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There is a chance Thursday Next will have to drop out. Perhaps suspend watching Farewell my Concubine but I want to give her every opportunity to finish.

I also haven't set a concrete deadline yet as it's still fluid.



Dano and Gosling were definitely too young to play that role when the film was made, but I guess you mean that they are current actors who you would cast if the film were being made now.
I must have been thinking of time transportation for Dano and Gosling But yeah you're right, they were too young at the time.

Supposedly there is actually a remake of Memento in the works, so you might get to see someone else try the part.
No I won't!

Warning: Potential Spoilers Below.

I've grown to like Pearce in Memento, but he did seem a bit odd when I first saw it. I don't think he works as a sympathetic character (which we're supposed to believe he is at the start), but when you know his real motives, that fake smile of Pearce's seems fitting. He's an ass who thinks he's smarter than he really is, but he's not fooling anyone.
That's a very good point when one considers the outcome of the film.



There is a chance Thursday Next will have to drop out. Perhaps suspend watching Farewell my Concubine but I want to give her every opportunity to finish.

I also haven't set a concrete deadline yet as it's still fluid.
That's a real bummer if Thursday has to drop out. Not because I already watched the movie, but because I enjoy having her in HoFs. If she needs a longer watch time than usual, I'm super OK with that



The world doesn't owe you a damn thing
I'm the same with CR, if an extension is required, no problemo!


And sorry to put you through Memento, CR. I'm not surprised you figured it out, it is right there for all to see if you look hard enough. It's the whole going backward setup that I've always enjoyed.

Though I must say I am a bit bias with Pearce since the first movie I saw with him in LA Confidential and found the smugness of his "lost" character kind of an armor to wade into battle with his inability to create new memories. And considering he was an insurance liability investigator I had little expectations of him being a nice guy, period
__________________
What I actually said to win MovieGal's heart:
- I might not be a real King of Kinkiness, but I make good pancakes
~Mr Minio



I kind of wanted this one to have a bit less pressure to begin with, with the holidays and all coming up, so we will see what she says



Weird is relative.
Sorry for being slow with submitting reviews, I'm still watching films and will be catching up on my writing soon.



I just rewatched Letter from an Unknown Woman and will have some thoughts up later.



Weird is relative.
I just rewatched Letter from an Unknown Woman and will have some thoughts up later.
I just watched that too. (For the first time.)



Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)



"When you climb up a mountain, what then?"

Most tend to point to camerawork when praising Max Ophüls and Letter from an Unknown Woman is an example of that with its excellent use of period setting. But, the dialogue sticks out to me in this film in a fascinating way. Every scene is well crafted. Meticulous would be a good way to describe it.

Ophüls pushes his usual romanticism to an extreme by having Lisa define her yearning for a relationship with the composer Stefan Brand. Fontaine and Jourdan lend strong performances in how their characters behave where I found myself connecting strongly with the melodrama. I loved the section in the snow leading to them building a rapport due to how well they interact together. That, and how these scenes are so beautifully framed.

Even with its heavy romanticism, its quite a cynical analysis of relationships or in this case relationships that are more dreamlike than real. The entire conversation on the ride is a neat nod to the idea that the peak can't get any higher than this, it's a downward slope from this point. There's a fairytale vibe during all of the interactions between Lisa and Stefan as if the relationship is in a fantasy world. Lisa's fantasy world. A real engagement is an illusory ideal.



I can already tell that these are going to be tough to rank. Too many great films here. A few people should have nominated some garbage to make things easier

I just watched that too. (For the first time.)
Funny, the other day when you posted that you had just watched Incendies, I had just watched it as well.

Sixth sense going on.




Ed Wood
(Tim Burton 1994)


I was going to choose this for my nom, but I was too slow Which is super OK with me as I still got to see it and of course I love it! But why do I love it?....

It's great fun! and that's enough for me! Johnny Depp, who I always liked as an actor is in great form here as Ed D. Wood Jr. I just love the light hearted and enthusiastic way Ed Wood goes about life, that's my life philosophy too...only without the angora And of course Ed Wood admires Orson Welles and so that's another connection.

You know Ed Wood Jr reminds me of Orson Welles in that both went for their dreams and did it their own way! Ed Wood might have been voted worst director but the guy had a lot of unique film ideas that were way ahead of there time.

Back when I first seen Ed Wood (1994), I then watched the DVD box set of Wood's movies, The Ed Wood Collection - A Salute to Incompetence, I hate that title but it was a great set with Ed's most inspired (or most inept films). The DVD box set has a total of 6 movies and a really cool documentary The Ed Wood Story...anyway this movie originally got me interested in Ed Wood's movies so that's another reason I love it.

Back to the film...Tim Burton does a wonderful job and I read this was the first time he didn't use Danny Elfman for the music score. Elfman is of course well respected but I loved the music score choice for Ed Wood and the use of the theremin to create some really cool sounds! And I loved that Tim Burton believed in his vision so much that he refused to shoot this in color, but instead switched studios so that he could do it his way. In watching the documentary about Ed Wood Jr, I learned that all of these people depicted in the film, were real. So the film is pretty close to the actual events of Ed's life.

I did feel like Bill Murray was showing off a bit and playing it like he was doing a comedy skit on Saturday Night Live. Criswell the psychic (Jeffery Jones) was one of my favorite secondary roles. He has one of the best lines in the movie when he lets Ed in on the secret of ballyhoo. Sarah Jessica Parker as the 'horse faced actress' Dolores Fuller was real good. God! they actually said that about the real actress. Martin Landau as the aged Bela Lugosi won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and it's easy to see why. Martin Landau's Lugosi really helps make Ed Wood special. And of course my favorite scene is in the bar when Ed meets Orson.


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I read this was the first time he didn't use Danny Elfman for the music score. Elfman is of course well respected but I loved the music score choice for Ed Wood and the use of the theremin to create some really cool sounds!
The music for the opening credits (which I absolutely love) did sound a little Elfman-like to me, so I was fully expecting his name to come up. When I saw "Music By Howard Shore" instead, I actually did a double take. Shore is one of my favourite composers, so it was a pleasant surprise, but when I think of Tim Burton I immediately think of Elfman and Depp as well, sort of like a package deal haha.



I finally got around to rewatching Man from Earth. In the first few minutes it became abundantly clear why we covered it in my Archaeology in Film class haha.

I only have Pierrot le Fou and Farewell My Concubine left now, though if Thursday isn't able to continue with the HoF, then I only have one. I hope she is able to stay in, since I always look forward to reading her views on the films, but I hope she makes whatever choice is best for her. I'm not in danger of missing the deadline, so I'll probably watch her nomination even if she has to drop out. It looks really interesting.





The Man from Earth (2007)
Directed By: Richard Schenkman
Starring: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd, John Billingsley

The Man from Earth is an intellectual film that relies almost entirely on its dialogue to convey its story and thematic elements. With just a few minor changes, the script could easily work as a radio play. Since the single shooting location works well for the story's structure, a more artistic style of cinematography may have helped hide the film's obviously low production budget. Unfortunately, The Man from Earth is shot quite simply, which often makes it look like an amateur or student film. While that can be charming, it does feel a little bland at times.

Luckily the film's premise is quite interesting, and clearly a great deal of academic research went into writing the script. There are rapid-fire references to various aspects of anthropology and human history, as university professors with backgrounds in different disciplines discuss what they initially assume to be a theoretical situation. I was engrossed in their conversation in the beginning, however it did start to grow old pretty quickly. The shift into moral philosophy and organized religion was a refreshing change, but some of the later revelations were a little cringe inducing.

While some of the performances were really good, many of the actors were uneven or possibly just poorly directed. For a film that heavily depends on its characters and their interactions with each other, the weak links really dragged down the entire film. That was my biggest problem with The Man from Earth when I first saw it, and it remains a pretty major issue now. Overall I did enjoy the film more than when I first watched it, but I like the idea a lot more its actual execution.


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Raise the Red Lantern (1991)

If we ever do Cricket's idea of a Recommendation HoF or whatever it would be called, then Raise the Red Lantern is a Citizen type movie

I flat out loved 95% of the movie and I'll tell you why so you'll know what I look for when I select my own films: First off the film has a confined world set in the manor house of a rich noble man and all we see is life from this one narrow and focused angle...and that appeals to me. I don't often like films that start in one place then do a 180 turn and end up being completely different. I like to step into the world of the film and spend time there with the characters, so to speak.

And of course I love period piece or historical films and for some reason I like Chinese cinema too. I loved the way the film's cinematography felt confined and that's fitting as the young woman in the film is basically sequestered in her room in this manor estate. I liked the way the film felt controlled and claustrophobic, both the story and the camera work were synced to deliver that very effect, which then puts us into the mindset of this young woman who's lost her freedom when she marries and lives as a concubine.

The other thing I loved about this was that it was kind of like a Chinese soap opera with all the backstabbing and scheming of the four wives, I like that kind of human drama, cause it rings true. In a way soap opera type movies deliver on the human experience, which I like.

Oh, one more thing about this movie, I like stories about women. I don't mean that in a woo-hoo type of way Stories that focus on a female character often have more depth of humanity to them then a movie about a guy. I'm not big into action guy flicks.

So the one thing I didn't care for in this film was the ending...*SPOILERS Coming* I usually don't like it when a film has to end on a big note, so as to make some noise. I knew it was going to end with a hanging in the death room but I thought it would be the fourth mistress. But what really felt tacked on and Hollywoodish was the scene where she goes mad and ends up a maid. Sheez, that felt like an episode ending of the Twilight Zone.

I would have ended the film some years later with the fourth mistress getting older and forgotten by her husband, then we see another young beauty taking her place as the fifth mistress enters the household. Which they did do in part, but the madness into a maid bit was too much in my book. Still I really loved this movie and it held me spell bound, which I can't say many films do.

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Warning: Spoilers for Raise the Red Lantern below.

So the one thing I didn't care for in this film was the ending...*SPOILERS Coming* I usually don't like it when a film has to end on a big note, so as to make some noise. I knew it was going to end with a hanging in the death room but I thought it would be the fourth mistress.
I kind of liked how the film ended in a way that I wasn't exactly anticipating. You mentioned soap operas, and it felt to me like there was going to be a very soap opera-esque romance between the fourth mistress and the eldest son. There's a hint of something in their few scenes together, and I'm glad the film didn't go down that route at least.





Pierrot le Fou (1965)
Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani

French New Wave cinema is often difficult for me to sit through. It's not a form of art that appeals to me in any way. The absence of rigid narrative structures, the odd editing, and documentary-like shooting techniques that are typical of New Wave films are fine on their own, but when combined together they create a style that just doesn't interest me. As such, I was putting off watching Pierrot le Fou until I was in exactly the right mood. I wanted to give it the best possible chance to exceed my low expectations.

While I was able to watch the entire film in one sitting, it unfortunately didn't change my mind about the New Wave movement. Instead, it exemplified exactly what I don't like about this type of film making. It doesn't help that I am not generally a fan of musical numbers either, so the lack of sound continuity between shots during the first song made it even harder to listen to than usual. There was strange sound mixing throughout the entire film as well, so I wonder now if the awkward cuts in that first song were actually intentional.

The performances of the main roles were quite good, but I didn't really understand the characters or their motivations, so I was wholly disinterested in their romance and misadventures. Some of the shots looked great, but I wasn't a fan of the aesthetics overall, since the frequent colour palette changes at the start of the film didn't sit well with me for some reason. I felt like a complete outsider watching something that was meant to be intriguing, but I lacked the ability to connect to it in any meaningful way. I understand that a lot of people are drawn to these kinds of films, but it's just not my cup of tea.


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Warning: Spoilers for Raise the Red Lantern below.

I kind of liked how the film ended in a way that I wasn't exactly anticipating.

You mentioned soap operas, and it felt to me like there was going to be a very soap opera-esque romance between the fourth mistress and the eldest son. There's a hint of something in their few scenes together, and I'm glad the film didn't go down that route at least.
Oh that's right, I thought for sure that was going to happen too. I forget about that until just now.

BTW I just read your review I liked the way you described the courtyard:
The courtyards feel cold even in the summer, with their stone walls appearing dull and colourless, except when illuminated by the red lanterns. These lanterns bathe the interior shots in a red glow, providing the only real warmth the mistresses will ever experience in their homes.
So true and those lanterns really were symbolic. Though I kept thinking, 'they're orange! not red!' ha



BTW I just read your review I liked the way you described the courtyard.
Thanks!

So true and those lanterns really were symbolic. Though I kept thinking, 'they're orange! not red!' ha
I'm pretty sure that I actually said out loud (to no one since I was here alone) "That's not red" the first time I saw them too haha.