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lshap
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
DVD's, home rentals and any decent film you're lucky enough to catch on programmed television...


Last edited by lshap on Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:52 am; edited 2 times in total
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lshap
Posted: Wed May 19, 2004 10:50 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 12 May 2004 Posts: 4246 Location: Montreal
In America

Just finished watching this film on DVD.

I can't help adding extra marks to any film that's based on a true story, and this one became a little more meaty knowing it was based on an actual family, and actual deaths.

The story was touching, extremely well-acted and nicely written. As a simple, honest story of a family's tragedy and hope for the future it succeeded. I wasn't as blown away by Djimon Hounsou's character as the Academy was, however. The actor himself was terrific -- don't get me wrong -- but his character, Mateo, seemed like a contrived attempt to artificially flavour the story with spiritual depth.

I'll check the director's commentary tomorrow to see if there was a real neighbour like that; right now his subplot feels like a piece of story bait grafted on for effect.
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Ghulam
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004 9:42 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
"Lagaan" (2001) from India, in Hindi with English subtitles, is one of the better Bollywood movies, about a fictional cricket match in the 19th century between British colonial officers and Indian villagers. The song and dance routines are more subdued than is usual for Indian movies and are therefor more dignified. At 224 minutes, it may be a bit too long for Western audiences.
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lissa
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2148 Location: my computer
Ghulam - In America is on my double-feature plan for tomorrow night, along with Something's Gotta Give. I'm getting the latter for free, having not found it on VHS when I went in for it the last time, and it's a guaranteed film, so it's now free. There's SOMETHING to be said for being DVDless!

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Ghulam
Posted: Thu May 20, 2004 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
Lissa, that was your neighbor Lorne talking about "In America", not me, but I fully agree with everything he said. Loved those two remarkable child actresses, sisters in real life. I am sure you will love the movie.
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lissa
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 12:25 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2148 Location: my computer
Yegads, I hardly recognized him! Must be a while since he contacted me personally, so..... Laughing

No matter, I plan to watch those 2 films nonetheless. Thanks, G!

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Joe Vitus
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 12:47 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
I saw Gosford Park when it was initially released. I remember, before seeing it, laughing at Altman's comments that it was inspired in part by Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game. Seeing it at that time, I thought it was funny, and emotionally involving, and really had a connection to Renoir's great movie.

Watching it again this weekend, however, I was much less impressed. It isn't bad. It's certainly a professional piece of moviemaking. It looks good, it is well-acted, the comedy lines made me laugh, and one of the final scenes was very emotionally powerful. But in fact, it has nothing to do with the issues (or even the strategy of filmmaking) in Renoir's movie, beyond being set in the 30's in a country house, and the somewhat improvisational nature of both directors. Both movies have shooting matches, though the one in Gosford Park doesn't feel like anything more than a set piece, while the one in The Rules of the Game was central. I finished the movie wondering, "so what?" It didn't seem to be about anything.

Altman says, in a "Making Of" Special Feature that he was interested in the people. But these people really don't mean anything to us. Yes, they all have their stories, but their stories aren't made relevant to us, and nothing about them connects with life today. It feels like a museum piece in the most literal sense: removed and under glass, with no air seeping in. And the set up is really amateurish for Altman. He throws us into plot complications, with people referring to the backgrounds and dilemmas of others before we've met them (or, at least, before we know we have), so that it's very hard to follow who exactly everyone is (something you'd never say about McCabe and Mrs. Miller or Nashville), and since at least a couple of sets of characters seem to have the same problem, that only makes it worse. Overall, this struck me as a movie without a heart, almost as an exercise piece.

Disappointing.
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Ghulam
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 1:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
Joe, I didn't see much point in it either.
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Joe Vitus
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 2:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 14498 Location: Houston
Hi, Ghulam. I don't think we've met before, unless you used another name. Nice to meet you.

Altman used to be so excting. Even his misfires were worth seeing. On just about any level you can say Gosford Park is a better movie than, oh, Brewster McCloud, but that latter is exciting, and it relates to things (freedom is an obvious example). It means somthing, even if it may not be fulfilled, and I find it funny and incredibly moving. Gosford Park, though enjoyable, was a big nothing. As far as I'm concerned.

By the way, can anyone tell me how to keep the word "moving" from being highlighted? I use the word a lot, and find on this site that it always becomes a link to moving van ads, and stuff.
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Ghulam
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 8:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
Joe, what it lacked was the intrigue and suspense ala Agatha Christie.

Ghulam aka gmy.
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Marilyn
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
Ghulam, Great to see you here.

The Gosford Park conversation is interesting. I really liked it, but I do have the feeling that it might not hold up on a second viewing. So, why argue with success? I won't see it again. I have played the soundtrack into the ground, however, and am hunting for a Ramon Navarro collection on CD. What lovely songs he wrote.
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marantzo
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:29 am Reply with quote
Guest
It feels like a museum piece in the most literal sense: removed and under glass...

I thought of it the same way, but was enthralled by watching this museum piece that walked and talked and sang and everthing else. These people were foreign for us and for our time. I loved it.

I also saw it a second time on video. It really didn't lose anything for me the second time around except the small screen thing. I watched it with nmy friends in Palm Springs. They didn't like it at all and couldn't understand most of what they were saying.

Did anyone else get a kick out of the detective who was a Jacques Tati clone?
Ghulam
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
Hi Marylin,

A big movie, with big name director and stars, in a nice theater with an appreciative crowd, together with memory triggers to "The Rules of the Game" and Agatha Christie! What's there not to like? At least for me that combination can be a pitfall.
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Marilyn
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
You know, I didn't see The Rules of the Game parallels when I watched it. On reflection, I can see them, but they didn't seem like very similar movies to me.
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jeremy
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004 9:53 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 6794 Location: Derby, England and Hamilton, New Zealand (yes they are about 12,000 miles apart)
I was watching The Postman on TV last night. Though I was disappointed to find that it wasn't a Hollywood remake of El Postino I was quite enjoying it, until my trouble and strife informed me that we were now going to watch back to back episodes of ER on E4.

So I have too questions: Are all the hospitals in Chicago full of English doctors and did I miss out by not seeing the last 100 minutes of The Postman
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