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Bob Magaw

The Criterion Collection

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3 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Pretty good top 100 list (I'll try to make some select commentaries here and possibly later)

http://www.flickchart.com/Charts.aspx?franchise=157&perpage=100

Kurosawa 40% of top 10 (Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo and Rashomon - High and Low #12)  

City Lights (#2) and Modern Times (#21) are my favorites by Chaplin, The Gold Rush (#30) close and The Great Dictator (#36) also a classic. 

>>>Digression<<< Another distinction worth making is OOP (out of print) or not. When I decided to upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray where possible, a few titles were already OOP. Among my favorites were:

The Third Man (#7 here) by the somewhat forgotten but great director Carol Reed. Outstanding noir, captures the post-WW II atmosphere and mood and maybe the greatest entrance in film history by Orson Welles.

Also, The Man Who Fell To Earth by Nicolas Roeg, which has become one of my favorite science fiction genre films (actually PERIOD, with 2001 and Blade Runner), and who inexplicably failed to crack this list. The horror genre Don't Look Now (see below) about five years ago polled as the top British film of all time - The Third Man was #2. Walkabout also makes some Criterion best of and favorite lists. The first two are imo must sees.   

Don't Look Now: best British film of all time?

Don't Look Now, the 1973 chiller starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, has been named the best British film of all time by a panel of industry experts.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8311268/Dont-Look-Now-best-British-film-of-all-time.html   

In addition to the Killing, Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (just added to the collection) at #4 and Paths of Glory at #13 score very high. The latter has a great commentary track by Gary Giddins, arguably the preeminent jazz critic in the world.

Bergman is an extremely important director in the history of world cinema (The Seventh Seal #19 and Wild Strawberries #22 were early staples on the art house theater circuit), Persona #15 tops the list here. Giddins also wrote an essay for The Seventh Seal (as well as La Dolce Vita #32 - generally these can all be read at the Criterion site under their respective film/title), and notes that despite saying about a movie you are "supposed to like it" generally being the kiss of death, it isn't warranted in this case, it has held up very well in a timeless sense, and can still hold a mirror up to contemporary times. The same could be said of Wild Strawberries and Persona (and many of his other films).

Scorcese was a champion of the great British shared credit production/direction/writing team of Powell and Pressburger (both produced, former directed and latter wrote), even employing Powell's widow as his editor at times. Red Shoes #16, Black Narcissus #70, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (#63) and Peeping Tom (#82 - while Psycho added to Hitchcock's fame, this prophetic horror genre film effectively destroyed Powell's directorial career) are all noteworthy, though I like the first two best. Some of the best technicolor images ever put on screen.      

Hitchcock has some of his best work on Criterion (though not Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Psycho, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Birds, etc.), albeit my favorite titles are OOP I think. Notorious #18 used to top Sight and Sound's prestigious once a decade international critic poll among his body of work, though Vertigo had the distinction of being voted #1 OVERALL in the latest poll (2012?). Rebecca #40 and Spellbound (Dali painted the dream sequence) are also excellent, as are early pre-Hollywood, British productions The Lady Vanishes (#50) and The 39 Steps (#54), though the latter two examples in which he was still finding his style and way, not yet fully mature and at the latter height of his powers and peak of his form.

8 1/2 (#24) is the first title by Fellini, but should be a lot higher, imo - top 10? He was stuck on his next project and not sure what his film should be about or what direction to take. So he made a movie ABOUT THAT. Good intro by Terry Gilliam (I have his Brazil, which is great in the supplements department but may be OOP, as well as Time Bandits and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) praising it. Amarcord is another one of my favorites by Fellini, as noted above La Dolce Vita is #32, and Nights of Cabiria (#80) and La Strada (#88) also make the list, I've seen some of these titles score a lot higher in both Criterion and at large polls.   

Le Samourai #25 by Melville is hands down the coolest noir ever, clearly an influence on Jarmusch's Ghost Dog (not in the Criterion Collection, though I have the quirky Down By Law and Mystery Train).

Tokyo Story #27 by Ozu was top 3-5 in the Sight and Sound poll (see below). He is revered by many directors (like Wim Wenders, I have his recently released early Road Trilogy, as well as The American Friend, Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire - another one of my favorite movies), and this is his consensus best work. Ebert also a big fan, I think. Since you asked about supplements and bonus features which Criterion is renowned for, this has a recommended bio doc on Ozu. For many, their knowledge of Japanese directors is exhausted after Kurosawa, but Ozu and Mizoguchi were both also masters and towering figures in world cinema. The latter's mysterious and haunting ghost story Ugetsu made #79, could have been a lot higher and also comes with a nice Mizoguchi bio doc. Sansho the Bailiff is relentlessly bleak (about a well to do family that finds itself on the wrong side of a clan dispute and is sold into slavery), didn't make this list but makes some critics best ever polls - I think Ebert very high on this, as well.

Renoir (related to the Impressionist painter) is an extremely important director, The Rules of the Game #28 and The Grand Illusion #31 score significantly higher on some polls - not just for Criterion, but among the best films ever made. The River is in the collection, beautiful Technicolor, I think the first Western film shot in India (maybe color?) and was an influence on the great Indian director Satijat Ray.

Badlands #29 is Malick's first title, and one of your new titles Days of Heaven comes in at #35. My favorite by him is actually The Thin Red Line (not to be confused with the murder mystery doc The Thin BLUE Line). The New World which just came out is the latest title I added.

This breakdown is already getting TL/DR, so maybe I'll revisit it later.              

As to stumbling on titles, a book by the critic David N. Meyer (The 100 Best Films to Rent You've Never Heard Of: Hidden Treasures, Neglected Classics, and Hits From By-Gone Eras) pointed to a lot of Criterion titles I happened to like, and that led to me exploring more. I found him to be a very articulate and insightful critic and kindred spirit with uncannily similar taste. He also has a Criterion commentary track on the Monte Helman classic existential road flick Two-Lane Blacktop, in the first and only acting roles by James Taylor and late Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, with the always interesting character actor Warren Oates.  

Some titles he may have highlighted or that I discovered independently later:

Battle of Algiers is shot in an influential quasi-documentary style with many non-actor extras, about the Algerian War of Independence against France and features one of Morricone's best soundtracks, Antonio Gaudi is about the legendary Spanish architect, largely without dialogue and augmented by a spooky, minimalist, electronic, Japanese score, Kind Hearts and Coronets a British Ealing Studios masterpiece and the greatest black comedy ever, Alec Guinness puts Peter Sellers to shame by playing seven roles, who the urbane and charming but aggrieved serial killer Dennis Price needs to bump off to receive a remotely distant inheritance (highest possible recommendation), Night of the Hunter was a one off directorial effort by Charles Laughton (played Quasimodo in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame), with Robert Mitchum as one of the most iconic and terrifying villains in screen history - where he tattooed LOVE and HATE on his knuckles, Le Doulos by Melville (see Le Samourai above) is another one of the greatest noirs I've ever seen, Videodrome and Scanners (awesome score by long time collaborator Howard Shore) by Cronenberg are among my favorites, Eraserhead by David Lynch (cool supplement interviews), Fallen Idol by Carol Reed (The Third Man), Spirit of the Beehives is a neglected but haunting Spanish masterpiece (also looking forward to the far better known Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro coming out in October, with Cronos, The Devil's Backbone and Pan's Labyrinth), Three Films by Hiroshi Teshigahara is a surreal, avant garde set by the director of the Gaudi doc above, the gritty noir Youth of the Beast and the pair of bizarre, surreal takes on the Yakuza genre - Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill by Suzuki are recommended, Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and Naked Kiss, and House is impossible to categorize (Scooby Doo meets The Exorcist?) but is over the top comedy/horror and bat #### crazy.        

* Sight and Sound Top 100 Critics Poll - 2012 (most recent)

http://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/sightandsoundpoll2012/critics

 

Great stuff as usual, Bob. 

I will start off by saying that a lot of times when I try to tackle lists of "greatest" movies, I usually hit a few stumbling blocks:  1. foreign language, 2. movie length, and 3. silent films.   Not a huge fan of the silent era, I have seen a few, they just haven't stuck with me.  Not that this dominates the lists, but there is a sprinkling of them.  Obviously looking at my lists I don't have an issue in general with foreign language movies, but I do have to be in the right mindset for them.  I know it sounds bad to say, but that does require 100% of my attention, and often at night I know that I don't have that in me.  I should be giving the movies my full attention all of the time, but sometimes I have to fold laundry our do something else while I watch my movies at night.  Also, movie length isn't an issue on it's own, but a lot of times it is paired with #1, creating a double whammy.  Sadly, because of this there are some movies very high on lists that I haven't gotten to (see Samurai, Seven). 

I have seen quite a few of the movies that you have highlighted and mentioned. 

I have seen all Kubrick movies except Barry Lyndon, all Malick besides Knight of Cups, a lot of Hitchcock, I agree on Blow Out, seen a few Bergman (especially loved Persona), and finally saw Don't Look Now and The Third Man this year. 

Kurosawa I need to dig deeper on.  I have seen a few of his movies, but not the ones that are usually tops on the lists (see movie length above).  I have seen Rashomon, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood, and one more I can't think of.  Need to get on this. 

I need to move 8 1/2, Le Samourai, and Tokyo Story up my list based on your's and other recommendations. 

Renoir movies I have looked at and had in my hands a few times, but it seemed like a few of them have been more described at satire, which I will admit sometimes doesn't sit with me. 

I have seen a bit of the ones you suggested at the bottom, but the ones I highlighted sounded familiar and I think are on my list. 

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3 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

I saw Seconds by Frankenheimer and liked it. He also did The Manchurian Candidate (topical now), and Black Friday, based on the underrated and somewhat prophetic terrorist attack-themed breakthrough novel by Thomas Harris, before Red Dragon and the Hannibal Lecter character propelled him to stardom.

You make a good point that there are of course MANY other great films NOT in the Criterion Collection (Citizen Kane, for instance), they can't get the rights to EVERYTHING, but you can usually hang your hat on the fact that they tend to be restorations ranging from the outstanding to spectacular. I want to see Narayama. Watching a lot of Pink Floyd related stuff lately. I forgot Dressed To Kill was in the collection. My favorite De Palma film from Criterion is Blow Out. I hope Body Double makes it. Just watched his early Sisters a few nights ago, which was a real Hitchcock mash up (I mean, more than usual).

The surrealist Bunuel (Belle de Jour*) is a super important director in world cinema. I once bought for like a dollar at a thrift store an annual Ebert collection of reviews (which extended beyond just that year), and in a postscript or epilogue chapter he cited Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Bergman, Fellini, Bunuel and possibly Tarkovsky being in his opinion among the greatest directors of all time. That may have spurred my later deeper interest in them. Exterminating Angel and The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie are recommended.

Bummer about Hulu, but library sounds like an awesome solution.

Please share future discoveries/thoughts and run them by the thread, even if we don't have a dedicated, formal movie discussion thread, we can do so informally.   

* Made top 10 list of a director I admire a lot, Billy Friedkin (French Connection, Exorcist, To Live and Die in LA). He did one of the best commentary tracks I've ever heard for Hitchcock's Vertigo. A few years ago I got a chance to see him introduce his underrated masterpiece Sorcerer at the TCM Film Festival, one of the best times I've ever had at a theater (I almost always see first run movies, with the exception of occasional Midnight Movie circuit films back in the day, like Koyaanisqatsi, Le Vallee Obscured By Clouds, The Jimi Hendrix biopic, etc.).

https://www.criterion.com/explore/185-william-friedkin-s-top-10    

Never heard of Sisters, and when I was going through their site, that was at the top of my interest list, but that was one of the few the library doesn't have.  :kicksrock:

I really like those Top 10 lists on Criterion's site from actors, directors, etc.  There are some really interesting lists in there and I am sure full of ideas of stuff that might have slipped through the cracks. 

Here are some near the top of my list that I made from their site that I hadn't heard of or didn't remember seeing on a lot of the usual lists.  Would love input if people have seen them (anything to narrow do my list a tad), or nothing else it might give somebody else an idea for something to watch.

The Army of Shadows

Blind Chance  

The Bridge

Clean, Shaven

Green for Danger

Kanal

Kuroneko

Phoenix

Revanche

Schizopolis

 

A few are newer, so they wouldn't be on a list of greatest ever anyway.  These are just ones that stood out to me as far as ones I wasn't familiar with. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Army of Shadows was, as far as I remember, okay. I don't remember it much.

Germany Year Zero is about as depressing as Make Way For Tomorrow, just in a different way.

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Thanks, KarmaPolice.

I almost mentioned Kuroneko, great ghost story. Director Kaneto Shindo also did Onibaba.

On that note, Kwaidan even better, a must see. Director Masaki Kobayashi also did Harakiri, a Samurai classic (sort of anti-Samurai, in the way that Paths of Glory was more of an anti-war movie).

Jigoku is truly bizarre, with the last part depicting a Japanese Buddhist sense of Hell. I can't say I've ever seen a movie like it.  

Explore Themes on the Criterion site a good way to get ideas in genres you like (in turn, each movie will have links to similar movies and directors).

https://www.criterion.com/explore/themes

Just under Cult, I found Fantastic Planet (landmark in the history of surreal animation, just came out), Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell is psychedelic, goofy, has to be seen to be believed and reportedly Tarantino is a fan, Head was pretty funny with the Monkees, How To Get Ahead In Adertising (about a boil on Richard E. Grant that only communicates with him), Kiss Me Deadly a seminal noir with Ralph Meeker as the sleaziest Mike Hammer ever (may have influenced the brief case in Pulp Fiction), Lady Snowblood and the sequel also influenced Kill Bill, Naked Prey by Cornel Wilde a great transposition of the Colter's Run story from the frontier to Africa, Naked Lunch an original interpretation by Cronenberg of the Burroughs source material (not a good feeling family film, as with many of these).

Green For Danger was OK, a mystery/thriller set in a war time hospital, as I recall?

Army of Shadows may have been auto-biographical, about the French Resistance. Not one of my favorites by the director. For Melville, I'd recommend the already noted (and moved up) Le Samourai, as well as Le Doulos first, especially if you like noir.         

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49 minutes ago, Bob Magaw said:

How To Get Ahead In Adertising (about a boil on Richard E. Grant that only communicates with him),    

love this one... was just thinking about recently- would love to see it again.

 

eta: IIRC, came out around the same time as Withnail and I? both great Grant movies.

Edited by El Floppo

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KarmaPolice, Fallen Idol (lesser known but very good film by Carol Reed, director of The Third Man) is on TCM Saturday evening, I think. Recommended. About a boy that may have witnessed a murder by one of his family's servants.  

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6 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

KarmaPolice, Fallen Idol (lesser known but very good film by Carol Reed, director of The Third Man) is on TCM Saturday evening, I think. Recommended. About a boy that may have witnessed a murder by one of his family's servants.  

:blackdot:

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On 8/11/2016 at 1:59 AM, Bob Magaw said:

KarmaPolice, Fallen Idol (lesser known but very good film by Carol Reed, director of The Third Man) is on TCM Saturday evening, I think. Recommended. About a boy that may have witnessed a murder by one of his family's servants.  

Thanks for the heads up.  I really need to look at TCM more and get the dvr going on that channel. (I think I have it)

Speaking of Carol Reed, Odd Man Out was one toward the top of my list as well.  How is that one?

 

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On 7/21/2016 at 9:10 AM, KarmaPolice said:

Also, I am sure that people get them cooler places, but I know our little library system has quite a few of them - I think 230+ blurays and 600+dvds last I checked their list. 

ETA:  I am a podcast geek, and there a few that I follow that watch a criterion movie a week and talk about them.  I think of the two main ones, one is more going in order, and the other is skipping around. 

wow any names on these?  would love something like that

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So the good and bad of the library system:  it's free, but there's no real predictor when stuff is coming in.  I will end up ordering a bunch that are checked out and have a waiting list. (I think I have about 30 on hold that way right now).  Never fails, I will have a few at home, and now I looked this morning and I have 5 coming in today: Brazil, Being John Malkovich, Anatomy of a Murder, 7 Samurai, and House.  I guess I will try to get to the ones that have the longest waiting list first. 

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32 minutes ago, Smack Tripper said:

wow any names on these?  would love something like that

Of course.  I have 4 bookmarked now:

The Criterion Quest

Criterion Cast

The Criterion Correction

Criterion Close-Up

 

They all have their pluses and minuses.  The second 2 are newer and I have only tried a couple episodes (I just pick through and listen to ones where I have seen the movie already). I am already jumbling them up, so I guess I would just suggest to try an episode or two of each. 

ETA:  just scanned through quickly.  I think I liked the first one slightly better than the 2nd one, but a lot of times their audio sounds crappy.  Don't know how they got through 150+ episodes without updating their equipment.  The last one has some interesting takes as well, but they also go a bit too in depth about Criterion news, upcoming releases, etc..  Sometimes I will skip through to get to the reviews.  I would ranks them 2-1-4-3 right now, but mostly due to the number of episodes the top two have vs. the bottom two, and in the end the 2nd one gets the nod due to production quality. 

Edited by KarmaPolice

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42 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Of course.  I have 4 bookmarked now:

The Criterion Quest

Criterion Cast

The Criterion Correction

Criterion Close-Up

 

They all have their pluses and minuses.  The second 2 are newer and I have only tried a couple episodes (I just pick through and listen to ones where I have seen the movie already). I am already jumbling them up, so I guess I would just suggest to try an episode or two of each. 

ETA:  just scanned through quickly.  I think I liked the first one slightly better than the 2nd one, but a lot of times their audio sounds crappy.  Don't know how they got through 150+ episodes without updating their equipment.  The last one has some interesting takes as well, but they also go a bit too in depth about Criterion news, upcoming releases, etc..  Sometimes I will skip through to get to the reviews.  I would ranks them 2-1-4-3 right now, but mostly due to the number of episodes the top two have vs. the bottom two, and in the end the 2nd one gets the nod due to production quality. 

cool I will check out...

New to this thread, is there any way to get commentary tracks when streaming Criterions?

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Not that I know of, a big reason I still like the physical media.

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

Thanks for the heads up.  I really need to look at TCM more and get the dvr going on that channel. (I think I have it)

Speaking of Carol Reed, Odd Man Out was one toward the top of my list as well.  How is that one?

 

One I haven't seen yet but want to. James Mason is I think a wounded IRA agent on the run. 

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

So the good and bad of the library system:  it's free, but there's no real predictor when stuff is coming in.  I will end up ordering a bunch that are checked out and have a waiting list. (I think I have about 30 on hold that way right now).  Never fails, I will have a few at home, and now I looked this morning and I have 5 coming in today: Brazil, Being John Malkovich, Anatomy of a Murder, 7 Samurai, and House.  I guess I will try to get to the ones that have the longest waiting list first. 

Brazil is great, may come in multiple discs with different versions, if so, the doc on his fight with the studio is a must see. Probably Gilliam's best. A dystopian nightmare black comedy take, with elements of 1984 and Brave New World. Anatomy of a Murder one of the better court room dramas (directed by Otto Preminger - one of the few directors that I think actually got a law degree before coming to the US), with 12 Angry Men, also in the CC, starring Jimmy Stewart, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick and George C. Scott. A rare Duke Ellington film score (also did a Frank Sinatra boat caper movie?) which is excellent, may have a Gary Giddens interview about it worth watching. Seven Samurai simply one of the greatest movies ever made, obviously sub-titled, and long (may have an intermission), three plus hours? House goofy but graphic horror, not for small kids.   

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3 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

So the good and bad of the library system:  it's free, but there's no real predictor when stuff is coming in.  I will end up ordering a bunch that are checked out and have a waiting list. (I think I have about 30 on hold that way right now).  Never fails, I will have a few at home, and now I looked this morning and I have 5 coming in today: Brazil, Being John Malkovich, Anatomy of a Murder, 7 Samurai, and House.  I guess I will try to get to the ones that have the longest waiting list first. 

7 sams is top 3 for me, with Wings of Desire and a rotating 3rd including: bladerunner, third man, lives of others, city of god, woman under the influence, raising arizona etc, etc. YOU MUST SEE 7 samurai.

 

brazil is awesome, unless you don't like Gilliam. I've always loved malkovich- thought it was genuinely a brilliant, funny movie more in the screwball vein version of eternal sunshine. 

Anatomy of a murder is definitely in that 12 angry men canon... well done top to bottom.

I've never seen House, other than the tv show. 

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9 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Brazil is great, may come in multiple discs with different versions, if so, the doc on his fight with the studio is a must see. Probably Gilliam's best. A dystopian nightmare black comedy take, with elements of 1984 and Brave New World. Anatomy of a Murder one of the better court room dramas (directed by Otto Preminger - one of the few directors that I think actually got a law degree before coming to the US), with 12 Angry Men, also in the CC, starring Jimmy Stewart, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick and George C. Scott. A rare Duke Ellington film score (also did a Frank Sinatra boat caper movie?) which is excellent, may have a Gary Giddens interview about it worth watching. Seven Samurai simply one of the greatest movies ever made, obviously sub-titled, and long (may have an intermission), three plus hours? House goofy but graphic horror, not for small kids.   

Only 3 came in, so I will try to watch a couple and wait until the end of next week to pick up the other two (by that time I probably will have 6 more too).  Not sure why I never got around to Brazil.  Seem like it would be right up my alley theme-wise and I have liked the Gilliam movies that I have seen. 

The two longer ones, Seven Samurai and Anatomy of a Murder, are the ones coming in next week. 

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7 hours ago, El Floppo said:

7 sams is top 3 for me, with Wings of Desire and a rotating 3rd including: bladerunner, third man, lives of others, city of god, woman under the influence, raising arizona etc, etc. YOU MUST SEE 7 samurai.

 

brazil is awesome, unless you don't like Gilliam. I've always loved malkovich- thought it was genuinely a brilliant, funny movie more in the screwball vein version of eternal sunshine. 

Anatomy of a murder is definitely in that 12 angry men canon... well done top to bottom.

I've never seen House, other than the tv show. 

I'm guessing that it was you that I broke the promise to.  I think I pretty much guaranteed that I would watch Seven Samurai last fall because it was brought up in the movie thread or a draft.  How about I don't promise this time, but say I will try my best to get this movie watched in the next week or so??

 

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Here if Criterion. Cross-post there, too, if interest (play it by ear?).

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Rushmore:

This is one that has grown on me over the years, and is one of the only Wes movies that I can stomach.  Don't remembering liking it much when it first came out, but tried it again several years ago and keep coming back to it.  Hard to believe that it was Schwartzman's first acting, and I think they went through about 1600 kids to get who they wanted for Max.  This is one I will end up buying, and I need to start digging through the bonus features for.  I still haven't seen the Royal Tenenbaums, so this revisit was to remind me that I did like Anderson's early stuff, and maybe that will give me a good springboard to watch that one. 

House (1977):

Seriously, what the ####??  That was also my wife's reaction as she walked in about 1/2 way through the movie to say good night.  There really is no easy way to try to describe this one.  Suspiria mashed with Evil Dead with a creepy soundtrack from a bad kids show?  I will be honest, this one will be filed under movies I am glad I watched just for the ####ed up ride, but I didn't enjoy that ride much.  Not to say I didn't enjoy some scenes and laugh a couple times, but it was mostly toward the end, and it took a bit of energy to not turn this one off last night.  After looking around this morning a little I found a line where the director "meant it to look like the raw content from a child's bad dream".  In that way it was a 100% success, it just was a nightmare I didn't enjoy being a part of.  I am guessing there were some interesting things here about how the character is dealing with grief, fractured families, and having to grow up, but the packaging kept me far enough away that I couldn't engage with that level of it.  I did think to myself that I should have some weed for this, but I think that would have freaked me out more. 

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I highly recommend not taking an overdose of the military hallucinogen BZ when watching House.

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TCM today, Sat. 8/13 - Time Bandits on at 1:00 PM, Fallen Idol 7:15 PM (PT).

An overlooked classic, ‘The Fallen Idol’ gets a triumphant rerelease      

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/

For a brief but dazzling period, from 1947 through 1949, Carol Reed was the director of the moment in the English-speaking world. Two of the films of that era, “Odd Man Out” and “The Third Man,” have been widely admired, but the third, 1948’s “The Fallen Idol,” has been more difficult to experience.

Now, thanks to the excellent work of reissue specialists Rialto Pictures, a new digital restoration of the film opens Friday, demonstrating that "Idol" is every bit as worthy as the movies that came before and after.

Like “The Third Man,” “Idol” has the advantage of a script by Graham Greene based on his own fiction, in this case a short story he considered “unfilmable.” But the trio of Greene, Reed and producer Alexander Korda, as well as an expert cast toplined by Ralph Richardson, turned a story involving adult secrets and childhood fantasies into a classically well-made movie that is both unexpected and exceptionally gripping.

As “The Third Man’s” admirers can testify, impeccable construction, keen psychological acuity and moral complexity are the hallmarks of Reed’s pictures from this period. In “Idol,” a terrific amount of emotional tension is added to the mix, a sense of possible impending doom that bespeaks a movie that knows what it is about.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Did the butler do it?

The Fallen Idol, based on a story by Graham Greene, was the author's favourite film of his work - even though it radically altered the original. David Lodge on a perfect partnership of writer and director

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/nov/04/film

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Time Bandits review - Ebert

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/time-bandits-1981

* The star of Fallen Idol (Sir Ralph Richardson) played the Supreme Being in Time Bandits, coincidentally.

Fallen Idol producer Alexander Korda also worked a lot with Criterion (and Scorcese) favorites Powell and Pressburger. He was also involved with the Four Feathers, which I forgot was also on TCM earlier today. The following Korda productions are excellent children/family movies (at least, a lot better than House :)) that were extremely well made and could also be appreciated by adults - also on Hulu for those with that option.    

Thief of Bagdad

https://www.criterion.com/films/544-the-thief-of-bagdad

Jungle Book

https://www.criterion.com/films/27649-jungle-book

 

 

 

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Library, and you can enjoy the supplemental material.

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10 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Library, and you can enjoy the supplemental material.

True, but I am sure they have a lot of quality non-Criterion stuff too.  We might upgrade soon anyway for hockey season. 

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Not that they are all Criterion movies, but I think this year is the time I really need to take advantage of the what the UW is doing.  They have 2-3 theaters on campus that they show stuff for free (first come, first served) and feature a lot of restored old movies.  Just like what the Criterion is doing, they only want to show movies in the best format, aspect ratio, etc.. 

They just put up their schedule for the upcoming season, and there is a lot of great stuff.  Looks like this fall there is a DePalma series, a Wim Wenders series, and Sundays they are doing movies featuring Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland (both would be 100 this year).  Just stupid that I haven't gone to more of these, especially since it's free and only about 25mins away. 

HERE is the link to the website, and what they are featuring. 

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Not sure what the theme is, but hilarious that on consecutive nights they have Weiner followed by Wiener-Dog. :lmao::lmao:

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On 8/15/2016 at 0:36 PM, El Floppo said:

october 22- WoD on a big screen? si, senor.

:thumbup:

I circled that one.  The Friday ones will be harder to get to b/c of wife's schedule, but should be able to see some of the Sat/Sun ones. 

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Not the Criterion Collection, but imo underrated film I like a lot, worth checking out if library has?

The Illustrated Man

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9uDkTHj6k0

 

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47 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

*whoa*

Based on the Ray Bradbury short story collection.

The main story is a vehicle to interweave three of the short stories into the fabric of the whole.

 

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9 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Based on the Ray Bradbury short story collection.

The main story is a vehicle to interweave three of the short stories into the fabric of the whole.

 

yeah.

I was whoa-ing that trippy as hell trailer. DON'T

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On ‎8‎/‎15‎/‎2016 at 10:10 AM, Bob Magaw said:

Not sure what the theme is, but hilarious that on consecutive nights they have Weiner followed by Wiener-Dog. :lmao::lmao:

Weiner more topical again for the wrong reasons.

 

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Seconds

Whoa. One part Rod Serling, one part Kubrick, and two parts David Lynch.

A good criticism of consumerism (before it was worn out to do so).

The contrast of the jazz-like bacchanalian baptism symbolic of youthful creation contrasted with the "put on a face" party filled with worn out consumers was particularly poignant.

Edited by Andy Dufresne
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The booklets that come in most (all?) Criterion sets contain good info too.

In The Great Dictator has an anecdote from the book Why The Hairdressers? The source of the title is darkly humorous and goes like this:

One Jew tells another that, that very morning, he asked a passerby what he'd think if, the next day, as rumored, they'd kill all the Jews and all the hairdressers. And the passerby answered, 'Why the hairdressers?'

Now THAT'S a zinger.

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Just watched Chaplin's "The Kid".

The Criterion release just came out this year.

I can't believe they got a movie from 1921 to look so good. Incredible really.

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Filmstruck finally put out more information.  Still no full list of films but it's going to cost $6.99/mo standalone or $10.99/mo bundled with the Criterion Channel.  

The Criterion content leaves Hulu in early November which probably explains the timing of the Filmstruck launch.

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Criterion having a 24 hour 50% off flash sale starting today. B & N lately has had one the month of November if anybody misses out (along with a stackable 20% off coupon towards the end).

Recent releases include Blood Simple and the Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro. Recently announced upcoming titles include noir classic The Asphalt Jungle (starring Sterling Hayden of The Killing), Lone Wolf and Cub, The Exterminating Angel (precursor to The Discrete Charm of The Bourgeoisie), rare Brando Western One-Eyed Jacks, Kurosawa's last great film Dreams and Roma by Fellini.   

https://www.criterion.com/

I like Frankenheimer. Manchurian Candidate another classic in the CC. Black Sunday was the breakout novel by Thomas Harris before Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs (pretty good thriller about a Super Bowl terrorist bomb plan, starring Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller and Robert Shaw). Ronin has some great car chase scenes (there is of course Bullit, and Billy Friedkin has two of the best in the French Connection and To Live And Die In LA.   

John Michael Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 – July 6, 2002) was an American film and television director known for social dramas and action/suspense films. Among his credits were Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), The Train (1964), Seconds (1966), Grand Prix (1966), French Connection II (1975), Black Sunday (1977), and Ronin (1998).

Weapon test clip from Black Friday (violence)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWJfmCFQjAk

The (typically insightful and outstanding) supplements on Chaplin's The Great Dictator include a documentary about Chaplin and Hitler.

One of my favorite things about Criterion (in addition to their taste as curators, breadth of brilliant foreign classic entries by the likes of Kurosawa, Bergman, Fellini, Hitchcock, Bunuel and Tarkovsky, breadth of genres such as cult films like Eraserhead by Lynch, Scanners and Videodrome by Cronenberg, docs by Errol Morris, animation like Fantastic Planet, Japanese noir and horror, etc.) is their expertise in both A/V restoration. Some of the Chaplin body of work is nearly a century old as noted, and looks fantastic.

The Apu Trilogy by Indian master Satyajit Ray is probably the most challenging restoration work they ever took on, judge the results for yourself, great Ravi Shankar score/soundtrack  

Janus Films trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgv68E_o6VM     

AFI mini-doc on the restoration - An Act of Faith: Saving The Apu Trilogy (besides the usual vicissitudes and ravages of time and incompetent storage, it was saved from virtually intractable fire damage)             

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5zib042hEs

Ray's honorary Oscar - '92

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xksRC4AcEzk

Pather Panchali (1955) - TCM Intro (The Apu Trilogy)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWogkj70njs

Aparajito (1957) - TCM Intro (The Apu Trilogy)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbYhCLswkR4

Apur Sansar (1959) - TCM Intro (The Apu Trilogy)  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKxfrLIblC8

* Thanks for the heads up on Filmstruck, didn't know Criterion was leaving Hulu in a few weeks.

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Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968) in the Criterion Collection, was on TCM last night, reportedly a favorite of Tarantino (VIDEO 80 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZZ69oCyyUk

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9 minutes ago, Bob Magaw said:

Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968) in the Criterion Collection, was on TCM last night, reportedly a favorite of Tarantino (VIDEO 80 minutes)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZZ69oCyyUk

The subtitles on the TCM broadcast were cut off on the bottom in both HD and SD.  It's probably just as well because I probably would have fallen asleep on it.

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Getting back into the swing of it and went on a mini tear the last few days:

The Royal Tenenbaums:

Well, I tried.  I like Rushmore, hate is a close word for how I feel about Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest, so I was hoping for more of a slow bridge between Rushmore and them, but what I got was everything I don't like about those movies.  Visually the man is a genius, and as much as I reject what else is happening on screen, his movies are visually stunning.  I will end it at that.

Spoorlos:

Damn good movie here.  It does dip a little too much into the exposition, especially when the two guys meet up.  So many great scenes though and so damn creepy.  The actor playing Lemorne is fantastic, and I really loved the range that the actress who played Saskia brought as well.  Just heartbreaking seeing scenes with her and how she ended up how she did.  Loved it. 

Three Colors: Blue

I think I caught one of these a long time ago as I started getting into the foreign movies, but I think the one I saw was Red.  Been wanting to get them and watch them in a row.  Such a great job by Binoche, and this movie is all about that performance.  Still thinking about this one a few days later. 

Ace in the Hole:

I have really liked all of Wilder's stuff that I have seen so far, so keep going back to his movies.  I feel like there must be some back story between Wilder and the media, because this is just a great commentary on sensationalism in the media/newspapers.  Here we have Kirk Douglas in a great role as a down and out newsman looking for the next big story to get him back to the big city, the lengths he goes to get said story, and the amusing way everything gets way out of control.  Might be my favorite of the 4 I watched, but still think mulling over Blue. 

Hopefully I will get to 3-4 more in the next week as well. 

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Ace In The Hole was definitely my favorite of the four.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_in_the_Hole_(1951_film)

Production notes

The film's plot was inspired by two real-life events. The first involved W. Floyd Collins, who in 1925 was trapped inside Sand Cave, Kentucky, following a landslide. A Louisville newspaper, the Courier-Journal, jumped on the story by dispatching reporter William Burke Miller to the scene. Miller's enterprising coverage turned the tragic episode into a national event and earned the writer a Pulitzer Prize. Collins's name is cited in the film as an example of a cave-in victim who becomes a media sensation.

The second event took place in April 1949. Three-year-old Kathy Fiscus of San Marino, California, fell into an abandoned well and, during a rescue operation that lasted several days, thousands of people arrived to watch the action unfold. In both cases, the victims died before they were rescued.

* I saw one of the color films, forget if it Blue or Red and it was so long ago, about all I remember is she was in it. Haven't seen it, but the directors epic Dekalog was critically acclaimed and just came out on Criterion last month. 

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7 hours ago, Bob Magaw said:

Ace In The Hole was definitely my favorite of the four.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_in_the_Hole_(1951_film)

Production notes

The film's plot was inspired by two real-life events. The first involved W. Floyd Collins, who in 1925 was trapped inside Sand Cave, Kentucky, following a landslide. A Louisville newspaper, the Courier-Journal, jumped on the story by dispatching reporter William Burke Miller to the scene. Miller's enterprising coverage turned the tragic episode into a national event and earned the writer a Pulitzer Prize. Collins's name is cited in the film as an example of a cave-in victim who becomes a media sensation.

The second event took place in April 1949. Three-year-old Kathy Fiscus of San Marino, California, fell into an abandoned well and, during a rescue operation that lasted several days, thousands of people arrived to watch the action unfold. In both cases, the victims died before they were rescued.

* I saw one of the color films, forget if it Blue or Red and it was so long ago, about all I remember is she was in it. Haven't seen it, but the directors epic Dekalog was critically acclaimed and just came out on Criterion last month. 

:thumbup:

Knew I could count on you for the info, good stuff. 

If she was the main actor, it had to be Blue that you saw.  I think characters of the first two show up in Red, but aren't a main fixture.  I know now after poking around that it was Red that I saw and remember liking it, and I gather that White has more of a rom-com vibe to it, which is intriguing.  I saw that the library has Dekalog, which I am not sure I am quite ready for yet.  Have you seen any of his other films though?  Blind Chance and Double Life of Veronique look good as well and might be added to the queue soon. 

In my pile at home right now:  White, Tiny Furniture, The 39 Steps, Pickpocket, Certified Copy, On the Waterfront, and All That Heaven Allows and a few others on the way that I can't remember. 

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4 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

:thumbup:

Knew I could count on you for the info, good stuff. 

If she was the main actor, it had to be Blue that you saw.  I think characters of the first two show up in Red, but aren't a main fixture.  I know now after poking around that it was Red that I saw and remember liking it, and I gather that White has more of a rom-com vibe to it, which is intriguing.  I saw that the library has Dekalog, which I am not sure I am quite ready for yet.  Have you seen any of his other films though?  Blind Chance and Double Life of Veronique look good as well and might be added to the queue soon. 

In my pile at home right now:  White, Tiny Furniture, The 39 Steps, Pickpocket, Certified Copy, On the Waterfront, and All That Heaven Allows and a few others on the way that I can't remember. 

:hifive:

Thanks for sharing your CC impressions, look forward to more in the future.

Must have been Blue, and that is the only film I've seen by the director (also should have noted above AITH favorite of the three I'd seen - Spoorlos doesn't fall into that category).

39 Steps excellent early British Hitchcock (title great case of misdirection), as are The Lady Vanishes and original The Man Who Kew Too Much (though I prefer the remake with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day). I want to see Pickpocket, recently watched director Bresson's Au hasard Balthazar, which may be his best. Haven't seen Certified Copy, want to watch the director's Close-up, which involves an extremely interesting premise. TCM had a Sirk melodrama showcase and saw Magnificent Obsession and Written In The Wind (Tarantino mentioned he was a fan during an Elvis Mitchell interview).

An off the beaten path director is Teshigahara, I have a nearly dialogue-less doc on the Spanish architectural innovator and genius Antonio Gaudi with a spooky but oddly fitting Japanese minimalist electronic score, as well as a trilogy of surreal films, of which I like the last two best, Woman In The Dunes and The Face Of Another (the brief critical video essays are worth watching). 

https://www.criterion.com/people/5286-hiroshi-teshigahara   

 

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I watched a few this week/weekend: Frankenstein, Bride Of, The Mummy, Les Diaboliques, Eyes Without a Face and Hunchback of Norte Dame (Laughton). Probably put on Night of the Hunter tonight. Also excited for #noirvember

 

a few of them weren't CC but in the spirit of the collection 

Edited by Ilov80s

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21 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I watched a few this week/weekend: Frankenstein, Bride Of, The Mummy, Les Diaboliques, Eyes Without a Face and Hunchback of Norte Dame (Laughton). Probably put on Night of the Hunter tonight. Also excited for #noirvember

 

a few of them weren't CC but in the spirit of the collection 

I taped three early Hammer Studios Dracula films with Christopher Lee (TCM's star of the month in Oct.), a few more Brit horror entries in The Innocents (CC) and Village of the Damned about the murderous alien children, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Haunting and also Les Diabolique (CC).

The latter written by the same French team that scripted Hitchcock's Vertigo (my favorite of his). In fact, he tried to option LD but got scooped by Henri-Georges Clouzot, right after Wages of Fear (which got remade into one of my favorites, Sorcerer by Friedkin). It reportedly inspired Hitchcock to direct Psycho, which was of course a huge hit (for some reason, when Michael Powell directed a similarly disturbing serial killer film Peeping Tom the same year in 1960, it effectively destroyed his career, possibly speaking to different sensibilities of US and UK market?). LD is a great paranoid thriller and masterfully suspenseful murder mystery, much like Hitchcock. Eyes Without A Face (CC) another French horror film unlike any I've seen from that era, sort of ahead of its time, and the premise genuinely unsettling, not like a typical Hollywood or comic book violence sense. I think the CC version includes one of the director Georges Franju early shorts about a slaughterhouse. Alida Valli was also in The Third Man (CC, also Argento's Suspiria, which I haven't seen, but kind of want to check out with some of Mario Bava's body of work partly for the lurid color schemes). Night of the Hunter (CC) a classic movie and Mitchum a classic character (not always thought of as horror, but if it isn't, I don't know what is). Too bad that was the only movie Charles Laughton (the Hunchback of Notre Dame) ever directed, since it was so brilliant, but a commercial disaster at the time of release, I take it?

The sound I make when out of beer or if Trump wins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UklDhlsTyUk  

* My favorite horror genre film has become Don't Look Now (CC) by Nicolas Roeg, which won a critics poll for best UK film ever (not just horror genre, ahead of The Third Man, among many others).     

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