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Screening Log 2006 - What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.18.2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Blow-Up is a movie I really want to like more than I actually do.


Add me to this list. I've always been able to get excited about the idea of Blow-Up, but never about watching it. I guess that's the difference between appreciation and enjoyment, which often coincide but are not the same thing.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 04.19.2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are heathens.
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chicklet
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PostPosted: 04.20.2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey, newbie here



The one thing i found about Blow-Up was how incredibly calming it was. i was really expecting something a lot more, well, lively. yet that was what made me like it so much. nothing manic happened - it just quietly rambled along with his little obsession and you could just go with it, enjoying it as art rather than anything else, and as such, it was beautiful.



Amores Perros is the latest iv seen, and the one thing that threw me was how Daniel and Valeria's story didnt seem to fit with the tone of the rest of the film. it took us away from the streets as it were, and the cultural feel of life in Mexico City. on a whole however i thought it was amazing; not afraid to be real and graphic (although this is based on the assumption that life in Mexico is really like that. i cant imagine why Alejandro I??rritu would portray it otherwise)



just adding my random thoughts Very Happy
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 04.20.2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chicklet wrote:
hey, newbie here




Welcome out, chicklet! :)



Quote:
The one thing i found about Blow-Up was how incredibly calming it was. i was really expecting something a lot more, well, lively. yet that was what made me like it so much. nothing manic happened - it just quietly rambled along with his little obsession and you could just go with it, enjoying it as art rather than anything else, and as such, it was beautiful.




I haven't seen Blow-Up yet, but "lively" isn't something I'd expect from Antonioni after seeing L'Avventura, La Notte, and L'Eclisse. I like those films, but it's not hard to see why many find them insufferably slow. Blow-Up is coming up soon on my Netflix queue.
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chicklet
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PostPosted: 04.21.2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i havent seen any of his others, so i wouldnt realy know, but i guess it was the subject matter that made me think it would have a bit more of a pace to it
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.22.2006 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't had much time for posting lately, but thought I'd do some catching up. Also, a big welcome to chicklet!



3/27 ? 4/21/06



Features over the last three weeks or so, in preferential order:

Shame / Bergman / Sweden / 1968

Cache [Hidden] / Haneke / France / 2005

Inside Man / Lee / USA / 2006

Thank You For Smoking / Reitman / USA / 2006

Mysterious Skin / Araki / USA / 2004

The Weather Man / Verbinski / USA / 2005

Exorcism of Emily Rose / Derrickson / USA / 2005

Bubble / Soderbergh / USA / 2006

Eros / Soderbergh, Wong, Antonioni / 2004

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants / Kwapis / USA / 2005

Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist / Schrader / USA / 2005

Dragon Lord / Chan / Hong Kong / 1982

Tarzan the Ape Man / Van Dyke / USA / 1932

Saw II / Bousman / USA / 2004

The Legend of Zorro / Campbell / USA / 2005

Snake in the Eagle?s Shadow / Yuen / Hong Kong / 1978

Phantasm / Coscarelli / USA / 1979



Shorts, in preferential order:

The Grandmother / Lynch / USA / 1970

For the Children / Feuillade / France / 1916

The Alphabet / Lynch / USA / 1968

Six Men Getting Sick / Lynch / USA / 1966

Michelangelo Eye to Eye / Antonioni / Italy / 2004
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 04.22.2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric, you didn't like Phantasm? I know it's not great cinema, but c'mon -- flying silver balls that spout pointy things and impale people, Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man, and Reggie friggin' Bannister as, um, Reggie. What's not to like? Even if you weren't too fond it, I might suggest checking out the first sequel, since a lot of people seem to prefer it over the first one and it's a lot of fun even if you're not a Phantasm fan; the next two sequels, however, are a mixed bag.



Haneke's Cache is something, isn't it? It still haunts me.
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Jim Harper
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 04.27.2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

16/04/06 - 27/04/06

Murder on the Orient Express (dir. Sidney Lumet, 1973)

Doom (dir. Andrzej Bartkowiak, 2005)*

Haunted School 4 (dir. Hideyuki Hirayama, 1998)*

Silent Hill (dir. Christophe Gans, 2006)*

Guard from the Underground (dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1994)

Oldboy (dir. Chan-wook Park, 2003)

Lost in Translation (dir. Sophia Coppola, 2003)

Silmido (dir. Kang Woo-Suk, 2003)

Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)

Nightwatch (dir. Timur Bekmambetov, 2004)*

Vidocq (dir. Pitof, 2001)

Versus (dir. Ryuhei Kitamura, 2000)



Not much new this week/period.



Best film: Silent Hill. I very much enjoyed this. Not only is it true to the spirit of the game, but it looks fantastic and is genuinely weird, a comparative rarity in mainstream horror. Throws logic out the window, but that's not exactly a problem. Sometimes a little too slow, but it still kept my attention throughout. I was a lot more impressed than some of the patrons in there, who clearly felt they'd been cheated. Tough luck, it's a great film, and the best computer game adaptation I've ever seen.



Haunted School 4 was a decent film, especially considering it's aimed at children. Surprisingly well done.



I'm going to have to give Nightwatch another look before I make my mind up about it. Not sure what to think.



Doom is unbelieveably bad. Aside from the reference to Patricia Tallman, the redheaded star of the Night of the Living Dead remake.
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Michael Scrutchin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 04.27.2006 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Harper wrote:
Best film: Silent Hill. I very much enjoyed this. Not only is it true to the spirit of the game, but it looks fantastic and is genuinely weird, a comparative rarity in mainstream horror. Throws logic out the window, but that's not exactly a problem. Sometimes a little too slow, but it still kept my attention throughout. I was a lot more impressed than some of the patrons in there, who clearly felt they'd been cheated. Tough luck, it's a great film, and the best computer game adaptation I've ever seen.




I thought you'd dig Silent Hill. Smile



I liked it, too, and find it frustrating that many of its detractors (and they are the majority) focus on its weak, clumsy narrative, complaining that it didn't make sense, and dismiss it largely on those grounds. For me, Silent Hill's narrative isn't of much interest one way or the other. As you say, it throws logic out the window and looks great -- it's all about mood, atmosphere, and its weird nightmare logic. Granted, if viewers don't find themselves drawn into the film's world, they're not likely to get anything out of it -- thus, the lousy narrative and videogame dialogue become the focal point of their experience. That wasn't a problem for me -- I just enjoyed being immersed in the world so painstakingly created by Gans and his crew. It's not terribly scary, but it has its moments. My main peeve is that it gets less interesting the more that it explains -- it's like what Stephen King said about the monster lurking behind the door never being as frightening as the door itself. It would have been a stronger film if they'd ditched some of ham-fisted exposition and unraveling-the-mystery narrative and kept more ambiguity. The rowdy teenage audience I saw the film with probably wouldn't agree: As the end credits appeared, a few of them threw things at the screen, grumbled in annoyance, and one of them shouted, "I want my money back!"



Can't please everyone.



I think Night Watchman would also like this one. Beltmann not so much. Smile
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Jim Harper
Director


Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 04.27.2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Scrutchin wrote:
I thought you'd dig Silent Hill. Smile



I liked it, too, and find it frustrating that many of its detractors (and they are the majority) focus on its weak, clumsy narrative, complaining that it didn't make sense, and dismiss it largely on those grounds. For me, Silent Hill's narrative isn't of much interest one way or the other. As you say, it throws logic out the window and looks great -- it's all about mood, atmosphere, and its weird nightmare logic. Granted, if viewers don't find themselves drawn into the film's world, they're not likely to get anything out of it -- thus, the lousy narrative and videogame dialogue become the focal point of their experience. That wasn't a problem for me -- I just enjoyed being immersed in the world so painstakingly created by Gans and his crew. It's not terribly scary, but it has its moments. My main peeve is that it gets less interesting the more that it explains -- it's like what Stephen King said about the monster lurking behind the door never being as frightening as the door itself. It would have been a stronger film if they'd ditched some of ham-fisted exposition and unraveling-the-mystery narrative and kept more ambiguity. The rowdy teenage audience I saw the film with probably wouldn't agree: As the end credits appeared, a few of them threw things at the screen, grumbled in annoyance, and one of them shouted, "I want my money back!"



Can't please everyone.



I think Night Watchman would also like this one. Beltmann not so much. Smile




No-one at my screening threw anything- we are English, after all- but I heard a fair few complaints afterwards. Too many people thought it would be a Resident Evil clone, I suspect.



Throughout the film I was often reminded of the great Italian films where atmosphere and image were held above script and characterisation, making the best efforts resemble a vivid nightmare more than a film. The final quarter of Silent Hill was bogged down in bad dialogue and predictable exposition, but its finest moments seemed to have more in common with Suspiria or The Beyond than Resident Evil.
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 04.27.2006 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Scrutchin wrote:
Beltmann not so much. Smile


Weird. As I was reading your description of the movie, I thought to myself, I think I need to check this out, it sounds right up my alley...



What sparked my interest was your comment that the "narrative isn't of much interest one way or the other," which points towards one of my overarching concepts as a filmgoer: Plot is just about the least interesting way to think about a movie. I think of Kill Bill, which I loved almost exclusively for its abstract merits.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 04.29.2006 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
What sparked my interest was your comment that the "narrative isn't of much interest one way or the other," which points towards one of my overarching concepts as a filmgoer: Plot is just about the least interesting way to think about a movie. I think of Kill Bill, which I loved almost exclusively for its abstract merits.




Well, maybe you'll enjoy it. I was just thinking that you haven't really liked a lot of Asian horror that relies mostly on mood and atmosphere. Unlike a couple of Asian horror films I know you liked (Memento Mori and A Tale of Two Sisters), Silent Hill doesn't have much going on below the surface -- but, hey, it's a pretty cool surface! But I don't think Silent Hill is in the same league as the thrilling pop-pulp abstractions of Kill Bill. As Jim mentioned, it has a lot in common with Italian horror films like Suspiria and The Beyond -- if only they had the luxury of $50 million budgets.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.29.2006 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I really like Suspiria, mostly for its atmospherics and for its use of colors. As I've said before, my indifference to most Asian horror surprises me, since moody, atmospheric material should be right in my wheelhouse. I suspect that my disinterest in those films has been in spite of their attractive surfaces, not because of them.
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 04.29.2006 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
As I've said before, my indifference to most Asian horror surprises me, since moody, atmospheric material should be right in my wheelhouse. I suspect that my disinterest in those films has been in spite of their attractive surfaces, not because of them.




Yeah, I can certainly understand that. It's strange when a film seems to be pushing all the right buttons, but ultimately doesn't provoke much of a response. The last film that was like that for me was Gus Van Sant's Last Days.



I've also heard Silent Hill compared to John Carpenter's supernatural horror films like Prince of Darkness and The Fog, which I still haven't seen but of which Silent Hill director Christopher Gans is apparently a fan. He recently listed his favorite modern horror films for the L.A. Times and included Prince of Darkness at #6. He said:



Quote:
It's a beautiful movie in a way because it is a very abstract movie ? completely abstract. It was produced almost the same year as "Blue Velvet" by David Lynch, and they both lead the audience into abstraction. It is something that is difficult to explain, something that you feel. It was a new step in horror film.




Now, that makes me wanna move Prince of Darkness to the top of my Netflix queue.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 04.30.2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

4/22 ? 4/30/06



I had hoped to see United 93, but had time for only one film this week, and the new Dardennes picture was a greater priority.







L'Enfant [The Child] / Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne / Belgium / 2005



I know I?ve said it here a thousand times before, but I think the Dardenne brothers rank among the most exciting filmmakers currently working, and L'Enfant, following Rosetta, La Promesse, and The Son, continues their streak of bona fide masterpieces. (If The Son was about the need for and the power of forgiveness, then L'Enfant is about the need for and the power of redemption.) On a formalistic level, the Dardennes utilize a spare, semi-documentary handheld style of cinema verite, but it only looks like a movie-by-chance. As in their previous features, each shot conveys exactly the right amount of visual and psychological information, and there's not a wasted second in the entire picture. It builds emotional suspense with gripping, uncompromising precision. It's certainly the best film I've seen so far this year.
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