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 Recommended Readings: Reviews, Writings and Rants 
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did you actually read on

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:51 pm
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Trip wrote:
did you actually read on
I think so.

His thesis up front is that the film is challenging and complex (which is supported by his initial misunderstanding and supplemented by theories that the film will be misunderstood because of its complexity). But I think I got most of the stuff he hashes out by watching the film once. It's hard to tell, though, because he structures it in scattershot points rather than a systematic method of analysis, so the effect is to imply that there's a lot of stuff in there, not necessarily that any of it is connected in a complex way. He concludes just by describing an ending, not by restating his thesis. I don't know that what he wrote supported his thesis.

My counter-thesis would be that the film's storyline isn't complex, but the mechanizations (which he describes in a fittingly scattershot manner) serve to dilute its impact due to the appearance of a complicated storyline which isn't actually that complicated. Reference: his article. It's scattershot. But the ending isn't that complicated. QED. I like to think of it as supplanting Hot Fuzz in the trilogy, because it's a better action film than the action film, and it is a comedy film whereas Hot Fuzz is a... telenovella?

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:30 pm
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(I actually agree with you)

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:21 pm
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He's trying to tread a pair of difficult lines, though.

First, he's trying to describe how he understood the complexities of a film on his second viewing without implying that he was an idiot for not picking up on them on the first viewing.

Second, he's trying to describe a comedy without really talking about the comedy or being funny without implying that he is humorless and consequently missed the point on both viewings.

I think the latter is difficult. I want to read people tread the latter line successfully, but I don't really know where to look for that sort of thing. Most people just write seriously about serious films.

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Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:42 pm
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http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/out-of-b ... e-ranger#1

Not read yet but oooh.

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Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:52 am
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http://icsfilm.org/reviews/essays/70-a- ... l-be-blood

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Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:16 am
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Probably will've been read already by those who care, but this '95 interview with James Gray shows he's always been cool.

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QUESTION: Are there any films you really enjoy that might stand out as not the "typical influential" film?

JAMES GRAY: "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me", the David Lynch film. And I love Jerzy Skolimowski's "Deep End." I'm also fanatical about several of William Friedkin's films. I love "Two-Lane Blacktop" by Monte Hellman.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:41 pm
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Hasn't changed a bit.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:58 pm
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I don't know. Most of those sound pretty standard in terms of influence. Friedkin? Deep End might've been more novel at the time. Two-Lane Blacktop is pretty much the prototypical American 70s film. Its influence is beyond reproach.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:28 pm
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Easy to say 20 years later, but back in '95, I'd say it's pretty neat to reference a film (Lynch) that had only just come out as influencing you. You don't see directors doing that a lot. And if he means 70s Friedkin, then that's not very typical, but you get the impression he might be thinking of 80s/90s Friedkin, which is a bit more interesting. And is Deep End a commonly cited film in terms of influence or something? Didn't know that.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:50 pm
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It's also significant that he starts off the interview mentioning Kurosawa, Kubrick, Visconti, and Fellini in terms of those that have influenced him, so with that context, the others he mentioned are more interesting since he was probably trying to think of the less obvious "big name" auteurs that he initially mentioned.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:52 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
Easy to say 20 years later, but back in '95, I'd say it's pretty neat to reference a film (Lynch) that had only just come out as influencing you. You don't see directors doing that a lot.


This is why I said "most". The Lynch was certainly the most unique of the bunch.

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And if he means 70s Friedkin, then that's not very typical


Really? The Exorcist and The French Connection? Citing something like Cruising or The Boys in the Band would be unique, but it seems more likely he was referring to The French Connection.

Quote:
And is Deep End a commonly cited film in terms of influence or something? Didn't know that.


It certainly is now, but it may have been more novel back then, which is why I pointed that out.

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Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:44 pm
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we get it BSide you've seen more movies than James Gray we get it we get it

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:09 am
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B-Side wrote:

Really? The Exorcist and The French Connection? Citing something like Cruising or The Boys in the Band would be unique, but it seems more likely he was referring to The French Connection.


I meant then that's pretty typical. It was a typo. That's why I meant to contrast the early and late work.

B-Side wrote:


It certainly is now, but it may have been more novel back then, which is why I pointed that out.


Then overall I think Gray's list is pretty cool. And I still don't see directors talking about Deep End that much.

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:05 am
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B-Side wrote:
I don't know. Most of those sound pretty standard in terms of influence. Friedkin? Deep End might've been more novel at the time. Two-Lane Blacktop is pretty much the prototypical American 70s film. Its influence is beyond reproach.

A) Friedkin wasn't highly favored outside of The Excorcist in the 90s. French Connection was mostly a cult film by its reputation.
B) Deep End was barely available anywhere until rather recently.
C) Similar situation for Two Lane Blacktop.

Not that films didn't have legacies, but how many people could reasonably see many cult and independently made classic films was severely diminished - in the 90's, Dr. Strangelove getting a laserdisc with original aspect ratio was exciting.

Also, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was commonly seen as a mostly reviled effort in David Lynch's body of work back then, it doesn't gain a reputation among critics until it's reevaluated years later - and it's still pretty rare as Lynch goes.

Long story short, pay attention to context, don't stick your head up your ass.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:07 am
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Das wrote:
A) Friedkin wasn't highly favored outside of The Excorcist in the 90s. French Connection was mostly a cult film by its reputation.

Didn't French Connection win several Oscars, including Picture, Director, and Actor?

Edit - just looked it up, won those three, along with Writing and Editing.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:09 am
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Derninan wrote:
Didn't French Connection win several Oscars, including Picture, Director, and Actor?

Yes - it was the first R-rated film to gain the honor. However, winning an oscar isn't nearly as relevant as you might think it is - especially once multiple decades have passed a film by.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:12 am
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Das wrote:
Yes - it was the first R-rated film to gain the honor. However, winning an oscar isn't nearly as relevant as you might think it is - especially once multiple decades have passed a film by.

Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:16 am
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Derninan wrote:
Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

And of the weird VHS/Betamax/laser-disc era, as far as I can tell.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:18 am
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The only thing I'd agree with is if he meant 70s Friedkin, but then I doubt he would've said Friedkin if he was thinking The Exorcist. He probably would've just said the The Exorcist. Overall, very cool picks by Gray, way cooler than Kurosawa, Fellini, la di da etc

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:19 am
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I think the most basic takeaway one can come away from this is that internet-era cinephiles have it really good compared to past eras. We have only 2 home video formats that don't conflict with one another, a huge online resource for rare films and a ton of lines of communication and research to cull from when looking for films that simply didn't exist in past decades.


Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:31 am
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I mean obviously the modern day sophisticated cinephilie is going to be in a very, very different boat from some guy 20 years talking about his impression of unpopular cinema.

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:33 am
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Boner M wrote:
we get it BSide you've seen more movies than James Gray we get it we get it

lol

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:36 am
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Boner M wrote:
we get it BSide you've seen more movies than James Gray we get it we get it


probably not

was just being a contrarian for the lulz

das is so mad

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Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:09 pm
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Trip wrote:
http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/out-of-balance-gore-verbinski-and-the-lone-ranger#1

Not read yet but oooh.

Nice, thanks.

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Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:41 am
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http://www.fandor.com/blog/this-very-mo ... rce=fandor

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Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:06 pm
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http://cinentransit.com/el-cine-de-leos-carax/#dos


Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:18 am
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Anyone have some good readings on Bunuel and/or Ozu? Looking for some QT with them fools between mindless job tasks.


Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:49 am
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Derninan wrote:
Anyone have some good readings on Bunuel and/or Ozu? Looking for some QT with them fools between mindless job tasks.

Been reading this book on Ozu lately. Not sure if that's what you had in mind, but somebody will surely appreciate the link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ahjoxbxvsk25k ... rdwell.pdf

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Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:13 am
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I appreciate the link! Thanks, good sir, I'll be chipping away at that during the lost hours of my life.


Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:44 am
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Goodies from the girls.


Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:56 am
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Quote:
Anyone who needs “The Wolf of Wall Street” to explain that the stock-market fraud and personal irresponsibility it depicts are morally wrong is dead from the neck up; but anyone who can’t take vast pleasure in its depiction of delinquent behavior is dead from the neck down.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/m ... um=twitter

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:05 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Ooh, that interview with Denis! :heart:

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Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:49 am
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http://thevulgarcinema.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... youre.html

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Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:07 am
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http://sensesofcinema.com/2005/feature- ... damnation/

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:51 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
http://sensesofcinema.com/2005/feature-articles/cinema_of_damnation/

always been one of my favorites, cited this in my satantango essay few years back

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:11 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Ooh, that interview with Denis! :heart:

yeah love that interview

denis is a feminist and there's absolutely nothing she can do about it. sorry claire. deal with it.

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:12 pm
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Izzy Black wrote:
always been one of my favorites, cited this in my satantango essay few years back

Linky link?

Feel free to post any relevant essays in my thread. :D

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:14 pm
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the word essay makes me want to hurl

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:18 pm
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That's what higher education does to you.

I saw the word "essayist" in someone's Twitter bio earlier.

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Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:21 pm
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Jerry Lewis fans, take note: http://cinephilearchive.tumblr.com/post ... is-book-on


Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:05 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Linky link?

Feel free to post any relevant essays in my thread. :D

Here

I think it's the first piece I wrote for my blog. Long time ago.

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Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:18 am
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http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/notebook ... es-of-2013
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:05 am
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This is cool, but I actually cringed at the McDougall one, way to hijack the assignment in order to talk about yourself.


Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:26 am
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MrCarmady wrote:
This is cool, but I actually cringed at the McDougall one, way to hijack the assignment in order to talk about yourself.

they are personal lists though. I don't know... I like when ppl talk about themselves in reference to things they enjoyed over the year etc :)

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Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:31 am
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charulata wrote:
they are personal lists though. I don't know... I like when ppl talk about themselves in reference to things they enjoyed over the year etc :)

:fresh:


Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:53 am
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I'm not saying you should keep personal information out of reviews completely, I just feel like he didn't answer the question he was posed.


Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:47 am
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MrCarmady wrote:
I'm not saying you should keep personal information out of reviews completely, I just feel like he didn't answer the question he was posed.
Technically he did, and he also rephrased the point of the question.

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Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:58 pm
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http://cinefii.com/bruno-delbonnel-afc- ... wyn-davis/

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Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:14 am
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http://gizmodo.com/led-streetlights-wil ... 1514840416

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