Maiden's Voyage

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Colonel Kurz
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Colonel Kurz » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:17 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:But, really, bookmarks, people!

I have a leather bookmark that my mother gave to me once, and she got it from my grandmother when she was young, I think.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:29 pm

Colonel Kurz wrote:I have a leather bookmark that my mother gave to me once, and she got it from my grandmother when she was young, I think.
:)

I hope you use it all the time.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Colonel Kurz » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:38 pm

It's always in the "main" book I'm reading. Except for real small paperbacks. And I tend not to use it for non-fiction, for some reason.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Derninan » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:01 am

I have a bookmark from Mexico that my girlfriend's niece made. It's a very touching gift, but it's so long, it sticks out of both sides of most paperbacks. I have the LEAVES problem: spend fifteen minutes re-reading where I left off because I don't usually bookmark, but I like it, because it brings new insight every time I open the book.

But yeah, I usually have four or five books going at a time: a novel, a non-fiction, a collection of shorts or essays, some comedic shit, and some trashy genre shit.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by LEAVES » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:49 am

What do you know about my problem, Dernian? They turn my family into paper, and here they are asking me to read from a book made of paper - all without opposable thumbs.

How dare you.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Notes from Underground » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:25 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:Ha. I'll be waiting. :)

Happy new year. I stormed through Chronic City and enjoyed it. I thought it read a little like Bret Easton Ellis had an existential crisis - after reading a few Philip K. Dick novels - and was somehow reprogrammed to stop being a sneering twat. It's the similar meandering and 'whining' of privileged caricatures but I think there's a genuine sympathy that resulted in me not hating every action of every character. Even though they're all prickish, they're quite likeable. I liked the silly sci-fi revelations and glimpses of magic realism; moments poached from inspirations and a utilisation of tropes that felt more like intentional irony and shameless author nostalgia than an actual lack of originality (even though I know nothing of the author). That adds to the collective familiarity that you mentioned in your post. We've all met characters who are, in some ways (but not all ways), like Perkus Tooth. Or we like to believe that we're a bit like Perkus Tooth ourselves. He's a heftier, modified version of the manic-pixie projection. And a pretty entertaining filler to Chase's faux-filled life. Everybody's part Chase, part Perkus, I think. Just to varying degrees. That's why it works. It helps that it's all quite funny, too.

Next: Fortress of Solitude.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:32 pm

You read it! ...and enjoyed it, and said sensible things about it. I love you. :heart:

Notes from Underground wrote:Everybody's part Chase, part Perkus, I think. Just to varying degrees.
And, this, yes. Perfect.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Notes from Underground » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:51 pm

:heart: etc.

Just about to start Fortress of Solitude. Expect to hear my thoughts in a few years. (Time flies.)
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Maiden's Voyage: The Tenant

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:39 pm

Sometimes I wish this were a true journal thread, in which I had recorded the whole voyage, not just my favorite landmarks along the way. But, that would require time and inspiration, both of which are in short supply these days. I haven't watched much lately, but what I have seen has been very good. No, Repulsion, and Don't Look Now were all terrific, but, for whatever reason, didn't inspire even the meager thoughts I consider post-worthy. Now, however, I've discovered a film worth fighting the writer's block, a black-comic gem I'm not sure I'd even heard of till last week, so good I had to watch it twice!

The Tenant is hilarious and truly disturbing, crazy entertainment with a satisfying density of detail and theme that makes rewatches rewarding. Polanski himself plays Trelkovsky as a wonderfully complex character, pathetically eager to please, yet strong enough to stand up for what he believes in, comic and tragic in equal measure. He lives in a world just slightly odder than our own, mundane, but menacing, peopled with ridiculous (but familiar) figures determined to pull him into their complicated troubles and feuds. Strangest of all is his apparent willingness to play along, to listen too carefully, to serve as the scapegoat they're all looking for. There's more than a little Kafka here, as he joins the absurd battle-in-progress in his new building, and there's a dose of de Palma, too, as the psychological stress takes its toll and we begin to question whether his paranoia is justified. Polanski is truly perfect in this role, attractive and silly by turns, likable to the end, even as he succumbs to the crazy plot, a fate written by a lunatic in a nightmare.

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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Rock » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:44 pm

I need to see The Tenant. I am however a big fan of Don't Look Now and No, and slightly less so of Repulsion.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:58 pm

The Tenant is better than all of them dipped in chocolate! :)

I don't think I've said this yet: Welcome!
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Trip » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:00 pm

I assumed Rock was some old poster reborn. Am I wrong?
Welcome (back?) anyway.

I liked The Tenant. Circular.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Rock » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:02 pm

Thank you. I'm new here. I probably should have introduced myself earlier. I post mostly on Rotten Tomatoes and expanded my internet presence recently.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:19 pm

Rock wrote:I post mostly on Rotten Tomatoes and expanded my internet presence recently.
You have a good thread over there. Index and all! :)
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Rock » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:41 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:You have a good thread over there. Index and all! :)


Thanks! :)
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Re: Maiden's Voyage: The Tenant

Post by charulata » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:52 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:The Tenant is hilarious and truly disturbing, crazy entertainment with a satisfying density of detail and theme that makes rewatches rewarding. Polanski himself plays Trelkovsky as a wonderfully complex character, pathetically eager to please, yet strong enough to stand up for what he believes in, comic and tragic in equal measure. He lives in a world just slightly odder than our own, mundane, but menacing, peopled with ridiculous (but familiar) figures determined to pull him into their complicated troubles and feuds. Strangest of all is his apparent willingness to play along, to listen too carefully, to serve as the scapegoat they're all looking for. There's more than a little Kafka here, as he joins the absurd battle-in-progress in his new building, and there's a dose of de Palma, too, as the psychological stress takes its toll and we begin to question whether his paranoia is justified. Polanski is truly perfect in this role, attractive and silly by turns, likable to the end, even as he succumbs to the crazy plot, a fate written by a lunatic in a nightmare.[/box]

My favorite Polanski and one I can keep re-watching over and over. I just knew you'd love this one :)
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Maiden's Voyage: Singapore Sling

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:44 pm

Singapore Sling is an exciting exercise in form, a crazy demonstration of how film images, words, and music work on us, disconnected from plot or sense. What sense there is is almost all lifted from Preminger's Laura, with the characters and plot from that film playfully deconstructed here. It's also a clever game of non-stop alienation effects turned into visceral ordeal. The rich black and white photography makes its more uncomfortable scenes a bit easier to take (the most beautiful vomiting and disembowelment you'll ever see?), and the over-the-top acting, fourth-wall breaking, and language games pull us constantly out of the film. Yet, somehow, cinema triumphs! Haunting images accrue resonance, characters grab us (in surprising places), and events pile on top of each other in an intense and oh! so satisfying climax.

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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Bandy Greensacks » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:08 am

Nikolaidis is so, so good
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:13 am

Ha, he is. Very talented. Also, this movie is insane. (Feel like I may not have emphasized that enough above.)
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Trip » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:53 am

I remember finding that pretty much the worst.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:35 am

Aw. Even if you're repulsed by the things they're doing (and who isn't, at least part of the time) you still have the games it plays with the old film and the gorgeous photography. But, as with any comedy, if its particular brand of dark campiness doesn't click with you, I guess it would be pretty dismal.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Pinhead » Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:44 am

The devil's cleavage...
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:46 pm

That's a bit cryptic. Is that a recommendation? Another example of that brand of dark camp, perhaps?
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by wigwam » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:50 pm

he's watching Fletch right now so I'll answer on his behalf, it is all those things
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Pinhead » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:51 pm

I have no time for explanations, I gotta test watch films for Patty Poage cause he's spending all his time on his new hobby diabetes, here's what I copied of kg

One of Kuchar’s few feature-length works is this ribald pastiche to postwar Hollywood melodrama, that period when the studios were trying very hard to be adult. The intricate, overheated plot involves a nurse trapped in an unhappy marriage who escapes the big city in search of greener pastures in Blessed Prairie, Oklahoma. Swerving from earnest homage to dark satire, Kuchar simultaneously imitates and savages the legacy of Sirk, Preminger and Minnelli that inspired him, gleefully intertwining the suggestive and the scatological, while also pointing towards the later postmodern parodies of Cindy Sherman. The Devil’s Cleavage is also a rich time capsule of 1970s San Francisco, replete with cameos from Curt McDowell and Art Spiegelman.


Also Thundercrack!, the ! is part of the title I'd add another but it'd be too confusing!
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Perverted Hermit » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:59 pm

Pat D
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by wigwam » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:16 pm

my name is Alphonso M and ive seen Fletch i needed some recon on Mike's Murder cuz i'm trying to make an ophthalmologist appt
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Maiden's Voyage: Strange Circus

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:56 pm

Image Image

Derninan wanted me to talk about Strange Circus when I saw it, but I wasn't ready. Sorry, Dern! But, now that it's been stewing a while, I have something to say. It's quite an experience! Like Love Exposure, this one picks me up and carries me along, forcing me to feel a little bit of everything before it's done with me. But this is not a sweet tale of first love and up-skirt photography. This is horror all the way through, with a subject so terrible I try to look away, but I can't; Sono has my head in a brightly colored vice. How can I bear it? He makes it bearable (just) by providing a colorful, fast-paced onslaught of creative mise-en-scène, which entertains without (and this is arguable, I know) feeling like exploitation. Everything works toward its empathetic purpose, every crazy color and angle keeps us focused on the horror (not our own reactions, such as chills and jump scares, but the objective horror of what is happening to Mitsuko). The evocative body horror of her memories, the phantasmagorical circus of her broken mind, the flat out amazing performance of Ishida Issei – all of it, at its base, is heartbreaking and serious. There's a clever use of the subjective camera as well, that prevents sleazy exploitation of the subject matter, since Mitsuko "sees" herself as her mother during the abuse. I've had problems with Sono's over-the-top climaxes in the past, but how could anyone say this finale isn't earned? It's outrageous, not in a satisfying tragicomic way, like Singapore Sling's, but remaining just short of camp despite the crazed performances. Instead, it's sincere, terrifying, sickening, and completely understandable in context, leaving us exhausted, and wrestling with concepts like vengeance and evil.


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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:57 pm

More amazing screenshots. Even the colors are super disturbing:

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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Philosophe rouge » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:07 am

Ya, I love Strange Circus, one of my favourite Sono. I think it's also his darkest work... and most disturbing.
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:18 am

Oh, it's horrifying, yes. I've seen four by Sono now: this, Love Exposure, Noriko's Dinner Table, and Cold Fish. Loved the first two, and hated Fish. Have you seen his most recent two?
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Philosophe rouge » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:20 am

Cold Fish is one of the worst things EVER. His most recent film I've seen is Guilty of Romance, which is OKAY. I can't keep up with him.
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

Live. Laugh. Love. - Freddy Krueger
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by roujin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:21 am

I liked Himizu a lot.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:37 am

Philosophe rouge wrote:I can't keep up with him.
Yeah, I just checked his IMDb page. :!:

roujin wrote:I liked Himizu a lot.
I'll be sure to check it out when it's released here in 2018. :P
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:18 pm

No more thoughts about Strange Circus? I thought it was more popular around here, for some reason.
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Maiden's Voyage: Post Tenebras Lux

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:26 pm

Image Image

You've all been so cagey about the details of Post Tenebras Lux that I feel like I'm breaking a code of silence here, but I have to talk about it! I know some have referred to 'spoiling' the ending, but I can't even imagine what part could be spoiled. I read reviews that, taken together, mentioned every strange bit in this film, yet nothing prepared me for anything in it. I'll be careful, anyway. It's not as if I could spoil the meaning, since I'm as baffled as everyone else. But, with the final line still ringing in my ears, I feel safe saying it's a life-affirming experience. Also, that lens is so beautiful I bet Sokurov wishes he had thought of it!

I'll start with that crazy lens. For me, it creates a sense of wonder and joy, making even the most mundane scenes beautiful and strange. Which ties neatly into that quietly powerful scene where Juan thinks about his childhood and experiences a transcendent sort of love for all of life. And, whether it's meant to be fact or fantasy within the narrative, his epiphany has been recorded for our benefit, like Guido's at the end of . An even deeper kind of love comes through in the many scenes with his children. Every frame is full of affection and hope – look at the way he imagines them growing up into beautiful, serene teens – it's easy to see where his heart is. I also need to mention the amazing story of El Siete, told in an almost musical counterpoint to Juan's, probably my favorite thing here. This is where the autobiographical elements most clearly break down and interpretation gets tough. But, I love that it doesn't make sense in a conventional way. There's definitely an emotional logic, though, and that's as much as I'll say here, I guess.

So many things I've left out! But, then I'm not sure where to fit them within the framework of the film. I don't expect this one to become more clear on rewatches, either, but I'm OK with that. I think it's more like a seed planted in my brain. Want more? Check back in ten years or so!
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by plain » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:38 pm

excellent write-up, loved it as well; one key image that has stuck with me is the close-up of juan and his wife's hands in the car. also, what's your take on the film's final line? love the sudden abruptness; have some ideas of my own, but eager to read what others think.
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:48 pm

plain wrote:also, what's your take on the film's final line? love the sudden abruptness; have some ideas of my own, but eager to read what others think.
I have only very hazy ideas. He's comparing life to a contest, obviously, something you have to work at, and need other people for. Which makes me think about his family, of course, but also Seven (who, together with Juan, seems to represents Mexico in some way I haven't come to grips with yet).
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by wigwam » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:13 pm

you had the experience w/ it that i wanted to have and was furious for not having

but cmom Sokurov scoffs at that lens!!!!
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:30 pm

hirtho wrote:but cmom Sokurov scoffs at that lens!!!!
Sokurov grinds up better lenses than that and eats them for breakfast!

But, seriously, I know it. And it's not doing the same thing at all. It was pretty, though.
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wigwam
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by wigwam » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:30 am

i didnt like it but i liked later when she was playing the Neil Young on the piano and he shot the edge of the mirror doing the same refraction, I couldve taken it motivated and with restraint but that wasn't this movie so...
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Philosophe rouge
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Philosophe rouge » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:32 am

I still think about Post Tenbras Lux, that works in it's favour, but I didn't like it on it's whole. Parts of it are earth shatteringly wonderful, but as they come together they failed to sway me. Still remains one of the most beautiful films I've had the pleasure of seeing on a purely textural level but I wish it grabbed me more on that guttural level of soul.
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

Live. Laugh. Love. - Freddy Krueger
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Shieldmaiden
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Maiden's Voyage: my Horrierino

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:53 am

Though it's not yet finished, I thought I should put a link here to my October foray into horror:

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Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
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Shieldmaiden
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Maiden's Voyage: La Vie de Boheme

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:53 am

Image Image

My second Kaurismäki, La Vie de Bohème charmed me to tears. Both funnier and sadder than I Hired a Contract Killer, it's the story of three sad-sack bohemians living on the edge of art and respectability in a dingy Paris. Despite the title, the deadpan comedy almost kept me from recognizing the famous opera (or, as it turns out, the source novel) in these vignettes of camaraderie and romance. I really enjoyed the flat simplicity of those tableaux shots. Maybe I didn't realize how stylized Contract Killer was? I know those sets were very simple, but I remember only seediness and grit contrasted with unexpected warmth and color. Here, though, not only has the color been drained away, the sets are stripped down to a bare, theatrical minimum, while the stylization is dialed up to a comic peak with the Arc du Triomphe in every street shot, the hilariously fake train, etc. The whimsical touches manage to be amusing and affecting without ever being arch or heavy-handed. And, in the end, it all comes together to reveal unexpected emotion behind the dreary facade, the infectious warmth of Rodolfo's hot-blooded dedication to his art and to his love.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
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JediMoonShyne
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by JediMoonShyne » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:18 am

I love, love, love La Vie de Bohème. :heart:

How about that restaurant scene with the fish?
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:50 am

JediMoonShyne wrote:How about that restaurant scene with the fish?
Adorable! I love how every single thing in this movie is comic and poignant at the same time.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
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Trip
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Trip » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:25 am

I haven't seen it yet! Adore Aki.
Please TRIP and Die
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Shieldmaiden
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:03 pm

Trip wrote:Adore Aki.
I get the feeling that his Finnish-language films are a lot bleaker? Anyway, Drifting Clouds is next.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
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JediMoonShyne
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Re: Maiden's Voyage

Post by JediMoonShyne » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:09 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:I get the feeling that his Finnish-language films are a lot bleaker? Anyway, Drifting Clouds is next.

I'd probably agree with that, yeah.
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision
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Shieldmaiden
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Maiden's Voyage: Claire Denis

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:26 pm

    She’ll always have a special place in my heart (and my history as a
    cinephile), yet I’ve never really given her her due in this thread. It's
    time to correct that! This is just a quick overview of things I’ve said
    elsewhere about her films, in the order in which I love them.

    Claire Denis
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    Beau travail

    I adore the energy and mystery of this one – the first film
    of hers I saw. Her use of music and visual rhythm is
    spectacular here, and the whole film is shot through with
    piercing longing and regret. Am I the only one who still thinks
    this is her masterpiece?

    More here.
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    L'intrus

    This one is a seed she plants in your mind, that grows until it's
    all you think about, until you've watched it three more times,
    until you find what might possibly be a handle-like projection
    sticking out just enough to get your thoughts around. And, it's
    worth all the effort!

    More here.
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    35 rhums

    This loving homage to Ozu’s Late Spring is Denis at her most delicate, as she uses fleeting expressions and tiny details to paint a father-daughter relationship that might have seemed too good to be true, but is made absolutely believable by her wonderful actors. This is such a likeable little family (and circle of friends), that I wanted to live there with them, or, at least, watch a longer movie about them. Sequel!
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    Vendredi soir

    This feels like a bit of a departure for her, though whimsy's not so far removed from the playfulness of her editing and endings. Still, this one's clearly a fairy tale, set in a bewitching nighttime Paris, in which we watch our heroine struggle through a claustrophobic traffic jam until a charming stranger helps her escape. Denis steers us with small, perfect gestures (just as the characters do each other) until we, too, achieve a joyful escape from our mundane lives.
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    Les salauds

    This one's a dark, seductive noir that slides us easily, almost imperceptibly, into its world until we're lost in a depressing maze of evil and desire and infinite regret.

    More here.
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    Nénette et Boni

    I love the way Denis begins with the neighborhood, and seems to settle on Boni’s story only when it takes an interesting turn on camera. We get a vivid picture of his lonely days spent lusting after the local baker’s wife and longing for a type of life that's out of his reach. But, when his sister provides him with a problem to solve, he changes before our eyes, energized by a very different type of obsession.
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    J'ai pas sommeil

    I love this moody, thoughtful collage of disparate lives and overlapping stories. Camille is astonishingly played by Richard Courcet in his first role. But, Yekaterina Golubeva is also perfect, as our way into the mileu (an insomniac outsider, coldly observing the lives around her) and as a kind of foil to Camille (since she’s constantly being tempted to trade on her looks and youth the same way he does).
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    Chocolat

    This lovely, semi-autobiographical film about a French girl growing up in Camaroon revolves around adult relationships and sexual tension, but the heart of the movie is the sweet, believable friendship between the girl and an African servant. With a minimum of dialogue, Denis uses insightful shot composition and the wonderful actor, Isaach de Bankole, to help us understand the complicated dynamics of colonial Africa.
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    S'en fout la mort

    Alex Descas and Isaach de Bankole give terrific performances as two men struggling to survive in the dangerous world of cockfighting. This is such a claustrophobic movie of close-ups, tiny rooms and limited human interaction. As you'd expect from Denis, the real action is not in the cockpit, but in conversation and glances, intense atmosphere, and a strong sense of doom.
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    US Go Home

    More snapshot than story, this lovely little film gives us a poignant glimpse into the lives of a brother and sister in suburban France in the sixties. A musical clip would be more effective than a blurb for this one, so I'll just say it gets the teenaged restless energy and longing to grow up just right.
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    Let the Sunshine In

    Another adaptation of a difficult book. I hate to be unfair, so I need to get this out up front: I'm not a fan of Juliette Binoche. (I know, I know!) Still, I think my problem with this one is probably in the novel. Our 'free-spirited' protagonist is alternately passive and petulant, and so easily led that the final scene with the psychic is hardly necessary to drive home the point. I can see we're supposed to love her anyway. I just... didn't.
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    White Material

    Her third movie set in Africa, this one's still filtered, Denis-style, through one woman’s perceptions and memories, but this time it’s really about the place more than the person. Maria’s unhappy family struggle to survive as the country falls apart. But, in the end, they’re completely absorbed by their environment, emotional guerrilla fighters in a war of chaos and madness.
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    Trouble Every Day

    Though her films often deal with horrors, this is an outright horror film, albeit one packed with metaphor and food for thought within its overlapping stories of desperation. Beatrice Dalle is amazing here, looking young and scared one minute, and like a ferocious animal the next. It's hard for me to appreciate this one fully (around the gore), but the tension as the characters struggle for control is powerful stuff.
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    Vers Matilde

    This documentary about French dancer and choreographer Mathilde Monnier explores the artist's drive and process. It ends especially well, with an beautiful solo by Monnier. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jean-Luc Nancy, the philosopher whose memoir inspired L'intrus; one of Monnier's productions, Alliterations, is based on his writings, and actually uses him on stage.
Ant-Man and the Wasp ▪ Night Must Fall ▪ Colo ▪ Help Me, Eros ▪ Le bonheur ▪ Time Bandits ▪ All About Nina ▪ Love Is the Beginning of All Terror ▪ Capernaum ▪ Mary Queen of Scots ▪ Lazzaro felice

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf
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