what was the last 'classic film' you watched and were knocked out by?

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Chameleon Street on Criterion Channel. For those unaware, this film made a splash at Sundance in 1990 and then was purchased by Warner Brothers, but not to give it a wide release; they had the hare-brained idea to bury the film and remake it with a different black star. The remake never happened but the film, which should have been a key indie of the early 90s, stayed pretty much buried until being restored recently, and the director Wendell Harris Jr. has still never gotten to make a second film.

Anyway, it remains audacious and entertaining and it anticipated so much satire of the following decades. In fact, it reminded me a lot of Paul Beatty's novel The Sellout.

Chris L, Monday, 10 October 2022 01:26 (eleven months ago) link

I watched The Night of the Iguana on TCM several months ago and I'm still thinking about it all the time.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 10 October 2022 04:33 (eleven months ago) link

Love the Herzog Nosferatu, it's got such a vibe of sadness.

Watched Round Midnight the other day and that will stay with me for a while I think. Never knew there was a possibility of seeing Bobbie Hutcherson as a dude compulsively cooking in a Paris hotel room.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 10 October 2022 09:53 (eleven months ago) link

i'm having a Park Chan-Wook retrospective and rewatched Lady Vengeance last night, the emotional impact of his movies never gets played out for me

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Monday, 10 October 2022 09:58 (eleven months ago) link

Lady Vengeance in the cinema was almost too much.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 10 October 2022 10:14 (eleven months ago) link

Happy Together. Wong Kar-wai's films are getting a run in London and it's really beautiful to look at on the big screen.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 10 October 2022 14:13 (eleven months ago) link

vibe of sadness

I'm pretty sure this is inscribed on Kinski's tombstone.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 10 October 2022 14:14 (eleven months ago) link

Lady Vengeance is the only time in living memory I've actively forwarded a section of a film.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 10 October 2022 17:28 (eleven months ago) link

i can think of 2 or 3 possibilities tbh

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Monday, 10 October 2022 17:32 (eleven months ago) link

there's a korea season on film4 in the uk for the rest of october, including lady vengeance (which i don't think i've seen). parasite tonight. another one thursday.

koogs, Monday, 10 October 2022 17:33 (eleven months ago) link

i can think of 2 or 3 possibilities tbh

Aye, fair.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 10 October 2022 17:38 (eleven months ago) link

i watched chameleon street a few months ago. i wouldn't call it a classic but it's definitely an intriguing first independent movie that makes you wish he had gone on to make more narrative films and develop further - looks like he has focused on documentaries since then. harris' acting is great in it and i was surprised he hasn't even done much more acting.

na (NA), Monday, 10 October 2022 17:47 (eleven months ago) link

After reading many positive mentions of ilx, last year I checked out a dvd of Pickup on South Street. It was superb! Widmark is pitch perfect for his character and the pacing and cinematography are excellent.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 10 October 2022 18:31 (eleven months ago) link

Love Thelma Ritter in that.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 09:41 (eleven months ago) link

Pickup On South Street is amazing. "Are you wavin' the flag at me?"

I watched Out Of The Past — a 1947 noir starring Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas, with Jane Greer as the (mild spoiler) female villain — this weekend. Really, really good, with some surprisingly funny dialogue. I had seen the "remake" (Against All Odds, with Jeff Bridges in the Mitchum part and James Woods in the Douglas part) before, but the original was much better, unsurprisingly.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:06 (eleven months ago) link

"Out of the Past" is awesome, Jane Greer is something else in that film.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:11 (eleven months ago) link

[Kathie is playing roulette]

Jeff : That's not the way to win.

Kathie : Is there a way to win?

Jeff : There's a way to lose more slowly.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:18 (eleven months ago) link

Also watched Buster Keaton's College recently; I bought several Keaton Blu-Rays a couple of years ago and tossed them on the shelf without watching them. I wouldn't say I was "knocked out" by it compared to, say, Steamboat Bill Jr. College is pretty funny, but once you pick up the structure — basically, Keaton tries out for a bunch of different athletic events, and you gradually realize that at the end he's going to use all those skills to foil the villain — you're just kind of waiting for the pieces to fall into place. Also, there's a blackface scene (he's playing a waiter at a restaurant with an otherwise all-black staff), so be warned about that.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:19 (eleven months ago) link

I love how Kirk Douglas can't stop grinning at Mitchum, i.e. "I can't believe you're getting away with this."

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:36 (eleven months ago) link

You are aware that Mitchum hated, hated, hated Kirk Douglas and his brand of acting.

Askeladd v. BMI (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:48 (eleven months ago) link

I meant their characters.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:56 (eleven months ago) link

Kirk Douglas is really good in this.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:57 (eleven months ago) link

Greer, Douglas and Mitchum all equally amazing in it imo. Probably Mitchum's best.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 12:59 (eleven months ago) link

Mitchum was no great respecter of "acting" as craft iirc?

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:01 (eleven months ago) link

His hair in OOTP = fabulous

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:05 (eleven months ago) link

The cinematography's by Nicholas Musuraca. Jacques Tourneur had an excellent visual sense.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:06 (eleven months ago) link

Mitchum was no great respecter of "acting" as craft iirc?

Typical old school approach - "say your lines and don't bump into the furniture". Used to really love that attitude when contrasted with self-indulgent artistes who go on about themselves forever, but in retrospect I also think it shows a certain level of insecurity, not wanting to be seen as doing a job that involves gurly FEELINGS and EMOTIONS.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:22 (eleven months ago) link

i was gonna say it's an assumed pose because he certainly can act, but it's part of the game of Robert Mitchum, film star, and i definitely don't care much about the methods (small m) actors use to create a role so i'm kind of with him up to a point

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:27 (eleven months ago) link

Robert Mitchum C/D, S/D

Askeladd v. BMI (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:30 (eleven months ago) link

Typical old school approach - "say your lines and don't bump into the furniture". Used to really love that attitude when contrasted with self-indulgent artistes who go on about themselves forever, but in retrospect I also think it shows a certain level of insecurity, not wanting to be seen as doing a job that involves gurly FEELINGS and EMOTIONS.

― Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, October 11, 2022 9:22 AM (eight minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

i was gonna say it's an assumed pose because he certainly can act, but it's part of the game of Robert Mitchum, film star, and i definitely don't care much about the methods (small m) actors use to create a role so i'm kind of with him up to a point

― saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague),

both of you otm

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:31 (eleven months ago) link

In my film class we had a cool discussion on the history of film acting a couple weeks ago. When we reached Method acting, a student shrewdly asked, "Who cares what they used? How would you know what's Method vs old school acting when watching them?" She's right.

I also pointed out that male American actors, forever insecure about perceived effeminacy and indulging themselves in a wasted career choice, love to drone on talk shows about how much weight they lost and gained and how much "research" they put into their parts as if to expiate their sins.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:34 (eleven months ago) link

yeah a good point. and of course there are film actors who i enjoy for the sheer pleasure of their perfomances, whether said performances are "realistic" or "deep in character" or whatever

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:38 (eleven months ago) link

iirc Mitchum had to be dragged to his first-ever acting audition by his sister, who was an aspiring actress he followed out to Los Angeles. Everyone could tell he was interested in show business but he feigned disinterest as much as possible while still getting his foot in the door.

Chris L, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:41 (eleven months ago) link

Can't believe there's no discussion of The Friends Of Eddie Coyle in that Mitchum thread. What a late career performance that is. Not just the gangster stuff, but his interactions with his wife almost more than anything.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:44 (eleven months ago) link

Of course, it's not easy to tell. James Cagney comes off like a Method student in stuff like White Heat, while Paul Newman glided through the 1980s and 1990s on star power (though he needed twenty years of prefatory Method exertions imo).

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 13:47 (eleven months ago) link

Also watched Buster Keaton's College recently; I bought several Keaton Blu-Rays a couple of years ago and tossed them on the shelf without watching them. I wouldn't say I was "knocked out" by it compared to, say, Steamboat Bill Jr. College is pretty funny, but once you pick up the structure — basically, Keaton tries out for a bunch of different athletic events, and you gradually realize that at the end he's going to use all those skills to foil the villain — you're just kind of waiting for the pieces to fall into place. Also, there's a blackface scene (he's playing a waiter at a restaurant with an otherwise all-black staff), so be warned about that.

― but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, October 11, 2022 8:19 AM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

The ending of College is a knockout.

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 14:21 (eleven months ago) link

Mitchum in his youth wrote a sympathetic play about a union leader, which he later claimed got praise from Eugene O'Neill. This tidbit courtesy of Lee Server's amazing biography which just drops nuggets like that every other page.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 11 October 2022 14:44 (eleven months ago) link

^That book is amazing. Ava Gardner book too.

Askeladd v. BMI (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 11 October 2022 14:55 (eleven months ago) link

Panique by Duvivier is a banger, great perf by Michel Simon as the arrogant, anti-social patsy in a gallic take on the old film noir love triangle plot. Amazing sets.

I already knew that French directors who stayed in the industry during Vichy got a rough time afterwards even if their work didn't have any propaganda elements, but have now learned that those who escaped to the US were also derided as cowards who abandoned their country. Can't win!

― Daniel_Rf, Friday,

Will watch tonight.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 18:22 (eleven months ago) link

vampyr d. carl theodor dreyer, 1932

i didn't actually love it tbh but was still knocked out by the gloomy atmosphere. the extended and numerous shots of pages of a book somehow made it creepier.

ꙮ (map), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 20:36 (eleven months ago) link

I saw Vampyr at the cinema earlier in the year. One of the few films I would genuinely consider "dreamlike".

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 20:38 (eleven months ago) link

xpost my thoughts as well.

Herzog's Nosferatu is great but not even close to the heights of Murnau's.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 20:44 (eleven months ago) link

I love both.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 21:09 (eleven months ago) link

not wanting to be seen as doing a job that involves gurly FEELINGS and EMOTIONS

I've read that Humphrey Bogart always thought acting was kind of a sissy career

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 12 October 2022 21:30 (eleven months ago) link

It’s a feeling
You never outgrow

Askeladd v. BMI (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 12 October 2022 21:46 (eleven months ago) link

Murnau's Nosferatu is the ultimate classic vampire film but Herzog's version is great too.

I loved William Wyler's The Heiress with Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift, a 1949 reimagination of Henry James' novel Washington Square. It was romantic but ultimately very hard-bitten and cynical like a lot of 40's films

Dan S, Wednesday, 12 October 2022 23:59 (eleven months ago) link

Murnau’s is a horror film; Herzog’s is a tragedy.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 13 October 2022 00:59 (eleven months ago) link

The Heiress, Wyler's best film after The Letter, handles the melodrama of James' novel so well that by the time Dr. Sloper's realizing what he's done to his daughter it's a horror film.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:03 (eleven months ago) link


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