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I liked this movie so much I watched it again today.
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Didn't know anything about the Orpheus story so this was interesting. Some parts of it I really liked, some parts were kind of slow but overall pretty good.



La Marca del Demonio (2020)
aka Mark of the Devil

A Mexican horror about demonic possessions and stuff. I really wanted to like this more because it has lots of similar ideas that I've been messing with. The intro is quite nice but once the film moves to the present, it's just too sloppy and fails to keep up the nice atmosphere set in the beginning. The Cthulhu connection came as a surprise but I'm not so sure it fits the story. Kinda cool to see others have similar ideas, though, even if the result is far from convincing.

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The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer) ★★★★☆



Not being particularly religious or nationalistic, most of this movie made me think about mental illness in the court of law. While that buries the heroic element essential to the tale of Joan of Arc, Dreyer's vision centers around the tragedy inherent to the martyrdom. Indeed, while a post-script recognizes the victory foretold, the final scenes are of mayhem and bloodshed. Whereas Joan begins the film in a glassy eyed state of grace, her angelic glow slowly dims leaving her vulnerable and suffering. Her brief hesitation in the face of a painful death only makes her final acceptance of it more powerful. Maybe some read this as inspiring, but I just felt depressed. That enlightened stare of Joan came off as manic to me.

There were three images in this film I found particularly striking. The first was the unpictured gravedigger throwing up a skull from the ground to make room for Joan should she fail to confess. I found it darkly humorous how even the endless depths of the earth were not room enough for the body count the court was mounting. The second image were the birds gathering to see Joan's sacrifice. If I'm not mistaken, Dreyer cleverly plays the footage of birds leaving the steeple in reverse to attain the effect. Finally, the footage of the babe unsuckling his mother's breast to recognize Joan's deed. Both of these last two really sell the validity of Joan's divine claims setting the stage for the aftermath.

I watched with the what I believe to be Mie Yana****a's score; a lovely piano piece without vocals. It wasn't intrusive at all as I feel pieces with entire orchestras or modern instrumentation or singing can be.
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I've always depended on the kindness of strangers
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (Dir. Carl Theodor Dreyer) ★★★★☆



Not being particularly religious or nationalistic, most of this movie made me think about mental illness in the court of law. While that buries the heroic element essential to the tale of Joan of Arc, Dreyer's vision centers around the tragedy inherent to the martyrdom. Indeed, while a post-script recognizes the victory foretold, the final scenes are of mayhem and bloodshed. Whereas Joan begins the film in a glassy eyed state of grace, her angelic glow slowly dims leaving her vulnerable and suffering. Her brief hesitation in the face of a painful death only makes her final acceptance of it more powerful. Maybe some read this as inspiring, but I just felt depressed. That enlightened stare of Joan came off as manic to me.

There were three images in this film I found particularly striking. The first was the unpictured gravedigger throwing up a skull from the ground to make room for Joan should she fail to confess. I found it darkly humorous how even the endless depths of the earth were not room enough for the body count the court was mounting. The second image were the birds gathering to see Joan's sacrifice. If I'm not mistaken, Dreyer cleverly plays the footage of birds leaving the steeple in reverse to attain the effect. Finally, the footage of the babe unsuckling his mother's breast to recognize Joan's deed. Both of these last two really sell the validity of Joan's divine claims setting the stage for the aftermath.

I watched with the what I believe to be Mie Yana****a's score; a lovely piano piece without vocals. It wasn't intrusive at all as I feel pieces with entire orchestras or modern instrumentation or singing can be.

Nice seeing you, Redwell!






Slumber Party Massacre (1982) - 4/10. As far as slasher movies go, this was just stupid. I mean most slasher movies are dumb. But this was annoyingly dumb. People walking off alone, running away, when clobbering is the right option. This and that. The kills were not grizzly enough. Not sure if there is an uncut version out there. But not interested in revisiting even if I do find it. Just copious amounts of nudity at the start then just make hay in the 80s slasher movie sunshine.
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My Favorite Films





.357 Six Bullets for Revenge (2013) - 2.5/10. Just rubbish. Low budget, bad acting, bad CG. Run of the mill plot like Kill Bill. Felt like they hired pornstars to do some acting. There was a scene when a bad guy was standing there, waiting for the gun to pointed at him, so that he could wiggle a little bit and fall dead. That was hilarious.



Butterfly Effect (2004)


I feel stupid giving this movie such a high rating, because it's definitely flawed. But it still keeps my mind and heart racing with how they executed this age-old concept. The different endings between the theatrical cut and director's cut are worth watching to those who may have missed them.



Unreliable Narrator
That enlightened stare of Joan came off as manic to me.
You are absolutely right to recognize that the stare is simultaneously enlightened and manic - the central concerns of The Passion. Joan's face of pain and face of ecstasy are often indistinguishable. That's why according to religious accounts, the light of angels is not just beautiful and pleasant but also equally terrifying sight to behold. I can't help but be reminded of Bataille's fascination with the image of the face of a prisoner being tortured to death. The most radical forms of art are almost transcendent in nature - they are not reasoned or described conceptually but first encountered as "limit experiences".




Account terminated on request
Butterfly Effect (2004)

I feel stupid giving this movie such a high rating, because it's definitely flawed. But it still keeps my mind and heart racing with how they executed this age-old concept. The different endings between the theatrical cut and director's cut are worth watching to those who may have missed them.
WARNING: "Butterfly Effect" spoilers below

To me the movie fell from the prison/stigmata concept at the end.

It was as if the writers decided that they couldn't figure out a way to get him out of prison, so they had to toss the entire premise of causality aside; the premise that they worked so hard to establish the rules of the entire film.

There would be no way that the prisoner would see the hand wounds "suddenly appear out of nowhere". He would have entered the prison with them.

I still liked it on whole though---just wish it didn't have that concept-clobbering at the end.
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When women have a poet, they want a cowboy.
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Understand this last part, and you'll get them all.



Kate & Leopold (rewatch), 9/10. Really entertaining rom-com involving time-travel, Jackman is really funny here.




Kids Return (1996, Takeshi Kitano)

Kitano's first film after recovery from a motorcycle accident, Kids Return is a beautifully low-key, understated, episodic but ultimately very lyrical affair. It doesn't hit you over the head with overblown dramatism or mindblowing plot twists - instead, it tells a very predictable, almost boring story, set to a quintessentially '90s soundtrack, about two delinquent high school misfits hanging out together, drifting apart and going separate ways in life, ending in failure and going back to square one. While not super intricately woven or particularly compelling or profound, the film has a simple, heartfelt story at its core, and is shot and edited with an unobtrusive, mundane elegance that paints life as a series of fleeting snapshots - bittersweet, awkward, comedic, trivial, as life mostly is.



Jojo Rabbit (2019)




I like the concept and it's very well made. I like Scarlett, Rockwell, and Rebel Wilson, and I had a few chuckles. It's just too whimsical for my taste.





Dwitiyo Purush (Second Man) (2020) - 6/10. The story isn't that tight. Just bad writing. The acting and all were just alright. Kind of suffers the same fate as so many sequels do. So not surprised there. Could have been a lot better. Disappointed.