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

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Robert Mitchum C/D, S/D

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

^That book is amazing. Ava Gardner book too.

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

I love both.

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

It’s a feeling
You never outgrow

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

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

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

"how could you be so cruel?"

"I've learned from the best"

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:21 (one year ago) link

In the novel Dr. Sloper is always right until he's wrong.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:35 (one year ago) link

Wyler's use of deep focus = A+. And the period interior design doesn't stifle the picture.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:36 (one year ago) link

I loved seeing Agnieszka Holland's Europa Europa again

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:42 (one year ago) link

It still seems contemporary 32 years later.

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 01:59 (one year ago) link

Herzog’s is a tragedy

I'm a Herzog fan, but I think what I disliked about his Nosferatu is that the unhappy ending felt arbitrary; not in a "senseless whims of an uncaring universe" way, but a twist into nihilism that I didn't feel the earlier part of the film had earned.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:02 (one year ago) link

The film shows his slow deterioration such that the ending to me is an inevitability, and Adjani's character, thanks to her performance, is just ripe for suffering.

Now, I don't think these elements make tragedy.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:06 (one year ago) link

What do they make … a milkshake?

Eric H., Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:10 (one year ago) link

Eric, dear, will you check about the hors d'oeuvres? The caterer forgot them, the varnish wasn't dry or something.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:21 (one year ago) link

you two

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:23 (one year ago) link

if I remember right, at least a few early Dreyer films show images of creepy pages from a book

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:27 (one year ago) link

for example The Parson's Widow, Leaves From Satan's Book

Dan S, Thursday, 13 October 2022 02:54 (one year ago) link

rewatching the Human Condition Trilogy and the 3rd one is the best I think.

Toshirō Nofune (The Seventh ILXorai), Thursday, 13 October 2022 15:24 (one year ago) link

(^ this is one of the things in the arrow sale, £15 for the ~9hr trilogy)

koogs, Thursday, 13 October 2022 15:26 (one year ago) link

Panique was marvelous. The almost-lynching was as harrowing as what it's shown in The Ox-Bow Incident.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 October 2022 15:28 (one year ago) link

Leaves From Satan's Book

showing the titular leaves from satan's book i'm guessing

ꙮ (map), Thursday, 13 October 2022 15:29 (one year ago) link

Been saving Varda's Vagabond for a rainy evening such as this one, and it hit me like a blow to the gut. "Freedom and dirt", as Varda puts it in a 'making of' documentary about the film.

Ward Fowler, Monday, 24 October 2022 20:48 (one year ago) link

i've been meaning to dig into varda for literally years after loving the gleaner and i. feel like this week is the time.

ꙮ (map), Monday, 24 October 2022 20:50 (one year ago) link

Check out LE BONHEUR (“Happiness”), one of Varda's most subtle films.. it's a harsh toke but really beautiful to look at

Andy the Grasshopper, Monday, 24 October 2022 20:59 (one year ago) link


Eric H., Monday, 24 October 2022 21:00 (one year ago) link

Not wanting to give away the ending, I thought that the behaviour of the kid at the end of that movie was entirely off; Varda was completely weighing the scales to make her point.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 24 October 2022 21:04 (one year ago) link

Third-degree. My theory: Assayas films like [Summer Hours/i], with their lightness and buoyancy about serious matters, and this one are connected.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 October 2022 21:10 (one year ago) link

Er, thirded. I hate phones.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 24 October 2022 21:10 (one year ago) link

Varda stands charged with third-degree weighing the scales.

Eric H., Monday, 24 October 2022 21:20 (one year ago) link

I really like the profound 1970sness of One Sings, The Other Doesn't and Jacquot De Nantes is a rare example of a biopic I enjoy.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 25 October 2022 09:49 (one year ago) link

Is it a "classic film"? Probably the exact opposite of that in most people's minds, but DRACULA A.D. 1972 (which I watched on HBO Max last night) is a lot of fun. It's a perfect time capsule — not of actual yoof kulcha circa 1972, but of a somewhat conservative, censorious film industry's view of same, and it also takes on the Dracula story in an interesting way, in that for a third of its running time (it's only 95 minutes) it's a police procedural, trying to solve these weird sex-cult murders while a guy hangs around telling the lead detective "It's a vampire, I'm telling you!" and the detective says, "Great, but try convincing my boss of that." Plus, you get to see Peter Cushing running around a grimy-looking London while low-budget blaxploitation funk blares on the soundtrack. The actor playing Dracula's servant is particularly good, too — he really seems like the kind of creep who would hang around preying on fog-brained hippies. Can recommend.

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 25 October 2022 12:39 (one year ago) link

otm yeah that one pays off. yeah its always funny to me how many horror movies from that era are really just straight police procedurals, but its just that the criminal is a werewolf/vampire/alien/whatever.

this is a secondhand 'classic film you were knocked out by' but went with my wife to see Nosferatu the other night (Murnau not Herzog), she'd never seen and had no idea what to expect, she was chuckling at the beginning but was legit terrified by the end, was really delightful seeing someone go into it cold and completely fall under its spell.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Tuesday, 25 October 2022 13:35 (one year ago) link

I watched Kurosawa's "High and Low" a couple of nights ago and it was astonishing. It's remarkable how many police procedurals took from this but none of them are quite as good. Also the first whole hour takes place in the businessman's room and it still manages to be riveting.

Saxophone Of Futility (Michael B), Tuesday, 25 October 2022 14:54 (one year ago) link

Yes, that one is a real nail-biter.

2-4-6-8 Motor Away (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 25 October 2022 14:59 (one year ago) link

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