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What did you watch this week?
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 143
Location: Port Washington, WI

PostPosted: 03.02.2004 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tully (2003) - Shakespeare on a farm, with a bit more of a happy ending and just like Shakespeare very good.

Passion of the Christ (2004) - I still am not quite sure what to make of this movie. The religous undertones and propaganda are so hard to sift through that its rather cumbersome to get to the essence of the movie. Is it a great movie? Doubtful. Does the movie really function as anything more than a rallying point for organized religion?

Tokyo Story (1953) - Great movie. I loved the use of still camera, especially how the camera is kind of the focal point of the shot and everything seems to revolve around it. Powerful story as well.
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 03.02.2004 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

02/23/04 - 03/01/04

To the Beach (dir Robert Schaller, 1999) B

Bautismo (dir Casey Koehler, 2002) B+

Montessori Sword Fight
(dir Mary Beth Reed, 2002) B+

Twilight Psalm II: Walking Distance
(dir Phil Solomon, 1999) A-

Le Boucher
(dir Claude Chabrol, 1969) A-

Club Dread
(dir Jay Chandrasekhar, 2004) C

The Secret Lives of Dentists
(dir Alan Rudolph, 2003) B+

The Passion of the Christ
(dir Mel Gibson, 2004) D+

The Wold Shadow
(dir Stan Brakhage, 1972) B

The Glacier Blues
(dir Michael Rosas-Walsh, 1997) B

Sky Light
(dir Chris Welsby, 1988) A-

Arise! Walk Dog Eat Donut
(dir Ken Kobland, 1999) C-

All My Life
(dir Bruce Baillie, 1966) B+

Le Boucher is fantastic (the term "French Hitchcock" to describe Chabrol has never been more accurate), while Twilight Psalm II and Sky Light are both hauntingly beautiful films using found footage and heavy distortion and manipulation. My dislike for The Passion is summed up under the topic "The Passion of the Christ" on this board, and the more I think about it, the less I like it.
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the night watchman
Studio Exec


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 03.02.2004 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Club Dread (Jay Chandrasekhar, 2004) Not as funny as Super Troopers, but way better than any of the Scary Movies. It was great seeing Bill Paxton do comedy again, and the Lizards know the slasher genre better than Kevin Williamson.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/2 ? 3/7/04

Carnal Knowledge (Nichols 1971).

A Cry in the Dark (Schepisi 1988).

The Passion of Anna (Bergman, Sweden 1969).

Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (Rodriguez 2003).

Master of the Flying Guillotine (Wang, Hong Kong 1975).

The Pick-Up Artist (Toback 1987).

The Street Fighter (Ozawa, Japan 1974).

Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (Schickel 2003).

Paper Lion (March 1968).

Touching the Void (Macdonald, UK 2003).

The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (Morris 2003).

Touching the Void is the first great picture I?ve seen in 2004, and I?m not interested in debating whether it works better as interview or as dramatic re-enactment: The two forms perfectly complement and deepen one another, merging into a third new and utterly effective form. I?m skeptical The Fog of War qualifies as good history, but Morris exposes a political precipice as steep, dangerous, and spiky as the one in Void. McNamara is very cagey, but clearly intelligent, eloquent, and surprisingly forthcoming and self-reflective. There?s wisdom to be found in this one, even if you sometimes have to read between McNamara?s lips.

I can?t say I learned anything new from Charlie, but that might say more about my abiding interest in silent film than about the movie itself. It was certainly fun taking a breezy tour through Chaplin?s career?and Schickel focuses on the screen, not off it?and the movie is littered with knowledgeable talking heads who sometimes make insightful analyses of Chaplin?s artistic and thematic architecture. Ingmar Bergman?s Passion of Anna is a good picture from a great director. I was especially struck by how clearly Lukas Moodysson has appropriated this visual style for his own current work. Master of the Flying Guillotine definitely qualifies as a guilty pleasure. Weird, wild stuff. The reprehensible Street Fighter, on the other hand, is a string of vile, barely coherent, uneventful carnage.

Nearly all of Spy Kids 3 occurs inside a video game, which almost excuses the chintzy CGI, but even the ?real-life? bits are so obviously phony there?s not much distinction between locales. Its worst offense is reducing character, dialogue, and plot to perfunctory status?has there been a lazier major studio release in recent memory? Honestly, there?s virtually nothing going on in this movie. This is just Rodriguez goofing around in his garage with his computers, and much of it is embarrassing. He has more enthusiasm than just about any filmmaker alive, but his narrative gifts are just this side of Ed Wood. Infinitely more interesting is the most recent edition of his ongoing ?Ten Minute Film School.?

Eric
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stefanieduckwitz
Director


Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 295
Location: West Bend

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thirteen

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

X-men 2


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Stefanie Duckwitz
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GimmickAccount
Camera Operator


Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 87
Location: IW, dneB tseW

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eric beltmann wearing 3-D glasses is singlehandedly the most hilarious and most disturbing image in current memory.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched the 2D version. Sorry.
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does Netflix not send glasses?
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Better than last week but still pathetic.

This is good:

Starsky and Hutch (Phillips, 2004)

This is bad:

Hidalgo (Johnston, 2004)
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the night watchman
Studio Exec


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually like Hidalgo quite a bit. It reminded me of a pulp story from the first half of the 20th century, or, better yet, a dime novel from the century before. I took to its nearly old-fashion sense of adventure and storytelling; while watching it you could practically forget The Matrix ever even existed.
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"If you're talking about censorship, and what things should be shown and what things shouldn't be shown, I've said that as an artist you have no social responsibility whatsoever."

-David Cronenberg
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pretty good week:

The Pajama Game (Abbott & Donen 1957) C

The Revenge of Frankenstein (Fisher, UK 1958) B-

Scream of Fear (Holt, UK 1961) B+

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (Blamire 2004) B-

Excuse of the Real (Reinke, Canada 1990) B-

Spiritual Animal Kingdom (Reinke, Canada 1999) B

Anal Masturbation and Object Loss (Reinke, Canada 2003) A-

J.P. (Remix of Tuesday and I by Jean-Paul Kelly (Reinke, Canada 2002) C

I usually enjoy musicals, but I found Pajama Game quite annoying. I had my first experiences with the Canadian experimental fimmaker Steve Reinke, which I enjoyed (especially Anal Masturbation..., a surprisingly hilarious satire on art criticism). And Scream of Fear, one of Hammer Studios' horror flicks, has the funniest death scene I've ever witnessed.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Does Netflix not send glasses?


No, they carry only the 2-D. I can't blame 'em. But perhaps the 3-D effects would have distracted me from how freakishly horrible the movie was.

Eric
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Michael Scrutchin
Studio President


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 832
Location: Pearland, TX

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From 02.01.2004 to 02.07.2004:



  • The Bells (Young, 1926) B

  • The Crazy Ray (Clair, 1925) B+

  • The Last Laugh (Murnau, 1924) A

  • Haxan (Chistensen, 1922) C+



I'm on a mission to see all the noteworthy silents on DVD that I haven't yet seen. I've seen most of the usual suspects by now (save for The Passion of Joan of Arc, which is at the top of my Netflix queue), but I'd love to hear some recommendations for some of the less-talked-about silents on DVD. I found a seemingly comprehensive list of all silent films currently available on Region 1 DVD here:

http://www.silentera.com/DVD/releasedDVD.html

I've only browsed around that site a bit, but it looks like a good resource.

As for the few I saw this past week, I absolutely loved Murnau's The Last Laugh -- aside from the self-described "improbable epilogue." The Bells is a well-done, occasionally chilling psychological horror film that focuses on an innkeeper haunted by a murder he committed. The Crazy Ray (aka Paris qui dort) is a Rene Clair short that starts out as a brilliant surrealist fantasy and ends as a somewhat silly sci-fi tale. Haxan, a quasi-documentary on witchcraft hysteria in the middle ages, is alternately fascinating, creepy, funny, and extremely dull; the scene in which a tongue-wagging Satan inspires a horde of nuns to go completely, hysterically nuts, though, is priceless.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can vouch for the Silent Era as a marvelous web resource. I check in there often. Michael, as you know, I have more than a passing interest in silent films; are there a few that you're thinking about? If you haven't watched Feuillade's Les Vampires, Murnau's Sunrise, Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera, Walsh's Thief of Baghdad, Eisenstein's October and Strike, those are all terrific. The early Russians were doing some astonishing things. For example, October, which was released here as Ten Days That Shook the World, recounts the events of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution by applying a semi-documentary style light years ahead of its time. Ten years after that pivotal moment, the Soviet government gave Eisenstein immense resources to recreate it, as an anniversary tribute. The director shot his scenes on the same real-life locations, and even used many of the same individuals who actually participated. In terms of history, it's mere propaganda. But artistically, this is a monumental achievement. The astounding montage experiments are still endlessly fascinating (especially the bridge scene--watch for it). The version I saw also had a marvelous Shostokovich score. (There's a tormented life deserving cinematic treatment; if I ever write a screenplay, it might be about Shostokovich--Russian history through the prism of classical revolt.)

Don't forget about the Lumiere Brothers, either. Of course, if you still must round out some Keaton, Chaplin, Langdon, or Laurel & Hardy, you can't go wrong there. Some of Keaton's best work were his shorts. Too bad more Lloyd isn't available on DVD yet. Speaking of Lloyd, my wife and I are catching The Freshman (1925) on the big screen this Saturday.

Eric
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 03.08.2004 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By "silent" are you limiting the list to pre-1928?

Eric
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