SPOILERS AHEAD – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FIRST HALF OF SEASON SIX
Always loved SK as a director – if loved is really the right word for a filmmaker obsessed with control (both on and off the screen) and whose best movies have an icy, near clinical detachment about them. At the end of the day, no director has ever enjoyed – or is ever likely to enjoy – such total authority over every step of the movie making process. Ultimately, nothing – not even the smallest press ad in the most seemingly insignificant overseas markets – got approved without SK’s say-so.
Given that I lived overseas and was able to acquire a decent NTSC VHS copy from the States at a time when SK had withdrawn CO in the UK, this is probably the film of his I’ve watched the most – it being the one movie everyone I know wanted to see.
While not viddied CO for a couple of years, the last time I saw the film it had lost none of its shock value. The brilliance of its cinematography and set direction also means it hasn’t dated nearly as badly as other dystopian efforts from around the same period (The Final Program, Fahrenheit 451, Wild in the Streets, » Continue Reading.
Like many huge Sopranos fans, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this how and whyTony-got-to-be-Tony for quite a while. |
Finally got to see it last night and must confess to being a little bit underwhelmed.
The biggest drawback is that even at an economical (by latter-day standards) two hours the film drags on way too long. While the makers obviously have to include a fair amount of back story and expostion, the first hour of the film seems to go on forever. While fun to begin with, playing spot the character from the TV series begins to get a bit tiresome after a while. (“Is that young Artie Bucco? Why I do believe it is!:) Also, Alessandro Nivolo (Face Off, American Hustle) just lacks the charisma to be a compelling Dickie Moltisanti, while Ray Liotta unpacks his Goodfellas persona and phones in his twin roles as DM’s dad and uncle.
On the plus side, the film starts to move up through the gears during its second hour when the action moves from the Newark riots of 1967 to an early 1970s attempt by Afro-Amcerican gangsters to muscle in on the five families’ Numbers racket.
The casting is also » Continue Reading.
Yesterday, was scrolling though YT trying to find something I could watch in 20 -25 minute chunks while fruitlessly battling the fat via my rowing machine and thought, I’d rewatch the Twilight Zone.
In a twist that would have caused Rod Serling himself sleepless nights, I typed in Twilight Zone and got an episode called One Step Beyond where a man called John Newland seemed to have deputized for our Rod.
Although it featured many of the same tropes (pre- and post-show flash forwards and backs to the announcer), it subsequently turned out OSB was the name of the show rather than the episode.
Intrigued I checked it out and discovered that OSB actually pre-dated TZ by several months. Despite it’s running to three series and almost 100 episodes, it doesn’t seem to have been screened in the UK which is probably why I’d never heard of it.
The USP here is that all of the stories are apparently based on real cases. While sophisticates like ourselves would now dismiss them as urban myths), the yarns are a pretty good way to fill 25 minutes of your time.
If you like shows like TZ, Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock » Continue Reading.
As I’ve generally forgotten about who won what by the day after I don’t normally give a toss about the Oscars.
Having spent many years in HK I hope and pray this stunning 30-minute film about the China’s ruthless crushing of the democracy protests in 2019 wins the Short Doc category this time around though. Would ultimately be great to see a win motivate even more people worldwide to tune into YT and see Xi and his mates in the Chinazi party for the brutal thugs they really are.
Though much longer and not free to watch (it costs £4.99 to rent and a little bit more to buy), Ai Weiwei’s Cockroach on Vimeo on Demand is every bit as good.
Taste being a personal thing, this question is about your deciding something just isn’t for you rather than slagging off others’ faves as being of little or no artistic merit (aka a load of old bollocks as it’s known in the trade). One man’s meat and all that…
Reason why the question came to me was the recent Crowded House thread when I thought that as I’d always been quite fond of Split Enz, I’d never really got deeper into the Finn’s more recent band than the better known songs (Weather, Dream, Cake, etc).
Subsequently bought the 2 CD Gold collection and got six songs in before deciding that myself and messers Finn et al weren’t – and were never likely to become – BFFs.
If I don’t really enjoy a book, I’ll generally chuck it within the first 50-pages.
While TV series rarely last more than one or two episodes, I did make a notable exception in the form of Peaky Blinders which I got four episodes into twice before deciding it wasn’t for me. Some stuff I just know I’m not going to like so don’t even bother to start (those US sitcoms where they » Continue Reading.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/features/searching-for-shelley-duvall-the-reclusive-icon-on-fleeing-hollywood-and-the-scars-of-making-the-shining (link included here as otherwise will get lost at bottom of page)
Last time I thought about Shelley Duvall was when I went to see the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at London’s Design Museum a couple of years back. One of the finest actors of “Easy Rider, Raging Bulls” era Hollywood, she’d pretty much dropped off everyone else’s radar in the mid-90s.
Until a few weeks back, the most (only?) recent sighting of Ms D was the ill-advised car crash interview she did the odious Dr Phil in 2016. When the Hollywood’s Seth Aramovitz tracked her down to Texas, she gave a fascinating interview. She not only shared insights into the films she made with Robert Altman but also talked surprisingly graciously about the trials and tribulations she underwent during Kubrick’s notorious year-plus shooting of The Shining. Incredibly, the 126 takes it took for SK to be happy with the film’s staircase scene (YouTube link below) don’t the world record for the most number of takes on a major film. That record goes to the 148 takes it took to shoot the scene in which Scatman Crothers chef explains the shining to Duvall’s son Danny (Danny Lloyd).
» Continue Reading.
I’ve just seen that Whistle Down the Wjnd is being shown on Talking Pictures tonight. I haven’t seen it in years so have no idea how its aged but it always reminds me of this Toto song which took it as lyrical and Video inspiration.
Do any other examples of songs or videos inspired by the movies spring to mind?
I’ve been very much enjoying the Smershpod podcast recommended by @neela which is a review of all the Bond films and related work (other films using the same actors etc) and other representative films he fancies talking about. He’s having a run at the 80s at the moment, notable for the endless explosions, paper thin scripts, big hair, cocaine production soundtracks and glossy haired perfect cheek bones (and that’s only the blokes). Much hilarity ensues – the “Top Gun” one is brilliant. There’s fun to be had in those films though.
I’ve been on a gritty 70s jag for a while now, and in many ways those films don’t date – The French Connection or The Godfather are as brilliant now as ever. 60s films, less so.
Back to the black and white 50s they still have their charm but seem from a different world, a cool one (Casablanca anyone) but even so.
Someone said to me the other day that they don’t watch “old films” as modern telly is so good you don’t need to. Au contraire, I said, you need to more than ever. They capture an era and an atmosphere that a modern production » Continue Reading.
I thought there might be interest in seeing what was judged to be the best films the last time there was an Afterword best film poll. The poll winners were the standard popular films, but what was more interesting was each voter’s number one favourite film. Here is an alphabetical list (first comment):
Tough one; think I’d be hard pushed to choose between Fargo and No Country for Old Men.
Say what you like about lastfm (and with their last redesign a lot of people did), it does a pretty competent job of pulling together your itunes, spotify and other digital playcounts into one library. I’ve been searching for some time for a site to do the same library job for films. Clearly not via scrobbles, but somewhere you could remind yourself of what you had and wanted to see. Now there’s letterboxd.com which I’ve been playing about with for a week. Dead easy to create lists, enter films, sort via release date, watch date etc. But – big but perhaps – it doesn’t do TV shows. So in terms of trying to build up that watched list – chiefly for myself but possibly public – is the answer? It looks nice and as far as I can see is not owned by Amazon. So why not IMDB? – because its lists looks awfully like an Amazon wish list, and doesn’t have any of the graphical chops letterboxd has. Though it has TV. Anyone list on IMDB and would like to argue for it before I commit my silver screen data entry time to letterboxd? Or is there another site » Continue Reading.
Your turn now, cinephiles!
The One Album Wonder thread unearthed many a fine forgotten LP. 85 songs on the Spotify playlist and new contributions still coming in.
Now I would like the “hive mind of the Afterword” to the cinema.
I’d like to know about your favourite films which were a one-off in some way. The only time where a particular person directed, acted, wrote the screenplay did the soundtrack music etc.
Let’s be open-minded here. If, for example, an actor had a small role in another film, that doesn’t disqualify the movie you want to mention.
Let’s kick off with the only film that Charles Laughton directed: the magnificent Night of the Hunter.
Badger King commented on the last thread that he is something of a champion of the underdog. The Afterword is too, in my humble opinion
Here’s a chance for some cinematic underdogs to be Best in Show.
Films: The Way It Is
While choosing a film to watch, please remember the following rules (you can thank me later)*:
1. The Thin Red Line must never, ever be watched as it is THE WORST FILM OF ALL TIME and it will be 171 minutes of your life that you will never get back. 2. Action films must be watched on Friday and Saturday nights, with the volume turned waaayyy up. Sub-rule: James Bond films must be seen with your dad, if available (an older uncle is an acceptable substitute). All dads/uncles must say that (a) Sean Connery is the best Bond (this is true) and (b) Ursula Andress is the best Bond girl (this is not true—it’s Barbara Bach from The Spy Who Loved Me). 3. All horror films must be watched at night, with the lights out. No exceptions. 4. Comedies must be watched on weeknights, or on Saturday mornings. Sub-rule: when watching Withnail and I, the greatest comedy of all, do not play the drinking game. You will die. 5. Historical epics (Spartacus, El Cid, Lawrence of Arabia) are reserved for Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A bowl of bonbons or tea and biscuits are optional. Sub-rule: » Continue Reading.