TokeZa's inane ramblings about film

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Hatari! (1962) by Howard Hawks

I grew up with a father who was an avid butterfly collector and entomologist, focusing on the moth family tortricidae. We traveled all over Europe en rebuild van where you could sleep in the back, but we also made several travels to Africa and even Siberia to collect nightflying moths (on a small sidenote i once found a new species in southern Turkey, which my father named after me: Clavigestus Tokei). Hatari reminded me a lot of those trips to Africa, especially one in Cameroon, where we stayed at a Belgian big game hunters place. Hatari is reminiscent of Only Angels Have Wings (1939), albeit not as magical and coherent, but still it worked really well with some nice comedic relief once in a while. Its still a classic case of the big white man getting interrupted by the unknowing female. After all i guess Hawks might be my favorite American director.

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





Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) by Leo McCarey

I have only seen one other McCarey film, Make Way For Tomorrow from 1937, which is an exquisite tale of elderly love in relation to modernity and the new family values. Ruggles of Red Gap is an interesting film the uses archetypical stereotypes of Anglo-American characters as a driving point for the trajectory. The whole film is a love letter to the American dream and egalitarianism as a driving force in human relations. The film is subjugated to inherent American values, and as such underpins the division between the Old and the New World. As a democratic socialist and marxist you got to love the democratic and egalitarian viewpoints of the film.

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Nanook of the North (1922) by Robert J. Flaherty

This film is primarily for cinephiles interested in etnographic documentaries. I have a huge love for Harvard Etnographic Lab and their recent documentaries, especially Leviathan by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel. Nanook is the forefather of such kind of documentaries even if Flaherty admitted that documentary as such was staged and Nanook castet for the role. The film is by no means a technical masterpiece but an interesting piece of film history.

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Ready Player One (2018) by Steven Spielberg


Its been many years, since i last saw a Steven Spielberg film as i have mainly been focusing on more obscure arthouse films, than the latest Blockbuster. However i was pleasantly surprised by Ready Player One and as far as i remember its one of the best Spielbergs that i have seen. Ready Player One is an excellent reflection on virtual media and computer games impact on social life. The focal point being escape from reality into fantasy with an underlying social critique. There are loads of pop culture and film references which a keen observer can enjoy. From the last years; Mad Max: Fury Road and Ready Player One have been my best Blockbuster experiences.


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I've always depended on the kindness of strangers

The Scarlet Empress (1934) by Josef von Sternberg

The only film i have seen by Josef von Sternberg so far i[/rating]
Ana-ta-Han is on YouTube in full -- I gave it a 10/10...





P.S. - Jim Morrison's favorite movie.





Western (2017) by Valeska Grisebach

My first film from Grisebach, which was surprisingly eloquently filmed. I could not help to see the film on feminist terms, as a bared down description of male aggression in the light of recent right wing popular movements in Eastern Europe. I felt both alienated and intrigued by the insights and reflections the film gave. As such it relates a lot to the recent Elle (2016) by Verhoeven which i also view in a feministic discourse. Western seems a lot more sincere and realist (without all the sleaze), than Elle.






The Apartment (1960) by Billy Wilder

I am not accustomed to watching films by Wilder and even if he seems to be hailed on this forum as one of the great directors, i have actually only liked Sunset Blvd. (1950) of the 4 films i have seen by him so far. The Apartment was a good film but in my opinion it lacked the subtleties of what i consider a great film, albeit it was rich and complex in its description of romantic efforts in the highpoint of American modernity. I am not sure that genuine Hollywood films will ever be of my liking, but this one was for sure well done and well made, but the plot and payoff was foreseeable and it lacked critical reflexion and nuances. As entertainment it might be good for some audiences.






The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) by Peter Weir

Quite interesting thriller by Peter Weir with som tropes from eighties b-movies. In a postcolonial and historical perspective the revolving conflicts in Indonesia, in which the story unfolds, are quite interesting. The mass murder of communists and chinese which evolves from this conflict is greatly depicted by Joshua Oppenheimer in The Act of Killing af The Look of Silence. Even though the narrative is quite uneven and the climax of the story does not pay off, the film is quite intense and exciting. Recommended if your into 80's b-movie flicks and should probaby be watched with a beer on the side.


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I want to write more about the films i watch, instead of just give ratings. I am not that good at English so hopefully you will bear with me.

This will be a thread mostly dedicated to (obscure) arthouse movies and foreign film.

I hope you will enjoy
I too enjoy obscure, art house and foreign films. We have a dedicated foreign movie television channel in my country. Eric Rohmer also did the four season films which I found captivating.





The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) by Peter Weir

Quite interesting thriller by Peter Weir with som tropes from eighties b-movies. In a postcolonial and historical perspective the revolving conflicts in Indonesia, in which the story unfolds, are quite interesting. The mass murder of communists and chinese which evolves from this conflict is greatly depicted by Joshua Oppenheimer in The Act of Killing af The Look of Silence. Even though the narrative is quite uneven and the climax of the story does not pay off, the film is quite intense and exciting. Recommended if your into 80's b-movie flicks and should probaby be watched with a beer on the side.


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A good watch from Oz with an almost juvenile Mel Gibson leading the way.





Love Streams (1984) by John Cassavetes

I got off from a bad start with Cassavetes, not really enjoying his movies, though i think it was more about my approach than the movies. Lately i picked up The Killing of a Chinese Bookie from 1976 and it was an excellent thriller with nuanced characters, which i rated
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Yesterday, in our weekly movie club, we saw Love Streams and while the running time may be a little to long it was an excellent watch- It might be the best i have seen from him, though i am pondering to watch Opening Night soon.

The duality of a loving, albeit manic sister, and a sex crazed, self-absorbed, brother brought to light an excellent reflection on love in a metaphysical level. The theme of mental illness is a recurrent theme in Cassavetes film, which in this film was lovingly portrayed, and as a recovered manic-depressiv i can certainly relate on a personal level, to both the enjoyment and despair of madness. Starlight performance by both main actors.

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I too enjoy obscure, art house and foreign films. We have a dedicated foreign movie television channel in my country. Eric Rohmer also did the four season films which I found captivating.
Oh, that sounds great, where are you from?



movies can be okay...
I too watched Love Streams quite recently, and I followed it by Opening Night. They're both great, with Love Streams being my favourite Cassavetes so far. He is so masterful, while managing to remain quite simplistic. His camera becomes more and more claustrophobic, just as his characters become more and more manic. Not to mention, the music appropriately adding to the strength of the punch to the gut. I'm still mad I have yet to find an Opening Night's official soundtrack.

I loved everything he has put out so far, and I even have Faces, along with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, ready to be watched this week.
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"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue — a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then it’s a good film; if it’s not a dialogue, it’s a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



Must be doin sumthin right
It's funny that for you Killing of a Chinese Bookie was your kind of breakthrough for enjoying Cassavetes, because that was the first film I saw of his and I found it totally off-putting. The first one that I really liked was A Woman Under the Influence and from there I started to appreciate his movies. Woman Under the Influence and Love Streams are my favorites now and every couple of years I rewatch most of his movies. But I think you are right that you probably have to be in a certain mood/mindset when you watch them





Manifesto (2017) by Julian Rosefeldt

Yesterday i went to Kunsthal Charlottenborg, with a friend, to see Manifesto from 2017, as an art installation, though it has also been screened as a feature film in some cinemas. Its a highly pretentious film, reflecting on different forms of art manifestos. The setup creates a polyphonic attitude towards art and is increasingly self-reflexive. The scenes are engaging, but the subject matter of the film, may deter many non-artsy types from seeing it.

Highly recommended if you are into the situationist international




movies can be okay...
I think I've seen Manifesto before, or most of it at least (i don't think I finished it). It was interesting for what it was, but I was not in the mood for it at that time.



I think I've seen Manifesto before, or most of it at least (i don't think I finished it). It was interesting for what it was, but I was not in the mood for it at that time.
Yeah, you definitely have to be in the mood for that kind of film, though i think as an artist or art lover, it could be well appreciated.





Princess Mononoke (1997) by Hayao Miyazaki

Its been a lot of years since i last saw Princess Mononoke by Miyazaki, but earlier today my son and I, had a comfy Sunday in the universe of Miyazaki. As an agnostic living in the era of the anthropocene the subject matter of Princess Mononoke seems highly relevant. The duality between and in between the industrialized human and nature, here revoked as forest spirits, is a finely tuned reflexion on Miyazaki's holistic world view.

My son was flabbergasted by several scenes and managed to stay concentrated for the more than 2 hour runtime, which i regard as rather impressive, since he is mostly into Harry Potter and Monty Python at the moment.

I still regard My Neighbor Totoro as Miyazaki's best film, but Princess Mononoke is certainly up there, as one of the best animated films of all time.






D'Est (1993) by Chantal Akerman

After re-reading an Interview with Chantal Akerman in the Danish film critic magazine Krystalbilleder, i saw the non-narrative documentary D'Est aka From the East by Chantal Akerman.

I have written a lot about the democratic opposition in Poland during the 70's until the formation of Solidanosc and have a keen interest in Eastern European history during the cold war. On a personal level i have also travelled a lot in those countries including a bike ride to and through Poland and am currently planning a 1-month visit to Kiev next year.

D'Est was especially interesting fore me, since it depicted Akermans journey from Berlin to Moscow, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union, reminding me of the Croatian author and intellectual Miroslav Krleza's impressionistic essays in Journey to Russia from 1927, which described the recent developments after the Russian Revolution and Lenins NEP politics.

Akermans intuitive style of documentary filmmaking combined with the influences of structuralist filmmaking and the films of Michael Snow, makes for a highly impressive collection of field recordings, which reminded me of Vertov's The Man With a Movie Camera from 1927. I cant help to think that Akerman must have influenced one of my favorite American documentarists, namely James Benning.

Only for cinephiles with in an interest in Structuralist Cinema.