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I just saw "Winter's Bones" and it was amazing.

And I never want to see it again.

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So last night I saw the new version of Metropolis at the Detroit Film Theater.

In 2002 a restored version of Metropolis came out, and it was gorgeous and so clear I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. Still, the movie was missing a half hour of footage, and I never thought in my lifetime that I'd see it. Then came that amazing discovery in Buenos Aires. The full movie, though heavily scratched and degraded.

They've spliced in the new footage with the 2002 restoration, and now the original score fits perfectly with the movie.


Read more... )
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Yeah, I know, I'm kind of late with my review. Which is a weird review. Naturally.

Read more... )
valis2: Stone lion face (Stamp lion)
Original cut of Fritz Lang's Metropolis found in Argentina

Metropolis is one of my favorite films of all time. It was released in 1927 by Fritz Lang, but when it was taken to the States, an American film editor chopped it down, thinking that the 210 minute masterpiece was too complicated, and that audiences would laugh at a character named Hel.

Since that time, the original prints have been thought lost forever.

I originally fell in love with the Giorgio Moroder version, which was done in the eighties, with a few color effects, new translation, and a soundtrack featuring Loverboy, Pat Benatar, Adam Ant, etc.

The Kino version just came out a few years ago, and I was absolutely thrilled to find out that someone had located the original title cards, and was able to reconstruct dialogue and scenes long missing from the film. The result was a terrific reconstruction, but a quarter of the film was still lost, and no one held out hope that it would ever be located.

I am absolutely giddy right now. I am very much hoping that the Kino team will reconstruct this new footage. Apparently it is scratched, and I'm certain there is some disintegration, but it doesn't sound like it's insurmountable. My fangirling of this film is so strong that I even wrote a twenty-page paper about it during college.

I will be walking on clouds all week. I wonder how soon before we can purchase this version?

ETA: [ profile] ellid has discovered an article at Ain't It Cool with new stills!! eee!

EETA: YouTube video of some of the footage Just as I thought, more of the Thin Man, and more views of decadence from the Sons of the City...and more about Yoshiwara's...eee!!
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I've been meaning to do this for a long time. I have a special place in my heart for Polish films, but there are other European films recommended here as well.

Very generally speaking, mainstream American films (and audiences) are very concerned with the endings of movies. We want to know what happens to the characters we've invested our time and emotions into. We want to know where the story goes, and we it's very important for a movie to conclude properly. If the last ten minutes of the movie don't satisfy us, the movie is a disappointment. Most mainstream viewers know that a mainstream movie will conclude well, and are left to enjoy the unfolding spectacle, because the hero will definitely punish the bad guy, the underdog will win the competition, and the couple will state their undying love for each other in a way that erases all doubts about their future together.

The films below are more concerned with the journey of the film than the ending. The emotions and thoughts you experience on the way are much more important. In fact, some of them have downright depressing endings, or disappointing endings, by American standards. These films have an uncertainty that stems from taking chances. The audience is kept in genuine suspense because anything can happen.

I'm not bashing American films at all. Simply put, these are different experiences than mainstream American films. They have a different pace. Different expectations.

If you're interested, click on the cut to read about some of my favorite European films. They're not always easy to find, but they're worth it. I've liberally borrowed from papers I wrote about the films at the time I watched them.

My favorite European films )
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I would like to thank the costume designer, and the casting director, from the bottom of my heart. I have never seen so much absolutely lovely beefcake in a film before, and it was stunning. David Wenham looked delicious.

But what about the movie? )
valis2: Stone lion face (Drawn lion)
I realized last night after chatting with [ profile] rexluscus that I never did post an entry about King Kong.

Spoilers about King Kong within. )
valis2: Stone lion face (Drawn default lion)
Just eating leftovers and getting ready to pack up a bunch of eBay things.

I had a wonderful time with my parents and sister over Thanksgiving, despite the naughty snow, which made driving a bit difficult. We ended up watching all three of the LotR extended versions, though we had to leave off midway through RotK, just didn't have enough time. Still, it was wonderful to view them again. I must say, the first time I saw the movies, I was quite into Frodo/Sam's journey, but, just like when I reread the books, repeated viewings aren't the same, and I find myself wanting to fast forward sometimes during their scenes. Yes, it's beautiful, haunting, and amazing, but for some reason I find myself much more absorbed in the other plotlines.

We also went to see "Walk the Line", which was quite good. Only thing is, I'm not a Cash fan. It must be difficult to make a movie like that and balance it between fans and non-fans. The musical numbers had my sister and my parents giddy, but I was only half into them, because I only recognized two songs. So it was an interesting portrait of an interesting person, but at the same time, my sister kept having to nudge me to tell me who people were, because I was having difficulty figuring it out. I'm certain that it would have been greatly enhanced if I were a fan of fifties music, but I'm not, so seeing Elvis interact with him wasn't really anything special for me, though the audience was whispering excitedly. So I have to say that while I completely can see that it was a good film, I won't ever watch it again. Not my cup o' tea.

It was great watching the LotR movies with the family. At one point, when the flock of crows is trying to find the Fellowship, we were laughing about how they went back to Saruman:

Saruman: "Where is the Fellowship now?"
Crows: "Fellowship? What's that?"
Saruman: "The league of nine I told you to find!"
Crows: "Huh...nope, didn't see them. But there was this pie on the windowsill at was so tasty..."

During the rest of the movies there was much made of crows seeking apple pie. There are crows calling in the background of many scenes, and I would say, "Caw! Pie!"

There was even a crow checking out an ashtray in Walk the Line. "Darn! No pie!"

I guess you had to be there.
valis2: Stone lion face (Sanmarcolion3)
When I was eleven I started thinking up this superspy story. I came up with all of these characters, gave them all code names, wrote them down.

When I was thirteen I wrote a bit of it (the first bit is here, if you want your brain to fall out), and it was fun.

The thing is, I've been consumed with this set of characters for years. And because these characters are, at this point, inexorably bound to their names, I had no idea that they were stupid. Honest.

I was telling the superspy plot to [ profile] bookwench2096 and she started guffawing over the names. I ended up having to read the entire list of names aloud to her so she could say "yes" or "no" to them. I had almost no idea that they were awful. Honest. You just get used to them and you don't realize how silly they are.

That's why George Lucas had no idea that people would burst into giggles upon hearing the name Count Dooku.

And just so you have an idea of how bad my names were...

Pirate, Ponytail, Valleygirl, Nailpolish, Pencilthin, Criss-cross, Pepsi and Coke (twins), Jetblack, Makeup, Trestle Table, Stampede.

Bookwench was wise to naysay them.


Jan. 21st, 2005 03:05 pm
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I was supposed to leave this morning for WI (and then AZ).

Blah blah blah, the Mummy, chapter 62/63, Underworld, unexpurgated whining, and other assorted blather. )

So I'll be leaving tomorrow morning...will make my goodbye entry then.
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So I saw Kill Bill Vol 1 the other night. I've seen Love & a .45. I've also seen some of Pulp Fiction.

Just my opinion of QT. Nothing more. )

Must actually get around to doing work now...
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Okay, I am officially, fully, and thoroughly sick of being sick. Yes. Absolutely. Tremendously. Utterly.


I had to cancel appointments and take days off from my day job. I had to cancel a little trip.

Oh well.

I am watching a little of the original Terminator movie right now, and they're showing the rebel base. The dilapidated, wreck of a base. I was thinking, boy, those Zion rebels in the Matrix series certainly had a cozy little set-up. I still haven't worked out all of the unhappiness over the conclusion of that trilogy. The first one was very cool, but I really liked the second one. I have a weakness for mental puzzles, and a weakness for interesting, melodramatic dialogue, and the second one was very helpful, supplying both. But the melodrama really became too much in the third installment. The only ray of light was the Indian couple and the Marovingian. The rest of the movie characters remind me of the Too Many Jedi problem I first incountered in the Phantom Menace.

What is the Too Many Jedi problem?

In a New Hope, we have only one full-fledged Jedi, dispensing calm and inner peace, gentle, easy with the world. That's great, especially when you have a cocky youth, a rogue, a prissy robot, and a tough Princess to balance it out. He becomes a wonderful balancing mechanism. We have lots of energy being thrown out by the characters, dialogue, tension, and he is able to smooth out some wrinkles. One Jedi is perfect.

But then, in the Phantom Menace, we have two Jedis. Ah. So then both characters are tremendously calm, quiet, and careful. And then the audience...or maybe just me...grows bored. We have no tension, because everything seems so...peaceful. The fight sequences are energetic, but then you have the scene in which Obi-Wan and Quigon are in a submarine with Jar-Jar. They are so calm about nearly getting eaten by various giant fish, and Jar-Jar is freaking out in such a hyperbolic manner, that I just went into full "Ugh" mode. And that's what happened to me with the third Matrix. We have all of these characters, and all of them are speaking in a highly metaphoric, highly melodramatic, deadly tone, that much tension and drama is lost. It seems that when everything is so dispassionate and emotionless, and so melodramatic, that it just heads into the unbelievable realm. Not every piece of dialogue has to be the difference between life and death. In the first movie, we have Mouse and other characters who are high-key and interesting. But by the third movie nearly all of the higher-energy characters are gone, and we're left with only the mythic characters, and it just becomes too...over-the-top.

Just my lone thought for the day. Can't promise that it's sane, sorry, too out of it.


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