Wooley & Torgo's September Excite-o-rama!

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I thought The Platform was... fine, but it did feel like the work of people interested in horror only for its capacity for satire, rather than actually any actual fondness for the genre. The commentary felt a bit too on the nose. And then it just ended. *shrugs*



The Platform was OK. Also, I didn't think it was a typical modern political commentary but was more generally saying that people are crap. It was just dressed like Snowpiercer.

I guess I'm unclear what you mean by "modern political commentary" (partly because as the meaning of time dissolved the last four years, so does the meaning of the word, "modern.") But even with having only heard this movie top level described to me over the last few years, it seemed like it was intended as a heavy handed metaphor for wealth inequality.


So, googling, I found this: https://www.ihorror.com/tiff-intervi...nd-solidarity/
So, within an answer or two, the director confirms that metaphor, at least. I can't speak to the particulars since I haven't seen it. (And admittedly I didn't read much further into the interview than that).



I guess I'm unclear what you mean by "modern political commentary" (partly because as the meaning of time dissolved the last four years, so does the meaning of the word, "modern.") But even with having only heard this movie top level described to me over the last few years, it seemed like it was intended as a heavy handed metaphor for wealth inequality.


So, googling, I found this: https://www.ihorror.com/tiff-intervi...nd-solidarity/
So, within an answer or two, the director confirms that metaphor, at least. I can't speak to the particulars since I haven't seen it. (And admittedly I didn't read much further into the interview than that).
Here's what I wrote about it after my viewing. It's the best I can do to explain myself.

El hoyo (2019)
aka The Platform

I watched this yesterday and I'm still a little unsure how to rate it. As a dystopian SciFi, it makes very little sense but then again it's more interested in its message anyway. The message itself isn't (fortunately) as unambiguous as I had expected; on the surface, it's the usual anti-capitalist and pro-socialist drivel that artists tend to make these days but I'm pretty sure there's more to it. It's more about human nature and how the failings of society is because of people (instead of the other way round); how the change and revolution may seem obvious to the people in the right position but the only way to spread your "truth" is through violence. There can be no equality and those on top will always piss on those below because it's human nature.

Sleeping on this raised my rating by half a popcorn.

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My desire to watch something like Cube led me to this Spanish Netflix movie. A sci-fi horror that could sort of be described as vertical Snowpiercer, it's set in a prison where the top floors get the first helpings of food while the subsequent floors get the leftovers until the bottom ones are left to play with the plates and cutlery. Our hero is Goreng (Frank Zappa lookalike Iván Massagué), a new inmate who becomes haunted by former cellmates on his path to fighting for the rights for those on the lowest floors.

If you're guessing that the prison, like the train in Snowpiercer, is an obvious (remember that word) metaphor for a first-world country, you'd be right. Goreng's path through it, however, hardly resembles Curtis's (Chris Evans) and it is hardly predictable. It's one that takes him to high floors, low floors, bonding with a rogue mother hunting for her daughter and almost becoming food himself. Making Goreng's path more interesting is the clever editing, which flits back and forth in time to how Goreng first found himself in such a place and offers glimpses to the seemingly five-star restaurant kitchen at the top, all the while thankfully not coming across as incoherent. The performances are also all of high quality, especially Zorion Eguileor as one of Goreng's more cynical and irascible cellmates. Also, for those who don't mind a little blood and guts in movies like this one, you'll get your fill.

As it is with similar high-concept horror, the rules sometimes left me scratching my head at times. Its approach still beats having them explained within an inch of their life in Christopher Nolan movies, especially since I don't believe every rule needs an explanation, but I felt like the guy in the "I have questions" GIF a lot of the time. I still think fans of high-concept and/or one-location sci-fi or horror would enjoy it. It's bound to be especially cathartic if you live in a country that treated COVID in a way that made you feel like a prisoner in your own home as well as rationing table scraps. Oh, and it's probably not an ideal movie to watch if you're hungry or just ate since the mere thought of any shot with food in it makes my stomach turn.
Interesting one, I had not heard of this. The bolded especially piques my interest.



I thought The Platform was... fine, but it did feel like the work of people interested in horror only for its capacity for satire, rather than actually any actual fondness for the genre. The commentary felt a bit too on the nose. And then it just ended. *shrugs*
I like the horror a little more than you; then again, few things chill me more than cannibalism. I agree about the ending, though. It's a bit abrupt and left me with feelings of "wait, what" and "OK, so that's what we're doing." As for being on the nose, I'm okay with an approach that lacks subtlety as long as it sticks to its convictions, which I think it does.

Overall, I'd rate it 3/4. It's just nice to finally happen upon a Netflix exclusive that doesn't reek of algorithm-generated mediocrity for a change.
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Last Great Movie Seen
The Tomb of Ligeia (Corman, 1964)



I like the horror a little more than you; then again, few things chill me more than cannibalism. I agree about the ending, though. It's a bit abrupt and left me with feelings of "wait, what" and "OK, so that's what we're doing." As for being on the nose, I'm okay with an approach that lacks subtlety as long as it sticks to its convictions, which I think it does.

Overall, I'd rate it 3/4. It's just nice to finally happen upon a Netflix exclusive that doesn't reek of algorithm-generated mediocrity for a change.
It played at TIFF a few months before being released on Netflix, so I suspect it was something they picked up for distribution rather than a true Netflix production.*I think the same happened with Uncut Gems.*



The trick is not minding
It played at TIFF a few months before being released on Netflix, so I suspect it was something they picked up for distribution rather than a true Netflix production.*I think the same happened with Uncut Gems.*
Yep. Although, Festival Films handled it’s theatrical distribution in Spain, from what I’ve read.



Ooooohhh, I saw a special one tonight!
It's late so I'll write it up tomorrow but, ooh!

Captain Terror! Captain Terror! Did you see what I saw tonight? If you did you'll know just what I'm talking about.





aka


What an amazing film.
This is something I've had on my radar as a movie I might someday get to see and looked forward to without knowing very much about it, just enough to have enticed me. And then, out of the blue, I had an opportunity to see Marcell Jankovic's 1981 animated "psychedelic masterpiece" at a theater last night and it was a memorable experience, to say the least. I could almost go so far as to say "magical".
And yet, despite all evidence and opinion to the contrary, I'm not sure that it was psychedelic. As much as the colors and imagery and animation and music might suggest it was, there is also something about the way this tale of Hungarian folklore is told that makes everything seem like it belongs, like instead of seeing these folk tales given the psychedelic treatment, the imagery and sound seemed to match the stories perfectly and beautifully as if the concept of psychedelia had never existed and this was just the proper form in which to convey this grand mythology. It's beautiful.


It's beautiful and, at times, deeply moving and, at times, quite funny and, at times quite exciting, and at times, simply magical.
My friend suggested we see it weeks ago and when the time came I had forgotten what I agreed to but I had a good feeling that I'd be better served not knowing. And, with no expectation, not only in terms of good or bad but what I might actually even see, I felt transported, whisked away to a magical place and then returned to my seat as the screen went dark.
And it's a film that has had me thinking about it the rest of the evening, still talking to my buddy about it hours later, and all the next day when I considered going right back and seeing it again and now I'm fairly sorry I didn't.
This one will stay with me.



Ooooohhh, I saw a special one tonight!
It's late so I'll write it up tomorrow but, ooh!

Captain Terror! Captain Terror! Did you see what I saw tonight? If you did you'll know just what I'm talking about.
I missed this post last night. NO, I did not know that it was showing locally, but I coincidentally watched it last week on the Criterion Channel. And yes it is terrific. Looks like a prog rock album cover come to life.
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Captain's Log
My Collection



I also caught that on the criterion channel. I think my final take-away thoughts were, "whenever I encounter a fairy tale from a different culture and potentially a different time (I can't tell how much of it was rooted in 1970s Czech mentality or if it was trying to invoke older folk tales), sometimes the values feel so... of another world.



Also the protagonist's sword was placed for maximum phallus-connotation.



I also caught that on the criterion channel. I think my final take-away thoughts were, "whenever I encounter a fairy tale from a different culture and potentially a different time (I can't tell how much of it was rooted in 1970s Czech mentality or if it was trying to invoke older folk tales), sometimes the values feel so... of another world.
Exactly, man.



Also the protagonist's sword was placed for maximum phallus-connotation.
Oh man, in the first scene where he meets the topless princess it is so hilariously phallic the whole audience was laughing.





I can also recommend Janos Vitez by the same director. Heavily influenced by Yellow Submarine obviously. Good stuff.
Yeah, I was actually looking to track this down as well.



Oh man, in the first scene where he meets the topless princess it is so hilariously phallic the whole audience was laughing.
I was more taken aback by all multiple scenes of brotherly bare butt spanking.



I was more taken aback by all multiple scenes of brotherly bare butt spanking.
Yes, it was apparently very brotherly to spank each others' butts..



Alright, I'm gonna move on to Horror starting tomorrow night. I may do a Horrorthon thread with all the trimmings (music videos, movie posters, shorts, trailers, etc., as well as write-ups)... or I may just be lazy and slip the occasional reaction into the 'Cram.
We'll see how I'm feelin'.
But it's time, y'all!





November (2017) -


This Estonian fantasy tale is like a black metal album come to life. Besides nearly every frame resembling the typical album cover in the genre, it has the same oppressive hopelessness and wintry atmosphere found in the typical song. It's set in a tiny village in the woods with little to nothing going for it and in a world where the country's myths are real: there are animated assortments of farm equipment that steal livestock called kratts, ghosts walk among the living, shapeshifting creatures bring plagues and deals with the devil happen in exchange for one's soul. While the movie flits between the town's residents - my favorites being the local witch, a couple of desperate treasure hunters and the thieving servants of a local German baron (Dieter Laser, famous for the Human Centipede movies) - the central drama is a love triangle between Liina, who pines for Hans, a man who is willing to do anything to win the affections of the sleepwalking baron's daughter.

The look of the movie is again worth calling out for how it rides a fine line between compelling and eerie. This applies especially to the look of the first kratt we see, which resembles a spider made of metal scraps - a special effect that's so impressive that I'd rather not know how it was accomplished - and the ghosts, who may just be people clad in white and lit differently, but they need no further visual enhancement. The soundtrack all but enhances the movie's fatalistic vibe, which besides black metal has tinges of folk and dark ambient. This sounds like the movie is incredibly depressing, but it actually manages to be very funny - albeit darkly - and at just the right times. I particularly liked a servant's convoluted justification for stealing a chest full of underwear and Jaan Tooming's flamboyant performance, which is my favorite in the movie, as The Devil.

As is typical with foreign films, especially ones from small countries, I felt out of the loop sometimes, such as when the movie mentions Estonia's history and its relationship with Germany. That is not a fault of the movie, though, but it's on me since I jumped in cold. It wouldn't hurt to get a primer on the country's history and its mythology before watching. I still found it to be an involving tale that's sometimes sad, sometimes scary, and sometimes funny about what happens when the only means to not only make one’s dreams come true, but also simply get through the day is to turn to witchcraft or make a trade with The Devil. Eventually, one of these deals is going to conflict with another.