Minio's Ramblings on Cinema

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Originally Posted by Mr Minio
I should write a book on cinema. But I have no time for writing because I watch films all day.
You should make a movie about writing a book about movies. Go full meta!



Subtle Slayer of Normies
Yeah, I talked about Ford with Swan the other day. The thing with John Ford, and most directors, really, is that the more of his films you watch, the more you appreciate them. You also grow to appreciate John Ford more as a director. (There are, however, directors who have the opposite effect on me, including Caveh Zahedi.)

There's that thing with directors: Some filmmakers are consistently good/great. Add to that being prolific, and you have a recipe for one of the all-time greats (Fassbinder made more movies in the 70s than I can count, but he maintained a high quality; none of his films are bad, but hardly any are masterpieces either.). Now, there's a second group of filmmakers. Those filmmakers are usually only decent but somehow as if by a miracle, managed to spawn a masterpiece or two. Ridley Scott is that kind of director to me. He's not terrible but I couldn't call him a great director. But Blade Runner is a wonderful film, and one would wonder how come Scott managed to make it so good. Well, there are many factors that go into this equation: the cast, the mood, Vangelis' music, the cinematography, the production design, and so on.

On second thought, there's also a third group of filmmakers. Those who never made a masterpiece and whose films are consistently bad. But nobody cares about them, so it's better not to name them.



Subtle Slayer of Normies
I think I oughtta add that the 'more watch, more appreciate' thing works especially well with auteurs. There's also a lot to the idea that John Ford made so many movies. It's one thing to spend half of your life preparing an all-time great movie. But producing films like a machine and still ending up with brilliance is something we should appreciate more, as cinephiles. Not every Ford is a Stagecoach or a The Grapes of Wrath but even the movies of his I dislike look and feel like art made by a guy who knows his stuff.

Incidentally, I had an old (and highly preconceived) notion that I love all black'n'white Ford films and dislike all his color films. I don't know to which extent this became a sort of bias on my journey through his filmography, but thankfully, I managed to find movies that contradict this.

I also think it's super cool how John Ford comes off as a conservative filmmaker but so many Leftist cinephiles still appreciate him. This shows that politics matter only as much as the filmmaker's inability to transcend them. Look, I don't think there's anybody who'd say Straub-Huillet are terrible filmmakers (though I have a love-hate relationship with them, too) and yet I'm far away from their Communism worldview-wise. Have any of you ever heard of Straub-Huillet? Watch a film or two, these films often challenge the very way we think of cinema and film-watching.

To join these two seemingly disparate threads of thought, both John Ford and Jean-Marie Straub often appeared as cantankerous, though I'd rather call the latter loquacious. I disliked that about them when I was younger, but the older I get, the more I appreciate opinionated, curmudgeonly filmmakers who just do their thing and don't care about others' opinions. Maybe that's because I'm slowly becoming like that myself, as a cinephile.



I can kind of see that with Jess Franco. The more of his films you see, the more you get a feel for his style and can appreciate it.



Subtle Slayer of Normies
Originally Posted by Wyldesyde19
Iíve heard (read) the same thing in regards to watch more, appreciate more in regards to directors such as Raul Ruiz and Jess Franco
Makes sense because both were auteurs, though Jes√ļs was a pulp auteur in the vein of Rollin, which made many cinephiles dismiss him as trashy.



Subtle Slayer of Normies
That being said, Franco did make a lot of trash (quality-wise) but his best movies could easily make it among the arthouse greats of the era. I'd say that in many ways Franco is harder to get than Tarkovsky or Bresson because it actually requires the viewer to think for himself versus simply agreeing with the cinephilic consensus.

Ruiz, on the other hand, is well-regarded amongst cinephiles. He's better than Franco both at their peaks and their quality of consistency. I've seen more Ruiz films than I had thought, but he made more than I had thought, too. So there always seems to be yet another Ruiz to watch.



The trick is not minding
Originally Posted by Mr Minio
That being said, Franco did make a lot of trash (quality-wise) but his best movies could easily make it among the arthouse greats of the era. I'd say that in many ways Franco is harder to get than Tarkovsky or Bresson because it actually requires the viewer to think for himself versus simply agreeing with the cinephilic consensus.

Ruiz, on the other hand, is well-regarded amongst cinephiles. He's better than Franco both at their peaks and their quality of consistency. I've seen more Ruiz films than I had thought, but he made more than I had thought, too. So there always seems to be yet another Ruiz to watch.
Both are directors Iíve been meaning to go through, but both have rather unwieldy filmographies. That and Ruiz films arenít easy to find really. Thereís two available on Tubi (Klimt and Mysteries of Lisbon) that I plan to watch soonish. Iíd prefer to start with his older films, especially City of Pirates, Three Sad Tigers and Three Crowns of the Sailor but whatcha gonna do?
🤷*♂️



mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
The truth is in here
Originally Posted by Mr Minio
Originally Posted by Wyldesyde19
Iíve heard (read) the same thing in regards to watch more, appreciate more in regards to directors such as Raul Ruiz and Jess Franco
Makes sense because both were auteurs, though Jess was a pulp auteur in the vein of Rollin, which made many cinephiles dismiss him as trashy.
I didn't know people considered Rollin trashy. He might not be the most perfect storyteller and often makes films about the same thing, but he's an expert at creating a strange, ambient atmosphere where everything kinda feels like a dream but you're still able to understand fairly well what's going on. So far my favorite is The Grapes Of Death, though The Iron Rose and Lips Of Blood are good too.



The trick is not minding
Side note: does anyone else get really excited when you start digging further into a directorís filmography?

This week I have a Melville, a few Rollins, a handful of Fukasaku, and some Godard films planned on along with a few others here and there.