What was the last movie you watched?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by jamesblakefan#1, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    I know this was the arthouse darling of 2016 but I wasn't terribly impressed either by its crude comedic touches or by its supposedly timely but equally glib critique of globalization's undue influence on personal relationships. One might also ask whether Ade's choice of a high-ranking corporate climber as one of the film's two protagonists (the other being her old hippie father) is the best representative of manifold victims of globalization that she purports to give voice to. I expect its "relevance" will prove to be as dated as that of Moonlight, the other (if more mainstream) critical favorite of last year.

    @Moose Malloy recommended it highly but I must say I liked its technical achievement more than its take on colonialism, which despite its indigenous-majority cast (setting aside actual casting choices) is yet another stale rehashing of white man's burden.

    Agreed. Works effectively as a horror flick but if Jordan Peele's intent, subliminal or not, was to channel Bigger Thomas of Native Son (by Richard Wright - I'd be surprised if Peele had never read the book) he badly missed the mark.

    Disagree. With the only possible exception of the second Huntsman installment Passengers to me was the most underrated movie of 2016. In terms of moral intelligence (the predictable grousing about its "sexist" treatment of the female character notwithstanding) Tyldum's sci-fi fantasia outstrips all of the Star Wars franchise put together and improves upon his more commercial (and thus more decorated) Imitation Game.

    You should see it. Not only does it present a thread of history unfamiliar to most of us, it also doesn't flinch from exploring uncomfortable ethical issues (former child Nazis are the clear victims here) while avoiding the kind of feel-good "rewritten history" that makes light of fascism a la Tarantino's execrable revenge fantasies. The kind of history-lesson movies I can get behind.

    It may not be for kids but given its complex questions about life at its highest and lowest I don't see how Taste of Cherry fails to qualify as a "family movie." I'd certainly watch it again rather than go see just about every studio movie out there for the first time.

    Before his untimely death last year Kiarostami was arguably the greatest of all living filmmakers and Cherry is indeed one of his best. Highly recommended for viewers of all (perhaps but the earliest) ages.

    Shaw, who wrote the script himself along with three other (credited) writers, reportedly resented having to provide a happy ending, but I'm sure he got a last laugh of sorts when Doolittle doesn't exactly come running to Higgins for a studio-friendly happily-ever-after.

    And yes, both Hiller and Howard are perfect in their roles. Everyone knows the latter's turn as Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, but don't miss his equally memorable performance in The Scarlet Pimpernel as the title character posing as a suave dandy. Plus Merle Oberon is ravishing here as his unsuspecting wife Lady Blakeney.

    Been meaning to see this since forever. Maybe I'll finally give it a go.

    Might share some thoughts on a few worthy recent titles. Stay tuned.
     
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  2. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Thanks for the recommendation. By family movie, I did not mean kids, but my old mother (86 yo) ! :D

    I had suggested Under Sandet a while back but she was a bit cool about it. I'll try to show these in the next few days. Am tired of these silly old romantic dramas.
     
  3. Mike Bulgakov

    Mike Bulgakov Hall of Fame

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    "Twist and Shout"
     
  4. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Q Planes is a very ordinary film, but Ralph Richardson and Valerie Hobson are great. Saw it because Richardson's secret agent is one of the models for John Steed.
     
  5. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    Pursued (1947) - Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson. Western noir.
     
  6. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo G.O.A.T.

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    All Eyez On Me was good, but like 30 minutes too long.

    Also, if you weren't into 90's rap scene, a lot of the stuff is going to wash over your head.
     
  7. Sentinel

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    Hi NonP,

    I'd like to know why you refer to Almodóvar as an impostor.
    A film maker I was talking to recently said all his works were excellent.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Sentinel

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    Saw Under Sandet the other day. Engrossing movie.
    Thanks for recommending.

    My mum was quite shaken, so for a change showing "How to Steal a Million" 1966 - Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Charles Boyer, Elli Wallach.
     
  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    How to Steal a Million (1966) - Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, Charles Boyer, Elli Wallach.

    Fun movie.
     
  10. NonP

    NonP Hall of Fame

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    Been following (part of) the Straub-Huillet series at the National Gallery of Art and will probably go see both Workers, Peasants and Class Relations this weekend as the retrospective draws to a close. Don't think I'll write about it here cuz I doubt more than one or two of you would give a hoot (plus I might end up essaying a full-blown S-H retrospective of my own), but just wanted to give it a shout-out in case anyone happens to be in DC this weekend and is interested. (And while you're at it check out the two French New Wave films showing earlier in the day - Godard’s Pierrot le fou on Sat and Far from Vietnam on Sun - or for good measure the Impressionism exho which happens to be located right next to the auditorium.) Despite their reputation for estotericism I've found most of the S-H films I've seen stimulating and at times even gripping. And it's all free!

    I see you've been reading my old babblings. :D Frankly I don't think most of those posts deserve a like, but thanks anyway.

    Back to Land of Mine. It's certainly not for the faint of heart. You know some of the kids are going to die but you're still kept on the edge of your seat throughout (I most definitely was). This was the very first Zandvliet movie I saw and if his previous features are more or less on par I'll certainly be looking out for all of his future efforts.

    BTW I might have been a tad too flippant when I said the young Germans are "former child Nazis." On the contrary there's a scene early in the movie when a Danish officer gruffly asks if any of them had seen or handled a landmine before and only a handful of hands goes up. (And an even smaller number when the same officer ask if any has ever disarmed one.) Apart from the lead boy Sebastian's musings (to Sgt. Rasmussen, as you may recall) about his past that scene is just about as much as we gather about their WWII experience - another nice stroke by the budding auteur. (Which means, unless I'm mistaken, the Wiki article is wrong to describe the young 'uns as "teenage boys conscripted by Hitler in the last days of the war." That if true is merely implied, not stated.)

    I don't dislike all of Almodovar's works. (Ditto von Trier's. Still think Europa/Zentropa is one of the most striking films of the '90s, though I like it more for its daring and chutzpah than for its imagination. The guy's no Kafka.) But I do call him an impostor because I find the majority of his acclaimed films highly overrated. Law of Desire has some interesting homoerotic angles (before turning into a rather hackneyed melodrama) but All About My Mother is vacuous if highly seductive PC pablum (Jonathan Rosenbaum rightly quipped after seeing it that he felt as if he'd been forced-fed several weeks of summer camp) that tells us nothing new about the joys and dangers of living as and with a member of the LGBTQ community (which isn't as tight-knit as Almodovar would have you believe). Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown may be rollicking fun but almost literally dime a dozen in European cinema. And such trash as Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is just too silly to complain about. (For a better case for hedonism as a virtue see Linklater's recent Everybody Wants Some!! or its spiritual predecessor Dazed and Confused, despite my problems with both.) OTOH I did like his latest Julieta which was a welcome return to his serious side, though you feel the mother-daughter relationship is given short shrift to make room for the lead character's sexier backstory as a youthful vixen.

    Which brings me to my biggest beef with Almodovar. I suspect he uses his actresses to curry favor with the PC-mad critics while shielding him from legit criticism about his sexual obsessions. This shtick has earned him lots of fans both inside and outside the mainstream, but if I wanted genuine insight into the female psyche I'd look to Naruse, Sirk or even McCarey instead (saw An Affair to Remember recently, and while far from perfect it boasts several sublime moments that rise well above schmaltz). From the fairer sex I can think of Campion's Sweetie and An Angel at My Table and Shepitko's exquisite Wings. I'm not familiar enough with Claire Denis' oeuvre to make any sort of recommendation but I've read good things about it.

    Wish I could go on but got a long day tomorrow, as you may have noticed (there might be a client appointment on top of the movies for gawd knows how long). To be continued. :cool:
     
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