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gromit
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Haing Ngor - Best Supporting Actor, The Killing Fields (1984)

He had been a doctor in the Cambodian Army and then imprisoned and tortured by the fun-loving Khmer Rouge. Escaped to Thailand, and managed to get to California where he was cast in the film (reportedly spotted at a wedding).

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gromit
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
There are arguably others, such as Anna Paquin - Best Supporting Actress, The Piano (1993), who won at age 11. But she went on to become an actress as her full-time adult career.

Marlee Matlin, somewhat similar.
She had done some limited acting in a deaf acting troupe.

Harold Russell and Haing Ngor were adults without acting experience who won an Oscar for their performances.

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bartist
Posted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6456
Neill Blomkamp seems in danger of Shyamalan Syndrome, a condition in which each film is a little worse than his previous one. District 9 was excellent, Elysium is okay/not bad (thank you Matt Damon) and Chappie is sloppy and preposterous.

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Syd
Posted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:39 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12543 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
gromit wrote:
Haing Ngor - Best Supporting Actor, The Killing Fields (1984)

He had been a doctor in the Cambodian Army and then imprisoned and tortured by the fun-loving Khmer Rouge. Escaped to Thailand, and managed to get to California where he was cast in the film (reportedly spotted at a wedding).


Who really deserved the lead actor nomination. Who gives a damn about Sydney Schanberg?

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billyweeds
Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20426 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Neill Blomkamp seems in danger of Shyamalan Syndrome, a condition in which each film is a little worse than his previous one. District 9 was excellent, Elysium is okay/not bad (thank you Matt Damon) and Chappie is sloppy and preposterous.


Shyamalan broke the cycle with the scary feature The Visit IMO but returned to form with Split and Glass (both lame), and now has again changed it up with the first episode to Apple TV's Servant , which is creepy and evocative.
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gromit
Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:19 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
Been rewatching a lot of old films.

Really enjoyed So Proudly We Hail! (1943).
A team of nurses get sent to Bataan and then evacuated to Corregidor. Made during the war and not too long after Pearl Harbor.
It balances personal issues, romance and war pretty well.
I was surprised how realistic a lot of the explosions were.
One time their camp gets bombed and a truck blows up and next thing you know there's a flaming chassis hurtling towards the camera.

A few of the grittier scenes revolve around Veronica Lake, who in a bit of a strange role comes in late and departs early.
She's gloomy and asocial and vengeful. Then decides to get out of the army in a hurry.

There's a fairly dopey framing story and an overwrought closing monologue. While emotional and psychological trauma gets revolved far too easily.
But it's a fairly powerful film with a lot of wartime realism, spotlighting the role of women in WWII.

Not sure why, but I really didn't remember anything from my previous viewing.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
BBC's Top 100 Female Directed Films.

Due to the BBC being blocked here and my proxy server not working this weekend, I haven't actually accessed the list yet.

But at least I know where the link is ...

EDIT: Here's their Top 10:

1. The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)
2. Cléo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962)
3. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
4. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
5. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
6. Daisies (Věra Chytilová, 1966)
7. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
8. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
9. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
10. Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)

I've seen the Top 9.
Didn't like Fish Tank much at all. Andrea Arnold's short film Wasp is terrific.
But I've disliked all her features.

Really hated Tone Erdmann.
What an annoying film. German comedy is all you really need to know.
Did the US remake happen (and disappear without a trace)?

Cleo is the only real standout for me. I've been meaning to re-watch that. Though I've seen it 3 or 4 times already.

Jeanne Dielmann is certainly interesting and somewhat unnerving. I wonder how that would be on re-watch.

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Syd
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:39 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12543 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
I've seen 2, 5, 7 and 10. "Daughters of the Dust" would have benefited from more captions since many of the women's native language is Gullah. Worth watching anyway. No complaints about the other three. Cleo's one of my favorite films.

"Whale Rider" and "Monsoon Wedding" would make my list, as well as the animated film "Sita Sings the Blue."

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gromit
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
6. Daisies is a trippy 60's Czech New Wave film, in which a pair of cuties romp around anarchically. I like it, but it tries some people's patience.

Sita would definitely be on my list.
I didn't notice it was missing.
But I only scrolled through the list once.

I need to check which Claire Denis that is at #4.
They all seem nostalgic about colonialism and kind of sloppy.
I don't care for her films much.

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billyweeds
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:29 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20426 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:


Jeanne Dielmann is certainly interesting and somewhat unnerving. I wonder how that would be on re-watch.


This movie, in which I play the title (and virtually the only) role, was inspired by Jeanne Dielman. Here's the trailer, if you'd like to watch. No dialogue in the entire movie.

https://tao-films.com/film/byron-jones
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bartist
Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6456
Have seen 1,5,7, which shows how foreign film impaired I can be. After seeing Bill in battle with a popcorn maker, I want to see both Byron Jones and Jeanne D. Observational film can be engrossing.
Nah, really I just want to see Weeds in the shower: the dude's hot!

And Cleo, which has been praised here a dozen times.

Nostalgic lens on colonialism usually repels me, so appreciate the caution on Claire Denis. I can understand that if she grew up in those places, she'd have a different view. Still haven't seen seen High Life, which seems to have polarized the hell out of critics.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:03 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
I generally find Claire Denis a bit boring (35 Shots of Rum) and somewhat sloppy (White Material).

She often focuses on characters who are a bit difficult and are out-of-place and/or strangers in their land, and beset by fate. There's also a usually a fairly limited setting, so if you don't like these people in this setting, you're trapped for the duration.

White Material features a white coffee plantation owner in West Africa trying to protect her colonial life/lifestyle as a serious uprising breaks out. I watched White Material twice and found it hard to like.

I don't really like her characters, the way she handles drama (heavy-handed) or her political message (clunky and muddled). I think she wants her films to be a bit abrasive and unpleasant (or they just rub me the wrong way).

I can't recall Beau Travail, though I think I've seen it.
If I can dredge it out I'll give it a try.
35 Shots got a decent amount of praise from the art-house crowd, but I thought it was ugly and sterile. Had trouble making it through.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8620 Location: Shanghai
I saw High Life and forgot it was Denis.
Well, I could've predicted a Claire Denis sci-fi film would be sloppy and off-putting. Binoche plays a demented scientist on a space journey with criminals in a poorly explained human experiment. I'd say this is the type of setting/film where the rules need to be clear and the drama has to be taut and unfold relentlessly. Instead, Denis leaves it all very flaccid and poorly defined, with loose tangents. Intentionally sloppy, I'd say.

The drama such as it is seems rather forced and awkward. And there seems to be an easy solution or two, if the leader so allowed. the ideas in the film are muddled and not followed through. The set looks rather fake and cheap at throughout. The dialogue is poor. Really High Life is mostly a mess.

Typical Denis across the board -- tough loner female lead, out-of-place strangers, a confined setting, clunky drama, muddled message.

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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20426 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Have seen 1,5,7, which shows how foreign film impaired I can be. After seeing Bill in battle with a popcorn maker, I want to see both Byron Jones and Jeanne D. Observational film can be engrossing.
Nah, really I just want to see Weeds in the shower: the dude's hot!



I've seen 1,3,5,7, and 9. I'm "odd," I guess.

Thanks, bart...I think.
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bartist
Posted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6456
Hehe.

Will watch High Life tonight, report back.

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