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Underrated or relatively unknown cinema

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Jules
    Demos - you're quite right. If Ian Curtis was going to hang himself now, he'd have a lot of trouble finding a Herzog movie to watch first.
    On the other hand, he'd easily find an idiot to listen to

    Comment


    • #17
      What about the 1945 film of Marcel Carnأ©, "Les Enfants du Paradis"?

      Jean-Louis Barrault in the male lead, with Arletty as Garance.

      There is a curious story that I remember about the part of "Jأ©richo," played in the film (mostly) by Pierre Renoir, but originally cast for Robert Le Vigan. There are supposedly scenes near the end of the film that survive with Le Vigan. The political situation was interesting, to say the least.

      Doubtless what I'm referring to is common knowledge among cinephiles.
      LSN

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by mordenkainen

        Oh and since I'm talking asian directors: shohei imamura. My favorite japanese director. Yes, I mean better than kurosawa. *dodges stones* . Warm water under a red bridge, Ballad of Narayama, Kanzo sensei....choose one. No. Watch them ALL !!
        No stones, mordenkainen. I admire Kurosawa's best work quite a bit, but actually don't think one is better than the other. They're just... different. They are both good. Can't we have both?

        Has no one mentioned Rashomon?

        LSN

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by L_Stearns_Newburg
          Has no one mentioned Rashomon?
          But is Rashomon 'underrated or unknown cinema'? I suppose it might be to the modern generation (ie teenagers) but I wouldn't have thought so generally - at least not in Europe - at least not among people who have a genuine appreciation of cinema. Rashomon is like The Seventh Seal or even in this day and age Citizen Kane; it's one of those films that people are kind of aware of even if they haven't actually seen them.

          Something that I would call 'relatively unknown' is the 1929 silent experimental film, Man With A Movie Camera, which by sheer coincidence is being screen tonight on BBC4 with a new soundtrack by Michael Nyman (he of Peter Greenaway association).

          Man with a Movie Camera
          Dziga Vertov's inventive and stylistic 'excerpt from the diary of a cameraman' documents daily life in a Russian city. The film focuses on the polar opposites of life: birth and death, work and play, marriage and divorce, and delights in modern technology.

          Featuring a soundtrack by Michael Nyman. [Dziga Vertov, 1929, b&w]

          Sat 17 Sep, 00:00-01:05 65mins Stereo

          Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/cinema/...e-camera.shtml

          I shall be looking forward to seeing this (and setting the VCR accordingly). :)
          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by demos99
            But is Rashomon 'underrated or unknown cinema'?
            I don't think any of the directors and movies we mentioned here could be deemed "underrated"...

            Comment


            • #21
              But they have become relatively unknown because (in the West, at least), our culture has become disposable.

              They also aren't "American" cinema, and therefore they never really had the popular esteem that one would expect for their level of achievement.

              The careers of dead artists tend to flatline, unfortunately.

              LSN

              Comment


              • #22
                The minor Truffaut film I listed, "L'homme qui aimait les femmes" isn't highly rated in his canon, but I think it's pretty worthy for all that. Its oddball humor alone makes it enjoyable; the psychological window it opens into the protagonist's psyche may not be 100% convincing -- it feels a bit improvised, however deeply Truffaut may have felt it. (I'm not sure of this, but an echo of this theme recurs in several of his films.)

                People tend to remember "great" directors for their major films, without thinking of some of their near-misses. This is probably one such near-miss. It appeals to me personally. The view of Montpellier in the film is appealing, too. I haven't visited Montpellier in many years, but I gather there has been a lot of urban development there since this movie was made (in the late '70s).

                As for Kurosawa's Ran, when it first came out, it wasn't highly regarded. Its reputation has grown with the years, but how many viewers are familiar with it? (I've seen it 4 times.)

                LSN

                Comment


                • #23
                  Has anyone seen a German film called (I think) "Strawberry Fields Forever"? This is genuinely unknown - I saw it on TV many, many years ago, but can find no reference to it anywhere.

                  It's about two neo-nazis who take a young guy hostage. One is an uptight, straight young girl, another is (somewhat surprisingly*) an old hippy who intersperses his espousal of "true aryan" culture with reminiscences of Jimi Hendrix concerts. It's quite a disturbing film as it shows the dangerous side of idealism, and I, at any rate, started to fear that I might have more in common with the two nazis than with the boringly normal and well-adjusted individual they end up kidnapping.

                  I'd love to see it again, particularly in conjunction with "The Edukators", which seems in some respect to be a kind of mirror-image (and is also about '60s idealism gone stale). Anyone got any leads to it?

                  *Perhaps not so surprising now that Horst Mahler (ex-Baader-Meinhof theoritician) has become a noted fascist.
                  \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Has anyone seen Don Siegel's version of The Killers, with Lee Marvin?
                    Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                    Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Yes, I first saw it on a 16mm print at VIth Form College back in the mid-80s. Can't remember if I'd already seen Siegel's Dirty Harry by then but I was familiar with Coogan's Bluff iirc. Despite (or maybe because) The Killers was originally made for TV (although in the end it got a theatrical release) I think it's a very interesting film and I really 'dig' Siegel's compositioning - all those distorted perspective gun barrels and stuff.

                      Lee is very good, almost a forerunner of his performance in John Boorman's later Point Blank in some ways. Cassavettes is memorable in what is basically a cameo and of course it was also Ronald Reagan's last screen appearence.

                      It was based - iirc - upon an Ernest Hemingway short, although the Hemingway material only takes up the first 5-10 mins. The rest is a speculation on why the Cassevettes character is marked for death.
                      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by demos99
                        Yes, I first saw it on a 16mm print at VIth Form College back in the mid-80s. Can't remember if I'd already seen Siegel's Dirty Harry by then but I was familiar with Coogan's Bluff iirc. Despite (or maybe because) The Killers was originally made for TV (although in the end it got a theatrical release) I think it's a very interesting film and I really 'dig' Siegel's compositioning - all those distorted perspective gun barrels and stuff.

                        Lee is very good, almost a forerunner of his performance in John Boorman's later Point Blank in some ways. Cassavettes is memorable in what is basically a cameo and of course it was also Ronald Reagan's last screen appearence.

                        It was based - iirc - upon an Ernest Hemingway short, although the Hemingway material only takes up the first 5-10 mins. The rest is a speculation on why the Cassevettes character is marked for death.
                        I have the criterion collection edition of the movie - comes with the original B&W Burt Lancaster noir version that's apparently much closer to the original Hemingway material.

                        Loved Lee Marvin as the hitman!
                        Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                        Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Has anyone seen Bomber und Paganini (1976)? It's a very anarchic comedy of the deepest, darkest sort.

                          Bomber and Paganini are two small time crooks who hate each other's guts. After an accident, one's blinded, the other's paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. They're forced to cooperate, both in order to get around and to extract revenge from the gang that chucked them out.

                          ...

                          There's a really great Ingmar Bergman film, that's often overlooked, Ansiktet (1958). It's about 'Dr Vogler's Magnetic Theatre' coming to a small village and having to perform miracles for a sceptical audience. Max von Sydow gives a brilliant perfomance as Dr Vogler and the film really is quite magical, ambiguous and mysterious.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            There are quite a few cat lovers on the MMMB, so I just thought I'd mention a Dutch film that I watched with my kids tonight. Definitely a film for feline-o-philes:

                            Minoes (2001) .

                            Minoes, a young puss, is turned into a young woman and meets a young journalist. Minoes still acts like a puss and can talk to her fellow cats, she engages their help.

                            It's a fairly simple straight forward kid's film, based on the book, Minoes (1970), by the brilliant Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt. The film is also rather classy, with a cool modern jazz soundtrack, a Continental, Sixties feel and fans of Amأ©lie might also find a lot to like.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by A_Non_Ymous View Post
                              What about the 1945 film of Marcel Carnأ©, "Les Enfants du Paradis"?

                              Jean-Louis Barrault in the male lead, with Arletty as Garance.

                              There is a curious story that I remember about the part of "Jأ©richo," played in the film (mostly) by Pierre Renoir, but originally cast for Robert Le Vigan. There are supposedly scenes near the end of the film that survive with Le Vigan. The political situation was interesting, to say the least.

                              Doubtless what I'm referring to is common knowledge among cinephiles.
                              LSN
                              This is a stunning film and must be on your 'Must See Lists'. I read a recommendation by Mick Hucknall, saying how great it was in the Bristol Student Film Soc review book. Of course, I discounted it, but when I saw all in one sitting, no breaks. I was enthralled and have seen it several times since. My wife went out with me on the strength knowing I had seen it.

                              Every time, I watch it, I notice something different about the film and it was not until the third viewing, I noticed the similarities between the first half and the second.
                              Papa was a Rolling Stone......

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by mordenkainen View Post
                                Originally posted by demos99
                                But is Rashomon 'underrated or unknown cinema'?
                                I don't think any of the directors and movies we mentioned here could be deemed "underrated"...
                                Aye, for real cinema fans, as opposed to the shit-munching cinema of the masses, most of what has been mentioned is fairly massively critically applauded, it just happens to be foreign and therefore a little bit niche.

                                I'm a big fan of much of what has been released by Eureka! and their Masters of Cinema collection. Not sure how much is unknown or underrated but it's all pretty much amazing. They're released by a different company in the US I think, but the name escapes me for the mo. Some choice picks, include: Pitfall, Naked Island, Onibaba, Vengence is Mine, Punishment Park, Abihjan, Kwaidan, Fantastic Planet and, my personal fave, Funeral Parade of Roses. Most date from the Japanese New Wave era.
                                forum

                                1. a meeting or assembly for the open discussion of subjects of public interest
                                2. a medium for open discussion, such as a magazine
                                3. a public meeting place for open discussion

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