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RE: 1990s Top 100

 
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RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:10:12 AM   
matty_b


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From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

Three Colours - only seen Blue, liked it a lot.


Maybe the librarian can give you Red and White.


Nah, got them already, just need to get round to watching them.

The Thin Red Line is brilliant.

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Post #: 421
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:11:03 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
38. Drunken Master 2



Director: Jackie Chan, Liu Chi-liang
Year: 1994

Drunken Master II is probably Jackie Chan's greatest film, Hell, it's possibly the greatest traditional martial arts film of all time. Chan hadn't made a traditional martial arts film in about a decade, so it was only fitting that he reprised the role that made him famous - folk hero, Wong Fei Hung. There'd been a resurgence in interest in WFH films thanks to the success of the Jet Li Once Upon a Time in China series. It's odd to compare these films to Jet Li's portrayal in the OUATIC series. Li approaches him as a more serious and upright individual, Chan plays him as a clownish young man. Chan was around forty by the time he made this film but his energy and incredible screen presence make him feel younger than he is. WFH discovers that smugglers are working with the British government to steal all of China's treasures. Luckily, Wong is a master of drunken boxing, the form of martial arts where you get drunk before you fight. The drunkness not only aids your fighting abilities, it also makes you invulnerable to pain. So not only is this a superb action film, it's also an unflinchingly accurate portrait of real life. And what fight scenes they are, from a stunning duel under a train to the brutal fight between Jackie and his real-life bodyguard, Ken Lo, they're some of the best ever captured on camera. I would tell you all to watch it, but if you really love Asian cinema then you've already seen it.

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Post #: 422
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:11:29 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

Three Colours - only seen Blue, liked it a lot.


Maybe the librarian can give you Red and White.


Nah, got them already, just need to get round to watching them.



I'm trying to make you look intelligent and arty in front of her.

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Post #: 423
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:12:12 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14446
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
It's OK, I'm waiting till she's in before ordering Midnight in Paris.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
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Post #: 424
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:13:16 AM   
rawlinson

 

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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Order some Bela Tarr.

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Post #: 425
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:15:26 AM   
Rebel scum


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Joined: 2/1/2006
The Thin Red Line is my favourite Malick.

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Post #: 426
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:17:36 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

The Thin Red Line is my favourite Malick.


It's fourth for me.

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Post #: 427
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:19:05 AM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

The Thin Red Line is my favourite Malick.


It's fourth for me.


I've only seen Badlands and Tree of Life in terms of his other work, Tree of Life is also really good, Badlands is good but overrated.

_____________________________

"We are not safe! A dark menace rises to the east! Duckies go quack! Cows go moo! I want ice cream. Verily, will you two hobbits join my quest?"

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Post #: 428
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:24:23 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rebel scum

The Thin Red Line is my favourite Malick.


It's fourth for me.


I've only seen Badlands and Tree of Life in terms of his other work, Tree of Life is also really good, Badlands is good but overrated.


Dev to thread in 5 - 4 - 3...

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Post #: 429
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:25:11 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
37. Trees Lounge



Director: Steve Buscemi
Year: 1996

Buscemi's directorial debut was this Cassavetes-esque film about Long Island barflies. Buscemi also stars as Tommy, a man who has basically dropped out of society to spend his days in a bar, even though he's forever on the edges of his old life, and his old girlfriend. A brutally honest portrayal of alcoholism and the self-destructive behaviour associated with it. A film more driven by character than narrative, Trees Lounge is American indie cinema at its best, and proof that Buscemi is as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it.

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Post #: 430
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:27:50 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
36. The Nameless



Director: Jaume Balaguero
Year: 1999

The film opens with the discovery of a dead young girl, Angela. Angela is the beloved daughter of Claudia (Vilarasau) and she's disappeared recently. Five years pass and Claudia is unable to get over the death. She recieves a call from someone claiming to be Angela, saying that she's alive and she needs her mother's help. She tells her that 'They' only wanted her to think she was dead. Claudia enlists the help of an ex-cop and a tabloid journalist to investigate the mystery, uncovering a bizarre demonic cult that sacrifices children in ritual acts of rape and mutilation.

Ramsey Campbell is quite possibly the closest thing we have to a modern day M.R. James. It's true that Campbell is far more graphic than James ever was, probably than he would have ever cared to be, but he's one of the few writers as adept as James at grounding the supernatural in the everyday, and in finding the murky area that can connect both. Strangely, like James, cinema seems to have neglected Campbell, possibly because that clammy atmosphere in both their work is too difficult to reproduce on screen. There's also something uniquely British about Campbell's work and it's impossible to imagine most of his stories relocated to America for a film. So it's strange that such a strong cinematic adaptation of Campbell's work came from a Spanish director.

Balaguero has had a bit of a mixed career to date. The fame that's come his way for the quite brilliant Rec might now say otherwise, but he initally appeared to be a bit of a one-hit wonder. The Nameless was such a remarkable debut that it was almost inevitable that his second offering would be somewhat of a disappointment, but Darkness was a horrific film by any standard, and while Fragile showed a return to form, there had been nothing on the level of The Nameless and even now it remains his masterwork.

From memory of the novel, it's not exactly faithful to Campbell's original work. But it does capture the spirit of his writing, and like Campbell, Balaguero proves himself willing to risk alienation of his audience by not pandering to their sympathies. Possibly because of this uncompromising element to the work, The Nameless split the critics on its original release. Many disliked it, but some saw it for the striking and damn creepy film that it is. At his best, Balaguero captures an intense sense of dread in his movies that most other directors struggle to achieve. There's something in this film, the chilly and grim atmosphere, that makes the viewer feel as if something believe that something very innocent is being perverted.

Maybe this is an entry aimed more at the hardcore horror fans and I'm fully aware that most people would consider this a dubiously high placing for the film, but for those who can find something worthwhile in its dark and perverse nature then it's a horror film with genuine chills.

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Post #: 431
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:30:42 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
35. A Chinese Odyssey



Director: Jeffrey Lau
Year: 1994

Shaolin Soccer saw Stephen Chow make his breakthrough with a Western audience, but anyone who followed Asian cinema through the 90s would already have been aware of his comedic genius. A Chinese Odyssey parts 1 & 2 are possibly his finest achievements. While some of the plot can seem bewildering if you're unfamiliar with Chinese mythology. The Monkey King, as part of a punishment by his master, is reincarnated as Joker (Chow), the leader of a group of bandits. They find themselves in battle with various demons who are looking to achieve immortality, can Joker, with the aid of a mysterious time-travel device, save the day? While A Chinese Odyssey may not be the kind of comedy that newer Chow fans will be used to, it's still a hilarious movie, with Chow's first attempts to use the time travel delight providing a deja-vu inducing highlight. There's also the joy of seeing Chow with his old sparring partner Ng Man Tat.

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Post #: 432
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:43:33 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
34. Smoke



Director: Wayne Wang, Paul Auster
Year: 1995

Taking a small Brooklyn cigar shop as its main location, Smoke tells the stories of the owner, Auggie (Harvey Keitel) and various customers. As you might expect from a novelist like Auster, he's scripted a film that's about stories and storytelling. Smoke has one of the best, subtlest and most enchanting screenplays of the decade and a wonderful cast, Smoke allows us to experience small moments in the lives of this mixed group and makes them absolutely true, even when they seem a little fantastical.

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Post #: 433
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:44:53 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
33. Barton Fink



Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Year: 1991

I remember becoming vaguely aware of Barton Fink thanks to the NME in the early 90s. My familiarity with the Coens before that extended as far as Raising Arizona, which had become quite a popular rental for my older brother, and Crime Wave, which I seemed to watch a few times a month in the late 80s. Of course I had no idea who the Coens were at that point. Barton Fink was the first film where I really associated the names with the films and made a conscious effort to track down some of their work. It took some time, my local video rental place wasn't a chain back then and the owner decided what films he'd take based on what he thought would rent to his customers. He didn't take Barton Fink. Finally a t.v. screening came along and I was... well, I wasn't exactly blown away. I was unsettled. And I was confused. But it took some time and a couple of rewatches before I really appreciated Fink. Now I rank it as the very best of their work, it combines their unique ear for dialogue, their humour, and the incredible darkness they can bring to film and creates a perfect piece of cinema.

A career best John Turturro stars as the titular Fink, an intellectual writer in 40s New York. Twenty years earlier it'd be easy to see Fink played by Woody Allen. Barton is the worst kind of patronising writer, telling stories about the "common man" for audiences who'd cross the street to avoid meeting one. He's just received acclaim for his latest play and is tempted away to Hollywood to bring the Barton Fink feel to cinema, the fast-talking studio boss assigns him to write the script for a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Fink is completely clueless how to do this and he holes up in a seedy hotel in an attempt to get the screenplay finished, only to find his efforts interrupted by his gregarious neighbour, Charlie Meadows (John Goodman). Charlie seems every inch the common man, and possibly the perfect muse for Barton. But Barton is too self-obsessed to even listen to his stories. He visits another author of worthy literature who has been working in Hollywood, W.P. Bill Mayhew (John Mahoney), looking for advice, only to find he's been destroyed by Hollywood and fallen into alcoholism. Barton thinks he's found help in Mayhew's secretary, Audrey (Judy Davis) but unexpected events, including that of Charlie's true identity, conspire against the beleaguered writer.

It had the potential to be The Coens' Sullivan's Travels, it's a film that has obviously influenced them and there are some parallels in Fink, but Barton has nothing but contempt for those he doesn't feel are his equals. Instead it becomes more reminiscent of Polanski, especially in the way environment can have an effect on character. The near empty Hotel Earle, one of the most memorable locations in 90s cinemas, trapping Barton in much the same way the apartments trap our leads in Polanski's apartment trilogy.

With Fink based on Clifford Odets and Mayhew based (incredibly) loosely on Faulkner, the film as a metaphor for the destructive influence of Hollywood on artists is obvious. But the Coens also seem to argue that there is no separation between the importance of high and low art other than artificial ones that people construct and that the destructive factors come from those who call the shots rather than from any silly notion of great writers slumming.

The Coens have created an incredible cast of characters, using that amazing dialogue to make each of them a unique creation, defined in large part by their patterns of speech. The actors attack the roles with gusto, with several performances to rank among the best ever given in a Coen work. Michael Lerner got the sole acting Oscar nomination, as good as he is, it does feel a bit silly to single him out over Mahoney or Goodman. Goodman especially does the best work of his career and he should have easily won the award that year.

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Post #: 434
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:46:46 AM   
Rebel scum


Posts: 3483
Joined: 2/1/2006
Barton Fink is great, one of the Coens' best.

_____________________________

"We are not safe! A dark menace rises to the east! Duckies go quack! Cows go moo! I want ice cream. Verily, will you two hobbits join my quest?"

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Post #: 435
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:56:20 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Absolutely. I can understand why it divides people, but it's just amazing.

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Post #: 436
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:57:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
32. Archangel



Director: Guy Maddin
Year: 1990

It's 1919, but in Archangel, a small Russian port, nobody has bothered to tell the people that the war is over. Into this hazy community comes Lt. John Boles (Kyle McCulloch), a one-legged Canadian soldier who is mourning his lost love, Iris. He meets Veronkha, the double of Iris and the woman Boles comes to believe is Iris. Veronkha's husband, Philbin, has amnesia and wakes every day thinking it is his wedding night. Boles falls in love with Veronkha while living with a family whose child begins to hero worship him at the expense of his true father. In this snowy little town, everyone is cursed with the lack of some kind of knowledge that can provide happiness. Amnesia drifts in with the winter winds and everyone has something or someone important they forget.

Maddin's love of silent cinema is once again on display, from the use of inter-titles to the influence of early propaganda and German expressionism on the visuals. As memorable as Maddin's devotion to the silent aesthetic makes his films, I think Archangel's greatest strength is the way the foggy imagery reflects the hazy mindset of the town of Archangel and its inhabitants. Maddin takes warfare and romantic melodrama and filters it through a melancholy dream. It's an unsettling effect and Archangel, like all of Maddin's films, can be difficult to get to grips with. Archangel takes us to a place where a child is weaned off breastfeeding by the mother painting a monstrous face on her breast, the town re-enacts war plays before sending people off to battle, rabbits falls from the skies into the trenches and German soldiers feast on the throats of the dead. It's a unique vision of the world and one I find enthralling.

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Post #: 437
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 8:58:34 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
31. After-Life



Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Year: 1998

It's Monday morning in the halfway house between death and eternity, and the workers are expecting their latest group of clients. Every week a new batch arrives and every week the process is the same. The dead are processed, assigned a case-worker, and interviewed. They are informed that yes, they are in fact dead, and they are given their instructions for the next week. They are to take the week thinking back over their lives in search of their favourite memory. Once they've chosen one, the workers recreate the memory on film, and that's what they take with them. That one perfect memory. No Heaven, no Hell, no judgement. Just a memory. A large section of the film consists of talking heads as the dead comb their memories for the one they'd like to choose. Some leap straight to the hollow, an old man thinks of the women he's been with, a young girl thinks of Splash Mountain. But how do you choose one memory if you're in your 80s and had a happy life? How do you choose something good if all you've known is sorrow, and how do you choose something important if you die when you're too young to have experienced life?

One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the way it approaches the house itself. Instead of setting it up as some kind of spiritual sanctuary, it's slightly run-down, falling apart (the power fuses when someone uses a hair-dryer) and run like any other work place. The workers are given motivational speeches, they bitch about past clients and their attitudes, they tire of the teenage girls who all pick the same memory. They're just like regular humans. Because they once were. They were themselves once the recently deceased, but they couldn't, or wouldn't, choose a memory, so they stayed to work at the house. The film is as much about them and their relationships as it is about the new arrivals.

It's one of the most interesting cinematic takes on the afterlife, it's certainly one of the most thought-provoking. One the one hand there's something quite joyous about the idea that the survival of the soul wouldn't result in some kind of ranking system where some are punished and some rewarded, it's certainly a lot more appealing than the idea of only being given that reward if you pledge allegiance to the right deity. On the other hand, there's something quite disconcerting about boiling your entire life down to just one moment. Is what you'll keep worth everything you'll lose?

The film is shot in documentary style, helping the recollections of the dead feel natural. Also helped by the fact these are based on real memories and many of the actors were non-professionals. This approach also gives a great sense of individuality to the memories, they're never played for the effect of jerking tears from the audience, and revelations about characters come in small moments rather than big ones. Just as it should be. The last third of the film is mostly about the recreation of those memories, and at times it feels like we're watching a behind the scenes documentary about the making of a film, and that raises interesting questions about the way cinema shapes visions. Many of the great films are about the nature of memory in some form or other, from Citizen Kane to Mirror. After Life feels like it's commenting on both memory and on cinema. The dead are forced to pick their favourite memory, each memory chosen will be have been shaped over the year's by that person's subconscious until it forms a perfect moment, viewed subjectively. They are then recreated on film, with limited tools, by a team of outsiders. So in a way that perfect subjective memory is becoming recorded as the objective truth. But the nature of the recreation means that it can never be an objective truth or a perfect recreation of the creator's original subjective memory. It can be read as an interesting assessment of the creative process that leads to a film being made, and how magic can still be found in cinema despite the compromises of the original vision. But to say After-life is just about that would be limiting the impact of this poignant little film, just as it would be limiting to say it's simply about a belief in some kind of continuation of the spirit. It's about humans, and it's about the little moments that make us human. It's a haunting film, moving without becoming heavy-handed, and capable of provoking a great deal of reflection and self-examination in the viewer.

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Post #: 438
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:03:51 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14446
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Barton Fink is excellent.

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Post #: 439
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:04:17 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
30. Under the Skin



Director: Carine Adler
Year: 1997

Under the Skin is based around a blistering performance from Samantha Morton as Iris, a young woman who goes off the rails following her mother's death. Unable to deal with her grief and desperate to find some kind of love, Iris pushes the boundaries of her relationship with her sister and becomes dangerously promiscuous. In many ways it feels like a British film of the 60s, but with more explicit sexuality (can't imagine many directors getting away with a watersports scene back then) The casting of Rita Tushingham helps the 60s feel and Morton has the same kind of off-kilter brilliance as Tushingham did at her peak.

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Post #: 440
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:05:07 AM   
impqueen


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I have to catch a train in 30 minutes but I really was massively underwhelmed by The Nameless, MASSIVELY. It has one or two moments that I liked and the two leads are pretty good but by the time the cult leader popped up and Nazis got mentioned I lost a lot of enthusiasm.

Thin Red Line is a masterpiece.
Drunken Master II I great as is Tree Lounges, A Chinese Odyssey, Barton Fink and Smoke is an underrated gem.
I really enjoyed Archangel and I need to see both After Life and Hanna Bi, which I think I have seen most of but a very long time ago.


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RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:08:37 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
29. Boiling Point



Director: Takeshi Kitano
Year: 1990

Masaki (Masahiko Ono) plays for a Japanese baseball team and works in a small town petrol station where he gets involved in a squabble with some Yakuza. When his baseball coach tries to intervene, he ends up beaing beaten, an event that provokes Masaki and his friend Kazuo (Minora Iizuka) to try and settle the score. During their quest for vengeance they meet Uehara (Kitano), a psychotic yakuza outcast who has his own plan for revenge.

Kitano's second effort as a director sees much of his directorial style already developed. Including surprising moments of black humour, tranquil scenes, violent outbursts, and a skewed view of the world. As always, Kitano's films are both funnier and more unusual than a synopsis might lead you to expect. This strange and unsettling film also features some superb performances, especially from Masahiko Ono and a truly disturbing Kitano. Not the director's best work, but one of his most entertaining.

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Post #: 442
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:10:33 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: impqueen

I have to catch a train in 30 minutes but I really was massively underwhelmed by The Nameless, MASSIVELY. It has one or two moments that I liked and the two leads are pretty good but by the time the cult leader popped up and Nazis got mentioned I lost a lot of enthusiasm.





I forgive you because you like all those other films.

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Post #: 443
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:12:02 AM   
impqueen


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Iíll give it another go in a few years.

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Post #: 444
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:18:19 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
28. Rushmore



Director: Wes Anderson
Year: 1998

The film that really turned Bill Murray into an Indie icon and made Jason Schwartzman and Wes Anderson into names to watch. Schwartzman stars as Max, a poor student at the prestigious Rushmore Academy. Max fills his time by running pretty much every extra-curricular club on the campus. Max meets two people who shake his world, Miss Cross, a beautiful young teacher who he falls in love with (Olivia Williams) and Herman Blume (Bill Murray), the depressed father of a fellow student. Herman and Max are kindred spirits, and they form a close friendship. At least they do until Herman and Miss Cross fall in love. All of the cast are excellent, but the film belongs to Murray's brilliantly sad-sack performance. Academy, hang your heads in shame. Rushmore is one of the great modern coming of age films, a film I appreciate even more because of Anderson and Schwartzman's refusal to play on the audience's sympathy, they don't try and make you like Max, which just endears him to me all the more.

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Post #: 445
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:18:38 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.

quote:

ORIGINAL: impqueen



Iíll give it another go in a few years.


Fair enough.

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Post #: 446
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:21:31 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
27. Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell



Director: Tom Kinninmont, Peter O'Toole
Year: 1999

"What on earth did my four wives think they were getting when they married me? You can see a train when it's coming."

Jeffrey Bernard. A professional Soho drunk who sometimes remembered to write the Low Life column for The Spectator. Whenever he was too pissed or too hungover to provide them with said column, the magazine would run an apology stating that Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. Bernard's close friend, Keith Waterhouse, took that title and created a play that imagined Bernard locked in a pub overnight, regaling the audience with lights both high and low from his life, with the women he has pissed off, fucked and loved forming a large part of his reminiscences. While there was a supporting cast of four other actors who took the brief roles of friends, acquaintances and enemies of Bernard's, it was essentially a one man show. The success of the play depended on how well the actor playing Bernard could get under the skin of a charmingly abrasive drunken storyteller. They cast Peter O'Toole. This film is basically just a live recording of that initial run with O'Toole. It's probably a stretch to call it a film in any sense other than someone was pointing a camera at the action, but the delights here are in the performances and the script. This may not have been the greatest stretch of O'Toole, but it's one of the great man's finest performances. He never plays the part for sympathy or tries to make you love Bernard (an accusation that has been made against more than one actor who took the role after O'Toole left) he plays him as a bit of a bastard, but with the charm and wit that makes you understand why people put up with him. It's also one of the most quotable scripts ever written, with anecdotes about cat-racing and a unique game of find the lady among the highlights. And just wait until you see the egg trick.

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Post #: 447
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:28:16 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
26. Odilon Redon or The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity



Director: Guy Maddin
Year: 1995

Maddin was commissioned by the BBC to create a film inspired by a work of art, he picked The Eye Like a Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Infinity, a sketch by Odilon Redon. The original sketch was for an illustration for Baudelaire's translations of Poe and Maddin sought to emulate Redon's charcoal drawing while allowing his imagination to run free in terms of narrative. Maddin was also inspired by Gance's La Roue, and the story tells us of the love triangle between a father, a son and a girl who joins them on their train. The father and son, Keller and Caellum, are riding the rails when they witness a train crash. They find the only survivor, a young girl named Berenice. We witness both Caellum and the girl sexually mature, causing a love rivalry between the father and son. Maddin is more interested in the use of symbolism than in advancing the narrative and although the short can sometimes take a great deal of work from the audience, there's more genuine invention and intellect in these five minutes than in many feature films.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 448
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:30:22 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
25. The Long Day Closes



Director: Terence Davies
Year: 1992

Another semi-autobiographical piece from Davies, focusing on his life as an adolescent in Liverpool in the 1950s. Davies' alter-ego is a lonely young boy struggling with the bleakness of life and his emerging sexuality, but still able to find great joy and warmth. Imagine how trite and sentimental this could be with another director and then see the heartbreak and the beauty Davies brings to cinema.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 449
RE: 1990s Top 100 - 27/9/2012 9:32:36 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
24. Gohatto



Director: Nagisa Oshima
Year: 1999

Ryuhei Matsuda stars as Sozaburo Kano, a young prodigy in a 19th century samurai training school. In a very male world, his androgynous appearance attracts attention from his fellow samurai. He soon becomes the object of desire for other men in the school. He's one of the most talented members of the school, but the higher ups, including Captain Hijikata (Takeshi Kitano), begin to worry about the divisive effect he could have on the school, especially as violation of the military code can lead to execution. Around this framework, Oshima tells a murder-mystery, while always keeping the main focus on the erotic longings of the samurai.

It's an achingly beautiful film, one of the most visually sublime pieces of cinema in the last few decades. Oshima shows great restraint with the sex and violence he puts on display, and the film came in for criticism from some quarters and accusations that the director was scared to show gay sexuality. I think he's matching the subject with the visuals. The characters bury sexuality beneath rituals, the director buries it beneath symbolism. There was also criticism that the film didn't deepen Kano, but Gohatto isn't really about him, it's about the effect he has on others. He's an image of unknowable beauty, discovering too much about him would break the spell.

Basically it's about the worry that gay men could be a problem in the military. Or at least that's how it was interpreted by many in the west. I don't think it was anything quite so right-wing inspired the film. I don't think Gohatto paints homosexuality as something that's dangerous, instead I think it's arguing that repressing ordinary sexual desires can lead to danger. Desire can grow anywhere, especially within a patriarchal hierarchy like the military. Surely hiding those desires can do more harm than good?

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 450
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