23rd MoFo Hall of Fame


Hi everyone, super sorry of me. I just up and left one day and I should have thought about it more and tied up loose ends. To make it official, here are my final two reviews:

Stand by Me(1986)

I sometimes feel so absolutely alone in the world. Like I'm sitting in a house in a town in a county in a state in the middle of nowhere. I am the center of my own life, yet I always feel like the real center is thousands of miles away. Each car that drives past my window, each family walking their dog. Every drop of rain, every whisper from the wind. Life is so fleeting, and I feel like I'm missing every moment. I sometimes wonder if I'm watching my own life, instead of choosing it. Yet I am so lucky to even experience it in the first place.

Stand by Me deals with childhood nostalgia. And innocence. And our friendships. But to me what hit the most was identity, and choosing your own path. It's about cherishing every moment in your life, and embracing your identity to help you be successful. Love yourself, and then you can love others.

The four boys in Stand by Me don't realize this at first. They have such big hearts, and such big minds, but they all - especially Chris - look down on themselves. Chris wants to be someone, but he doesn't feel he has the brains, or the means. Gordie also wants to be someone, but he feels pressured and hated by his parents and by his dead older brother. The other two have motives more concealed, but Stand by Me doesn't push them to the side. It lets the characters breath and develop.

When I finished Stand by Me the only complaint that I could think of was that I wanted more. I wanted an arc, an ending, a reunion where the adults could share good times. But I realized that would destroy at all. Just like Gordie said about his pie eating story; that's just the end. Sometimes the ending doesn't have to explain everything. Like how the boys dealt with the older gang. How Gordie dealt with his trauma and parents. Where Teddie and Vern went with their lives. Those are questions we care about, but also questions that are so much valuable to think about than to "know" for fact. Every life is intertwined, and we will never for sure truly understand anyone's story except our own.

So let's work every day on making our own story better and better. Let's not let any predetermined fate define us. Let's love ourselves, and love others. If we don't have a center, look for that center instead of letting it find you. Make your own future. Most of us are out of young childhood, and whether it was awful or amazing, remember that as a time of hope and courage and love and friendship, and let that inspire your new adventures.

Listening to the soft, melodic rain outside my window, I'm reminded just how beautiful life is. It will go by before we know it, but we are so fortunate to even be alive. Even for a fraction of a second in the span of the universe. We are so small, but we are a part. If fate really does exist, then rise to meet it.

Thinking about it this way, I don't feel so alone after all.

Late Spring (1949)

I've only seen three of his films, but Ozu already seems to me sort of an anti-Kubrick. Kubrick is known for his more colder, distant, often cynical style - humans aren't role models in most of his films, like Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange, or Barry Lyndon.

Ozu does just the opposite, he brings an incredible warmth to humanity, a hope and optimism for the good things we can do, and he just infuses love and passion into his work.

That comparison isn't an insult to either director; Kubrick is my favorite director of all time and Ozu is getting up there. And of course I'm hugely generalizing their respective styles, every great director has many many unique things about his/her/their work.

Late Spring seeps into a plot conflict; It's slice of life at its finest, yet also so tight and structured, with a very simple plot that it sticks to. Noriko wants to stay by her father's side, he's the person she loves most in the world. Shukichi, her father, loves her dearly and wants what's best for her, which in Japanese society must mean marriage.

While the end might leave a potentially sulfurous taste in the mouth for modern viewers - Noriko gets married against her own will? - it's important to remember that Ozu was well aware of the societal restrictions and norms for women at the time. He knew - like Noriko's father - that Noriko would unfortunately have no chance in life if she didn't get married. It's not fair, but it's a fact that Noriko has to deal with.

I always love the father-daughter relationship here. It's truly amazing comparing Western and Eastern cultures through film. None is superior to the other, but - I think - Eastern movies tend to prioritize family and community over Western independence and personal needs. In an American movie, Noriko may have been the independent girl who wants to get married already, but her father is holding her back. In Late Spring, it is just the opposite; a girl has grown up her whole life by her father's side, and now must leave him, for a man she has known only a couple weeks?

Shukichi feels the same pain, yet we never see it on the surface. He lies to his daughter in order to convince her to search for a husband. Does he want Noriko to marry? Not in his heart. But his sister - and eventually his head - tell him that Noriko will get too old to marry, and then will not succeed in Japanese life.

What struck me throughout was - along with the simplicity of the plot - how simple the rest of it was. The camera movement is very minimal (is there any true camera movement??). We get Ozu's famous technique of sitting the camera on the floor and letting the actors just... act. And that's another thing. The brilliance and the beauty of the dialogue. The characters have simple conversations about every day life, of course with the plot tied in. There are few cuts, we see the conversation as someone watching in real life would.

It's an incredible, still novel, style of film-making, and Ozu - who didn't quite impress me with the first movie I saw of his, A Hen in the Wind - just hits dynamite. I don't think I'm truly capable of appreciating this as much as a Japanese/Eastern audience might, but I can definitely call it a masterpiece and one of the best movies I've seen.

Again, I'm really, really sorry, and if anyone feels upset or annoyed with me that would be totally understandable since I communicated nothing. I am taking a bit of a break from MoFo for personal reasons (among others). I'll also be taking a HoF break (obviously haha), but I will definitely try to return someday since these have been really fun.
Lists and Projects

The trick is not minding
At the very least, Ahwell, return to MoFo. You’re a good guy. Hate to lose you permanently, but I also understand sometimes one needs to take a break.

Let the night air cool you off

The Reflecting Skin
(Philip Ridley, 1990)
Nominated By: pahaK
96 minutes, IMDb

I am a dumb guy, so I miss a lot of stuff. I don't really know what aueteurs are trying to say most of the time, but what I get out of a film matters more to me than what others get out of a film. I'm assuming that this film has something to say about America at some point in time, cause the fella comes home and throws the flag down. The film is a joint effort from the UK and Canada, so that's not too big of a surprise. I don't really care about that as it's not too overwhelming to the viewer like a lot of modern films have a problem with. They will go out of their way to ruin a film to make a point, usually an awful point, about as subtly as a kick in the nuts. All I need is something to latch on to, if I get that, I can forgive things I don't care for. For instance, I think Parasite is very well crafted and tense, an overall well-made film, so I can forgive it for its obvious propaganda. So, what point does The Reflecting Skin try to make? I couldn't tell you.

Did I find something to latch myself on to? You bet your weird, petrified, fetus ass I did. On IMDb I learned that Philip Ridley hand-painted the wheat to make it stand out. I don't know exactly why it is, but details like this fascinate me. It shows that a guy probably "gets it". I don't know what that it is, like I said before, but my eyes show that there is something to it with this film. It's weird, reminds me of Lynch a lot. Much to my surprise the only person who brought up Lynch was Citizen, and he was not fond of this film. Even before the weird fetus angel thing, I was getting some kind of Eraserhead vibe mixed with Twin Peaks vibes. This film felt like if aliens were tasked with recreating what they saw of Earth from nothing but memory. It didn't feel quite right, but everything looks like it should. A film can grasp me with an odd atmosphere, peculiar characters, an interesting look, and dark undertones, that's what The Reflecting Skin gave me.

The Skin I Live In

A man performs experiments on a woman he keeps hostage, whom he's infatuated with.

Despite being quite brutal and gross, The Skin I Live In takes a very meticulous and professional tone to its film-making; There's no over the top music or acting, it's all very subdued. It's so interesting to see this contrasted with such disturbing themes and imagery.
The use of colour in this film is very effective too. The posh look of a mostly grey and blue house contrasted with a fiery red ball, bed or carpet. It gives the viewer a sense of foreboding, as in will or how much blood will be sprayed on these clean surfaces near the end of the film?
The presentation of the film is effective. The story jumps between the past and the present, letting us discover new things about the characters' histories when we start to wonder during the present scenes/

Of course everyone makes a comparison to this and 'Eyes Without a Face'. While I do see a few elements, personally I feel they are two completely different films: TSILI introduces us to the human experimentation that Vera is being subjected to, but after that the film relies more on the characters and their history than the experiments themselves. In EWAF however, the film is a lot more focused on the experiments themselves and the shock value that comes with them. Both films are good in their own ways, but personally I wouldn't compare them too hard.

I guess if I was to make a criticism, it's that that the scene with the tiger man felt out of place. I know it's almost obligatory for artsy films to have at least one goofy scene, but I feel that this scene did not add much to the film.

Good choice @Miss Vicky, I cant wait to check out that new short film by Almodóvar.

Work has been quite busy these past few days, so I haven't been around much. I haven't commented on any posts in awhile as well, but I just don't really have anything additional to say.

I just saw what happened with ahwell. It's sad to see him leave the site since he's been a great HoF participant, but hopefully whatever personal reasons have contributed to his decision get sorted out.

The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
I know I haven't been exactly active lately, so sorry everyone, the post-lockdown has been quite busy (luckily) for me, as Switzerland is trying to get back to the typical concert filled day-to-day life.

I've been watching stuff though, so here's a few write-ups:

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

HoFs are usually filled with heavy dramatic films which sometimes can make them hard to binge-watch, so it's always good when some light-hearted wholesome little movies come in the between.
I thought I had perhaps watched this as a child but I realized soon that I didn't. Ratigan was familiar, but maybe I read it on a book, cause I'm pretty sure I never watched this before. However, there's still some nostalgy effect that works for me, because Disney has such a familiar and always-in-development animation style that you could easily order every film chronologically without knowing the years they came out.

What I liked the most was the voicing. This film is still from a time when film actors had a solid theatre career so there's an extra attention to diction and to text declamation that you simply can't find in someone who started doing directly cinema (which is the case for many modern actors). This is not only extremely pedagogical to the kids, but also highly artistic, because it adds a layer to the personality of every character. Vincent Price is obviously great on this, but I especially loved Barrie Ingham as Basil.

It was a very relaxing watch and even if it didn't amaze me I'm glad it was nominated.


Yellow Submarine (1968)

So... For starters let me say I watched a big part of this on the most unlikely website: Pornhub!

About the film: I don't really know what to say. I liked that the visuals are a perfect representation of the way I imagine The Beatles songs. I always felt that psychadelic tones were present in much of their music and it was great to see that was not only a thing from my imagination. Even Eleanor Rigby is so well animated it seemed that I always imagined the song like that in my mind even before I had even heard of this film.

That's pretty much what I liked on this, I'm sad to say.

The plot is weak at most and I hated the voicing of almost every character. Not understanding every word everyone says really annoys me, so this is quite the opposite of The Great Mouse Detective. Those 2 factors really hurted my experience and this became quite a boring watch, as much as I love some of the songs that are here.

Schindler's List (1993)

Stanley Kubrick once said that, if you excluded documentaries like Shoah of Night & Fog, there were no Holocaust films. When asked about Schindler's List he said something like this: the Holocaust is about the murder of 6 million people, Schindler's List is an history of success.

Now, while this may seem a bit extreme, I do get what he's trying to say. There's something in the film that doesn't let me feel the horror of the Holocaust at its true dimension. I'm not sure if it's the cinematography or the story in itself, but I feel like I'm watching a film with heroes and villains doing something that's safe in the past, and that's not something I want to feel when I watch a film about what may be the lowest point in the history of mankind. I want to feel threatened, I want to feel like this may happen again, that it was not an isolated event and that there's simply no silverlining to the massacre of millions of people for no reason whatsoever.

That being said, Schindler's List is still a very good film, that even for such a long running time is extremely well paced, very well acted and quite well directed overall. It's obviously among Spielberg's best works (which doesn't exactly mean that much to me cause I don't look at him as the genius that many people think he is) and I still happy I got the chance to rewatch this, so many years after my last view.


Stand by Me (1986)

Stand by Me is easily my go-to choice of a coming-of-age film that is at the same time wholesome. It's somehow highly relatable even I didn't experience anything like what's portrayed, and very very nostalgic.
It's one of the movies that gives you a different and maybe deeper experience with every single viewing. It got me thinking about childhood, it made me reflect on how my past experiences and the relationships with my friends forged the person I am today. If that's not exactly what a coming-of-age film should do, then i don't know what is.


My review of The Fisher King is coming soon to HoF thread near you! As a short teaser, I'll just say that I'm not a fan of romcoms even when they're done in a Gilliam style.

Legend in my own mind

Film: The skin Ilive in
Year of release: 2011
Directed by: Pedro Almodova
Run time: 2hr
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya,Jan Cornet


I knew nothing about this film before I watched it, apart from what I could grasp from the image.
I had no idea what was coming and that continued throughout the film, it was intriguing and compelling in equal measure.
That was strange to say the least, although as I said, utterly compelling.
It was frustrating and torturous from an ethical and psycholigical viewpoint. The whole thing was a little Freudian.
An interesting concept wrapped up in a minefield of ethics, morality and a whole lot of crazy.
Superbly made film, with some great twists and a really satisfying sense of justice that had it not came could have had me throwing my TV through a window
It was a slightly disturbing film but not due to what was visual but what it conjures up in your mind.
I won't forget it for a while, A very interesting choice that I am glad was included.
"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)

2022 Mofo Fantasy Football Champ
JoJo Rabbit

For my second watch I will bump this up a tad but it still doesn't reach favorite status. The best thing for me this time was Hitler getting kicked out of the window by the ten year old. I found myself often wanting more Hitler in this movie and I think Taiki Waititi (spelling) was the star of the show. Most of the acting was really good to me. I guess I wasn't a huge fan of the boy lead, but he wasn't terrible either. Johannson delivered a really nice performance and obviously Rockwell absolutely crushed his role.

It's probably not as funny as it needs to be for me to really love it. It has moments that I really don't like too, such as that end with the two characters dancing but overall it's a fairly charming film to watch overall. Just needs more Hitler.


I now have two reviews on the way (seems like they're taking a detour) as I just watched Late Spring. Sadly, it didn't surprise me but was exactly what I expected from Ozu, and that isn't my thing.

The Fisher King (1991)

So, Gilliam has directed a romantic comedy (or dramedy, I guess) too? It reminds me of films like Moonstruck, Amélie and The Shape of Water. Unfortunately, I'm lukewarm at best towards them, and The Fisher King fares no better.

"Hello. My name is Terry and I'm a Dutch-angleholic."

I’ll go as far and call The Fisher King an Oscar bait. I’m not an expert on how the Academy thinks, but some themes seem to be more common among the winners and nominees: nostalgia, awkward people having love troubles, a fascination towards a city (New York more often than not), and syrupy (or tear-jerker) endings to name a few. The Fisher King has them all, and it comes in a visually proficient packet filled with love, loss, guilt and forgiveness.

Despite the minor fantasy elements and some mentally unstable characters, The Fisher King is very normal by Gilliam's standards. In fact, most of the more fantastical things (especially the Holy Grail) in the film don't really fit. The characters aren't likable (or they're played by Robin Williams, which means about the same), and the sentimentality overdrive between this lot is more irritating than touching.

So, even Terry Gilliam can't make a rom-com I'd love. As a matter of fact, he doesn't even fare well.

Women will be your undoing, Pépé
self note: pahaK + romcom/dramedy = tepid moisture.
Got it.

JoJo Rabbit

Just needs more Hitler.
I SOOO love the crazy comments that come out of watching this film.

I had thought my own lack of voice in the past month or so was isolated but it seems there are fellow MoFos feeling a similar state. . .

Well, I'm back from Florida. Helluva drive there and back again and the week was quiet but very enjoyable sitting around a kitchen table and talking with my roomate's aunt and uncle. Funny people with great stories to tell.
The only bad experience was on the trip back in Macon Georgia when I wasn't paying attention and came across a fire ant hill. They're very common in the south and this is the first time I ever ran afoul with them. They were all over my shoes, up my pant leg and on my belly with some hellacious bites in seconds. Even on my hands. Nasty f@ckers.

And I had been keeping a close watch the entire time. Not that day though. If you want to see the results of such a bite, go ahead and google it. YUCK!
But then, if you don't experience extreme highs AND lows on a vacation it isn't much of an adventure then, is it? So in the scope of it all, very good trip.

Any ole ways, got a review for The Great Mouse Detective coming atcha in a few minutes --
What I actually said to win MovieGal's heart:
- I might not be a real King of Kinkiness, but I make good pancakes
~Mr Minio

Women will be your undoing, Pépé

The Great Mouse Detective

Basil: Remember, Dawson, we're low-life ruffians.
Dr. Dawson: Well, I was until that...
Basil: Shh!

I have watched Walt Disney films and animation since I was a toddler until I began drifting away from Disney during the 80s as Japan's extraordinary artwork (anime) caught my imaginative eye. Missing many a film during that time and only coming back when they took a budding company, Pixar, under their wing to figure out what the latest generation of "kids" like. So it was pretty cool to catch one of those films now.

While far from iconic and, like Disney is wont to do, it was easy to notice a few older anamorphic individuals from past cartoons with new clothing; this was still an enjoyable kid cartoon. Albeit a little darker than what is labeled children's animation nowadays.
The highlight, of course, being Vincent Price as the villainous Ratigan who, as Basil comments "There's no evil scheme he wouldn't concoct! No depravity he wouldn't commit." And not too shabby at show tunes either, I must say.
I did enjoy the side references to the actual Sherlock Holmes stories to the point of using an old audio of Basil Rathbone during one of the many Sherlock Holmes films that he and Nigel Bruce made together.
I found Barrie Ingham's voicing for Basil was very well done.
Along with him I have to mention Candy Candido who voiced the bat, Fidget. An unknown common voice actor for Disney who's majority of work is actually uncredited except for playing Indian Chief in Peter Pan.

Though I'm not sure this would be a repeat watch in the future I'm still pretty d@mn happy to see it now.

Women will be your undoing, Pépé
Would have never made that connection @edarsenal between the Indian in Peter Pan and Fidget. Cool stuff.
He has a couple of deep voiced minor characters under his belt that surprised me as well.