I love your responses to my lists, Brandon. They are enjoyable as hell to read, and so well written and astute that they get me thinking harder about my own perceptions of the films. You describe the films better than I ever could. I appreciate it.
I appreciate the responses everyone makes here. They seriously make my day. So thanks.
You are totally right about the narrative of The New World enhancing the visual beauty. Malick does a wonderful job presenting alternative civilizations and challenging the notion of Western industrial superiority. This is also done gracefully in The Thin Red Line. You can tell that Malick has a big heart. Even if he’s a recluse, he already gives so much to humanity through his beautiful storytelling and poetry. His films speak, melliflously, for themselves.
I hear you about wishing Scorsese wouldn’t do his musical docs (though I’m stoked for his film on George Harrison coming soon). It’s kind of weird to balance Shutter Island with Shine a Light or a cd called “Martin Scorsese presents the blues” that you can get on itunes. But the man loves music and I can’t blame him. No Direction Home is a beautiful project that needed to be made and under the best supervision possible. I’m glad Scorsese was there to perfect it. It’s a brilliant look at great man.
I didn’t think I’d get picked on for liking a gay themed film, but for being a huge sap (which I am). I know no one in film club would rail against Brokeback Mountain for the sexual preference of the characters. Everyone here is smarter than that.
But, you are spot on about this film dealing with self-hatred. Ledger’s character is almost like a tightly wound fist, afraid to open itself up and accept itself in a new way. He plays the role with such perfect restraint. I would absolutely agree with you and Lisa that Ang Lee is unfair to Michelle Williams’ character. It’s as if she is punished for preventing this beautiful love to occur between Ledger and Gyllanhaal, but she is in no way responsible for it. She is caught up in the situation, and she has every right to feel betrayed. I would agree that the film doesn’t give her a fair treatment, but that’s probably because it is so insistent on the love between the two male leads. Still, a beautiful film that I like more and more as the years go by.
Paradise Now is really great and worth seeing.
Shall we go at it with another Hanake film? haha. This fella seems to come up more than anyone. That is a funny quote from good ol’ Armond. There is probably some truth to it. I don’t know if I was ever excited watching the film. It doesn’t seem to care about being exciting (or maybe it does?). It seems more interested in the idea of “looking” than anything else.
I didn’t read it as a political statement. I’m sure there are numerous readings of it in a Foucaudian surveillance/power sense. Outside of school, I don’t care much to do something like that. I guess I just really liked it for the way the shots were composed. Maybe I read too much into them and assumed the film was more profound than it was, but I think Hanake is intelligent enough to make them laden with potential meaning. Perhaps he is trying way too hard, as you said, and perhaps he is trying to moralize to his audience. He certainly is a pretentious fellow at times. But I think he does a great job with this film in using the camera to convey meaning. I probably sound lame for saying that, so I’m sorry. But that’s what I liked about it haha. (p.s. yes, Lisa it is definitely SFL)
Dude, I’ve read great things about Woody’s Midnight in Paris. I’m so stoked for it. I seriously am always rooting for him to do well and make another great movie. I hope this is the ticket.
Lisa, thanks for respondin’ too. I’m glad you like Match Point and have got my back on it. It’s a great film. If you haven’t seen Woody Allen’s Crimes And Misdemeanors, the film I mentioned being almost an earlier companion piece to Match Point, you definitely should. It’s got the same moral themes and also some great humor on the side. I love it anytime Woody acts in one of his movies.
Capote is understated, which is definitely why it works. It’s not overblown or too sprawling. In Cold Blood is a great read, isn’t it?
I really liked Good Night and Good Luck as I said. I gotta watch it again. I bet it’s gotten better with age. I’m glad you are a fan. It’s solid.
I believe Brandon that you love A History of Violence. You can probably give a better defense of it than I could.
And Lisa, I love Jason Bateman too. Arrested Development solidified that affair. I don’t know if I could sit through The Switch without a cute girl forcing me to, but I’m glad you liked it. I’m rooting for Bateman. When are we getting that Arrested Development movie already?