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skimpole

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  1. skimpole

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    I saw three movies last week, all from last year. Murder on the Orient Express suffered from the fact that I was the wrong audience for the movie, since the 1974 Sidney Lumet version is one of my very favorite movies. It's basically off in all sorts of ways starting with the fake CGI effects, and attempts to spice up the story with action that make little sense either from the characters or the scriptwriter. Branagh's ludicrous mustache is the least of his Poirot's problems: while the Lumet version always showed his work, Branagh's leaps to conclusion after conclusion with one non-sequitur after the other. Depp's Ratchett is absurdly rude, barely hiding his mafioso past from someone supposedly traveling incognito. Michelle Pfeiffer would be eaten alive by Lauren Bacall while John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Rachel Roberts, Wendy Hiller, Ingrid Bergman and even Michael York and Jacqueline Bisset easily outshine their 2017 counterparts. The Greatest Showman was a surprise hit. Its songs could have been written four decades ago, and have the odd quality of being forgettable while you are actually listening to them. The movie is actually more sentimental and less critical than not only Yankee Doodle Dandy, but even The Great Ziegfeld/ Except for the love affair between Barnum's partner and an African-American acrobat, and editing tricks mastered in the seventies, this could have been made eight decades ago. BPM (Beats per minute) discusses ACT UP activists in nineties France, one of whose members is seriously ill with AIDS. It's certainly more complex and profound than the other two movies, though the movie has the bad habit of having poor subtitles that are often unreadable against white backgrounds.
  2. 1. The Flowers of Saint Francis, Roberto Rossellini, Italy 2. La Ronde, Max Ophuls, France 3. Orpheus, Jean Cocteau, France 4. Rashomon, Akira Kurosawa, Japan 5. Los Olvidados, Luis Bunuel, Mexico 6. Stromboli, Roberto Rossellini, Italy
  3. 1. Ivan the Terrible, Part !, Sergei Eisenstein, Soviet Union 2. Children of Paradise, Marcel Carne, France 3. The Bicycle Thieves, Vittorio de Sica, Italy 4. A Day in the Country, Jean Renoir, France 5. Day of Wrath, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Denmark 6. Late Spring, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan 7. Jour de Fete, Jacques Tati, France
  4. Somebody should mention Mildred Pierce: what went wrong. I need to think about the topic more, but Pather Panchali and Aparajito are obvious choices.
  5. My choice for best actor of 1987: Babek Ahmed Poor in Where is the Friend's Home?
  6. skimpole

    Margot Kidder has died

    Early last year, I did a post for 1978 for the thread in "Your Favorites" of Favorite performances by year. Looking back I had Margot Kidder in eighth place for best actress that year for Superman.
  7. I too, would like to see that. Also, I wouldn't mind it, if we have to have a memorial Day weekend, we could still have foreign language Sunday night. After all the United States had a number of allies, and some of them have made war films worthy of anyone's interest.
  8. skimpole

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    I saw four movies this week. Twilight of Honor is based on the idea "let's make a movie for our hot new TV star Richard Chamberlain, and let' make it like Anatomy of a Murder, only worse in every way." The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is one of those Hollywood movies about China where the Chinese people are played by Curt Jurgens and Robert Donat. It has Ingrid Bergman playing a missionary whose ability to mother a hundred Chinese orphans is helped by them all being as undistinguished and uninteresting as possible. With Byrd at the South Pole is actually the most interesting film, an early sound film that is actually a silent film for most of its duration. From the Journals of Jean Seberg isn't really from her journals, it's sort of an essay film made by Mark Rappaport about fifteen years after her suicide with Mary Beth Hurt serving as Rappaport's amaneunsis. One might wonder viewing everything retroactively in the light of her suicide and J. Edgar Hoover's dirty tricks on her is the best way to examine her.
  9. 1. Late Spring, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan 2. Jour de Fete, Jacques Tati, France 3. Stray Dog, Akira Kurosawa, Japan 4. The Silence of the Sea, Jean-Pierre Melville, France
  10. Ana Torrent in Cria Cuervos. There are actresses who have given two oscar-worthy performances in three years. None were as young as Torrent.
  11. Bertil Guve, with Pernilla Allwin in Fanny and Alexander
  12. Ana Torrent in The Spirit of the Beehive
  13. skimpole

    Your favorite adapted/original screenplay

    And here is Best Original Screenplay Charles Chaplin, Monsieur Verdoux R.C. Sherriff, Odd Man Out Cai Chusheng, Zheng Junli, The Spring River Flows East Tadao Ikeda, Yasujiro Ozu, Record of a Tenement Gentleman Richard Brooks, Brute Force I have not seen The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, A Double Life (original) A Cage of Nightingales, It Happened On Fifth Avenue (story) This is the first year (going back to 1940) where neither winner is my best picture of the year.
  14. skimpole

    Your favorite adapted/original screenplay

    Now it's time for 1947. Here is Best Adapted Screenplay: David Lean, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allen, Great Expectations, based on the novel of the same name by Charles Dickens George Seaton, Miracle on 34th Street, based on a story by Valentine Davies Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Black Narcissus, based on the novel of the same name by Rumer Godden Daniel Mainwaring, Out of the Past, based on his novel Build my Gallows High Henri-Georges Clouzot, Jean Ferry, Quai des Orfevres, based on the novel Legitime Defense by Stanislas-Andre Freeman
  15. skimpole

    LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    I saw three movies this week. The first two are charming trifles. Four Daughters is directed by Michael Curtiz, stars Claude Rains, Mary Robson as his sister, and four women who never quite became big stars and four young men as their eventual husbands, plus John Garfield. Although the movie is engaging and occasionally amusing, it doesn't help that Garfield is the most interesting of the suitors and the one who uses the suicide solution to conservative divorce laws. Don Juan De Marco has another forgettable Bryan Adams movie song, Johnny Depp doing a good job as the heartsick lothario, while Marlon Brando amuses himself as his psychiatrist. There's not much for Faye Dunaway to do. Considerably more impressive is The Scent of Green Papaya. Shot on a French soundstage, this Vietnamese movie is about a maid living in an oblique angle to her country's long war of independence. Set in two parts, one where she is a child, the second ten years later as a young woman, the movie is exquisitely shot, with smooth vertical tracking shots, superb use of sound, finely etched detail and considerable detail. One might wish that the actors were a bit more robust.

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