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Screening Log 2005 - What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
I'm guessing from its place in your list that you weren't too impressed with Memories of Murder?


No, I actually did like it, I just liked the others more. (In fact, I would recommend all of those listed.) I enjoyed the way Memories juggled deadpan action comedy--occasionally a detective will fly into frame to deliver a crushing foot punch to the face of a suspect--with a sincere psychological portrait of frustration. Solid stuff. And I probably should have listed it ahead of the Ford picture. Typically I order them rapidly, without giving it too much thought.

What's your take on it?

Eric
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
No, I actually did like it, I just liked the others more. (In fact, I would recommend all of those listed.) I enjoyed the way Memories juggled deadpan action comedy--occasionally a detective will fly into frame to deliver a crushing foot punch to the face of a suspect--with a sincere psychological portrait of frustration. Solid stuff. And I probably should have listed it ahead of the Ford picture. Typically I order them rapidly, without giving it too much thought.

What's your take on it?

Eric


I really enjoyed it. Seen it several times since then. I loved the way the roles had switched by the end; the previously calm and controlled cop was being restrained by his brutish colleague. I was impressed with Bong Joon-ho comments on the military government, tying them in to the case and the effect they had on the investigation. And the stupidity of the 'boss cop' trying to tell the detective to stop beating confessions out of suspects by kicking him down the stairs! That ending kind of haunts you too. Excellent film, already seen it four times.

One interesting thing. There was a foreword on the Hong Kong edition that explained that the murders remained unsolved (something I entirely forgot, I was so engrossed in the film), whereas the UK edition removed it- what edition did you see, and did it have the foreword?
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.05.2005 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
I loved the way the roles had switched by the end; the previously calm and controlled cop was being restrained by his brutish colleague.


Yes. I especially like the way the more buffoonish detective--I'm drawing a blank on his name--eventually begins to take the case seriously. (His turning point being the discovery of all the fruit lodged, well, you know where: "You're right. We've been wasting our time with these other people.")

Quote:
One interesting thing. There was a foreword on the Hong Kong edition that explained that the murders remained unsolved (something I entirely forgot, I was so engrossed in the film), whereas the UK edition removed it- what edition did you see, and did it have the foreword?


I assume the Netflix DVD contained the same version that played in US theaters. I don't recall a forward about the real-life connection, but in the version I saw, the murders very clearly remain unsolved. That's what makes the final sequence and final closeup so powerful. I hope there aren't versions circulating with a different conclusion.

Eric
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I assume the Netflix DVD contained the same version that played in US theaters. I don't recall a forward about the real-life connection, but in the version I saw, the murders very clearly remain unsolved. That's what makes the final sequence and final closeup so powerful. I hope there aren't versions circulating with a different conclusion.


As far as I know, they're all the same version of the film. I just couldn't see the point in the UK edition removing the note at the start about the murders remaining unsolved; after all, all the publicity had described the film as being based on South Korea's most famous unsolved murder case.

But you're right, that final sequence is very powerful. It's certainly one of the best Korean thrillers I've seen, and a welcome change from the usual Seven-style serial killer film.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Memories of Murder out from Netflix right now, and I'll probably watch it tonight or tomorrow.
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Jim Harper
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
I have Memories of Murder out from Netflix right now, and I'll probably watch it tonight or tomorrow.


I'm very interested to hear what you think of it Mike!
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 09.05.2005 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
I'm very interested to hear what you think of it Mike!


I rented it mainly thanks to your H review, where you said Memories of Murder was South Korea's best serial-killer flick.
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matt header
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 09.07.2005 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Sirk/Fassbinder doubleheader!:

All That Heaven Allows (Sirk, 1955) A-

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
(Fassbinder, 1974) A-

Both very neat! Fear Eats the Soul is the only Fassbinder I've seen so far that I've really liked! Those colors in All That Heaven Allows! So delicious! Hurray for exclamation points!
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.07.2005 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Fear Eats the Soul is the only Fassbinder I've seen so far that I've really liked!


That was the first one I truly liked as well! (My only quibble with you is that pesky minus following the "A.") To complete your conversion, check out Martha and especially Fox and His Friends.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 09.08.2005 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've actually heard bad things about Fox and His Friends, but I'm dying to see it nonetheless. The one by him I'm really looking forward to is Effi Briest.

Has anyone seen the full version of Berlin Alexanderplatz? I'll be impressed if so.
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j miller
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Joined: 05 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: 09.10.2005 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/9

The Constant Gardener

What a movie! This movie works as a political statement as well as a romantic thriller. I highly recommend seeing it.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2003) - I thought this piece might be difficult to approach with an open mind after all hubbub last year, but none of the controversy ever really revealed the nature of the movie. I?d read about certain scenes, but within the context of the narrative the progression of each one was immediate and novel. I have a fascination with travel and the accoutrements of travel -- gas stations, diners, roads signs, the slither of the tarmac beneath your wheels -- and Gallo?s compositions and editing captures the essence of it all splendidly. The story holds together even while it seems Bud?s encounters and activities are random and inscrutable (and more than a little cruel). The long penultimate scene in the hotel justifies and clarifies everything that?s happened, however, and the result is an emotional suckerpunch, especially when certain prior scenes are re-evaluated after the final disclosure of Bud and Daisy?s past. The Brown Bunny hasn?t an inch of pretense about it, and as the end credits began to roll I reflected on the trouncing it took at Cannes and felt a little bad for Gallo. This is a work of obvious sincerity, and is as emotionally evocative as it strives to be, I think, without sensationalism, arty intellectual detachment, or squishy mainstream sentimentalism. It's a good movie.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.10.2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2003) - It's a good movie.


Glad you liked it! I too felt bad for Gallo--those critics were like playground bullies picking on a popular target merely because, well, because he was a popular target. I don't suppose his political affiliations made it easier to poke him in the eye?

True, we haven't seen the Cannes cut. But I can't imagine it was nearly as awful as reported.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


True, we haven't seen the Cannes cut. But I can't imagine it was nearly as awful as reported.


I can understand the frustration of sitting through bad pacing or overlong scenes, but it seems to me that this movie clearly has something worthwhile on its mind. Of course, it is unfair to make assumptions without ever experiencing the Cannes cut.

beltmann wrote:
I don't suppose his political affiliations made it easier to poke him in the eye?


I know Gallo's a Republican, but I didn't see anything in either The Brown Bunny or Buffalo '66 that was overtly political. He certainly doesn't pontificate in either one, and both strike me as fairly objective observations of tragedy. What's the deal?
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 09.10.2005 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
the night watchman wrote:
The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2003) - It's a good movie.


Glad you liked it! I too felt bad for Gallo--those critics were like playground bullies picking on a popular target merely because, well, because he was a popular target.


Well, to be fair, Gallo is an egotistical asshole (although I sense his nastiness might be borne more out of insecurity than misanthropy), so I can understand why he'd be such a popular target for many people. But although I've been stunned at some of the awful things he's said in interviews and on his own message board, I think he's an interesting and talented filmmaker, if Buffalo '66 is any indication. I'll be getting The Brown Bunny from Netflix soon.
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