26th Hall of Fame

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The trick is not minding
Out of curiosity, is that going to be your review for the film, or do you plan to write some more on the film later on?
Haha. Oh no, I plan on writing a proper review. After the rewatch, of course.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?




Not Quite Hollywood; The Wild Untold Story of Ozploitation (2008)

Just like the subject matter, this documentary moves along at quite an amusing, informative pace, with a lot of funny, straightforward interviews and anecdotes from the various directors, actors, actresses, and leading stuntmen who seriously took their lives in their hands during the raw production of car chases. That had no Safety Guidelines of kind and crazy sh#t, was just done and, fingers crossed, they got it on film. They even have a straight-faced critic ripping on all of it with dry humor.

It is broken down into three sections - bawdy sex comedies. Horrific thrillers and finally the rampaging Action flicks made in Australia during the seventies and eighties.
Starting with the strict movie codes in place when it all started and how they went about taking the piss on said codes. Followed by a few surprise hits and the government's financial backing unleashing a plethora of low-quality but amusing B Films that competed with the then, Grindhouse films of the U.S.

I chuckled, I learned, I got caught up in the stories and interviews. The time flew by as the list of the grotesque, outrageous, uninhibited, unabashed, and unapologetic films unfolded before me.
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What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.



Here’s looking at you, kid.
Hey all, I haven’t forgotten about this.

A few weeks ago I had a miniature heart attack and went to the er and was transferred to impatient for a week. After I spent a lot of time going to doctors appointments and the cardiologist trying to get my blood pressure down. It was 200/130.

Just been dieting and trying to go on a short walk every night (alongside blood pressure medication). I can probably get in two films by the end of the week. Sorry if y’all were trying to get in contact with me.



Hey all, I haven’t forgotten about this.

A few weeks ago I had a miniature heart attack and went to the er and was transferred to impatient for a week. After I spent a lot of time going to doctors appointments and the cardiologist trying to get my blood pressure down. It was 200/130.

Just been dieting and trying to go on a short walk every night (alongside blood pressure medication). I can probably get in two films by the end of the week. Sorry if y’all were trying to get in contact with me.
Sorry that you went through all that, man. I hope you're feeling better now.

The current deadline is December 8th, but if you'd like an extension, let me know and I'll be glad to include one.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Hey all, I haven’t forgotten about this.

A few weeks ago I had a miniature heart attack and went to the er and was transferred to impatient for a week. After I spent a lot of time going to doctors appointments and the cardiologist trying to get my blood pressure down. It was 200/130.

Just been dieting and trying to go on a short walk every night (alongside blood pressure medication). I can probably get in two films by the end of the week. Sorry if y’all were trying to get in contact with me.
That is rough, hope you're feeling better, take care!!!



The trick is not minding
Last year at Marienbad

This is a difficult film to properly review, as on one hand it’s fantastic to watch. Mesmerizing, even. But it’s also difficult to comprehend. Resnais glides around with the camera seamlessly, following long corridors and empty hallways, ignoring the people who stand perfectly still, as if mannequins in a store window.

The film centers around a man and a woman who supposedly met one year ago. The man tries to to convince her of this. She denies the meeting ever took place. We see the mans memories as he explains to her their past. She switches seamlessly from black to white throughout the film.

I’m sure there much to dissect here. Hidden clues that if you blink you may miss it. Eventually I had to settle for just experiencing it, and figure it out later. If I ever do.

And really, that’s what I chose to focus on. The experience. Much like the couple, I felt lost at times in this. But even if I almost, I still haven’t forgotten the structure. Or the mise-en-scene. It was wonderful to look at.
It’ll be even more difficult to properly rate.



Life as a shorty shouldn't be so rough
Festen

This is the first Dogme 95 film (I think). I don't know the rules by heart, but I knew that the rules are meant to provide restrictions for some reason that I'm sure they laid out in their manifestos or whatever. With this being a style new to me, I knew it would take a little bit into the film to decide how I feel about what I am seeing. I also knew that if I loved it, it would be probably get an unfair boost from being unlike anything I have to compare it to. That's kind of what happened. There are a bunch of interesting and exciting shots. A lot of the film felt like I was secretly watching a f*cked up family's home videos in voyeuristic fashion. But if you are going to watch a family's home videos, this family seems to have the hottest goss on the block. I enjoyed this a good deal, but I'll have to report back on it after I see more from the movement.



You all have one week left to finish this thread. Here's where everyone stands as of now:

@BooBooKittyFock (5/12)
@edarsenal (10/12)
@jiraffejustin (8/12)
@PHOENIX74 (11/12)
@rauldc14 (11/12)
@seanc (10/12)
@Siddon (6/12)
@ueno_station54 (11/12)
@Wyldesyde19 (7/12)

As an aside, BooBoo is still in this HoF, so make sure to watch Cinema Paradiso if you haven't yet.

Also, let me know if you need an extension.





Sweet Smell of Success(1957)

Some films really show their age...and that's not a bad thing. Sweet Smell of Success was released in the late 50's, it sort of works as a nexus point between the independent cinema movement, the noir movement, and the French new wave. It's one of those films that just kinda sucks you in with it's atmosphere and sense of cool. Burt Lansecker plays a newspaper owner who sometimes feels like a Hollywood exec and other times a boss of a crime family he wants a low level publicist(Tony Curtis) to break up a relationship his sister has with another man.

The film was shot in New York and it's a claustrophobic crowded New York. It gives a feeling of realism a lot of city based noirs don't have. Also it's a bloodless noir which I really appreciated, the crime is built up throughout the story...and it's a relatively minor offense but it's treated like a major one. I really dug that about this film, it's constantly moralizing and talking and building even though at the end of the day the stakes are fairly mild.

The film does have it's flaws, like most films of this type it's stuck with it's four actor structure. It gives the film a theatrical quality to it which I think under-serves it. I think Hudsecker needed to feel like a bigger deal for the plot to move along and he at times feels very small when he should be a major heavy. Curtis on the other hand is an actor I never really thought much of but this is his career high he's great in this. Normally he needs to play off someone but here he was to work wonders with bit players.

End of the day it's a good watch, had I not seen the film before I think I would likely give it a much higher rating. It's a great recommendation but not a great re-visitation.





Angel-A - 2005

Directed by Luc Besson

Written by Luc Besson

Starring Jamel Debbouze & Rie Rasmussen

It seems it had all been a bit too excessive for Luc Besson. The late 1990s - The Fifth Element and then the no less ambitious The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Creating works of style and spectacle ended with a hiatus of 6 years and then the much simpler, pared back but still visually arresting Angel-A comes along. Nothing could be further from the cacophony of sight and sound that Besson had built in Element, but nevertheless I'm a fan of minimalist cinematic fare. For Angel-A we have Paris anyway, and we're taken there in beautiful black and white - roaming the streets for the film's entire 90 minute run time, feeling like a tourist and soaking up what there is to see and losing ourselves in conversation and stylized music. It looks better than Paris in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and sounds more interesting. I sense Besson enjoyed the filming process of Angel-A with cinematographer Thierry Arbogast who had been with him throughout The Fifth Element and Joan of Arc. In fact, Arbogast goes back to Besson's Nikita in 1990 and Léon: The Professional in '94. When Besson stopped directing Arbogast kept filming and had just completed Catwoman (I often wonder what it's like for cinematographers on a film that's destined for a 'Worst Picture' Razzie) when Angel-A came along.

People will be very quick to mention It's a Wonderful Life when they start talking about Angel-A. When you have a character about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge, and have that character save an angel who feigns suicide, you're almost in remake territory already. Our character is André, played by Amélie's Jamel Debbouze - a diminutive Parisian playing an American immigrant back in Paris and in deep with loan sharks. André isn't quite a hood, but runs in those circles, and is introduced with a voice-over which quickly establishes the humour and easy tone the film will adopt. He's one of those losers in film who it seems the entire world has conspired to bully and pick on, and who's tactics to avoid trouble often entail inviting twice the trouble he's trying to solve. With the debts he has, and with the United States embassy looking on his citizenship as a doubtful prospect without clear evidence, he finds himself hovering over the river Seine, suddenly noticing the tall and attractive Angela not far away. Angela is played by Rie Rasmussen, who at 5ft 10in isn't as monstrously tall in real life as she looks opposite Debbouze. Rasmussen, born in Denmark, has a masculine feel to her contrasting André's feminine traits.

The pairing of André and Angela - Debbouze and Rasmussen - is the heart of Angel-A. Angela will challenge André, but at the same time effortlessly help him in times of great need. She is not initially introduced as an angel (although the film makes no attempt to hide the fact she is, with it's title literally spelling it out for us.) As such we do wonder if her personal touch is magical or simply very persuasive. In fact at one stage we're led to believe she's simply a prostitute - which bothers André a great deal, but she forcefully insists on doing whatever she's set her mind to. With Angela at his side André suddenly has the money he needs to pay his debts but seems too attached to his troubles to accept an easy way out. In any event - for Angela to succeed in her heavenly mission André has to wizen up, be more honest, and walk a straight line. Everything becomes complicated though, when André falls for Angela and it becomes apparent that Angela feels the same way. What will happen when Angela's mission is over and she spreads her wings to fly home?

It's all so very straightforward - most of Besson's own screenplay is conversational dialogue between Angela and André as she tries repeatedly to get him to notice his own mistakes and make changes to his incessantly self-destructive behaviour. It's at it's most playful when it comes to André talking to various underworld figures around Paris, pretending to be many things he's not - which is part of his problem. Debbouze has an innate ability to be comedic, and is a pleasure to watch. Rasmussen looks great, but has a sharp intellect and writes and directs films when she's not dancing the streets of Paris in an enchanting manner for films like this. The soundtrack is diverse - Anja Garbarek provides a swirl of everything, and there are so many differing styles and sounds in it that it's impossible to just sum it up with a word or two indicating it's mood or quality. It's a mash of everything electronic and musical you could expect to hear, espousing the mood of different parts of the film. It doesn't demand you take your attention away from the film though, which is important.

As mentioned in the beginning - Paris is an important element for Arbogast, Besson and the film. Especially the bridges over the Seine, which achieve a particular prominence in this. Bridges and water seem especially significant, but we also find ourselves high up on the Eiffel tower (with André being dangled by another cross creditor) and framed in front of particularly important Parisian architecture. This really is a tour around the city, and for me the main highlight of the film itself. I guess if I were just a touch more cynical I could roll my eyes whenever the story takes us to another notable landmark but Arbogast captures everything so well I'm more than willing to go along with Angela and André on their sometimes meandering odyssey. It's okay to use something if you use it so well - and I imagine the story being set in the suburbs of Minsk would have been to it's absolute detriment. (Apologies for anyone reading this in suburban Minsk.)

Angel-A is a simple little fable, easy and pleasurable to watch, funny in parts and it doesn't overstay it's welcome. A refreshed return to directing for Luc Besson, who always prevaricated over if he'd have a long career in the director's chair. I enjoyed being introduced to Rie Rasmussen as well.

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

Latest Review : True Romance (1993)



Hey all, I haven’t forgotten about this.

A few weeks ago I had a miniature heart attack and went to the er and was transferred to impatient for a week. After I spent a lot of time going to doctors appointments and the cardiologist trying to get my blood pressure down. It was 200/130.

Just been dieting and trying to go on a short walk every night (alongside blood pressure medication). I can probably get in two films by the end of the week. Sorry if y’all were trying to get in contact with me.
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If I answer a game thread correctly, just skip my turn and continue with the game.
OPEN FLOOR.






Daisies (1966)


I was shocked that this wasn't a student film, if ever there's been a pretentious nominee in any of these hall's it's Daisies. Daisies tells the story of a pair of girls running through a line of men in Czechoslovakia..using men as a meal ticket...do you get it...well do you. Because the film takes it's obtuse ideas and just hits you over the head with it. If you are going to make an Avant-Gaurde at the very least have something original to say. And just because you can make a special effect doesn't mean that you should or need to do one.



This was just like a first year student wanted to try everything they could with their camera and then give us the audience a simplistic dull lecture on gender, wealth, life. Constantly the filmmaker chooses to switch up the filters and coloring of the shots...now this could be done to say something about tone...a better filmmaker would do that...Chytilova...not so much. The film attempts humor but it's silly humor where the lead actresses just act like babies...because women are babies..get it...don't you get it.



The movie only runs for an hour but because it's so poorly paced and each scene goes on forever it feels three times it's length.