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Russ

Film Club

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Similar to the Book Club. Only with no book.

My Netflix queue is up around 300. It's ridiculous.

Let's pick a movie on video and watch it collectively and discuss it.

I don't know whether I can start a poll, but I'm sure Alan will do that once we've got a field of contenders. I'm happy to watch and discuss something I've already seen if we come up with a thought-provoking film.

Any suggestions? I'd say we should stick to something that's Netflixable and-- to avoid well-trod ground-- something that the vast majority of us haven't seen already. And I think we should pick something that's not likely to make a number of members uncomfortable due to content issues (put that Gaspar Noe-recommending hand down, stefbo!)

I'll pick through my queue and come up with a few nominations. I've given no thought-- absolutely none-- to whether we should limit nominations, when to vote, seconding, etc.


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I'm game. Let's find something that is actually attainable over here, I am always up for a classic French noir...Le Cercle Rouge may be a good one.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Eyes Without a Face

My Architect

Taste of Cherry


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M


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I am up for this.

(M) check and see what's on the BBC and maybe we could find that movie here. I am willing to work around what you can get your hands on.


...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Count me in! I'm open to your suggestions.

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I'm up for just about anything, assuming that we get enough lead time for tracking down a DVD. I love GreenCine, but their turnaround times aren't quite as good as NetFlix's.

I've become downright passionate about Rick Linklater lately, so I'd like to nominate Slacker, which is now available on a great DVD from Criterion.

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BTW, I have a free month (not 2 weeks) of Netflix to share--deadline pending.

This sounds like a great idea, Russ. I'd like to suggest the Greenland movie Heart of Light so you'll vote for it on the next A&F100 round. Ulterior motivations? Not me!

But I'll go with any of those that have been suggested.


There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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Not My Architect. I wasn't as big a fan of that one, wasn't nearly as "architectural" in presentation as it should have been.

Slacker has my vote as well, it has been a while since I have seen it. I have just ordered it from my online rental service, so I guess I will be watching it regardless. Many of us have seen all of Linklater's films anyway, so we would be able to interact with him intelligably as a filmmaker throughout our discussion.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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I'd like to suggest the Greenland movie Heart of Light so you'll vote for it on the next A&F100 round. Ulterior motivations? Not me!

Ha! That movie sounds great. That's now in the queue even if it doesn't get picked.

Slacker is also a preexisting queue presence, so I'm down with it.

What about one/both of the versions of Fanny and Alexander?


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My critical skills are nowhere near some of you guys, but I'd love to join. Count me in!


"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I am absolutely up for Slacker. I have seen most of Linklater's films but this is one I have yet to see ever since I missed it at the theatre because I had to work late.

I am also up for Franny and Alexander which I noticed our college library just purchased, catalogued and shelved the double DVD.

So far it looks like slacker is getting the nod.


...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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Oh, how I wish I could do this, but I had to cancel my Netflix due to budget reasons.

But I will be following along and writing down recommendations for myself for the future.


Subtlety is underrated

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Ann, if we watch Slacker I am sure you can find it at your local Blockbuster OR inter-library loan it.


...the kind of film criticism we do. We are talking about life, and more than that the possibility of abundant life." -M.Leary

"Dad, how does she move in mysterious ways?"" -- Jude (my 5-year-old, after listening to Mysterious Ways)

[once upon a time known here as asher]

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I meant to mention this in my first post, but if any of you happen to buy the Slacker set, be sure to watch Linklater's first feature, which is included as an incredible bonus. In fact, this is the first ever release of It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books on any home video format.

Plow is a difficult film, formally speaking. Linklater mentions on his commentary that he was heavily indebted to structuralist filmmakers at the time. Plus, budget constraints meant that he was almost literally a one-man film crew: writer, director, producer, cinematographer, editor, and lead actor.

Having said all that, I'm convinced that if Plow had been made in Tehran or Taipei in the last decade, cinephiles would be lauding it as a masterpiece. It is just brilliant filmmaking. Reminds me most of Tsai Ming-Liang's films. And its style -- long takes, static camera positions, and an almost wordless script -- is such a departure from Slacker. Form is Linklater's gift, I think.

And thus ends my first (of many, if need be) salespitch for Linklater.

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I'm fine with this idea, but it seems to me that Russ' idea was to see something most people haven't seen. Much of the enthusiasm for Slacker comes from people who've already seen it, albeit not recently.

I'm tempted to suggest that the film not be a North American release -- not because overseas films are superior, but simply because the chances of most of us not having seen the film will be much greater.

To that end, I'd love to do Fanny and Alexander, which I've been wanting to see for some time now. I just need an excuse.

If we went with something by Linklater, I'm more inclined to go with a less well-known film of his, like Tape or SubUrbia, neither of which I've seen. I'm not sure how easy they are to get ahold of, or if I'd be able to participate, but I'd certainly be more interested in the feedback on those two films than I would be Slacker, which, as a landmark of independent cinema, has been covered every which way.

Still, those who haven't seen Slacker are encouraged to do so, whether or not it makes the cut here. It's a good little movie. Not as good as Dazed and Confused, ya know, but a good little movie... smile.gif


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Slacker has been picked apart as an artifact of a particular zeitgeist (independent film and the grunge/Gen-X era), but what struck me when I watched it recently (and for the first time) is how human and moral the film is, and in ways that I think Christians could genuinely benefit from discussing. The downside of both Tape and Suburbia, though I like both, is that neither were written by Linklater and so they lack something of what I think makes him such an important filmmaker.

I'm totally up for Fanny and Alexander, by the way. I've seen 20 or so Bergman films now but have somehow managed to miss that one. Plus, I've been looking for an excuse to buy the Criterion set. smile.gif

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Count me in. Slacker I haven't seen in a few years, and I saw Fanny a few weeks ago. I would look forward to an excuse to revisit either.


All great art is pared down to the essential.
--Henri Langlois

 

Movies are not barium enemas, you're not supposed to get them over with as quickly as possible.

--James Gray

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I like the sugestion of M, since my brother bought the new Criterion disc, I need some reason to watch it.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

Twitter.
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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Well, we could probably do one of these every couple of weeks, so let's use this thread as a source of films until we run out, or until there's lack of support for them.

Unless there are big objections to them, let's do Slacker and Fanny and Alexander as our first two selections.

1. Which one to do first?

2. When can we start, or how much time do we have to give people to see the film? I'm thinking we start discussing the film right after Easter. About 10 days from now. Is that unrealistic?

3. If we choose F & A to be the first film, do we designate a particular version? The TV version is just extended, right?


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Maybe I should add here that I plan tonight to watch Y Tu Mama Tambien, so, ummm, if you wanna make that film the first selection, that'd be cool by me.

But I don't know that it's a particularly beneficial film for all ... or even for me, for that matter. blush.gif


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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The first rule of Film Club is that we do not talk about Film Club, right? wink.gif

I'm not currently on Netflix, but I would be willing to join in as long as I can track down a copy of the film being discussed. For me, ten days should be plenty of time.

I would be willing to start with Slacker. I've seen it, but I know I can find a copy at a local Hollywood Video. F & A sounds interesting, also. I hope I can track down a copy of that one.

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I think #3 is the way to go, Alan.

Also, I know that this is awfully premature, but here's something else to consider. When I teach, I often ask my students to writeup their initial responses to whatever play or novel we're reading together, and ideally they do this before we get together for the discussion. It guarantees (as much as you can guarantee anything in a classroom) that everyone has processed the work on their own terms, formed their own opinions, chased their own interests, before being absorbed into the class consensus.

I don't in any way want to turn this great idea into something school-like, but I wonder what would happen if, before diving into a conversation, we first allow some safe room for everyone who is interested to post their initial, mostly subjective impressions. We might even find someone willing to synthesize those initial posts and form some general questions as a way to get the discussion rolling.

Note: You are now all witness to my more embarrassing, anal tendencies -- tendencies to organize and systematize things. It's just an idea. Feel free to shoot it down.

I do feel, though, that something like this -- some method of processing the experience alone and perhaps even in silence before talking and talking and talking -- goes some way toward achieving what we were talking about in that now-defunct thread: becoming better "equipped" as thinkers and critics.

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