FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby justdrew » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:06 am

Wombaticus Rex wrote:Operation: Endgame Action-black-comedy about a group of false flag terror attack government killers who worked for the Bush admin getting "cleaned up" by being turned against one another in their super-secret underground base. Rob Cordry really, really comes through on this, but the real star of this movie is the fucking script. It's an amazingly weird blend and I find it hard to imagine how this flick ever got made. Two thumbs up.


thanks wombat! I hadn't even heard of it, very enjoyable :rofl2 It's a Cordry weekend as I just saw hot tub time machine too :)
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby AhabsOtherLeg » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:25 am

.
Here's some that are sometimes hard to get a hold of, but have been enjoyable to me:

SCUM - it's a brilliantly made film, even if you think it isn't.

Ghosts of The Civil Dead - it's really good. Even if you think it isn't.

Just A Boy's Game - very hard to come by. Except that it's on Youtube in it's entirety. Probably only of interest to the Scottish contingent, but I would say the story is universal, even if the jokes and the talking might not be. For furners, it would probably require some close listening. Which might not do you any good.

In the mainstream, such as it is, I have been liking "Tombstone" ,"There Will Be Blood", and "Master and Commander" for a few years now. They may not be films of a certain quality, but they are nevertheless quality films. And "Labyrinth" too. And Vincent Ward's "Navigator."
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby Nordic » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:31 am

FWIW I just saw "The Town" and was surprised how enjoyable it was. Just a real solid movie with a great script.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby justdrew » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:18 am

ImageDirected by Hollywood Ten writer-director Biberman and produced by the blacklisted Jarrico, this hard-hitting drama tells the story of some New Mexico zinc-miners who go on strike for better pay and conditions in the early 1950s. The company gets a court order that prohibits picketing, but the law doesn't extend to the miners wives ... An extraordinary film, made under extraordinary conditions and based on real events.

Unavoidable classic on a 1950 mine strike, made by McCarthy era blacklisted filmmakers.

Kudos are in order for this extraordinary film for all it has to say that rings true about workers' rights, racism, and feminism

Members of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten decided to actually do something subversive, go to New Mexico and make this powerful humanist fiction focusing on the striking Mexican American zinc miners there. The result is arguably the only truly leftist feature of the period, co-produced by the depicted union. "Liberal" Hollywood not surprisingly used their muscle to suppress it, keeping it out of all the studio owned chains. However, the effort against it went far beyond the usual Hollywood vs. everyone else. It went far beyond our mythological aviating "hero" Howard Hughes trying to use his clout to keep the negative from even being developed. For those interested in how far it went, James J. Lorence wrote "The Suppression of Salt of the Earth: How Hollywood, Big Labor, and Politicians Blacklisted a Movie in Cold War America". While the film was highly regarded abroad, particularly in Europe, Salt had to wait 11 years to be semidiscovered in the US. But the film is notable for a lot more than the effort against it, it's a work years ahead of it's time, particularly in trying to set straight our backwards attitudes. More than just a pro union work; it's one of the only, and certainly the strongest American feminist film of its time. Though the men are on strike, the main character is the wife of the leading Mexican American, played by one of the only professionals in the cast (most of the others are from the striking union), Rosaura Revualtas, who was repatriated to Mexico due to appearing in this evil film. The film shows that as bad as the American workers had it, the Mexican Americans had it that much worse because of racism, and their wives had it far worse than anyone because of sexism. We see Revualtas rise from a neglected unappreciated submissive to a key player in the strike, though it's not one of those films that makes the main character too grand or heroic. She never becomes bigger than the film, rising through some small actions that are a big step forward for her own courage. Her voice over narration is a big key to the film, typically used for reportage, which becomes an excellent condensing tool and allows the cast of non actors to go about business, be themselves. There's one intense particularly memorable crosscutting sequence that's far ahead of it's time, going between Revualtas giving birth without a doctor (because the company doctor won't help a striker) and her husband not being able to help her because the police are beating him up in the back of the squad car. Generally the film is solid though unspectacularly made, but it's daring in legitimately depicting labor issues and prejudice makes it stand out amongst the frivolous entertainments and sugar coated imposters. Though dated in some respects, it's more relevant than ever in others, like what paying for everything on installment does to your freedom. Unfortunately, the one place it goes wrong in concluding that the rights won will be passed on to the children, as we know they disappear as soon as we turn our backs or are distracted long enough

More than a typical Miramax/Tarantino extravaganza, it's films like this that establish the historical precedent and importance of truly independent American filmmaking

March 15, 1954
THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; ' Salt of the Earth' Opens at the Grande -- Filming Marked by Violence
By BOSLEY CROWTHER
Published: March 15, 1954
Against the hard and gritty background of a mine workers' strike in a New Mexican town—a background bristling with resentment against the working and living conditions imposed by the operators of the mine—a rugged and starkly poignant story of a Mexican-American miner and his wife is told in "Salt of the Earth," a union-sponsored film drama, which opened last night at the Grande Theatre on East Eighty-sixth Street.

It is the story of a husband's firm objection to women—and, especially, his wife—mixing in the grim affairs of the strikers, and of the strong determination of the wife to participate, along with other women, in the carrying on of the strike.

This is the film that occasioned controversy and violence when it was being made near Silver City, N. M., just one year ago. The facts were then widely noted that members of the independent company making it, including the director, Herbert J. Biberman, and the producer, Paul Jarrico, had been identified before the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities as past or present Communists and that the organization sponsoring the picture, the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, had been expelled from the Congress of Industrial Organizations for left-wing leanings.

Threats of Vigilante Action

Rosaura Revueltas, the Mexican actress who plays one of the leading roles, was seized as an illegal alien while the production was underway, and fisticuffs and threats of vigilante action occurred in Silver City while the company was there.

Recent sub rosa difficulties of the film's producers in getting a theatre in which to show it here have further evidenced the pressures against it and the obstructions placed in its way.

In the light of this agitated history, it is somewhat surprising to find that "Salt of the Earth" is, in substance, simply a strong pro-labor film with a particularly sympathetic interest in the Mexican-Americans with whom it deals. True, it frankly implies that the mine operators have taken advantage of the Mexican-born or descended laborers, have forced a "speed up" in their mining techniques and given them less respectable homes than provided the so-called "Anglo" laborers. It slaps at brutal police tactics in dealing with strikers and it gets in some rough, sarcastic digs at the attitude of "the bosses" and the working of the Taft-Hartley Law.

But the real dramatic crux of the picture is the stern and bitter conflict within the membership of the union. It is the issue of whether the women shall have equality of expression and of strike participation with the men. And it is along this line of contention that Michael Wilson's tautly muscled script develops considerable personal drama, raw emotion and power.

Conflict of Personalities

For this conflict of human personalities, torn by egos and traditions, is shown in terms of sharp clashes at union meetings, melees on dusty picket lines, tussles with "scabs" and deputy sheriffs and face-to-face encouners between the husband and wife in their meager home. It is a conflict that broadly embraces the love of struggling parents for their young, the dignity of some of these poor people and their longings to see their children's lot improved.

Under Mr. Biberman's direction, an unusual company made up largely of actual miners and their families, plays the drama exceedingly well. Miss Revueltas, one of the few professional players, is lean and dynamic in the key role of the wife who compels her miner husband to accept the fact of equality, and Juan Chacon, a non-professional, plays the husband forcefully. Will Geer as a shrewd, hard-bitten sheriff, Clinton Jencks as a union organizer and a youngster named Frank Talevera as the son of the principals are excellent, too.

The hard-focus, realistic quality of the picture's photography and style completes its characterization as a calculated social document. It is a clearly intended special interest film.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby eyeno » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:49 am

I just watched a really funny movie named "Dispicable Me" made by Illumination Studios. It is animated and very well done. It is about a gangster that works for the oligarchs. It is full of symbolism that you guys will surely catch. His goal is to try and steal the moon, which I actually find a very interesting concept considering the value of mined products and the perpetual space program. You guys should watch it, it is a real hoot.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby justdrew » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:25 am

eyeno wrote:I just watched a really funny movie named "Dispicable Me" made by Illumination Studios. It is animated and very well done. It is about a gangster that works for the oligarchs. It is full of symbolism that you guys will surely catch. His goal is to try and steal the moon, which I actually find a very interesting concept considering the value of mined products and the perpetual space program. You guys should watch it, it is a real hoot.


yeah, I've wondered about that, thanks for the report. IIRC it has a slightly vaguely Edward Gorey look to it.
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Re: for your consideration: films of a certain quality

Postby 8bitagent » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:50 am

Montag wrote:Rocket Science
Dedication
Adventureland
Snow Angels
Stranger Than Fiction
Eagle vs. Shark
Splinterheads
Punch Drunk Love
Owning Mahowny
Love Liza
Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
Existenz

Those are some under-appreciated and/or lesser known movies I think. Unless they have cult followings that I'm not aware of. That's the the impression I got what the thread is about (from the OP).


You just listed a bunch of films I saw at my local indie theater over years. I LOVE all of PS Hoffman's films. And Eagle Vs Shark rocked, like a kiwi napoleon dynamite.

Good list, and I'll raise you by adding more great PS Hoffman turns:
Jack Goes Boating
The Savages

as well as great indie/Wes Andersenish/oddball films and comedies:

Me You Everyone We Know
Life During Wartime
Thumbsucker
The Promotion
The Exploding Girl
A Serious Man
Baghead
The Puffy Chair
Junebug
Happiness
Greenberg
Going Nomad
King of California
Chuck and Buck
True Stories
Bottle Rocket
Telling Stories
Bass Ackwards

and my new category: "being john malkovich/spike jonze metafictionish" movies:

Synecdoche, New York
Cold Souls
Special
Be Kind Rewind
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Adaptation

and my personal list of "what the fuck did I just watch" movies:

Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain
The Cremaster Cycle(especially 2 and 3)
Funky Forest(Japan, 2005)
Drawing Restraint 9
A Serbian Film
Jan Svankmajer's Alice
Videodrone
Lost Highway
Crazy Lips
Gummo
George Washington
Peter Greenaway's The Tulse Luper Suitcases
Lars Von Trier's Antichrist
The Taste of Tea
Julien Donkey Boy
The American Astronaut
My Winnepeg
Mulholland Drive
Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me
The Reflecting Skin
Being John Malkovich
Brand Upon The Brain
L.I.E.
Bully
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes
Institute Benjamenta
Galaxies Are Colliding
Be Kind Rewind
Woodenhead
Symbol(Japan, 2009)
Blue Velvet
Surviving Life
The Straight Story
Requiem For A Dream
Pi
Suicide Club
Old Boy
Three Extremes
Big Man Japan(Japan, 200 cool
Mirrormask
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Primer
Aria
Adaptation
Cold Souls
Flicker
The Fall
Stingray Sam
Tarnation
Begotten
Haxan
Jan Svankmajer's Faust
Jan Svankmajer's Little Otek
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Cell
The Wizard of Speed and Time
Six String Samurai
THX 1138
Phantom Museums: Brothers Quay Shorts
Tetsuo The Iron Man
Even Dwarfs Started Small
Suicide Club
Waking Life
Benny's Video
Schramm
The White Ribbon
The City of Lost Children
Delicatesen
Micmacs
Into The Void
Heart of Glass
The Death King
El Topo
Irreversible
Martyrs
Paprika
The Films of Kenneth Anger vol 1 & 2
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb
Necromantik 1 and 2
Onedreamrush
Oddsac: Animal Collective movie
Visitor Q
True Stories
A Scanner Darkly
Grizzly Man
Koyaanisqatsi
Glass Lips
I Stand Alone
Dancer in the Dark
Cowards Bend The Knee
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby 8bitagent » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:06 am

LOVED Pontypool! That first part with the narration still gives me goosebumps. Totally reminded me of a chapter from Jeff's book

ninakat wrote:I liked The American. Refreshingly slow-paced. The trailer doesn't do it justice -- the film has none of that kind of pacing..... much slower and definitely "boring" by modern film standards. Recommended.



I liked it for the ambiance, but I enjoyed the extremely similar but cooler "The Limits of Control" a lot more:



Also for those of you who like really out there avant garde cinema with striking visuals:









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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby 8bitagent » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:21 am

Nordic wrote:FWIW I just saw "The Town" and was surprised how enjoyable it was. Just a real solid movie with a great script.


I agree. Given its an Afflect directorial debut starring Afflect, I was expecting to hate it. Instead I found it to be one of the best films of 2010, just loved it. Obviously its part homage to the great shootout scenes and feel of Heat, but this is a good thing. I liked it a lot better than the Departed...but when it comes to Bean Town Thrillers, nothing beats the incredible Mystic River.

In fact, Mystic River is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite dramas/thrillers next to The Silence of the Lambs, In The Bedroom, Se7en, The Game, Zodiac, JFK and The Pledge.
(yeah Im a big fincher fanboy, heh)
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby Nordic » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:24 am

Actually I believe Affleck directed a movie before "The Town". Maybe they wanted people to forget about that, although I heard it wasn't bad.

Yeah, "Mystic River" is pretty damn good, and is one reason why I was so disgruntled with "Shutter Island" because I believe it was the same writer, a guy who I've always admired quite a bit. He wrote a short story once that I read in Harper's (I think it was Harper's) that blew me away, and was the first time I'd ever heard of him. He writes DARK stuff, just almost unbearably dark stuff.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:19 am

Tonight, at last, I saw



I can't write about it yet - I'm still feeling like shattered glass - but I can cut and paste:

“Enter the Void” is like dying in slow motion on DMT

Enter the Void
Dir: Gaspar Noé

Psychonauts — DMT aficionados — say that one puff of that extreme, psychedelic drug is so powerful it can make you collapse before putting down the pipe. The reaction lasts just a few minutes but might seem like hours, or even days. They say the brain’s pineal gland excretes a large dose of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) right before you die. It makes your whole life pass before your eyes, just before you expire. That’s what they say.

Gaspar Noé’s new, spectacularly, overwhelmingly trippy movie Enter the Void, is a 2.5 hour hallucinogenic experience, seen directly through the eyes of a Canadian druggie living in Tokyo. Oscar rarely appears (except when looking in a mirror) but you see everything he thinks, remembers, sees, or imagines, as repeated loops of his life and death are projected on the screen.

Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a low-level drug dealer, and his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta), a stripper, live in a Tokyo entertainment district resembling Dogenzaka. They have been close since a childhood blood-oath, but are separated when a failed drug deal at a bar, The Void, tears Oscar free from his body. Like in the book The Tibetan Book of the Dead that he leaves in his apartment, Oscar is in limbo. He is now forced to perpetually view strobing neon, sordid sex, drugs and violence as he floats through solid walls and bends time and space. Stove burners morph into drains and psychedelic star bursts; aerial cityscapes turn seamlessly into handmade, day-glo models of Tokyo buildings and back again.

...


Exhilarating, terrifying, beautiful.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby justdrew » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:44 am

ok, here's a film synchronicity that is currently blowing my mind...

was re-watching Inland Empire for the first time. After the "do you want to see" part about a third of the way in, I needed to take a brake, very weird shit there, and I had the bass turned up for the full-on Lynch rumble-thunder effect. Anyway, time for a quick dinner. fuck. So I throw on a Twilight Zone episode (I'm also working my way slowing through them all in order, over the past few weeks). It's totally independent, but what episode comes up as the next one? #35 (at least it wasn't 47). #35, "A World of His Own" - in which a play-write finds that characters he describes come to life. He's having marital fidelity issues. A twist ending with his wife (who turned out to be another one of his creations of his all along). Then the character interrupts Serling's exit monologue (!) and shows him the tape he recorded the description of Serling on! This eerily parallels Inland Empire (and maybe Lost Highway too, and of course MD for that mater) in some ways and it's pure chance that that should have been the TZ ep, and I didn't even expect to watch Inland Empire to begin with. weird huh? :shock:
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby 8bitagent » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:18 am

Jeff wrote:Tonight, at last, I saw



I can't write about it yet - I'm still feeling like shattered glass - but I can cut and paste:

“Enter the Void” is like dying in slow motion on DMT

Enter the Void
Dir: Gaspar Noé

Psychonauts — DMT aficionados — say that one puff of that extreme, psychedelic drug is so powerful it can make you collapse before putting down the pipe. The reaction lasts just a few minutes but might seem like hours, or even days. They say the brain’s pineal gland excretes a large dose of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) right before you die. It makes your whole life pass before your eyes, just before you expire. That’s what they say.

Gaspar Noé’s new, spectacularly, overwhelmingly trippy movie Enter the Void, is a 2.5 hour hallucinogenic experience, seen directly through the eyes of a Canadian druggie living in Tokyo. Oscar rarely appears (except when looking in a mirror) but you see everything he thinks, remembers, sees, or imagines, as repeated loops of his life and death are projected on the screen.

Oscar (Nathaniel Brown), a low-level drug dealer, and his sister Linda (Paz de la Huerta), a stripper, live in a Tokyo entertainment district resembling Dogenzaka. They have been close since a childhood blood-oath, but are separated when a failed drug deal at a bar, The Void, tears Oscar free from his body. Like in the book The Tibetan Book of the Dead that he leaves in his apartment, Oscar is in limbo. He is now forced to perpetually view strobing neon, sordid sex, drugs and violence as he floats through solid walls and bends time and space. Stove burners morph into drains and psychedelic star bursts; aerial cityscapes turn seamlessly into handmade, day-glo models of Tokyo buildings and back again.

...


Exhilarating, terrifying, beautiful.


I really wanted to like it. It had the classic "test your patience" opening title opening, but I just didn't feel much of anything while watching it. At least for me it was easy to digest, as Noe's last film "Irreversible" is one of the most jarring and unnerving viewing experiences Ive ever had(least til I happened to see "A Serbian Film")
I get what he was going for, I guess it just didn't work for me. Then again I was "meh" about Antichrist, Inception, and a lot of the other films that were suppose to blow me away.
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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby winsomecowboy2 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:40 am

'Man Bites Dog'

Rides that line, a particularly European version of that line IMO between cynicism and comedy. Appalling but funny.

"A camera crew follows a serial killer/thief around as he exercises his craft. He expounds on art, music, nature, society, and life as he offs mailmen, pensioners, and random people. Slowly he begins involving the camera crew in his activities, and they begin wondering if what they're doing is such a good idea, particularly when the killer kills a rival and the rival's brother sends a threatening letter."



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Re: FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: films of a certain quality

Postby Mx32 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:44 pm

I mentioned it ages ago on another RI thread but I'll mention it again here.

Some of you will really enjoy "The Nines" which I picked up second hand on a whim and quite enjoyed. A film that slipped under the radar.

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