Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom

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RockDoes Max von Sydow get a lot to do? I've been watching a bunch of Bergman lately, so I may grab that one next time I hit up the video store for more von Sydow goodness.

He's pretty much the main character, and arguably one of the best in Argento's entire catalogue. It's almost certainly the best performance in any of his films, which is kind of interesting since the lines he's says are pretty standard Dario goofiness, but he still manages to make them all just roll off of his beautiful Swedish tongue.

Also, while everything he did with Bergman is great, don't neglect getting around to Scenes from a Marriage at some point due to its lack of Max. For a movie that moves as longly and as slowly as it does, it's supernaturally riveting.
Apr 5, 2017 1:41 AM
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What happens when a female aerobics instructor becomes possessed by the soul of an evil ninja bent on revenge against the LAPD that shot him down during a golf course massacre?

This is a rhetorical question.
Apr 5, 2017 2:13 AM
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crumbsroom
RockDoes Max von Sydow get a lot to do? I've been watching a bunch of Bergman lately, so I may grab that one next time I hit up the video store for more von Sydow goodness.

He's pretty much the main character, and arguably one of the best in Argento's entire catalogue. It's almost certainly the best performance in any of his films, which is kind of interesting since the lines he's says are pretty standard Dario goofiness, but he still manages to make them all just roll off of his beautiful Swedish tongue.

Also, while everything he did with Bergman is great, don't neglect getting around to Scenes from a Marriage at some point due to its lack of Max. For a movie that moves as longly and as slowly as it does, it's supernaturally riveting.

The length and my atrocious track record with TV is keeping me away right at this moment, but Scenes is definitely on my radar. Liv Ullmann's been as big a part of my recent Bergman viewing as von Sydow. For the record, the ones I watched were:

Cries and Whispers (This left me cold for 75% of its runtime and then really hit me with the last section, and sort of kicked off this "binge")
Hour of the Wolf (Now tied with The Virgin Spring as my favourite Bergman I've seen so far. Crazy how good he is at this horror thing. I remember Janson citing comparisons between this and A Quiet Place in the Country, and I'd like to revisit the other film soon.)
Shame
The Passion of Anna (I get the feeling that these last two aren't considered among his best, but von Sydow and Ullmann do top notch work in both. The latter also has some nice colour cinematography and a nice if brief Bibi Andersson performance. Also there's a puppy.)

I also watched The Emigrants and The New Land, which are an amazingly watchable six and a half hours considering how dry they sound on paper. And von Sydow and Ullmann deliver the goods here too.
Apr 5, 2017 2:45 AM
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RockHour of the Wolf (Now tied with The Virgin Spring as my favourite Bergman I've seen so far. Crazy how good he is at this horror thing. I remember Janson citing comparisons between this and A Quiet Place in the Country, and I'd like to revisit the other film soon.)

They share some basics, focusing on frustrated artists in isolated places, playing the unknown gambit between what is supernatural and what is imagination/mental illness, and their respective sexual obsessions (the muses for both men share the initial "V" - a nice touch). I thought it was interesting as well that the films were released only months apart in the same year, so it seems unlikely that the latter (Quiet Place) had been made having seen or been directly influenced by the former.

Hour of the Wolf is my unabashedly favorite Ingmar Bergman even if it rarely gets the top-shelf mentions. I think that it's on psychological par with Persona, emotional par with Wild Strawberries and aesthetic par with Seventh Seal or Virgin Spring.

RockShame

This would have been my next Sydow suggestion, so I'll go with The Magician instead.

And for non-Bergman Max....Flash Gordon, duh.

RockThe Passion of Anna (I get the feeling that these last two aren't considered among his best, but von Sydow and Ullmann do top notch work in both. The latter also has some nice colour cinematography and a nice if brief Bibi Andersson performance. Also there's a puppy.)

Very good, but I wouldn't place it with his very best films. Cries and Whispers and Autumn Sonata are better.

RockI also watched The Emigrants and The New Land, which are an amazingly watchable six and a half hours considering how dry they sound on paper. And von Sydow and Ullmann deliver the goods here too.

I watched New Land without having seen the first, and it was still impressive. The first hour or so was a little dull, so I relaxed into admiring the cinematography and trying to ignore the Ingun-phobia, but by the second half, where the film picks up with the errant son, it takes off into some unexpected places.
Apr 5, 2017 3:55 AM
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crumbsroomArgento still remains to be a director that has never disappointed me.

Good luck.

If I can help with that, I'd warn you to steer clear of Giallo and his Phantom of the Opera.

The film above is the same as Sleepless I think, and it was about his last decent film. In fact, my opinion of Opera has settled along similar lines - some great moments, some really dumb people saying unbelievably dumb things.
Apr 5, 2017 4:02 AM
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Little AshHaving no seen Bug and Killer Joe, I can believe Friedkin can do seriously warped non-horror (though Bug falls into a similar genre as Repulsion, so I'll say, Killer Joe as a non-horror movie).

I feel I should probably warn you away from The Guardian, which is just an awful horror film he tried to do. Other than Carey Lowell in her underwear, it has nothing that any decent person would recommend.
Apr 5, 2017 4:05 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
RockHour of the Wolf (Now tied with The Virgin Spring as my favourite Bergman I've seen so far. Crazy how good he is at this horror thing. I remember Janson citing comparisons between this and A Quiet Place in the Country, and I'd like to revisit the other film soon.)

They share some basics, focusing on frustrated artists in isolated places, playing the unknown gambit between what is supernatural and what is imagination/mental illness, and their respective sexual obsessions (the muses for both men share the initial "V" - a nice touch). ?I thought it was interesting as well that the films were released only months apart in the same year, so it seems unlikely that the latter (Quiet Place) had been made having seen or been directly influenced by the former.

Hour of the Wolf is my unabashedly favorite Ingmar Bergman even if it rarely gets the top-shelf mentions. ?I think that it's on psychological par with Persona, emotional par with Wild Strawberries and aesthetic par with Seventh Seal or Virgin Spring.


RockShame

This would have been my next Sydow suggestion, so I'll go with The Magician instead.

And for non-Bergman Max....Flash Gordon, duh.


RockThe Passion of Anna (I get the feeling that these last two aren't considered among his best, but von Sydow and Ullmann do top notch work in both. The latter also has some nice colour cinematography and a nice if brief Bibi Andersson performance. Also there's a puppy.)

Very good, but I wouldn't place it with his very best films. ?Cries and Whispers and Autumn Sonata are better.


RockI also watched The Emigrants and The New Land, which are an amazingly watchable six and a half hours considering how dry they sound on paper. And von Sydow and Ullmann deliver the goods here too.

I watched New Land without having seen the first, and it was still impressive. ?The first hour or so was a little dull, so I relaxed into admiring the cinematography and trying to ignore the Ingun-phobia, but by the second half, where the film picks up with the errant son, it takes off into some unexpected places.

The Emigrants is fairly in line with that first hour of The New Land, but I think it's impressive in how it evokes that sense of toil but also reward from the farming life, and the length actually helps with that instead of becoming repetitive. The racism elements in the second half I feel are from the perspective of the settlers rather than being endorsed by the film itself - the suspicious attitudes in the first half are shown to be unfounded and the uprising in the second half is framed in the context of the preceding famine.

The Magician sounds interesting and possibly fun. What's it like tonally?

And I've seen Flash Gordon, although Timothy Dalton lingers more strongly in my memory than von Sydow.
Apr 5, 2017 4:22 AM
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RockThe racism elements in the second half I feel are from the perspective of the settlers rather than being endorsed by the film itself - the suspicious attitudes in the first half are shown to be unfounded and the uprising in the second half is framed in the context of the preceding famine.

I wasn't being entirely serious about that, but also the whole thing about the family's squabble with their more pious community should alleviate any doubts about implied superiority.

RockThe Magician sounds interesting and possibly fun. What's it like tonally?

Dour. You kidding?

The black and white is really crisp though, and the opening, I think, is supposed to be Germany's Black Forest and, although not a horror film by any measure, has that great gothic ambience of Black Sunday or Throne of Blood, or maybe Welles' Macbeth.

RockAnd I've seen Flash Gordon, although Timothy Dalton lingers more strongly in my memory than von Sydow.

OK, how about Strange Brew then?

Let's see...Dreamscape, I remember a good Spanish film called Intacto. You know he played Jesus, right?

I should also point out that I have never been able to find a copy of Sydow playing in the 1974 adaptation of Steppenwolf. If anyone knows a source....
Apr 5, 2017 4:34 AM
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crumbsroom

What happens when a female aerobics instructor becomes possessed by the soul of an evil ninja bent on revenge against the LAPD that shot him down during a golf course massacre?

This is a rhetorical question.

Can I just say that I LOVE ninjas? Why aren't there more ninja movies?! One of the many reasons I loved Ninja Gaiden.
Alright, you've seen lots of shit...what's your pick for best ninja movie ever? And have you really seen Ninjas I-II?
Apr 5, 2017 6:20 AM
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Stay far far away from Argento's Dracula update and I second Giallo. Terrible.
Apr 5, 2017 8:18 AM
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crumbsroomThis one



It has its share of flaccid moments and stupid characters, but for the most part it is pretty damn good. The opening 15 minutes should be considered canon for any fan of Argento, and it works pretty well as any of your standard giallo's.. I'd possibly rate it higher than Inferno, Opera and Cat of Nine Tails, and I liked all of those too.

Argento still remains to be a director that has never disappointed me.





Did you gush at the outside shot of the girl running in peril on the train

And please don't watch his film Giallo *shudders*
Apr 5, 2017 1:55 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
RockThe racism elements in the second half I feel are from the perspective of the settlers rather than being endorsed by the film itself - the suspicious attitudes in the first half are shown to be unfounded and the uprising in the second half is framed in the context of the preceding famine.

I wasn't being entirely serious about that, but also the whole thing about the family's squabble with their more pious community should alleviate any doubts about implied superiority.


RockThe Magician sounds interesting and possibly fun. What's it like tonally?

Dour. ?You kidding?

The black and white is really crisp though, and the opening, I think, is supposed to be Germany's Black Forest and, although not a horror film by any measure, has that great gothic ambience of Black Sunday or Throne of Blood, or maybe Welles' Macbeth.


RockAnd I've seen Flash Gordon, although Timothy Dalton lingers more strongly in my memory than von Sydow.

OK, how about Strange Brew then?

Let's see...Dreamscape, I remember a good Spanish film called Intacto. ?You know he played Jesus, right?

I should also point out that I have never been able to find a copy of Sydow playing in the 1974 adaptation of Steppenwolf. ?If anyone knows a source....

The few blurbs I've read about The Magician make it sound potentially entertaining. A tricky magician tricking people? Sounds like a good time to me. Anyway, I grabbed a copy at the video store today, so we'll see how that goes.

I watched Strange Brew a while ago, but aside from the opening and one line I use fairly regularly, I don't remember much about it.
Apr 6, 2017 1:43 AM
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RockThe few blurbs I've read about The Magician make it sound potentially entertaining. A tricky magician tricking people? Sounds like a good time to me. Anyway, I grabbed a copy at the video store today, so we'll see how that goes.

Well, it isn't as existentially dreadful as Bergman's more famous films, but I wouldn't call it "light" exactly. The mood is still heavy throughout, and Sydow broods accordingly.

In terms of what could be called Bergman's "light" fare, I think I can say that he isn't really cut out for it. All These Women is an attempt at ribald comedy which I half-suspect he intended as Fellini parody. Either way, I don't think it was successful. The Devil's Eye is straight-faced self-parody, and dry enough that I wasn't entirely sure at first, but it's the kind of film that people who hate Bergman would love to laugh at. I can easily recommend that one.
Apr 6, 2017 2:11 AM
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Janson JinnistanFellini parody

I'm not sure to what extent Bergman admired or disliked Fellini (I seem to recall a link of directors shit-talking other directors and around half the quotes were by him), but I think there's a clear Fellini influence in Hour of the Wolf. Particularly in the dinner scene and the third act, I got the same dancerly rhythms and sense of decadent decay as in 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita respectively, but cranked up to more extreme levels than in those other films.
Apr 6, 2017 2:28 AM
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Janson JinnistanIn terms of what could be called Bergman's "light" fare, I think I can say that he isn't really cut out for it.

So, what? Is Smiles of a Summer Night just chopped liver over here?

RockI'm not sure to what extent Bergman admired or disliked Fellini.

Parody doesn't necessarily equate to dislike, but Bergman apparently admired Fellini enough to have planned a collaboration with him and Kurosawa.
Apr 6, 2017 2:54 AM
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There is a quote of Bergman saying a not so nice thing about Godard. Calling his films amateur or something. Have any of you seen his appearance on the Dick Cavett show? Good stuff. TCM showed it one time. You can probably try and find it on youtube.

On a not so movie related note I just ate a brownie. It tasted like a brownie. Suffice to say it was good.
Apr 6, 2017 3:00 AM
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BadLieutenant
Janson JinnistanIn terms of what could be called Bergman's "light" fare, I think I can say that he isn't really cut out for it.

So, what? Is Smiles of a Summer Night just chopped liver over here?

Aye, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't seen that one yet. In fact, I believe that Monika and Sawdust and Tinsel are the only pre-Seal Bergman films that I've seen, so his early career is still a bit of a blind spot for me.
Apr 6, 2017 3:51 AM
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BadLieutenant
Janson JinnistanIn terms of what could be called Bergman's "light" fare, I think I can say that he isn't really cut out for it.

So, what? Is Smiles of a Summer Night just chopped liver over here?


RockI'm not sure to what extent Bergman admired or disliked Fellini.

Parody doesn't necessarily equate to dislike, but Bergman apparently admired Fellini enough to have planned a collaboration with him and Kurosawa.

Crazy - just picked up "Smiles" from the library the other day, but haven't dipped in yet.
I will take this as encouragement to plunge.
Apr 6, 2017 4:50 AM
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I saw Hour of the Wolf for the first time last year and it was one of the best films I watched. There might still be the same good copy on youtube for those who haven't seen it yet.

Oh BLAM. Here it is.Hour of the Wolf
Apr 6, 2017 4:52 AM
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Primitive exploitation film about a man and his angry, near castrated cock that at times dares to be earnestly poetic about a down-on-you-luck life.



I'd estimate that's at least 16 inches of poetry, right there.





Apr 8, 2017 1:19 AM
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