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What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.18.2004 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953) B+

One Week
(Keaton & Cline, 1920) [b]A+



I was upset that I couldn't make it to I Vitelloni (one of the few Fellinis I still must see), but I agree about Keaton's One Week. As you know, I consider Keaton of the few ranking geniuses of American cinema, and One Week is among his greatest shorts. Did you notice the dry run for the famous dropping wall scene in Steamboat Bill, Jr.?



Utterly random inside comment: Matt, congrats on the turntables! Dat's de cat's meow.



Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 05.19.2004 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Did you notice the dry run for the famous dropping wall scene in Steamboat Bill, Jr.?



Utterly random inside comment: Matt, congrats on the turntables! Dat's de cat's meow.





Ha! I was tickled by the pre-Steamboat Bill dropping wall scene, and was seized by a strong desire to see that movie again after One Week. My favorite moment may be the perfect visual trick with the train at the end: what sublime irony!!!



And thanks about the turntables! I practice as often as possible and am loving them dearly. As far as material objects go, they are the most beloved objects in my life. Very Happy
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
As far as material objects go, they are the most beloved objects in my life. Very Happy


Hmm. I'd have to go with my Ed Wood box set that is literally wrapped in pink angora.



Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hmm. I'd have to go with my Ed Wood box set that is literally wrapped in pink angora.





LOL! I don't know if that's true or not, but regardless, it rocks.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally true. The set contains Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 From Outer Space, and of course Glen or Glenda. And yes, it does indeed rock.



Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the only Edward D. Wood, Jr. movie I liked was directed by Tim Burton. I'm not sure I've ever understood the fascination with the man or his movies. I'll grant that his work achieved moments of genuine humor (unintentional as they may be) and sometimes the convolutions of the dialogue are nearly sublime (especially Lugosi's "big green dragon" monologue in Glen or Glenda), but his movies have always struck me as dreary, turgid, and dull. It just seems that one has to endure an awful lot to get to the interesting parts.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
But his movies have always struck me as dreary, turgid, and dull. It just seems that one has to endure an awful lot to get to the interesting parts.


I'm not a big fan of "ironically" enjoying crap; I'm mostly interested in Wood from a historical perspective, and find his misplaced enthusiasm an interesting metaphor for how the creative process sometimes requires self-delusion. That said, I agree entirely with you, and can't find much difference between watching a Wood picture or any of the hundreds of lousy B-movie titles that are readily available.



Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.23.2004 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5/17 ? 5/23/04



Five Feet High and Rising (Sollett 2000)

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (Huston 1957)

Victory (Huston 1981)

Dracula: Pages from a Virgin?s Diary (Maddin, Canada 2002)

Shrek 2 (Adamson 2004)

Yossi & Jagger (Fox, Israel 2002)



By a wide margin the two best films of the week were Dracula: Pages from a Virgin?s Diary and Yossi & Jagger. The first is Guy Maddin?s experimental yet faithful staging of the Dracula myth, a filmed ballet notable for replicating the physical look of silent expressionism?the costumes, sets, and makeup all feel lifted out of Murnau or Dreyer?but infusing a new contemporary syntax: The swirling camera is one of the dancers, and the splashes of red and green (blood and money) add a startling dimension. (The colors are CG rendered, but made to look like old-fashioned hand-painted tinting.) I?m primarily interested in the formal qualities of the picture, but Maddin also preserves some of Stoker?s original themes?isn't this finally a film about fearing that outsiders will steal our money and violate our women? Yossi & Jagger is a brief, Dogme-style DV feature about two gay officers at a remote Israeli Defense Army outpost. One is nicknamed Jagger for his flamboyant rock star charisma, but the other is more reserved and content living in the closet. For him, reality isn?t like some ?American movie.? The story is slight?the ragtag squadron is primed for rest but ordered to lead a surprise ambush?but director Eytan Fox gets the movie soaring through flawless verisimilitude; the moods, rhythms, and emotions are all deeply charged. These faces make an impression (and the outpost becomes a claustrophobic place that evokes the sensations related to illicit romance).



I enjoyed Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, mostly because Huston knew enough to get out of Robert Mitchum?s way?his performance, as an orphaned, poorly educated Marine who washes up on a Pacific island and proceeds to connect with a nun married to the Church, is sad, realistic, electrifying. Five Feet High and Rising is the award-winning short film Peter Sollett later expanded into Raising Victor Vargas; the feature is far superior in every way, but even here Sollett shows an aptitude for capturing how many youths converse and posture, using their sexual wiles as both weapon and shield. Shrek 2 is a major disappointment, regularly substituting soulless snarkiness for wit. Since when do pop-cultural allusions count as jokes? I was utterly bored by the story and characters, save for the charismatic and ingeniously animated Puss-in-Boots. Mostly, though, I was fascinated by the way the script regularly alludes to homosexuality: The preening Prince Charming; the drag queen barmaid; Puss-in-Boots saying ?he sounds dreamy?; the ?gender-confused? Big Bad Wolf; the cross-dressing Pinocchio; and others.



Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


I'm not a big fan of "ironically" enjoying crap; I'm mostly interested in Wood from a historical perspective, and find his misplaced enthusiasm an interesting metaphor for how the creative process sometimes requires self-delusion.




Isn't that ironically enjoying crap?
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


Dracula: Pages from a Virgin?s Diary (Maddin, Canada 2002)





I haven't seen any of Guy Maddin's films, but from what I've heard about them they seem right up my alley. I'm thinking about taking a chance and grabbing all his stuff on DVD. Tales from the Gimli Hospital is the movie that most intrigues me, and Dracula is probably second.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
beltmann wrote:


I'm not a big fan of "ironically" enjoying crap; I'm mostly interested in Wood from a historical perspective, and find his misplaced enthusiasm an interesting metaphor for how the creative process sometimes requires self-delusion.




Isn't that ironically enjoying crap?


It's less "enjoyment" than historical study.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Historical study rocks. Especially when when pink angora is involved. Very Happy
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.24.2004 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Historical study rocks. Especially when when pink angora is involved. Very Happy


So sweetly soft... or softly sweet?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 05.25.2004 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

5/18 - 5/24



American Reunion (Poggi, 2004)

Napoleon Dynamite (Hess, 2004)

Shrek 2 (Adamson, Vernon, Asbury; 2004)

Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann, 2001)

In This World (Winterbottom, 2003)

Repeat | Tom & Huck (Hewitt, 1995)

The Fog of War (Morris, 2003)

Miracle (O'Connor, 2004)



I enjoyed most all of them; Shrek 2 and American Reunion are the only ones I can't fully recommend. I agree with Eric on the former; the latter is being released throughout the country and I saw it via screener--typical micro-budget, wannabe-sentimental fare. As for the reason I watched Tom & Huck a second time--I saw the title flash on after watching the morning news and was instantly addicted, fondly remembering watching it with my sixth grade class. It's corny, yeah, but that Injun Joe still scares me to death, no matter how bad the performance. Laughing



I hadn't seen Moulin Rouge, and the wonderful visuals were irresistable. In This World and The Fog of War complemented each other in interesting ways, and I was immensely intrigued by the both of them. However, the best of the week was Miracle, which, despite my reservations and lack of interest concerning it, I loved. Great performances all around the map, especially from Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson. I dug the way the hockey scenes were edited too, making me feel affection for my least favorite sport (well, second to last, slightly ahead of soccer). Finally, a "true story" minus heaps of melodrama.



Napoleon Dynamite is going to be released in June, albeit limited. However, if it does come near you, do check it out. It's one of the few times this year at the movie theatre where I've actually laughed my head off. I can't even begin to describe the performances, which are brilliant.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 05.25.2004 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Napoleon Dynamite is going to be released in June, albeit limited. However, if it does come near you, do check it out. It's one of the few times this year at the movie theatre where I've actually laughed my head off. I can't even begin to describe the performances, which are brilliant.


Which made you laugh harder, Napolean Dynamite or, I dunno, say, The Girl Next Door?



Eric
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