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Screening Log 2005 - What did you watch this week?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.20.2005 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
This is the only one I have left to watch on the TCM DVD. I suppose I should watch The General and Steamboat Bill Jr. first instead.


Nah... watching this one first will only sweeten the others. I just recently purchased that TCM set (obviously) and the only one that's really great--The Cameraman--is the only one I had seen previously. Still, I was glad to see fresh Buster, regardless of their quality. It had been years since I saw anything new (well, new to me).



The General and Steamboat Bill Jr. are my two favorite Keatons, outside of Sherlock, Jr.. I've probably seen The General 20 times, and I still love it.



Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 07.21.2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fando and Lis



The sort of movie usually politely referred to as a "meditation" on something or another, Alejandro Jodorowsky's debut epitomizes the avant-garde/arthouse style in the most frustrating of ways. We can say Fando and Lis is a meditation on the loss of childhood innocence -- most of these surrealisms have to do with sadomasochism and/or humiliation arising from blurred gender roles (a doll has a vagina carved into in which a batch of baby snakes slither, Fando is blindfolded and tricked into kissing a man, Fando strips Lis and chains her to a cart so that a group of men can fondle her, etc.). But this is a theme established early on and allegorized to death, smothered by an oppressive succession of similar abstractions.



Some of these absurdities resemble Bunuel or Fellini, but those directors at their best infused their non-realities with a sense of humor and an emotional tie to their characters. Humor seems to be the last thing on Jodorowsky's mind, and when a surprising ending asks us to be emotionally affected by his characters' tragedy, he's already forced his film so far into the realm of abstraction that it's nearly impossible to relate to it in an emotional way. In 8 1/2, the melancholy dance around Guido's unfinished film affects us because the film's fantasies are an extension of Guido as a character. In Fando and Lis the audience becomes tired because the film's fantasies are simply an extension of Jodorowsky's obsessions, which he mostly keeps to himself. What is Fando and Lis about? Supposedly the film, and its mythical city of Tar, means whatever the audience wants it to mean, but after forty-five minutes I just wanted it to be over.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.21.2005 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Fando and Lis




Jodorowsky's stuff is excedingly difficult to get ahold of. To this date, I've only seen Santa Sangre, which I enjoyed quite a bit (and which incorporates a lot of humor, unlike, apparently, Fando and Lis). Revok.com offers El Topo and The Holy Mountain, which I've been meaning to buy for some time, even though my spare change always seems to go in a different direction. As far as I know, Fando and Lis is the only one of his films to have gained a US release, and I've been toying with the idea of grabbing it before the others. Your comments, however, have made me reconsider.



Have you seen Jodorowsky's other movies, Matt, and if so, how would you say they compare to Fando and Lis (or rather, how does Fando and Lis compare to them)?
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Michael Scrutchin
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PostPosted: 07.21.2005 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
Jodorowsky's stuff is excedingly difficult to get ahold of.




I heard that the rights issues that have been preventing legit releases of his films have been resolved, so we might be seeing legal Region-1 DVDs of his stuff in the near future. There are rumors (just rumors, nothing confirmed) that The Criterion Collection may be cooking up DVDs for El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre for release sometime next year. I still haven't seen any Jodorowsky, but I've been interested for years now. I can hold off for legit releases, assuming they're coming within the next year or two.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.21.2005 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll definitely be worth waiting if Criterion's involved. Very Happy
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote





Not on the Lips / Alain Resnais / France / 2003



I don't believe the latest from Resnais found theatrical distribution in North America, but it's finally made its way to DVD. Essentially it's a three-act revival of a 1925 French door-slamming operetta, but it also resurrects the light spirit of old-fashioned Hollywood musicals. (One of the characters has an aversion to being kissed on the mouth, which of course proves pivotal in bringing together a trio of couples before the play's end.) Most of the dialogue is either sung or spoken in couplet form--at least according to the subtitles--but many of the best jokes rest within the asides delivered directly to the audience.



Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen nothing else by Jodorowsky, and I borrowed Fando and Lis from a friend who also has The Holy Mountain and likes that one a lot more. Although I wasn't a huge fan of Fando and Lis, I'm really interested to see more of his stuff; I can imagine myself liking his movies.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was browsing the documentary DVDs at the local library, and overheard this conversation:



Quote:
"Oh, we must be in the learning section. I don't want to learn anything."



"I'm going to look at books."



"I don't want to read anything. I'd rather watch TV."




For some reason, this cracked me up. Especially since it wasn't two teenagers, but two 50-year-old women.



Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


For some reason, this cracked me up. Especially since it wasn't two teenagers, but two 50-year-old women.




I find there's very little difference between the two.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
I can imagine myself liking his movies.




Yes, I hope they live up to expectations when I finally get around to watching them, especially El Topo.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
beltmann wrote:


For some reason, this cracked me up. Especially since it wasn't two teenagers, but two 50-year-old women.




I find there's very little difference between the two.


I can top that. This was a conversation between a 50-year-old woman and her teenage daughter in Hollywood Video:



Quote:
DAUGHTER: Oooh...Sideways...everyone tells me that's a very good movie.



WOMAN: Ah, God, I can't believe they have a whole freggin' wall devoted to it. It was so boring.



DAUGHTER: Really? Everyone told me it was funny.



WOMAN: Not at all. I won't let you get it. It's a waste of time.



[Pause]



WOMAN: Ah! Look here! Taxi! Perfect!

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matt header
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
beltmann wrote:



For some reason, this cracked me up. Especially since it wasn't two teenagers, but two 50-year-old women.





I find there's very little difference between the two.




Except that teenagers drive more safely.
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 07.22.2005 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Quote:
beltmann wrote:



For some reason, this cracked me up. Especially since it wasn't two teenagers, but two 50-year-old women.





I find there's very little difference between the two.




Except that teenagers drive more safely.


LOL!
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beltmann
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 07.22.2005 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
I can top that. This was a conversation between a 50-year-old woman and her teenage daughter in Hollywood Video:



Quote:
DAUGHTER: Oooh...Sideways...everyone tells me that's a very good movie.



WOMAN: Ah, God, I can't believe they have a whole freggin' wall devoted to it. It was so boring.



DAUGHTER: Really? Everyone told me it was funny.



WOMAN: Not at all. I won't let you get it. It's a waste of time.



[Pause]



WOMAN: Ah! Look here! Taxi! Perfect!


That's good. Reminds me of that story Ebert tells about once recommending Cries and Whispers to a caller by describing it as one of the year's best. The caller responded with, "Oh, that doesn't sound like anything we'd like."



Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 07.24.2005 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7/18 ? 7/24/05



Features in preferential order

Undertow (Green, USA 2004)

Wedding Crashers (Dobkin, USA 2005)

Not on the Lips (Resnais, France 2003)

Hustle & Flow (Brewer, USA 2005)

The Whole Ten Yards (Deutch, USA 2004)



Shorts in chronological order

The Sky Divers (Mackey, USA 1969)

Return from Nowhere (Burnford, USA 1944)

Blackboard Jumble (Lah, USA 1957)

Ye Olden Days (Gillett, USA 1933)



Yes, I really do think the witty banter of and heartfelt chemistry between Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson rivals anything in the Resnais picture. Both movies rely on traditional formulas, and both work them with finesse and craft, but Vaughn and Wilson bring far more inspiration to the material than any of Resnais? players do. The plot of Wedding Crashers is indeed throwaway, but that's hardly reason to stay away?the expected formula has an unexpected degree of charm, and that's something. However, I really disliked Will Ferrell's presence. He seemed like a character airlifted in from another, far less likable movie. I generally enjoy him as a comedian, I guess, but he just doesn't have the chops that Vaughn and Wilson do; the kind of over-the-top, unhinged silliness that belonged in, say, the broad sketch comedy of Elf or Anchorman comes across as bush league hamming in Wedding Crashers. It just felt out of place.



Hustle & Flow, or 8 Miles to That Thing You Do!, can?t live up to its amazing Buddy Guy-scored opening credit sequence. It finally relies on as many cartoonish?and fraudulent?elements as any Michael Bay flick.



Eric
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Last edited by beltmann on 07.25.2005 4:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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