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 Maiden's Voyage 
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American Honey.

I haven't seen such an immersive film since Jia Zhangke's Still Life. It really feels like there's this world beyond the camera that we're afforded merely a glimpse of. You could say I was bored during a few brief stretches, but even that felt purposeful. And besides, I could always reliably count on some transcendent scene being just around the corner, so it was all worth it. And the characters all felt so lived-in. As if they'd had two or three seasons to adjust. Even the big movie star in the cast, the revitalized, arty version of Shia, who for the last few years has been going the James Franco route of perpetual performance art, minus the latter's penchant for reefer comedies and arch-ironic appearances in soap operas.


Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:39 am
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Beau wrote:
I haven't seen such an immersive film since Jia Zhangke's Still Life. It really feels like there's this world beyond the camera that we're afforded merely a glimpse of. You could say I was bored during a few brief stretches, but even that felt purposeful. And besides, I could always reliably count on some transcendent scene being just around the corner, so it was all worth it.
I know, right?! The cast, professional and not, are just right. And transcendent is a great word for some really unforgettable moments in this.

I updated that post, by the way, adding Chevalier and The Edge of Seventeen. In case anyone's keeping track...

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:46 am
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Toni Erdmann was my all. I haven't been so transfixed by a movie in some time. Reportedly, it's two hours and a half, but it felt like 90 minutes. The camerawork seems pedestrian at first glance, but along with the sound design it does wonders to build a space around the characters, which is important because the whole movie's about how the characters relate that (social) space around them. Special stuff. There's a scene of transcendent (there's that word again) comedy of awkwardness near the end (you can imagine which) that had me doing cartwheels on my sofa, as I was both unable to look and even more incapable of looking away.


Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:21 pm
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I'll watch that one again soon. It's the kind of movie (the squirmy, awkward kind that Ade is soooo good at) that I have trouble with the first time. And, yeah, I think I know the scene you're talking about. It made me giddy. :)

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:08 am
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Another update to my 2016 post, now that I've seen Queen of Katwe and The Love Witch.

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Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:06 pm
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Beau wrote:
Toni Erdmann was my all. I haven't been so transfixed by a movie in some time. Reportedly, it's two hours and a half, but it felt like 90 minutes. The camerawork seems pedestrian at first glance, but along with the sound design it does wonders to build a space around the characters, which is important because the whole movie's about how the characters relate that (social) space around them. Special stuff. There's a scene of transcendent (there's that word again) comedy of awkwardness near the end (you can imagine which) that had me doing cartwheels on my sofa, as I was both unable to look and even more incapable of looking away.

:fresh:

I saw it with a cast Q&A after. Wonderfully awkward.


Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:10 pm
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I should see American Honey.


Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:11 pm
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Oh, you should! You'll love it, guaranteed!

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Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:59 am
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I've added three more to my Women of 2016 post, bringing the total to...yes, sixteen! It really has been a good year, I think. And this was a fun project, but I wish now I hadn't put all the films in one post. :-/

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:26 am
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Ya, American Honey is good.


Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:23 pm
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Of course it is.

Too bad I can't recommend it to many local cinephiles, many of whom are affiliated with the Anti-Pretension Brigade.

Still, some good things come from reading their preferences. Yesterday I watched Amityville 2: The Possession, a film I'd have never seen if it hadn't been for a certain Facebook thread, and it was indescribably awesome. There's some really cool camera work and atmosphere. Also, besides the paranormal stuff, there's some mundane everyday horror, like domestic violence, that gives the script interesting depth and layering. Still pretty campy in spots, but in a good way. Also, incest.


Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:10 am
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Eminence Grise wrote:
Ya, American Honey is good.
Isn't it? :heart:

Beau wrote:
Too bad I can't recommend it to many local cinephiles, many of whom are affiliated with the Anti-Pretension Brigade.
Is it pretentious? It's practically reality TV! I guess I can't tell anymore.

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:32 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Isn't it? :heart:

Is it pretentious? It's practically reality TV! I guess I can't tell anymore.


It's long and meandering and has interminable takes of people just existing in front of depressing backdrops.

So, yeah. It's no Amityville 2: The Possession.


Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:40 am
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This thread is only about 15000 page views shy of half-a-million!

It should be. It's a good thread.

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Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:24 am
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Aw, thanks. But, you're one to talk! You and charulata have all the lurker fans. :)

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:39 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Women of 2016

So, I'm reorganizing my 2016 female director list. I've recently seen a few more, and this is the plan: I'll put the top sixteen in the original post, and this post will contain the overflow. Hope this doesn't completely wreck the conversational flow! (If you're looking for Cameraperson, it's in the original post.)

Image Image

Karyn Kusama: The Invitation is a strange little film. I almost couldn't sit through the beginning, as the characters (supposedly old friends) stare awkwardly at each other. Are they first-time actors? No. Maybe it's improv with no character prep? Or, mumblecore with people who aren't just acting stupid? But, as the plot gradually gels, Kusama manages to pull me in with small, ominous touches and some really great, atmospheric flashbacks and music and unbalanced emotion. It's a very slow burn, but with a truly gut-wrenching payoff.

Kelly Fremon Craig: A promising first feature, The Edge of Seventeen updates the teen drama with cell phones, cynicism, and clever casting. Craig's female protagonist is given plenty of room to be absolutely insufferable, yet somehow remains just sympathetic enough. Besides the extra darkness, there are some surprising turns, but the ending is pure John Hughes (which isn't a bad thing, I suppose).

Laurie Anderson: Heart of a Dog is as gently thoughtful and entertaining as you'd expect from Laurie Anderson. Her scrapbook-style layers of photos and sound reminded me of Guy Maddin at times.

Ava DuVernay: 13th—DuVernay’s info-packed documentary about America’s sorry racial history—tears along at an entertaining, even overwhelming pace. It’s stylish and timely, no doubt; I just wish it had been a bit more scrupulous, less willing to risk false impressions to make emotional points. As this year’s other big race documentary* showed, the facts are plenty powerful enough on their own.

*Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:53 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Initially, I had a little trouble with Johnson's Cameraperson [pictured above]. She's using footage she shot for other people's movies, which makes it theirs, right? Or, at the least, not fully hers. And, I'm not even talking about copyright, but just in the sense of creation, of (art)work

Does it make it theirs? Who's doing the creating? And doesn't that vary per film? Like, if a director is very hands on and/or has storyboarded everything to a t, sure, but some directors have hardly any visual sense and just give their dp's all the freedom in the world.

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Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:02 pm
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Colonel Kurz wrote:
Does it make it theirs? Who's doing the creating? And doesn't that vary per film? Like, if a director is very hands on and/or has storyboarded everything to a t, sure, but some directors have hardly any visual sense and just give their dp's all the freedom in the world.
Ah, yes, I can see that. But, what about the ideas that brought them to the location in the first place, the legwork that got them the interviews?

Mostly these are questions I had going in, though, and then the film itself answered them. (It's full of moments where she interacts, or otherwise makes her presence felt.) Have you seen it?

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:14 pm
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I haven't seen Cameraperson, but it sounds like a found footage film with a twist, that is, the found footage this time was filmed by the director. Still, the point of found footage is that while, yes, you didn't produce those images, or in this case, didn't direct them or do the legwork to make them possible, by recontextualizing them you're remaking them, in a sense. At least, that's one point of found footage. I'm sure there are others.


Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:21 am
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Beau wrote:
I haven't seen Cameraperson, but it sounds like a found footage film with a twist, that is, the found footage this time was filmed by the director.
Oh, yeah, that makes sense! And in this case it's already quite personal to her. Thanks, guys!

I have one more movie to watch for this topic, and then I'll move on. I don't want to be stuck in 2016 forever!

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:54 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Initially, I had a little trouble with Johnson's Cameraperson [pictured above]. She's using footage she shot for other people's movies, which makes it theirs, right? Or, at the least, not fully hers. And, I'm not even talking about copyright, but just in the sense of creation, of (art)work. Still, it's her experiences, undoubtedly; her eyes we're seeing through; and (almost always?) her voice interacting with the people she's filming. She films horrors and hope, fear and joy, all with a sort of naive aptitude for color and human connection. I enjoyed her trip around the world and, even more, her coming home again.


Found footage. Wouldn't that be footage that was shot by someone else?
Thus, the director wouldn't own the footage in that case, either.
But found footage shot by the person making the film isn't...found...is it? That would
be my conceptual qualm with this film as a found footage work (which I have not seen).
If I am correct that's your major problem with it too. But I cannot quite parse the bolded
sentences above. So I might be misinterpreting your words in some way.

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in progress:
BIC Bicycle Thieves/Beijing Bicycle Es1, 4 Rv1 DP
BOU La Guerre des Boutons/War of the Buttons Es1 2 3 4 5 Rv1 2 3 Sc
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Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:54 am
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I haven't seen the film yet (though I'm very much interested), but based on what I've heard about it, I'd call it repurposed footage, not found footage. For me, "found footage" evokes something salvaged, usually for collage films (like Bruce Conner's), whereas "repurposed footage" is more like what Orson Welles did in F for Fake with the footage François Reichenbach shot for an unfinished Elmyr de Hory documentary.

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Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:22 pm
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My point is that if we accept traditional found footage film as valid - that is, the appropriation and remixing of footage the director had no hand in - then we can certainly accept a cinematographer using footage she filmed for other directors, which might not be entirely hers, legally or artistically or whatever, but which she was certainly involved in.

That said, I'm unsure about the distinction between found and repurposed footage. It's entirely common to talk of F for Fake in terms of found footage. Even the Wikipedia page for found footage includes F for Fake as a reference. Every found footage movie is repurposing that footage, as well as salvaging it. That's the whole idea.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:34 am
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And then we can't overlook the confusion of terms that arises because of the fiction genre that calls itself "found footage" although the footage is neither found, nor, in most cases, re-purposed! ;)

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Latest 20 Apr 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Round Four complete: BTM Batman -- BCH On the Beach/These Final Hours NQRR

in progress:
BIC Bicycle Thieves/Beijing Bicycle Es1, 4 Rv1 DP
BOU La Guerre des Boutons/War of the Buttons Es1 2 3 4 5 Rv1 2 3 Sc
BRH Battle Royale/Hunger Games Es1 Sc Rv1 2
BRN Tom Brown's Schooldays Es 1 2 3 Sc Mu Rv1
DRB Devil's Backbone/Dorm Es1 2 Rv1 2 Sc
HEL Mayor of Hell/Crime School/Hell's Kitchen DP Rv1 Es1
PAI Pinocchio/A. I. Es2 Rv1 DP Mu
SKN Victim/Skin I Live In Es1 3 Dir Rv1 2
TNS Tingler/Creeps/Slither Rv1 Rv2 Es1 SFX
TZN Tarzan of the Apes/Tarzan the Ape Man/Greystoke Script Rv1 2 3 Es1 2 3

The Future Unreels

trxbooks.com


Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:47 am
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Gort wrote:
And then we can't overlook the confusion of terms that arises because of the fiction genre that calls itself "found footage" although the footage is neither found, nor, in most cases, re-purposed! ;)


In fiction it works pretty similarly, except the footage-finding and re-purposing is contained inside the fiction. In Cloverfield, for example, the video that makes up the movie is certainly "found" and re-purposed as government evidence, but all in the context of the narrative. Something similar happens in The Blair Witch Project.

Still, it's true that the "found footage" in these cases is hardly intervened or played around with (again, within the fiction). It's usually presented as is. They're not picked up and reconfigured by the fictional equivalent of a Peter Tscherkassky.


Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:43 am
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Thanks for the discussion, everyone. You've convinced me there are plenty of examples of footage being used/re-used with artistic integrity. Hope you all see the film eventually, so my comments will make sense. :P

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:23 am
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One more female director from last year...

I really enjoyed Dear Zindagi. SRK makes an adorable eccentric psychologist, and Alia Bhatt is ridiculously watchable, whether she's throwing a tantrum or falling asleep! Being extremely beautiful helps, of course, haha. The psychology may be a bit movie-simple, but it felt real to me. The process was right. Thought it was fun the way Shinde pays tribute to the musical with story elements (filming a video, boyfriend who's a musician) while sticking to a more indie style. Maybe that's typical? Anyway, I guess I should see English Vinglish now.

Image Image
Image Image

So, I edited the original Women of 2016 post to show my favorite 16 and link to the rest. The project is really done now, I think! (I know. I said that before.) But, as always, if you find something good I missed, I’ll do my best to see it.

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:24 am
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Gort wrote:
half-a-million
Hey, I made it!

Now I can die happy, I guess. :P

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:19 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: I Am Not Your Negro

In and around my attempts to see everything by women from last year, I've seen a lot of other good stuff, too. I was really impressed with Silence, for example, but it will take a rewatch (or, possibly a novel-reading) to have anything to sensible to say about that one. But, before it's too late, I need to get something down about I Am Not Your Negro. I've talked about James Baldwin in the literature thread; he's one of my favorite people ever. So, it's high praise when I say I sense the same kind of student-fan in Raoul Peck. He's made a (not surprisingly) timely documentary, exposing an unfinished work of Baldwin's to a broader audience, many of whom were probably unaware of his importance. And it's effective! A big part of this is just knowing when to get out of the way. If you have Baldwin's words, you're already ahead. But Peck doesn't stop there, he adds context with some terrific interview footage. Samuel Jackson deserves credit, too; there's no dissonance as we jump between Baldwin's actual voice and the Jackson narration. It's all very well put-together, and I admire Peck's restraint at times when others would be tempted to aim for the rafters. There's no need here. Baldwin is the the most persuasive of persuaders, and the more who hear (and read) him, the better!

Image

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:22 pm
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Spengo actually posted a link to an interview he conducted with Peck recently about that, if you're interested.

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Fri Apr 14, 2017 3:28 am
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I'll finally be seeing that at BAFICI this year. So excited. Love Baldwin.


Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:36 am
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Gort wrote:
half-a-million
Shieldmaiden wrote:
Hey, I made it!

Now I can die happy, I guess. :P

Hooray!

The happy part, not the dying part. Please don't do that yet. ;)

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YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread. Catalog Rounds 1-3
Latest 20 Apr 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)
Round Four complete: BTM Batman -- BCH On the Beach/These Final Hours NQRR

in progress:
BIC Bicycle Thieves/Beijing Bicycle Es1, 4 Rv1 DP
BOU La Guerre des Boutons/War of the Buttons Es1 2 3 4 5 Rv1 2 3 Sc
BRH Battle Royale/Hunger Games Es1 Sc Rv1 2
BRN Tom Brown's Schooldays Es 1 2 3 Sc Mu Rv1
DRB Devil's Backbone/Dorm Es1 2 Rv1 2 Sc
HEL Mayor of Hell/Crime School/Hell's Kitchen DP Rv1 Es1
PAI Pinocchio/A. I. Es2 Rv1 DP Mu
SKN Victim/Skin I Live In Es1 3 Dir Rv1 2
TNS Tingler/Creeps/Slither Rv1 Rv2 Es1 SFX
TZN Tarzan of the Apes/Tarzan the Ape Man/Greystoke Script Rv1 2 3 Es1 2 3

The Future Unreels

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Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:26 pm
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Haha, never. Too many movies to see!

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:27 am
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Beau wrote:
I'll finally be seeing that at BAFICI this year. So excited. Love Baldwin.
Ooh, that's this week! What are you most excited for?

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Book Shelf


Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:27 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Ooh, that's this week! What are you most excited for?


The Baldwin doc for sure. Restored classics like The Cremator and The Son's Room. 2016 movies like The Ornithologist and Certain Women, which never came out here. A Canadian movie with a really long name and an equally long running time that's been making the festival rounds to much acclaim. There are also scores of movies in the International Competition, which I'll be covering, but about which I know little about. We'll see what happens.


Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:15 am
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Beau wrote:
A Canadian movie with a really long name and an equally long running time that's been making the festival rounds to much acclaim.
I'd never heard of this, but it looks intriguing. Love this poster.

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Dear Zindagi ▪ The Invitation ▪ Om Shanti Om ▪ Happy New Year ▪ The Dressmaker ▪ Cameraperson ▪ Tale of Tales ▪ Maggie's Plan ▪ The Handmaiden ▪ Captain Fantastic ▪ Under the Shadow ▪ I Am Not Your Negro

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Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:04 am
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