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Name: Lexie
Age: 19

Top Ten Movies:
1.Cabaret, (1972)
2.Withnail & I, (1987)
3.Some Like It Hot, (1959)
4.Blade Runner, (1982)
5.Dom Durakov, (2002)
6.Breaker Morant, (1980)
7.Richard III, (1995)
8.Le Grand Bleu, (1988)
9.The Caine Mutiny, (1954)
10.Ten Canoes, (2005)

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
dryride
Feb. 9th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Leaning heavily towards yes.
What did you like about "Withnail & I?" Which cut of "Blade Runner" do you like best?
lextaci
Feb. 13th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: Leaning heavily towards yes.
What did you like about "Withnail & I?"

I agree with Ralph Brown, who said thatWithnail &I is a great movie because 'it doesn't have any crap bits'. Everyone I’ve spoken to about this film has their own favourite scene, but there isn't a single part that feels flatter than, or doesn't have as many witty and infinitely quotable one-liners as, the rest. I think it’s the best comedic screenplay ever written, combining random hilarity – “Don’t you threaten ME with a dead fish!” – with incredible pathos – Withnail, drenched by the rain, quoting Hamlet to a pack of caged wolves.

Which cut of "Blade Runner" do you like best?

I haven’t had a chance to see the ‘Final Cut’ yet, so this answer may change, but my favourite at the moment is the 1992 ‘Director’s Cut’. The movie overall seems stronger from the changes made: without the ending of driving off into the sunny countryside the urban distopia of LA seems all the more smothering and inescapable. More importantly, the changes highlight the philosophical themes of the movie: what is ‘Human’? The removal of Deckard’s voice-over dehumanizes and isolates him from the viewer; the addition of the infamous ‘unicorn scene’ seems to suggest that he could be a Replicant himself – albeit one with implanted memories, original sin, and therefore not ‘More Human than Human’. Nowhere in the film is there a scene where a ‘real’ human shows the same sort of tenderness we see between Roy Batty and Priss: whether Replicants or not, Rachael and Deckard have human memories, and their climatic love scene is a brutal thing by comparison, shattered and split by the black bars of a curtain which can never block out passing police searchlights. It seems strange that the ending of the ‘Director’s Cut’, with all its unanswered questions and ambiguities about the nature of the main characters, should be more satisfying than a blissful escape; but it is. It leaves things open for interpretation; and makes the viewer think.
dryride
Feb. 13th, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
Good god, YES.
You'll like the Final Cut.

Beautiful answers, thank you. I wish I was as articulate about film when I was your age. Out of curiosity, have you seen any of the films on my list? I'd love to chat you up about them if'n you have.
teaberryblue
Feb. 10th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
You have quite a lot of movies I not only like, but own, and quite a number I haven't seen, but the only one I've seen and don't own is The Caine Mutiny.

So, since dryride asked you about Withnail & I, I'm going to ask you if you'd recommend Dom Durakov, Breaker Morant, Le Grand Bleu, or Ten Canoes to me first & why!
lextaci
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
Sorry, Tea - I'm going to have to leave answering this for a bit longer, yet! Real Life has me by the throat at the moment. I'll probably get to it on the weekend.
teaberryblue
Feb. 13th, 2008 07:35 am (UTC)
No trouble! Whenever you have time!
blueboats
Feb. 10th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC)
Lexie! Good to see you!

I don't think I've seen any of these movies (except maybe Richard III, but maybe not), so which one of them do you think I'd like best and why? My list of top 10 is back a ways in the community if you need it.
lextaci
Feb. 13th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
I love Singin’ in the Rain, too, so I think you'd its evil cousin-once-removed: Cabaret. Both films have great music, but where the songs in the former detract from reality, the musical numbers in Cabaret are (with one terrifying exception) confined to performances at the Kit Kat Klub, and actually add to the realism. Both are set against the backdrop of changing times: the characters in Singin’ in the Rain are trying to adapt to the rise of ‘talkies’, those in Cabaret are trying to ignore the rise of National Socialism. Both films have some brilliant choreography, they both deal with showbiz, but where Singin’ in the Rain is a nostalgic daydream, Cabaret is a decadent nightmare.

Also, not that it has anything to do with your list but because I know you, you'd like Some Like It Hot. Tony Curtis in drag. 'nuff said. XD
atomicfiction
Feb. 12th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Blade Runner is a film that left an enormous impact on science fiction storytelling and it'd be easy to list many science fiction movies that are directly inspired- however, can you think of any non science fiction films that tell a similar story and explore similar themes, made either before or after Blade Runner's release?
lextaci
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
There's probably many that fit better, but this was the first to pop into my head.

On the surface, a film about a young girl growing up in Northern Australia shouldn't be at all similar to Blade Runner, but Jedda (1955) explores some of the same themes about humanity.

While European immigrants certainly didn't make Ingidenous Australians in the same way humans in Blade Runner created the Replicants, but they did create their status as a subclass of human. They share a similar dynamic to the humans and Replicants - a master/slave relationship - and while the Replicants are given a set lifetime, the Indigenous Australian's of Jedda are said to be a 'dying race'. There's some contrast in the way these classes of 'subhuman' are feared: in Blade Runner it's the paranoia of technology and machines, in Jedda it's the mistrust of tribal beliefs and wildness. 'Subhumans' are tested for in both movies, by the 'Voight-Kampf' test and by checking the colour of a little girls skin, respectivly. In both films the 'real' humans are emotionally distant, sexually repressed and cold. The 'subhumans' are more vivid and alive; and the viewers sympathy lies more towards them. The main characters of Deckard and Jedda both have blurred identies, and their is uncertainty over whether each is really 'human'.

Both movies explore isolation, and their settings are designed to draw attention to this. Blade Runner may be set in a huge city, but the inhabitants are just as emotionally isolated as those of the remote cattle station in Jedda. Finally, both have similar endings: Deckard and Rachael (in the 'Director's Cut', at least) have an ambiguous 'escape' similar to that of Jedda and Marbuk, where their eventual fate is uncertain.

It seems strange that two such completely different movies should be able to explore the same themes and make similar points about the nature of humanity, but they do. I suppose the question 'What makes us human?' is something universal.
atomicfiction
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
Yes
Excellent and unexpected answer. I haven't seen Jedda, but I'll definitely be seeking it out now.
kikithepirate
Feb. 12th, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
I see that you've got a musical on the top of your list, and Some Like it Hot definitely full of musical inspiration. How do you feel about modern musicals - the ones that have come out in the past ten years or so? Is there something about Cabaret that you think makes it superior to the more recent ones?
lextaci
Feb. 13th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC)
I think most musicals - and those of the last ten years or so are no exception - are unrealistic by definition. That isn't a bad thing, of course, just a mark of the genre, and it can be used to great effect (One of the other films on my list, Dom Durakov, isn't a musical but uses music to show how the main character distances herself from the real world). It just stands to reason that breaking into a choreographed dance routine, or telling part of the story through song, is going to shift the story into the realms of almost-fantasy.

What I love about Cabaret as a musical is that it restricts its musical numbers to the stage (or the outdoor performance) and thus retains a level of realism that isn't typical. It even seems to parody, or mock, the escapism of musical entertainment. For example, the scene in which the audience cheers and claps and is engrossed in what's happening onstage, while outside the club a man is being beaten by a group of Nazi thugs. The final scene also does this, with with MC asking "Where are your troubles now? Forgotten!" just before the camera moves over a room filled with men in Nazi uniforms. There's a more serious undercurrant to this movie than you find in most musicals.

The transition from stage-to-screen is also something I think Cabaret achieves better than more recent movie adptations of Broadway musicals. While there are 'in-jokes' (Brian's surprise over Sally's nationality!), the movie is a completely seperate entity from the musical, with its own subplots, settings and character interpretations. This is something I think a lot of recent musicals have suffered from - RENT seemed almost like an attempt at a filmed version of the original Broadway cast, which isn't a bad thing but doesn't translate into an actual movie. The Producers had some truly awkward filming, and Phantom of the Opera had a lot of uncomfortable and/or boring camera angles. Also - though it's probably largely irrelevent to talking about the film! - I appreciate the casting of trained singers in Cabaret. While I did like Sweeney Todd, a lot of dialogue got swallowed!

There are some musicals from the last decade I enjoy. Chicago manages its songs by making them almost daydreams or imagined scenes, which I thought was clever. On the more typical just-bursting-into-song front, Hairspray was fun: I don't know that I'm in a hurry to see it again, but it was colourful and bright and, like Cabaret, dealt with 'serious issues'. Not that I need 'serious issues' to enjoy a musical! As I mentioned above to blueboats, I like Singin' in the Rain! I just think that Cabaret can be enjoyed by anyone, whether or not they like musicals, as its songs are there to highlight important plot points, not to direct them.
themis
Feb. 14th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
This Richard III is interesting for a number of reasons, but I wonder if you could talk about it in relation to other Shakespearean plays transplanted into completely different settings?

If this question is too specific, I have others I can ask instead. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )