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Natick
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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 9th, 2014 @ 06:51 PM Reply

At 2/9/14 06:06 PM, Auz wrote: I thought I read somewhere that the film was initially meant to be a lot more coherent but Roger Waters wasn't happy with presenting it that way.

Anyway, despite the lack of cohesion, the structure of the story is actually pretty clear in my opinion. Maybe it's more easy to see on the album since CD1 (or side A) ends with "Another Brick in the Wall p3." and "Goodbye Cruel World". There's a clear division there.

understandable. maybe i'll go listen to the album and then come back to the film and it will make more sense

Well it might be open to interpretation, to some extent. What you're describing does sound a bit like Roger Waters' criticism of the (British) education system (expressed in the school teacher scene).

oh, that scene was nothing short of depressing and truthful but strangely funny with the scottish teacher shouting random quotes. i was thinking more of the facist scenes near the end, especially the iconic marching hammers.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 10th, 2014 @ 01:57 AM Reply

The Great Randomizer has spoken, and it has selected @TheMaster to pick this week's film!

I think you know the drill by now: try to announce it tomorrow, conducive to discussion, most of us haven't seen it, branching out, different decade and genre and possibly country from last week, yada yada yada. Have fun!

By the way, I saw The LEGO Movie today and it was great. Seriously, believe the hype, the film is an extremely pleasant surprise. What easily could have been a cheap cash-in is instead incredibly clever, heartfelt and lovingly crafted. Which isn't to say that the movie doesn't also achieve its primary reason for existing, as heading out of the theater I was all but ready to sprint to the nearest toy store and buy up every LEGO product they had.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 10th, 2014 @ 08:29 AM Reply

At 2/10/14 01:57 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: The Great Randomizer has spoken, and it has selected @TheMaster to pick this week's film!

Cool.

I was pretty well set on picking something by Nigel Kneale, one of my all time favourite writers, and initially lent towards Quatermass and the Pit, which is generally considered his best cinematic work, but I think I'm going to go for my personal favourite instead.

The Stone Tape, a TV movie commissioned by the BBC in 1972. I was on the fence about picking something so televisual but I think the writing is so strong and everything else so perfect that it gets past its low budget and slightly dodgy sets.

It's about a team of scientists searching for a new recording medium who move into a recently built research complex inside an old abandoned mansion and quickly stumble upon an apparent haunting.

It's folk horror at its finest, but it may not be for everyone. It's slow and deliberate genre in which the victims are usually entirely to blame for what's happening to them and the forces they're up against are only ever vaguely defined. If you've read any MR James stories you'll know what you're in for. HP Lovecraft is often cited as an influence on this sort of stuff, too, although Kneale claims to have never read him. It's my absolute favour sort of horror, and I think it's something everyone should try at least once, and The Stone Tape is an excellent entry point.

You'll probably struggle to find it on any on demand services, but I've had a look around and it's not difficult to get a hold of online. If you're interested in a physical copy the out of print BFI version is the best option, but the recent BBC release is almost identical, just missing a couple of extras but using the same excellent transfer.

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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 10th, 2014 @ 01:24 PM Reply

So I think I deserve the official title of 'worst MotW participant'. We're four films in and I still haven't watched a single one of 'em yet.

tonight though

for real

gonna catch up

probably


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 10th, 2014 @ 07:33 PM Reply

At 2/10/14 01:24 PM, Oolaph wrote: So I think I deserve the official title of 'worst MotW participant'. We're four films in and I still haven't watched a single one of 'em yet.

tonight though

for real

gonna catch up

probably

I'm in the same boat. I think for now I'm opting out of MotW as I haven't participated, have a long list of movies I need to play catch up on, and school work needs done.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 10th, 2014 @ 09:10 PM Reply

At 2/10/14 07:33 PM, Atlas wrote:
At 2/10/14 01:24 PM, Oolaph wrote: So I think I deserve the official title of 'worst MotW participant'.
I'm in the same boat. I think for now I'm opting out of MotW as I haven't participated, have a long list of movies I need to play catch up on, and school work needs done.

Tell me about it, i haven't even seen Pacific Rim yet...

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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 11th, 2014 @ 01:38 AM Reply

At 2/10/14 08:29 AM, TheMaster wrote: The Stone Tape, a TV movie commissioned by the BBC in 1972. I was on the fence about picking something so televisual but I think the writing is so strong and everything else so perfect that it gets past its low budget and slightly dodgy sets.

Huh, really interesting pick. This is what MotW is all about, getting exposed to films we might never have come across otherwise.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 11th, 2014 @ 09:08 PM Reply

At 2/6/14 10:48 PM, Darthdenim wrote: So, The Lego Movie is getting pretty amazing reviews.

Didn't expect that. I'm curious now.

I saw it today and thought it was brilliant. It wasn't the funniest kids movie that I've ever seen, but I found the story to be really entertaining and thought that it totally captured the spirit of imagination that the toys promote. On top of that, it really allows for viewers to debate amongst themselves the film's question of the values of following the instructions when playing with Legos or doing things your own way.

So, I'd say it was a good film! Easily one of the family movies of the last decade.

Also, Batman was in it, so there's that.

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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 11th, 2014 @ 11:08 PM Reply

At 2/11/14 09:08 PM, ZJ wrote: I saw it today and thought it was brilliant.

I went to see it on Sunday and really enjoyed it as well. The animation was fantastic as a homage to the stop-motion LEGO fan films, I'm really glad they took this route instead of the ultra cartoony style that the games have where the figures somehow bend their nonexistent knees and elbows and stuff like that. The attention to detail was phenomenal, and you could really tell there was some care and effort put into this film. The style of humour could be hit or miss depending on what sort of comedy you generally like, but I thought it was well done for the most part.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 12th, 2014 @ 05:08 PM Reply

BFI are putting out a Herzog boxset in the summer.

You have no idea how excited I am. There's been fuck all of his non-documentary work given blu-ray release, and most never even saw competent DVD treatments. Less than £50 for 18 films. Some are shorts, but I'd pay that for the Kinski collaborations alone.

Aguirre and Nosferatu are getting solo releases too.

What's even more exciting is BFI restorations are often accompanied by limited cinematic rereleases. I've already seen Aguirre and Kaspar Hauser on the big screen, but I'd love to see Fitzcarraldo or Nosferatu there too.

Full listings:
The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz (1967)
Last Words (1968)
Precautions Against Fanatics (1969)
Handicapped Future (1970)
Fata Morgana (1971)
Land Of Silence and Darkness (1971)
Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1975)
Heart of Glass (1976)
How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck (1976)
Stroszek (1977)
Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979)
Woyzeck (1979)
Huie's Sermon (1980)
God's Angry Man (1980)
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Cobre Verde (1987)


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 12th, 2014 @ 05:30 PM Reply

It's beautiful. Sticking with the poster image that spoils the end of the film is a bold move, though.

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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 12th, 2014 @ 11:43 PM Reply

Finally caught up on these MotW films. I'll keep my thoughts short since I'm so far behind on these and the discussions on them are so far back.

Les quatre cents coups
Fantastic film. The relationship between Antoine and his parents was very believable, and felt so real by how well the actors portrayed it. The camerawork was incredible; with subtle bits like using Antoine's perspective to show his wandering focus as his mother is talking to him, to the very lengthy shots of him running down the road and to the beach at the end of the film. This movie was very well put together in pretty much every aspect, and I can definitely see why it's considered such a classic.

Dark City
I thought it was pretty good, overall. It had a gripping premise and touched on some interesting themes and ideas. The visuals were really nice if you can excuse the '90s CGI. The ending is where it sorta fell apart for me, though. The big battle was more humourous than it was exciting, and I felt that the closing scenes really lacked something and left me a bit unsatisfied. I definitely enjoyed it as a whole, though.

The Wall
Not a huge fan of this one. I can see why some people enjoy this film, but it doesn't really do anything for me at all. I felt like the film distracted from the music more than it added or enhanced it. Instead of the scenes seeming abstract and serving as 'food for thought', they just seemed to lack direction and purpose and took away from the experience for me. While at times it did provide some very nice looking visuals to look at, I would have much rather just listened to the album on its own again.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 13th, 2014 @ 07:37 PM Reply

I finally got around to La Planete Sauvage.

Didn't think that much of it. Animation is absolutely gorgeous and the world and creature design is very creative, but the narrative is surprisingly dry and really didn't work for me. Think you've got to go all out if you're going to try and make such bizarre aesthetics work. Just rapping them around a pretty straightforward parable didn't cut it.

Worth a look on the strength of the visuals alone, but a let down.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 14th, 2014 @ 10:41 PM Reply

I was against making a Letterboxd account previously due to the amount of films I would have to rewatch but I've decided to make one and the first film I've added is The Great Gatsby! Quite a joy watching that film.

Here's the link to my account. http://letterboxd.com/bastille/ Only one film right now but more to come!

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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 14th, 2014 @ 11:50 PM Reply

At 2/14/14 10:41 PM, Atlas wrote: I was against making a Letterboxd account previously due to the amount of films I would have to rewatch but I've decided to make one and the first film I've added is The Great Gatsby! Quite a joy watching that film.

Wait, you know you can add films without logging them, right? The site doesn't force you to rewatch something you've already seen before adding it, you can just click the eye icon or press "save" without checking off anything else to create a log of everything you've already seen in addition to the film diary stuff.

I've added plenty of films on there that I haven't seen in over a decade and don't plan on ever watching again.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 01:27 AM Reply

At 2/13/14 07:37 PM, TheMaster wrote: I finally got around to La Planete Sauvage.

so that's where sense-offender's icon comes from


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 06:45 AM Reply

So did I accidentally kill film club?

I rewatched The Stone Tape and it still holds up. Jane Asher flips between hysterical and coldly scientific and back again a bit quickly in the first act for me, but once everything is set in motion it all works.

Has the standard Kneale message of "leave well enough alone" but unlike a lot of his work, and almost all of the MR James stuff that inspired it, Brock is not just unlucky or innocently inquisitive. He's ruthless and cares only for himself, and all the misery caused can be placed squarely on him. His descent into madness is caused not be the supernatural, as in Jill's, but by his ambition and the hole he digs himself into with Ryan.

Jill herself isn't actually a particularly strong protagonist in my opinion. She's very reactive, dragged along by the others while doing little but beg them to stop. In that way she's very much the insert for the audience. Just like in "Baby" or "Quatermass and the Pit", the audience is screaming at the characters to stop what they're doing before something terrible happens, and Jane gives voice to that.

Actually, Baby highlights a few of the other nitpicks I have with The Stone Tape. In Baby there's plenty of talk of the supernatural and certainly some hints earlier in the short, but it never explicitly shows anything. In The Stone Tape the ghost walks right at the beginning, removing that ambiguity. It's understandable given that the story is not about whether something is happened, but how it is happening, but when it comes to raising tension there's nothing better than leaving it all to your imagination.

I still feel it's the best of Kneale's feature length stories, even if it's not quite up there with his best shorts or his real masterpiece, the television version of Quatermass and the Pit.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 08:19 AM Reply

Watched Repo Man last night. It was alright but there didn't seem to be enough there for me to think of it as being top 10 worthy. I'll have to give it a second viewing after some time has passed. I found myself not giving it my full attention towards the end which isn't usually a good sign. I suppose it was kind of interesting in the sense that it started out being somewhat normal (with the exception of the traffic cop scene) and then just progressively gets weirder.

That said I was probably kinda tired last night because I started watching The Thing and fell asleep about mid way through. Not because I wasn't enjoying it or anything, I was just tired. Doesn't seem like the kind of film I should be falling asleep to though. Was really enjoying what I saw of it. I'll watch it from the beginning again tonight.

At 2/15/14 06:45 AM, TheMaster wrote: So did I accidentally kill film club?

Can't remember if I've already made this post, but I became slightly less interested in participating when I realised that the idea was to recommend obscure/lesser known stuff. It totally makes sense to do that, I just missed that part when I initially said I'd participate. I thought Dark City was great and I know I also initially said I wanted to try new things, but most of these films that have been recommended just haven't appealed to me for whatever reason. And I don't even mean I started watching and then gave up, I didn't even start watching.

I'll likely still visit this thread because I have been watching movies more regularly than I usual do, but I probably wont be as involved with film club. That's not to say I'll never watch any of the recommendations but it's just not what I thought it was.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 09:06 AM Reply

At 2/15/14 06:45 AM, TheMaster wrote: So did I accidentally kill film club?
I rewatched The Stone Tape and it still holds up.

I didn't forget. I had intended since I saw the post to look online for a stream tonight. So far, Saturday has usually been when I've done it, I think.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 09:07 AM Reply

At 2/15/14 01:27 AM, Natick wrote:
At 2/13/14 07:37 PM, TheMaster wrote: I finally got around to La Planete Sauvage.
so that's where sense-offender's icon comes from

Also, yeah, I really like that movie.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 12:01 PM Reply

At 2/14/14 11:50 PM, Dr-Worm wrote: Wait, you know you can add films without logging them, right? The site doesn't force you to rewatch something you've already seen before adding it, you can just click the eye icon or press "save" without checking off anything else to create a log of everything you've already seen in addition to the film diary stuff.

I've added plenty of films on there that I haven't seen in over a decade and don't plan on ever watching again.

That simply adds them without leaving a review though, doesn't it? I don't want to add anything without a review being added with it.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 04:57 PM Reply

Just watched Night of the Lepus. It sucked. It had some bits that were so bad it was funny but overall was a waste of an hour and a half.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 05:08 PM Reply

At 2/15/14 04:57 PM, Atlas wrote: Just watched Night of the Lepus. It sucked. It had some bits that were so bad it was funny but overall was a waste of an hour and a half.

I've seen that. I remember it being pretty solid B-movie fare.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 05:13 PM Reply

At 2/15/14 06:45 AM, TheMaster wrote: So did I accidentally kill film club?

Hahaha, no not yet. I'll definitely be watching the film sometime today and I'll get involved tomorrow.

I'd imagine this is about as obscure as we'll ever get here though, so if there's decent participation this week that's a good sign for the future.

At 2/15/14 08:19 AM, Dean wrote: Can't remember if I've already made this post, but I became slightly less interested in participating when I realised that the idea was to recommend obscure/lesser known stuff.

I mean, that's not necessarily the idea (The 400 Blows and The Wall are hardly obscure movies). The point is to pick movies that most of us haven't already seen and that hopefully fall outside our usual comfort zones. So while yeah, that can tend to result in some more obscure picks (plus I'd imagine some people want to use their picks as an opportunity to promote and talk about movies they don't see getting enough attention elsewhere), there are also plenty of classic, widely well-regarded films that just haven't gotten onto our radar yet for whatever reason; maybe it's an older film, or it's in a foreign language, or it belongs to a genre we haven't explored much.

I think MotW could potentially give us an opportunity to nudge ourselves into exploring that kind of new territory where normally we wouldn't, that's all. Or even if it's nothing that dramatic, we'll at least end up seeing good shit we might not have otherwise.

but most of these films that have been recommended just haven't appealed to me for whatever reason. And I don't even mean I started watching and then gave up, I didn't even start watching.

Then how do you know whether or not they'd appeal to you?

Like I said, the whole point is to help nudge ourselves out of those sorts of preconceived notions. It's almost always worth it.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 07:14 PM Reply

At 2/15/14 05:08 PM, TheMaster wrote:
At 2/15/14 04:57 PM, Atlas wrote: Just watched Night of the Lepus. It sucked. It had some bits that were so bad it was funny but overall was a waste of an hour and a half.
I've seen that. I remember it being pretty solid B-movie fare.

I couldn't stand it most of the time because of super stiff acting and I was constantly hearing someone breathing heavily while watching it.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 15th, 2014 @ 09:24 PM Reply

well, what i like about the stone tape is that the characters actually take curiosity in the room rather than deny anything jill claims and just blinly tear the room apart as scientists get picked off one by one. i also like that their reactions vary towards the ghost but they only completely deny it's presence when they have reasonable doubt. refreshing to see a haunted house (or in this case, haunted room) story without all the cliches they're known for but it's weird to say that considering this came out in the 70's. sorry to say but there were only certain scenes that i could really get into and those were mostly the experiments. most of the time, i was pretty bored.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 16th, 2014 @ 05:13 AM Reply

I've been reading some of the really early Judge Dredd comic strips and it got me interested in watching the 2012 Dredd film. Hopefully I'll get it watched before next weekend. The 1995 film with Stallone seems to get universal hate but it's kind of a guilty pleasure for me. I used to watch it when I was younger and loved it. Of course, back then I had no idea who Judge Dredd actually was and it was my first exposure to the character, so I didn't think anything of it. Although it has been a few years since I last saw it so maybe my opinion will change if I were to watch it again.

At 2/15/14 05:13 PM, Dr-Worm wrote: there are also plenty of classic, widely well-regarded films that just haven't gotten onto our radar yet for whatever reason;

It's for these kinds of films that I was mostly interested in this idea. I feel like there are an absolute ton of "must see" films that, for one reason or another, I haven't watched.

Then how do you know whether or not they'd appeal to you?

Let me start by explaining something else; a problem that's likely only applicable to me. I don't download/stream films. It's not that I'm against people doing this or anything, I just don't do it myself. Since I choose to buy films, it makes me a bit pickier about which film I'm willing to spend money on. There are numerous reasons a film might not initially appeal to me, including some of the reasons you previously mentioned: "maybe it's an older film, or it's in a foreign language, or it belongs to a genre we haven't explored much." Maybe I watch the trailer for it and just don't get a good vibe.

I guess it's less about the film not appealing to me and more about me not really being prepared to take a gamble on it. Which, thinking about it, kind of defeats the purpose of me participating. Like I said though, I will still try to participate but I'm most likely not going to be someone who watches every film that's suggested.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 16th, 2014 @ 03:43 PM Reply

Forgot to watch The Stone Tape yesterday, I'll catch it tonight and talk about it tomorrow. Oops.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 16th, 2014 @ 04:36 PM Reply

I just watched Fantasia.

I guess this was really just a group of Disney animators showing off and experimenting with animation effects. I'll admit that it did result in some pretty pictures and I kind of enjoyed watching this, but I can imagine others might find it boring and unnecessary.

I haven't gotten to watching The Stone Tape yet. I'll see if I can find some time to watch it tomorrow.


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Response to Cinema Club Feb. 16th, 2014 @ 05:38 PM Reply

At 2/16/14 03:43 PM, Oolaph wrote: Forgot to watch The Stone Tape yesterday, I'll catch it tonight and talk about it tomorrow. Oops.

Yeah I'll probably have to do the same. If I don't watch it and make a post tonight I'll definitely do it tomorrow.

So since I doubt anyone else is going to swoop in within the next couple hours, and because he's the only person who participated this week and hasn't picked yet, I might as well call it early:

@Natick will be picking this week's film! Remember the guidelines and whatnot!

Which means next week there's some possibility that everyone who's participated will have already picked, and if that doesn't happen next week it'll happen soon enough so we might as well figure it out now. So if that happens which option do you guys think is better:

1. We start over through the same order and make it a permanent rotation, adding in new people as necessary.

or

2. We put everyone's names back into the randomizer and make a new order each time.

Or if you think of something better than either option speak up!

At 2/16/14 05:13 AM, Dean wrote: It's for these kinds of films that I was mostly interested in this idea. I feel like there are an absolute ton of "must see" films that, for one reason or another, I haven't watched.

I feel the same way, and I think that's what a lot of the MotW picks will end up being.


NG Cinema Club Movie of the Week: If... (Anderson, 1968, UK) | Letterboxd | Last.fm

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