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Stu
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Le Samourai (Melville, '67)

Post by Stu » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:04 am

Image

There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai.
A man lies on the bed in his shabby, absurdly spartan apartment, smoking listlessly, as the intermittent rush of cars outside, and the incessant chirping of a small bird within are the only noises disturbing the silence. After a while, he gets up, places an undeniably out-of-style, but still incredibly debonair trenchcoat and fedora upon himself, stopping to adjust it perfectly in a mirror before walks out, exiting to descent down the building's stairs to the rain-soaked streets of a grey, mid-century Paris. Outside, a gendarme patrols amongst the parked vehicles, the man watching him warily, before pulling a ridiculously outsized chain of keys from his pocket, and covertly steals one of the cars, as a strangely carnival-like piece of music begins playing on the soundtrack, as if it's serving to transport us into his world, one that appears to be identical to our own on the surface, but is still an undeniably different reality of its own. Who is this mysterious man in question? His name is Jef Costello, and he serves as the "hero" of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai, a film whose sleek aesthetics and tale of a lone, elite criminal have made it one of those most iconic and influential works of modern crime cinema, but one that still stands apart as a surreal, stylish classic in its own right.

It's a film as sparse and cold as the lifestyle of its titular "samourai" Jef, played in a career-defining turn from Alain Delon, as a Parisian hitman who lives in about as much solitude as a human being possibly can, with nothing to keep him company in his grotesquely underfurnished apartment besides his impeccable retro fashion sense, the ever-present chirping of his pet bird flitting about in its cage, and the occasional outside visit to his lover (and professional alibi) Jane, the only hint of companionship or human warmth in his life. Of course, that's the way he likes things, as it keeps unnecessary entanglements from complicating his line of work, that is, until he accidentally crosses paths with a beautiful pianist in the process of completing an "assignment", a complication that leads to Jef finding himself in the crosshairs of both the police and his murderous employers, even though both of them prove unable to meet the mettle of this modern samurai in the end.

It's a simple plot, granted, but the story is definitely not the star here, and to be honest, there are times where if feels like even Delon isn't the star of the film; rather, the real stand-out here is Melville's style, which somehow feels both incredibly minimal and undeniably vivid at the same time, with its emphasis on long, dialogue-free stretches of near-total silence, camerawork that mixes groundbreaking, guerilla-style handheld work during chase scenes with more subtly active cinematography during calmer moments, and its sleek, stylish, modernistic production design that's often stark and monochrome to the point of slight unreality, as Melville takes the world as we know it and alters it as he sees fit, in order to tailor it to the film as perfectly as Costello's 40's-style trenchcoat.

Speaking of whom, Delon is no slouch here either, as the unshakably calm, placid professionalism of Jef's demeanor is as cold as the constant, icy-blue stare of his eyes from underneath his ever-present hat, and his underlying, personal code of conduct shines through his characterization despite his lack of dialogue here, as he's a man who's defined by actions rather than words, as is almost everyone else in the film for that matter, as characters often operate in complete, no-nonsense silence, and Melville trusts us not to get antsy with a lack of chatter, rather, letting us just observe events and luxriate in his rich sense of aesthetics as we do so, as, while we observe Jef and watch one master at work, we're doing the same for Melville himself. The entire film has this fascinating sense of solitude about it, as, since Jef never talks unnecessarily, we never learn all that much concrete about his personal ethos, rather, Melville leaves that up to our interpretation, giving us just enough clues to hint at a deeper sense of fatalism beneath the facade of the cold-blooded hitman, as Jef lives by a cryptic, but undeniable code of honor, and, at the end of the film, dies with the honor of a true samurai, but not without leaving an indelible mark on the people around him, much like the one Le Samourai has left behind on generations of filmmakers ever since.
Final Score: 8.75
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Popcorn Reviews
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Re: Le Samourai (Melville, '67)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:29 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:04 am
Image

There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai.
A man lies on the bed in his shabby, absurdly spartan apartment, smoking listlessly, as the intermittent rush of cars outside, and the incessant chirping of a small bird within are the only noises disturbing the silence. After a while, he gets up, places an undeniably out-of-style, but still incredibly debonair trenchcoat and fedora upon himself, stopping to adjust it perfectly in a mirror before walks out, exiting to descent down the building's stairs to the rain-soaked streets of a grey, mid-century Paris. Outside, a gendarme patrols amongst the parked vehicles, the man watching him warily, before pulling a ridiculously outsized chain of keys from his pocket, and covertly steals one of the cars, as a strangely carnival-like piece of music begins playing on the soundtrack, as if it's serving to transport us into his world, one that appears to be identical to our own on the surface, but is still an undeniably different reality of its own. Who is this mysterious man in question? His name is Jef Costello, and he serves as the "hero" of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai, a film whose sleek aesthetics and tale of a lone, elite criminal have made it one of those most iconic and influential works of modern crime cinema, but one that still stands apart as a surreal, stylish classic in its own right.

It's a film as sparse and cold as the lifestyle of its titular "samourai" Jef, played in a career-defining turn from Alain Delon, as a Parisian hitman who lives in about as much solitude as a human being possibly can, with nothing to keep him company in his grotesquely underfurnished apartment besides his impeccable retro fashion sense, the ever-present chirping of his pet bird flitting about in its cage, and the occasional outside visit to his lover (and professional alibi) Jane, the only hint of companionship or human warmth in his life. Of course, that's the way he likes things, as it keeps unnecessary entanglements from complicating his line of work, that is, until he accidentally crosses paths with a beautiful pianist in the process of completing an "assignment", a complication that leads to Jef finding himself in the crosshairs of both the police and his murderous employers, even though both of them prove unable to meet the mettle of this modern samurai in the end.

It's a simple plot, granted, but the story is definitely not the star here, and to be honest, there are times where if feels like even Delon isn't the star of the film; rather, the real stand-out here is Melville's style, which somehow feels both incredibly minimal and undeniably vivid at the same time, with its emphasis on long, dialogue-free stretches of near-total silence, camerawork that mixes groundbreaking, guerilla-style handheld work during chase scenes with more subtly active cinematography during calmer moments, and its sleek, stylish, modernistic production design that's often stark and monochrome to the point of slight unreality, as Melville takes the world as we know it and alters it as he sees fit, in order to tailor it to the film as perfectly as Costello's 40's-style trenchcoat.

Speaking of whom, Delon is no slouch here either, as the unshakably calm, placid professionalism of Jef's demeanor is as cold as the constant, icy-blue stare of his eyes from underneath his ever-present hat, and his underlying, personal code of conduct shines through his characterization despite his lack of dialogue here, as he's a man who's defined by actions rather than words, as is almost everyone else in the film for that matter, as characters often operate in complete, no-nonsense silence, and Melville trusts us not to get antsy with a lack of chatter, rather, letting us just observe events and luxriate in his rich sense of aesthetics as we do so, as, while we observe Jef and watch one master at work, we're doing the same for Melville himself. The entire film has this fascinating sense of solitude about it, as, since Jef never talks unnecessarily, we never learn all that much concrete about his personal ethos, rather, Melville leaves that up to our interpretation, giving us just enough clues to hint at a deeper sense of fatalism beneath the facade of the cold-blooded hitman, as Jef lives by a cryptic, but undeniable code of honor, and, at the end of the film, dies with the honor of a true samurai, but not without leaving an indelible mark on the people around him, much like the one Le Samourai has left behind on generations of filmmakers ever since.
Final Score: 8.75
Love that one. It's an all-time favorite of mine.
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Wooley
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Re: Le Samourai (Melville, '67)

Post by Wooley » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:16 pm

Stu wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:04 am
Image

There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai.
A man lies on the bed in his shabby, absurdly spartan apartment, smoking listlessly, as the intermittent rush of cars outside, and the incessant chirping of a small bird within are the only noises disturbing the silence. After a while, he gets up, places an undeniably out-of-style, but still incredibly debonair trenchcoat and fedora upon himself, stopping to adjust it perfectly in a mirror before walks out, exiting to descent down the building's stairs to the rain-soaked streets of a grey, mid-century Paris. Outside, a gendarme patrols amongst the parked vehicles, the man watching him warily, before pulling a ridiculously outsized chain of keys from his pocket, and covertly steals one of the cars, as a strangely carnival-like piece of music begins playing on the soundtrack, as if it's serving to transport us into his world, one that appears to be identical to our own on the surface, but is still an undeniably different reality of its own. Who is this mysterious man in question? His name is Jef Costello, and he serves as the "hero" of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai, a film whose sleek aesthetics and tale of a lone, elite criminal have made it one of those most iconic and influential works of modern crime cinema, but one that still stands apart as a surreal, stylish classic in its own right.

It's a film as sparse and cold as the lifestyle of its titular "samourai" Jef, played in a career-defining turn from Alain Delon, as a Parisian hitman who lives in about as much solitude as a human being possibly can, with nothing to keep him company in his grotesquely underfurnished apartment besides his impeccable retro fashion sense, the ever-present chirping of his pet bird flitting about in its cage, and the occasional outside visit to his lover (and professional alibi) Jane, the only hint of companionship or human warmth in his life. Of course, that's the way he likes things, as it keeps unnecessary entanglements from complicating his line of work, that is, until he accidentally crosses paths with a beautiful pianist in the process of completing an "assignment", a complication that leads to Jef finding himself in the crosshairs of both the police and his murderous employers, even though both of them prove unable to meet the mettle of this modern samurai in the end.

It's a simple plot, granted, but the story is definitely not the star here, and to be honest, there are times where if feels like even Delon isn't the star of the film; rather, the real stand-out here is Melville's style, which somehow feels both incredibly minimal and undeniably vivid at the same time, with its emphasis on long, dialogue-free stretches of near-total silence, camerawork that mixes groundbreaking, guerilla-style handheld work during chase scenes with more subtly active cinematography during calmer moments, and its sleek, stylish, modernistic production design that's often stark and monochrome to the point of slight unreality, as Melville takes the world as we know it and alters it as he sees fit, in order to tailor it to the film as perfectly as Costello's 40's-style trenchcoat.

Speaking of whom, Delon is no slouch here either, as the unshakably calm, placid professionalism of Jef's demeanor is as cold as the constant, icy-blue stare of his eyes from underneath his ever-present hat, and his underlying, personal code of conduct shines through his characterization despite his lack of dialogue here, as he's a man who's defined by actions rather than words, as is almost everyone else in the film for that matter, as characters often operate in complete, no-nonsense silence, and Melville trusts us not to get antsy with a lack of chatter, rather, letting us just observe events and luxriate in his rich sense of aesthetics as we do so, as, while we observe Jef and watch one master at work, we're doing the same for Melville himself. The entire film has this fascinating sense of solitude about it, as, since Jef never talks unnecessarily, we never learn all that much concrete about his personal ethos, rather, Melville leaves that up to our interpretation, giving us just enough clues to hint at a deeper sense of fatalism beneath the facade of the cold-blooded hitman, as Jef lives by a cryptic, but undeniable code of honor, and, at the end of the film, dies with the honor of a true samurai, but not without leaving an indelible mark on the people around him, much like the one Le Samourai has left behind on generations of filmmakers ever since.
Final Score: 8.75
One of my all-time favorites. This was the first movie, when I started trying to watch some Great Movies, that made me understand what "influence" meant in film. I imagine there are a LOT of filmmakers who don't even realize they are influenced by this film because it influenced their influencers or their influencers influencers.
Also, I think Delon is awesome in this and I think he, too, influenced a lot of future performances.
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Wooley
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Re: Le Samourai (Melville, '67)

Post by Wooley » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:16 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:29 pm
Love that one. It's an all-time favorite of mine.
Cheers.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:08 am

The Plague of the Zombies - 8/10 - This is as Hammer as they come. Steeped in that mid to late 1800's British atmosphere that was the studio's forte. A noted scholar and his daughter are called to a small village by a former student. People are dying under mysterious circumstances and when they arrive they eventually come to believe that the local squire and owner of a defunct tin mine is somehow involved. If you like Hammer films then you'll find plenty to love about this one. Otherwise it might move a little too slowly for you. But there's a cool mystery to be solved and damsels in distress and the genesis of what would come to be (with George Romero as a driving force a couple of years later) the modern era's undead. A must see for Hammer fans.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:57 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:08 am
The Plague of the Zombies - 8/10 - This is as Hammer as they come. Steeped in that mid to late 1800's British atmosphere that was the studio's forte. A noted scholar and his daughter are called to a small village by a former student. People are dying under mysterious circumstances and when they arrive they eventually come to believe that the local squire and owner of a defunct tin mine is somehow involved. If you like Hammer films then you'll find plenty to love about this one. Otherwise it might move a little too slowly for you. But there's a cool mystery to be solved and damsels in distress and the genesis of what would come to be (with George Romero as a driving force a couple of years later) the modern era's undead. A must see for Hammer fans.
I been wantin' to watch this for years but I have never seen it stream on any service and I feel like I just don't need anymore discs in my world (there must be more than 1,000 around here). Guess I'll have to just make it 1,001.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:19 pm

Wooley wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:57 pm
I been wantin' to watch this for years but I have never seen it stream on any service and I feel like I just don't need anymore discs in my world (there must be more than 1,000 around here). Guess I'll have to just make it 1,001.
Feel free to send me any discs you don’t want. Must feed the beast.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:59 pm

Wooley wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:57 pm
I been wantin' to watch this for years but I have never seen it stream on any service and I feel like I just don't need anymore discs in my world (there must be more than 1,000 around here). Guess I'll have to just make it 1,001.
TCM guys. TCM.

EDIT: Take for instance next week or so. I have Breathless and The Battle of Algiers on my DVR queue.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Cold Pursuit - 7.5/10 - This is one of the better Liam Neeson action flicks that he's been steadily cranking out over the last few years. I really, really wanted to and meant to watch the 2014 Norwegian original In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten) starring Stellan Skarsgård first, but wasn't sure I could track it down in a timely manner. Come to find out it's on freakin' Netflix. Oh well. I'll probably watch that next while this remake is fresh on my mind. Neeson plays a snowplow driver whose son dies of a drug overdose. He doesn't believe it of course. He eventually is told by one of his late son's co-workers that his son was done in by drug dealers, This sets Neeson on a bloody path of vengeance and in the process triggering a war between rival gangs. This might come off as joylessly predictable but thanks to a stealthy element of humor and offbeat characters running throughout it's worthy of your time. Mind you it's not as good as something like In Bruges or even War On Everyone, the two movies this reminded me of the most, but it's not bad.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:04 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:59 pm
TCM guys. TCM.

EDIT: Take for instance next week or so. I have Breathless and The Battle of Algiers on my DVR queue.
Take for instance I can walk into my Criterion Closet and grab either of those or the brand new Godzilla release (gobsmacking gorgeous) and watch them whenever I please.

FEED THE BEAST.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:38 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:04 pm
Take for instance I can walk into my Criterion Closet and grab either of those or the brand new Godzilla release (gobsmacking gorgeous) and watch them whenever I please.

FEED THE BEAST.
I wasn't showing off or anything. I cited two examples of what I thought people here would especially be interested in. I see nothing wrong with watching things off TCM.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:54 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:38 pm
I wasn't showing off or anything. I cited two examples of what I thought people here would especially be interested in. I see nothing wrong with watching things off TCM.
I didn’t take it as showing off. I’m just addicted to collecting movies and wanted to juxtapose the perks of my habits. TCM is great but so I is my far more expensive collection.

Just keep thinking about the Disney vaultification that’s going on and TCM merging with HBO and my growing paranoia that physical media is going to die out and the only way to archive and watch classics with be to pay a streamer and be dependent on them maintaining rights and availability (which they won’t).

Feed the beast!!!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:25 pm

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:54 pm
Just keep thinking about the Disney vaultification that’s going on and TCM merging with HBO and my growing paranoia that physical media is going to die out and the only way to archive and watch classics with be to pay a streamer and be dependent on them maintaining rights and availability (which they won’t).
Preach! All of my friends have had to listen to me give this same speech. Buying my Godzilla set this weekend!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:43 am

Black Field

Two different streaming services kept pushing this as a recommendation, so I finally checked it out.

Two sisters, Maggie and Rose, live on the edge of survival on their family's farm in rural Canada. Maggie, in her late 20s, has become the default mother to Rose after the death of their mother in childbirth and then the death of their father. One day, a seductive man named David appears at the farm, asking for shelter. Despite Maggie's hesitations, David ends up staying several days and, to Maggie's dismay, a romance develops between David and Rose. When David and Rose disappear, Maggie goes on a quest to find them.

This film had the feel of something adapted from a novel that just couldn't really delve into the story, and yet it was written for the screen and not adapted. Still, it feels a bit choppy and episodic. I wish that the film had given the characters more time to interact and breathe. The quick pace of the film ends up giving a negative impression of the characters: Rose comes off as an idiot and Maggie comes off as being the cliche of the "over the hill" woman desperate for love.

There were some really nice images, especially a certain shot through a window at the end of the film. The setting feels wonderfully bleak--with frozen fields and dirt as far as the eye can see.

Recommended? Eh. Maybe if you like historical fiction/drama.
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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:22 am

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:59 pm
TCM guys. TCM.

EDIT: Take for instance next week or so. I have Breathless and The Battle of Algiers on my DVR queue.
Yeah, I actually saw that it was on TCM but for all the movie-technology I have, I'm renting and they provide the cable and I don't have DVR capability here and I couldn't be available for it.
And honestly, TCM, which I love, really let me down this month, IMO. Very little Halloween content this month during any reasonable viewing hours.
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Wooley
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:26 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:54 pm
Just keep thinking about the Disney vaultification that’s going on and TCM merging with HBO and my growing paranoia that physical media is going to die out and the only way to archive and watch classics with be to pay a streamer and be dependent on them maintaining rights and availability (which they won’t).
Um, wut?!
So TCM, almost certainly, is going to be ruined?
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:30 am

Wooley wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 3:26 am
Um, wut?!
So TCM, almost certainly, is going to be ruined?
Warner is launching HBOmax to compete with Disney+ and the classic library curated by TCM is going to be one of their attractions to the streamer. Who knows what that means for the future of the channel.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:45 am

Also, Parasite is great. I'll do a write up later.
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Stu
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Stu » Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:36 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:30 am
Warner is launching HBOmax to compete with Disney+ and the classic library curated by TCM is going to be one of their attractions to the streamer. Who knows what that means for the future of the channel.
Who knows indeed, but regardless...

Image
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Charles
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Charles » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:54 pm

Code Unknown, 2000 (A)

A peculiar, poetic film featuring mostly mundane scenes in the lives of various characters linked by a conflict on a street, shown at the beginning. Each scene feels important and, though there's no obvious connecting thread running through everything or a rivetting plot, the movie flies by quite fast. Faster than most others. I don't know what exactly the movie is about, but I found myself drawn into the ordinariness of it all. I'll likely watch this one again someday.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:27 am

Jenny Slate: Stage Fright

A lot of stand-up comedy specials these days can feel like they come with gimmicks (especially those opening "skits" or whatever, bleh). But this special is unapologetically a mix of a stand-up set by Slate and extended interviews with her family members that correlate to what she's about to discuss in her special.

I laughed so hard at this show.

I should preface this by saying that I really love Jenny Slate, and that I think she's one of those rare people who is really eccentric without it feeling contrived.

Slate's special covers familiar comedic territory: dating, her divorce, growing up in a scary house. But this is where the pre-filmed footage actually kicks the special up a notch. There are simple pleasures, such as Slate doing an impression of her grandmother immediately followed by the grandmother herself. But there are also deeper moments, like footage in which her father asks if Jenny is ready to make jokes about her divorce. She says that she's "getting there" and makes a few jokes which are more painful than funny. Her father can only respond with a tight smile, and Slate shakily says that clearly she has more work to do. This prefaces a short set about her divorce, and it's a lovely way to see inside the mechanics of turning a painful life experience into something she can share and find humor in.

Even without the pre-filmed bits, I really enjoyed this routine. Slate is endearingly off-kilter, and her gift for describing herself and her thought process is simply a joy to behold. Her final bit (about masturbating at her parents' house) had me howling with laughter.

Highly recommended.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:18 am

Jenny Slate is one of my three celebrity crushes. She also voices a recurring character on Bob's Burgers.
The other two (Alia Shawkat and Ilana Glazer) share the same smoldering Sephardic looks. It's actually four crushes but Rosamunde Pike is as far from Sephardic as it gets.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Patrick McGroin
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:34 am

Dracula: Prince of Darkness - 8/10 - This 1966 offering is a sequel to 1958's The Horror of Dracula. I thought for sure I had seen this but I guess I only caught the ending somewhere. Maybe they run it at the beginning of the third chapter like they do the end of THoD with this. Anyway , Peter Cushing doesn't appear in this and Christopher Lee doesn't show up onscreen until the 49 minute mark. This is an 89 minute movie BTW. It's still pretty good because it's Hammer of course and also because the cast does an exemplary job with Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir in particular turning in solid performances. Even Lee's portrayal seems more rapacious and prurient. Recommended.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:13 am

They do run the opening of PoD at the beginning of the 3rd. I'm a huge fan of the Hammer Draculas and in particular, the first 4. I think they're due for a rewatch so I may prioritize them next Halloween.


On a non-horror note,

Yesterday- through the strength of the leads, the direction and the music, it avoids being as schmaltzy and cloying as one may fear and is generally a charming, light enjoyable film that is a tad overlong.

Dolemite Is My Name- similarly overcomes a formulaic script through performance and direction virtuosity. Made me want to rewatch my Moore collection so it's definitely a success. I very much enjoyed it but feel my expectations were too high. Closer to Disaster Artist than Ed Wood in quality.
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Takoma1
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:55 am

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:18 am
Jenny Slate is one of my three celebrity crushes. She also voices a recurring character on Bob's Burgers.
The other two (Alia Shawkat and Ilana Glazer) share the same smoldering Sephardic looks. It's actually four crushes but Rosamunde Pike is as far from Sephardic as it gets.
I don't want to just type out her jokes, so I'll just say that there's a direct nod to Ilana Glazer in the special.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Patrick McGroin wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:34 am
Dracula: Prince of Darkness - 8/10 - This 1966 offering is a sequel to 1958's The Horror of Dracula. I thought for sure I had seen this but I guess I only caught the ending somewhere. Maybe they run it at the beginning of the third chapter like they do the end of THoD with this. Anyway , Peter Cushing doesn't appear in this and Christopher Lee doesn't show up onscreen until the 49 minute mark. This is an 89 minute movie BTW. It's still pretty good because it's Hammer of course and also because the cast does an exemplary job with Barbara Shelley and Andrew Keir in particular turning in solid performances. Even Lee's portrayal seems more rapacious and prurient. Recommended.
I used this as the visual background for my Halloween party this year, Halloween mix for sound, Dracula: PoD for the visuals.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Wooley » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:47 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:55 am
I don't want to just type out her jokes, so I'll just say that there's a direct nod to Ilana Glazer in the special.
TWO of my crushes in or referenced in the same thing?! I must see it.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by DaMU » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:55 pm

Picked up Shawshank, Tree of Life and Alien on Blu from a local secondhand store for under $10.
NOTE:
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 Popcorn Reviews » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:36 pm

Lucky. I wish I had one of those stores around where I live.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:40 pm

I wrote a lot about Terminator Dark Fate after leaving the theater with a headache (unrelated). It may not make sense and it’s probably not worth the length but I was surprised at how much I wanted to write about a film I was giving just 3 stars to.

https://boxd.it/RkUmJ
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:14 pm

And then I wrote about Parasite too...

https://boxd.it/RdOQz
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:50 pm

I'm so amped for Parasite.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:58 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:50 pm
I'm so amped for Parasite.
It went wider this week with no announcement and showtimes weren’t uploaded until Thursday. I’d had Friday tickets for Terminator but promptly dropped them in favor of Parasite. Definitely the right call, as my more tepid review of my matinee of that film today should show.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:00 am

Wooley wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:47 pm
TWO of my crushes in or referenced in the same thing?! I must see it.
Very funny. Tee hee. Anyway, I saw them first.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:09 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:14 pm
And then I wrote about Parasite too...

https://boxd.it/RdOQz
Just saw it and your review says it all.
SEE THIS MOVIE
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:17 am

Captain Terror wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:09 am
Just saw it and your review says it all.
SEE THIS MOVIE
Thanks, mate! It was hard to not ramble TOO much due to how intricately made everything is. Everything builds and supports that thesis and I could have doubled the length easily just breaking down each family member. Hell, the dogs! When even as inconsequential a detail as ordering stuff from the US is tinged with purpose, you’re dealing with a heck of a film.

This film and the Lighthouse left me gobsmacked.

Hoping to see Motherless Brooklyn and Hustlers this week but may end up just rewatching Parasite.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Patrick McGroin » Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:31 am

Mad Love - 8/10 - Director Karl Freund was a noted cinematographer and it certainly shows in this grim and surprisingly dense movie. He manages to accomplish so much in terms of imagery and atmosphere in what is basically a 69 minute film. This is Peter Lorre's first American project and he kills it as accomplished surgeon and obsessive fan Dr. Gogol. He's in love with actress Yvonne Orlac but she's married to pianist Stephen. When Stephen's hands are badly mangled in a train wreck Gogol decides to transplant the hands of convicted and executed murderer Rollo onto Stephen' s body. You can more or less guess what transpires. But Lorre's steady descent from obsession to full blow lunacy is remarkable and unexpectedly tragic and something to behold. All in all a surprisingly tight and efficient little thriller.
My heart is still and awaits its hour.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:09 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:17 am
Thanks, mate! It was hard to not ramble TOO much due to how intricately made everything is. Everything builds and supports that thesis and I could have doubled the length easily just breaking down each family member. Hell, the dogs! When even as inconsequential a detail as ordering stuff from the US is tinged with purpose, you’re dealing with a heck of a film.
Yeah looking forward to a rewatch because I'm sure I was missing stuff during the lead-up to the various reveals.
Glad you mentioned Hitchcock because he came to mind more than once. He was good at making the audience feel suspense for a character that's technically a bad guy (Norman trying to sink Marion's car; Bruno dropping the cigarette lighter down the drain) and that came to mind during the scene where the entire family is under the table. You're incredibly tense but you're also laughing at how tense you are at the same time. Good stuff.
And going all the way back to Barking Dogs, his sense of humor just perfectly connects with me every time.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:26 am

Reflections on To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, a film I haven't seen since my 12th birthday.

1) Oh, thank god, some of it is still pretty funny. Snipes deadpanning "Little latin boy in drag, why are you crying?", RuPaul in a confederate flag dress as a queen called Rachel Tension, Chris Penn's homophobic sheriff loudly musing about what it must be like for two men to make love ("Stubbly chins . . . rubbing together").

2) The drag is surprisingly decent. The choice to not ever show the characters as men is interesting.

3) It's a little painful as an adult to watch the broad strokes of the "problem solving." A woman being horribly physically and emotionally abused by her husband is saved by him being punched a few times and he just decides to go away. A group of young men who were ready to gang rape a young woman are turned into polite gentlemen by one firm talking-to. A police officer who declares he's going to bring back the drag queens "as corpses" decides not to pursue them anymore because he is teased by some townsfolk. I know it's the superficial nature of this kind of comedy, but still.

4) It's so strange to think that both Chris Penn and Patrick Swayze are no longer alive. And that both were outlived by Alice Drummond who plays the very old lady in town.

5) I can't quite explain my emotions when seeing such 90s humor. Like the weird two minutes where the queens are magical while they decorate their hotel room?

Anyway, I tend to be pretty hard on myself about the stuff I liked when I was younger, but I see why this one so appealed to me.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:48 am

Excellent write-up on Parasite, MKS! I especially admired the way you described the
flood
and the ending. Although I wrote a bit on it some time back, I intentionally stayed vague about everything out of fear of giving away too much. Since a few people here have seen it though, I'll say some more about what I loved about it, which is
how it symbolizes the hierarchical positions of the Parks, Ki-taek's family, and the man in the basement by whether they're above, underground, or, in the case of Ki-taek's family, partly underground indicating that they're close to poverty. As where Snowpiercer used a train to symbolize the differences between the hierarchies of the characters, this film flips the train upright and has it act as a ladder. It also details how the lower classes leech off the upper classes in order to get by (hence the film's title), which is represented in a number of moments which are both major and even minor such as the wifi or the pest control scenes near the beginning segments of the film. The lower classes often move around the upper classes with almost surgery-like position so they won't be discovered as if they get too close, violence and mayhem will ensue as it does throughout the second half and, especially, the final act.
Anyways, it's currently my favorite film of this year, and I decided to put it in my top five films of this decade not too long ago. I'd put it above Moonlight and The Florida Project. Not sure if it's better than Holy Motors. I'm pretty sure I like The Tree of Life more.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:57 am

Captain Terror wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:09 am
Yeah looking forward to a rewatch because I'm sure I was missing stuff during the lead-up to the various reveals.
Glad you mentioned Hitchcock because he came to mind more than once. He was good at making the audience feel suspense for a character that's technically a bad guy (Norman trying to sink Marion's car; Bruno dropping the cigarette lighter down the drain) and that came to mind during the scene where the entire family is under the table. You're incredibly tense but you're also laughing at how tense you are at the same time. Good stuff.
And going all the way back to Barking Dogs, his sense of humor just perfectly connects with me every time.
It has the makings of being one of the most rewarding films to rewatch that I’ve seen this year. As someone that tries to make film stuff...
I’m a sucker for circular story telling. I’ve usually tried to echo the beginnings of my films with the end with repeated dialogue or shot symmetry so his ability to end the film with the exact same shot was totally in my wheelhouse of enjoyment.

This film felt his most Hitchcockian by far. The way Hitchcock would construct long sequences of what he called “pure cinema,” with minimal dialogue and pure visual storytelling of mounting tension felt perfectly on display. Far from the only example, but I felt reminded of Marnie, where she’s trying to loot a safe unseen, but taken to absurd, nigh Mission Impossible levels of complexity.
Agreed on his humor. I’ve called him the South Korean Coen Brother. Even among his peers who love wildly swinging tones, his ability to handle tragedy and comedy almost simultaneously just hits me in the sweet spot.

I don’t think I could choose between this, Snowpiercer or Memories of Murder as my favorite.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:00 am

Also, I saw The King of Comedy recently as I saw it come up in a number of Joker reviews as one of the films Phillips copied. Overall, I thought it was pretty great, but I wouldn't call it a copy of Joker as the mayhem which Arthur and Rupert caused were borne because of vastly different reasons.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:02 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:48 am
Excellent write-up on Parasite, MKS! I especially admired the way you described the
flood
and the ending. Although I wrote a bit on it some time back, I intentionally stayed vague about everything out of fear of giving away too much. Since a few people here have seen it though, I'll say some more about what I loved about it, which is
how it symbolizes the hierarchical positions of the Parks, Ki-taek's family, and the man in the basement by whether they're above, underground, or, in the case of Ki-taek's family, partly underground indicating that they're close to poverty. As where Snowpiercer used a train to symbolize the differences between the hierarchies of the characters, this film flips the train upright and has it act as a ladder. It also details how the lower classes leech off the upper classes in order to get by (hence the film's title), which is represented in a number of moments which are both major and even minor such as the wifi or the pest control scenes near the beginning segments of the film. The lower classes often move around the upper classes with almost surgery-like position so they won't be discovered as if they get too close, violence and mayhem will ensue as it does throughout the second half and, especially, the final act.
Anyways, it's currently my favorite film of this year, and I decided to put it in my top five films of this decade not too long ago. I'd put it above Moonlight and The Florida Project. Not sure if it's better than Holy Motors. I'm pretty sure I like The Tree of Life more.
The one thing I’d add is that the film seems to take a clear stance that...
the wealthy are parasites upon the poor. While the poor do leech of their wealth, it goes to lengths to show that the wealthy are exploitative, quick to use and replace and utterly disinterested in them despite them enabling their lifestyle, up to even turning on lights for them. I’d also say Ki Gael’s family ARE in poverty, they’re just not the LOWEST rung of the hierarchy. There’s a reason they have to descend three high flights of stairs and are the lowest point on their street.

I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re representative of the lowest of South Korea while the basement dweller is representative of the impoverished of the North (isolated, brainwashed, mad, etc)
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:04 am

I got to see Bong Joon Ho speak at a screening of Memories of Murder back in like 2009 in Boston. It was awesome. I was so starstruck that I didn't think of a question to ask until after the Q&A.

Our interaction at the ticket counter went something like this:

US: So how much for the two tickets?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: They're $16 each.
US: Whoa! Why so expensive?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: Well, the ticket is for the film and the director Q&A.
ME: BONG JOON HO IS HERE?!?!?!?!?!?!?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: Um, yes?
ME: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! TAKE ALL THE MONEY!!!!!
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:27 am

Takoma1 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:04 am
I got to see Bong Joon Ho speak at a screening of Memories of Murder back in like 2009 in Boston. It was awesome. I was so starstruck that I didn't think of a question to ask until after the Q&A.

Our interaction at the ticket counter went something like this:

US: So how much for the two tickets?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: They're $16 each.
US: Whoa! Why so expensive?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: Well, the ticket is for the film and the director Q&A.
ME: BONG JOON HO IS HERE?!?!?!?!?!?!?
BOX OFFICE PERSON: Um, yes?
ME: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! TAKE ALL THE MONEY!!!!!
Not knowing what I would say has stopped me from going to so many Q&A’s or meet and greets. The closest I came to handling myself was when I met Robert Rodriguez but he was far more interested in gabbing with my then-girlfriend/now-wife. It was an odd encounter and he’s gigantic.

Questioning Bong would have me struggling with anything more articulate than “How do you do things so good?”

Cuz how does he do things so good, damn it?

Both jealous of you seeing him and seeing MoM on the big screen. I’ve not seen it any way beyond the old, mediocre dvd release.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:28 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:02 am
The one thing I’d add is that the film seems to take a clear stance that...
the wealthy are parasites upon the poor. While the poor do leech of their wealth, it goes to lengths to show that the wealthy are exploitative, quick to use and replace and utterly disinterested in them despite them enabling their lifestyle, up to even turning on lights for them. I’d also say Ki Gael’s family ARE in poverty, they’re just not the LOWEST rung of the hierarchy. There’s a reason they have to descend three high flights of stairs and are the lowest point on their street.

I wouldn’t be shocked if they’re representative of the lowest of South Korea while the basement dweller is representative of the impoverished of the North (isolated, brainwashed, mad, etc)
I agree that you could call the rich parasites. After all, the reason Kim killed Mr. Park was because he noticed his negative reaction to the smell of Guen-sae, which was also his own, implying that he thought negatively of those below him. Also, maybe saying that the Ki-taek's were close to poverty wasn't the best way to describe their social condition. Maybe a better way to describe them is that they're barely able to keep their house while the other people on the streets, although maybe not financially secure, don't experience this issue to as great of a degree as they do. I also think that the hierarchical position of basement dwellers, given Kim's fate at the end, could be described as criminals on the run who have no chance of finding a job.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:39 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:28 am
I agree that you could call the rich parasites. After all, the reason Kim killed Mr. Park was because he noticed his negative reaction to the smell of Guen-sae, which was also his own, implying that he thought negatively of those below him. Also, maybe saying that the Ki-taek's were close to poverty wasn't the best way to describe their social condition. Maybe a better way to describe them is that they're barely able to keep their house while the other people on the streets, although maybe not financially secure, don't experience this issue to as great of a degree as they do. I also think that the hierarchical position of basement dwellers, given Kim's fate at the end, could be described as criminals on the run who have no chance of finding a job.
What you mean by the last bit, Pop? For some reason, my head isn’t wrapping around the idea. Apologies, as I’ve been headachy today.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:49 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:39 am
What you mean by the last bit, Pop? For some reason, my head isn’t wrapping around the idea. Apologies, as I’ve been headachy today.
If it wasn't for how Kim ended up in the basement at the end, I'd be 100% with you on the basement dweller's status representing that of North Korea. Considering that Kim does end up in the basement at the end though and since he's not from North Korea, my next thought was to think of how both of those characters are similar to each other when they live down there. They're both criminals on the run and they have no chance of finding a job down there (Kim, of course, had a chance of finding a job before the final act). So, while Kim's original status represented poverty, I think of the basement as the point of no return.
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:59 am

ThatDarnMKS wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:27 am
Not knowing what I would say has stopped me from going to so many Q&A’s or meet and greets. The closest I came to handling myself was when I met Robert Rodriguez but he was far more interested in gabbing with my then-girlfriend/now-wife. It was an odd encounter and he’s gigantic.

Questioning Bong would have me struggling with anything more articulate than “How do you do things so good?”

Cuz how does he do things so good, damn it?

Both jealous of you seeing him and seeing MoM on the big screen. I’ve not seen it any way beyond the old, mediocre dvd release.
The other people at the Q&A asked some really interesting questions (like about the transition in the film from a dead body to meat on a grill), and Bong told some stories about his own youth and the stories that inspired the story in the film.

My mom and I actually saw Memories of Murder together on its opening night in DC. It was a thrilling and intense experience and I've had extra fond feelings towards the movie for that reason.

Also, and this is unsurprising but still interesting to me, Bong understood English (aside from a handful of idiomatic/nuanced phrases) really well, but almost always chose to answer his questions through the interpreter.

Neat that you got to meet Rodriguez, though bummer that true to horror convention "they're after our womenfolk!!!".
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Re: Recently Seen

Post by ThatDarnMKS » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:59 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:49 am
If it wasn't for how Kim ended up in the basement at the end, I'd be 100% with you on the basement dweller's status representing that of North Korea. Considering that Kim does end up in the basement at the end though and since he's not from North Korea, my next thought was to think of how both of those characters are similar to each other when they live down there. They're both criminals on the run and they have no chance of finding a job down there (Kim, of course, had a chance of finding a job before the final act). So, while Kim's original status represented poverty, I think of the basement as the point of no return.
There’s a general trend SK cinema to use their analogs to NK as ultimately interchangeable with Southerners. Ultimately a “we’re all one people” idea. Both parties are facing oppressors that exploit them and they’re ultimately in the same place, even if one can catch a glimpse of freedom.
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