17th MoFo Hall of Fame

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



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I love one of Ed's nominations and you didn't. The world is coming to an end.
it's ALL topsy-turvy! What's up? What's down? It's bedlam I tell you! Dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco

You know, I think I may have turned a corner where it comes to a cricket nomination. . .

Or maybe I simply got past the initial grueling shock to finally be able to appreciate his films beyond the horrors that occur within them.

Which is what I was able to do with this film. While it was still quite the hard watch, as befitting a proper cricket nomination, it was a quality film. As, also, is befitting a cricket film. It is just that, having turned that corner, I can see the latter without being as traumatized with the former to be unable to get past said trauma and see the quality. (if that doesn't sound TOO f@ckin confusing)

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way de-sensitized or in any way trauma free, far from it. But, again, I can witness the horror and still study the film making at hand.

And so,

Pixote is very much a brutal and unrelentingly hopeless view of the abusive life of the children of São Paulo and the reform/prison they get callously thrown into. The real horror is that it is far worse out on the streets for them and, considering what we are witnessed to, that truly does break one's heart.
With an almost Documentary introduction we are given a crash course into the statistical situation and this is followed by a new round of kids under the age of seventeen that are getting processed into the already over flowing reformatory.

While I have seen quite a number of prison related films, I must say, that the day to day of this film was the most harrowing I have encountered. And I do not believe that it was simply because of the age of the children, though I'm sure it had something to do with it. Perhaps that it rang so very true of realism.
I'm not sure, but, regardless, every moment felt like something horrifying was about to occur. Even at the most quiet of moments. Admittedly, it often did, but still, I was forever on edge.
And, in fact, that only worsened when they escaped to the city to survive by theft and robbery.

One scene that stuck with me was when they played Bank Robbery. And while it was a game, it felt more like a practice run. Games like this, such as the Interrogation really mirrored the violent life that they were caught up in and could only escape from by some violent end or another.

This is an emotionally raw film that uses a harsh bright light upon the brutalities while still showing us the human heart of these youths. And it is the glimpses of the hearts within them is what could be the most harrowing. Knowing how cruelly those hearts and thereby, those youths are extinguished.

While I may have to grit my teeth and really prepare myself to endure a cricket film; they still remain, exceptional films.
So I will continue to endure the brutality and pay homage to the exceptional. Or at least try to.




Oh, yeah, there's no f@ckin way I could ever see this film again, but thank you cricket for force feeding it to me.



The Dressmaker (2015)


I knew nothing going into this except that it looked supremely stylish from the photos in this thread.

The main issue I had with The Dressmaker is that the tone jumped all over the place, and as a result when it's trying to make the viewer feel a certain way it did not really land for me. More importantly on that note is that I felt nothing during scenes where I was clearly meant to be feeling something. Whether that involved humour, melodrama, romance or looking at Hemsworth's abs; I was stony faced throughout.

Which lands on me not liking the characterisation and how the film was paced. Strange too because the last 3 films I watched in this HoF were oddly paced as well but I preferred the narrative shifts in those films. Also, there's an event that happens about three quarters of the way through that I thought was very shoddily handled. It seemed more like an awkward plot device and less like the powerful moment the director wanted it to be.

The film held my interest largely due to Judy Davis and I liked the setting. In fact, it actually made me want to visit Australia again. Unfortunately, I didn't feel anything beyond that.



The Dressmaker (2015)


...there's an event that happens about three quarters of the way through that I thought was very shoddily handled. It seemed more like an awkward plot device and less like the powerful moment the director wanted it to be...
WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below

Do you mean when the boyfriend jumps into the grain silo and dies? I didnt' like that scene either as it distracted from the rest of the story and seemed tacked on.



Forgot to @Miss Vicky for the 5th time

WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below

Do you mean when the boyfriend jumps into the grain silo and dies? I didnt' like that scene either as it distracted from the rest of the story and seemed tacked on.



Forgot to @Miss Vicky for the 5th time
Don't worry, it took me about 10 failed attempts to get the tag in. Though for the first half I had completely forgotten that she even asked, so I wasn't actively trying until the last few haha.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
WARNING: "spoiler" spoilers below

Do you mean when the boyfriend jumps into the grain silo and dies? I didnt' like that scene either as it distracted from the rest of the story and seemed tacked on.
WARNING: "It does feel like" spoilers below
a rewrite where they decided to go a different direction and had to close off that particular road.
Though in the end, it does work for the final storyline and not going the easy route of simply hooking up with someone. And on a rewatch, it does flow better, knowing the stream as it were.





The Libertine
(2004)
Directed By: Laurence Dunmore
Starring: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich

Whether or not it was intentional, I found large portions of The Libertine to be quite hilarious. I even chuckled at the wording of the opening text screens, and then I could not keep a straight face during Depp's introductory prologue. Whenever the film was being ludicrous, I was highly entertained. However the more dramatic scenes completely failed to engage me, so I started to become bored whenever it became obvious that the film expected me to take it seriously for too long.

The performances were really great all round, but there were a few oddities that stood out. Johnny Vegas didn't necessarily do a bad job, but he didn't seem to fit in with the other characters at all. That might just be because I know him from various comedy panel shows though, and fortunately he wasn't in too many scenes. While I am on the topic of distractions, I do feel the need to address John Malkovich's fake nose. It wasn't horrible when viewed straight on, but it kept drawing my attention whenever his face was turned, even if it was just slightly to the side. It's strange because the syphilis make-up later on looks quite good, relatively speaking.

I don't really have much else to say about The Libertine. Overall it was a mixed bag for me. It was amusing in places, but I didn't care for John Wilmot as a character so I never got invested in his story. His plight, particularly in the final act of the film, just meant nothing to me. If the film had ended with the staging of “Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery”, I probably would've loved it, since I thought that was brilliantly absurd and would've liked to see it play out a little longer.

@Miss Vicky


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@CosmicRunaway

The humor of The Libertine is what I love most about it and I do think it was intended to be funny. I suppose Malkovich's fake nose could be seen as a flaw, but for me it was just another thing to make me chuckle. As for Johnny Vegas, I had to Google that name to even figure out which actor you were talking about. I think he did a good job with his performance, limited though it was, but then AFAIK I've never seen him in anything else.

It's a shame that you didn't get more out of the movie than a few laughs. I'm a little disappointed, but not at all surprised. I expected mixed reactions to it and won't be surprised if it scores low in the voting. I just hope that edarsenal and I don't end up being the only ones who love it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


The Libertine
(2004)
Directed By: Laurence Dunmore
Starring: Johnny Depp, Samantha Morton, John Malkovich
[left]
Johnny Vegas didn't necessarily do a bad job, but he didn't seem to fit in with the other characters at all. That might just be because I know him from various comedy panel shows though, and fortunately he wasn't in too many scenes.
You know, it never actually clicked that Sackville IS played by Johnny Vegas. He's always looked familiar and I never took the time to check it out.



I suppose Malkovich's fake nose could be seen as a flaw, but for me it was just another thing to make me chuckle.
It did get a laugh out of me, but it seemed odd because it was too well made to feel like a comedic exaggeration, but too silly and obviously fake to be taken seriously. It needed to lean more in one direction instead of sitting in the middle.

It's a shame that you didn't get more out of the movie than a few laughs.
I didn't hate the other parts of the film, but they just weren't to my taste. It's just not a genre that particularly interests me so it was difficult to get invested in what was happening.

You know, it never actually clicked that Sackville IS played by Johnny Vegas. He's always looked familiar and I never took the time to check it out.
His voice is so distinctive that I didn't even need to see his face to tell it was him haha.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
His voice is so distinctive that I didn't even need to see his face to tell it was him haha.
I agree and it's funny I never made the connection. Makes me curious to see how I'll see him the next time I watch this, knowing his comedic talents.
Though the whole "mooning" the entire theater crowd seems a lot more befitting of him lol



@Miss Vicky

Lean on Pete (2017) N

Charley is a 15-year-old boy living alone with his father. After yet another move he ends up working as an assistant to Del, an aging race horse owner. He grows fond of a fading racehorse, Lean on Pete, and after Del has ran the horse out of steam he plans to sell it to Mexico for slaughter. Charley intervenes.


First 90 minutes of Lean on Pete are very typical "kid befriends an animal" material and everything feels just a little too naive, little too black and white. Last act is logical continuation for that but stylistically somewhat different while still pretty much as predictable. I kinda want to say Lean on Pete is a horse film for emo girls (life as a teen is hell, Charley is probably OK looking boy who just mopes and suffers, and at least back when I was a kid most girls were into horses)

I had little difficulties in sympathising Charley in some points. He seems very selfish and kinda typical me-me-me teen; he likes Pete so it's OK to steal it along Del's car, it's OK to steal in general (yet he emphasizes how he doesn't want to beg but rely on himself) and after the accident he doesn't pay any attention to the people in car. I have no doubts that he's somewhat realistic teen but it doesn't mean I like him and that weakens the emotional impact of the film.

The movie feels little too long (especially the scenes with the two veterans feel unnecessary) and at the same time it fails to convey the passing of time and distance covered. It's technically solid and has lots of good looking scenery but to me it feels hollow; I don't care much about its story or characters and there's no underlying message that resonates with me either. I don't say it's a bad movie but it's pretty close to that for me.




Rush


Going into Rush I was thinking 'Oh no, it's one of THESE films! (A mostly substance-less biopic that only appeals to baby boomers and middle-aged dads). During the first part of the film I was kinda feeling that, but during the 'race' scene, I started to like this film alot more. The race scenes are my favourite parts of the film: The testosterone-filled controlling of the cars and their revs so intense you can feel the vibrations on your couch. Thor was a very good casting choice, he really looks like the type of character he's playing. I thought the whole second half with Niki's fall and rise was genuinely great.

I really can't think of anything else to say, as this simply isn't my type of film. Overall, a pretty good nom @neiba

+
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Day for Night / La Nuit Américaine (1973)
Directed By: François Truffaut
Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jacqueline Bisset, François Truffaut

Cranes, cameras, cast, crew, and complications are front and centre in Day for Night, a film that offers an interesting perspective on what can occur behind the scenes during a film shoot. Almost anything that can go wrong does, but instead of focusing on how stressful those events can be, Day for Night plays more like a love letter to the entire film-making process.

Even though the film focuses more on romances that threatened to derail production, I found the minor elements of the film to be the most interesting. My favourite scenes were those that showed things that are mostly irrelevant to the finished product, such as how Alphonse had to walk strangely over the dolly tracks, or the amount of time it took to get a cat to drink milk. The ladder up to the balcony looked especially harrowing, though it was perfectly normal to the actress who had to climb up there.

Despite a slower start, by the time the end credits rolled, it didn't feel as though 2 hours had passed. I wanted to see more, and after witnessing the dedication of those involved, I was curious to know how the fictional audience would've reacted to “Meet Pamela”. Was all their hard work worth it or not? But since this film is only about the shooting of the fictional picture, it makes complete sense that the film ends when the cameras are finished rolling.


@Miss Vicky

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Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco (1981)
Directed By: Hector Babenco
Starring: Fernando Ramos da Silva, Jorge Julião, Gilberto Moura

Pixote captures a brutal reality of perpetual violence that many children in poor communities are forced to endure. The film is wrought with abuse and cruelty, however its genuine, documentary-like approach prevents it from feeling exploitative in nature. It covers difficult subject matter, but it wasn't as tough to watch as I was expecting. That's likely due to the unemotional manner in which the events are presented, where reality is shown as is, without an intense score or other intentionally manipulative film making techniques.

As explained in the film's opening, rather than hiring trained actors, the principal cast are played by amateurs taken off the streets of Brazil. While this does lend an air of credibility to the performances, the general lack of experience was often quite evident on screen. It strangely wasn't a detriment to the film, and overall the actors were rather impressive, especially considering the circumstances. There was just a barrier there that kept reminding me that I was watching a film.

While the film does succeed in its presentation, the story itself didn't provide much more than a window into this harrowing world. Lilica was really the only main character to have much development beyond being a troubled youth. Pixote in particular didn't have much personality, until the final scenes at least. Due to the absence of engaging characters, the runtime did seem to crawl by at times. If I had to watch this again, I'd definitely split it up into two viewings: one of the experiences in the reformatory, and then the street life afterwards. The film is going to take some time to digest, but it was certainly an interesting watch at least.


@Miss Vicky


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Let the Right One In



I like the overall original idea of the film (I believe it is based off of a book), but I wavered back and forth if I liked the execution. Actually, I often wondered if more horror elements and jumpscares would have helped it to be honest. I didn't mind that they focused on the relationship between the two main leads but I just found Oskar to be a bit unemotional and uninvested at times. It didn't even seem like he cared much about Eli to me. And when there was some shock scenes I didn't care for what they did, the lady becoming a big massive fireball being my best example. I think the story itself was intriguing, but I wish there was more shown to bring the two closer as friends.
I like the use of sound in the film, I think that was an underrated strong point to the film. Again, not a bad film, just one I think could have been elevated by better direction first and foremost. Still glad I saw it finally.