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i think that was when i last talked about it, or when kos got it's re-release-- i think a year and one half ago. npr did a story on it and i think i linked. i'll try to find it... i am really so flattered that you would put something i liked on your N-Q

*i'm not worthy! i'm not worthy*
i do so revere your taste in films, goddess dolor, i find myself barely able to type.
i will think of something else!

yes, to sleep with anger was the first burnett film i'd seen, and i loved it-- it was, and is-- so different from the way that black films are. and danny glover is magnificent.

sigh. ozu... there is another director who demands that i give them more attention...

it breaks my heart that bless the beasts isn't on dvd. it's so good in that 70's way. i do so love 70's film....
a couple of links, but i'll just print them here....

i should be able to think of more black directors, but i'm too peeved by saw. i thought the first hostel was alright-- not as brutal as everyone said, and at times funny, but i am really starting to loathe eli roth. it started with grind house. his preview was, to my mind, offensive (the girl impaled by the knife going up her coochie, if you were wondering) and his role of playing himself didn't help.

anna k did an amazing job.... but here are the ones i can add:
bill duke(deep cover); ice cube; carl franklin (the amazing devil in the blue dress), charles burnett (killer of sheep, to sleep with anger), sidney poiter, marlon riggs (the best black queer films like, black is, black ain't),Antoine Fuqua (training day), f gary fray(set it off, the negotiator) and Gina Prince-Bythewood(love and basketball).

can't think of any more right now...


a while back i posted something about one of my all time favorite movies that was showing in nyc, killer of sheep. it's been called a classic of modern cinema, but has rarely been seen unless you have a connection or the occasional film festival/archival showing because of legal issues. well it looks like this great american film will get a release after more than 25 years on the shelf.

if there were two movies that are so great that they need to be released no matter what, but, sadly probably never would, one would be todd haynes' superstar-- a karen carpenter bio pic using barbie dolls. haynes actually whittled the karen doll down to reflect the ravages of anorexia on her body. the shocking thing about that film is how deeply effecting it is.

the other would be killer of sheep.

completely different, but equally effecting is the lyrical quality of killer of sheep. i don't think i would be far off if i said it is quite possibly the best black film ever made, but i think that would be marginalizing it. there is something terribly beautifly human about the film. if six feet under is your kind of show, i think you'd love this movie. the pacing is different, much more poetic, but there is that same strange, haunting love of life, a bittersweet celebration of the human condition, that is unforgetable. i saw the film more than ten years ago, but listening to a snippet from the film durring an NPR piece, had me weeping. it is a slice of life look at early 70's watts. it's not a violent movie, it's one of those working class movies that americans never make. the brits have directors like mike leigh or ken loach, and the british new wave was primarily about working class docs, but here in the us, woking class issues rarely get sympathetic treatment, unless it is a pittstop on a road to wealth (coalminer's daughter); or as an effective, but somewhat simplistic political tract (norma rae). killer is neither. it is simply an astonishly good movie, and in the end i can only echo what someone on imdb said about it: "never pass up chance to see it."


there are few films i think are so warm or generous. in a strange way, i think the other movie killer of sheep reminds me of is fireworks which, i'm pretty sure i've posted about before. fireworks (or hana-bi-- a neat trick combining the words "fireworks" and "sunflower") like killer of..., has an elequent quietness that is really so amazing in a movie. directed by takeshi "beat" kitano (yes, he is one of the guys on spike tv's most extreme elimination or mxe), the charecters have a contemplativeness, that breaks your heart. fireworks, is the story of an middle aged violent cop who finds out that his wife is dying, and wants out of the violent life he's been a part of. the movie alternates between thoughtful, beautifully composed silent set pieces to explosive gangster violence. in a way it kind of foreshadows the transition asian movies from asian extreme to much more art house fare. his later film, Zatôichi, a retelling of a blind swordsman builds on the use of sound (or lack thereof), in fireworks.

another film i should mention is to sleep with anger, made by killer of sheep director, charles burnett, i want to say this is a horror film, but not in the conventional sense. a basic synopsis is a relative comes to visit. turns out he's the guest from hell. there are not scary knife weilding scenes, but rather that discomfort of realizing that the person you've invited into your house is toxic. he's a manipulator and, frankly, a bad man. it's all done realisticly, so as i said it's not really a horror movie, but a movie about a person who is horrible.

well, since i've come this far, i might as well go for broke. i told you about two student films that are masterpieces, (killer of.. and superstar), and i've told you about one of burnett's later films (to sleep...) i should also tell you about todd haynes' later films that is not just a personal favorite, but, also sort of a horror movie too: safe. i will tell you right off, safe is not for everyone. it's pace is slow, but it is a sort of boa constrictor of a movie that wraps around you and squeezes the air out of you. as i said, not a horror movie in the conventional sense, but a movie about horrible things happening. again, very naturalistic. no gore, just horrible. thinks creepy in almost a rosemary's baby kind of way. it's the story of a house wife who may or may not have a mysterious immune disorder. what makes this film so great is the mise-en-scene. one scene comes to mind that so perfectly frames julianne moore's sterile life: a shot of her almost trapped within several boxes, drinking a glass of milk. then of course, there's lester this is a great, creepy movie.

killer of sheep
to sleep with anger
coalminer's daughter
norma rae

another great movie that is going to be showing at the ifc is 'killer of sheep' which is by most accounts one of the best black films ever made. it was directed by charles burnett, who is best known for the 80's film to sleep with anger-- another great movie starring danny glover. killer of sheep to me felt kind of like a bittersweet live action fat albert in feel. it's about the life of a black family in 70's LA. i'll post more about both movies in the busties of color thread, later.

xposted in tv thread

sad, one of my favorite channels, AZN, is going kaput on the 9th.

i loved it, they showed super obscure asian films, super popular asian films, great bollywood films and videos, j-pop, k-pop videos, korean soap operas, and one of my favorite film shows: cinema azn, which was phenominal. they had great detailed interviews with asian directors (the theme of buddhism in the films of kim ki-duk?!?, interviews with cinematographer oh, fucking my!), a profile of (my secret crushes), bae doo-na and maggie cheung!?! sign me up...

the coolest thing was that AZN was pan asian, taiwan to china to india, they had something for everybody-- even us non-asians. i will miss it terribly.
I loved AZN when I lived in civilization! NO!

I've been seeing promos for the new "Harold & Kumar." Initially it was that they went to Amsterdam to follow Roldy's gal Maria, now they are at Gitmo. Hmmmmm . . . I just know that Kal P is crazy fuckable.
ap, i want me a Pen-Cho sammich. laugh.gif
You are so worthy, O Girl-Trouble.

I always dig it special when you are a cocky-know-it-all.

And I delight in your effusion over Killer of Sheep. It makes you/one/us/I realize that there are oceans of life which are not to be found on film. Also that work /labor, which is so prosaic, and so much a part of lives, but so seldom captured on film.

As for flix by black directors,
I had to add
Chameleon Street
Ganja and Hess

Have you seen either? Both are unusual, extraordinary.
And I can now add SymbioPsychoTaxiPlasm to that heady group.
All 3 are at Netflix.

Yes, I've also been wanting to see "Superstar." Just like I'd love to see some footage of Karen C when she was singing and drumming at the same time. Before they made it big. To Sing and to Drum!!

Just watched: They were Strangers, 1949, dir John Huston. Set in Cuba, and surprisingly close to AgitProp.
Next in line: Born into Brothels, and "The Eye."



PS This Saw & Hostel part of the woods is where your tender-hearted Dolor does not stray.
For that matter, I'm a much more boring vanilla kind of gal than you-- I hope you'll forgive my limitations.
PPS Oh, and What you say of To Sleep With Anger will make me go see it again.
And speaking of seeing Again, it's time to see "The Swamp" again, the movie that Martel did before her "Holy Girl."
Care to join me?
I little bit of a rant:
I have been really disappointed by the 8 films to die for lot. In 2006 when I heard about the idea I thought wow that sounds great I love a good horror movie. After watching the films I was really disappointed. So this year I have been giving it another shot. Well I have seen 2 of the movies so far and it looks like another bag of crap. I am a big horror fan but I keep felling like the genre is slow slipping down hill again (much like it did in the 80's). Between all the remakes of Japan movies and the Hostel copies. The last two movies out of this genre I have seen and enjoyed are 30 days of night ( since I love the comic it was hard not to support the movie but it did have flaws) and The Mist.

Ps Have reading this forum I finale Netflix Happiness.
yeah luna, i was all hot on that, till.... i saw the previews of the movies and was annoyed. great idea, bad execution. i adore horror, but for the most part, unless it's asian, it needs a budget. which is too bad, you wouldn't think that horror would need nothing better than a great, scary idea. but it would seem those are in short supply.... i hated the comic of 30 days, i loved the concept--thought it was great. and ive wanted to see the mist. i just don't get to the theatre much... booo!

and no dolor, i haven't seen those movies... i've been slacking in my movie watching, which sucks. i miss movies, and i have been wanting to do a dolor-fest, where you recommend a slew of movies. but i've had 'romance' from netflix for about 2 mos, and i still haven't taken it out of the envelope. i think it might be welding...:/

i keep thinking i ought to see if i can get a film writing gig so i can see film festival movies, but i can't get motivated...sad.gif blech...

i am soooooper excited about ironman, tho. been a fan since i was a kid.
Okay, so I'm late/lazy, but I noticed mention of Killer of Sheep & the black cineast. Nobody mentioned Kasi Lemmons (Unless Anna K did & I am late/lazy.) & she rocks. Most people only know her as the gal jogging with Jodi Foster in the beginning of Silence of the Lambs, but she's a great writer/director to boot. Eve's Bayou, the Caveman's Valentine, & last year's Talk To Me.
actually, that post was from more than a year ago, kasi, and many others were mentioned (you'll note the person who usually first comes to mind, spike lee, is not mentioned. ) there was a very long list of black film directors-- but i only posted mine because of killer of sheep cos dolor was asking about that. but yeah, kasi lemmons is awesome.
anna k
I just got back from Shine a Light, and didn't really like it. I went because I've been busy with work for the past few weeks and haven't gone out to do anything fun, so I decided to see the movie. I got bored, sick of looking at Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and only liked a few songs (Loving Cup with Jack White, As Time Goes By, cover of Just My Imagination, and Champagne and Reefer with Buddy Guy). In comparison to the grit and dirtiness of Scorcese's The Last Waltz, the overpriced glitziness, tired songs, and obnoxious "hot" girls in the front row making "rock chick" faces bothered me. Though the sound was good and I felt like I was there.

And the film’s most poignant moment comes at the close of the last song, “Satisfaction,” as Richards ends up on the floor for extended moments, physically leaning on his guitar, visibly panting. (He is, after all, 64.)

He looked like he needed an inhaler.

It cracked me up when Jagger was introducing "As Tears Go By" as a song he was embarassed by, and gave to someone else to sing. As if thinking "Ugh, this song is cheesy, let's give it to a teenage girly pop singer."

I thought Mick humping Christina Aguilera's butt was gross, and she didn't sound that good to me.
... in bed this morn, before dawn, listening to the BBC, and they were yakking about "Funny Games" and US remakes (the case that FG is now playing to a different-- post Saw & Hostel-- audience than the original.) And they touched upon dubious failed US remakes in general... and began with the most notorious of all....

And yes, boys and girls, it was "The Vanishing."

Every time I see you here, Dolor, I hear this little song in my head:

Wishing she could
call him heartache
but it's
not a boy's name...

Do you know this tune? I also think of Rigoletto...but now I'm just babbling. I just want to say hi and agree with you about Hollywood remakes and ask:

Why do we tolerate Hollywood when it "remakes" films in such ways that purposely underestimate the intelligence of the viewer?

Don't they know we can all go out and see the original, and see exactly where they've doctored the entire story in order to make some didactic rightwing reactionary political point in order for the film to get financed?

Is it because we regard Spielberg as the icon here--the epitome of good film making, as if
hitting the jackpot with licensing deals and soundtrack deals and spin-offs and big box office receipts are the whole point of the creative effort of film making?

"Wishing she could
call him heartache
but it's
not a boy's name..."

Wow, La Cha-cha,

It's quite wizard that you should come up with that one, since, for starters, I was feminized by loneliness & heartache, and it was in that state that I wandered into this fem arena, as dolor.

And then, I've been listening to Prefab Sprout, just NOW, and happen to have this very song in my car!! In their 2 CD "Collection." It's quite extraordinary that Paddy S has held on to his romantic side, as he has. That it hasn't been exterminated /extirpated by age and fame, etc. I know "Jordan..." the best, so I was especially enjoying "We let the stars go..."

As for US remakes, or US movies in general, what you see is that "we" like our stories gathered up neatly, into some kind of clear plot, and esp. into the final resolution of happiness, victory... whereas movies from Europe and elsewhere are more open-ended, unresolved, ambiguous..., and so more like-life. I first learned about this contrast, years ago, watching Max Ophuls' sumptuous "The Earings of Mademe De...."

yr Dolor

PS I've been meaning to discuss "My Uncle Antoine" with you. Do you know it?
PPS Rigoletto I know not. Care to say a bit more?
*wallows in the dolor/cha goodness*

As for US remakes, or US movies in general, what you see is that "we" like our stories gathered up neatly, into some kind of clear plot, and esp. into the final resolution of happiness, victory... whereas movies from Europe and elsewhere are more open-ended, unresolved, ambiguous..., and so more like-life. I first learned about this contrast, years ago, watching Max Ophuls' sumptuous "The Earings of Mademe De...."

yeah, it's also how we like our politics...*gags* tell us what we want to hear, whisper inanities and trivialities into our ear like sweet nothings, drain it of all nuance, weave dreams of war, selfishness and greed, and for godsake, never, no matter what you do, never, ever tell us the truth...

god, i am getting cynical angry and yes, bitter...

but thank you for closing that with anything by ophuls, particularly "earrings of madame de..." quite possibly the most sumptuous film ever, in my humble opinion...

and as usual, i just adore the two of you, as i am sure you and everyone in this thread knows.

sigh. thank you for a ray of sunshine...
So I was right then? You, me, PreFab Sprout...I'm not really amazed you were listening to it right then, and Paddy S's songwriting is eternal. There's something magical about those musicians.


Quanto Dolor! (What pain/sorrow!) Is what Rigoletto screams out when he "accidentally" kills (stabs! no coincidence) his daughter in what I've come to see clearly as your typical under-the-radar incest scenario. Was Giuseppe Verdi a bit like Strindberg, or Shakespeare, in presenting us a situation clearly where the female character suffers unjustly from societally entrenched/embraced misogyny? I don't know. I just know I think: "you're telling me!" whenever I hear that line sung in the opera.

Here's my offering of cynicism, anger, and bitterness: our politics are the way they are because our movies are the way they are. That "egg" (the movies) came before that chicken (what passes for politics here these days, including that smokescreen of "democracy" and a "vote"--pacifiers we're given to suck on while our governments are out there, torturing people all over the world, in our name).

Mon Oncle Antoine! Speaking of the vast difference between North American films and films from other places in the world (don't want to just say Europe, because other countries produce films which demand more mental participation from us, too).
It still amazes me that Quebec can produce films like this one which end up rivalling Hollywood blockbusters in that province. We get to see the whole contrast right here. Mon Oncle is quite a subversive little film really, in that it tells a "secret" about Quebec about which English Canada loves to remain ignorant--that their own political history is shaped by layers of oppression. I still have a hard time when I think that the film is set in the first part of the 20th century in Quebec.
If we were to believe that the films produced in Quebec are "Canadian" films, the world would have quite a different view of Canada, since the vast number of films made in the English speaking part of the country are cheap US B films which imitate the blockbusters, on a reduced budget. Or Porky's. I think it explains the vast difference in our two cultures politically, especially. Which goes back to my original cynical, angry, and bitter point.


.... and just one thing I want to say about "Mon Oncle Antoine" [if we leave out the Antoine, then we think we're talking about Tati...] is how that ending, when they come upon the child's wake, looking through the frosted windows... and it suddenly ends... how that sudden stop intensifies and shifts what the movie is about. Wow.

To be put in a class of powerful endings that suddenly intensify and rearrange. Like the ending to the original Solaris, which is typical of what we are talking about, American vs. European endings, insofar as it suddenly enlarges upon & opens up what's being going on, shifting from ex-wife to father-- whereas the Clooney-Soderberg remakes resolves to a much simpler and familiar love-conquering-all wrap up.

There is also a French movie, competent but not so special... and then at the end the voice-over talks about Vermeer, and it just put me into a wonderful spin, thinking about Vermeer, and the Simple Soul that was the movie's focus. I can't think of the title. Zut alors.

BTW, driving through the Estrie /Eastern townships, I've passed through the town, Black Lake, where MOA was shot, where a Mountain of mine tailings looms over the town, making you feel like you are 'under the volcano." And also passed through the other town where the cavernous store that they used for the interiors in located.

Where are you, Mme. de Cha-cha? Which province?

As for Am politics, Yikes T-Gal, it is a nightmare from which I wish to awaken! It is so embarrassing and so depressing that we have elevated the ghastly GWB to this position of power. It is the epitome of what is wrong with this country, our culture, our national character. Even accepting that I didn't vote for him, and that the election was stolen, millions nodded along as he intoned that hollow rhetoric, peddled those fears.
"What have we done to deserve this??"-- It is the eternal question.

Gimme shelter,
yr Dolor
going to to see 21 tonight im so exicited
I'm in Ontario, Dolor...are you travelling through Canada still? I've been to Quebec many times, but never to the Eastern Townships.

(It's amazing to me that the structures in the towns where MOA was filmed are still standing!)
...are you travelling through Canada still?

No no Chacha, I now abide in upper NY state, in cow country ("vachement" it is), but visit Quebec often. I lived in Paris when 9&10 and so was completely fluent, once upon a time.

This French movie, "competent but not so special..." with a sudden transformative ending that rendered it suddenly special was The Lacemaker /La Dentelliere (1977). The Simple soul was a young Isabel Huppert. It does not seem to have made it to DVD. The effortless naturalism of the acting (effortless was how it seemed) struck me as so accomplished (i.e. competent) compared to the curious non-naturalism of a standard American movie.

Meanwhile, I'm now watching Psych-Out & The Trip, fascinating and laughable American International "youth movies" of the late 60's. Wearing my tie-die T shirt and puffing a big reefer. Yow!
omg! psych-out and the trip are a ball... those movies were my introduction to acid/psychodelic movies (as well as much of the music i dj now, including my love of tom jones), courtesy a gang of acid dropping film students in oakland, dubbed "the cosmic hex"... ah... good times! they managed to get themselves assigned to the equipment room in a local art university, where they slowly pilfered any film hardware they could find. we would get stoned and watch 16mm movies in their living room and on the weekends we'd shoot films... (there is a film out there somewhere with me as a witchdoctor.) it was also part of my crime career... i'll tell y'all about it some time...

after i moved up to the wetlands, some of my old partners in crime opened their own go-go bar/60's film house/wherehouse club in sf called "the werepad" that closed down a little more than 2 years ago...
GT you are too cute:

OMG is right! I don't think I've laughed so much while goofing on Roger Corman's description of his first acid trip, part of the special features of this wonderful disc. And the dialog on both Psych-out and the Trip is just flippin delightful. I may have to buy this disc, it is so awesomely groovy.

Are you from the bay area? I did my first acid adventure in some the SF marina area (good times!!)... then went to Stanford, so I know it all well enough.

And yah-yah Tom Jones. What's New Pussy Cat is just great-- and no one else could have nailed it that way he did. Bachrach spoke of how amazing it was that he could sing that way, at 10AM. During the recording. Speaking of BB, I big dig Tom's version of "I wake up Crying." Saw Tom in London...

Yeah, tell about your life of Crime. Were you gun crazy? Sailing across the badlands in your cadillac? Detoured? On the street with no name? Two against the world? I'm jealous!

yr D-Gal
You're jealous?! I want a crime career! I want a crime career!

(though, some people say I'm a witchdoctor in real life)
I think it would be exceedingly presumptuous to consider Mon Oncle Antoine a Canadian film, since most francophone Quebecois don't identify as Canadian.
Chez IMDB je lire:
"A critics poll held once a decade, since 1984, at the Toronto International Film Festival has named this movie the greatest Canadian film of all time 3 decades in a row."

Time to wag your finger at those exceedingly presumptuous critics, n'est-ce pas?

"I think it would be exceedingly presumptuous to consider Mon Oncle Antoine a Canadian film, since most francophone Quebecois don't identify as Canadian."
anna k
I would call Set Me Free a Canadian film, though it's in Quebecois.

Even though I like Tina Fey, I'm not interested in Baby Mama. It just doesn't look that good to me. I want to see The Orphanage and Doomsday.
Well, I'd agree that Jutras was 'pure laine', and that most pure laine Quebecois would not identify as Canadian (but isn't it true that les pure laines are in the minority in Quebec? At least they are, today?). But it is a film about one aspect of Quebecois history, particularly under Duplessis; it's not like that could be rendered accurately unless that history is shown in the context that existed...and that would be in the context of Canada as an entity which created the situation of the Quebec in the film.

It couldn't have been made in any other French speaking place in Canada, or in any other French speaking nation. But it is a reality that could only have existed in Canada, no?

Just making the argument, that's all. Please reserve all invective for when I speak well of films like Josie and the Pussycats.

(Though, no one complains when we call Les Boys a Canadian film, though, curiously enough). Anyone here seen C.R.A.Z.Y. ? What did you all think?
No, I would probably call any francophone film from Quebec, Quebecois, rather than Canadian. That doesn't mean I think it could have been made anywhere else.

Hmm. I would probably like Josie and the Pussycats.
i got your post card dolor! <3 you are so absolutely dreamy! and thank you so much for having handwriting every bit as bad as mine. i was beginning to think you were impossibly perfect!

i posted yesterday, but my computer blinked out on me.... argh!

josie and the pussycats is fun-- but only if you think about it as an experiment in how far you can go with product placement. no, seriously, it's like they were trying to pack every single second of that movie with some sort of tie-in. other than that, it's average. i liked the spice girl movie better-- but not by much.

speaking of cheesy fun, i'm having a sick day, and tcm is showing "tight spot" (aka 'dead pigeon') with ginger rogers (chewing plenty of scenery) as a gangster moll/jail bird they are trying to talk into testifying against the mob.

it's got ed g. robinson, brian keith and loren greene, and those great noirish hardboiled lines that just make you giggle, like "you better get out of here in exactly no seconds!" or this scene:

is that blood on your shirt?

DETECTIVE(deadpan, sarcastically):
yes ma'am. i took 2 bullets. don't worry, it's routine. (leaves the room)

DETECTIVE#2:(equally deadpan):
actually ma'am, it's worse than that. he took three bullets, we just haven't told him about the third.

the thing i love about tcm-- other than the great obscure films you'd never see otherwise, is the stars doing profiles of movie legends or the trailers... great line from one: "he said you had the mouth of an angel, but the words that came out of them were pure tramp!"

since we are talking about mon uncles, let's go back to tati. i went thrifting and found an ez listening version of "mon uncle" which made me very happy, and a spanish version of 'the days of wine and roses' from breakfast at tiffany's and the ever present but the prize was the theme from M*A*S*H, "suicide is painless."

as for my crime career, *smirks* it was much closer to drugstore cowboy than gun crazy, and the oakland/sf bit of it was part 1. part 2 was up here in the wetlands. and i can show you, charming cha, all the tricks of the trade...

but wait-- i cannot get the image, dearest droll dolor, of you with a tie-dye shirt and puffing a big refer....
And....Lorne Greene was a nice Canadian boy from Ottawa, not Montreal. The nice Canadian boy from Montreal I always confuse him with is William Shatner.

Yes, Shatner is Quebecois. You see how everything ties together?
Hmmm, in the eyes of this exceedingly presumptuous critic, moi, I think the greatest Canadian film of all time just might be "Saddest Music in the World." Well, I can't think of any other great white northern arty-fact which has given me greater pleasure, caused me to laugh my tiny head off like that! And it's soooooooooooooo Canadian! Dancing maple leaves, and great tubs of beer! Gusts of vapor coming out of every mouth...

Esp. with that pushy cocky yankee who completely subverts the whole contest, re-seduces Lady Porthuntly, brings on the faux-ethnic dancing girls, and gets all those Winnepegians cheering along to.... "California, here I come."
I just LUV it!! Plus the music, the costumes...

As that drunken washed-up and washed-out blonde Lola Heatherton used to wail on SCTV, "Guy Maddin..., I want to bear your child!"

-- yr cocky yankee D-Gal
Re: Saddest Music

That's a cool little movie. smile.gif
I love Guy Maddin.

I am extremely jealous of Isabella Rossellini, and I suspect she's, you know, shacking up with him. In Winnepeg.
I heard an interview with her not long ago where she talked about meeting Guy for the first time, in the middle of winter--and Guy explained having to postpone the burial of his grandfather (who had recently died) until the springtime, when the ground would thaw enough that they could dig into it to inter him. She'd never heard of such a thing, she wondered how it was he could just talk about that with his stoic kind of acceptance of the reality...and that was that, she was hooked.

I love Guy Maddin, but I would not wait for a bus in minus 40 degree Celsius weather in downtown Winnepeg--and that would probably be a reality of my life if I had to move there to be with him. Sigh.

Anyone remember his Archangel?
I believe I've seen Archangel, but can't bring it to mind... now...

Have you seen Cowards Bend the Knee? It is the most autobiographical... I assume. >
How the young Guy was drawn to his mother's world (the hot-house world of the beauty parlor, with its furtive glances via mirrors),
YET how he Yearned to succeed in his father's world, to be the hockey player his father would be proud to announce over the radio: "Maddin Scores!!" Canadian wish-fulfillment.
And in the end, very poignantly, he leaves us with his failure to live up to his father: he is the coward who bends his knee. Mea culpa!
Movies I've Seen Lately and My Personal Rating

Juno (5 stars)

Reservation Road (5 stars)

Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (4 stars)

Atonement (4 stars)

Sunshine (4 stars)

The Kingdom (4 stars)

No Country for Old Men (3 stars)

Gone Baby Gone (3 stars)

Things We Lost in the Fire (3 stars)

Good Luck Chuck (3 stars)

The Invasion (3 stars)

The Savages (2 stars)

Revolver (2 stars)

anna k
Baby Mama was funny for the first hour or so, but the pathos and drama brought it down, and I didn't like the ending (too pat). But I did crack up laughing at various lines, and it breezed by at about an hour and a half.

I watched Grease 2 yesterday on TV. Sometimes in NYC, there's such a variety of movies playing that I don't know what to pick. I keep hearing good things about 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, but I don't feel like getting depressed.

Juno was good once it got past the first 15-20 minutes, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead was depressing, No Country for Old Men was good, and Gone Baby Gone was good (Amy Ryan stood out as someone unlikeable but doing a fantastic job at it).
No Country for Old Men (3 stars)

Yes, I'd agree with that. Saw it last night. I was expecting more from "the best movie of 2007." It was well done, well acted, with good cat & mouse-ing, and I enjoyed the shifts in focus, and concluding reflections... but it didn't amount to that much, not the much I hoped for.
QUOTE(dolor @ Apr 26 2008, 01:33 PM) *
No Country for Old Men (3 stars)

Yes, I'd agree with that. Saw it last night. I was expecting more from "the best movie of 2007." It was well done, well acted, with good cat & mouse-ing, and I enjoyed the shifts in focus, and concluding reflections... but it didn't amount to that much, not the much I hoped for.

i couldn't have said it better myself.
I thought No Country For Old Men was so disturbing that the last scene kept reverberating with me for days. I loved the film's utter relentlessness about the whole concept of death, of evil. For me, that's unusual--most movies are all about what Kurt Vonnegut used to call "the Cinderella story"--the idea that, even when things look bleak and dark, there will be a happy ending because the fairy god mother/the handsome prince/the salvation that is the lord will be there any minute to tie up all the lose ends of vengeance and continuity. Tommy Lee Jones was really heartbreaking in this film, his "post retirement" morning scene where he describes his dream to his wife was just devastating. And it was all done so quietly, in such a completely "resigned" way. The expression on his face was like he was seeing his whole life's work as a kind of extended, unfolding, unavoidable failure.

That got to me because it was so subtle. I can't give the movie a 3, but I can't figure out what to give it either. And I don't know if I can do another series of days with those ideas in my head.

What made it even more powerful for me was the fact that it was so similar to Coen work in general--in fact, for me it was like Raising Arizona, with all hope removed. The same character actors, the same Coen mythic figures...I sometimes even heard Hi's voiceover ("It was especially hard on the little things"...while a bunny is blown into extinction) but in No Country there was no joke to lighten the severity of the evil giving chase.

I finally saw Juno, I get that we're supposed to despise the lead character. I get it. I wish I weren't made to do so so forcefully. But I thought Jennifer Garner was the film's real star.

I haven't seen Cowards....but you got that right about the Canadian wish fulfilment--in fact, isn't it really everyone's fulfilment now, becoming the "star" in an arena that's so well loved you're god-like? You want your dad to see you in the same hero-like way you'd see your dad, presumably?
(p. s. the whole Canada loves Hockey and Beer costs thousands of bucks per year to get your kid soccer's replaced it as the most popular sport in the land--you just need shoes and a ball, and your kid's playing. As for beer: for about 30 years now, the worst wine made in Canada is better than the best beer we've ever made. Seriously. That whole "Hockey Night In Canada" cliche is a thing of the past, and the NHL has winning teams in cities where ice only exists in drinks).
i'm with you, cha, i haven't got time to outline why, but i think it's that strange humorlessness, the use of fate in an utterly noirsh way, but not with the main charecter the only one trapped. everyone seemed suffocated by their fate. they are all doomed from the second they enter the frame.

i loved ncfom, but i see why others would not like it.
I couldn't understand a word of Tommy Lee Jones' last speech because of his mumbling. I would have liked the film if they had edited out the last half hour because it ruined it for me. I think it was well acted and well directed but the ending simply didn't do it for me. I like the overall message, however, and I think it's something that Cormac McCarthy does well as well as the Coens. I hear there is going to be an adaptation of McCarthy's latest, The Road; now that really is a bleak story.

By no means did I think we were supposed to despise the character of Juno blink.gif. I can see why some people would dislike her as she is obnoxious but I thought she was a realistic intelligent-I don't fit in with my peers-teenager.
not that i'm not loving the discussion at hand but has anyone seen Reservation Road ?? I really liked it. Just wanted to know what everyone else thought.
Two movies I saw lately that I would recommend:

Sharkwater: Very beautiful and inspiring. I will never be afraid of sharks again, but man they should be afraid of us. Plus Shark Dude is smoking hot....

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?: This was a little silly at times, but you meet so many wonderful people all across the middle east. It makes me sad that so many of these places are so dangerous and war-torn; but they are beautiful and I would one day love to visit them.

Oh, and for all you tokers out there.... Harold and Kumar 2 was flippin awesome smile.gif That's all I'm gonna say.
i really couldn't stand no country for old men. the acting was fantastic and it was visually gorgeous, but for me it left a lot to be desired. i love slow paced, nuanced movies, but this one just didn't cut it for me.

pugs, i saw reservation road this weekend. i really liked it. most of the time i think mark ruffalo's acting sucks (i kinda love him anyway, even though i find him wooden), but i think he really pulled it off in this movie. it's sad.

i saw the life before her eyes yesterday and was completely confused for a while, because i went in not knowing a thing about what happens other than "a life changing event in their teens." strange movie. it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great or anything.

the 11th hour was actually pretty good. i thought it would be completely full of itself, but aside from the questionable taste in music, it was pretty interesting.

i can't wait for iron man. biggrin.gif
Okay, I never, NEVER thought I would think this, or say it, or even write it anywhere...but I can't wait for Iron Man either.
It's because of Robert Downey Jr. Any other actor in that role and I wouldn't even notice it had been released.

For the record, Harold and Kumar part two ("escape from Guantanamo"--enough satire for you right there, no?) is looking like it might be interesting too.

There's a big documentary film festival going on in Toronto right now (Hot Docs) and it's always got great stuff. What's Reservation Road about (LMP, don't fret about interrupting "a conversation"....just tell me more!)

Bunny, there's a speech in the film Juno, given by the character Juno--regarding the Juno myth. She tell us about the beautiful, but very mean and very despicable wife of Jupiter, after whom she's named. Personally I thought the speech was a little bit "hit 'em over the head" but it did make me feel like my (the viewers') reaction to the character was what was intended. Before that I was a little uncomfortable about the way I was reacting to the character.
i almost rarely go to mainstream movie theaters, but i heard good reviews for forgetting sarah marshall, so we decided to check it out. can i just say? awful. we left an hour into it and got our money back. the acting was horrible and the comedy was a complete miss, even for that type of random, off the wall humor. overall i felt it was trying too hard, and that whatever story line was hidden in there was completely disinteresting. hated it. if i ever came across characters like that of the movie, IRL, i would roll my eyes and walk the other way.

on the other hand, a good dark comedy, in bruges, was definitely worth the time and money. the plot was completely unique and the one-liners were the type of random humor i'm into.. jokes about guns and death are much wittier than those about sex and nudity imo.
QUOTE(chachaheels @ Apr 28 2008, 08:37 PM) *
What's Reservation Road about (LMP, don't fret about interrupting "a conversation"....just tell me more!)

Since I'm no good at writing summaries I'll just quote IMDB

"Ethan Learner (Joaquin Phoenix), his wife Grace (Jennifer Connelly), their 10-year old son Josh (Sean Curley), and younger daughter Emma (Elle Fanning) are going home after Joshs musical recital. On their way home, Ethan stops at a gas station on Reservation Road. What was a simple act of stopping at the gas station turns into a life changing event. In a split second Josh is hit by an SUV and killed. Dwight Arno (Mark Ruffalo) is the driver of the SUV and for a split second he stops, because it was an accident, then he panics and runs. The state police are called, and they begin to investigate the hit and run. As time goes by, both men are living in emotional turmoil and agony over this event. "

I liked the movie so much because it just seemed so real. I also liked the interviews with the actors in the special features. I loved when the discussed preparing for the film. Jennifer Connelly was so touching. The movie is really intense.

I, too, am looking forward to Iron Man. Sheff and I don't see a lot of movies at the theater anymore, but we'll definitely go to this one. When you consider that the character of Iron Man is an alcoholic in the comic books, it makes the casting of Robert Downey Jr. all that much more fabulous. He certainly knows what it's like to battle those demons.

As for Juno, I never got the impression that we were supposed to dislike her. I saw the movie right when it came out & wasn't tainted by the hype, so I enjoyed it even though I thought it wasn't terribly realistic (the stylized language at the beginning irked me, but I also saw it as a way to warn the audience that you're entering a different world). Juno strikes me as a person who's very good about putting on a false face of strong self-esteem, but inside she's actually much more vulnerable than anyone knows. My best friend is like this, so that's probably another reason why I warmed to Juno.

Rich over at FourFour recently wrote an excellent piece comparing the character of Juno to My So-Called Life's Angela Chase - whom he calls the Anti-Juno. I thought it was really great.
Some more thoughts about No Country for old Men.

Its takes place in a very specific time and place: west Texas, around 1980. A time when the area is suddenly being invaded by a new kind of crime, large scale hard drug smuggling (heroin, as opposed to smaller scale marijuana), with a corresponding escalation in money, scale, weaponry, brutal violence. So it's at that time that this west Texas Sheriff, at the point of his retirement, old, finds himself in "no country for old men."

The killer, Anton Chigurh, is this new kind of violence raised to the level of the inhuman, the demonic. He is a bizarre outsider, who cannot be placed, who plays by his own strange rules, who seems to be unstoppable.

Meanwhile, one *younger* man, Llewelyn, a man of the area, well known by the Sheriff, and who has been steeled by Vietnam, is prepared to test his luck and mettle... when he comes upon the drug deal gone bad. To see if he is up to this new kind of country.

Those last two conversations:

When the Sheriff goes to the trailer to talk about what his world has come to, the even older retired lawman in the wheelchair (Ellis) says, against the point that we are facing a new kind of violence, that violence was always "in the land." The history of Texas is all about violence. To illustrate this, he tells the story of the death of Mac, way back at the beginning of the century, when he was murdered by a gang of men, when, crucially, the two Indians just sit there on their horses, calmly, to watch him die, to make sure that he's dead.

In the last monologue, the Sheriff is telling his wife about a dream of wish-fulfillment, set in the "old times," when he has his own "old man" taking care of him: his father. Who is going on ahead, with the fire in the horn (wonderful image!), into the dark and the snow, to set up camp for the two of then....
"And then I woke up..." Back into the present.
In other words: "Sometimes I feel like a fatherless son... a long long way from home."

But he does have a wife, a good marriage...

Wasn't it wonderful to see Tess Harper in that last scene?! Where has she been? I feel as if I haven't seen her since Tender Mercies, which was such a sweet movie, about a man and a woman coming together, in their maturity. So it was fitting to find her as such a warm and mature presence here.
(She had the same hairstyle as in TM. Deliberately?)

My initial middling 3 star reaction (like LoveMP) came because I expected so much.... I was then hit by the disappointingly cliched element of the basic plot triad:
Tired noble sheriff.
Struggling trailer park dude comes upon a drug $$ windfall. & Takes off.
Unstoppable satanic killer.

But now I see that there's more to NCFOM than I first supposed.
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