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Author Topic: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed  (Read 93721 times)

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2006, 11:38:30 PM »
i loved Requiem.

hmmmm. maybe the wrong word. i was really impressed by Requiem. and disturbed by it, which was the point.

from my mini-review on my blog when i finally saw it:

Quote
Not just a descent into hell, four separate simultaneous descents. Slowly, agonizingly gradual for awhile, but the drain grows slicker on the way down, and suddenly it's spiralling so fast between the four of them I need to call somebody who loves me.

http://blogs.salon.com/0001137/2005/02/27.html#a1526

i didn't think ellen was over the top--or not inappropriately so. each of the four took a different path to hell and she was riding the uppers so she was supposed to be spastic. she embodied it. (matt dillon got the tweaker's sideways jaw-clicking thing perfectly in drugstore cowboy, but that was just a guy using, this was a woman going nuts on it.)

how come jared leto never gets any notice? too pretty? he's been mesmerizing in everything i've seen him in, starting, of course, with My So Called Life.

downloaded1

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2006, 11:41:09 PM »
Quote
Not just a descent into hell, four separate simultaneous descents.

It was disturbing.
And it seems the people that didnt like the film , used that as the excuse.
Which makes no sense.
It accurately portrayed the hell of addiction.

Offline Desecra

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #62 on: April 24, 2006, 12:18:56 AM »
MAYA:  Perhaps Brokeback wasn't a big deal in France because they are not as puritanical as so many Americans - I hope.  Curious to see if it will receive a Cesar nomination for Foreign Film.  Thanks!

I don't think gay themed films are such a big deal in Europe as the US [although I've never been to the US so could be wrong].  I remember watching 'Get Real' here - it was a nice little teenage romance story over here, but I wondered what the US would make of it.  The main character was a 16 year old boy who was clearly sexually active with men, and the film didn't protray this as 'a bad thing' :).   I have got the impression that 16 seems to be considered younger in the US than it is here [i.e. still almost a child].
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #63 on: April 24, 2006, 12:32:49 AM »
Bound.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bound/

It was nicely reviewed at the time, but it only grossed $3.8 milllion, no major awards or even noms to speak of, and hardly anyone seems aware of it.

I think it was the first film by the Wachowski brothers, and in many ways a much better film.

Best caper film I can think of since The Big Sleep, or maybe The Grifters, though the latters charms weren't in its caperiness. And it was wonderfullly stylized, a visual knockout kind of along the lines of the cohen brothers, but better, to my eyes.

 and it's so hot that even though the sexual attraction is between two women, i watched it with my gynophobic boyfriend and we both got really turned on. He swears it is the only time in his life he got turned on by a womsn. And there was no man even present (sexually).

Just absolutely perfect at what it was trying to be.

i guess the problem was what it was trying to be. award-givers don't want to "waste" their awards on caper films, but this was expertly conceived and executed. not a flaw to be found, and so many wonders to behold.

jayiijay

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #64 on: April 24, 2006, 03:45:13 PM »
DAVE:

What bothered me about Ellen Burstyn's performance was her Brooklyn accent.  Way too self-conscious, a real distraction for me, so by the time she took her "ride", I disliked her.  I know it was intentional, but I felt like Tarnofksy was trying to impress me more than engage me.  The disturbing aspects were fine, I just found the execution and editing too frenetic, even for the story it told.

Loved Bound, the one time I could actually stomach Jennifer Tilly.

Offline dback

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #65 on: April 24, 2006, 04:36:44 PM »
DESCRA:

Most of the reviews were fantastic.  It won all sorts of awards in Europe (the FELIX, etc.), and in the U.S., the National Society of Film Critics, runner-up at the New York Film Critics, a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture, etc.  It was not expected to be an Oscar Best Picture nominee because everyone knows how pedestrian the Academy is (this is not post-Brokeback loss sour grapes talking, it has always been true, spoken as an ex-avid-Oscars-fan), and even Emily Watson was considered to be an iffy Best Actress nominee in '96.  Check out the March issue of Premiere mag - Emily Watson's performance is listed as the 18th greatest ever captured on film, and the 4th best ever by a woman, behind only Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Bette Davis in All About Eve and Katharine Hepburn in Lion in Winter (good but a bit overrated, imo - stagey).  The performance should have made the top 10, some of the men placed above her were ridiculous, but #18 ever by anybody ain't bad!  Also, in polls of the best films of the 90s, Waves is regularly in the top 10.  Internationally it does even better.  I am confident that when the next Sight & Sound world cinema poll comes out in 2012, Waves will make the 100 and its placement among films of the '90s will be top 3.  It's an amazing film.

Okay, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.  I've not seen "Breaking the Waves," but I've read a lot about it.  Many female film critics have some very serious issues with it, as they do with lots of Lars Von Trier films--he seems to be very mysogenistic in the way he likes to humiliate and degrade his female characters.  Would you disagree, and should I still see the movie even with these reservations?
"No reins on this one."

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2006, 04:36:48 PM »
DAVE:

What bothered me about Ellen Burstyn's performance was her Brooklyn accent.  Way too self-conscious, a real distraction for me, so by the time she took her "ride", I disliked her.  I know it was intentional, but I felt like Tarnofksy was trying to impress me more than engage me.  The disturbing aspects were fine, I just found the execution and editing too frenetic, even for the story it told.

Loved Bound, the one time I could actually stomach Jennifer Tilly.

oh. i didn't even notice it. i don't know my ny accents that well, so just accepted it.

yeah, i've otherwise not been a huge fan of either of the tillys, but she was pitch perfect there. and perfect for the part.

jayiijay

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #67 on: April 24, 2006, 08:38:06 PM »
Has anybody seen "Camp" directed by Todd Graff from 2003?  Really sweet, overlooked film about a group of teenagers who attend a musical theater camp.  A new straight kid arrives and complications inevitably ensue, including an inevitable gay-straight crush.  Beware, the opening scene is very heavy handed, plus I didn't like one or two of the lead actors, but I loved the movie on account of its energy.  The theater scenes are terrific, often matching the best of Broadway in terms of sheer talent some of the kids display, and there is a hilarious sub-plot involving a stuck-up blonde girl and her "groupie" (Anna Kendricks, in a performance that I would have nominated).  No pretense - just fun.


Also:  Before Sunrise & Before Sunset, with Ethan Hawke and the outstanding Julie Delpy.  The latter got some screenplay prizes, but for the most part these films were overlooked by the critics and public.  The basic plot is boy meets girl while traveling, they have limited time, but its the dialogue that moved me.

bluebird2

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2006, 09:22:03 PM »
This film most probably has already been mentioned on this thread--It's JUNEBUG.  Although iit received an Academy Awards (excuse foul language!) best supporting actress nomination, no one I mention it to has seen it.  I thought it was terrific.  I must look up the box office it did---but I think it fits in this "overlooked" category.  I should probably be honest and admit that I most likely would not have seen it either if there had been more than two films showing when I was in Provincetown last September--I had already seen the other.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 07:50:17 AM by bluebird2 »

Offline Desecra

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #69 on: April 25, 2006, 12:04:49 PM »

Okay, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.  I've not seen "Breaking the Waves," but I've read a lot about it.  Many female film critics have some very serious issues with it, as they do with lots of Lars Von Trier films--he seems to be very mysogenistic in the way he likes to humiliate and degrade his female characters.  Would you disagree, and should I still see the movie even with these reservations?

I hope you don't mind me answering.  The film didn't come across as misogynist to me, as a female viewer. It may have been intended to be misogynist and I missed the point :).
Unless, I say otherwise, I'm probably talking about the short story, not the movie. :)

Offline dback

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2006, 01:34:24 PM »
Also:  Before Sunrise & Before Sunset, with Ethan Hawke and the outstanding Julie Delpy.  The latter got some screenplay prizes, but for the most part these films were overlooked by the critics and public.  The basic plot is boy meets girl while traveling, they have limited time, but its the dialogue that moved me.

There are moments in "Before Sunrise/Sunset" that are almost as haunting and emotionally impactful as those in "Brokeback."  The scene in the first film in the morning after Jesse and Celine have spent the night in the park, and he says "I want to take your picture..." and all he does is stare at her face for about 15 wordless seconds, with an expression of such utter love and tenderness, it's heart-melting.  Ethan Hawke is so damn underrated it's tragic, though he selflessly hands "Before Sunset" over to Julie Delpy, and she runs for her life with it. 
"No reins on this one."

jayiijay

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #71 on: April 25, 2006, 02:16:21 PM »
DBACK:  Thanks for the reply re: Before Surnise & Sunset - nicely stated.  Didn't Ethan & Julie also get screenplay credits for the films?  I wonder how much was improv - it sure felt that way, to its credit.

DESECRA:  From what I know, director Lars von Trier intended Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark to be indictments on the treatment of women.  It can be debated whether von Trier went too far in the manifestation of his ideas and unwittingly created misogynistic works, but certainly that was not his intent (based both upon interviews I have read/seen and the films themselves).  There's no doubt about it, they are hard to watch, but the wobbly hand-held cinematography wasn't for lack of budget, but rather to to create a queezy feeling since much of what we were seeing was sickening.  In my eyes, Waves is a great film, perhaps a masterpiece, since for my sensibilities, von Trier walked up to the line without crossing it.  On the other hand, there was that one-word French film whose name escapes me at the moment from 2 years ago where they graphically filmed a 10 minute rape sequence.  Couldn't stomach it, felt it was gratuitious far beyond what was necessary to make the point. 

jayiijay

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #72 on: April 25, 2006, 11:03:49 PM »
"The Search", 1948, d. Fred Zinnemann.  Montgomery Clift.

For those who get Turner Classic Movies, one of my all-time favorites is on at 12:15 a.m. on Sunday morning (late Saturday night -always confusing, at least to me, LOL).  It is called The Search, with Montgomery Clift in his screen debut (Red River was filmed first but this was released first).  The story is simple, an American GI helps a boy search for his mother in post WW-II Germany - don't want to say anymore about the plot.  Even though the film was acclaimed in its year (Oscar nominations for Best Director, Screenplay, Actor, though not Picture), it is often overlooked today.  See it!  thx



Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #73 on: April 26, 2006, 11:22:57 AM »
DBACK:  Thanks for the reply re: Before Surnise & Sunset - nicely stated.  Didn't Ethan & Julie also get screenplay credits for the films?  I wonder how much was improv - it sure felt that way, to its credit.

Before Sunset. wow. finally saw it last fall, and was completely in awe. and in love with julie deply. definitely one of the most overlooked films of the past few years. (both in terms of much of the public seeing it, and also awards recognition. i think julie made some critics lists, but to get shut out of the oscars was a crime.)

i never saw the original and this worked fine on its own, though i imagine it would have been even better with the first one, and the long wait.

ethan hawke was the main reason for the delay. i've never liked the guy: something about his manner turns me off, and that wispy facial hair looks like he's 14, trying to grow something--a huge physical turnoff.

but this film turned him around for me. he was very good, and yes, they both got writing credits, and from what i read most of it was ad-libbed/collaborated between the three. wow. they are some fucking smart people. because even most really smart people i know what be boring as hell to watch converse on their good days. and not nearly so full of great ideas.

i wrote on and on about this film on my blog when i saw it. (just looked it up and prefer this description of ethan: "I don't mind looking at him anymore, even if he would be infinitely more pleasing without all that wispy kudzu he can't really grow creeping around his mouth."

hehehe

i thought i had capture two dozen of my favorite moments there, but apparently i scribbled them down in the margin of a newspaper beside me and never got around to typing them in. i think it's still around somewhere, filed somewhere.  but i did summarize my favorite:

OK, my favorite was his sudden lament, late in the game, when he started unveiling more of the truth, that his sex life was abysmal, like one of those Trappist monks he'd been talking about, ten times in four years, maybe, and she starts laughing at him, and he's a little hurt--"you think that's funny?"--and she explains no, no, I'm not laughing at your sex life, I'm just wondering where these monks are who get to have sex ten times every four years.

hehehe

http://blogs.salon.com/0001137/2005/09/15.html#a1673

Offline Dave Cullen

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Re: Overlooked Films--Great films (most of) the world missed
« Reply #74 on: April 26, 2006, 11:38:14 AM »
DESECRA:  From what I know, director Lars von Trier intended Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark to be indictments on the treatment of women.  It can be debated whether von Trier went too far in the manifestation of his ideas and unwittingly created misogynistic works, but certainly that was not his intent (based both upon interviews I have read/seen and the films themselves). 

Interesting that he thinks he was doing the opposite. I take him at his word that he thinks that's what he was doing, at least consciously, but you know, he just seemed to enjoy it a bit too much.

In my book, GUILTY!

And his attempts to convey such an intent seems highly misguided, to the point of ludicrousness. He doesn't portray women in particular as having a hard lot in life--most of what happens to them has nothing to do with their gender. And in Dancer, in particular, she faces an incredible (preposterous?) string of bad luck / insanely bad timing to bring her down. And of course in both cases, it had everything to do with the woman's unique personality.

How it can be read the way he claims is pretty preposterous. And he didn't just show them having a hard life, he freaking tortured those women.

I really think you can tell a lot about a writer/director by the dignity/respect they show toward their characters. Chekov is the classic example of having all sorts of charcters from all different classes, some good, some bad, but he never sneers at any of them or hold any of them in contempt. whether he is showing us a flighty princess or her struggling cleaning woman, he shows them all respect.

lars is not contemptuous of his lead characters, but lengths he goes to to pummel them just seems to go so far beyond anything necessary for his story, it began to feel grumesome to watch and it just felt like watching an insanely vindictive man bashing the hell out of his whipping-boy of a character and just salivating all over it. it was disgusting.

if you want to create a modern Job to tell a certain story, fine. but if you just want to beat the shit out of someone to beat the shit out of them . . . maybe you need to see someone.

(btw: i'll have to think about the misogony thing. for some reason--a combination of the films and interviews with him--i saw him as more misanthropic than misogonystic. he seems to hold the human race in a certain contempt, and women are easy targets.)