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RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 23/2/2014 8:47:03 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5178
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK


Last night, I attended the Nymphomaniac One Night Stand live event in Glasgow. 72 cinemas across the UK were screening both volumes of Lars von Trier's 4-hour epic. Bold, striking, powerful, and wickedly funny, von Trier directs with such confidence and flair, it really is an outstanding piece of work. Uma Thurman practically steals the film with a tremendous performance that lasts all of 10 minutes, but kudos must go to Stacy Martin as Young Joe, she is truly remarkable.

It's not for everyone, the unsimulated sex scenes are explicit, but the film is cinema at its most profound. Like von Trier's previous films, it will divide and cause debate.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15421
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 25/2/2014 6:19:29 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera




The film has its flaws. Charles Wain's electronic Jean Michel-Jarre-style score is sometimes a little annoying, a few scenes come across as being jarringly on the nose when compared with the ambiguity and subtlety of the rest, and the low budget occasionally shows more than it should, but it's still quite a fascinating piece of work nonetheless that deserves to be better known. It's perhaps Weir's most underrated, a rare example of a film that both evokes the time it was made in and is still relevant today. It's also a good example of a movie which may actually seem scarier after you've seen it rather than during. The next time I look out of the window and see yet more rain and see pictures of half of Somerset underwater, I know I'm going to have a chill go down my spine that moment.

Rating: 8/10

I'd go for 7/10 for this one but agree it sticks in your head after you've watched it, and that's when it really chills the bones, a fine review of a forgotten cult classic, from a director that is hit and miss right through his career.
quote:


 
There is a lot to say about Her, and a lot to like, but I canít help feeling that much of the praise directed at it is because itís so timely and what it is saying about us now. The script could have done with some work in the latter half and, while its feeling of sterility is part of the point, itís a bit monotonous and distant. Itís still a must-see though Ė despite its stars Iím amazed to see such an offbeat film hit most of the multi-plexes, and we should support this fact Ė and will provide much food for thought, while its first half hour is almost perfect. While it takes place in the near future, it also feels totally of the Ďnowí, Jonze totally hitting on something, and in that respect it can be termed a major success.

Rating: 7/10

I think i'll wait till this turns up on loveFilm as good as it sounds by your review mate, saying that not seen to many good films that I would be tempted to write, seems I've been picking average to shit films to watch this past two weeks.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15422
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 25/2/2014 6:24:50 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul.mccluskey



Last night, I attended the Nymphomaniac One Night Stand live event in Glasgow. 72 cinemas across the UK were screening both volumes of Lars von Trier's 4-hour epic. Bold, striking, powerful, and wickedly funny, von Trier directs with such confidence and flair, it really is an outstanding piece of work. Uma Thurman practically steals the film with a tremendous performance that lasts all of 10 minutes, but kudos must go to Stacy Martin as Young Joe, she is truly remarkable.

It's not for everyone, the unsimulated sex scenes are explicit, but the film is cinema at its most profound. Like von Trier's previous films, it will divide and cause debate.

Now this might just be the cure for the lack of daring Cinema I feel is lacking at the moment, and yeah i'm sure this will cause more than a few raised eyebrows. Plus I see it's on at the QFT Belfast this Friday, so looking good for a night out at the cinema, even at 4 hours long.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 15423
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 25/2/2014 6:33:44 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: dannyfletch

I don't remember the whole film but I do indeed remember that horrifying ending and the fact that the whole film pretty much creeped me right out! Arrow need to do a reissue ASAP, like their recent Big Trouble in Little China transfer!

Yeah PRINCE OF DARKNESS is a creepy superb Carpenter film, that needs a re master and put on too the new shiny disc, lets hope it happens soon.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to dannyfletch)
Post #: 15424
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 25/2/2014 9:19:18 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth from a distant planet. He meets with leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth and, with his assistance, uses the advanced technology of his home world to patent many inventions on Earth, quickly acquiring incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate, World Enterprises Corporation. While revisiting New Mexico, he meets Mary-Lou, a lonely, unloved, and simple girl who works as a maid, bell-hop, and elevator operator in a small hotel. She introduces Newton to many customs of Earth, including church-going, alcohol, and sex, and they live together, but Newton is haunted by memories of his family and his drought-filled home planetÖ.

This weird and wonderful film is to me the greatest film dealing with the subject of an alien from another world coming to ours. Itís an astoundingly visionary work which would have serious trouble getting made in todayís film world [though we have recently had the brilliant folly that was Cloud Atlas, so occasionally stuff like this does still get through] and can probably be called the definition of a cult film. Itís infuriatingly vague, absurdly laid-back, extremely pretentious, full of seemingly gratuitous aspects like sex and almost constant music from an incredible variety of sources, and goes out of its way to avoid the usual things you would expect in a story like this such as special effects and thrills: in fact, it doesnít appear to try to appeal to a mass audience at all, yet the era it was made in was full of directors trying to make great films and not seeming to care whether other people would like them. In terms of the more recent decades, I always say that the 80ís were the most fun for movies and the 70ís the most artistic and daring. Nicolas Roeg, for a while, was for me one of the greatest directors in cinema, making five annoying, brilliant pictures which I never tire of revisiting: Performance [co-directed with Donald Cammell], Walkabout, Donít Look Now, this one, and Bad Timing. After this, his work stayed interesting for some time though he never attained those giddy heights again. For me, those five films are a perfect example of what can happen when a film-maker with amazing talent sets out to make a picture primarily for the pleasure of one person: himself. Sometimes this can result in absolute garbage, but sometimes the stuff of genius can result too.

This film was based on a novel of the same name by Walter Tevis. Paul Mayersbergís screenplay does actually follow its basic plot quite closely, though it makes it considerably less clear. Newtonís mission is quite clear in the book, but in the film you only learn bits and pieces and have to try to fill in the gaps for yourself, something not very easy in a film which seems to make understanding matters as difficult as possible. Mayersberg added many characters and details, and also included many things like countless pop culture references,though Tevisís themes do remain. Peter Oí Toole turned down the title role and David Bowie stepped in. He was totally off his head during filming with around ten grams of cocaine in him every day, and later said he had no idea of what was being made, though he was never any trouble. Largely shooting in New Mexico, the production stalled with Bowie being ill from drinking bad milk, cameras jamming and a group of Hellís Angels camping nearby. Bowie was supposed to do the music, but legal wrangles prevented this, though some of the material he did write turned up on his album Low. Paramount were supposed to distribute the film but after the studio head Barry Diller saw it he refused to pay for it, saying it was not the movie he had asked for [what on earth did he think it was going to be like, with Roeg, Mayersberg and Bowie on board?]. British Lion sued Paramount and won a small settlement, though Cinema V ended up distributing it. It did make its money back, becoming a hit in certain countries like Japan, and quickly became a cult favourite. A pilot for a planned TV series, also based on the novel, was made in 1987. Iíve never had the inclination to see it.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this film has existed in many forms over the years, the original US release losing twenty minutes, removing much of the sex and stranger scenes, leading one critic to call it pretty conventional sci-fi, which it certainly isnít! Later releases gradually restored more and more to the film and the full version is the only one in full circulation now. I used to assume that UK versions were always uncut, because the version I used to have as a teenager copied off UK TV [any other readers old enough to remember Moviedrome, introduced by Alex Cox? I consider it an important milestone in really opening my eyes about cinema] certainly impressed me with its sexuality, perversity and oddness, but later I discovered that one scene had been cut down [sparing me the sight of Bowieís penis] and another one darkened. Though it doesnít matter now, considering the uncut version is usually shown and widely available on DVD and Blu-ray, itís always strange when a version of a film you fell in love with is discovered to not actually not the full one, and fall in love with it I did, because, as you often do when youíre young and really discovering cinema, this was one film I used to watch very frequently.

Now to enjoy this film [and a great many people donít and still wonít no matter how long I rave about it for] you really have be prepared from the offset for several things, unless youíre like me and sometimes like to dive in without knowing much at all. Firstly, the film is slow. Its basically simple [if seemingly complicated] story takes forever to really get underway and even then takes things at a fairly meditative pace. Rather than action, the tale is told more in dialogue scenes which often seem to stress certain lines, though this stressing sometimes goes nowhere. Though we see Newtonís now-desert world and his family struggling to survive, thereís little urgency. Newton remains weak and even placid throughout. Secondly, aside from the basic story not being made very clear, the picture is full of bits of business which donít make much sense and are just damn weird, and thatís without going into how itís unclear whether some scenes are flashbacks, happening simultaneously or even real. We are told that other visitors are around, but we donít see themÖ.or do we [whoís that man watching Newton at the start and is he the same man watching him near the end?]? I always think of the bizarre scene where Newton and Mary-Lou in a car and a pioneer family from several centuries before seem to briefly see each other, but thereís peculiar detail in every scene, from assassins who wear sparkly gold helmets to faces but not fashions changing over what seems like 30 years while Newton remains young. I suppose the latter may just be part of the filmís curiously lo-fi attitude to its science-fiction elements. Space travel is represented by stock shots. The aliens on Anthea [though itís never named in the film, and maybe it's Mars?] wear body suits to conserve water and seem to live in a hunting lodge with sheets for wings that travels on a rail. When Newton reveals himself, heís simply a man with cat eyes and from the looks of it, no penis.

Then thereís the obsession with peopleís sexuality. We donít need to see Nathan Bryce, the teacher who becomes Newtonís confidante, sleeping with his students and two of them telling him heís not a bit like their father [?], but I suppose it adds more detail into a film where in terms of narrative you could probably cut out half of it but youíd lose something too, and watching the film this time it did seem that Bryce and Newton switch roles in the course of the story, Newton taking Bryceís appetite for unconventional sex, using it as a weapon of power and control, and Bryce taking on Newtonís vulnerability. Beautiful eroticism showing Newtonís and Mary-Louís lovemaking early oncontrast with perverse sexual gunplay later, showing how the characters and their feelings have changed, and then thereís that incredible scene where Newton reveals himself to Mary-Lou, she is terrified and wets herself, then becomes sexually curious and tries to make love to him before giving up. Candy Clark is superb in this scene, really making her situation and emotions believable, while the music brilliantly runs alongside the scene, moving from slow discordant chords to a slow rock instrumental which gets more and more intense until it reaches a climax. The whole sequence is one of the greatest in science-fiction cinema, hell, itís one of the greatest in cinema itself, encompassing so many different emotions [fear, curiosity, embarrassment ], cleverly shot, skilfully edited [often intercutting the main action with footage of what I guess is supposed to be Newton and his alien wife having sex, though itís not clear], superbly scored, intelligently acted, daring, yet in a strange way relatable, and in the end very very sad.

The Man Who Fell To Earth is a very sad film. Newton, who seems very much like a much weaker-willed Jesus [and I have no doubt Roeg and Mayersberg intended this] quickly falls prey to earthly vices, the most damaging of which seems to be drink, and ends up being betrayed by those closest to him. This weak, almost anaemic alien, who seems to be able to see things taking place in different locations but fails to notice when his mission is getting endangered and cannot even travel in a car faster than 45 mph, is treated horribly, though he does have a certain arrogance which doesnít help. Thereís much commentary of the cruelty of modern society, the misplaced fear of the unknown, the evils of television [ďthe thing about television is that it never tells you anythingĒ], in fact thereís probably too much commentary in this film, Roeg and Mayersberg trying to do too much, but isnít that praise-worthy in an industry when increasingly more films donít try and do enough? Sometimes it all seems like just an excuse for editor Graeme Clifford to put together montages, like when Newton has loads of TVs in his house and itís driving him mad yet heís addicted, and the film only just about gets away with things like having a crucial scene from The Third Man playing paralleling what has really been happening, but when you love a piece of art, you love what you clearly see are the imperfections as well as all the great things in it, and despite its peculiarities and overload of ideas, The Man Who Fell To Earth has great heart in it too. In particular, the relationship between Newton and Mary-Lou, the simple, heavy-drinking girl who seems to fall in love with him the minute she meets him despite him bleeding, passing out and being sick, is genuinely sweet and eventually very moving.

David Bowie is simply perfect in the title role: he looks alien-like anyway without any make-up. His androgenous looks and English accent are enough, he doesnít need to act that much, and probably he wasnít, considering his fragile state of mind at the time he made it. Heís so interesting to watch that one forgets how incompetent his character actually is. Candy Clark, who really gives the standout performance, actually played him in one scene and itís impossible to tell. Anthony B. Richmondís photography is stunning, somehow managing to convey what earth would look like to an alien. There is a beautiful scene early on where, to Holstís Venus from The Planets, a city at night becomes a city at daytime and just a few perfectly chosen shots convey the world that Newton is now in. The soundtrack, even without Bowie, is outstanding. Itís a great example of how pop songs can work really well in a film, but there are also some superb instrumental pieces, some of them by the amazingly underrated Stomu Yamashta, like the heartbreakingly gorgeous love theme for Newton and Mary-Lou and the atmospheric, haunting piece heard whenever we see Newtonís planet. There are times in this film when it seems choreographed to the music, so perfectly is it applied. Sadly a soundtrack album has never been released though most of the pieces in what is a huge and diverse collage of music can be found.

The Man Who Fell To Earth is a film that seems fresh every time I see it, but itís often deliberately obscure and certainly not for all tastesÖ.but then what films are? I know people who donít like Star Wars or The Shawshank Redemption even though that is probably inexplicable to many. This haunting, puzzling, endlessly fascinating film might be very odd, but like many of the great films it says things about us and our society, even if those things are not very nice. ďWeíd have probably done the same to you if youíd come over to our placeĒ says Newton in the filmís superbly succinct and really moving final scene. The movieís final lines are: ďI think Mr Newton has had enoughĒ, and: ďI think he probably hasĒ, but I can never get enough of this endlessly beguiling, magnificent, foolhardy motion picture.

Rating: 9.5/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15425
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 27/2/2014 9:34:35 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera


.

The Man Who Fell To Earth is a film that seems fresh every time I see it, but it's often deliberately obscure and certainly not for all tastesÖ.but then what films are? I know people who don't like Star Wars or The Shawshank Redemption even though that is probably inexplicable to many. This haunting, puzzling, endlessly fascinating film might be very odd, but like many of the great films it says things about us and our society, even if those things are not very nice. "We'd have probably done the same to you if you'd come over to our placeĒ says Newton in the film's superbly succinct and really moving final scene. The movie's final lines are: "I think Mr Newton has had enoughĒ, and: "I think he probably hasĒ, but I can never get enough of this endlessly beguiling, magnificent, foolhardy motion picture.

Rating: 9.5/10

I too remember Moviedrome, introduced by Alex Cox, it was on a Sunday night on BBC 2, and like you this is where I saw this wonderful truly weird film, among many other great cult films that where introduced by Alex. He helped make me realise there where lots of films out there that refused to fit main stream tastes, and I loved the way he gave a short history of the making of each film, noting on the box like that anymore. And this film never even turns up on late night TV anymore( Cable, Satellite or Freeview), maybe because it is so different, so out of the box, yet it is as you have pointed out an superbly directed, edited and written film, that is moving and still stands up today as a classic cult film like my favourite Nicolas Roeg film:
 
DON'T LOOK NOW (1973)
 


A grieving English couple to go to Venice, where the past continues to plague them. John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and his wife Laura (Julie Christie) are in mourning for their young daughter, who drowned tragically near their home. John takes a job in Venice so that the couple can leave the past behind, but, unfortunately, the past is not easily forgotten. While John begins to see unsettling visions of a young girl in a red coat running through the Venice streets, Laura learns from an elderly psychic that her husband is in grave danger.

This British-Italian horror film, directed by Nicolas Roeg became famous for a sex scene that was unusually graphic for the time,including a rare portrayal of oral sex, involving Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. Rumours that Sutherland and Christie actually had sex have persisted for years, even being repeated recently, though both still denied such talk. The scene was an unscripted last minute improvisation by Roeg who felt that without it there would be too many scenes of the couple arguing, and so reduce the impact of there loss, and love for each other. It is edited in an unorthodox but typical Roeg manner with the footage of the act inter-cut with footage of the couple getting dressed for dinner afterward, which makes it the most realistic love scene ever filmed .Nicolas Roeg based this movie on a short story by  Daphne Du Maurier, and also reportedly the death of one of his own children??,in his first marriage. This is a movie about Greif and the strongest of this is the loss of a child, which sadly i too have experienced some time ago, and of course has meant this film more than any other has highly emotional for me. This is a film that deals with loss of love, death, the afterlife, murder, blindness, religion and dwarfism and so much more, it is a haunting thriller that confirmed the director's status as a true visionary, and one of the all time great British directors.


DON'T LOOK NOW is one of the most daring and influential motion pictures of the 1970s,that has greatly influenced modern day directors like Scott, Tarantino, Lynch to name but a few. From Pino Donaggio's atmospheric score to Graeme Clifford's superb editing , Roeg's film is a stylistic achievement with that European feel and Italian flare. Sutherland and Christie are outstanding(maybe there best roles ever)as their typical phenomenal selves playing the bereaved, devastated couple. As the film opens, we see a placid little pond, and disjointed, dreamy editing and cinematography that combine to form an unsettling scene of two kids playing. A young boy is riding around on his bike, and a little girl in a red mackintosh is frolicking around. We then see the parents of the children, John and Laura Baxter , sitting comfortably inside by the fire, John working on some photo slides. Something is wrong, though we can feel it and it's only started. The film's editing style eerily merges the slowly mounting events outside as the boy's bike hits some glass and John's drink crashes on the table. Before we know it, the Baxter's daughter has plunged into the pond and the Baxters are left with a dead daughter.

The movie then jumps to Venice, a setting that provides the film with a strong sense of the imposing, Gothic majesty of the churches, but also an ominous sense of other worldliness. In a foreign land with different customs, culture and architecture, the characters feel and look lost, but yet the mysterious, unknown element of the new setting provides a sense of hope, of escape from overpowering grief. Where John can use his work to help him rekindle a feeling of moving on, and with his wife Laura maybe rekindle the love/life that was shattered, and so both can once again laugh and love without guilt. The director has used a number of tricks to emphasize certain details, which may have no meaning at the time, but their re-occurrence throughout the film adds to the haunting atmosphere, and builds to one of the most unnerving endings in cinema history. It's like the many layers of an onion, it keeps getting deeper with each scene, yet seeming to reveal very little, and this is the directors trick, he has us hooked from the opening heart breaking scene, and will use this again as the film moves on. Like his beat work Performance Walkabout  and Man Who Fell To Earth, this is far deeper than you think, and he is in no rush to bring it to a end, or even give to much away, for this is a film that needs repeated viewing to fully understand.

It's a film that is not afraid to move from drama to thriller, and then throw in the supernatural chiller badge, just when you felt you understood where it was going, this is brilliantly done when after the famous love making scene, we see Laura on her own. The morning after in a restaurant, Laura is encounted by a mysterious, psychic, blind woman who assures her that her daughter is 'happy.' Laura tells her husband this, but John is a staunch non-believer in things of the sort, he is a rational man and only believes in what he can see and touch. Later we see him being warned he is in great danger, but he chooses to ignore this mad blind woman and tells her to keep away from him and his wife. Yet he see's a figure in red that could be his Daughter, but that can't be, yet he follows, and we too follow as if trapped by the web of this intense script, yet knowing where it is leading us. As the film contains numerous amount of plot strands that seem to have no real connection yet they do, like the mysterious figure in a red coat who begins to appear around Venice, paranormal themes emerge along with vision's of past or are they future events. Dead bodies are being found in the canals, a killer's on the loose, and the blind woman/prophet continually warns of John's in pending danger, very Gallio in places.

Films made in the tone of Don't Look Now are so rare these days, the way it drifts along at a wandering pace, never letting you the viewer get easy answers to why it jumps at the start then slows way down. Yet it works so well, with the superb script, that weaves a tight web that entraps you, giving the main leads lots to feed off and then there's the use of the canals of Venice in Autumn is just so creepy it melts in with the strange Blind woman's visions, that then become Laura's too. And then the film moves up a gear in the final twenty minutes as all the plot strands link together, and these are among the most atmospheric and suspenseful twenty minutes in any film ever, culminating in a montage that is absolutely chilling, and a bloody climax that left me shaking. It is the most adult horror picture i've ever encountered, or indeed can even imagine, it's superbly chilling essay in the supernatural terror. That brilliantly portrays the loves and losses we all experience at some time in our lives, and how our lives are also dictated by the fallibility of human nature and the cruelties of time. This without doubt one of the definitive mystery chillers of all time, that is just as good today to watch as when it was made, a true masterpiece of British cinema and Roeg's finest film of his career, and did for Venice what Jaws did for swimming in the sea. 10/10

< Message edited by evil bill -- 27/2/2014 9:46:55 PM >


_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15426
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 28/2/2014 2:31:22 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
I can never decide which is better: I suppose Don't Look Now is the slightly superior film really, it's more controlled and less self-indulgent, though I prefer TMWFTE a little, maybe because it was the first Roeg film I saw. Don't look Now's ending freaked the hell out of me as a teenager, I hated seeing long red macs for ages and, guess what?, I went on my first date with the lady who's now my wife and she turned up in a bloody long red mac exactly the same as in the film.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15427
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 1/3/2014 4:57:24 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3251
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
I was due to attend the One Night Stand of NYMPH()MANIAC last Saturday night but ended up going to see Prince instead!

So, I watched Vol. 1 last night and I'm going to see Vol. 2 tonight... I'm glad I didn't go to the full 4hrs now cos I think it would have been a bit of a long slog. I can only comment on Vol. 1 at present but it's good, works very nicely as a companion piece to MELANCHOLIA. Despite its title, the film really is not that explicit sexually and it's not until the final scene that we even see any penetration. By Lars von Triers standards the film is positively conservative and there are far more shocking and explicit scenes in ANTICHRIST and THE IDIOTS. Vol. 1 is very much a film about the interplay between nature and humanity, as well as female empowerment. I'm intrigued to see where Vol. 2 goes.

VOL. 1... Overall: 4/5

< Message edited by losthighway -- 1/3/2014 4:58:35 PM >


_____________________________

The secret to becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15428
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 3/3/2014 6:23:19 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

I can never decide which is better: I suppose Don't Look Now is the slightly superior film really, it's more controlled and less self-indulgent, though I prefer TMWFTE a little, maybe because it was the first Roeg film I saw. Don't look Now's ending freaked the hell out of me as a teenager, I hated seeing long red macs for ages and, guess what?, I went on my first date with the lady who's now my wife and she turned up in a bloody long red mac exactly the same as in the film.

Fear at first sight then!!!Still your together now but would you dare visit Venice during the Autumn, I know I won't, and no bloody way with the wife in a RED MACK!!!!! 
Roeg was a brilliant director, up there with the best in his time and Don't Look Now was his masterpiece, I feel it's a shame, but his later work never got to the same heights as his early work, and I think he got lazy and now is just average.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15429
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 3/3/2014 6:27:07 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: losthighway

I was due to attend the One Night Stand of NYMPH()MANIAC last Saturday night but ended up going to see Prince instead!

So, I watched Vol. 1 last night and I'm going to see Vol. 2 tonight... I'm glad I didn't go to the full 4hrs now cos I think it would have been a bit of a long slog. I can only comment on Vol. 1 at present but it's good, works very nicely as a companion piece to MELANCHOLIA. Despite its title, the film really is not that explicit sexually and it's not until the final scene that we even see any penetration. By Lars von Triers standards the film is positively conservative and there are far more shocking and explicit scenes in ANTICHRIST and THE IDIOTS. Vol. 1 is very much a film about the interplay between nature and humanity, as well as female empowerment. I'm intrigued to see where Vol. 2 goes.

VOL. 1... Overall: 4/5

Looking forward to hear what you have to say about Vol 2, and yeah it's a long slog to watch all 4 hours, but then there's no filmmaker like Lars so it's worth the bum ache, and i'll do a write up later in the week, and 8/10 for Vol 1 is my score.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15430
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 3/3/2014 8:44:07 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 650
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
Love this film and it is definitely my favourite of Roeg's excellent films. David Bowie was definitely the perfect choice to play the eccentric E.T and the films weird feel and visuals truly put it in a world of its own making it feel more alien then anything Spielberg has produced! I think Don't Look now comes in second place for me, another remarkable film that isn't just a horror as I found it deeply moving and quite sad!

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15431
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 4/3/2014 8:23:36 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

Struggling actor Jake Scully loses his role as a vampire in a low-budget horror movie after his claustrophobia thwarts shooting. He returns home to discover his girlfriend cheating on him, so Scully is left without a place to stay. At a method acting class, he meets Sam, who says Jake can house-sit in his mansion in the Hollywood Hills. Sam is especially ecstatic about one feature: a female neighbour, Gloria Revelle, who erotically dances at a specific time each night. Sam has even set up a telescope, which Scully canít resist using voyeuristically to watch her. One night, he sees Gloria being abused by a boyfriend and, when she goes shopping the next day, Scully decides to follow her, but someone else also seems to be watching and pursuing herÖ.

Though itís a film that many fans of director Brian De Palma rate amongst their favourites, Iím not going to make any claims for Body Double to be amongst his best work such as Carrie, Dressed To Kill or Scarface. In many ways though, itís almost the ultimate De Palma film, the film where all his obsessions, skill and faults [and yes, even Iíll admit he has them] are most easily on display. If you want to get an overview of the manís work and neither want to see more than one film nor are bothered about seeing something that doesnít have a few serious issues, Body Double is perhaps the one to see. Though he made the comedy Home Movies, Body Double is perhaps the first major De Palma film that he seems to have made primarily for himself and his fans, rather than for a mass audience. He would do this later on with Raising Cain, Femme Fatale and his latest work, Passion. Reduced to its basic level, itís basically a combination of Rear Window and Vertigo, but with an Ď18í certificate. The former had already influenced Sisters, and Obsession borrowed a bit from the latter. The difference here is that De Palma seems to be imitating himself imitating Hitchcock. What we see is a great filmmaker having a huge amount of fun, cheekily winking at the audience while getting away with stuff many others wouldnít. Itís not as good as the two films it mostly borrows from, but it is a hugely entertaining, if extremely silly, suspense thriller rife with De Palmaís bravura style and filled with his sheer love of film-making.

De Palma didnít originally intend to direct the film. It was written by Robert Averich and the idea was for him to direct it with De Palma acting as producer. De Palma was more interested in directing a biopic of a rock star to be played by John Travolta and a film about the murder of American labour leader Joseph Yablonski whose death led to significant reforms in the union. These projects fell through so De Palma decided to make Body Double himself. He re-wrote much of the script and intended to include hardcore porn scenes and cast porn star Annette Haven as ĎHolly Bodyí, but Columbia nipped this in the bud. Tatum OíNeal, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carrie Fisher, Brooke Shields and Linda Hamilton all turned down the same role until Melanie Griffith came on board. Meanwhile Dennis Franz based his portrayal of ĎRubin the Directorí on De Palma himself. Despite attracting some of the usual crap about De Palma degrading women, Body Double was a failure at the box office. In the UK, five seconds were cut from a scene where Holly tells Jake what she canít Ďdoí, and the end credits darkened slightly earlier to remove the sight of blood on a womanís breasts [the BBFC always used to cut this because it supposedly encouraged rapists]. Bizarrely, Sky TV used to include the cut material but removed shots from the central murder scene. Of course itís uncut now, though rumours still surface of uncut sex footage which I personally doubt are true.

Body Double begins with a scene from a Ďfilmí called Vampireís Kiss [no relation to the Nicolas Cage film of the same title that came out a few years later], with actor Jake done up in glam rock garb. Jakeís claustrophobia [not vertigo, though the fear of heights is actually acrophobia, which then leads to vertigo, which is dizziness] prevents him from getting out of his coffin. He loses his job, girlfriend and home in quick succession, and, though heís a little bland, star Craig Wasson actually does quite a good job of portraying an ordinary Hitchcock-style Ďeverymaní whom the audience can relate to. He soon becomes fascinated by the sexy neighbour who does a highly erotic dance routine every night, and though not really explicit, itís rather erotic nonetheless and expertly backed up by a synthesiser and wordless female vocal music track from composer Pino Donaggio which screams Cheesy 80ís Erotic Thriller but which you probably wonít get out of your mind for weeks. The next half an hour is probably the best in the film, as Jake decides to follow this mysterious woman who seems to have an abusive husband, a lover and a creepy Indian [in the days before they were rightfully called Native Americans] following her around, in the process clearly becoming infatuated. De Palma turns a few minutes of a man following and spying on a woman into a dreamy ballet of movement and sensation, Donaggioís music, rich with longing and every now and again becoming dark, being allowed to dominate the sound mix.

Body Double does not actually have much violence in it. With the exception of a gory biting from Vampireís Kiss, the only scene of brutality is a murder with a drill, but what a murder it is! De Palma racks up the tension to an almost unbearable degree as the killer tries to strangle his victim with a wire from a drill [why doesnít he just use his murder weapon properly from the offset?], then attempts to properly Ďdrillí her as Jake tries to get to her and is thwarted by her dog. The sequence is expertly put together and even manages some black humour [the killer holds the drill between his legs, De Palmaís way of saying ď**** youĒ to feminists, and the drillís plug being pulled out of the socket, something that would probably actually happen] and irony, while leaving the viewer with the feeling that he or she has witnessed more graphic gore than they actually have [something this director is often very good at, much like Hitchcock]. After this breathtaking set-piece, the film never quite reaches the same level, and the warmed-over Vertigo plot doesnít end up as very convincing, but the wry depiction of the world of pornographic movie-making, which at one weird point turns into a Frankie Goes To Hollywood video [itís often said that there is a mistake in this scene, but seeing the reflection of a camera crew is clearly intentional to me and makes sense in context], feels spot-on.

Body Double is sometimes ludicrous. Jake pretends to be a porn director by slicking back his hair and wearing leather trousers in seeming imitation of the main character [also called Jake] in Hardcore. The monstrous-looking Indian that lurks around for some of the movie looks laughably conspicuous. Jake and Gloria kiss and Ďmake outí with Vertigoís revolving camera and very obvious back projection, on a beach in full view of anyone who would pass by. The ending seems to jump ahead too rapidly in time though there is a school of thought that what we think we have seen is not actually what has happened. Certainly the final set-piece, where things seem to occur non-linearly, would add weight to that. Throughout de Palma dips in different genres [such as porno, film noir, slasher], constantly cheats the audience, and is hoping said audience is in on what is partly a bit of a joke. There are of course two main downsides to this. Firstly, if youíre not on De Palmaís wavelength, his film may just come across as absurd and even fake-seeming. Secondly, Body Double is a little cold, us not being allowed to care for the characters as much as we might. The latter can be contrasted with Obsession, which went down similar pathways for some of the time. That film was almost as silly and even more overwrought, but was far more touching and We Care.

The stand-out performance in the film is really by Melanie Griffith, even if, after weíve seen her wearing very little throughout, she seems a bit awkward when eventually walking around fully clothed. She gives her character, porn star Holly Body, a wonderful mixture of child-like innocence and jaded experience. Sheís kind of a male fantasy figure Ė someone you could take her round to meet your parents as well as have the best time ever with, but Griffith makes her quite believable. Stephen H. Burumís cinematography is as graceful as usual and makes some striking use of colour towards the end, while Iíve already mentioned Donaggioís fantastic score, a delirious melding of Bernard Herrmann with 80ís-style synth work. Body Double really is a weird one to totally nail. It occasionally flirts with sophistication like a bit of satire on show business, yet probably explores its directorís favourite theme of voyeurism more than any of his others. Itís self-consciously trashy and in a way feels stuck in the time it was made in, but is so ripe with Pure Cinema that certain bits could be shown to film students in how to construct a certain kind of scene. Itís Pure De Palma.

Rating: 7.5/10

_____________________________

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(in reply to dannyfletch)
Post #: 15432
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 4/3/2014 8:26:33 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

It is the new season at the Paris Opera House, with a production of Gounodís Faust. Comte Philippe de Chagny and his brother, the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny, are in attendance, Raoul attending only in the hope of hearing his sweetheart Christine Daať, whom he wants to resign and marry, sing. At the height of what soon becomes the most prosperous season in the Operaís history, the management suddenly resign. As they leave, they tell the new managers about the Opera Ghost, who sometimes sits in Box 5, and leave troubled. After the next performance, the ballet girls are disturbed by the sight of a mysterious man in a fez who dwells in the cellars. Arguing whether or not he is the Phantom, they decide to ask Joseph Buquet, a stagehand who has actually seen the ghostís face. Buquet describes a ghastly sight of a living skeleton to the girls, who are then startled by a shadow cast on the wallÖ.

Any reader who knows their classic horror will probably wonder why itís taken me up to now to do a review of the first, and best, version of Gaston Lerouxís oft-adapted tale, considering that I reviewed the inferior [though still good] Claude Rains remake a while back. All I can say is that itís sometime daunting to review a film that so many esteemed critics have studied [Iím dreading getting to Vertigo and Psycho in my series of Hitchcock reviews!], plus I realised that the copy I had was not only of poor quality but not the original version [more on this later]. Though they are a bit of an acquired taste, and one really has to be in the mood to see one, watching a great silent movie, especially of the horror kind [though in 1925 the term horror film wasnít in use yet, that wouldnít happen until 1931 and the early Universal sound classics like Dracula and Frankenstein], like this can be a really thrilling experience, partly because youíre watching things that have been done to death subsequently, and have become staples, being done for the first time. Youíre virtually seeing the horror movie being invented before your very eyes. Of course you donít hear any dialogue, and the performances are often exaggerated, but in an overwrought Gothic melodrama like The Phantom Of The Opera, it seems entirely appropriate. This film is actually a little uneven and, while its best moments are amongst the most memorable in horror cinema, one can sometimes see evidence of its extremely troubled production. In fact, itís amazing that it resulted in a watchable movie at all.

Universal head Carl Laemmle read the book in one night and bought the film rights as a vehicle for star Lon Chaney, fresh off his success as The Hunchback Of Notre Dame and already becoming known as the ĎMan Of A Thousand Facesí. Production started in late 1924 and did not go smoothly, director Rupert Julian falling out with most of the cast and crew. Chaney shot some scenes himself. Previews went badly, and Julian refused to do reshoots, so Edward Sedgwick was hired to film new scenes written by Raymond L. Schrock and original screenwriter Elliot Clawson. Much of the darker material was removed, and the film was changed into more of a romantic comedy with some comedy relief and an extra suitor for Christine. It also got a more action-packed ending. This cut had an even worse reception, so Maurice Pivar and Lois Weber were asked to do a huge re-edit of the film, removing most of the Sedgwick material [though keeping the ending] and reinserting most, though not all, of the Julian footage. One notable Julian scene, with Christine at her fatherís grave and the Phantom playing a violin, was cut at the last moment and some press stills were taken from it. The scene, slightly altered, later found its way into Andrew Lloyd Weberís stage musical. While the critics were divided, some finding the film just too horrible, it was a hit, despite reports of people fainting during the un-masking scene, and its success paved the way for the Universal horror pictures of the 30ís.

However, the story doesnít end there, and I donít want to take up too much time with this, but itís important to know that there are two very distinct versions of this film. This is because in 1929 Universal, cashing in like most studios did at the time on the new sound craze, heavily re-edited the picture and made it into a partially sound film. The opera and masquerade scenes were re-shot and expanded, but 25 mins were cut elsewhere. This version, for which the soundtrack is lost, moves at a faster pace than the earlier cut, but certain notable elements, like Christine being tutored by the ĎSpirit Of Musicí, and the cop in disguise who is after the Phantom, are truncated to the point of making little sense, and for my money itís nicer to have a slower build-up to the exciting scenes. The downfall of this version is that it only survives in poorer quality prints, though the only reason it exists at all is that it made its way to TV before Universal, in an appalling example of misjudgement, melted down most of their silent films. I still prefer the 1925 version, though Iím surprised they havenít put out a version that combines the best of both worlds, with all the 1925 footage but containing the extra bits and pieces from the 1929 one.

The thing that most surprised me whilst watching this film [which I hadnít seen for ages] is how much Webber took from it. I have no shame in admitting Iím a fan of the musical too and some scenes in the 1925 film are so similar that there were times I couldnít stop imagining the songs coming out of peopleís mouths. Sadly Webber toned down the character of the Phantom, whose actual name is Erik, not to mention having him only partially disfigured. Chaneyís Phantom remains a monster through and through, and, while we do feel very sorry for him, he remains frightening. Webberís Phantom is only mildly scary in the early scenes and is generally sympathetic throughout. This obviously helped made the musical so successful and in fact most other film versions of the story have also made the Phantom a character whom youíre partially Ďbehindí, missing the complexity of the 1925 Phantom. Itís far braver, and more interesting, when the Phantom is mad, frightening and looks damn hideous [the worst part of the musical is when heís unmasked and shown to have a case of bad acne on one side of his face], and yet some sympathy for the fiend creeps in. The performance of Chaney helps immensely. People go on about his make-up, and I may do the same in a minute, but Chaney also contributes an amazingly physical performance that is interesting to just sit back and watch, independent of everything else Ė just look at the graceful, yet creepy, way he almost constantly moves his hands. Of course this style of acting would look daft in most modern films, but so what?

Iíve read reviews of this film which say that the early scenes are dull, and I suppose a few of them are, but I certainly donít think the story moves slowly. Thereís no doubt that the direction varies in quality, something understandable given it was the work of several people, and that Julian, whose work takes up more of the film than anybody elseís, was more interested in some scenes than others. The early sequences that are set backstage still have a wonderful mock terror quality Ė you may be chuckling a little, but you will find it easy to put yourself in the position of a 1925 viewer who wouldnít be familiar with this kind of thing on the screen. Ballet dancers flee from shadows, bodies are found [thereís a great: "Heís behind youĒ moment where a stagehand takes a while to notice the corpse swinging in shadow behind him], and not one but two mysterious men seem to be lurking around. Thereís some fun character acting, especially from Snitz Edwards as Florine Papillin, who provides a bit of comedy, but not too much. The opera performing, at least in the original cut, is nice and brief, if very statically shot, and the Paris Opera House set very impressive. Part of the set still exists and is reputed to be haunted by Chaneyís ghost.

The famous scene where the Phantom causes a chandelier to fall on the audience is a bit disappointing. The 1943 remake did it far better. The build-up is too short, the actual scene appears to have a shot missing where it hits the ground, and it then fades out all too quickly, though at least it you can tell it was an actual chandelier they cut down! In any case, we now get to where the film really takes flight and only occasionally takes a misstep. The production design of Ben Carre, who actually did work at the Paris Opera House for a while, really shines as the film moves into wonderful Gothic dreamy mode. Erik takes Christine to his underground lair, and it seems to take forever as he leads her down loads of flights of stairs, by horse, and then on a barge on what looks like the river Styx. You can see Bava, Corman, even Burton just in this single amazing scene in a film which has been imitated over and over again. While visually The Phantom Of The Opera is never as striking as most of the German Expressionist silent movies like Nosferatu, and the direction and photography rarely as imaginative, the design is stunning through Ė just check out the ornate bed Erik seems to have purchased for the precise purpose of letting Christine sleep in it [it was later used in Sunset Boulevard].

Now we get to the un-masking, and it has a great lead-in as Christine sneaks up behind the organ-playing Phantom [the inspiration for countless scenes of organ-playing villains from Captain Nemo to Dr Phibes] and has second thoughts for a few seconds about what she intends to do. When she eventually removes the mask, we see the Phantomís face but she does not, because his back is turned to her. He turns away from the camera and we feel an extra twinge of dread, because we know the horrible sight that is about to greet her eyes. When she does finally see him, the film cuts back and forth from her horrified face and the horrid visage of Erik, some of the latter shots slightly out-of-focus shots implying she is light-headed with fear. Actress Mary Philbinís reaction was real, as she hadnít seen Chaneyís make-up yet. He painted his eye sockets black, giving a skull-like impression to them, pulled the tip of his nose up and pinned it in place with wire, enlarged his nostrils with black paint, and put a set of jagged false teeth into his mouth to complete the ghastly deformed look of the Phantom, whose appearance is very close to the descriptions in the novel, which this film does follow quite closely until near the end. Straight after this [the middle section really is the best], we have another memorable bit where Erik interrupts a masked ball dressed as the grim reaper, a scene shot in colour though only existing now in that form in the 1929 re-cut, and then another great one when the Phantom sits atop a statue, his cloak billowing in the wind as he looks down on to Christine and Raoul. Of course we donít care too much about these two and itís right that we shouldnít.

While making good use of some torture chambers that supposedly exist beneath the Paris Opera House, the film becomes more of a serial-type thriller and the climactic chase seems out of place, though itís well shot with some good cutting towards the end, and introduces what would be another staple of Universalís horror movies: the use of mob law. The Phantom Of The Opera is in some ways quite flawed [if understandably so, given that it was basically cobbled together], but it has true brilliance in it throughout. Another superb moment I havenít yet mentioned is when two people are behind an open door and a face starts to slowly loom out of the darkness. In scenes like this, the film seems to get closer than many others to the emotional essence of the whole horror genre.

Rating: 9/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15433
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 4/3/2014 8:34:12 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Wasn't sure whether to post this one on here, but it's a cult movie so I'll go ahead...



Freebie and Bean are two plainclothes cops in San Francisco who are first seen emptying garbage. There is a good reason for their actions though, which is that they are searching for evidence that will bring down a local, corrupt businessman called Myers, and lo and behold, torn up into a number of pieces is exactly the kind of note they have sought. However, after trying and failing to track down another criminal who may be involved, and as usual not being proud about how they go about assembling their case Ė violence and threats being mandatory Ė they are brought in by the D.A. who tells them they canít get their arrest warrant until early next week. This is unfortunate, as Myers has a contract out on his head, and may not survive the next few daysÖ

Riggs and Murtaugh? Tango and Cash? Cates and Hammond? Turner and Hooch? Carter and Lee? Everyone has their favourite cinematic cop duo and though I always enjoy watching the above, my favourite will always James Caan and Alan Alda as Freebie and the Bean. Freebie And The Bean you ask? Despite being a decent success at the box office and even spawning a TV series, this film doesnít seem too well known now and didnít even get a DVD release until 2009, which tells me two things: a Blu-ray release wonít happen, and Warner Bros just doesnít like the movie. Itís certainly very un-PC. Some elements like Freebieís constant ribbing of his partnerís Mexican origins and its treatment of a gay character would no doubt get many people moaning if it were made today, but by God folk are just so uptight about such things these days, and actually to me itís a much wittier, sharper and, above all, funnier film than the majority of film comedy today which just seems to want to be as crude as possible. In any case, this movie never fails to make me laugh, to the point that Iím almost starting to laugh now even thinking about it. Humour is of course very subjective: many people love [to pick an example that was on in my house the other day] the sitcom Two And A Half Men: to me, itís about as unfunny as a so-called comedy can get, a pathetic rehash of the same jokes [which werenít that funny in the first place] over and over again. More action junkies should see Freebie And The Bean too though, because it features some incredible chases and stuntwork from the days when car crashes were all real. In fact, 40 cars were wrecked in this movie, a record until the madness that was The Blues Brothers came out in 1980.

Freebie And The Bean seems to have been inspired in part by The French Connection, only taking its idea of two cops who are not exactly angels further into more comedic territory. Thereís no doubt about it: our two heroes in this film are complete bastards, but itís never meant to be taken seriously. Its director Richard Rush remains a cult favourite because of his masterpiece The Stunt Man, and heís one of those filmmakers I really wish had made more films than he did, though he was foolhardy and liked to put his cast in unnecessarily dangerous positions, something which alienated Caan and Arkin, the two growing closer for defence. Then again, both Caan and Arkin had reputations for being difficult on sets, Caan having a huge temper which was always in danger of going off, and Arkin tending to give directors a hard time, so the Freebie And The Bean set was a highly volatile one, more than anything else a case of three big egos thrown together on one production. Arkin says he still has nightmares about making the film which he called: ď A steaming pile of shitĒ, though as I said it was a hit at the time, and Stanley Kubrick called it the best film of 1974 [itís close]. The short-lived TV series of the same name didnít appear until 1980. It starred Tom Mason and Hector Elizondo in the title roles.

Arkin and Caan may have hated making the film, but it was worth it, because the two are simply brilliant in it. Theyíre so good that I would be happy to just watch and hear them bickering, the two actors displaying so much chemistry and Robert Kaufmanís writing being both so funny and yet, in as a way, so believable and naturalistic in that 70ís manner. Of course some of it is rude, though unlike in too many films these days there isnít a need to swear very much, and, despite the constant sniping at each other including, yes, quite a bit of derogatory racial talk, and the two even coming to blows at times, you always get a sense of their affection for each other: the tagline of ďAbove allÖ.itís a love storyĒ is totally accurate. Do you actually like them? Well, I love watching these two, I could watch them all day, but the film certainly pushes the idea of cop heroes as being little better than the criminals [i.e. Dirty Harry] they come up against to its limits, but it pushes it so far that it becomes totally absurd and even satirical: I mean come on, as the director said, you have two sexist, racist, homophobic cops loose in the most liberal city in America. Sure, these cops beat people up, bribe others [thereís a great bit where the two manage to obtain some new clothes from a shop for no money], destroy half of San Francisco, and even go so far as to shoot someone dead while heís taking a crap, but they do it in such a hilarious and ridiculous way it just becomes silly fantasy, nothing more. And the opening scene, where they are emptying garbage, immediately tells us that they might be garbage too Ė total, low-life scum, and these are the good guys?

The film constantly stops its fairly thin and not very original plot for sequences of awe-inspiring idiocy. One bit which cracks me up whenever I think about it is when the Bean is brawling with an out-of-control customer in a hotel bar. What does Freebie do? Rather than help his pal best his huge opponent, he gets a sofa and chairs for them to sit on. The two crash their car into an apartment several stories off the ground where two people just carry on eating and drinking. One of them sends for a tow truck, when actually what they are going to need is a bloody crane! The lengthy action sequences are masterpieces of choreography and invention where you can imagine people sitting around a table brainstorming on how to make a scene even longer and sillier and the director including everybodyís contributions. A fight in a restaurant where people are eating? Letís have it go on into the kitchen too. Some bits recall silent movie slapstick. Others seem to look forward to things in later Hong Kong movies, especially those of Jackie Chan, who was of course heavily influenced by silent movies comedy anyway, though none of Chanís movies had a load of majorettes knocked down like bowling pins by cars, or had him drive through a park on a bike spoiling everyoneís day and wrecking everything in sight. People still get bloodily shot and hurt, while there is undoubtedly a cruel edge to some of the mayhem, though a huge amount of comedy is based on cruelty anyway. Of course the filming lets us see all this properly, rather than the current trend for editing action scenes to within an inch of their life.

Like many 70ís films. Freebie And The Bean contains some scenes which are almost incongruous and would probably be cut out if it was made today. The mad-cap pace that the film has for the majority of its running time is almost brought to a halt by a subplot where the Bean thinks his wife is cheating. When he interrogates his wife, the scene somehow manages the very difficult task of being funny and disturbing: the Bean is acting like a total idiot, but it looks like he could also beat the crap out of her. He doesnít even apologise for treating her like shit, just tells her sheís not as dumb as she looks. These guys are arse-holes whose only redeeming feature is probably their love for each other. Theyíre also totally out of control, but after a while so is the film, which, when watched at home anyway, constantly seems to be struggling against being contained by the TV screen. The overall lightness does turn to seriousness towards the end, with a showdown that seems to have strayed in from a darker film, and a very long, slow coda. Itís nice once in a while for a film to wind down then suddenly stop though, and by then, despite our best intentions, we do care.

The slapstick aspect is emphasised by Dominic Frontiereís infectious score, which is in part which is in part a series of variations on a single theme which he partially reworked in his main theme from The Stuntman. It shows that sometimes music which openly laughs can work, as in a scene where the two are chasing each other and brawling in a park and itís the music more than anything else that makes it all so funny. The score deserves a release, but then this film has been treated abominably over the years despite its initial success, strong cult following and it usually being liked by people who have the privilege of seeing it. Itís gleefully anarchic, hysterically funny, astoundingly inventive and also a bit odd. And the best cop buddy picture ever. I like most of them, I own the Lethal Weapon box set and some other buddy cop movies, but they donít add up to being worth one Freebie And The Bean. See it.

Rating: 9/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15434
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 5/3/2014 7:48:47 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera



The stand-out performance in the film is really by Melanie Griffith, even if, after we've seen her wearing very little throughout, she seems a bit awkward when eventually walking around fully clothed. She gives her character, porn star Holly Body, a wonderful mixture of child-like innocence and jaded experience. She's kind of a male fantasy figure Ė someone you could take her round to meet your parents as well as have the best time ever with, but Griffith makes her quite believable. Stephen H. Burum's cinematography is as graceful as usual and makes some striking use of colour towards the end, while I've already mentioned Donaggio's fantastic score, a delirious melding of Bernard Herrmann with 80's-style synth work. Body Double really is a weird one to totally nail. It occasionally flirts with sophistication like a bit of satire on show business, yet probably explores its director's favourite theme of voyeurism more than any of his others. It's self-consciously trashy and in a way feels stuck in the time it was made in, but is so ripe with Pure Cinema that certain bits could be shown to film students in how to construct a certain kind of scene. It's Pure De Palma.

Rating: 7.5/10

Not my favourite De Palma film but up in my top ten, not top five, as I feel it's not dated to well, and as much as I agree it seems aimed at his fans and not mainstream, this fan was let down by it not being daring enough. It's too much by the numbers, and lacks that punch in the gut ending we usually get, plus feels too tongue in cheek, yet it's not funny. Yeah it's got the style, the look, the music, and some good acting, plus a very sexy Melanie Griffith who acts her socks off, but up against his classics it falls short, but I still watch it when it turns up on late night TV cause it's a decent De Palma film which is way more fun than most other films of this type.

quote:


 
 

While making good use of some torture chambers that supposedly exist beneath the Paris Opera House, the film becomes more of a serial-type thriller and the climactic chase seems out of place, though itís well shot with some good cutting towards the end, and introduces what would be another staple of Universalís horror movies: the use of mob law. The Phantom Of The Opera is in some ways quite flawed [if understandably so, given that it was basically cobbled together], but it has true brilliance in it throughout. Another superb moment I havenít yet mentioned is when two people are behind an open door and a face starts to slowly loom out of the darkness. In scenes like this, the film seems to get closer than many others to the emotional essence of the whole horror genre.

Rating: 9/10


OHHHHH!!!! YES!!! I've been looking forward to this ever since you mentioned you would try your hand at reviewing this Classic Masterpiece of Horror Cinema History. And yes mate you have done this film proud, love your love for my favourite Silent film, and need say no more as you've said it all, so well done bloody awesome. Plus being a mad horror fan I have many books on horror films, with many reviews, and study's of this film, and some really drag on, but yours is perfect for anyone who only knows the film exists, and that's all. You give enough of the history of it, and how well it was made, also how it has it's flaw, but also how it was one of the first true horror films, to i'm sure encourage a few more to seek it out.

quote:


Wasn't sure whether to post this one on here, but it's a cult movie so I'll go ahead...



Freebie and Bean are two plainclothes cops in San Francisco who are first seen emptying garbage. There is a good reason for their actions though, which is that they are searching for evidence that will bring down a local, corrupt businessman called Myers, and lo and behold, torn up into a number of pieces is exactly the kind of note they have sought. However, after trying and failing to track down another criminal who may be involved, and as usual not being proud about how they go about assembling their case Ė violence and threats being mandatory Ė they are brought in by the D.A. who tells them they canít get their arrest warrant until early next week. This is unfortunate, as Myers has a contract out on his head, and may not survive the next few daysÖ

Riggs and Murtaugh? Tango and Cash? Cates and Hammond? Turner and Hooch? Carter and Lee? Everyone has their favourite cinematic cop duo and though I always enjoy watching the above, my favourite will always James Caan and Alan Alda as Freebie and the Bean. Freebie And The Bean you ask? Despite being a decent success at the box office and even spawning a TV series, this film doesnít seem too well known now and didnít even get a DVD release until 2009, which tells me two things: a Blu-ray release wonít happen, and Warner Bros just doesnít like the movie. Itís certainly very un-PC. Some elements like Freebieís constant ribbing of his partnerís Mexican origins and its treatment of a gay character would no doubt get many people moaning if it were made today, but by God folk are just so uptight about such things these days, and actually to me itís a much wittier, sharper and, above all, funnier film than the majority of film comedy today which just seems to want to be as crude as possible. In any case, this movie never fails to make me laugh, to the point that Iím almost starting to laugh now even thinking about it. Humour is of course very subjective: many people love [to pick an example that was on in my house the other day] the sitcom Two And A Half Men: to me, itís about as unfunny as a so-called comedy can get, a pathetic rehash of the same jokes [which werenít that funny in the first place] over and over again. More action junkies should see Freebie And The Bean too though, because it features some incredible chases and stuntwork from the days when car crashes were all real. In fact, 40 cars were wrecked in this movie, a record until the madness that was The Blues Brothers came out in 1980.

.
The slapstick aspect is emphasised by Dominic Frontiereís infectious score, which is in part which is in part a series of variations on a single theme which he partially reworked in his main theme from The Stuntman. It shows that sometimes music which openly laughs can work, as in a scene where the two are chasing each other and brawling in a park and itís the music more than anything else that makes it all so funny. The score deserves a release, but then this film has been treated abominably over the years despite its initial success, strong cult following and it usually being liked by people who have the privilege of seeing it. Itís gleefully anarchic, hysterically funny, astoundingly inventive and also a bit odd. And the best cop buddy picture ever. I like most of them, I own the Lethal Weapon box set and some other buddy cop movies, but they donít add up to being worth one Freebie And The Bean. See it.

Rating: 9/10

Yeah the best weird cop buddy film of them all, and a must see for any road movie fan never mind cult film fan which this like VANISHING POINT is without a doubt. This is the film that inspired the crazy madness of THE BLUES BROTHERS, and yet as you said very few have heard of never mind seen this awesome film, which I need!!!! a copy of, right bloody now!!! So glad you posted this, as last time I saw this was about 15 years ago on the BBC, only the second time I've ever watched the entire film, and yet I love it how crazy is that, why the F**k I have not a copy of this is beyond me as I have the following; Smoky And The Bandit, Blues Brothers,Mad Max 1-3,Vanishing Point, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, The Cars That Ate Paris, Death Race, Carquake, Gone In 60 Seconds, Stone, and so many others I just could go on, and all originals not remakes folks.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

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Post #: 15435
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 5/3/2014 10:50:58 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1561
Joined: 20/10/2012
Wow, Bill, STONE... I watched that once on VHS as a teenager... the ending shocked the hell out of me... love to watch it again...

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Post #: 15436
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 6/3/2014 9:06:55 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 650
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
Another great De Palma flick and a great review. Haven't seen Body Double for about 15 years but do remember having great fun watching it although it didn't quite hit the heights of Dressed to Kill, The Fury or Blow Out!
On the subject of De Palma I recently bought the latest Arrow release of one of his first films Phantom of the Paradise. I must admit it was the first time I've seen this true cult classic and am now so glad I've added it to my collection as it's definitely up there in the top of my list of my favourite films of his. It's mad, camp and an absolute blast with Paul Williams on fine form as the creepy evil record producer and William Finley gives an excellent performance as the tragic Phantom. I also found it was actually quite moving in places!

< Message edited by dannyfletch -- 6/3/2014 9:07:40 PM >

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15437
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 7/3/2014 2:32:40 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005
Love Phantom Of The Paradise, I feel it's the best Phantom Of The Opera-derived movie after the 1925 one, and, yes, it's rather sad and moving underneath all De Palma's directorial fireworks and satire.

And thanks for your comments Bill, always appreciated, it takes me time to review some of my favourites as I need to be a mood where I think I can do them justice! If you're a road movie fan [I also have a soft spot for Gunball Rally, more childish than Carquake which it is similar too but great fun], I guess you're looking forward to Need For Speed?

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to dannyfletch)
Post #: 15438
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/3/2014 1:24:19 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

Love Phantom Of The Paradise, I feel it's the best Phantom Of The Opera-derived movie after the 1925 one, and, yes, it's rather sad and moving underneath all De Palma's directorial fireworks and satire.

And thanks for your comments Bill, always appreciated, it takes me time to review some of my favourites as I need to be a mood where I think I can do them justice! If you're a road movie fan [I also have a soft spot for Gunball Rally, more childish than Carquake which it is similar too but great fun], I guess you're looking forward to Need For Speed?

Always been a Road Movie fan, and yes looking forward to Need For Speed as it's been filmed the old fashioned way, IE no CGI all stunts are for real, I read they came close to the Blues Brothers record for number of cars destroyed . Love Gumball Rally a crazy film....Bullet is more thriller than road film but it has one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed, along with the awesome Seven Ups and French Connection, i'm like a drug addict when it comes to these films I just can't get enough of them.

Phantom of Paradise is a true cult classic, and what a great first feature film, you could tell he was going to be a director to watch, just by the wonderful stylish camera work, if you only saw this film first.

_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

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Post #: 15439
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/3/2014 3:23:33 PM   
losthighway


Posts: 3251
Joined: 25/1/2006
From: Manchesterford
NYMPH()MANIAC VOL. 2: Not as good as the first half, way more sadomasochistic but even then, I can't help thinking the film was actually quite tame by von Trier's usual standards and the title (and that cinema poster!) are probably the most provocative thing about the whole affair - maybe that was the point!?. Vol. 2 didn't go by as easily as Vol. 1 and it was noticeable that not everyone returned form the evening before to see how the film ends. I still stick by the overall message being one of female empowerment and that it's a companion piece with Melancholia about humanity and nature together. Oh and as for that final scene, well I guess it just proves my female empowerment theory! The BR was already pre-ordered before I saw the film and it remains on pre-order (plus Breaking the Waves is out the same day... I am praying we get the same as the Criterion release. Please!!!). Overall: 3.5/5

STRANGER BY THE LAKE: Very slow and a film you just have to go with. Not very much happens although there's a lot of graphic sex and penises flying towards you on the big screen. The sad thing is (like many of the recent films featuring graphic sex), there's not actually any need to show the cum shot/erections as it doesn't actually add anything to the story and without them the film would have likely been granted a 15 certificate! I know Empire has raved about the film but it's not that good and for anyone who doesn't like loose endings... well! Overall: 4/5

THE LEGO MOVIE: I can't actually tell you what this film was about because it is just so fucking surreal but what I can say is that it's enjoyable enough, although probably not something I would watch again. Overall: 3.5/5

As for the discussions on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA... the BEST Phantom is finally re-issued on DVD on 17th March 2014 (sadly no BR release though)... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phantom-Opera-DVD-Robert-Englund/dp/B00HT29ON6/ref=sr_1_11?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1394291795&sr=1-11&keywords=phantom+of+the+opera

Plus, I've purchased Stuart Gordon's DOLLS on BR for £6 and pre-ordered CLIVE BARKER'S LORD OF ILLUSIONS on BR (comes with DC on DVD). The original release was missing the DC DVD so it's been recalled and will now be out again on 24th March: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lord-Illusions-Blu-ray-Scott-Bakula/dp/B00GMFL96G/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1394291948&sr=1-2&keywords=lord+of+illusions

Other news... I really want to see UNDER THE SKIN... Even though Glazer's Sexy Beast was mindnumbingly dull and over-rated although his Birth wasn't too bad. The trailer for UTS certainly piqued my interest.

< Message edited by losthighway -- 8/3/2014 3:25:26 PM >

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15440
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/3/2014 4:25:31 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5178
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
quote:

ORIGINAL: losthighway

The sad thing is (like many of the recent films featuring graphic sex), there's not actually any need to show the cum shot/erections as it doesn't actually add anything to the story and without them the film would have likely been granted a 15 certificate!

Finally, someone agrees with me. I don't see the point of having a "money shot" in films with real sex, that's blatant porn to be honest. Also, using the actors themselves just supports that idea, porn doubles should be used. That's what von Trier did, and he spliced the footage together in Nymphomaniac using CGI.

(in reply to losthighway)
Post #: 15441
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 8/3/2014 4:59:37 PM   
Whistler


Posts: 3147
Joined: 22/11/2006
Here was my take on it...

NYMPHOMANIAC (Volumes 1 & 2)

Itís easy for me to say that Lars Von Trierís stunning Melancholia, his last film before delving into the underworld of sex addiction, is one of my favourite films ever made. Seeing that film on the big screen was one of the few occasions where Iíve been genuinely speechless afterwords. It affected me profoundly for a number of reasons Ė not least the haunting final shot Ė and I havenít really been able to stop thinking about it since. With this in mind going into Nymphomaniac - a film with a decidedly different subject matter from melancholy and celestial objects drifting through space Ė I was both excited and nervous. Excited by the prospect of potentially witnessing another masterpiece in cinema; nervous from the four-hour running time and the Ė given said subject matter Ė renowned uncompromising nature of its director.

And uncompromising is, indeed, the word. Clearly there can be comparisons made to films like Thanks For Sharing and Don Jon; two recent films which study sex addiction to various degrees, which seems to be the ďthingĒ right now, and one could be forgiven for thinking Nymphomaniac has arrived because of that trend. But Von Trier really isnít a man to care about current trends. This is the film he wanted to make, regardless of what anyone else has done, and those two films, interesting though they are in their own way, pale in comparison to the depths Von Trier has plunged to study his subject. The film is, after all, called Nymphomaniac. I think there are a few things you have to expect. Furthermore, if youíre going to make a film Nymphomaniac, this is probably the way to do it. I canít imagine many other directors willing or even capable of doing what Von Trier has done.

It goes without saying that this is probably the most sexually explicit film ever made, to the point that certain scenes are basically just porn. The credits make it very clear that none of the actors actually had ďpenetrative sexĒ, but it sure fooled me. The camera literally gets everywhere, right in between legs and catching every angle of a thrust; nothing is left to the imagination, and it looks for all the world like Shia LaBeouf really is doing the nasty. In that regard, itís hats off to the VFX department. Again, this is sort what you have to expect from Von Trier, but there does reach a point where it feels like itís being explicit just for the sake of it. In volume 2 particularly, several moments occur that decide to show genitals when it really doesnít seem entirely necessary. Admittedly that could be from the fatigue of being with the film for so long, but itís hard to say. Importantly, though, itís never once attractive or arousing. Itís a film about sex but it doesnít glorify it in any way. The very word nymphomaniac has negative connotations; itís addiction, not pleasure, and in the words of the brilliant Stellan SkarsgŚrd, ďItís not a film you jerk off to.Ē

The story takes structure as a series of flashbacks as Joe (Gainsbourg), found beaten and bloodied in an alley by Seligan (SkarsgŚrd), recites her troubled life to him. The set-up itself is a little contrived, but over the course of nearly four hours the angle of the narrative becomes clear as we see eight chapters of Joeís life intercepted by conversations between her and Seligan Ė a bibliophile and hermit who lives his life in books, never really experiencing anything Ė in his home. While thereís something actually quite poetic in the way the narrative unfolds and how Seligan spouts off his intellectual anecdotes and comparisons between his life in books and Joeís real life (fly fishing is just like trolling a train trying to have sex with as many people as possible), there reaches a point where the symbolism is painted in too broad of strokes.

While the character posters would have you believe there are a host of huge names who get down and dirty, most of them actually appear very briefly. Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier (him in particular) appear for no more than one scene each, and certainly donít come close to getting their kit off. The rest of the principle cast is really good Ė even LaBeouf, whom I used to vouch for but has increasingly irritated me with his ďIím not famous anymoreĒ nonsense. What heís doing with his accent, however, Iíll never know. Is it English? Is it Kiwi? Is it American? We donít know, and I donít think he does either.

With the story cutting through the life of Joe, there are inevitably a few different actresses who portray her at different ages. Stacy Martin takes the main role in volume 1, and does a fine job. Not only is she a good actress who quite admirably yields herself to the sexual nature of the role, but we can actually believe sheís a young Charlotte Gainsbourg. The problem arises when in volume 2 she suddenly becomes Gainsbourg while LaBeouf remains LaBeouf. It requires, shall we say, a suspension of disbelief. Considering how candid the rest of the film is, itís strange that this transition would be handled so unrealistically.

Nymphomaniac is the passionate work of an extremely uncompromising director. On one side of the coin itís a film that takes a potentially controversial subject and doesnít shy away from exploring every recess in a funny, poetic and intelligent way. It bends the preconceived notions of what cinema is allowed to be and sticks to its guns right to the end. On the other itís an overly-explicit exploitation of female lust and voyeurism that, with a four-hour running time, boarders on exhausting. A shower will be needed when you get home.

3/5

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 15442
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 16/3/2014 2:00:38 PM   
paul.mccluskey


Posts: 5178
Joined: 15/4/2007
From: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Last night, I bit the bullet, and watched Antichrist for the very first time. It has been in my collection for ages, but I've always been put off by the graphic content. I'm glad I seen it now, because I think it's the best horror movie since the beginning of the 21st Century, and I've seen many brilliant horror films. The first part of Lars von Trier's Depression Trilogy is a beautifully shot, provocative, confrontational, yet moving piece of work. I must admit, I did wince at the violence, but I found the emotional violence inflicted on both Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg to be far more powerful. They both deliver superb performances throughout, possibly the most challenging roles of their careers.

But, is it misogynist? In my opinion, no. If von Trier hated women so much, no Hollywood actress would work with him. Antichrist is a study on grief and guilt, the critics have looked at the film the wrong way. It's a psychological masterpiece.

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15443
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 16/3/2014 3:15:02 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8751
Joined: 13/4/2006
Just yesterday I got a cool two disc edition of Bigelow's Near Dark. It is stuffed with lots of special features including a 47 Minute doc involving cast and crew, and has a smart full colour booklet.

For me the film stands up very well on repeat viewings and is easily one of the director's best films. The script takes the genre in a very different direction, and the atmosphere and visuals are excellent. Also, have never seen Bill Paxton so sinister!

(in reply to paul.mccluskey)
Post #: 15444
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 16/3/2014 9:22:33 PM   
Mister Coe

 

Posts: 1561
Joined: 20/10/2012
NEAR DARK is a bloody classic and the fact that the remake fell through might indicate that there are, in fact, a few sane minds working in Hollywood...

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Post #: 15445
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 17/3/2014 5:55:44 PM   
dannyfletch


Posts: 650
Joined: 25/5/2008
From: Bromley
Great to hear the appreciation from you mate and the Dr for Phantom of the Paradise. I can see your point that it would've been great if I discovered it earlier before his other work but I do feel that now that I've discovered it in my 30's I think I can appreciate more about it (like its stab at how sleazy the music industry was) then I would've when I was younger.
Really looking forward to seeing Terry Gilliam's Zero Theorem, another of my favourite directors who I feel is one of those rare directors who has kept his originality and is as creative as he was in the early days of the excellent Time Bandits and Brazil.

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15446
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 18/3/2014 9:18:33 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: Whistler

Here was my take on it...

NYMPHOMANIAC (Volumes 1 & 2)

Itís easy for me to say that Lars Von Trierís stunning Melancholia, his last film before delving into the underworld of sex addiction, is one of my favourite films ever made. Seeing that film on the big screen was one of the few occasions where Iíve been genuinely speechless afterwords. It affected me profoundly for a number of reasons Ė not least the haunting final shot Ė and I havenít really been able to stop thinking about it since. With this in mind going into Nymphomaniac - a film with a decidedly different subject matter from melancholy and celestial objects drifting through space Ė I was both excited and nervous. Excited by the prospect of potentially witnessing another masterpiece in cinema; nervous from the four-hour running time and the Ė given said subject matter Ė renowned uncompromising nature of its director.

And uncompromising is, indeed, the word. Clearly there can be comparisons made to films like Thanks For Sharing and Don Jon; two recent films which study sex addiction to various degrees, which seems to be the ďthingĒ right now, and one could be forgiven for thinking Nymphomaniac has arrived because of that trend. But Von Trier really isnít a man to care about current trends. This is the film he wanted to make, regardless of what anyone else has done, and those two films, interesting though they are in their own way, pale in comparison to the depths Von Trier has plunged to study his subject. The film is, after all, called Nymphomaniac. I think there are a few things you have to expect. Furthermore, if youíre going to make a film Nymphomaniac, this is probably the way to do it. I canít imagine many other directors willing or even capable of doing what Von Trier has done.

It goes without saying that this is probably the most sexually explicit film ever made, to the point that certain scenes are basically just porn. The credits make it very clear that none of the actors actually had ďpenetrative sexĒ, but it sure fooled me. The camera literally gets everywhere, right in between legs and catching every angle of a thrust; nothing is left to the imagination, and it looks for all the world like Shia LaBeouf really is doing the nasty. In that regard, itís hats off to the VFX department. Again, this is sort what you have to expect from Von Trier, but there does reach a point where it feels like itís being explicit just for the sake of it. In volume 2 particularly, several moments occur that decide to show genitals when it really doesnít seem entirely necessary. Admittedly that could be from the fatigue of being with the film for so long, but itís hard to say. Importantly, though, itís never once attractive or arousing. Itís a film about sex but it doesnít glorify it in any way. The very word nymphomaniac has negative connotations; itís addiction, not pleasure, and in the words of the brilliant Stellan SkarsgŚrd, ďItís not a film you jerk off to.Ē

The story takes structure as a series of flashbacks as Joe (Gainsbourg), found beaten and bloodied in an alley by Seligan (SkarsgŚrd), recites her troubled life to him. The set-up itself is a little contrived, but over the course of nearly four hours the angle of the narrative becomes clear as we see eight chapters of Joeís life intercepted by conversations between her and Seligan Ė a bibliophile and hermit who lives his life in books, never really experiencing anything Ė in his home. While thereís something actually quite poetic in the way the narrative unfolds and how Seligan spouts off his intellectual anecdotes and comparisons between his life in books and Joeís real life (fly fishing is just like trolling a train trying to have sex with as many people as possible), there reaches a point where the symbolism is painted in too broad of strokes.

While the character posters would have you believe there are a host of huge names who get down and dirty, most of them actually appear very briefly. Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Connie Nielsen and Udo Kier (him in particular) appear for no more than one scene each, and certainly donít come close to getting their kit off. The rest of the principle cast is really good Ė even LaBeouf, whom I used to vouch for but has increasingly irritated me with his ďIím not famous anymoreĒ nonsense. What heís doing with his accent, however, Iíll never know. Is it English? Is it Kiwi? Is it American? We donít know, and I donít think he does either.

With the story cutting through the life of Joe, there are inevitably a few different actresses who portray her at different ages. Stacy Martin takes the main role in volume 1, and does a fine job. Not only is she a good actress who quite admirably yields herself to the sexual nature of the role, but we can actually believe sheís a young Charlotte Gainsbourg. The problem arises when in volume 2 she suddenly becomes Gainsbourg while LaBeouf remains LaBeouf. It requires, shall we say, a suspension of disbelief. Considering how candid the rest of the film is, itís strange that this transition would be handled so unrealistically.

Nymphomaniac is the passionate work of an extremely uncompromising director. On one side of the coin itís a film that takes a potentially controversial subject and doesnít shy away from exploring every recess in a funny, poetic and intelligent way. It bends the preconceived notions of what cinema is allowed to be and sticks to its guns right to the end. On the other itís an overly-explicit exploitation of female lust and voyeurism that, with a four-hour running time, boarders on exhausting. A shower will be needed when you get home.

3/5


Sounds like typical Von Trier then, I just can't make up my mind whether I like this director or not, but I certainly respect him.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Whistler)
Post #: 15447
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 18/3/2014 9:26:28 AM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

In the future, Qohen Leth is a reclusive Ďentity cruncherí [deciphering digitally-rendered real-life conundrums] working for the faceless ManCom corporation. He wants to work from home, primarily because heís been waiting his whole life for someone to ring his landline to finish telling him something. After attending a party where he receives unwelcome advances from a cyber prostitute called Bainsley, management gives him his wish as long as Qohen will work on a new project: cracking a code that may unlock the secrets of life itself, but will probably also drive him mad while doing it. Qohen begins his work, but his grip on reality seems to fractureÖ.

The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus ended with its title character, old and dishevelled, selling toy replicas of his theatre on a street corner. It would have almost been a perfect bittersweet, and very symbolic, ending to the film career of Terry Gilliam, who Iím sure said he only had two or three films left in him at least a decade or so ago. However, here he is with another film, though the 73 year old filmmaker was actually originally going to make The Zero Theorem in 2009 with Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Biel and Al Pacino. He ended up making The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus instead, but instead of The Zero Theorem becoming yet another tasty unmade Gilliam project [Jack Snyderís Watchmen turned out surprisingly well, but if only Gilliam had made it!], here it is. Now itís my belief that Gilliiam is one of the greatest filmmakers still working today, and if youíre not convinced of my love for his work, check out my article about the great manís movies here, where I hope my adoration for them is evident.

[removed link I had on HCF as I don't think EmpireOnline likes external links unless they are in signatures!]

Of course the release of a new Gilliam film shamelessly gives me an excuse to promote something I wrote for this website ages ago, but if youíre not up for reading it let me just make it clear once that I absolutely and totally love Gilliamís stuff, from the unbridled imagination to the craziness to the romanticism to the constant themes of the power of the imagination and escaping from reality toÖ..well, Iím sure you get the idea. I feel I have to emphasise this because my review of The Zero Theorem wonít be a rave one like it would be for every other Gilliam [okay, maybe not The Brothers Grimm, though itís still fun] film. In fact, it may read a bit negative. Thatís the trouble I suppose when a filmmakerís output is generally so high. The Zero Theorem is still a Gilliam film through and through and therefore more interesting than a lot of whatever else is coming out at the moment, but I feel itís also a bit of a disappointment and doesnít really add much to his filmography. While all his films are similar to each other and have the same themes, making Gilliam a genuine auteur if an auteur is somebody who makes the same film over and over again, The Zero Theorem really does feel a rehash of earlier material, especially Brazil, of which it almost seems like an earlier, simpler version that Gilliam later developed and improved to make his 1985 masterpiece, despite it being made much later. Now I donít want to sound all negative because there is a lot to like and a lot of interest here, and I guess that if The Zero Theorem had come from another director Iíd probably praise it all, but one just expects more from Gilliam, even if one canít expect him to keep churning out great movies!

The Zero Theorem certainly opens superbly with a shot of a black hole and what seems to be a man in space, only itís actually a man looking at a computer screen. The man is Qohen Leth, and heís certainly one of Gilliamís most intriguing protagonists even if he does have a shaved head like Bruce Willis in Twelve Monkeys, which is probably the Gilliam film The Zero Theorem echoes most after Brazil, especially visually. Heís extremely solitary to the point of not even wanting to touch people, likes to talk about himself as ďweĒ, is desperate for a certain phone call which he is sure is coming, and is clearly deeply troubled. It probably goes without saying that the superb Christoph Waltz is brilliant in the role, adding another outstanding performance to his resume. He helps you warm to this eccentric, even cold, character. He leaves the condemned church he lives in [his bed lies between two rows of organ pipes] to walk through the town, and in a couple of minutes we get a really vivid future world which is full of neglect, graffiti and ruins being everywhere, but also has live advertisements all over the place. The bright colours recall The Fifth Element, though this world feels more lived-in and more believable, if oddly 90ís.

Sadly we donít get to explore this world and most of the film ends up taking place inside Qohenís abode. This is possiblyas a result of the fairly low budget, and itís kind of interesting to see Gilliam do what is almost a chamber piece, but the director feels hemmed in, and thereís far too much footage of Qohen at his computer trying to solve the Ďzero theoremí, especially annoying since Pat Rushinís script is full of technical gobblygook [it would have better without it] without actually telling us much. It seems that he, and the mysterious boss just called Management [Matt Damon, who at one point wears the most amazing zebra suit that blends in with the settee he is sitting on], are trying to find the meaning of life, but it gets a bit tedious. The solitary Qohenís work is constantly interrupted by two visitors who drop in from time to time. Thereís Managementís teenage son Bob [Lucas Hedge], a computer whizz who seems to want to help Qohen, but is he? Then thereís Bainsley [Melanie Thierry, who Iíve liked since her haunting appearance in The Legend Of 1900 but has not got the big break she deserves], a cyber hooker [you can only have sex with her virtually] who tries to draw Qohen into her world. There are some visually beautiful scenes where Qohen is with Bainsley in a tropical beach paradise, but the love story isnít developed enough to make us care much. Towards the end, it really does seem like Gilliam is consciously remaking Brazil, and the theme of one man against the system, a system which is oppressive, is as pertinent as it was in 1985, but I doubt most fans of Brazil [I count it amongst the best ten films ever made] would really want to see their beloved classic done by the same director on a much smaller scale.

Of course many of the ideas have been employed many times going back to Strange Days and even beyond, but Gilliam does offer pertinent commentary on the way we are headed with our increasing love for and dominance by things of a digital nature. One scene at a party where everyone is walking around with phones, tablets and laptops plus headphones, all in their own little worlds, comments sadly on such matters just as effectively as the slightly overrated Her, but because Her is more solemn and self-consciously serious, it gets more praise for doing so. There is some of the expected Gilliam wacky humour in The Zero Theorem, if perhaps less than expected. A bizarre tall man and fat dwarf [Gilliam had to fit one in somewhere] team turn up every now and again to act, well, like characters in a Gilliam film, while David Thewlis not only overacts as usual but tries to be like Michael Palin. Tilda Swinton makes one of her funniest appearances as Dr Shrink-rom, a virtual psychiatrist. Unusually, the Scottish actress has a thick Scottish accent for a change. There are also some great small details throughout, like a park wall with endless signs forbidding things, Gilliam again showing the way we seem to be headed especially in this increasingly restrictive country. Of course the sets tend to be as chaotic looking as possible and Gilliam still has that fascination with things like wires and tubes.

Carlo Poggioli deserves a mention for his stunning costume designs and George Fenton supplies a fine score which is sometimes quite beautiful as well as appropriately quirky. Thereís lots to enjoy in The Zero Thereom for the filmgoer after something a bit different, but it makes even less commercially minded concessions than normal, while Gilliam fans will have seen much of it before, meaning that the result isnít really satisfactory whichever way you approach it. Still, Gilliam coasting is still Gilliam, and the manís fingerprints are still all over his new film. Heís still out there doing his thing, and cinema is a better place for it. The Zero Theorem also has the most gorgeous final shot [even if itís partly CGI] in ages. Gilliamís kind of been there before, but it still works.

Rating: 6.5/10

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15448
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 18/3/2014 6:19:45 PM   
evil bill


Posts: 6739
Joined: 19/7/2006
From: mordor/ uk
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera



There is some of the expected Gilliam wacky humour in The Zero Theorem, if perhaps less than expected. A bizarre tall man and fat dwarf [Gilliam had to fit one in somewhere] team turn up every now and again to act, well, like characters in a Gilliam film, while David Thewlis not only overacts as usual but tries to be like Michael Palin. Tilda Swinton makes one of her funniest appearances as Dr Shrink-rom, a virtual psychiatrist. Unusually, the Scottish actress has a thick Scottish accent for a change. There are also some great small details throughout, like a park wall with endless signs forbidding things, Gilliam again showing the way we seem to be headed especially in this increasingly restrictive country. Of course the sets tend to be as chaotic looking as possible and Gilliam still has that fascination with things like wires and tubes.

Carlo Poggioli deserves a mention for his stunning costume designs and George Fenton supplies a fine score which is sometimes quite beautiful as well as appropriately quirky. There's lots to enjoy in The Zero Thereom for the filmgoer after something a bit different, but it makes even less commercially minded concessions than normal, while Gilliam fans will have seen much of it before, meaning that the result isn't really satisfactory whichever way you approach it. Still, Gilliam coasting is still Gilliam, and the man's fingerprints are still all over his new film. He's still out there doing his thing, and cinema is a better place for it. The Zero Theorem also has the most gorgeous final shot [even if it's partly CGI] in ages. Gilliam's kind of been there before, but it still works.

Rating: 6.5/10

As a fan of Gilliam I have been looking forward to this, and going by your review it will be well worth while seeing, but not sure if it's getting a country wide release, as no sign of it here yet. In fact it was easier to get to see Nymphomaniac over here, which I will get round to writing about soon, but due to my Fathers passing everything is on hold.


_____________________________

"You listen to me now,i will find you and i will kill you!"

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 15449
RE: WEIRD/STRANGE favorite movies? - 18/3/2014 9:03:50 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4030
Joined: 19/10/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: evil bill

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera



There is some of the expected Gilliam wacky humour in The Zero Theorem, if perhaps less than expected. A bizarre tall man and fat dwarf [Gilliam had to fit one in somewhere] team turn up every now and again to act, well, like characters in a Gilliam film, while David Thewlis not only overacts as usual but tries to be like Michael Palin. Tilda Swinton makes one of her funniest appearances as Dr Shrink-rom, a virtual psychiatrist. Unusually, the Scottish actress has a thick Scottish accent for a change. There are also some great small details throughout, like a park wall with endless signs forbidding things, Gilliam again showing the way we seem to be headed especially in this increasingly restrictive country. Of course the sets tend to be as chaotic looking as possible and Gilliam still has that fascination with things like wires and tubes.

Carlo Poggioli deserves a mention for his stunning costume designs and George Fenton supplies a fine score which is sometimes quite beautiful as well as appropriately quirky. There's lots to enjoy in The Zero Thereom for the filmgoer after something a bit different, but it makes even less commercially minded concessions than normal, while Gilliam fans will have seen much of it before, meaning that the result isn't really satisfactory whichever way you approach it. Still, Gilliam coasting is still Gilliam, and the man's fingerprints are still all over his new film. He's still out there doing his thing, and cinema is a better place for it. The Zero Theorem also has the most gorgeous final shot [even if it's partly CGI] in ages. Gilliam's kind of been there before, but it still works.

Rating: 6.5/10

As a fan of Gilliam I have been looking forward to this, and going by your review it will be well worth while seeing, but not sure if it's getting a country wide release, as no sign of it here yet. In fact it was easier to get to see Nymphomaniac over here, which I will get round to writing about soon, but due to my Fathers passing everything is on hold.



Oh god sorry to hear that Bill, my utmost condolences.

_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to evil bill)
Post #: 15450
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