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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 01:26 pm:   

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Rich Patterson
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 06:03 pm:   

Saw a pretty good Singaporean ¡°disaffected youth¡± flick called ¡®15¡¯. With no pro actors, the film follows the lives of five 15-year old real-life gang members who drop in and out of the cast as they get arrested in real life. Lots of memorable scenes. A cool film by first time director Royston Tan.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 06:12 pm:   

i'll look for it. How you doing, man?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 11, 2006 - 07:36 pm:   

Got Bliss in the mail. No time to watch it now, but it looks good--I guess it won an Oscar for best foreign film.

Bad news -- The Host release date pushed back to Jan 16.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 01:13 am:   

Hey Lucius, Still don't have a computer at home and I've been swamped with marking but otherwise things are good... Enjoyed your reports from Nicaragua.

Got a job offer from Kuala Lumpur, so I think I'm going to go down there in February. Safer than Chile :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 04:04 am:   

Safer? Is Chile dangerous? Kuala Lumpur was one of those names that always fascinated me when I was kid, but by the time I got there, it was all modern and non-Kiplingesque. I was disappointed and never gave it a chance....
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 05:48 am:   

I saw Apocalypto last night. It's wild, brutal, and the look of it is awesome. Great performances by no-name actors. Not as involved plot-wise as something like Cabeza De Vaca, but I got a similar feel from it. Have you guys talked about this yet?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 06:33 am:   

Not really. I'm not all afire to see it, though your review tempts me. But Gibson hasn't yet made a good movie, in my experience, and that has kept me away. I might check it out close to Xmas, when I've less work to do. Thanks for the info, man.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:00 am:   

I sort of wanted to see Apocalypto, but then the reviews started coming in and it seemed like a typical Gibson movie - lots of senseless violence, and a plot that is basically a traditional chase movie, just with a Mayan veneer. Maybe I'll see it as a matinee, or wait for cable.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:18 am:   

Yeah, I've never liked his other productions at all. They always seemed very plodding to me. But I think he's done something interesting here, though it's not flawless. People, for various reasons, will need to figure out comprehensive ways in which it sucks before seeing it simply because it's Gibson and their own personal ideologies and/or self-images depend upon it -- lord knows he's an asshole. Still, I think it's not too bad.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:20 am:   

I'd be interested, Jeff, in hearing how you feel about the movie after a few days, whether it diminishes over time or grows more impressive, etc.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:22 am:   

I, personally, don't give a shit about his personal foibles. If he's made a good movie, I'll watch it. Not many directors are paragons of virtue. Not many of anything, for that matter.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:27 am:   

Well, I was just talking to Jack, my son, about it and he had some interesting insights. He said he thought it was too long, which might be so. I also thought that they didn't show enough of the Mayan City, how people lived on a day to day basis. I mean I'm sure not everyday a crowd of people stood around and waited for hearts to be ripped out and bodies to be beheaded and tumbled down the pyramid. On the other hand, I can see why Gibson chose to stay with his characters and not get sidetracked. There were some doozy coincidences, some of which the story can bear the weight of and some it can't. I like still the way it moved, the physicality of it, the viceral nature of it. The color and so forth was beautiful. One lame thing is it starts with a quote from Will Durant. I think you're right Lucius, a few days may give me a better perspective on it.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:31 am:   

Let us know, will you. My opinion of Gibson is that he's flashy, but once you get a little distance from his work--sometimes no more than stepping out of the theater--it tends to dwindle in the mind. But I'm ready to believe he knocked ane xtra base hit with this one.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:31 am:   

I'm always interested in that question of can bad people make good art. I tend to think that they can, and I afford everyone else the same ability I know I possess -- that I can think complexly about a given work and see it in light of its creator's foibles yet still take those things I find interesting from it. So I'm with you on that. I think the nature of Gibson's remarks to the police officer are going to make it very difficult for a lot of people to separate the two out. I can understand that also.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:33 am:   

At one time Will Durant was popular. I know we were exposed to him in school.

Wonder if Gibson came to him earlier in life...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:38 am:   

I don't care about Gibson's personal opinions when it comes to seeing his work. Like Lucius, I just haven't been thrilled with his past work. A low opinion of past work combined with the reviews I've read make me feel like waiting on this.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:40 am:   

PM: The problem with Gibson is that knowing his bizzaro religio-politics etc., my interpretation of Durant's statement is going to be a lot different than his or even Durant's for that matter. The quote has something to do with the fact that -- A civilization can't be conquered from without unless it is already defeated from within." Now I see that as, yeah defeated by the likes of Bush and the whole rogue's gallery of Washington weasles and just flat out greed, etc. And I'm pretty sure that Mel is thinking the rot is coming from those damn Jews, the fact that women wear pants, and not every kid wears a holographic portrait of Jesus around their neck or something like that. To tell the truth, after I saw the quote I quickly forgot about it till later.
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Jeffrey Ford
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:42 am:   

Robert: Maybe a DVD rental. Like I said on my live journal, if I wasn't really interested in Native american culture and especially Mayan and Aztec culture, due to Gibon's plodding efforts in the past, I'd not have gone either.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:49 am:   

Robert Frost beat his wife. Nobody's lambasting his stuff, or reinterpreting it in terms of his penchant for left-hooking his spouse. Celine, one of my favorite writers, was no friend of the Jews, but he sure could write. I understand the attitude that lobbies against Gibson, but I can't relate to a boycott. Yeah, he's a creep, a nutball, but if he did good work, he did good work. I'm interested in good work, less so in political correctness...which seems to me the root of this anti-Gibson wave. I just dont believe most people feel that strongly about injustice, but then I'm probably influenced in that by bitterness about the scant attention paid to certain of my political passions.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:33 am:   

I don't subscribe to the 'He's an anti-Semitic fruitbat and therefore won't see his movie' screed. I can understand the desire not to make him infinitesimally wealthier, but if his movie's decent, I'll have a look. I can't say I liked 'Braveheart' and haven't seen anything else he's directed.

Ezra Pound wasn't a poster boy for tolerance and yet I'll still pick up a copy of the 'Cantos'. I've also read Villon and Doesteyevsky were reprehensible human beings, and that shouldn't stop them from being read.

I have read this morning that the historical inaccuracies rife in 'Apocalypto' are making Mayan scholars - and the Mayans curently living in Mexico and Guatemala - howl with outrage. Seems Mel is confusing the Mayans with the Aztecs, and is revising and altering physical artwork to suit his agenda.
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday where the writer pointed out loads of historical inaccuracies in Apocalypto in terms of the Mayans. One point I remember is that the Mayans in the movie were portrayed as hunters when they actually had a pretty advanced agricultural system. Another was that apparently in the movie the protagonists hadn't seen one of the big pyramids before, when the historical Mayans wouldn't have been able to miss em. Nothing, however, was mentioned about the world ending in 2012. :-)

I'm still reminded of the South Park when the kids go to see Gibson's movie on Christ (the title I'm apparently blanking on at the moment, fortunately). Stan and Kenny go see it and then Kyle later, but all you see both times is the kids reactions as they sit through all the violence.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:49 am:   

Mike, it was 'The Passion of the Jew'. Gotta hand it to Parker and Stone! Just when you think they can't set the bar any lower :0) Wonder if Mel saw it.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:50 am:   

Yeah, I wondered about that, the Aztec thing--there are some scientists who believe the Mayan culture was violent, and there's evidence to this effect; still, i wonder if Mel didn't make it more extreme. And that is true, Mike, that the Mayans had an extensive agriculture. The Peten is cut through by hundreds, maybe thousands, of canals, dry now, but all used for irrigation.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:01 am:   

I read some stuff about scholars who were working on the film. They were asked if there was any evidence the Mayans didn't do X. It sounded like Gibson had his ideas, and wanted to make sure they weren't contradicted, rather than wanting to make sure they were accurate.

Passion of the Jew was great.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:21 am:   

Autheticity aside, it still might be a decent flick.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:33 am:   

One of the articles was by William Booth of the Washington Post. Apparently even Gibson's own Mayan consultant admitted they'd taken 'artistic license' with some crucial facets of their culture.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/08/AR2006120801815. html
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Mike McLatchey
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:33 am:   

Thanks Bruce, I was actually blanking on the Gibson movie, but now I remember both. :-) I agree that the (lack of) authenticity won't make a difference whether it's a good movie or not, but at least noone will be talking about how Apocalypto made them want to be better Mayans. :D
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 11:10 am:   

If folk want to boycott Gibson that's fine with me. I don't know to what extent he is or isn't an antisemite.

But if he is then he doesn't have the excuse of those in the past who had most or practically all of their culture on their side.

Now if he'd grown up in say certain Islamic nations it wouldn't make it right but it would make it understandable.

As to authenticity. Can't say I'm surprised as accuracy is one of the last things I expect from most films. Sad. It's good to have the inaccuracies put on display.
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 11:48 am:   

It's been pointed out is that since this is the first exposure a few hundred million people have to Mayan history and proto-culture, it would have been honorable to portray the Mayans as accurately as possible in order that there be a decent baseline for the understanding of the people. On the other hand, you can park more butts in seats if you titillate the groundlings with some gratuitous violence.

Mel seems to be fixated on the ritual removal of entrails and extreme torture given his last three films. A strange man indeed.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 12:20 pm:   

Bruce that's a nice thought but it's unfortunately not a commercially viable one.

Disney/Pixar, Spielburg, etc. would have brought their own ahistorical vision.

If the audience is ever large enough to create a viable market then one could expect to watch a more historically appropriate picture. I think they call it the History Channel :-)

I'm also curious about Mel's ongoing usage of excessive violence. I wonder:

a. If anyone is going to ask him.

b. If he's going to give an answer.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 12:46 pm:   

Well, Mel won the weekend, but only with 15 million gross, which is chitlins (I wonder if Mel would like chitlins?) compared to TPOTC. If he had kept his mouth shut, he'd probably have done a lot better.

Do you really think Mel is strange? I rather think he's excrutiatingly normal in the parameters of his madness. If put to the wall, I think many Americans would display similar symptoms. Paranois is rampant. Organized religion deforms us. As for racism, I once lived in Georgetown in Staten Island and if I hadn't been speaking to racists, I would never have said a word. Racism is a toxic constant in America and, indeed, in every culture with which I'm familiar. Wars arising from racist conflicts are all the rage today and always have been. As far as I can determine, Mel is a stand-up-and-be-counted red-blooded Austrailian-American race-baiting MOR kind of guy. Grant you, his fixation on guts is a bit askew, but everybody's got a kink or two. It's all this bleating about him that's weird to me. I mean, seriously, there are deeper issues here. If one believes that by damning Gibson you're addressing racism...you're not. Generally speaking, all you're doing is indulging in the latest version of the 2 minute hate. Demonizing someone for this ancient sin is simply a palliative, but Fear of the Stranger will continue to be a social determinant for quite a while yet, unless we become extinct or there's a paradigm shift.

Knowing how things go, what I say here will be reported on some blog or another as Shepard Joins Gibson In Anti-Semitism, or, at the least, Shepard Supports Gibson. For the record, I do not. But I do contend that there are few among us who've never told a racist joke or harbored a racist thought. Here in the NW, in my little corner of the world, at any rate, it's easy to go for a week or more without seeing a black face, for instance, and I know many racists who pass as liberals, who believe they're liberals, and would be shocked if they were exposed on a daily basis to a truly racially diverse millieu. Soon the N-word and others would be creeping into their vocabulary.

Edward Allen, in his wonderful and much overlooked novel STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT, shows how insidious racism is, how it can creep into one's crannies and take root. I highly recommend you seek it out. It's beautifully written, to boot.

Lunch is over.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 01:05 pm:   

Well I agree that hippies are not always the peace lovers they'd like to make out to be.

And likewise on the issue of race.

However it was a good reminder to put Gibson's statements all over the media and say, "Antisemitism is unacceptable."...and I agree that certain folk will jump on any bandwagon if they think it will make them look good.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 01:16 pm:   

"However it was a good reminder to put Gibson's statements all over the media and say, "Antisemitism is unacceptable."...and I agree that certain folk will jump on any bandwagon if they think it will make them look good."

It's just bullshit, man. It stands in for actually addressing the problem. A little noise, a little good ol'Judeo-Christian hate, and it'll all blow over.

How many Bad Breath Committees on Armchair Disarmament have their been in your lifetime? Same deal. Nothing ever gets done, or if it does, it's way too little.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 01:47 pm:   

yeah, i got to agree, the gibson thing doesn't actually address racism. i spent the last four years crawling around in race related texts for a thesis--getting drunk and saying anti-semetic things is pretty low on the racist meter, in my opinion. there are bigger issues such as the media and arts representation of non-white cultures, the weight of whitness (as in it has none), and so on and so forth, until you're kind of weighed down by it all. there's also the argument that what happens int he case of someone like gibson is not actually an address of racism, but rather just a push to hide everything impolite behind the covering of political correctness.

gibson, personally, doesn't do too much for me, and he has a strange religious bent to him, but you know, so what? how many people in the world have strange religious bends? like all of them. it's all fucking weird to me.

that said, maybe i'll go see the flick. people seem to be saying good things, or at least interesting things, and that's always worth a look in.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 02:02 pm:   

That's pretty much how I feel. Scrape away the veener and we're all nuts--Gibson's just rich enough to where he cares less about the veneer.

Like I said, I'll probably go around Xmas-time.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 02:12 pm:   

yeah, though, you know, in total contradiction to what i just said, i won't cut orson scott card any slack for his insanity. but then i suppose he's writing all about that now, so i don't got too.

but i figure i ought to own up to my own contradictions ;)
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Bruce Chrumka
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 02:19 pm:   

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++SPOILER-------WARNING++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++




It was mentioned at Jeff Ford's blog that the Spaniards put in an appearance at the end of 'Apocalypto' which makes absolutely zero sense. I've wondered why Gibson didn't just option Gary Jennings's 'Aztec' and have a decent screen treatment done. He could have had Spaniards, tubloads of viscera, some very exotic violence, Flower Wars and even a fairly good story.

I'll likely check it out next week; my wife has already opted out as she has a very low gore threshold.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 02:31 pm:   

Wise woman. :-)

Yeah, Ben, consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. ;)
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 05:25 pm:   

I'd make distinctions between antisemitism, bigotry, and racism.

Most folk in the US are bigots and not racists.

Sure telling folk to not be bigots is simplistic but I'd prefer that to being silent or telling folk it's ok.

As to Gibson choosing a different better screenplay. Seems likely that he had some things he wanted to say and to say them in his own way. And that is the frequent ever present tension between what we want to see and what the director/etc. want us to see...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 05:53 pm:   

Okay. Mel is a bigot with anti-semitic tendencies. I don't know, man. That's splitting a hair too fine. That's fucking Clintonesque.

Telling folks not to be racist is ineffective. They'll say, Okay, and go back to being whatever they were. If it makes you feel good, do it. It doesn't make me feel good, and this group hate thing reminds me of all the people making that hideous noise and pointing in Bodysnatchers...which, by the way, was essentially an act of racism, or speciesism....

Apart from the simplistic durant quote, what is Gibson trying to say? Gee, Don't hearts look good when they're covered with runny red stuff?
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 06:30 pm:   

I just want to do my part to try and convince folk to use the word "bigot" instead of "racist". "Bigot" is usually the more accurate word.

and Gibson did apologize and that's good enough for me until disproven. Rather apathetic about Gibson but not so apathetic about his influence.

As to "feeling good" it's just doing the right thing, trying to be helpful...and understandably some are just cynical/wary regarding those who want to "do the right thing"...
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:17 pm:   

bigot:

: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

Racist:

is commonly defined as a belief or doctrine where inherent biological differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, with a corollary that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.[1]

The term racism is sometimes used to refer to preference for one's own ethnic group (ethnocentrism),[2] fear of foreigners (xenophobia), views or preferences against interbreeding of the races (miscegenation),[3] and nationalism,[4], and/or a generalization of a specific group of people (stereotype); regardless of any explicit belief in superiority or inferiority embedded within such views or preferences. Racism has been used in attempts to justify social discrimination, racial segregation and violence, including genocide. Politicians are known to practice race-baiting in an effort to win constituents.

The term racist, when used to describe someone who supports racism, has been a pejorative term since at least the 1940s, and the identification of a group or person as racist is nearly always controversial.

As far as I can tell, a racist is simply a card-carrying bigot.

Gibson is a racist. His apology isn't worth spit.


As for doing the right thing, the right thing is to declare bullshit on this whole mess and turn one's attention to more consequential issues.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:40 pm:   

and your suggestions for more consequential issues?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:53 pm:   

I mean dealing with racism on a real level, not hooting at the latest poster boy. That's just wasting your time.

How does one go about that? Different ways, my son. One interesting way is to look at one's own life in terms of the above definitions. By speaking plainly and confronting one's own racism. By reading and promoting books like Straight Through The Night. By writing about it. Etc, etc. All valuable than screeching, Gibson bad, and tossing another rock at the benighted Mel.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 07:54 pm:   

..more valuable.... I meant to say.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:09 pm:   

Gibson only provided an opportunity for the discussion.

I see where you're coming from and it seems agreeable to me.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 08:19 pm:   

I'm not dissing you, PM. I'm just saying the focus too often remains on assbags like Gibson and loses steam before it gets down to what's really wrong.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:30 pm:   

I didn't take it that way. It's ok for folk to say whatever they have to say...and no one signed an agreement to agree with me and vice versa.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 09:35 pm:   

I'm just saying....
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 04:21 am:   

for what it's worth, i don't reckon gibson's drunken rants really open the door to discuss racism. it just really ends up with the man himself, and a whole heap of people either boycotting the film, or demonising him, even if he deserves it or not. see, if you got into a proper discussion of racism in hollywood, then you would yeah, maybe look at his PASSION OF THE CHRIST and say it was anti-semetic (or not--i've not seen it) but then you'd look at, like, every speilberg film made, and say, 'hey, does steve look like he hates germans?' and then you'd get into the portrayals of blacks, whites, asians, and so on and so forth, with relation to specific films and agendas promoted. but that's not what happens: instead you get a weepy eyed mel saying he's not a bad man, and then kramer gets his racist rant on youtube for millions to see. it's like looking at the car crash but never examining why it happened, or the culture around it.

and rant rant rant for me :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 04:55 am:   

Yep. It's addressing a bizarre symptom instead of the grindingly ordinary reality of it all. Case like Gibson give people the chance to be outraged, to make sure others know which side they're on.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 05:48 am:   

Confronting your own problems is difficult and often uncomfortable. Yelling at some celebrity is easy and lets people pretend they are doing something, even though they don't examine whether they are part of the problem.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 05:55 am:   

Too true. Instances like this do some service in that they afford the possibility of self-examination...however, that opportunity is rarely taken advantage of.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 07:07 am:   

Just testing. Never mind.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 07:12 am:   

I'm back baby!

I tend to agree with Lucius. The focus should be on the work, not the auteur's character. The history of painting, sculpture, poetry, film, fiction, drama, etc. has been so rife with scumbags of all stripes that too much would be deleted from the canon if we required moral and ethical probity of our artists. This is a relatively new strain of critical thinking, anyway. I mean, they may try to keep Barry Bonds out of Cooperstown, but nobody tried to shut out Ty Cobb, right?

I haven't seen it, but EVER AGAIN looks like a good film about the lingering problem of global anti-Semitism. If half as many people saw it as opined about Mel Gibson's yapping, the world would probably be better off...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 07:17 am:   

Welcome back...
ever again? Que...?
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 07:43 am:   

http://www.moriahfilms.com/site/pp.asp?c=brKMIZPIIuE&b=1354047

It's a pretty recent doc about violent global antisemitism. Not sure if it's gotten full release yet, but it looks interesting.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 07:54 am:   

It does look good. Looks better than Apocalypto. :-)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 08:34 am:   

Actually, it is currently playing in DC...
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 08:42 am:   

Not here. I may have to wait for the DVD.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 08:54 am:   

There's a Jewish/Israeli film festival in Pittsburgh in March. Maybe they'll have it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 12:13 pm:   

Okay, I am inviting abuse here, so I will just bend over and grab my ankles...

One film that I know you despised, Lucius, was Tony Scott's DOMINO. I can definitely see why, yet I found it strangely entertaining. I enjoyed the sort of bright, washed-out lighting, which created some trippy effects. Post-comeback Mickey Rourke (the character actor, not the movie star) is a guilty pleasure and the delightful little pixie Keira Knightley is always a welcome guest in my living room. The lapdance scene, while surely one of modern cinema's most ridiculous, is a fine brand of eye candy...

I think an argument could be made for this flick as mindless entertainment.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 12:29 pm:   

Are you ill, perhaps?

I guess anything can be a guilty pleasure. The nature of guilty pleasures is that you have to call them that in front of knowledgeable friends and acquaintance so as to justify liking them.

But Domino...for me, maybe if it was a three-minute film. :-)
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jk
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 09:08 pm:   

Are you gonna brave Rocky Balboa, Lucius? Heh heh. Looks great huh? What is Stallone, over 60 now, and he's boxing in the new movie? Oh lordy.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - 09:12 pm:   

I seen all the rest,so I might as well see this one, but I don't know--I got so much work to do, I may not see another film til Pan's Labyrinth.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 01:54 am:   

i saw the trailer for the new rocky. it looked pretty funny, but not in a, 'here's my money, i want to see this' funny.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 04:03 am:   

Actually, to me, it's looks a lot better than the last one. I may see it for old time's sake...but probably not.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 06:45 am:   

Wild horses could not keep me away from the new ROCKY.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 07:39 am:   

How about wild jaguars?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 08:54 am:   

Pumas, maybe. Or warthogs. Jaguars, no.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 09:16 am:   

I'll see what I can do.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 11:30 am:   

Gossip item you might find interesting. Apparently, Bob Dylan's lawyers are trying to bar any screenings of FACTORY GIRL until Mr. Dylan can ascertain that it is not defamatory. Guess he is nervous about the portrayal of the thinly-veiled Dylan character, who dumps Edie Sedgewick and sends her into the addiction spiral that killed her.

Now that "Uncle Bob" is enjoying his lovable elder statesman status, guess he doesn't want the past intruding.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 11:55 am:   

Why would he?

Besides, it wasn't just him, right?
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 01:06 pm:   

If there were others agitating against FG, Page Six didn't mention it. They said Lou Reed is explicitly made a character in the film and has not yet protested.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 01:08 pm:   

I meant, he wasn't responsible for Sedgewick's death alone.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 01:18 pm:   

Are they implying a steady relationship with Dylan would have been the key to Edie's immortality?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 02:33 pm:   

Renaissance was OK. The animation style was weird. Everything was black and white with no grays (except in the occasional cloud or bit of glass). This lead to some strange looking animation as parts of bodies strobed while moving. The animation style also mixed some incredibly realistic bits with people who didn't always connect properly with objects.

As far as plot, it was OK. Without spoiling the plot, I'll say it posits an idea, but never makes an attempt to explain why the idea is true. Also, as typical for movies featuring an evil corporation, the actions of the corporation don't always make sense.

Overall it was worth watching, but don't expect anything really involved, style over substance.
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MarcL
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 02:59 pm:   

In that case, who's going to form www.bobdylanmurderedkurtcobain.com?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 03:06 pm:   

I get server not found.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 03:08 pm:   

Thsnk, robert. did you rent it? from netflix?
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 03:32 pm:   

It was playing at a theater here, one of the three affiliated with the film school.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 04:20 pm:   

I may still buy, just to see the black and white stuff.

Though i know it may be terrible, I want to see Children of Men, because of the single-take action scenes.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 04:51 pm:   

I thought "Jindabyne" was good. Like Lantana, it starts with a murder then follows it's own unique path.

Also saw a good Swedish sf/vampire/high school/black comedy called FROSTBITE. Pretty cool..
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 05:05 pm:   

I read some bad reviews of Frostbite. I'll have to give it a chance.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 05:48 pm:   

FROSTBITE (or FROSTBITEN on imdb) was quite campy, which may not be to everybody's taste. The Bela Legosi lookalike that plays the mad doctor is priceless :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 06:16 pm:   

I did find Jindabyne on DVD, howsomever. The last copy available. Expensivo, but ordered.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 06:48 pm:   

Sorry, still no STILL LIFE. I notice that my copies of the Shanxi trilogy are all ripped from Japanese releases, so I'm looking for a Japanese release first (or Hong Kong, who put up the money).
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 07:25 pm:   

That's cool. I appreciate your effort.

I found Jindabyne at, of all place, amazons. A New import sold by a dealer.
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 08:40 pm:   

Kuala Lumpur... "by the time I got there, it was all modern and non-Kiplingesque".

Yeah, it's pretty high-tech (like Singapore), but I figure it'll be a good home base for a year cause there's so much happening around it... boating, diving, jungle. I hope I get the time to do that stuff.

Obviously you were in Kalamantan (one of your books that went into storage in Canada before I could read it :-( ). Did you like it there?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 09:12 pm:   

I loved Kalimantan. It was a great place. But i was there in the 80's, so...
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Rich Patterson
Posted on Thursday, December 14, 2006 - 09:37 pm:   

Right now... if you had a choice of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, or Indonesia for a year, where would you go?
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 01:46 pm:   

Indonesia by a mile, because of its diversity, followed by Vietnam because it's close to Laos and Cambodia. I don't like the new vietnam, but here's beautiful country and I'll never forget buying a small boat with four other and going down the Mekong into the delta.

My power been off all day.
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PM
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 02:18 pm:   

Hope you suffered nothing more than a power loss. It's kind of cold there...
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 15, 2006 - 02:20 pm:   

I couldn't work til just recently, but caught up on my sleep.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 01:37 pm:   

i saw the new bond film, CASINO ROYALE. i read the novel a while back, so i was really kind of curious, despite not really digging that many bond films before. this one was quite good, tho, i though, mostly due to daniel craig's bond, who is a more brutal, violent version, yet also strangely more humane.

the film itself is pretty much by the numbers stuff. there's a cool free running sequence that has no real point in the film, but still.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 10:32 pm:   

I think i might go see it tomorrow....
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 11:36 pm:   

I think the "cool free running sequence" demonstrates where Bond was developmentally. He's still learning his "craft" and is barely able to improvise his way through it.

This is about the only Bond film that has anything in the way of evolution for the Bond character.

Of course there was the one Bond (Roger Moore) where he was married.

ROYALE works so well because of its lacklustre competition. Amazingly they were able to remove so many of the "suck" elements that had been done to death before.
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PM
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2006 - 11:58 pm:   

And I should say a few thousand words about DOMINO. It's not a guilty pleasure for me though I'll admit that I could listen to KK read just about anything.

It's a fun film. Of course it's trying to be much much more and is much much less. For some that hits a misery button. For me it just made it that much more fun.

KK as a bounty hunter. It makes me smirk to consider it. The 90120 actors starring in a bounty hunter reality show. It's just funny. And their parts are predictable as is so much of the film...to the point that it's almost parody. I didn't want to see these two guys in this film, in anything and it builds to that gagging funny moment when they're taken as "celebrity hostages".

And there is skill at work here. The recording/mixing/mastering is outstanding. At the beginning of the film one hears a quarter spinning on a table which sounds as though it's going to pop right out of the speakers. The soundtrack is sayin', "Fun, Party!" even though the filmmakers want to make it "arty" at times.

And then there's all the stop motion and color streaking/effects. Someone really spent a lot of time and effort going round to Irish pubs to get that much puke...

And DOMINO has spectacular drop dead moments. Say when KK strips. That has to be one of the least sexy moments imaginable.

And later in the film there's the grainy b/w quarter in the sky which is supposed to evoke some dramatic revelation. Whether Scott was channeling 80s MTV or Tarkovsky it fails on every level imaginable.

And why does it fail? Is it because it's a badly acted quarter? No it's the frankensteining of scenes which could give Mel Brooks pause. So Scott says that the lovemaking scene was to evoke a commercial. Well that's great if the intent was to cut away to an actual commercial.

And if that's not enough there are all the imaginary scenes that are later retracted.

And top it all off by describing the movie as a "fever dream".

So I can understand that the film would lack appeal but I found it entertaining in its many failures...
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 03:53 am:   

PM, i don't think the free running sequence did anything that the other scenes that start the film didn't already tell us. outside that, it was cool, but way too long, and ultimately just doubled up on narrative info.

but hey, it was still fun to watch.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 06:47 am:   

Has anyone seen District B13? It was apparently the first film with "parkour," which is the sport that was used in the running scenes from Casino Royale.

By the way, George Lazenby was the Bond who got married, I don't think Roger Moore was married in any films.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 06:52 am:   

The only thing more I'll say about DOMINO is that it was never NOT INTERESTING to look at. Not a great film, but fun to watch.
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 09:02 am:   

Just finished FLICKER...although I thought the ending was a bit of a letdown, I really enjoyed it. Hard to imagine a 600-page novel that would hold my interest all the way through!

Final Aaronovsky dream cast list:

Jonathan Gates -- James Spader
Clare Swann -- Lilli Taylor
Sharkey -- William Forsythe
Vincent St. Cyr -- Jeremy Irons
Olga Tell -- Helen Mirren
Zip Lipsky -- ?
Max Castle -- Willem DaFoe
Simon Dunkle --Ryan Phillipe
Faustus Carstad -- Rip Torn
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Dave G.
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 09:47 am:   

An offbeat bit of casting for Zip Lipsky...Shelley Berman from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I think there's a broadly comic edge to Lipsky's character anyway.
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PM
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

Yeah I can't always keep my Bonds straight. I'm probably thinking of Moore at her grave.

I agree that the running sequence went on way too long but then some of us are more "talented" in that aspect :-)

Strong cast there and happy dreams!
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 01:12 pm:   

Just got to work where there's now access to electricity and internet...still without power at home, since Thursday night, and no promise of when it might be restored. A few more days, possibly. The only impact on this list is that I'm way behind on my movie watching.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 01:49 pm:   

Wow. Sorry, Marc....
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MarcL
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 02:01 pm:   

It's been a Cormac McCarthy weekend. I was never more glad to have a big steel-drum smoker and a neighborhood full of small children.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 02:14 pm:   

Hmmm....crunchy.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 02:59 pm:   

that's a long time without power. i'd maybe be looting :-)
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PM
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 03:25 pm:   

Sorry to hear you're sufferin' Marc. If we can get Canada and the Pacific Ocean under control well there'll be no stopping us now...
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, December 18, 2006 - 10:45 pm:   

I watched Stray Dogs tonight, an Aghani film by Marziyah Meshkini, a beautiful little film about two children, brother and sister, whose mother is in prison, put their by their father, a Taliban also in prison, who accused her of being a whore because she married again while he was away for five years in order to feed her kids. The children are "night prisoners," spending the nights with their mom in prison, gleaning the dumps by day. But then one day the policy is changed and the kids cannot return to the prison--they beg their father to forgive their mother, but he is unrelenting, and they become homeless. They start stealing in hopes of getting arrested, but nobody does arrest them; so they go to a movie, a showing The Bicycle Theif, in order to learn how to get caught.

It'a beautiful, simple story, well-told, and stands as a terrible document of life in contemporary Afganistan, and the two children are wonderful actors. Really good film.

I wonder why so many middle eastern films are based on children's lives -- they seem to be neglecting the adult world.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 12:31 am:   

Children are sympathetic. I see the recurring TV ads about Africa involving children (and rape).

And when we think of it what sort of Afghani films are there to be? I'm not going to claim to be any sort of expert but isn't a good bit of the population living in poverty? They're not going to have the means to make films.

Then there's the religious motivation. Isn't film associated with spiritual corruption? Granted some films are made to achieve political ends (destroy Israel and the West). But that sort of underground (is it really always underground?) film making is unlikely to arrive at Cannes.

Certainly one thinks of videotaping certain family events but are those who we have fundamental disagreements with really interested in making the sorts of movies that we consider to be movies?

Instead if we see anything (that Homeland Security doesn't wish for us to see) it's going to be done by cultural dissidents who obviously have an agenda (one we're likely to agree with). Even so little commercial appeal...just a tiny audience.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 05:27 am:   

I got that children are sympathetic, man. Truly. i just wonder that so much of the cinema coming out of Iran and Iraq and Aghanistan deals with children whereas, one country over in Turkey, in various of the ex-Soviet country, there are cinemas dealing mainly with adults. I don't think it's entirely a matter of what gets over here and what does not, because the precentage is so high. It would seem to suggest that children and art have a special connection in that region. I know that the great Kurdish writer, Yassar Kemal, wrote a great deal about children.

This film is very anti-american, btw.

Anyway, a flick for fans of Ghobadi. Marc....
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 07:38 am:   

Turkey is more "westernized".

I'm not asserting or denying an emphasis on children. I don't have enough information.

Decisions are made as to what is going to be distributed.

I think of black filmmaking here in America and how Hollywood was only interested with (at least for a while) "in the hood" films.

That can to a varying extent be tied in with the notion of "if something is popular then let's make even more".

"This film is very anti-american, btw." Exactly. That's the audience.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 07:57 am:   

and I should also toss in government censorship as this is going to have an impact on what is and isn't going to be made. Censors love kids too :-)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 08:13 am:   

This all begs the question, Pm. I understand the limitations you bring up--I'm not a complete idiot. What I'm saying is, the percentage of films about children is way, way high, and I'm speculating that there may be another reason for this.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 08:58 am:   

Could be.

Let's take Iran as an example. All Iranian films are not released internationally. Just trying to clarify the point. Is this applicable to all Iranian films or just the ones that are being released internationally?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 08:59 am:   

I don't know. That's the question I'm asking.
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:39 am:   

Yeah, I've heard about Stray Dogs, dying to see it. And Ghobadi's new film...waiting for that one.

The focus on kids seems to be one way of avoiding immediate conflict with the presiding censors, at least in Iranian cinema. Big issues tackled in broad strokes. They defuse a lot of the potential political objections and allow the director to give an almost fairy-tale gloss to the production. At least that's the sense I get from films like THE WHITE BALLOON, CHILDREN OF HEAVEN, WHERE IS THE FRIEND'S HOUSE, BARAN, THE SILENCE, OSAMA, A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES and TURTLES CAN FLY. Also, I note that a lot of Iranian directors make movies about Afghanistan and Iraq rather than about Iran; I take some of this as another way of misdirecting the censors. In the same way that stories of the future are usually about the present, I assume Iranian directors are usually making movies "about" Iran. Admittedly, this is a denigrative view. These are films, stories, and the best ones certainly transcend their settings and the nationalities of their directors. The most universal ones tend to be the most specific in locale and setting. I have a friend who was raised in Iran and he said the movies he grew up watching there were pretty much the same as the ones we are able to get access to in the West; they tend to be very simple, very deep, and memorable. One I haven't seen yet, which he highly recommended, was THE JAR. From its description, it's a story of some kids who break their school's water jar. That's it.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:51 am:   

Well, I guess it may be the censors then. Interesting.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 12:22 pm:   

Speaking of THE JAR I don't see a region 1 DVD.

Unless the trade embargo is an issue, I interpret this as distributors deciding that they can't sell it and so aren't going to release it.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 12:38 pm:   

THE JAR is being marketed in the US under its alternate international title, HECTARES OF CUDDLY BABIES. :-)
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 01:10 pm:   

and I fell for it...that Dave could sell me anything!
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 01:58 pm:   

Actually, I hear it's being remade by Pixar, with the voice of Will Smith as the Jar.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 02:40 pm:   

Can't wait!

Did you see what he could do with that Rubik's cube?

A jar? No problem.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 07:34 pm:   

Watched Bliss, by the director of Lantana, Ray Lawrence, from a novel by Peter Carey, a screenplay by lawrence and carey, made back in '85. Can't say I liked it that much. The acting was fine, but the magical realism wasn't handled very well. It was kind of tiring to watch and eventually I wound up answering email while I watched.
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PM
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 08:12 pm:   

Watched Police Squad! in color. I remember laughing when this was on tv and still laughing though the first episode is the strongest.

"Cigarette?" "Yes, I know."

"We would have been here earlier but your husband wasn't dead yet."

Lots of funny lines and visual gags...the Japanese garden is offensively hilarious.
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 01:50 am:   

that's a shame about BLISS. still, i might keep an eye out for it, though.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 05:36 am:   

Yeah, I mean it was earnest and well-mounted. and all that--it just didn't work. I can't think of many magic realist films that do work. And did I mention the unctious voiceobver? There's an unctious voiceover.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 07:45 am:   

I watched Claude Chabrol's Doctor M, a remake of Fritz Lang's classic, Dr Mabuse, the Gambler. I like Chabrol -- he makes excellent thrillers, but with this scifi horror film, he's out of his element. It's kind of like PD James when she stepped out of her element and wrote the unbelievably bad scifi novel Children of Men.
The Chabrol film has wonderful sets that evoke a future Berlin, a world of general malaise and mass suicide in which the evil Dr M practises his nihilism, but the acting and direction are flat. Alan Bates, an actor I generally like, has some of his worst moment in this film, chewing the scenery with a vengeance.

Give it a pass.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 09:10 am:   

Over last weekend, I had a chance to watch about 3/4 of KISS KISS BANG BANG on cable. What a cool little film. Really clever, tight script and perfect casting for Robt Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer, neither of which has been better in years.

I thought this film deserved a wider audience than it got.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 09:28 am:   

I heard that was good, but didn't buy it because of Shane Black's involvement.
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jk
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:24 am:   

I heard Shane Black was a reader working at a studio, and he gave his own script Lethal Weapon good coverage, and that's how it got made. Supposedly they were ticked-off when they found out he did that, but they made it anyway.

I saw a Chabrol film a few weeks ago, Cry of the Owl, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel. It was kind of flat. Not as good as Purple Noon. I like some of Chabrol's stuff, but this was just kind of blah. I had high hopes due to the literary source.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:31 am:   

Chabrol's uneven. but he still makes excellent thrillers like La Ceremonie
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jk
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:38 am:   

Yeah, that was good. I liked Merci Pour La Chocolate and Flower of Evil, those were two recent good ones.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:45 am:   

I haven't seen Chocolate, but Flower of Evil is very good. And Chabrol uses Isabelle Huppert a lot, whom I rally like.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

I reviewed Shane Black's career on imdb; he was responsible for some startlingly bad stuff, but KKBB is suffused with a wit that his earlier scripts did not presage. Maybe it's an example of -- gulp! -- artistic growth!
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Kelly Christopher Shaw
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 12:05 pm:   

One problem I have with Chabrol is that, thinking back on his films, they all seem to conflate. Granted, this could be more a problem with me. And I haven't seen La Ceremonie, which I've heard elsewhere is his best.

Dave, I liked KKBB, too. Probably Downey Jr.'s shining moment.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 12:15 pm:   

I don't know. I'vve seen at least half-a-dozen Chabrol films I've liked, perhaps more...

Conflation, aside...
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PM
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 01:17 pm:   

KKBB twisted to the point where it was writhing and that was too much. Or maybe the point was that it was to be unbelievable.

Downey is better in GUIDE which some will also say went overboard (on the dramatic side).

Kilmer, yeah he's done a lot worse than KKBB.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 09:54 am:   

Tried to watch Herzog's WILD BLUE YONDER last night. Shut it off after about 20 minutes. I like Herzog, I like Brad Dourif, but this was doing nothing for me.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 10:06 am:   

Well, ya gotta give him one miss once in a while.
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 01:34 pm:   

Yep. On the other hand, I started watching Von Trier's ELEMENTS OF CRIME, and put it aside so I could watch it when I could really give it my full attention. Looks great.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 01:53 pm:   

Yeah, I liked that one....
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MarcL
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2006 - 11:37 pm:   

Here's a shitty movie: Mission Impossible 3. I watched it because J.J. Abrams directed it, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered. You can tell he tries really hard to make you care, and there's a structural gimmick that is supposed to infuse the proceedings with a tension that could never be honestly achieved; the very idea that anyone would ever care what happens to any character in the MI franchise is laughable. We've been trained that everybody is potentially a counterfeit in a latex mask, and that includes love interests. Glossy Cruise crap, vain in every sense of the word. P.S. Hoffman has officially jumped the shark...how many times has he played this character? Nothing funnier than seeing him supposedly beating up Tom Cruise (who gets suddenly flabby all over as soon as he dons his Hoffman mask). I'm looking forward even more to LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and some of the other small movies just coming out on DVD.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 06:24 am:   

Serves you right! ;)

I didn't care for little Miss Sunshine -- it's unrelentingly quirky and slick, a fuax-indie film.
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jk
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 10:58 am:   

Couldn't stomach another Mission Unwatchable. Especially with all the Scooby Doo masks being pulled off.
Saw Jodorowsky's The Rainbow Thief, a strange attempt at a somewhat conventional movie with Peter O'Toole, Christopher Lee, and Omar Sharif. Can't say it was very good. O'toole's character is a mysterious weirdo who plays with tarot cards and is supposed to inherit millions from his relative Lee. He goes down to live in the sewer, with Sharif as his servant.
There were some obvious Jodorowsky touches like the O'toole character's obsession with tarot cards, and his speech in the sewer about the real treasure being inside himself and he's discovered how to transmute it blah blah (the alchemists' secret). And a weird scene where Sharif is wandering around a carnival and there are people crucified with neon lights around them.
For most of the movie though, it's strangely subdued for Jodorwosky and you'd be hard-pressed to tell it was one of his movies.
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Lucius
Posted on Saturday, December 23, 2006 - 02:05 pm:   

I heard that wasn't very good. But still it's O'Toole...

Just in time for Xmas, I received my copy of Jindabyne, Ray Lawrence's latest. I may watch it tonight.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 06:59 am:   

Jindabyne, Ray Lawrence's (lantana) new flick, is not as complex on one level as Lantana, yet on another tells us more about more people than did that movie. It doesn't feel as weighty, but like the Carver story its drawn from, it resonates long after viewing it. Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne are married -- Linney has a past of head trouble and is considered unstable. Another, older couple is raising an adoopted daughter with sociopathic tendencies. Another couple is half indigent (maori or other, I don't know), and a fourth couple is young, living in an rv. In the opening of the movie, a young maori (?) woman is stopped on the road by an old man driving a beat-up four-wheeler. She is raped and killed (off-camera), her body hidden in a river accessible only to backpacker. The four men of the four couples go fishing in the river, and one finds the body. They decide to keep fishing, and tether the body to a tree. It's that decision that comprises the heart of the movie, as it becomes known and the town's reaction to it is profound. Lovingly shot and segmented in tight, short chapters, Jindabyne is a very, very good film. Beautifuly narrated and mounted. A couple of things about the ending sounded a wrong note to me, but that may be because I'm not Austrailian. I'm going to watch it again tonight.

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