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Jan. 25th, 2008

Name: Bubs
Age: 33

Top Ten Movies:

Andrei Rublev (1969) (Russia) Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
The Navigator (1988) (New Zealand) Director: Vincent Ward
A Room with a View (1985) Director: James Ivory
Vertigo (1958) Director: Alfred Hitchcock
12 Monkeys (1996) Director: Terry Gilliam
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Director: David Lean
A Clockwork Orange (1971) Director: Stanley Kubrick
Beauty and the Beast (1991) (Yes, the Disney movie)
Magnolia (1999) Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
The Dawn Patrol (1938) Director: Edmund Goulding


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
You have four movies on your list that I really like, and one that made it onto my own list! One of those is The Dawn Patrol. I know why I like it, but it seems kind of a forgotten film (maybe because it is so dissimilar to Flynn's other movies?) so could you discuss why you like it enough to put it on here?
Jan. 25th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
I was hoping someone would ask me about this! You are right in that it is definitely an atypical Errol Flynn film. One could easily point to the fact that there's some damn fine acting on his part, as well as on the parts of Niven and Rathbone. But what really strikes me about this film is that for a movie made in the late 1930's, it is decidedly anti-war, and right on the brink of U.S. involvement in WW2. This isn't like the crap that came out a few years later which was, essentially, propaganda. Instead, it actually addressed individuals and made them visceral, much like All Quiet on the Western Front or, many years later, Gallipoli (damn, that should have been on there, too.) How can one not internalize the tragedy of these individuals essentially being sentenced to death?

It comes close to being a protest film, but managed to get away with its rather subversive message because it was set during WW1. The post traumatic stress syndrome is almost painful to watch, and one can also understand and comprehend the manner in which these individuals concealed distress with alcohol and humor.

This is one film that manages to hold up over time, and I hope it will become less obscure in the future. In watching it, it barely seems dated.

(Plus, hell, I'll say it. It makes me cry like a motherfucker.)

(no subject) - themis - Jan. 25th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Yes. - themis - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes. - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes. - themis - Jan. 29th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 25th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
I have two similar but pretty simple questions.

--Out of all Disney movies, why Beauty and the Beast?

--Out of all Hitchcock, why Vertigo?
Jan. 25th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
A) I want to just say that "Be Our Guest" is probably the cutest fucking song ever, but no, there's more to it than that. While I will acknowledge that Disney films with hand-drawn cel animation are artistically more impressive (Fantasia and Snow White are rivals for this slot), this was really the first time that CGI was utilized in an effective manner, and as art. By that I mean the ballroom sequence. As an artist (like you!) I was impressed by the new technology. Of course, it has been abused in the extreme subsequently, though Pixar seems to be adapting and properly exploiting the medium.

There are also sentimental reasons for my choosing that film, as I love the story and consider it feminist, even in its original form. Belle was essentially the first feminist character in a Disney movie...though some may argue that point. They did attempt to hit one over the head with the omg SHE READS AND SHE IS A NERD thing. Still, I saw the film about ten times in the theater when I was 17. So it's not just the great score or the groundbreaking animation that sets it apart; it's the departure from the standard. This is a movie that changed animation and changed the depiction of female characters in animation for the global market.

B) One can pretty much list any Hitchcock film and state that it is brilliant, but my love of this movie is not based upon his directorial ability. Straight to the point, it's Kim Novak's performance. Roger Ebert was one of the few to come out and defend it initially, as Ms Novak's performance was labeled as too cold and elusive. Yes, the character was cold and elusive - she was a constant abuse victim, and Ms Novak was able to capture her desperation and longing for any sort of affection whatsoever, despite the fact that Jimmy Stewart's character was a total asshole. She comes off as both fragile and strong at once, which is not easy to do. She's got the perfectly manicured eyebrows, but no ability to say "no". And one cannot help but be compelled more by her mental phobias and failings than that of the main character.

Also? The sound quality on the remastered version is amazing, particularly the crunch when the body hits the tiles.
Jan. 26th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC)
I love Kim Novak's performance in that. And Jimmy Stewart's. I think one of the best things about that movie is that it only works because it's Jimmy Stewart. If it were anyone less likable in the Hollywood spectrum, people would go WTF IS WRONG WITH THIS OBSESSIVE FREAK a lot sooner than they do, but it's JIMMY STEWART. And I think it's one of the best casting jobs ever done because of the way it uses his cultural cache.

I also remember seeing the previews for the Disney Beauty & The Beast and being just completely squeeful that Belle was a bookworm. I actually recently started rethinking my take on The Little Mermaid and started to realize that that might have been Disney's first attempt at feminism. I'm not sure how well it works, but when it came out, I had such hate for the changing-the-ending to make her live thing, and then, recently, I was like, "Wait. But if she died, then they're teaching little girls not to go out and think for themselves and try new things even if they're risky, which doesn't quite work when she's obsessing over a boy you met once, and her father was probably kinda right about that, but you can't kill her and be a feminist.
Re: Yes - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 25th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
What's your favorite scene in Lawerence of Arabia? It's one of my favorite movies. Mine is when they blow up the train and the horses run out into the desert.
Jan. 25th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
You know the sequence toward the beginning when he blows out the match and then it cuts immediately to the desert? That was one of the first times that was done on film, and it still moves me.

I love the train explosion. Oh, and the taking of Aqaba!
Jan. 25th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
Damn. Tea half-stole my question, but I want to develop more of what you said for 'Beauty and the Beast'. I'm an animation major and BatB is definitely in my top 3 for favorite Disney movie. Part of this does have to do with Belle and I'm curious to hear how you think they handled Belle since there was a conscious effort to make a strong female lead. Do you think they succeeded and have they maintained or improved their female characters since then?

Also (this just came to me), what are your thoughts on the female villains in the older films? Are they sexist, are they an appropriate foil to the princesses or something else entirely?

Okay, turning my geek factor off.
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Wow, tough questions in that I am not quite certain how I feel on the matter. Yes, I do think they succeeded in creating a feminist character with Belle, though they could have gone a bit farther with that portion of the characterization. And yes, I think they have made more of an effort with the subsequent female leads, though some just come off as flat despite the effort (Jasmine, for instance.) As the animated films are, in my opinion, most influential to young girls, I have to appreciate the fact that the female characters (probably beginning with Ariel) are at least three-dimensional, if not necessarily as feminist as I would like them to be - there is a "pretty princess" mentality attached to them as well as the implication that happiness comes with finding the perfect man. At least in Beauty and the Beast, they mocked the "perfect man" concept with Gaston - and quite hilariously, too.

I find myself of two minds on the female villains. As one of THOSE sorts of feminists, I do think that the stereotype of the wicked stepmother (or that archetype) is damaging, as they are usually depicted as motivated by jealousy and possessiveness. But then, how can one not love a character as compelling and well-animated as Maleficent? So yes, i think they were present to serve as foils for the pretty young things, but this is one manner in which animation is the great equalizer. Obviously the animators enjoyed and adored these bitch-villain characters, and it shows. Just look at the way they made use of rich purples and jade greens as opposed to the pastels.

Yes, I am a geek as well, and at one point wished to animate for Disney.
Jan. 27th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
I'm absolutely digging your answer, the other answers you've been giving, and admitting you're not sure how you feel on the subject. I respect that a lot. I think it'll be cool to have you in the community.

Andreas Deja came to speak at my school and before he was assigned Gaston, he was going to be the lead animator on Belle. He was very keen on giving her a fuller figure instead of making her "some anorexic twig", as he said. :D One example and another.
Re: Yes - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes - spiralstairs - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes - themis - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yes - themis - Jan. 29th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 25th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
Talk to me about Tarkovsky's use of long takes and how this affects the sense of time the watcher feels
Jan. 26th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
Well, I'll give this my best shot! Actually from time to time Tarkovsky used long takes just for the purpose of annoyance - he said himself that in Solaris, the long sequence of driving in the car at the beginning of the film was simply to get the idiots out of the theater before the movie started.

But generally what I think they impart is a sense of real time. Well, let's take Stalker, which is probably the best example here. The film is philosophical (as is the short story it is based upon) rather than an action-oriented sort of science fiction. The trip through the Zone is taking place at pretty much the same pace as the viewer's impressions, and therefore it is via this method that a heightened sense of tension is established. The same goes for The Sacrifice - essentially, the events of minutiae are being captured on film and, knowing the scenarios, one cannot escape this building sense of the fear of what is beyond one's control.

Every shot, though is, as I have stated, like an independent piece of art. One wants to stop and admire it as one would if walking through a gallery. The technique halts time in a fashion, lending a quality of surrealism. Look at any example of his long takes of water. In this way, there is a sense of timelessness, as if one smoked a bunch of weed and sat down to watch. Have ten minutes passed? Has an hour? In Andrei Rublev, this factor is key because it is taking place in such a distant past that one needs to feel the timelessness as well as a sense of immediacy. Those people in the Middle Ages were just like us and found a bit of beauty in the same things we do, like paint dissolving into water. In that film, as in most of his films, it all builds to a faster and faster pace, such that the denouement is gripping (the bell sequence in Rublev, the burning house in The Sacrifice, the little girl moving the glass in Stalker.) The long, slow visuals render the endings into what is almost a spiritual climax.
Hell yes. - dryride - Jan. 26th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Hell yes. - bubonicplague - Jan. 29th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 27th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
Magnolia is a very polarizing film (people either love it or hate it), so what makes you love it so much? Are you a fan of P.T. Anderson's other works as well?
Jan. 29th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
I admit that the only other film of Anderson's that I have seen is Boogie Nights, which I generally liked for both the quality of the performances and the slightly disturbing quality that existed as an undercurrent throughout the film. I mean, such a subject can be innately funny and there are quite a few scenes that are amusing, but it's not laughable.

The same can be said for Magnolia, as it deals with some highly absurdist material. I think what the film managed to accomplish, though, is to present both its tragedy and humor in an effective manner without leaving one feeling put off or depressed by human fallibility. Short Cuts (the Altman film), while similarly structured and also relying upon absurd elements and some humor, failed utterly in this regard, in my opinion. After watching Magnolia one still feels hopeful; Short Cuts is simply bleak. It's a very difficult line to walk when so many of the individual stories are inherently tragic.

And yeah, I have personal reasons for liking it - mainly the references to Exodus 8:2, which I picked up on right away as being the rain of frogs. Hey, I study plagues for fun! It's also amusing to watch Tom Cruise playing the whacked-out person he is.

Let me know if I can clarify anything or be more specific.
Yes - dopplegl - Jan. 30th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 7th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Sorry for the delay! Since a week has passed & you have more that 75% 'yes' votes, I would like to welcome you to cineholics.

You may now ask challenge questions, vote on applications, and post your own entries.

Thank you for applying!

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( 30 comments — Leave a comment )