26th Hall of Fame

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Life as a shorty shouldn't be so rough
All the President's Men

I was kind of dreading this film a little bit. Not because I thought it would be a bad movie or anything, but I am just not really in the mind of watching what I guess I would call "basic" or "normal" movies right now. Plus the runtime is also something I was looking forward to. I knew it had a chance of blowing my expectations out of the water, because it involved talented people during a hot period for American cinema. As the film got going, I was pretty immediately sucked into the break-in scene. It was well-shot and did have that cool American New Wave look to it. After that the film shifted gears into what it would become for the remainder of the film. It started to focus on Woodward and Bernstein's investigation into Watergate and events surrounding the players involved in that scandal and other scandals. Initially their investigation was pretty exciting, as I do tend to romanticize investigations as exciting, so I can live vicariously through these type of films for a short while. But the film seemed to never really shift gears or really show the stakes of this investigation. We hear that their lives are potentially in danger, but it that is kinda blown off. The big payoff to the investigation is shown through typed headlines as they are just shown at their desks. I enjoyed watching this film, but it got repetitive and doesn't come to a satisfying conclusion to an event that could have ended in a satisfying way.



You all have two weeks left to finish this thread. Here's where everyone stands as of now:

@BooBooKittyFock (5/12)
@edarsenal (8/12)
@jiraffejustin (7/12)
@PHOENIX74 (11/12)
@rauldc14 (10/12)
@seanc (10/12)
@Siddon (5/12)
@ueno_station54 (9/12)
@Wyldesyde19 (6/12)

There's not much of a change from last week, but I trust you'll all finish in time. Let me know if you need an extra week to finish. Also, I don't know if BooBoo is in this anymore, but just to be on the safe side, it might be good to save Cinema Paradiso till the end if you're short on time.



...if people can watch 7 movies in just 3 weeks, then a little math says that equates to 3 days per movie. Meaning the next HoF with 12 movies could be done in only 36 days
Correction...if people can watch 6 movies in just 2 weeks then a little more math says 12 movies could be watched in only 28 days!




Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)

You ever get told "Oh you'll just love this person, you're so alike" and then you meet that person and you can't stand them? That's me with this movie kind of (though its admittedly an exaggeration) as it feels like it was tailor-made to appeal to me in so many aspects but mostly just falls flat. Like, it reminds me of a lot like Cocteau or Bunuel but without any of the fun unfortunately. Obviously there is no shortage of technical wizardry on display and the framing and shot choices are money but its tricks get old rather quick and it eventually gets pretty monotonous and even though I'm usually really into films being filled to the brim with flowery narration nothing on this front really grabbed me at all. I think films that feel overly meticulous just tend to not resonate with me (though I weirdly really liked Russian Ark which I think is very similar to this). The weirdest complaint I have is with the music because I adore it on its own and I love how strongly it enforces the vibe of the film but I hate the vibe of the film lmao. Its just so cold and stiff and the few times it does something weird in a fun way (the one super overexposed that 1000% appeals to my sensibilities) or does some funky, dynamic cuts aren't enough to sway my overall impression of the film as much as I wish they could. I certainly can't say I hate it. The good moments are too good and the parts I can't stand I still have to begrudgingly appreciate on some level. I don't quite know yet how I'm going to rank this one.




The Celebration (Thomas Vinterberg, 1998)

A kind of fun idea, middle-of-the-road script, horrendous acting but the thing that really elevates it is the aesthetic. It has the feel of one of those 90s skate tapes at points with the equipment its shot on and I am so here for that. Uhh, yeah just that and some really creative shots and angles. Everything else is whatever but I got what I needed out of just the camerawork and the camera itself. Dug it.

It seems to be up in the air if Cinema Paradiso is going to be required viewing or not and that's my only remaining film. Let me know when there's a verdict on that I guess please and thanks



Cinema Paradiso

This was my second time watching the film as it was nominated in a previous Hall of Fame I was in. I suppose I liked it a tad less than next time but I can still appreciate the movie. I believe I watched the extended version last time as this time it felt a bit more of a different watch. I'm not sure what the differences actually are. It just didn't feel as magical I guess. Like last time I liked the character of Toto quite a bit.






The Wizard of Oz(1939)

The 1930's studio system is often looked down upon. Today we look at directors or producers and what they can bring to the table. The Wizard of Oz is demonstrative of what you get with a big studio system. It's a film with one star (Judy Garland) and she's surrounded by character actors, vaudevillian figures, and extras. Everyone is cast perfectly, but what's great about the film is the small actors all get to shine and get to give definitive work/acts. Even the damn dog Toto gets his time to shine as he does stunts and plays into the plot.

If the film has any faults it's that while the songs are great the execution is a bit lacking. But a part of me love the technical aspects of the film the makeup, the matte paintings, the specific effects that blend old Hollywood with new Hollywood while exploring the elements of color. It feels less like art and more like an entertainment event this is meant for people to love and it's timeless.

Some films you need to watch two or three times when you are watching them again others you can just sit through and watch from start to finish...That's The Wizard of Oz.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?




Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

J.J. Hunsecker: Son, I don't relish shooting a mosquito with an elephant gun, so why don't you just shuffle along?

To be stuck between a rock and a hard place is one thing, but to be beneath the thumb of a manipulating tyrant and his venomous viper?
fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccckkkkk

And that is the emotional/psychological quagmire that poor lil Susie (Susan Harrison) and her sparkling clean jazz musician boyfriend (Martin Milner) are up against. With a severe unlikelihood of good people surviving the cruel manipulations of downright sh#tty people like her brother (Burt Lancaster,) a Gossip Columnist with FAR TOO much power over everyone else and the ladder climbing, immorally-vacant toady (Tony Curtis) he's employed to break them up.

We enter as the proposition is already in play and drawing to a close, using many actual locations, both inside crowded bars and even more hectic city streets. We hit the dirty streets running, neck-to-neck, with the slime trail that Curtis and Lancaster's characters consider their given (fought for) right in the most possessive, callous way. It is expressed not only by their flippant disregard to anyone and everyone once they no longer serve a purpose to the very acidic, clever dialogue that is the heart blood of this pageantry of Pr#cks Gone Wild.

The on-location shots, clipped vocal abuse, fast-running scheming with Master Players sans heart or moral compass is given an almost intimate presentation as we witness every nuance of action and facial expression. For me, those nuances are exhibited most exuberantly via Curtis' truly serpentine character of malice and self-protective actions of slithering through the muck and mire for a more secure place in the echelon of journalistic parasites. Just watching the cogs and gears forever shifting and cranking away in every scene is a marvel to see. Even Lancaster, whom I have said seems to hit and miss for me, is a towering bully that intellectually pummels just because he can, is of equal grand stature.
What gives this film an additional level of compelling nuance is that even the fodder they chew up and spit out in the two doomed lovers is portrayed with equal zeal and professional style. Harrison's brow-beaten little sister is a very sympathetic character without being annoying or seen as pitiful and thereby worthy of the cruelty to her. The same goes for Milner's clean-cut character portrayed with solidity with the imagined cape of a superhero whenever he stands up to Curtis and Lancaster. It is never a trope or one-dimensional, but with authenticity to it, and that's a tricky slope to maneuver, as we all know.
This authenticity reverberates through the rest of the cast, from the cigarette girl Curtis' Sydney uses for the lustful appetite of a competing columnist to our jazz musician's caring (uncle? manager?) and so on and so forth.


Bravo!
__________________
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.



The trick is not minding
Do you guys think we should we remove BooBooKittyFock from this Hall, or should we keep them in?
Contact him/her and see what is going on.

I’m out of town, so I can’t watch anything atm, but I’ll be back tonight



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
yeah, it's always good to check with the person first. If not a few times, should it prove difficult out of fairness. Some folks DO knock things out very quickly at the end just like a few do the same right out the gate, so a little common courtesy is a good thing.



The trick is not minding
In going to need another link to Last Year at Marienbad, please.
The current one keeps freezing and then restarting from the beginning after a few minutes. 🙁



In going to need another link to Last Year at Marienbad, please.
The current one keeps freezing and then restarting from the beginning after a few minutes. 🙁
I got the one I watched, with subs. Sent



The trick is not minding
Finished Marienbad and….I may rewatch it tomorrow because I don’t know what to think of it. And I feel like I need to have some sort of idea of how to review it but….hmmm. I’m lost. It’s neither bad or good. It’s just…there, tantalizingly perplexing me. Certainly it looks amazing. But the story….hmmm.
Yeah, going to give it another go tomorrow.
Maybe fresher eyes will help give me a better grasp. Or maybe I’m thinking too much on it.



Finished Marienbad and….I may rewatch it tomorrow because I don’t know what to think of it. And I feel like I need to have some sort of idea of how to review it but….hmmm. I’m lost. It’s neither bad or good. It’s just…there, tantalizingly perplexing me. Certainly it looks amazing. But the story….hmmm.
Yeah, going to give it another go tomorrow.
Maybe fresher eyes will help give me a better grasp. Or maybe I’m thinking too much on it.
Out of curiosity, is that going to be your review for the film, or do you plan to write some more on the film later on?