Make Your Picks

Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom

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Slapdash is a pretty good descriptor of how I put my list together. I pulled up all the movies I gave a 10/10 on IMDb then just went with my gut. It ended up being shockingly American-centric and with a definite lean toward more recent films, but oh well. They were my favorite 25 movies on Sunday. The only thing I can say for sure is what ended up on top.
Yeah, my slapdashery resulted in a pretty decent list of movies but I felt certain that there were several major favorites that I forgot and won't get votes. Too bad.



Aquaman had an octopus that plays drums.



Um, it makes me think of something that would happen in the Flintstones live action movie.
Not that I ever watched that either, but it sure seems like something I'd hate.
Tonally, that's about where Aquaman falls.
It's probably Wan's worst film overall and therefore made hundreds of millions of dollars and cemented the next phase of his career.



What kind of answer would you find satisfying?

Only curious if The Conjuring or Wan in general showcases any kind of identity of their own. Or if competency is what is his bread and butter



Only curious if The Conjuring or Wan in general showcases any kind of identity of their own. Or if competency is what is his bread and butter
I’d say his technical proficiency is part of his identity but when I think of Wan, outside of familial themes and his clear puppet trauma, the way he applies that proficiency to increasingly complex set pieces gives him a fairly distinct voice in his genre. The polish in his work is clearly inspired and at worst derivative of Spielberg and Fincher, but he applies that attention and zeal to genre pieces that would normally favor simple set-ups and jump scares.

One need only compare the complexity and measured use of timing and space in the clapping sequence in the Conjuring to virtually any scare in Annabelle or the Nun. Wan has a distinct feel in this arena and applies it to sequences throughout his work, regardless of genre (the parking lot chase from Death Sentence immediately comes to mind).



I’d say his technical proficiency is part of his identity but when I think of Wan, outside of familial themes and his clear puppet trauma, the way he applies that proficiency to increasingly complex set pieces gives him a fairly distinct voice in his genre. The polish in his work is clearly inspired and at worst derivative of Spielberg and Fincher, but he applies that attention and zeal to genre pieces that would normally favor simple set-ups and jump scares.

One need only compare the complexity and measured use of timing and space in the clapping sequence in the Conjuring to virtually any scare in Annabelle or the Nun. Wan has a distinct feel in this arena and applies it to sequences throughout his work, regardless of genre (the parking lot chase from Death Sentence immediately comes to mind).

I am on the record as appreciating the clapping scene.


And I did actually not mind the Conjuring sequel, for its sense of space and use of environment, but I'm not even sure if he directed that



And I did actually not mind the Conjuring sequel, for its sense of space and use of environment, but I'm not even sure if he directed that
He did direct it, so that means you finally enjoyed one of his films, eh?



He did direct it, so that means you finally enjoyed one of his films, eh?
Enjoyed is a stretch. Still thought lots of it was kind of crap. The mood generated by that house though, with the little makeshift fort at the end of the hall, I thought was quite good.



The biggest issue I had with The Conjuring was that the pacing in it was so high that very few scares had time to settle in. As stated upthread, the hide and clap scene is a great example of an effective scare, but in most other cases, it felt like several big scares back to back in the span of 5 minutes. Instead of immersing me into the atmosphere, I thought many of these scenes ended before they were able to build up enough tension. I do think other bits work pretty well though, so overall, I enjoyed the film.



Enjoyed is a stretch. Still thought lots of it was kind of crap. The mood generated by that house though, with the little makeshift fort at the end of the hall, I thought was quite good.
This is starting to feel a little “one of us! Gooble gobble” up in here.



minds his own damn business
Jinnistan? Whats your take on the band Bedhead? I've had two of their records lying around forever and been kind of meh. But over the last year I'm falling in love with them.


You know 90s ethos way better than I, but I'm on board for this.


Words!
Hm, bit put on the spot. I'm not sure I found them memorable enough for too many words. There were a lot of bands like them at the time, I didn't think Bedhead were as interesting as some of my go-tos at the time, like Sea & Cake or Gastr del Sol or somebody. I'm not sure if I even have a copy of Beheaded anymore. I might compare to some other under-the-radar names, like Space Needle, Duster, Pell Mell.


I'm probably due for a deep dive revisit of those late-90s indie bands. But if you were wondering, no, Bedhead was not on my old RT 90s list.


Been rocking the 8-cd Sign o' the Times set recently. I wish they added the concert film (because at that price, why not?), but it does have a concert from that tour which, imo, is a tighter line-up than the album. To assuage, they threw in video of his 87 new years party with Miles Davis, so.....I'm alright.
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minds his own damn business





You may have already seen it, but I'm going to have to watch this Poison For the Fairies business.








You may have already seen it, but I'm going to have to watch this Poison For the Fairies business.

Sounds a bit like Don't Deliver Us From Evil, which I like, but I don't know this one at all.


Neat





For many, the entire career of Marcel Marceau could be viewed as a decades long preamble to a single declaration of ”No”. As the word most often reserved to greet the advances of wayward mimes, in Silent Movie, the tables will be turned. Mel Brooks instead offers it to Marceau as the only audible line of dialogue that will be spoken in the film. It will famously be shouted over a telephone to make it clear he wants no part of Brooks’ attempt at reviving pre-sound movies. For once, it is the mime that doesn’t want us.

Normally, they aren’t quite so easy to get rid of as this. Doggedly fighting against all manner of wind and invisible boxes to accost their audience, the mime has a known history of harassment, no matter how whimsically silent. A pest as persistent as the cockroach, they demand to entertain us, no matter how wretched our faces become as they approach. So it can hardly come as any surprise that in William Castle’s “Shanks”, made only a few years previously, we can easily detect this neediness for an audience, as unhealthily present as ever. It’s in the very marrow of Marceau’s bird like bones, so deep we can sense it even when he is not performing one of his silent tricks. It almost seems as if he is just as captive to his artform as the audiences he corners.

In playing the lead character of deaf-mute puppeteer Maurice Shanks, it will turn out that even while unburdened from the make-up and costume of his most famous alter ego—Bip the Clown—Marceau still cannot help but move with a pathological carefulness. Even when playing an ordinary man, engaged in ordinary functions such as walking across a room, it is as if each step he takes was only allowed to be considered after first being studied for many hours in front of a dance studio mirror. He is as majestic as he is unnatural. And to witness the extraordinary confidence he shows over every twitch and pivot his body makes, is to conversely realize the enormous self-consciousness that must fuel such superhuman control. Hardly able to move a muscle without first supposing an audience, there is a tragic air to his gait. No longer encased inside of the secure greasepaint of Bip the Clown, he can best be likened to a hermit crab after being shoehorned from its shell, strutting like it thinks we can’t see how edible he’s just become. But we can’t help notice this vulnerability, not as long as we continue watching how unwilling or unable he is to just be ordinary for even a moment.

Unfortunately for Marceau, these alien qualities of his only lend a movie already abundant in inert strangeness yet another layer of peculiarity without much of a point. In the beginning of the film, as we are introduced to his puppets, and also a mysterious Old Man (also played by Marceau) who teaches him the art of puppeteering living beings, it seems we are going into interesting places. There almost seems a natural kinship between the form of the films narrative, and the way in which Marceau’s compulsive miming is constantly tugging upon his own strings. There are hopes we will get a glimpse at the sadness at the root of the need to perform. The prison it constructs for those talented enough to become successful.

Instead, what we get is a concept that seems as if it was little more than a vehicle to stage a series of scenes for mimes to sabotage with considerably less guilt than is deserved. And worst of all, Marceau hardly will participate in these scenes. Their success will mostly be left up to second stringers, who dance and bob and wiggle for the approval of the man in control of them both on-screen (as he twists and turns the knobs he uses to control them), and off screen (choreographing all of the movements the audience would likely much prefer he perform himself). It is almost as if Marceau is taking some kind of revenge on the entirety of the mime world.

Watching it all unfold feels like such a miscalculation on the part of everyone involved that it almost has to be wondered how deliberate this all was. To be forced to witness the world’s greatest mime, trapped inside of one of the most inexpressive characters in cinematic history, all we can do is watch his talent seep pointlessly out from all of the mundane actions he commits to the screen. It feels almost criminal, especially when we are forced to watch considerably less talented clowns take up so much of the screen time doing things we know he could do better.

Only briefly does Marceau give himself any moments to really shine, and it will only be as the character Old Man Walker, who the story chooses to bury beneath the ground within the first half hour. Committing himself to a beautifully tragic/comic sequence where he is raised from the dead by a puppeteer not yet familiar with the burden of manipulating a full-grown human body, Marceau’s performance here is so clever and diabolically accomplished, its only function seems to be to shame what comes next, which will mostly be a bunch of desperate jitterbugging by lesser lights than him. When the character thankfully returns at the climax of the film, it is only a cruel punctuation mark to their obvious not-very-goodness.

So maybe, after all, I need to reconsider my first assumption of this piece. Maybe Silent Movie was not the only instance where a mime could not find the time for his audience. Maybe Shanks is Marceau’s attempt at taking the art form he dedicated his life and body to and using it to trap and disappoint the audience that has voluntarily come to see him. Why, after all, should he be the only one that mime has captured for its nefarious purposes. By this point, Marceau must have known he would never escape, no matter how loudly he shouted ‘NO’'.










For everyone who's ever been told they blow their nose too loud, come hither. A movie to quell your cries of 'egad my face is leaking'. A balm for your gushy forehead. Bandages are no longer necessary. Let the pus unsoak and shimmer. It is your time to shine like the unpeeled scab that you are. Join us, you unclotted misfits and bodily fluid drippers of all shapes and slices. Slime City believes in you. Will soak up your excess viscosity. Celebrate your slippery even as it gets sloppy. It is the place we need to get all sticky stuck together.

Inclusivity! Brotherhood! Excretion! Hooray!

Who needs the Sight and Sound poll anyways??? Let us drip all over it!





Hm, bit put on the spot. I'm not sure I found them memorable enough for too many words. There were a lot of bands like them at the time, I didn't think Bedhead were as interesting as some of my go-tos at the time, like Sea & Cake or Gastr del Sol or somebody. I'm not sure if I even have a copy of Beheaded anymore. I might compare to some other under-the-radar names, like Space Needle, Duster, Pell Mell.


I'm probably due for a deep dive revisit of those late-90s indie bands. But if you were wondering, no, Bedhead was not on my old RT 90s list.


Been rocking the 8-cd Sign o' the Times set recently. I wish they added the concert film (because at that price, why not?), but it does have a concert from that tour which, imo, is a tighter line-up than the album. To assuage, they threw in video of his 87 new years party with Miles Davis, so.....I'm alright.

Beheaded is one that I have. Forget the title of the other one. It took a long time to worm its way into me, it seemed so unassuming and uneventful the first half dozen listens. They've grown on me.


Sign o the Times is the one great Prince album I've never entirely been able to get into, and never sure why. It's loaded with tonnes of good songs and a perverse amount of variety. But I somehow always end up feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing. Maybe this is what other people experience when listening to the White Album



minds his own damn business
Sign o the Times is the one great Prince album I've never entirely been able to get into, and never sure why. It's loaded with tonnes of good songs and a perverse amount of variety. But I somehow always end up feeling underwhelmed by the whole thing. Maybe this is what other people experience when listening to the White Album
It's a potpourri of a number of failed projects (Dream Factory, Crystal Ball, Camile) from the year prior, an insanely productive period. It's also Prince's attempt to scrub the influence of Wendy & Lisa out of the music, which he could barely do. That's why I've always preferred the concert film because by then he had assembled a great band that took "Housequake", "Strange Relationship" and "U Got the Look" to a new level.


Because of the volume of his (available) recordings from the period, as well as the very many alts an remixes in this set, I haven't been able to yet sort out all of the threads. There is a 12 minute version of "Soul Psychedelicide", which was previously only available as an hour-long rehearsal from his '86 tour. Even with the vast number of boots from the period, that vault can produce treasures.



minds his own damn business
I wonder if we can use this thread to snicker about the Top 100 list with no one noticing


It was pahaK where I learned of the above film from Carlos Taboada, and really the best thing to come out of it so far. (I'll let Rock handle the, um, pink stuff.)


Did you catch the 2010 list? It's, ah, very 2010. But really the one legit bizarre thing that stood out to me.....Quills?


I mean, not a bad movie, but just one of those toss a dart in a 2000-era Blockbuster Video and hit a 6.5/10 kind of movies. Definitely subpar to Peter Brooks' Marat/Sade but what are you going to do?


It's got to be Amelia Warner though, right? Lots of fans? I completely get it myself. Those thumbs aren't going to suck themselves.



I tried to find the top 100 in that thread but it seemed neither near the beginning nor the end and I gave up searching it. How Reddit top 100 is it?



I've got no realissues with the old list. It certainly doesn't align with my particular tastes, but then that would be one awful (wonderful) selection, unfit for mere mortals. Maybe I'm just used to people championing stuff that doesnt do much for me.

Quills is a head scratcher though. But then again, back in the real early days of RT, I remember Ninth Configuration being generated as some kind of Citizen Kane level achievement. And while I find both these movies interesting on some level, they certainly aren't things you'd expect to be celebrated by the average film goer. Which is what I suppose makes the making of these lists interesting. The odd ducks that sneak in. You know, like I'm expecting Blood of Dracula to do on this one.