On Screen Now! The 2019 Movie Thread

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  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Woo hoo! Saw Endgame last night. Without giving any spoilers, I will say it was some ride.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    All right then, Stetson! I'm off to the Red Box.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Trudy wrote on the old movie thread...

    First Reformed is the most interesting, thoughtful exploration of faith, doubt and despair that I think I've ever seen in the movies, marred by what I thought was a deeply flawed ending. I'd love to talk about it with anyone who's seen it.

    If you're around this thread, Trudy, what did you think was flawed about the ending of First Reformed? Personally,
    I think there was supposed to be some ambiguity over whether or not the things we were seeing were actually happening, if that makes a difference.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Oh man, I really wish I could remember it better now! It's definitely not vivid in my mind anymore, but
    I felt there was a heavy reliance on the "troubled man is saved by the love of a good, pure woman" trope that entirely erased the woman's separate humanity and the idea of what might be good for HER. Of course if, as you say, there's meant to be ambiguity over what's actually real, that might mean that her presence there is not real -- but putting her in the scene at least invites that idea that her purpose is to save him ... which I have a real problem with, as a way of resolving a man's story.

    However, this is all going off memories from what seemed very vivid one night last August ... it's definitely dimmer now!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited May 1
    I agree that
    even if it is a fantasy sequence, it's still one that postulates the woman's main role as being to assist in the redemption of the pastor. And yeah, that is kind of problematic, but(again, going by my knowledge of his other films), somewhat typical for Paul Schrader's scripts.

    FWIW, my reason for thinking the climax was a fantasy is that it is explicitly shown that when the megachurch pastor tried to enter the house, he was unable to open the door, so it then seems unlikely that the woman would have been able to get in. Plus, the whole feel of the scene, with the sudden ending etc.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Thanks, Trudy and Stetson, for your posts. I'd been thinking about watching that one, but I'm going to give it a miss now that I know about that.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    The Death Of Stalin

    Yeah, okay, that was pretty funny, and a nice ensemble cast of intergenerational comedy icons. I couldn't help but thinking though, that at bottom, it was basically a genre film(is British Institutional Comedy a thing?), with the actual history being just an excuse for the rapid-fire humour. I doubt that it really had much to say about the workings of Stalinist Russia, since while it does follow the basic outline of events, the treatment of the overarching politics is fairly superficial.

    I did like that the moral indictment against Beria was carried through to the end, and actually found it rather moving the way they read out the names of some of his rape victims before his execution. Though I'd wager that that particular aspect of his trial was totally ahistorical: going by wiki, his sex crimes were not part of the charges against him. Probably a pander by the screenwriters to contemporary audience interest.

  • McMaverickMcMaverick Shipmate
    Interesting to read your take on Death of Stalin. I found it to be black comedy, not shying away from the sickness of the party or the atrocities taking place, but seeing the humour in the situation where there is none, because that’s what people do. It was in a very British style, but I’ve seen a couple of films from other cultures that handle dark material in a very similar way. I can’t remember the name of a Chinese film I watched a while ago that had a similar feel, while being very different in its style.
    I saw an interview with David Schneider in which it became clear that shining a light on the events wasn’t just about comedy, but about finding a different way to tell this particular story. There is something powerful about laughing at subject matter that is as dark as this. It certainly ensures that the story stays with you.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I can understand both views... I loved The Death of Stalin
    for what it was... I knew what to expect and was happy. I love black humour.

    I saw a very different film tonight: Zama, directed by Lucrecia Martel. To summarise terribly, it is a colonial Spanish official’s extended and excruciating wait for a transfer from a South American backwater. Played wonderfully and in almost every scene by Daniel Giménez Cacho.

    As much as I "enjoyed" (wrong word, but I'll come to that) this horrifying tale, I struggled with the rather intense sounds employed, artfully I'll grant, by the director. I know they were there to symbolise de Zama's (the official) anguish, but I found them too intense. I will say I am currently manic and sleeping little, so my current mental and emotional state may have exacerbated their impact.

    The filming was beautiful, there were touches of humour amid the despair, and the narrative so engaging in its hopelessness. The presence, and ill-treatment, of slaves and natives was rightly confronting, perhaps even moreso as these marginalised people were marginalised in that this tale is told from the point of view of the Spanish, or Spanish-Americans.

    It was a worthwhile investment of time, and a very emotional and difficult ride -- hence while I appreciated it, "enjoyed" seems the wrong term. It started off slow and disjointed to me, but the strands were brought together.

    The film is based on a 1956 novel by Antonio di Benedetto; googling tells me an English translation was only done relatively recently. I feel I will, despite the sadness and despair, seek it out. A truly insightful examination of the human condition and the despair that comes from being trapped, overlooked, passed over, and more. Not sure I should feel sorry for the colonisers, but this was, to me, a very successful and confronting look at power. And lack thereof.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Tonight's Film Society movie: Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen (The Forest for the Trees), a 2003 German drama. The film was Maren Ade's thesis film for film school, and she based the movie on stories that her parents -- who both were teachers -- had told her about their experiences.

    As that is the case my occasional thoughts of becoming a teacher are dead. This was not a light-hearted look, despite some comedic elements. The teacher, Melanie, comes to the city of Karlsruhe from a regional town. Not skilled socially or in controlling a classroom, her attempts at managing unruly students and trying excessively to form a friendship with a neighbour are doomed from the start. Things fall rapidly apart. And descend even further. I found it hard to watch at times.

    Despite this, it was engaging. And thought-provoking. I did the opposite move, from big city to smaller city, a few times -- and while I'm not equating Melanie and myself, there were points of contact.

    Unless it is wanted, I won't comment on the ending, except to say she runs, or drives, away -- the way this was handled, and filmed, was, to me, simply beautiful. And a great way to end the film.

    Based on this I will seek out more of Ade's work. I hear Toni Erdmann is rather good, and comedic.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    The Magnificent Ambersons

    Another "I waited until I was in my 50s to see this" entrant. Actually, the title put me off of a screening for many years: I thought it was about circus performers or something along those lines.

    I guess I can see why this is considered a classic, and you can definitely see the stylistic holdover from Citizen Kane, though with a more nuanced view of the capitalist ruling class.

    On that note, I will say it was pretty easy to see where the themes were going in the first ten minutes or so: old money vs. new money, the 19th Century's semi-rural order vs. the impending hegemony of automobiles and highways etc, all symbolized by the romantic and financial competitions of the two families. You could probably make the same film today, except about a family of old-technology tycoons fending off the advances of a brood of silicon-valley tech upstarts. (In fact, I'd be surprised if someone hasn't done that.)

    I wonder if audiences in 1942 were still in a bit of a panic about the rise of the automobile, or if they'd have seen the films central thematic conflict as something they'd have to extrapolate from their knowledge of an earlier era.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Sounds fascinating...thank you!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Brightburn
    The Superman origin story, complete with arrival from outer space and midwest rural setting,
    pastiched as a horror film, mostly just for the sake of pastiche itself.

    Doesn't set its sights overly high, and does what it sets out to do fairly well, without excessive reliance on CGI, gore, or insect infestations(three of the most regretable banes of contemportary horror, in my view). If you like a good horror film with modest ambitions, this might be for you.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Us

    A horror film that DOES set its sights a little higher, with fairly satisfying if somewhat uneven results.

    When all is said and done, it's basically just a zombie-doppelganger attack flick, set against the backdrop of upper middle-class holiday homes. The script laudably attempts a meditation on issues of poverty and homelessness, though the effect is not always entirely coherent,
    ie. the reason for the original creation of the doppelgangers is left somewhat at loose ends, supposedly it's just enough to know that they are the homeless embodiments of the same people they are attacking.

    Kudos to Jordan Peele for continuing his attempts at taking domestic American horror in a socially critical direction.
  • ChoristerChorister Shipmate
    The Pop-Up community cinema showed 'The Children Act' recently, very moving account of a JW boy refusing a blood transfusion.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Chorister wrote: »
    The Pop-Up community cinema showed 'The Children Act' recently, very moving account of a JW boy refusing a blood transfusion.

    That sounds interesting, Chorister, and I hope I can find it somewhere in Korea.

    I see on wiki that it stars Stanley Tucci. Is his character supposed to be British? And if so, how is his accent?

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Miss Stevens

    American comedy from a few years back, about a high-school teacher accompanying three of her students, each exhibiting various permutations of awkwardness, to a drama competition.

    Sort of in the same broad vein as Little Miss Sunshine, though with less self-importance, and more of the action taking place at the destination, rather than on the road. One of the male students being gay, with another on the autism spectrum, might seem like its veering close to the territory of "message movie", but the script generally maintains a light touch that doesn't take itself too seriously.

    On that last point, there is one scene of complete bathos, nicely presented right near the beginning, rather than as a poignant climax that ends up defining the whole movie.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    We have a 2-week Environmental Film Festival going on, and last night I saw Saving The Dark, a look at light pollution and its impact on us and animals. The health impacts on us of excessive and all-day lighting were looked at, as were the very sad stories of dead birds and turtles. Some dark night enthusiasts wondered if the lack of seeing stars led to arrogance and our not being interested in things bigger than us, or science. And we saw some interesting results from beneficial changing of lighting.

    The film was shown on a projector in a small performance studio; the organiser said she was pleasantly shocked at the number who turned out -- she said she could never guess which films decided upon would draw crowds. This one was well-attended.

    For something different, Monday night's weekly Film Society movie was Daisies, a 1966 Czech film about two sisters who get up to all manner of outrageous and outlandish behaviour. They make the point that as they are spoiled they went out to destroy the world, revelling in its excesses. It is very odd, surreal even, but I found it amusing. Very amusing. And thought-provoking. The food fight scene may give you a flavour of one of its slapstick comedic aspects, and the way music is used throughout the film.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    Amazon Prime seems to offer films which are about two years old.

    I like any genre except horror :smile:

    I watched ‘Manchester by the Sea’ last night and loved it. I’ve just seen that ‘Sully’ is on there - anyone watched it?

    If you liked Manchester by the Sea, you might like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri - another real life kind of thing, insights into America and family/ community. I am pretty sure you can get that on Prime.

    Sully is good too.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    I am not sure if this is quite appropriate, as it's not come out yet (but I read the book) - The Goldfinch has been made into a film (no idea if it's going to be any good), the book was quite an epic, so will be interesting to see what they've done with it for a screen play.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Yes, I loved The Goldfinch so much I bought it for a friend -- who never read it because it he thought the size was too daunting. I can't imagine how they could have cut it enough to make it movie length, a mini-series would have been so much better. I'll watch it though. That opening scene in the museum, alone, should be worth going for.
  • AnnieDAnnieD Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    Yes, I loved The Goldfinch so much I bought it for a friend -- who never read it because it he thought the size was too daunting. I can't imagine how they could have cut it enough to make it movie length, a mini-series would have been so much better. I'll watch it though. That opening scene in the museum, alone, should be worth going for.

    Yes, I think they'll have to focus on one or two themes - probably the story of the painting and his forgery business - there is such a lot going on. I assume that they'll get him to Las Vegas fairly fast after the museum. I had a look at the trailer, and I think they've cast the right person for his Las Vegas friend though.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    Just dared to watch the Soderbergh Solaris. Not bad. Although the paint dried a little to quickly.

    You do know this was Tarkovsky's film before it was Soderbergh's, right? Tarkovsky of the fifteen minute camera pan.

    Either you love his work or you sleep through it.

    I love it.

    AFF

    And it was Stanislaw Lem's novel before that. The novel has an extended, hilarious parody of academic writing which was incorporated into NEITHER film version.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Twilight wrote: »
    Yes, I loved The Goldfinch so much I bought it for a friend -- who never read it because it he thought the size was too daunting. I can't imagine how they could have cut it enough to make it movie length...
    Most of the Las Vegas stuff could go without any problem.

  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I just saw "Rocket Man" and I really enjoyed it. As a story there wasn't much new about a guy with a disfunctional family, insane success, users around him, unpopular sexual orientation and the self- medication used to deal with it all. He was pretty miserable much of the time as may be expected. But the acting was fabulous, the effects, the sets, the costumes (!) and cinematography exciting. And the music was...Elton. Well worth the two hours.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Lyda wrote: »
    I just saw "Rocket Man" and I really enjoyed it. As a story there wasn't much new about a guy with a disfunctional family, insane success, users around him, unpopular sexual orientation and the self- medication used to deal with it all. He was pretty miserable much of the time as may be expected. But the acting was fabulous, the effects, the sets, the costumes (!) and cinematography exciting. And the music was...Elton. Well worth the two hours.

    Just saw it last night. Yeah, it was good, though I wasn't expecting it to be a musical, in the formal sense, so that took some slight adjustment at first(I try to limit the musical genre to about one film per year, so that's my quota for now, I guess).

    One thing: As with Bohemian Rhapsody, the presentation of the various songs was largely decontextualized, which was somewhat jarring at the points where I knew the history. For example, at one point he's just randomly shown on stage playing Pinball Wizard, with no mention that this wasn't one of his songs, but something from The Who's rock opera Tommy that John had performed when he played the Wizard in the film.

    And I'm someone with a pretty cursory knowledge of music. I'd imagine there were more howlers for people with a more extensive grasp of the history.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    From Slate

    I agree with the writer that the absence of The Lion King and especially Candle In The Wind 1997 seemed a little odd, though to extend the movie any further beyond the '80s would have likely made it somewhat overlong.

    Plus, as mentioned above, the film didn't seem to have much interest in external events that impacted John's music. Even Marilyn Monroe is omitted from discussion when he is shown playing a paltry few bars from the original Candle In The Wind.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited June 8
    The Fire Within

    Louis Malle thing from the early 60s. Recovering alcoholic skips out of rehab, and wanders around Paris for a bit, in a seemingly depressed state, encountering various people from his past, representing respective chapters in his life.

    The guy's problems are apparently supposed to have something to do with an inability to connect with women, which is a little strange, since it's established at the begining that he has a wife and at least one girlfriend on the side. I gather this was highly rated in its day, but I didn't come away in a state of excessive awe.

    I've seen three and a half films by Louis Malle(couldn't be bothered finising My Dinner With Andre on You Tube), and I think I've found all of them a little underwhelming.
  • EigonEigon Shipmate
    I picked up Paddington 2 a while ago, and was saving it for when I fancied something light and fluffy to watch.
    Last night was the night - and I was in floods of tears!
    I knew the bit where Paddington opens the pop-up book and imagines his Aunt Lucy coming to visit would be a bit emotional, but I wasn't prepared for the heart warming ending at all.
    In between the sobs, I thought it was a very cleverly constructed film, with each member of the Brown family having something established about them that is important in the climactic chase (Mrs Brown is training to swim the Channel, Mr Brown is very good at throwing balls at a coconut shy, Jonathan Brown really likes steam trains....).
    There was also a wonderful sequence which referenced The Pit and The Pendulum and Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times, and another sequence modelled after Hoffnung's monologue about the labourer and the barrel full of bricks.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Un Homme Perdu

    Two guys meet up in the middle east, one with an interest in photographing prostitutes at work, the other with a mysterious background.

    Interesting plot, but the two characters almost seem to be constructed for different stories, and the two thematic streams, voyeurism and shadowy pasts, seem almost forcibly merged. I didn't get the impression that either one was really illuminating the other. Maybe if the mysterious guy was fleeing a background that somehow involved illicit sex or prostitution, it would have jibed together a little more smoothly.

    Worth seeing if you like stuff set in exotic(to western sensibilities) locales.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    On The Basis Of Sex

    Artistically unremarkable biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, focused on a landmark court case she won in the 1970s.

    I remember when that movie about Larry Flynt came out in the late 90s, Flynt gave an interview in which he said he wasn't really the hero of his free-speech court case, the real heroes were the judges who made the decision. At the time I said to myself "Yeah, but no one's gonna watch a movie about judges".

    Well, twenty years later, this IS that movie. Granted, it's more about the lawyers than the judges, but still, it's basically just a movie about legal arguments being prepared and delivered, without a lot of humour(since these lawyers aren't exactly laugh-a-minute types), or suspense(because it doesn't involve a senational crime, and in a movie like this, it's pretty easy to guess how that you're heading for a happy ending). For legal dramas not involving lurid crimes, I think it's better to focus on the litigants, rather than the lawyers, to get a bit of human drama in. And in this instance, a man caring for his elderly mother, seeking a caregiver's tax exemption normally reserved for women, would have made a compelling centre.

    (So I'm not misunderstood, the story does incorporate a LOT about RBG's personal life, since she argued the case in conjunction with her husband's tax-law firm. But her domestic situation is not much more interesting than her work life, with everyday mother-daughter rivalries comprising the bulk of the drama.)

    Cinematically, the film does a lacklustre job of capturing the feel of the times: apart from the hidebound legal regime, it could really have taken place anytime. The closest we get to era-colour is an antiwar protest scored to Time Has Come Today. (At least they didn't use CCR.)

    All that said, if you're not looking for a groundbreaking aesthetic experience, and are interested in getting a little education about an important case in US gender-equality law, you might want to give this a look. But I still think it's something most suitable for screening in a social-studies classroom.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And now for some artistically remarkable examination of social issues...

    The Pawnbroker

    Sidney Lumet's 1965 meditation on anti-semitism, telegraphed via the story of a holocaust-survivor operating a pawnshop in Brooklyn, and his interactions with members of the wider community.

    Almost everything about this is first-rate, even if the story itself is a little haphazard, not exactly following one particular strand with any priority, though still with a definite conclusion meant to illuminate the shortcomings of the broker's cyncial(if understandably so) outlook on the world.

    The explanation for the historic socioeconomic status of Jews, encapsulated by an angry monologue delivered by the broker, is fairly textbook, but nevertheless provides an overarching framework for understanding the things he says, does, or for that matter, does not do. And the portrayal of cosmopolitan, street-level New York is pure Lumet.

    I did find the frequent flashbacks to wartime Europe and the concentration camps slightly distracting, and wonder how neccesary they really were. Though I've possibly been unduly influenced by decades of subsequent filmmaking, in which the crimes of the Nazis have been unduly exploited for the purpose of imparting cheap sensationalism into movies.

    If you've never seen this, it's definitely worth your while.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    edited June 19
    "Pavarotti"
    It's a good enough film in its way, tracing Our Hero's life from infancy to old age and hitting the highlights along the way.

    What it doesn't do is explore the problematic parts in any depth, like the laziness and the cancellations. (Dame Joan Sutherland, who with her husband Richard Bonynge gave the Pav many of the opportunities that really got his career going, complained in her autobiography about his playing tennis instead of learning his music, and then cancelling out at the last minute on laboriously arranged recording sessions. I suspect the condemnations would have been more definite had the publisher not had a legal team go through the manuscript and excise anything that might have annoyed The World's Biggest Tenor.)

    Remarkably, "Pavarotti" doesn't even mention the world's best party movie for operatic types, the truly awful "Yes, Giorgio." The arena concerts get a pass; the celebrity buddy interviews (really, Bono?) are a bit much.

    He was still an amazing talent, but this documentary could have been much more. I wish the director, Ron Howard, had been a little less worshipful.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Ron Howard

    That's probably your main clue as to why the movie was the way it was. Howard never gets too far into contestable territory, unless he's teamed up with a writer like Peter Morgan, and even then, slagging Richard Nixon was not exactly an act of fearless iconoclasm by 2008.

    And I guess his Dan Brown films offended various shades of fundamentalists, but that's not a difficult task most of the time.

    Not that I dislike him as a director, he's done some good stuff. I see his latest project is Hillbilly Elegy, which should be interesting.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Swing Voter

    Through a series of snafus, an American presidential election comes down to one working-poor voter whose ballot didn't get tallied on election day, thus forcing the Democratic and Republican candidates to restage their respective campaigns just to get his vote in a run-off. (No one seems to worry that he might go third-party).

    Yes, it's basically a PoliSci thought-experiment made into a screenplay. Kevin Costner's sympathetic portrayal of the voter is not without skill and insight, though the jerry-built nature of the whole scenario kind of gets in the way of a fuller appreciation. A few funny scenes where the two candidates have to reverse traditional party-policy in order to cater to Costner's perceived whims, and lots of talking-head cameos, if that's your thing.

    Overall, I think movies about electoral politics work better as analogies(eg. Alexander Payne's Election, set during a high-school council vote) than as send-ups of elections themselves.
  • TubbsTubbs Admin
    edited June 19
    Well, I went to see Detective Pikachu with the Tubblet last weekend. It's an endearing mystery / coming of age story.

    Ryan Reynolds gives a brilliant performance as the fluffy yellow creature in the deerstalker hat who's obsessed with caffeine. Justice Smith was also excellent.

    It was the Tubblet's pick and I wasn't expecting all that much, but I really liked it.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Ron Howard

    That's probably your main clue as to why the movie was the way it was. Howard never gets too far into contestable territory, unless he's teamed up with a writer like Peter Morgan, and even then, slagging Richard Nixon was not exactly an act of fearless iconoclasm by 2008.

    And I guess his Dan Brown films offended various shades of fundamentalists, but that's not a difficult task most of the time.

    Not that I dislike him as a director, he's done some good stuff. I see his latest project is Hillbilly Elegy, which should be interesting.
    I don't think it is Ron Howard's goal to be edgy and I don't think that edgy needs to be the goal of every film.
    I have not seen Pavarotti, nor do I know enough of him to what was missed or potentially misrepresented. But I will say biographies are fraught. It is impossible to please everyone and difficult to impossible to fit everything from a life into one film. I think the best possible result is to produce an enjoyable film and have the fewest number of fans calling for your head as possible.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Regarding Hillbilly Elegy, it seems an odd choice for Howard. I've not read the book, but the summary and reception suggest it pushes a message opposite to Howard's own.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Ron Howard

    That's probably your main clue as to why the movie was the way it was. Howard never gets too far into contestable territory, unless he's teamed up with a writer like Peter Morgan, and even then, slagging Richard Nixon was not exactly an act of fearless iconoclasm by 2008.

    And I guess his Dan Brown films offended various shades of fundamentalists, but that's not a difficult task most of the time.

    Not that I dislike him as a director, he's done some good stuff. I see his latest project is Hillbilly Elegy, which should be interesting.
    I don't think it is Ron Howard's goal to be edgy and I don't think that edgy needs to be the goal of every film.

    I don't think it's neccessarily his job to be edgy either. But Rossweisse suggested that the Pavarotti documentary doesn't get much into negative issues, and I simply observed that that sort of lacuna is typical of Ron Howard. Though as Ross states, legal issues could be involved there as well.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Regarding Hillbilly Elegy, it seems an odd choice for Howard. I've not read the book, but the summary and reception suggest it pushes a message opposite to Howard's own.

    If you mean that the book(which I admit I haven't read either) is described as pushing conservative values, well, I do recall when Parenthood same out decades ago, at least one film critic made the same complaint about that. Having seen that film, I can't quite recall which aspect of it would be open to that charge, beyond that(as I recall) it does celebrate the nuclear family.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited June 19
    stetson wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Regarding Hillbilly Elegy, it seems an odd choice for Howard. I've not read the book, but the summary and reception suggest it pushes a message opposite to Howard's own.

    If you mean that the book(which I admit I haven't read either) is described as pushing conservative values, well, I do recall when Parenthood same out decades ago, at least one film critic made the same complaint about that. Having seen that film, I can't quite recall which aspect of it would be open to that charge, beyond that(as I recall) it does celebrate the nuclear family.
    It isn’t that Elegy appears to support conservative issues, but which ones it supports. IMO ones that would do a disservice to the community the author is from.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I have read Hillbilly Elegy and I am from that community. I really didn't think he pushed conservative or liberal values, but was simply, ruthlessly honest. I think the apathy that results from years, even generations, of unemployment is more of a psychological result that a political stance. I'll be interested to see how the movie interprets the book, it may well displease everyone, there is no happy ending.

    Last week TCM aired Harlan County, USA a documentary filmed made by a young woman in 1976. If you get a chance to see it, it's riveting and it demonstrates the courage and energy of the people in that area before the coal mines closed and the economy crashed.

    West Virginia voted overwhelmingly for Trump and it was because he promised them hope, it really had nothing to do with conservative values. Hillary was honest with them and they simply couldn't stand to hear it. It was her worst state.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Julia Bello

    Romantic drama, apparently a re-make of an earlier Chilean film by the same director, about a middle-aged woman seeking companionship in the nightclubs of LA.

    Not my usual cup of tea, which might make it all the more impressive that I did rather enjoy it. The characters and situations manage just enough gravitas to be interesting, without beating you over the head with darkness or eccentricity.

    Interesting to see John Turturro in the role of a generally average, if somewhat troubled, individual.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Twilight wrote: »
    I have read Hillbilly Elegy etc etc

    I've responded to this post here.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    I have not seen Pavarotti, nor do I know enough of him to what was missed or potentially misrepresented. But I will say biographies are fraught. It is impossible to please everyone and difficult to impossible to fit everything from a life into one film. I think the best possible result is to produce an enjoyable film and have the fewest number of fans calling for your head as possible.
    This is supposed to be a documentary, not a Hollywood Biography. Had Howard simply omitted the smarmy interviews with the obnoxious, mononymous Bono, he would have had plenty of time and space to touch on the negatives - or, at least, on "Yes, Giorgio." Leaving out that cinematic atrocity says to me that Howard was simply not interested in a balanced view of an important life in the arts.


  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Did a tribute screening of Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet last night. I think the only other things I've seen by him are that rather generic, made-for-TV Jesus thing with the "star-studded" cast(had to watch it in religion class) and The Champ, which epitomizes late 70s schmaltz for me(though I'll admit I teared up at the end, and probably would again).

    All in all, I don't think I'm really the target audience for Romeo And Juliet. I guess I can see how audiences would appreciate the luscious cinematography(not to mention the luscious cleavage), but there really didn't seem to be much else going on, beyond the retelling of a story that I think most people already know at least the broad outlines of anyway.

    I understand that this had some sort of hippe-ish cache back in the day, though for the most part, any countercultural trappings seemed limited to the youthful nudity, and that mushy theme song, which by the time I was listening to the radio had become one of those muzaky stalwarts heard on Easy Listening stations.

    On a philosophical note, I kind of question what directors are trying to do when make efforts to set a Shakespeare film in an authentic rendition of its purported setting, since Shakespeare himself probably didn't have any first-hand knowledge of most of those places anyway, and was not striving for cultural or period realism(eg. in Midsummer Night's Dream, he's got pre-Christian Athenians swearing oaths to the Virgin Mary). Though I guess movie settings have to look like somewhere, and the original setting is as good a choice as any.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Went and saw Rocketman today, which I thought was a lot of fun. Seems like Bernie Taupin comes off as the real hero of Elton John's life story, and I loved the actor who played Bernie, though I can't recall seeing him in anything else before. Goes without saying that the lead actor, Taryn Whatsisname, gave an amazing, all-out performance as Elton John himself. I like going to a musical where I already know all the songs.
  • Trudy wrote: »
    Went and saw Rocketman today, which I thought was a lot of fun. Seems like Bernie Taupin comes off as the real hero of Elton John's life story, and I loved the actor who played Bernie, though I can't recall seeing him in anything else before. Goes without saying that the lead actor, Taryn Whatsisname, gave an amazing, all-out performance as Elton John himself. I like going to a musical where I already know all the songs.

    Meet Billy Elliot
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Bell
  • And Taron Egerton

    (I did wonder whether the reference to Billy Elliot was to a musical where you know all the songs, because that's only true for the film. The stage musical music is specially written and nowhere as good as the film.)
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I did IMDB Jamie Bell after the movie and I think I saw Billy Elliot years and years ago, but I would not have recognized him from that. I have trouble recognizing actors in different roles even within a year or two of each other, if their hair colour or costuming or anything is changed at all (I have very poor facial recognition skills, and rely a lot on cues like hair, clothing, etc, which means every role for an actor is a fresh new surprise to me). People always have to explain things to me like "Taron Egerton is the same actor who played Eddie the Eagle" and then I'm like "Oooohhh.... okay." So there is no way I would have recognized Bell as the kid from Billy Elliott nearly 20 years ago.

    And the reference to knowing all the songs from the musical was just to the fact that it was nice to go into Rocketman already being able to mentally sing along to all the Elton John songs. It was just a very enjoyable movie on every level, for me.
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