A noob's journey through cinema

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Slentert
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:38 am

Strange Days (1995)
Bigelow creates a believable and haunting portrait of a cyberpunk L.A. on the verge of an apocalypse. Chaos lingers over every frame and desperation hides in the eyes of every character. Yet there is also this floating sense of optimism to Strange Days that is so rare for these kind of doomsday clock scenarios. That even though we as a species have fucked up, there is still a possibility of a second chance, an option to change course.
Some things about Strange Days didn't age particularly well, but its central message still hits home.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:43 am

Jinnistan wrote: This has been an enduring debate. I still find Psycho to be the better horror film, because Hitch was much more skilled at suspense and there isn't a scene in Tom as viscerally electric as the shower montage, Arbogast's spill down the stairs, or, frankly, that had the benefit of Herrmann's score.

But Tom was more psychologically precise in the allure (and complicity) of the horror genre, and the profundity of its implications is still highly relevant to today's audiences even as its more formal quality has dated.
Just for the record, I wasn't implying Peeping Tom is a better movie than Psycho, if I'm being honest, I love both movies equally.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:53 am

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Someone told me this is what a serial killer movie by the Dardenne brothers would look like, and frankly, that is the perfect way to describe it, even though I doubt Belgium's most famous siblings would ever get this sleazy.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Thief » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:02 pm

Slentert wrote:Strange Days (1995)
Bigelow creates a believable and haunting portrait of a cyberpunk L.A. on the verge of an apocalypse. Chaos lingers over every frame and desperation hides in the eyes of every character. Yet there is also this floating sense of optimism to Strange Days that is so rare for these kind of doomsday clock scenarios. That even though we as a species have fucked up, there is still a possibility of a second chance, an option to change course.
Some things about Strange Days didn't age particularly well, but its central message still hits home.
I've heard good things about this film, but never seen it. I have to give it a chance one of these days.
Slentert wrote:Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Someone told me this is what a serial killer movie by the Dardenne brothers would look like, and frankly, that is the perfect way to describe it, even though I doubt Belgium's most famous siblings would ever get this sleazy.
I wasn't as enamoured with this as most people. It's indeed disturbing, but I found it a bit too messy and unfocused. Worth a watch, still.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:22 pm

I thought Henry was quite a clever film. It's a well acted, chilling portrait of a serial killer which cleverly showed the consequences the other characters suffered by getting too close to him. In addition, I liked how not every kill was shown onscreen as sometimes, the movie just showed the aftermath of what happened. If you're interested in seeing more films like this one, I highly recommend Man Bites Dog. It's interesting for completely different reasons. I'd have to watch it again to decide whether I prefer it over this one or not, but I'd still check it out.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Thief » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:53 pm

I liked it, but I just found it a bit scattered.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:32 pm

Thief wrote:I liked it, but I just found it a bit scattered.
Did you see Man Bites Dog yet? You may or may not prefer that one.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:50 pm

Slentert wrote:Strange Days (1995)
Bigelow creates a believable and haunting portrait of a cyberpunk L.A. on the verge of an apocalypse. Chaos lingers over every frame and desperation hides in the eyes of every character. Yet there is also this floating sense of optimism to Strange Days that is so rare for these kind of doomsday clock scenarios. That even though we as a species have fucked up, there is still a possibility of a second chance, an option to change course.
Some things about Strange Days didn't age particularly well, but its central message still hits home.
I liked Strange Days, but there was something very ~90s~ about it, and not in a good way. I think I saw it in like 2001, and even then it felt dated.

I do like it overall, and I LOVE Angela Bassett. I actually have a picture of her from that film on my binder of professional records/accomplishments.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:45 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote: Did you see Man Bites Dog yet? You may or may not prefer that one.
I really like Man Bites Dog. Being from Belgium, it is kind of mandatory viewing as a cinephile. Benoit Poelvoorde, who plays the serial killer in the movie, was one of the first actors I was fascinated by as a kid, and made me think more about what it meant to be an "actor". He has a new movie coming out this year, Adoration, directed by Fabrice Du Welz (Calvaire/The Ordeal) which I'm very much looking forward to.

Also, Peeping Tom, Henry, Strange Days and Man Bites Dog all played in the "Death on Film" program from the Offscreen festival, which is where I saw them.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:49 pm

Takoma1 wrote:
I liked Strange Days, but there was something very ~90s~ about it, and not in a good way. I think I saw it in like 2001, and even then it felt dated.

I do like it overall, and I LOVE Angela Bassett. I actually have a picture of her from that film on my binder of professional records/accomplishments.
Oh yes, it is very 90s* and certain things really didn't age well, like I pointed out in my post. But what exactly rubbed you the wrong way about it, I mean, assuming you still have a clear picture of it after 18 years?

*As far as I can tell at least, considering I wasn't alive during the decade (I was born in 2001, funny enough).
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:06 pm

Slentert wrote: Oh yes, it is very 90s* and certain things really didn't age well, like I pointed out in my post. But what exactly rubbed you the wrong way about it, I mean, assuming you still have a clear picture of it after 18 years?

*As far as I can tell at least, considering I wasn't alive during the decade (I was born in 2001, funny enough).
Well, I can remember certain scenes really feeling like they were being filmed on a set that had been constructed. Like, there was a degree of artificiality about it that made me feel distanced from it as a narrative. I know it's set in an imagined future, but it didn't feel like a "real" place, if that makes sense.

Also, I was not a huge fan of the sexually violent imagery, especially the sequence where
we watch Juliette Lewis being "raped" only for it to turn out to have been faked or a role play or something?
I did like the relationship between Lenny and Mace.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:31 pm

Takoma1 wrote: Well, I can remember certain scenes really feeling like they were being filmed on a set that had been constructed. Like, there was a degree of artificiality about it that made me feel distanced from it as a narrative. I know it's set in an imagined future, but it didn't feel like a "real" place, if that makes sense.
Totally makes sense, though it didn't bother me personally.
Takoma1 wrote:Also, I was not a huge fan of the sexually violent imagery, especially the sequence where
we watch Juliette Lewis being "raped" only for it to turn out to have been faked or a role play or something?
Yeah, that scene you describe under the spoiler tags didn't sit right with me either.
Takoma1 wrote:I did like the relationship between Lenny and Mace.
They were my favorite part of the movie. :heart: Apparently, while writing the script, it was James Cameron who focused on the romance angle, while Bigelow added her usual grittiness to it.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:38 am

Slentert wrote: Totally makes sense, though it didn't bother me personally.
To be fair, I think that when I watched this one (on VHS!), it was in fullscreen, which tends to amplify issues with sets not looking the best. In widescreen it might play a little better.

They were my favorite part of the movie. :heart: Apparently, while writing the script, it was James Cameron who focused on the romance angle, while Bigelow added her usual grittiness to it.
I just read some parts of the script and it's, ugh, so horndog. Especially the scene where it's describing Mace showing up in a party dress. The script is like "It looks like she couldn't even be smuggling a quarter . . . the heels do amazing things for her calves." Like, okay, Cameron. Keep it in your pants.

EDIT: OMG! The script actually includes the direction "There are some homeboys chillin' on the front steps. . ."

DOUBLE EDIT: Also, I'm remembering that the accent Fiennes did was pretty bad. Like, I thought he was an American actor with a speech problem until I realized that many British actors go too nasal and too NEW YAWK when trying to do an American accent.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Thief » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:57 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote: Did you see Man Bites Dog yet? You may or may not prefer that one.
Haven't seen that one. I think I have it on my watchlist, but haven't given it much priority.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:16 am

Takoma1 wrote: I just read some parts of the script and it's, ugh, so horndog. Especially the scene where it's describing Mace showing up in a party dress. The script is like "It looks like she couldn't even be smuggling a quarter . . . the heels do amazing things for her calves." Like, okay, Cameron. Keep it in your pants.

EDIT: OMG! The script actually includes the direction "There are some homeboys chillin' on the front steps. . ."
Jesus. Who thinks those are things to put in a script. Seems like Cameron was already a dick even before he made Titanic.
Takoma1 wrote:DOUBLE EDIT: Also, I'm remembering that the accent Fiennes did was pretty bad. Like, I thought he was an American actor with a speech problem until I realized that many British actors go too nasal and too NEW YAWK when trying to do an American accent.
Even though I'm far from an expert when it comes to American accents, I did notice that Fiennes attempts were pretty awkward. At certain moments, you could hear his original British accent pop out.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:15 pm

whoops
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:16 pm

Takoma1 wrote: EDIT: OMG! The script actually includes the direction "There are some homeboys chillin' on the front steps. . ."
HAHAHAHAHA! :-o :lol:
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:27 pm

Slentert wrote:Even though I'm far from an expert when it comes to American accents, I did notice that Fiennes attempts were pretty awkward. At certain moments, you could hear his original British accent pop out.

Honestly, I think that the accent problems probably biased me a little, as they often make it hard to me to focus during a film.

Also, reading through the script I was surprised to see that maybe Bigelow is the one who added the backstory with Mace's son? As in: her son is in the script, but I couldn't find the flashback scene where we see Mace's husband getting busted and Lenny reading the book to the little boy (which, years later, is one of the only sequences I strongly remember from the film).
Wooley wrote: HAHAHAHAHA! :-o :lol:
With their hippin' and their hoppin' and their bippin' and their boppin'!
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:16 am

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
Cassavetes is not concerned with an A-B-C narrative progression, nor is he interested in traditional characterization. Chinese Bookie is a slowly unspooling thread of post-noir intrigue and moody humanism. That ending nearly killed me.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:49 pm

In Fabric (2018)
I already expected this to be weird, but ended up being surprised by how funny it is. Strickland channels what is basically sitcom material through the lens of a giallo homage. I think it says a lot about my sense of humor that I laughed more during this than while watching a more mainstream comedy like, let's say, Game Night.

After the screening, Peter Strickland did a little Q&A. It was my first time attending one of these and it was funny to hear all the wild interpretations people had. Many people kept hammering on the idea of this movie being a metaphor for post-Brexit Britain, which I guess was Strickland's own fault for mentioning the current political climate while opening the movie.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:03 pm

Is it just me, or did American Beauty really not age well? And I'm not even talking about what we have learned about Kevin Spacey since then.

It lacks the nuance of someone like Todd Haynes, yet fails to get as surreal in its depiction of suburban lifestyle as a director like David Lynch. It's actually hard to understand how this could've made such an impact in a post-Blue Velvet era. Everything about it just feels so... mainstream, so dumbed down. Like many Oscar winners, it wants to be progressive but in a very conservative manner.

It's notable how similar this is to the movie Happiness from a year earlier. But where Todd Solondz never shies away from the awfulness of his characters, Mendes still attempts to make his look admirable in their horrendous behavior.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:32 pm

Slentert wrote:Is it just me, or did American Beauty really not age well?
I hope it's not just you. It's really a pretty bad movie, with some decent performances (Annette Benning, Thora Birch). I did mostly like it when I first saw it in the theaters, but by the time I rewatched it on video a few months later, I felt it was already sagging from its profound ordinariness, now barely hidden beneath its middling quirk.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Captain Terror » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:29 am

I was a budding cinephile back in '99, and American Beauty was the movie that taught me that a depressing ending can be just as contrived and cheap as a happy one.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:14 am

Slentert wrote:Is it just me, or did American Beauty really not age well? And I'm not even talking about what we have learned about Kevin Spacey since then.

It lacks the nuance of someone like Todd Haynes, yet fails to get as surreal in its depiction of suburban lifestyle as a director like David Lynch. It's actually hard to understand how this could've made such an impact in a post-Blue Velvet era. Everything about it just feels so... mainstream, so dumbed down. Like many Oscar winners, it wants to be progressive but in a very conservative manner.

It's notable how similar this is to the movie Happiness from a year earlier. But where Todd Solondz never shies away from the awfulness of his characters, Mendes still attempts to make his look admirable in their horrendous behavior.
I'm not disagreeing with you about the movie, overall, but regarding the bolded part, I didn't think there was really a likable character in the movie. Some were maybe more redeemable than others, but I thought they were all pretty lousy and on-purpose.
I did think the whole plastic-bag thing was stupid at the time and I can't imagine liking it now.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:06 pm

Wooley wrote: I'm not disagreeing with you about the movie, overall, but regarding the bolded part, I didn't think there was really a likable character in the movie. Some were maybe more redeemable than others, but I thought they were all pretty lousy and on-purpose.
I did think the whole plastic-bag thing was stupid at the time and I can't imagine liking it now.
I'm mostly talking about how Kevin Spacey's character is supposed to look cool when he is talking back to his wife, or when he yells at his boss. And how the neighbor/boyfriend is obviously a creep, yet him spying on her is portrayed as something romantic (she falls for it at least). But especially the way Spacey's character lusts after his daughter's friend. And how the movie pretends he actually cares about her, and tries to redeem him at the end by having him back away (because she turns out to be a virgin) and making him look like a good guy all of a sudden.
I don't find any of the characters in American Beauty to be likeable, but I do think Mendes wants to have it both ways.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:13 pm

Another scene that bugged me a lot: Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning have this gigantic fight in the living room and afterwards Thora Birch gets slapped in the face by her mother. Birch looks out the window, and sees her boyfriend filming her from his room (that is not creepy at all, right?!). Than she looks at him tenderly and starts to undress herself in front of the window, while he keeps filming her.
That to me felt like a scene that only could've have happened in the imagination of a young male director.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:30 pm

Slentert wrote: I'm mostly talking about how Kevin Spacey's character is supposed to look cool when he is talking back to his wife, or when he yells at his boss. And how the neighbor/boyfriend is obviously a creep, yet him spying on her is portrayed as something romantic (she falls for it at least). But especially the way Spacey's character lusts after his daughter's friend. And how the movie pretends he actually cares about her, and tries to redeem him at the end by having him back away (because she turns out to be a virgin) and making him look like a good guy all of a sudden.
I don't find any of the characters in American Beauty to be likeable, but I do think Mendes wants to have it both ways.
Hmm... I hear ya, but those all sound like bad things. I thought they were all pretty close to the fucking worst with only Thora Birch really being caught in the middle.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:35 pm

geez, I haven't seen that movie in ages and can't remember what I thought of it. I maaaay rewatch it because I might find it interesting as a relic of pre-9/11 American moviedom. that and Fight Club.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:44 pm

Slentert wrote: I'm mostly talking about how Kevin Spacey's character is supposed to look cool when he is talking back to his wife, or when he yells at his boss. And how the neighbor/boyfriend is obviously a creep, yet him spying on her is portrayed as something romantic (she falls for it at least). But especially the way Spacey's character lusts after his daughter's friend. And how the movie pretends he actually cares about her, and tries to redeem him at the end by having him back away (because she turns out to be a virgin) and making him look like a good guy all of a sudden.
I don't find any of the characters in American Beauty to be likeable, but I do think Mendes wants to have it both ways.
Exactly. It feels as if that we are supposed to root for his awful behavior as if he has found liberation through being a shitty creep.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:05 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Exactly. It feels as if that we are supposed to root for his awful behavior as if he has found liberation through being a shitty creep.
I guess, for what it's worth, he was supposed to be the least repugnant character, but I didn't feel like he was anyone you'd actually want in your life.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:29 pm

Wooley wrote: I guess, for what it's worth, he was supposed to be the least repugnant character, but I didn't feel like he was anyone you'd actually want in your life.
Like Slent said, I think it tries to have it both ways. I don't believe the movie exactly condones his behavior, his flaws are left in plain sight, but it does seem to make a case for the glory of cutting through a dead suburban existence by throwing tantrums and lusting after under aged girls. Just because there is also some tsk tsking over his lousier behavior, it is also feels proud about breaking the social mores of a 9 to 5 life. At least that's how it comes across to me from what I remember.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Thief » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:12 pm

I saw American Beauty in theaters back in the day, and thought it was great. I own it and saw it many times in the years after, but haven't seen it in a loooooong time, probably 10 years or more. With that said, I don't know how I would feel about it now. I've found myself thinking about some of its themes and how it tried to present them, and I think I kinda agree with what slentert says. I really don't think it's something that should ultimately factor in, but Spacey's current state of affairs also doesn't help.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:35 pm

crumbsroom wrote:
Like Slent said, I think it tries to have it both ways. I don't believe the movie exactly condones his behavior, his flaws are left in plain sight, but it does seem to make a case for the glory of cutting through a dead suburban existence by throwing tantrums and lusting after under aged girls. Just because there is also some tsk tsking over his lousier behavior, it is also feels proud about breaking the social mores of a 9 to 5 life. At least that's how it comes across to me from what I remember.
I guess I felt like
his death
was supposed to be the answer to all that.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:12 pm

Wooley wrote: I guess I felt like
his death
was supposed to be the answer to all that.
Yeah, but the movie also ends with him talking how great his life was in hindsight, and how much he loves his wife and daughter. It gets oddly sentimental at that point.

Also, is this really a spoiler when it gets announced in the opening minutes?
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:27 pm

Slentert wrote: Yeah, but the movie also ends with him talking how great his life was in hindsight, and how much he loves his wife and daughter. It gets oddly sentimental at that point.

Also, is this really a spoiler when it gets announced in the opening minutes?
Eh, maybe I just haven't seen it recently enough, I don't remember the spoiler part being announced at the beginning, I thought I remembered it coming as a surprise to me.
Honestly, I never really cared much about this movie. I thought it was fine with some good stuff and some weak stuff.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:28 pm

All of that said, regardless of what the icky morals of the movie may or may not be, it is just simply not very good. It's at best a halfassed way to spend a lukewarm two hours. Personally, I'd prefer a cold bath.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:33 pm

American Beauty was the first big-name, prestige film in which I had zero interest. It came out when I was in high school, when I was still consumer-crazy. Show me a trailer--I wanted to see the movie.

But then American Beauty came out, and some part of my brain was like "NOPE." It meant that I didn't totally get all the visual jokes with people covered in rose petals, or plastic bags floating around, but I didn't care. It was one of my first major disconnect moments from popular film (Titanic was another).

Nothing I've read or heard about it in the last 20 years has made me at all inclined to check it out.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:10 am

crumbsroom wrote:All of that said, regardless of what the icky morals of the movie may or may not be, it is just simply not very good. It's at best a halfassed way to spend a lukewarm two hours. Personally, I'd prefer a cold bath.
Agreed.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:13 am

Well then, I shall save myself the time of revisiting it.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:23 am

Wooley wrote:Well then, I shall save myself the time of revisiting it.
There are many better things to spend your time revisiting. Like Prom Night.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Ergill » Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:58 am

Takoma1 wrote:It was one of my first major disconnect moments from popular film (Titanic was another).
I saw Titanic twice in theater. My mom watched it a lot, lot, and my sister and I callously poked fun at her. But I watched it twice in theater.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Wooley » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:00 am

crumbsroom wrote:
There are many better things to spend your time revisiting. Like Prom Night.
:-P
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Stu » Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:20 pm

Slentert wrote:The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
Cassavetes is not concerned with an A-B-C narrative progression, nor is he interested in traditional characterization. Chinese Bookie is a slowly unspooling thread of post-noir intrigue and moody humanism. That ending nearly killed me.
Not to get you down about this, Slent, but I really didn't like Chinese Bookie at all, as it felt like an extremely unfocused, nihilistic, and ultimately empty experience, offering almost nothing of cinematic worth (i.e. coherent narrative, substantive character development, palpable atmosphere, etc.) to engage; it sort of felt like the kind of film an alien with almost no knowledge of cinema, or even just the human race, would end up making. Then again, I thought A Woman Under The Influence, which is the movie from him I see the most praise for, was "just" good rather than great, and was held back by an unnecessarily overlong runtime, and a fairly problematic conclusion, so maybe Cassavetes just isn't for me in general.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:40 pm

Stu wrote:Not to get you down about this, Slent, but I really didn't like Chinese Bookie at all, as it felt like an extremely unfocused, nihilistic, and ultimately empty experience, offering almost nothing of cinematic worth (i.e. coherent narrative, substantive character development, palpable atmosphere, etc.) to engage; it sort of felt like the kind of film an alien with almost no knowledge of cinema, or even just the human race, would end up making. Then again, I thought A Woman Under The Influence, which is the movie from him I see the most praise for, was "just" good rather than great, and was held back by an unnecessarily overlong runtime, and a fairly problematic conclusion, so maybe Cassavetes just isn't for me in general.
Obviously, I don't agree with you at all. :D ;)
I don't think this movie is nihilistic at all, in fact, I consider it to be very human, definitely not written by an alien, like you phrase. I think Cassavetes and Gazzara created an amazing character with Cosmo. He is this wannabe bigshot, who desperately wants to bring some class to his lowlife environment, but ultimately lacks the means, the common sense and the luck to get the life he thinks he deserved. The ending of the movie, where he just wants to open one last show and than goes out to smoke a cigarette, waiting for his unavoidable fate... I found it all to be incredibly moving.
I also found the entire film to be a masterclass in acting.
It is definitely unfocused tho, I'll give you that, but I don't believe that is necessarily a bad thing.
One question: Did you watch the short version or the long one? I watched the short version.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Stu » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:43 pm

Slentert wrote: Obviously, I don't agree with you at all. :D ;)
I don't think this movie is nihilistic at all, in fact, I consider it to be very human, definitely not written by an alien, like you phrase. I think Cassavetes and Gazzara created an amazing character with Cosmo. He is this wannabe bigshot, who desperately wants to bring some class to his lowlife environment, but ultimately lacks the means, the common sense and the luck to get the life he thinks he deserved. The ending of the movie, where he just wants to open one last show and than goes out to smoke a cigarette, waiting for his unavoidable fate... I found it all to be incredibly moving.
I also found the entire film to be a masterclass in acting.
It is definitely unfocused tho, I'll give you that, but I don't believe that is necessarily a bad thing.
One question: Did you watch the short version or the long one? I watched the short version.
I wouldn't have minded the unfocused plotting as much if I had been at least somewhat engaged by the character development, the atmosphere, or literally anything else in it, but I just wasn't, and it all just felt so... empty, in the end. And it's been a while since I've seen it, but I think the version I watched was the short one; given how little I thought of that version, and how needlessly overlong Woman Under The Influence was, I don't think I'm in any rush to check out the long version of TKOACB (or most other Cassavetes movies, for that matter).
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:52 pm

Stu wrote:I wouldn't have minded the unfocused plotting as much if I had been at least somewhat engaged by the character development, the atmosphere, or literally anything else in it, but I just wasn't, and it all just felt so... empty, in the end. And it's been a while since I've seen it, but I think the version I watched was the short one; given how little I thought of that version, and how needlessly overlong Woman Under The Influence was, I don't think I'm in any rush to check out the long version of TKOACB (or most other Cassavetes movies, for that matter).
I'm definitely not claiming your wrong or anything, if this movie doesn't work for you than that's fine, but every way you describe your experience is the exact opposite of my reaction to it. :P
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Stu » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:58 pm

Slentert wrote: I'm definitely not claiming your wrong or anything, if this movie doesn't work for you than that's fine, but every way you describe your experience is the exact opposite of my reaction to it. :P
I know, it happens; it reminds me a bit of my reaction to the movie in your avatar when I watched it for the first time last year, and wasn't really a big fan of it either...

:shifty:
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Slentert » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:01 pm

Stu wrote:I know, it happens; it reminds me a bit of my reaction to the movie in your avatar when I watched it for the first time last year, and wasn't really a big fan of it either...

:shifty:
To be honest, I wasn't entirely convinced by The Long Goodbye either when I watched it the first time. Only after a rewatch I started to really appreciate it, and now it is one of my favorite movies of all time.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by Takoma1 » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:45 pm

Ergill wrote: I saw Titanic twice in theater. My mom watched it a lot, lot, and my sister and I callously poked fun at her. But I watched it twice in theater.
Well, I can't judge because I haven't seen it.

But it was interesting to experience the shift from seeing an ad and thinking "GIMME! GIMME!" to feeling no excitement.
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Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Post by crumbsroom » Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:06 pm

There is almost nothing on earth as good as Killing of a Chinese Bookie. If it's not in my top 5 films ever, I'll eat my hat.

The film is unfocused from a sense of standard plotting. It is laser beam focused on Cosmos world of tiny and enormous defeats, the wounded pride that can no longer conceal his slow and seemingly insignificant disintegration, the minute and sometimes painfully mundane details that lead towards his fall. It's one of the greatest character studies I've ever seen, just like Woman Under the Influence is the greatest study of a loving but troubled relationship every made (with maybe the one exception of Scenes From a Marriage). Cassavetes was all soul. The most human of all directors.

The only shame about Cassavetes legacy is that not enough filmmakers out there took as wholeheartedly to his uncompromising style. Those who site him as an influence usually softened the nuanced bluntness of his approach, which leaves half of the love on the floor of the editing room. Cassavetes would let it all hang out there. Bless him.
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