The first post in this thread will be # 14,394.
The ghost of George Sanders reminds you to link your films, and that one should feel free to move on if bored.
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Mmm hmm. All effect. That sort of attention-grabbing, superfluous yammering is deliberate and staged. I guess it's meant to detract from the obvious back-lot feel to the sets. Perhaps produced is a better word for the effect it initially had on me. When you watch any kind of historical re-creation the production value shouldn't scream "Oooh, look how authentic I'm trying to be!" should it? Slipshod as Steve McQueen's Wanted: Dead or Alive series was (to take another tv Western series), for example, I never think about the authenticity of the production (what little there was) when I watch it. I don't especially care. With Deadwood I'm wondering about the style of boot with which some loser is crushing a prostitute's larynx. What style to go with that great grin! But maybe that's part of the series' charm.
There's also the thought of where that bacon came from while eating breakfast in Deadwood. ;)
The Bed Sitting Room. I don't know what the British government put in the water, but it sure produced some weird results in the late '60s. I don't think I can retell the plot (absurd post-apocalyptic "society", man turning into a bed sitting room, tenants not included. Does that make any sense?), but it's a quite enjoyable piece of bizarro world. There's a nice little Dali reference, when a woman opens a drawer in her bosom (she later turns into a dresser) and I guess the movie is a blend of surrealism and Monty Pythonesque humor. Beeswax recommended this, as I recall. IW only.
Hugo. Eh. The first hour felt interminably long and was utterly uninteresting. The second hour, when the main plot of the movie unfolds, was better. You can clearly tell that Scorsese has a love for old movies (there were so many references, both direct and indirect, that I lost track) and he wants to convey this love to young people of today. That's all very commendable, but he has to do a better job of wrapping that love for old movie into his "shell story". And Sacha Baron Cohen got on my nerves, I get the feeling he can't play a straight role. I haven't seen a lot of Scorsese movies, but this is the first time I've been disappointed in the outcome (I liked Shutter Island, sue me).
And what the hell is up with all that CGI? It's become the movie equivalent of cheap plastic. It gets really tiresome, especially with directors who ought to know better (yeah, I'm looking at you too, Spielberg!).
If you could stand The Bed Sitting Room, try 1970's Leo the Last by John Boorman on WI. Epically weird psychedelic goings on in a desaturated urban neighborhood. Includes fictional audience members on the soundtrack wondering what's happening. Never mind shit head Netflix reviewers. This is an artifact of our culture's brief flowering. Where it embraced new ideas before curling into a fetal position and dying in a gibbering spasm of reactionary knownothingism.
It's already in my queue... I've like some other Boorman movies in the past, so I figured, why not.
Beware! Alpha Video strikes again! That means poor image quality, random recordings used for the soundtrack that don't match the action, and no extras. After a rather tedious introduction to the characters the film is actually fairly engaging and more sophisticated then most films from this era. The acting is surprisingly naturalistic except for the part of Svengali.
I think Alpha Video also has a disc -- shitty print, of course -- of Svengali.
But Barrymore owns the part. He even makes Trilby look good -- (which is what Svengali is supposed to do).
I saw that one not long ago (it was on IW, and it was indeed a shitty print). I had no idea there was more than one version of the story out there.
I feel this film has been overrated. There isn't much evidence of the style Murnau would exhibit in his later films and compared to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) and Victor Sjöström's Phantom Carriage (1921) Nosferatu seems amateurish. Perhaps I was unlucky but the DVD I received from NF had random recordings for a soundtrack and no commentary or extras.
No way, Nosferatu is pure 100% F.W. Murnau goodness. His post-Last Laugh style owes a huge debt to his brilliant team of collaborators in cinematographer Karl Freund and screenwriter Carl Mayer. His final film Tabu bears a lot of evidence of the Nosferatu-era Murnau still alive and well in his work.
The Cabinet of Caligari is a lot of flash that covers up a whole lot of lack of film-making sense. Robert Wiene never really did much interesting after, and pretty much no one else had any interest in the expressionist style afterwords except for Tim Burton. Nosferatu's more natural use of shadows can be seen in just about every damn horror film since.
I don't see much use in comparing it to the Phantom Carriage which isn't really a horror movie in the purest sense. Also Sjöström had spent the most of the previous decade churning out masterpieces in Sweden's thriving film industry. Murnau was still a young buck getting his feet wet in the filmmaking world with some money pulled together by his occultist friends, and Nosferatu was his first significant film.
What he said.