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Author Topic:   The Movie Thread
anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 1 of 54 (367573)
12-03-2006 3:30 PM


Since much of the thread Message 65 starting here is about movies, I felt that maybe this should be it's own topic.

To get things started, I believe Akira Kurosawa is the best director of all time. Here are his movies I have seen:

Rashomon (1950): an incident from 4 points of view
Seven Samurai (1954): later horribly remade as Magnificent 7
Throne of Blood (1957): Macbeth in medieval Japan
Hidden Fortress (1958): main inspiration for Star Wars
Yojimbo (1961): later remade as Fistfull of Dollars
Sanjuro (1962): sequel to Yojimbo
High and Low (1963): about a kidnapping, many unexpected plot twists
Red Beard (1965): older doctor imparts meaning of wisdom to younger in 1800s Japan
Ran (1985): King Lear in medieval Japan

All are great IMO, all are b&w except Ran. Must be watched in subtitles, as any foreign language movie fan knows (try seeing Run Lola Run or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon dubbed - awful, utterly awful).

Kurosawa may not be to everyone's liking, you have to pay close attention and they are not paced like some Hollywood drivel. To those who appreciate more cerebral movies with plots driven by complex human interactions instead of special effects, these can't be beat.

As I said before, Kubrick is second, but is unique for other reasons, such as his use of pacing, lighting, and sound.

Please provide your thoughts, and most of all, let us know about any unknown gems.

Obviously coffee house, as there are no "right" answers, just opinions.


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Zawi
Member (Idle past 1708 days)
Posts: 126
From: UK
Joined: 12-02-2004


Message 2 of 54 (367577)
12-03-2006 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
12-03-2006 3:30 PM


Seven Samurai is one of my favourite films. Such is the depth of the characters and the script that you'd think it were adapted from a novel.

I also like Stanley Kubrick. Of his I've seen Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, 2001 and Clockwork Orange. Full Metal Jacket is my favourite of his, and among my ‘all time’ favourite films. The chapter in which they’re being lured in by the lone sniper is so engrossing… I nearly shat myself the first time I saw that sniper. Pretty spooky.

The Shining is also very good; it’s the only film that has given me the spooks in my adulthood. The first time I saw it, I had a nightmare about those two little girls. But yes, very good film; it looks absolutely stunning, and it also features some subtle symbolism (such as the Native American theme).

2001 is pretty good as well; Clockwork Orange is good to watch too; but the other two Kubricks are my favourite.


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Clark
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 54 (367578)
12-03-2006 4:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
12-03-2006 3:30 PM


Ikiru
Funny that Kurosawa is your favorite director and you haven't seen Ikiru (1952). It is about a government bureaucrat who is diagnosed with stomach cancer and has a year to live. He realizes he has a lived a meaningless life and decides to do something meaningful with his last year. Has elements of Rashomon in it, with certain parts of the story told from different points of view. Ikiru is by far my favorite Kurosawa film. Ebert has a great review of it.

I watched Seven Samurai for the 2nd time recently and was fairly disappointed. The characters were mostly good but I hated the young guy that fell in love with the girl. He was too wimpy to be a samurai. And Toshiro Mifune's character was a bit too jokey for my taste.


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 4 of 54 (367599)
12-03-2006 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Clark
12-03-2006 4:05 PM


Re: Ikiru
Ikiru has been in my Blockbuster rental cue for some time but is considered a "long wait." I am eager to see this movie, especially now after your strong recommendation. :)

Saw Seven Samauri again last week, personally I have no complaints. The characters are near perfect IMO as one was meant to be young, innocent, and still on the basic learning curve and the other (Mifune) scruffy, bizzare, and (sort-of) playing the clown due to past pain. To me one of the most impressive parts of this film is how concisely, yet deeply, Kurosawa can outline the main (7+) characters.

But of course, IMO Kurosawa was better than anyone else in the movie business at creating such detailed characters, with all the complex motivations and contradictions one finds in real people. No wonder he did a few Shakespeare adaptations despite some apparent criticism from the home audience.

Will let all know what I think of Ikiru once I can get my hands on it, provided this thread is still open.


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tudwell
Member (Idle past 4057 days)
Posts: 172
From: KCMO
Joined: 08-20-2006


Message 5 of 54 (367601)
12-03-2006 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
12-03-2006 3:30 PM


I don't watch too many foreign films, since the only place I go to get movies is Blockbuster, and they have horrible selection of a) foreign films and b) anything over ten years old. But after reading about Kurosawa both in here and in the controversial opinions thread, I'm quite interested in seeing some of his movies.

In keeping with the theme of old foreign films, my mother has been recommending I watch some Ingmar Bergman, especially the Seventh Seal (but, alas, Blockbuster has not a one). Does anyone here like/dislike any of his movies?

One of my favorites at the moment is Pulp Fiction. I'm rather dissatisfied with the current state of film (Borat being an exception), so I might try the online rental thing to get some older, better films.


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Clark
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 54 (367604)
12-03-2006 9:58 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by tudwell
12-03-2006 9:31 PM


Hi Tudwell,

I'm a big Ingmar Bergman fan. The Seventh Seal is good, about the silence of God and facing death (Death is actually a character) and has a good amount of Biblical allegory in it. Pretty interesting. My favorites of Bergman's are Scenes From a Marriage and Fanny and Alexander. Scenes is the most brutally honest and accurate film about relationships I've ever seen. The last film he made is a sequel to Scenes called Saraband, that is excellent as well. Others of his to check out are Wild Strawberries, Persona, and Cries and Whispers.

Since you liked Pulp Fiction and are open to foreign films you should definitely check out Breathless by Jean-Luc Godard. It is the grandfather of the post-modern, stylistic film.

BTW, forget Blockbuster, get Netflix, the selection is great.


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Clark
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 54 (367605)
12-03-2006 10:09 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by anglagard
12-03-2006 9:17 PM


Re: Ikiru
Can't wait to hear what you think of Ikiru. :)

I don't know what happened watching the Seven Samurai this time, the first time I saw it I loved it.

I heard that Kurosawa was criticized by other Japanese filmmakers because his films were so western. And they are, his samurai films are basically the same genre as John Ford and others, instead of cowboys, you got Samurai. And then American filmmakers were in turn influenced by Kurosawa, instead of Samurai, you got Jedi.


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 8 of 54 (367607)
12-03-2006 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by tudwell
12-03-2006 9:31 PM


Working the Movie Racket
I have used online rental systems for a few years, mainly to obtain obscure or foreign films that are not available in video stores. One source I have used to determine what to get is IMDBs top 250, pretty much seen just about every one and am rarely disappointed.

If you like Pulp Fiction (as I do), you must see City of God.

I have seen Bergman's Seventh Seal, worth seeing IMO, but have not seen any others. Bergman is considered by some to be the greatest director but based upon that one movie, I can think of a few who I think are better.

As for the obscure and/or foreign, here are some interesting movies:

Asoka - great story if you can get past a few weird bollywood song and dance routines in the first half
Bang Rajan - good flick about incident in Thai history
Eraserhead - The weirdest movie of all time, worth seeing just on that alone
Yaworat - Pulp Fiction Thai style, proof movie violence not just a USA specialty
Allegro non Troppo - Satire on Fantasia
3-iron - unique Korean movie from the unusual director Kim Ki-Duk
The General - Silent Buster Keaton at his hilarious best
Sema, the Warrior - another great one from Thailand
Run Lola Run - just in case you haven't seen it

I suggest you not rent the following:

Django - absurd, poorest acting this side of Glitter
Book and Sword - obvious Chinese TV soap opera, notable only as example of rewriting history (and a bit of blatant bigotry).
The Sword and the Sorcerer - just awful!
Bad Taste - aptly named and Peter Jackson's first, thank God he got better

ABE - If in mood to see the saddest movie of all time, which had to be animated out of mercy for the audience, try Grave of the Fireflies, bring tissues.

Edited by anglagard, : add Grave of the Fireflies


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anglagard
Member
Posts: 2185
From: Socorro, New Mexico USA
Joined: 03-18-2006


Message 9 of 54 (367609)
12-03-2006 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Clark
12-03-2006 10:09 PM


Re: Ikiru
Looks like I have to catch up on Bergman as well :)

Had Netflix for a year, switched to Blockbuster due to a few movies Netflix lacked, will probably switch back to Netflix shortly, due to greater variety.

Breathless, yes. As to other French movies Wages of Fear, Rififfi, and 400 Blows are worth a viewing as well IMO.

Your analysis of who influenced who is dead on.


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Archer Opteryx
Member (Idle past 1676 days)
Posts: 1811
From: East Asia
Joined: 08-16-2006


Message 10 of 54 (367614)
12-04-2006 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by anglagard
12-03-2006 3:30 PM


art films
Here's raising another glass of sake to Kurosawa.

My personal favorite among directors is Krysztof Kieslowski. I recommend starting with the Three Colors trilogy, Blue, White, and Red, then working back to Double Life of Veronique and Decalogue and the others.

Kieslowski began by making documentaries. He came to a point in his work where he realized that the kind of searching he wanted to do into the inner lives of people might not be possible, or even ethical, using real subjects. He began using stories and actors to explore things further.

Good list of Bergman films here. I also liked Orpheus and Hour of the Wolf.

Seen any Ozon? Disturbing stuff. Check out Under the Sand for starters.

When everyone is fresh on all their art films, take another look at the most recent film version of Lolita (Jeremy Irons et al). The film is loaded with references to Bergman and others in the same way Nabukov's book is loaded with references to literature.

___

Edited by Archer Opterix, : Italics.


Archer

All species are transitional.


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Vacate
Member (Idle past 2679 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 11 of 54 (367619)
12-04-2006 2:27 AM


Though perhaps none of these would be considered "unknown gems" I consider them to be high up on my list of personal favourites.

hard candy
natural born killers
the usual suspects
lord of war
spy game

The usual suspects had a great plot and was very cleverly done. The others I found disturbing in their own ways.


  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 54 (367656)
12-04-2006 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Zawi
12-03-2006 3:48 PM


The Shining
The Shining is also very good; it’s the only film that has given me the spooks in my adulthood. The first time I saw it, I had a nightmare about those two little girls. But yes, very good film; it looks absolutely stunning, and it also features some subtle symbolism (such as the Native American theme).

I have some questions about that movie....

Was Jack Nicholson's character possesed by some kind of ghost of the hotel or something?

At the very end of the movie there is a zoom-out of an old black and white photo in the bar in the hotel with a bunch of people standing shoulder to shoulder posing for the camera, IIRC. At the bottom of the photo, kneeling down in front of the group is Jack Nicholson.

What is the meaning of that?

I think the picture took place a long time before Jack and his family moved in to the hotel, so it couldn't have been of him, personally, it was like he had been there in a previious life or something. Its been a long time since I've seen the movie and I could be remembering incorrectly about it but the mention of the movie made me remember that I never figured out the significance of that shot.

Does anyone know what photo/shot I'm typing about?
Can someone help me here with the meaning/significance of it?


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tudwell
Member (Idle past 4057 days)
Posts: 172
From: KCMO
Joined: 08-20-2006


Message 13 of 54 (367695)
12-04-2006 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by New Cat's Eye
12-04-2006 12:47 PM


Re: The Shining
Maybe it helps if you read the novel (or maybe it doesn't). Jack Nicholson's character was possessed not by a ghost of the hotel but by the hotel itself. Kinda like The Haunting of Hill House if you've ever read/seen that (probably where Stephen King got the inspiration). The photo at the end, I believe, is meant to show that Jack Nicholson's character is now apart of the hotel. I'm guessing the picture just sort of supernaturally changed to add him in once he was fully possessed by the hotel. Hope this helps. :)
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 54 (367708)
12-04-2006 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by tudwell
12-04-2006 4:06 PM


Re: The Shining
Jack Nicholson's character was possessed not by a ghost of the hotel but by the hotel itself.

Ok that makes sense. I haven't seen it in a while, are there any implications throughout the movie that it is the hotel, itself, that is doing the possessing? Does the movie (or novel for that matter) mention the hotel possessing other poeple before Jack's character?

The photo at the end, I believe, is meant to show that Jack Nicholson's character is now apart of the hotel. I'm guessing the picture just sort of supernaturally changed to add him in once he was fully possessed by the hotel. Hope this helps.

Yes that helps a lot, thank you.

His image has been added to the old photo, not that he was around at the time the photo was taken. That adds up.

I guess now when someone else starts tripping in that bar they might see Jack's character as well.

Cool movie.

I had a friend that had a license plate that read just "Room 367", IIRC (the actual room number might be different). It was the room in The Shining that those creepy twin little girls were hanging out in. Nobody ever really caught the reference but when he told them everyone pretty much had the same response: "Wiieerd...."

You guys got power in KC? We don't.


Science fails to recognize the single most potent element of human existence.
Letting the reigns go to the unfolding is faith, faith, faith, faith.
Science has failed our world.
Science has failed our Mother Earth.
-System of a Down, "Science"
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tudwell
Member (Idle past 4057 days)
Posts: 172
From: KCMO
Joined: 08-20-2006


Message 15 of 54 (367713)
12-04-2006 4:52 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by New Cat's Eye
12-04-2006 4:41 PM


Re: The Shining
are there any implications throughout the movie that it is the hotel, itself, that is doing the possessing? Does the movie (or novel for that matter) mention the hotel possessing other poeple before Jack's character?

Well, I haven't seen the movie or read the book in a few years, so I'm not sure if I can think of any specific examples, but I do remember that it was pretty clear in the novel that the hotel was the antagonist. In fact, IIRC, the hotel is actually only possessing Jack to acquire the boy's gift (i.e. the Shining).

I had a friend that had a license plate that read just "Room 367", IIRC (the actual room number might be different). It was the room in The Shining that those creepy twin little girls were hanging out in. Nobody ever really caught the reference but when he told them everyone pretty much had the same response: "Wiieerd...."

It's funny that the two little girls are one of the most memorable things about that movie because they weren't even in the novel. Nor was the blood rushing from the elevator, and a few other 'hauntings'. Still I found the novel much scarier.

You guys got power in KC? We don't.

Yeah, we have power. Everything's pretty fine here now. I got out of school two days last week due to the snow and ice, but most of it's melted by now. It's still really cold, though.


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