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Im glad you liked it. Its one of my favorite Neo-realistic movies. The ending is absolute perfection. I can still feel the melodrama even though it has been 4.5 years since i saw it.

I rate it:
WARNING: "Rome" spoilers below
When she grabs the fur coat off the body. I almost lost it.


Can't help but think how much more brutal this film would be if made today. Always hard to tell if that would help or hinder the story telling.
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Letterboxd



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



Yeah and at least it would be very different.

The good thing about filmmaking without a budget is that you have to invent the film language and you have to use other means of storytelling. In that sense the neo-realistic wave was quite inventive (and so have other waves of cinema been). Which is why the Danish dogma wave was quite interesting as well.

Major budget's sometimes hinder creative expression and inventiveness.



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Good start Sean, will comment when i've seen them.

My internet has been screwy the past few days, it has messed up a few times when i've tried to come on so may not be around as much until it's sorted but this thread is open for business if anyone else is planning on watching/discussing these. Going to try and watch 49th Paralel tomorrow and if i make it on i'll post a review.
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Still running the Women Directors HoF!



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
I've started Rome, Open City. I'm 30 minutes into it. I couldn't finish it yesterday, but I will be able to pick it up again as soon as I start it. I should finish that tonight, and then I will watch Paisan and Germany, Year Zero tomorrow night.

And I happened to watch The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp the other day.


I will post any thoughts that I have after I have finished the trilogy.
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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe



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I've started Rome, Open City. I'm 30 minutes into it. I couldn't finish it yesterday, but I will be able to pick it up again as soon as I start it. I should finish that tonight, and then I will watch Paisan and Germany, Year Zero tomorrow night.

And I happened to watch The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp the other day.


I will post any thoughts that I have after I have finished the trilogy.
Awesome

Sean said he's away for three weeks so i was going to leave the films to closer to he gets back so they were fresh but i'll start some of them in the next few days now.



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
Awesome

Sean said he's away for three weeks so i was going to leave the films to closer to he gets back so they were fresh but i'll start some of them in the next few days now.
I have to watch these now because of the library. I had the first two of the trilogy last week, but I didn't get a chance to watch them. Now I HAVE to get them back by the end of the week since I can't renew them a second time. And the last film I can't renew because someone else has requested it. There are other copies in the city. I don't know why this person had to specifically ask for the one I have.



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49th Parallel



My third Powell and second Powell & Pressburger having seen The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and The Red Shoes. The former i liked alot more than i thought i would it's not a favourite but it was enjoyable, The Red Shoes is expertly made but i didn't personally enjoy it. Felt about the same about this as i did The Red Shoes except i think The Red Shoes is more impressive so i'd have that slightly above 49th Paralell.

Sorry to start this out boringly but i really don't have much to say about this. War films are a real mixed bag for me, there's just as many i hate as ones i love. This was neither of those but was something i struggled to engage with and overall didn't enjoy much. The biggest positive was the visuals, definitely enjoyed looking at it, thing is i don't think there are any films that i like alot on visuals alone there's got to be something more that works for me and sadly i didn't find it here. Think i'm stretching this post out because i don't have anything to say about the story or the characters, both bored me i struggled to care during most of it and i hated the attempts at humour and Olivier's accent was embarrasing. Well other than the humour and Olivier at least i didn't dislike anything i was more indifferent and i liked the visuals so not a film i hate just one i don't care about. Hope i get more out of Powell & Pressburgers remaining films.

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Black Narcissus


This was a mixed bag for me but had great cinematography and finished very strong. My problem with it is that through most of the film I never felt the weight of the dread they were trying to convey. In fact it was so weak on developing the theme that I was beginning to wonder if anything was actually going to come. I did think the script was a little weak in this regard. Just not enough development to make me a believer.

On the other hand the movie does look fantastic and it is never dull. Look at that shot up above. Absolutely beautiful
WARNING: "black" spoilers below
with no foreshadowing at all.



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Aki Kaurismäki -- amazing the few things that make me happy, this is one.. happiness for others, from my happiness.... I think you'd like the actor Matti Pellonpaa -- it's rare someone makes my list of favorite actors this fast, but he was quite the bohemian himself.

Shadows in Paradise - 9/10
Ariel - 9/10
Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana - 8.5/10
La Vie De Boheme - 8.5/10

His comedies are farcical, the only one I'd mention is "Leningrad Cowboys Go To America"



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Black Narcissus



My god this was stunning. All of the Powell & Pressburger films i've seen have been, the only problem is i have not been that into anything else. Well finally this was an exception. This film was ridiculously (nearly) passionate and erotic and it was basically perfect as it mirrored the life of a nun. It felt like it was supressing its urge to become an erotic film due to the time it was made and the moral attitudes that would prevent something like that to be made, just like a nun surpresses urges that go against the church. Personally i'm of the opinion that restricting sex for priests and nuns is silly, it's an outdated practice that can't be healthy. For people whose faith is a powerful thing to them they don't just believe they can't have sex but that sexual thoughts are a bad thing. This has to be dangerous as it's a part of our (or most not discounting the experiece of Asexuals or whatever else) biological makeup. This is just my personal opinion of course hope it doesn't offend anyone of faith and if it does all you have to remember is that: i'm an idiot haha. I realize that i don't have a say when i don't even subscribe to this faith anymore, regardless i did somewhat relate to this through some of the things i was told growing up.

This was like a thriller, the tension and suspense was incredible haha. Deborah Kerr set this in motion early on by looking annoyed at herself everytime she was caught off guard with a joke by Dean, she played her role really well. The only thing i wasn't completely on board with with her was her flashbacks, they were a little heavy-handed and on the nose. Think i would have implied a past similar life through a conversation with Dean or Ruth rather than outright show one, it would have kept her character and thoughts more mysterious. I mean i loved the focus on her face and mannerisms during alot of this where i could have been wondering what she was thinking and what she was really like except the film flat out showed me making her character a little less intriguing. David Farrar was perfect as the charming and seductive guy, that's a difficult thing to pull off for me; not sure whether it's because i'm a straight guy or what but alot of attempts at being charming make me roll my eyes, the only person it works for every single time is Cary Grant. Him wearing shorts constantly with his hairy chest and legs exposed was exactly right, he was completely foreign to them something that has to be enticing to people living such a repressed existence. Weirdly even though he represented something i support: sexual freedom for the repressed nuns he managed to come across like a villain at times, probably because he was pretty smug and you always knew he knew exactly what he was doing. Ruth was my favourite character, i loved her and would have liked to see more of her. Throughout she seemed like someone who wasn't quite locked into this life yet, she wasn't as composed and as on guard as Clodagh. Also OMG, i'd seen the picture i used loads and i was always convinced it was from The Devils which i haven't seen, was such a great moment when that appeared and i loved that scene, was so intense and Ruth seemed delightfully insane. She was pretty over the top but in a good way i thought as she was supposed to be sleep deprived and psychologically damaged from heavy guilt due to her thoughts and urges, her acting irrational was completely in character. Plus she sounded like a petulant teenager when she rose her voice which went really well with this side of her. Seeing her out of her nun garb was incredible, so effective it reminded me of seeing Ida's hair in Ida. I liked the ending and i disagree with Sean about the dread it was building, not because i disagree with him about it being strong he is right. Thing is though i don't think it was attempting to build a sense of dread throughout, i think the first hour and the last 40 minutes are delibarately like two different films; there's a clear dramatic shift when Ruth starts going insane. And again deliberately i think it feels like they've stuffed a short amount of time with all of this out of nowhere to make it seem tense and unpredictable rarther than them trying to build it throughout the film. That was just what i felt anyway.

Damn the nuns where sexy Kathleen Byron especially, i've never had a thing for nuns but this film gave me crippling catholic guilt despite being a lapsed catholic . The cinematography really was amazing. One of the most beautiful films i've ever seen, after seeing 49th Parallel i said i've never liked a film alot on visuals alone but this would have came close; truly wonderful to look at. Thankfully i liked other parts anyway. Great film. My only real problem was some over the top characters (in a bad way not like Ruth), like Angu (that was that old woman right? not sure if i've mixed her name up) who was awful as well as Sabu's subplot which i couldn't care less about.

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Registered User
Rome, Open City



Same as Paisan i really like seeing depictions of Italy in World War II. Clearly they were one of the big seven (maybe eight if you include Poland but for whatever reason it has always been these seven to me) of the war along with; Britain, America, Russia, France, Germany and Japan, for me though they have largely been neglected compared to those others. Haven't really spent the time learning about their role and what it was like to live in the country during the war so this sort of thing always feels somewhat fresh compared to the others, plus it's made by an actual Italian who lived through the war which is always appreciated. I think Paisan was the significantly better film as well as the one i preferred but i liked this too.

The film took a bit to get going for me, mostly due to a number of different characters being introduced in a short time and me finding it hard to get into any of them. The one exception was Pina who i took to instantly, felt Magnani was giving a very good performance and that she was intriguing. Very little of interest was happening as well, there was a generic underground group working against the Nazi's story going on and some meh relationship drama. Don't think that it got interesting until Francesco got introduced which was over a half an hour in. Completely agree with Sean that the second half was better except i still don't think it was ever consistent, plenty of flailing about think this could have been much better if it was about an hour long. Anyway no point in dragging this out as i don't have much more to say. I don't think this film was structured particularly well. Kinda felt like it wasn't edited properly or that it was made in a rush, was kind of a mess at times. I also feel some of its attempts at emotion were awkward, like unearned and they just used the cloying music anyway. Loved the ending and Anna Magnani's performance. I wouldn't call this a great film but i liked enough about it that overall i enjoyed it.

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I liked the ending and i disagree with Sean about the dread it was building, not because i disagree with him about it being strong he is right. Thing is though i don't think it was attempting to build a sense of dread throughout, i think the first hour and the last 40 minutes are delibarately like two different films; there's a clear dramatic shift when Ruth starts going insane. And again deliberately i think it feels like they've stuffed a short amount of time with all of this out of nowhere to make it seem tense and unpredictable rarther than them trying to build it throughout the film. That was just what i felt anyway.
I won't disagree with you much because I am glad you liked it more than me. I point you to the scene where Winger's character is opening up to Dean. Towards the end of the scene he grabs her by the arm and says "I told you about this place, you have to get out of here". It was so bad and very emblematic of what I thought they were going for the whole first half of the film.



Seems like you and I had the exact opposite experience with Paisan and Open City Camo. Good stuff though, glad we chose Rossellini. I will probably watch Germany Year Zero this weekend.



Registered User
I won't disagree with you much because I am glad you liked it more than me. I point you to the scene where Winger's character is opening up to Dean. Towards the end of the scene he grabs her by the arm and says "I told you about this place, you have to get out of here". It was so bad and very emblematic of what I thought they were going for the whole first half of the film.
That is a good example, i guess the reason it didn't bother me was because i didn't take it as something completely honest from Dean. At the start he has that talk with someone can't remember who now about the Brothers leaving and it's in a 'haha we'll get rid of those nuns easy' way, so i took that more as manipulation from Dean than an actual warning of how bad this place is. Unless your problem was the manipulation from Dean and i'm misunderstanding you hear? If that's the case then i can see why it didn't work for you, guess i was just focusing on other stuff so that never struck me as much of anything.

Seems like you and I had the exact opposite experience with Paisan and Open City Camo. Good stuff though, glad we chose Rossellini. I will probably watch Germany Year Zero this weekend.
Yep was thinking the same thing. Really enjoying it though so far, i've had more of a problem getting into Powell & Pressburger than Rossellini. Probably L'Amore at the start of next week for me.



That is a good example, i guess the reason it didn't bother me was because i didn't take it as something completely honest from Dean. At the start he has that talk with someone can't remember who now about the Brothers leaving and it's in a 'haha we'll get rid of those nuns easy' way, so i took that more as manipulation from Dean than an actual warning of how bad this place is. Unless your problem was the manipulation from Dean and i'm misunderstanding you hear? If that's the case then i can see why it didn't work for you, guess i was just focusing on other stuff so that never struck me as much of anything.
No, I wasn't looking at it from that perspective at all. Very fair counter.



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Germany, Year Zero



Germany immediately following the Battle of Berlin has to be one of the most perfect Neo-Realist settings. I know all Neo-Realist films don't follow the same formula and i've certainly not seen enough of them to attempt to talk about the movement in general; still such a hopeless time feels perfect for it going by the ones i've seen at least. Was really nervous going into this because of a few very negative reactions to it on this site recently, i liked it overall though. Think it was better structured than Rome, Open City; it's shorter runtime really helped tighten everything up.

My lord that Herr Henning introduction scene was so creepy. The funny thing is i had figured Edmund would get involved with the black market by all the talking about it early on, the moment Henning was introduced that all left my mind and all i could think is this guys a pedo. The scene really turned my stomach, all the stroking and sitting on his lap inches away from his face...ugh. There was also the other adults in the house replying with "Nice boy, where did you find him?" as well as the dude who looked like he was inspecting him jesus, then just the fact that Henning was a former teacher the whole thing was so wrong. That brings me to probably my biggst problem with the film the kid who plays Edmund. The thing is he played it right, it's completely believable that a kid his age wouldn't be aware of what is inappropriate contact/behaviour from an adult; his whole childhood has been during the war so it's easy to accept that his parents with all of their problems during this time may have not made this sort of thing clear to him, there's also the fact that it was a different time, different things were acceptable then. That's totally on the writing and i imagine the directions Rossellini was giving him though; the kid was awful and annoying and had the worst voice ever...sorry haha. Guess that's the problem with not using professional actors it's alot less likely you'll get a film full of great performances, there's often a missing link and i thing Edmund was it here. Obviously it has its upsides too; you get extremely natural feeling performances sometimes from what i've seen. The desperation and despair in their situation was handled well i thought. One of the worst things about that whole pedo situation was later when he was more interested in a new child he turned his back on Edmund, he had been the little bit of hope he had and now everything was completely hopeless in his mind leading to the posioning of course. Was nicely played out since his father came across like a good guy and him mentioning suicide gave Edmund a way of justifying this to himself, and of course it is going to make the families situation alot easier but it's just the idea that a situation could be this bad that someone would have to make a horrific decision like that nevermind a child. Reminds me of stories of Chinese women drowning their children during the rape of nanking because they knew they were going to starve to death or be murdered by the Japanese anyway so they wanted to make it easier. Don't know if those stories are even true but it's always something that has stuck with me and this was the same sort of thing. The only slight misstep was Karl-Heinz deciding to turn himself in at that exact moment; felt like an attempt to make the situation that much worse when it didn't feel necessary. Not completely sure what i think of Edmunds suicide. I think the scene was very well made, it was surprisingly graphic for its time; not sure what i think of the decision and that as an end to the film though, got mixed feelings.

Now what in the world was with the music during the scene Jo tricked Edmund out of 10 Marks (or whatever the currency is) for a bar of soap? Seriously i don't have a clue what was going on. Jo was talking about the girl and asking if Edmund was scared of girls and there was some Hitchcock climax-esque music on, it made zero sense was waiting for a train to hit them or something i dunno it only lasted about five seconds but it still was the oddest thing ever. Happened a few other times but that one was the most noticeable since there was no charitable way of explaining how the music fit with what was happening on screen.

Overall i liked this, would say it was the weakest of Rossellini's war trilogy but not that far behind Rome, Open City and i'd say it did some stuff better than that one, actually if Edmund was better i may have preferred it. L'Amore to finish up Rossellini then Colonel Blimp to finish Powell & Pressburger.




Germany Year Zero


I really like the feel of this film. The setting is very upsetting. Add that to the pedo scenes that Camo was talking about and you have a pretty upsetting film. There is an unfortunate thing about neorealism for me thus far. It has the opposite of the intended effect. It becomes very hard for me to engage with these films on an emotional level. When you are talking about films that are about war or poverty that is a recipe for indifference. That is mostly what I felt for this one. Not great, didn't hate.




49th Parallel



Through the first 15 minutes or so of this film I thought I was going to feel the same as Camo. It drew me in and I ended up liking it quite a bit. Not amazing by any means but it is a unique idea and each segment has its own charm. I think the time spent at the religious compound was probably my favorite. Especially like how that segment ended.

I agree with Camo about Olivier's accent. The guy is such a pro he still manages to be my favorite character in the film.