I find something I'd like to watch, but it doesn't fit any of the month's criteria I've imposed on myself. I'm special like that.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:15 pm

Torgo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:45 pm
This is probably another discussion entirely, but my problem isn't so much having time to watch movies as it is deciding what to watch. Even though my combined watchlists amount to 400+ movies, I still draw a blank when I have time to watch something. There have been occasions when I've spent more time browsing through my lists than watching whatever I've selected!
Dude, this happens to me all the time.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:15 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm
What would you guys say are the best short films of all time? I'm looking for recommendations. Here's what my current top 10 looks like:

Apaches
The House is Black
The Killers
Land Without Bread
La Jetée
Lessons of Darkness
Meshes of the Afternoon
Night and Fog
The Red Balloon
Un Chien Andalou
Of those listed, I've only seen La Jetée, Meshes of the Afternoon, and Un Chien Andalou (just about a week ago). To be honest, I would consider all three very good, or at the very least, essential for any cinephile.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:44 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:55 pm
That one's also the Twilight Zone episode, right? If so, I also saw that one and I really enjoyed it.
It is. Robert Enrico, the director, actually made 3 short films based on Ambrose Bierce stories. This one, The Mockingbird,, and Chickamauga. I think Chickamauga is actually the best of the bunch.

When I get home later I can offer a pretty extensive list of short films, both live action and animated. I'm real keen on the short film form, but I think it's extraordinarily hard to do well, so I am very particular about my favorites.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:50 pm

Macrology wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:44 pm
It is. Robert Enrico, the director, actually made 3 short films based on Ambrose Bierce stories. This one, The Mockingbird,, and Chickamauga. I think Chickamauga is actually the best of the bunch.

When I get home later I can offer a pretty extensive list of short films, both live action and animated. I'm real keen on the short film form, but I think it's extraordinarily hard to do well, so I am very particular about my favorites.
Sweet. I'll look forward to them.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by A Fake Account » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:07 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:21 pm
What would you guys say are the best short films of all time? I'm looking for recommendations. Here's what my current top 10 looks like:

Apaches
The House is Black
The Killers
Land Without Bread
La Jetée
Lessons of Darkness
Meshes of the Afternoon
Night and Fog
The Red Balloon
Un Chien Andalou
I'd recommend Guy Maddin's The Heart of the World, Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising, Jan Švankmajer's A Quiet Week in the House, Chuck Jones's Duck Amock, Stan Brakhage's Mothlight, Norman McLaren's Neighbours and Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:11 pm

A Fake Account wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:07 pm
I'd recommend Guy Maddin's The Heart of the World, Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising, Jan Švankmajer's A Quiet Week in the House, Chuck Jones's Duck Amock, Stan Brakhage's Mothlight, Norman McLaren's Neighbours and Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon.
I've seen Mothlight and A Trip to the Moon. I'll check out the other five.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 pm

A Fake Account wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:07 pm
I'd recommend Guy Maddin's The Heart of the World, Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising, Jan Švankmajer's A Quiet Week in the House, Chuck Jones's Duck Amock, Stan Brakhage's Mothlight, Norman McLaren's Neighbours and Georges Méliès's A Trip to the Moon.
I second Scorpio Rising, which I also saw last week and made for an interesting double-header with Un Chien Andalou.

Also, as far as Méliès shorts go, I would recommend Pop to check as many early short films as you can, Méliès, Lumière, Segundo de Chomón, etc. It's really an interesting window into the birth of cinema. From Méliès, I really liked Bluebeard. I would also recommend The Great Train Robbery.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:34 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:28 pm
I second Scorpio Rising, which I also saw last week and made for an interesting double-header with Un Chien Andalou.

Also, as far as Méliès shorts go, I would recommend Pop to check as many early short films as you can, Méliès, Lumière, Segundo de Chomón, etc. It's really an interesting window into the birth of cinema. From Méliès, I really liked Bluebeard. I would also recommend The Great Train Robbery.
I've seen a number of early shorts. They can really hit the spot every now and then. I also enjoyed Bluebeard and The Great Train Robbery quite a bit.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:37 pm

Also, speaking of early shorts, here's the earliest film I've seen (not quite sure if it's the first film ever made, but I can't find anything which was made before it).

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Re: Recently Seen

Post by A Fake Account » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:54 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:37 pm
Also, speaking of early shorts, here's the earliest film I've seen (not quite sure if it's the first film ever made, but I can't find anything which was made before it).
I don't think it's the first film ever made, not because I've seen anything earlier, but because it wasn't really shot on film nor was it presented that way in 1874. Janssen's "photographic revolver" involved printing on a series of daguerreotypes (silver plates) rather than celluloid or a similar film stock. Jannsen couldn't project the images, only present them as stills. It's definitely a precursor to cinema, but one in a series of developments in sequenced photography along the lines of the earlier zoetrope.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:57 pm

A Fake Account wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:54 pm
I don't think it's the first film ever made, not because I've seen anything earlier, but because it wasn't really shot on film nor was it presented that way in 1874. Janssen's "photographic revolver" involved printed on a series of daguerreotypes (silver plates) rather than celluloid or a similar film stock. Jannsen couldn't project the images, only present them as stills. It's definitely a precursor to cinema, but one in a series of developments in sequenced photography along the lines of the earlier zoetrope.
Fair enough. I wasn't aware of that beforehand.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Shieldmaiden » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:18 pm

Short films:

Tale of Tales (aka The Little Grey Wolf Will Come) is one of the best of the best.

I recently saw Spike Jonze's I'm Here, and that's good too.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:21 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:18 pm
Short films:

Tale of Tales (aka The Little Grey Wolf Will Come) is one of the best of the best.

I recently saw Spike Jonze's I'm Here, and that's good too.
I saw Tale of Tales quite a while ago but I barely remember it. I'll have to revisit it. I'll also watch the Jonze.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by A Fake Account » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:57 pm
Fair enough. I wasn't aware of that beforehand.
For what it's worth, Louis Le Prince's Roundhay Garden Scene is generally thought to be the oldest surviving film:



Le Prince had patents both for several "receivers" (cameras) and "deliverers" (projectors). The former would photograph using sensitized paper film or gelatin film that would then be printed, at first on glass and later thought to be celluloid, for projection. The patents all work and the film exists, but Le Prince never publicly got to display his work since he disappeared in 1890. The Edison Co. in 1891 started showing the results of their experiments with celluloid from 1890, which resulted in Edison initially getting public credit for the invention. But Le Prince's widow publicly fought to get Le Prince credit. His son Adolphe later testified against Edison in Edison's lawsuit against American Mutoscope Co. for the royalties from the invention of cinema, but Adolphe wasn't allowed to show his father's equipment as evidence that there was a motion picture camera and projection system that predated Edison's. Edison won the suit, but the ruling was later overturned.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Thief » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:29 pm

What Fakey said. Once you get into the 1880s and 1890s is when film per se started to take off, but it was still a developing technology and it would probably be impossible to pinpoint what was the "first" film, be it because it's lost or because there are disagreements over what *is* a film. That's when the arguments about the medium, the length, the nature of the plot, or if it even has a plot, start. It's a really interesting discussion, though.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:30 pm

Cool. Thanks for filling me in.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 pm

Thief wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:29 pm
What Fakey said. Once you get into the 1880s and 1890s is when film per se started to take off, but it was still a developing technology and it would probably be impossible to pinpoint what was the "first" film, be it because it's lost or because there are disagreements over what *is* a film. That's when the arguments about the medium, the length, the nature of the plot, or if it even has a plot, start. It's a really interesting discussion, though.
Yeah, I see those arguments come up as well. I wouldn't say length or plot really matter in constituting whether something can be a film. Although, I do agree that a film should be presented in a film format in order to constitute as one. For instance, La Jetée is mostly a slideshow of still images. However, it was presented via film format. Not just by manually switching between images on a device of some kind.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Blevo » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:05 pm

Short films:

Man Ray - Le retour à la raison
Norman McLaren - Loops, Dots
Robert Breer - Blazes
Ante Zaninovic - Zid
Bruce Conner - Cosmic Ray
Stan Vanderbeek - A La Mode
Martha Rosier - Semiotics of the Kitchen
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by A Fake Account » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:12 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:39 pm
Yeah, I see those arguments come up as well. I wouldn't say length or plot really matter in constituting whether something can be a film. Although, I do agree that a film should be presented in a film format in order to constitute as one. For instance, La Jetée is mostly a slideshow of still images. However, it was presented via film format. Not just by manually switching between images on a device of some kind.
The interesting thing is that Edison Co. didn't really figure out the presentational aspect of cinema; their kinetoscope allowed only one person at a time to view a film strip passing in front of a light bulb through a pinhole. It was the Lumiere brothers who later figured out that projection on a screen would be a better format and screened their first projected film in 1894. But Le Prince had them all beat, as he had developed both a camera and projector system in the 1880s. The thing is, because he was so secretive, his ideas didn't affect any of these later commercial developments (unless you buy into conspiracy theories about Edison having been involved in Le Prince's disappearance). Sort of like the personal computer, cinema was an innovation whose time had simply come due to a series of other inventions including photography and the light bulb. All the constituent technologies were there by the late 1800s, and various folks were able to work out independently how to achieve the effect of a moving picture that could be viewed at once by a crowd.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:30 pm

Blevo wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:05 pm
Short films:
Queued.
A Fake Account wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:12 pm
The interesting thing is that Edison Co. didn't really figure out the presentational aspect of cinema; their kinetoscope allowed only one person at a time to view a film strip passing in front of a light bulb through a pinhole. It was the Lumiere brothers who later figured out that projection on a screen would be a better format and screened their first projected film in 1894. But Le Prince had them all beat, as he had developed both a camera and projector system in the 1880s. The thing is, because he was so secretive, his ideas didn't effect any of these later commercial developments (unless you buy into conspiracy theories about Edison having been involved in Le Prince's disappearance). Sort of like the personal computer, cinema was an innovation whose time had simply come due to a series of other inventions including photography and the light bulb. All the constituent technologies were there by the late 1800s, and various folks were able to work out independently how to achieve the effect of a moving picture that could be viewed at once by a crowd.
Those are all interesting thoughts. I remember reading about how people initially had to look through pinholes one person at a time to see films a while back. I've always found it really cool how other inventions slowly gave birth to film as opposed to it being a standalone creation. I think that's why many "films" from around that time period are commonly debated on for whether or not they're films, slideshows, etc. First, directors had to overcome all kinds of obstacles to show their creations to other people. Then, those hurdles became easier to jump over as time went on and their work became more accessible to the public.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 pm

In other news, I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai recently and it's currently the best film I've seen this year for the first time. It's now in my top 15 favorite films of all time. It further cements 1957 as my favorite year for movies of the 50's. It has a phenomenal line-up of films such as 12 Angry Men, Wild Strawberries, Throne of Blood, and Paths of Glory (another one of my all-time favorites).
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:48 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 pm
In other news, I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai recently and it's currently the best film I've seen this year for the first time. It's now in my top 15 favorite films of all time. It further cements 1957 as my favorite year for movies of the 50's. It has a phenomenal line-up of films such as 12 Angry Men, Wild Strawberries, Throne of Blood, and Paths of Glory (another one of my all-time favorites).
It's a pretty swell year. Have you seen:

Sweet Smell of Success
Curse/Night of the Demon
The Cranes are Flying
Pyaasa
Funny Face
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:53 am

Rock wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:48 am
It's a pretty swell year. Have you seen:

Sweet Smell of Success
Curse/Night of the Demon
The Cranes are Flying
Pyaasa
Funny Face
I've seen Sweet Smell of Success, which I also enjoyed quite a bit. I haven't seen the other ones you mentioned, but I'll keep an eye out for them. The Cranes are Flying has been on my watchlist for a while.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by A Fake Account » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:59 am

Also great from 1957: A Face in the Crowd, Nights of Cabiria and 3:10 to Yuma.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:59 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:41 pm
In other news, I saw The Bridge on the River Kwai recently and it's currently the best film I've seen this year for the first time. It's now in my top 15 favorite films of all time. It further cements 1957 as my favorite year for movies of the 50's. It has a phenomenal line-up of films such as 12 Angry Men, Wild Strawberries, Throne of Blood, and Paths of Glory (another one of my all-time favorites).
Let us not forget The Curse Of Frankenstein.
And I'm actually not being funny here, aside from being awesome it is the film that launched Hammer Horror and likely heavily influenced Bava and therefore everyone after that.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Rock » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:44 am

Quick thoughts on weekend viewings:

Pickup on South Street - Given how well Samuel Fuller's sensibilities seem to jive with me, I probably should have seen more of his work by now. Anyway, this one's pretty great. The anti-communist propaganda elements are apparent, but Fuller's commitment to keeping the proceedings on the level of his marginal, dejected characters makes it pretty palatable on that level.

Pretty Poison - DaMU's been writing some good words here about the Psycho sequels, and I think this also plays like a pseudo-sequel to that movie as well. Bates' character, who spent years in a mental institution after committing a crime that's revealed later in the movie, seems very much in the shadow of Norman Bates, and the movie explores to both disturbing and moving results what would happen if a Bates-like character encountered someone even more dangerous than himself.

Hunter Killer - Like Patrick McGroin said upthread, dumb but slick enough to turn 'yer brain off and enjoy. I think Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman sell the nonsense with some conviction, and if like me you were a big Tom Clancy fan at some point, you might get something out of this. It honestly feels like a lost Clancy novel (or one of his branded spinoffs) from the '90s, as the idea of a weak Russian president being deposed by hardline elements in the military feels more plausible in the Yeltsin era.

Naked Killer - The worst case of false advertising regarding nudity in relation to murder since Strip Nude for Your Killer, but also pretty awesome. The constant threats of rape bring the expected Category III sleaze, but the stylish visuals and cartoon-meets-fever-dream approach more than evened things out for me. Also, I'm not saying eye candy is or isn't a legit reason to enjoy a movie, but Chingmy Yau and Carrie Ng are both pretty swoon-worthy in this.

Blue Thunder - This one's mostly interesting for both spending the movie showing you how awesome its titular helicopter is but also coming out against the military industrial complex and its penchant for making sweet, sweet instruments of destruction. This dynamic feels a bit neutered in the finished product (from Wikipedia, it sounds like the movie was supposed to be a lot more caustic and anti-helicopter originally), but the movie is pretty diverting as is.

Bad Influence - On Letterboxd, I called this Hitch, but if Hitch was a psychopath (before patting myself on the back for this cutting observation) but that honestly seems like the best way to describe it. I wish the ending wasn't so clean and the movie had explored both characters more thoroughly, but I think the casting of Rob Lowe especially really sells the material. I'd actually forgotten that James Spader was in Wall Street as well, so you can pretend this is part of the same big shared universe but with balance sheets instead of superpowers.

The Dirt - Not good exactly, but I found it engaging for Iwan Rheon's portrayal of Mick Mars as a zombie with a shitty hairdo and for its bizarre attempts to delineate between different kinds of debauchery (cocaine = good, heroin = bad). The Ozzy scene is the highlight. This is very much Crüe-approved (apprüeved?) so it doesn't interrogate their (human and/or artistic) shittiness for more than a few moments, but if you like enough of their songs, this might be pretty painless.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:49 am

Rock wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:44 am
Quick thoughts on weekend viewings:

Pickup on South Street - Given how well Samuel Fuller's sensibilities seem to jive with me, I probably should have seen more of his work by now. Anyway, this one's pretty great. The anti-communist propaganda elements are apparent, but Fuller's commitment to keeping the proceedings on the level of his marginal, dejected characters makes it pretty palatable on that level.
I love Pickup on South Street. And I find the DVD/poster image particularly nice.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Macrology » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:08 am

So, short films (in addition to the ones that have already been listed):

Live action:
Toute la mémoire du monde (Resnais)
Borom Sarret (Sembène)
Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Arnold)
Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler)
Mirror of Holland (Haanstra)
Une histoire d'eau (Godard/Truffaut)
Before Leaves Fall (Wladyslaw Slesicki)
Castro Street (Baillie)
Ménilmontant (Kirsanoff)
The Mad Masters (Rouch)
9 Variations on a Dance Theme (Hilary Harris)
H is for House (Greenaway)
The Exquisite Corpus (Tscherkassky)
Bataille de boules de neige (Lumière)
Lucifer Rising (Kenneth Anger)
Lifeline (Erice)
New York Portrait #2 (Hutton)

Animation:
Tuning the Instruments (Jerzy Kucia)
Hedgehog in the Fog (Norshteyn)
The Old Mill (Disney)
Betty Boop in Snow White (Fleischer Brothers)
Don Hertzfeldt's It's Such a Beautiful Day trilogy
The Cameraman's Revenge (Starewicz)
Breakfast on the Grass (Priit Pärn)
Free Radicals (Len Lye)
Pas de deux (Norman McLaren)
Tango (Rybczynski)
Ring of Fire (Hykade)
Street of Crocodiles (Brothers Quay)
The Monk and the Fish (Dudok de Wit)
Muybridge's Strings (Yamamura)
The Hand (Jiri Trnka)
Motion Painting No. 1 (Fischinger)

Filmmakers who specialized in short films (i.e. just watch all of them):
Jan Svankmajer
Stan Brakhage
Jean Painlevé
Chuck Jones
Les Blank

Generally I consider short films anything less than 30 minutes, but if you're including anything less than an hour (like Lessons of Darkness), I'd also include Sherlock Jr., Zéro de conduite, Cat Soup, Who Is Bozo Texino?, and The Pied Piper (by Jiri Barta).

This list isn't curated with any particular goal in mind, it's just a collection of some of my favorite short films. They do span most of film history, cover quite a lot of countries, and run the gamut of style (from straight up narrative shorts to full on avant-garde). Some are pretty canonical shorts, while other choices are more idiosyncratic.
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