What was the last film you watched? part 4

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Agent of the International's picture
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May 28 2019 16:42
sherbu-kteer wrote:
Are you watching the old or new series? I love both, but strongly preferred the new one over the old one. Don't worry too much about Lynch calling himself a libertarian, you wouldn't really guess that much from the show itself. I don't think he is anyway, most of his political activity is strange shilling for Transcendental Meditation, he used to support the Natural Law Party which is the party arm of the TM movement. Pretty weird stuff, they advocate for things like mandatory TM classes in inner city schools to decrease gang warfare.

It's a mostly apolitical show but for what it's worth the entire 'Dougie' storyline of the new series is a pretty direct (and funny) attack on the emptiness of upper-middle class American life.

So I've seen the new Twin Peaks, and while I liked it, I have to admit I don't understand the story. It's a pretty complicated 18 hours.

Also, David Lynch voted for Bernie Sanders, so he's moved away from his early libertarian views.

zugzwang
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May 28 2019 17:21
sherbu-kteer wrote:
Are you watching the old or new series?

The original one, bit late to the party.

Agent wrote:
Also, David Lynch voted for Bernie Sanders, so he's moved away from his early libertarian views.

I was relieved to see that also (which I guess is an improvement?). I was getting some Atlas Shrugged-Dagny Taggart vibes at first with Lynch calling himself a libertarian and the Packard Sawmill characters, but there's probably no connection there. I'm still working my way through the first season.

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May 28 2019 19:25
Agent of the International wrote:
So I've seen the new Twin Peaks, and while I liked it, I have to admit I don't understand the story. It's a pretty complicated 18 hours.

But it's also more explicit than the old series. You never really knew if the weird stuff was real or not in the old one. The new one tells the whole thing. Which means talking giant kettles in space amongst other things. It all goes together as well, very few loose ends.

I felt he had affection for his characters in the old series but in the new one it feels exploitative. Like he's taking the piss out of these people. Some scenes are even more Pinter, Brecht, Roy Anderson like than before which is sort of nice.

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May 29 2019 15:48
Cooked wrote:
But it's also more explicit than the old series. You never really knew if the weird stuff was real or not in the old one. The new one tells the whole thing. Which means talking giant kettles in space amongst other things. It all goes together as well, very few loose ends.

I felt he had affection for his characters in the old series but in the new one it feels exploitative. Like he's taking the piss out of these people. Some scenes are even more Pinter, Brecht, Roy Anderson like than before which is sort of nice.

All I remember is that the old one was very easy to follow, and I was excited to see how the story would be continued. And then I just become lost watching the new one. There wasn't much that was familiar imo.

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May 29 2019 17:43

There's also the "missing link" of Fire Walk With Me, which I've still not seen, but I think a few bits of the new series might make a bit more sense if you've seen them. I don't think much of the new series was as good as most of series 1, but I also don't think any of it was as bad as the worst bits of the second series.
Also the original series would have been much better if every boring James Hurley scene was replaced with Michael Cera's Wally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AeANz2ndM8

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May 31 2019 15:24
R Totale wrote:
There's also the "missing link" of Fire Walk With Me, which I've still not seen, but I think a few bits of the new series might make a bit more sense if you've seen them. I don't think much of the new series was as good as most of series 1, but I also don't think any of it was as bad as the worst bits of the second series.

I watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me before watching the new series. It doesn't really help. It's also a very bad movie; probably the worst thing David Lynch has made. Looking at it's ratings on review aggregate websites, it's one of those films that is disliked by critics, but well received by fans of the show. I have to agree with the critics on this one. It's a pretty inert experience. The strangeness doesn't do anything.

zugzwang
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Jun 9 2019 03:43

Almost finished with the last season of Twin Peaks. It quit being interesting for me after they found out who killed Laura Palmer. I'm not all that eager to see whether the Horne guy 'turns his business around', and I don't really care what happens with the rest of the spoiled, bourgeois (racist I might add - what was with the confederate thing for two or three episodes?) Horne family. Oh and the chess thing now is just stupid. If you're going to have a chess story line at least do more research than who Capablanca was and how to set the board up correctly. None of the pieces have even left the back rank, they clearly have some opening position on the board, and the Earle guy is talking about stalemate?

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Jul 30 2019 13:35

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - best superhero/comic book film ever made. I put it above The Incredibles, Black Panther, Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight. This is such a creative film.

Annihilation - good, but not great. This is an attempt on making a bold sci fi but I don't think this will stick very long.

Happy as Lazzaro - this is a really good foreign film. Realistic first half, surreal second half.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout - this is notable for just how action packed it is. The series gets better and better. Although this is a bit too long.

BlacKkKlansman - Spike Lee's strongest effort since Do The Right Thing.

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Aug 1 2019 05:06
Agent of the International wrote:

BlacKkKlansman - Spike Lee's strongest effort since Do The Right Thing.

Heard this was good but had forgotten about it. I will add it to my watching list.

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Aug 8 2019 12:16

I just saw a movie on the Manson family that I liked a lot more than Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” This movie is about the Manson women and largely created by women. It’s directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol), with a screenplay by Guinevere Turner (American Psycho, The Notorious Betty Page). It’s based on two books, The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten by Karlene Faith, and The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion by Ed Sanders. You may recognize Ed Sanders as a poet and member of the 60s beat rock group The Fugs.

This film focuses on the women and Charlie Manson (Doctor Who’s Matt Smith) manipulates them into seeing him as an Angel, a guru, a savior to follow and obey unquestioningly because he is breaking down their egos to create a utopia where all are one. The film covers the timeline of Manson’s attempts to break into the music business, and he pimps out the women ("shares" them) to industry insiders and others toward this end. The turning point (as told here, in real life there was other violence and a murder that preceded the Tate-Labianca muders) comes when he fails to get a record deal and begins to enact his apocalyptic race war end times vision of “Helter Skelter” based on the Bible and the music of the Beatles. Manson was an absolute racist who saw himself ruling over black people after the race war, and preserving the white race. By the time he is telling his followers to kill, we can sort of understand how they were mentally and sometimes physically beaten into submission to the point they just wanted to please Manson and make his visions come true. He had conditioned them to think this was part of being a revolutionary.

Aside from that story line, the other half of the film is a college professor who ends up teaching the main three Manson women in prison. She slowly makes them question their conditioning, and they study feminist literature together. We flash back and forth between these sessions and Spahn Ranch, which offers a picture of Charlie as a charismatic con man and virulent misogynist. The issues of the 60s are touched on a bit more than the Tarantino film, enough for us to see that even as obviously corrupt the cult became, many people attracted to it believed they were fleeing the oppression and violence of an insane culture of war, violence, and lies. That’s what makes it so sad. Contrast this to Tarantino’s film which offers us Reagan (the actor) era cowboys who will slaughter evil hippies for our catharsis. It just doesn’t compare.

Maybe this Charlie Says film looks even better to me after just seeing Tarantino’s nothing of a movie, but I wanted to offer this recommendation as an alternative film. The story has been told many times, and this one is also incomplete, but the focus here is what made it worth watching.

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Sep 15 2019 14:43

Recently watched Dockers (1999) a film about the Liverpool Dockers strike, the one where Chumbawamba dumped a bucket of water on John Prescott over.

Happily the rights holders uploaded the film for free on youtube

https://youtu.be/DgYkLWsEPZk

If you're familiar with social history type dramas you'll know what to expect, its full of the usual working class actors.

I thought I saw a Solfed banner in one scene but I think it was one of those things were films didn't bother getting permission so did a generic version.

Its very well made, I'm surprised I didn't know anything about it until stumbling on the channel. In addition to being a film about working on the docks and the effects of striking it doesn't pull its punches on showing how the strike was sabotaged by the Union leadership and how the Labour party left them to rot.

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Sep 15 2019 15:32

looking up the film on Wikipedia revealed l this interesting fact

Although the credited screenwriters for the drama were Liverpool screenwriter Jimmy McGovern and Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh the drama was largely written by sacked dock workers and previous union members under the supervision of the two screenwriters. This unusual writing method was considered an experiment in 'democratic television' and was documented in a separate channel 4 documentary, Writing the Wrongs.

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Oct 7 2019 15:07

At last, two films I can recommend, both taken from novels, which are superficially simple yet are better than the usual confectionary dished up for our entertainment.

‘The Bookshop’ - in the 1950s a widow wants to open a shop in a sleepy English seaside town, which irritates the ‘establishment’. Classic British understatement and suffocating conservatism.
‘Leave No Trace’, I’d heard this was good – it is better than that – no explanations are offered, the story is told through terrific acting and cinematography.

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Oct 18 2019 22:27

I really enjoyed Leave No Trace, I saw it in the cinema.

sherbu-kteer
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Oct 19 2019 14:19

Joker sucks. It's like if someone sucked all the subtlety and nuance out of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy and mashed it into a ridiculous liberal, anti-socialist framework. Its viewpoint is roughly something a reformist liberal would say a hundred years ago: the working class is a scary mass of irrationally violent people, so we should placate them with reforms lest they fall prey to a charismatic leader and start carrying around signs saying "kill the rich" (they literally carry these signs in the film). The depiction of violence is just stupid, nothing interesting or intelligent about it at all.

Films like Taxi Driver succeed because they provoke people to critically reflect on what they've seen. Joker just intends to shock you and presumes the daze it leaves people in is equivalent to a state of proper reflection. It's like it's trying to make you think but it doesn't realise it's a superhero film, which is to thinking what alcohol is to sobriety. No doubt this bullshit make the studio a lot of money, the faux-controversy in the press about it has done its job perfectly.

Also, Robert de Niro upstages Joaquin Phoenix.

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Oct 19 2019 21:41
sherbu-kteer wrote:
Joker sucks. It's like if someone sucked all the subtlety and nuance out of Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy and mashed it into a ridiculous liberal, anti-socialist framework. Its viewpoint is roughly something a reformist liberal would say a hundred years ago: the working class is a scary mass of irrationally violent people, so we should placate them with reforms lest they fall prey to a charismatic leader and start carrying around signs saying "kill the rich" (they literally carry these signs in the film). The depiction of violence is just stupid, nothing interesting or intelligent about it at all.

Films like Taxi Driver succeed because they provoke people to critically reflect on what they've seen. Joker just intends to shock you and presumes the daze it leaves people in is equivalent to a state of proper reflection. It's like it's trying to make you think but it doesn't realise it's a superhero film, which is to thinking what alcohol is to sobriety. No doubt this bullshit make the studio a lot of money, the faux-controversy in the press about it has done its job perfectly.

Also, Robert de Niro upstages Joaquin Phoenix.

Having heard how great Joker is I was highly suspicious, I think I shall take your review as confirmation that my suspicion is justified. Won’t be watching it now.
So many times these supposedly marvellous films are cringingly bad, none more than my pet hate, A Clockwork Orange. But I’ve set the record straight about that particular abomination on this thread before so I’ll shut up about it now.
As for Taxi Driver, obviously Bob is great in it but King of Comedy is in another league because as well as an absolutely masterful performance from Bob, the storyline is fantastic and the understated performance from Jerry Lewis alongside the unhinged character brilliantly portrayed by the scarily brilliant Sandra Bernhardt elevate it another level. One of my favourite films of all time.

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Oct 20 2019 15:57

All of the marketing and hype surrounding the Joker up to its release billed it as some kind of return to The Dark Knight style dramatic thriller. This obviously resonates with many DC movie fans who always talk up these films as offering grittier realism as opposed to the supposed cartoon nature of Marvel films. Others see it's potential to tackle serious social issues, thus raising it's importance. Then the film actually releases to mixed reviews, with many of them describing it as a one dimensional portrayal of the title character. As far as critics are concerned, the film is far from great. But there has been a strong segment of movie goers who are heaping praise upon it on social media, including some of my own friends. They are generally left wing, from Bernie Sanders supporting social democrats to marxist leninists, who actually believe this film is a condemnation of capitalism. Sherbu-kteer's review is interesting because it's a counterpoint to the many folks I've come across declaring this film pro working class.

MT
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Oct 20 2019 21:25

Condemnation of capitalism?smile
It is rather a reflection of some aspects at best, used instrumentally to create a human story of emergence of a villain. Some perceived it as left-wing and I can see why, but to me it was rather neofascist or at least plainly authoritarian. It reminded me the Bane character because the role of "masses" was portrayed in the similar way with the key idea that people are stupid.
Still, I find the technical aspects of the movie and acting quite interesting. But the ending drags it all down.