26th Hall of Fame

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I look forward to watching and reviewing all of these films, even the ones I've seen. It looks like a varied lot, and all high quality.
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.




I look forward to watching and reviewing all of these films, even the ones I've seen. It looks like a varied lot, and all high quality.
Welcome to the HoF! Glad to have you join



I look forward to watching and reviewing all of these films, even the ones I've seen. It looks like a varied lot, and all high quality.
Glad to have you with us! Out of curiosity, what are your initial impressions/thoughts on the nominations?



The trick is not minding
PHOENIX74 has joined us!

His nomination is Not Quite Hollywood (2008).


Also, I'll extend the deadline from December 1st to December 8th.
Oh! I know of this doc! I’ve been meaning to watch this for awhile now. It’s partially the reason why I selected Australia as my country of choice for the 2021 challenge.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
WELCOME PHOENIX74!!
Your nom sounds like a bit o' serious fan, mate!
Sorry, went a little Aussie there lol
Still, definitely looks like a very fun Doc to check out. Looking forward to it.

Looks like we got some serious openers for reviews already on the table. Very much agree with what is said about the ones I've seen and for the one I haven't, with the polarized reviews for Daisies makes for an intriguing approach of where I'll land.

I've also found And Then There Were None in three parts on my favorite Russian streaming site and have already knocked out the first one with its build-up and I'm loving it so far. To quote Sam Neil's character, MacArthur regarding the first of the three episodes, "This is the calm before the carnage." YAYYY
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I don't really have the time to join right now, but I'll keep an eye on the thread. An interesting and diverse selection of films. Festen is great, The Wizard of Oz is great, Sweet Smell of Success too - this would be a hard one to rank. Last Year at Marienbad might prove divisive. Of the three I haven't seen, Angel-A looks most appealing to me (and it's a 2000s film, bonus countdown prep) so I'll definitely try to watch that.



Well, my weekend is TOTALLY ruined. Thank you very much.



Guy who likes movies
I just watched Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008). Written and directed by Mark Hartley, this lively documentary is about the history of Australian exploitation films. It features a lot of clips from films like The Naked Bunyip , The Adventures of Barry McKenzie , Alvin Purple, Mad Dog Morgan, ABC of Love & Sex: Australian Style, Felicity, Mad Max, Harlequin, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits and Dead End Drive-In, amongst others. There are several actors, directors, producers, and critics that comment on the film often in a humorous or informative way. Some of the behind the scenes stories are quite wild. Not Quite Hollywood is a very fast paced and high energy documentary, which is consistently interesting and entertaining. I've seen a handful of the films mentioned, but there are several others that look like fun that I might check out. The films I have seen that were mentioned are (with my rating):

The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style (1978) 8/10
Felicity (1978) 8/10
Road Games (1981) 7/10
Long Weekend (1978) 5/10
Next of Kin (1982) 5/10
Mad Max (1979) 7/10
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) 6/10

For those who enjoyed this, I recommend other similarly themed fun docs American Grindhouse (2010) and Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies (2020). This was a good, fun pick by Phoenix74. My rating is a
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Tower (2016)

I was looking forward to this as I like historical mid 20th century bio pics & documentaries. I've seen other documentaries on the History channel about the mass shooting from the 'tower' of the University of Texas, so I expected this to be powerful.

Mostly my reaction was one of frustration and a lack of connection. I found the rotoscope animation to be annoying and a hindrance to the story telling. It reminded me of 1990s insurance commercials that also use rotoscope. It's jarring and rather ugly looking. I should've been caring about the story of the pregnant woman lying shot and wounded in the plaza next to her dead husband. But thanks to the rotoscope I felt like I was watching a cartoon or even worse one of those bad insurance commercials.

Making things even more distracting for me was the editing of brief scenes of live real images along with animation. I SO WANTED to see the real images, even photos with voiceovers would've been much preferred over that rotoscope animation. People said in the 23rd HoF that they didn't like the animation in Yellow Submarine, and as primitive as that might have looked, it did work for a 1960s movie. But rotoscope in a 2016 documentary?

It was only in the last part of the movie when they started showing the real people from that day, that the film had any emotional impact on me. But why couldn't we just heard these people being interviewed over still photos and whatever archival footage there was.

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Glad to have you with us! Out of curiosity, what are your initial impressions/thoughts on the nominations?
All the films I've seen are great (but there's one I've had a troubled history with : and it won't be the one you think it might be.) Best of all - the films nominated are especially varied (I tried to keep in the spirit of that, by picking a film that's quite apart from the rest.) I'm especially looking forward to seeing Tower and Last Year At Marienbad for the first time. I've had Festen lined up for a rewatch ever since the the foreign language countdown wound up. Sweet Smell of Success looks like a potential winner - and yet somehow I've never heard of it before. Daisies and Angel-A sound like my kind of films just from the brief plot synopsis I read (which I'll now do my best to forget - I like to be completely surprised by a film these days.) And Then There Were None has a cast to die for, and a great reputation.

I'm excited about delving in examining these films over the coming weeks



All the films I've seen are great (but there's one I've had a troubled history with : and it won't be the one you think it might be.)...
Well if you hate a film after watching it, just speak your mind, we all do...I just did! and so did Sean back a page. None of us directed or starred in any of these films so no one should ever take it personally



I've also found And Then There Were None in three parts on my favorite Russian streaming site and have already knocked out the first one with its build-up and I'm loving it so far. To quote Sam Neil's character, MacArthur regarding the first of the three episodes, "This is the calm before the carnage." YAYYY

I think I found And Then There Were None in three parts on YouTube:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:
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OPEN FLOOR.




Tower (2016)

I was looking forward to this as I like historical mid 20th century bio pics & documentaries. I've seen other documentaries on the History channel about the mass shooting from the 'tower' of the University of Texas, so I expected this to be powerful.

Mostly my reaction was one of frustration and a lack of connection. I found the rotoscope animation to be annoying and a hindrance to the story telling. It reminded me of 1990s insurance commercials that also use rotoscope. It's jarring and rather ugly looking. I should've been caring about the story of the pregnant woman lying shot and wounded in the plaza next to her dead husband. But thanks to the rotoscope I felt like I was watching a cartoon or even worse one of those bad insurance commercials.

Making things even more distracting for me was the editing of brief scenes of live real images along with animation. I SO WANTED to see the real images, even photos with voiceovers would've been much preferred over that rotoscope animation. People said in the 23rd HoF that they didn't like the animation in Yellow Submarine, and as primitive as that might have looked, it did work for a 1960s movie. But rotoscope in a 2016 documentary?

It was only in the last part of the movie when they started showing the real people from that day, that the film had any emotional impact on me. But why couldn't we just heard these people being interviewed over still photos and whatever archival footage there was.


It's a shame that you didn't like Tower. I wonder if it had anything to do with the fact that you already knew about the shooting from watching other documentaries. I watched it the last time it was nominated, and the rotoscope animation didn't bother me at all, but I didn't know anything about this mass shooting, so I was learning about it for the first time, and it kept my interest from beginning to end.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I think I found And Then There Were None in three parts on YouTube:

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:
Those are even better than the ones I found, THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting them, gbg!!
VERY, VERY kind of you!



All The President's Men: Probably the movie I was most looking forward to because I remember loving it but it must be 25 years since I watched it. Feels like every election cycle I mean to get to my unwatched Blu-ray, and I just don't. Anyway, it was even better than I remembered. It's really a masterclass on making a procedural. If I would have watched this a couple weeks ago, it would have had a shot at my 100 for sure.

I love movies with big vista cinematography. I love directors like Wes Anderson and Bergman who overfill their frames with visual lushness. I also think films like this, where everything feels rather standard visually can be absolutely beautiful. I love how the bright light of the DC we think of are in the background of this film. We see it a lot when the characters are in cars. We don't go in many of these iconic buildings, but they are always there looking over the top of our protagonists, feeling like a very real threat.

I also love the couple of shots we get of Woodward and Bernstein typing away in the background, while the power players are on the TV in the foreground. It's simple, yet extremely effective in making us feel the weight of what is transpiring.

In addition to those specifics visually, the film just looks perfectly 70's in general. The clothing, the newsroom, the smoking. It all effectively transports us to a very specific time and place.

I don't have much else to say specific. The casting and writing are top notch. The way everything plays out is great. We are always in their mind, so we don't have any information that the reporters don't have until they get it. We also never feel lost though, as can happen in movies void of exposition.

Could rank over the great wizard for me. We shall see.
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Guy who likes movies
I just finished watching And Then There Were None (2015). Directed by Craig Viveiros, this miniseries is based on the Agatha Christie novel and is about 10 strangers on an island in 1939 who start getting killed, one by one. Who is the killer? Why are these individuals being targeted? And will anyone survive? Overall, I liked this. It's a pretty good mystery with a fine cast. I thought the cinematography was quite lovely. I would have preferred the kills to be more thrilling though and I did feel it could have used more a little more suspense and horror. The reveal towards the end felt a little lacking to me and I wanted something more dramatic or shocking. This was an entertaining mini-series and well worth the watch.



@Takoma11

Would you be interested in joining?
I'm working on the 2021 Film Challenge currently, and as most of the films in this HoF would be rewatches for me, I am going to sit this one out. But some great picks! I literally watched Last Year at Marienbad about a week and a half ago and loved it. Passion of Joan of Arc is a favorite of mine. And while I prefer the 40s version of And Then There Were None, I have seen the recent miniseries and I liked the way that they restored the elements that were changed in the earlier adaptation to make it more "friendly".



Not Quite Hollywood: I really like these types of documentaries. it gives me a glimpse into a world of cinema I will never experience myself. That's because while I am interested in what drives the makers of these films, I am not at all interested in the buckets of fake blood that neither thrill me or disturb me. I am certainly not interested in the twisted male gaze that these films endorse.

In that way this doc was a mixed bag for me. The first half really didn't get enough into the psyche of the directors or why they enjoyed making these types of films. The second half gets much more into that, and I enjoyed that half much more. Especially liked it when they would spend a few minutes on one particular film and get all the talking heads opinions on what made that movie tick. Wish it had been more of that.

I do appreciate that we got a ton of clips in this which makes you feel like you are getting a good look at what the genre is all about. I have to say of all the talking heads we get. It seems like Tarantino and one of the directors might be the only ones who actually enjoy the movies themselves.

Every time I hear Tarantino talk I can't believe I love his movies as much as I do.





The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - 20fps*

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

Written by Carl Theodor Dreyer
Based on a novel by Joseph Delteil

Starring Renée Jeanne Falconetti

Dikemark Hospital is a mental institution in the municipality of Asker in Norway, and it was here in 1981 that an employee found canisters of film that had been stored for a long time in a janitor's closet. The canister's were labelled 'The Passion of Joan of Arc' and were sent to the Norwegian Film Institute where they sat for a further three years before they were examined. Decades earlier, in 1928 and '29, the original negatives of Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc, possibly the greatest film ever made at the time of it's release, had been destroyed by fire much as Joan herself had centuries earlier - and it had been painstakingly reconstructed using for the most part second-best takes that had not been used for the original. It must have pained Dreyer a great deal to think that his film had been lost forever - and in subsequent years it had been mutilated further in an attempt to make it more commercially viable. It has now been resurrected - protected for film lovers by blind chance or providence, however one chooses to view it.

The Passion of Joan of Arc is a masterpiece in more ways than one. In mere decades since it's invention, the cinema had gone from being a novelty to a new art-form, and Dreyer a master ahead of his time. The French Société Générale des Films recognized this and invited him to make a film - by preference one about Marie Antoinette, Catherine de Medici or Joan of Arc. He chose the latter, and his cleverness is evident from it's outset. In the Paris Chamber of Deputies there exists a document going back to 1431 - the trail transcript of Joan of Arc's persecution at the hands of the French clerical court - enthralled by British invaders. Dreyer shows us an actual copy - though in all actuality it is the Latin translation of the original in French. It's leafed through in the present day, then we're taken back to 1431, with a scribe - the actual soon-to-be transcript in his hands. Thereby we make a link with the present, and are taken back 500 years with a wonderful device.

Dreyer was a filmmaker that believed an audience should experience film as a completely separate reality. That we should believe what we're witnessing is real, as if, in his own words, "we're witnessing reality through a keyhole." What a wonderful way to transpose ourselves into reality then, to use Joan of Arc's actual words in this film, echoing through history in the transcription of her trial. His other device works for most, but not all viewers - that of the extreme close-up. This is something that sets The Passion of Joan of Arc apart from most other films. His use of close-up is relentless and all-encompassing. Establishing shots are rare-to-nonexistent, and we're taken directly into the minds and souls of the characters. Dryer himself, when the film was released, said "Everything human is expressed in the face, as the face is the mirror of the soul." Every crease and blemish is shown to us unadorned. Every tear, moment of surprise, feeling of frustration and anger is clear and thrust to the foreground. The soul is laid bare.

The excellence of Carl Theodor Dreyer's direction shouldn't be allowed to overshadow the acting of Renée Jeanne Falconetti, who gives a mesmerizing performance as Joan. She was helped by Dreyer almost torturing her as harshly as Joan was tortured, pushing her to the very limits of discomfort and emotional collapse. Falconetti was the only other person who watched the rushes of the film during it's production with Dreyer, and he credited her with the artistic success of the film. He considered himself only as the 'midwife' of his films, and told everyone that the actors were the real artists. The most a director could do is help them find the performance within themselves - but as far as painting on the canvas of celluloid, it was the actors who created a moving picture. Falconetti's Joan is one of the greatest acting triumphs in film history, but her trying experience turned her away from appearing in feature films. She would always be more comfortable on stage.

The sets were constructed with concrete, instead of the much more usual plaster. They were modelled on medieval drawings - and created with odd angles and perspectives like those drawings. This gives the viewer a dream-like feeling - the world not quite conforming to the usual, just as the trial of Joan of Arc was far beyond the usual. They're set mostly in the background, and despite not really being given any real prominence, they serve their role. Cinematographer Rudolph Maté was already a master of his profession, and combined with Dreyer producing many stunning techniques that presaged others by decades. Shadow is made great use of. Many shots are from a very low angle, and to effect this Dreyer had holes dug everywhere on his set. Some are dizzying, as when the characters themselves are dizzied by some of Joan's divinely inspired answers to her haranguing inquisitors. As her fate becomes sealed we fly to the top of our castle's ramparts and fall head over feet as spectators start to make themselves felt. The art of filmmaking was young, but these filmmakers have a sense of what the medium is capable of beyond their years.

To watch Joan of Arc is to truly have a religious kind of film experience, and it's a film that truly feels timeless. It's authenticity lays at the very heart of it's director's feel of motion pictures. Within a traditional 5 act structure, new techniques and novel storytelling set it apart from all others. Condensed into a short space of time, we experience her trial, confession, recantation and eventual execution. The film doesn't shy away from her burning body, but this isn't for perverse exploitation - during the film truth is constantly pushed into our faces. Whether it be a baby suckling on her mother's breast, or Joan being bled to try and remedy a fever, we won't be allowed to turn away from the spectacle of her martyrdom or that of the body and soul. Through it all there is much symbolism - but not to the point where it starts to take us out of the film.

"The protective flames surrounded Joan's soul as she rose to heaven," the film tells us - perhaps trying to point out that we shouldn't necessarily see her harrowing execution in a sad and despairing light, but perhaps the opposite. This is an exultant film - Joan's triumph over her captors and as she herself pointed out, the moment she is set free and provided with a glorious victory. As a whole, The Passion of Joan of Arc captures that sentiment magnificently and provides us with one of cinema's true masterpieces.




I'm working on the 2021 Film Challenge currently, and as most of the films in this HoF would be rewatches for me, I am going to sit this one out. But some great picks! I literally watched Last Year at Marienbad about a week and a half ago and loved it. Passion of Joan of Arc is a favorite of mine. And while I prefer the 40s version of And Then There Were None, I have seen the recent miniseries and I liked the way that they restored the elements that were changed in the earlier adaptation to make it more "friendly".
That's fair. I hope to see you in future HoFs though!