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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old October 5th, 2002, 03:10 PM   #1
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Movie Talk - What do you like?

Okay, aspiring filmmakers...

What recent (or old) film have you seen that you
loved? What exactly did you like about it, in terms of the art of filmmaking? -doug
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Old October 6th, 2002, 03:15 AM   #2
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Hi

A couple of things I like to see in movies. Please I have a very narrow band of movies I like and I don't think any of them would be regarded as great movies.

a) Must have a "real story line" what I mean by that is what I see must be realisable. One man beating up 20 fully armed baddies whilst not even raising a sweat does not work for me. I am a sucker for a true story, especially one that illustrates truimph over adversity.

b) I do not like rapid image changes, often found in the action films. I like my eye to feed on the material being presented.

c) I like movies set in the country. Love those big panorama shots.

d) Hate movies set at night where the image is so dark you might as well listen to the sound track only.

e) Hate gorgious 18 year old blondes with multiple degrees in chemistry / physics etc who with the aid of a laptop are in the position to destroy the world.

f) Not a big lover of movies where every second word is the "F" word. I read a quote some time ago which said "Swearing is the crutch of the conversational cripple" and in context of some scripts I think this is true.


Cheers
Andrew
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Old October 6th, 2002, 11:17 AM   #3
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anderw, on point f? I read the following...
Cursing is a failed attempt by a weak mind to express itself forcefully. Damn that's a good one,:).

I like a variety of movies, from scfi to shot on dv character based stories. As long as it's well done. Still, I have a preference for well shot movies accompanied by great sound. More often than not, a DOP makes or breaks a movie. Think films like 'Cider House rules' and others for their lush cinematography.

On the other hand, I finally got to watch 'Wonderland' last night on cable. Compelling story and outstanding performances. Shot on DV with a grainy degraded look that served the picture well.

Excellent example of a shot on DV feature that didn't worry about the 'film look'. The director just concentrated on making a great movie. Great sound helped a lot too.
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Old October 7th, 2002, 10:35 AM   #4
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i recently saw Panic Room by david fincher...Thought that was a pretty movie.

I admired the fact that the whole movie took place in one confined setting..
(inside a house) yet, the cinematoghraphy was beautiful. It just shows that
david fincher can make anything look pretty on screen.

-BTW the story was good as well.
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Old October 7th, 2002, 11:13 AM   #5
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* * SEVEN SAMURAI * *

Just saw Kurasowa's "Seven Samurai"...

The story elements, i.e. a small nothing village against maurauding bandits. Humanity. Humor. People with flaws. Life and Death. This film deals with it all. A very intelligent provocative film.

Also saw, "Bar Fly" Excellent acting and character work. Superb script. A very humorous film with a deep under current of subtext. Dark, philisophical, with a lot of humours. Charles Bukowski.

I am in league with a film that provokes me with characters that round out of the realities created in the texts/films. Films that require you to experience the people living in these worlds. With humor thrown in.

Cheers!

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Old October 7th, 2002, 12:53 PM   #6
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<<I am in league with a film that provokes me with characters that round out of the realities created in the texts/films. Films that require you to experience the people living in these worlds. With humor thrown in. >>

Right,,,,,have you ever seen "Amelie" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet....great movie..not to mention the vibrant image the film provides..one of the prettiest films ive seen...this is a great example of what LHORZON mentioned above..
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Old October 7th, 2002, 01:14 PM   #7
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I haven't seen that film, but I've heard it mentioned quite a bit.

I'm chalking it up to a top see...

Thanks for the recommendation....

Cheers!
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Old October 7th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #8
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>>you ever seen "Amelie" by Jean-Pierre Jeunet<<
Yes, I love it, I even bought the DVD.
It's also a great example of CGI done in service to a character/narrative based story. If you get a chance, go through all the Directors commentarys about how he made the film. Says he is now a digital convert. He was able to exercise a freedom he never had with just film.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 05:46 AM   #9
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Amelie had very nice cinematography... but also Cider House
Rules, Band of Brothers, O Brother Where Art Thou, Se7en,
Pearl Harbour (very nicely shot - although you might dislike the
story/movie).

I truly disliked Panic Room. Although there was some really
nice cinematography and camera setups used, I really disliked
large proportions of the story. The most notable being the
burglers saying that why didn't they think of busting up all
the cameras (which was the FIRST thing that entered my mind
when I saw the very first camera. Especially when the burglers
got into the house).... not to mention a whole lot of other
things that were just too anoying.

That is, ofcourse, just my opinion though...
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Old October 8th, 2002, 07:12 AM   #10
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I'm on a Wes Anderson kick these days. "Bottle Rocket" (the reshot version) and "Rushmore" are incredible entry films. Hard to believe he was a rookie when he made them. Hats off to Owen Wilson, too...not just for his performance, but also for co-authoring the screenplays.

Plus...doesn't hurt that they hail from Texas.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 07:42 AM   #11
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If the story is good, I can watch anything and enjoy it without worrying about picture quality, sound, etc. Wouldn't probably even notice it.
Maybe I have too much imagination, but very often me and the movie are one. Some kind of zen thing...
But sometimes the movies are just too stupid for that to happen, as with Armageddon.
I really hate it if I can't watch movies in peace at home. If I can't have complete silence not to spoil the atmosphere, I prefer not to watch.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 10:55 AM   #12
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I like Wes Anderson..

Meet the Tanenbuams was a brilliant movie IMO one of his best.

I enjoy movies who can paint a visual picture as well as a good story..
I tend to be a big fan of Stanley Kubrick due to his beautiful camera action
and intense visual portraits. To me thats an important element..After all it
is a "motion picture" and just becuse it moves doesnt meen you must should
ignore the properties of traditional photography. Ive noticed alot of
directors dont pass much attention in that direction or atleast apply
creativity to it as well as the story.

Anyone into Darren Aronofsky?
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Old October 8th, 2002, 11:33 AM   #13
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Darren Aronofsky...

When I first saw PI, I was literally blow away. I also was suffering from dimensia. The film experience was unlike any other. The soundtrack in techno overdrive was excellent. Black and white... Sensorily I could have, after walking out of the theatre, been hit by a passing taxi. Overloaded...

I need to condition myself before watching another like PI. A couple of beers and a motion sickness pill to boot.

This is not negative... I enjoyed the film...

Cheers!

Derrick
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Old October 8th, 2002, 12:54 PM   #14
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I've been overdosing on films recently because of the Vancouver International Film Festival. Usually, I write up a review on keithloh.com but I've seen so many I haven't had time. So I will quickly jot down my opinions.

Takeshi Kitano's DOLLS - Slow moving but beautifully shot story of three couples (whose stories weave together) whose relationships come unravelled and then spend the rest of the movie coming together again. Kitano is known more for his Yakuza (gangster) stories and indeed there is a Yakuza story in the middle of this one. Some brilliant use of colour and loooong wide shots. Typical Dolls shot: a park waterfront framed perfectly horizontally. After ten seconds the tiny couple shuffle onto the edge of the screen and the cameras stays on them until they exit to the left. I admired it more for its look than its content, which was predictable.

The RUSSIAN ARK - I wrote about this in another thread here. An awesome spectacle. Not just a tremendous technical feat (89 minute steadicam shot), but actually a meaningful, powerful way of showing history. It's all about continuity since the camera never stops. From room to room the history of Russia spills out, is interrogated by the narrator (the director Sokurov) and the primary character: a European aristocrat who criticizes Russian culture to begin with but then seems to be won over. The amazing final sequence where the camera is sucked into a grand ball of officers, gentry, ladies and a full orchestra is a wondrous achievement of cinematography. A dream of a film.

COME DRINK WITH ME is a rereleased and restored Shaw Bros' martial arts adventure starring Chang Pei Pei in her youth (she was the old witch character Jade Fox in CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON). She is a mysterious agent of a governor who comes to a small town seeking to rescue another agent from the clutches of an evil gang. A totally enjoyable martial arts comedy-action film in the same vein of humour as Sergio Leone's Man With No Name westerns. Lots of posturing, one-liners and comic action. The martial arts isn't to today's standards but it is pretty fluid and inventive. If this shows up in your city drag all your friends to see it. It's very fun.

CIDADE DE DEUS ("City of God"). This is a stunning crime epic from Brazil that will be a Miramax release soon. The best film I've seen at the film festival. Covering three decades in the lives of gun-happy youths in the slums surrounding Rio, it is one of the most vibrant films I've seen recently. This is a film filled with at least a dozen interweaving stories and memorable characters (most of whom you know early on will end up at the sharp end of a bullet). People who don't see films coming out of Latin America such as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien are really missing out on some of the most energetic cinema today. CITY OF GOD combines manic action with gritty cinematography that doesn't stop. If I had the time I would have caught the second showing; it was that enjoyable.
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Old October 8th, 2002, 01:06 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Andrew Leigh : Hi

<<--
b) I do not like rapid image changes, often found in the action films. I like my eye to feed on the material being presented.
-->>

I don't mind this when it has a logic to it. For example, showing the rapid reaction shots of people to a central shot. Or to build up rhythm. However, some productions seem to just use jump cutting and insets for no reason. Every Bruckheimer production seems to be shot with multiple cameras and then put together willy nilly in the editing room.

<<--
c) I like movies set in the country. Love those big panorama shots.
-->>

Indeed. One of my favourite movies of all time is DAYS OF HEAVEN.

<<--
d) Hate movies set at night where the image is so dark you might as well listen to the sound track only.
-->>

Especially when many theatres underlight their projectors!

<<--
f) Not a big lover of movies where every second word is the "F" word. I read a quote some time ago which said "Swearing is the crutch of the conversational cripple" and in context of some scripts I think this is true.
-->>

The language of the characters has to fit the environment. You wouldn't expect rappers on the street to speak like genteel aristocrats, nor should you expect southern matrons to mouth off like they were longshoremen. It has to be REAL. Strive for authenticity.
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