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657793 Posts in 9259 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 75 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: saw a talkie at the picture show: new film thread  (Read 17980 times)
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jm
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« Reply #400 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:16:09 PM »

I used to feel like that!  Except maybe 1960 as the cutoff date.
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hannah
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« Reply #401 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:16:30 PM »

I can't be very articulate or detailed right now (my mind is on a paper I have to revise by tonight)... My initial gut reaction was what pollo describes. Then, somehow, this film got good reviews—I thought for certain it'd disappear as quickly as a film like Mao's Last Dancer, which was the last film with a trailer I had such an immediate and visceral reaction to.

I'll just say that I have seen scores of silent films and everything I've seen and read about the film just screams false nostalgia. I'm not exactly troubled by the anachronisms (I've read they use bits of the Vertigo score, etc.) so much as I am by this notion that this is some loving tribute to cinema of the twenties—when in fact cinema of the twenties was as heterogeneous and exciting as it is today and any such tribute necessarily oversimplifies and ultimately debases its source material. I can't help but be protective, I guess: cinema of the twenties is one of my major areas of interest as a film scholar, and my dissertation will (probably) be on the transition to sound. So I'll inevitably go to the film and be a little bothered by the anachronisms and historical inaccuracies—and given that the filmmakers went to great lengths to be accurate in many ways (e.g., aspect ratio), such inaccuracies suggest that the very cinematic form they are exploring and resuscitating is somehow deficient in of itself and needs to be "corrected"—but moreover I'd just much, much, much, much rather watch an actual film from that period.

edited slightly cuz it sounded like I was contradicting myself
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hannah
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« Reply #402 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:20:15 PM »

and the movie makes me hate movies because if cinema of the twenties were in fact as the trailer suggests it was I probably wouldn't be a cinephile
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hannah
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« Reply #403 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:23:36 PM »

then again, I was a Mel Brooks fanatic growing up and I watched everything he made many times over, including Silent Movie
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jm
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« Reply #404 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:25:24 PM »

such inaccuracies suggest that the very cinematic form they are exploring and resuscitating is somehow deficient in of itself and needs to be "corrected"

Wha-huh?  I guess I don't know what it is that you are talking about, specifically.  It doesn't help that neither you nor I have seen it.  But I can't understand how this could possibly be the case, unless there's an example that can't be chalked up to a limitation of our modern technology vis-a-vis the elder technologies.

and the movie makes me hate movies because if cinema of the twenties were in fact as the trailer suggests it was I probably wouldn't be a cinephile

Again, I don't know what you're getting out of the trailer that makes you feel this way.  I'm not saying it's not there, I'm saying you're probably seeing something I am not (since I really am zero kind of expert on this sort of thing). 

EDIT: I really have zero invested in this, but it just seemed really innocuous to me.  If it's something where you can foresee people watching it and coming away thinking they have brand-new insight into What Good Films Are (like, I dunno, the people whose favorite book of the 21st century is The Da Vinci Code), yeah, that's pretty obnoxious.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2012, 02:37:54 PM by jm » Logged

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hannah
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« Reply #405 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:36:17 PM »

such inaccuracies suggest that the very cinematic form they are exploring and resuscitating is somehow deficient in of itself and needs to be "corrected"

Wha-huh?  I guess I don't know what it is that you are talking about, specifically.  It doesn't help that neither you nor I have seen it.  But I can't understand how this could possibly be the case, unless there's an example that can't be chalked up to a limitation of our modern technology vis-a-vis the elder technologies.

I guess I would just say that if I read about a movie that is supposed to be a tribute to cinema circa 1927 that then plays fast and loose with historical details for the purposes of the narrative—such as using pieces of a Bernard Herrmann score—I take that to mean that, well, the cinema of 1927 isn't fact "good enough," and what the movie is instead a tribute to is some romanticized, idealized version of cinema that certainly didn't exist in 1927.

But again, as you know, I haven't seen the film. And maybe it isn't a tribute to silent cinema at all—that's how it's been received, is all. And I understand it to be a tribute to silent cinema that would prefer silent cinema to have be simultaneously a fixed object (rather than the unstable, heterogeneous object that it was) and yet something else entirely (i.e., a musical from the mid-thirties or a latter-period Hitchcock).

Quote
and the movie makes me hate movies because if cinema of the twenties were in fact as the trailer suggests it was I probably wouldn't be a cinephile

Again, I don't know what you're getting out of the trailer that makes you feel this way.  I'm not saying it's not there, I'm saying you're probably seeing something I am not (since I really am zero kind of expert on this sort of thing).

Here I'll let pollo speak for me:
Speaking as someone who's a rank novice at film theory & criticism and whose tastes run to the middlebrow more often than not, it looks like a disgustingly precious bit of masturbatory nostalgia, and Oscar bait to boot. But I've only seen a few trailers. Judging from the marketing, though, it's not something I'd even bother to download.

If all twenties cinema were as disgustingly precious as I found the trailer, I wouldn't be a cinephile.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2012, 02:41:25 PM by hannah » Logged
Ignatius
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« Reply #406 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:36:51 PM »

The trailer for The Artist just sounds fucking awful too, guys, don't forget that.


Has anyone seen Shame? I've been curious about it for a while but also reluctant to actually go and see it because I fear it might annoy the crap out of me, and if there's one thing I don't need now, it's to spend five euros to sit and be annoyed for an hour and a half.

Which is pretty much what happened with Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, even though the film became marginally less terrible towards the end. So many ridiculous long dialogued scenes that it felt like it should have been a comedy, really, except it wasn't. Pointless, pointless, pointless.

I knew that I would not be seeing A Dangerous Method when I walked in during the credits, and saw the following phrase: "Though the film is based on true events, some scenes are purely speculative, particularly those in the private sphere."

It's pretty dismissive of me, obviously, but it was enough to convince me that the film probably took itself way too seriously for my tastes. Fuckin' private sphere.

As for Shame, it's grimy, bleak and pretty much devoid of any narrative tension. If that's your thing, go for it. I liked it well enough, but I probably would not have had I not found the neighborhood-specific locations interesting/familiar. And I have a pretty high capacity for indulging in stuff that is depressing for depressing's sake. Captain, perhaps, can provide the reasons why not to watch it.
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hannah
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« Reply #407 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:38:28 PM »

When I eventually see The Artist, I will do my best to approach it in good faith—I try to do that with every film I see. For now, I continue in my deep abiding aversion to it for kicks.
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hannah
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« Reply #408 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:40:47 PM »

...and now I have to go write a paper on the transition to sound in Soviet cinema. Fuck!
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jm
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« Reply #409 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:42:51 PM »

I guess I would just say that if I read about a movie that is supposed to be a tribute to cinema circa 1927 that then plays fast and loose with historical details for the purposes of the narrative—such as using pieces of a Bernard Hermann score—I take that to mean that, well, the cinema of 1927 isn't fact "good enough," and what the movie is instead a tribute to is some romanticized, idealized version of cinema that certainly didn't exist in 1927.

But again, as you know, I haven't seen the film. And maybe it isn't a tribute to silent cinema at all—that's how it's been received, is all. And I understand it to be a tribute to silent cinema that would prefer silent cinema to have be simultaneously a fixed object (rather than the unstable, heterogeneous object that it was) and yet something else entirely (i.e., a musical from the mid-thirties or a latter-period Hitchcock).

...

If all twenties cinema were as disgustingly precious as I found the trailer, I wouldn't be a cinephile.

Yeah, word.  I can get down with that.  Admittedly, I try to pay as little attention to trailers as possible (and have extremely varied trailer-feelings:liking-the-movie ratio results), but I can't deny that the trailer's main message to me was exactly the same as the message conveyed by every single other [we'll call it] Oscar-bait movie trailer.  So yeah.

Oh yeah another thing I can't deny is that it's called The Artist, and that that makes me gag.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2012, 02:45:48 PM by jm » Logged

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hannah
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« Reply #410 on: Jan 08, 2012, 02:44:13 PM »

The trailer for The Artist just sounds fucking awful too, guys, don't forget that.

Ha, yeah, yeah, I guess I haven't exactly explained what I hate it about it. Oh, well. Let's all cleanse our palates with the trailer for Mao's Last Dancer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgZjaxrnlPc
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Ignatius
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« Reply #411 on: Jan 08, 2012, 03:21:52 PM »

I meant it literally! For a movie that relies entirely an orchestral score you should probably make sure it don't sound all shrill during the trailer.
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peacocks
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« Reply #412 on: Jan 08, 2012, 03:31:00 PM »

I know how it feels to watch something you have formed an opinion of beforehand as false especially when it is dealing with something you are very knowledgeable and passionate about. Those are legitimate concerns and I can see what you're saying. I noticed some of those things myself but it wasn't enough to take away from the overall fun of it for me.

I've seen a decent amount and enjoyed most of the movies I've seen from the 20's so I'm not totally clueless but I'm definitely not a scholar so I've never looked at any movie I've seen with that special eye scholars have. I mean, I don't want to sell myself short. I am good at knowing why I like and dislike things and I think I usually have good reasons beyond "it was cool" or something. But you know sometimes I'm just a damn sucker and I get pulled in by purely emotional triggers. It's one reason I tend to like weepies, melodrama, and slapstick. I laughed and gasped frequently during the Artist.

I didn't see it as a tribute to silent movies, per se. The moments when it was depicting what silent movies were like were off putting to me because they made them seem silly and shallow. He makes this movie that is supposed to be his masterpiece but it debuts the same day as this talkie does and it bombs- but his movie looked like it sucked and so did the talkie that was debuting on the same day. I know that all movies weren't like that back then but it didn't really bother me. The rest of it was like a modern movie in monochrome that happened to be silent and used some camera techniques that I recognized from silent movies I've seen that you'll probably know exactly what they are called and where they've been used and who by. They didn't use word placard things very much, which I liked. I thought they would use them constantly but really it was like 4 times throughout the whole movie and they were really short. I've seen silent movies where it's like a whole screen of words and dialog and prefer the ones that tell the story more through actions. The movie uses sound in 2 scenes and I think they use it well. It's not too much and it is startling when it happens.

The way the movie depicted the transition to sound, the politics involved with the studios and the main character's kind of ridiculous and dramatic reluctance was probably the most problematic historically but as I said before it didn't take away from the movie. Maybe I should do some research but I feel like I've seen a lot of talkies that had famous silent actors in them and directors that transitioned as well. That's why they put "GARBO TALKS!" on all her talkie movies right? Because she used to do silent films and now she's laughing and talking and carrying on and everyone loves it. I have always seen sound as a natural technological progression that most people were excited about.

ps. I enjoyed the music. I have seen vertigo a couple times but didn't recognize that part of the score.

oh christ that was long.
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Trousers and Pat
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« Reply #413 on: Jan 11, 2012, 03:31:12 PM »

Which is pretty much what happened with Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, even though the film became marginally less terrible towards the end. So many ridiculous long dialogued scenes that it felt like it should have been a comedy, really, except it wasn't. Pointless, pointless, pointless.

damn they got me too  Confused
the movie is just dreadful, and yeah just feels totally unengaged all the way through.

(take shelter was great though! as an update on my post from last week.)
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G.C.R
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« Reply #414 on: Jan 11, 2012, 04:36:09 PM »

My boyfriend is away so I watched three dvds in a row last night! How High was ridiculous but I had fun, though it has the typical college-movie thing where people deserve to have their prized possessions destroyed because they're just a bit uptight.

Stolen Kisses was great: out of the Antoine Doinel films I had only seen The 400 blows so far. Now I want to see the rest. Truffaut must've just had a million kittens when he found Jean-Pierre Leaud, I mean imagine if you had that guy playing a slightly fictionalised version of yourself. You'd be like, was I that vulnerable? That concieted? That soft-spoken? That attractive? And the proposal scene at the end, where they write each other notes at the kitchen table, is about the most romantic thing.

Then I watched For the Love of Benji. I know Joe Camp's big thing is wholesome family films, no nudity, profanity, fart jokes and what have you, but for children's entertainment, the Benji films are really distressing. In this film, Benji spends almost the whole time lost in Greece, hungry, unable to find his family. After spending about 40 minutes watching the dog wandering about being unhappy, then the crime caper plot kicks in, and a bad guy kidnaps Benji and a secret agent tells the weeping nanny and children "this guy has killed man in cold blood! Do you think he'll balk at killing a little brown dog?" I think I would've been really, really upset by this film as a child. But, like all the other Benji films I've seen, it moves along slow as molasses, with just a lot of footage of a dog wandering about the streets, all shot very much from dog-level, all while very bad music plays. those parts of the film are what I like, and find very comforting.
Sitting at home still waiting to be watched: Wings of Desire,Heat, Panic in the Streets, and that remake of Willard with Crispin Glover in it.
« Last Edit: Jan 11, 2012, 06:56:56 PM by G.C.R » Logged

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Bernard
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« Reply #415 on: Jan 11, 2012, 06:53:15 PM »

Wings of Desire

 Heart
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Babar
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« Reply #416 on: Jan 11, 2012, 10:12:52 PM »

A Rum Diary film? That could be infinitely excellent.

So what did you think?
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #417 on: Jan 11, 2012, 10:23:24 PM »

haha oh man
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milly balgeary
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« Reply #418 on: Jan 14, 2012, 05:20:19 AM »

I didn't realize that waking up in the middle of the night would mean that I simply had to watch Lawnmower Man and cruise the Internet. Cruisin' for a Bruisin'.
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Nick Ink
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« Reply #419 on: Jan 14, 2012, 05:31:15 AM »

We watched a Korean Film last night, The Harmonium In My Memory (although the Korean is really 'The Harmonium In My Heart'), which was a sweet, gentle little tale of a young teacher in a rural village school in 1960s Korea, and a teenage girl who develops a crush on him. It's always nice to hear and see Korea again, and Hyejung and I had a lot of fun picking out all the historic details. There were all sorts of aspects of the school that she remembered from her childhood, from waxing the corridor floors every morning and bringing in flowers for the teacher's desk to weird Korean skipping games and being made to stand with your arms up in the air when you got into trouble. Anyway, a nice small-scale film, romantic and poignant, and a window into a different time and place.



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Chet
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« Reply #420 on: Jan 14, 2012, 08:10:39 AM »

oh, netflix is in the uk now. which is cool, because their online service has a much better collection than lovefilm. they are offering a free months trial.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #421 on: Jan 14, 2012, 08:18:59 AM »

Don't do it! You'll further the death of the video store
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think 'on the road.'
coldforge
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« Reply #422 on: Jan 15, 2012, 11:44:52 PM »

In my further adventures in romantic comedies nobody said were any good in the first place, I am watching Morning Glory, with Rachel MacAdams and Harrison Ford. It's not very good. MacAdams's character is deeply neurotic and unlikeable. But it labors under that interesting, particularly American assumption, in which what it is that one does or creates in life is to be judged by the conviction and sincerity with which one does it. So MacAdams plays a complete workaholic, obsessed by and devoted entirely to her job, which happens to be an utterly contentless, banal morning news program—the kind with guest segments about arts and crafts and cooking. But in the movie's universe, her conviction and devotion makes her sympathetic and heroic. In mine it makes this movie a tragedy.
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coldforge
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« Reply #423 on: Jan 16, 2012, 12:10:09 AM »

Now, in her 3rd act Lets Put On a Show montage, she's stuffing as many crass, sensationalistic pieces of fluff as she can onto the air. Either this movie is even less self-aware than I thought or much, much blacker.
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è l'era del terzo mondo.
coldforge
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« Reply #424 on: Jan 16, 2012, 12:44:43 AM »

Yeesh. At the end of things I suspect it's really the latter. How bizarre.
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