TokeZa's inane ramblings about film

→ in
Tools    







Broken Blossoms (1919) by D.W. Griffith

A rather sad and heartbreaking story with some extremely interesting scenery. So far Broken Blossoms is my favorite Griffith


D.W. Griffith ranked:
1. Broken Blossoms (1919)
2. Intolerance (1916)
3. The Birth of a Nation (1915)



A Japanese Village (Nippon-koku Furuyashiki-mura) (1982) by Shinsuke Ogawa

In my local cinematheque there is a new arthouse movie club for connoisseurs run by festival crew called Terrassen bio which screens rather unknown films on real film and with free entrance. Nippon-koku Furuyashiki-mura from 1982 was one of those obscure films that you would never find yourself. It has 88 ratings on letterboxd and with a running time of three and half hours a few of the audience left in the intermission. It was a strong documentary on village life in Japan, from the rice harvest to charcoal production and wartime efforts. It had several scenic shots of the white mist going down the mountains and several extremely interesting interviews with local people. One of the best documentaries i have seen this year, though at the same time, quite a tough watch, due to the length of the film.

+



New Wave (Nouvelle vague) (1990) by Jean-Luc Godard

Nouvelle Vague by Jean-Luc Godard was rather esoteric and not one of my favorite of his. It was my 35th film by Godard, so at least you can say that i am a fan of his work in general. Nouvelle vague however came off as a really abstract and disjointed film which in my opinionen needed some guidance of the viewer. The best thing about the film was the wonderful colour palette in the pictures.

Only recommended for die hard Godard fans.




Our Hospitality (1923) by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone

Our Hospitality was my seventh Keaton film and while i enjoyed it, it did not resonate so much with me. It was fun to see some of the gags in the first part of the film and the big stunts in the second half, though i must say that i enjoy a lot of his other movies more.



Buster Keaton ranked:

1. The General (1926)
2. The Cameraman (1928)
3. One Week (1920)
4. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
5. Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
6. Our Hospitality (1923)
7. The Goat (1921)



The Docks of New York (1928) by Josef von Sternberg

The Docks of New York was a rather archaic depiction of gender roles in the first part of the last century. There was some quite interesting and beautiful scenes though the film as such lacked depth. It is not my favorite Sternberg but interesting as a historical document nonetheless.

+

Joseph von Sternberg ranked:
1. The Last Command (1928)
2. Dishonored (1931)
3. Shanghai Express (1932)
4. The Scarlet Empress (1934)
5. Underworld (1927)
6. The Docks of New York (1928)
7. Morocco (1930)



Have you seen "Ana-ta-han"? It's a 10/10 and I saw it on YouTube.
No, but i can remember that you recommended it before. It's certainly on my watch list. What have you seen from Sternberg?



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
No, but i can remember that you recommended it before. It's certainly on my watch list. What have you seen from Sternberg?
That is the only one. TCM once had a von Sternberg day, but I couldn't get into any of them. I'll probably try him again one day when I can't find any movies to watch (which is right now, although I tried a re-watch a few days ago of Cassavetes' Bookie, which I didn't like at first, but its the only one of his movies I haven't seen at least twice).



That is the only one. TCM once had a von Sternberg day, but I couldn't get into any of them. I'll probably try him again one day when I can't find any movies to watch (which is right now, although I tried a re-watch a few days ago of Cassavetes' Bookie, which I didn't like at first, but its the only one of his movies I haven't seen at least twice).
Cassavetes is really good. I am considering watching Husbands today! One of my favorite American directors, though i had a tough time getting into his mode of films.





Tootsie (1982) by Sydney Pollack

Tootsie is in dire need of a queer theoretical critique. Definitely not my kind of movie.





The Wind (1928) by Victor Sjöström

Another intriguing but rather depressive film by Sjöström.



Victor Sjöström ranked:

1. The Phantom Carriage (1921)
2. The Wind (1928)
3. He Who Gets Slapped (1924)



Le Joli mai (1963) by Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme

Another insightful documentary by Chris Marker who in this film depicts a Paris before the youth rebellion in 68. Its focal point is city life in the context of France colonial past and the upsurge of communism after the second world war. Chris Marker is certainly a top tier documentarist with a keen eye for odd angles and sceneries.

Highly recommended.



Chris Marker ranked:

1. Sans soleil (1983)
2. Level Five (1997)
3. La Jetée (1962)
4. Le Joli mai (1963)
5. Les astronautes (1959)
6. Dimanche ā Pekin (1956)
7. Description d'un combat (1960)
8. Vive la baleine (1972)
9. A.K. (1985)
10. Junkopia (1981)



Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953) by Jacques Tati

I remember kind of disliking of at least having a hard time getting into Playtime by Tati, which is the only one i have seen of his films. Mr. Hulot's Holiday is as Playtime a rather strange and outlandish comedy which underlines the space between people as a circumstance of modernity. It was a great experience and a lot of (odd) fun. Certainly a special film.

+

Jacques Tati ranked:

1. Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953)
2. Playtime (1967)



I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
Cassavetes is really good. I am considering watching Husbands today! One of my favorite American directors, though i had a tough time getting into his mode of films.

Second (and further) viewings are always better with Cassavetes. I think its because he doesn't spoon-feed his audience, despite a lot of things happening at once.



I kind of forgot about Cassevettes, but A Woman Under the Influence was a perfect movie. One of the things that stood out most initially was how realistic and compelling the phone call conversations were. I've only seen that and Rosemary's Baby.

From both of you, Matt and Tokeza, what do you think his best films are?



I kind of forgot about Cassevettes, but A Woman Under the Influence was a perfect movie. One of the things that stood out most initially was how realistic and compelling the phone call conversations were. I've only seen that and Rosemary's Baby.

From both of you, Matt and Tokeza, what do you think his best films are?
I was actually quite torn about A Woman Under the Influence on a personal level. I am a recovered manic-depressive who have worked 5+ years in social psychiatric living institutions for the mentally ill and am now working as a research assistent on a research project on the criminally insane. I did not like it when i saw it back in 2014 but i am sure my perception of it will improve on a re-watch. At the time i thought it was degrading and demeaning towards the mentally ill, but i am not in a similar place (mentally) today, so i would probably hold a new view if it, if i saw it today.

A quick top 5 would be:
1. Love Streams (1984)
2. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
3. Opening Night (1977)
4. Faces (1968)
5. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Though my favorite movie with Cassavetes is certainly Rosemary's baby which i adore. One of the best paranoia thrillers / horrors out there, even if its made by Polanski.



I was actually quite torn about A Woman Under the Influence on a personal level. I am a recovered manic-depressive who have worked 5+ years in social psychiatric living institutions for the mentally ill and am now working as a research assistent on a research project on the criminally insane. I did not like it when i saw it back in 2014 but i am sure my perception of it will improve on a re-watch. At the time i thought it was degrading and demeaning towards the mentally ill, but i am not in a similar place (mentally) today, so i would probably hold a new view if it, if i saw it today.

A quick top 5 would be:
1. Love Streams (1984)
2. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
3. Opening Night (1977)
4. Faces (1968)
5. A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Though my favorite movie with Cassavetes is certainly Rosemary's baby which i adore. One of the best paranoia thrillers / horrors out there, even if its made by Polanski.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie does seem to be one that stands out reputation-wise. I think "paranoid thriller" is a good way to describe Rosemary's Baby. I like to think of a true horror film in the purest sense, being an extremely rare thing that actually makes you feel a profoundly intense fear such as The Exorcist or Alien. Rosemary's Baby wasn't terrifying so much as anxious and creepy. They captured well the stress of being told you're delusional and imagining things when everything you're saying is true to the point where you even start to question what you know to be true. But I liked A Woman Under the Influence more because the acting was so much more realistic in a lot of subtle ways. I think I can understand what you mean about not liking the way the mental illness was portrayed, but I think that's part of what makes it so great. It's a kind of unapologetic realism that shows something about life that many people may not actually want to see. I think it takes a lot of courage and understanding to show those things authentically. Life isn't clear-cut, it's full of dilemmas and is incredibly complex. In A Woman Under the Influence I just saw people struggling in life, and that was so real to me. There were a lot of other subtleties that added to the realism, like the length of pauses when you couldn't hear what was being said on the other end of the telephone line. Most films wouldn't pause that long for fear of boring the audience. But it's really about the relationship between a man who loves his wife, who herself really needs help, and just because someone goes to the hospital and supposedly gets help doesn't mean they're in the clear, and that sense of her own responsibility. She wasn't just an innocent victim. It wasn't about right and wrong, innocent and victim, it was more about the whole dilemma from conflicting perspectives. I really do need to watch it again myself though as it's a bit hazy.

Your line of work sounds really interesting. I won't pry, but I myself have been working as a social worker at a homeless shelter for a little over 6 years now. I work with addicts and the mentally ill every day, and I love them. I tell them not to beat themselves up if they relapse and just take life one step at a time. When I see them upset, muttering to themselves, and tossing their hands in the air, I go ask them what's wrong, and I don't settle for the first, "Nothing." I ask gently with empathy and say, "It seems like something is bothering you," and find out what exactly it is, if there is anything I can do to solve the problem, or if I can cheer them up. I've seen people over the years improve in their mental health, and a huge part of that is loneliness. Not having anyone to talk to, nothing to do, no fun or happiness in their life, and so if I can I bring that to them. I ask them about their life and listen, follow up and really care, and it's so much fun. They're just people and I don't care if they are addicted to drugs, went to prison, have schizophrenia or what. One guy told me that he was one of the six angels along with Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer. He said a lot of nonsense that I couldn't understand, but he also talked about how a person walks from one point to another and thinks it's just empty space they're walking through, but it's not. It's full of tiny particles and the planet is constantly moving through space and at any point God can just close that space and you won't be able to walk through it. I thought that made a lot of sense. Now he's stable on meds that balance him, and he's more normal, but I talked to him about that and he remembered it and reiterated the point. Even when someone is uttering seeming nonsense there's reason behind it and a real person who's intelligent and understands what's going on.

I think movies like A Woman Under the Influence resonate with me because of how much they understand about life, and you can see it in so many implicit ways.

I feel like I'm being way too introspective and long-winded. I want to relate and understand what you meant about feeling like it was demeaning towards the mentally ill. Actually, I think it was demeaning, but in an intentional way. Not that the movie itself was demeaning them, but that it was showing how people demean them, like for example how she came back from the hospital and they really didn't effectively help her. And how her husband couldn't relate to her. She didn't get the help she needed, and that was tragic. But she wasn't just an innocent victim, she was a culprit too. I think the movie was exploring a very real and difficult struggle that for some people is their daily life.

By the way, totally unrelated, but have you seen Noi Albanoi? I think you'd love it, but I bet you've already seen it. It's just the most excited I've been over a film recently.



That really makes me want to see A Woman Under the Influence again. Great comment!

Especially this: "Rosemary's Baby wasn't terrifying so much as anxious and creepy. They captured well the stress of being told you're delusional and imagining things when everything you're saying is true to the point where you even start to question what you know to be true.", which is what a lot of paranoia is about.

I haven't seen Noi the Albino, but it sounds really good! I haven't even heard about, even though i am from a scandinavian country!



Awe, thanks for the nice compliments. Do let me know when you re-watch A Woman Under the Influence.

I'm surprised you haven't even heard of Noi Albanoi. I mean, you really seem on top of the arthouse world more than anyone I've encountered, not just on movieforums. So I figured you'd probably have already seen it or at least been well aware of it. It got a lot of attention when it came out and it's one of those movies that pops up every now and then in the arthouse scene. I think I saw a trailer for it alongside La Haine. It won some impressive awards, so the critics were buzzing about it for a while. I got it second-hand and when i saw it on the shelf I'd already heard about it and had a really good vibe which it completely surpassed. Actually the movie was nothing like I expected and I have a hard time even describing it. I'm a little worried about building it up too much though. I don't want to say too much, but I can't wait to hear your thoughts when you do watch it. I just think it's right up your alley.



Latest batch of foreign films:



The End of St. Petersburg (1927) by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Mikhail Doller





Nightfall (2016) by Anocha Suwichakornpong and Tulapop Saenjaroen





Overseas (2012) by Anocha Suwichakornpong and Wichanon Somunjarn

+



Mundane History (2009) by Anocha Suwichakornpong





The Nun (1966) by Jacques Rivette






The Left-Handed Woman (1977) by Peter Handke

A quite sentimental break-up narrative in the context of slow cinema. The Left-Handed Woman is reminiscent of female auteurs (and writers) such as Duras and Akerman, albeit this is a males feminist view. The film has several references to Ozu and its exploration of modern relationships seems to build on the framework of family. The movie had several moments of bliss and zen, which made it one of best movie experiences this year. Peter Handke, a frequent collaborator with Wim Wenders, should, in my opinion, have directed more than the few movies he did.

Highly recommended and a hidden gem.




Latest batch of films:



The Beautiful Troublemaker (1991) by Jacques Rivette

Another great marathon film by Rivette




Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) by Jake Kasdan

I saw this with my son in the theatre. I guess it was not to bad.




The Irishman (2019) by Martin Scorsese

Not one of the best films by Scorsese, but certainly worth the watch




Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) by Steven Spielberg

+



This Is Spinal Tap (1984) by Rob Reiner

+



Joan the Maid 1.: The Battles (1994) by Jacques Rivette

Joan the Maid 2.: The Prisons (1994) by Jacques Rivette




Unreliable Narrator
Is there a newly restored version of A Japanese Village? Because the only one I saw years back was of dismal quality (film was fantastic though) with faded burnt in subs which were indiscernible from the background at times.



Oh yes, I did have my Eye on Rivette's Joan of Arc movies, thanks for reminded me about them. I love Joan of Arc movies, and they look pretty spectacular.



Is there a newly restored version of A Japanese Village? Because the only one I saw years back was of dismal quality (film was fantastic though) with faded burnt in subs which were indiscernible from the background at times.
I saw it in the cinema in a local arthouse club called Terassen on 35 mm. They had the film flown in, so i am not sure it was newly restored, at least i do not think so.



Unreliable Narrator
I saw it in the cinema in a local arthouse club called Terassen on 35 mm. They had the film flown in, so i am not sure it was newly restored, at least i do not think so.
Thanks! It's a super obscure film that I grabbed from KG. At least you saw it in its best possible state if your arthouse club actually flew in the film. By the way, a newly restored copy of the Iranian classic Brick and Mirror has recently surfaced online, and I absolutely can't wait for the proper english subtitles to be made available.



New Wave (Nouvelle vague) (1990) by Jean-Luc Godard

Nouvelle Vague by Jean-Luc Godard was rather esoteric and not one of my favorite of his. It was my 35th film by Godard, so at least you can say that i am a fan of his work in general. Nouvelle vague however came off as a really abstract and disjointed film which in my opinionen needed some guidance of the viewer. The best thing about the film was the wonderful colour palette in the pictures.

Only recommended for die hard Godard fans.
I've gone back and forth with that one so much, haha, far more than I've done compared the rest of his films.

A few years ago when I first watched it, I thought it was good, not great. The second watch I thought it was impeccable. Last year I watched it for a third time, after I'd watched nearly every other film of his, and felt like it was was middling. Then a few months ago I revisited for the 4th and most recent time, and it moved up the ranks yet again into my top 25 Godard films, haha.

I honestly can't think of any other film of his that I've been so wishy-washy about after each rewatch. There's films like Breathless that have steadily dropped in my rankings — but no other film of his went from a 4/5 to a 5/5, down to a 3/5, back to a 4.5/5. I guess surprises like that come with the territory though, haha.