Sean's Film Diary 2018

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Metropolis
Fritz Lang 1927


What a pleasant surprise this was. I get frustrated at myself as a movie fan sometimes because I don't feel I watch films through the lens of when they were made. Metropolis greatly impressed me on that level. Fist off the reason it took me so long to get around to this film is there is no way I thought a two and a half hour silent film would engage me throughout. Not only did it, but it honestly felt like it could have been longer.

This film is unbelievably ambitious. Tackling themes of technology, class warfare, religion, and even finds time for romance. After watching I called this film the mother of all genre films because not only is it sci-fi but plays as a horror and a thriller at times as well. It does all that while never feeling bloated or unfocused.

I was even impressed with the visuals. The city looked really cool. I like the design of the robot and the lab she is built in. I love the catacombs the most, including the statues of the seven deadly sins. Death coming to life was impressive.

Incredible viewing experience. One that I will be gushing about for quite a while.

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I need to re-watch Metropolis. I think I saw a butchered version, but even then it was extremely impressive from a technical standpoint. I wouldn't have expected five stars from you, but it's great to see how much you got out of it. I know Camo has been driving the Varda bandwagon pretty hard this year. So far I've only seen Vagabond, but I liked it a lot. Going to watch Cleo From 5 to 7 sometime this week. If I love it, maybe I'll make time for La Pointe Courte.

Out of all the award-contending films, I, Tonya is probably the one I'm most interested in watching. It seems like most people's rating for it usually tops out at 3 or 3.5 stars, but even their criticisms make me hopeful that I'll love it instead of merely liking it. This might be my penis talking, though, since I think Margot Robbie is the hottest woman on the planet right now.

Surprised you didn't like The Disaster Artist and Amarcord more. I'm gonna try to get to Mustang before the deadline. I know nothing about The Square, but I'll probably watch it soon so I can listen to the podcast. My cold, black heart has already decided it despises Wonder just based on the trailer.
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I need to re-watch Metropolis. I think I saw a butchered version, but even then it was extremely impressive from a technical standpoint. I wouldn't have expected five stars from you, but it's great to see how much you got out of it. I know Camo has been driving the Varda bandwagon pretty hard this year. So far I've only seen Vagabond, but I liked it a lot. Going to watch Cleo From 5 to 7 sometime this week. If I love it, maybe I'll make time for La Pointe Courte.

Out of all the award-contending films, I, Tonya is probably the one I'm most interested in watching. It seems like most people's rating for it usually tops out at 3 or 3.5 stars, but even their criticisms make me hopeful that I'll love it instead of merely liking it. This might be my penis talking, though, since I think Margot Robbie is the hottest woman on the planet right now.

Surprised you didn't like The Disaster Artist and Amarcord more. I'm gonna try to get to Mustang before the deadline. I know nothing about The Square, but I'll probably watch it soon so I can listen to the podcast. My cold, black heart has already decided it despises Wonder just based on the trailer.

Funny you say that about I, Tonya because that's exactly how I was feeling. I think it's the Goodfellas comparison. Something in my brain triggered and said I gotta love this thing. Maybe next time.

Cleo From 5 to 7 is my favorite Varda so far. I will be looking forward to your thoughts. (If you ever post them part-timer).

Thanks for checking in Captain. Always a pleasure when you do.



Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg 2018


Very pleasant surprise as this was one of the worst trailers I have ever seen in my life. It's Spielberg though and my boys wanted to see it so see it we did. I should have trusted Spielberg more because although at times it is as frantic as it appears to be it also has quite a bit of heart, some fun performances, and it looked much better than I expected.

I enjoyed this the way I enjoyed Wreck It Ralph. Nothing amazing going on from a story telling stand point but it was very entertaining and didn't over stay its welcome. It also used its pop culture reference in a very pleasing way. I was expecting the references to be overwrought but they never felt that way.

Pretty good performances all around despite a lot of the film being CGI. Mendelsohn deserves the special mention as would be expected with this cast. T.J Miller lightens things up appropriately despite being only a voice performance. Worth a watch if you enjoy some high production value light fare. If not move along.




Keep your station clean - OR I WILL KILL YOU
I appreciate Metropolis so much, there's some incredible stuff in there, and it's a film that was so ahead of its time. I just can't see myself willingly re-watching it, it's a very heavy film (if that makes sense). I very much loved Ready Player One, no where near Spielberg's best work, but a lot of my positive feelings are mostly because of the excellent action sequences.



I was reading an Auteurist Blog and it had that as Spielberg's best, i haven't seen it who knows i may feel the same, was hilarious anyway. Especially when i found out the new Auteur after Michael Bay and Paul WS Anderson is... Zach Snyder

Obviously i know those directors are Auteur's, they definitely leave their distinctive mark on their films and anyone that enjoys them fair enough, it's just so transparently ridiculous when they are being called the best working directors because they've found a niche for themselves.



I was reading an Auteurist Blog and it had that as Spielberg's best, i haven't seen it who knows i may feel the same, was hilarious anyway. Especially when i found out the new Auteur after Michael Bay and Paul WS Anderson is... Zach Snyder

Obviously i know those directors are Auteur's, they definitely leave their distinctive mark on their films and anyone that enjoys them fair enough, it's just so transparently ridiculous when they are being called the best working directors because they've found a niche for themselves.
Would certainly not go so far to call it his best. Probably not top ten for me, but it is a lot of fun and has his touch.



Would certainly not go so far to call it his best. Probably not top ten for me, but it is a lot of fun and has his touch.
My Spielberg opinions are wacky - https://letterboxd.com/camarel/list/...elberg-ranked/

To be fair i only remember like five of those, not a fan personally.



My Spielberg opinions are wacky - https://letterboxd.com/camarel/list/...elberg-ranked/

To be fair i only remember like five of those, not a fan personally.
Not that crazy. I love Catch Me If You Can. Shame you don't like ET more, I was shocked at how much I loved it as an adult. Going to try and watch all his sci-fit soon for my list. Really interested in how I respond to AI as it has been years and only saw it the once.



Not that crazy. I love Catch Me If You Can. Shame you don't like ET more, I was shocked at how much I loved it as an adult. Going to try and watch all his sci-fit soon for my list. Really interested in how I respond to AI as it has been years and only saw it the once.
Yeah, been following that. Can i ask what got you to start it? Just random?



Yeah, been following that. Can i ask what got you to start it? Just random?
Just kind of random. Loved Annihilation and that made me want to rewatch Stalker and it ballooned from there. I love doing lists but always end up unhappy with them because it has been so long since I have seen some stuff. This seemed like a more fun way of creating a list and it is. See how long it lasts though.



Just kind of random. Loved Annihilation and that made me want to rewatch Stalker and it ballooned from there. I love doing lists but always end up unhappy with them because it has been so long since I have seen some stuff. This seemed like a more fun way of creating a list and it is. See how long it lasts though.
I'm with you in doing random things like that. I've watched quite a few 1950's films recently. Was because i realized i had seen 92 (not including Looney Tunes, Disney, etc) from that decade and i wanted to get to 100 haha - https://letterboxd.com/camarel/films/decade/1950s/

Getting the 1940's to 90 watched now then i'm watching 30's films, every second watch has been a foreign language 2010's film with the exception of Annihilation and Interstellar for the film tournament. Actually Leviathan too, i had the completely wrong idea about that film, thought it was Chilean.



I'm with you in doing random things like that. I've watched quite a few 1950's films recently. Was because i realized i had seen 92 (not including Looney Tunes, Disney, etc) from that decade and i wanted to get to 100 haha - https://letterboxd.com/camarel/films/decade/1950s/

Getting the 1940's to 90 watched now then i'm watching 30's films, every second watch has been a foreign language 2010's film with the exception of Annihilation and Interstellar for the film tournament. Actually Leviathan too, i had the completely wrong idea about that film, thought it was Chilean.
A few films called Leviathan. I always wanted to see the one you watched because it sounds really unique. I remember a lot of critics talking about it that year. Seems a bit slow and redundant for my taste though. Get to it eventually.



A few films called Leviathan. I always wanted to see the one you watched because it sounds really unique. I remember a lot of critics talking about it that year. Seems a bit slow and redundant for my taste though. Get to it eventually.
It was just...something that would have been great at the time in the cinema, in general it's just Harvard dorks filming a fishing expedition and there's plenty of scenes of the fishermen just watching tv or whatever. Half incredible, half the dullest thing i've ever sat through.



Filmstruck has sent me down a bit of a Scorsese rabbit hole. Hopefully in the next month I can knock off the handful of films of his I haven't seen and finally revisit those I have only seen once.

Who's That Knocking At My Door
Mertin Scorsese 1967


Funny that this is Scorsese's first film and I find it to be his most experimental. I wonder if others feel that way. That's probably also why I find the editing both intriguing and frustrating. I really like the inter cut shot with characters contemplating while the action is taking place. I really dislike the skip back to almost the same exact shot.

Scorsese's use of pop music was there from the beginning and that is something I love about his films. Gives them a sense of energy that really appeals to me. I think you can feel the catholic guilt and struggle with masculinity that permeates all of Scorsese's film maybe the most here. The final scene is really heart wrenching and brings all the themes together really well. I wish I had felt more of that throughout.

Unlike the debut of a few directors I love I am really glad I took the time to see this because I think it shines a bright light on what Scorsese would be come. Even if the film itself isn't as effective as I would have liked.




Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Martin Scorsese 1974


Watching this knowing it's Scorsese it is easy to see what he brings to the table when telling a story that could easily be a TV sitcom. If I didn't know it was him going in I don't think I would have enough cinephile chops to have picked up on it. The use of music and camera movements are pure Scorsese but he also brought a darkness to the story telling that for me elevates what could be very schmaltzy material.

I love Burstyn in this. She nails the mother who is at once loving but also at many points doesn't want the burden that motherhood has brought to her life. The story ebbs and flows between humorous, melancholy, and downright disturbing very easily. That makes it a great picture of humanity and the emotional highs and lows we all go through and struggle with.

I could have done without the surreal opening but besides that this film was a very pleasent surprise in Scorsese's filmography.




Setsuko Hara is my co-pilot
Why didn't you include anything about Tarkovsky's Mirror? I clearly remember you writing a paragraph about it on Letterboxd.
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"Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined." - Chris Marker



Mean Streets
Martin Scorsese 1973


This is my second time watching Mean Streets and boy oh boy I love this film. This is the Scorsese that I think most of us fanboys appreciate so much. Just down and dirty with the worst of the criminal element. I love all the characters in this. Keitel feels like the same ezct character from Who's Knocking At My Door. I love that, because he is so much more fleshed out here.

What struck me watching it this time was how small time these criminals are but they still act as if they are made men running the town. The scene where they take $20 off a couple of kids and then act as if they pulled off a bank heist is hilarious to me and definitely hits home hard the point that these are small time hoods.

I love Keitel's relationship with DeNiro and his sister. It rings so true because it is obvious to everyone that DeNiro is bringing him down but he feels a connection there that he can't quite break free from. I also love how his relationship with his girlfriend mirrors the one he has in Who's That Knocking At My Door. Rape has been replaced with epilepsy but it still hits that theme of how masculinity run amok blames the female for things that are out of her control. How they make villains of the innocent. Like no one else Scorsese is able to show how that type of situation weighs heavily on the protagonist. Making him both villain and hero at the same exact time. It's masterful and I love watching it.

DeNiro shows what he is to become here playing Johnny boy. He owns the screen and consequently every single scene he is in. The character is infuriating, frustrating, and hilarious. Him kind of falling out of the story just a bit in the middle could be what keeps this from being a perfect film for me.

No matter this film is as close to perfect as it can be without being so. I love it so much and need to make sure it makes it's way into my viewing rotation.




Why didn't you include anything about Tarkovsky's Mirror? I clearly remember you writing a paragraph about it on Letterboxd.
Think I just forgot. I watched Stalker recently too, so I will try and put something up a little later.