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What did you watch this week?
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 09.08.2003 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's the only movie from Kren that I've ever seen, but I liked this one a great deal. It's composed of a handful of grainy b&w images of extreme close-ups of people's faces, and the eyes of one person suddenly jump to the eyes of another, and then we travel down that face and come to the nose, and then jump to the nose of another person - it's basically an extreme analysis of the terrain of the human face. After we watched it, we learned that all of the "mugshots" used were of convicted murders put to death - which added a sense of mystery and painful remembrance to the movie. The editing itself is stunning (I just watched "Man With a Movie Camera" by Dziga Vertov today; the editing techniques are very similar).

We watched it for my Film 101 Introduction to Experimental Film and Video class, right after watching some early movies by Lumiere and Melies. It should be a nifty class, judging by the first two days.

(By the way, I think Fiennes' performance in "Quiz Show" is superb, and his role in "Schindler's List" is commanding and unforgettable; I must admit I'm not a big fan of "Sunshine," though.)
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.08.2003 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely love Vertov, especially Man With a Movie Camera. (Actually, I really dig a lot of those early Russians, like Eisenstein and Pudovkin.) Your class sounds great, although Melies and the Lumieres don't seem to quite fit into the "experimental" category. (History, yes--I show several by both when I teach Humanities, primarily to illustrate how early cinema split into two paths, the tradition of fantasy and the tradition of reality.) Let us know occasionally what you're watching in there--especially when you get to Brakhage. Speaking of the Lumiere brothers, you gotta see Lumiere and Company, a 1995 anthology film for which forty international directors contributed their own 1-minute, 1 shot films, using no synchronized sound and no artificial lighting. Best of all, they had to use an original Cinematograph, just like the Lumieres did. I thought it was terrific fun.

Eric
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Mark Dujsik
Director


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 09.08.2003 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:
I would trade all of Al Pacino for Fiennes' commanding work in Schindler's List, The End of the Affair, Sunshine, and especially Quiz Show.


Don't know if you caught Red Dragon, but his persona was put to excellent effect there as well.

And I loved Spider, by the by.
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Last edited by Mark Dujsik on 09.09.2003 4:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.09.2003 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I too liked him very much in Red Dragon. I didn't include it above because, well, it's just not in the same league as those I listed. Still, his work is a large reason why I liked Dragon considerably more than Hannibal.

Eric
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 09.09.2003 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I loved him in Red Dragon too; he, really, created one of the best villians of the decade so far...I gave Spider to my dad and he hated the thing, though--he didn't like Fiennes either.

Didn't get a chance to watch Nicholas Nickelby, though. Homework took me too long, and I had to tune into "The Joe Schmoe Show," as Mark recommended.
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Mark Dujsik
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PostPosted: 09.09.2003 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
Didn't get a chance to watch Nicholas Nickelby, though. Homework took me too long, and I had to tune into "The Joe Schmoe Show," as Mark recommended.


You'll have to post your thoughts in the "Joe Schmo" thread. Can't wait for the new episode tomorrow. Very Happy
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The Third M?n
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Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 09.09.2003 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This week I haven't got round to seeing anything really, what with school and everything. However, last week I saw Requiem for a Dream and Trois Couleurs: Bleu. Both masterpieces, what can I say.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.09.2003 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as I admire Blue, I'd rank it third in the trilogy. Red strikes me as one of the great films of the Nineties, and I always thought White was underrated--I think it's human, disturbing, funny. Still, I'd place Kieslowski's Dekalog above all of them.

Eric
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 09.09.2003 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't know how it compares to the rest of the films in the trilogy, as it's the only one I've seen thus far. Of course, I'll see the other two some day.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, Requiem for a Dream was very good, but for me it was still a "drug movie," which buffered much of the emotional impact. In other words, I pretty much knew where everything was headed within about the first fifteen minutes, and predicted the path of the crises as each was introduced. The movie was just a process of waiting for the shit to hit the fan, which is exactly what happened. I much prefer Pi.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, this is what I wrote about Pi in my website's viewing log:

Quote:
Aronofsky's award-winning debut proves to be an utterly hypnotic and unique film about alienation, paranoia and obssesive madness. Making use of several innovative filmaking techniques like frantic, rapidly cut editing and peculiar camera angles, the film instantly grabs your attention and never lets go. One of the elements I most liked about it was that it was filmed in raw, grainy black and white which managed to transport you right into the deteriorated mind of the central character, who, at the same time, was remarkably played by Sean Gullette. This often disturbing and unpleasant picture looks and sounds like no other movies does. Though not as good as Aronofsky's would be next film, Requiem for a Dream, Pi is a highly original worthwile film. Astonishing. ****/*****


While I loved Pi, I thought Requiem for a Dream was an altogether more powerful and compelling film, and besides, it gets five ***** from me. I think it's a masterpiece.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand that. Maybe it really comes down to subject matter. Many people speak at great length about the visual style of Pi, which is a worthy point of discussion, but it's the themes and ideas of the movie that resonated with me and keep drawing me back.

Also, I have acquaintances who are drug addicts so, in a manner of speaking, I was already a third of the way toward being fed up with the characters of Requiem before the movie even started, if you know what I mean.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I can understand that. Maybe it really comes down to subject matter. Many people speak at great length about the visual style of Pi, which is a worthy point of discussion, but it's the themes and ideas of the movie that resonated with me and keep drawing me back.



The visual style in Requiem for a Dream was practically the same as it was in Pi. Of course, this is mainly due to the fact that they're both directed by the same person; usage of extreme close-ups, sped-up footage, frantic editing, cool camra techniques and sound montages are all present in both films. However, one has to bear in mind that Aronofsky was merely experimenting in Pi, as it was his first feature film. Yet, there's no denying it; he succeded in creating a dark, disturbing and unsettling atmosphere with seemingly incredible ease.

But it wasn't just the even superior visual style of Requiem for a Dream which made me think it was better than his previous film; the acting on the whole was magnificent and the story (in my opinion) flowed very nicely. Besides, it's a film which makes you reflect and think since it tells us; this is how some people live now.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.10.2003 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:


The visual style in Requiem for a Dream was practically the same as it was in Pi.


Yes. My point was that most people discuss the visual style of Pi to the exclusion of the story, which was the movie's main point of interest for me.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.11.2003 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
My point was that most people discuss the visual style of Pi to the exclusion of the story, which was the movie's main point of interest for me.


Me too. What I like best about Pi is the idea that here is a man who knowingly and willingly risks his own sanity in order to pursue his obsessions, his convictions. Personal sacrifice is acceptable to him because it is in the service of a higher purpose--it helps him feel that his life transcends mediocrity.

Frankly, I think the movie expertly uses extremes to depict a sensibility that a lot of us around here can relate to.

(I much prefer Requiem, though.)

Eric
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