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Old 03-10-2008, 08:43 PM   #331
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Re: Kubrick--

Lance, your points are well taken, and I wouldn't argue that Kubrick is the best DIRECTOR out of the names mentioned, without a doubt on the technical front. But I often feel that the images don't have much behind them, and while he often does represent pure cinema at its best, one eventually longs for more.

My friend suggested that Kubrick would have benefitted from more (or better) writing partners, and certainly stronger actors. It seems with the latter he was more comfortable molding and manipulating less-forceful personalities than dealing with actual big talent. With the exception of Nicholson and and Tom Cruise (who I'd argue allowed his marriage to be ultimately ruined by Kubrick's methods, and probably isn't an exception), all of his later (read: artsy & color) have films led by the likes of Ryan O'Neal, Matthew Modine, Keir Dullea, and Malcolm McDowell (who was certainly more young and impressionable at the time of Clockwork).

Also, Antonioni also falls under the heading of pure cinema as often as Kubrick, and there seems to be a hell of a lot more to chew on in his films. At times he's even more abstract or confounding, but it's hard to deny what's being observed by the man behind the lens.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:08 PM   #332
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus



It really pleases me to hear this. While Singin' is a pretty accessible musical (and obviously one of the best), I think it's not a stretch to suggest that you'll enjoy others along those lines or made by the same people.

Suggested viewings:

The Pirate (Minnelli): Newly available on DVD, a historical farce with Gene Kelly at his funniest pretending to be a Spanish pirate, and Judy Garland. Minnelli is the supreme master of the American musical, and while this isn't considered one of his major works, it's one of the most enjoyable, and has fantastic Technicolor work.

The Bandwagon (Minnelli): Some people prefer this behind-the-scenes showbiz story to Singin', but here you get Fred Astaire instead of Gene Kelly and he's not a better actor or singer. Some great sequences, though, and Cyd Charisse is fucking hot.

Guys and Dolls (Mankiewicz): Maybe the most entertaining overall, because it has a great screenplay from respectable source material (Damon Runyon's short stories), and very good actors. Sinatra plays the neurotic wimp, Brando the Playa, and Jean Simmons the object d'affection. Great songs, cast, sets, and use of Cinemascope.

An American in Paris (Minnelli): Best Picture winner that is still underrated. You have Minnelli directing, Gene Kelly starring and choreographing, songs by George & Ira Gershwin, and an indescribable 20+ minute finale without dialogue that is a triumph for all involved. It's not really set in Paris, but it captures the magic of the city anyway.

New York, New York (Scorsese): You'll really want to watch some Minnelli before watching this, because it's Marty's tribute to the master, combining the fantasy of Technicolor and soundstage sets with his own signature use of New York method acting and emotional bluntness. It's a mix that doesn't always blend well, but the experiment is impressive none the less. With De Niro (!) and Liza Minnelli, who had both already won Oscars by this point.

On The Town (Kelly/Donen): Made before Singin' in the Rain, but notable for being the rare musical shot on location, in New York City no less. Kelly and Sinatra both star, and if you need anything else to recommend it, I pity you.

Funny Face (Donen): Fred Astaire again, Paris again, but this time it's about a photographer (supposedly based on Richard Avedon) and his bookstore clerk-turned-model played by none other than Audrey Hepburn, who is about as cute and endearing as you could possibly imagine. The songs aren't as great as some of the titles mentioned above, but of course there's some great dancing, and the people involved in front of and behind the camera are all highly skilled.

Enjoy.
Thanks, I'll chalk those up to the list. I've got Guys and Dolls to DVR sometime soon - I'll try and get to it sometime after my Altman-spree... or whatever random set of movies I decide to watch.
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:40 PM   #333
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus



It really pleases me to hear this. While Singin' is a pretty accessible musical (and obviously one of the best), I think it's not a stretch to suggest that you'll enjoy others along those lines or made by the same people.

Suggested viewings:

The Pirate (Minnelli): Newly available on DVD, a historical farce with Gene Kelly at his funniest pretending to be a Spanish pirate, and Judy Garland. Minnelli is the supreme master of the American musical, and while this isn't considered one of his major works, it's one of the most enjoyable, and has fantastic Technicolor work.

The Bandwagon (Minnelli): Some people prefer this behind-the-scenes showbiz story to Singin', but here you get Fred Astaire instead of Gene Kelly and he's not a better actor or singer. Some great sequences, though, and Cyd Charisse is fucking hot.

Guys and Dolls (Mankiewicz): Maybe the most entertaining overall, because it has a great screenplay from respectable source material (Damon Runyon's short stories), and very good actors. Sinatra plays the neurotic wimp, Brando the Playa, and Jean Simmons the object d'affection. Great songs, cast, sets, and use of Cinemascope.

An American in Paris (Minnelli): Best Picture winner that is still underrated. You have Minnelli directing, Gene Kelly starring and choreographing, songs by George & Ira Gershwin, and an indescribable 20+ minute finale without dialogue that is a triumph for all involved. It's not really set in Paris, but it captures the magic of the city anyway.

New York, New York (Scorsese): You'll really want to watch some Minnelli before watching this, because it's Marty's tribute to the master, combining the fantasy of Technicolor and soundstage sets with his own signature use of New York method acting and emotional bluntness. It's a mix that doesn't always blend well, but the experiment is impressive none the less. With De Niro (!) and Liza Minnelli, who had both already won Oscars by this point.

On The Town (Kelly/Donen): Made before Singin' in the Rain, but notable for being the rare musical shot on location, in New York City no less. Kelly and Sinatra both star, and if you need anything else to recommend it, I pity you.

Funny Face (Donen): Fred Astaire again, Paris again, but this time it's about a photographer (supposedly based on Richard Avedon) and his bookstore clerk-turned-model played by none other than Audrey Hepburn, who is about as cute and endearing as you could possibly imagine. The songs aren't as great as some of the titles mentioned above, but of course there's some great dancing, and the people involved in front of and behind the camera are all highly skilled.

Enjoy.

Wow. Rufus Wainwright thinks this post is gay.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:40 PM   #334
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Judy and Barbra told me it was just fine, thank you.

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Old 03-11-2008, 07:42 AM   #335
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Just watched Hitchcock's "Rebecca". Daphne du Maurier's novel is one of my favourite books of all time so naturally I'm quite biased in the way I look at the film. Overall I loved it and thought it was a great film as well as a wonderful adaptation. The leads are spot-on, especially Joan Fontaine as the nameless, shy and insecure heroine of the tale. I thought the film did a brilliant job in suggesting the lingering presence of a long-dead character who never actually appears onscreen and re-creating the book's tense, gothic atmosphere and sense of foreboding.


*book-reader's nitpicking, with MAJOR spoilers*


- Looking at the reviews on imdb.com I'm in minority on this, but Judith Anderson's performance as Mrs Danvers was one weak link as far as the cast went. The book character was creepy and chilly and generally terrified the heck out of me, but the movie Mrs Danvers came off as merely snide and a bit comatose, no more.

- I knew beforehand that the screenwriters changed Rebecca's death from murder to accident because of the Production Code, so I could handle that change ok. It does detract a lot of the darkness from the tale though - just as the "Hollywoodied", happier ending where the two lovers reunite in embrace before the burning building with no mention of their bittersweet self-exile in obscure hotels abroad.

- The film IMO runs out of steam somewhat in the scenes after the inquest; I couldn't put my finger on why and then realised that those scenes pretty much shove Joan Fountain's character in the background and then she disappears altogether when the action moves to Rebecca's doctor's office. Prior to that her character was the emotional centre of the story and we've seen 95% of it through her eyes; because of that loss those scenes near the end have a rushed, "let's join all the dots together" vibe and feel curiously drained of tension and drama despite the major revelations.

...That aside, still a brilliant movie, one I'll re-watch.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:27 AM   #336
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I need to see Rebecca again. I saw it a long time ago in the midst of my initial Hitchcock binge, and wasn't as impressed as I was with some of the others. I've come across too many positive reactions from other people to believe that I was right.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:22 PM   #337
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Laz, where in the hell have you been?
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:40 PM   #338
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I watched the Simpsons Movie last night. I wasn't expecting much from it, but I was still disappointed. It had a few funny moments, but they show the best parts in the trailers, so it's not really worth the hour and a half. I gave it 3/5 on Netflix. The Darjeeling Limited will be on its way next.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #339
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Thanks for the input Laz. Like I said before, I wish I had time to get into this deeper right now.

I do need to see some Antonioni though. He's been high on my must-see list for a while now. When I get back to school I'll be sure to get started.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:04 PM   #340
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Lance, what do you cover in your film classes? Been meaning to ask for a while now and I'm curious as I've never studied film myself.

Don't suppose there'a a handy internet link to some lecture slides or syllabus anywhere?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #341
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Be quiet, or he may post another one of his term papers. Or should I say "interminable" papers?



I kid, sir. You are a gentleman and a scholar.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:51 PM   #342
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I love Reservoir Dogs a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Picked it up for only 5 bucks, so that was a deal, too.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:37 AM   #343
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Youngblood

4/10

I've never seen so much slow motion hockey in my life.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:45 AM   #344
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You know what? The godfather is playing on AMC, I think, today
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:47 AM   #345
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The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

I've had this sitting on my TV for a couple of weeks now, never in the mood to watch it but feeling I had to. I finally sucked it up and watched it over two nights.

Please tell me how this did not win the Oscar for Best Cinematography? Some shots/scenes in the film were just stunning.

I actually enjoyed the movie a lot more than I was expecting, although I had a hard time keeping some of the gang members straight - they all blurred together, and I was confused some of the time.

Thought both Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt were very good, and I really liked the score as well.
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