Yours isn’t an unpopular opinion I realize:) (My least favorite of theirs is Raising Arizona, though I think Intolerable Cruelty is also a bit of a trifle.) But that’s what the movie club is for at least in part: promoting our favorite films, or films we admire, against popular opinion.
I just realized that Byrne’s famous quote from Miller’s Crossing basically implicates about 50% of Red Dead Redemption.
Really? But…The Ladykillers. The only Coen movie I’ve never watched to the end because I didn’t even make it ten minutes in. The only one of theirs I’d actively call bad (and to be fair, it’s not precisely theirs, being a remake.)
For my nomination, I was really hoping to imply to people I was going to pick a Fast and Furious movie but in fact I am nominating Better Luck Tomorrow
It’s a fucking incredible movie and it’s kinda too bad that Justin Lin went on to massive financial and commercial success instead of making more like it.
I have no idea if/where it’s streaming but I own it on DVD because it’s that good. So nyah.
Well, I know what I’m going to vote for if my choice doesn’t pass first voting. The ending of this movie remains utterly fantastic to this day. some sections have aged poorly, but along 12 Monkeys it is my favorite Gilliam (I like it much better than 12 Monkeys -I had seen La Jettee before 12 Monkeys, so some of the impact was lost on me- but it has aged worse).
I’m nominating this with some trepidation. There are two somewhat recent (last 20 years) European films that I find utterly fantastic, engaging and fun, and that are somewhat not that well known (I mean, they are well known for people who like European films, but I do not think they have entered the mainstream).
So I really want to talk with you guys about these films, because I think they are some of the best film can offer regarding some aspects of the media (writing and acting, specifically).
I’m going to start with the most recent one (and thus probably easier to watch). The epic love story Life of Adele (also known in English as Blue is the Warmest Color -which I think is the better title).
I watched this films three times in the theater when it came out. I almost never do this, but the movie was so powerful I just wanted to see if it changed on repeated viewings. Since I desperately want to see it again, the answer is no.
Since I really want this to get chosen, I will explain why I think it’s a great choice for everybody here :P:
1. A different kind of author film
Last month we watched an old, director-centric film that proved a little too distant in style or setting for many members of the club. I think that left a sour taste regarding “art films” (a term I don’t like but seems to describe basically non-genre, non-American dramas). I think this is a tremendous pity, because there’s a lot non-mainstream stuff that is easy and really enjoyable to watch, but you need to look at more recent films.
This movie is basically the polar opposite of Tokyo Story. Where Tokyo Story was contained and measured, this movie can better be described as lush and exuberant. Where Tokyo Story was an movie about aging and mortality, this movie is about the unrelenting whirlwind of youth and love. This is a movie everybody who has gone through their 20s can connect to.
But going back to the Palm D’Or. The jury was headed by the obscure film director Steven Spielberg, and it decided to award the price not only to the director, as it’s customary, but also to the two actresses. This is extremely unusual (the first time ever) and speaks to a special kind of authorship that went on in this film. The Jury considered the actresses as much authors as the director.
And there’s a very good reason for that. this is not regular acting. These are actresses in a state of grace. they are not reading lines (literally, since they movie has a lot of improv) they are channeling raw emotion, and the camera is capturing it. Yes, this is what I consider the best acting I’ve seen in ages. It’s so good that it changed somewhat the way I see films. This is, I believe a cornerstone film, and it si so mainly because of the actresses.
That is not to say the director had no role. He certainly did, and focused on allowing and capturing such amazing performances, but more of this later.
Yes, Wikipedia calls it an erotic drama. I would not go that far, but this is a love story that is indeed not afraid of showing all aspects of what love entails, and it’s equally graphic in its depiction of emotional drama than it is in its depiction of sex. This is not your American drama.
So, there’s some eye-candy (more on that also later) but there’s also a really good discussion to be had on whether it goes too far or whether it is really necessary.
4. Thematic layer cake
The movie is French, and it is multilayered. Saying this is a love story is like saying War and Peace is about the Napoleonic invasion of Russia. It’s not wrong, but it is so, so much more. The movie’s brush is broad and it touches on many issues of genre, class, modernity vs. tradition, adulthood… And it does so in ways that you would not initially expect to (there’s a lot of grays to everything we see).
5. External drama
The movie also will allow for discussions on matters surrounding its making. I see, at the very least, three themes here.
First, the harsh working conditions for the crew and specially, given the #MeToo movement, for the two actresses. My feeling here (regarding the actresses, not the crew) mirror those I had when watching Whiplash, but I think it’s hard to discuss without reading all interviews with the actresses (or at least those after release) and watching the movie.
Second, the sexual nature of some scenes. I’m pretty sure few here are prudes, but we are talking about a wildly different Europe/USA standard that I think will allow for some interesting discussion and talking points. It is explicit (although not pornographic at all).
Third, and related, the problem of the male gaze of the director versus the definitely genre concerned themes of the movie. I think there’s no denying there’s plenty of male gazing here (but I’m willing to hear your opinions). The question is whether it diminishes the movie at all, or the strength and coauthorship of the actresses allows for mitigation. Of course, being as infatuated as I am with the movie, I’m fine with it (and every woman I know who has seen the movie loves it), but I do acknowledge it as a potential problem and I am really interested in reading other’s opinions (specially of our female members).
Anyway, I think it would be a great choice off the beaten path for most, a tremendous, cornerstone movie, entertaining and emotional and apt for lengthy discussion.
At least, if it doesn’t get picked, I hope I got somebody to watch it.
OK, at the risk of @Skipper and @divedivedive calling me Polly McPollface again, please, I’d ask all Movie Club Participants to please vote in the Special Holiday Poll in the top post of this thread. As the Holidays will be upon us in December, I want to offer all Movie Club Participants the chance to chime in regarding how to handle December and January.
December is the first Month for a “Dealer’s Choice” where a “Stooge” selects the film, so it gives a lot of options for shortening the selection process.
For example, If it was my choice I could have a "Banana Republic " election from a slate of “approved” films that only took a few days. But there are a lot of options to play with because of the “dealer’s Choice”. Gives us flexibility.