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Jackho
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 13:33:14 (edited 2015-07-13 13:36:56) Reply

At 7/13/15 06:56 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: Reports of MotW's death have been greatly exaggerated. This week's picker will be @Jackho. Yay Jackho!

Augh shieyt

Gonna forego the edgy stuff I had lined up and go for something with a few more giggles than the last couple of films.

Harold & Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971, USA) - the first and possibly only MotW choice that could be called a romantic comedy. Also with lots of suicide.

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Also top respect to whoever designs these criterion covers/posters. Virtually the only ones that actually look good and are available in high resolution for a film before ~1980.

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Jackho
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 13:36:35 Reply

At 7/13/15 12:45 PM, TheMaster wrote:
At 7/13/15 07:08 AM, Dr-Worm wrote:
At 7/3/15 02:29 PM, TheMaster wrote: What's worth catching up on?
MAD FUCKING MAX.
I've not seen the old ones.

I don't think that's an issue. It's not like you'll be missing out on any #deep Mad Max lore and Fury Road seems to utterly floor the older films anyway.


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TheMaster
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 14:35:22 Reply

At 7/13/15 01:33 PM, Jackho wrote: Harold & Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971, USA) - the first and possibly only MotW choice that could be called a romantic comedy. Also with lots of suicide.

Neat, it's been on my to watch list for a while.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 14:38:08 Reply

At 7/13/15 01:33 PM, Jackho wrote: Harold & Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971, USA) - the first and possibly only MotW choice that could be called a romantic comedy. Also with lots of suicide.

Awesome. I've somehow shamefully never seen this or any other Hal Ashby movie so this should be a great start.

Btw gang this movie is available for streaming on both Netflix and Amazon Prime if you have either of those.

At 7/13/15 12:45 PM, TheMaster wrote: I've not seen the old ones.

Doesn't matter, there's really no continuity to speak of. I'd only seen the second one beforehand and it didn't make any difference. The Mad Max sequels are like Zelda, they're a bunch of completely separate stories that take place in the same world and revolve around the same legendary hero.


NG Cinema Club Movie of the Week: Fireworks (Kitano, 1997, Japan) | Letterboxd | Last.fm

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 16:45:23 Reply

good pick, my cousin saw it several weeks ago and recommended it


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-13 18:42:41 Reply

At 7/13/15 01:33 PM, Jackho wrote: Harold & Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971, USA)

This is starting to make sense now.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-16 17:39:34 Reply

Just a heads up fam, Don Hertzfeldt is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to release It's Such a Beautiful Day and World of Tomorrow on Blu-Ray. Get in on that while you can.

Also, how would you guys feel about actually trying to do MotW within a week this time? This is the most readily available movie we've done in a while so I figured this would be our best opportunity to try to get into that regular rhythm.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-16 18:53:17 Reply

At 7/16/15 05:39 PM, Dr-Worm wrote: Pledge $30
one copy of the bluray
a strip of frames from IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY, cut from a 35mm print from don's collection. no two are alike.

Had to jump on that even though I'm iffy with kickstarter. Hopefully Don bae delivers.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-17 03:15:56 Reply

At 7/16/15 05:39 PM, Dr-Worm wrote: Also, how would you guys feel about actually trying to do MotW within a week this time? This is the most readily available movie we've done in a while so I figured this would be our best opportunity to try to get into that regular rhythm.

I'm covering for 3 guys at work and have banking exams next week, so it's not looking likely.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-18 12:33:19 Reply

At 7/13/15 06:56 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: If nothing else Mishima boasts possibly the most gorgeous packaging Criterion's ever done, which for them is really saying something. I might hold off for a bit on buying it, though, since currently it's only been released on DVD and I've heard a couple rumblings here and there of a Blu-Ray update. The movie certainly deserves it.

I can see how that'd be tempting, but I'm still stubborn within the realms of DVD, I guess. I don't usually buy blu-ray unless if it's one of those dual-format releases where a DVD copy is included (it's much more convenient then to show the film to friends or at different places). The Criterion box certainly looks very visually appealing, I think I will have to pick it up sometime: there's certainly a few criterion releases I need to import to the UK sometime (The Human Condition; Salesman; Sweet Movie all come to mind).

Also apologies for my lack of activity in the group for the past week or two: I've had family visiting and during that time, my keyboard broke, so I hadn't much time to be online, and when I was, I couldn't type a thing. I have been unable to watch the Mashima film but it is on a list of films to watch sooner rather than later. I can certainly catch up with Harold & Maude; I've been meaning to see that for a long time.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-18 14:04:27 Reply

At 7/18/15 12:33 PM, Mechabloliver wrote: I can see how that'd be tempting, but I'm still stubborn within the realms of DVD, I guess. I don't usually buy blu-ray unless if it's one of those dual-format releases where a DVD copy is included (it's much more convenient then to show the film to friends or at different places).

But you're English.

How can you stand watching everything at 104% the intended speed?

That's as bad as watching in the wrong aspect ratio.


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-20 02:44:36 Reply

i had a bunch of 8-12 hour shifts at work this week but harold and maude was lovely

it's easy to see why it was hated upon release since the script made jokes of themes that remain taboo even to this day but it does so with such gusto, wit, and most importantly timing. the framing of each of harold's suicide acts is so precise that it's easy to see how this film went on to influence wes anderson. there's no one else who could have played maude like ruth gordon and every time harold's mother showed up, i couldn't stop laughing at the stone-cold tone in her voice

i guess if i have any issues with it, the cat stevens soundtrack does make it sound dated and whenever it came up, i kept expecting the film to just close on whatever song but that complaint is colored by all the other films i've seen in the past few months that have utilized silence more than anything else


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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-20 08:24:01 Reply

At 7/18/15 02:04 PM, TheMaster wrote: But you're English.

How can you stand watching everything at 104% the intended speed?

That's as bad as watching in the wrong aspect ratio.

I just find DVDs more convenient, honestly - they're much cheaper and it's easier for me to play them elsewhere like a friends's house. I also know there's quite a lot of films that are only available on DVD, unfortunately (although Eureka Entertainment seem to do a good job of releasing obscure and influential films on dual-format and blu-ray). It's not that I never purchase blu-ray releases, but I usually do it if it is a dual-format release or if I already own the film on DVD.


wow haha ok there bud
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-23 06:21:58 Reply

Have you seen Jurasic World yet? Pure awesomeness!

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-23 20:14:29 Reply

At 7/23/15 06:21 AM, LauriJ wrote: Have you seen Jurasic World yet? Pure awesomeness!

I thought it was predictable, generic, and boring. Chris Pratt is cool though.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-26 10:58:44 Reply

Going to see Southpaw on Wednesday :D

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-27 06:52:21 Reply

So this was arguably our most universally beloved and widely available film yet and only one person eligible for picking watched it. Yeesh. Anyway, @Natick go ahead and pick next week's film! Maybe it can even be one that doesn't feature ritual seppuku!

Harold and Maude was, well, just delightful. I'd always heard that Ashby was a big influence on Wes Anderson but I didn't realize how much of an understatement that was until seeing this. Anderson's first three films are pretty much straight-up Ashby pastiches. But I can see why he'd want to emulate him. Ashby's use of impeccably arranged compositions and minutely timed editing choices to create hilarious visual jokes and powerful moments of drama alike is incredible.

To be honest there were plenty of moments where I found Maude to be more than a little grating, but I think the film avoids turning her into a kind of Manic Pixie Dream Granny by giving us a couple of clear windows into her inner life. Ruth Gordon does a fantastic job of expressing both Maude's genuine exuberance and the real, unspeakable pain underneath it. From her performance I get the sense that all of Maude's wild behavior and cheery little axioms are efforts to convince not just Harold to live, but also herself. That ability to balance outsized "quirky" characters with real emotional stakes to make them more than just the sum of their eccentricities is another thing Wes Anderson seems to have picked up from Ashby and mastered, and that many lesser indie filmmakers have tried and failed to accomplish.

This was the first MotW pick that I've immediately gone to buy on Blu-Ray. I feel like this is one of those great comfort food movies I'll keep coming back to whenever I'm feeling shitty. Though it also doesn't hurt that Barnes & Noble is currently running their semi-annual 50% off Criterion sale. Speaking of which, have you guys picked anything up? I got:

By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two
F for Fake
The Great Dictator
Harold and Maude
Shoah

I was initially trying not to spend too much money this time since I just sprang for one of the bigger reward tiers on the Hertzfeldt Kickstarter, but oh well. I'm powerless against Criterion sales.

At 7/20/15 02:44 AM, Natick wrote: i guess if i have any issues with it, the cat stevens soundtrack does make it sound dated and whenever it came up, i kept expecting the film to just close on whatever song but that complaint is colored by all the other films i've seen in the past few months that have utilized silence more than anything else

Huh, if anything I found Ashby's use of the Cat Stevens songs in conjunction with editing to be one of the most strikingly modern things about the film. Especially in that great climactic scene that cross-cuts between the hospital and Harold driving, which the critic Mike D'Angelo amusingly but accurately identifies as "the inspiration for almost every dramatic TV show's season finale for the past decade." If I have my American film history right pop song soundtracks in non-musical films were still a pretty rare and recent development at this time. It would still be a couple of years before Lucas and Scorsese solidified the practice.

As for the songs themselves, there's no accounting for taste but personally I love 'em all. Only the blind hippie optimism of "If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out" really stands out to me as "dated," but in the context of the film's broad emotional strokes it works perfectly.


NG Cinema Club Movie of the Week: Fireworks (Kitano, 1997, Japan) | Letterboxd | Last.fm

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-27 08:47:09 Reply

Last week I had the pleasure of viewing Harold & Maude, Chappie and It's Such a Beautiful Day. Spoilers incoming.

I'll start with Harold & Maude: for a film with such gallows humour, it's very life-affirming. I knew I recognised Ruth Gordon from Rosemary's Baby and she's as naturally delightful, eccentric and humorous (without the unsettling lingering theme of Rosemary's Baby, of course) - she's honestly such a pleasantry to have on the screen.

The character of Harold and his relationship with his mother and potential female suitors provided some fantastic awkward humour too - his failed suicide attempts and their reactions to them (the mother being desensitised by it and their guests absolutely horrified). I think I would have appreciated seeing this film when I was suffering heavy bouts of depression as by the end, the positive effect (yet traumatic for her death) Maude had on Harold spoke volumes for me - he seemed to appreciate the time he was alive more than anticipating the inevitable end.

Also that soundtrack was just sumptuous - I need to find it, CD or vinyl, who cares; it was just such a delight to hear whenever it played.

Chappie: I think Neill Blomkamp has given us a film to match District 9 - a distinctive, gritty, South-African cyberpunk ghetto in the very-near future. This film had a lot of personality - it was gritty but very heartfelt and endearing too. I was very surprised - pleasantly so - with the appearance of Die Antwoord in the film too: both Yolandi and Ninja actually perform rather well as exaggerations of their Die Antwoord personas (gangsters who are struggling to get by but also embrace the hyperactive image too).

The basic plot is that Dev Patel has found a way to integrate sentience and creativity to artificial life and plans to teach a droid this, against the will of the company he works for - driving home with the droid in the back of his van, he's kidnapped by Ninja, eventually introducing Die Antwoord to Dev. Rebuilding the droid and providing it with software, the film focuses a lot on teaching Chappie the importance of creativity and ethics. Yolandi shows a lot of charm with scenes where Chappie is learning and she's seen as a mother figure by the innocuous droid; Ninja does well to play up his extra-aggressive gangster image by trying to teach Chappie how to attack and murder by suggesting that humans enjoy a nice little shanking once in a while (and surprisingly enough, even such a malicious character becomes admirable somewhat in the end).

I certainly loved this, especially Sharlto Copley as Chappie - he delivers such innocent mannerisms with such a natural and charming enthusiasm that Chappie is almost like a puppy dog learning tricks. The film also explores some social commentary on South Africa's state on crime; the possibility of over-reliance on artificial life; and the concept of extending human life via artificial means. It's certainly a blockbuster film, no doubt about it, but it has such a genuine personality that it'd be a shame not to see it at least once.

It's Such a Beautiful Day: I felt like crying after seeing this, honestly. I hadn't felt so disheartened and broken after seeing a film for a while. The film certainly has Don Hertzfeldt's distinctive absurdist and minimalist art style and humour intact, but it's possibly the darkest film I've seen of his (of course, most of his work goes down dark or melancholic paths, but I personally found this his darkest work yet).

The film follows Bill through three chapters in his life and takes on a dream-like - and almost nightmarish at times, too - perspective on a man who has clearly suffered with mental health. He comes to realise that the bland chores in his life seems to actually be his life; that the past doesn't exist and the future is now; everyone dies by train and that his mother is old. Of course, what might seem absurd or humorous at first, seems to make sense as we find out more about Bill's struggle and suffering, more of the absurd remarks earlier in the film will make much more sense.

I really loved this film but I doubt I could watch it for a while afterwards: I admire that there's certainly no exposition - nothing directly spells out what's going wrong with Bill and Don's own narration helps execute moments of mental struggle effectively with overlapping narrations, repetitive narrations or narrations of the mundane. I found this quite difficult at times to watch though: I guess it's because of how honest - sometimes gently, sometimes brutally - this film is about the struggles of mental health and how depressing Bill's family history is too: within the hour the film lasts, I felt like I knew who Bill was exactly, through his awkward, mundane mannerisms; every self-conscious action; every struggle and lost train of thought; etc. It's wonderfully detailed yet beautifully simple, like everything else Don has given us.

At 7/27/15 06:52 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two
F for Fake
The Great Dictator
Harold and Maude
Shoah

Niiiice, been watching Shoah recently (on the final disc). F For Fake is amazing; been meaning to see The Great Dictator (some Chaplin films are weirdly difficult to get in England) and I will certainly purchase Harold & Maude soon too.


wow haha ok there bud
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-27 12:39:16 Reply

At 7/27/15 06:52 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: Speaking of which, have you guys picked anything up?

This weekend just gone I got the new Rossellini and Bergman set, which includes Stromboli, Journey to Italy and Fear, along with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

Other than that all I've grabbed recently are Senna, TT3D and State of Play.

Pretty hyped for this though.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-27 12:50:09 Reply

Speaking of which, Arrow has announced their next lot of releases, and there's only two I'm not buying on release day.

The bastards, I can't afford this.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-27 14:25:44 Reply

i was wondering if it would be all that accessible but since we give these things two weeks now, i'm putting up hana-bi (fireworks) up for consideration.

i assume a majority of you have seen battle royale and remember that menace who played the government-employed gym teacher? well, he's takeshi kitano, a comedian, television host, actor, singer, author, poet, painter, and one-time video-game designer. he's also considered one of the greatest living filmmakers in japan and has been held in high regard to my personal hero, akira kurosawa, to the point where he even had this bizarre interview with kurosawa wearing a lakers shirt. he wasn't recognized outside japan until he appeared in a supporting role in merry christmas, mr lawrence and he never directed a film until 1989 with violent cop which he only directed because the original director dropped out due to illness. because he had no formal training or knowledge of filmmaking at the time, the result was like a pretty monotonous japanese version of dirty harry but with a unusually bleak ending in the way it showed violence. stoic and empty long takes with deadpan expressionless characters suddenly getting shot to death felt detached yet weirdly funny. comparisons were made to le samourai and many of the themes and tropes established in that film would follow him throughout his career, mostly since he became known for either playing cops or yakuza members.

although that debut failed to find it's audience outside of it's native country, it was sonatine and hana-bi that came out within 4 years of each other that got him international recognition. i mention all of this because i watched sonatine yesterday and it's one of the strangest yakuza crime thrillers i've seen in a long time because 35 minutes in, it stops being a yakuza crime thriller and focuses on a final vacation for all the yakuza members involved, where they pad out each day with banal activities while kitano spends the whole film contemplating the feasibility of retirement and suicide. plus, the violence would be brutal and profane if it weren't how quick and awkward it was. he frames a shooting with the same deadpan and pathetic reaction as a cartoon character tripping face-first into a mud puddle and falling asleep. that isn't to say it's not compelling, it's just a way of depicting macho gun violence that's quite unique.

anyway, hana-bi came out in 1997 and is considered his best film to date. this time, he portrayed a corrupt detective whose debilitating mental stress leads him to make more and more questionable decisions while trying to care for his terminally ill wife. that may sound like a vague decision but there's a certain ring to it that makes it sound like the gangster version of my all-time favorite film ikiru, in which the protagonist has to come to terms with their wasted life and create something worthwhile or commit to a noble action before they die. it's already been on my hard drive for a while so i'll probably watch it tonight

At 7/27/15 06:52 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: Maybe it can even be one that doesn't feature ritual seppuku!

hopefully just gun violence this time. can't recall a yakuza movie i ever saw where someone disembowels themselves (although, ichi the killer did that with a tongue instead but the crazy still kept talking throughout the rest of the film)

At 7/27/15 06:52 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volumes One and Two

very next thing i will get from criterion when i have the disposable income. brakhage has opened my eyes to the pinnacle of experimental filmmaking. he was creating new universes in the palm of his hand and i couldn't have been more irate when youtube took down the 100-minute-long television interview he did in the 70s

plus, i never saw footage of real birth until window water baby moving

F for Fake

missed 2 opportunities to see this

The Great Dictator

still haven't seen. the gold rush is still my favorite chaplin

Shoah

still need to see but will have to reserve a whole day for it

At 7/27/15 12:50 PM, TheMaster wrote: Speaking of which, Arrow has announced their next lot of releases, and there's only two I'm not buying on release day.

The bastards, I can't afford this.

i do want to try and get the blu-ray for hard to be a god before the end of the season, just in the hopes that the bts documentaries are translated because in typical russian fashion, the production was supposed to be 8 times as difficult to pull off as apocalypse now

it's funny because my significant other just went to see it this weekend and said that everyone else walked out 30 minutes into it. which was the opposite of my experience since it was only playing in a packed 50-seat microcinema and nobody got up once

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When ever you feel powerless, just remember this.

A single one of your pubes can shut down an entire restaurant. - Conal / MOTW: O Lucky Man!

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-29 05:07:13 Reply

Attn filmfolk: this (two?) week(s?)'s movie will be Fireworks (Takeshi Kitano, 1997, Japan).

@Atlas
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@Piggler
@SapphireLight
@Sekhem
@SG3
@Sense-Offender
@Slint
@Vnzi
@ZJ

At 7/27/15 02:25 PM, Natick wrote: i was wondering if it would be all that accessible but since we give these things two weeks now, i'm putting up hana-bi (fireworks) up for consideration.

Nice pick. I had heard of this and Sonatine before but didn't realize they were made by Beat Takeshi. To be honest the most familiarity I have with his work is through MXC, but reading about him now I'm incredibly impressed by how eclectic and idiosyncratic his career has been. That video game sounds amazing and decades ahead of its time; I imagine it must have had some sort of influence on the likes of Itoi and Kojima.

this bizarre interview with kurosawa wearing a lakers shirt

Hahaha oh my god. I desperately need to know the backstory behind that outfit.

very next thing i will get from criterion when i have the disposable income. brakhage has opened my eyes to the pinnacle of experimental filmmaking. he was creating new universes in the palm of his hand and i couldn't have been more irate when youtube took down the 100-minute-long television interview he did in the 70s

Yeah I'm pretty stoked about it, Brakhage is a real mind-melter. When I worked at a film camp we once had the kids watch "Mothlight" and "Night Music" and "The Garden of Earthly Delights" and then gave them their own film strips to draw and paint and scratch on. You might be surprised by the average eight-year-old's affinity for experimental film.

Have you seen anything by Norman McLaren? His stuff is generally much more playful and less abstract than Brakhage's, but definitely well worth checking out.

plus, i never saw footage of real birth until window water baby moving

I still haven't had the chance to see it. So do I watch this first, then "The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes" to get the proper life cycle vibe, or the other way around to make the experience less depressing?

missed 2 opportunities to see this

Don't miss the next one, it's amazing. Orson Welles at his finest (and fattest). I'm convinced that the style of those Dos Equis commercials is ripped directly from this movie.

still haven't seen. the gold rush is still my favorite chaplin

I need to see that. I guess my favorite is Modern Times? City Lights weirdly left me a little cold so I guess I'll have to revisit it someday.

I think I might just be a Keaton guy.

still need to see but will have to reserve a whole day for it

I don't think I can watch it all in one sitting.

it's funny because my significant other just went to see it this weekend and said that everyone else walked out 30 minutes into it.

I can understand why people might have that reaction to it. Those people are wrong, but still.

At 7/27/15 08:47 AM, Mechabloliver wrote: Also that soundtrack was just sumptuous - I need to find it, CD or vinyl, who cares; it was just such a delight to hear whenever it played.

Right?? I've always liked Cat Stevens but having only previously heard his biggest hits I had kind of unfairly written him off as dad folk until now. But "Don't Be Shy" and "Trouble" have now been stuck in my head all week.

It's Such a Beautiful Day: I felt like crying after seeing this, honestly.

A previous MotW selection! And yeah, a totally overwhelming, sad and hilarious masterpiece.

Niiiice, been watching Shoah recently (on the final disc). F For Fake is amazing; been meaning to see The Great Dictator (some Chaplin films are weirdly difficult to get in England) and I will certainly purchase Harold & Maude soon too.

I would also be sure to check out some of the Brakhage stuff if you dug the visual style and in-camera special effects work in It's Such a Beautiful Day. Hertzfeldt's style is pretty heavily indebted to the experimental work of folks like Brakhage and Norman McLaren.


NG Cinema Club Movie of the Week: Fireworks (Kitano, 1997, Japan) | Letterboxd | Last.fm

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Mechabloliver
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-29 14:28:21 Reply

At 7/29/15 05:07 AM, Dr-Worm wrote: Right?? I've always liked Cat Stevens but having only previously heard his biggest hits I had kind of unfairly written him off as dad folk until now. But "Don't Be Shy" and "Trouble" have now been stuck in my head all week.

I've never really listened to Cat Stevens before but this 70s folk sound is something I love - I certainly need to pick up Harold & Maude as well as its soundtrack sometime.

A previous MotW selection! And yeah, a totally overwhelming, sad and hilarious masterpiece.

I honestly didn't expect it to be so effective. Like, I knew Hertzfeldt was fantastic for his dark sense of absurdist humour, but I honestly didn't expect to feel so emotionally exhausted after seeing It's Such A Beautiful Day. Looking forward to putting some money down on his blu-ray - hopefully enough to get a signed hardback book (or at least some prints or a signed blu-ray).

I would also be sure to check out some of the Brakhage stuff if you dug the visual style and in-camera special effects work in It's Such a Beautiful Day. Hertzfeldt's style is pretty heavily indebted to the experimental work of folks like Brakhage and Norman McLaren.

I've seen some of Brakhage's work before - we watched Mothlight in one of my classes and I've been watching some of his short films casually from time to time. I do intend to import some Criterion releases soon so I'll keep an eye on that collection.

Also finally finished Shoah today (IMDb link) - that film is such a challenge to view. Not simply for its length (for those not aware, Shoah is considered one of the most important Holocaust documentaries - at 9 hours in length, there is no archive footage and the film solely focuses on personal experiences during that era), but also because of how honest - to the extent that interviewees break down in tears or to the extent where ex-nazis shed guilt - everything is in that film. I admire Claude Lanzmann exceedingly for his dedication to this film - it took 12 years to make - and how he acquires so many perspectives, eyewitnesses and experiences into this one film.

I think one of the most haunting segments in the film is when Claude is in a barbershop and one of the hairdressers - a survivor of the holocaust - talks in detail about how he used to cut the hair of the jews. There's a point where he cannot talk about the subject for much longer and states that filming would have been difficult for him for this reason, yet Claude is gently motivating him off-screen to continue with his recollection. Of course, that doesn't begin to uncover how disturbing and haunting some of the recollections are in this film.

I honestly had to watch this a DVD disc a day (my version of this film splits it over 4 DVDs and includes an 180 page booklet regarding the film - I watched a disc a day but that wasn't within the period of a week, but rather a period of a couple of months) because of how exhausting I found this film. I appreciated what the film had to share, though - I just doubt I could re-watch it again for a very long time.

Also if you're interested in Shoah, I would recommend a documentary called Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah. It's a 40 minute documentary (I believe commissioned for HBO) I saw during my time at the Sheffield Doc/Fest where Claude elaborates on some of his personal struggles while filming Shoah - the film took such a toll on his life that he contemplated suicide and he was unwilling to shorten the film (many expected him to release Shoah as a 2 hour film) despite the embarrassment he felt when telling people year after year things like "it'll be done next year." He also elaborates on some of the more difficult shoots of Shoah (i.e. an interview with an ex-nazi that goes wrong). There's also usage of unused footage from Shoah used in this documentary. I would recommend it as a companion to Shoah as it does well to contextualise Claude's personal troubles with the film. IMDb page.

Also I literally watched our Movie Of The Week two weeks ago so I might as well share my opinion on that too:

Hana-Bi or Fireworks (IMDb page) is certainly unique. Joe Hisaishi's music has a beautiful sweetness throughout the film (when doesn't it?) that adds a lot of heart to what is actually a fairly downplayed, yet graphic crime drama. Kitano plays as Nishi, a cop (while also being the director and writer, but when doesn't he do that too?): his wife is dying of leukaemia and he blames himself for his friend becoming a permanent paraplegic on a case he and Nishi were on. Nishi tries his best to assist both but does so by making questionable decisions - y'know, like taking loans from gangsters.

I thought it was pretty unique how Nishi honestly doesn't say much throughout the film: it would imply an inner-turmoil at times, and at other times a true sense of contentment. There's some wonderfully heartfelt moments - I couldn't help but smile at moments when Nishi takes his wife on a final road trip which contain endearing scenes like ringing a shrine bell before scheduled or when Nishi protects his wife from hurtful slander of a passerby while she fishes.

Did I mention this film was graphic? It's not Takashi Miike-tier in terms of violence, but you might wince at least once. Without spoiling much, the violent scenes certainly will have you rooting for Nishi. The film's ending is modestly haunting too - no spoilers here either, I'm afraid.

I bought this film from Amazon a few months ago for £1 pre-owned and finally saw it with my younger brother a few weeks ago - we both loved it and any ideas we had about how the film would turn out were quashed. It's charming, heartfelt, intimate, subtle, yet humorous, violent and intense.


wow haha ok there bud
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EclecticEnnui
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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-29 19:30:23 Reply

I saw Ant-Man. I liked it. It's interesting, amusing, and neat to look at.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-30 04:42:27 Reply

Outstanding. Emotional. Phenomenal.

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Response to Cinema Club 2015-07-30 08:15:51 Reply

Penetrative. Designation. Spherical.

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