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Old February 26th 09, 04:10   #641
Chilli
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by hypatia View Post
What exactly would you be testing for here?
If I was too strange for said date or not. I'm guessing there are a lot of people out there that'd consider anyone that could enjoy this kind of movie a psycho. And I can't even say I disagree - I loved the movie, but felt entirely fucked up for enjoying it as much as I did.

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I am one of the female fans of this movie (I suspect there are not as many of us as there are male fans). I don't normally like gratuitous violence, and violent sex acts, or giant marble penis statue weapons in my entertainment. But a few things make that tolerable to me in this movie.

First of all, I was in college at the time that I first saw the movie. I had also been drinking.

Second of all, there actually was a reason, a very necessary reason, for all of that violence and sexual perversion in all of those scenes. That movie had me where it wanted me emotionally every second: I hated the protagonist when I was supposed to, I was bewildered when I was supposed to be, I felt oddly confused about what to feel for him, then I felt weird for feeling sympathy for him, then.... a kind of "what the hell am I supposed to feel about it now?!" by the end.
I'd say all the sexual violence and the such made sense just because it made no sense. Me saying this is probably a sign that I should go to sleep. But it was cool to see a movie depict hideous actions without really trying to explain them. Not even with mental illnesses or anything. They're just doing it all because they can. Which isn't too bad a characterization of loads teenage violence - that I've been subject to myself, too. (being beaten up by gang .. just because. They didn't take my wallet or anything. They just did it because they could.)

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Thirdly, as odd as it was for me at first, I loved the effect the modern slang had on the overall feel of the picture. I am not sure how to describe it. Made it feel even more "underground"? It seemed to put you into a world of gang mentality? I'm not sure.
Was just reading about the slang used in the movie, and the book - the reason the author chose to use bastardized Russian was mostly that he felt that if he'd try to write "standard" contemporary cool language, it'd feel dated awfully quickly. So it was a pragmatic choice, really.

It makes perfect sense, though. The slang used by the kids in the movie reminds me a lot of slang used by kids here, nowadays - throwing in English words at random places, usually incorrectly, mostly just to sound cool, with no practical reason whatsoever. If Russian was ever to be relevant in any way in England, it'd be absolutely realistic.
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Old February 26th 09, 15:04   #642
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Though I'd imagine it would be even more fun to use the movie as a litmus test for girls you're dating - see if they can sit through it without running away from you, screaming.
Some of my other cool test movies include American Psycho and Mullholland Drive.

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What exactly would you be testing for here?
Coolness

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I don't normally like gratuitous violence, and violent sex acts, or giant marble penis statue weapons in my entertainment.
That's OK, we still like you.
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Old February 26th 09, 17:59   #643
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Re: What are you watching now?

I actually watched it sober a fair few years ago and was not very shocked. I actually found it a bit twee and forced, epsecially all the penis / rape stuff. I also prefered McDowell in The Cat People when we was eyeing up his sister. Not sure what that says about me. That is one of my favoruite 70's horror / weird films.

I'd like to get my fiancee to watch it (clockwork orange), as she is also arty but squeamish. That usually gets fun results.
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Old February 26th 09, 18:28   #644
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by darth_librarian View Post
I also prefered McDowell in The Cat People when we was eyeing up his sister. Not sure what that says about me. That is one of my favoruite 70's horror / weird films.
I'll say what I think it says about you - I reckon you were transferring your own desires to McDowell's character because [FONT=arial,sans-serif]Nastassja Kinski was pretty hot.

I don't think you need to worry about a subconscious incestuous streak just yet..
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Old February 26th 09, 18:46   #645
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Re: What are you watching now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by darth_librarian View Post
I actually watched it sober a fair few years ago and was not very shocked. I actually found it a bit twee and forced, epsecially all the penis / rape stuff. I also prefered McDowell in The Cat People when we was eyeing up his sister. Not sure what that says about me. That is one of my favoruite 70's horror / weird films.

I'd like to get my fiancee to watch it (clockwork orange), as she is also arty but squeamish. That usually gets fun results.
There was a 1970s version of Cat People?
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Old February 27th 09, 07:00   #646
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Re: What are you watching now?

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There was a 1970s version of Cat People?
IMDb says it was 1982, but yes. I know of the film but have never gotten around to seeing it.

And Chilli: yes, I always figured that the point of all the gang violence/rape/beatings scenes in "A Clockwork Orange" was basically as you say: that there was no point to them. I saw it as an indication as to how vapid their whole scene was. As you say, they are not mugging someone for money, just to kill some time in a fun way. Malcom's character really shows how these are activities of pure joy to him the way he returns to his music to kind of finalize his night of pointless horrors.

It shows how the soul (if you will) has deteriorated. His gang isn't even unique. That's how much society has deteriorated. His parents are even a kind of vapid shell of parenthood.

It's all deteriorated into meaninglessness. If you get down to it, as horrible as the protagonist is, in some ways he seems deeper and more "philosophical" than the people around him. He savors the night's activities in a way that makes you face a horrible possibility: that he might be the deepest character in his world. That's even more horrifying in a way than his "crimes".

That's how I see it anyway.
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Old February 27th 09, 13:42   #647
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Re: What are you watching now?

As usual, full reviews can be found at,

Bill's Movie Emporium
http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/

Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Great film from a film maker I love in Jonathan Demme. The documentary style camera work really added to the realism of the story, but the main factor in how believable the story became were the three leads- Dewitt, Hathaway and Irwin. Plus, it was cool as heck to see DA Mike Powers from Reno 911! as the quite charming best man, Keiran. This film was funny in parts, emotional and outside of one paper plate it stayed true to itself and never went for too much melodrama.

Mars Attacks! (1996)
Mars Attacks! is certainly an imaginative film and there are moments when it is very funny and the surreal moments and imagery work. Unfortunately those moments are few and far between, instead a lot of the hammy acting and comedic moments fall flat. I felt the cast was too large and they focused on the human characters too much without ever actually doing anything with them. More time with the Martians and their cool CGI would have been a better choice.

Chung Hing Sam Lam (1994)
My first exposure to Kar Wai Wong, and this is a movie that was on my to watch list for years so I'm happy to have finally seen it and don't know for the life of me why I ever out it off for so long. As much as I do love visually appealing movies I've never been a big fan of the visual style over story substance film making, but Chung Hing Sam Lam is such a visual treat and tells its story through its visuals that the depth was in its style and not in its story. Faye Wong is like the ultimate manic pixie dream girl, Tony Leung is amazing, this entire movie is amazing.

Hotaru No Haka (1988)
Devastating, utterly devastating. This film had me bawling at the end, and while I'm not some sort of tough guy I'm also not one for crying. There are moments of happiness in joy in this film, but they just serve to make it all the more depressing because it becomes obvious at some point that there is only one way for Hotaru to end. By the time you get there it has ripped your guts out and put a hot poker through your heart, it is that emotionally devastating, and in an honest way there isn't any manipulation on display here. Hotaru is also one of those rare beautifully disgusting film, because the animation is so wonderfully rendered and their are moments of actual beauty but then you realize that the disgusting moments are rendered just as marvelously and are just as beautiful and you are in for a world of hurt yet again.

Der Untergang (2004)
So yeah, WWII buff, realistic film about Hitler, me likey! The best element about Der Untergang is the one thing that most people complained about, the humanization of Adolf Hitler. Bruno Ganz turns in a great performance as Hitler, making sure we see the paranoia and the delusion, but most importantly that he was human and not some alien monster, and that makes him all the more evil. Otherwise a beautiful looking film with superb set design and cinematography.

Suchmubi (2004)
Suchmubi is just a tiny bit better than Otomo's most famous work, Akira, but that's not saying a lot. From an animation standpoint the first two thirds do look outstanding with incredible detail and design ideas. The use of steam was also quite intelligent and innovative, but that's where the fun stops. The story is nonsense, the final act is a long battle that means nothing, with terrible cuts all over the place, character turns that are ridiculous and a final message that is frankly idiotic. Yet another lackluster work from Otomo, if only he could reign in his great ideas he would be a fantastic film maker.

Das Boot (Director's Cut) (1981)
Das Boot was long, really long, but it never felt long. This was very much a horror thriller, with the sub representing the horrors of being trapped both physically and metaphorically. The action scenes and subsequent aftermaths were layered with suspense, the ending was ironic but not too melodramatic, all in all a great picture.

Solyaris (1972)
My major complaint with Solyaris was that the characters felt so distant because of how detached the story was and because of how long it took to get going. I enjoyed the various ruminations on life and man, but I didn't think what was presented was strong enough to make up for the lack of a cohesive story. Still, a good movie.

Gandhi (1982)
I recently watched My Left Foot, an example of how great a biopic can be when it steers away from going into exaltation mode. Gandhi does not avoid that pitfall and instead of presenting a portrayal of Gandhi the man it presents Gandhi the super being that no one can relate to. I found this far too sentimental and manipulative for my liking, but it ended up getting high marls because it moved along rather fast, was engaging and Ben Kingsley really nailed the look and physicality of the role.

Do The Right Thing (1989)
I have no problem with the ending, unlike a lot of people. I thought Lee did a well enough job of highlighting racial issues, although the absence of drugs in the landscape was very false. Still, for as colorful and splashy as the visual style was I felt it also left a lot to be desired. Too many characters and none of them are ever given enough time to develop, so the story never matches up to the themes. When Sal and his sons end up more developed than every "minority" character in a movie about race then I think Lee misfired along the way. Great music though, Public Enemy are still awesome, although playing Flava's 911 Is A Joke when the police arrive would have been choice.
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Old February 27th 09, 15:29   #648
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Re: What are you watching now?

Cat People is awesome. Good, cheesey, early 80's awesome goodness.
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Old February 27th 09, 15:55   #649
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Do The Right Thing (1989)
I have no problem with the ending, unlike a lot of people. I thought Lee did a well enough job of highlighting racial issues, although the absence of drugs in the landscape was very false. Still, for as colorful and splashy as the visual style was I felt it also left a lot to be desired. Too many characters and none of them are ever given enough time to develop, so the story never matches up to the themes. When Sal and his sons end up more developed than every "minority" character in a movie about race then I think Lee misfired along the way. Great music though, Public Enemy are still awesome, although playing Flava's 911 Is A Joke when the police arrive would have been choice.
I recommend finding a copy of the Criterion edition of this movie. I'm usually not one for extras, but given the impact this film had in pop culture and making Lee the icon he'd become, it's a movie worth looking into- how it was made, the reaction, etc. Lee addresses the criticism that drugs were not shown (basically he felt it was condescending to HAVE to show drugs with EVERY depiction of urban life, as if that's all there was to it. Not every can be about everything and the focus of DtRT was community).

I also disagree that the black characters weren't as developed. Lee's character was- the problem was Lee's acting. His gf and sister were as well. Those three, along with Ayelo's character, are the core of the story and therefore the most layered, while everybody represents embodies a characteristic of the neighborhood. So you get this mix of "real" people and slightly exaggerated archetypes.

I personally enjoy his very early movies- raw, jagged, amateurish, like DtRT and School Daze (his first and a really great film) over his later slick major productions.
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Old March 2nd 09, 07:46   #650
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Re: What are you watching now?

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Originally Posted by Chilli View Post
Meanwhile, I watched A Clockwork Orange for the first time.

I'm fucked up for life.
Next time you watch it, prop your eyes open with toothpicks...
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