24th Hall of Fame

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Vampyr (1932)


What a crazy switch to go from watching La Dolce Vita over several days and watching Vampyr on a cold winter night. This is good timing vs bad timing and Vampyr is awesome. Sometimes it's not what you do with all the flashy FX but a simple shot can create a haunting image, and Vampyr is filled with haunting imagery.



I loved so many parts of this short film, from the limited dialogue to the sparse homes that feel more authentic. You don't have any giant castles with secret doorways and dungeons you just have these old homes. Bedrooms look like actual bedrooms, the basement looks like an actual basement (from that era) and the story moves along in this small little town.


Now I don't think I got everything Dreyer was trying to tell with this story so I'll likely watch this again with the commentary track...which is something I haven't done in a long time.


Thank you for this nomination, I was in the mood for this.






Shame (1968)


I don't think I saw this Bergman film before so this was a bit of a treat. Shame tells the story of a pair of concert muscians who flee a Civil War to live on an Island. The war finally shows up at the door of the couple and we get to see the effects of the civilians.


I don't know if you could say Bergman has fun but he really enjoyed doing a lot of cool stuff in this film both psychologically and technically. Bergman never spells things out for you but he gives you enough to really think about these people and what their lives were like before, during and after this event.


The film starts with hints that these were well off people. We see glimpses of wealth and a noticeable age difference. Eva sticks out like a sore thumb in the story as every other character looks like they are in their 60's. It's a nice touch to make her seem hotter and to allow for her character arc to become even more jarring. Jan on the otherhand starts off as a pitiful man and frankly he's just the worst. The final twist with Jan is pretty great as something happens with the mayor and Jan finally breaks.


Bergman has no music in the film yet it stars a pair of musicians. We just get this one little music box and the rest of the film is just sounds of war. Very powerful and very cool from Bergman. I also like as how we don't pick a side with the dueling armies. Both sides are cruel and manipulative though the I guess home-team is more representative of fascism while the invading side seems to be more imperialistic. Bergman gives a nice little tip of the cap with his characters names...Rosenberg which is evocative of both World War II and The Cold War. Bergman's criticisms of US war policies is on display and that is admirable.



My only criticism would be Sydow's performance was over the top Bjornstrand and Ullmann are both very good. Both characters collapse of self-respect and shame is handled so well in this film Jan's character doesn't have that same impact. His head and heart issues are over the top I think this could have been a five star film with a better written Jan.


Great watch, I think this is a dark horse for winning one



Think it all caught up now. I could have missed something so let me know!

I got 66 tagged reviews so far!



Think it all caught up now. I could have missed something so let me know!

I got 66 tagged reviews so far!
Just my Vampyr review on top of page 34. Thanks.



Just my Vampyr review on top of page 34. Thanks.
Got it! Sorry and thanks



Started Rudderless last night, but had to stop half way through for unrelated reasons. Will finish it tonight. I was enjoying it so far.
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I really like the TV series 24, but one sticking point I still have about it is its use of torture. Aside from it being much more effective at extracting information from a person in the show than it is in real life, we never see its long-term effects on the victims. In a Glass Cage, on the other hand, is all about this, and the way it portrays these effects is refreshing in its honesty despite being hard to watch at times. It makes a convincing argument that another definition of torture is the process of the abuser transferring his/her soul to the victim. Moreover, it shows that the transference is even more complete if the victim is young and/or innocent. The way the movie reveals victim Angelo's true self is as expertly gradual as it is chilling. With his scar and the reveal that he has no medical knowledge, I like how we purposely get off on the wrong foot with him. Also, the unveiling of his "final form" complete with Nazi uniform is well-timed and packs a wallop. Angelo's preferred answer of "nothing" to questions is also a nice touch; I mean, what better and more succinct word is there to describe his mindset? The movie also deserves credit for the way it utilizes color. While tinted blue, the absence of color in the movie's mansion set is pervasive, which makes the bursts of red that appear when Angelo takes his victims so impactful. These moments, especially the ones involving children, are what I am referring to when I said that it's hard to watch at times, but they are filmed as tastefully as they can be, not to mention necessary given the movie's historical context. In short, there is a lot to respect about how the movie portrays the long-term effects of torture, but there are other movies that do this that I would rank above it like Paul Schrader's Affliction. It also has noticeable flaws, most notably the synth soundtrack. Synth was all the rage in the '80s, so this is not entirely the movie's fault, but its use during the movie's more serious moments undercuts the seriousness a bit. Still, the movie's depiction of torture as soul transference is as effective as it is unique. Sadly, as we observe in the outcome of innocent audience surrogate Rena, this process is hardly limited to two people.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Vampyr (1932)

This is my third Dreyer film. The first two have been Day of Wrath and The Passion of Joan of Arc, in that order. All of which via these Hall of Fames. And even though I do hold very serious respect for his work, they do become a hard watch due to the extreme emotional suffering his central characters go through. Making both previous films difficult, and yet, illuminating experiences.
All of which is very present in this hybrid of Silent and Sound Filmwork and I applaud Dreyer's mastery for creating tense, harrowing scenarios with but a look upon a character's face.
I learned that the dream-like effect was created with gauze over the camera lens and that alone already creates a supernatural aura for Dreyer to weave a story of trepidation and dread.
And due to the short running time, I watched this a second time a few days later, appreciating it even more.

One of a number of aspects I appreciated was the use of shadows that had their own life apart from the individuals that cast them.


With on-location filming, Dreyer escorts us into the macabre world of spirits, shadows, and the legend of the unholy. His vehicle of transportation, one of a more emotional construct than the more commonly used visceral one. Setting it apart from other supernatural films.

Bravo.
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Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

I can see why @Citizen Rules recommended this to me a while back. I didn't end up liking it as much as I had hoped, but it does have similarities to the stuff I tend to nominate. In short, it feels like an unpolished mess that could have turned into a good movie with some extra work.


The film is quite obviously told from Hushpuppy's point of view (not only due to her narration but the almost magical place called Bathtub as a whole). In my opinion, it's narratively "zoomed" too close to her (just like the camera is too close in many shots), and there's not enough to anchor the story into the wider world. There needs to be more context to put the aurochs, melting polar caps, man's place in the universe, and all the other highbrow subjects together. Beasts of the Southern Wild tries to say too much and often manages to only mumble.

Acting is good and natural. Wallis doesn't have (or at least doesn't portray) the emotional range of someone like Brooklynn Prince, but she's quite a perfect fit for her role. As a whole, the people of Bathtub feel like some random folk from a small and isolated bayou backwater (which is what they're supposed to be). The settings mostly support this image.

To put it short, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a bold attempt at something magical that somewhat gets lost in its imagination and tries to cram too many messages in itself. Definitely not bad, but rather mediocre.
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This really took off!

Some random stats (I like stats!)

The film that most people have seen so far? Aniara (for better or worse!) with 10 views. After that, it's The Man from Nowhere with 7 views.

The film that the least people have seen? The Secret in Their Eyes, which only its nominator, cricket, has logged so far.

The MoFo that has seen the most films? Pfff, any doubts? Takoma is blowing everyone out of the water with 11 films logged. Siddon and criket are the closest, with 8 each.

The MoFo that has seen the least films? Aside of Agrippina, who may or may not have backed down, there are a bunch of us with only 2 films logged (me included!)



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Registered User
This really took off!

Some random stats (I like stats!)

The film that most people have seen so far? Aniara (for better or worse!) with 10 views. After that, it's The Man from Nowhere with 7 views.

The film that the least people have seen? The Secret in Their Eyes, which only its nominator, cricket, has logged so far.

The MoFo that has seen the most films? Pfff, any doubts? Takoma is blowing everyone out of the water with 11 films logged. Siddon and criket are the closest, with 8 each.

The MoFo that has seen the least films? Aside of Agrippina, who may or may not have backed down, there are a bunch of us with only 2 films logged (me included!)
Of course I noticed that and I actually like it. I think when the time for voting comes, if it's close, people tend to favor what they've seen most recently.



... I think when the time for voting comes, if it's close, people tend to favor what they've seen most recently.
Yeah, I think that's true for me...unless it's a film I dislike then if enough time passes in the HoF before voting I will forget how much I disliked a film and rank it a bit higher.


I do try to keep a voting list as I watch the films, that helps me remember what movies rocked and which didn't!



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Of course I noticed that and I actually like it. I think when the time for voting comes, if it's close, people tend to favor what they've seen most recently.
Yeah, I think that's true for me...unless it's a film I dislike then if enough time passes in the HoF before voting I will forget how much I disliked a film and rank it a bit higher.


I do try to keep a voting list as I watch the films, that helps me remember what movies rocked and which didn't!
And since it pretty much always is a space between start and finish for me, I will always re-read all of my reviews before creating a voting list. Helps jog the ole noggin about my initial reaction/thoughts and so on.



And since it pretty much always is a space between start and finish for me, I will always re-read all of my reviews before creating a voting list. Helps jog the ole noggin about my initial reaction/thoughts and so on.
Good idea, I do that sometimes too...and it helps!



Ha! I swear this was unintentional...

The film that the least people have seen? The Secret in Their Eyes, which only its nominator, cricket, has logged so far.
Get it? Who has seen The Secret in Their Eyes?........ cricket.... you know, cause crickets chirp when nobody answers? I'll walk myself out.



The trick is not minding
When it comes to voting, I put all of the films on a list, and when I watch one, I cross it out with a score.
(On a scale of 1-4)
At the end, I break down each score and go over which I enjoyed more, regardless of how recent, and place them in order that way.



Ok Raul, back to work!
Definitely been tough to keep up! Won't lie about that, but great job everyone!