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What I'm Watching This Weekend


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#21 Darrel Manson

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 06:59 PM

Netflix is sending us an Altman movie: Thieves Like Us. Other than that, no idea if we'll have the chance.

#22 theoddone33

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 05:26 AM

Most likely Spider-Man 3 and Bertolucci's Il Conformista this weekend.

#23 Christian

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 07:10 AM

Darrell: I'd love to hear your thoughts on "Thieves." I own a copy, but have watched it just once, after determining there was too much "Bonnie and Clyde," and not enough Altman in it.

That was years ago. I wish I could say I didn't know any better, but I did, even then. Still, as the years have gone by, I've been thinking that I sold that film WAY short and should watch it again soon.

OddOne: In college, I heard nothing but lavish praise for "The Conformist," but after graduating, it somehow seeped into my system that the film was a Marxist apologetic! I suppose that means ... well, next to nothing. But do let us know if it's strictly political allegory (I doubt it), or in other ways seems dated.

Husker: That film sounds very interesting. I've not heard a word about it. How was it.

Jeff: So, would a former horror-film fan who doesn't much care for horror films any longer enjoy "The Host"? Speaking of political allegories (is that the right term? hmmm...), I've read some interesting interpretations of what "The Host" is actually about, and "horror" -- in the genre sense -- doesn't figure into those readings.

Edited by Christian, 05 May 2007 - 07:12 AM.


#24 Husker4theSpurs

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 12:59 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ May 5 2007, 07:10 AM) View Post
Husker: That film sounds very interesting. I've not heard a word about it. How was it.


I will let ya know ... might get to it this afternoon with the chance for rainy weather, too windy to golf either way smile.gif

#25 Husker4theSpurs

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 04:05 PM

Not as good as I'd thought it might be ... a little bit Stones of Summer-ish, but not as good. I may try to write more later.

#26 theoddone33

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 02:15 AM

QUOTE(Christian @ May 5 2007, 05:10 AM) View Post
OddOne: In college, I heard nothing but lavish praise for "The Conformist," but after graduating, it somehow seeped into my system that the film was a Marxist apologetic! I suppose that means ... well, next to nothing. But do let us know if it's strictly political allegory (I doubt it), or in other ways seems dated.


Looks like there's no thread for The Conformist. I don't really think the film was pro-Fascism. It was more a character-study about a Fascist ... but the film implies that he's only a Fascist for reasons one could glean from the film's title. I've read commentary on it saying it was Bertolucci's best *and* Trintignant's best. I don't know enough about either artist to say, really, and the film mostly just confused me. There are some epic scenes that I'm sure are great moments in the history of cinema, though, so I'm glad I've finally seen it after all this time.

There's another reason to praise this film, though... Vittorio Storaro. Cinematographers don't get a lot of credit, it seems, but cinematography is the first discipline that really got me interested in film, so I take an interest in the works of highly regarded cinematographers like Nykvist and Storaro. There's a reason that multiple scenes from Il Conformista are in every cinematography text... because the entire movie is filled with visual brilliance. Storaro won Oscars for his work on Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor and Reds, but this may very well be his best work.

So yeah, it's a film that doesn't really leave you... it reminded me of The Godfather a bit in that respect. But it's not something I think I'll ever fully understand. All in all, a great piece of cinematic history, and well worth seeing.

#27 Christian

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:06 AM

QUOTE(theoddone33 @ May 7 2007, 03:15 AM) View Post
There's another reason to praise this film, though... Vittorio Storaro. Cinematographers don't get a lot of credit, it seems, but cinematography is the first discipline that really got me interested in film, so I take an interest in the works of highly regarded cinematographers like Nykvist and Storaro. There's a reason that multiple scenes from Il Conformista are in every cinematography text... because the entire movie is filled with visual brilliance. Storaro won Oscars for his work on Apocalypse Now, The Last Emperor and Reds, but this may very well be his best work.


NOW you've got me interested! smile.gif I never did see this film in the 1990s, when it was one of the frequently requested titles for release on laserdisc, IIRC. There was no letterboxed version of the film on VHS, and we letterbox aficionados were instructed no to watch the film panned-and-scanned, because the cinematography was so integral to the film.

Now that you mention it though, what was the aspect ratio? Was it the European 1.66:1? If so, that's not much more picture info than the standard NTSC aspect ration of 1.33:1. Still, I'm sure it's essential to see the film as it was intended to be seen. I'll see if the library has a copy on file.

#28 theoddone33

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ May 7 2007, 07:06 AM) View Post
Now that you mention it though, what was the aspect ratio? Was it the European 1.66:1? If so, that's not much more picture info than the standard NTSC aspect ration of 1.33:1. Still, I'm sure it's essential to see the film as it was intended to be seen. I'll see if the library has a copy on file.


IMDB says 1.66:1. The DVD I got from Amazon was anamorphic widescreen, so I'm sure it was the correct ratio.

#29 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 12:37 AM

theoddone33 wrote:
: IMDB says 1.66:1. The DVD I got from Amazon was anamorphic widescreen, so I'm sure it was the correct ratio.

The anamorphic format on DVDs etc. is 1.78:1, so a 1.66:1 movie in the anamorphic format would have vertical black bars on the sides. (The first example that comes to mind of a DVD in my collection that does this is the "collector's edition" of Disney's Tarzan.) If the film was originally 1.66:1 but the picture fills the entire anamorphic frame, then either the sides have been "opened up" to reveal more picture than people saw in theatres, or the top and bottom of the image have been shaved off to fit the DVD format.

#30 theoddone33

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 01:07 AM

QUOTE(Peter T Chattaway @ May 7 2007, 10:37 PM) View Post
The anamorphic format on DVDs etc. is 1.78:1, so a 1.66:1 movie in the anamorphic format would have vertical black bars on the sides.


Sure enough: http://gregl.net/vid.../anamorphic.htm

#31 Christian

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:47 AM

I regret my cool reaction (maybe "non-reaction" is a better term) many months ago to Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later. I watched it again last night, finishing it this morning, and it's one of the best horror movies of recent years.

I realize I'm late to the party, but I wanted to correct the record.

#32 Darrel Manson

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 09:04 AM

QUOTE(Christian @ May 5 2007, 05:10 AM) View Post
Darrell: I'd love to hear your thoughts on "Thieves." I own a copy, but have watched it just once, after determining there was too much "Bonnie and Clyde," and not enough Altman in it.

I'll just respond here, since it's not really worth its own thread. I didn't think it was too much Bonnie and Clyde. As to it's place in the Altman corpus, I'd say it has more kinship with M*A*S*H than with things like Nashville, Gosford Park or PHC in that it is more of a linear story than various intersecting stories. Pleasurable enough. Interesting to see everyone so young.

#33 Ron Reed

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 10:50 PM

Help me decide;

Black Book
Jindabyne
The Page Turner
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont
Everything's Gone Green
Reign Over Me
Grindhouse
Hot Fuzz

And, if you've got a minute, why?

Ron

P.S. I love this thread!

#34 Christian

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 05:36 AM

QUOTE(Ron @ May 10 2007, 11:50 PM) View Post
Help me decide;

Black Book
Jindabyne
The Page Turner
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont
Everything's Gone Green
Reign Over Me
Grindhouse
Hot Fuzz

And, if you've got a minute, why?

Ron

P.S. I love this thread!


I've seen only "Reign Over Me" from your list, and thought highly of it. Right now I have "Shaun of the Dead" in my DVD stack, hoping to get some relief after having just seen "28 Weeks Later," but also a way to prime the pump for "Hot Fuzz," about which I hear great things.

#35 Darrel Manson

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 09:29 AM

QUOTE(Ron @ May 10 2007, 08:50 PM) View Post
Help me decide;

Black Book
Jindabyne
The Page Turner
Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont
Everything's Gone Green
Reign Over Me
Grindhouse
Hot Fuzz
I've only seen 3 of these, but recommend:
Jindabyne if you want some great performances within a fairly compelling story.
Black Book if you want some tension/release/tension/release fun.
(links to my reviews of both of these can be found on my viewing list.)

As for me, I have Freedom Writers at home. Want to rewatch Pirates2 soon before seeing 3 in a few weeks, so maybe I'll actually hit Blockbusters (unless it's been turned back in at the library). We've been wanting to get to Fracture, so maybe we'll fit that in.

Edited by Darrel Manson, 11 May 2007 - 09:30 AM.


#36 Nathaniel

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:18 PM

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is the most unassuming film on your list. Give it a chance.

Edited by Nathaniel, 16 May 2007 - 06:42 PM.


#37 Jeff

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:33 PM

This weekend, me and some friends are doing a marathon of the Die Hard thrillogy...I haven't seen parts two and three, but I've heard negative things. Still, there are some things that you just have to see at least once.

#38 Darrel Manson

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:03 AM

Today I expect we'll be seeing either Waitress or Away from Her (and likely may see the other before the weekend is out). Monday I see Pirates otC 3.

#39 Christian

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:07 AM

I'll list my DVDs by order of interest (I've already seen "Freedom Writers," but Sarah hasn't). Do I need to re-prioritize these?

1. Half Nelson
2. Fast Food Nation
3. Shaun of the Dead
4. Out of the Past
5. Freedom Writers



#40 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:51 PM

Not "this weekend", exactly, but yesterday I watched Hustle & Flow during one of the kids' naps (I had booked it at the library a few months ago after seeing Black Snake Moan and deciding that I needed to familiarize myself with the director's work), and then in the evening D and I watched the Videomatica.ca copy of Music and Lyrics that had arrived in the mail the previous day. And then I realized that BOTH of these films were about song-writing and -recording -- the kind of films where dialogue informs lyrics and lyrics inform dialogue, which must be a big challenge both artistically (e.g. when do you change the script to match a good song? if you already have the song, how do you capture the spontaneity of creativity in a way that informs the characters of the song-writers themselves?) and legally (e.g. who gets the royalties for what?).