The Last Film Seen

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Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:04 am

2046

Yeah I think this one needs to be seen more than once, I'll add my comments to the appropriate thread. Glad I got to see it on the big screen though.
wpqx
 


Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Sat Sep 03, 2005 3:29 am

Close to Eden (1991) - Nikita Mikhalkov

Only the second film of Mikhalkov's I've seen, and I can't say it's very similar. The story is basically a tale of modernization for peasant Mongolians, or rather one particular family. There are some funny moments in the film (usually provided by the Russian), and there are several moments were reality is thrown out the window. The best example comes from a strange sort of dream sequence where Ghengis Kahn is roaming the countryside, yet our peasant hero is still in modern times (or at least what was modern 15 years ago.) These sequences keep the film from being utter garbage, but the overall impression of the film is not a very great one. Perhaps with more understanding of it's director I'll see more of this, but for now I'll say it wasn't a complete waste of time.
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:23 pm

Irreversible (2002)

Well this is viewing #2, and I'll be honest, I wasn't really thrilled about seeing this a second time. Watching the film though, I wondered how much it is style over substance. From a technical standpoint this is an amazing movie. The backwards story is played out, but what makes the film truly interesting is the fact that all the scenes are done in one shot. This allows for some extremely complicated tracking shots, and some great effects, most notably the face smashing scene near the beginning.

Long takes are always a preference of mine, so I had to say I was in admiration of the extended shots. The fact that the rape scene was done in one shot gave it a very disturbing realism. This is a film though that you can't warn people about properly. I said she wouldn't want to see it, and that she wouldn't like it, but well like telling a child they can't have something, it only makes them want it more. I'll admit there is a curiosity to the film, and that is what led most people to it. That and the fact that Monica Belluci was in it, and lord knows many a man has sat through movies just because of her presence.

I won't run around hailing this as a masterpiece, but on a second viewing I believe the film is successful in it's objective. It shows rape as the graphic and horrible act that it is. It adequatly shows the realtionship and why both men Pierre and Marcus are willing to look for revenge. It also demonstrates amazing film technique and extraordinary composition. Most people have an aversion to "gimmick" movies, Russian Ark comes to mind, but if executed properly, it can be quite an amazing experience. I do believe this pulls itself off, and is one of the most facinating films of recent years. So I guess I have seen at least one somewhat contemporary French film.
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:37 pm

Happiness (1998) - Todd Solondz

Well I've been encouraged to watch this film for months, and finally got a chance to see it. I've heard very mixed things about it, so expectations were lowered. What I found was the film was a little slow, certainly uncomfortable at parts, but it did have it's humor. Some scenes I wondered if they were supposed to be funny, but I can't say I was an overt fan. Somehow I don't really like watching losers, get's depressing and I feel embarassed for them. Hoffman's level of dorkiness reached a peak here, which is saying a lot considering some of his other pathetic roles. Anyways I might have to talk to my friend who's seen it 40 times to see what's so damn great about it.
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby Ray » Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:48 pm

Takeshi Kitano's masterpiece, Hana-bi (1997). I had high expectations going in, and not only were they met, they were far exceeded. A wonderful, wonderful film. Very funny and very poignant. I cried at the end when Mr Nishi's wife thanked him. The score was perfect, too.
Ray
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:53 pm

Dolls (2004) - Takeshi Kitano

Strange same director for both of our last films. This one was a pretty far cry from Fireworks. Enjoyable at parts, but I think it was flawed by it's slow deliberate pacing. Would have been better with a decapitation or two.
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:56 pm

btw Ray I strongly encourage you to write your review of Hanna-Bi for the Japanese Journal thread on Kitano. Kitano has been pretty neglected in there, and we could always use a new perspective. Saves me and Trevor from talking to ourselves.
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:49 am

Rebels of a Neon God (1992) - Tsia Ming-Liang

Well my third Liang film, and the best I've yet seen. Maybe I paid more attention to this film, or maybe his style is more familiar with me, but I neverthless enjoyed this one quite a bit. I felt the aimlessness of the characters. The shots didn't seem as long here as in Vive L'Amour but they're still effective. Besides, who wouldn't love seeing some classic Street Fighter clips on arcade?
wpqx
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby trevor826 » Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:02 am

Tsai Ming-Liang does take a little getting used to, Vive l'amour was the first I saw and I found it fascinating and extremly sad. wpqx, I assume you haven't seen "The Wayward Cloud yet?

I'm going to have to write a proper review for it, because it's very different yet similar and in need of a good breakdown.

I know there are plenty of people who could write better reviews but I'll give it my best shot.

Cheers Trev.
trevor826
 

Re: The Last Film Seen

Postby wpqx » Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:46 am

Haven't seen the Wayword Cloud.

But today I watched Yeelen (1987) and The Constant Gardener (2005). Not to say I was in an African mood, but that's just what I ended up with. Yeelen was clearly the better of the two films, evoking a much more impassioned Africa, whereas The Constant Gardener fell prey to the racist ideology that the two main characters in any African film have to be white. I was just generally bored with the film and felt nothing for the exploited. Fiennes and Wiesz did great work however, but good acting can't always carry a movie.
wpqx
 

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