The 11th Hall of Fame

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Watched Embrace Of The Serpent last night. Excellent about sums it up. Really good story telling. Great sense of time and place. Best of all it doesn't beat you over the head with anything. Just lets the characters and story speak for itself. Maybe it was because a couple of you put it in my head, because this has never happened before, but I did find myself wishing this was in color. I think the cinematography would have been even more striking. I would love to know the thought process behind that choice.
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Watched Embrace Of The Serpent...but I did find myself wishing this was in color. I think the cinematography would have been even more striking. I would love to know the thought process behind that choice.
My guess is: in the first act the B&W cinematography gives the film a 'a past tense look'. As the first part of the film is indeed set in the past.

For the rest of the movie, which is set in the present day, the absences of colors puts the focus on the spirituality and essences of the quest for the ancient herb, without overwhelming the senses with the riotous green colors of the jungle. The absences of color makes us focus on what is important....Or maybe the director just watched Dead Man and was impressed




Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)

This was my second viewing and I'm still not sure what to make of this film. I know it's considered one of the funniest of the classic era films and is highly rated. I liked it, but I didn't connect to it and I think I know why. After the movie was over I watched about 5 minutes of the commentary track with Peter Bogdanovic. 1st...he said something that told me I had made a mistake. Bogdanovic said, this film is very fast paced and you need to be up for watching it, with your full attention on the screen. And I didn't do that. I was exhausted that night So I plan on watching the full commentary, as I feel I missed a lot of what my eyes say.

I do have a hunch about the film. OK this might seem odd but...I don't think the genius of the film is in the story line or the characters. They are just window dressing for the true star of the film, the writing. I think the star of the film is the quick wit that was written and the ad lib lines done by Hepburn and Grant...with Hawks adding a bit of his own naughtiness. It's almost like this is a cryptic film and the actors and writers are bypassing the story and speaking directly to the audience. It's like an inside joke at a big party and the fun is in deciphering the double entendres.

In short, I think some of this film went over my head, so I will revisit it and hopefully become a fan.



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Pimpin' ain't easy
The Dead Girl


It turns out that this was the only movie from this HoF that my wife was interested in watching with me (she had previously seem Ronin and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). We both love the sordid murder mystery types, so the quality doesn't even have to be very good for us to enjoy them. I'm not saying the quality of The Dead Girl was bad, and in fact my wife commented that she liked the way the movie was filmed. It's just that I'm not sure how good the movie is. We both very much enjoyed it, yet I do believe it has substantial flaws. I occasionally enjoy the interconnected storyline style. It's not a style that seems to be overused, and I think it worked well for this movie. It's a female driven cast, and I think most of the girls make a nice showing. I thought Ribisi, Franco, and Brolin did pretty much nothing to distinguish themselves, although I wouldn't blame them. The fact is that I don't understand why Ribisi and Franco were even in the movie. They were featured in the first two segments, and I believe those two are the weakest of the five. For the first segment, why do they show us that date? It seems to me that it is completely irrelevant to the movie. Likewise with the second segment, what does the relationship between Byrne and Franco have to do with anything? It's a fairly short movie, yet there is this time that is completely wasted with irrelevant content. Why the segments veered off into these directions is baffling to me. I read the other write-ups after watching, and I was wondering at the time the same thing as Camo; at the hotel, wouldn't the girl realize right away that the woman was the girl's mother? Perhaps she did, and was just a hardened soul? Despite these issues, I loved the morbid and dreary tone of the movie, and I thought it was powerful at times. Most movies are not powerful in any way, so that is something I give a lot of credit for. I very much enjoyed the movie, but I think it could have been much better if it had stayed on track throughout.

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For the first segment, why do they show us that date?
The full first segment wasn't needed at all and i think it had the worst performance of the movie from Toni Collete. I think you can make an argument for the second segment since the murder had a profound effect on her and her families lives, although if it was my choice i'd have cut the first two. The first segment was completely irrelevant; she found the body but what impact did it have on her life? Clearly she was already messed up and had that awful relationship with her mother before this. I'm guessing it was supposed to be her finding the body led to her dating Ribisi who was obsessed with Serial Killers and her mothers diapproval and mocking of her makeup she put on for the date coupled with the trauma of recently finding that body pushed her over the edge making her finally get out from the grasp of her abusive mother. Still it had very little to do with The Dead Girl, so i don't think it should've been in the film unless they had to fill time.



Anybody know what they are watching next?

If everything goes to plan i'm going Ronin (rewatch) > Bashu > Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (rewatch) > Samurai Rebellion.



I've decided i'm not going to rewatch Moonrise Kingdom for this. Somehow i've managed to see it twice this year as well as last year around christmas. As much as i love it i can't see a fourth viewing in a year doing anything other than harming its final position.

I might rewatch Her if i have finished everything else with time to spare but i doubt i'll do a writeup for it. I've read all the other reviews so far and i think others have said just about everything i would and better than i could.

Then so far i've watched The Dead Girl and Embrace of the Serpent and rewatched Bringing Up Baby. So i have first time watches of Good Bye Lenin, Bashu The Little Stranger, Ida, Samurai Rebellion and The Flowers of War as well as rewatches of Ronin (tonight) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang left.



I rewatched half of Bringing Up Baby with Peter Bogdanovic's commentary track. I hope to finish it tonight. It's fascinating listening to his insight into the movie. He knew Howard Hawks and interviewed him in the 60s about the production of the movie.



Ronin



I had already watched this when i was 11. The only reason i remember what age i was is because it was randomly when i was in the US in 2004, it was on TV there and it is one of my brother in-laws favourite films but i didn't remember anything about it not even if i liked it or not. So this mostly felt like a first time watch, a few bits and pieces felt familiar but i was basically going in blind. There's not much i can say about it really, i'm not good at writing about these types of films. It was OK, pretty entertaining i don't regret watching it. Pretty standard thriller-heist movie with some good things going for it. It had some really good car chases and some solid action. Not sure what to say about the story it was a fairly standard chase the macguffin story with twists and turns, not terribly exciting for me i'm afraid but one thing i did really like was Sam and Vincents friendship; i felt that was pulled off really well. Robert DeNiro may be my favourite actor but honestly i would have preferred someone i like less who at least brought some enthusiasm, Deniro seemed like he didn't care he came across bored as if he had just read the script once and thought meh may aswell. Also his accent irked me it sounded like someone from the UK trying to do an American accent; it was like he had forgotten how to speak.

Anyway it was fine. Sorry i don't have more to say Clazor it just isn't really my type of film. I'm sure some here will appreciate it more.

Bashu next for me either tomorrow or Wednesday.





Samurai Rebellion/上意討ち 拝領妻始末 (1967)
Dir. Masaki Kobayashi
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Go Kato, Yoko Tsukasa

Samurai Rebellion is a very well crafted, elegant film that's focus is on the conflict of personal ethics vs loyalty rather than on action or physical conflict like its English title might suggest. The “Rebellion” in this film is less of a physical force (though it does resort to that in the end), and more so Sasahara taking a stand against the rigid structures of society, as he refuses to acquiesce to the unfair demands of their daimyo, whose whims create nothing but emotional turmoil. Needless to say, I definitely appreciated this movie more now than when I saw it first 14 years ago.

The story managed to completely keep my interest up until the end (around the duel), and by that point there were only a few minutes left anyway. For me, the fight choreography in the final act is the only aspect that drags this film down (and even then it's only slightly). Toshiru Mifune is great as Isabro Sasahara, as he plays a reserved man whose passion for life is reignited when he witnesses the love shared between Ichi and his son Yogoro – a love that was sorely lacking in his own marriage. Mifune has a strong screen presence, and delivers his more emotional lines with a great force that is simply amazing to watch and to listen to.

I hadn't watched any classic Samurai films in over a decade, because I really got tired of the genre after watching so many in a short period of time. I'm really glad that I was able to see this movie again without any of that fatigue, because it really was great experience, even if it ended on a bit of a low note for me. The rest of it was great.



Anybody got a good source for Samurai Rebellion? I would love to get the best experience possible.

Also, watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang as planned. Thoughts will come soon enough, together with thoughts on my own nom, Ida.



I'm still pretty worn out from the weekend, so I doubt I'll watch anything tonight. Will try to get back to it tomorrow though. I'm thinking maybe with Ronin.



My guess is: in the first act the B&W cinematography gives the film a 'a past tense look'. As the first part of the film is indeed set in the past.

For the rest of the movie, which is set in the present day, the absences of colors puts the focus on the spirituality and essences of the quest for the ancient herb, without overwhelming the senses with the riotous green colors of the jungle. The absences of color makes us focus on what is important....Or maybe the director just watched Dead Man and was impressed
I think the movie is set in about 1909 (German explorer part) and 1940 (American explorer part) (what you mistook for "the present").



I think the movie is set in about 1909 (German explorer part) and 1940 (American explorer part) (what you mistook for "the present").
OK thanks. I didn't know that, but that even makes a stronger case for why maybe the director went with B&W. I still have to watch that one.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
The film was also shot on 35mm film. Here's part of an interview with the director.

"Cineaste: Why was it important to shoot Embrace of the Serpent in black and white?

Guerra: There were so many reasons. I could speak for two hours about why it was important to shoot the film in black and white. It was such a huge decision. The first inspiration for the film were the images taken by the explorers. Those images were unbelievable when I saw them. They were daguerreotype photographic plates. When you saw them, you saw an Amazon that was completely different than the Amazon that you think about. It was completely devoid of exuberance and exoticism. It was a different world and time. Looking at it through those images, I started thinking this film should be in black and white.

When I went to the Amazon, I realized that it would not be possible for any kind of film, any kind of video, any kind of representation, to give you a real idea of what the green of the Amazon is. As we mentioned earlier, Amazonian people have fifty words for what we call green. I thought, maybe by taking it away it would be possible to trigger the imagination. It’s not the real Amazon you see in the film—it’s an imagined Amazon—but what we imagine would certainly be more real than what I could portray. Also, when I talked to the Amazonian people, I realized that with black-and-white images there was no difference between nature being green and us being something else. Every human, every bird, every drop of water is made up the same in black and white so it was perfectly coherent. I decided the film had to be in black and white and we had to overcome the expectations of a lot of people, but we stuck to it. If I had been forced to film in color, I would have preferred not to do it.

Cineaste: With Colombia’s film industry kicking into gear no less than a decade ago when incentives were introduced, how did you convince the powers that be to let you film on 35mm?

Guerra: What happened was that the people who worked on films and made movies really made their living in advertising. Back in the Nineties, advertising was done on film. Advertising became a big industry in Colombia, so there was a lot of equipment for film, which is no longer used but is still in really good shape, so we can get it cheaply. The problem is getting film stock. That’s a challenge. Hopefully this lab in Argentina, which is the only lab left in South America, will continue to work.

My first film was a $30,000 film. I come from the low-budget school. For me, filmmaking is a lot about making the best of what you can with the resources that you have. I like that because it forces me to be creative. With this film there is as much creativity in the story as there is behind the scenes in the production and craft of making it. That excites me. This movie looks like it was expensive but it was not as expensive as it looks."
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