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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35657519

Nights of Cabiria - (1957) - Italy

Nothing I'm capable of writing could really do justice to Nights of Cabiria - only the second Fellini film I've ever seen. I had it on VHS for many years, but never got around to watching it back then, and I'm glad I didn't. I can appreciate it more now than I could during that era of my life. Giulietta Masina plays the prostitute going by the name 'Cabiria' and my eyes never left her for a moment. Such an expressive face, and a brilliant performance which completely transcends time and place. She reminds me a little bit of a manic Carole Lombard when her comedic notes hit home.

Cabiria believes in love deep down inside, so much so she's an easy target for men just out to use her, or steal from her. The opening scene where she's pushed into a river while her so-called boyfriend steals her money immediately grabs our attention, and we already want to know what sort of person this is - who wouldn't see beyond what must have been the empty promises and platitudes of her man? Whatever naivety she has about love is balanced by her general toughness, high hopes and endless energy. Has she learned yet, or is she destined to repeat history? No matter, for it seems nothing can quell her spirit.

Every aspect of this film was spot on. I rewatched it the morning after seeing it for the first time. A classic movie.

9/10








North Country (2005) - 4.8/10. Just meh! The movie tries to focus more on the abuse and less on the trial. Such a historic case, the movie just didn't do justice. The writing is weak. Every did a decent job. But just let down by the script. Passable!
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My Favorite Films



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.

Return to Greendale (Bernard Shakey [Neil Young], 2020)
+ 6/10
Blood Orgy of the She-Devils (Ted V. Mikels, 1973)
4/10
Babysitter Must Die (Kohl Glass, 2020)
5/10
Major Grom: Plague Doctor (Oleg Trofim, 2021)
6/10

Complex action-thriller about a vigilante, a copycat and a possible revolution in Russia.
The House of the Dead (Sharron Miller, 1978)
5/10
Hikari AKA Radiance (Naomi Kawase, 2017)
6/10
Finders Keepers (Alexander Yellen, 2014)
5/10
Till Death (S.K. Dale, 2021)
5.5/10

Unusual, slow-starting thriller where Megan Fox is put through the wringer.
The Child (Robert Voskanian, 1977)
5/10
Satan's Children (Joe Wiezycki, 1975)
+ 4.5/10
The Big Space Travel (Valentin Selivanov, 1975)
5/10
Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer (Andrey A. Tarkovskiy, 2019)
7/10

Cinematic love letter from father-to-son and son-to-father with interviews from Tarkovsky Sr. and highlights from his films arranged by Jr. as poetry since that was his father's art's major concern.
The Serpent (Gia Skova, 2020)
+ 4.5/10
Alice and the Mayor (Nicolas Pariser, 2019)
6/10
The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson, 1956)
6.5/10
Rogue Male (Clive Donner, 1976)
+ 6/10

Little-seen remake of Fritz Lang's Man Hunt with Peter O'Toole excellent as the Hitler stalker.
The Good, the Bart, and the Loki (David Silverman, 2021)
- 6.5/10
White Demise (Daeil Kim, 2020)
4/10
Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight (Robert Downey Sr., 1975)
5/10
No.7 Cherry Lane (Yonfan, 2019)
6/10

Super-slow-moving political romance set in 1967 Hong Kong.
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 2011, 3rd watch (A+)

A slow burn spy film about surrounding turmoil in the British secret services in what seems to be the 60s.

As rivetting as a film can ever be while being this slow.



North Country (2005) - 4.8/10. Just meh! The movie tries to focus more on the abuse and less on the trial. Such a historic case, the movie just didn't do justice. The writing is weak. Every did a decent job. But just let down by the script. Passable!
I bailed out of this. As you say ďmehĒ.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 2011, 3rd watch (A+)

A slow burn spy film about surrounding turmoil in the British secret services in what seems to be the 60s.

As rivetting as a film can ever be while being this slow.
Iíve seen it at least twice. Excellent movie. Is it really 10 years old already?
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, 2011, 3rd watch (A+)

A slow burn spy film about surrounding turmoil in the British secret services in what seems to be the 60s.

As rivetting as a film can ever be while being this slow.
This one is plain exquisite.



This one is plain exquisite.
It is, but it took me simply ages to figure out who was who. Very confusing movie at first & I read quite a bit online to help me along.



It is, but it took me simply ages to figure out who was who. Very confusing movie at first & I read quite a bit online to help me along.
I agree, Iím not great with those types of spy films. I think with things like that you can just go along and enjoy. If you really like it, after the third viewing itíll make a bit more sense. At least that was the case with me.




No Sudden Move (2021)

Director/cinematographer: Steven Soderbergh; Screenplay: Ed Solomon; Actors: Don Cheadle, Benecio del Toro, David Harbour, John Hamm, Ray Liotta, Brendan Fraser, and others.

This is a very well put together, watchable movie that nevertheless felt vaguely recognizable. It put me in mind a little of the 4
th season of Fargo: set in the '50s, black mob, Italian Mob, unusual plotting-- but with a great MacGuffin: plans for the first automotive catalytic converter. Here itís unique because the MacGuffin goes through several permutations.

The story starts off in a familiar manner, with 3 gangsters employed to hold hostage a family while the banker husband is taken to his bank to steal some valuable documents. However the plot soon fans out several ways, and involves an eclectic groups of players.

The editing and photography were outstanding, and the music score by David Holmes was tasteful and period specific.

The acting was predictably good, given the heft of the crew. The standout for me was David Harbour (known for his role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things) playing a nuanced Matt Wertz, the kidnapped character with a double life. The nadir was Matt Damon playing Mr. Big in an uncredited role. Perhaps if his part was to have been credited he would have tried a little harder. Truthfully, it was a matter of miscasting. Ray Liotta did a nice turn, who was almost unrecognizable in his role as Frank Capelli, a mob ruler. And a somewhat aging Don Cheadle nicely carried the central character, Curt Goynes, a small time gangster who gets in over his head.

The film does drag a bit in the middle, but soon gets back on course. The picture definitely has Soderbergh's stamp on it, and it holds one's interest from start to finish.

Doc's rating: 8/10




...
There's a few clips on Youtube, all of which appear to come from the same audience tape that I have. And there's also
, which is proof that somebody was filming in a professional capacity at the time (and with much better fidelity, but heavily edited).


If you'll indulge my music nerd, were you still with the Mothers when Zappa guested with Pink Floyd at a Belgian festival that October?

As Zappa was fervently anti-drug, I've always wondered about the possibility that, since these situations were quite common in the era, he may have found himself spontaneously dosed. Which I'm sure must have annoyed him greatly.
Interesting, but peculiar, video clip. Still, it's a good find. Nice of you to suss it out.

Right, the "Festival Actuel" was in Belgium on 10/24 to 10/28/69. Frank was by himself on that one. He was hired to be the MC. He did jam with several bands, but MOI was not there.

To my knowledge Frank was never "jarred" with any drugs in his drinks/food. He was anti drug, and he didn't drink alcohol, but for a very occasional aperitif on a flight. He did drink gallons of coffee daily, while smoking 2-3 packs of butts-- alternating regular and menthol.

None of us ever drank or drugged before or during a performance. Although after the shows it was, "Katie bar the door!"...



It is, but it took me simply ages to figure out who was who. Very confusing movie at first & I read quite a bit online to help me along.
Have you seen the miniseries? I think it's pretty great.



Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer (Andrey A. Tarkovskiy, 2019)
7/10
I'm completely obsessed with Tarkosvky documentaries, that man, that man saw the world. Sadly, I haven't had to opportunity to watch this one, but people that like his work (and often are more critical) said it was emotional and well made. I hope I can watch it one day.



Hotel Rwanda (2004)


Finally found a chance to watch this since having it on my radar after seeing Hotel Mumbai a couple years ago. Definitely different approaches between the two in terms of polish and presentation, but I enjoyed them almost equally.



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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Black Widow (2021)



After this and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I have to ask - when did Marvel movies stop being fun?

I think Black Widow deserved a movie, probably about 10 years ago. Rectifying that by making one after Endgame with something set before Infinity War which sort of promises to delve into her past but then doesn't exactly do it was a bit of a weird choice.

The plot, the tone and the editing were all over the place. It's about an hour in before there are even any attempts at humour, and none of those landed for me. The back story is actually kind of upsetting, which makes the attempts at humour about it worse. I just don't think they pulled off the tone. It all lurches joylessly from fight scene to explosion to fight scene.

I expect to suspend disbelief a certain amount in a superhero movie, but pheromone force fields, magic mcguffin dust which resets behaviour conditioning and characters who can't normally fly basically flying through the air without any explanation just seemed silly. The reset dust just sort of undermined the whole idea of conditioning and free will and making the right choices that the movie could have tried to explore.

Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz are always good, I just wish they were in a better movie. It's not terrible, but I didn't enjoy it.




MAPS TO THE STARS
(2014, Cronenberg)
A film with a title that starts with the letters M or N



"On the stairs of Death I write your name, Liberty."

Maps to the Stars follows Agatha Weiss (Mia Wasikowska), a mysterious young woman that arrives at Los Angeles and seeks employment with Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), an aging, washed-up actress struggling to face the truth about her career. Unbeknownst to Havana, Agatha's real intentions are to get close to Benjie (Evan Bird), a problematic child star dealing with his own problems.

The thing is that both Havana and Benjie are captive by expectations and failed dreams; from the struggles of "old" age and mature actresses in Hollywood, to the plights and pressures put on child stars that don't have the maturity to handle it. The contrast of both trying to be liberated from the oppression of the Hollywood system is quite interesting, while also extending to other peripheral characters, including driver/wannabe-actor Jerome (Robert Pattinson) that are as captive as them.

Grade:



Full review on my Movie Loot
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minds his own damn business
MAPS TO THE STARS
(2014, Cronenberg)
A film with a title that starts with the letters M or N
Also has a great performance by Jamie Spears. I mean, John Cusack.
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