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  1. TheManWhoLaughs

    Your Five Favorites Per Decade?

    Thanks so much for directing me to the link! I'm still getting used to the mechancis of the board. I'm trying to understand it, sorry if I post in the wrong places. ?:|
  2. TheManWhoLaughs

    Your Five Favorites Per Decade?

    *THE SILENT ERA* *1.* Paul Leni's 'The Man Who Laughs' (1928) 2. G.W. Pabst's 'Pandora's Box' (1929) 3. Robert Wiene's 'The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari' (1920) 4. D.W. Griffith's 'Intolerance' (1916) 5. Carl Theodor Dreyer's 'The Passion Of Joan Of Arc' (1928) *The Thirties* 1. Carl Theodor Dreyer's 'Vampyr' (1932) 2. Fritz Lang's 'M' (1931) 3. Charles Chaplin's 'City Lights' (1931) 4. James Whale's 'Frankenstein' (1931) 5. Leo McCarey's 'Duck Soup (1933) *THE FORTIES* 1. Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rebecca' (1940) 2. John Huston's 'The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre' (1948) 3. Orson Welles' 'Citizen Kane' (1941) 4. Carol Reed's 'The Third Man' (1949) 5. Jules Dassin's 'The Naked City' (1948) *THE FIFTIES* 1. Francois Truffaut's 'The 400 Blows' (1959) 2. Jules Dassin's 'Rififi' (1955) 3. Alexander Mackendrick's 'Sweet Smell Of Success' (1957) 4. Charles Laughton's 'The Night Of the Hunter' (1955) 5. Jules Dassin's 'Night And The City' (1950) *THE SIXTIES* 1. John Cassavetes' 'Faces' (1968) 2. Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Le Samouraï' (1967) 3. Francois Truffaut's 'Jules And Jim' (1962) 4. Frederico Fellini's '8½' (1963) 5. Jean-Luc Godard's 'Vivre Sa Vie' (1963) *THE SEVENTIES* 1. John Cassavetes' 'Husbands' (1970) 2. Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Godfather Part Two' (1974) 3. Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown' (1974) 4. John Cassavetes' 'A Woman Under The Influence' (1974) 5. Martin Scorsese's 'Taxi Driver' (1976) *THE EIGHTIES* 1. Sergio Leone's 'Once Upon A Time In America' (1984) 2. Brian De Palma's 'The Untouchables' (1987) 3. John Woo's 'The Killer'' (1989) 4. Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' (1982) 5. Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' (1980) *THE NINETIES* 1. John Woo's 'Hard Boiled' (1992) 2. Michael Mann's 'Heat' (1995) 3. Peter Weir's 'The Truman Show' (1998) 4. Gus Van Sant's 'My Own Private Idaho' (1991) 5. Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts' (1993) *THE 2000s* 1. Paul Thomas Anderson's 'There Will Be Blood' (2007) 2. Quentin Tarantino's 'Inglorious Basterds' (2009) 3. Paul Thomas Anderson's 'There Will Be Blood' (2007) 4. Andrew Dominik's 'The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford' (2007) 5. Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'Amores Perros' (2000)
  3. TheManWhoLaughs

    Any Chinatown Fans?

    {font:'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif}{size:11px}Roman Polanski's genius is questionable. Whether or not he does possess a certain cinematic genius is neither urgent or necessary to conclude. His body of work speaks for itself, his 1974 magnum opus speaks for its decade, reality in the face of theatricality, and for the sanctity of the cinema itself. Now although it is not completely justifiable to prove whether Polanski is or is not a genius, it is rather important to discuss the life of this idolized and wanted man. Roman Polanski was born in the year 1933 in Paris to Polish parents. When his mother and father were forced into concentration camps for being Jewish, Polanski was faced with the unmeasurable difficulty of surviving the Holocaust on his own. His Mother, ultimately, fell victim to the horrors of Auschwitz. If that's not enough, if you would so melodramatically fast forward to the year of 1969. To the Summer Of Love. To the end of the small portion of Polanski's life he would later recall as the happiest he's ever had. He had a beautiful, talented, and adoring wife. Her name was Sharon Tate. The baby inside of her, she and Roman would never name. In August of 1969 the Manson Family laid slain to Sharon Tate and the baby inside of her, both terrorizing and taunting, the darkest chapter of Polanski's life was marooned with notoriety and fear. It was only a few years after the death of his wife where Roman would leave his mark on the world forever. Chinatown flows with a lavishly perfected Noir tone, and I should add here, the film is the Neo Noir archetype, the best of its kind and one of the best that Film Noir carries in its respective canon. Also, whenever one sets out to write about Chinatown, one cannot understate the delicacy, the supreme handling of pacing which is to be found in this particular film. Not before, and not since, has pacing been so well thought out, so marvelously calculated, and devilishly crafted. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway stand immortal in this film, bellowing through the tenement halls inside of every dirty city confined within every Noir film in rotation. If Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway stand luminous as Kings of their respective Kingdom, then John Huston stands apart; shrouded in darkness, transparent, eager, vicious, immediate. John Huston's 'Noah Cross' exists, alright, and the most dangerous thing about the 'Noah Cross's of the world is that the evil within them is otherwise ordinary, bottomless, and unstoppable. Robert Towne's script is simply impeccable. Flawless storytelling accompanied by snappy dialogue, and a climax that cuts deeper than that of documentary reality. But it is Polanski who is the true star of this picture. You can see him in every shot, peering in through the lens, and directly into your heart. You can taste him in every dry patch of dialogue, smell him in the midst of gun smoke, and fear him as the tension culminates into the wake of tragedy. It is there, in the tragedy, he dares you to hope for the best, he wants to feel safe because films make you feel comfortable. He takes the trust that he'd earned from the audience, and crushes it, oh, and he makes sure it stings. He makes sure it hurts. And in in the aftermath of the his final act, his final betrayal, the ultimate tragedy, he makes sure you can feel him. He leaves you in pain. He leaves you guilty in satisfaction. Knowing that tragedy is the most universal of luxuries, Polanski makes that perfectly clear, and for the first time, his voice is heard, his war cry. Coherent and horrifying.{font}
  4. Forgive the following rant, but I have thinking about this a lot lately... No one could create Louise Brooks, just like no one could create Pabst's 'Lulu'. No. Pabst's 'Lulu' had to be real, had to exist, and had to do so naturally; unaware. No. Louise Brooks is not a Pabst invention, and neither is her performance in Pandora's Box. What Pabst did, quite simply, was find his 'Lulu'. The film itself is pure invention, Pabst used psychology as his weapon and his intellect as his charm. He pinned actors against each other, he favored one actor on Monday only to dismiss him by Tuesday. Pabst created the purest form of realism possible. By exposing his actor's insecurities, hiding the plot from them, and initiating mind games with every member of the cast on and off set. Pabst loved chess. His love of chess is evident in Pandora's Box. Pandora's Box is his 'check-mate'. So. No. Pabst did not create Lousie Brooks. Pabst made Lousie Brooks what she is today; an ultimately tragic relic of a bygone age. I cannot believe how astonishingly perfect Pandora's Box was concieved. Pabst is a true nobleman of the cinema for a number of reasons, my confidence will never sway in that regaurd. Pabst made the perfect film. A rarity, a pleasure, and a true art. His direction, the key to the enigma, only comes out of its perpetual hiding after a few viewings. It is Louise Brooks, and only Louise Brooks, that your eyes and heart feast on during the first time you watch Pandora's Box. Brooks was the most enchanting, dazzling, and transcendental of the silent screen goddesses. In the scene where Shon's is caught making love to her by his fiance and his son, Brooks delivers the greatest facial expression ever captured on film. An act of dominance and sexual achievement. A grin that is truly timeless, as if she's staring through time and space, testing your wildest urges, daring you to love her, and begging you to beg to forget it. Although Brooks didn't know then, or even cared to know at the time, soon she would have Pabst all figured out. She realized that the greatest performance of her career, and one of the most legendary inall of cinema, was not a performance at all, it wasn't even acting. It was her. It was documentary. I was real. Perhaps the greatest invention belonging to G. W. Pabst was the invention of truth. Things look different when they are being filmed, it is a natural reaction to put on on an act of sort when one knows he or she is being watched. Pabst bypassed that fault in cinematic realism and created reality. Untouched by fabled hands, pure and innocent, L. Brooks. Arguably, Pabst is the only director who has ever accomplished such a remarkable feat. Lauren Bacall's very first line in her very first film was a question directed to her future husband: "Anybody Got a Match"? And with that, she stole my heart. Lauren Bacall is the female embodiment of Film Noir. Howard Hawks knew how great she was, having stumbled upon such an alluring and intoxicating beauty. The Big Sleep is a masterpeice, and unquestionably, it is the best work both Bacall and Hawks have ever done. On the other hand, the earlier film To Have And Have Not is a remarkable achievement in its own right. The story was predicatble, the novel it was based on was horrible, and the direction was invisible. But what happened behind the scenes was of a wholly remarkable importance. Much to Hawks' dismay, his leading lady and his leading man were falling in love. Much to Hawks' dismay, with To Have And Have Not, he had documented and recorded the real life act of falling in love. The chemistry between Bogie and Bacall is what makes To Have And Have Not a legitimate classic. Laced in every cigarette rests what Pabst would call 'truth'. When you watch To Have And Have Not, you are watching two people fall in love with each other. This is what makes To Have And Have Not one of a kind, this is what makes the film incredible. The chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is red hot and livelier than ever when the lovebirds are reuinited with accidental matchmaker, director Howard Hawks, in what has been recently acknowledged as the finest film noir ever made. The Big Sleep is the pinnacle of Film Noir, and the crowning achievement of the genre. Dassin may have made more tragic Noir, and Preminger may have made more dominant Noir, but the holy trinity; that is Hawks, Bogie, and Bacall made Film Noir. Convoluted and twisted, violent and panoramic, the Big Sleep is the most adhesive representation of what Film Noir represented. But I think it was the chemistry between Bogie and Bacall, equalled by the jealousy of Hawks, that made the Big Sleep the giant it is today. In stark contrast to Bogie and Bacall's romantic and playful chemistry, what Hawks and Bacall had was rooted in negativity and sexual misfires. Bacall's refusal of Hawks, and eventual marraige to Bogart must have brewed animosity in Hawks' domineering and womanizing brain. I'm not implyig that the chemistry was hateful, at least not exactly, I am suggesting that them were feelings of bitterness and notably, rejection. Howard Hawks make a star out of Lauren Bacall, and in return, she made a two-bit loser out of him. Together they made the Big Sleep, together they not only reached perfection, they gave it a new name: Warner Bros. The way that Otto Preminger photographed Jean Seberg is criminally dismissed and horribly overlooked, but it was nothing if not heavenly, reminiscent of Pabst directing his 'Lulu', and loving in every conflicting way. Preminger tried to make a famous actor out of her, and she tried to make a husband out of him. Niether party got their wish. But they did make two extraordinary pictures together: Saint Joan and Bonjour Tristesse. Francois Truffaut once wrote that Bonjour Tristesse was Otto Preminger's love poem to Jean Seberg, and nothing could be more accurate than that. Although Preminger may have been a tyranical both on and off the set, he made his wife look like the most beautiful creature in the world. I hope Seberg realized the quality of the gift his husband made for her. He truly did love her. and as the film suggests, more than anyone could ever love anything. Of Lousie Brooks. Of Lauren Bacall. Of Jean Seberg. Of Anna Karina. Of Deneuve. Of Gish. And of the men who created them. One can assume, faithfully, that for a pairing of actress and director to truly become legendary, two things need to happen: 1. The actress must trust her director fully, completely, and with all her heart. 2. The director, in return, must brand her a liar. Edited by: TheManWhoLaughs on Mar 28, 2012 8:39 PM
  5. TheManWhoLaughs

    Night And The City , 1950

    Night and the City is one of my all-time favorite Film Noirs. Bettered only by Sweet Smell of Success in my book. I own the Criterion releases of both titles. Both films have an excellent commentary track.
  6. TheManWhoLaughs

    Brute Force(1947)

    I really liked this movie. Jules Dassin is great. Night and the City, The Naked City, Rififi, and Brute Force are some of the best noir films I have ever seen.
  7. TheManWhoLaughs

    silent film crushes

    Louise Brookssssssssssssssss :x

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