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The main review I read of it was, in a nutshell "good and powerful, but brutal."
My advice is to not underestimate the "brutal" part of the equation. Sheesh.
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That's a mighty fine nutshell
The review said something to the effect of "not for the faint of heart". I'm fine with certain kinds of violence, but from what I can infer this movie (maybe) has

WARNING: spoilers below

sexual violence
race-based violence
baby-killing violence


none of which I do very well with as a viewer. Still, I've heard enough positives that I'll probably watch it at some point when I'm feeling emotionally sturdy.

My advice is to not underestimate the "brutal" part of the equation. Sheesh.
I underestimate nothing. And at this point, what I'm imagining might even be worse than what's actually in the film.



The Firemen's Ball - This is a '67 Milos Forman comedy (?) filmed in his native Czechoslovakia. A small town's volunteer fire department throws a celebration in honor of their former leader's 87th birthday. The whole town is invited and there's food and plenty of drink along with a raffle and a beauty pageant. The wheel's come off right from the get go. Items from the raffle immediately start disappearing and the organizing committee can't seem to find enough "pretty" girls to compete in the pageant. When released this was at first welcomed at home and even praised but the Communist party soon realized that it was a pointed condemnation of their rule. Surprisingly, it wasn't banned and turned out to be a big hit in Czechoslovak cinemas. 80/100



The Firemen's Ball - This is a '67 Milos Forman comedy (?) filmed in his native Czechoslovakia. A small town's volunteer fire department throws a celebration in honor of their former leader's 87th birthday. The whole town is invited and there's food and plenty of drink along with a raffle and a beauty pageant. The wheel's come off right from the get go. Items from the raffle immediately start disappearing and the organizing committee can't seem to find enough "pretty" girls to compete in the pageant. When released this was at first welcomed at home and even praised but the Communist party soon realized that it was a pointed condemnation of their rule. Surprisingly, it wasn't banned and turned out to be a big hit in Czechoslovak cinemas. 80/100
I think that the strength of the film is that it works on both the literal and allegorical level. If you knew nothing about the politics and had no idea that it was a satire, you could still enjoy the comedy. Thinking about it as a political critique adds depth, but the literal story can stand on its own.



Actually, bumped it up a half star on Letterboxd. Seriously, check it out! It's been a while since something that good looking hit the anthology market.





Crazed Fruit, 1956

A young man, Haruji, joins his older brother, Natsuhisa, at a seaside vacation spot. The two come from a wealthy family, and they spend their time with a male clique of wealthy borderline sociopathic young men who party and regard the local women with a mix of lust and disdain. Haruji is mocked for not being a player, until he strikes up a relationship with the beautiful and mysterious Eri. Natsuhisa becomes intrigued by Eri, and soon finds a way to blackmail her into a sexual relationship.

Something that I thought this film portrayed incredibly well is the contempt and anger that people who are immature and insecure feel toward the gender(s) to which they are attracted. When you like someone, it gives that someone power over you. Both brothers, despite one being the "innocent" and the other being the playboy, feel this anger during the film, and it is ugly. Especially in the final confrontation between the three characters.

I was very intrigued by the character of Eri. She is at once someone who seems to be capable of control and "managing" the men in her life, and at the same time someone who has very little autonomy. It's hard to explain this without a moderate spoiler, but here goes:

WARNING: spoilers below
It seemed to me that each man in her life represented a piece of what she would want. Her husband represents stability. Natsuhisa represents sexual satisfaction. And Haruji represents a genuine affection/love. She tries to cobble together the life that she wants, but the results puts her in the center of danger.


The film looks very good, especially the sequences shot on or near the water. The water itself serves as an interesting echo and backdrop to the sexual tension between Eri and the brothers.

Overall this was a really compelling drama with a memorable finale. The way that it plays with the concept of a love triangle is really interesting.




The Pawnbroker (1964)

Intense and personal telling of a Holocaust survivor who is really asunder from his experiences. A wonderful performance from Rod Steiger who's character tries to learn the basics of social interaction and empathy. He cannot whilst still going under the banner of moneylending Jew. Very powerful and graphic.




The Nightingale (2018)




I had never heard of this until someone here mentioned it recently. It's a historical revenge tale from the director of The Babadook. You can see that it's not from the most upper echelon of directors or actors, but they're both good enough and I loved the content. It's about 135 minutes long and I was engrossed for it's entirety. I was surprised at just how brutal the movie is. The main bad guy is a complete sicko and there were several scenes that made me say oh damn. My wife likes Last House on the Left and The Devil's Rejects, and she may not have made it through without sweet payback on the horizon. It's also just plain sad at times.
I posted about this back in February or March. I loved it.

Edit: it was December of last year

https://www.movieforums.com/communit...90#post2053490



The Nightingale (2018)




I had never heard of this until someone here mentioned it recently. It's a historical revenge tale from the director of The Babadook. You can see that it's not from the most upper echelon of directors or actors, but they're both good enough and I loved the content. It's about 135 minutes long and I was engrossed for it's entirety. I was surprised at just how brutal the movie is. The main bad guy is a complete sicko and there were several scenes that made me say oh damn. My wife likes Last House on the Left and The Devil's Rejects, and she may not have made it through without sweet payback on the horizon. It's also just plain sad at times.
I thought it was a significant improvement from The Babadook (which I didn't enjoy that much, really). It's a little too "white man bad" at times, but as a whole, I liked it too. A god mix of brutality and sadness and beautiful 4:3 cinematography (I absolutely agree with that ratio choice).
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I thought it was a significant improvement from The Babadook (which I didn't enjoy that much, really). It's a little too "white man bad" at times, but as a whole, I liked it too. A god mix of brutality and sadness and beautiful 4:3 cinematography (I absolutely agree with that ratio choice).
I thought The Babadook was decent enough but pretty average.



I thought The Babadook was decent enough but pretty average.
I really didn't care for The Babadook but I did really enjoy The Nightingale. Maybe due to it being a historical piece vs horror movie that got a lot of hype.

When horror films get a lot of hype for being different, it draws me away from it.



This is a movie that's been on my to-see list for over a year, and that I have also been avoiding because of what I know about its content. It's streaming on Hulu and every time I go in there Hulu's like "You wanna watch . . .?" and I just scroll on down to Steven Universe . . .

The main review I read of it was, in a nutshell "good and powerful, but brutal."
Admittedly, I remember feeling kind of worn down from the film after I finished it. After the first 30 minutes or so, it did tone down a decent bit with its violence, but it's not the kind of film which I have any interest in revisiting. However, though I'm more of a The Babadook person, I do think it's pretty solid. Certainly not an easy watch though.





Emotion, 1966

This was a fantasy/horror short from Nobuhiko Obayashi (he of Hausu fame).

Experimental short films can often be the butt of jokes. And there are some truly unengaging and random ones out there. But it is very fun to watch an experimental film that has a strong vision behind it (even if that vision is a pseudo-Dracula walking through a forest of bubbles).

Emotion is the perfect name for this film. I couldn't even say exactly how, but the sequence of the images and how they were presented certainly did evoke emotions in me. There was a sense of humor to the film, but also an off-kilter vibe to the whole thing that works well with the horror story.




minds his own damn business
The Social Dilemma - 8.2/10


Sure, it's one of the scarier films of the season, but not very surprising for anyone who's been paying attention for the past decade. And for those that haven't been, well, they might not be interested in willing themselves into awareness now anyway. Still, it's a clean and neat (just shy of 90 minutes) summation of a chorus of guilty consciences behind the design of something short of ethical and more or less persuasive. One flaw of the film is by focusing on the big handful of tech corps, it sidesteps how more traditional media corps have integrated and adapted the algorithms of divisive engagement. They aren't victims of 'new media', but complicit in its worst aspects, impulses and priorities. But hopefully we'll learn. Hm. I guess we should want to. I should have started a cult when I had the chance.




The Farewell - 8.6/10


Packs a bigger punch in our covid times, considering how I haven't been able to see my dear grandmother for months, and we slyly lie to each other about how soon we will see each other again. I may not, in fact, since she's 87. But we smile about it.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
'Ammonite' (2020)

Dir.: Francis Lee




Beautiful film. A real companion piece to Francis Lee's debut feature 'God's Own Country'. It's as much about loss as it is love. Saoirse Ronan is good but Kate Winslet is absolutely sensational as the repressed fossil collector slowly withering away on the Dorset coast. A very tender, emotional ride.

There is some ambiguity towards the end but it's poised for the viewer to fill in some of the gaps. That's 2 very fine movies out of 2 for Francis Lee now.




❤️Dominic Sherwood+Katherine McNamara❤️
'Ammonite' (2020)

Dir.: Francis Lee




Beautiful film. A real companion piece to Francis Lee's debut feature 'God's Own Country'. It's as much about loss as it is love. Saoirse Ronan is good but Kate Winslet is absolutely sensational as the repressed fossil collector slowly withering away on the Dorset coast. A very tender, emotional ride.

There is some ambiguity towards the end but it's poised for the viewer to fill in some of the gaps. That's 2 very fine movies out of 2 for Francis Lee now.

loved kate winslet shes an amazing actress
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“I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there's a life after that, I'll love you then.” . Clary+Jace



Just getting into the spirit of things
The Initiation (Larry Stewart, 1984)
+
Does get a welcome lift once it gets to the mall
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Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once