The 13TH Hall of Fame

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...Spring, Summer should be doing much better than it is, you people are killing me here
I had that one ready to watch, as I had got the DVD from my library a few days ago. But I thought it was odd that there was no English on the DVD cover, or on the movie's menu. I got the Korean language only, version, ha...no English subtitles. It figures!

But no worries Netflix/DVD.com has it.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



You can't win an argument just by being right!
I'm really enjoying reading the reviews of movies I've seen, even if I'm not involved in this HOF. I feel like I'm lurking so had to post something.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
If you want to post a review of anything you have seen i'll keep it in the second post so the members can read it like i did with JayDee's just so you know.
Oh that's cool. Thanks. I might wait until the end when everyone else has finished so I dont feel like I'm taking up as an interloper. I get a tad paranoid when I feel like I'm doing that, like when I blurted in on one of Gideon's list threads when I was a newby.



Legend in my own mind
Are you talking about the cold reading scene? That scene was absolutely perfect, surprisingly so for a film from the 40's. If you are skeptical (like me) then it seems ridiculous and impossible to pull off but if you're susceptible to that sort of thing that's pretty much how it always plays out. My full second paragraph was about how it works, here:
That's exactly the one. I have read your explanation and that helped a bit, but I am still not having it. If a cop came to arrest you, there is not much chance of using your Jedi mind tricks and then ushering him out of your work place without him just coming back.
__________________
"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)





Wings of Desire / Der Himmel über Berlin (1987)
Dir. Wim Wenders
Starring: Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander, Solveig Dommartin

Many, including director Win Wenders, believed Berlin to be the cultural centre of Germany before the wars. Potsdamer Platz, situated in the middle of Berlin where so many roads intersected, was arguably the heart of the city. While the area has since been rebuilt, at the time of the film's shooting and release it was still a ruined husk that had become a no man's land between East and West Berlin. It was a harsh reminder to everyone in the city about the possibly irreparable damage Germany sustained during the war, and the history that will be forever lost with it, buried under layers of broken steel and dirt.

Instead of showing a fractured city, the opening aerial shots of Wings of Desire unifies Berlin once more. To the angels who have been watching over the city since it was nothing more than a field of grass, the current division is only temporary, as they remember Berlin the way it was, and can see how it will be rebuilt in the future. The first act of the film focuses purely on the city and its inhabitants, as they go about their daily lives remarking on whatever enters their heads. The film is as much about the city and those people as it is about life, and Damiel's yearning for the mortal experience. Most of this section of the film had very little planning, with shots even being improvised while filming. This gives the film an unfocused and seemingly pointless start, which can easily put audiences off. But the idea is not to think about plot, but rather to experience the city and human beings through the eyes of the angels that guard it, and their differing views on humanity.

Throughout the film, Damiel wishes to distance himself from his role as observer and to experience what it is like to be mortal. He has grown tired of seeing things through the eternal eye, and wants to feel the weight of a limited perception of time. The simple pleasures in life appeal greatly to him, which act as a lure to this other world that becomes irresistible when love is thrown into the picture. In contrast, his close friend Cassiel tends to be drawn to the more destructive aspects of mankind. He observes those in despair, those who have lost hope, and is intrigued by people like the old man Homer, who is searching for the lost Postsdamer Platz and is afraid that humanity will forget the devastation of war. In my opinion, it is in those scenes with the old man, and the archival footage of post-war Berlin that accompany his reflections, that the film is at it's most powerful.

There are some truly beautiful visuals throughout the entire film. Besides the iconic shots of Damiel watching from atop die Gedächtniskirche, and any of the scenes with the angels on the shoulder of the Siegessäule, simple images like the lone standing station wall in Potsdamer Platz, or the shots of graffiti covering the Berlin Wall can each tell their own stories. The problem is that you have to be willing to sit back and listen like Damiel, Cassiel, or one of the other angels, which is not going to appeal to every viewer. In fact, I'd argue that it's going to appeal to very few of them, and will likely struggle to hold the interest of many. The last act of the film does have a more typical story that is easier to follow and engage with, but by that time it's likely too late for the film to grab you if you weren't invested in the first part.


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cricket's Avatar
Pimpin' ain't easy
I had that one ready to watch, as I had got the DVD from my library a few days ago. But I thought it was odd that there was no English on the DVD cover, or on the movie's menu. I got the Korean language only, version, ha...no English subtitles. It figures!

But no worries Netflix/DVD.com has it.
It's on Dailymotion in 2 parts



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Oh that's cool. Thanks. I might wait until the end when everyone else has finished so I dont feel like I'm taking up as an interloper. I get a tad paranoid when I feel like I'm doing that, like when I blurted in on one of Gideon's list threads when I was a newby.
Like Camo stated in invite, come on in, Dani, the water's fine
It's all about the discussion, so join right in.
__________________
They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Okay, caught up.

12/16 have posted at least one review. 7/16 have watched at least a quarter. 2/16, nearly 3/16 have watched at least half.

Sarge is the Rookie of the HOF, he's killing it keep it up

Didn't want to say this in the thread but i'd hold off on The Intouchables for now, i PM'd Titu about him being in this HOF the other day and he hasn't responded despite me seeing him on at least twice since then. He's also in the Short HOF which has 20 films some over 30 minutes in length which is why i was concerned. Not saying he's out as i don't know yet just letting everyone know.

Also Spring, Summer should be doing much better than it is, you people are killing me here
Thanks for the update, Camo. BANG UP job on hosting, btw!!!

pity about Intouchables, I'm actually in the middle of it, so I'll hold off posting any review and simply go with whatever I end up with after that. THANKS again.

@CosmicRunaway thoroughly enjoyed the insight for Wings of Desire. Just picked that up from the library and should be delving in, some time this week.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
Oh that's cool. Thanks. I might wait until the end when everyone else has finished so I dont feel like I'm taking up as an interloper. I get a tad paranoid when I feel like I'm doing that, like when I blurted in on one of Gideon's list threads when I was a newby.
Like Camo stated in invite, come on in, Dani, the water's fine
It's all about the discussion, so join right in.
OK. Thanks ed. Just up at the shops having a coffee but back soon.



@CosmicRunaway thoroughly enjoyed the insight for Wings of Desire. Just picked that up from the library and should be delving in, some time this week.
Glad you liked what I wrote! I thought it might have been an odd departure from how I normally write about HoF films, but come to think of it, my post about Murderers Among Us was pretty similar.

After spending years writing about German history and culture, it's hard not to mention those things when it comes to German film. But for certain films, I think it does help to have some knowledge going in, because they can otherwise be difficult to unpack. This is especially true if a scene relies on facts that foreign audiences may not be familiar with (for example, the significance of Potsdamer Platz in Wings of Desire).

Maybe in the future I should just pick easier, more approachable films.

(Or maybe you guys will become so familiar with German cinema through my nominations that they'll become more familiar and palpable. )



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Glad you liked what I wrote! I thought it might have been an odd departure from how I normally write about HoF films, but come to think of it, my post about Murderers Among Us was pretty similar.

After spending years writing about German history and culture, it's hard not to mention those things when it comes to German film. But for certain films, I think it does help to have some knowledge going in, because they can otherwise be difficult to unpack. This is especially true if a scene relies on facts that foreign audiences may not be familiar with (for example, the significance of Potsdamer Platz in Wings of Desire).

Maybe in the future I should just pick easier, more approachable films.

(Or maybe you guys will become so familiar with German cinema through my nominations that they'll become more familiar and palpable.
)
yeah, it'll probably be more the latter than the former lol



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm not saying it's out. If you're in the middle of The Intouchables you may as well finish it and post your review, i'm not gonna take out your guys reviews in the second post even if the film is out. Maybe Titu is doing what Vamp usually does and is waiting to post about a bunch of them i dunno, i dunno coz he's not answered my PM. I wouldn't have brought it up if i hadn't saw him online a few times after i sent him that PM. I know a few like to leave the movies nominated by people who may not finish to last so i thought i should say.
Works for me, thanks -- AGAIN
you know me, more than happy to go with the flow





Forbidden Games (Jeux interdits) (René Clément, 1952)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/22/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Jeff Costello's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


When the nominations for the 13th Hall of Fame were announced, this was the movie I was most looking forward to. I had seen Clement's Plein Soleil for a previous HOF and had really enjoyed it. So I had hoped to have a similar experience with this. Sadly, that was not to be.

I thought the children - particularly Brigitte Fossey as Paulette - gave really excellent performances, but I found pretty much everything else about the movie to be rather underwhelming. The other performances just felt very flat and the characters were irritating (though, of course, I realize I'm not meant to like them). There was also nothing in the set design or cinematography that stood out as anything special either.

I also was very much bothered by some of the scenes involving the dog, particularly those in which the dog is shown laying limply while kicking its rear legs. I can only hope that this was the result of some sort of sedative, but I could not find any information on how it was accomplished. Some of the other scenes featured an obviously fake, stuffed dog but still others appeared to use an actual dead dog that was, in turns, very stiff or very limp. I found it both worrying and distracting.

But I think even without those bothersome scenes I would've found this film to be mostly a disappointment and I was rather bored with it overall.




Legend in my own mind
The point doesn't remain if he didn't come to arrest him. He came across someone who had presumably recently had a personal tragedy and was susceptible to that sort of thing, if he was going to arrest him then i'd agree but he didn't which gave him time to attempt it on him thanks to the aforementioned circumstances it worked. There was nothing at all wrong with that scene, it was actually scarily accurate if you know how these "psychic" charlatans operate even today.
We'll have to agree to disagree. I am sure that it is similar to how such people operate today but I am not convinced that he would get as much right straight away. There are not too many 'misses' that you speak of. "For your daughter" not a huge leap granted as a lot of people will have daughters. "You have a pocket piece" again not such a huge leap as many people of the mans age would. "You really value that piece but you don't know why" Hmmm, How many people place sentimental value on something and don't know why? If he had replied "I know exactly why, my daughter bought me it for my birthday" or "My father gave it to me" and then shut the whole carnival down I would have believed it more.
This is the first time Stanton was trying this, and to get so many things right without contest in a row is unlikely at best.

I understand the power of suggestion, and some of the techniques the 'psychics' use, and your explanation has given me a bit of balance to the scene, but ultimately I didn't like the scene and thought it was far fetched. Am sorry if you don't agree, but as I said we will have to agree to disagree.



cricket's Avatar
Pimpin' ain't easy
Captain Fantastic


I didn't know anything about this going in except that it was highly acclaimed and starred Viggo Mortensen. I figured from the poster that it was a bit quirky.

I thought the movie started out fine, yet I had the concern that it would become a snoozefest if the whole thing was about the family living in the woods. After an effective emotional scene, I was very happy to see the family head out onto the road. From there, it becomes what is essentially a fish out of water story while we watch the family interact with outsiders from the real world, and vice versa. This is the most simple and cliched part of the movie, yet it's when we get the most humor, and it's the part I enjoyed the most. It wraps up nicely as the father seems to have a bit of an awakening.

In general, I can't stand people like the father. As soon as I hear the term "home schooled", my freak radar goes bananas. The dad was nothing more than a tree hugging, freeloading, beatnik fool. Stick it to the man, oh ok, that's usually a clear indication of a person who contributes nothing to society. Beyond that, he seemed to be a good person, and Mortensen has enough charisma to make the character likable enough. I think the father-in-law called him misguided at one point, and I think that was the perfect word to describe him. He had really good kids, and I thought all the young actors were terrific with the exception of the one young boy who went against his father. It was how good the kids were that made me believe the movie was part fantasy, but that's ok. I'm not sure if the movie meant to show their lifestyle as admirable and desirable, if the message at the end was that it's not the way to go, or if there was no message at all. Either way, I thought the movie was well done in every regard and I fully enjoyed it.




Manchester by the Sea

-there might be some spoilers below-


So I'm observing this guy Lee who barely smiles. He seems to patiently keep up to his daily routine. He works as a janitor and he looks he could do more but he's not able to structure his future. He's quite awkward in socializing with people not understanding the signals people pass onto him or not wanting to understand them. He apparently wants to be left alone that was clearly stated in the bar scene, a girl purposely spilling beer over him. Also his patience has its limits which was revealed in beating a crap of the random dudes in bar nicely supplemented by Ray Charles' Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'. Lee was obviously repressing all that anger and non-ability to move forward. He was simply in a deep depression not looking for a professional help. Here I must say, this was amazing performance by Casey Affleck, perfectly expressing the emotions. He truly makes me believe the character's state of mind. Affleck was so convincing and it was very overwhelming I felt it in my heart.

His depression is perfectly shown in contrast between the flashbacks and present. The difference in the way he talks, jokes, laughs, moves when he's happy back then with his family. I see this contrast as a very important part of the film. I mean all happy, let's say in the boat scene with Patty and then cut, to the depressed emotionless face and chorale score. It was great cinema and I felt like taking shower alternating from boiling hot to ice cold. Pure happiness with his family and pure depression without his family.

Then the reason of depression is revealed and the flashbacks and the story suddenly merge into this tremendous depression and sadness. No more cuts from happy to depressed, only depressed. This was the very moment when the film got very difficult for me to watch.

Then the uncle-nephew relationship is slowly developing and it was really hard for both of them. Both not able to cope with the death of Joe, not able to fully express their grief. They are both just really angry and not able to open up. Many times Lee stipulates he doesn't want to talk about certain things and I can understand that as many times we don't even want to hear about difficult matters and much harder to speak of them. Relationship is getting better and they are able to get along and finally laugh and be happy, again nicely and conveniently supplemented by Ella Fitzgerald's I'm Beginning To See The Light.

Beautiful scene of forgiveness between Lee and Randy. She still loves him but Lee is empty and being close around the people and the places that remind him of the tragedy his anger and depression comes back. He cannot beat it up. He's again depressed. Moving back to Boston again. But there is a light of hope because he now wants a bigger apartment for Patty's visits and for his ****e. So here I believe in a good hidden ending.

I loved the film because everything was there, great and strong story, amazing performance, cinematography, score, simply great however this is for me one time movie and I don't believe I will revisit. Great nom Raul!
__________________
You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.



Nightmare Alley (1947)

*Spoilers*

I'm glad I nominated this, as it's an underseen film that deals with a very unique subject. I could see this being a difficult film for some to get into, as much of what happens is subtle and not readily shown on the screen. Modern movie making in some ways has spoiled us, as we've learned to be 'clued in' by the visual and aurally content of modern movies.

Nightmare Alley certainly has more going on than meets the eye, reading between the lines helps.

Stanton (Tyrone Power) literately commands the film with his presences. Stan, could have been portrayed as some two dimensional bad guy and if that had been the case the film wouldn't be all that special.

But Stan is very human, very three dimensional. Like us, Stan has self doubts and carries baggage from his past that makes his journey all the harder for him. And like us, Stan has potential, that potential is the power of belief in himself, which then causes others to believe in him... and their utter belief makes his words true to them. And that's what the film is about, the power of belief...and self confidence.

Stan is not really motivated by the need for fame or money or even power....even though that's what he aims for and what we are shown...but what he's really seeking is the need to be believed in by others. And that's something most of us can relate to.

It's only when he runs up against a cold hearted, greedy woman psychologist Lilith (Helen Walker),that he begins to question that belief in himself.

"It takes one to catch one"...
that's his line to Lilith. He recognizes what she is, but still is drawn to her like a moth to a flame. It's not love or even sex that he's after, it's her knowledge of the human mind.

Stan's utter belief in himself makes him literally invincible...not even Zeena's (Joan Blondell) Tarot cards can break his self confidence....But Lilith can!...and does with her reverse quilt trip that she lays on him, during his one moment of self doubt. She finds the center within him, his Achilles heel, and lays the groundwork to destroy his ego, via Stan's guilt over the accidental poisoning of Pete.

That's when Stan falters, that's when he stops believing in himself. That lack of belief leads him to the bottle and ultimately to the literally bottom of his world.

I call that a powerful film.
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You can't win an argument just by being right!
Captain Fantastic


I didn't know anything about this going in except that it was highly acclaimed and starred Viggo Mortensen. I figured from the poster that it was a bit quirky.

I thought the movie started out fine, yet I had the concern that it would become a snoozefest if the whole thing was about the family living in the woods. After an effective emotional scene, I was very happy to see the family head out onto the road. From there, it becomes what is essentially a fish out of water story while we watch the family interact with outsiders from the real world, and vice versa. This is the most simple and cliched part of the movie, yet it's when we get the most humor, and it's the part I enjoyed the most. It wraps up nicely as the father seems to have a bit of an awakening.

In general, I can't stand people like the father. As soon as I hear the term "home schooled", my freak radar goes bananas. The dad was nothing more than a tree hugging, freeloading, beatnik fool. Stick it to the man, oh ok, that's usually a clear indication of a person who contributes nothing to society. Beyond that, he seemed to be a good person, and Mortensen has enough charisma to make the character likable enough. I think the father-in-law called him misguided at one point, and I think that was the perfect word to describe him. He had really good kids, and I thought all the young actors were terrific with the exception of the one young boy who went against his father. It was how good the kids were that made me believe the movie was part fantasy, but that's ok. I'm not sure if the movie meant to show their lifestyle as admirable and desirable, if the message at the end was that it's not the way to go, or if there was no message at all. Either way, I thought the movie was well done in every regard and I fully enjoyed it.

Great review. I think the end could have gone either wy - whether real or fantasy. I've watched it from both standpoints and prefer to think that

WARNING: spoilers below
the kids escaping, stealing the body and burning her were fantasy, but then the very end I think the grandfather returned the kids to him because he woke up to the fact he had to integrate them back onto the grid somewhat. They still had somewhat of a hippy lifestyle but he had to bring them up to be functioning members of society. The eldest kid who goes to Namibia was given the money by the grandfather, and boy oh boy did I love the acting from Langella. I went from thinking he was loathsome to totally empathising with him.


It just worked better for me that way.

One of my faves of the year. I enjoyed that a lot more than I thought I would, and thought all the acting was outstanding.

I love how outraged some viewers were at the nudist scene. Holy hell it;s a blink and you miss it shot but OMG full frontal nudity; wont you think of the children ...and old people.