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American and European Cinema

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I want to make a point. Therefore I really want to know what you think of these movies:

 

Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Head Full of Honey by Til Schweiger

 

and

 

The Square by Ruben Östlund

 

and

 

Roma by Alfonso Cuarón

Blade Runner 2049 by Denis Villeneuve

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24 minutes ago, Display Name said:

Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

 

Never heard of it

 

24 minutes ago, Display Name said:

Head Full of Honey by Til Schweiger

 

Never heard of it

 

24 minutes ago, Display Name said:

The Square by Ruben Östlund

 

Haven't seen it yet, but it looks interesting and I liked Force Majeure

 

24 minutes ago, Display Name said:

Roma by Alfonso Cuarón

 

Haven't seen it yet, but I like all his other films

 

24 minutes ago, Display Name said:

Blade Runner 2049 by Denis Villeneuve

 

I loved it

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Quote

Werk ohne Autor (Never Look Away) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

 

I haven't seen it, but I really liked von Donnermarck's DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN (2006). Plus, it has a Max Richter score, which is always a major plus.

 

Quote

Head Full of Honey by Til Schweiger

 

Haven't seen it, and have no relation to Schweiger's directing work. I only know him as an actor.

 

Quote

The Square by Ruben Östlund

 

A fine, satirical look at art culture and faulty selfawareness. It's a more accesible film than his previous work, however, and less reliant on long-distance, static shots. My favourite Östlund is still DE OFRIVILLIGA, although I like PLAY too. TOURIST is OK, but probably my least favourite.

 

Quote

Roma by Alfonso Cuarón

 

Massively overrated, if you ask me. The film promises more than it delivers, and I'm not easily fooled by arty b/w cinematography. It's supposed to be a very personal film for Cuarón, but I miss his keen, visual 'eye' here.

 

Quote

Blade Runner 2049 by Denis Villeneuve

 

I wasn't blown away the first time I saw it, but it has grown considerably after repeated viewings. I now think it's one of the best films of 2017. And a fantastic score too, which plays absolutely brilliantly in my whittled-down playlist soundtrack programme.

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5 hours ago, Alexcremers said:

 

What exactly changed your mind, Thor?  Was it something you overlooked the first time? If so, what? 

 

So many visual details I overlooked the first time, especially in terms of colours and geometrical shapes. And I needed to flush the sentiment that this was not just a natural continuation of the original universe; its expansion into other types of storytelling and visual tableaux (like the whole, orange desert sequence or the opening rural scene and so on). Once I started approaching it as its own beast, and as a Villeneuve movie (not just someone aping Scott) -- with his sense of fatalistic themes, it rose considerably in my appreciation.

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2 hours ago, Thor said:

 

 Once I started approaching it as its own beast, and as a Villeneuve movie (not just someone aping Scott) -- with his sense of fatalistic themes, it rised considerably in my appreciation.

 

Praise be, it's not Villeneuve trying to copy the world of the first movie. In fact, he 'updated' or changed it enough so that it can connect with today's zeitgeist. About the film improving with reviewing, I'm not as lucky as you. Somehow Villeneuve fails to pull me in. There are too many things in the movie that don't appeal to me and not enough aspects that wow me. Like with Sicario, it all leaves me a bit cold. This doesn't bode well for Dune ... 😞

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That was my first Villeneuve movie! I was so hooked up in what was happening on screen, that I kept on thinking, who is this amazing director?! This isn't normal anymore! A nail-biting thriller but also an incredible morality play! Prisoners is many things at the same time.

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Prisoners is indeed his finest film.

 

There's a lot to like about BR 2049, but some of the shitty writing turns me off to the whole thing. It sometimes felt like Villeneuve's natural instincts and the screenplay were at odds with each other. I should rewatch it some time to see how it fares.

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39 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

That was my first Villeneuve movie! I was so hooked up in what was happening on screen, that I kept on thinking, who is this amazing director?! This isn't normal anymore! A nail-biting thriller but also an incredible morality play! Prisoners is many things at the same time.

 

Same exact situation for me, agree 100% with everything you said

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On 2/1/2019 at 12:29 PM, Thor said:

I haven't seen it, but I really liked von Donnermarck's DAS LEBEN DER ANDEREN (2006). Plus, it has a Max Richter score, which is always a major plus.

Then I have to warn you. While Das Leben der anderen is one of the best German movies of the last two decades, Werk ohne Autor is one of the biggest mis-steps in the European arthouse cinema. The movie is awful, but everyone will say it's awesome.

 

On 2/1/2019 at 12:29 PM, Thor said:

Haven't seen it, and have no relation to Schweiger's directing work. I only know him as an actor.

That is a great privilege, believe me. This movie is a remake of a hugely popular German movie, also directed by Til Schweiger. The original was critically acclaimed by the German audience, although a pile of shit is like a holy grail in comparison. The remake was bashed by the American  audience - and rightfully so. What a joy to see this man getting the critique he deserves.

 

German media now implies that the original was good and the remake is bad. But the truth is the German audience is too incompetent to recognize a bad movie and the American audience is not.

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That German cinema is not what it used to be?

 

I wouldn't know about that, though. Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a pretty good German film at a festival, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUPLE (Sven Taddicken) -- has a bit of Haneke/Seidl thing going for it, although obviously not on that level.

 

Other good, German films I've seen in just the last couple of years include WESTERN (Valeska Grisebach), THE CAPTAIN (Robert Schwentke), IN THE FADE (Fatih Akin), 24 WEEKS (Anne Zohra Berrached), TONI ERDMANN (Maren Ade), PHOENIX (Christian Petzold), STATIONS OF THE CROSS (Dietrich Brüggemann)...

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That is a wonderful list of great recent German movies. You're probably one out of five people who them.

 

1 hour ago, Alexcremers said:

So what's the point you wanted to make?

I want a few more opinions about these movies.

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I was a huge fan of Blade Runner 2049...while as a whole it didn't completely stack together for me the way the original does, I loved the brooding tone, and the themes that it did go all the way with (I'm thinking the girlfriend/wife or whatever particularly) were hauntingly done. I can definitely agree with KK that the screenplay felt in conflict with the rest of the film...I felt very similarly about Ghost in the Shell, which came out earlier that year. Such a detailed, multifaceted world with all kinds of thematic avenues dangling off the screen, only to be completely ignored by the dialogue and plot. Blade Runner 2049 is much more simpatico, though. 

 

Also, it was the first time I've seen Ryan Gosling in a film...I always took him as a mugging pretty boy, so I was impressed and surprised by how well he did! And apparently Jared Leto's character was originally designed for David Bowie...he would've _killed_ that role!

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Display Name said:

I want a few more opinions about these movies.

 

I swear, if this has something to do with all these directors being transgender....

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I agree with Thor about Roma. Amazing B&W photography, but other than that, is was kind of dull. I stopped watching halfway with the intention to pick up things the next day but I never got around to it. I'm pretty sure that, if it was a real documentary instead of a fictional movie with docu intentions, it would have been more stimulating. 

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Depends on who you ask, Steef. You might adore Gravity but someone like Koray will say it's Children Of Men. OTOH, the true film snob that hangs around in art galleries and coffee shops will argue that Roma is much better than his commercial crowd-pleasing attempts. But, who knows, maybe his crowning achievement lies way back in the past:

 

image_12174635.jpeg

 

It's all subjective.

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4 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

 

Without adding 'in my opinion', I have no way of knowing whether someone is talking about global opinion/universal consensus or just his personal feelings. 

 

Just read between the lines or use common sense. If someone says "that movie sucks", it's obvious that's their opinion, sans touchy feely politeness.

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7 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

 

Perhaps you need to read it while reading between the lines again.

 

But you don't seem to know whether he's stating an opinion without a disclaimer. Your reading comprehension sucks!

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10 minutes ago, Display Name said:

Has anyone seen Toni Erdmann? Quality-wise it's the complete opposite of Werk ohne Autor!

 

Yes -- as previously mentioned -- it's a fantastic film; warm, uncomfortable and epic all at the same time. Probably THE major German film in recent years. It got so much buzz after its Cannes premiere in 2016, that when I stood in the outlandishly long line for the repeat screening, I didn't get in.

 

A US remake has been on the table for years now, but after Jack Nicholson resigned from the project, I'm not sure what the status is these days.

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3 minutes ago, Thor said:

Yes -- as previously mentioned -- it's a fantastic film; warm, uncomfortable and epic all at the same time. Probably THE major German film in recent years. It got so much buzz after its Cannes premiere in 2016, that when I stood in the outlandishly long line for the repeat screening, I didn't get in.

 

A US remake has been on the table for years now, but after Jack Nicholson resigned from the project, I'm not sure what the status is these days.

So, have you also seen Werk ohne Autor, that bombastic, pretentious piece of shit? I wanted to make the point that the European cinema is in serious trouble, whereas the Americans nail it, even in the mainstream cinema, but Toni Erdmann just queered my pitch.

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No, haven't seen WERK OHNE AUTOR yet; just heard the score (which is fine).

 

Personally, I see no trouble for European cinema. It's usually just as interesting to me than its US counterpart (also if you include the indie scene). Let me know if you'd like to have some good recommendations of European films in the last 5 years or so.

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6 hours ago, Display Name said:

Has anyone seen Toni Erdmann? Quality-wise it's the complete opposite of Werk ohne Autor!

 

Toni Erdmann is a towering masterpiece - one of the very greatest films of the new millennium. That film is going down as a great classic - mark my words. It also was the case for the most unfortunate snub in recent cinema history that the Cannes 2016 jury missed a great opportunity to give a woman the Palme - for a film that richly deserved and which had so much to say about the present moment we live in.

 

I actually liked Werk ohne Autor as well. It is a very long film but I found it very compelling and in some ways surprising about what it was. It has the perfect setup for a really melodramatic plot but it actually becomes about art and expression and how we put so much of ourselves into what we communicate out to the world. Mind you I don't think the film is perfect, there are definitely some problems with it but it is very classically handsome and the cinematography is good, the score too. There are several dialog-less scenes of just the artist working which are only driven by the cinematography and the score and they are stirring.

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