15th Hall of Fame

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I thought that "shiznit" was a term used for something you actually rather like? It seems like you're agreeing with Citizen, but he said that he didn't care for Cary Elwes in the film.
Ha. You got me. I didn't even see that. I must have blocked it out because I cannot fathom how anyone could resent Cary. Citizen, you grouch!



I thought that "shiznit" was a term used for something you actually rather like? It seems like you're agreeing with Citizen, but he said that he didn't care for Cary Elwes in the film.
I had to look up shiznit, I never heard that word before.


Ha. You got me. I didn't even see that. I must have blocked it out because I cannot fathom how anyone could resent Cary. Citizen, you grouch!
It's Cricket's fault! He dragged that info out of me



The Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Super Bowl 55 Champs!
Shallow Grave


If I hadn't previously seen any of the nominations and knew nothing about them except the synopsis, Shallow Grave would be the movie I'd be most interested in. I watched it with my wife many years ago and neither one of us cared for it. Maybe our expectations were too high because I enjoyed it much more this go around. I don't really know what to say about. It's just a good dark comedy that I enjoyed watching. I'd put it around the middle of what I've seen from director Damny Boyle; below Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, and Slumdog Millionaire, above Sunshine and Trance, and about even with Trainspotting 2. I'd like to see 127 Hours.

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Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972)
Imdb

Date Watched: 02/17/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching:15th Hall of Fame, nominated by @Siddon
Rewatch: No.


With as much praise as Aguirre receives on this forum, I kind of expected to be wowed by it. That did not happen. I didn't hate it or even particularly dislike it - I thought the setting and costumes all looked wonderful and the performances were solid enough - but there was nothing in the story or in its characters that might enable me to overcome my apathy. As character after character died or disappeared I felt nothing and were it not for the film's brevity, boredom would probably have eventually set in.

Meh.




I also watched The Station Agent today, but I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts into anything coherent. I'll try to get something written up tomorrow.



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God



This was surprisingly not as bad as I remembered it being. I really, really did not like it when I watched it for whatever hall of fame it was nominated for last time. I think this time I had more of an appreciation for what it was trying to do and a better grasp of the story and characters.

It’s still messy. It bothers me a lot that the dubbing doesn’t match up very well at all. There are times when the camera work is so shaky and with people’s heads getting in the way of the shot that it just seems really amateurish. I know Herzog has this sort of documentary style and I accept that but it still doesn’t completely work for me in his fictional films. That said, there are some haunting and memorable images within the film.

The grandiosity of it all (starting with the title) - at times this just seems silly, but at times I feel like it’s supposed to feel silly, that the whole thing is a doomed, ridiculous, Quixotic quest from the start. It’s a frustrating watch at times, because they’re going nowhere, and Aguirre aside you don’t get much sense of the characters.

Klaus Kinski’s performance as Aguirre is really quite a memorable depiction of crazed obsession. (The story of the film’s production and the troubled working relationship between Kinski and Herzog is possibly more interesting than the film itself). Not all the rest of the acting is great though.

One thing I particularly liked this time that I don’t think I necessarily noticed before was the music. That was really good.

I guess sometimes it just comes down to preferences in films, and ‘long quest into the unforgiving heart of nature but also into the darkness of their own souls’ type films just don’t grab me. (No, I don’t enjoy Apocalypse Now either. Or Deliverance.)

So all in all I still don’t love it but have a much better appreciation for it this time around. Which just makes me wonder what other films I might change my mind about if I rewatched them.



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
He doesn't give a crap about the game
Yeah, I know.

I got stuck spending the day with him yesterday. So, hopefully that will keep him quiet and I can get everything done today that I planned on doing yesterday (i.e. watching some movies). He knew I only had an interest in the Slam Dunk Contest, anyway. So I think I am out of having to go watch the game somewhere tonight.
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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe



Yeah, I know.

I got stuck spending the day with him yesterday. So, hopefully that will keep him quiet and I can get everything done today that I planned on doing yesterday (i.e. watching some movies). He knew I only had an interest in the Slam Dunk Contest, anyway. So I think I am out of having to go watch the game somewhere tonight.
Yo, tell that dude to f********ck offfff, man. By showing that idiot attention, you are only rewarding the behavior you don't want. That won't keep him quiet. Dude is going to bug you even more. At least, from a dumb dude perspective, I think that is going to happen. I mean, unless you like him too, in which case, have fun





The Station Agent (Tom McCarthy, 2003)
Imdb

Date Watched: 02/17/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching:15th Hall of Fame, nominated by @Joel
Rewatch: No.


I made the mistake of watching the trailer before watching the movie and so I went into this expecting a light hearted comedy. While it certainly does have some comedic elements, The Station Agent is really a quiet film about a quiet man who wants nothing more than to be left alone and about the people who push their way into his life and refuse to go away.

Peter Dinklage does well to carry the film and to portray the every day struggles of an ordinary man who, because of his dwarfism, cannot find the anonymity and invisibility he seeks and who has suffered much cruelty because of it. Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cannavale are also both wonderful as two of the people who insert themselves into his life. Both come off as a bit obnoxious in the beginning, but the bond the trio forms is really endearing and makes for a very sweet and heartfelt film.

Because the film centers so much on human relationships, there's not a lot to be said about anything beyond the characters. There's not much of a story here - just lonely, damaged people coming together. There's not much action. There's no real special effects. There was nothing that stood out as remarkable to me in the cinematography or the score. But a film like this doesn't really need those things. It just needs strong performances and in that it is not lacking.




Cool review, @Miss Vicky.

Glad you liked it!

These are my favorite kinds of films, the kind that aren't overly concerned with sophisticated writing and twists and gimmicks, instead relying on strong casting and plenty of space to exist in. To me, that is life. That's the truth in cinema I'm after if I'm forced to have it be about truth to begin with. I mean..it's fiction, but uh...yeah...

Let's celebrate, we both liked each others noms! Maybe we outta grab some donuts?




American Graffiti (1973)

Serendipity.
.....That says it all.

Watching this last night for the first time in years was an emotional experience for me. I could write a novel why, but I won't...besides who cares about my teen years, right? Instead I'll tell you something I learned about the movie's history.

I had always thought of American Graffiti as this big Hollywood film made by a famous director. Boy was I wrong!

American Graffiti was made by an unknown at the time director who was literally fresh out of film school. Today we think of George Lucas as a powerhouse director, with billions of dollars. When he made this movie he was just a young guy and had won a 'grant' from Universal to make a tiny budget, auteur film, with him having creative control. That was part of Universal's independent film maker project which was inspired by the success of the 'indie home made movie' Easy Rider. There was about a half dozen films made in this program by up and coming film makers.

Lucas wrote the script and the studio gave him funding of only $775,000 and 28 days to shoot it. Richard Dreyfus called it 'gorilla film making'. They worked around the clock and lived on location in motel. The actors were all unknowns, many were working other jobs besides acting just to make a living.

What Lucas final showed the studio the movie it was something they had never seen. An unconventional story that followed four different characters in a unrelated way. There were no big character arcs, no big plots. Instead it was shot documentary style, with the actors improvising some of their lines. Lucas deliberately used the takes that had small flubs in them so as to make these people look real, like we are there following them around. This was shot on the street with cameras mounted on the cars, not in a studio, for more reality.

At a movie screening the audience loved it! But the head of Universal studio hated it. He told the producer, Francis Ford Coppola that the film was to unconventional and wouldn't be released. Coppola then tells the studio head that the young director is a visionary and the studio head should get down on his knees and thank the young director for giving the studio such an amazing film.

Instead of accepting the film, the studio shelved it and even considered releasing it on TV. They just could not see how a movie could have four inter cut stories going on at the same time....Today most TV dramas and many movies are made in the multi story inter cut style that American Graffiti introduced.

Is this the best movie ever made, probably not..but it's one of the most influential ground breaking films to be made. The auteur's stamp is all over this film, if you care to look for it.
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Fabulous back story excavating, @Citizen Rules!

I want to buy this on blu ray now, so I can go back to it full quality and sound, anytime I wish. I can tell you love this movie. Me, too.



I will give American Graffiti another shot one day. I was very underwhelmed by it my first viewing but that has to be 20 years ago at this point so past due for that second watch.
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Letterboxd



Fabulous back story excavating, @Citizen Rules!

I want to buy this on blu ray now, so I can go back to it full quality and sound, anytime I wish. I can tell you love this movie. Me, too.
Thanks! I just learned that by watching the DVD extras.

It was shot in Techniscope. Which uses half the frame of 35mm and so results in a wide screen anamorphic ratio look, but also has film grain which lends to the documentary style of film making. That said, a Blu Ray of American Graffiti will not look like a modern Blu Ray copy. Still it would look pretty darn good. The graining is part of the experience.



Thanks! I just learned that by watching the DVD extras.

It was shot in Techniscope. Which uses half the frame of 35mm and so results in a wide screen anamorphic ratio look, but also has film grain which lends to the documentary style of film making. That said, a Blu Ray of American Graffiti will not look like a modern Blu Ray copy. Still it would look pretty darn good. The graining is part of the experience.
Yes, true. However, Universal have been notorious for scrubbing grain with DNR as well as using edge enhancement (sharpening) for their blu ray releases. Purists hate them because of this. When I saw the library blu ray I borrowed a few days ago, I did notice some outlines on the top of Mel's in the wide shots, but the close ups were all seemingly untouched. What I'm saying is that, though Universal may have scrubbed some grain away, the film still looks good because there was definitely grain, but instead of thick, flurries of grain, I saw a fine, tightly knit short haired sweater kind of grain, which looked beautiful. Not a bad transfer, all things considered!



I don't think I have the patience for reading subtitles or for David Lynch right now, so I'll probably watch either American Graffiti or Rebecca tonight.



Yes, true. However, Universal have been notorious for scrubbing grain with DNR as well as using edge enhancement (sharpening) for their blu ray releases. Purists hate them because of this. When I saw the library blu ray I borrowed a few days ago, I did notice some outlines on the top of Mel's in the wide shots, but the close ups were all seemingly untouched. What I'm saying is that, though Universal may have scrubbed some grain away, the film still looks good because there was definitely grain, but instead of thick, flurries of grain, I saw a fine, tightly knit short haired sweater kind of grain, which looked beautiful. Not a bad transfer, all things considered!
Cool! I might have to buy the Blu Ray of it.

The extras are called The Making of American Graffiti and have interviews with George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and most of the cast. The best part is Lucas describes how he hand choose the songs for each scene then how they mixed the sound to give different vibes. Check that out if you get a chance.



Rebecca



As I've stated before, I hadn't seen this film since 2010 when I literally first joined Mofo and became serious about film of all kinds. I hadn't rated it too favorably giving it a 6/10. It will get a bump from that but there still is something missing for me with this film. It's not the acting as I thought Joan Fontaine was brilliant and of course Judith Anderson gives us a very chilling performance as Mrs. Danvers. The scenes with the two of them alone are my favorites in the movie due to the eerieness and the awkardness of their encounters. The film is also brilliantly shot and looks real good.

My problem with the film is the last 30 minutes. The whole investigation becomes a jumbled mess in my opinion and it kind of makes the film lose steam. I feel that way because it feels like the story could have been better handled a different way. I'm also usually big on George Sanders but his character is actually rather obnoxious to me and he diverts to much attention away from the other 3 performances.

Overall, a good film but for Hitchcock it's actually pretty middling. I was hoping to be wowed the second time around but that didn't happen. Maybe I'll see if I change my mind in another 8 years. Still, I expect this to do well because technically it is very well crafted.




I just watched The Station Agent. It was strange seeing another place called Newfoundland, even if it's pronounced differently. It actually looks quite a bit like it does here as well. That Newfoundland is a bit nicer though, since we don't have running trains haha.