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Entries tagged 'cat:Films'

Film: Tideland

Be entertained by watching a little girl being traumatised for life in various ways for almost two hours.

Is it a weird movie?

Why, yes. Yes, it is. That is if you consider a movie weird if it contains a scene of a corpse being taxidermied to keep a deceised person around then placed at the dinner table with the still living part of the family. But it is weird in that way without being a gory horrow or torture movie.

Would Jean-Pierre Jeunet like this film?

I don't know Jean-Pierre Jeunet or what movies he likes. But Tideland reminded me of his movies' style very much. Camera work, colors, character weirdness, music and the naturalness of unusual events made me suspect that it may be intentionally a tribute to Jean-Pierre Jeunet's work. But that's a silly thought.

Is it a children's movie?

I never understood the criteria for which movies are considered children's movies and which are not. But this one might genuinly be impossible to classify as either. It seems to be a children's movie, telling the story of a child from her point of view, with imaginative play and all. But who would want to show such fucked up shit to a child? Well, actually, why not? Some other children's stories aren't any better. And some, like some of Grim's fairy tales, are more gory than this one.

Shouldn't you have started this with an explanation of what the movie is about?

No. But here are a few keywords: girl, heroin, child abuse, death, friendship, decomposition, mummification, family, adventure,

Why is Brendan Fletcher doing this weird autistic-like act?

I don't know but you can't say it's offensive because he's not actually portraying an autistic man but a man who has part of his brain removed. Still offensive but for different reasons? Well, okay. Anyway. I found his role quite nice and well acted.

So, is it a horrow movie or isn't it?

Does it have a romance component in the story?

In an unusual, awkward way, yes, kind of. Well, calling it a romance would legitimise it. It's definitely not the usual cliché romance component. So, no.

What is it that you like about it?

I don't know. I think like how different normalities of life circumstances are introduced without any inhibition or restraint in a somehow lighhearted seeming way.

And the consistancy in the changes throughout the story.

What is this movie a mix of?

I'd say Fear And Laughing In Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam) and The City Of The Lost Children (Jean-Pierre Jeunet).

Can you show us some paradigmatic screen captures?

OK. But not from the end bit. Here you go.

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Film: Have Dreams, Will Travel

I don't know what the more correct title of the movie is. Some call it Have Dreams Will Travel, some call it A West Texas Children's Story and I don't know where either title was originally used.

It's about the adventure that Cassie and Ben have after her parents die and his don't even notice that he leaves without saying anything. It's also about trauma processing, communication in relationships (parental, friendships and romantic). That's what I see in it at least.

Cassie: I think it's time for us to leave.
Ben: Leave?
Cassie: Look. Those two people who you live with. They're nice and everything, but-
Ben: My parents?
Cassie: Right. But from what I can tell, they don't really have anything to offer you and they certainly don't have a thing to offer me.
Ben: So, where're we goin'?
Cassie: Baltimore. I have an aunt and uncle there. I haven't seen them since I was five but from what I can remember they're both extremely hip.

The overly compressed sound (accoustically compressed, not in terms of saving storage) is so cinematic that it's conspicuous for a movie made in this century. But it fits the overly grainy film-look and does a good job at creating this big-life-story vibe that dominates the whole movie. Like many dramas this movie has a recurring melody, creating a melodramatic yet optimistic mood.

The characters are so well defined at first that it almost came as a positive surprise that they both have deeper personalities. But I soon got used to the movie not becoming as comedic as I first thought it might be.

There is something about some of the dialogues that make them refreshing and simultaneously irregular for child characters and very fitting for these particular child characters.

Cassie: See, a real plan is more than just some pipe dream.
Ben: Pipe dream?
Cassie: A pipe dream is an unrealistic fantasy that deludes oneself into thinking that it's an actual plan. It's a very popular expression. I'm surprised you've never heard of it before.
Ben: I didn't say I'd never heard it.
Cassie: Anyway, a real plan is an actual goal that you believe in enough to create a set of circumstances. Which leads you to, and into, a plan. Comprende?
Ben: Where do you come up with this stuff? I mean, what part of your brain works so hard it makes you think and talk like that?
Cassie: My father was a professor with a very wide vocabulary and lots of unique ideas. When he wasn't teaching his students, he taught me.
Ben: So what does your mom do?
Cassie: She never did anything.

The last line of that quote may have a different meaning that I thought when I watched the movie for the first time.

The fact that I was surprised by the dramatic loss of Cassie's facade later on may make me naive, but for me it just means that I got a non-obvious important change of the story route. And it's nice to get a story told with a non-obvious route. Whether that's because you're tired, three, stupid, naive or because of excellent writing doesn't really matter. Other viewers may have been able to deduct more about Cassie early on than I was, with her efforts to do things in grown-up ways. I didn't even know what Ben meant when he asked Cassie what she's hiding. That just created all the more potential to be sucked in by emotions to be discovered by my naive movie-drama graving brain.

Over time I think Ben proved that he is the more grown-up one in the relationship. Not by having a large vocabulary or a life plan, but by simply addressing the issue he sees.

In the end, Ben makes his parents choose (in a away) what's more important for them to have - their passionate hobbies or their son - and decides for them at the same time. The result is the most glorious mixing of (fake) sad cry tears with (fake) happy cry tears I've seen in a mov- anywhere really.

I sort of expected this movie to end without any closure. It seemed like one of these movies. But not only did it have a closure for Ben's parents and a happy ending for his part of the story. It even has a happier ending above and after that, depicting the best possible futures Cassie and Ben could have perceived to have together. An utopistic extra happy ending that I didn't see necessary. I keep saying that I'd like to see more movies without a happy ending. This one has two but also shows that a movie can still be as emotional and melodramatic as it is even with a double happy endling. Maybe they felt they needed to quickly tell how happy they both end up in the future so that no viewer with a similar life story or trauma kills themselves after watching the movie.

I think it's interesting that AnnaSophia Robb (Cassie) isn't seen more in movies as an adult now. She has this sort of model face that men find so beautiful and she can act, I think. Maybe she's working more as a model. Cayden Boyd too. He looks like a model for a shaver commercial now. But he only had some small TV show roles in recent years. I haven't seen him in any other role. Maybe he sucks at acting.

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This is where the film could have ended in my opinion. But what do I know?
This is where the film could have ended in my opinion. But what do I know?
"Who knows anything when it comes down to it? I don't. Actually, contrary to what I wrote above this scene is much more open than I first thought. They don't meet Ben's parents. Both parents go inside without seeing the children. To me that seems like they may have never met again, or not until years later maybe. But what do I know?
"Who knows anything when it comes down to it? I don't. Actually, contrary to what I wrote above this scene is much more open than I first thought. They don't meet Ben's parents. Both parents go inside without seeing the children. To me that seems like they may have never met again, or not until years later maybe. But what do I know?
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Film: I'm Thinking Of Ending Things

Entry created on 2022-08-14 Authors: steeph (298) Categories: Films (12) Languages used: en (150) Topics: Films (11)

I like this quote from the movie: Other animals live in the present. Humans can not. So they invented hope. It's something I can think about.

I like the movie in general for breaking with storytelling conventions in an artful way without being so hard to follow that I just want to switch it off sighingly while exclaiming: "I guess it's art."

I may not understand the metaphors, which no doubt are plentiful throughout the movie, and therefor may not even understand what it is about or what Charlie Kaufman wants to say. But it certainly holding plenty of opportunities ready for letting the viewer get carried away by the movie's discussions about essential questions that are probably part of anybody's life at some point. I certainly got carried away to musing about all sorts of things several times. The discussions between the both main characters are often poetic and their course often takes on unexpected little turns. There are many things in that movie that I've not seen done well prior to this.

CW, in case you want to watch it: Suicide, Depression, Death and touching other unpleasant topics here and there

There's one other thing that I like about this movie: Parts of it are the most dream-like scenes that I've seen in any movie, as far as I can remember. I've been yearning for more accurate representations of the phenomenological idiosyncrasies of dreams for a while. Depending on the genre, filmmakers have tried different approaches, used many different effects and took advantage of technological innovations, as the were made, to depict dream scenes. Turns out all you need is a flatbed editor (or scissors and some tape or whatever editors used initially).

"I'm Thinking Of Ending Things" was the Charlie Kaufmann film that made me look up who wrote it. I've seen two movies of him before. But now I also know his name, somewhat his style, and much more of his work.

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My Favourite Movies

I've been meaning to put together this list for years but never took the time to do it properly. I'm not taking that time right now, either. But I'm starting with a few titles and am hoping that I'll find the time to fill this list peace by piece over the next weekscenturies.

These aren't really my favourite movies and shows. It would be nearly impossible to compile such a list. Some of them I enjoyed very much, some of them probably are among my favourites, but some I'd just like to share because I think more people should be aware of them.

I've removed the incomplete tag now. The list is still missing some important titles. But it can never be complete, so…

Movies made me cry and are actually dramas

Title Year Genre Keywords or reasons why I like it
And Then I Go 2017 Drama empathy, youthful, drama
The Cure 1995 Drama/Comedy sad, adventurous, sickness, drama
Pay it Forward 2000 Drama/Romance sad, drama, naivety
Die Beste Aller Welten 2017 Drama Austrian German Language, drama, drugs, small child
The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things 2004 Drama sad, fucked up, drugs
Honey Boy 2019 Drama sad, emotional abuse, mental health
I Know My First Name Is Steven 1989 Drama Child Obduction, Abuse,

Movies that made me laugh a lot

Title Year Genre Keywords or reasons why I like it
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy 2004 Comedy funny, absurd, drama, romance
Airplane! 1980 Comedy/Romance absurd, funny, romance
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 1994 Comedy Silly, Cheap
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls 1995 Comedy Silly, Cheap
Office Space 1999 Comedy Rebellious, Non-caring, Revenge, Crime though

Child psychopath movies and movies that I put in the same category despite not being about psychopathy

Title Year Genre Keywords or reasons why I like it
The Good Son 1993 Soft Psychological Thriller interesting, tragedy
We Need to Talk About Kevin 2011 Psychological Thriller emotions, tragedy
The Boy 2015 Light Horror suspense
Luminous Motion 1998 Drama fun, adventurous, fucked up?

Sweet movies (Wholesome movies)

Title Year Genre Keywords or reasons why I like it
Harold and Maude 1971 Comedy/Romance sweet
Chef 2014 Comedy/Drama sweet
The Queen's Gambit (miniseries) 2020 Drama sweet
Malcolm 1986 Comedy? sweet, criminal though
Once 2007 Drama, Romance Music, Charming, Mellow, Sweet

Weird movies (Movies that I find or found confusing or hard to understand or that have a very unusual way of telling a story and that I like for it)

Title Year Genre Keywords or reasons why I like it
Stay 2005 Drama(/Mystery) (Thriller?) Dreamlike, Mental Health
I'm Thinking of Ending Things 2020 Drama, Thriller Dreamlike, Serious
Memento 2000 Mystery, Thriller Crime, Violence
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Film: Hesher

Entry created on 2022-05-27 Authors: steeph (298) Categories: Films (12) Languages used: en (150) Topics: Films (11)

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This is a movie that I quite like but because I don't know it for long and because there are signs that the movie contains an artistic allegory or something that I don't understand as a major part of the story, I don't include it in the list of my favourite movies that I've started recently.

IMDB plot summary: A young boy has lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him. Then he meets Hesher who manages to make his life even more chaotic.

For me the movie is hard to fit into a caregory. 1-star reviews call it "silly", a "rediculous script", "horrible and offensive" and a "waste of talent". Some say it's saved by good acting. Others at least give it that it's still a comedy and not supposed to treat its topic only with sincerity. I say it's a funny, chaotic and offensive comedy with a rediculous script, great acting, telling a silly story with horrible moments and it doesn't care to take any of the topic it touches seriously. I don't really agree with other reviewers about the point it supposedly is trying to make. I don't even think it's mainly about loss of a family member. That's just part of the chaotic story that's dominated by a chaoric character. Does it need to make a point? Does it need to take a side in something? Can't it be rediculous and weird with no fixed statement built in. I don't mind misinterpreting movies as long as I get to enjoy some of them precisely for not getting a point out of the story. This is a movie that performs that rare, fulfilling gratification that I mainly remember from watching great comedies for the first time in my teens. And it may be because I don't understand the parts of life this movie is depicting like I didn't understand life when I was 16. But if it means that I can enjoy a movie because it's funny and weird, I take it!

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Casually Posting About An Actual War

This entry is not a statement about either topic.

I'm not going to write about any aspect of blog and social media posts by people who're safe from war for now and the forseeable future talking casually about war, a war, the war or related happenings, nor address any specific of such posts. I just felt like making one myself.

This article:

Schreenshot of the beginning of an article on bbc.com.

Headline: Marianna Vyshemirsky: 'My picture was used to spread lies about the war'

Author: Marianna Spring

Photo: A young blond woman in front of a damages building is looking into the camera.

Text: "The beauty influencer was accused of being an actor after this photo was published"

URL: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-61412773

reminded me of this scene:

Screencap from a scene from the movie Wag The Dog: At a film stage a fake movie clip from a supposed war is being produced. Another screencap from the movie Wag The Dog: The resulting news footage of a young blond woman in front of a damages building.

from this movie: Wag The Dog (1997).

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Film: Martian Child

Entry created on 2021-12-24 Authors: steeph (298) Categories: Films (12) Languages used: en (150) Topics: Films (11)

The Martian Child is one of those cute, emotional movies with a child in an important role that left an impression with me and is deemed very much worth watching but I'd have trouble explaining why. I'll push myself through this bit of trouble and try. I think I mostly like it because of the cute. I think of it as sort of like Big Daddy but more serious (and without Adam Sandler). Big Daddy isn't a bad movie overall. I've re-watched it so many times before I realised that movies can be a lot better than that, because it's just too cute not to. But it is a typical Adam Sandler movie with the depth and humor of a typical Adam Sandler movie (and with Adam Sandler).

The Martian Child is another foster child/adoption movie about a single, previously childless man. (Why are there so many movies about this, btw?) In comparison with other movies in this category the closeness to reality of its depiction of the circumstances, the process and the foster care system is probably above average. But I don't have any experience to judge that. That's not the focus of the story, anyway.

For me the story is about the child's unique and uncommon personality. I like how it's never really explained what events in the first five years of his life may explain what every grownup in the story sees as peculiar and concerning behaviour and every child in the story sees as weird and sometimes repellent. It may be important for the grownup's goal to enable him to grow into a normal enough person to function in society. (I assume that's their goal and why they are so concerned about his weirdness.) But it's addressed in the movie only as much as necessary.

For other viewers it may be just as much or more about the new father's development and the challange of and challanges that come with fostering a in general and this child in particular. It's about all of that. But ultimately, the reason I decided to watch it again was that it's an emotional story with a cute small child actor acting and speaking all timid while saying things normal people would find surprising, strange responses. So a good story well told is a great bonus, as it were.

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Film: Harold And Maude

Entry created on 2021-12-05 Authors: steeph (298) Categories: Films (12) Languages used: en (150) Topics: Films (11)

This is a movie that hardly anybody seems to know nowadays. I have no idea how well known it was when it came out in 1971. But I imagine not enough. I don't find most movies from the 80s and older very enjoyable. So I guess by that definition I have to count "Harold And Maude" (IMDB) to the relatively few special movies from that time period. It's not moved or impressed me like other movies on that imaginary list. But it's a very nice story very well told and an uncommon story at that.

I guess that's all I wanted to say here. Check it out (if you want to watch a coming-of-age movie about friendshiplove and a life-defining experience that is unlike any other movie that would be aptly so described and features just enough implied humor to not be called entirely a drama by me).

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