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Old 01-27-2008, 04:45 AM   #436
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Old 01-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #437
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Few things are better than that.

Right, YLB???
I taped all of them and I'm watching after lunch.

Zooey pictures make my day.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:31 PM   #438
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That's a very astute observation, Dalton. But I don't know if that makes Brando a lesser actor; I think it's actually more impressive what he does.

DDL totally disappears into his roles, and not only do you not hear any trace of the original man, but he's often physically unrecognizable as well. Brando, on the other hand, has the ability to play just as many types of characters, but instead of being consumed by the role, he absorbs it into his own persona, which is larger than any of them. So while you don't often forget you're watching "Brando", he is believable as another person every time, his accents always convincing (if not perfect) and he appears to do so with such natural ease. I mean, The Godfather is a wholly realized creation that couldn't be anyone else but Brando, yet at no point do you question the existence of the character in reality. It's iconic now, and people love to do their impersonations, but if you look at Brando in a film made the next year, Last Tango in Paris, it's night and day.

He certainly doesn't have to try as hard as Daniel Day-Lewis does. Brando has the ability to use the "method" without having to do the work--it's completely innate, and that's something we will doubtfully ever see again.
Do you think he was just fucking around as Kurtz?

I mean, he's incredible in the part but supposedly he let Coppola down by not only 'not' reading the book but showing up overweight etc. Supposedly he also did it for the paycheck. I don't know how much of this was urban legend or not.

He had such an odd sense of humor (in a good way, IMO) I wonder sometimes if it was a ruse.

Great performance but strange. To me, at least.
I didn't read the book anyhow and perhaps I didn't fully understand his character. It's a movie and a performance that I beleive? you said was your favorite? I'm curious if you had actually read the book and do you think Brando reinvented Kurtz, nailed him to a tee or basically was winging it.

I have to admit to not fully grasping the whole spectacle.
I love the picture, love the performances, the music, but if I'm brutally honest, I'm not sure I totally get it. Outside of the totally superficial observations like Kurtz went mad and was making some ironically interesting observations about his own "madness" etc.

sidenote:It's 3:33 in the afternoon and I'm almost drunk.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:34 PM   #439
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I don't know much about her, pretty girl
Zooey looks a bit like Evan Rachel Wood
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:46 PM   #440
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Do you think he was just fucking around as Kurtz?

I mean, he's incredible in the part but supposedly he let Coppola down by not only 'not' reading the book but showing up overweight etc. Supposedly he also did it for the paycheck. I don't know how much of this was urban legend or not.

He had such an odd sense of humor (in a good way, IMO) I wonder sometimes if it was a ruse.

Great performance but strange. To me, at least.
I didn't read the book anyhow and perhaps I didn't fully understand his character. It's a movie and a performance that I beleive? you said was your favorite? I'm curious if you had actually read the book and do you think Brando reinvented Kurtz, nailed him to a tee or basically was winging it.

I have to admit to not fully grasping the whole spectacle.
I love the picture, love the performances, the music, but if I'm brutally honest, I'm not sure I totally get it. Outside of the totally superficial observations like Kurtz went mad and was making some ironically interesting observations about his own "madness" etc.

sidenote:It's 3:33 in the afternoon and I'm almost drunk.

Brando did everything for the paycheck. He had no pretense that he was in some kind of honorable vocation--he thought acting was whoring. The whole idea of researching something as heavily as Daniel Day-Lewis does and getting that deep into the role where you're in character would be laughable to him. And that comes back to my point. Brando could assimilate a character just as well as DDL could disappear into one, but he did it with such minimal effort as to make it look easy. That's the difference. The guy usually read his lines off of cue cards because he couldn't be bothered to memorize them. Now you can call him lazy and bemoan his lack of work ethic, but it's an even greater testament to his genius that he could achieve so much without lifting a finger.

As for Apocalypse Now, I'm sure Brando didn't read the source material. Ultimately, and I'm sure Coppola didn't feel this way either, but who cares? The point is, did Brando understand the character he was playing, did he understand Vietnam, and did he understand the themes of the film in relation to those two things? The answer is yes, and Brando was so well-educated about such a variety of subjects, as well as human nature, that it never mattered if he did his homework. Where Daniel Day-Lewis has to chip away at the essence of who he's playing, like his Plainview hacking into the cave walls in There Will Be Blood's opening scene, Brando just opens the sieve in his brain and lets the collective unconscious in. It's why I say we will never see another one like him--his teachers in the Actor's Studio say that he already had these instincts before he showed up, and they had never seen such raw talent before.

To answer your question about the meaning of Kurtz or the film, like any great work of art there's a lot open to interpretation. I'd suggest another viewing or two and I'm sure you'll form more thoughts and opinions on things. Coppola said at the Cannes Film Festival when Apocalypse premiered, "This film is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam." I think he really wanted to present the madness of everything that was going on there, and used Heart of Darkness' themes to give it some additional weight. The main idea is that the farther away man gets from civilization, the more he will revert back to a primal state, where the id rules and savagery is the norm. What Coppola does is contrast this with the war being fought, asking if there's anything more civilized about modern warfare by comparison. That's only one aspect of it though. If you do watch it again, I'd pay particular attention to the scene at the lunch table where Willard is given his mission by the commanding officer, and then to Brando's monologues. The former lays out the theme very plainly, and then Kurtz gives a much more abstract reaction and counterpoint to that sentiment.

Willard by the end of the film has become totally disillusioned ("I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore."), and in killing Kurtz, has taken some of his essence into his own spirit. This is symbolized by the final shot of their faces dissolving and overlapping each other, and it's also present in the source material (in the original text Willard's character goes by Marlow). From Wikipedia:

"Throughout the novel Conrad dramatizes a tension in Marlow between the restraint of civilization and the savagery of barbarism. The darkness and amorality which Kurtz exemplifies is argued to be the reality of the human condition, upon which illusory moral structures are draped by civilization. Marlow's confrontation with Kurtz presents him with a 'choice of nightmares' - to commit himself to the savagery of the human condition, or to the lie and veneer of civilized restraint. Though Marlow 'cannot abide a lie' and subsequently cannot perceive civilization as anything but a veneer hiding the savage reality of the human condition, he is also horrified by the darkness of Kurtz he sees in his own heart. After emerging from this experience, his Buddha like pose aboard the Nellie symbolizes a suspension between this choice of nightmares."

That's a lot to chew on, so I'll leave it at that. But the film says so many things, and is such a collaboration between Coppola, screenwriter John Milius, narration writer Michael Herr (an actual Vietnam vet who also wrote Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket), genius cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, editor Walter Murch, and even Brando himself, that it's hard to fully illustrate the full range and wealth of the riches in the film. It's definitely one to be savored and analyzed again and again.
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:32 PM   #441
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Just got back from my second viewing of TWBB.

A lot of subtleties in character open up after experiencing the film a second time. Specifically Plainview's complex relationship with HW, of which I took away a lot more this time. I was nearly in tears during the final scene with his son in the mansion. Taking a step back, it was a bit easier to view all the symmetries and foreshadowings and such in the screenplay as well. PTA really has matured as a writer quite a bit here, which is now readily apparent.

Just such a great film, and tonight has given me a lot more to ponder.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:23 PM   #442
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Worthy of its #18 spot on the all-knowing IMDb Top 250?
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:46 PM   #443
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#18 of all time...no.

Of this decade, I can go with that.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:02 PM   #444
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I'd put it securely in the top 10 of the 2000's, but other than that,
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:05 PM   #445
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I think I'd rank his performance much higher on an all-time scale than the film itself.

I think top 10 of the decade sounds about right.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #446
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As far as films this decade that give it a run for its money... personally,

Punch Drunk Love
2046
The New World
I'm Not There
Mulholland Drive
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A few others.

It's certainly in good company as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #447
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Originally posted by lazarus



Brando did everything for the paycheck. He had no pretense that he was in some kind of honorable vocation--he thought acting was whoring. The whole idea of researching something as heavily as Daniel Day-Lewis does and getting that deep into the role where you're in character would be laughable to him. And that comes back to my point. Brando could assimilate a character just as well as DDL could disappear into one, but he did it with such minimal effort as to make it look easy. That's the difference. The guy usually read his lines off of cue cards because he couldn't be bothered to memorize them. Now you can call him lazy and bemoan his lack of work ethic, but it's an even greater testament to his genius that he could achieve so much without lifting a finger.

As for Apocalypse Now, I'm sure Brando didn't read the source material. Ultimately, and I'm sure Coppola didn't feel this way either, but who cares? The point is, did Brando understand the character he was playing, did he understand Vietnam, and did he understand the themes of the film in relation to those two things? The answer is yes, and Brando was so well-educated about such a variety of subjects, as well as human nature, that it never mattered if he did his homework. Where Daniel Day-Lewis has to chip away at the essence of who he's playing, like his Plainview hacking into the cave walls in There Will Be Blood's opening scene, Brando just opens the sieve in his brain and lets the collective unconscious in. It's why I say we will never see another one like him--his teachers in the Actor's Studio say that he already had these instincts before he showed up, and they had never seen such raw talent before.

To answer your question about the meaning of Kurtz or the film, like any great work of art there's a lot open to interpretation. I'd suggest another viewing or two and I'm sure you'll form more thoughts and opinions on things. Coppola said at the Cannes Film Festival when Apocalypse premiered, "This film is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam." I think he really wanted to present the madness of everything that was going on there, and used Heart of Darkness' themes to give it some additional weight. The main idea is that the farther away man gets from civilization, the more he will revert back to a primal state, where the id rules and savagery is the norm. What Coppola does is contrast this with the war being fought, asking if there's anything more civilized about modern warfare by comparison. That's only one aspect of it though. If you do watch it again, I'd pay particular attention to the scene at the lunch table where Willard is given his mission by the commanding officer, and then to Brando's monologues. The former lays out the theme very plainly, and then Kurtz gives a much more abstract reaction and counterpoint to that sentiment.

Willard by the end of the film has become totally disillusioned ("I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore."), and in killing Kurtz, has taken some of his essence into his own spirit. This is symbolized by the final shot of their faces dissolving and overlapping each other, and it's also present in the source material (in the original text Willard's character goes by Marlow). From Wikipedia:

"Throughout the novel Conrad dramatizes a tension in Marlow between the restraint of civilization and the savagery of barbarism. The darkness and amorality which Kurtz exemplifies is argued to be the reality of the human condition, upon which illusory moral structures are draped by civilization. Marlow's confrontation with Kurtz presents him with a 'choice of nightmares' - to commit himself to the savagery of the human condition, or to the lie and veneer of civilized restraint. Though Marlow 'cannot abide a lie' and subsequently cannot perceive civilization as anything but a veneer hiding the savage reality of the human condition, he is also horrified by the darkness of Kurtz he sees in his own heart. After emerging from this experience, his Buddha like pose aboard the Nellie symbolizes a suspension between this choice of nightmares."

That's a lot to chew on, so I'll leave it at that. But the film says so many things, and is such a collaboration between Coppola, screenwriter John Milius, narration writer Michael Herr (an actual Vietnam vet who also wrote Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket), genius cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, editor Walter Murch, and even Brando himself, that it's hard to fully illustrate the full range and wealth of the riches in the film. It's definitely one to be savored and analyzed again and again.
9:05 pm=still drunk

My first 3-5 viewings of the film were under the influence of some substance. So, in turn, I think those subtleties and turns in characters and plot are harder to pick up on. I watched the AN Redux on Bravo? but my attention span is horrid, in between sips of the choice beverage, I may have lose something.

Truly though, on the film itself, I think I'm in the ballpark. Maybe not on the same base but I get the gist. I wanted to hear it from someone whom's opinion I respected. So there we go....

As for Brando, your opening line was/is priceless.
And your summation of his nature. He's more admirable as life goes on. He never respected acting because it was effortless.
To him, at least.

That was the foundation for my question, your knowledge/love/respect of A N versus Brando's penchant for fucking off.

Good stuff.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:09 PM   #448
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9:05 pm=still drunk

My first 3-5 viewings of the film were under the influence of some substance. So, in turn, I think those subtleties and turns in characters and plot are harder to pick up on. I watched the AN Redux on Bravo? but my attention span is horrid, in between sips of the choice beverage, I may have lose something.

This is priceless.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:22 PM   #449
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As far as films this decade that give it a run for its money... personally,

Punch Drunk Love
2046
The New World
I'm Not There
Mulholland Drive
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A few others.

It's certainly in good company as far as I'm concerned.
Children of Men?
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:25 PM   #450
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Originally posted by LemonMacPhisto


Children of Men?
A little lower.
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