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WHAT FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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MissGoddess
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Postby MissGoddess » August 23rd, 2007, 11:17 am

Wow, Fernando, you watched a slew of amazing movies---all except the last are favorites. I saw Paris, Je t'aime at the theater and thought only a few of the vignettes were good. The one that stayed with me the most is the one about the man who is about to leave his wife when he finds out she's terminally ill---and then falls in love with her for real all over again by only pretending to be in love for her sake.

It's interesting that TCM Latin airs Fox movies like Anastasia, which never appear here in the States' TCM because The Fox Movie Channel has them tied up.

feaito

Paris...

Postby feaito » August 23rd, 2007, 11:41 am

I agree MissGoddess, there are some stories of "Paris Je T'aime" that are not really good, but I liked the film's concept & approach, in spite of the fact that, IMO, it does not succeed completely. My wife commented that she thought the stories were too short. She'd preferred fewer stories with more development of plot and characters.

And yes I find strange that TCM Latin has aired some Fox, Universal and Paramount films. The rights issue regarding foreign markets is very complicated.

Cinecanal Classics, a Premium Cable TV Channel, airs regularly Universal, Paramount and Fox films, in its original formats (Widescreen, Vistavision, etc- never in Pan-Scan).

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Moraldo Rubini
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A Tale of Three Places

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 23rd, 2007, 12:31 pm

MissGoddess wrote:...I saw Paris, Je t'aime at the theater and thought only a few of the vignettes were good. The one that stayed with me the most is the one about the man who is about to leave his wife when he finds out she's terminally ill---and then falls in love with her for real all over again by only pretending to be in love for her sake. ...

I saw Paris, Je T'aime last May at the Paris Theatre in Manhattan. One of the vignettes that stays with me is the final story of the American tourist whose fallen in love with the City of Light. I wondered who this actress was -- she was not the typical Hollywood actress and looked like a typical American tourist (fanny pack included). By the time we got to this story, I was getting fatigued with the whole notion; but this story brought it all together and had me walking out of the theatre on a positive note.

I think I mentioned in the other post (see link above) that this is to be a trilogy, with the other two movies concentrating on New York City and China.

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A Case of the Vapors

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 23rd, 2007, 11:53 pm

Just got in from seeing a restored print of Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Doulos. To think that a couple of weeks ago, I had no awareness of this director; now he's popping up everywhere. Le Doulos gave me a little more perspective regarding his style, which helps with the previous question regarding the influences of Les Enfants Terrible. Doulos had none of the feeling of Enfants. Tonight's movie was an atmospheric french film noir. The print was beautiful. Shot in stark black and white, the opening shows a man walking through a tunnel. I was impressed that the film captured the steam rising from the concrete walkways; then discovered this was a visual theme of the movie. There were many scenes of both literal and figurative smoke screens. Fog, mist, vapors, car exhaust, Gauloises; nightclubs and police offices that were like smoke-filled glass cages. This movie reminded me of my love of black and white; a movie where the shadows reveal more than the light.

The plot twists and turns like a Montmartre alley. An inviting smile and seductive words are a precursor to a hard slap across the face. The bad guys are charming... or are they really bad? The good guys are bland and officious. Jean-Paul Belmondo must have been enamored with Bogie, though his trenchcoated character showed a more sartorial dash.

The visuals were greatly influenced by American Film Noir, but you could see the French New Wave as well. Fresh compositions would have the camera peering from around corners, as if we -- the audience -- was spying on the proceedings. The use of sound -- or lack of it -- was interesting. The soundtrack was spare, usually virtual; that is, there'd only be music if there were a live combo or piano player performing in the background. Some scenes played in silence for a few minutes, then little by little sounds would reveal themselves; first footsteps, then traffic, etc. There's a flashback scene told in a nightclub. We hear the music of the nightclub playing as we few the silent flashback.

I wonder how the dialogue holds up today. It's filled with slang. The very title is slang along the line of "stool pigeon" or "informer". I heard Belmondo refer to the police as "flic" (akin to saying "copper" for "police"). It's been so long since I've been to France; I wonder if people still say "flic"?

I noticed on the opening credits that Volker Schlöndorff was assistant director on this. What a great internship. He's still directing today!

Thumbs up!

feaito

Postby feaito » August 24th, 2007, 8:01 am

"Le Doulos" sounds like a great film Moraldo. Thanks for the excellent review!

BTW, since you mentioned "Les Enfants Terribles" and you seem to be very acquainted with French cinema, have you seen "Les Parents Terribles", a 1948 film that stars Jean Marais, directed (I believe) by Jean Cocteau? Somewhere I have a medium-sized reproduction of a poster of this film and I remember being very intrigued by it when I got it. I'm not sure but I think that Josette Day has the female lead (She starred opposite Marais in the haunting masterpiece "La Belle et la Bête").

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Moraldo Rubini
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They're all Terrible!

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 24th, 2007, 8:42 am

Fernando wrote:BTW, since you mentioned "Les Enfants Terribles" and you seem to be very acquainted with French cinema, have you seen "Les Parents Terribles", a 1948 film that stars Jean Marais, directed (I believe) by Jean Cocteau? Somewhere I have a medium-sized reproduction of a poster of this film and I remember being very intrigued by it when I got it. I'm not sure but I think that Josette Day has the female lead (She starred opposite Marais in the haunting masterpiece "La Belle et la Bête").

You're correct on all counts, Fernando! Les Parent Terrible came out two years before Les Enfants Terrible. The Parents really was directed by Cocteau, and starred his partner Jean Marais and the chic Josette Day. And like Enfants, Cocteau narrates the Parents story. I saw it years ago at San Francisco's Roxie Theatre, but haven't had another opportunity in quite some time. I don't believe it's available on DVD. Hopefully, the advent of Les Enfants on disk is a hint of the the Parents return. I'd love to own that!

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"We'll always have Paris..."

Postby benwhowell » August 24th, 2007, 1:05 pm

I love French movies...Cocteau, Jean Renoir, Jean Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Agnes Varda, et al.
I have a couple of French movies in my stack of movies to watch (both found used VHS copies)-Truffaut's "Small Change" and "La Haine" ("Hate") from model/actor/writer/director/friend of Jodie Foster- Mathieu Kassovitz. He also directed the American movie "Gothika" with Halle Berry.
I love French "pop culture" too and look forward to the Paris episodes of HGTV's "House Hunters." A former co-worker had relatives in Paris. She said that was her favorite European city to visit because it was a great city to find "bargains." She must have not priced apartments...most of those small (one bedroom) apartments in Paris go for upwards of $450,000 (American money!)
Here's a classic French commercial (1958) for Perrier-
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VqozeySMkc[/youtube]

I'm a Volker Schlondorff fan too. "The Tin Drum" is one of my favorite movies. He also directed the "Billy Wilder Speaks" documentary.

feaito

Re: They're all Terrible!

Postby feaito » August 24th, 2007, 1:40 pm

Moraldo Rubini wrote:You're correct on all counts, Fernando! Les Parent Terrible came out two years before Les Enfants Terrible. The Parents really was directed by Cocteau, and starred his partner Jean Marais and the chic Josette Day. And like Enfants, Cocteau narrates the Parents story. I saw it years ago at San Francisco's Roxie Theatre, but haven't had another opportunity in quite some time. I don't believe it's available on DVD. Hopefully, the advent of Les Enfants on disk is a hint of the the Parents return. I'd love to own that!


Thanks for the information Moraldo. Hopefully we'll see a DVD release of "Les Parents Terribles", most probably by Criterion.

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Moraldo Rubini
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Bubbly Voices

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 24th, 2007, 11:20 pm

Are you familiar with The Swingle Singers, Ben? The voices in that Perrier ad sound just like them; it's their style of singing and timbre. They were a group of extremely talented singers who put out a series of albums in in the late 1950's and into the 1960's and 70's. The lead soprano of the original group was Christine Legrand, sister of Michel. They usually sang a cappella, making hits with vocal arrangements of Johann Sebastian Bach as well as jazz. But my favorite Swingle Singers recording is of Luciano Berio's post-modern masterwork, Sinfonia; a collage of Mahler and Debussy. It's disorienting and emotionally captivating. I'm listening to it as I type this; the third movement is a knock out!

feaito

Busy weekend...

Postby feaito » August 27th, 2007, 3:34 pm

Over the weekend I watched quite a few, diverse films:

"Moulin Rouge" (1934). This cute and amusing musical comedy surprised me quite a bit, because of Constance Bennett's witty performance, playing lookalike friends, not "sisters" as it's been stated in many reviews. The beautiful song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (a favorite of mine, especially in two renditions by Diana Krall) is performed more than once. Franchot Tone plays Connie's husband and Tullio Carminati, a producer. Also in the cast: Helen Westley, Ivan Lebedeff (once more as a gigolo!), Russ Colombo (who appears singing with miss Bennett) and Lucille Ball, featured as one of the chorus girls. Reportedly a remake of Connie Talmdage's Silent "Her Sister from Paris" (1926).

"The Prince Who Was a Thief" (1951). Entertaining Universal "cardboard" pastiche set in a fairy-tale Tangiers with a couple of very juvenile Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie. Typical movie of the yesteryear, so-called in my country, "matinées".

"Deliver Us from Evil" (2006). A harrowing documentary focusing on pedophilia within the American Catholic Church.

"It Happened in Athens" (1962). A film set in the 1896 Olympic Games that took place in Athens, which interested me mostly as a curio and for its location filming. Jayne Mansfield stars as an (improbable) Greek actress.

"The Innocents" (1961). A masterful, atmospheric, eerie film, full of suspense and symbolism. Gorgeously set and performed. Magnificent. I had never seen it before. My wife did not like the abrupt ending. I did. Deborah Kerr is terrific, as are Martin Stephens, Pamela Franklin et al. Sir Michael Redgrave is superb in a small role.

"Disturbia" (2006). A good thriller reminiscent of Hitchcock's Rear Window. Well performed by the three young actors who think they've discovered a killer living within their neighbourhood.

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Postby MissGoddess » August 27th, 2007, 3:56 pm

Hi Moraldo---I saw Paris Je t'aime at the Paris theater, too! Wonder if it was the same showing. :wink: I love that movie house.

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Re: Busy weekend...

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 27th, 2007, 4:08 pm

feaito wrote:"Moulin Rouge" (1934). This cute and amusing musical comedy surprised me quite a bit, because of Constance Bennett's witty performance, playing lookalike friends, not "sisters" as it's been stated in many reviews. The beautiful song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (a favorite of mine, especially in two renditions by Diana Krall) is performed more than once. Franchot Tone plays Connie's husband and Tullio Carminati, a producer. Also in the cast: Helen Westley, Ivan Lebedeff (once more as a gigolo!), Russ Colombo (who appears singing with miss Bennett) and Lucille Ball, featured as one of the chorus girls. Reportedly a remake of Connie Talmdage's Silent "Her Sister from Paris" (1926).

"The Prince Who Was a Thief" (1951). Entertaining Universal "cardboard" pastiche set in a fairy-tale Tangiers with a couple of very juvenile Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie. Typical movie of the yesteryear, so-called in my country, "matinées".

Tullio Carminati! Only recently did I take note of this actor when I saw the Grace Moore vehicle One Night of Love. He enjoyed a long career and I believe he was purported to be a count.
I believe that The Prince Who Was a Thief is the movie that was being made when some PR guy thought up the notion that Piper Laurie was so other-worldly that she ate flowers for supper. This became legend and haunted her for years. Nasturtiums, anyone?

feaito

Re: Busy weekend...

Postby feaito » August 27th, 2007, 4:27 pm

Moraldo Rubini wrote:Tullio Carminati! Only recently did I take note of this actor when I saw the Grace Moore vehicle One Night of Love. He enjoyed a long career and I believe he was purported to be a count.
I believe that The Prince Who Was a Thief is the movie that was being made when some PR guy thought up the notion that Piper Laurie was so other-worldly that she ate flowers for supper. This became legend and haunted her for years. Nasturtiums, anyone?


Moraldo,

I have not seen "One Night of Love", but I've read it's a delightful film. Mr. Carminati's character has some funny moments in "Moulin Rouge". He had a thick Italian accent.

I did not know about that piece of trivia regarding Ms. Laurie, Thanks for sharing!... And now that you mention it, I recall another similar incident regarding Dolores del Río during the '30s. Apparently some reporter wrote she ate orchids and she told her maid to serve them as hors-d'ôeuvres when he went to interview her or something like that .

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » August 27th, 2007, 6:21 pm

Last week I saw on cable a very nice Italian film called "The Keys to the House." It's the story of a young father who gave up his handicapped son the day the son was born (the boy's young mother died in childbirth), and after 15 years has now reclaimed the boy. He brings his son to a hospital in Berlin for assessment and treatment. (I missed the first 10 or 15 minutes of the film, so I don't know the circumstances that led up to the man reuniting with his son).

The boy who plays the son is disabled in real life - he was very nice in this film. It's something of a character study - not too much happens, but the performances are wonderful and the story is very interesting. Charlotte Rampling plays the mother of a disabled young woman who befriends the father at the hospital. She speaks Italian, French and German throughout the film.

My only cavil is that this film follows the European model, to wit: the story is not particularly linear, and several plot points are never resolved. Not my favorite kind of movie, but the actors here are so charming and believable, I stuck with it to the end.

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Charlotte's Ebb

Postby Moraldo Rubini » August 27th, 2007, 7:00 pm

Sounds interesting Judith. How recently was it made? I often enjoy watching Charlotte Rampling. For me, she's a real movie star.


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