25th Hall of Fame

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I loved it so I've considered nominating it before. I just don't think it would be a popular pick. Then again, it's not like I know how to pick them.
You'd get a least one point for Bardot!




Les Misérables
(Richard Boleslawski 1935)

For some reason I thought this was a foreign language film. Nope... and just as well a I've seen a lot of them lately. This hooked me right from the start and I was involved in the story all the way through. I've of course heard of Les Miserables, not that I can pronounce it, but I do know that this has been made into films many times and of course is based on a classic literature. But I didn't know the story, so this truly was a first watch for me.

Fredrick March and Charles Laughton, talk about stellar acting. March is both noble and theatrical, he reminds me of John Barrymore but more accessible for the audience. Laughton is always a highlight of any movie he's in. Here he's downright threatening and on par with his Captain Bligh in Mutiny of the Bounty which was made the same year as Les Miserables.

There's some amazing sets and the cinematography is real advanced. Who says film was static and stuffy back in the 1930s...not me! The scenes in the sewer tunnels were exceptional both in their lighting and framing. Was that the real Parisian sewers or a set? The look that good.

I enjoyed it.




I loved it so I've considered nominating it before. I just don't think it would be a popular pick. Then again, it's not like I know how to pick them.
Would pretty much be guaranteed top of the ballot for me.



For some reason I thought this was a foreign language film.
Maybe because of the French title? Though all English adaptations of it I've heard about don't change the name either.

It's weird how some titles do get translated when they're released in English, and some don't.



rbrayer's Avatar
Registered User
Chimes at Midnight (1965)

Another second viewing. Another greater appreciation.

Most creative Shakespeare adaptations try the Bard’s words against a new setting. The best among them shed fascinating light on the originals. Kurosawa’s Ran and Throne of Blood are classics of this genre. Chimes at Midnight is something else entirely. Welles takes massive liberties with Shakespeare’s text, creating a new story from scenes from four different plays, most notably from Henry IV, Parts I and II. The result is a ribald, hilarious, and poignant character study of Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s greatest creations, but prior to this film, only a supporting character.

Falstaff is the Dionysian spirit incarnate, a gargantuan creature of the flesh, drinking and eating to excess, telling bawdy tales, visiting women of ill repute, and telling hilarious tall tales. His best friend is Prince Hal, the likely heir to the throne. Prince Hal is living it up with Falstaff and avoiding his royal responsibility at all costs. Falstaff and Hal form two parts of a paternal love triangle with Prince Hal’s real father, Henry IV, who wishes his son to live up to his lineage. It can only end badly for our hero, but it's a wild ride, equal parts comical and despondent. Falstaff becomes a tragic figure, naively unaware of the inevitability of Hal's betrayal, which makes it hurt all the more, a feeling that might best be called emotional suspense. That said, the film is delightful. It does a fantastic job setting up the dichotomy between the two worlds Hal inhabits. It seems clear which Welles (rightly, I think) prefers.

Falstaff is so well-suited to Welles that it's almost like Shakespeare saw into the future and created him for Welles. Besides their common corpulence, Welles was inspired by Falstaff throughout his career, which in many ways mirrored Welles' love-hate relationships with both his own father (here Welles saw himself as Hal) and the Hollywood studio system (Welles as Falstaff.) This seems to have given Welles a deep insight into the character. Most prior performances portrayed Falstaff as a mere clown. Welles does give us that layer, but adds a world-weariness of age that is reflected in the title and a melancholy that should be familiar to anyone that loves comedy. Comedy and misery are often (though not always) inextricably interconnected. That's certainly true here - for both Welles and Falstaff.

In the end, we get what is certainly Welles' most personal film and arguably his best. To rewrite Shakespeare takes enormous chutzpah. To do it well takes enormous talent. Welles was nothing if not enormous, and so is Chimes at Midnight. 10/10.



Maybe because of the French title? Though all English adaptations of it I've heard about don't change the name either.

It's weird how some titles do get translated when they're released in English, and some don't.
I can't even pronounce Les Miserables, though I do make my wife laugh when I try to pronounce it



Just finished watching About Elly. Hopefully I'll be able to write something about it tomorrow, then I just need to decide on the order of my list.

I can't even pronounce Les Miserables, though I do make my wife laugh when I try to pronounce it
If you ignore the first and last s, you'll probably get pretty close. Sort of like ley mi-zey-rahbluh.





About Elly (2009) / درباره الی
Directed By: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Golshifteh Farahani, Taraneh Alidoosti


About Elly is an engaging drama about restrictive cultural norms and the consequences of deceit. It provides a genuine glimpse into modern Iranian social issues, while still being broad enough to appeal to a wider, global audience. Instead of relying on shocking out-of-nowhere twists, the story unfolds slowly in a realistic manner, and with fantastic performances from the cast, the entire thing feels incredibly realistic.

The film has a fairly unassuming start, following a group of middle class families and a couple of their friends en route to a 3-day long vacation by the sea. One of the single members of the party is practically a stranger to the others, but is brought along in an attempt to set her up with a college friend visiting from Germany. If it wasn't for the tense, foreboding atmosphere, one could easily mistake it for the set-up to a romantic comedy.

When tragedy strikes, the seemingly open and accepting family quickly fall back into conservative mindsets and traditional gender roles. They begin to turn on each other, accepting or deflecting blame, and changing their stances each time new information is brought to light. The truth ultimately doesn't mean as much as the family's social honour. It's a very interesting watch, and I certainly appreciated getting to see the Iranian countryside filmed without the filter of a Western lens.


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Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I rewatched Les Misérables (1935) today. I had seen for the first time a few months ago, but was happy to revisit it. I liked it the first time and I think I appreciated it even more this time. The screenplay is very well written and it is a rich and interesting story. The film looks lovely and is an enjoyable experience. Performances are very good, especially Fredric March and Charles Laughton. Although I don't feel this is the best version of the story (the 4 and a half hour French version from 1934 is my pick for the best version), it is still a great film.



The Long Goodbye (1973) -


I'm still fairly new to Altman as, other than this film, I've only seen Nashville and his segment in Aria, the former of which I loved and the latter I thought was alright. I thought this film was pretty good and I'd put it in the middle. I was mainly impressed with the dialogue. The various wisecracks from Elliott Gould were quite witty and brought a great deal of humor to this film, especially when he agitated other people with them, like Marty Augustine. Elliott Gould was definitely the main highlight of this film for me, as I imagine he was for many others. I also enjoyed the main conflict with Lennox well enough. I found it fairly compelling and was caught off guard by the various twists and turns of it. While I enjoyed that conflict though, I also felt it was overshadowed by other sub-plots, specifically the conflict with the aforementioned Marty Augustine. The sadism and charisma of Augustine and the strangely lovable qualities of his gang members resonated with me much more. His sub-plot also culminated with a delightfully awkward, yet suspenseful sequence which was heightened by an Arnold Schwarzenegger cameo. I found all this more memorable than Eileen and Roger, in part due to the average to poor acting from Pallandt and Hayden. Of course, I still liked their scenes, but comparing them to some of the other major characters and their sub-plots, they simply didn't hold up. Regardless of my thoughts on Eileen and Roger though, I still liked quite a bit about this film and I may revisit it in the future to see if I warm up to it some more.

Next up: Sundays and Cybele



Themroc -


Surprisingly, I didn't hate this. I actually found it very funny at times. Moments like the nebbish husband hesitantly smashing his apartment with a tiny hammer, the unlucky cop admiring himself and Themroc toying with the bricklayer made me laugh out loud. Speaking of our "hero," this would be a much more forgettable movie if it weren't for Michel Piccoli, who's a good sport and knows exactly what kind of movie he's in. I'm also still thinking about that ending and how the cage-like concrete brick wall and all those boxy apartment buildings imply that modern cities are not much more than Themroc breeding grounds.

With that said, the movie isn't much to look at. I get that this was probably made for peanuts and the city is supposed to look ugly, but despite some decent editing, it's perhaps too ugly. I'm also not opposed to movies portraying taboos like cannibalism, incest and sexual assault, but the way it handles the latter two could have been a lot better. In addition to there only being female nudity, Themroc's sister's constant state of undress seemed excessive and I don't think my puritanical American eyes are to blame for thinking this. Besides, it made her seem mentally handicapped, which makes Themroc's working-class struggle hard to sympathize with. It made me wonder if he's rebelling against modern society or just its sexual assault laws. Despite these qualms, I like stories that call modern life into question, and while this is hardly the best I've seen, it's far from the worst. In short, if you've ever wondered what a Mr. Hulot movie directed by Harmony Korine would look like, this is the movie for you.



In short, if you've ever wondered what a Mr. Hulot movie directed by Harmony Korine would look like, this is the movie for you
Lmao I think I made this exact comparison in my review as well. Glad my pick hasn't been complete misery for everyone.



Lmao I think I made this exact comparison in my review as well. Glad my pick hasn't been complete misery for everyone.
Haha, you did! I promise I didn't copy that from your review.

But yeah, I enjoyed it, and besides the skeezy stuff with the sister, it's relatively tame compared to other taboo-heavy movies I've seen.



Les Misérables (Richard Boleslawski, 1935)

I said I was going to watch Sundays and Cybele next but that sounded like a bit of a snoozer so I watched a different snoozer instead. Speaking of Sundays though, that film must be really explicit if its getting all the flack its getting but no one (seemingly) raising an eyebrow at the predatory nature of this film. Anyway, yeah I don't know anything about the source material but this is obviously a heavily truncated adaptation and that is definitely the biggest problem. No time to get invested in anything because the film is just racing through this dudes life. Honestly, I'm surprised they had time to have the main character question his moral code at times, which was a nice surprise though I'd have loved more than just a fleeting moment of doubt here and there. The most I can really say about the film is that its competent. No standout shots but they're all competent. No standout performances but they're all competent. The score has some moments but is mostly just competent. This is fine but I kind of hope there's a better adaptation of this story out there. Feels like this story could have a bit more to give.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
The Long Goodbye



It's a bit of a strange movie to me. I really like Elliott Gould, but his Marlowe comes off as a moron who doesn't bathe, smokes too much, and shouldn't have pets. One of the funniest parts to me was when it showed his picture in the newspaper and even then he had a cig in his mouth. It's not a tight movie and I don't care for the theme song. I think I just love the 70's and Robert Altman, who I think has several better movies. This just has a bunch of nice little details and I enjoy watching it. It reminds me of The Big Lebowski, amusing but not that funny, and a movie that's just cool to have on. I did like it more than the first time.




Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
As much as I like Robert Altman, I still haven't seen Short Cuts
Short Cuts is one of Altman's masterpieces. It is a must see. I would definitely recommend checking it out, when you get the chance.



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
Short Cuts is one of Altman's masterpieces. It is a must see. I would definitely recommend checking it out, when you get the chance.
It's just that I'll probably be busy for a while with the 25th HoF and the next Personal Rec.



Whiplash



JK Simmons was amazing first off and it's definitely obvious that the movie just wouldn't have worked the same without him. The intensity that he brings to the movie with every scene he is in had me glued to what was going on. For Miles Teller, there's certain scenes where I think he crushed it but there's also certain scenes where it felt like he was acting if that makes sense. It didn't kill the movie for me but perhaps there actually could have been someone stronger for the role. I would have liked to see more of the relationship Dynamics between Andrew and Nicole too.

But yeah the music was great, and it was filmed very well too. You can tell Chazelle has quite a passion for it. The ending was fantastic, actually really the entire second half of the movie was really awesome. I actually didn't mind how all the Dynamics played out in the end, but it would have been cool to see Andrew and Nicole stick it out together. Could have been even better like I said if their relationship was a bigger part of the story IMO. Such as her giving advice on what he should do maybe. Overall still a good film.

-



Sundays and Cybèle (1962) -


This was an interesting watch and I'm glad it was nominated. When it comes to the complex dynamic between Pierre and Cybèle, I figure I'll give my interpretation on the significance and implications of their relationship as there has already been a lot of discussion on this. As others have noted, it's mainly Cybèle who turns the father and daughter relationship between them sexual. Initially, she jokingly suggests marrying Pierre when she gets older, but keeps escalating by making a handful of sexual advances with him throughout the film (which likely occurred due to her young age and her inability to comprehend why her behavior wasn't okay and could backfire). Pierre, on the other hand, doesn't make these advances towards her, nor does he say he's in love with her.

In spite of this, however, I don't think this gets Pierre off the hook. Pierre handled the situation between them quite poorly since he did nothing to prevent or stop Cybèle's behavior as her sexual advances escalated. He instead lead her on and went along with her behavior, especially during the uncomfortably tense Christmas scene at the end where he had an, at best, passive reaction throughout it. Given this, I think it's logical to wonder if he would've escalated (e.g., making sexual advances himself) had the film kept going on. Regardless of his intentions though, while I understand why the two of them wanted to remain together, I think their relationship was unhealthy due to the naivety Cybèle displayed with her sexual advances and Pierre's refusal to put a stop to that behavior. Also, without spoiling anything, I thought the implication at the end gave me a lot more to ponder over in regards to Pierre. While this film doesn't give you the answers on what Pierre's intentions were (Was he in love/not in love with Cybèle?/Did he have malicious intentions?/etc.), it gives you a lot to ponder over and there's a handful of ways one could view their relationship.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. Its refusal to spoon-feed its intentions to the audience and its willingness to leave them up to interpretation is its greatest strength. This makes the film ambiguously menacing and I can see myself rewatching it down the road.

Next up: Themroc