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What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot?

 
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What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:17:54 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
Do those critics' Top Ten lists in Sight & Sound leave you scratching your head and going "Huh? What about Jaws and Star Wars? What about Caddyshack?" Are there any undisputed "Classics" which leave you cold?

I know for a fact there are people who find The Godfather "boring." I've sat in a cinema with them. I really didn't enjoy cinematic re-releases of The Godfather, Alien and A Clockwork Orange as much as I should have cos the audiences I saw them with were clearly bored to the point of restlessness. Too leisurely paced for modern audiences used to post-MTV "Bayhem," perhaps?

My Classic Movie blind spot is Blue Velvet. Friends (Dennis Hopper fans, mostly) love and rave about it. And Hopper's OTT panto turn IS amusing, but it's always left me cold. Not only do I not get it, I don't want it either. So what's your Classic Movie blind spot? Films like Citizen Kane, perhaps, which you feel you should like but which maybe are easier to admire than enjoy. Like Shakespeare.

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 30/8/2012 12:15:15 AM >
Post #: 1
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:24:08 PM   
Rgirvan44


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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:30:53 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
ET's just a cynical Mac & Me rip-off.

(I see what you did there and raise you twenty...)

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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:36:27 PM   
MonsterCat


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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:38:00 PM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Films like Citizen Kane, perhaps, which you feel you should like but which maybe are easier to admire than enjoy. Like Shakespeare.


This is a real pet peeve of mine. I really hate it when people stick Kane in with that line of thought. It's such a easy-going, joyful flick, and one of the most downright enjoyable films of all time, yet people seem afraid to approach it with any kind of whimsy, always seemingly keen to hold it at arms length. I've never understood it.

When was the last time you watched it Chris?

My own "blindspot" was always Ozu, but I've decided to sort that out since it's (Tokyo Story) topping of the S&S directors list.

< Message edited by adambatman82 -- 29/8/2012 10:43:22 PM >

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Post #: 5
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:39:13 PM   
OPEN YOUR EYES

 

Posts: 4376
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The Big Lebowski

Before that I would possibly say 2001:A space odyssey as on first viewing I found it terribly cold and a film that lacked any sort of emotional bond with myself .Now I regard it as one of my favorite films.

< Message edited by OPEN YOUR EYES -- 29/8/2012 10:48:14 PM >

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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 10:41:54 PM   
Shifty Bench

 

Posts: 15398
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From: Land of the Scots

quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat

The Hottie and the Nottie.


That title is ironic as Christine Lakin who played the 'ugly' girl is actually more attractive that Paris Hilton. Well, ok, not so much 'ironic', rather a out-and-out lie but whatever.


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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:06:37 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82


quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Films like Citizen Kane, perhaps, which you feel you should like but which maybe are easier to admire than enjoy. Like Shakespeare.


This is a real pet peeve of mine.


Mine too.

quote:

I really hate it when people stick Kane in with that line of thought. It's such a easy-going, joyful flick, and one of the most downright enjoyable films of all time, yet people seem afraid to approach it with any kind of whimsy, always seemingly keen to hold it at arms length. I've never understood it.


Neither do I.

quote:

When was the last time you watched it Chris?


Did I say I neither liked, enjoyed nor appreciated Citizen Kane? Did I not quote from it extensively just the other day in the BEST Line of Dialogue thread? (Everett Sloane's reminiscence about the girl with the white dress gets me every time.) Immediately after watching it again for about the gazillionth time? (I have two copies of Citizen Kane on DVD - region 1 and 2 for the different extras. And a tatty old VHS tape with all the 50th Anniversary programmes about it which were on BBC2 twenty years ago as well as Robert McKee's iconoclastic J'Accuse Channel Four Doc which boldly challenged, not the film, but the ivory tower-dwelling critics who elevate such things beyond criticism. Hence the above Shakespeare comparison.)

The point I was trying to make was that there are some works of Art which are put on so high a pedestal that people can understandably be intimidated by their reputation, not the work of art itself. Being labelled "The Greatest Film of All Time" hasn't done Citizen Kane any favours as a piece of cinematic entertainment to be enjoyed. It didn't do Orson Welles' career any favours either. This was McKee's central argument and its one I happen to agree with. Ivory towers are for fairytale princesses and museums are for relics, not movies.


quote:

My own "blindspot" was always Ozu, but I've decided to sort that out since it's topping of the S&S directors list.


Can't honestly say I've ever enjoyed the gentleman's acquaintance. A shocking admission, I know. But then I've only recently acquainted myself properly with Bergman. Better late than never, eh?

** SPOILER ALERT **



FilmFour recently scheduled Bergman's Persona (which Robert McKee suggested was "The Greatest Film of All Time" in that very documentary I was talking about, funnily enough) in a double bill with Fincher's Fight Club. Which was a bit cheeky. Especially considering how much both owe to James Hogg's Memoir's and Confessions of a Justified Sinner!

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 29/8/2012 11:07:39 PM >

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Post #: 8
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:17:16 PM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
Did I say I neither liked, enjoyed nor appreciated Citizen Kane? Did I not quote from it extensively just the other day in the BEST Line of Dialogue thread? (Everett Sloane's reminiscence about the girl with the white dress gets me every time.) Immediately after watching it again for about the gazillionth time?


Hey friendo, no need to be defensive (although I can understand why you might feel the need to!), I didn't mean that in the way you seem to have taken it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby
The point I was trying to make was that there are some works of Art which are put on so high a pedestal that people can understandably be intimidated by their reputation, not the work of art itself. Being labelled "The Greatest Film of All Time" hasn't done Citizen Kane any favours as a piece of cinematic entertainment to be enjoyed. It didn't do Orson Welles' career any favours either. This was McKee's central argument and its one I happen to agree with. Ivory towers are for fairytale princesses and museums are for relics, not movies.


Totally agree, in fact, I even said as much myself recently elsewhere.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 9
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:20:18 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: OPEN YOUR EYES

The Big Lebowski

Before that I would possibly say 2001:A space odyssey as on first viewing I found it terribly cold and a film that lacked any sort of emotional bond with myself .Now I regard it as one of my favorite films.


2001 is the classic example of this phenomenon, I expect. It is the definition of what, in acedemic circles, would be called "a difficult film." That is, a not immediately accessible film. A film which, for a lot of people, understandably is easier to admire than enjoy. Or "hard work but worth it."

I once got into terrible trouble because of 2001. I was on a film and video course and lent my copy to someone who I thought would appreciate it. But he handed it back saying he found it "boring." I made the fatal mistake of jokingly asking "Not enough car chases in it for you?" This was totally spontaneous and, while mischievous, said without malice - it's the sort of thing I say all the time. Unfortunately I said it in front of an audience and the poor sod never heard the end of it. "Not enough car chases in it for you?" swept the class, swiftly becoming a catchphrase - I'm amazed they didn't have T-shirts printed! And the guy never spoke to me again. Whoops.

(If you're reading this, Billy, I really am sorry, you know! I was a different man, then...)

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Post #: 10
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:29:29 PM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82
This is a real pet peeve of mine. I really hate it when people stick Kane in with that line of thought. It's such a easy-going, joyful flick, and one of the most downright enjoyable films of all time, yet people seem afraid to approach it with any kind of whimsy, always seemingly keen to hold it at arms length. I've never understood it.

That's what I thought when I first saw it actually. Sure there's a lot going on and plenty to talk about and discuss (so much so that even I'm able to spot some of it ), but what really struck me was how fast paced and modern it all felt.

If I was completely ignorant about the film and everyone in it, I think I could be forgiven for thinking I was watching a film made in just the last few years. The energy and the pacing wouldn't look out of place in a biopic made today.

I find my blind spots are generally old silent comedies. It's not a fault of the films, it's just that whenever I watch them I feel like I've seen it all before, most likely because I have. That sort of visual based humour was perfectly transferable to children's cartoons, which I grew up watching.

It feels slightly unfair to say this, but by the time I got round to watching a lot of these silent classics they just bored me to tears.

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Post #: 11
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:29:40 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82

Hey friendo, no need to be defensive


Sorry, didn't think I was. More robust, I thought. I don't really do "defensive."


quote:

(although I can understand why you might feel the need to!),


Can't imagine why you'd think that....


quote:

I didn't mean that in the way you seem to have taken it.


No problemo. Just a simple misunderstanding. There's a lot of it about.



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Post #: 12
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:30:15 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
I'd dispute the 'undisputed' if only because by definition it can't be

I think I'm far from the only one to heartily dislike the work of the likes of Godard and Fellini (although at least there is one film I like of the latter). And La Regle Du Jeu - I still think Renoir did class better in one scene in Diary of a Chambermaid than he did in the entirely of this awful little film.

By and large it is directors whose work I don't like rather than individual films. Apart from Vertigo - it does very little for me.


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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.


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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 29/8/2012 11:31:27 PM   
vad3r


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Mrs. Doubtfire and The Hobbit.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives
To paraphrase the great man himself:

Vad3r won't go anywhere near this.

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RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:00:46 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

I find my blind spots are generally old silent comedies. It's not a fault of the films, it's just that whenever I watch them I feel like I've seen it all before, most likely because I have. That sort of visual based humour was perfectly transferable to children's cartoons, which I grew up watching.

It feels slightly unfair to say this, but by the time I got round to watching a lot of these silent classics they just bored me to tears.



I find a lot of people feel that way about black & white films generally these days. I was involved once in a production of a play called A Night in the Ukraine - a Marx Brothers pastiche by a guy with the great name, Frank Lazarus. We were all young and none of the others had even heard of The Marx Brothers (I knew then I was a bit... different.) So I brought in my copy of Duck Soup for us all to watch. Everyone bitched and moaned that it was black & white at first. Then after five minutes they were all pissing themselves laughing at what remains one of the funniest films of all time. Which just goes to show that quality will out.

Some films require more effort than others. And, like subtitles say, silent and/or black & white films automatically throw up obstacles which modern audiences used to sound, colour and English have to negotiate and acclimatise to before they can relax and just enjoy the damn things. As I said earlier, plenty of people used to fast-paced modern movies can even find the likes of Alien and The Godfather unbearably slow and therefore "boring."

Apart from Metropolis and Nosferatu, I'm not a huge fan of silent movies myself. Although Paul Merton's passion for them has rubbed off a bit recently. I've never liked or appreciated Chaplin - far too maudlin and sentimental for my tastes. But I've always loved Harold Lloyd and have grown to appreciate Buster Keaton over the years.

But if ever a film was easier to admire than enjoy, it has to be Battleship Potemkin. Yes, I appreciate its (and Eisenstein's) place in cinema history and I'm cineliterate enough to know when its being homaged for the umpteenth time. But I just can't imagine anyone sticking it on of an evening and actually enjoying it the same way you'd enjoy Caddyshack, say. And I have always suspected that critics who regularly list it in their Top Tens do so cos they feel they should. Or cos they're dead pretentious and/or cultural snobs*. Who secretly prefer Caddyshack. Who doesn't? Be the ball!





* And, yes, it does occur to me that others might say that about my enjoyment of "boring" old Alien and The Godfather. We're all entitled to our opinions, but clearly these people are idiots.

(in reply to Hood_Man)
Post #: 15
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:13:27 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I'd dispute the 'undisputed' if only because by definition it can't be


I knew someone would. I kinda assumed it would have been... someone else.

quote:

I think I'm far from the only one to heartily dislike the work of the likes of Godard and Fellini (although at least there is one film I like of the latter). And La Regle Du Jeu†- I still think Renoir did class better in one scene in Diary of a Chambermaid than he did in the entirely of this awful little film.


I know Week-end, Alphaville, Les Mepris, A Bout de Souffle and that's about it. Godard's a bit like Iggy Pop - filmgoers are generally more aware of the people he inspired (Roeg and Tarantino) than the real innovator. I don't think I'm familiar with Renoir or Fellini at all. God, now I feel like all I watch is Steven Seagal and Jason Statham lunkfests...

quote:

By and large it is directors whose work I don't like rather than individual films. Apart from Vertigo - it does very little for me.


But... But... But... It's The Greatest Film Ever Made! Which is funny, cos it's not half as good as North By Northwest. Or Caddyshack!

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Post #: 16
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:17:10 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
Yes, I'm fond of gophers too. 

And still count Hitchcock in my top 5 directors. But I'd rank most of his filmography above Vertigo - in context it's a little unfair as I'm looking at it and comparing it to his other films and thinking 'that's not that great' but I'm sure in other company I'd give it more credit. Well, maybe a bit anyway.


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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

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Post #: 17
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:22:50 AM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

I find my blind spots are generally old silent comedies. It's not a fault of the films, it's just that whenever I watch them I feel like I've seen it all before, most likely because I have. That sort of visual based humour was perfectly transferable to children's cartoons, which I grew up watching.

It feels slightly unfair to say this, but by the time I got round to watching a lot of these silent classics they just bored me to tears.



I find a lot of people feel that way about black & white films generally these days. I was involved once in a production of a play called A Night in the Ukraine - a Marx Brothers pastiche by a guy with the great name, Frank Lazarus. We were all young and none of the others had even heard of The Marx Brothers (I knew then I was a bit... different.) So I brought in my copy of Duck Soup for us all to watch. Everyone bitched and moaned that it was black & white at first. Then after five minutes they were all pissing themselves laughing at what remains one of the funniest films of all time. Which just goes to show that quality will out.

Some films require more effort than others. And, like subtitles say, silent and/or black & white films automatically throw up obstacles which modern audiences used to sound, colour and English have to negotiate and acclimatise to before they can relax and just enjoy the damn things. As I said earlier, plenty of people used to fast-paced modern movies can even find the likes of Alien and The Godfather unbearably slow and therefore "boring."

Apart from Metropolis and Nosferatu, I'm not a huge fan of silent movies myself. Although Paul Merton's passion for them has rubbed off a bit recently. I've never liked or appreciated Chaplin - far too maudlin and sentimental for my tastes. But I've always loved Harold Lloyd and have grown to appreciate Buster Keaton over the years.

But if ever a film was easier to admire than enjoy, it has to be Battleship Potemkin. Yes, I appreciate its (and Eisenstein's) place in cinema history and I'm cineliterate enough to know when its being homaged for the umpteenth time. But I just can't imagine anyone sticking it on of an evening and actually enjoying it the same way you'd enjoy Caddyshack, say. And I have always suspected that critics who regularly list it in their Top Tens do so cos they feel they should. Or cos they're dead pretentious and/or cultural snobs*. Who secretly prefer Caddyshack. Who doesn't? Be the ball!





* And, yes, it does occur to me that others might say that about my enjoyment of "boring" old Alien and The Godfather. We're all entitled to our opinions, but clearly these people are idiots.

A mate of mine was a bit like that when I bought The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn on DVD years ago, "But it's oooooold!"

Unfortunately I still haven't convinced him to sit down and watch it with me, even if it is in glorious Technicolor

I've always enjoyed Laurel and Hardy (the talkies), and I loved the Chaplin flick The Great Dictator, it's literally just the silent films that I can't stay with for very long. I've tried Buster Keaton too and it's the same problem, no matter how much I try and kid myself otherwise.

I feel a bit guilty admitting this

Speaking of Metropolis, I've got it on Blu Ray and I really need to watch it again. It wasn't boredom this time, I simply didn't have the time to watch it all first time.
I was gobsmacked at how good it looked, I was expecting a grainy, dirty image but it was so clean and crisp

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Post #: 18
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:25:37 AM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

Apart from Metropolis and Nosferatu, I'm not a huge fan of silent movies myself. Although Paul Merton's passion for them has rubbed off a bit recently. I've never liked or appreciated Chaplin - far too maudlin and sentimental for my tastes. But I've always loved Harold Lloyd and have grown to appreciate Buster Keaton over the years.



Funnily enough the next 6 months of my life (as have the last 8) are dedicated to bringing silent film to a new audience. I've spent much of this week rescoring Pandora's Box to 1980's German electronica as per the instructions in the liner notes of an old VHS copy of the film for a screening of the movie this weekend!

Silent film is pretty easy to sell to folk at the moment, especially post-The Artist.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 19
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 12:35:36 AM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

I know Week-end, Alphaville, Les Mepris, A Bout de Souffle and that's about it. Godard's a bit like Iggy Pop - filmgoers are generally more aware of the people he inspired (Roeg and Tarantino) than the real innovator. I don't think I'm familiar with Renoir or Fellini at all. God, now I feel like all I watch is Steven Seagal and Jason Statham lunkfests...



I'm not a great fan of Fellini, but Renoir and Godard are, alongside Welles and Robert Bresson, my favourite things about cinema. You should definitely check out Renoir, start with Grand Illusion, which is his most accessible flick, and work towards La Regle Du Jeu, which is his finest film and a genuine contender for Greatest Film Of All Timeô as far as I'm concerned. It's playful, a genuinely knowing deconstruction of the medium, and features the single most heartfelt scene in all of the cinema.

Check out this introduction to the film Renoir recorded for French TV some years later. His anecdote about the reaction to Regle opening in Paris is fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69woK9y8oTQ

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Post #: 20
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 1:08:50 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82


quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

Apart from Metropolis and Nosferatu, I'm not a huge fan of silent movies myself. Although Paul Merton's passion for them has rubbed off a bit recently. I've never liked or appreciated Chaplin - far too maudlin and sentimental for my tastes. But I've always loved Harold Lloyd and have grown to appreciate Buster Keaton over the years.



Funnily enough the next 6 months of my life (as have the last 8) are dedicated to bringing silent film to a new audience. I've spent much of this week rescoring Pandora's Box to 1980's German electronica as per the instructions in the liner notes of an old VHS copy of the film for a screening of the movie this weekend!

Silent film is pretty easy to sell to folk at the moment, especially post-The Artist.


I have a superb tinted copy of Nosferatu re-scored by James Bernard who wrote Hammer's Dracula music. It's like a different film and as Paul Merton keeps pointing out, it's all in the presentation. (I love it when films like Casablanca and Citizen Kane get restored on DVD cos they look like they were shot yesterday. Even old William Hartnell Doctor Whos look great on DVD while the garishly overlit 80s versions still look shit. There's definitely something about black & white. I think it looks better than colour!)

Nosferatu still has some bemusing quirks, though. Film "grammar" was still in its infancy back then and rather than use slow motion, Murnau thought speeding the film up would look eerier. Which is why, to modern eyes, "Harker's" coach ride is about as spooky as The Benny Hill Show! (Bernard shoulda stuckYackity-Sax on that bit.)

(in reply to adambatman82)
Post #: 21
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 1:10:45 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82


quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

I know Week-end, Alphaville, Les Mepris, A Bout de Souffle and that's about it. Godard's a bit like Iggy Pop - filmgoers are generally more aware of the people he inspired (Roeg and Tarantino) than the real innovator. I don't think I'm familiar with Renoir or Fellini at all. God, now I feel like all I watch is Steven Seagal and Jason Statham lunkfests...



I'm not a great fan of Fellini, but Renoir and Godard are, alongside Welles and Robert Bresson, my favourite things about cinema. You should definitely check out Renoir, start with Grand Illusion, which is his most accessible flick, and work towards La Regle Du Jeu, which is his finest film and a genuine contender for Greatest Film Of All Timeô as far as I'm concerned. It's playful, a genuinely knowing deconstruction of the medium, and features the single most heartfelt scene in all of the cinema.

Check out this introduction to the film Renoir recorded for French TV some years later. His anecdote about the reaction to Regle opening in Paris is fantastic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69woK9y8oTQ


Thanks for the recommendations.

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Post #: 22
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 1:19:24 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
For completely different reasons, I'm extremely hostile to the works of Jean-Luc Godard & Quentin Tarrantino.

Godard is an innovator for sure, but I've found his approach irksome far too often to enjoy.

QT on the other hand is almost a plagiarist. For me, he's like the cinematic equivalent of Oasis.

_____________________________

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1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

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Post #: 23
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 1:30:39 AM   
directorscut


Posts: 10881
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Fellini is pretty easy to get to grips with. Early Fellini = Great. Later Fellini = Wank.

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Post #: 24
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 1:42:41 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

For completely different reasons, I'm extremely hostile to the works of Jean-Luc Godard & Quentin Tarrantino.

Godard is an innovator for sure, but I've found his approach irksome far too often to enjoy.

QT on the other hand is almost a plagiarist. For me, he's like the cinematic equivalent of Oasis.


Sure, Tarantino and Oasis are particularly blatant, er, homage merchants. But everyone does this to some extent or another. Oasis (not my favourite band by any means) "ripped off" The Beatles. But The Beatles were similarly influenced by Elvis and (especially) Buddy Holly. The same way The Stones owed everything to Muddy Waters and, though they denied it for decades, Led Zeppelin blatantly ripped off Willie Dixon. I don't know much about Godard, but I'm sure he had his influences too - the cut and paste literary style of William Burroughs, perhaps? Everything influences everything else. Everything's connected, maaaaaaaan. We are all of us standing on the shoulders of giants - you see what I did there?

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 25
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 6:57:00 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
I think the normal criticism of QT is that though someone like Oasis wore their homage/copy whatever you call it on their sleeve, QT had the advantage of copying films he'd be happy virtually no-one else would have seen. The one thing you can't say about Oasis is that people couldn't judge for themselves because they'd never heard of the Beatles 

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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.


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(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 26
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 9:40:58 AM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
Actually, a good topic this. Hopefully it doesn't descend into "your unpopular opinion" pettiness.

Citizen Kane is no blind spot for me Ė I outright hate it. Whilst part (but ONLY part) of that hate is down to the occasional snobbery that surrounds it and the faux complexities that have been plastered on it down the years (which admittedly is not its fault - as others have said, itís actually a really simple and easy going film and it never pretends not to be), my main reasons for hating it are the acting (Iíve never fathomed how anyone thinks the acting, other than the performance given by Welles himself, is any good Ė also cf. The Magnificent Ambersons, which features one of the all-time bad performances courtesy of Joseph Cotton) and the fact that Welles acted in, wrote and directed loads of much much better films (Iím not, as some people are, a Welles hater). But Iíve said this a lot on the forum over the years.

My general dislike of Tarantino has also been discussed to death in other threads.

RE Caddyshack, whilst I absolutely love it, the sum does not equal its parts Ė letís be honest, whatís REALLY good about the film? What is it that we all like about it? Of course, itís all the bits in between the main story of Danny and his love life/college worries (yawn). And that main story totally detracts from the comedy of the film. Like Animal House (and, on a completely different track, the original Get Carter), it will never be as good as we all like to think it is, but it is still good.

And Chris - completely with you on both Potemkin and Blue Velvet. Potemkin, the longest and most excruciating 66 minutes ever put on film and, just like the millions of people whose hands hover over both Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven for a few seconds before grabbing the latter, I would much rather watch The Untouchables. Blue Velvet Ė mainly for the acting. Hopper isnít the only one who puts in a panto dame performance (and, as many on the forum know, Iím VERY down on over the top performances which are better suited to the stage). I could also include most of Lynch's films from Lost Highway on.

Back on point, my own main blind spots:

Withnail & I - Iíve tried, REALLY tried over the years, even attending a special (and expensive) screening in Bristol that was followed by a Q&A with Bruce Robinson in the hope that some wise words from the man himself would open my eyes. Sadly, despite Robinson being a great interview subject (and, happily, he spent quite a lot of time talking about Shadow Makers), it didnít help. I just canít connect with it on any level Ė it doesnít make me laugh, it doesnít tug on my heart strings and I canít get involved with the film. Iíve seen it, probably, about fifteen times now and every time I just clock watch. Iíve given up now.

Chaplin and Keaton Ė this is NOT a dislike of black and white or silent films. I love me some Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd. I think Murnau was a great director and Nosferatu is, probably, the greatest screen version of Dracula (closely followed by Herzogís impressively sympathetic remake, and the great BBC series with Louis Jourdan as the Count [Iím also a fan of John Badhamís attempt with Frank Langella]). I like Pabst, Lang and Wiene, and I think Haxan is a work of genius which is still way ahead of its time. But Iíve never got on with any Chaplin or Keaton. Like Withnail & I, I just canít connect with them.

Most of Hitchcockís films (and I have seen most of them, even his early British ones) Ė easier for me to list the ones I DO like. North By Northwest, Torn Curtain, Marnie and I donít mind Rear Window. And that is, literally, it. Vertigo the greatest film ever made???? What?!?!?!?! And no, Iím no fan of Psycho either.

Stalker and Ivanís Childhood Ė the only Tarkovsky films I canít bear to watch. Ivanís Childhood bores the shit out of me (and I can watch Solyaris and Andrei Rublev til the cows come home) and Stalker plays out like a stereotypical Russian bit of pointless visual weirdness with only the matte coloured claymation missing.


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Post #: 27
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 10:31:35 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54574
Joined: 1/10/2005
Oooo - half and half. My Tarkovsky's are Andrei Rublev and Ivan's Childhood. I'd add Stalker as another one relevant to this thread for me.

And Bergman - apart from Wild Strawberries.

In modern times There Will be Blood and I are not really on talking terms.

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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 great_badir)
Post #: 28
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 10:56:51 AM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009
I cry when people say they havent even watched The Godfather or Bladerunner! then I get angry and want to nail their knees to a chair and force them to watch it.
My own blindspot would be the likes of SO:2001, Clockwork Orange, Hitchcock movies! and recently the Nolan Batman movies, i think they are terrible movies and beyond dull. Citizen Kane was a movie I actually avoided watching (despite 2 years f Alevel Media studies and 4 years BA hons degree surrounded by the wankiest of movie `buffs`), when I did eventually watch it a couple of years ago I actually loved it, as did my heathen of a wife who prefers Godfather3!! which was a suprise as I forced here to watch it with me (no nails). Does it deserve the status it has?..might have to watch it again to decide.

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Post #: 29
RE: What's Your Classic Movie Blind Spot? - 30/8/2012 11:21:27 AM   
Harry Tuttle


Posts: 7993
Joined: 12/11/2005
From: Sometime in the future.
Seven Samurai and pretty much all the Universal monster features (that I've seen) for me.

I like everything else I've seen by Kurosawa (not loads admittedly) but can't get on with Seven Samurai. I find myself clock watching for most of the film, I just can't engage with the film on any level for some reason.

The Universal monster features do nothing for me either. The only saving grace for me is that they're short. Coppolla's Dracula gets a lot of stick (most of it deserved, Keanu Reeves WTF) but I can't imagine a scenario ever coming up in which I'd choose to watch the Universal classic instead of it. I also prefer Branagh's Frankenstein to the original and it's sequel. The only one of the creature features I've watched and didn't hate is Creature From The Black Lagoon. That may have more to do with Julie Adams looking amazing in a swimsuit than any qualities the film possesses though .

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