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CINEMATIC FANTASTIC [Film and Media Discussion Party]

SnowbeatSnowbeat i need somethingto kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
Let's talk about film, ladies and gentlemen.


motion picture. a story presented in the form of moving pictures projected on a screen.

Films. Movies. Cinematic spectaculars for all ages. We all watch them and have thoughts about them, but very often we keep our opinions to ourselves in order to not be "that guy", that stick-in-the-mud who can't just turn their brains off for two hours and enjoy their cheap seats.

If that's you, you've come to the right place. This thread is intended to provide the good people of SE++ a place to honestly discuss recent and classic film without the overt pressure of needing to "go with the flow" or misplaced franchise loyalty. A place where you can come and chat about movies that don't have men in tights as their protagonists.*

Feel free to be as theoretical or grounded as you like, because part of the joy of analyzing and critiquing movies is finding the places where two opinions lock horns and figuring out why. All discussions and lines of inquiry are welcome: the political, the structural, even the Freudian, although if you start in about sons and mothers you may be politely asked to leave.

Welcome to the party, everyone.

*
Not that there's anything wrong with movies about men in tights. If you'd like to go in-depth with an analysis of Iron Man 3, please feel free. For more general comic book movie chat, though, please see the dedicated thread.

I'd like to start things off by talking about a relatively recent film that was released to great acclaim in 2006 and took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The title is, of course, The Lives of Others.



Personally, I thought that while it's obviously an accomplished and well-made film, with some wonderful performances and gorgeous cinematography, the story itself was rather dull and predictable. Additionally, for such a realistic film to end on such a saccharine and melodramatic note was a huge disappointment to me. I also don't think it was saying anything that necessarily needed to be said again. The film never considers the actual moral implication of installing listening devices in the walls of someone's home; it's far too busy driving home a well-blunted point about the evil inherent in totalitarian systems. In fact, eaves-dropping is depicted as something somewhat good in the film, as it's the mechanism that allows Wiesler to have his moral awakening.

Without putting too fine a point on it, it compares rather poorly to its closest cousin in subject and theme, the 1974 classic The Conversation, starring Gene Hackman and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.



While The Lives of Others aims for the low-hanging fruit of past totalitarianism, The Conversation presents a much more disturbing truth: that the same kind of men who were thrown out and ostracized after the Wall fell are living among us today, working the same sort of work without the stigma of being "secret policemen". These are men in suits and khaki pants, going to trade shows for new laser microphones and pistol-grip automatic lockpicks. They spy on people not for ideology or out of fear, but because it earns them a paycheck.

Both of these films are currently available for streaming on Netflix, although The Lives of Others is only on Netflix UK.

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Posts

  • Devlin_DragonusDevlin_Dragonus Gorgeous Dallas, TXRegistered User regular
    I would like to add Identity with John Cusack, Ray Liota, Amanda Pete and a number of other great actors.

    One thing that I enjoyed greatly about it was it gave a neat swearve that I was not expecting.

    Essentially it started and was advertised as one movie and it was something much more... complex.

    It's one of my favorite movies (I would go more in depth but I'm phone posting.

    I got nothing for you now. Try again later.

  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    I am watching The World's End and I can completely, whole-sale, envision this plot happening to me and my friends from college.

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  • Lost SalientLost Salient blink twice if you'd like me to mercy kill youRegistered User regular
    Let us all watch Berlin Alexanderplatz together

    Then we shall rest on our cinema laurels and eat cakes

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    "Sandra has a good solid anti-murderer vibe. My skin felt very secure and sufficiently attached to my body when I met her. Also my organs." HAIL SATAN
    FAQ
  • PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    I would like to add Identity with John Cusack, Ray Liota, Amanda Pete and a number of other great actors.

    One thing that I enjoyed greatly about it was it gave a neat swearve that I was not expecting.

    Essentially it started and was advertised as one movie and it was something much more... complex.

    It's one of my favorite movies (I would go more in depth but I'm phone posting.

    My favorite part about Identity is how it's basically just the movie Donald Kaufman writes in Adaptation

  • PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    Fuck, I still need to see Upstream Color

    YaYa
  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    I really like John Cusack in Identity.

    Most films he just sort of falls his way through as John Cusack but in Identity? I don't know, I somehow fully believe his character, emotions and actions.

    A+ towards you Mr. Cusack!

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    Devlin_DragonusMuddy Water
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    Let us all watch Berlin Alexanderplatz together

    Then we shall rest on our cinema laurels and eat cakes

    good god almighty, that would be an accomplishment

    but it does seem worth it

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  • Baroque And RollBaroque And Roll Registered User regular
    I just finished watching Pacific Rim.

    It was pretty dope.

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    SteamID: Baroque And Roll
    ZonugalRainfallDevlin_DragonusTrippyJingDyvim TvarEtchwartsYaYamasterofmetroidGatsbyJacques L'HommeJimothyMatevOlivawMortal Sky
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    Personally I liked Identity more before it becomes a "twist movie" and everything gets super-contrived in service to the fantasy.

    the first half is an great, great murder mystery. the second half is just depressing

    I agree that Cusack is great in it!

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    Devlin_DragonusDyvim TvarcabsyFAQ
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Roger Deakins is amazing. He's been the cinematographer or advisor for movies including: True Grit, Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Assassination of Jesse James, Rango, How to Train Your Dragon, Wall-E, The Shawshank Redemption, and A Beautiful Mind.





    He's arguably the greatest cinematographer of all time, yet he also has a web forum for students and film professionals where he'll regularly answer technical questions from random people, and is basically just a super mellow, humble dude.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    SnowbeatZonugalHermanoNocrenDevlin_DragonusSpeed RacerYaYaIloveslimesFutoreAngelinapookaDonovan PuppyfuckerOlivawPeter EbelTransporter
  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Roger Deakins is amazing. He's been the cinematographer or advisor for movies including: True Grit, Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Assassination of Jesse James, Rango, How to Train Your Dragon, Wall-E, The Shawshank Redemption, and A Beautiful Mind.

    That is one hell of a resume.

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    RainfallHermanoTrippyJingYaYaAngelinaJacques L'HommeJimothySorceMatevDonovan PuppyfuckerOlivaw
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Another Deakins scene:

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    Can we talk about great documentaries in here?

    Waste Land


    Born into Brothels


    The Thin Blue Line

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  • RainfallRainfall Registered User regular
    I've found that lately I don't even remotely care about writing in a film. If the acting is good enough to sell the dialogue, I give it a pass.

    What engages me is the spectacle of the thing, lights and colours and shots and angles and interesting exciting visuals that I haven't seen before.

    So obviously this year my two picks are Gravity(hot damn) and Pacific Rim, but what do you folks think about the fine art of cinematography and the visual palette? What images stick in your heads with that sense of motion, intimacy and glory that only film can provide?

    And hey, movie recommendations based solely on aesthetics are cool! The movie Ultraviolet is a horrible piece of shit but it does some very clever things with color and light when it's not settling into godawful CGI.

    Or Tron: Legacy, which has an amazingly strong and unique style and I can't watch it without gasping over the set design and costumes and props and the lighting oh god.

    I'd ramble more but I'm phone posting and I just haven't seen enough non-enormous movies lately which seriously clouds my judgement.

    Antimatter
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    it's interesting, actually, to look at a bunch of signature Deakins scenes all together like that

    despite the fact that he has a fluid style that he adapts to the material, you can still recognize each one as a Deakins shot

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    Kana
  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    Seriously, if you have the chance, watch those three documentaries.

    They are each amazing in their composition as well as the story they tell. Waste Land will fill you with so much optimism and hope while Born into Brothels will crush your heart in the harshest of ways, and The Thin Blue Line is a powerful exploration into freedom and the corruption of our authority by ignorance & laziness.

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  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    Jesus, now I'm thinking of Born into Brothels and getting really emotional.

    That film is really fucking intense.

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  • ZonugalZonugal (He/Him) The Holiday Armadillo I'm Santa's representative for all the southern states. And Mexico!Registered User regular
    But my favorite documentary series?

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  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Of course, one of my favorite directors is Wes Anderson, surprising absolutely no one. He recently did a series of commercials for Prada that are, frankly, great.





    I might do a whole post dedicated to him, but maybe I won't. First, I'm going to eat this steamed chicken before I pass out.

    Snowbeat on
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    PoorochondriacDyvim TvarNeoTomaBrainleech
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    it's interesting, actually, to look at a bunch of signature Deakins scenes all together like that

    despite the fact that he has a fluid style that he adapts to the material, you can still recognize each one as a Deakins shot

    Deakins is kinda old school, like he's unafraid to present his compositions as compositions. It feels like most movies these days are either just trying to look 'realistic' and natural, or are green-screen-a-paloozas, which is cheaper and easier but is always unmistakably kind of flat and lifeless. The color and light in his movies is always so rich and ever-present and 3-dimensional, very few movies even try to look anything like it.

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Yasujiro Ozu is pretty much regarded as one of the grand masters of cinema, although he wasn't much noticed in the west while he was actually making movies
    Among my favorite directors, Yasujiro Ozu is always near the top of a list including Buster Keaton, Welles, Fellini, Herzog, Scorsese and Hitchcock. Because he was considered "too Japanese" for export, Ozu was almost unknown in the West at the time of his death. Ironically, his world of middle-class life, of parents and children, of marriage and family life, now seems one of the most universal.
    [...]
    Ozu resisted sound until 1936, color until 1958, and never shot in widescreen. Indeed, his stylistic development involved the abandonment of one artistic device after another until his films reached a simplicity and serenity that abandoned breadth for bottomless depths.

    Ozu's famous style makes his films more, not less, accessible; his stories, told with transparent honesty, are often about a home threatened by marriage that is desired by one character but not another, about parents sacrificing for children, and children sacrificing (or not) for their parents. There is nothing esoteric about them. In 30 years of teaching evening film classes for the University of Chicago, I have shown only one film that made the audience cry, and that was "Tokyo Story." You do not cry unless a film frees itself from its origins and enters into your own heart.

    Although in his early work Ozu used all of the usual techniques like intercutting, moving cameras and over-the-shoulder shots, he gradually simplified until he almost never moved the camera at all. Special effects, of course, were unheard of.

    He usually filmed from a low point of view, roughly the eye level of a person seated on a tatami mat, shot each scene as one unbroken take, and eliminated all wipes, fades and dissolves. He cut directly from each scene to the next, although for purposes of pacing he would sometimes begin a scene before the characters entered, continue to regard a space after the characters had left, or separate scenes with "pillow shots" of landscapes, banners, architectural details or trains and boats. He loved trains.

    Almost every movie ever made observes the "180-degree rule," which states that the camera must either stay on one side of an imaginary line drawn through the scene or explain why it has moved. Otherwise, there is an inexplicable flip-flop as characters and objects pop from left to right and back again. Ozu ignored that rule, and also ignored continuity; he was fond, for example, of placing a little red teapot in the corners of some of his scenes, like the artist's mark, and the teapot has a way of inexplicably moving around from shot to shot.

    Almost all directors use intersecting eyelines as a way of making it seem like the characters are looking at each other in conversational closeups. Not Ozu. As his characters talk to each other, they look straight at the camera. "This has the unusual effect," Nick Wrigley writes at his invaluable site ozuyasujiro.com, "of placing the viewer directly in the center of conversations -- as if being talked to -- instead of the Hollywood convention of alternately peering over characters' shoulders during such sequences."

    Because Ozu's mature films consist of complete shots and nothing else (none of the traditional language of master shot/medium shot/closeup), composition became all-important to him. Every shot "has to be perfect in itself," he said, and often you will find at least one side defined by a visible frame -- a wall, a doorway, a step, a curtain, a post. He loved to include banners in the background or posters on the walls; many of them, he painted himself.



    One sorta funny thing with Ozu, his style will feel very familiar if you've ever watched much anime, as his trademarks of pillow shots, lack of camera movement, and characters addressing the camera translate very well to animation. If there's one reason why anime seems to be shot in a very fundamentally different way than western animation, it's Ozu. Directors like Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell), Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue), and Akiyuki Shinbo (bakemonogatari) have wildly varying styles, but their cinematography clearly descends from Ozu's films.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    pookawandering
  • WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    oh man Phantom (the Ed Harris submarine movie) is on netflix I've been wanting to see this

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  • ArtreusArtreus I'm a wizard And that looks fucked upRegistered User regular
    I'm watching Volcano. It is a cinematic masterpiece

    http://atlanticus.tumblr.com/ PSN: Atlanticus 3DS: 1590-4692-3954 Steam: Artreus
  • PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    Of course, one of my favorite directors is Wes Anderson, surprising absolutely no one. He recently did a series of commercials for Prada that are, frankly, great.





    I might do a whole post dedicated to him, but maybe I won't. First, I'm going to eat this steamed chicken before I pass out.

    Those are very cool. Hadn't seen 'em before. Much obliged.

    Fishman
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    Jason Schwartzman's delivery of "son of a bitch" is amazing

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    Dyvim TvarFishman
  • PoorochondriacPoorochondriac Ah, man Ah, jeezRegistered User regular
    I watched the first one, and went, "I'm surprised Jason Schwartzman wasn't in there anywhere."

    The I got to the second and went, "Ah, there we go."

  • Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    I love

    Jason Schwartzman

    ArtreusMikey CTSFishmanBucketmanDimosar
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    Finally got around to watching High Noon on Netflix.

    Holy damn that is excellent.

    Spoilers below
    The film creates a sense of anticipation throughout, as Former Marshall Will Kane tries to rally the help of the townspeople he protected for years. One by one, and all together, they refuse him. Even those who sympathize urge him to leave town while he still can. And all the while, the clocks in the town are ticking inexorably to noon, when the train carrying Kane's nemesis will arrive.

    We meet Kane's new wife, a virginal Quaker he marries in the opening scene. She urges him to leave with her, and for a moment he does before something draws him back. What? Well in the words of mysterious Mexican (and the film's most interesting character) Helen Ramirez, "If you have to ask, you'll never know."

    Mrs. Ramirez, presumably a widow, has a history with both Will Kane and his nemesis, Frank Miller. We are informed of this by the leering hotelier, who in a few lines establishes himself as a smirking scoundrel who preferred the town when it was run by outlaws.

    At first, it seems Kane will get the support of the townspeople, but as the clocks get closer to noon, the willingness to help dries up and the pleas for him to leave town become a dull roar. His own deputy, jealous and resentful, first demands a job recommendation, then quits when it is refused.

    Ultimately the only people in town willing to help seem to be a one-eyed drunkard and a 14 yr old boy with more courage than brains. Marshall Kane must face Miller and his three gunmen alone.

    Oh right, the three gunmen. They're the ones who tipped everyone off that Miller was coming back, and they've been waiting for him at the train depot. The camera goes back to them every ten minutes or so to remind us the train is coming, as if the constant shots of ticking clocks weren't enough to drive the point home.

    I won't tell you how it all ends, except to say that every character has their moment to make a difference in some small way.

    Not a very literary review and sort of rambling but you get the idea

    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    I'm currently watching Grosse Point Blank

    "You've been Detroit's most famous disappearing act since white flight!"

    huh

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  • TrippyJingTrippyJing Moses supposes his toeses are roses. But Moses supposes erroneously.Registered User regular
    Reading into High Noon makes me wonder what would have happened had John Wayne outlived the Cold War.

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Is this a Baz Luhrmann thread

  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    dang I love John Cusack

    that period between 1984 and

    wait a fucking second

    High Fidelity came out in 2000?

    what

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    eddizhereYaYa
  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    oh hang on, I confused it with Say Anything

    I felt my life flash before my eyes for a moment there

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    dang I love John Cusack

    that period between 1984 and

    wait a fucking second

    High Fidelity came out in 2000?

    what

    2000 was still the 90s, basically

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    SorceMatev
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Say Anything is a classic but

    High Fidelity is one of my all time, desert island films

  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Oh by the way @Snowbeat

    I remember you being pretty happy that I informed you about MoviePass

    It was good for a solid month after I joined, then they introduced a new "feature" that made it really shitty, so

    I can't really recommend it anymore, if you haven't gotten it yet

    I canceled my contract

  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    Oh by the way @Snowbeat

    I remember you being pretty happy that I informed you about MoviePass

    It was good for a solid month after I joined, then they introduced a new "feature" that made it really shitty, so

    I can't really recommend it anymore, if you haven't gotten it yet

    I canceled my contract

    what's up with it? i've left it hanging since then

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    Snowbeat wrote: »
    Oh by the way @Snowbeat

    I remember you being pretty happy that I informed you about MoviePass

    It was good for a solid month after I joined, then they introduced a new "feature" that made it really shitty, so

    I can't really recommend it anymore, if you haven't gotten it yet

    I canceled my contract

    what's up with it? i've left it hanging since then

    So the deal with MoviePass when I started, I was pretty fine with. You needed a GPS-enabled smartphone, and they'd send you a MoviePass credit card in the mail, which was essentially a Discover card and could be used at any theater that accepted Discover.

    To see a movie, you had to go to the actual theater and start up the app. Pick your move, pick your showtime. It would check that you were roughly within 100 yards of the theater, and then credit your MoviePass card with the exact amount of money it took to purchase a ticket for that showing, and gave you 30 minutes to purchase the ticket. I didn't mind this that much - even if you wanted to see a midnight showing of, say, Thor 2 and were afraid of tickets being sold out, you would be able to go to the theater earlier in the day and get a ticket then.

    This whole process was strange but justifiable - you can't just give out a card by itself, because there'd be nothing to stop me from loaning it to whoever. Loaning someone your card and phone is possible but way less practical.

    So it already had some odd restrictions but ones I were mostly okay with since I just love film and like to digest new films, good, bad, whatever

    The restrictions when I signed up were:

    - One movie per calendar day
    - Each movie only once
    - No 3D/IMAX showings

    I was fine with that!

    But then they added a "feature" (in an insulting manner, their email describing it as something they were "so excited to bring to customers") called the Countdown Clock. This changed the "one movie per calendar day" to "one movie every 24 hours" - if I saw a movie tonight at 7:00 PM, I wouldn't be able to purchase tickets again until the next day at 7:01 PM

    As I'm only off two days a week and work nights and there was no way I was arranging my weekend schedule around this stupid set of restrictions, I canceled.

    Luckily, they had a two-week opt-out period when this change occurred to prevent an early termination fee.

  • SnowbeatSnowbeat i need something to kick this thing's ass over the lineRegistered User regular
    between that and the fact you're locked in for a 12-month period, i think i'll pass, then

    guess they had too many college kids with open schedules sign on

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  • Mr FuzzbuttMr Fuzzbutt Registered User regular
    Is this a Baz Luhrmann thread

    nah

    this thread is for good movies

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    Good Looking Fat GuyStraightzi
This discussion has been closed.