Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top 100: #100-91

Compiling a list for The 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 Poll
(I limited each director to a maximum of three films)

100. Roman Holiday
 William Wyler, 1953

99 to 91 after the jump...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Great Happiness Space (2006)

Tale of an Osaka Love Thief
Directed by Jake Clennell

This is the movie on love and capitalism that Godard wishes he could make, a documentary on people who work at host clubs in Japan and their clients.  It questions the price of happiness and the cost of dreams of love.  The hyperreal can be seen everyday at Rakkyo Café.

It can be seen on Netflix streaming here. Review from Jamie S. Rich at DVD Talk and Amoeblog. 
Film reviews in fifty words (2011).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Screen Capture Quiz: #1

I will attempt to post on Mondays at 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time (US). 

  1. Each screenshot is worth 1 point and naming the connection between the two films is an additional 1 point (3 points).  Also, the first 7 people to answer all correctly will get an extra point (4 total points possible).  I will make the connections simple and warn you if it is tricky.   
  2. Submit your answers using the comments; it will be set it to need administrative approval so that other people cannot see your answers.  I will post the top ten point leaders in the following week's screenshot quiz (if you want me to pimp your blog or link to your site/works by your name, just say so in your comment). 
  3. Please use yourself as the only resource to answering the quiz--no Internet searches (honor system); if you really want help, you can look into the soul of the person next to you.

Week 1: 



Since this is the inaugural post and to let you know what to expect, I will give a hint.

Hint: Person [an additional hint for the connection after the jump...]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genova (2008)

Directed by Michael Winterbottom
US title: A Summer in Genoa

I was sad to learn that this beautiful film never opened in American theaters.*  After losing his wife, Firth moves his family to Italy—together: they cope with their loss; individually: the younger daughter is haunted by the car accident, the older sister faces adolescence, and the father starts fresh.

*but was released on DVD following Colin Firth’s Oscar win in April 2011.

Additional Observations (cheating): Marcel Zyskind’s images are nothing short of amazing.  Thematically and visually, I was reminded of Keislowski’s Blue and Guadagnino’s I Am Love—the scenes at the beach are like the ones in Eric Rohmer’s films (even Keener looks like Marie Rivière).

The trailer can be seen here and the whole film can be seen on Netflix streaming.
Film reviews in fifty words (2011).

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top 5 Movies I Want to See But Are Not Easily Available (DVD or Bluray)

   specifically in the United States

  1. Voyage to Italy  (Rossellini, 1954)
  2. A Brighter Summer Day  (Yang, 1991)
  3. Love Exposure  (Sono, 2008)
  4. Two Weeks in Another Town  (Minnelli, 1962) – Warner Archive collection*
  5. Arizona Dream  (Kusturica, 1993) – Warner Archive collection*
Honorable Mention: Norwegian Wood  (Hung, 2010) – available in the UK
*made to order dvds from Warner (but the quality is questionable)
I am excited for the Citizen Kane bluray Amazon Exclusive with The Magnificent Ambersons DVD (which is ludicrous that Ambersons is not on bluray, but at least it will be on DVD for the first time).

I will have to revise my Top Ten Movies That Need a Bluray Release since Kane is on the honorable mentions and The Three Colors Trilogy will be out on Criterion bluray in November.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swingers and NHL 93 (Jeremy Roenick)

Oh, Swingers (1996) do I love thee?
Let me count the ways...
(Sadly, you were cut from my Top 100)
But if I were still in high school, you would make it to the Top 25 with ease.

The video up top (Fox Sports promo?) is an awesome homage to Swingers, directed by Doug Liman and written by Jon Favreau.  I just looked up the bluray release--and it's next week.  Recommendation: Must Buy!
In case you can't view the embedded videos: the homage and the original.

[after the jump: Wikipedia entry of how they were playing NHL 93 but talking about NHL 94]

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tokyo Story (1953)

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

Before I learned to use the phrase “It’s like an Ozu film,” I had to string together words like simple, classic, beautiful, and grace; mention themes of life/change and tradition/modernity; and improperly use nouns such as humanity, everyday, and harmony as adjectives.  As I struggled to find a response to a fellow film geek’s review of Tokyo Story, I started watching the film without subtitles—initially on accident—and I realized just how much visual depth and textures (without the distraction of subtitles) were captured by Ozu’s camera.  His films are obvious, told simply and clearly—their methods of storytelling don't obscure its themes so that the audience feels smart for figuring out its meaning (through gimmicks that feign complexity).

Tokyo Story is art at its most humane.  It explores the generational gap between parents and their grown-up children.  Now adults, the children find themselves too busy with their own lives to properly mind their parents who have come a long way to visit them.  Ozu’s films are timeless, not because their stories feel like they could happen today (although, that is also true) but rather they are timeless because it makes the viewer feel as one of their time.

A 200-word review/rebuttal of James Blake Ewing's Tokyo Story review at Cinema Sights
Enjoy: Sense of Cinema on Yasujiro Ozu and articles by Roger Ebert, The Great Movies and on Ozu.
The 4-minute (Criterion Collection) trailer and more screens after the jump...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: The Synecdoche Awards

The Synecdoche Awards
meaning: part of something is used to refer to the whole thing

                  The Orson (award)

Thank you for playing. The Awards can be found after the jump...
The Awards/Prizes (trophies/badges/avatars) can be used as icons or pics in forums, facebook, etc. These were created by Neil Posis, he's a an artist that specializes in painting, comic books, and caricatures. I served as the backseat art director/reference provider.

Please take (save to your computer) the appropriate awards that you have earned. Like in the scoring, we are going by the honor system. 

For example: If you scored 100 points, you win the Griffith Award and get to also have the awards/trophies that your points cover--including the Orson and the Eisenstein awards.

The Orson [Welles]:  54 and below
The Eisenstein:  55-84 points
The Griffith:  85-108 points
The Murnau (Sunrise prize): 109-126 points
The Méliès (Moon prize):  127-144 points
The Lumières Brothers:  145-156 points
The Louis Le Prince:  157-166 points

Revision: Added small versions of the awards to use as forum or profile pictures at the bottom.

[point scale and awards after the break]

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Point Ranges & Prizes Tomorrow

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: Bonus Features (answers to A in the comments)

First time to the quiz, please go here.

Sorry. The prizes were not ready.
Please enjoy these screens that didn't make the cut for the quiz.
No points for using these. More screens after the jump...

[many screens after the jump]

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: A

Welcome to Name That Film: A (answers to B in comments)
Rules and bonus question after the jump...




[rules and bonus question after the jump]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: B

Welcome to Name That Film: B (answers to C in comments)
Rules and bonus question after the jump...




[rules and bonus question after the jump]

Warm Up for B (zero points)

This is for pure aesthetics (the Kant kind) and zero points...thanks Mr. Coutard.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: C

Welcome to Name That Film: C (answers to D in comments)
Rules and bonus question after the jump...




[rules and bonus question after the jump]

The Third Place Club

Top Ten Third-Favorite Film 
from American Directors*

  1. Manhattan  (Woody Allen, 1979)
  2. The Long Goodbye  (Robert Altman, 1973)
  3. North by Northwest  (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)**
  4. The Thin Red Line  (Terrence Malick, 1998)***
  5. His Girl Friday  (Howard Hawks, 1940)
  6. Sabrina  (Billy Wilder, 1954)****
  7. Hard Eight  (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1996)
  8. The Royal Tenenbaums  (Wes Anderson, 2001)
  9. Taxi Driver  (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
  10. Apocalypse Now  (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
Honorable Mentions 
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Coen), Memento (Nolan), Dazed and Confused (Linklater)

I'm mostly sure this is according to how much I like the director, not by movie.  To qualify for this list, I needed to have seen at least half of the director's body of work. Orson Welles should be on this list, but I need to see/rewatch more of his films past The Magnificent Ambersons. Sadly, I didn't consider Nicholas Ray, John Ford, and John Cassavetes for similar reasons.

** I am claiming Hitchcock for the US.
*** I have not seen his latest, The Tree of Life.
**** Yes, I snubbed Sunset Boulevard and Some Like It Hot for this.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: D

Welcome to Name That Film: D (answers to E in comments)
Rules after the jump...



 [rules after the jump]

I'm Glad This Movie Exists #2

Written & Directed by Cédric Klapisch

Janet Maslin's review, Again, the awesome trailer in case your browser can't view the embedded version.
It should be added to my list of Films That Need a Bluray Release since it isn't even on DVD (US).
Also see Klapisch's Un Air de Famille (1996), written by Agnès Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri.

The US movie poster can be found after the jump...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: E

Welcome to Name That Film: E (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: F in comments)
Rules after the jump...




[rules after the jump] 

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: F

Welcome to Name That Film: F (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: G in comments)
Rules after the jump...




[rules after the jump]

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: G

Welcome to Name That Film: G (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: H in comments)
Rules and bonus question after the jump...

 G_03 (this is tricky)

[rules and bonus question after the jump]

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: H bonus

I forgot to include this bonus screen in H (1 point)


[a series of word play hints after the jump] 

I'm Glad This Movie Exists #1

Children of Paradise (1945)
Directed by Marcel Carné
Written by Jacques Prévert

[scenes between Baptiste and Garance edited to the Beatles' "I Will" by volarefuly after the break]

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: H

Welcome to Name That Film: H (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: I in comments)
Rules and extra help for H_01 after the jump...




[rules and extra help for H_01 after the jump]

Friday, August 05, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: I

Welcome to Name That Film: I (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: J in comments)
Rules and extra help for I_01 (if you need it) after the jump...




 [rules and extra help for I_01 after the jump]

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: J

Welcome to Name That Film: J (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: K in comments)
Rules after the jump...




 [rules after the jump]

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Happy Times (2002)

Directed by Zhang Yimou

When the blind girl realizes that she is being deceived, she smiles—someone has gone to great lengths to make her believe she’s a massage therapist at a fancy hotel. This great movie makes me want to thank all the filmmakers who have helped me find happiness in the dark.

Here's the trailer to this great little film.
For more of Zhang Yimou's simple greatness see The Story of Qiu Ju, Not One Less, and The Road Home.
Film reviews in fifty words (2011).

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: K

Welcome to Name That Film: K (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: L in comments)
Rules and bonus question after the jump...




[rules and bonus question after the jump]

Monday, August 01, 2011

Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: L

Welcome to Name That Film: L (answers to Cinematic Alphabet Quiz: M in comments)
Rules after the jump...




[rules after the jump]

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