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Found 10 results

  1. I'm not going to write much about "Eraserhead," because quite frankly, I don't really know what to write. I originally saw this film in the early 1980s, during one of my first-ever trips to New York City - I saw it for the second time just now, and after about 35 years between viewings, it makes just as little sense to me now as it did then. Only a fool would acknowledge that this isn't some type of masterwork from the twisted mind of genius David Lynch; *what* it is, exactly, I have almost no idea: some type of dream, perhaps, rich with symbolism about creation, destruction, technology, sex, paranoia, dystopia, and who-knows what else. Rather than reading a bunch of critiques, and then writing this post, I'm deliberately writing this first, because I don't want to sound like a false intellect - I have nothing at all to say of any merit, other than that I sat, riveted, through the entire ninety-minute film. *Now* I'll go through and read all the critiques about "Erasehead," which are required reading, because if you don't piece together some coherent thoughts about this jumble-patchwork of allegorical imagery, you won't have any idea what you just saw. Does *anyone* have anything to say about this film? I suspect piecemeal contributions may result in some type of synergistic whole. As for my opinion? It's essentially worth nothing. Wow.
  2. I'm almost finished with season three, and so I'm going to try to avoid spoilers for now. That being said: I'm not a huge TV fan. I watch some shows, but not a lot, and very few get me emotionally invested in them. But by damn, am I invested in this show now. I've never loved and/or hated so many characters so strongly on a show, I think. The last show I was this wrapped up in was House of Cards, and there were characters there that made me just kind of go "meh, whatevs, yo" as to their fate. On GoT, however, I have strong opinions on each character. And man, does Jon Snow suck.
  3. I can count on one hand the number of novels that left an indelible mark on my mind--literature that painted pictures so vividly that the imagery stays clearly with me years after I read the book. "The Tin Drum" by Gunter Grass is one of a handful of novels that I will never forget. Grass is an amazingly talented author. His prose is lyrical, even translated from German. To mark the 50th anniversary of the book, "The Tin Drum" was painstakingly re-translated (with a great deal of input by Grass himself) by Breon Mitchell, who made great efforts to preserve the poetic nature of Grass' prose. Earlier editions merely translated the meanings of his German words into English. This translation retains the beautiful richness and rhythm of his words. There is a very interesting chapter in the back of the book that discusses this process. If you purchase the novel, I highly recommend you get a copy with the newer translation. "The Tin Drum" is political, satirical, dark, moving, hilarious and thought provoking. There are elements of magical realism and historical fiction. I recently watched the 1979 award-winning film adaptation of this book. It is a good film, but far inferior to the novel. There is so much in this book that the movie can barely skim the surface. The casting was brilliant and the acting was great. The film touched on several of the highlights of Oskar's life, but so many of my favorite parts of the book were missing. Watching this film and thinking you know the story of "The Tin Drum" is like going to Epcot and saying you've been to Europe. ***SPOILERS FOLLOW*** Several of the most memorable scenes in the book are also in the film. But the imagery that Grass paints with his words is far more powerful than watching these somewhat shocking events play out on film. A pivotal moment in both the book and the film is when one of the major characters dies. This corresponds with the Soviet occupation of Poland. All of the details in the book are there, including Oskar's contribution to this person's death and the role of a Nazi party pin. But in the book, as the corpse lies on the cellar floor and the family scurries in panic around him, Oskar is transfixed by a trail of ants marching around the body and into a bag of sugar. With that one small detail, Grass speaks to the futility of war and the insignificance of man in the scope of the world. The addition of this one small detail makes a powerful and moving scene all the more powerful and moving. This is just one example of why the book is so superior to the film. If you love thought-provoking, exquisitely written literature, do not miss out on this fabulous book.
  4. So, a friend of mine told me that if I didn't mind "Django Unchained," I wouldn't mind "Inglourious Basterds." I didn't mind it, and actually somewhat enjoyed it. Christoph Waltz, in both movies, is really good - there's a certain "Intellectual 'It Factor'" to his demeanor that makes him highly likable and highly unlikable at the same time, all the while being believable, even when in unbelievable situations. Didn't I just say something similar about Tom Cruise and "Jack Reacher?" As one example of me (or is it "my") not hating "Inglourious Basterds," I'm just not on the same page as this review: Aug 21, 2009 - "Review: 'Inglourious Basterds'" by Peter Rainer on csmonitor.com (Forget that it's the Christian Science Monitor - that is an intelligent publication that, yes, has it's biases, but is worth more than dumbed-down criticism for the masses. That said, I'm surprised that this review got a "non-rotten tomato" on rottentomatoes.com For those of you who didn't recognize the term "OSS" just before Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) shouted "Bingo!" - I began this thread last year, and this is the first time I've heard the OSS mentioned since that day.. Had this fantasy been reality, there probably would have been no bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, as all necessary personnel could have been diverted to the Pacific Theater.
  5. John Travolta first made his name in film in the 1970's, often as the result of dance scenes. During the 1970's Travolta was young lithe, rangy, and an excellent dancer. As he aged, gained weight, and took on dramatically different roles, some of them included memorable dance scenes, not the least of which was the one in the whimsical film "Michael," made in 1996. Travolta played an angel on his last trip to earth and was staying in a motel in Iowa. Three reporters from a Chicago rag and a pet dog are sent to the motel to uncover the Angel and then return on a road trip back to Chicago. While stopping at a roadside tavern for some nourishment the following dance scene ensues: Done to the music Chain of Fools, Travolta, as the pied piper of dance:
  6. The iconic image of a knight playing chess with the personification of death is all I knew about "The Seventh Seal" ("Det sjunde inseglet") before viewing it. The knight, brilliantly portrayed by Max von Sydow, seeks the meaning of life and death, and questions the existence of God, during the Black Plague. Answers to his questions elude the knight (Antonius Block), and the closest he comes to finding meaning in life is an idyllic afternoon he spends eating strawberries and drinking milk with a married pair of traveling thespians. Watching their toddler son frolic around the campsite, Block remarks, "I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light...I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign for me, and a great sufficiency." This is my favorite scene, and it stands in sharp contrast to the darkness Block encounters on his journey through Sweden's countryside during the plague. The burning of a young "witch" at the stake and self-flagellation by a group of passing peasants ( in their futile attempt to ward off the Black Death) reinforce Block's doubts about the existence of a higher power. The chess game with death continues throughout the film, and Block gradually accepts that this is a game no one can win. Other characters are stalked by death in a variety of ways, but always with the same result. While the subject matter is bleak, the film is not. Surprisingly, there is a lot of humor in the film. The antics of the traveling actors, and relationship advice from Block's down-to-earth but woman-weary squire, made me laugh out loud. "The Seventh Seal" is a classic film, considered a masterpiece by many critics. With its gorgeous cinematography, thought-provoking themes, witty dialogue and empathetic and engaging characters, I can see why.
  7. "The Red Balloon" is a sweet, simple and visually appealing film. Just 35 minutes long, it tells the story of a young boy who finds a shiny red balloon in the streets of Paris. The boy takes the balloon everywhere he goes. It soon becomes apparent that the balloon has a mind of its own. It follows the boy everywhere, and hovers outside his window when his mother won't let him bring it inside. It is a lovely little tale of friendship, love and devotion. It captures the innocence of childhood, and highlights the fact that children can also be quite cruel to one another. There is virtually no dialogue and a lovely score. The little boy wears all gray, and the streets of Paris are shown in muted shades of bluish gray. The shots of the shiny red balloon against this backdrop are stunning. This film was made by someone with an artistic eye. I read some reviews that saw a deeper meaning in the film. Perhaps there were religious or political messages to be found. I enjoyed "The Red Balloon" on its most basic level. It made me feel like a child again. A balloon to a child is the world! Can you imagine having one that follows you around and waits for you outside your school?
  8. There are a handful of films that "I want to see, despite not dying to see them," mainly because they're such staples of American society that I feel like I'm missing out by not having done so - "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" was one of them (until about thirty minutes ago). goldenticket will disembowel me for saying this, but I "liked" it without loving it. I realize it's 44-years-old (the time elapsed between "The Wizard of Oz" and this was only 32 years, if that puts the age of the film into perspective), and I'm glad I saw it while at the same time wishing it would end just a bit sooner. I really didn't know anything about the movie going into it, so it had nothing to do with me knowing the plot in advance. That said, I can easily see this being considered a children's classic, even though "children's" must be put in quotes, like a Grimm Fairy Tale. I also liked the ambiguity of the children's fate - this film was not condescending at all. Loved the Oompa Loompas! There is absolutely an overlap between these two songs (and it's ironic that Johnny Depp was in the remake). Whether or not it was "inspiration," "borrowing," or something more than that, I'll leave up to the readers: Circular
  9. The Fisher King was a tough, tough movie for me to "get into" - after the first 30 minutes or so, I was nearly certain I was going to dislike it strongly. Then, other things started happening, and I didn't know what to think. Then, from the time when everyone was at the Chinese restaurant up until the time when Parry got Clockwork-Oranged, I thought that interval of the movie was so good I couldn't believe it. Then, the ending became forced and gratuitous. This film is a patchwork of weird, bad, good, great, odd, hackneyed, overacted, funny, bizarre, pathetic (i.e., pathos), terrifying (e.g. The Red Knight), and I've never seen anything even remotely like it in my entire life. Feeling melancholy about Robin Williams, I wanted to watch something of his that I was unfamiliar with, and I'm *so* glad I did. He was wonderful in this role, and really carried the movie if you think about it closely - many people say that Jeff Bridges and Mercedes Ruehl were equally good, but it's just not true - without Robin Williams, this movie wouldn't have worked. More than just about any other movie in this forum, I'm interested in hearing other peoples' opinions, be they positive, negative, or somewhere in-between. Even one-paragraph comments about certain scenes would be most welcome by these eyes - after all, isn't that what these forums are about, discussion? Netflix asked me to rate it out of four stars (so their algorithms can help me select future films), and assumed I'd give it 2.5, when in fact I gave it 3. So what does everyone else think about The Fisher King? And what drugged-up, twisted mind thought of such a bizarre movie, anyway? One of the beauties about this forum is that there's no need to do plot synopses which I feel are both a waste of time, and, simultaneously, great big spoilers. Many movies discussed here are older, and even those that aren't, I vote NO on plot summaries (though people are certainly welcome to write them if they issue spoiler warnings) - they're a remnant from an old-fashioned method of movie criticism that is needless in this medium.
  10. I don't know how I stumbled across Season 1 Episode 1 of ABC's "Nanny And The Professor" this evening, but I did, for free, on Hulu, so I figured - well, why not? I haven't watched it since I was a child, and I have no memory of it being originally wedged (in mid-season 1970) between "The Brady Bunch" and "The Partridge Family" - both shows I watched religiously (Friday night was my TV night growing up). Modeled after Mary Poppins - which came six years before - the storyline is a borderline magical nanny who shows up at a math professor's house at a very convenient time: when his fifth nanny of the year quit due to his lovable, but (let's call a spade a spade here) out-of-control children. Not once did I ever think that there was some sort of mysterious "link" between the professor's dead wife, his incorrigible children, and the mystical appearance of the nanny, but now that I've lived long enough, I don't see how it can be any other way. Could Nanny be some type of reincarnation of the children's mother? I certainly think so, and that's from after watching only one episode. Why else? Well, here's Season 1, Episode 1: "Nanny Will Do" on Hulu (with apologies for the commercials, but it's free).
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