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MUST SEE! Rashomon tonight


FredCDobbs
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MUST SEE! Rashomon tonight

 

Coming up at 8 pm Eastern time tonight (Thur. June 15, ?06)

 

This is one of the best of the Classic Japanese films. Very interesting and very unusual. A strange story told from several different points of view.

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Yes, Rashomon is an excellent film, one of Kurosawas best, I have seen this before and am recording it to add to my collection. If you missed it on tcm, rent it, you will not be disappointed in seeing it.

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Yes, I thought Rashomon was a wonderful movie. I am so pleased with TCM for having Mia Farrow select these unique films. Her enthusiasm for them was quite catching. I wonder if Rashomon was the first film to do that perspective story. It is often featured on tv shows, like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I never knew the original source that the shows were parodying.

 

As for the Exterminating Angel, it was a very interesting film. If you read the TCM article on it, I understand that the movie is about how there is innate aggression in human beings. In times of crisis it will come out. I think this was done most interestingly when the first sheep wanders into the room and the people immediantly circle around it to kill it. It was brutal and sad without showing violence. You know, in their position that you would do the same and yet it seems very wrong.

 

A few quotes explain that the director was criticizing the way that when people don't understand something they turn to God. But even that doesn't work because eventually they have to explain God. I have to admit, when I was trying to rationalize this movie, I instantly thought the end signified that God will provide.

 

The article as explains that many of the scenes had no deeper meaning, no matter how people choose to look into them. Kurosawa's film also had this characteristic. Life doesn't always have exact meanings.

 

I wish I could have stayed up to see the Ingmar Bergman film. I have never seen anything of his and I wish to. Three and a half hours when I was already dog tired was too much though.

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Rocky, I saw the Mexican film last year when TCM had a Mexican film festival. I didn?t like it, and I don?t remember the ending. I recall thinking at the time that it was a boring anti-social leftist political type film of a kind that was popular among certain foreign film directors back in the late ?50s and early ?60s.

 

I kept thinking, why don?t the people just walk out of the house, and why don?t the cops just walk in. I also kept thinking, why don?t I just change channels. I didn?t because I kept hoping there would be some interesting profound message in the film, but if there was one, I never saw it.

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Mel, regarding the Mexican film, I prefer films where the message is a little more clear. What the film needed was Charlie Chan coming in at the end and explaining the whole plot to everyone.

 

I remember that Rashomon was difficult for people to understand just by seeing it once, until they read reviews about it, and then it made sense. Something about how in life we hear different conflicting stories and opinions about the same event, but we never are sure which one is true, even if we eyewitnessed part of the event ourselves, and we can?t even believe eyewitnesses because they could be lying or mistaken. But there is something else I always liked about Rashomon, other than it?s plot. I liked the photography and the acting and the individual stories.

 

I?ve often wondered if there is some way to figure out which of the Rashomon stories is true, or which parts of each story are true. I learned in the news business that police departments are often presented with multiple conflicting tales about murders, and they have to sift through all the stories trying to find out which detail is true and which isn?t. Even a liar can tell some true details of the real case and a truthful person can make mistakes. But I don?t know if the murder in Rashomon can be figured out. For example, there was the conflicting testimony about whether the guy died from a sword wound or a small dagger wound. I don?t know. But I like the film anyway.

 

But I didn?t care for the Mexican film.

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I completely understand where you are coming from about appreciating a clear message. I am afraid I was simply in the mind set to approve of anything Mia Farrow suggested. Being so, I enjoyed both movies for their unique qualities. Sometimes I want chicken legs in purses and sometimes I want William Powell. It really depends on my mood.

 

I think, for Rashmon, the point was not who was the murderer but an observation of human nature. They said it in the movie twice, people lie and are often fooled by their own lies. Basically implying that there are no truths in the world because every fact is colored by our personal interpretations and rationalizing of what we saw.

 

That is what it meant to me, anyway.

 

 

As for the Mexican movie, I sincerely believe that the director was also just trying to point out that in times of crisis there is innate aggression in humans. Unfortunately, he gave us, his audience, a false barrier. We keep asking the question "why can't they leave" and forget to see the point of what is happening to these people.

 

When I think about surrealism, as this movie was, I think about it as a dream. When you are dreaming, you just accept certain things as fact. The fact was that these people couldn't get out of the room, the question was 'how long before they killed each other'?

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Does anyone know what "the Mexican movie" was called? I've been reading the thread with interest and wonder what movie everyone's referring to. It's kind of like a trivia game, and I'm going to guess it's Viridiana, or some other movie by Luis Bu?uel?

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The movie is The Exterminating Angel (1962) by Luis Bu?uel. I've been reluctant to join this thread because -- while I think it?s a terrific movie -- I feel I've only scratched the surface of what's going on with Bu?uel?s films.

 

In his book Luis Bunuel, Raymond Durgnat had this to say about the film's title:

 

"The ?angel? is the spiritual climate of bourgeois conformism, drawn to its (desired) conclusion of inner paralysis. The prisoners are trapped in their social roles. Faced with the inexplicable, their rationality decomposes into fetishist fixations. The violence to which they resort is no liberation, has no quality of defiance, and in that respect is totally opposed to the convulsive sadism in L?Age d?Or."

 

And here's what I said on my website in a feeble effort to try to explain what's happening in the film:

 

"This movie can be enjoyed on many levels. You can watch it as a kind of Twilight Zone episode that sets up a hypothetical premise and unfolds the consequences. You can approach it as social commentary and be amply rewarded with insight into how our lives are outwardly swayed by social, religious, and political influences. Or you can view the story through a psychological prism that reveals the inner turmoil and confusion that grows out of our innate desire to be accepted by others.

 

"And if you think that?s multi-layered, wait until you experience the tone of the film, which cycles from drama to comedy to satire to the grotesque. Sometime all four qualities appear to be operating simultaneously. Sometime two qualities co-exist with one seeming to comment on the other. The complexity is there if you want to experience it, but can be ignored if you just want to settle into a good yarn. That?s what makes Bu?uel such an intriguing filmmaker."

 

MelMccul mentioned that Rashomon explores the notion that ?people lie and are often fooled by their own lies.? You can say the same thing about The Exterminating Angel. Rashomon is the better film, though both approach the same subject, only from different directions. Rashomon is concerned more with inner (self-determined) lies, while The Exterminating Angel is concerned more with outer (socially determined) lies.

 

I didn't care much for Bu?uel's films, but lately I've begun to enjoy them and now see much more in them than I had seen before. Maybe I'm reading too much into his films, but my guess is they're much better than I had previously thought.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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> I think your synopsis of the movie is as confusing as

> the movie :) maybe if you pass me some of that

> Mexican peyote I might understand it too!

 

I know I'm not doing it justice. His films are the hardest films to write about -- much more difficult than Ford, Kurosawa, Hawks, Hitchcock, or Renoir. The best I can do with Bu?uel's films is point people in the right direction. I'm not really a fan of Salvador Dali, but I wouldn't envy someone having to explain why he might be a fine artist. Ren? Magritte I like, but how would I explain what I like about him? His oddness? The inappropriateness of his imagery?

 

Ummm... Bu?uel mixed with peyote. Now there's a frightening thought. Safer to serve up Bu?uel straight with no ice and no chaser.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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> Ok, I watched the movie and read the database. I

> don't get why at the end soldiers were shooting

> everyone in the street.

 

I?ll give it a try. Bu?uel points out how confining our public lives are, because the political, social, and religious spheres conspire to keep us in our place. When people start to understand they are hemmed in (so to speak), the political order is threatened, and it may fight back violently. The final image of the sheep going into the church echoes the crowd trying to get out of the church. Unless we question what holds us back, we're no better than sheep.

 

Keep in mind that Bu?uel was making films in Mexico, and later in France, because he feared Franco's repressive regime in Spain. For him, soldiers attacking people in the streets wasn't as far fetched as it might seem to us.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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I have to admit, Mr. English, your explinations are a little bit beyond me. And here I thought I was being so intelligent and open to a new subject. Serves me right for thinking so well of myself.

 

I appreciate your explaination though. Perhaps soon, I will be able to grasp it better.

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Some of these replies are really harsh.

This film was meant to be a surrealist piece like many of Bunuel's other movies. Nobody ever questions the Twilight Zone because we know that they are in another dimension so why cant we say the same about The Exterminating Angel.

The way you have to look at it is through symbolism. Its true that even Bunuel later said that he didn't like the movie but there is this quality in it that is really enjoyable and viewers could see the emotional side of the upper class.

Its a film that makes people think. Why was their a scene of police pushing civilians out of the way? Well there's many answers and that's another thing that is good about it; this can easily be a topic starter and there are many different interpretations of it.

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This film was meant to be anti-capitalist, anti-social, anti-establishment, anti-middle-class, and anti-church, made by Bunuel during his so-called ?communist period.? He made it as a surrealist piece to hide his overt anti-social attitude and so he wouldn?t be harrassed by anti-communists in Mexico, Spain, or other countries. It has no significant meaning other than Bunuel?s own warped attitude toward normal society, which he never could fit into.

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Ok, you people went way over my head w/ this one........Obviously I didn't see the movie, though I 'm beginning to wonder if that is a good thing or not, but I can tell you that in seeing a movie from another country you have to look at three things, the yr. it was made,the yr. portrayed in the film and the country it represents. Latin movies have a lot of repressive issues, remember these countries depend strongly on the dominance of the church and socialist ideals.

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As you can see from this thread, Bu?uel is a controversial director and definitely not for everyone.

 

His films include Un Chien andalou [a.k.a. An Andalusian Dog] (1929), L?Age d?or [a.k.a. The Golden Age] (1930), Los Olvidados [a.k.a. The Young and the Damned] (1950), Nazar?n (1958), Viridiana (1961), The Exterminating Angel (1962), Diary of a Chambermaid (1963), Simon of the Desert (1965), Belle de jour (1967), The Milky Way (1969), Tristana (1970), The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972), The Phantom of Liberty (1974), and That Obscure Object of Desire (1977).

 

My favorite is The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, which won the 1972 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. It's available on DVD as part of the Criterion Collection: http://www.criterionco.com/asp/release.asp?id=102.

 

If anyone is interested in reading more about Bu?uel and his films, there's a good introduction at Senses of Cinema: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/directors/05/bunuel.html.

 

DavidE

http://www.classicfilmpreview.com

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