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About skimpole

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  1. top 1000 movies Quince Tree of the Sun Victor Erice, Spain #354 And Life Goes On Abbas Kiarostami, Iran #561 Jonathan Rosenbaum top 1000 movies Guelwaar Ousmane Sembene, Senegal Life and Nothing More... Abbas Kiarostami, Iran
  2. skimpole

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    Last week I saw six movies. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an early Miyazaki film. As such it shows considerable beauty and ingenuity is what is basically an ecological Mad Max movie, only this time the heroine spends much of her time arguing with the other characters to calm down and not bash each others' brains in. And while that is a valuable and underappreciated message, the movie strikes me as sort of a rough draft for Princess Mononoke. Unlike future films less care has been given into developing the characters, while in Princess the complex ecological battles were even more beautiful and better developed. Irreversible vaguely resembles Memento in its structure, in a series of scenes that go backwards in time, the centerpiece being the brutal rape and beating of Monica Bellucci. The movie isn't a puzzle like Memento, it's more an exercise in portraying violence. And one might wonder if it's truly necessary. I also saw two movies from 2018. Everybody Knows was, alas, one of the most disappointing from last year. Like several other Asghar Farhadi movies this one deal with the aftermath of an alarming act. Whereas in previous movies, it was a disappearance (About Elly), a violently induced miscarriage (A Separation) or an attempted assault (The Salesman), Everybody Knows deals with a kidnapping. Unfortunately the secret that is eventually revealed, a secret I suspect Iranian censors probably didn't want him to show because of its sexual nature, is extremely easy to guess if you know anything about Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. Moreover, Cruz, who is very lively and effective when the movie begins, is so sad and distraught when her daughter is kidnapped that her performance suffers. The Image Book is the third of Godard's hermetic meditations on film this decade. This is a collection of film clips, spliced with Godard's gnomic, recondite and hermetic narration. Much of it deals with the Arab world, as contemporary crisis and subject of cinema. The clips are often shown in distorted or oversaturated form. One of the more simple allusions, for example, is a clip from Young Mr. Lincoln where Henry Fonda finds a law book for the first time and settles down to read it. Then there are clips from Freaks and Salo. I liked it. Parts of it are very beautiful, it is uncompromising in its integrity and it is motivated by genuine and lifelong feeling for film. Hawaii is an odd film. One imagines the studio wanted a tempestuous, passionate epic and then after looking more closely at the subject, found that the discovery of Hawaii was followed by the death of most of the original inhabitants and the exploitation and marginalization of the remainder. And yet the studio persisted. The arc of the movie has Max von Sydow moving from his evangelical prejudices as a missionary to someone who genuinely tries to help the Hawaiians from their enemies. Unfortunately for most of the movie von Sydow is the most insufferable and bigoted missionary imaginable, and most viewers could be pardoned in thinking that the main problem Hawaiians faced was from this dogmatic killjoy. The transformation is too poorly developed and with too little time left for it to remotely work. Julie Andrews has too little to do as Von Sydow's wife. And when the Hawaiians themselves speak they spend much of their efforts defending sibling incest. High School is an early Frederick Wiseman documentary rom 1968 about a very unimaginative Pennsylvania high school whose reactions from the teachers help to explain why Nixon won the presidential election that year. Later documentaries would be much longer, and much richer.
  3. 1. The Best Intentions Billie August, Sweden 2. And Life Goes On Abbas Kiarostami, Iran 3. Lessons of Darkness Werner Herzog, Germany 4. A Tale of Winter Eric Rohmer, France 5. Porco Rosso Hayao Miyazaki, Japan 6. The Quince Tree Sun/Dream of Light Victor Erice, Spain 7. Hyenes Djibril Diop Mambety, Senegal
  4. skimpole

    "Hawaii" in the history of film

    Well it got 7 oscar nominations, though that may only show that the studio really pushed it. The most prestigious nomination was for Best Supporting Actress. I was looking up for some reviews at the time. Apparently Andrew Sarris and John Simon didn't bother to review it, or didn't think it was worth including in their anthologies for the period. Stanley Kauffmann apparently wasn't reviewing movies at the time, the New Republic critic being Pauline Kael then. She thought it was better than she thought it would be.
  5. When we originally came up with these great performances, I didn't really come up with runner-ups before 1948. So I thought I'd go back and list them. Here is 1927/1928 to 1935. I didn't really think up supporting performances before 1936. 1927/1928 Actor Al Jolson (The Jazz Singer), Rudolph Klein-Rogge (Spies), Emil Jannings (The Last Command), Semyon Svashenko (Zvenigora), Charles Farrell (Seventh Heaven, Street Angel), Albert Prejan (The Italian Straw Hat), George O’Brien (Sunrise), Alexander Chistyakov (The End of Saint Petersburg) Actress Janet Gaynor (Sunrise, Street Angel, Seventh Heaven), Eleanor Boardman (The Crowd), Clara Bow (It), 1928/1929 Actor Glenn Tryon (Lonesome), Valery Inkijinoff (Storm over Asia), Jean Debucourt (The Fall of the House of Usher), Monte Blue (White Shadows in the South Seas), Actress Barbara Kent (Lonesome), Betty Compson (The Docks of New York), Lina Basquette (The Godless Girl), Anna Marie Wong (Picadilly), Brigitte Helm (L’Argent), Elena Kuzmina (The New Babylon) 1929/1930 Actor Gustav Diessl (Westfront 1918) Actress Greta Garbo (Anna Christie), Mary Duncan (City Girl) 1930/1931 Actor Chico Marx (Animal Crackers), Edward G. Robinson (Little Caesar), Gary Cooper (Morocco), Rene Lefevre (Le Million), James Cagney (The Public Enemy), Adolphe Menjou (The Front Page), Jackie Cooper (Skippy), Gary Cooper (City Streets), Gaston Modot (L’age D’Or) Actress Margaret Dumont (Animal Crackers), Virginia Cherrill (City Lights), Annabella (Le Million), Lotte Lenya (The Threepenny Opera), 1931/1932 Actor Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx (Monkey Business), Paul Muni (Scarface: the Shame of a Nation), Wallace Berry (The Champ), Michel Simon (La Chienne), John Barrymore (Grand Hotel), Tomio Aoki, Hideo Sugawara (I was Born But…), Boris Karloff (Frankenstein), Jackie Cooper (The Champ), Lionel Barrymore (Broken Lullaby), Maurice Chevalier (The Smiling Lieutenant), W.C. Fields (Million Dollar Legs), Matahi (Tabu), Henri Marchand, Raymond Cordy (A Nous La Liberte), Phillips Holmes (An American Tragedy), Lowell Sherman (What Price Hollywood?), Enrique Riveros (Blood of a Poet), Ronald Colman (Arrowsmith), Nicolas de Gunzburg (Vampyr), George Raft (Scarface: Shame of a Nation), Harry Earles (Freaks) Actress Greta Garbo (Grand Hotel), Joan Blondell (Blonde Crazy), Jeanette MacDonald (The Smiling Lieutenant), Joan Crawford (Grand Hotel), Janie Marese (La Chienne), Anne Chevalier (Tabu), Constance Bennett (What Price Hollywood?), Emilia Unda (Madchen in Uniform), Thelma Todd (Monkey Business), Jean Harlow (Platinum Blonde), Sylvia Sidney (An American Tragedy, Street Scene), Ann Dvorak (Scarface: the Shame of a Nation) 1932/1933 Actor Paul Muni (I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang), Groucho Marx, Chico Marx (Horse Feathers), Michel Simon (Boudu Saved From Drowning), James Cagney (Footlight Parade), Al Jolson (Hallelujah I’m a Bum), Gary Cooper (Design for Living), Charles Laughton (The Private Life of Henry VIII), Lee Tracy (Bombshell), John Barrymore (Dinner at Eight), James Cagney (Hard to Handle), John Gilbert (Queen Christina), Gary Cooper (A Farewell to Arms), Claude Rains (The Invisible Man), Richard Barthelmess (Heroes for Sale), Frankie Darro (Wild Boys of the Road) Actress Kay Francis (Trouble in Paradise), Barbara Stanwyck (Baby Face), Mae West (She Done him Wrong), Greta Garbo (Queen Christina), Miriam Hopkins (Design for Living), Jean Harlow (Bombshell), Joan Blondell (Golddiggers of 1933), Loretta Young (Man’s Castle), Barbara Stanwyck (The Bitter Tea of General Yen) Joan Bennett (Me and My Gal, Little Women), Marie Dressler, Jean Harlow (Dinner at Eight), Thelma Todd (Horse Feathers), Helen Hayes (A Farewell to Arms), Kinuyo Tanaka (Dragnet Girl), Ruby Keeler (42nd Street), Elena Kuzmina (Outskirts), 1934 Actor Harry Baur (Les Miserables), Fred Astaire (The Gay Divorcee), Clark Gable (It Happened One Night), John Barrymore (Twentieth Century), Michel Simon (L’Atalante), Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan and His Mate), Boris Karloff (The Black Cat), Tom Keene (Our Daily Bread), Will Rogers (Judge Priest), Clark Gable (Manhattan Melodrama), Peter Lorre (The Man Who Knew Too Much), Wallace Beery (Treasure Island), Peter Zinoviev (Happiness), Actress Ginger Rogers (The Gay Divorcee), Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night), Carole Lombard (Twentieth Century), Dita Parlo (L’Atalante), Ruby Keeler (Dames), Myrna Loy (Manhattan Melodrama), Bette Davis (Of Human Bondage), Grace Moore (One Night of Love), 1935 Actor Chico Marx, Harpo Marx (A night at the Opera), Ernest Thesiger (The Bride of Frankenstein), Edward Everett Horton (Top Hat), Errol Flynn (Captain Blood), W.C. Fields (David Copperfield), Eric Blore (Top Hat), Clark Gable (Mutiny on the Bounty), Cary Grant (Sylvia Scarlett), Boris Karloff (The Bride of Frankenstein), James Cagney (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Charles Blavette (Toni), Franchot Tone (Mutiny on the Bounty), Stepan Shegaida (Aerograd) Actress Josephine Baker (Princess Tam Tam), Katharine Hepburn (Alice Adams), Margaret Dumont (A Night at the Opera), Olivia De Havailand (Captain Blood), Bette Davis (Dangerous), Marlene Dietrich (The Devil is a Woman), Celia Montalvan (Toni)
  6. I think there were Hollywood movies before Hawaii that presented missionaries in a bad light. After all Elmer Gantry won an oscar for Burt Lancaster only six years older (technically not a missionary but still). But had there ever been a Hollywood movie that viewed sibling incest with anything other than horror or disgust before Hawaii? While not exactly sympathetic, having the case against it made by Von Sydow's insufferable bigot is...a bit odd.
  7. skimpole

    Worst Movie Musical Ever Made!

    I don't see why people singing all their dialogue is necessarily less realistic than people suddenly breaking into song and/or dancing. It's not as if these were things actual London criminals, phonetic professors, Austrian nuns or Oklahomans in general usually do.
  8. skimpole

    Worst Movie Musical Ever Made!

    I think a certain suspension of disbelief is required here. If you don't like this movie, you're not going to like King Kong. It turns out great apes are almost never the size of houses, and very few of them are erotically interested in white women.
  9. top 1000 movies A Brighter Summer Day Edward Yang, China (Taiwan) #123 The Double Life of Veronique Krzysztof Kieslowski, France #360 Raise the Red Lantern Zhang Yimou, China #410 Les Amants du Pont-Neuf Leos Carax, France #582 La Belle Noiseuse Jacques Rivette, France #624 Van Gogh Maurice Pialat, France #809 Jonathan Rosenbaum top 1000 movies *Actress Stanley Kwan, China (Hong Kong) Les amants du Pont Neuf (The Lovers on the Bridge) Leos Carax, France La belle noiseuse Jacques Rivette, France *A Brighter Summer Day Edward Yang, China (Taiwan) Night and Day Chantal Akerman, France Rhapsody in August Akira Kurosawa, Japan An asterisk (*) means the movie is one of Rosenbaum's top 100 films.
  10. How is Europa a foreign language film? I rewatched it last night, and a clear majority of it is in English.
  11. skimpole

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    The week before was disappointing: but last week the six movies I saw were more pleasing. First name: Carmen is Godard's version of the Carmen story. It is an interesting version. It starts with one of the most desultory bank robberies in film history. The central relationship is interestingly bitter. And, somewhat perversely, the music is not by Bizet, but from Beethoven and Tom Waits. King of Jazz is certainly the first good live action colour film, with many striking sets and ideas. One weakness is that it's hardly jazz at its most innovative, with the exception of "Rhapsody in Blue" and a version of "Happy Feet." The movie even has a tribute to the American melting pot where African Americans are noticeable by their absence. I also saw two late Satyajit Ray films. The Stranger was Ray's last film, about a prosperous family who learns that a long lost uncle has announced a visit. Indeed, so long lost is he that they're not sure whether he actually is their uncle. Much of the movie consists of conversations between the family, the uncle and neighbors subtly probing who the stranger really is. As the title character, Utpal Dutt gives a good, subtle performance. The Home and the World can be compared to Charulata. Both are based on Tagore works, both deal with a young wife living in colonial India living with a relatively liberal husband who encounters a friend of his. And in both movies that friend is played by Soumitra Chatterjee. The Home and the World is not as good as Charulata, partly because the novel it's based on is not particularly good. But it is still a worthy, intelligent movie with Swatilekha Sengupta good playing the wife, and Victor Banerjee as the thoughtful liberal husband. The contrast between David Cronenberg's Rabid and the next movie of his I saw chronologically Videodrome is striking in terms of the quality of performances, professionalism, cinematography, central conceit and larger significance. And there are some gaping holes in the movie (two characters' car trip takes considerably longer coming back than arriving, and Marilyn Chambers' final actions are inexplicable). Yet there is something genuinely creepy about the way Chambers grows a vagina near her armpit, from which a phallic something attacks her victims. And the movie becomes more tolerable as the plague spreads and the rather cursory presentation of the characters becomes less important. Finally Claire's Camera asks what would happen if you had Isabelle Huppert and Kim Min-Hee in a movie together. Personally, I prefer the director's previous movie On the Beach Alone at Night.
  12. 1. Delicatessen Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro, France 2. Only Yesterday Isao Takahata, Japan 3. A Brighter Summer Day Edward Yang, China (Taiwan) 4. Lovers on the Bridge Leos Carax, France 5. Raise the Red Lantern Zhang Yimou, China 6. La Belle Noiseuse Jacques Rivette, France 7. Van Gogh Maurice Pialat, France 8. The Stranger Satyajit Ray, India 9. The Suspended Step of the Stork Theo Angelopoulos, Greece
  13. skimpole

    Your favorite adapted/original screenplay

    Now that I've gone through this exercise, what can I conclude from it? My choices for best screenplays not surprisingly tracks with my favorite movies of the year. When was my screenplay not my best movie of the year? Well, there are documentaries. There are four Spielberg movies that were my best movie for the year, but the screenplays didn't win. Some years were striking in how far I had to go to find a winner, like 1955 Original Screenplay, 1958 Original Screenplay, 1966 Adapted Screenplay, 1983 Adapted Screenplay, 1986 Adapted Screenplay and 1997 Adapted Screenplay. I was also struck by how Network won 1976 best Original screenplay. It's not one of my favorite movies of the year, but the dialogue is certainly memorable. Also, because short films can be nominated for best screenplay, The Red Balloon, La Jetee and Tale of Tales were all winners.
  14. skimpole

    Your favorite adapted/original screenplay

    And now finally, its 2017. Here is Best Original Screenplay: Agnes Varda, Faces Places Terrence Malick, Song to Song Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread Abbas Kiarostami, 24 Frames Darren Aronofsky, Mother! And here is Best Adapted Screenplay: Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck based on his novel of the same name Paul King, Simon Farnaby, Paddington 2, based on the character created by Michael Bond. Luc Besson, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, based on the comic strip Valerian by Pierre Cristin and Jean-Claude Mezieres Lynne Ramsey, You Were Never Really There based on the novella of the same name by Jonathan Ames Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, The Post, based on the memoir Personal History by Katherine Graham I have not seen Mudbound (adapted)
  15. skimpole

    Your favorite adapted/original screenplay

    Now it's 2016. Here is Best Original Screenplay: Jim Jarmusch, Paterson Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion Asghar Farhadi, The Salesman Kenneth Lonegran, Manchester by the Sea Andrea Arnold, American Honey And here is Best Adapted Screenplay: Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kung, The Handmaiden, based on the novel Fingersmith by SarahWaters Barry Jenkins (screenplay), Tarell Alvin McCraney (story), Moonlight, based on McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue Jay ****, Martin Scorsese, Silence, based on the novel of the same name by Shusaku Endo Andrew Stanton, Victoria Strouse, Finding Dory, sequel to the movie Finding Nemo, directed by Stanton Whit Stillman, Love & Friendship, based on the novel Lady Susan by Jane Austen

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