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Old 05-24-2009   #51
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Imprint ~ Takashi Miike



Pretty much the only Masters of Horror episode that was actually done 'masterfully' in my opionin . A nice mix of historical setting, sideshow freakishness, sadomasochism, and Japanese mythological bestiary.










The movie is free of the terrible voiceover of the preview, it takes some narrative turns one probably won't see coming, and a bit of warning, you probably could have guessed it, but it is rather violent, having been banned from Showtime and all.
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Old 05-25-2009   #52
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Re: Movie Recommendations


The end is a little confusing. Parts of this are terrifying, particularly part 3. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
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Old 05-25-2009   #53
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Re: Movie Recommendations

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Old 05-29-2009   #54
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Re: Movie Recommendations


Masters of horror Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham revisit their landmark film that launched Cravens directing career and influenced decades of horror films to follow: The Last House on the Left. Bringing one of the most notorious thrillers of all time to a new generation, they produce the story that explores how far two ordinary people will go to exact revenge on the sociopaths who harmed their child. The night she arrives at the remote Collingwood lakehouse, Mari (Sara Paxton) and her friend are kidnapped by a prison escapee and his crew. Terrified and left for dead, Maris only hope is to make it back to parents John and Emma (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter). Unfortunately, her attackers unknowingly seek shelter at the one place she could be safe. And when her family learns the horrifying story, they will make three strangers curse the day they came to The Last House on the Left.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream..
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Old 11-24-2009   #55
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Re: Movie Recommendations


Nuit Noire review

(Reviews: Nuit Noire (Black Night) REVIEW)

Todd Brown wrote quite fairly about Olivier Smolders's first feature Nuit Noire (Black Night) when he dispatched to Twitch from the 2006 Philadelphia Film Festival, admitting he had no clue whatsoever what the film's beautifully unsettling imagery meant; describing it as "thoroughly inscrutable on first viewing." Qualifying that inscrutability by the suggestion of further viewings implies the effort might be worth it, with which I would wholly concur. Grasping at descriptions like straws—"Surreal is one word for it. Dream-like, another. Pretentious is one many will apply, though I hesitate to go there myself before working at the puzzle a little longer."—Todd admits "pretentious" would only apply "if you don't have the goods to back it up. All indications are that Smolders does, it's just up to me to catch up." I respect that Todd does not pettily dismiss what he does not immediately understand.

Paraphrasing Jamake Highwater's The Primal Mind (1992:77): "Images are a means of celebrating mystery and not a manner of explaining it." This seems especially pertinent to the protean and essentially mysterious film at hand. Olivier Smolders himself has confessed: "Give me mystery to suspense any day."

When adjectives don't provide a firm grasp, identifying kindred spirits might by a process of approximation and familiarization. David Lynch—specifically Eraserhead—comes immediately to mind with what I've already termed the "Lynchian Imperative" of staged weirdness. Terry Gilliam's Brazil has likewise been alluded to, as has the animated surrealities of Jan Svankmajer, the perverse puppetries of the Quay Brothers, the brooding synchronicities of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (particularly La Cité des enfants perdus), the labyrinthine manipulations of Alex Proyas' Dark City, and the stern concerns of Ingmar Bergman's Hour of the Wolf. Add a dash of Kafka's "The Metamorphasis" and you're well on your way to being thoroughly disturbed and creeped out, walking home alone in the dark.

When it comes to inscrutability, I've long felt that one must be content with the articulations that sideways glances and deflections achieve. An indirect approach is the only way I can assess Nuit Noire and recommend it to others. Of the screeners I've seen from this year's inaugural Dead Channels, it is by far the most intriguing and—dare I say it?—most accomplished of the films in the line-up. Where titles like The Trail of the Screaming Forehead, Trapped Ashes, and Gamera the Brave can be appreciated (however briefly) for the truly amateurish and frivolous bonbons they are, Nuit Noire requires attention, investment, and subsequent rumination. It's my kind of film and one of the best in the festival. It is at this stage the only screener I'm looking forward to watching on the big screen. That has everything to do with Louis-Philippe Capelle's lustrous cinematography. Cineuropa's J-M Vlaeminckx states the film's palette includes "every shade of gold, ochre and Sienna brown under the sun" achieved through digital high definition. Braced by the atmospheric score of Miam Monster Miam, Nuit Noire is a sensuous enthrallment.

Synopsis, like resistance, seems futile; but notwithstanding: Nuit Noire is about night's enveloping embrace. It honors the sheen on a beetle's jet black carapace. Set in an alternate reality where the world has been plunged into darkness because of an eternal eclipse—which allows only a fleeting 15 seconds of sunshine in each 24-hour period—Nuit Noire inherits a night logic of surrealistically-interpreted dream images (twinning abounds) and purposely contaminated chronologies (trajectories bifurcate). Polarities are staged and layered one upon the other: darkness and light, black and white, youth and adulthood, male and female, sex and death, desire and fear, blood and milk, history and memory. Memory itself is configured as either a theatrically staged enactment replete with arched proscenium or cinematically captured in grainy black and white by a voyeuristic Super8 camera. As night watchman, Smolders flips a coin whose two sides spin endlessly throughout the film, glinting in dim light. Heads or tails, either way; it's the flip of the coin that truly matters.

Handsome repressed protagonist Oscar (Fabrice Rodriguez) works obsessively as an entomologist in a Natural History Museum hauntingly pervaded by a taxidermic spirit. He delights a bit too much and gains a little too much purpose in chloroforming and pinning beetles to the page. He's also having trouble with traumatic childhood memories that involve the death of his younger sister but it's not quite clear if these "memories" aren't just his disturbed imaginings. He's undergoing Jeunet-esque therapy where the doctor looks into his mind through a cone in his ear. While awaiting recovery, the ghosts of his imagined yesteryear contaminate and readjust his daily life. One day at the museum he encounters an African woman who seems to whisper telepathically to him in an incommunicable language. Before he can make it home, she sneaks into his apartment evading his crazed Russian landlady, climbs into his bed, proceeds to become pregnant and eventually pupates. That's right, pupates. Need I add that being an experienced entomologist comes in quite handy at this juncture? As Variety's Derek Elley describes it: "What finally emerges from the pupa is supposedly linked to his own childhood memories of himself, his sister and white-hunter father in colonial Africa (seen in B&W home movie footage)—and sparks a longer spell of bright daylight outside." One might say consciousness is linked to daylight, as it has been in mythologies immemorial.

In his own extracted itinerary of the film, Smolders has written: "Nuit noire (Black Night) was born of the passion of the insect. The aim was to tell a story of metamorphoses in highly dreamlike fashion, accompanying an entomologist in the fictive representation of his own internal life. The film wouldn't show a man dreaming, but rather the dream itself unfolding. A dream cobbled together from a collection of diverse reminiscences, fairy tales, tales of fantasy and make-believe, macro photographs and colonial archives.

"Nuit noire was at first intended to be a film about audio-visual sensations. The narrative pretext, the trauma suffered by the main character, a story of mourning over the death of a little sister, had to be presented to the audience in deferred fashion, by the most improbable device it was possible to find. Throw in some elements of decor and a small cast. Interlace the guiding thread of the narrative pretext with other threads. A canvas slowly but surely unveils, its intersections tied with occasionally loose knots. In reality, events and characters had to be born of the more or less conscious fears and desires of the main character. That's why the series of episodes could be both very structured and random. I could quite easily see the film as the x-ray of a dream advancing by associations, by the contamination of elements that, although not easily discernible, were also susceptible to multiple meanings. Personally, I have always liked leaving myself at the mercy of stories I don't fully understand but whose composite parts do seem to draw on a vaguely worrying, subterranean causal logic."

One might wish to pin down this movie as readily and enthusiastically as Oscar pins down the insects that he checks off his assignment list. Then again, revealing that wish might be the true aim of this movie, which purposely obfuscates, fragments, thwarts, distracts and detours at every nocturnal turn. To pin this movie down, to freeze frame it in the lens of a camera, is tantamount to chloroforming it. To recognize it as collage, as mosaic, as an exercise in Surrealist exquisite corpse, as self-indulgent and self-referential polysemy, is to be more on track. Quoting again from Smolders' La part de l'ombre (Share of the Shadow): "Sometimes, beetles that we hadn't effectively chloroformed woke up in the night, impaled on their pins, and spent hours going round in circles, making that annoying scratching-paw sound. In the morning, we put them out of their misery, not without feeling somewhat guilty about the whole thing. Nuit noire (Black Night) is first and foremost a film about insects and guilt."

(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 11-24-2009   #56
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Whatever you do, DON'T SEE MURDER, MY SWEET. Dick Powell makes an anemic, witless Marlowe. Instead of devil-may-care, he comes off half a Frank Drebin. Skip it and reread the novel.

Flash fiction story of mine: Pseudopod Pseudopod Bonus Flash: The Discussion Of Mimes

Flash fiction story of mine: Guardian Devils

Flash fiction story of mine
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Old 01-02-2010   #57
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Re: Movie Recommendations

Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II, dir. Sergei Eisenstein

I first saw this when I was 15 and did not find it appealing at all. On the other hand, I saw Aguirre: the Wrath of God, Kagemusha, and Triumph of the Will during the same period and enjoyed all three.

It was only recently that I began to appreciate it even more. The film is literally painting on screen, combining Jung (and Freud) in terms of archetypes, symbols, and dreams, Wagner, the Japanese kabuki, Prokofiev, and more.

The Criterion pages:

http://www.criterion.com/films/625

http://www.criterion.com/films/354

An essay about the film:

http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/535
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Old 01-27-2010   #58
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Re: Movie Recommendations

I´ve watched this film an hour ago:


the German audio is even more hilarious (in fact i was laughing my a** off, this film has the worst syncro ever)...




(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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Old 04-10-2010   #59
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Re: Movie Recommendations

These are two very different types of movies that I have enjoyed recently:


BEAUFORT (2008)

This is not a horror movie, but for those of you who liked Dino Buzzati's novel The Tartar Steppe and the films of Werner Herzog, especially the cinematography, might find this movie to your liking. It is an account of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon and the Beaufort ("Good Fort") mountain fortress.

BEAUFORT--winner of the Silver Bear at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival-- The film also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Subtitled. I am not going to include the trailer, because I don't like it.




BIG MAN JAPAN (2007)


A Japanese film written and directed Hitoshi Matsumoto, and starring him in the title role. It is a mockumentary on the Japanese giant monster movies that some of us were fortunate to grow up on. I'm not sure that it sustains itself all the way through, but it still has enough laughs to make it worth watching.



Last edited by bendk; 04-10-2010 at 11:48 AM..
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Old 01-04-2014   #60
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Re: Movie Recommendations

i watched (again) over the holidays 'City of the Dead' (Horror Hotel), an extremely minimalistic but very effective film starring a young Christopher Lee


well, here's the complete film


(Dictated while taking a stroll) I have come to realizewhat a superbly contrived marionette man is. Though without strings attached, one can strut, jump, hop and, moreover, utter words, an elaborately made puppet! Who knows? At the Bon season next year, I may be a new dead invited to the Bon festival. What an evanescent world! This truth keeps slipping off our minds.

- Tsunetomo Yamamoto, The Hagakure
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