Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Follow us on   
Search   
Forum Home Register for Free! Log In Moderator Tickets FAQ Users Online

RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010

 
Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Lists and Top 10s >> RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 Page: <<   < prev  301 302 [303] 304 305   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 8:39:07 AM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay
Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
Argento's influential horror is inventively shot and photographed, with a couple of good shocks. The characters are fairly bland and there's little plot, but the discordant, screechy soundtrack and sound effects are impressively horrible (7/10)

_____________________________

I've only gone and set up a blog! This week I've been mostly reviewing The Lego Movie and Wadjda. Click: The Fast Picture Show

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 9061
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 9:04:02 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: MOTH

Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
Argento's influential horror is inventively shot and photographed, with a couple of good shocks. The characters are fairly bland and there's little plot, but the discordant, screechy soundtrack and sound effects are impressively horrible (7/10)


I agree with all of this, but I still think you are a terrible, terrible human being.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to MOTH)
Post #: 9062
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 10:12:48 AM   
chris_scott01


Posts: 3081
Joined: 5/1/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
#24.Man With a Movie Camera (1929, Dziga Vertov, Russia)
"Man With a Movie Camera” begins with a black screen with a text passage, telling us that this is an experiment in early film, shunning all plot and character and instead trying to communicate its message through images alone. Over the next sixty six minutes, Dziga Vertov (who, until now, I was only aware of as the name for the group which the likes of Godard and Gorin went by in the 1970s) contrasts images of impoverished working class and rich, affluent upper class, pointing out the inherent and obvious unfairness of the social gulf that lies between them. In this, it is a clear forerunner and key influence on Jean Vigo's wonderful "A Propos De Nice”, as well as an apparent anticipation of the techniques used over fifty years later in "Koyaanisqatsi”. Also, though, it's about the thrills that came with filmmaking in the early stretches of the medium. The film's titular character – if you can call him that – is a man who carts around his movie camera, filming Russia as it lives and breathes. In this way, you could probably call "Man With a Movie Camera” a documentary about, well, itself. It is about the thrill of early cinema and the lengths that filmmakers will go to get that one exquisite shot, with the titular 'man with a movie camera' climbing, ducking, and diving to achieve his filmic goals. Aesthetically it's quite wonderful too, with Vertov's shots short and sweet, constantly flitting between images, wonderfully complementing (and juxtaposing) each other. And then there's the score, done – on the 2002 re-release I saw – by British jazz/electronic outfit "The Cinematic Orchestra”, which is wonderfully emotive and evocative. It really is a fantastic film, devoid of story and characters but filled with bright thematic ideas and sublime aesthetics. 5/5.


It is a wonderful film, completely detatched from the normal plot/ character films it's energy and enthusiasm for capturing and celebrating life in a very simple way is a joy to watch.  Did you not watch it with Michael Nyman's score?  I thought that matched the mood of the pictures better.

quote:


#84. Vengeance is Mine (1979, Shohei Imamura, Japan)
Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) commits violent, extreme, and insane murders and goes on the run. The police end up chasing him all over Japan, but he manages to elude them for seventy eight days, in the process meeting a woman who owns a brothel and falling in love with her. "Vengeance is Mine” is the first Shohei Imamura I've seen, and I was quite impressed by its visceral nature, its extreme, ruthless, and realistic portrayal of violence, and its superb handling of both challenging subject matter and a challenging un-chronological narrative. I think there are flaws – most notably that it felt about a quarter of an hour overlong, which is quite shocking when I watched it in-between an Ozu film and "Jeanne Dielman” – but most of them are easy to overlook, especially when you consider the scale and the episodic nature of such a story. It could have been messy, it could have jarred, but, for the most part (and there is the occasional blip), it really works, and it feels like a fluent yet visceral experience. First and foremost, it's a character study, separating itself from the majority of them by attempting to delve into the mind of a murder who is, almost by his own will, uncontrollable, volatile, and perhaps un-understandable. Imamura attempts to look at why this man is doing these things, but his eventual conclusion seems to be that you can't always understand such events and crimes, and you can't always investigate them methodically. Mainly, though, it's a thriller, and a very good one at that, with a superb central performance from Ken Ogata, who presents this volatile and unpredictable murderer as cagey, paranoid, and tragic in his inability to understand the world. I think, though, that my favourite thing about the film was the subplot between Enokizu's wife and his father, who hide a secret love – and lust - from the world, constantly trapped by this volatile, hateful figure that plagues both of their lives. Their scenes together are often tender, as suppressed emotion pours out of both of them, but offset by the violent presence that bombards in and out of the film, never allowing them to safely relish their love. It really is a remarkable film, even if ever so slightly flawed. 4/5.



Glad you liked this, I've just rewatched it myself.  One of the best portraits of a killer I've seen.  I'd say it's the most easily accessible of Imamura's films.  His other films don't seem as focused, they tend to meander a bit but I find Imamura is a hard filmmaker to figure out.  The best way I can find to describe his films generally is a clever mess, but rather than become major flaws I find it an intriguing mix and it takes on it's own qualities.


_____________________________

rapidite! rapidite!

(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 9063
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 12:47:29 PM   
Gram123

 

Posts: 5537
Joined: 19/1/2006
From: Reino Unido
023) Full Contact  (Ringo Lam, Hong Kong, 1992, DVD) - 7.0
At the grimier end of the HK action / crime thriller, Full Contact sees hard nut thief Gou Fei (Chow Yun Fat) helping his friend Sam Sei (Anthony Wong) out of a bind with a loan shark. In order to make some money to pay the lender back, the pair, along with another friend, Chung, get in on a heist with Judge (Simon Yam) and his gang. Unfortunately, the loan shark has already had a word in Judge's ear, and things don't exactly go to plan.

There are some rather cartoonish elements here - the gregariously dressed Judge, an OTT sociopathic homosexual, along with Psycho, Judge's hulking goon, and Psycho's slutty girlfriend Ngang (Bonnie Fu) - but all three at least have an air of danger and are not really played for laughs.
Gou Fei has a flat-top hair-do, and a thumb-licking affectation (didn't Chow do this in another film? Or am I thinking of his cocktail stick chewing in A Better Tomorrow?), though the latter is cut short when his hand is chopped, and Judge makes the most basic of movie villain errors in leaving Sam Sei to finish him off, without making sure the deed is done. Of course, Gou Fei survives, pulls himself together, plops on a prosthetic thumb and forefinger, re-trains himself to shoot with his left hand, and gets back in the mix. There's no indication of exactly how long a period this interim was supposed to cover, but the fashions had changed - no more sleeveless leather jacket for Gou Fei, and Anthony Wong's character had seemingly morphed into a Chinese Lou Reed. The music had changed, too, as seen in the scenes with Lola, Gou Fei's girlfriend dancing in a nightclub - initially it's 80s style pop-rock nonsense, but later it's all dance music with Prodigy samples (courtesy of Teddy Robin-Kwan). So I guess we're meant to assume at least a year has passed...

Anyway, blood spills, people get shot to bits or violently chopped, and generally it's in the same sort of ballpark as that other Ringo Lam / Chow Yun Fat collaboration, City on Fire. The action here is probably superior, Chow giving it some martial artsy kicks and punches, Simon Yam is undoubtedly a better villian than Elvis Tsui in CoF, and the presence of Anthony Wong always elevates a film (even The Twins Effect).

< Message edited by Gram123 -- 20/8/2010 12:49:35 PM >


_____________________________

Gram123's Top Songs Project

(in reply to chris_scott01)
Post #: 9064
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 1:26:11 PM   
MOTH

 

Posts: 3479
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Sittin' on the dock of the bay

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

quote:

ORIGINAL: MOTH

Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
Argento's influential horror is inventively shot and photographed, with a couple of good shocks. The characters are fairly bland and there's little plot, but the discordant, screechy soundtrack and sound effects are impressively horrible (7/10)


I agree with all of this, but I still think you are a terrible, terrible human being.



I know you are, but what am I?

_____________________________

I've only gone and set up a blog! This week I've been mostly reviewing The Lego Movie and Wadjda. Click: The Fast Picture Show

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 9065
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 1:28:49 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris_scott01

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
#24.Man With a Movie Camera (1929, Dziga Vertov, Russia)
"Man With a Movie Camera” begins with a black screen with a text passage, telling us that this is an experiment in early film, shunning all plot and character and instead trying to communicate its message through images alone. Over the next sixty six minutes, Dziga Vertov (who, until now, I was only aware of as the name for the group which the likes of Godard and Gorin went by in the 1970s) contrasts images of impoverished working class and rich, affluent upper class, pointing out the inherent and obvious unfairness of the social gulf that lies between them. In this, it is a clear forerunner and key influence on Jean Vigo's wonderful "A Propos De Nice”, as well as an apparent anticipation of the techniques used over fifty years later in "Koyaanisqatsi”. Also, though, it's about the thrills that came with filmmaking in the early stretches of the medium. The film's titular character – if you can call him that – is a man who carts around his movie camera, filming Russia as it lives and breathes. In this way, you could probably call "Man With a Movie Camera” a documentary about, well, itself. It is about the thrill of early cinema and the lengths that filmmakers will go to get that one exquisite shot, with the titular 'man with a movie camera' climbing, ducking, and diving to achieve his filmic goals. Aesthetically it's quite wonderful too, with Vertov's shots short and sweet, constantly flitting between images, wonderfully complementing (and juxtaposing) each other. And then there's the score, done – on the 2002 re-release I saw – by British jazz/electronic outfit "The Cinematic Orchestra”, which is wonderfully emotive and evocative. It really is a fantastic film, devoid of story and characters but filled with bright thematic ideas and sublime aesthetics. 5/5.


It is a wonderful film, completely detatched from the normal plot/ character films it's energy and enthusiasm for capturing and celebrating life in a very simple way is a joy to watch.  Did you not watch it with Michael Nyman's score?  I thought that matched the mood of the pictures better.


I actually watched the Cinematic Orchestra scored film specifically because my friend had been going crazy about the album not realizing it was actually made for this film. I will try to check out the Michael Nyman one at some point though. I hear that is the one on most DVDs? If so I'll probably hear it when I buy it.

quote:


quote:


#84. Vengeance is Mine (1979, Shohei Imamura, Japan)
Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) commits violent, extreme, and insane murders and goes on the run. The police end up chasing him all over Japan, but he manages to elude them for seventy eight days, in the process meeting a woman who owns a brothel and falling in love with her. "Vengeance is Mine” is the first Shohei Imamura I've seen, and I was quite impressed by its visceral nature, its extreme, ruthless, and realistic portrayal of violence, and its superb handling of both challenging subject matter and a challenging un-chronological narrative. I think there are flaws – most notably that it felt about a quarter of an hour overlong, which is quite shocking when I watched it in-between an Ozu film and "Jeanne Dielman” – but most of them are easy to overlook, especially when you consider the scale and the episodic nature of such a story. It could have been messy, it could have jarred, but, for the most part (and there is the occasional blip), it really works, and it feels like a fluent yet visceral experience. First and foremost, it's a character study, separating itself from the majority of them by attempting to delve into the mind of a murder who is, almost by his own will, uncontrollable, volatile, and perhaps un-understandable. Imamura attempts to look at why this man is doing these things, but his eventual conclusion seems to be that you can't always understand such events and crimes, and you can't always investigate them methodically. Mainly, though, it's a thriller, and a very good one at that, with a superb central performance from Ken Ogata, who presents this volatile and unpredictable murderer as cagey, paranoid, and tragic in his inability to understand the world. I think, though, that my favourite thing about the film was the subplot between Enokizu's wife and his father, who hide a secret love – and lust - from the world, constantly trapped by this volatile, hateful figure that plagues both of their lives. Their scenes together are often tender, as suppressed emotion pours out of both of them, but offset by the violent presence that bombards in and out of the film, never allowing them to safely relish their love. It really is a remarkable film, even if ever so slightly flawed. 4/5.



Glad you liked this, I've just rewatched it myself.  One of the best portraits of a killer I've seen.  I'd say it's the most easily accessible of Imamura's films.  His other films don't seem as focused, they tend to meander a bit but I find Imamura is a hard filmmaker to figure out.  The best way I can find to describe his films generally is a clever mess, but rather than become major flaws I find it an intriguing mix and it takes on it's own qualities.



Cool, are there any of his that you'd specifically recommned? I'm looking to get more into his work after this excellent film.

_____________________________

Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to chris_scott01)
Post #: 9066
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 4:05:23 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
My first update for August (a great month for film-viewing so far quality-wise if not quantity-wise), which contains my last unseen Pixar, various kinds of reviews (including a haiku, a Paul, and a Miles), and the continuation of my Buster exploration :

Features:

33. Vamos a matar, compañeros [Companeros] (1970, Corbucci)
After the awful Django I become wary of Corbucci's work, but I thought I owed the Vice-President of spaghetti westerns another try. This is A Fistful of Dynamite meets The Wild Bunch meets The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, but it has a definite style and rhythm of its own (I suspect the fact that the version I watched wasn't dubbed in English plays a large role there) with constant zoom-ins, zoom-outs, and violent awesomeness. Despite the Morricone score it doesn't reach the operatic stratospheres of the other Sergio's work (that reminds me that I've got to give Solima a try, as well), but awesome is still an apt description of this funny, morally murky western.
9

38. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004, Hillenburg)
I don't think I've laughed so much while watching a movie since Airplane! Even better than the show at times.
9

39. Possession (1981, Zulawski)
free form lunacy
demented shrieks pierce the air
what the fucking fuck

9

40. Jules et Jim [Jules and Jim] (1962, Truffaut)
Wonderful. The second act is da best especially, but it's all great - fluid, emotional, superbly shot, scored, acted, and that ending is a corker.
9

48. Footlight Parade (1933, Bacon)
I'm not a big fan of musicals but this was a cracker. Cagney is fantastic, Blondell is amazing, the choreography is astonishing, and made 100x better by the fact that of course nothing like this could be done on a real stage. Funny, risqué (though I still haven’t found a pre-code that’s really out there yet, lines like "As long as there are sidewalks, you'll never be out of a job" are fireballs, and the mocking attitude towards censorship is sadly ironic), and involving. The supporting cast is also uniformly great, not a weak link there. From just 4 films, Powell is on the way to become one of my favourite actors, and with 5 films, Cagney is already there. Apart from the secretary cliché and the bland music, pretty much perfect.
8

96. Roger & Me (1989, Moore)
Typical Moore - manipulative, extremely biased, and immensely entertaining. It's no Columbine, of course, but I'll take it.
8

101. Collateral (2004, Mann)
Silly yet cool high concept plot. Foxx is alright, Cruise is great (and not because he subverts his image, just because I felt Vincent as Vincent). The action mixes oddly with the existentialism, which seems force-fed. DV works well here though occasionally it still looks ugly as fuck. It's no Heat, that's for sure.
8

115. Les carabiners [The Riflemen] (1963, Godard)
A joke, no doubt, but a funny one. An engaging war satire through the prism of Godard’s intellectualism. It doesn’t say anything as such, but there’s no rambling unlike in Le Petit Soldat, and the film works because of its uniqueness. It has been described as an anti-war-movie movie, and that sums it up nicely.
8

124. A Bug’s Life (1998, Lasseter)
First of all: Is it promoting individuality or community spirit? The animation is primitive compared to what Pixar would deliver later, and unlike Toy Story, there aren’t enough memorable characters to make up for that. Spacey is awesome, however, it’s frequently very funny, and the whole satire of Seven Samurai works. If it toned down the schmaltz, I would say it's underrated, as it stands, it's certainly one of the least best (because worst isn't apt there, even if we're talking Cars) PIxar films, but that's OK in my book.
7

Shorts:

17. One Week (1920, Keaton/Cline) {22 mins}
I thought this would be something out of this world, but it didn't live up to the first watch, nor Cops. Still fantastic, of course, that ending is brilliant. 9

29. Geri’s Game (1997, Pinkava) {4 mins}
Pixar have done more ambitious shorts, but this stands as one of their best realised ones - funny, poignant, and confusing (well, on first watch, this might be my 10th or so, it was on A Bug's Life DVD). Plus, you know, I like chess, even if the pieces are moved in an unorthodox fashion. 8

36. The Scarecrow (1920, Keaton/Cline) {20 mins}
Haven't seen this one before, great stuff. The dog chase, the accidental proposal, the all-purpose room, classic inventive funny romantic Keaton. 8

44. Convict 13 (1920, Keaton/Cline) {20 mins}
Has some of the best verbal Keaton gags ("[To make up for the botched execution], we'll hang two of you tomorrow"), and some nice slapstick but I was disappointed to discover on the re-watch that it was all a dream, IMO, that's completely unnecessary. 8

58. Neighbors (1920, Keaton/Cline) {18 mins}
I can see why people hail it as one of Buster's best, and I would agree, but the racism puts me off (even though I object against blackface not because it's racist, just because it's stupid), and the pants gag is a bit meh. Nice acrobatics though. 7

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 9067
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 4:23:56 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

39. Possession (1981, Zulawski)
free form lunacy
demented shrieks pierce the air
what the fucking fuck

9




You cheeky fuck.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9068
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 4:27:10 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
To be fair, Possession straddles the line between horrible and amazing beautifully.

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 9069
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 6:14:40 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

To be fair, Possession straddles the line between horrible and amazing beautifully.


I thought you kept saying it was rubbish on MSN?

EDIT: Also, it's not a satire of Seven Samurai, more an homage.


< Message edited by Piles -- 20/8/2010 6:15:47 PM >


_____________________________

Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9070
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 7:15:07 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

To be fair, Possession straddles the line between horrible and amazing beautifully.


I think you'll find it fell off on one side of the line,

And it ain't the amazing one.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9071
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 8:04:13 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

17. One Week (1920, Keaton/Cline) {22 mins}
I thought this would be something out of this world, but it didn't live up to the first watch, nor Cops.




Cos I suggested it? I'm touched.

quote:

Miles, obviously, who else?

but the racism puts me off (even though I object against blackface not because it's racist, just because it's stupid),


LOL.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9072
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 10:49:32 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

To be fair, Possession straddles the line between horrible and amazing beautifully.


I thought you kept saying it was rubbish on MSN?

EDIT: Also, it's not a satire of Seven Samurai, more an homage.

That was a ruse.
I think it's a satire, because the ant's great idea might have been inspired by a watch of Seven Samurai but then it very nearly backfires.
elab, I'm not surprised
Rhub, no, I wanted to re-watch One Week for a while. And what's LOL about the thing you quoted?

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 9073
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 20/8/2010 11:21:04 PM   
chris_scott01


Posts: 3081
Joined: 5/1/2006
quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
I actually watched the Cinematic Orchestra scored film specifically because my friend had been going crazy about the album not realizing it was actually made for this film. I will try to check out the Michael Nyman one at some point though. I hear that is the one on most DVDs? If so I'll probably hear it when I buy it.


Yeah I think it's on the Bfi re-release.

quote:


Cool, are there any of his that you'd specifically recommned? I'm looking to get more into his work after this excellent film.


You've mentioned Pigs and Battleships/ The Flesh is Hot already, I really liked that.  I haven't watched The Eel or Warm Water yet but I'd recommend going into some of his 60s films next.




_____________________________

rapidite! rapidite!

(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 9074
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 21/8/2010 10:54:19 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
It may be better to balance though - since his approach seemed to change quite a bit if you went full on one side it'd be more of a drop the other side


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to chris_scott01)
Post #: 9075
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 21/8/2010 3:00:18 PM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007
19. Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris, 2006, USA) *

Wonderful little film that never fails to put a smile on my face and entertain me for an hour and a half. The cast are uniformly excellent, with Alan Arkin, Steve Carell and the adorable Abigail Breslin the standouts. Being a fan of Juno, and the soon to be mentioned Napoleon Dynamite and Dan In Real Life, I'm a sucker for little cosy quirky movies, and this is near the top of the list. Superb film.

39. Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004, USA) *

Just hilarious. I'll understand it's not to everyone's taste, but it is to mine, and any film where Jon Heder (superb here) is smacked in the face by a steak can't possibly not be one of my favourites.

41. Dan In Real Life (Peter Hedges, 2007, USA) *

Really cosy film with a great performance from Steve Carell, who is able to perform drama as well as comedy; his Little Miss Sunshine is better evidence of this, but that's no slight on this film. An ensemble cast with Amy Ryan and Greg from Flight Of The Conchords in small roles perform ably, and Juliette Binoche is a delight. Even Dane Cook is acceptable.

42. This Is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984, USA) *

For such a renowned comedy, I've seen this three times now and never once laughed out loud. However, I seem to smile all the way through. I don't find it hilarious, just endlessly watchable, so that's why it gets high marks.

127. Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (Joe Lynch, 2007, USA)

It was crap, but fun crap. And probably the best thing to watch at 3 in the morning with a bunch of drunk friends... which is what I did.

_____________________________

THE ALTERNATIVE LOOK AT BOB DYLAN'S DISCOGRAPHY - ONE DAY MAYBE I'LL FINISH IT

(in reply to Epiphany Demon)
Post #: 9076
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 2:05:40 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Rhub, no, I wanted to re-watch One Week for a while. And what's LOL about the thing you quoted?


Such typical you. Its racism put me off, although actually I'm okay with the racism, although actually the racism is stupid.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 9077
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 2:23:38 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
33. The Exorcist (1973, Friedkin, USA) - 4.5/5
A slow-burning, grotesque chiller, The Exorcist's place in the horror canon is well-known - and, thankfully, well-deserved. Linda Blair is Regan, the little girl possessed, and her slow descent from giggly pre-teen to destructive, demonic presence is perfectly captured in her performance and in the magnificent special effects and make-up work on display, the little flourishes (the creeping cuts on her face, the tongue wagging in a positively unnerving fashion as Father Merrin recites the ritual) just as effective and perturbing as the big 'shocker' moments (the head-spinning, the terrifying spider-crawl, the genital mutilation with a crucifix). The voice acting from Mercedes McCambridge as the demon infecting Regan is also well-done, though it does suffer from an overdose of ham at points ("DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE DID" never fails to raise a laugh). Friedkin also uses all manner of tricks and quirks to create an atmosphere where the villain is so inhuman that it twists and destroys everything it touches - the haunting slowly focuses itself on Regan's room to the point where it looks and feels like a quarantine zone or a freezer in which specimens are stored for safekeeping, and Friedkin nails this transition, actually building the room in a freezer and progressively putting more and more distance between Regan and the camera. Meanwhile, the actors surrounding her ground the film in reality and give it an undeniable urgency - Ellen Burstyn and Jason Miller, in particular, are riveting as Regan's committed mother and the tormented Father Karras respectively, and it's exceedingly difficult not to empathise with them. If it weren't for the meandering Iraq prologue that serves to only offer some heavy-handed foreshadowing, The Exorcist would be damn near perfect. As it is, it's just immensely satisfying and profoundly creepy. Which is a pretty big 'just'.

86. Drag Me To Hell (2009, Raimi, USA) - 4/5*

Second time around and on a smaller screen, Drag Me To Hell is a lot less scary, but a hell of a lot funnier (though some of the laughs are unintentional, deriving as they do from some clunky dialogue delivered badly). Raimi's penchant for gross-out slapstick violence complements the film's narrative, as we follow the basically good-hearted Christine Brown and her increasingly bizarre, overblown attempts to beat a gypsy curse. The setpieces are heavily reliant on the use of silence and the breaking thereof, almost to the point where it becomes predictable, and they work better when he's taking the disgusting and knocking it up a few levels, or when he's unashamedly playing the whole thing for laughs (the scene in the graveyard and the seance are both deliriously funny, and the seance even packs a good couple of scares in it). It helps that Raimi has a great lead in Alison Lohman, whose sweet-as-pie demeanour and wholesome good looks belie a heavy insecurity and a need to be everything to everyone, even if it means forgoing who she is (the hints at her recurrent body issues reinforce this, and add another level to the large number of horror scenes focused on things invading Christine's body). Raimi seems to flip-flop a bit on whether the curse is deserved - the way the film seems to frown on Christine's increasingly amoral attempts to shirk it conflicts harshly with the unpleasant portrayal of curse-granter Sylvia Ganush (Lorna Raver), a disrespectful and irrational old gypsy woman - and that hurts the film's portrayal of Christine as someone to root for, but we're there with her despite this, and it gives the film a heart to go with the funnybone; and what a funnybone it is - the comic highlights are numerous indeed (the best is still clearly the kitty, though).

147. Night of the Living Dead (1968, Romero, USA) - 3.5/5

Seven people. One farmhouse. One truck. One gas pump. One gun. A few dozen zombies. What could go wrong? According to Romero, everything, because humans are cavalier dicks more obsessed with power plays and laying blame than co-operation and survival, and Romero uses this as the basic thematic foundation of Night of the Living Dead, an ambitious and progressive, but horribly patchy, debut from the zombie maestro. A lot's made of Romero's colour blindness in his casting of this film, and rightfully so, as that colour blindness gave us Duane Jones, whose performance as the assertive and forward-thinking Ben is a studied, clever performance, making the character a level-headed guy whose grasp on the situation is constantly challenged by his more irrational farmhouse friends and the escalating crisis outside. The film's also an incredibly interesting 'cabin fever' tale and a stealthy critique of patriarchal power structures, with the women - at least one of whom is a voice of lucid reason - sidelined by the men, whose different ideas on how to survive clash violently and constantly undermine even their most basic attempts at co-operation and communication (it's worth noting that Karl Hardman, a dead ringer for Rob Corddry, provides a more-than-capable sparring partner for Jones, his aggressive, cowardly Harry almost the perfect source of conflict). However, this isn't helped by some terrible acting that almost serves to reinforce the very views Romero criticises - Judith O'Dea is unbearable as terrified Barbra, and Judith Ridley is basically a doormat for a bland-as-cardboard country bumpkin boyfriend - and Romero spends too much time pointing the camera at the television for Exposition Time and needs to work on his dialogue.

196. Huozhe (To Live) (1994, Zhang, CHN/HKG) - 3/5

Too many times, To Live suffers from feeling like a film built around an idea, rather than built around characters and narrative - a subtle and interesting critique of the early years of Communism in working-class China, To Live frequently treats its characters and story as vessels for the criticising of historical events or the overarching tenets of Chinese Communism - take the public trials as they pervade the township married couple Fugui and Jiazhen live in, or the reaction to Youqing's actions in the communal kitchen, or the events arising from the District Chief's visit to the local school. It's perhaps because of this that the human moments, particularly earlier in the film, feel overwritten and slightly unnatural - something not helped by overly-literal subtitles and a performance from Ge You that's half heartfelt and half crazy-eyed and inappropriate. Gong Li's exceptional performance and the two great child actors playing their children ground those moments somewhat, as does Zhang Yimou's unintrusive direction, but it frequently doesn't feel enough. On top of this, the attempts at critiquing Communism are hurt by the portrayal of the 'positives' - it's all well and good if we're meant to look at them and understand how hollow they are, but it's not so good if the actors and writing seem to be in on the critique, and it feels overly disingenuous rather than authentic. On top of this, it's a melodramatic affair that rather too often stoops to personal tragedy without grasping quite how to make it kick, but when it does kick, it's truly heartbreaking stuff (and considering Gong Li does most of the heavy lifting when it is heartbreaking, that's not entirely surprising).

204. Gin gwai (The Eye) (2002, Pang Chun & Pang, HKG/SIN) - 3/5

Quite possibly South East Asia's answer to M. Night Shyamalan, the Pang brothers are excellent at devising stories, but really need to get other people to write their screenplays. Piggy-backing on the "I see dead people" mini-craze of early last decade, The Eye has a swell concept - a blind woman gets a cornea transplant, only to find herself seeing dead people all over the show. The first half an hour of the film doesn't let on that the premise's promise won't be fulfilled - it cleverly hints at what's to come and crafts some surprisingly creepy sequences around until-recently-blind Wong Kar Mun's coming to grips with the abnormality of what's really happening to her. Angelica Lee also convinces in the lead, her wide, expressive doe eyes and trusting manner emphasising her vulnerability and inability to fathom just what the fuck is going on with her eyes. However, the Pangs frequently get mired in pointless subplots (the exorcist, Kar Mun's violin playing, the boy with the lost report card), their dialogue veers between terrible and decent quite frequently, and their schizophrenic direction means virtuoso sequences can be immediately followed up with laughable zooms, whip pans and fade ins accompanied by inappropriate music cues. Then the film's twist takes hold, and it's either ridiculously stupid or brilliant, and I'm still not entirely sure which - all I know is that it was delivered terribly, and led into a final half an hour that was even more frenetic and jerky than the previous hour. That said, poor Ying Ying. 

< Message edited by Pigeon Army -- 22/8/2010 2:46:48 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 9078
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 2:45:31 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14580
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

33. The Exorcist (1973, Friedkin, USA) - 4.5/5
A slow-burning, grotesque chiller, The Exorcist's place in the horror canon is well-known - and, thankfully, well-deserved. Linda Blair is Regan, the little girl possessed, and her slow descent from giggly pre-teen to destructive, demonic presence is perfectly captured in her performance and in the magnificent special effects and make-up work on display, the little flourishes (the creeping cuts on her face, the tongue wagging in a positively unnerving fashion as Father Merrin recites the ritual) just as effective and perturbing as the big 'shocker' moments (the head-spinning, the terrifying spider-crawl, the genital mutilation with a crucifix). The voice acting from Mercedes McCambridge as the demon infecting Regan is also well-done, though it does suffer from an overdose of ham at points ("DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE DID" never fails to raise a laugh). Friedkin also uses all manner of tricks and quirks to create an atmosphere where the villain is so inhuman that it twists and destroys everything it touches - the haunting slowly focuses itself on Regan's room to the point where it looks and feels like a quarantine zone or a freezer in which specimens are stored for safekeeping, and Friedkin nails this transition, actually building the room in a freezer and progressively putting more and more distance between Regan and the camera. Meanwhile, the actors surrounding her ground the film in reality and give it an undeniable urgency - Ellen Burstyn and John Miller, in particular, are riveting as Regan's committed mother and the tormented Father Karras respectively, and it's exceedingly difficult not to empathise with them. If it weren't for the meandering Iraq prologue that serves to only offer some heavy-handed foreshadowing, The Exorcist would be damn near perfect. As it is, it's just immensely satisfying and profoundly creepy. Which is a pretty big 'just'.


Not Jason?

Other than that, superb review, and I agree with every word with it. Friedkin should have won the Oscar that year, too, and it's a film that still has some of my favourite scares in it - a lot of them very subtle, like the vandalised Christ in the church and the subliminal flashes of Pazuzu and Karras' dead mother.

Makes you wonder what on earth they were thinking with the sequel.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 9079
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 2:49:07 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

Not Jason?


Oh, you.

You'll get yours.

quote:

Other than that, superb review, and I agree with every word with it. Friedkin should have won the Oscar that year, too, and it's a film that still has some of my favourite scares in it - a lot of them very subtle, like the vandalised Christ in the church and the subliminal flashes of Pazuzu and Karras' dead mother.



Karras' dead mother was way creepy. Just sitting there, staring. Eurgh. The vandalised Christ made me laugh like a drain, though.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 9080
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 2:51:15 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
Joined: 19/11/2008
From: Bristol
I rewatched The Exorcist earlier this year (or last year, can't remember) and it went down a fair bit in my estimation. In terms of 'scares', anyway. I got more from it, with the abuse edge and all that, though. And the storyline with Karras and his maw. Still, that first watch when I was about 12 was terrifying. Damn demonic faces/voices. 

< Message edited by FritzlFan -- 22/8/2010 2:52:07 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Child labour is necessary in the short term




(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 9081
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 3:35:54 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I watched the Exorcist first time when I was 15 and drunk from Vodka Jelly. It scared the absolute bejesus out of me. But, yeah I watched it earlier this year and found it more enjoyable than leave-the-light-on frightening.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to FritzlFan)
Post #: 9082
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 3:46:53 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
21. El secreto de sus ojos [The Secret in Their Eyes] (Juan José Campanella, 2010)
Having not seen The White Ribbon, I can't say if it deserved the Best Foreign Language over it, but it's a damn fine film. Excellent performances all around with Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil the standouts. There's nice comic turn by Guillermo Francella as well.

24. Madeo [Mother] (Bong Joon-ho, 2010)
The second of my cinema double bill on Friday. Kim Hye-ja's performance is probably one of my favourites of the year. It loses a bit (but not that much) for continually distancing itself from the viewer. Although, it has one of the tensest scenes of the year. People who have seen it will know what I'm on about.

44. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
A very good film aided by excellent performances from Michael Fassbender and Katie Jarvis. It is let down by some one note character (the mother being the main example) and some really obvious imagery.

< Message edited by paul_ie86 -- 22/8/2010 3:48:36 PM >


_____________________________

My Group Project's facebook page. Please like

(in reply to FritzlFan)
Post #: 9083
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 3:54:10 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

21. El secreto de sus ojos [The Secret in Their Eyes] (Juan José Campanella, 2010)
Having not seen The White Ribbon, I can't say if it deserved the Best Foreign Language over it, but it's a damn fine film. Excellent performances all around with Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil the standouts. There's nice comic turn by Guillermo Francella as well.





I think half my office have been to see that at the GFT this week because I've been talking it up

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to paul_ie86)
Post #: 9084
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 22/8/2010 4:32:51 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14580
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
The McPherson Tape (Dean Alioto)
 
God loves a trier apparently, so he will probably look kindly upon Alioto's entry into the found footage from the late 90s. Set on a country farm one Thanksgiving, a family reunion, already fraught with familial tension, is worsened by the unexpected arrival of aliens on a neighbouring farm who don't take too kindly to the McPhersons' interference with their cow autopsy - the resulting attack and siege upon the farm is all captured by the youngest son, who was trying out his new video camera to capture the seasonal celebrations. Alioto could probably feel aggrieved that not only was The Blair Witch Project a huge international success only a couple of years after this effort, but it also has a key scene in common - the protagonist leaving a direct-to-camera message to their family members as the film approaches its climax. As well as that, there are the clear similarities to Shyamalan's Signs and Alioto was probably wondering just how unlucky could he get. Unfortunately, whereas those two films both had varying degrees of quality to them, The McPherson Tape has very little going for it production-wise, suffering from a low budget, poor scripting and hugely amateurish acting. The script's insertion of tension into the family set up takes the form of the oldest brother's latent racism towards the daughter's latest boyfriend and the mother's battle with alcoholism. However, the former goes nowhere and the latter leads to one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes in the film - the discovery that an injured family member has died is totally undercut by the mother nonchalantly holding onto a glass of wine at all costs. There's also a brawl between two of the three brothers that merely shows up the paucity of acting talent and the awfulness of the dialogue - and the less said about the "eerie" little girl who knows more than she lets on, the better. These are attempts to spice up the drama, which is no surprise considering that most of the alien's attacks on the house consist of machinery turning on and off by itself and a vicious, chilling attack by...laser pen. A shame that the film continually shoots itself in the foot like this, because there are interesting moments like the sudden disappearance of key family members and the build up to the ending actually builds up a decent amount of tension towards to what is, conceptually, quite a disturbing climax - although sadly, it's again let down by a lack of budget. What is perhaps the biggest problem, however, is the interlacing of talking heads through the programme from scientists and government officials all solemnly intoning how utterly convincing and genuine the footage is. Not only are these actors the worst of a bad bunch to a man, it's simply baffling why one of them is a British musician, complete with mockney accent, dismissing the aliens as "big-headed wankers." All in all, it's a pretty terrible film, but I will say this - approach it in the right frame of mind (say, as either an easily-scared eight-year-old or someone who's consumed a large amount of alcohol) and there is some fun to be had, albeit mostly unintentional. (2.5/10)

< Message edited by matty_b -- 22/8/2010 4:33:58 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 9085
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 23/8/2010 1:05:34 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86
24. Madeo [Mother] (Bong Joon-ho, 2010)
The second of my cinema double bill on Friday. Kim Hye-ja's performance is probably one of my favourites of the year. It loses a bit (but not that much) for continually distancing itself from the viewer. Although, it has one of the tensest scenes of the year. People who have seen it will know what I'm on about.



Say who what now


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to paul_ie86)
Post #: 9086
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 23/8/2010 1:10:03 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
There is a massive literary sensation called the Millennium Trilogy, composed of three books and focus on corporate conspiracy. They were made into a trilogy by the Swedish, and the first one, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became a critical and financial success. The film is sadly rather underwhelming, suffering from an overlong running time, a rather bland male protagonist played Nyqvist, nondescript and generic direction by Oplev and a story that while intriguing in some areas, still feels rather cliched and a by-the-numbers thriller about corporate conspiracy and corruption, serial killers, Nazis and misogyny. It's a good film, Rapace gives a great performance and a truly unique heroine with Lisbeth, a socially awkward genius with some contrary behavior, the cold setting is beautiful to watch and fits the film and it can be an interesting watch. It's just a shame that it feels like a sub-par Fincher film than a very good thriller. 3/5

Remaining in the vicinity of Sweden, I have also seen Refn's tightly directed and at times brilliant debut Pusher. A Copenhagen drug pusher ends up in debt with a group of Balkans and has a few days to bring back the money he lost. If he doesn't he ends up dead. It has some flaws, the opening 20 minutes mostly involve the lead pusher and his partner-in-crime talking very explicitly and crudely about sex. It goes nowhere, shows little and feels protracted. Then it improves, a lot, and becomes a tense, harsh, stylish crime film about a man slowly falling into a personal hell making enemies everywhere. It's rather brilliant and worth a watch. 4/5



_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 9087
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 23/8/2010 5:19:32 AM   
impqueen


Posts: 7474
Joined: 24/7/2006

033. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939) USA
050. Solaris (Soderbergh, 2002) USA
055. Poltergeist (Hooper, 1982) USA
090. Sleeping Beauty (Geronimi, 1959) USA

101. World’s Greatest Dad (Goldthwait, 2009) USA (First View)
103. The Reader (Daldry, 2008) USA/GER
121. The Karate Kid (Avildsen, 1984) USA

140. Cliffhanger (Harlin, 1993) USA/ITA/FR
145. Beloved (Demme, 1998) US A (First View)
157. The Phantom of the Opera (Schumacher, 2004)
158. Cop Out (Smith, 2010) USA (First View)

163. Pocahontas (Gabriel/Goldberg, 1995) USA
164. Hostage (Siri, 2005) USA (First View)
165. Way of the Gun (McQuarrie, 2000) USA

183. Howard the Duck (Huyck, 1986) USA (First View)
184. The Wolfman (Johnston, 2010) USA (First View)
194. Anastasia (Bluth/Goldman, 1997) USA


_____________________________

Yes, always.


(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 9088
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 23/8/2010 6:18:00 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78054
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
169. The Relic (1997, 3rd view, Peter Hyams) - 3/5

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to impqueen)
Post #: 9089
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 23/8/2010 12:31:30 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range


#10.Shoah (1985, Claude Lanzmann, France)

There’s a moment in “Shoah” when Claude Lanzmann is interviewing a Jewish barber who cut the hair of the women doomed to die in the gas chambers. This barber is probably alive because of his occupation, because it allowed him to be kept alive whilst millions of his fellow Jews were murdered by the Nazis. During this interview, the most telling and powerful moment of this nine and a half hour documentary occurs. This barber breaks down into tears, and tells Lanzmann that he cannot go on. “We have to”, comes the director’s compassionate reply, “you know that we have to.” It is not for himself or for the Jewish barber that Lanzmann pushes this interview on, but still, they know that they must continue. Why is this? Well, it’s because “Shoah” is probably one of the most important films ever made, and certainly the most important film about the holocaust. It is a historical document rather than a documentary, interviewing the few survivors and perpetrators who were willing before they passed, creating an essential film before it was too late to do so. Yes, this is the essential holocaust movie, if not the essential holocaust document.

The thing that holds “Shoah” apart from most other films made about this dark time in human history, as well as apart from most documentaries, is that there isn’t a single piece of archive footage used from the camps. Instead, Lanzmann films long interviews with three distinct groups – victims, perpetrators, and bystanders – and inter-cuts it with footage from the places where these crimes took place. He conducts look tracking shots of pastoral fields or dense forests, geographic spots that will always be marked by the shadow of what occurred there during World War II. This, as well as the fact that this is fuller and more complex examination of the events, is what sets “Shoah” apart from other great films like, say, Alain Resnais’ “Night and Fog”. Whilst Resnais’ film is about how something like this could occur again, and how similar genocides are occurring all over the world, Lanzmann’s is a discussion of a memory of a moment in history. It does not really ask why, but rather what, how, where, and when. Lanzmann has quite angrily spoken against attempts of asking the why of Hitler, and that reflects in this film and its intense, vigorous historical – rather than philosophical – questioning.

As I said before, the people interviewed over the nine and a half hour runtime tend to fit into fit into one of three categories; victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. The victims that Lanzmann films are all Jews (which is probably the films only flaw; he doesn’t acknowledge the millions of non-Jewish people who were murdered), and the director asks them seemingly superficial questions about the gas chambers, what they were like, how they were treated, and their day-to-day routines. He never attempts grand sweeping questions, never asks how people felt, but rather creates a vivid picture in our mind of the camps. There is one point where a Jew who tells us about his time manning the doors of the chambers heard his people singing Hebrew songs and, moved to tears and resolute that his life had become meaningless, decided to join them, resolved to die. It is at this point that we realise that, in vigorously describing these events and these structures, Lanzmann has succeeded in placing us in these events. These people, these survivors, are people like any others. Lanzmann removes the distancing between modern day people and those caught up in these events, and as a result makes us question how easily it could have been us in those gas chambers.

The second group of people Lanzmann studies are the perpetrators, all of who are German in this film. He primarily interviews two of these people; an SS officer who worked at one of the camps (who the director refers to as a ‘key witness’) and a Nazi bureaucrat who organized trains to take the Jews to Treblinka. Both claim little knowledge of the events; the SS officer apparently didn’t know that the Jews were being murdered until he arrived at the camp, and the bureaucrat claims he was too busy to realize what was really going on. It’s quite amazing, really, that Lanzmann manages to keep his cool whilst interviewing these men. Of course, the director is less compassionate and a little more ruthless in pursuing a chain of questioning here, but still he refuses to ask big questions. I couldn’t help thinking throughout this that, if a lesser filmmaker like Michael Moore were making this movie, it would simply be nine hours of him shouting at Nazis because they’re evil murderers. Of course, they are evil murderers, but Lanzmann is intelligent enough to know that, well, we already know this, and instead discusses the layout of the camps, their inner workings, and the way that the ‘final solution’ was organized. It is well documented that these perpetrators requested not to be named or shown in the film, and that the director went against their wishes. This could be construed in two manners; as an inherent flaw with the director abusing their trust, or yet more evidence that Lanzmann believes he is making a film more important than himself or any of the individuals in it.

The third group interviewed is possibly the most interesting, though, the bystanders. Lanzmann himself joined the French resistance at the age of just eighteen, and because of this it gives him the integrity to make the point that these Poles simply stood by and watched as one of the greatest tragedies in mankind’s history occurred. It is not made clear whether all of the Polish people interviewed in the film (and all of the bystanders discussed are indeed Poles) knew what was happening, but many admit that they did, and Lanzmann does not miss any opportunities to dwell upon this. Perhaps even more distressing than this, though, is the few occasions in which these Poles, who lived through the holocaust as bystanders, make anti-Semitic remarks, suggesting that such beliefs are still alive and well. At one stage, a man mockingly laughs at the Hebrew language, and at another – perhaps the most disgusting in the film – an old woman asserts that there is an inherent difference between a Pole and a Jew.

“Shoah” is not an easy watch. It is nine and a half hours long, and is a documentary on a tough, heavyweight subject, but it is also essential. It is a film of honesty, a historical document, and perhaps one of the most important films ever made. 5/5.


_____________________________

Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to GoodBadGroovy)
Post #: 9090
Page:   <<   < prev  301 302 [303] 304 305   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Lists and Top 10s >> RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 Page: <<   < prev  301 302 [303] 304 305   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


 
Movie News  |  Empire Blog  |  Movie Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Video Interviews  |  Image Gallery  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Magazine  |  Resources
 
Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.328