33rd Hall of Fame

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How old are you guys? You act like it's Christmas morning you are waiting for.


There Will Be Blood, 2008 (Re-watch)
Undeniably, it’s a great movie. Paul Thomas Anderson tells his story with very little dialogue. The visuals do the talking for him. The score is equally evocative. Lastly, we have the inestimable Daniel Day Lewis, who commands almost every second of this film.
I felt from the very beginning when we are introduced do those barren hills and the chittering sound of the orchestra that this film stands in the company of the great epics of the sixties like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia. It is about drilling down into something vast and possibly empty. It is about boundless drive and hubris.
Unfortunately, it is not a movie I wanted to re-watch. Daniel Plainview’s drive to win is ugly and cruel. His lack of connection to his fellows is horrifying. He is a dangerous and empty man who can’t be filled. I’m not sure if that is the reason I didn’t want to re-watch it. But it will have to do for now. Though I recognize this movie’s worth, I don’t enjoy it. So this will not be my #1 though it may be many others choice.


And now to write up my ballot!



I forgot the opening line.
Great going everyone! We're nearly there as the deadline approaches!

@jiraffejustin - I'm a little worried by your lack of activity or reply
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Latest Review : Aftersun (2022)



Let the night air cool you off
Yeah, I watched God's Little Acre today and have Beau Travail lined up. I will try to see There Will Be Blood again before the deadline but I saved it for last because I've seen it enough times by now to know what I think of it.
@PHOENIX74



Women will be your undoing, Pépé



Beau Travail (1999)

Befitting an individual's memories, told in fragmented recollection, played out with an air of pageantry. Dream-like, a swirl of imagery overlaps the portents of the Master Sergeant's ponderings.
To whoever nominated this, I offer compliments and appreciation for its introduction. This was a great watch and I would not have had the opportunity otherwise, so thank you. Bravo.
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Beau Travail (1999)

To whoever nominated this, I offer compliments and appreciation for its introduction. This was a great watch and I would not have had the opportunity otherwise, so thank you. Bravo.
Yes, I agree this was a good movie that I would have never seen if it had not been nominated.

But that last scene...oh my word! That break-dancing was quite funny. I really got a tickle out of it.



Aftersun



I'm trying to understand why this movie was on my watchlist. Why did I think I'd like it even though I knew nothing about it? Sometimes there's no obvious answer, just like the questions that Sophie has about her father. It was cool watching this after There Will Be Blood, cinematic perfection opposed to something so natural and personal. It's a great style to enthrall the viewer, and yet it took a while to hit me. Once it did there was no turning back. There's probably a little lack of personal relation for me that kept this from being a 5 star film, but I totally get it. Wifey liked it a lot, enough to read about it afterward, a rarity.

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I forgot the opening line.
Those 5 films are all still in with a good shot at winning with 3 ballots to go - a very tight finish.

Don't tell me my nom is one of the a top contenders!
Keep up that positive thinking!



I forgot the opening line.


Beau Travail - 1999

Directed by Claire Denis

Written by Claire Denis & Jean-Pol Fargeau
Based on Herman Melville's Billy Budd

Starring Denis Lavant, Michel Subor & Grégoire Colin

There's a lot going on in Beau Travail, although I felt a little disoriented when I first started to watch it, because it's very different to the films I've been watching lately. Claire Denis is letting us see things both external and internal, specifically to do with masculinity and men, and she uses motion mixed with narration to do it. Adjudant-Chef Galoup (Denis Lavant) is a leader in the French Foreign Legion in Djibouti, serving under Commandant Bruno Forestier (Michel Subor) - a man he envies due to the ease with which Forestier can relate to the men under his command. One day a new recruit, Gilles Sentain (Grégoire Colin) is added to the section they're serving in, and Galoup is immediately struck by this young man. He becomes overwhelmingly jealous when Forestier strikes up a close relationship with Sentain, and his repressed desires lead him to become intensely hostile to this new Légionnaire. Unable to control his more base impulses, Galoup comes up with a plan that will forever alter his and Sentain's lives.

There are many scenes in this film of both men training, and men and women dancing. It strikes me that when the men are on duty they train for combat by performing rigorous movement, often of a set design (and in fact, most of this was tightly choreographed when the film was being made), and that when the men are off duty they're once again performing rigorous displays of movement when they're trying to attract women, and light up romances. This is why when Galoup and Forestier circle each other before a mandated wrestling match the lines become so blurred as to whether this is combat or passionate, emotional outpourings of physical desire. We don't see much of this in cinema, because most of cinema is in the hands of men. To be fair though, we did have the likes of Joel Schumacher, who wasn't shy when it came to the male form - I'm just talking on balance. There is a lot of homoeroticism when it comes to the military, because it's an area of employment that consists mostly of men, and physical contact is part of any training regime - and you can be assured that the climate of Djibouti requires a certain state of undress.

There's a great contrast here between the coursing life embodied by these young men (at one stage we see one of Denis Lavant's veins throbbing) and the dead landscape - where most everything is either deceased or in the process of dying. Through it all moves cinematographer Agnès Godard's camera, just as fluid in it's motion as the men are - searching and probing. We're searching also, because the meaning weaved into Beau Travail isn't pushed into the foreground like the physicality of these men is. Through the non-linear narrative it's a case of everything adding up as we make connections when recalling previous scenes, and thus make important discoveries. This is what I meant by feeling disoriented, because it's a fairly uncommon approach and it caught me a little off-guard. I was back into poetic territory here - a form where emotion is as important as story.

I've never ever paid much attention to the beauty of the male form. I'm often reminded of the funny things Michael Caine would say about the matter - which were a lot and quite varied. "I wouldn't appear nude standing still by myself, let alone wrestling with another naked man," he said once. Not the quote I was looking for, but deserving of a mention to make my point. Some guys are way more comfortable about it, and I envy them their freedom. There's something of that envy in Galoup, and I'm guessing his strange infatuation came from nowhere, and in the final analysis Claire Denis ends her film not through narration but through physicality and dance. I found that really interesting. So much of the film is expressed this way, with only the barest of outlines making it to our ears via Denis Lavant's voice-over. We are physical creatures, and language has only come to us recently, while our physicality is written into our DNA and has been passed down through countless generations.

So, I was really intrigued by this film about repressed desires and male physicality - along with jealousy and envy, the emotionally reactive component. It was really original and different - though I don't have any other Claire Denis films to compare it to, because it's the first of hers I've watched. (So interesting to read that she was an assistant director on Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas.) Much male passion is expended in energy, either through dance or through some kind of violence - both of which we see here. Denis really zeroes in on this and gives us a very close view while managing to poeticize it to a high degree, and adds an element of isolation by having her characters exist as part of the French Foreign Legion. That just seems to intensify everything the characters go through, and Galoup's relationship with his Djiboutian girlfriend feels distant with the two of them hardly ever interacting in the same shot. It's a focus on where movies rarely go, and an enjoyable change of pace. I left the film feeling like I'd learned something about masculinity, and both it's positives and negatives.