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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films

 
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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 12/5/2012 12:31:45 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
64. Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Director: Billy Wilder



Typical to the style of film noir Sunset Boulevard is told in flashback after we see a dead body floating in the swimming pool of a mansion on Sunset Boulevard. This dead man is Joe Gillis (Holden) who narrates the moments leading up to his death.
Joe meets Norma Desmond by chance; he is a screenwriter and she a leading lady of the silent film who has slipped into obscurity. Together they hope to give Norma a comeback while birthing Joe’s career. However this is a film noir so things aren’t going to be so easy. The state of their careers reflects the state of their relationship, she is the old lady who is no longer desired, this can be seen when Joe heads to a party with younger people and Norma tries to manipulate him by attempting suicide. He is the dependent man who she suits up, cleans up and mothers who is also financially dependent on her yet is cunning and using her in the way people do to get a foot up in the industry. Man likes to be the provider, Joe’s reliance on Norma is uncomfortable to watch and Wilder plays up on these male anxieties.

Norma mirrors broken dreams. Hollywood created her then spat her out again when the flavour got old. Many films have tried to tackle this idea but none so successfully as Sunset Boulevard. Watching this film seems clichéd but it is in fact everything else that has borrowed. This is also a film way ahead of its time and thus a film that will not age. The theme itself cannot age either. This is the anti-film to 'The African Queen’ where man and woman successfully work things out. This is one of those films dealing with the independence gained by women when men left for the war. It is hard to think of a more cynical film. One scene in particular speaks for the entire film itself. Upon arriving at Norma’s mansion Joe sees her butler Max carrying a coffin, inside is a dead monkey. This monkey is a sign of things to come for Joe as Norma’s lackey and as a chump.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 12/5/2012 12:32:18 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 12/5/2012 4:07:28 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

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Another cracking choice in a very broad list. It is maybe one of the best examples of comedy and tredgy being perfectly blended.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 13/5/2012 4:52:03 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
63. Goodfellas (1990)

Director: Martin Scorsese



Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) is not the sort of guy you want to be sat at a table with. Everything you do could result in your death, be friendly to him he will take the piss and disrespect you, jokingly give him lip back he will shoot you dead. He has a Napoleon complex, like a small dog with a loud bark and is constantly out to prove himself. He lacks the ability to sit there and act civil, instead he must find someone to pick on. It is his short height and squeaky voice that make him so dangerous for he has much to prove.
Jimmy Conway is equally as dangerous but in a more subtle way. He can be friendly and is not out to pick on people. However he can also be psychotically violent and does not like to be disrespected or pestered. Jimmy and Tommy are men following a code, they can read each other and recognise they both have balls and are men of action.
Henry Hill is the pretty boy, the good-looking Italian who can charm every woman he meets but also every guy. He is slick, smooth talking, exactly the sort of guy Tommy DeVito would want to hang out with. These three men are the ‘Goodfellas.'

Goodfellas was an instant classic and is the most revered of Scorsese’s films about organised crime. Everything is top notch, the performances, the setting, the script and the style. That long tracking shot through the bar is surely one of cinema’s most famous and who could forget the infamous ‘How am I funny?’ scene. To every male nothing is cooler than being part of something, particularly a group of people who are untouchable, young, rich and suited to the neck. Unlike the working class they get to eat at the best restaurants, get the best seats and drive the flashiest cars. If someone disrespects them they get whacked.
Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino) is the top man, the one they must all respect but it is Jimmy Conway who everyone wants to be, the man who will put a large wad of cash in your pocket for hanging up his coat. Both men play their roles perfectly; Cicero is the father figure and Conway the older brother.
Only one performance irritates me and that is Henry Hill’s love interest and future wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco.) She irritates me to hell and it is no coincidence that the second half of Goodfellas is significantly weaker because of her increase in screen time.

It is Pesci that you will be talking about after watching this film; forget Home Alone where he was the bumbling villain. If Tommy DeVito met Kevin McCallister then Kevin would be on his Mother’s knee sipping his beloved pizza through a straw. Liotta, DeNiro and Sorvino are incredible but Pesci runs the show and his performance in the film more than makes up for the irritating Karen Hill. An excellent scene sees Billy Batts (Frank Vincent) mock DeVito for being the guy who used to spit shine his shoes. This is immediately uncomfortable to watch as Tommy takes so much pride in his social standing. First Batts seems aggressive, then light- hearted then aggressive again. DeVito takes care of business and Conway who seemed almost gentle before this proceeds to kick Batts’ head in. As the Goodfellas dispose of the body they take a stop at DeVito’s house where they eat with his Mother. Similar to Cagney’s role in ‘White Heat’ DeVito is a real Momma’s boy and the trio have a joke about one of her paintings containing a man on a boat with a striking resemblance to Billy Batts. The audience feels like laughing along, they are in on the joke but what they forget is that these are not pleasant characters and should not be as likeable as they are.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 13/5/2012 8:49:12 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 13/5/2012 5:07:04 PM   
MovieAddict247


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Sunset Boulevard is gorgeous and amazing and fantastic.

Goodfellas - definately not my favourite Scorsese, but so watchable.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 13/5/2012 7:48:40 PM   
chambanzi


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62. Barry Lyndon (1975)

Director: Stanley Kubrick



I consider a film that lasts over three hours to be somewhat excessive. Now I know the worst insult you can throw at us film theorists is that we get ‘bored’ but lets face it, your arse begins to hurt, you want to stretch, you want to get some fresh air, and you want to have a conversation. Barry Lyndon is different. I sat there captivated from beginning to end caught in the 18th century adventures of Redmond Barry. First and foremost the cinematography of this film is mind-blowing. In earlier reviews I mentioned how amazing ‘Paris, Texas’ and ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ look but Barry Lyndon steals the show. The colours of Ireland are wonderfully depicted in this period drama. Electric lighting was not used therefore many scenes were shot with natural lighting such as candlelight. Every scene looks like a painting and the fact the film is not a still image makes this an even more impressive feat. This film is a work of art.

Despite being a drama splashes of dark humour seep through an otherwise serious storyline- the duelling scene is an excellent example of dark humour. Perhaps it is something in the way the characters talk, walk and act. On a side note American’s will absolutely love the accents in this film.

Now let’s focus on Barry Lyndon himself, a commoner who manages to become a war hero after saving a Captain’s life in battle. Barry shows extreme courage but he is also a gambler, a fighter and a seeker of wealth.
After an Intermission (because Kubrick was a man of the epic) the second Act of the film focuses around Lyndon’s relationship with the wealthy Lady Lyndon and her son Lord Bullingdon. Bullingdon witnesses Barry beat and cheat on his Mother and knows that he is trying to take control of their money. In spite of this I find it easier to side with Barry, he is what he is, a violent Irish thug but he shows signs of his military background, honour and nobility.

At times this is a very uncomfortable film to watch mainly because it shows the life of a man in excruciating detail as he goes from puppy love to becoming a man to marriage and onto personal tragedy. It is a film about a man who comes from nothing, gains it all then loses it. In this sense it shares similarities to the aforementioned ‘Goodfellas’ with the rise and fall of Henry Hill except Redmond Barry didn’t snort drugs up his honker every ten seconds.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 13/5/2012 7:49:38 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 13/5/2012 8:48:24 PM   
chambanzi


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61. L.A. Confidential(1997)

Director: Curtis Hanson



Lurking behind the curtains of Hollywood, the white smiles, sunny beaches, and rugged male leads is crime and corruption. Curtis Hanson’s crime caper is a belter of a film. Here we have a genuinely interesting mystery with a lot going on in the background. Behind the glamour, beneath the façade is murder, drugs and prostitution. A sardonic narration by Danny DeVito’s character Sid Hudgens opens the film, a real postcard ‘Come to L.A.’ speech.
Unlike Sunset Boulevard the film is less concerned with faded stars and more concerned with a current state of affairs- the corrupt police force, the temperamental actors addicted to a cocktail of sex and drugs and the journalists lacking in a moral compass who report on this all.

L.A. Confidential has a killer cast consisting of Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, David Straithairn, Ron Rifkin, Simon Baker and Danny DeVito. Each is given sufficient time to show off their acting chops but the star of the outfit is undoubtedly Guy Pearce as Detective Ed Exley, a man intent on finding his father’s murderer.
The film contains many throwbacks to film noirs of the 1940’s; Kim Basinger’s character is a prostitute who has been cut to look like Veronica Lake. The characters all have the sexual promiscuity and tongue in cheek humour of the film noir stars. These are not happy characters, they are cynical, tough and quick witted but they are a product of the city they belong to. L.A itself is the central character, home to all these characters and their subsequent backstories. The villains seem nice and the heroes are shady. To reinforce the idea of Hollywood as a façade the film’s villains often seem good and the heroes are shady. Russell Crowe is the tough cop who has no reluctance when it comes to getting his hands dirty. Spacey’s Jack Vincennes seems likeable enough but he tips off Sid Hudgens on celebrity arrests.

It is impressive that a film made in the nineties based off of the fiction of James Ellroy managed to be up there with the film noirs of the forties. L.A Confidential would be considered neo-noir which literally means ‘new’ but it has all the spirit of classics such as ‘This Gun For Hire,’ ‘Double Indemnity’ and ‘The Glass Key’ while adding a unique and refreshing modern spin of its own.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 13/5/2012 8:55:55 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
And here is the list so far.....

61. L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)
62. Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick)
63. Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)
64. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)
65. Fargo (1996, Joel & Ethan Coen)
66. A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson)
67. Yojimbo (1961, Akira Kurosawa)
68. 3:10 to Yuma (2007, James Mangold)
69. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Hayao Miyazaki)
70. Rumble Fish (1983, Francis Ford Coppola)

71. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
72. For A Few Dollars More (1965, Sergio Leone)
73. Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)
74. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, Brian Henson)
75. Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)
76. Some Like it Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)
77. Eastern Promises (2007, David Cronenberg)
78. Before the Rain (1994, Milcho Manchevski)
79. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)
80. Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)

81. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter)
82. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962, John Ford)
83. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, Lewis Milestone)
84. Burn After Reading (2008, Joel & Ethan Coen)
85. Videodrome (1983, David Cronenberg)
86. Winchester '73 (1950, Anthony Mann)
87. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, Robert Zemeckis)
88. The Grapes of Wrath (1940, John Ford)
89. Ace in the Hole (1951, Billy Wilder)
90. Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)

91. In Bruges (2008, Martin McDonagh)
92. Fist of Fury (1972, Lo Wei)
93. The African Queen (1951, John Huston)
94. Ratatouille (2007, Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava)
95. Being There (1979, Hal Ashby)
96. Nights Of Cabiria (1957, Federico Fellini)
97. Princess Mononoke (1997, Hayao Miyazaki)
98. The Browning Version (1951, Anthony Asquith)
99. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976, Clint Eastwood)
100. Infernal Affairs (2002, Wai- keung Lau, Alan Mak)

< Message edited by chambanzi -- 13/5/2012 8:57:25 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 14/5/2012 5:14:50 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Great choice with Barry Lyndon. One of Kubrick's best.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 14/5/2012 8:29:23 AM   
MovieAddict247


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L.A. Confidential is amazing.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 19/5/2012 10:45:16 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
60. Memories of Murder (2003)

Director: Bong Joon-ho



When I saw Bong Joon-ho’s ‘The Host’ I was mesmerised by that opening sequence where we first encounter the monster as it emerges from the river. It felt so real, people named it as the closest thing to a nightmare they had ever seen on film. Whilst the film itself was a blast it couldn’t live up to that fantastic scene which is surely one of the finest in cinema. ‘Memories of Murder’ was the second Bong Joon-ho film I saw and it is my favourite. The film remains consistent throughout, it is a cracking detective film with a completely fresh style to that we are accustomed to. This is no generic thriller and it inspired some of the very best in the genre such as David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac.’

Eighties Korea was a playground for a brutal serial killer/rapist. It was also a location lacking in forensic technology or efficient policing. Excluding one detective who has moved from the city, the rest of the ‘police’ behave shockingly. They try to beat confessions out of people and taunt, accuse and scare a handicapped kid who is visibly and physically incapable of committing rape.
Just like Zodiac the case remains unsolved with the serial killer never being found out, there is a clear suspect but nobody can be sure. In spite of this the ending is still very satisfactory to watch so don’t avoid this one just because there is no big pay-off.

Memories of Murder’s strength is in it’s rural setting. There have been plenty of crime thrillers where the murderer inhabits a large city but this is a countryside setting where the killer can run circles around the poorly prepared and unprofessional police force. These are men used to dealing with a small theft or a petty fight, not a case this big and even the city cop struggles to effectively enforce the law. It is a film as much about the state of Korea during this time period as it is about a murderer. Technically the film holds up, it is a film largely shot at night with lighting being used to construct the murders with terrifying realism.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 27/5/2012 1:15:09 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 19/5/2012 11:31:40 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
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59. Naked (1993)

Director: Mike Leigh



Naked’ is the perfect name for this seedy British film because it is quite simply the worst parts of humanity stripped bare. David Thewlis is Johnny in one of the greatest performances I have seen. When Johnny is not rolling off monologues that would make Shakespeare cry (literally how did Thewlis deliver some of his lines at such a breakneck speed?) he is wandering the streets of London manipulating every character he meets.

Johnny leaves Manchester after what appears to be rape (although judging from remarks between a couple of the female characters it was most likely sex that got out of hand.) He arrives in London and hobbles around its underbelly encountering other troubled characters. The characters are like rats in a sewer. As Johnny is homeless and jobless he lives each day sporadically ending up in all sorts of situations, one girl invites him in to shower and it is then we realise that he lives on the hospitality of others yet spends his time harassing them. His intelligence helps him find the vulnerability in other people and he gains extreme pleasure in hurting others, once this is achieved he finds someone else to torment. This is a road trip movie with no eventual lightning bolt of realisation or self-reflection; we are being directed by the type of person you would avoid on the street or on the train.

Also travelling through London by vehicle as opposed to his own legs is Jeremy, a despicable but successful wealthy landlord who takes advantage of his tenants. He is larger than life often to the point of hilarity asking women questions ranging from their breasts to whether they have had smoked salmon after making love. Both men share similarities and differences yet Johnny despite his glaring faults is significantly more endearing.
Despite being a grim view on life the film is loaded with black humour, Johnny’s exchange with the Scottish Archie (Ewen Bremner) is hilarious and many of Jeremy’s lines are so awful you can’t help but laugh. In this sense the film is very Shakespearean, there is drama and tragic characters fused with comedy and over the top quips. What is also worthy of noting is how the film at times feels like a depressing soap opera where the characters sit there with a cigarette and a cup of tea moaning and the next second it is a superbly-lit existentialist drama touching on questions of a philosophical and religious nature. London’s busy night-time is the odd yet perfect backdrop for the rapid dialogue.

Mike Leigh is very concerned with class, here he touches on the state of England through following a member of the lower-class over the course of a day and night. This is the most unique film in his arsenal of British drama, the feeling you receive watching this film is different to any other. You hate Johnny, you like Johnny, you realise Johnny is sicker than you thought, you pity Johnny, you despair with Johnny. Just as you think Johnny may have a chance at settling, he is off into the streets again.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 14/12/2012 10:27:12 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 19/5/2012 12:15:52 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
58. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Director: George Roy Hill




The ultimate buddy movie, two friends both part of the infamous Hole in the Wall gang Butch Cassidy the clever, cunning leader and the Sundance Kid the tough sharpshooter. The chemistry between Paul Newman and Robert Redford is what makes the film what it is. This chemistry was evident in ‘The Sting’ although that is not a film I particularly enjoyed.
After a failed robbery the authorities pursue the two loveable rogues. Everyone loves a good robbery if executed right and the duo belong in the same criminal class as the likes of John Dillinger where we root for them as opposed to seeing them in the same light as other criminals.
The authorities use an Indian tracker to hunt them down in one of cinema’s tensest scenes. As Butch and the Kid reach higher ground they continue to be pursued so both men decide to jump off a cliff into water in order to escape. These are men who fight together and go out together and anyone who has seen the film in its finality will agree with that statement.

The due flee to Bolivia accompanied by Sundance’s love interest Etta (Katharine Ross) who secretly harbours a lover for Butch. After a brief moment of despair the buddies are back to their robbing ways, this time with the help of Etta.
No buddy movie has made the same impact as Butch but it is also one of the finest Western’s. Opening with a fantastic silent sequence following the Hole in the Wall gang and ending with its demise the film really cements itself into the Western mould, the mythic and distant time that can never be recreated and the sepia tone used at the beginning and end of the film helps to reinforce this ancient and nostalgic feel. This film can also age well because Newman and Redford are iconic actors in their own right so are a natural fitting for a film of this nature.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 19/5/2012 12:16:31 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 27/5/2012 1:12:53 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
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57. The Terminator (1984)

Director: James Cameron



To imagine two murder victims with the same name as yours is one of the most terrifying concepts imaginable. Is this a pattern? Are you next?
The Terminator’ does not waste time hunting down every Sarah Connor from the telephone directory. It has no feelings or emotions and is a professional killer. Sarah Connor’s future son John will lead a resistance against Skynet and its army of machines and that is why she must be terminated.

James Cameron struck gold with this film; unlike many I prefer this to the second instalment. It is for one considerably more frightening and personally I think Arnie plays the bad cyborg better than the good one and his Terminator is a relentless one. This is not the main reason I prefer the first though, that reason is called Edward Furlong. See I can’t stand the kid’s wise cracks or his sulky behaviour and in the second film the kid rules the roost. Not only that but I found the whole ‘father figure’ storyline quite tedious. Give me the suspense of the first film, ‘The Terminator’ is exhausting, constantly on the hunt and the characters barely get a chance to escape or relax (although they do manage to get a shag in hence how that punk is born.)

This is one of those films that’s influence can be seen in many movies since and certainly many video games. The story is simple yet effective and the performances of Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn are top notch. Arnold Schwarzenegger is excellent too, in any other film he could be one big joke but he was built for this role that requires a presence such as his. Of course the film may have lost somewhat of its scare due to over-familiarity with Schwarzenegger the cult icon, the celebrity and the governor but from my point of view the film still holds up as one of the finest sci-fi thrillers of all time. It is also insanely quotable and when has that ever been a disadvantage?
Did I just end the review with a rhetorical question? Yes I did, and that is because I am pretentious.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 27/5/2012 1:26:20 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 28/5/2012 2:00:18 PM   
drews


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The Terminator is BOSS and I prefer it over T2 actually. The simplicity is the essence.
Arnie's second best film after P.R.E.D.A.T.O.R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 1/6/2012 7:46:05 PM   
chambanzi


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56. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

Director: Woody Allen



Here is a film about escapism. Cecilia (Mia Farrow) is a dreamer stuck in a dead end job and treated like crap by her husband. She is distracted from her job as a waitress by a fascination of the movies and is somewhat of a klutz often dropping plates or messing up orders. Often it is those people who often seem clumsy and cack-handed that are the most intelligent as their minds are constantly on over-drive filled with brilliant ideas, but they can also be the most depressed and manic.

One picture in particular fascinates Cecilia and that is ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo,’ a film featuring an archaeologist Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) who Cecilia develops a crush on. Over the course of a hectic set of days Cecilia repeatedly watches the film until Baxter notices her in the cinema, steps out of the screen and the two escape and run wild in the real world. Eventually the actor Gil Shepherd (who plays Tom Baxter) arrives and deceptively dupes her

People’s favourite films are often fantasy, whether it is watching the Disney classics or the Arnie films, movies with a romantic or futuristic feel can take people away to a better place when their lives are hectic and frustrating while further distancing themselves from the real world. Here Allen makes a film simply about film and it ticks every box.
Of course the character Tom Baxter isn’t meant to be real, the message is that the actor who plays him is as deceptive and self- centered as her husband. However Cecilia must enjoy her cinematic experiences and her own imagination without accepting the characters for anything other than what they are on-screen. A wild imagination should not be compromised for anything.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 1/6/2012 8:16:24 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 1/6/2012 8:14:47 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
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55. Tokyo Story (1953)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu



One of the most tragic films you will ever watch is also one of the most realistic. This film really hits home about the value of family and the misplaced importance individuals hold on the insignificant. An elderly couple (Shukichi and Tomi) visit their children and grandchildren in Tokyo but the children are too busy with work commitments to spend time with them. In a superficial act of generosity the son books the couple a short break at a spa, this is in fact a move to get them out of his hair, a thoughtless move considering the intentions of their visit.

It is impossible to watch this film and not self reflect on your own relationships with family or friends. Often life is so busy that we don’t spare enough thought for those closest to us.
However not every character ignores the couple, the wife of their dead son Noriko spends hours of her time entertaining the pair whether it is opening up conversation about their dead son or taking them on a tour through Tokyo (a wonderful scene.) Ironically Noriko is no blood relative but that is what makes her acts of kindness all the more endearing.

If we were to peel the layers of Tokyo Story stripping it to its very core then the underlying theme of the film is that of disappointment. The couple’s son might have an important job and be able to comfortably raise a family but he has misplaced his values. They would be prouder of a financially insecure son who made the time for his family. Tradition and values have been replaced by materialism.

Spoilers
Tomi’s death is tragic, had only the children known this would be the couple’s last visit. Perhaps the most haunting scene is when a neighbour asks Shukichi what he will do with himself after the death. His impending loneliness is crushing, out of every film I have ever watched I have yet to sympathise with a character more. Outliving the love of your life and surrounded by a family too busy to support you is everyone’s worst nightmare. To make matters worse the acting is top notch so there is nothing to distract or distance oneself from the sheer drama.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 31/7/2012 12:29:35 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/6/2012 11:23:43 AM   
chambanzi


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54. Pickpocket (1959)

Director: Robert Bresson



Michel is a pickpocket and frequents the horse races or underground stations where there are plenty of targets for easy pickings. Through Michel we learn the various techniques of pickpocketing, one such technique is used on the subway and involves holding a newspaper; that way your hands are not visible and because you are not holding onto any railing you can abruptly move nearer to your target when the tube jolts and bumps. The trick is to fold the paper, use your fingers to reach inside their coat pocked for the wallet and slip it out of view into the paper. The scenes of Michel actually pickpocketing are the strongest in the film, they are so tense and we want to see him succeed. Bresson was a master at creating riveting cinema by simply showing things and Michel’s facial expressions and the excellent way in which the pickpocketing is shot create an unrivaled sense of tension.
In order to be a successful thief one must have supple fingers so Michel practises by spinning a coin between his fingers. His lifestyle is dedicated to becoming the best pickpocket he can be, but he seems to love the thrill of the steal more than the money itself.

Spoilers

The police are onto Michel but have insufficient evidence, they wait for the opportunity to arrest him. Meanwhile a young woman called Jeanne tries to involve herself in Michel’s life encouraging him to spend more time with his Mother and spend some time with her.
Michel continues his pickpocketing ways as it is his addiction and treated in the same way a film may view drugs. After fleeing the country Michel returns and heads back to the races where he is caught and arrested. Once in jail Jeanne writes to him and visits him, only then does he realise he loves her but it must be love behind bars. It is an ending of irony but like any thief if Michel were granted freedom we still would not trust him to quit pickpocketing. This film is one of realism, there is a moral and Michel clearly realises what he is doing is wrong but his stealing ways are cemented into his being, he could not change that even if he wanted to.

‘Pickpocket’ is very similar to Bresson’s ‘A Man Escaped’ in which the camera focuses on a man’s intricate escape plan. His films don’ cram the characters down our throats, we learn about the characters through their actions as opposed to them yammering out monologues every ten seconds. His characters are real and his films play almost like a documentary. Admittedly his films are not for everyone but I strongly believe he is a master of cinema. ‘A Man Escaped’ and ‘Pickpocket’ are my favourite films of his and both play at relatively short running times so they don’t outstay their welcome and are perfect to re-watch when in the mood. I strongly recommend both of these films, one film excels in tension through the hope that an innocent man can escape death and imprisonment whereas the other’s tension stems from a man’s immoral craft and waiting for him to get imprisoned.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/6/2012 11:24:47 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Purple Rose is fantastic.

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Much more better!

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/6/2012 12:03:58 PM   
MovieAddict247


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

Purple Rose is fantastic.


I agree. It's gorgeous.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/6/2012 12:31:44 PM   
chambanzi


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Joined: 31/8/2010
Yeah glad to see some love for Purple Rose of Cairo, it is a feel good film done right. By the way if anyone was wanting to watch 'Pickpocket' you can find it on Youtube


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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 3/6/2012 8:30:13 AM   
drews


Posts: 271
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quote:

ORIGINAL: chambanzi

Yeah glad to see some love for Purple Rose of Cairo, it is a feel good film done right. By the way if anyone was wanting to watch 'Pickpocket' you can find it on Youtube





You can find a lot of good films on YouTube these days. I recently watched They Live on there. Roddy Piper came to kick ass and chew bubblegum. And he was all out of bubblegum!!!!

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 3/6/2012 1:31:46 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
53. Chinatown (1974)

Director: Roman Polanski



Spoilers

Noah Cross likes to eat his fish with the head still attached because he is a man who likes to look at what he is fucking. The corrupt businessman is perhaps the most evil villain in the history of cinema controlling everything from the water supply to his own daughter. Water is of course the recurring theme in 'Chinatown'; water is pure but controlled by greedy men for their personal benefit. Large quantities are disappearing from the reservoir and private eye Jake Gittes investigates. The sun drenched San Fernando Valley is filmed beautifully quenching our thirst further with the heat- the bright oranges, yellows and clear blue skies.

A streak of dark humour trails throughout the film like water vapour, Jake is a joker but also a naïve detective, he never quite understands the bigger picture which is why Chinatown’s plot is slightly more challenging than your average noir. In a genre as pessimistic as the noir we can’t afford a protagonist like Gittes, he is too humanised. He cites Chinatown as a place where corruption is not questioned and men can get away with evil deeds. People are still talking about this film because it deals with those issues that are so horrifying people walk away from them. Standing up to the villains is futile, some men control the world and there is nothing that can be done to stop them. Criminals can pay off the equally corrupt authorities. Have you ever seen an incident take place and everyone around was too scared/helpless to lend a hand? That is what this film is all about. Gittes’ flaw is he always gets in too deep and involves himself yet is incapable of providing justice.

Nicholson is on top form in a role that made him a stand out actor as opposed to cashing off of that image and becoming a caricature of himself as he has recently. The joke about fucking like a Chinaman and his reaction to his sliced nose are humorous but there is sensitivity in his role. Despite Jake’s ability to slap around men and women alike he has morals and wears his emotions on his sleeves, juxtaposition to Noah Cross who acts like a dignified and noble man, further concealing those evil characteristics.
Visually this film is top notch with gorgeous and atmospheric art direction but it is a frustrated and angry film so may be one you resent if approached in a wrong state of mind.
To speak plainly and truthfully there is a lot of ambiguity that a film so controversial could come from such a controversial director, after the details of Polanski's private life were revealed audiences could be shocked at what his intentions with this film were. It is often easier to seperate the artist from the film and not let those ideas bias your opinion of their work.

< Message edited by chambanzi -- 3/6/2012 1:37:52 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 3/6/2012 8:58:02 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
52. The Truman Show (1998)

Director: Peter Weir



Spoilers

We’ve all heard the expression ‘the world doesn’t revolve around you’ but in Truman Burbank’s case it does. His life is a reality show and he is the star but he is unaware of this. As a child I once entertained the idea that my parents were not who they said they were and people were acting so when I saw this film it intrigued me. You often hear people pondering if life is just a figment of their own imagination, as they can’t prove what others are thinking. ‘The Truman Show’ deals with all this but much, much more. For one the film is also about ‘The American Dream’ and the studio set in which Truman plays out his life is a safe, suburban neighbourhood set out to make him feel comfortable and wholesome. The beauty of the film lies in the nature of the plot that allows Peter Weir’s studio recorded film to look like a film recorded in a studio because in Truman’s world it is.

The fun comes from Truman slowly twigging things aren’t quite right. I have heard people criticise the film saying that the fact the characters advertise products on the show and appear in the same place on the same day should be enough for him to realise. Not true, he was born into this world therefore these occurrences would not immediately strike him as odd. Eventually they do however, especially when they begin a storyline to bring back his missing father and seeing Truman questioning everyone and everything around him is heart breaking. Because his father went missing at sea the water terrifies Truman, a clever but psychologically manipulative trick used by the creators of the show. Truman decides to confirm his doubts by setting out to sea only to discover the bubble he has lived in and when his fears are confirmed he reacts in a realistic manner, not angry or aggressive but confused and subdued. Carrey’s acting was spot on, shame he didn’t receive the Oscar nod he deserved.

Fortunately the film leaves the ending ambiguous, we don’t learn what happens to Truman, whether he can’t adjust to the real world and becomes a recluse or whether he lives as a celebrity and comes to accept things. We do know that he likely falls in love with Sylvia, the woman who tries to help him escape.
Instead the ending focuses on the audience who now need something new to watch, what was a life event for Truman is just a flick of the channel for the audience members. Ultimately this spreads the message of television becoming reality, the same theme ‘Videodrome’ tackled. People now live their lives vicariously through television characters and everything is media controlled.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 3/6/2012 9:05:25 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 11/6/2012 9:32:13 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
51. The Party (1968)

Director: Blake Edwards



If you are someone who is familiar with the feeling of awkwardness in social situations then look no further for a comedy you will treasure. Peter Sellers is Hrundi V. Bakshi, an oaf who accidentally destroys a set while working as an extra and is consequently blacklisted. However he is instead mistakenly invited to a Hollywood party.
This is Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers only non- Pink Panther collaboration and it works. What makes it work is Sellers, who provides entertainment throughout, for one you become somewhat convinced he is in fact Indian. The camera lazily catches ‘The Party’ and there is plenty to see for the camera acts as a social observer, not telling us what to view enabling viewers to get a unique movie watching experience comparative to an actual party where everyone invited has a different perception of the party through entering certain rooms or talking to particular people.

For anyone who has every felt like an outsider whether it be due to cultural reasons or just being plain out of place then this film will have you chuckling. It isn’t vicious and Bakshi is portrayed as endearing whereas many of the partygoers are superficial and up themselves. In fact the majority are so concerned with themselves they don’t even notice some of Bakshi’s outrageous behaviour. He is well intentioned but a fool losing his shoe, setting off sprinklers, involved in a confusing incident with the intercom and even fate is against him when his dinner chair has him sat chin-height at the table.

Of course with comedy this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, some may find it slow-paced or even stupid. It has undoubtedly aged well so don’t expect to find it dated but some of the jokes featured seem like clichés now. However for those who have seen the film I at least hope the term ‘Birdy Num Num’ may produce a giggle or two.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 10/10/2012 3:02:21 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 11/6/2012 9:39:36 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
So the bottom fifty down and the top fifty to go. Getting excited to reveal my top 50 films I have seen. Here is another recap of the list thus far. Am somewhat debating the order of some of these choices but that is just what happens when you compile such a list.


51. The Party (1968, Blake Edwards)
52. The Truman Show (1998, Peter Weir)
53. Chinatown (1974, Roman Polanski)
54. Pickpocket (1959, Robert Bresson)
55. Tokyo Story (1953, Yasujiro Ozu)
56. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985, Woody Allen)
57. The Terminator (1984, James Cameron)
58. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969, George Roy Hill)
59. Naked (1993, Mike Leigh)
60. Memories of Murder (2003, Bong Joon-ho)

61. L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)
62. Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick)
63. Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)
64. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Billy Wilder)
65. Fargo (1996, Joel & Ethan Coen)
66. A Man Escaped (1956, Robert Bresson)
67. Yojimbo (1961, Akira Kurosawa)
68. 3:10 to Yuma (2007, James Mangold)
69. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986, Hayao Miyazaki)
70. Rumble Fish (1983, Francis Ford Coppola)

71. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
72. For A Few Dollars More (1965, Sergio Leone)
73. Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)
74. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, Brian Henson)
75. Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)
76. Some Like it Hot (1959, Billy Wilder)
77. Eastern Promises (2007, David Cronenberg)
78. Before the Rain (1994, Milcho Manchevski)
79. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)
80. Paris, Texas (1984, Wim Wenders)

81. Toy Story (1995, John Lasseter)
82. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962, John Ford)
83. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930, Lewis Milestone)
84. Burn After Reading (2008, Joel & Ethan Coen)
85. Videodrome (1983, David Cronenberg)
86. Winchester '73 (1950, Anthony Mann)
87. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, Robert Zemeckis)
88. The Grapes of Wrath (1940, John Ford)
89. Ace in the Hole (1951, Billy Wilder)
90. Ran (1985, Akira Kurosawa)

91. In Bruges (2008, Martin McDonagh)
92. Fist of Fury (1972, Lo Wei)
93. The African Queen (1951, John Huston)
94. Ratatouille (2007, Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava)
95. Being There (1979, Hal Ashby)
96. Nights Of Cabiria (1957, Federico Fellini)
97. Princess Mononoke (1997, Hayao Miyazaki)
98. The Browning Version (1951, Anthony Asquith)
99. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976, Clint Eastwood)
100. Infernal Affairs (2002, Wai- keung Lau, Alan Mak)

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 12/6/2012 1:39:58 AM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6803
Joined: 24/11/2005
Sunset Boulevard is great, Norma Desmond is a great character.

Goodfellas easily one of my all time favourites. A film that doesn't have a single dull scene. I disagree with Lorraine Bracco though, I think she's excellent in the film.

Barry Lyndon I found a bit difficult to watch and I think that came from its extreme length. It's no coincidence that it's the only film in the Stanley Kubrick blu-ray box set that I haven't watched yet. But I plan to and see what I think on 2nd viewing.

L.A. Confidential - absolutely spectacular. Another of my all time favourites.

Naked - Pretty brutal, probably Mike Leigh's darkest film. David Thewlis is amazing.

Butch Cassidy - a bit too nice for me really.

The Terminator - classic cult sci-fi with Schwarzenegger at his best.

The Purple Rose of Cairo - I haven't seen this in ages but I loved it.

Tokyo Story - A rather depressing film but beautifully shot.

Chinatown - Another of my favourites, the plot is very serpentine and demands a good few viewings but the whole depiction of a time and place and the two stars performances make it essential viewing.

The Truman Show - Brilliant. I love Ed Harris' performance and the relationship his character has with Truman.


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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 12/6/2012 8:29:13 AM   
MovieAddict247


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The Truman Show is a gorgeous film. Great choice.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 14/6/2012 8:02:26 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
50. Raging Bull (1980)

Director: Martin Scorsese



Scorsese’s biography of Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro) is heavily based off of Powell and Pressburger’s ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ but this is no charming portrait of a rosy- faced soldier. It is an edgy, dark and unnerving portrayal of a boxer with a complex. Lethal in the ring and a ticking time bomb outside of it Jake is a paranoid wreck with a sense of inadequacy; he hates his small hands because despite how many men he could knock out they would still be small. He also has trust issues, constantly bothering his girlfriend Vickie (Cathy Moriarty) and even accusing her of sleeping with his brother Joey (Joe Pesci.) A small comment from his girlfriend about a fighter he is to face being good- looking causes him to pulverise the man in their match, brawling with such ferocity and with the intention of ruining the man’s face as opposed to winning the match. Is what Jake doing in the ring criminal? It certainly isn’t sport but instead an outlet to release his feelings of anger associated with those in his private life. The only discernible difference is he looks graceful in the ring; this is often highlighted by the accompaniment of classical music. Outside of the ring his temper is a weakness, there is no cheer from the crowds as he beats his girlfriend, he is not facing a formidable opponent so there is no sense of bravery or honour involved as there is in the ring. All that we see outside of the ring is a weak minded individual with the inability to channel his anger.

These boxing matches look stunning, back-lighting captures Jake’s in ring presence making him appear God-like and slow motion is used for us to feel every punch, every drip of sweat and drop of blood. These fight sequences are supernatural, the ring is a sparse space where Jake advances on his opponents, we see from their point of view as he lands blow upon blow shadowing them around the ring with the strength and elegance of a tiger. Once they fall he finally retreats, the camera zooming in to create a close up shot of Jake in his element, curly hair dripping with sweat and sucking on his gum guard.
Violence is a controversial subject but it is often an expression of inadequacy, in LaMotta’s case this is sexual inadequacy and he feels intimidated by his promiscuous girlfriend. He is not a man able to articulate himself any other way than fighting, as seen from his later career as a lousy stand up comedian he is not a funny man either therefore he must fight to prove a point, to stand out from the crowd and be someone.

You may be asking yourself how this film could be compared to ‘Colonel Blimp,’ it is in the flashback narrative where we see an older man reflecting on his life. It is the anti-Blimp, Jake does not reflect on the love and friendship between he and his woman but instead on the sex and jealousy. The only level of respect LaMotta ever showed his wife Vickie is when he tried to seduce her. Once she caved in he spent a good while enjoying the sex and after that she was treated like a whore for she was now tainted and if she was willing to sleep with him then she must be willing to sleep with other men. Despite our sheer disapproval of LaMotta, Vickie appears very sexually confident from the young age of fifteen when Jake first meets her. As a male audience member I don’t view Vickie as pure or trustworthy and I don’t see her as being affectionate towards Jake, she seems vindictive, cold and calculating. Raging Bull is effective in this regard as I can see Jake’s perspective of Vickie, I can view those seeds of doubt but ultimately I watch Jake’s life turned upside down as a result and suddenly the wrestling ropes are replaced for jail bars.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 17/6/2012 11:58:37 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 17/6/2012 11:57:22 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
49. Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

Director: Sam Peckinpah



It is hard to think of a director who has been hailed as a misogynist more times than Sam Peckinpah. And to be perfectly honest I think there is some validity to these claims. However he was a master at directing one genre and that is the Western, women were treated like dogs in this period of time where they were either whores or virgins. ‘Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia’ is a neo-Western and its leading female Elita certainly aint no virgin.
Alfredo Garcia is quite obviously a dead man but the men after his head don’t know that. Having impregnated a chief’s daughter has earned him a $1 million bounty on his head (literally) and piano player Bennie (Warren Oates) accepts the task of finding him. He knows Garcia died recently through his girlfriend Elita, an ex-lover of Garcia’s so heading to the burial site and severing the head seems like a simple task. However it is a bloodbath.

Upon heading to the graveyard Elita is nearly raped by a biker (Kris Kristofferson) in a controversial scene that has of course been branded as misogynist due to the biker hesitating to go through with the rape then Elita seemingly coaxing him before he is offed by Bennie. Peckinpah spoke of this being his only pure film that was not tampered with by the studios. Do Bennie’s fears reflect Peckinpah’s? It seems Bennie has a personal grudge against any man due to mistrust of his promiscuous girlfriend yet at the same time it is she who is the voice of reason simply wanting to head back and forget the whole affair but Bennie who insists on the decapitation, perhaps through jealousy and wanting to exact some form of revenge on Garcia. What he learns is Garcia is a pawn, just like him being used by rich men to carry out the dirty deeds.

Spoilers

Bennie’s realisation comes in the second act of the film, the final forty minutes. The grave is discovered, Bennie is knocked unconscious and wakes to find Elita dead lying next to the decapitated corpse of Garcia. He finds the attackers, kills them gaining possession of the film’s plot device (a bloody, severed lump of flesh as a plot service is a true testament to the gritty nature of the film.)
As he drives around dusty Mexico in a faded, red car Bennie begins to strike conversation with the head, it is contained in a blood stained sack with flies eagerly buzzing around it and Garcia stops at a bar to hack up some ice to keep the head somewhat fresh, a Coca Cola sign ironically visible within the shot. There is definitely a streak of dark humour in these scenes, Bennie telling a child it is a dead cat in the sack is somewhat hilarious but we laugh out of awkwardness. People who have viewed suicides claim they have to make light of the situation to avoid insanity, that is the feeling this film tries to conjure and certainly the emotions Bennie goes through in the latter part of the film. He is talking to stay sane but at the same time driving himself insane. He wants justice, not just for Elita or himself but also for Garcia. Garcia’s head becomes a prized possession of his; he no longer wants the money associated with the head but the head itself. Think Wilson from ‘Cast Away’ but really, really fucked up. Warren Oates really comes into the role in full force here; the image of Bennie becoming iconic dressed in a blood- splattered suit complete with shades. All the while he swigs, swills and splatters tequila left, right and center. Reckless is not the word for it; the man kills anyone who stands in his way, all the while muttering to himself or the head. ‘Sin City’ certainly borrowed/copied/infringed this idea but it had nowhere near the power. Here is a film Tarantino wished he made. And a film most people probably wish they could forget.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 17/6/2012 11:58:06 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 17/6/2012 1:00:45 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
48. Shoot the Pianist (1960)

Director: Francois Truffaut



Francois Truffaut is best known for being one of the directors involved in ‘La Nouvelle Vague’ but ‘Shoot the Pianist’ is not one of his most famous efforts. Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a trendy bar within the French capital. His brothers get in trouble with a couple of gangsters who are about as threatening as ‘Harry and Marv’ from ‘Home Alone’ and equally as foolish. Aside from this he also interacts with Lena, a waitress who is infatuated towards him yet he seems very reluctant to enter a relationship.
Truffaut manages to mesh a variety of genres into one, the film is certainly a comedy and appears to initially tell a small-scale storyline but eventually goes far deeper into the quiet piano player’s past than one would imagine. We are privy to flashbacks of this humble piano player who narrates his past where he was once the famous musician Edouard Saroyan. Of course the question on our minds is how this famous musician ended up playing in a small bar. We witness a relationship with a neurotic wife, unable to deal with the guilt of cheating on him and jumping out of a window to her death.
After his wife’s death Edouard changed his name to Charlie and became a cleaner. In one of the most powerful scenes I have witnessed in cinema we witness him cleaning a room when he comes across a piano, he begins to touch it and before long is playing again, spellbinding those around him. All of his feelings are expressed on those keys; talk is unnecessary as his music is from the heart. Bob Dylan, one of the most talented musicians of all time listed ‘Shoot the Pianist’ as his favourite film. Nuff said.

Truffaut was renowned for being ahead of his time and this one certainly is. Not only is the film technically innovative but also how many recent films have featured a tragic lover hiding from the past?
However you will never find a film as unpredictable as this one, a certain scene I will not ruin features one of the film’s villains talking about his Mother followed by an unexpected scene that had audiences at the time in fits of laughter.
Even the settings of the film are unpredictable, beginning in trendy cafes and bars and ultimately ending in a location near Grenoble in the snow infested mountains (outstanding cinematography.)
Despite being part of the Criterion Collection this film certainly does not seem to be particularly well known, during discussion of the ‘New Wave’ the same names are often thrown about, for example ‘Breathless.’ To be frank I am not fond of the majority of these films as I find them pompous. If this is your concern don’t let this stop you giving ‘Shoot the Pianist’ a chance as I don’t get that vibe from this film aside from perhaps several minor lines of dialogue. Instead I see a multi-layered, beautiful looking tragicomedy that would be a shame to miss.

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