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29th Hall of Fame

A Moment of Innocence (1996) -


When I first heard about this film, it didn't interest me much. All I heard was that it was about Makhmalbaf and a cop he assaulted forgiving each other, but what it actually turned out to be was much more interesting and it left so big of an impression on me it shot up real high on my favorite's list.

In order to explain why I like it so much though, I first have to give some background on the film. When Mohsen Makhmalbaf was 17, he was involved in a militant group, attempted to steal a police officer's gun, and ended up stabbing him in the process. As a result, Makhmalbaf was sentenced to death. After serving five years in prison though, he was released in the wake of the Iranian revolution. The officer in the film is the same officer Makhmalbaf stabbed when he was a kid.

Knowing this gives the film's themes some extra resonance as it turns the film into a story about forgiveness. Of course, there's the noticeable extension to this theme which concerns the cop forgiving Makhmalbaf, but the other extension of this concerns the cop's conflict with a former love interest. Though the cop and Makhmalbaf (and his love interest) never share a scene together in the film, the conflict concerning them is instead portrayed through younger actors, who provide their interpretations to the events surrounding the three of them. The cop bonding with the actor who plays Makhmalbaf as opposed to Makhmalbaf himself is a great touch.
WARNING: spoilers below
The final shot of two simultaneous offerings of a gift shows that the three of them found peace with each other and were finally able to find forgiveness. It's a beautiful shot and tops the final shot of The 400 Blows as the best freeze frame ending I've ever seen.


Overall, this film is a masterpiece and my favorite Iranian film. It blew me away when I first watched it and this viewing was no different.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Intimate Stranger (Alan Berliner, 1991)
- 6.5/10
Lillith (Lee Esposito, 2019)
- 5/10
Lands (Maya Da-Rin, 2010)
6/10
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Deborah Chow, 2022)
6.5/10

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) interacts with a lot more Star Wars characters more often than we could ever have known.
The Load (Ognjen Glavonic, 2018)
6/10
Every Last Secret AKA Broken Soldier (Matthew Coppola, 2022)
+ 4.5/10
Nancy Drew: Detective (William Clemens, 1938)
5.5/10
Burn! AKA Queimada (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969)
- 6.5/10

British mercenary William Walker (Marlon Brando) comes to Lesser Antilles island of Queimada in 1844, befriends and ultimately sets up revolutionary José Dolores (Evaristo Márquez) for the Portuguese.
We (Alice Diop, 2021)
6/10
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon (Jeffrey Schwarz, 2008)
6.5/10
Farewell Amor (Ekwa Msangi, 2019)
5.5/10
Support Your Local Sheriff! (Burt Kennedy, 1969)
7+/10

Passing through town, "prospector" James Garner becomes sherriff and arrests Bruce Dern, and this causes problems with his outlaw family and some of the locals.
The Silencers (Phil Karlson, 1966)
5.5/10
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Dean Fleischer-Camp, 2010)
+ 6.5/10
A Chinese Torture Chamber Story (Bosco Lam, 1994)
5.5/10
Gatlopp (Alberto Belli, 2022)
6/10

Old friends and drinking buddies Emmy Raver-Lampman, Jim Mahoney and Jon Bass get possessed by a drinking board game.
Julia (Julie Cohen & Betsy West, 2021)
7/10
Nancy Drew... Reporter (William Clemens, 1939)
- 5.5/10
Shoot for the Contents (T. Minh-ha Trinh, 1991)
- 6.5/10
Strawberry Mansion (Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley, 2021)
6/10

In the near-future, dream auditor Kentucker Audley examines the dreams of aging Penny Fuller and and finds that her younger self (Grace Glowicki) may be his true soulmate.
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11 Foreign Language movies to go

By Concept Arts - http://impawards.com/2014/posters/th...ys_to_kill.jpg, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41386600

3 Days to Kill - (2014)

There was nothing egregiously wrong about 3 Days to Kill, but there was nothing terribly original about it either. This is your typical film which looks at someone who fits into an action-man persona dealing with regular family stuff - one minute killing bad guys, the next minute riding a fairground ride with his daughter. Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) is a CIA assassin well versed in torture methods and cold blooded killing. When he finds out he's sick and has only has 3 to 6 months to live, he decides to leave the agency to reconnect with his estranged wife and teenage daughter - but you never really leave the agency, and when he's tasked with finding and killing a guy called "The Wolf" (Richard Sammel - the guy who plays the German soldier who gets 'batted' to death in Inglourious Basterds) he has to balance domesticity with hard-core, violent death-dealing and explosive action. Yeah, it goes through all of this as you'd expect it to. One good thing it has is a subplot where immigrant squatters who have inhabited his Paris apartment soften Renner's initial "throw those dirty immigrants out" attitude. I made that sound more cloyingly and irritatingly sweet than it is - it's handled well, that part.

6/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Anomalisa (2015)




Eega (S. S. Rajamouli, 2012)

This is that bollywood movie about the dude who gets reincarnated as a fly and gets fly vengeance. Obviously this f**cks.
LOL.

I watched this years ago and, well, it is certainly as advertised.





Tonight, it's Official Competition - It's a Spanish made, Spanish language film with subtitles. I have a strong preference for subtitles rather than a lame dubbing job, so this was fine.

A rich guy wants to leave a legacy of having funded a "great" movie, hires a "renowned" director Lola Cuevas (Penelope Cruz) and two "great" actors played by Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martinez. The screenplay of the movie is about one brother who can't forgive the other brother for having been drunk, driving and gotten in a wreck that killed their parents. The two actors clash on how to portray the characters, the writer/director (Lola) has plenty of ego and not much of a clue how to make this movie. The film consists of rehearsals and preparation for actual filming, all taking place in a stark, minimalist set with little in the way of production.

It's been a while since I saw an old-school, European styled Spanish movie, especially a somewhat pretentious Spanish movie but, being what it was, I did expect it to be somewhat long and full or words. It was. It's also a comedy, in spite of the content. It's not just a movie about a movie, but the movie within the movie is a story from a book. In an odd way, it reminded me of Fellini's 8 1/2 from way back, full of self referential dialog and subtle humor rather than sight-gags or action. I liked it, although I think I would have liked it more if it was a half hour shorter.

Nevertheless, it was a relief from superhero movies, Top Gun or the latest Jurassic Park mess. I have not seen an old-school Euro movie for a while, so it had some novelty.




Finished s4 of The Last Drive In w/ Joe Bob Briggs tonight.

Two rewatches for me:

Uncle Sam- 3/5

Nightbreed DC- 4/5

A link for my ranking of the movies screened this season;

https://boxd.it/hd98S



Finished s4 of The Last Drive In w/ Joe Bob Briggs tonight.

Two rewatches for me:

Uncle Sam- 3/5

Nightbreed DC- 4/5

A link for my ranking of the movies screened this season;

https://boxd.it/hd98S

Ugh, man, I wish I liked Uncle Sam, but I remember it being really lethargic and lame.


Nightbreed is very good though, even if the lead actor kind of sucks.



Ugh, man, I wish I liked Uncle Sam, but I remember it being really lethargic and lame.


Nightbreed is very good though, even if the lead actor kind of sucks.
Uncle Sam IS lethargic and lame. That’s part of the peculiar charm.

Nightbreed is very good though the lead actor does kind of such. That’s part of the peculiar charm!

He also looks uncannily like David Boreanez. Who would’ve likely done a better job.




Dressed to Kill (1980, Brian De Palma)

Like 'Blow Out', this features Nancy Allen in one of the leading roles, but my immediate reaction is that I liked this one a lot more. In fact, despite its flaws, this film has impressed me so much it made me want to see more from De Palma. First of all, I think the cinematography, frame composition and editing are outstanding and incredibly inventive (the use of mirrors, in particular). Secondly, this film is a perfect demonstration of De Palma's expert knowledge of the mechanics of horror and the power of small detail — there are moments in this film that are genuinely, and brilliantly, scary, like that elevator scene (genius!), or the dream sequence at the end. The 'art gallery' sequence is another standout (the part where her gaze drifts from one thing to another and back again is just so quietly unsettling).If I have any gripes, it's the ending, I felt it was too abrupt.
Yeah, but all that transphobia...



Sorry to Bother You (2018) - 3.5/5


Surrealistic comedy with a twist. Like a combination of 'Don't Look Up' and Quentin Dupieux movies. The rap-scene was spot-on!



Yeah, but all that transphobia...
I get that, it's a sleazy offensive movie, no doubt. Speaking purely in cinematic terms, I found it fascinating and very impressive in some of its aspects.



Welcome to the human race...
Avengers: Endgame -


not as much fun as Highlander: Endgame
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Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



Victim of The Night
Blood Simple (Coens, '84)



Down here... you're on your own.

WARNING: spoilers below
They say big things have small beginnings, but, while that's true in the case of Blood Simple, the start of the Coen brother's now-legendary decades long career, it's also true that this small beginning is a great one as well, taking a familiar Noir tale of adultery and murder, and filtering it through a sweaty, Neo-style sensibility, crafting a tight, tense work of profound, creeping paranoia, Texas (and Coen brothers)-style, and creating an enviable foundation for everything the iconic duo of filmmakers have made since.


It tells the story of Abby & Ray, a neglected housewife and an average joe bartender respectively, who impulsively strike up an affair while driving through a torrential downpour somewhere down in Texas. Naturally, Abby's husband Marty isn't too thrilled when he finds out about her infidelity, especially since it's with one of his own employees, but when he hires a sleazy, untrustworthy private eye for a "not strictly legal" job as an act of revenge against them, he accidentally sets off a increasingly insane chain of events, one where the dead seem to keep coming back to life, no one ever really trusts each other, and absolutely none of the characters can think straight, through both the real and imaginary pools of blood continually serving to obscure their vision.


So, when looking back on this film, it's striking how much Blood Simple set the stage for the Coens' later modern classics, with echoes reverberating throughout Fargo and their magnum opus No Country For Old Men, and, while it may not have 100% of the substance of some of their later efforts, Simple still has just as much STYLE, with cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld's tense, unnerving tracking shots, composer Carter Burwell's haunting, piano-centric score (which marks the first of his many collaborations with the Coens), and the pacing working to bring things to a slow (pot)boil, being agonizing in the most pleasurable sense of the word, if that makes sense.


And finally, Simple excels through its sheer, palpable atmosphere, which has one foot in the "real world", due to the copious amount of sweat constantly dripping off every character, whether it's from the Texas heat or their addled, fearful states of mind, while also accurately capturing the feeling of being trapped in a dream, albeit a bad one you can't even fully grasp, let alone escape from, as one bad mistake inevitably leads to the next, eventually leading you into an early grave. Add on top of that some sharp dialogue, a great cast all-around (including Frances McDormand herself in a strong debut performance), and traces of the Coens' signature black humor, and Blood Simple is anything but "the same old song"/film, as far as I'm concerned.


Final Score: 9
One of the first times in my life, at like 12 years old, that I realized I had just watched a truly good movie.



Victim of The Night

Dressed to Kill (1980, Brian De Palma)

Like 'Blow Out', this features Nancy Allen in one of the leading roles, but my immediate reaction is that I liked this one a lot more. In fact, despite its flaws, this film has impressed me so much it made me want to see more from De Palma. First of all, I think the cinematography, frame composition and editing are outstanding and incredibly inventive (the use of mirrors, in particular). Secondly, this film is a perfect demonstration of De Palma's expert knowledge of the mechanics of horror and the power of small detail — there are moments in this film that are genuinely, and brilliantly, scary, like that elevator scene (genius!), or the dream sequence at the end. The 'art gallery' sequence is another standout (the part where her gaze drifts from one thing to another and back again is just so quietly unsettling).If I have any gripes, it's the ending, I felt it was too abrupt.
Interesting. I liked Dressed To Kill a good bit but I actually think Blow Out is far superior and DePalma's best film.



Interesting. I liked Dressed To Kill a good bit but I actually think Blow Out is far superior and DePalma's best film.
Agreed. Can’t wait for the Criterion 4K to drop





The Dry, 2020

Investigator Aaron Falk (Eric Bana) left his hometown as a teen when he became the suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Ellie. But when Aaron's childhood friend Luke allegedly kills his wife and one of his children, Luke's parents beg Aaron to investigate the murder. Aaron's presence in the town resurrects questions about Ellie's death.

I always have such mixed feelings when a novel I like is adapted to film. This is especially true with novels that rely heavily on what happens inside the characters' heads, as this can be tricky to put on screen. I really enjoyed Jane Harper's novel of the same name, and sadly this film adaptation doesn't quite manage to translate the power of its narrative.

The main issue lies in the way that the film handles the balance of the present and past stories. Flashbacks can be a powerful tool when used well, but in this film they are done in the most workmanlike way possible. From what I remember, the film does unspool the information in roughly the same sequence as in the novel, but there's a real disconnect between what we are shown of the past and what happens in the present.

The performances are okay. I thought that Bana was a bit subdued for my taste. It fits the character, who is withdrawn, but it means that a lot of sequences lack spark or intensity. There are some good supporting performances, including Jeremy Lindsay Taylor as Aaron's father, who both knows that his son did not kill Ellie and that Aaron is lying about where he was when she was killed. Eddie Baroo makes a strong impression in a small role as the owner of the bar/inn where Aaron stays, and his animated performance and likable character really elevate his scenes. Renee Lim also brings a nice, jittery energy to her role, as a woman who is clearly hiding something.

Both mysteries are pretty interesting, but they unfold in a way that is far too relaxed. The horrific murders of both past and present surely deserve more anger and emotion. Instead the pace of the movie simply marches you toward the conclusion.

Passable, but working from such a solid novel it feels like it should have been more.




Interesting. I liked Dressed To Kill a good bit but I actually think Blow Out is far superior and DePalma's best film.
I was disappointed with Blow Out. I found Dressed to Kill to be scarier, more suspenseful, and just overall a more interesting watch for me personally.



I was disappointed with Blow Out. I found Dressed to Kill to be scarier, more suspenseful, and just overall a more interesting watch for me personally.
Blow Out is going more for paranoia than scary and I think it pulls that off marvelously. It’s closer to Rear Window than Psycho. Even then, I’d say it’s clearer cinematic kinsman are Blow Up and The Conversation, neither of which are an attempt to scare the audience.

I think what makes Blow Out so exceptional is the way in which DePalma deploys all of his cinematic tricks to convey “listening.” Like Pakula’s political thrillers, his go-to is the Split Diopter, but he uses it to bring both the listener and the subject into frame. It’s elegant filmmaking and while still stylish, steps outside of his normal approach, which he lampoons in the opening “movie within a movie.”

I also find it to be the more thematically rich of the two, using movie making and it’s inherent deceptions and complexity to mirror the subterfuge of post-Watergate American politics.

Not trying to convince you to like DTK less. I’m a huge fan of both and a massive DePalma enthusiast. I just think Blow Out is his crown jewel.



Blow Out is going more for paranoia than scary and I think it pulls that off marvelously. It’s closer to Rear Window than Psycho. Even then, I’d say it’s clearer cinematic kinsman are Blow Up and The Conversation, neither of which are an attempt to scare the audience.

I think what makes Blow Out so exceptional is the way in which DePalma deploys all of his cinematic tricks to convey “listening.” Like Pakula’s political thrillers, his go-to is the Split Diopter, but he uses it to bring both the listener and the subject into frame. It’s elegant filmmaking and while still stylish, steps outside of his normal approach, which he lampoons in the opening “movie within a movie.”

I also find it to be the more thematically rich of the two, using movie making and it’s inherent deceptions and complexity to mirror the subterfuge of post-Watergate American politics.

Not trying to convince you to like DTK less. I’m a huge fan of both and a massive DePalma enthusiast. I just think Blow Out is his crown jewel.
When you said it's closer to Rear Window than Psycho, I had to chuckle because I didn't care for Rear Window all that much either.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, to be clear I totally get what De Palma was going for in that movie, I just didn't like the execution. I think I rated it in this thread when I saw it, and someone asked "why so low?", so I briefly tried to explain.