23rd MoFo Hall of Fame

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I've finished all of the films now. I'll try to make sure I have everything written up in the next few days, but I do have a busy schedule with a report due and major midterm exam in the next 48 hours. I'll also add that Jojo Rabbit was probably my favorite viewing experience out of all the nominations. There's plenty of things I didn't like about it, but as an overall experience I loved my first time viewing of it.



Seemed like Jojo would have been down your alley Justin



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Al-Mummia (The Mummy a.k.a The Night of Counting the Years)

It is intriguing to see an Egyptian film regarding the thieving of ancient tombs and thereby delving into a more intimate nature of those using that treasure to sustain their own lives and, as such scenarios play out; the brutality that is doled out to the sons who find it all a desecration and not the right of their tribe's self preservation.

The pacing is incredibly slow and at first, seems to drag it all down but, in the end it truly is the correct pacing for the contemplative torment that Wasin suffers in his attempts to be a good leader and son.
With a kind of sluggish dream-state we venture through the elders, the merchants and eventually the men from Cairo. All of which seem to have little regard for the history of their people. Their only focus lies within personal gain.

I will admit that I wish I had watched this earlier so that I could rewatch it and thereby appreciate it more since this initial viewing felt like a child bumbling through an adult's discussion. Finding myself unsure of what each scenario truly represented. Shadowing Wasin's uncertainty with my own limited vision.
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- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.



Legend in my own mind


Film: The great mouse detective
Year of release: 1986
Directed by: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, John Musker
Run time: 1hr 14mins
Starring: Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin

I absolutely believe that I watched this film as a child but I remembered nothing about it. This is a surpise because as an adult I absolutely loved it.
It has to be one of the most under ratedof all Disney animations.
It was short, great story, funny in parts, an absolute joy.
Who would have though that a cartoon rat and a one legged bat could come across so sinistre? It was really well done, although I could imagone it being quite scary for young children.
Strong story, good action, dark undertones and not ruined by too much singing.
I really enjoyed it.
__________________
"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)



Legend in my own mind

Film: Gangs of New York
Year of release: 2002
Directed by: Martin Scorcese
Run time: 2hrs 47mins
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis

I find this a difficult film to rate as some aspects of the film are mesmerising and others drive me mad.
The acting, sets and aspects of the plot are superb, yet I struggle with the over use and movement of the camera throughout the entire run time. It was like Michael Bay on a bad day.
The first half of the film seems a bit slow, I know it is building up to an incredible shift of pace, but the first half feels long.
Lewis is outstanding.
The film as a whole is excellent but some of the technical direction choices and the drag of the first half stop it from being better.



Legend in my own mind
Will write my last two up this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest and get my votes in well before the deadline.



Nice to see people really pushing to finish.

I'm still waiting on five ballots but so far it's shaping up to be a much closer race than I expected. One particular film could pull an upset.






The Night of Counting Years(1969) is a film that really could have been told any time in the last 100 years. Parts of the film feel like a theatrical production but then you look past the actors you see these amazing historical set pieces...and then you go back to the actors and see what you miss.


It's good film, strong nomination I can see why it was picked it was a bit to dull for me. I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters or line up the plot. The films biggest issues are that while it has the resources you can see it lacks the knowledge to make certain things compelling. The blocking is really bad in this a lot of scenes feel like they could have been better thoughtout.


But still it's a good watch.




La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In)
(Pedro Almodóvar, 2011)
Nominated By: Miss Vicky
120 mins, IMDb

I'm a big fan of this film and I have been since I saw it back in 2011/2012. It's ultra-sleek and very perverse. It's Almodovar being playful and allowing you to have fun with things you shouldn't be having fun with. It's that psychosexual nastiness that Hitchcock would probably be making if he had come along 40 years later. We've seen a million revenge films over the years, so if you are going to make a revenge film you gotta keep raising the bar. The Last House on the Left had to do some crazy sh*t, I Spit on Your Grave did some crazy sh*t, but none of that matches up to the level of revenge on display in this one.



Jojo Rabbit
(Taika Waititi, 2019)
Nominated By: CosmicRunaway
108 minutes, IMDb

I don't think I'll be able to even convey how this film made me feel. I think I loved it, but all the way up until ScarJo's feet are seen dangling, I didn't think I was feeling this film. I was for sure amused by about half of the jokes, but I just kept getting the creeping feeling that we were going to get some lame attempt to equate the Nazis to Republicans or something. If that was the intent, the film was a failure in that regard as I actually saw more in this film that would actually be warning about where the American left can go very wrong. That's not really what I care about here though. I wasn't sure what to make of the Nazis all being a bunch of silly goofs. I mean, dunking on the Nazis isn't exactly difficult, and it's not dangerous at all anymore. This film is a bit of a mess in it's tonal switching, because we have all that wackiness, but when ScarJo's feet are shown dangling at the gallows, I was legitimately hit by it. Now, it could be that anytime a parent dies in a film, I can't help but thinking about my own mother. But, a lot of people have dead mothers, I suppose that's why it happens in movies too. I think the wackiness of the goofy Nazis and the off-kilter, diet-Wes Anderson vibes make that abrupt switch in tone work, because you are reminded of the real stuff instead of this Mickey Mouse bullsh*t we had been seeing. I was worried a bit that this film's humor would be getting too meta and be annoying when Rebel Wilson quipped "It's a bad year to be a woman", but as it was the only time I remember a winking, peek around the fourth-wall type of joke in the film, it works in hindsight. Even though I'm sure it wasn't the intention, it does at least highlight how much better American women have it now than German women had it in the 30s. Rebel Wilson was fantastic in the final scene when she was pushing as many men towards their inevitable deaths in any way she could before grabbing a heavy machine gun and going at the allied forces like John Rambo against the Vietnamese. I don't really want to keep rambling, but I really enjoyed this film. I'm curious how I will feel about it upon a rewatch.



Legend in my own mind


Film: Schindlers list
Year of release: 1993
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Run time: 3hrs 15mins
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes

This is simply one of the most important pieces of cinema ever made.
This is the second time I have watched this film and part of me hopes to never watch it again.
It is superbly made and very sensitive towards the subject matter whilst not shying away from the brutality of it, even though much is left to the power of suggestion, which makes it so much more powerful.
It is simply harrowing from start to finish. Absolutely incomprehensible to myself.
Technically the film is excellent, with the camera work and almost fully being filmed in black and white. The powerful uses of colour really are magnificent.
The acting is also superb, but for me the technical aspects of the film are almost rendered irrelevant by the magnitude of the subject matter, though of course I acknowledge that all of these technical aspect do justice to the importance of this film.
As harrowing as it is, the story of inspiration and hope gently runs through it and left me once again being ashamed of much of humanity and marvelling at the power of compassion of individuals at the same time.



Jojo Rabbit
(Taika Waititi, 2019)
Nominated By: CosmicRunaway
108 minutes, IMDb
...I just kept getting the creeping feeling that we were going to get some lame attempt to equate the Nazis to Republicans or something. If that was the intent, the film was a failure in that regard as I actually saw more in this film that would actually be warning about where the American left can go very wrong...
I certainly didn't get any kinda vibe from the film equating it's subject matter to the current U.S political situation. I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else thought it was.



Legend in my own mind


Film: Stand by me
Year of release: 1986
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Run time: 1hr 29mins
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

This is one of my favourite films of all time and it is my nom, so it should come as no surprise that I rate it really highly.
I love everything about it.
It captures youth and friendship perfectly. There is a sense of adventure through the eyes of a group of teenage friends that is portrayed wonderfully. The film makes me smile and also pulls on the heart strings and fills me with all the nostalgia.
It has a tremendous soundtrack and is beautifully filmed, with some breathtaking shots of the landscape and the groups tiny place upon it.
The most magical thing is that ever single time I watch it, I don't merely observe but I am transported into the midst of that group and that adventure. I feel the heat, laugh at the jokes, fear the leeches and want to delay the sadness of the end.
A timeless classic that I will never tire of.





The Reflecting Skin (1990) is a pahak nom so you know what you are getting into, it's a gothic story about a child with some inappropriate sexual issues. Though if I'm being honest I actually liked this one quite a bit...it was a huge step up from Tideland the cinematography, score and set pieces where much higher than the typical B-movie stuff we get. In fact the story was actually chugging along pretty good. It's the story of an 8 year old boy who believes his neighbor is a vampire, he also starts losing his friends. It's one of those movies where his mentally ill mother is the actual villain the vampire lady isn't...but you keep getting these weird little scenes that are meant to shock you...and it would a film I would recommend except.....it ends.


It's not often that a films ending sinks the film. Seth doesn't really factor into the ending...we have all this build and we are just left with this idea ..oh this thing happened around him and now he has to live with it. Well the kid is already living with a brother who is dying of cancer(he doesn't know it yet), and his father kills himself, and his mother is a crazy person...so we get no resolution and it just kinda lays there. He's a survivor but it doesn't really mean anything. Which is really frustrating because a lot of this film I enjoyed and I wanted a third act payoff.



The Deadline is Tomorrow

I need to have all ballots and write-ups in by midnight, Pacific Time, tomorrow night.

I'm still waiting on ballots and write-ups from:

@edarsenal
The Skin I Live In

@HashtagBrownies
Gangs of New York

@neiba
Late Spring
Le Samouraï

I'm aiming to post the results at around noon on Sunday.



Sunday around that time works great for me to be around for live results



Also if everyone cool with it I was thinking of green lighting the 24th Hall of Fame on New Year's Day thread wise.





Honestly a very interesting film; Everyone seems to have issues with it, but all of their issues seem completely different. Some people say it almost has the element of a cartoon in terms of its camerawork and editing, personally I didn't mind that at all; I know it's not Scorsese's usual style but I found it to be a nice change of pace.
For me, it's hard to pinpoint what the biggest issue was. While I was never bored, nothing about the characters or their personalities felt like they justified a 3 hour film; I wanted to know more about them. For example, We know Leo's character wants to avenge the death of his father, but I can't tell you anything about him apart from that. The film also seems to take a change in story at the last hour, which in other films might work, feels weird in this film.
Film isn't terrible though: All of the sets are good, and the diverse soundtrack worked for me. Daniel Day Lewis putting in the effort as always, even if the script doesn't flesh out his character nearly enough.

Interesting nom @neiba, I like the ones that encourage the most discussion.

(and my list is sent, had a hard time deciding the order of the bottom half of it.)



Legend in my own mind
Have really enjoyed this HoF overall.
Sorry for the lack of interaction - Been really busy in recent months.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Banshun (1949)

This was the rewatch I was least looking forward. Ozu has been miss or miss with me, and my second try watching Banshun was no exception.

I really don't know what it is that it stops me from enjoying this, but I always end Ozu's films feeling guilty because I always feel I'm not still mature enough to enjoy this. And that's because I can see there is value on this film. I see the minimalist cinematography and acting. There's a clear structure and idea behind every choice made by the director which usually is all I need. I don't usually need the choices to be the best, but I need to understand them. And here I totally do. But it still leaves me cold.

It's a different culture that I don't know a lot about, focused on family values which I don't really follow. I literally have no connection point to these characters except from the fact we're both human beings.

Setsuko is obviously the best thing about this, but even her acting doesn't speak to me (sorry Minio).

Oh well... I hope someday I'll get this.

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