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Christian

What I'm Watching This Weekend

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Yesterday: The King's Speech and Black Swan

This is going to go against the grain, but of the 6 Best Picture nominees I've seen, The King's Speech ranks the lowest.

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This is going to go against the grain, but of the 6 Best Picture nominees I've seen, The King's Speech ranks the lowest.

It would mean more to me personally if your avatar wasn't a character in a very over-hyped and overblown film.

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Once the weekend has passed, I think I'll fill in the gaps in my Oscar-nom viewing. Dogtooth and Kids Are All Right en route by mail, Incendies and The Illusionist on big screens, and Biutiful opening Friday. Would be the first year I'd have seen all the major category nominees - apart from foreign language, where that's never possible unless you've got an Academy membership and live in Los Angeles, or are a very well-informed or prescient international jet-setting cinephile. Which, alas, I am not.

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This is going to go against the grain, but of the 6 Best Picture nominees I've seen, The King's Speech ranks the lowest.

It would mean more to me personally if your avatar wasn't a character in a very over-hyped and overblown film.

FWIW, I've changed my mind about the ranking of The King's Speech among Best Picture nominees I've seen. I forgot that I saw Inception. That would rank the lowest.

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Yes, I've seen the Wong films before, but my appreciation for 2046 is growing and growing upon re-viewing.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. Few people seem to really, really care about 2046, despite receiving mostly positive notices at the time of its theatrical release.

As for this weekend, I'm hoping for at least a few of the following: Paths of Glory, Backbeat, and some Truffaut (Antoine Doinel, Last Metro, and/or Mississippi Mermaid)

PATHS OF GLORY is aces. I own THE LAST METRO but haven't watched it yet; all I can say is that the Criterion packaging is breathtakingly lovely). Let us know what you think of it.

Paths of Glory - the generals and his royal chinness are a bit too simplistically evil and good for my liking, but they are nonetheless very intriguing characters, and this is a minor quibble about an otherwise fantastic film. Fascinating use of camera movement for emphasis, a gloriously Kubrickian sense of the absurd, and lots of heart - easily my favorite Kubrick movie.

The Last Metro - I had just read Alan Riding's book about cultural life in occupied Paris, so this was a fitting companion piece. My sense is that Truffaut effectively captured both details and some of the spirit of this time, while exploring familiar themes from his complete film oeuvre (staged vs actual reality, romantic attraction vs fidelity). And you're right, Ryan, the Criterion packaging is very enticing - I'm looking forward to viewing the early Godard/Truffaut short that's included on Disc 2.

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Paths of Glory - the generals and his royal chinness are a bit too simplistically evil and good for my liking, but they are nonetheless very intriguing characters, and this is a minor quibble about an otherwise fantastic film. Fascinating use of camera movement for emphasis, a gloriously Kubrickian sense of the absurd, and lots of heart - easily my favorite Kubrick movie.

It's not my favorite Kubrick--I'll take 2001 or BARRY LYNDON over it--but it's pretty darn close. Every time I see it, it leaves me absolutely devastated. That execution sequence is brutal.

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I just got Netflix. It's the Canadian version so it doesn't have as much but I watched Starman last night. It reminded me of an ET geared towards adults with a love story thrown in. I haven't seen The Voyage of the Dawn Treader because I haven't seen Prince Caspian so I borrowed the latter from the library today.

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What timing. One of our old Brazilian au pairs is here for the weekend, and Wasteland is playing downtown.

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What timing. One of our old Brazilian au pairs is here for the weekend, and Wasteland is playing downtown.

Cool, this is going to work. The film is actually Waste Land, two words. Our old friend Bel from Brazil is going with me tomorrow and maybe a couple of in-town friends as well. Tyler, do you live in Grand Rapids, and if so, why haven't we met?

Other than that it's three more black and white Jarmusch fims. Finishing up Down By Law right now, hoping for both Dead Man and Coffee and Cigarettes Saturday and Sunday.

Man, this Feb. experiment has been AWESOME. I think I've found a new, much more fun blogging approach, taking a genre or a director or an idea and blogging it for a month. It was the best film month I've had in ages, really opened up a desire to attempt writing, too. Next month, due to EUFF, will be a heavier concentration on more recent foreign film.

Edited by Persona

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What timing. One of our old Brazilian au pairs is here for the weekend, and Wasteland is playing downtown.

Cool, this is going to work. The film is actually Waste Land, two words. Our old friend Bel from Brazil is going with me tomorrow and maybe a couple of in-town friends as well. Tyler, do you live in Grand Rapids, and if so, why haven't we met?

Other than that it's three more black and white Jarmusch fims. Finishing up Down By Law right now, hoping for both Dead Man and Coffee and Cigarettes Saturday and Sunday.

Man, this Feb. experiment has been AWESOME. I think I've found a new, much more fun blogging approach, taking a genre or a director or an idea and blogging it for a month. It was the best film month I've had in ages, really opened up a desire to attempt writing, too. Next month, due to EUFF, will be a heavier concentration on more recent foreign film.

I can't comment on the blog part, but definitely the thematic focus. Watching Kurosawa's films chronologically as I read Prince and Richie's books was a life-changing experience. And now, I'm feeling enriched and having fun studying Truffaut, even if I'm a bit less systematic this time. It's fun to make the obvious 'discoveries' (the man was a serial womanizer, so no wonder his films are obsessed with fidelity and chasing after wind) as well as making more puzzling observations (he loved the color red and filming scenes in doorways, what's up with that?).

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Stef, I haven't been watching films much at all lately, so I've fallen out of my good habits, but for the past five years or so I've always had one or two little film projects going. Like Andrew's Kurosawa experience, I've tried to focus on a specific filmmaker or genre, watched movies systematically (usually in chronological order), and supplemented the viewings with books, usually a combination of biographies and collected criticism. My projects have included: John Ford, Frank Borzage, William Wyler, Jean-Luc Godard, David Lynch, Douglas Sirk, Films of the '80s, Chantal Akerman, Orson Welles, MGM Musicals, Peter Watkins, Bertrand Tavernier, Michael Winterbottom, Richard Linklater, and Abel Ferrara. I can't recommend this approach highly enough.

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Today:

-Watched The King of Kong before I went to work/finished up on lunch break. Loved it.

-Also watching the western Broken Arrow, notable for being (one of) the first sympathetic portrayals of Native Americans in film after World War II. Pretty good thus far, though it is a bit by-the-numbers.

Tomorrow:

-Sam Raimi's The Quick and the Dead.

Then back to more Parks and Recreation and Angel.

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My oldest daughter Leah, who's a few months shy of fourteen, likes to be scared. I've been gradually showing her Hitchcock films and some of my favorite horror films that I think are appropriate for her. This weekend she gets to choose between Psycho and Dawn of the Dead.

For another weekend night, I think I'll redbox Catfish or The American to watch with Ali.

I think I'll finally get around to Renoir's Grand Illusion Sunday night. I'm going to time my viewing to overlap as much as possible with the Academy Awards telecast.

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Three DVDs will be available over the weekend, although I might get to only one by Monday, with the other two to watch later in the week.

How would you prioritize them?

Mother and Child

Red Riding: 1974

Buried

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Christian, that is too tough a call to make on the fly.

Me, this weekend: Tonight finishing up Coco Chanel & Igor Stranvinsky.

Korkoro (France), Behind Blue Skies (Sweden), Amer (Belgium), all at EUFF.

Two docs on the train on the way in: Transcendent Man and The Other Side of Immigration.

Haven't yet decided whether to see or sleep on the way out of town Sunday night.

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I'd love to get to Of Gods and Men again, but we're more likely to do something light (e.g., Rango) if we go out at all. Chemo week has its own kind of rhythm. More likely we'll find something to watch on Roku.

Edited by Darrel Manson

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I forgot that I'm attending a screening of For the Love of Movies, with a panel discussion of film critics afterward. I'm hoping to get my DVD of the film signed by the director, and my Jonathan Rosenbaum books signed by the author, but I'm not sure the event will lend itself to that sort of ... approachableness. (Is that a word?)

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Just past the weekend, I have How Green Was My Valley for while I donate platelets on Monday.

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Around a Small Mountain, A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, and Fear Me Not. Half way done with Fear Me Not and can't wait to bug specifically Andrew to see this one.

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Around a Small Mountain, A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, and Fear Me Not. Half way done with Fear Me Not and can't wait to bug specifically Andrew to see this one.

After reading the synopsis for Fear Me Not and watching a couple of the films on our Horror list, namely Peeping Tom and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, I realized that psychiatry ranks right up there with teenage sexuality and nuclear war as the things most feared in modern Western society.

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Around a Small Mountain, A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, and Fear Me Not. Half way done with Fear Me Not and can't wait to bug specifically Andrew to see this one.

Stef, have you seen much Rivette? Around a Small Mountain is a small-in-scale but beautiful little film, but don't go into it with the expectation of being dazzled. My friend Danny has a good, short piece about it at Mubi.

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