Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 52632 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #2130 on: October 07, 2007, 09:40:38 PM »

Harrie,
Thanks for telling me about the Sunday Magazine. Read it this early evening and laughed.

"He started to see parallels between his battle and Dylan’s," [by pg.6; and this is just the promotional feature article for the  big East Coast circulation readers; but, isn't that just too cute?  I'll let you know when we get to precious but I think we are past that part already  where I left it behind right up front.]

"And what it is is like nothing else: both intimate and panoramic, the story of a personality and a nation (I think it’s a deeply patriotic movie)."  [guffaw....]

"‘Tell them (when they ask you what your movie is “about”) that it’s no less than a history of American conscience and American soul (at a moment when both those things are in serious question). [ I think that should have been put in the past tense "when both those things were in serious question; because now there is no longer any question about the conscience and soul of America]

"Haynes says that Weinstein predicted dire consequences for the film if changes weren’t made. (Weinstein denies this.) "      [ who of these two people would you trust?  This is a test question.]

But I did Love the Harvey Weinstein pep-rally of salesmanship psyching his team,  at Venice, night before premiere. Shucking and jiving. When Harvey got to the part about how he would kill himself if he didn't get the Academy Award for Cate, has anybody yet figured out how to hold him to it? I know there is a great Yiddish word that I'd like to use here but I'm out of practice and this would involve a trip earlier than I'd planned.

I had to wince a little about this: “I think people don’t realize how emotional he is,” Julianne Moore, who plays the Joan Baez figure in “I’m Not There,” had told me earlier. “He’s really trying to work out what it means to be a human being and what it means to live in the world.”

I am wincing for Joan Baez. Besides, I understand that her second sentence, as the completion of her thought,  is a given, all too obvious; in fact, reminds me of somebody ,just can't think who at the moment....
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2131 on: October 07, 2007, 11:44:24 PM »

I thought Shyamalan wrote a pretty good screenplay for Stuart Little.  I just love that line (mostly in the way it is delivered) where the clerk says "there are many moods to Ben," as he is fitting Stuart for a wardrobe.

From IMDb:

Quote
Born in India but raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is the son of two doctors. His passion for filmmaking began when he was given a Super-8 camera at age eight, and even at that young age began to model his career on that of his idol, Steven Spielberg.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 11:48:33 PM by Dzimas » Logged
pugetopolis
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« Reply #2132 on: October 08, 2007, 12:02:41 AM »


Here is possibly the worst top ten list I've come across recently -- it's of "greatest" movie scenes....

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article2538370.ece



Two scenes I personally enjoyed in the timesonline "List"...

The beergarden scene from Cabaret
Bob Fosse, 1972

"The setting is a sun-dappled idyll, a bucolic beer garden where generations gather to raise a glass. As Sally Bowles and her two beaus look on, an angelic blond youth stands and starts to sing in a tenor as pure and clean as a bell. Fosse lets the beauty of the song Tomorrow Belongs to Me seduce us for a moment before revealing the Nazi insignia on the sleeve of the singer´s shirt. It’s a sucker punch of a moment that grows in power as the rest of the drinkers join in to what is revealed to be a fascist anthem."

Nothing like a little Nazi double-take to make your day. It reminded me of Helmut Berger doing his Marlene Dietrich drag-act routine in Visconti's The Damned (1969) aka Götterdämmerung. Visconti had such class...compared with today's tacky FoxNews...

The eyes have it in Les Diaboliques
Georges Clouzot, 1955

"This was an unforgettable Psycho sort of horror film worthy of Hitchcock himself. In fact, Hitch tried his best to acquire the screen rights, only to be pipped by his French rival. The plot concerns the headmaster of a French boarding school and the wife and mistress who conspire to murder him. And it appears they have succeeded when we witness him well and truly drowned. Then, horror on horror, we see him arise from his watery grave and slowly and deliberately pluck out his bulging sightless eyes from their horribly hollow sockets. It still haunts me." 

And last but hot least, the lovely transvestite scene in:

Dil pulls down her tights in The Crying Game
Neil Jordan, 1992

"The scene where Dil (Jaye Davidson, a former fabric designer with no previous acting experience), revealed that she had rather more male genitalia than Stephen Rea’s former terrorist gambled on became an instant classic. Most people failed to guess until that moment that that Dil was actually a man. The shock revelation after a touching and tentative romance with Rea had a profound impact on audiences whose sympathies were already unbuttoned by Jordan’s kindly portrait of a former IRA hardman. The director won an Oscar for Best Screenplay."

The transvestite scene in Crying Game I found especially endearing...not so much shocking or haunting as it was poignant and pregnant with possibilities. Especially for both Stephen Rea and the aghast audience I saw the film with. What an exquiste mind-fuck they all went through. Talk about audience participation...gagging in the aisles, people running for the exit...  
Smiley




« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 12:07:12 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

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bartolomeo
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« Reply #2133 on: October 08, 2007, 10:07:41 AM »

"two scenes..."  I counted three, Pug. 

Yeah, there are some good ones in there, but some of them like the ones mentioned for the Shining or the Matrix or Field of Dreams, just don't begin to go on a top ten.

One scene I never hear mentioned (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR "You and Me and Everyone we Know") is the one in "You and Me and Everyone We Know" where the lonely museum curator is sitting on the park bench, expecting to meet her internet love interest, and her dawning realization that it's the small boy sitting next to her.  Also, in the same film, the scene at the end where the shoestore guy is trying to hide the framed print in a bush and the artist woman shows up at that moment and helps him decide where to put it.  (END SPOILERS)

An underrated film. 
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bartolomeo
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« Reply #2134 on: October 08, 2007, 10:46:57 AM »

BTW, Pug, one reason I haven't been taking part in the Movie Club so far is that I have also spent time at another film website (Third Eye Film Society) where we have discussed both Espinazo del Diablo and PL exhaustively, some time ago.  I'm just saying this to clarify that my absence implies no criticism of the choice of film or the chat as it's progressing so far.  You seem to have a handle on it.  Several, in fact.



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kidcarter8
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« Reply #2135 on: October 08, 2007, 10:47:59 AM »

What didnt you like about the Field of Dreams scene?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2136 on: October 08, 2007, 10:56:40 AM »

I have to say that I didn't like pretty much everything about Field of Dreams.  That has to be one of the most cornball movies to come down the pike.  Costner should have been ashamed of himself.  Now, Eight Men Out is another story.
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bartolomeo
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« Reply #2137 on: October 08, 2007, 10:59:43 AM »

"cornball"

Literally!

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« Reply #2138 on: October 08, 2007, 11:18:16 AM »

I have to say that I didn't like pretty much everything about Field of Dreams. 

Of course you didn't
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madupont
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« Reply #2139 on: October 08, 2007, 12:07:45 PM »

re: Times-on-line "greatest film scenes"(?) pro and con
pugetopolis,re:#2155
"grows in power as the rest of the drinkers join in to what is revealed to be a fascist anthem."


I liked all three of those scenes when i saw them, but the one above became a personal experience i had to fight against. The Future Belongs to Us, may be described as a fascist anthem but, in particular was a very popular song among Germans, with its lilting melody.   I think that as films go, I may have mentioned to you my experience of sitting in the Deutsche Kino at a showing of The Serpent's Egg, when suddenly I realized that all the old men ahead of me in the rows were automatically singing along with the favourite marching songs from  anywhere in a time span of 44 to 54 years earlier but: Bergman chose to shoot it in Bavaria.

I always had to resist that automatism when, for instance at this time of year actually sitting in a beer garden and the band would strike up a tune, but you had to remind yourself exactly which tune that really was because it is embarrassing to jump to your feet when an actual Nationalist Socialist anthem's resoundingly familiar notes begin and the old guys shuffle to their feet. Preferably be accompanied by somebody who will tug your jacket to make you sit down  if you make that mistake.    It is hard to resist conditioning if it begins early enough.  I realize that every day when reading the usual forums available.

The Future Belongs to Us, is a song that was  taught to children and was sung by children in the Third Reich; in other words, it is a children's song. I can't actually recall if Natalia Zakharenko who was born to emigres in San Francisco about eight years before filming Tomorrow is Forever actually sang that song when playing Margaret Ludwig to Orson Welles as her adoptive father but, I do know that at the same age and earlier when going out to recess at grade school, we often had practice in field exercises with less lilting but more martial German band music chosen by an old priest who was born and raised in Bavaria and must occasionally have suffered some schmerz akin to home-sickness.

I really could identify with the beauty of that scene from Christopher Isherwood's, Berlin Stories.

It is somehow matched by another film from Irwin Shaw's novel,The Young Lions,with an excellent cafe scene, this time in Paris.
"Marlon Brando plays Christian Diestl, an idealistic Austrian ski instructor who joins the German army to serve...
Brando's portrayal of Diestl was brilliant right up to the end. His ideals, his heroism in France, his dissatisfaction of his duty, his affair with his Captain's wife, his disillusionment, his pitiful retreat, and his sense of humanity that is heavily clouded by his blind ideals were all vividly brought to the screen by Brando's skillful rendering."

"When Brando encounters May Britt - as the wife of his superior officer, Maximilian Schell - she is the perfect image of Nazi vices: Corrupt, hedonistic, and, of course, condemned along with the rest of the decadent Germans… Her hazardous beauty is used as counterpoint to Brando's enthusiasm and beliefs: She represents all that is bad and immoral while he is everything noble and pure…"

"...we experience both the Americans and Europeans, including Germans. They are played as they really were,...  they are shown as singular human beings with personalities, hopes and dreams really exactly like our own. ...This was also one of the peak film renderings of Marlon Brando, whom some feel is one of the finest actors ever to have graced the silver screen."

" At the beginning with Marlon Brando romancing vacationing Barbara Rush in Bavaria on New Year's Eve, he provides one of the most lucid explanations of why people would choose to follow Adolph Hitler. It is one of Brando's finest moments on screen." ..." It presages Robert Altman with the interweaving of the characters' lives from the first shot where Barbara Rush and Brando debate the merits of the Fatherland to the last scene in the forest where the end comes full circle."

..."Christian Diestl (Marlon Brando) is an idealistic German, son of a shoemaker. He joins the Army believing that life could improve in Germany under the administration of the Nazis. However, being a soldier, he cannot accept `acting like a police' in an occupied Paris and requests transference to the front, where he has another disappointment with the cruelty of the war."

..."Bold statements on individuals' approach and reasons for war are nestled into realistic and moving dialogue. While an anti-war film, it is a fair and even-handed approach to the subject matter that lets you see things through the characters' eyes and lives, and lets an audience make up their own mind on things. This is not to say it is a strictly intellectual film, but the action is not as visceral as recent war films. Because of the directors' involvement with the HUAC, this movie was ignored in 1958 and fell into relative obscurity, but deserves to be rediscovered. I read the book after the film, and found the two together to be an incredibly stimulating lesson in film, literature, and life."


pS. Needless to say, the other two scenes you mention from two other movies, are also two of my fave films.

Three excellent actors in The Crying Game pull this off.   Likewise three in Diabolique although one became ever so much more greatly known, and she was also a girl from "the East" who used her mother's identity card in  Paris (to hide her Jewish origins), where of course she met Yves Montand who was a well-known (Italian) singer in those years.

Aren't identities interesting?
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madupont
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« Reply #2140 on: October 08, 2007, 12:13:53 PM »

Ps,pugetopolis--quotes are from imdb reviews by viewers
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« Reply #2141 on: October 10, 2007, 07:10:34 AM »

Five favorite scenes:

The last scene of Fellini's Nights of Cabiria is probably my favorite.  That last look on Cabiria's face as walks down the road is priceless.

Almost every scene in De Sica's Bicycle Thief

The beach scene in Bergman's Sawdust and Tinsel, also known as The Naked Night.

The scene in which Randall McMurtry takes part in his first group therapy session in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Every scene in which Orson Wells appears in Catch-22.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2142 on: October 10, 2007, 07:48:21 AM »

So many priceless scenes it is hard to know where to begin, but mentioning Fellini brought back to mind that scene where Marcello is professing his love for Maddalena (Anouk Aimee) into what appeared to be a well in the Roman garden house, after they had escaped the party.  She is in some other part of the stone house letting herself by kissed by some unknown reveler.  So many great scenes in that movie beyond the signature images of the Jesus sculpture being carried by a helicopter and Sylvia frolicking in the Trevi Fountain.
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bartolomeo
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« Reply #2143 on: October 10, 2007, 11:35:01 AM »

Watched Number 23 last night -- seems to be a pastiche of several B horror movies you've already seen. A strong performance from Ned, the dog, cannot save the human cast from themselves, tragic victims of an irony deficiency. There's a moment, at the beginning, where you see a gleam in Carrey's eye, a couple lines of dialog that might have turned darkly funny, a suggestion that we could move in a comic Cable Guy direction, but then, sadly, the gleam fades and we enter a true B movie in which the actors seem to have no idea of the painful laughter they are eliciting.

And btw, script math consultant, 2/3 is NOT .666. It is, if you are rounding to only three digits, .667. Otherwise, it's an infinite series of sixes, not just three of them.

 
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« Reply #2144 on: October 10, 2007, 01:45:59 PM »

I went in to watch The Number 23 thinking it would fall into a rule of 2 category along with DaVinci Code. Turns out it's a rule of 2 with (SPOILER ALERT) The Machinist. It did indeed fall short. Great story in there, but it just wasn't told very well.
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