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Screening Log 2005 - What did you watch this week?
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Jim Harper
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Joined: 29 Feb 2004
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Location: Totnes, Devon, UK

PostPosted: 01.10.2005 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was just the colour contrast cutting through my thrombophlebitic haze...I didn't read it, just in case I end up watching the film. When my retinas have recovered, of course. Wink
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 01.11.2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I think the movie effectively drives its point home about the shocking and debasing nature of this type of male sexuality on an emotional level as well as an intellectual level, even if the two can?t be adequately explained in the same breath... I think that the movie does offer more psychological insight -- if a grim one to a specific personality -- than it seems to on the surface.[/color]


I was engaged intellectually by the film, no doubt; while I noticed this dominant/passive dynamic at play, I must concede that I didn't think about it nearly as much as you did, which is perhaps a failing on my part. Still, I think the reason the movie fails emotionally and psychologically for me has something to do with its focus on "this type of male sexuality."



Whether they are Naturalist or sexual, I think we can agree that Dumont works through his ideas with precision. It's not that I find fault with his methodology or craft, it's that I ultimately disagree with his philosophical/psychological conclusions. The sort of "shocking and debasing" male sexuality that he explores--which I would argue is precisely what makes Twentynine Palms inextricable from Naturalism--is, for me at least, finally more of an intellectual construct than a useful barometer of actual, real-life male behavior. I admired Dumont's skill throughout, but in the end I felt like I had followed a theorem proof that ultimately has limited purpose or application. It exists in a vacuum of gender theory.



I realize that this is a matter of taste and of personal philosophy; after all, my accusation is similar to the gripes people had with Ararat--and that's one of my favorite films of the last five years.



Eric
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Last edited by beltmann on 01.11.2005 1:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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beltmann
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Like Eric, I also owe at least some of my affection for the science fiction genre to my dad. I got him The Day the Earth Stood Still for Christmas, his favorite movie


My father also is a huge Day the Earth Stood Still fan, and if it weren't for his influence I'm sure I never would have caught the "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto" reference in Army of Darkness.



Except for the classic monster movies, he's not much of a horror freak. I seem to have more interest in that department--although not nearly as much as you have--and he's also not remotely interested in foreign fare. I guess that's where we differ the most.



Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:


Harold & Kumar is great fun. The sing-along to Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" is transcendent.


Okay, I'm adding to this to my queue. I had sworn off new movies for the new year--at least for a couple months--but we all know that ain't gonna happen.



Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:


I can't adequately explain my "blah" reaction to Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring -- a film almost universally praised. It's beautiful, sure, and I kinda dug the serene pacing and atmosphere (even if it never entranced me). But I never connected with it on any level, and I found the young monk character actively annoying (in all stages of his life), and that probably tainted my view of the overall picture. Then again, I wasn't in the best mood when I watched it, and that may have affected my response to it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.



Bummer. I can only say that I was, indeed, entranced throughout. Above I complained that Twentynine Palms doesn't amount to much other than an intellectual construct that unpacks with the precision of geometry. I guess we could argue the same is true about Spring..., but perhaps because I was more sympathetic towards its philosophical aims, I enjoyed the unpacking a great deal more. Is it strange to link those two films according to their meticulous visual composition? In each case, I think understanding the film largely depends upon understanding its use of space, color, and camera position.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
Harold & Kumar is great fun. The sing-along to Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" is transcendent.


Okay, I'm adding to this to my queue. I had sworn off new movies for the new year--at least for a couple months--but we all know that ain't gonna happen.


You'll only regret getting this one, Beltmann. I'm in the target audience and I despised it.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
beltmann wrote:
Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
Harold & Kumar is great fun. The sing-along to Wilson Phillips' "Hold On" is transcendent.


Okay, I'm adding to this to my queue. I had sworn off new movies for the new year--at least for a couple months--but we all know that ain't gonna happen.


You'll only regret getting this one, Beltmann. I'm in the target audience and I despised it.




Oddly, I usually avoid movies like Harold & Kumar, but I thought it was a riot.
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:


You'll only regret getting this one, Beltmann. I'm in the target audience and I despised it.




Most critics liked it, so I think there's a good chance Eric will enjoy it. What'd you find so offensive about it, Danny?
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I think the reason the movie fails emotionally and psychologically for me has something to do with its focus on "this type of male sexuality." I ultimately disagree with his philosophical/psychological conclusions. The sort of "shocking and debasing" male sexuality that he explores--which I would argue is precisely what makes Twentynine Palms inextricable from Naturalism--is, for me at least, finally more of an intellectual construct than a useful barometer of actual, real-life male behavior. I felt like I had followed a theorem proof that ultimately has limited purpose or application. It exists in a vacuum of gender theory.




It might. I hope so. And yet, although this may seem a tad misanthropic or misandric, I can't say I truly think it does.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What did you think of Twentynine Palms, Michael? I seem to recall your reaction was generally positive (if horrified)? What did you get out of it?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:


You'll only regret getting this one, Beltmann. I'm in the target audience and I despised it.


If I survived The Girl Next Door, I'm sure I can take it. Very Happy



Seriously, I'll give anything a chance. If I snubbed certain kinds of films, I never would experienced the pleasure that is A Guy Thing.



Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
What did you think of Twentynine Palms, Michael? I seem to recall your reaction was generally positive (if horrified)? What did you get out of it?


I've been waiting, too. The water's fine, Michael!



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
Most critics liked it, so I think there's a good chance Eric will enjoy it. What'd you find so offensive about it, Danny?


The whole exercise, to me, seemed to be devoid of any wit . As far as I'm concerned, it's just an R-rated version of juvenile PG-13 gross-out toilet humor, and a desperate commercial for White Castle. I guess the burger joint doesn't have too much faith in its customers' senses of humor. Even Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie sold its product with a little more excitement; Harold and Kumar just seems to be a "Mommy, look what I can say! Look what I can do!" in a movie industry that is already clogged up by such material. To its credit, the group of "friends" Harold finds himself hanging out with at Princeton is funny. The "Battle-Shit" afterwards, on the other hand, is not.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
It might. I hope so. And yet, although this may seem a tad misanthropic or misandric, I can't say I truly think it does.


Well, I did say limited purpose... although the movie bears zero relationship to any kind of human behavior I've ever encountered, I'm open to the possibility that such psychological states exist. I'm not convinced, though, that their mere existence automatically validates a film that deconstructs them.



Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 01.11.2005 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
If I survived The Girl Next Door, I'm sure I can take it. Very Happy


My top ten of the year will be a nice response to this comment. No rebuddle necessary now.
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