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Author Topic: Seen and not seen's, recommendations and queries on top films in general.  (Read 874602 times)
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Potier
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« Reply #3000 on: July 22, 2020, 07:34:29 PM »

Recent consumption of movies has been all over the map - two of the ones I checked out recently are:

Demonlover (2002) by Olivier Assayas - my first Assayas for all I can recall - picked this out on a hunch after reading a synopsis and noticing that Chloë Sevigny is in it. Overall nothing too special. Guess it could be called a corporate spy-thriller in a sense. I feel it did fall way short when it came to the blend of manga/torture porn that was the subject matter in a sense. The female characters worked well - both main actresses did a good job in their portrayal. Ultimately maybe a bit too subtle for my taste and a bit too stretched out. It had me thinking it would have been so much better had it been done by Cronenberg... Still worth your time and seems like an overlooked movie in Sevigny's filmography.

Sarah Plays A Werewolf (2017) by Katharina Wyss - also picked out on a hunch. Story of an emotionally challenged and overtly sensitive teenager that lives in a theatre dystopian dream world of sorts. There is also a lot of rather blunt christian faith and martyrdom content. A difficult home life & the resulting social ineptness and isolation add to the problem. This leads to dangerous obsessive behavior and ultimately a violent outburst. I did like this one simply for some of the bizarre characters, the language components of french and swiss-german, the setting and some of the subtle unsettling moments. It's funny how it also made me feel it would've been better had it been done by a different director - this time I figure it would've made for great Haneke-material. Worth seeing if you are more into contemporary arthouse-type newcomer films.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 07:42:17 PM by Potier » Logged

absurdexposition
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« Reply #3001 on: July 22, 2020, 07:57:21 PM »

Penda's Fen

Excellent film. One should expect nothing less from Alan Clarke.

Demonlover (2002) by Olivier Assayas

This has been on my list for some time. Seems like it might be a spiritual companion to Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, which is based on a short story by William Gibson. Boarding Gate by Assayas isn't half bad (stars Asia Argento, as does New Rose Hotel) and I really loved the Carlos mini-series (3 feature-length "episodes" about Carlos the Jackal) when I saw it about a decade ago but I need to revisit it. The only other Assayas I've seen is Irma Vep (A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of “Les Vampires”, finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set.), but it didn't really click with me.

Watched a bunch recently, as usual. Some notables:

The Untamed (Amat Escalante, 2016) - Mexican sci-fi/horror drama that is low-key on horror and (extremely) low-key on sci-fi but the drama is almost compelling enough.

The Bloodstained Butterfly (Duccio Tessari, 1971)

Castle Freak (Stuart Gordon, 1995) - I was amazed at how this just descends into pure evil. Felt like I was watching some bleak 70s exploitation film when it started getting down to it.

Antiviral (Brandon Cronenberg, 2012) - Nice debut by David Cronenberg's son. It definitely runs in the family. Looking forward to watching Possessor whenever I can find it.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 08:09:07 PM by absurdexposition » Logged

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« Reply #3002 on: July 22, 2020, 08:05:06 PM »

...speaking of Haneke...I finally got around to watching Happy End (2017).

Definitely will not go down in history as one of my favorites from his filmography. While Trintignant is great to watch, I felt that everybody else sort of wasn't up to speed which was a surprise - particularly for Huppert who does tend to look tired these days. The aspect of the refugee crisis is only noticeable on the periphery, the over-the-top tucked away sexual deviance and sociopathic tendencies of Kassovitz' character seem forced somehow. Sociopaths raising sociopaths is the bottom line here, however Harduin and Rogowski are ultimately not strong enough to carry the rest of the picture. The best scene is the brutally honest conversation between the old man and the little girl. Pretty standard fare and predictably depressing. I was not moved in the end.
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« Reply #3003 on: July 22, 2020, 08:30:25 PM »

Penda's Fen

Excellent film. One should expect nothing less from Alan Clarke.

Recent Clarke for me was Scum (1979) - had never seen it before. All around punch to the gut if obviously not as graphic or violent as one might think. It's short and it does not fuck around which is a plus. Winstone is outstanding as the main character. I watched this one alongside another one with Winstone which was Sexy Beast (2000). Even though Kingsley is obviously the dominant force in this totally different animal of a film, Winstone is still great.


Demonlover (2002) by Olivier Assayas

This has been on my list for some time. Seems like it might be a spiritual companion to Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, which is based on a short story by William Gibson.

Still have not gotten around to New Rose Hotel but I will certainly watch it soon.

Antiviral (Brandon Cronenberg, 2012) - Nice debut by David Cronenberg's son. It definitely runs in the family. Looking forward to watching Possessor whenever I can find it.

I remember loving that one even though it is a total knock-off body horror flick. It was just so great to see another Cronenberg after the old Cronenberg changed the subject many moons ago.
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« Reply #3004 on: July 23, 2020, 12:17:28 AM »

Penda's Fen

Excellent film. One should expect nothing less from Alan Clarke.

Demonlover (2002) by Olivier Assayas

This has been on my list for some time. Seems like it might be a spiritual companion to Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, which is based on a short story by William Gibson. Boarding Gate by Assayas isn't half bad (stars Asia Argento, as does New Rose Hotel) and I really loved the Carlos mini-series (3 feature-length "episodes" about Carlos the Jackal) when I saw it about a decade ago but I need to revisit it. The only other Assayas I've seen is Irma Vep (A Chinese movie actress, in France to star in a remake of “Les Vampires”, finds petty intrigues and clashing egos on the set.), but it didn't really click with me.

Watched a bunch recently, as usual. Some notables:

The Untamed (Amat Escalante, 2016) - Mexican sci-fi/horror drama that is low-key on horror and (extremely) low-key on sci-fi but the drama is almost compelling enough.

The Bloodstained Butterfly (Duccio Tessari, 1971)

Castle Freak (Stuart Gordon, 1995) - I was amazed at how this just descends into pure evil. Felt like I was watching some bleak 70s exploitation film when it started getting down to it.

Antiviral (Brandon Cronenberg, 2012) - Nice debut by David Cronenberg's son. It definitely runs in the family. Looking forward to watching Possessor whenever I can find it.

Yeah Castle Freak really goes beyond what I initially expected when I watched it many years ago. Gets pretty dark/exploitation esque considering it comes off as a pretty tame 90s horror flick at first. Will have to check out Antiviral. Cronenberg is without a doubt one of my favorite directors so would be interesting to see what his son has to offer.

Recently watched Star Time. Disturbed young man’s favorite TV show is cancelled so he goes on a murderous rampage while wearing a baby mask. Try’s to be somewhat intellectual in its depictions of mental illness, but ends up being incredibly corny. Bought it on Blu Ray blindly when Vinegar Syndrome was having a sale, so I guess I struck out on that one. Did pick up their release of Decoder though and that did not disappoint in the least.

Also recently watched Ulrich Seidl’s Import Export but it was late and I passed out. Enjoyed what I remember and will be watching it again. Was a big fan of his movie In The Basement. Graphic  BDSM, a nazi memorabilia collecting marching band. All in his typical style with long takes and such. All around intriguing flick that is effective in its humanization of the subjects.
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NerveGas
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« Reply #3005 on: July 23, 2020, 12:23:16 AM »

Penda's Fen

Excellent film. One should expect nothing less from Alan Clarke.

Recent Clarke for me was Scum (1979) - had never seen it before. All around punch to the gut if obviously not as graphic or violent as one might think. It's short and it does not fuck around which is a plus. Winstone is outstanding as the main character. I watched this one alongside another one with Winstone which was Sexy Beast (2000). Even though Kingsley is obviously the dominant force in this totally different animal of a film, Winstone is still great.


Demonlover (2002) by Olivier Assayas

This has been on my list for some time. Seems like it might be a spiritual companion to Abel Ferrara's New Rose Hotel, which is based on a short story by William Gibson.

Still have not gotten around to New Rose Hotel but I will certainly watch it soon.

Antiviral (Brandon Cronenberg, 2012) - Nice debut by David Cronenberg's son. It definitely runs in the family. Looking forward to watching Possessor whenever I can find it.

I remember loving that one even though it is a total knock-off body horror flick. It was just so great to see another Cronenberg after the old Cronenberg changed the subject many moons ago.

Scum is amazing. So much hate in that film. One of my all time favorites. I have a German release poster framed in my apartment. One of my prized possessions because the arts so fucking cool. Anything of Alan Clarke’s that I have see rank as some of my top films. Elephant,The Firm, and Made In Britain are all flawless.
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« Reply #3006 on: July 23, 2020, 03:19:24 PM »

Penda's Fen

Excellent film. One should expect nothing less from Alan Clarke.

I've never seen anything by Clarke outside of the Blue Underground box. Will have to check this out for sure.

Castle Freak (Stuart Gordon, 1995) - I was amazed at how this just descends into pure evil. Felt like I was watching some bleak 70s exploitation film when it started getting down to it.

Sex and lust in Gordon's movies generally feels pretty brutal or is at least infused with violence (that's not a criticism). I remember Castle Freak being the best example of that.
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« Reply #3007 on: July 23, 2020, 04:38:52 PM »

I liked Antiviral although it was a pretty much style over substance. Like The Neon Demon, another good example (or any other Winding Refn movie he's made in the US) of a modern transgressive movie that nailed it with style but are somewhat lacking in substance.

Really looking forward to Possessor though.
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« Reply #3008 on: July 23, 2020, 05:37:29 PM »

I liked Antiviral although it was a pretty much style over substance. Like The Neon Demon, another good example (or any other Winding Refn movie he's made in the US) of a modern transgressive movie that nailed it with style but are somewhat lacking in substance.

Really looking forward to Possessor though.

I think Neon Demon [and Only God Forgives to a lesser extent] might be an example of a movie where the style is the substance. As in it doesn't offer what you get from a traditional film but something else that just reminds a person of a conventional film. That being said I have mixed feelings about whether I like that or not. But I do think the barely there plots and dialogue allow for a more abstract enjoyment while also the immediate color/music/movement make brain feel good. I'm reminded of Daft Punk's Electroma or Beyond the Black Rainbow and a lot of other weird mostly or only visual movies from over the years.
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« Reply #3009 on: July 23, 2020, 07:56:28 PM »

I liked Antiviral although it was a pretty much style over substance. Like The Neon Demon, another good example (or any other Winding Refn movie he's made in the US) of a modern transgressive movie that nailed it with style but are somewhat lacking in substance.

I think Neon Demon [and Only God Forgives to a lesser extent] might be an example of a movie where the style is the substance. As in it doesn't offer what you get from a traditional film but something else that just reminds a person of a conventional film. That being said I have mixed feelings about whether I like that or not. But I do think the barely there plots and dialogue allow for a more abstract enjoyment while also the immediate color/music/movement make brain feel good. I'm reminded of Daft Punk's Electroma or Beyond the Black Rainbow and a lot of other weird mostly or only visual movies from over the years.

I think all of these films have substance, especially Antiviral. Maybe I will reword that comment, because I don't think Antiviral has any more or less substance than The Neon Demon, or vice versa, but perhaps The Neon Demon does have more overt style. TND is certainly not my favourite Refn but it is part of this newer style he's been exploring with Only God Forgives and Too Old To Die Young where violence is the substance to a degree.

I had a bit more to say on Alan Clarke and Jonathan Glazer but I accidentally cut it and lost it, I'll come back to this after work if it remains pertinent.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 08:02:51 PM by absurdexposition » Logged

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« Reply #3010 on: July 24, 2020, 03:20:07 PM »

I liked Antiviral although it was a pretty much style over substance. Like The Neon Demon, another good example (or any other Winding Refn movie he's made in the US) of a modern transgressive movie that nailed it with style but are somewhat lacking in substance.

I think Neon Demon [and Only God Forgives to a lesser extent] might be an example of a movie where the style is the substance. As in it doesn't offer what you get from a traditional film but something else that just reminds a person of a conventional film. That being said I have mixed feelings about whether I like that or not. But I do think the barely there plots and dialogue allow for a more abstract enjoyment while also the immediate color/music/movement make brain feel good. I'm reminded of Daft Punk's Electroma or Beyond the Black Rainbow and a lot of other weird mostly or only visual movies from over the years.

I think all of these films have substance, especially Antiviral. Maybe I will reword that comment, because I don't think Antiviral has any more or less substance than The Neon Demon, or vice versa, but perhaps The Neon Demon does have more overt style. TND is certainly not my favourite Refn but it is part of this newer style he's been exploring with Only God Forgives and Too Old To Die Young where violence is the substance to a degree.

I had a bit more to say on Alan Clarke and Jonathan Glazer but I accidentally cut it and lost it, I'll come back to this after work if it remains pertinent.

I was not speaking for Antiviral because I haven't seen it, just about The Neon Demon. I probably should've elaborated more but I don't think The Neon Demon or Only God Forgives are without substance beyond stylistic substance, but I do think the style of the films, their semi-abstract qualities are something different and not like the majority of films. Shit, to stay on Refn, Valhalla Rising is nearly without dialogue but I certainly wouldn't call it lacking in substance or style. So if my previous comment came across as criticism perhaps I was inarticulate. And as far as personal preference, many of my favorite movies are ones in which the visual and audio content and style are so inseparable and important, the "story" becomes less important. Which I guess makes sense to a certain point? If I want story I can read a book, if I want visual splendor I can watch a movie.

I'm pretty sure I just sound retarded now.

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« Reply #3011 on: July 25, 2020, 01:30:31 AM »

I think TND gets a bad rep for being only surface when it's a story about the consequences of an exploitative and narcissistic existence. It's as if because it's set in the fashion industry that people think it's about the fashion industry. Which of course it's not. It's as much about that as Apocalypse now is about the Vietnam War or Moby Dick is about whale hunting.

Too Old To Die Young was excellent until the end where Refn went full blown palsy and turned it into a "time for the chicks to avenge all the bad things us men have done to them". Talk about fucking up a great series with contemporary feminist bullshit thus condemning it to age awfully. He must be feeling guilty for having a nice life in Hollywood or something.
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« Reply #3012 on: July 25, 2020, 05:27:49 AM »

I liked Antiviral although it was a pretty much style over substance. Like The Neon Demon, another good example (or any other Winding Refn movie he's made in the US) of a modern transgressive movie that nailed it with style but are somewhat lacking in substance.

Really looking forward to Possessor though.

I think Neon Demon [and Only God Forgives to a lesser extent] might be an example of a movie where the style is the substance. As in it doesn't offer what you get from a traditional film but something else that just reminds a person of a conventional film. That being said I have mixed feelings about whether I like that or not. But I do think the barely there plots and dialogue allow for a more abstract enjoyment while also the immediate color/music/movement make brain feel good. I'm reminded of Daft Punk's Electroma or Beyond the Black Rainbow and a lot of other weird mostly or only visual movies from over the years.

I found Only God Forgives to be absolutely unwatchable. To the point that I wrote off Refn completely. Then Too Old To Die Young came out and I thought it was legitimately amazing. He’s always had a tendency towards self indulgence and based on my polar opposite reactions to these films, I guess it just works sometimes and completely fails other times.
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« Reply #3013 on: July 25, 2020, 05:45:20 AM »

I think TND gets a bad rep for being only surface when it's a story about the consequences of an exploitative and narcissistic existence. It's as if because it's set in the fashion industry that people think it's about the fashion industry. Which of course it's not. It's as much about that as Apocalypse now is about the Vietnam War or Moby Dick is about whale hunting.

Too Old To Die Young was excellent until the end where Refn went full blown palsy and turned it into a "time for the chicks to avenge all the bad things us men have done to them". Talk about fucking up a great series with contemporary feminist bullshit thus condemning it to age awfully. He must be feeling guilty for having a nice life in Hollywood or something.

Heard a lot of criticism of the ending of Too Old To Die Young And everyone acts like this theme towards the end came totally out of left field. There are legitimately lengthy diatribes throughout the film about the protecting of the innocent and the oppressed against the inherently violent and depraved nature of man. How does that not fit in with the themes of the film? If anything I see Too Old To Die Young as a simultaneously mundane and hyper violent version of American culture. The apocalypse occurring as whimper of civilization not a single catastrophe (to use a cliche). Why wouldn’t current issues fit into this? Don’t really have the energy for a lengthy discussion, I just don’t see how most people criticize this as all of a sudden throwing in a righteous feminist ending when the show blatantly deals with ideas of misogyny and current social affairs. If that ruins the film for you that’s not my place to convince you otherwise and it’s fine. But these themes literally run through the entire course of the work. That’s not to say I think Too Old To Die Young is completely a vehicle for some righteous message. If anything it seems to paint an utterly pessimistic vision of a future that is relatively hopeless. A future of drone like, bored, desensitized hyper violent individuals. I find it to be worth watching even simply on that level. Although I had no problem with the ending that so many people seemed to take issue with because of feminist readings of it.
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« Reply #3014 on: July 28, 2020, 11:06:41 AM »

To me it tells a story of violence and revenge as a universal redeemer, equaliser and progressive force. Viggo Larsen's monologue halfway in about how mankind has lost touch with the violent nature which has evolved humanity highlights that. It's a universal theme and a controversial one in todays cultural climate thus also an interesting and important one. To then take it in a feminist direction at the end not only discards the theme, it cheapens the whole story and worse, it nails it to the narrative of its time making it forgettable.
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