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Watch, Watched, Watching: The cancellations continue

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Watched The Queen's Gambit based on the commentary here. Thanks all who mentioned it -- very enjoyable, though I felt the first half was a bit stronger than the latter half. Fitting, I guess, given Beth Harmon's strength wasn't supposed to be the end game... :)

Now watching Ozu's Tokyo Story for the first time. Just .... wow. I've been blathering on for the last ten minutes telling Linda about it. I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

Now watching Ozu's Tokyo Story for the first time. Just .... wow. I've been blathering on for the last ten minutes telling Linda about it. I can't believe it's taken me this long to see it.

I started watching it two days ago when I saw it was voted "best movie of all time" but couldn't finish it. Then again, I must say that I am not a cinephile by any means. I barely watched one movie a year back when there were no digital downloads and even today I only watch a few each year.

Hmm, I got like 15 minutes into it before I got too weirded out by the acting and had to stop. The way that they spoke in a super exaggerated manner and how they grinned hugely was sooo fake. I was like "this old woman showed all her teeth in an obviously fake smile - she's gonna bust a cap any moment now!" Note: Yes, I know she's not going to but that's the way it felt like to me. Also, the way they spoke with the prolonged rising tone so much "so~ eh~" was, again, super fake and weird to me.

Perhaps the acting in the old movies is different from what we have today. They act and the camera moves (or rather, doesn't move) like they are filming a play.

I guess I'll try it out another time.

I have actually watched a reasonable number of Japanese movies but none were as weird to me as this. Rashomon is older than Tokyo Story, for example, but I had no trouble watching it.

edit:typo

Edited by Gigei

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Re-watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall for a laugh, and what a good time it was indeed. Felt as fresh as when I first saw it.

Then watched Prospect with Sophie Thatcher and Pedro Pascal. Both leads were great. First time I've seen Thatcher and she was a revelation, and its always good to be reminded of what Pascal's face looks like. Excellent low key sci-fi space western, really enjoyed it. Recommended.

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Has anyone watched the redo of The Craft?  I assume it sucks, but interested in how bad/not bad it is.

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1 hour ago, ithanos said:

Re-watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall for a laugh, and what a good time it was indeed. Felt as fresh as when I first saw it.

I'm still anxiously awaiting the release of the Dracula Puppet Musical.

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19 minutes ago, DMC said:

I'm still anxiously awaiting the release of the Dracula Puppet Musical.

It came out right before Covid hit and has now been cancelled!

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1 hour ago, ithanos said:

Re-watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall for a laugh, and what a good time it was indeed. Felt as fresh as when I first saw it.

I love that movie, but it's a bit odd watching it sometimes because the woman I was dating at the time it was released looks a lot like Bell. Also, it was my first introduction to Brand and at the time I thought he had to be an amazing actor. Nope, he was literally just playing himself...

1 hour ago, Cas Stark said:

Has anyone watched the redo of The Craft?  I assume it sucks, but interested in how bad/not bad it is.

I have no idea why they thought that was a movie that needed to be remade...

 

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25 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, it was my first introduction to Brand and at the time I thought he had to be an amazing actor. Nope, he was literally just playing himself...

 I love that character and Byrne as his ex and all their insane music videos. Get Him To The Greek is worth it for more of those two characters alone. 

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3 hours ago, Cas Stark said:

Has anyone watched the redo of The Craft?  I assume it sucks, but interested in how bad/not bad it is.

I haven’t watched it, but Chris Stuckmann ripped it pretty badly. Gave it a D. 

 

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5 hours ago, ithanos said:

Then watched Prospect with Sophie Thatcher and Pedro Pascal. Both leads were great. First time I've seen Thatcher and she was a revelation, and its always good to be reminded of what Pascal's face looks like. Excellent low key sci-fi space western, really enjoyed it. Recommended.

Cosign on this - really enjoyed Prospect.

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10 hours ago, Gigei said:

I started watching it two days ago when I saw it was voted "best movie of all time" but couldn't finish it. Then again, I must say that I am not a cinephile by any means. 

I do think this is more of a cinephile's film to appreciate, yeah.

10 hours ago, Gigei said:

Perhaps the acting in the old movies is different from what we have today. They act and the camera moves (or rather, doesn't move) like they are filming a play.

It's that almost-always-fixed camera that actually wowed me. There was incredibly careful, harmonious composition going on, especially in interior scenes of various homes and apartments. But more notably, for me, was the angle -- the camera was basically always low to the ground, an apparent feature of Ozu's deliberate style that he used throughout many of his films. Critics have called them 'tatami shots', as if the camera was positioned to match where a person would be if they were kneeling on a tatami mat. It creates an interesting intimacy that was unexpected. And from my Western perspective, it gave me a similar but slightly different feeling -- not that I was an observer kneeling there, but that I was a child watching things going on that seemed just a little beyond my understanding (because the manners, and the mannered performances, come from another culture). The way shot/reverse shot generally entailed the actors actually looking directly into the camera was also both strange and exhilarating.

Also, just in terms of the film's setting, it was fascinating to see the old and the new of Japanese society. It's amazing to me how modern Tokyo looked in 1953, especially just a few years after a devastating war, but at the same time the talk of the trip to Tokyo taking over a day firmly placed it in a now-lost past (today, taking the train from Onomichi, the parents' village, to Tokyo now takes about 4 hours, according to Google).

Finally, the way the film sort of builds up to the parents having this realization that their own children can't really be bothered to have them around, while their dead son's widow Noriko's dutiful loyalty leads her to caring more, was very touching to me. 

(One other feature that added a poetic feel to the film was what are called the "pillow shots" -- between-scene images or montages featuring things like clothing on washing lines, shrines, boats on the water, children walking to school -- that in some cases seem to deliberately comment on what's coming next. Towards the end of the film

Spoiler

The Shinto shrine in Onomichi before we see the parents, but after we've learned the mother is very ill, tells you all you need to know about how the story will end.

10 hours ago, Gigei said:

I have actually watched a reasonable number of Japanese movies but none were as weird to me as this. Rashomon is older than Tokyo Story, for example, but I had no trouble watching it.

It's interesting that Ozu has risen above Kurosawa in the esteem of critics and so on, if you go purely by just the ratings you see at Sight and Sound. Yet it's hard to deny that Kurosawa was overall the more influential director, and rightfully so. 

I think Kurosawa was less rigid in his aesthetic, more dynamic, and -- perhaps importantly -- more appropriative and transformative of Western techniques. Ozu's film, on the other hand, is fully immersed in Japanese aesthetics and their philosophical underpinnings. Tokyo Story is the most "Japanese" Japanese film I've ever seen, I think.

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1 hour ago, Ran said:

I do think this is more of a cinephile's film to appreciate, yeah.

Yes, probably. I'll try to finish it some other time.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

Also, just in terms of the film's setting, it was fascinating to see the old and the new of Japanese society. It's amazing to me how modern Tokyo looked in 1953, especially just a few years after a devastating war, but at the same time the talk of the trip to Tokyo taking over a day firmly placed it in a now-lost past (today, taking the train from Onomichi, the parents' village, to Tokyo now takes about 4 hours, according to Google).

I think I might just watch it for the clothes, hair, and sets. I was fascinated by a lot of small details like the striped pants and gingham aprons two women were wearing, for example.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

It's interesting that Ozu has risen above Kurosawa in the esteem of critics and so on, if you go purely by just the ratings you see at Sight and Sound. Yet it's hard to deny that Kurosawa was overall the more influential director, and rightfully so. 

I think Kurosawa was less rigid in his aesthetic, more dynamic, and -- perhaps importantly -- more appropriative and transformative of Western techniques. Ozu's film, on the other hand, is fully immersed in Japanese aesthetics and their philosophical underpinnings. Tokyo Story is the most "Japanese" Japanese film I've ever seen, I think.

Kurosawa's Ran is one of my favorite films. I think the general public is much more familiar with Kurosawa films compared to Ozu.

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Really enjoyed The Queens Gambit and then I went on to youtube to get some chess commentary on the matches, esp. the last one, which I enjoyed a lot. Currently watching Utopia (never saw the original) and so far, it well done, although some of the characters (Jessica) are not entirely plausible to me.

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14 hours ago, Ran said:

Watched The Queen's Gambit based on the commentary here. Thanks all who mentioned it --

Heath Ledger would have have made his directorial debut with it (ft. Him and Ellen Page) had he been alive. RIP. 

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Is anyone else watching Moonshiners? We have been watching the Master Distiller season this week and I actually caught myself last night saying, 'when we move let's do some distilling'. As homebrewers/pro-brewers we are absolutely fascinated by the technical process and how it compares/contrasts with brewing. It's actually quite educational.

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Dracula: Dead and Loving It is an underrated parody. 

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59 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Dracula: Dead and Loving It is an underrated parody. 

Repossessed is superior and rarely talked about

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Anything with Leslie Nielsen is golden. 

I watched the premiere of s2 of the Flemish series Undercover. Wasn't expecting that development in the story, and not really liking it.

I was going to start HBOs Patria but decided on Undercover instead. I've tried to watch Patria on HBO On Demand but missed the first few episodes. Looks like I'll just have to watch them on HBO Max.

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38 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Repossessed is superior and rarely talked about

I don't think I've even heard of it.

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