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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible

The Graduate

Room Clerk: Are you here for an affair, sir?
Benjamin: (Terrified he had been found out) What?
Room Clerk: The Singleman party, sir?
Benjamin: Ah, yes, the Singleman party.

I wasn't exactly sure what I was in for when I turned this film on - which in itself is an intriguing mindset when approaching any given first-time watch. Of course, there is that period of finding your footing that needs to occur before you can begin to follow along and truly delve in.
Lucky for me that was dealt with within the opening with a close-up of a very straight-faced Hoffman sitting in front of his aquarium before he is led out and passed around a house party hosted by his parents with their closest friends and neighbors. Not a single person is under forty.
The trapped animal expression that our lead character, Benjamin retains throughout the film would, at times, sound and appear like Dustin Hoffman's famous portrayal in Rain Man. So much in fact that I secretly waited for him to say "Definitely. Definitely." lol
This is not a critique, simply an amusing perception I had watching this film brimmed with symbiotic nuances set in an almost deadpan delivery. Illustrating just how "lost" everyone is in lives they never really wanted in the first place.
It's very easy to see why such films like this and the Musical Hair comes to mind, centering around someone trapped in the so-called Real World of being an adult and the inherent desire to just run away but without the slightest idea WHERE to run to. That dilemma being at the forefront of so many teenagers and young adults as they broke free of the reigns of normalcy and what was expected of them during that time.

Added to the nuances is the clever wit of Writer Buck Henry to those little moments of quirky uncertainty that Hoffman's Benjamin is trapped within like the proverbial deer in headlights. Offsetting the drama of the story quite wonderfully. The Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack adding a mixture of fancy and impending doom quite well. Giving this cerebral production of a visceral subject a well-rounded balance that kept me intrigued the entire time.

Along with Hoffman, the entire cast is excellent in their perspective roles that it is hard not to simply run down the entire cast to praise each of them in turn. Even as I write this they all seem to flash about like passing headlights on a darkened road. Instigating moments of excited panic that die out just as quickly.

Another iconic, Must See! movie that I would not have gotten around to see if not for this forum and these Hall of Fames.
[email protected] YAY
I'm glad you liked it ed! That was my pick for you!



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
I have watched Fitzcarraldo, Bicycle Thieves and Millennium Actress, I'll post about them tomorrow!



koyaanisqatsi

was pretty excited to watch this but i wasn't really feeling this in the first 20 minutes. i decided it would probably be much more enjoyable while high, so i stepped outside for a bit to smoke and man, that made it so much cooler. it really helped me get into the films rhythms and understand it on an emotional level, appreciating it for the lovely tone poem it is rather than just "hey that looks cool." i don't know if the film itself is necessarily a great articulation of its supposed message of how technology/progress diminishes humanity by bringing us farther away from the natural state or whatever, mainly because most of the shots of modern society looked cool as hell too. if anything, it just got my high ass to reflect on how cities and technology are merely a construction of a habitat or an ecosystem no different from how some animals use tools to make their surroundings more hospitable. my trance began to fade towards the end as the high wore off, but i was still very into it. i usually don't like to watch movies high because it's impossible to take actors and dialogue seriously, but a film like this that's purely images with no narration is ideal. the only downside is that it's harder to recapture those same positive feelings towards the movie the next morning when the high is gone, meaning i just have to remember and trust how it made me feel in the moment because the actual sensation of watching it can't be approximated soberly.

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Besides my own noms, I believe this is one of only three I haven't seen. It sounds great!



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm glad you liked it ed! That was my pick for you!
THANKS neiba!!
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- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.



koyaanisqatsi

was pretty excited to watch this but i wasn't really feeling this in the first 20 minutes. i decided it would probably be much more enjoyable while high, so i stepped outside for a bit to smoke and man, that made it so much cooler. it really helped me get into the films rhythms and understand it on an emotional level, appreciating it for the lovely tone poem it is rather than just "hey that looks cool." i don't know if the film itself is necessarily a great articulation of its supposed message of how technology/progress diminishes humanity by bringing us farther away from the natural state or whatever, mainly because most of the shots of modern society looked cool as hell too. if anything, it just got my high ass to reflect on how cities and technology are merely a construction of a habitat or an ecosystem no different from how some animals use tools to make their surroundings more hospitable. my trance began to fade towards the end as the high wore off, but i was still very into it. i usually don't like to watch movies high because it's impossible to take actors and dialogue seriously, but a film like this that's purely images with no narration is ideal. the only downside is that it's harder to recapture those same positive feelings towards the movie the next morning when the high is gone, meaning i just have to remember and trust how it made me feel in the moment because the actual sensation of watching it can't be approximated soberly.

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That was my nom for you, glad you liked it.

The part where they show the city near the end with the fast paced music is what really makes the film for me, such a good part.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Bicycle Thieves (1948)

This was among the films I was more eager to watch but I knew I had to be on the right mindset to do it.
First of all, the main music theme makes half of the movie, easily. It's incredibly simple but so touching. It's like the feeling of despair of that man in enclosed in a few music bars.
I also loved the perfomance of the kid, Bruno. As to Antonio, I feel him a bit stiff from time to time, but he has some powerful moments too. I didn't care for Maria.
It's hard to put the finger on what exactly makes this film so special, because it's all so simple, just a man looking for his bicycle, and maybe it's exactly that. The fact that survival is so strongly connected to the ability to own such a small thing, and the fact that Antonio is the only person who understands it makes him a very lonely but powerful character.

On the other hand, I do think the movie lost a bit of its atmosphere during the central part, because everything becomes a bit messy and I kind of lost track of what I was supposed to be feeling.
The final shot however, it's like getting hit by a truck. Again, just a man walking with his son, but I felt everything, the anger, the despair, the lack of control over one's destiny.

Great nom, whoever picked it!




The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Fitzcarraldo (1982)

It's incredibly difficult for me to write about this film, cause I got such a love-hate reaction to it.

First of all, if you're making a film about a man who loves Caruso and opera with a soundtrack filled with gems of the classical repertoire, that's already enough for me to give it a positive review. And if you include Klaus Kinski going insane, it doesn't hurt either.

However, I really didn't like the style of Herzog's filmmaking. It was the first film I ever watched by him and I was intending to eventually watch it, but it's way too rough for me.
Ultimately, this is a film about ambition and what someone is willing to do to achieve his dream, and the fact that Herzog's actually pulled a real steamboat up a hill makes the film as ambitious as the feats being narrated, and that deserves some respect.
But I enjoyed it less for lack to connection with Fitz, especially. Firstly because these kind of characters, who dream way too high for their own competence usually turn me off, and secondly because this was film in a way that highlights Fitz' insanity more than his love for opera. In that regard, Kinski is the perfect choice for what I think Herzog enviosioned, as he delivers an haunting perfomance. Even in his eyes you can see that crazy ambition who won't stop at nothing.

I'm glad I finally watched this, as I had it in my computer for a long time just waiting for an excuse.

Thanks @cricket?

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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Millennium Actress (2001)

Yeah, anime is really not for me.
I respect the concept, the reality bending thing is promising, but I simply can't believe or care for the story. The romance feels rushed and out of place, and everything from that point on feels quite inconsequent. We don't get enough time with the painter, we don't know what is the key for, we only see a girl repressed by her parents trying to escape no matter what. And then the concept, while interesting, becomes the fully purpose of the film. It's like everything happens so the director can show the audience how smart he is. It's like watching a Nolan film in animation basically, but without the natural empathy live action owns (at least for me).

Sorry, MV?




The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Will try to watch Rio Bravo today and the couple that are left tomorrow, so I won't be too far away from the original deadline.



Nope, Fitzcarraldo was not my pick for you, although it is my favorite Herzog and I thought you were going to be more into it. Good work by you though despite the mixed results



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Rio Bravo (1959)

Now we're talking! What a masterpiece!

Usually westerns like this depend a lot on the big shoot out, which not only makes them a bit boring till it gets there but also a underwhelming if the shoot out isn't good enough. However, Rio Bravo doesn't need the final confrontation at all. It even might be its weakest scene.
The cast is absolutely perfect. John Wayne is as good as he can possibly be, playing a character that speaks to all his strenghts, Dean Martin is a great sidekick, Angie Dickinson is beyond stunning and Walter Brennan is amazing as the funny Stumpy, lightning every scene he's in! It's just a pleasure to watch the story unfold and all these characters interact with eachother, solving problems with alcoholism, heartbreaks and intimacy while a bunch of paid killers haunts the town. I can't choose a favorite scene because they are so many but the one where Carlos explains why Consuela hit him in the eye is one of the funniest and best written I've seen recently.
There's also a stunning moment where Dean Martin is singing. In any other movie it would have seemed corny but here fits so well the whole spirit of the movie I almost shed a tead.

This and Patton go right into the Top 100, so thank you whoever picked this! (I'm getting tired of asking, but @cricket?)

My only regret is I didn't watch it sooner so I'd place it on my Westerns List!

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The trick is not minding
Picked up Perfect Blue, Before Sunrise, and Adaptation. Starting with Perfect Blue first. Since it is shorter.
Will hammer these out this week



@neiba I believe I gave you Rio Bravo, super glad you enjoyed!! I was hoping you would watch it before the countdown though
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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
@neiba I believe I gave you Rio Bravo, super glad you enjoyed!! I was hoping you would watch it before the countdown though
Thanks man!!!

Yeah, that was my bad! :/




The Thin Blue Line
(Errol Morris, 1988)


Though I'm glad I finally received a push to watch one of the most important documentaries ever made, another part of me hates that this was nominated since I feel incapable of writing about it with any intelligence. I've never shared the public's fascination with criminal cases and courtroom drama (real or fictional). Part of that is probably my negative attitude toward the justice system. I've no interest in side-tracking this review with my personal opinions on such matters, however, so the less said the better. As for the movie itself, I feel I'm overrating it based on the limited personal investment I felt while watching it. Yet it seems disrespectful to rate it anything less than five stars when considering the real-world ramifications. There's no way to sugarcoat it: The Thin Blue Line saved a man's life. If not for Errol Morris stumbling across this case while researching Dr. Death, an innocent man would've likely languished in prison for his remaining years. Forget awards, this film deserves a f**king medal.

The Thin Blue Line essentially laid the blueprint for every true-crime documentary to follow, but it's difficult for me to fully appreciate its influence three decades later. Re-enactments are commonplace nowadays, but apparently their usage was groundbreaking in 1988 -- and controversial, as well, since the Academy refused the film a nomination because they felt such artistic techniques had no place in documentaries. The re-enactments of the shooting, often filmed from different angles and shown repeatedly throughout the runtime, are so stylish they seem lifted from a gorgeously photographed neo-noir. The haunting score by Phillip Glass sets an undercurrent of never-ending dread. The soft-spoken Randall Dale Adams, convicted of a crime he did not commit, makes for a compelling interview; as does David Harris, the easy-going sociopath responsible for turning Adam's life upside down, who just so happens to be on death row for a separate murder.

My attention often wandered during the many other interviews. I understand their words are integral to uncovering the shoddy police work that occurred in a frenzied pursuit to find someone to fry for the death of a fellow cop, along with the conflicting, biased eyewitness accounts. I just tend to zone out during all documentaries when nothing is happening on screen but a talking head. I spent a decent chunk of the runtime trying to figure out who the young Randall Dale Adams, with his thick mustache and long bushy hair, reminded me of. (Answer: a young David Crosby.) I also found myself reflecting a lot on the seismic shifts life can take due to mere happenstance. If Adams's car hadn't run out of gas that night, he would've never met Harris. If Errol Morris hadn't randomly come across this case when researching a different subject, Adams never would've been freed. If Adams and Harris had simply stayed for the entire showing of The Swinging Cheerleaders (the drive-in recreation was likely my favorite part of the documentary) instead of pulling a Stirchley and bailing, then events might've played out differently that night. It makes one realize how little control we have over our own lives.



Who nominated it? My guess is @Hey Fredrick.
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My original choice was Lock, Stock. The re-pick came down to two movies that were on Criterion - Hanna Bi and Thin Blue Line. I did rock, paper, scissors and Hanna Bi lost plus I kinda wanted to give you a doc. Get you out of your comfort zone a little and I think it's a great film. The one doc I really wanted to nominate wasn't streaming anywhere. Didn't really think you would enjoy The Thin Blue Line, it's a little dated, but I thought of how you came up with a movie for me ...you may not like it but you should see it and who knows, you might have liked it.



These are my nominations for everyone along with my rating:

Wyldesyde19 - Blood Simple

Siddon - The Wailing

Citizen Rules - Diabolique

Ahwell - L.A. Confidential

Neiba - Bicycle Thieves

Miss Vicky - A History of Violence

The Usual Suspect - The French Connection

Captain Spaulding - Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
/ The Thin Blue Line

Hashtag Brownies - Frailty

Ed Arsenal - Rififi

John Connor - The Innocents

Frightened Inmate No. 2 - Moon

Cricket - Ran

Captain T (DQ) - The Iron Giant