Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame VI

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The trick is not minding
In the Mood for Love

There are few more crushing experiences than knowing your significant other is having an affair. To share that experience with the wife of whoms husband your wife is having an affair with is somehow even not as cathartic as you might expect. Both husband and wife depicted here are fully aware of the adultery. Neither are brave enough to call them out on it. So they become friends, a shared loneliness and disappointment in where their lives have ended up. He wanted to write martial arts serials, after all.

She helps him with this, their mutual attraction obvious. But they’re careful to avoid making the same mistakes as their respective spouses. “We won’t be like them.” She tells him.
“I don’t want gossip.” He mentions to her her in an earlier conversation. It is a unrequited love. One that is maddening to watch unfold on screen, knowing they are showing their spouses a respect they themselves aren’t afforded.

And that’s the point. WKW (it’s easier to use initials) makes a point to show their relationships through unspoken glances, and gestures. The little private moments when they’re alone. Time seems to slow or outright freeze when they’re with each other. He HS a way of framing them when they’re alone as if they are the loneliest souls in the world.

Which they are. Both trapped by circumstances, stuck in disappointing marriages, and unable to convey their true feelings for each other. When they finally do, they realize they must part, for fear of acting on their impulses. So he heads to Singapore, and when they part, her sadness is indescribable. Conflicting emotions swarm over her. Remain with her cheating husband? Or run off with her new found love? These decisions will effect the rest of their lives. It comes to the only ending we can imagine.

WKW has a distinct way of showing us a scene that tells us so much more than any line of dialogue ever could. It’s true in this film. The loneliness and longing is captured perfectly without uttering a word.



The world doesn't owe you a damn thing




The River (1951)

Narration: The day ends. The end begins.

I've wanted to revisit Director Jean Renoir, one of the first French Directors of the Old Guard of the 30s and 40s that I had ventured into a few years back with The Grande Illusion, The Lower Depths, La Bête Humaine, and The Crime of Monsieur Lange, most of which featured MyMan! Jean Gabin. So, to experience one of his later achievements was a tantalizing prospect.

With a wholesome family's daily life format, Renoir ventures to one of the holy rivers of Bengal, India. With a widowed/remarried British nationalist, a daughter from his first marriage to an Indian woman, his present wife, and their five children, the eldest being the Narrator reflecting on her time as a young teenager.
Renoir takes full advantage of the locale, featuring (with respect and admiration) the heritage and culture of India while centering the story through the children and the American son of a neighbor who, having returned from the war missing a leg, becomes a three-way competition between our Narrator, Harriet, her half-sister, Melanie and a young friend of the family, the daughter of a manager at the father's plant named Valerie.
A serene, gentle, idyllic story of British idealism (so everyone was very, VERY polite) told in the rich environs of Bengal, India. Hitting all the marks with ardent precision for its genre kept me invested. The genre's usual rural backgrounds transported, adding curiosity to the mix.
All the adults were wise, nurturing, gracious and loving—even the war-torn Captain John. Among the children, I got a serious kick out of the youngest, little blond-haired, rambunctious, and wondrously imaginative Victoria. I did go, total old fart dad, "Boyyyy," to the only son, Bogey, and his fascination with insects and serpents. The occasional vindictive outbursts remained verbal only for our Narrator/Harriet, a fiery redhead. Another redhead, who I found the most intriguing with a casual curiosity with not-so-British idealism without ever experiencing any of them.

While I am not head over heels, I greatly enjoyed and loved this idyllic sojourn.
THANK YOU
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The world doesn't owe you a damn thing
Been quite absent but not completely gone for a bit. Been overwhelmed with life - in a very good way, to find the time to participate.

I also have The King of Kong finished and ready to write up a review leaving me three to knock out before December 2 and make time to/read and comment on the films watched during my absence.

I hope everyone is Happy, Healthy. . . or at least, Head Above Water with the necessary grit to stay the course.

TAKE CARE and --




Been quite absent but not completely gone for a bit. Been overwhelmed with life - in a very good way...
Very glad to hear that! Not the overwhelmed part but the in a very good way part.



The trick is not minding
Welcome back Ed!


I’ll have my review for Samurai Rebellion up today. I watched it yesterday and forgot to write a review.
Just remembered a few minutes ago



Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
CODA

Struggling to review this a little bit because it basically boils down to 'nice remake of nice film'. I feel like I'm damning it with faint praise - it's not that it isn't good, in fact I liked it more than a few other films I've watched for this hall of fame. It's very likable. I did see a review of it that said something like, 'its nothing you haven't seen before but it's a very good version of that' and that's about right. It's well made. It's a little more slick than your average teen performer coming of age Disney channel movie with a few more adult jokes but it doesn't stray too far from that path. As a remake, I did think it improved on the original in a few ways, mostly small changes.

I'm glad I saw it in my quest to watch all of the best picture Oscar winners.



Had to go to ER for 3rd time since May, totally unrelated. I'll be fine and back on forum in couple days have to rest and can't focus on anything
I hope you feel better soon
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The trick is not minding
Had to go to ER for 3rd time since May, totally unrelated. I'll be fine and back on forum in couple days have to rest and can't focus on anything
Hope you feel better, man.



Had to go to ER for 3rd time since May, totally unrelated. I'll be fine and back on forum in couple days have to rest and can't focus on anything
Feel better soon.



Had to go to ER for 3rd time since May, totally unrelated. I'll be fine and back on forum in couple days have to rest and can't focus on anything



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The trick is not minding
Samurai Rebellion

“It’s an old custom,” he says to the nanny sent to feed his grand daughter, “The mats are to keep us from slipping in blood.”
He knows what’s coming. He accepts the coming fight not with glee, but with a certain resolution.

Much like Kobayashi’s earlier Hara-kiri, Samurai Rebellion delves into the honor of the samurai. A lord forces a marriage into a Clan, one they object to, much to the Stewards displeasure. His son interrupts to agree to the marriage, sensing his father losing face for being stubborn. It turns out to be a happy marriage.

Of course it can’t last long. The lord wants her back after 2 years and a daughter. They refuse. And we see Kobayashi delve into the inner thinkings of the lord, who by this time has stepped aside to allow his son to take over the Clan, and why he has declined. There is a code, but there is also pride and reason. Sometimes the code won. A Samurai was to obey, after all. Sometimes, however, pride and reason overwhelms the Code.

The father, of course, doesn’t want his son to have an unhappy marriage like his own. Forced into a marriage with a wife who is deliberately belligerent, often mocking her husband, despite his status. He doesn’t wifi his son to marry a woman as domineering as her. So imagine how happy he is to see the real love and respect between the two. As such, he can not bring himself to separate them.

As in Harakiri, the ending leaves you with a certain sadness. You might be amazed at some of the samurais actions, in fact. All to bring the Clan to heel.

The important thing is the Code after all. The Clan has dared to go against it, in rejecting the lords demands. So they must be punished for their “dishonorable” reaction. But before that happens there will be blood.





The Wild Bunch
After a botched robbery of a bank, where they walked into an ambush, a group of aging outlaws go on the run. They stop in a village where one of the outlaws, Angel, the only Mexican in the posse, was born. We learn a little about Angels history and the Mexican General we will soon be meeting. The guys head out to another village where Angel spots his ex on the arm of the Mexican General. He gets insanely jealous and shoots her which puts into motion the remainder of the film. In order to set things right, the leader of the Bunch offers his services to the General. The job the General gives them is to rob a train carrying American weapons. While all this is happening the Wild Bunch is still being sought after by a group of bounty hunters, led by a former partner of the Bunch's leader. It's a very good story yet...

It didn't work for me. This is one of those movies I really want to love but don't. Generally, movies where the line between good guys and bad guys is blurred is right in my wheelhouse and this is certainly one of them, however, aside from Warren Oates' character, a drunken, whoring doofus, the other main characters are too stoic for me to grab onto. All the action sequences are great - the initial robbery, the train robbery, the final shootout - it's the in between stuff that loses me. It feels sluggish.

If I was picking a movie for me this is the one I'd feel was almost a sure shot, in fact I expected to watch this during the first PRHoF. It's a great recommendation for me. I see everything that makes this such a revered classic in the genre and maybe someday I'll get it, but that day isn't here yet.




10 Foreign Language movies to go
Had to go to ER for 3rd time since May, totally unrelated. I'll be fine and back on forum in couple days have to rest and can't focus on anything
Here's hoping that streak ends at 3

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

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