26th Hall of Fame

Tools    





Sweet Smell of Success was nominated in that 4th Hall of Fame that was just brutally stacked. Autumn Sonata and Sansho tied for the win.



Daisies (1966) -


So far, this film has been pretty love-it-or-hate-it amongst us. Personally, I enjoyed the film quite a lot when I watched it a few years ago and was looking forward to revisiting it. In spite of a couple reservations I have with it, I thought it held up quite well. To get my issues out of the way, I think the delivery of its themes can get a bit Nolan-y from time to time, like the opening conversation between the two women which spells its themes out as blatantly as possible. For the most part, the film maintains a playful atmosphere, but I did have to jump through a couple hurdles here and there to get the full benefit of that. Also, the shifts from black and white to color and the changing camera filters felt unnecessary and, though I was initially intrigued by them, they grew rather repetitive given how much they were utilized. For the most part though, I found this film to be a compelling critique of patriarchal roles and an effective portrait of feminist rebellion. Instead of beating you over the head with these themes (again, for the most part), ChytilovŠ uses those themes as building blocks for a variety of fun sequences of the two women annoying people around them with their antics, starting romances with various men only to dump them soon afterwards, a highly suggestive scene of them cutting up phallic foods, or the climactic feast sequence. While this film may be too weird for some people, there's a strong sense of playfulness to this weirdness which should make it an easy watch if you go into it with the right set of expectations. While I didn't love this film, I thought it was pretty good and I'm glad I had a chance to rewatch it.

Next Up: Last Year at Marienbad



Not Quite Hollywood

Pretty interesting stuff to me. The fact a documentary can make me want to watch things that are probably rubbish is pretty cool in itself. I learned a lot about Australian cinema since I haven't really seen all that much of it. It was well put together. Nothing groundbreaking or anything but still a very entertaining watch. It's up there for my favorite Tarantino movies too!




It's up there for my favorite Tarantino movies too!

You suck. I find him insufferable every time he opens his mouth. In interviews I wonder how heís one of my favorite directors
__________________
Letterboxd



The trick is not minding
Not Quite Hollywood

Pretty interesting stuff to me. The fact a documentary can make me want to watch things that are probably rubbish is pretty cool in itself. I learned a lot about Australian cinema since I haven't really seen all that much of it. It was well put together. Nothing groundbreaking or anything but still a very entertaining watch. It's up there for my favorite Tarantino movies too!

To be honest, The Australian New Wave films that coincided with Ozploitation is much better, but not always as interesting.
Turkey Shoot, Mad Dog Morgan, Patrick and Razorback canít compare with a film like Gallipoli or Dead Calm for example.
I should note there are a few exceptions with Ozploitation films, such as Mad Max and The Road Warrior, that hold up even better today.



You suck. I find him insufferable every time he opens his mouth. In interviews I wonder how heís one of my favorite directors
This was a last minute edit to my review . I figured I needed another sentence.




Sweet Smell of Success

(1957, Mackendrick)

Each time I rewatch a favorite movie, I end up appreciating something different in it. When I first watched Sweet Smell of Success, it was all about the acerbic story of greed, power and manipulation in the high power stakes game played by unscrupulous newspaper columnist & publicity agents.

The second time I watched this I appreciated the spoken dialogue that flowed like butter...razor sharp butter. Spoken words were weapons and posturing was an art form. One well placed remark, one turn of the screw and someone is elevated to high places...or burnt to the ground.

This HoF is the third time I've watched Sweet Smell of Success and this time around I discovered that the star character for me is NYC. There will never be another film that captures the crowded night spots of Times Square, the bustling sidewalks of 42nd street and all those famous night clubs with such vitality and movement.



I've heard about Toots Shor's restaurant. In fact only a week ago I seen Toots himself on What's My Line circa 1962. So now I know what his restaurant looks like! And yes that big circular bar where Rita works is actually inside Toots Shur. Most all of the interior shots are inside real, NYC buildings.

The cinematography of legendary James Wong Howe blew me away...So many movies use tight shots of the actors, as it's economical to shoot with a telephoto lens, no need to worry much about the background as you can't see much of it. But bless James Wong Howe! He uses mid to wide angle lens out on the actual streets of NYC and in that way he captures a realistic feel of night life and raw power that flows from the streets into the veins of men like Sidney Falco and J.J. Hunsecker.


"The director Alexander Mackendrick and composer Elmer Bernstein both found Lancaster intimidating, with Bernstein later recalling, "Burt was really scary. He was a dangerous guy. He had a short fuse".

I also learned that J.J. Hunsecker was patterned after real life newspaper columnist Walter Winchell, a man reportedly as notorious as the fictional Hunsecker.
Walter Winchell was so obsessive about his daughter's love life that he had her institutionalized as being emotionally unstable, and with the help of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had forced her lover to leave the country.
Burt Lancaster is scary in this role! No doubt a lot of Lancaster shined through.

Tony Curtis played against type by playing the slimy press agent Sidney Falco. For me this is Curtis' film...He invibes his character with just enough charm with that 'ice cream face' of his, that just maybe one day he'll wise up and stop allowing his all consuming greed to drag him down to the gutter...

Then again this is noir, sophisticated but a noir none the less...and like any good noir the 'heavy' might have a touch of humanity residing in him somewhere, but not enough to save him from himself.





Attachments
Click image for larger version

Name:	a.jpeg
Views:	82
Size:	46.0 KB
ID:	81774   Click image for larger version

Name:	aa.png
Views:	85
Size:	147.7 KB
ID:	81775   Click image for larger version

Name:	aaa.jpeg
Views:	81
Size:	42.0 KB
ID:	81776   Click image for larger version

Name:	sweetsmellofsuccess06.jpg
Views:	84
Size:	47.0 KB
ID:	81777  





And Then There Were None - 2015

Directed by Craig Viveiros

Written by Sarah Phelps
Based on a novel by Agatha Christie

Starring Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Maeve Dermody, Burn Gorman
Anna Maxwell Martin, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens
Noah Taylor & Aiden Turner

On the nights of the 26th, 27th and 28th of December in 2015, BBC One televised a new adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1939 novel And Then There Were None. A story about 10 strangers invited to a secluded island on various pretenses. As the hours, and then days, pass by these people are murdered one by one. Those who remain are constantly and desperately trying to figure out if their murderer is hidden on the island, or if the murderer is one of them. As their number becomes smaller and smaller they begin to crack under the pressure and confess to the various crimes they've been accused of. It has been the best-selling mystery book and one of the best-selling books of any kind ever published. Various adaptations have appeared on the stage and cinema screen over the years. This one is perhaps the most faithful to it's original source (although there is no direct transcription of what people say in the book) and the first produced for British television, which is surprising considering how many of her other novels have been adapted for television and how popular this novel is.

Writer Sarah Phelps imbues her script with the darkness and danger of a world on the brink of war. She doesn't shy away from the darker aspects of the story and the personalities of those present. The set decoration has been paid a lot of attention to, right down to the individuality of all the small statues which represent the ten "little soldiers" (once Indians, and before that something pretty unmentionable.) Each room in the large mansion has a specific feel to it, and is decorated to the extent that everything feels real - the design of each particular bedroom was made to reflect each character who inhabits it. Production Designer Sophie Becher described it as a kind of 'Gatsby' style - she had read in the novel how the place had been owned by Americans who had left their mark. Sound and music by Stuart Earl is one of the series' best features - I love the heavy and deep cascade of discordant sound that is introduced to signify something akin to Armageddon itself - something that says something truly bad is going on here.

Charles Dance was great in an understated and subtle way - he draws the least overt attention to himself, but his acting outshone everyone else as Justice Wargrave and I find his performance the most memorable. Maeve Dermody acquits herself well in the crucial role of Vera Claythorne, who we know from the outset has had an emotional, very raw time in the past and so will most likely have an emotional time in the future. Noah Taylor's looks fit into his grubby role of Rogers the butler. Conversely Aidan Turner's looks offset his role as Philip Lombard - the mercenary with a shady past - but they also very much compliment this crucial part. Sam Neill is dependable as General MacArthur, stolid and just holding things together despite having to deal with tragic and emotional circumstances that have to do with his past. Burn Gorman is particularly enjoyable as Detective Sergeant William Blore - both professional and yet curiously easy to knock off-balance and look ill-at-ease. Miranda Richardson is the picture of British upper-class snobbery and closes herself off for most of her time onscreen. Anna Maxwell Martin is at the lower end of the scale and is suitably deferential and worried. Douglas Booth makes a memorable impression as the thoughtless, self centered and uncaring Anthony Marston and Toby Stephens really gets to chew the scenery in a good way as the least emotionally stable of all the characters - Dr. Edward Armstrong. It's a fine ensemble cast, and they do quite well without setting the world on fire.

With the camera flying over this deserted mansion on an island that seems to be set aside from the rest of the world - one beset by storm after storm, especially at night - we get the appropriate feel that death and disaster is afoot. Nobody is coming to save these characters, and there is no erasing their past. The elongated format allows for a much more deliberate pace. There is also much more leeway in today's day and age to make everything as dark as Phelps and director Craig Viveiros needed things to get. It's probably preferential to watch this one episode per day, as it was originally broadcast. I'm not sure how it would feel all watched in one sitting. It is also probably more enjoyable for those that aren't already familiar with the story (I wasn't.) There is a gap between stories made for television and the cinema that can only be bridged by a very few. Whereas I'd elevate most of the work by Dennis Potter, this has a definite feel of being slightly less than a feature film - despite having more space and freedom to work with. Everything is done to a very high level of competency - but cinematic artistry is a little absent. That said, this is a great murder mystery, and very enjoyable to someone like me who hasn't had the pleasure of reading Agatha Christie's original novel.

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

Latest Review : Angel-A (2005)



Actually I might be on his side with that one. I donít know when we decided because people are in public we could film and photograph at will. Such a weird culture.



Actually I might be on his side with that one. I donít know when we decided because people are in public we could film and photograph at will. Such a weird culture.
Yeah, fair enough. I imagine it must be frustrating for people to randomly record and photograph you without asking for permission.



Did I ever mention I hate Tarantino, ha.
I don't like his movies much either, but he seems to be a weird dude lol.



Angel-A



This film worked really well for me. I thought the two lead performances were pretty darn good. And I liked the concept of the film too. I liked the choice of black and white for some reason, although I can't quite wrap my head around it. I read a few of the reviews on here and they seem to not care for the ending, I actually thought it pieced everything together pretty well. Well directed by Besson, it kept my attention from start to finish. Neat little gem of a film here.

+



I don't like his movies much either, but he seems to be a weird dude lol.
Yeah, you're preaching to the choir

I guess what mostly bugs me about Tarantino (besides the fact I can never spell his name) is that he seems like a dumb ass and yet makes hugely successful movies. Which then convinces me that the majority of us MoFos given the training and money, could make decent movies. I know I could.



Yeah, fair enough. I imagine it must be frustrating for people to randomly record and photograph you without asking for permission.
Especially when I you know itís to use their likeness. Not like he got caught in the background Costanza style.



Yeah, you're preaching to the choir

I guess what mostly bugs me about Tarantino (besides the fact I can never spell his name) is that he seems like a dumb ass and yet makes hugely successful movies. Which then convinces me that the majority of us MoFos given the training and money, could make decent movies. I know I could.
I get why people donít like him. Pretty hard to doubt that the dude can write dialogue though. Lots of jerks are very talented people. Anyone here a fan of Welles.



I get why people donít like him. Pretty hard to doubt that the dude can write dialogue though. Lots of jerks are very talented people. Anyone here a fan of Welles.
Ha, I'm not sure if you're calling me or Orson a jerk Oh well I know I'm not and I don't think Orson was either unless your name is William Randolph Hearst