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Forrest
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 10:50 am:   

I have a penchant for David Lynch movies, those by Jan Svankmajer, and The Brothers Quay. I also really enjoyed Amelie and The City of Lost Children (by that French guy - can't remember the name off the top of my head). The BBC version of Gormenghast wasn't too bad, either.

I'm wondering: 1) Am I alone in my tastes and 2) if not, where else can I find this sort of thing. If you've seen the above, you know what I mean by "this sort".

Forrest
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 11:23 am:   

You are not alone, at least re Lost Children and Amelie. The directors are Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro. Their first film was Delicatessen. If you haven't seen it, it's good, but not as thoughtful as the other two. (It's about a restaurant where they cook and eat the customers, if I recall rightly.)

It's hard to think of film makers that are anything like Jeunet & Caro. Terry Gilliam is the only one that comes to my mind.
If there's anyone else, I'd love to know.

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Jay C
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 11:52 am:   

For a further touch of Weirdness, Tarkovsky is definitely in the framing shot. Particularly The Stalker.

The film version of Steppenwolf directed by Fred Haines. As most of it occurs in a Daliesque landscape with a haunting score. And I wish I could remember the composer. I used to own it.

Bad Timing by Nicolas Roeg.

There are some very strange earlier French offerings which I'm having difficulty remembering.

Oh, god and Fellini -- Fellini's Satyricon

Oh and, um, El Topo and Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Not to forget Santa Sangre by the same director.

Oh, and Browning's Freaks.

And yes, can you tell I love weird films?
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Jay C
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 12:34 pm:   

Now I know who the composer of the Steppenwolf score is. It's George Gruntz.
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Mike Simanoff
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 12:54 pm:   

I'd like to plug Gilliam's latest, Lost in La Mancha. Excellent.
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Jay C
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 02:49 pm:   

Yeah, Mike. One must not forget Brazil, either.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 03:53 pm:   

Lars von Trier's first film, "The Element of Crime," is a real marvel. It was re-released recently, and is definitely worth hunting up.

I love silent films; very often they tell stories much more directly and elegantly than these faddish "talkies," and I like their special effects better, too. There's an amazing Swedish movie about witchcraft called Haxan (with an umlaut over the first "a") often shown in abbreviated form as "Witchcraft Through the Ages." Not only is it beautifully shot (most silent films seem to follow painterly, rather than still-photographerly, aesthetics) but my version is narrated by William S. Burroughs. And obviously Caligari, Murnau's Faust and Nosferatu. Dreyer's "Vampyr" is an early talky, filled with wonderful images (including the coffin-window bit).

Polanski's "The Tenant" seems underrated to me. And, if you can find it, Crispin Glover has made a truly bizarre film called "What Is It?".

Let me add my vote for Tarkovsky, who really was a great genius; his movies are ve e r r r y y y y s s l o w w, but the effect is generally that you are being trained in a new sense of time. "Stalker" is my favorite; "Solaris" is outstanding, and so is "The Mirror," which is less fantastic.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 06:44 pm:   

I've seen a few Gilliams - my favorite is Munchausen, though I may be alone in this. Jay, you have quite the penchant for strange movies. That's enough to last me a while (I don't watch many movies) but am open to many more suggestions anyone might have.

And, of course, Michael, I love Nosferatu. If only they had stopped making vampire movies after that - wouldn't the world be a better place? Not that I have anything against vampire movies - except that I categorically hate them.

Any other great surreal animators out there, ala Quay and Svankmajer? I find their work particularly appealing.
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Timmi D.
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 08:20 pm:   

Jean Cocteau's films might appeal to you, Forrest. My favorite is his version of Orpheus & Eurydice. (His Beauty & the Beast, although not as fine, is also worth seeing). & I think you would probably enjoy one of my favorite films, which I have to watch every five years or so, viz., Alain Resnais's intriguing _Last Year at Marienbad_. Oh, & there's a film based on Angela Carter's "The Company of Wolves," which I also recommend.

Timmi
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 09:10 pm:   

You're not alone regarding Munchausen, or at least you're alone with me.

Thing about other animators is - I KNOW I've seen such work floating around, but it's hard for me to recall. Animation festivals used to be a good place to uncover *our kind of thing* but that may no longer be true. In various places around the country, you can find the no-budget ARTS channel, which shows nothing but excerpts from concerts, dance recitals, etc., and sometimes striking animation. There's a wonderful Russian piece with original music by Alfred Schnittke, and a charming little vignette with Titania in the woods from Poland. The excerpts come with full documentation (like music videos).

Ever see anything by John and Faith Hubley? Not even slightly like Svankmeyer or the Quays, but very expressive, very often with improvised dialog.

I know - ask Stepan. He knows everything about animation.
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benpeek
Posted on Monday, March 03, 2003 - 09:54 pm:   

>And, of course, Michael, I love Nosferatu. If only they had stopped making vampire movies after that - wouldn't the world be a better place?<

have you ever seen a film called SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE? it's a film set around NOSFERATU, claiming that murnau found a real vampire to play the peice, and promised it his leading lady. it's an interesting film--not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but still good. william dafoe is really quite good as the vampire.

another pair of films you might enjoy are spike jonz's BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and ADAPTATION. both strange and quirky things.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:51 am:   

Innaresting thing about SHADOW - David Lynch's production company, thinking that SHADOW's director was an Up And Comer, were looking to tempt him into their fold with a script based on Ligotti's "Last Feast of Harlequin"! TL went through a great deal of trouble to put the script together. In the end - bubkus.
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Jay C
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 08:02 am:   

See, I beg to differ on the Vampire movie thing. Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu with Isabel Adjani and Klaus Kinski was wonderful (though slow).

Concurrence on Being John Malkovich.

One might as well add Memento to that mix too. Got to give points to a film that is told backwards.
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 08:32 am:   

Hey, I love Gilliam's THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHHAUSEN! Awesome, gorgeous, lush. I recommend BRAZIL and TIME BANDITS too.

I also like Polanski's kinky BITTER MOON.

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Jack Haringa
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:48 pm:   

This may be pedestrian and "mainstream" for the discussion, but Cronenberg's films in general, and Dead Ringers, Shivers, and his version of Naked Lunch in particular I find disturbing and suitably bizarre. Or are these too populist in structure?

I would also highly recommend Peter Medak's film of Peter Barnes's play The Ruling Class, starring Peter O'Toole.

~Jack~
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 02:52 pm:   

Michael: I would love to know the title of the piece with the Schnittke - I really enjoy his compositions.

Ben: No, I haven't had a chance yet to see SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, though I've heard wonderful things about it.

Jay: I think I'm mostly just burned out on vampires - in movies, in literature, in art. Besides I eat a lot of garlic.

Vera: I loved BRAZIL. I liked TIME BANDITS at one time, long ago, but the movie hasn't aged too well with me. I think it's the early '80s hairdos. Maybe it's just me.

I'm curious how many here have seen and enjoyed THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN? Not to beat a dead horse, but it is one of my favorites.

Oh, and am I the only person on earth who WASN'T disappointed by Lynch's DUNE?
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Jay C
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 03:13 pm:   

Oh god, I wasn't disappointed by Dune. Lynch did a great job of encapsulating an enormous saga of great vision into a clearly alien look and feel. Also enjoyed The City of Lost Children.

And Jack, a big thumbs up to The Naked Lunch. Quite icky in a Cronenberg sort of way, but Peter Weller was superb, and weirdness abounds.
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RobertW
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 03:26 pm:   

Hat's off to City of Lost Children. Great movie.

I didn't like Being John Malkovich. Thought it was shallow and overly clever. Basic idea was good. If it had some humanity and soul it would have been better.

Robert
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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 04:42 pm:   

Two movies I love that weren't mentioned yet: Wilder's SUNSET BLVD and Fincher's FIGHT CLUB.

Buñuel -- can you get any stranger than him? :-)

Jeunet & Caro -- love their movies, except ALIEN 4, which is utter shite.

Cronenberg -- I like his early stuff, but not his post-CRASH movies.

Gilliam -- MUNCHAUSEN, BRAZIL and 12 MONKEYS are my favourites, but I generally like his style.

SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE -- decent flick if you ignore the blatant factual transgressions. To me, the first NOSFERATU remains the best vampire film ever -- Max Schreck as Count Orlok still gives me the creeps.

Jonze -- I'm going to see ADAPTATION this week, I've heard very good things about it.

Tarkovski -- I tried to see SOLARIS . . . but fell asleep. And the Portuguese subtitles were crap, which doesn't help at all.

Lars von Trier -- sometimes I like him, sometimes I hate him, but he's definitely a good director.

Been hearing about Svankmajer for some time, but never got to see any of his movies . . . Czech films are hard to come by in Portugal, even harder if they're animated. I *might* have seen some shorts in an old animation programme we had when I was a kid (hosted by Vasco Granja, an old guy who liked to intersperse Warner Bros and MGM cartoons with more highbrow stuff from Eastern European directors). But that was too long ago. Anyway, what do you recommend?

Best,
Luís
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 09:54 pm:   

I haven't seen all of Svankmajer's stuff, but his FAUST is a masterpiece.
I don't like Lynch's DUNE, but I don't hate it either. My best friend feels, and I agree, that Lynch is an essentially painterly director; he is at his best with meticulously-crafted images and he really can't be jostled along.
Jodorowsky was at one time planning to do an adaptation of Dune, with the French comics artist Mobius - now that would have been something!
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benpeek
Posted on Tuesday, March 04, 2003 - 10:08 pm:   

>I'm curious how many here have seen and enjoyed THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN? Not to beat a dead horse, but it is one of my favorites.<

i've seen it, and like it. i think i preferred DELICATESSEN, but i note that i've only ever seen it once and don't own a copy. i do own a copy of CITY OF LOST CHIDLREN and AMELIE.

perhaps one of the things i like most about the films is the lushness.

on another side, have you see THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE by the coen brothers? i like their films, and i've a special place for THE BIG LEBOWSKI, but i thought THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE was excellent.
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Jay C
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:40 am:   

Yeah, Coen Brothers. Lebowski is special, Dude. Barton Fink also stands up IMO.
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 12:22 pm:   

I'm almost embarrassed to say I really enjoyed THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. Of course, I watched them with my kids, which was an added treat.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 12:42 pm:   

Yes, the Coen Brothers! I don't think there's a movie by them that I don't like.

I also enjoyed THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and I have the soundtrack CD with all the lovely songs.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

Just remembered another one - NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, the one and only film directed by Charles Laughton. A truly dreamlike southern Gothic starring Robert Michum (the first film character to have LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles) as a sinister minister. Includes an underwater scene that ranks among the most beautiful images I've ever seen on film.
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Jay C
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 02:14 pm:   

Yes, yes, classic! He was a really nasty piece of work. And it just functions so well in B&W. That film could never have been shot in colour and had the same impact.
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 06:19 pm:   

With those two ringing endorsements, I'll have to have a look. When did this black and white gem emerge?

Maybe I'll have to read Nick Caves AND THE ASS SAW THE ANGEL and follow up with watching this film. Or am I getting myself in too deep?
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Mike Jasper
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 06:22 pm:   

Jay -- Barton Fink -- that was a strange-ass flick! I kinda dug it. I watched it with my dad, and he and I haven't watch a movie together, just the 2 of us, since...

Just saw Blood Simple for the first time a month ago -- awesome, awesome ending. Great plot twists. Nothing like burying a mostly-dead corpse.
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 07:19 pm:   

Odd cartoons:

A couple of weird ones that I loved - but maybe they're considered quite mainstream and unremarkable in the States? - were the Maxx and Aeon Flux toons on MTV. Not to forget The Tick...

Ages ago there was a French one called Robostory. If you don't remember the title, you might remember the line:' Old White Wriggler was the lowest of the low...' which the characters said a lot.
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Forrest
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 11:18 am:   

The Tick, I must admit, is my all-time favorite cartoon, though I only saw it when it was on FOX in the mid-90s. I heard it went to Cartoon Network or Comedy Central for a while. Is it playing anywhere now in the US?

Forrest
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Jay C
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 11:29 am:   

Another board just reminded me of another film which is weird and wonderful and fairly recent. Cronenberg's SPIDER. Excellent, dark little piece. Ralf Fiennes and Miranda Richardson are both simply wunnerful. http://www.spiderthemovie.com/

Tagline: "The only thing worse than losing your mind is finding it again."
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Jay C
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 11:32 am:   

Oh and Forrest, sorry, NIGHT OF THE HUNTER was 1955.

http://www.filmsite.org/nightof.html
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Luís
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 01:11 pm:   

SPIDER isn't bad, but it's not what it could have been. Or maybe I was expecting too much . . .

I second (third?) the recommendation of NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

Best, Luís
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 02:09 pm:   

A Schnittke fan, too? You and DF Lewis - that makes a minimum of three on this board alone; a record?
Anyway, I'm cudgelling my brains for the answer, but I just don't remember. The piece in question was specifically composed for this animation, which involved ballet and sailing. How useless is that?
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 08:58 pm:   

WEE-OO WEE-OO
Flash! ERASERHEAD is now available on DVD! Totally restored, noncompressed, painstakingly cleaned frame-by-frame, and in its original aspect ratio!
For years, Eraserhead has been the White Whale of video shopping; sure, you could find copies of it floating around, occasionally, but the quality was always FUBAR (most were duped offa the Japanese video disc release).
Sorry to come off like a paid shill, but my friends and I have been waiting for this day like the Israelites waited in the desert ...
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, March 07, 2003 - 11:13 am:   

40 years? Worshiping golden calfs and all? Geez, Michael, get a life!
No, that's really cool. I love ERASERHEAD, but can only stand to watch it about 20 minutes at a time.
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 09:37 am:   

I also enjoyed CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, I thought it was a lovely film. And there's a llama in it, albeit briefly.

I'm quite a Svankmajer fan and have most of his movies on video. I tend to prefer the earlier shorter works, but of the longer pieces my favorite by far is ALICE. Same with Brothers Quay -- "Street of Crocodiles" may be my favorite.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned The Kingdom by Lars von Trier, a bizarre multi-part serial about a haunted hospital which is by turns hilarious and horrifying. The first part is readily available on video and DVD. The second part is as well but takes a bit longer to find. Very highly recommended, though.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 11:54 am:   

Is the von Trier an animated piece or just plain weird?

Forrest
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Jeff Topham
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 12:15 pm:   

Terry Gilliam's name keeps popping up, and Mike mentioned Lost in La Mancha. This is a documentary about a movie that never happened, right? Anyone else that's seen it?

Was browsing in a bookstore the other day and read a quote from Gilliam saying that one of his great unrealized projects is a film version of Peake's Gormenghast novels. If only . . .

Anyone seen After Hours? A great black comedy.
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 12:55 pm:   

Not animated at all, Forrest. Just plain weird.

Here's the first part:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/6304018959/qid%3D1047329161/sr%3D11-1/ref %3Dsr%5F11%5F1/104-9755958-4378344

It consists of two tapes with four episodes and can be watched on its own. There IS a second part, but the only version I've seen around is a Japanese DVD import. I did catch two of those episodes when Film Forum here in NY had a showing a couple of years ago.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 01:32 pm:   

La Mancha is about Gilliam's first abortive attempt to film Don Quixote. He is currently trying to raise money for a second try.

There are some really great movies about movie-making. HEARTS OF DARKNESS, about the shooting of Apocalypse Now, and one whose name I can't remember about FITZCARRALDO. Herzog has also made a truly beautiful film about Klaus Kinski called MY BEST FIEND.
"I hadn't seen him for some time, and was looking forward to our meeting, although I had only recently given up my plan to murder him."
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 12:26 pm:   

When I taught a history class in grad school (The Vietnam Wars: 1954-present) we showed HEARTS OF DARKNESS to our 100 or so students. The reactions were varied, but all involved some form of "holy s**t, what a bunch of freaks!"
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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 02:58 pm:   

Speaking of THE KINGDOM, there's going to be an American remake of the series, co-written by Stephen King. Why, o why?
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 03:51 pm:   

*pistol shot - sound of brains splattering on wall*
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PeterW
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 04:35 pm:   

For me, Jeunet and Caro's films -- Amelie, City of Lost Children, and esp. Delicatessen -- are all grail.

For truly weird (very disturbingly weird), there's "Iron Man", a Japanese live animation about a man who gradually becomes living metal. Very bizarre, very intense. There was a follow-on called "Tetsuo II: Body Hammer", which is equally as weird (and similar in theme), but not quite as "good".

Should mention Sam Fuller's "Shock Corridor" and Powell's "Peeping Tom" while I'm thinking of them. Haven't seen either in a long time, but I was quite impressed with both of them.
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Luís
Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 05:37 pm:   

I watched TETSUO II last year. While not bad, I didn't feel inclined to seek out the first movie, but I'll give it a shot one of these days.

Speaking of Asian cinema, one of the best movies I had the chance to watch last year: THE EYE (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0325655). Incidentally, Hollywood is also going to remake this one . . . :-(

Best,
Luís
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PeterW
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 09:45 am:   

While not as strange as some of those mentioned here, Emir Kusturica's films are worthy of note in this discussion. Time of the Gypsies is, IMHO, a masterpiece, and the perfect filmic equivalent of literary magic realism. His Underground is also brilliant, and bears strong resemblance to a Jeunet/Caro film (it's a epic allegorical fantasy about post-Tito Yugoslavia); it also has a strong Bunuel flavor. Black Cat, White Cat is also quite good, as is When Father Was Away on Business (though this one is much less "weird").

I'll second the motion on Jodorowski's Santa Sangre: excellent!

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Michael Cisco
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 12:42 pm:   

I was holding off on Kusturica because I wasn't sure it was appropos to the board - but now that he's here, I have to chime in, especially with regard to UNDERGROUND. It's not just a good film, it really is a GREAT film, in the way that VERTIGO or STALKER or 2001 are great films. It's an accomplishment. Peter W. detects Bunuel, but for me it felt like Fellini - really fast Fellini.
When I recommend it to people and tell them it's about Yugoslavian history I can see their eyes glaze over - never mind that, just see it.
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PeterW
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 01:21 pm:   

Michael,

Yeah, was probably a mistake mentioning the historical aspect. An awareness of Yugoslavian history is not essential at all to enjoying the movie. And I can certainly see Fellini there too!
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PeterW
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 01:29 pm:   

Pi was probably "mainstream" enough that I don't need to mention it, but I will, as it certainly fits into the weird category.

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Stepan Chapman
Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 09:06 pm:   

Pi is wonderful. The Kingdom is great, (and let's all boycott the remake.) Svankmeyer and the Brothers Quay are tops. Lynch and Cronenberg and Gilliam are often very fine indeed. Even Tim Burton has his moments, though he seems currently to be wandering lost.

I own a video of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, and it contains some very imaginative stop-motion animation. A Japanese avant punk film. Extremely herky-jerky and low-budget. Like Gumby on speed. Great fun for about the first half-hour, but watching the whole thing in one sitting will give you a headache.

I'll also mention Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders, a wonderful German film about angels. Bruno Ganz in this film is one of my role models. Hollywood ripped this one off for a lame Nicholas Cage movie and completely missed the point. But remakes nearly always miss the point, don't they?

Speaking of children's films, Return To Oz is one of the few Disney studio movies that I actually like. It begins with little Dorothy being committed to an asylum!

And speaking of Oz, someone should make a movie of Wicked, which is the autobiography of the Wicked Witch of the West. Oz has no dark side, but certain storytellers feel compelled to invent one.
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PeterW
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 10:57 am:   

Has anyone seen the Brothers Quay's (punct?) Institute Benjamenta. Looks intriguing, but I tend to like Svankmeyer and Brothers Quay in smaller doses.

I too loved Wings of Desire, Stepan. And I agree that the world of cinema needs to give the Wicked Witch of the West ("WWW"?) her due now. And I hope you've started on the screenplay for State Secrets of Aphasia; can't wait to see how that plays out on the big screen . Seriously, though I loved that story.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 05:53 pm:   

I own a copy of Benjamenta - it's live action, bear in mind. Alice Krige, best known as the Borg Queen, does a wonderful turn in it. If you don't like the Quays in big doses, then a full-lengther is most likely going to be a drag unless you watch it in installments. There is no plot to speak of (it is based on a "novel" by Robert Walser) so there's little to follow. The same sort of imagery that we know from the animation is in plentiful supply, and the film achieves many moments of superlative, if rather mannered, beauty.
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 06:16 am:   

Did anyone mention Jim Jarmusch yet? I watched DEAD MAN the other day and liked it a lot.

Best, Luís
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PeterW
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 09:06 am:   

I dig most of Jarmusch's movies; they're definitely off-center. My favorite would still have to be Down By Law (which I should note, is not weird, per se).

One film that serves for me as a touchstone of mystery in filmmaking is Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Peter Weir. Dreamy, haunting, and beautiful, it provides no easy answers, but evokes a strange sense of an undercurrent of life in all things. In that aspect, it reminds me of some of Algernon Blackwood's more naturalistic pieces, and even Machen's Hill of Dreams.
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Jay C
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 02:33 pm:   

DEAD MAN, DEAD MAN, DEAD MAN

GHOST DOG, GHOST DOG, GHOST DOG

and then some more DEAD MAN
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 04:30 pm:   

Dead Man is Johnny Depp's film, right? He wrote it, or directed it, or something, in addition to appearing in it. And doesn't Crispin Glover show up in it as well? JD is one of the few real actors available right now, one of the only ones who disappears into a part.
Sometimes I wonder who would play the Divinity Student ... then I remember that it's 2003 and Hollywood is the Whore of Babylon - lessee, George Clooney as the Divinity Student? Or maybe Carrot Top? Anna Nicole Smith could play Miss Woodwind - this joke is too depressing to keep up.
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 07:48 pm:   

michael: DEAD MAN has johnny depp in it, but it's a jim jarmusch film, written and directed. the score is by neil young and really quite good.

i second GHOST DOG and DOWN BY LAW, too. i also recommend MYSTERY TRAIN. the ghost of elvis and a pair of cool japanese tourists in graceland make for an excellent with.
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PeterW
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 03:41 pm:   

Forgot to mention Tuvalu, a nice but weird thing in the tradition of Jeunet & Caro. Should be at a reasonably-stocked video store near you (they'll undoubtedly have only one copy). I believe it's a Bulgarian production.
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 08:17 pm:   

Has anyone mentioned SANTA SANGRE? Which features a funeral for an elephant. At the end of this funeral, the elephant is tossed over the edge of a cliff and people come out from hiding below to feast on its flesh. This is one of the more ordinary scenes. It's one of the strangest, most stunning films I've ever seen.

JeffV
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JeffV
Posted on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 08:18 pm:   

Like Jay, I wasn't convinced by Shadow of the Vampire. Thought it rather bad, actually.

JeffV
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Neil Williamson
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 01:18 am:   

Coming to this thread a bit late, I'm afraid, but:

- gotta agree with Stepan on Wings of Desire; an absolutely magical movie. Wenders' later film Until The Of The World is also weird - but mainly because you get two hours of heist movie and then it suddenly changes to "recording people's dreams" science fiction. A strange experience.

Jeff - I think I enjoyed Shadow of the Vampire a bit more than you. If only to see Udo Kier in a vampire movie again. Come to think of it Warhol's Blood For Dracula was plenty bizzare (as well as hilarious) too.
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 06:53 pm:   

And Wings of Desire (actually I saw the original German - well, mostly German - "DER HIMMEL UBER BERLIN") was my introduction to Nick Cave back in 1987, believe it or not. And whatever happened to Solveig Dommartin? Did she play in anything else?

Another recent movie that I quite enjoyed, but may not qualify as altogether "weird" was SNATCH. The cinematography was fantastic, though, artistic in the extreme, I felt. Anyone else like it?
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 07:31 pm:   

Yeah--I thought Snatch was a great movie!

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 08:37 pm:   

Snatch is another reason why I continue to like Brad Pitt, despite my feelings that he's a pretty boy. He's taken some chances when he could have taken the Tom Cruise/Kevin Costner route of making the same character over and over again. (True Romance, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, etc.)

Just watched The Ring and One Hour Photo this weekend. Again, neither of them are necessarily weird (like Bloodsucking Freaks, or Eraserhead [or many Lynch films for that matter...but still one of my favorite directors]) but both are clever little films. (haven't seen Ringu, don't know if I will, know that The Ring has flaws...)

I thought One Hour Photo did some extremely clever things with its cinematography, especially where the color/tenor of the film was concerned. I liked how many of the scenes were overwhelmingly washed with one color. Helped set the mood.

For The Ring, I loved all the little one frame things that were slapped into the body of the film. I even liked how the FBI warning on the DVD jumped and skipped like the video. We watched it LATE at night and it made the movie very cool, ultra freaky.

We also watched Sweet Home Alabama and Signs...I won't refer to them again here.

I totally have to agree with DEAD MAN. I don't believe Depp had anything more to do with the film than starring in it. Phenomenal film. All fades, no cuts. (Crispin Glover is great, too; he made Charlie's Angels) Depp is another actor I love despite his also being a pretty boy (don't believe me? he's got finer facial features than half the actresses out there).

Perhaps you're thinking of The Brave which Depp directed (about an American Indian who agrees to star in a snuff film so that he can give the money to his family)?

Anyone seen Willard yet?
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 09:12 pm:   

I saw Ghost World last night, a movie which would probably qualify as strange. I expected to love it, and did love it most of the way through, but thought it took a wrong turn at the end. Anyone else seen it?
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ben peek
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 03:35 am:   

>Another recent movie that I quite enjoyed, but may not qualify as altogether "weird" was SNATCH. The cinematography was fantastic, though, artistic in the extreme, I felt. Anyone else like it?<

brad pitt was good, but otherwise, no, i didn't like it. have you seen LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS? it was guy ritchies first film, and SNATCH is essentially a retread of it in style and substance, only SNATCH just isn't as good.

also, in the strange crime film world, the film CHOPPER is fantastic. it's based of the australian stand over man mark 'chopper' reid's life, and is just a cool, classy, strange film at times. (the 'shoot out' at the pub in the end of the film is great.) eric bana, who has been swallowed by american to be in THE HULK and BLACK HAWK DOWN, plays chopper, and it's a fantastic performance.


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PeterW
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 09:53 am:   

I also thought Snatch was inferior to LS&2SB; Brad Pitt's gypsy was definitely the highlight of Snatch, though.

KJ - I was also disappointed by the ending of Ghost World. And unexpectedly, the film just hasn't "stayed with me" like I thought it would; no desire to see it again.

I'll also mention Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos) -- this was the original version of Vanilla Sky. Very nice.
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KJ Bishop
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 08:05 pm:   

(Ghost World spoilers)


Peter - glad I'm not the only one. I could have accepted that ending for Enid, but felt it was all wrong for Seymour. I really couldn't understand how the film makers could write this fascinating, very unusual, very sympathetic individual, and then just brush him off with that silly therapy scene. It seemed a sort of aesthetic injustice.
While I wasn't expecting to see a 'happily ever after' with Seymour and Enid, I was still watching in anticipation of some kind of Casablanca moment - or, at least, Seymour quietly by himself (maybe listening to that 'Devil got my woman' song).
I wouldn't usually get this bugged about a movie; I think I just hate to see something potentially so good trip over at the finish line.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 08:58 pm:   

It's so odd you would mention that film. While I haven't seen it, I'm fairly certain "Enid" is based on a former girlfriend of mine, Erika, who is now Mrs. Dan Clowes (the film is an adaptation of his story). She left me for him, which is rather why I haven't been seen the picture. (I felt this wasn't inappropriate to mention, since Jonathan Briggs confessed to losing a girlfrind to a Butthole Surfer on the General board. Conformity in action I suppose.)
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 09:15 pm:   

I thought Snatch was in all ways superior to Lock, Stock--better story, better characters, filmed more inventively.

JeffV
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2003 - 02:23 pm:   

Not sure how strange these are, but what about Vidocq and Mamoru Oshii's Avalon? Well, actually, I'm fairly sure Vidocq's cinematography places it firmly in the "strange" category, but I'm not sure about Avalon. I suppose its anime sensibilities, sepia tones and a handful of strangely-filmed sequences might qualify it. At any rate, I thought it was a relatively kickass movie.
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liz williams
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2003 - 04:26 am:   

(Coming v late to this thread: you can tell I've finished my copyediting...)

KJ, I agree about the Ghost World ending - for Enid it captured that period people sometimes go through when all their bridges have got burned and they're in a corner. But it dismissed Seymour rather too glibly, I thought.

Only thing I've watched this week has been the 2 Blade movies.: Wesley Snipes in extremely slab-faced demeanour. I'm catching up on a lot of stuff at present (due to a traumatic winter I missed out on several movies).
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2003 - 11:22 pm:   

How about MAN FACING NORTHWEST? It's been so long since I've seen it, the only thing I vividly recall about it is the sister (?) emitting blue syrup from her lips at orgasm.
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MC
Posted on Wednesday, April 09, 2003 - 11:23 pm:   

Or am I thinking of NORTH BY NORTHEAST, in which spies chase lunatics who think they're aliens - or was that K-PAX?
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 01:26 am:   

http://www.trajectorymedia.com/frames.html

Forrest, baby - you might try following the above link (you might have to cut and paste it) - this site has a number of innaresting animations that might be up your metaphysical alley (the alley of caymans, right of the street of crocodiles).
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 08:47 pm:   

Oh, I can see that I'm going to enjoy this a great deal. Thank you, oh mighty Michael!
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 11:54 am:   

Hey, Michael, go to the links page - it's chock full of good stuff!
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Forrest
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 08:06 pm:   

Open question: TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL - worth it? I have no opinions yet, not having seen it.
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Luís Rodrigues
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 08:20 pm:   

To catch up on some of the stuff I missed:

SNATCH and just about every Guy Ritchie movie: SNATCH has its moments, but Ritchie's directorial style annoys me. Same for VIDOCQ. Hated, hated, hated the movie. The camera work in it gives me headaches.

AVALON I liked. Not perfect, but still great, and slightly underrated too.

Never heard of GIMLI HOSPITAL. Is that where hobbits go when they're sick?

Cheers,
Luís
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jeff ford
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 09:01 pm:   

Michael: Man facing Southwest is a very good movie. I remember seeing it quite a while ago as well and that is has something to do with Adolfo Bioy Casare's
novella The Invention of Morrell.

Best,

Jeff
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jim chapman
Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 11:26 am:   

some neat/odd stuff lately:

sokorov "russian ark" (the one that's one continuous 90 minute shot--even though the technical side of it in staggering, in a sense it's also a great gimmick to get people to come and watch what is really just another great sokorov film, which otherwise they'd've ignored as usual)

bros. quay "in absentia" (gorgeous 20 min film scored with a section of stockhausen's "licht," it'd be worth watching with your eyes closed)

guy maddin, "dracula: pages from a virgins diary" (a very funny silent film awash in mahler and repression--and LOOKS as good as "the heart of the world" did)

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Forrest
Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 05:27 pm:   

This weekend I saw Guy Maddin's "Tales from the Gimli Hospital" for the first time. A little bit slower than I would have liked at the start, but a great movie, nonetheless. The "Hospital Short" on the DVD was, I thought, much more enjoyable than the movie itself - more thickly layered, quite a bit more energetic, but leaving much to the viewer's ability to fill in the mental discontinuities. A challenging, rewarding piece. I would love nothing better than to have a disc full of pieces like "Hospital Short". Maybe I'm just a bit looney.

Forrest
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jim chapman
Posted on Monday, June 23, 2003 - 10:57 am:   

there's a beautiful film playing right now, seijun suzuki's "a pistol opera."

suzuki is famous here for his nutty 60's yakuza/gangster films, but not many people have seen what he was doing in the 70's and 80's--three very serious gorgeous meditations on theatre and music, e.g. "kagamusha" (aka "heat shimmer theatre").

so now at age 80 or so, he's taken his two halves and put them together, in a weird dream about a pistol-wielding girl shooting other members of her syndicate...yet it's all about suzuki's own mortality and career, as well as a major side-bet about terrorism (it was made just before 9/11). incredible images. the most abstract and gorgeous gangster film ever, and gave the audience no quarter--about 1/5 of the audience left during the film, but those who stayed loved it.
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GabrielM
Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 - 11:39 am:   

The idea that someone would attempt a movie of MALDOROR blows my mind. Has anyone seen this?

http://bak.spc.org/maldoror/maltex.html

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