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AlmostAGhost

Theme Month: Jan. 2019 - Westerns

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On 1/18/2019 at 11:38 AM, grudlian. said:

Criterion puts out almost all of his movies in the US and I don't think they have a streaming platform any more after Film Struck went down. 

The Criterion Channel is launching a stand-alone service this spring. That might be a good time for a Kurosawa binge. 

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Just wondering.  Since this is the HDTGM forum, did anyone watch the original midnight movie, El Topo, for this (particuarly if they haven't seen it before)?

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16 minutes ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

Just wondering.  Since this is the HDTGM forum, did anyone watch the original midnight movie, El Topo, for this (particuarly if they haven't seen it before)?

I've seen it before and absolutely hated every second of it.

In general, I found surreal avant-garde movies entirely reliant on heavy symbolism boring. I don't mind symbolism as a rule but when every character is an anthropomorphized something and the plot only makes sense if you unravel each symbol, it's tiring and eye roll inducing. So, it had an uphill battle regardless of what the movie was about.

But I also found the content awful. It's bloody and gross. Again, I don't mind as a rule, but I'd like it to have a point. In El Topo, it all feels shocking to be shocking which I find very boring.

And there's a for real, planned rape in the movie. So, fuck El Topo and Alejandro Jodorowsky.

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On 1/19/2019 at 9:44 PM, grudlian. said:

I've seen it before and absolutely hated every second of it.

In general, I found surreal avant-garde movies entirely reliant on heavy symbolism boring. I don't mind symbolism as a rule but when every character is an anthropomorphized something and the plot only makes sense if you unravel each symbol, it's tiring and eye roll inducing. So, it had an uphill battle regardless of what the movie was about.

But I also found the content awful. It's bloody and gross. Again, I don't mind as a rule, but I'd like it to have a point. In El Topo, it all feels shocking to be shocking which I find very boring.

And there's a for real, planned rape in the movie. So, fuck El Topo and Alejandro Jodorowsky.

So.... 5 Stars?

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I know we're already 6 days into a short month, BUT.... I was wondering what everyone would think about doing films by Black directors for February, given that it's Black History Month, and we're already doing a Spike Lee film for Musical Mondays ;)

 

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I'm all for it, definitely! That makes sense. 

One thing I've begun watching is this Pioneers of African American Cinema collection on Netflix, which is a series of around 10-15 old films by black directors in the 30s or so.  It's a nice starting point for this.

If anyone has some better non-mainstream recs for this I'd appreciate that too

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14 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I'm all for it, definitely! That makes sense. 

One thing I've begun watching is this Pioneers of African American Cinema collection on Netflix, which is a series of around 10-15 old films by black directors in the 30s or so.  It's a nice starting point for this.

If anyone has some better non-mainstream recs for this I'd appreciate that too

Kind of a mainstream recommendation because it's kind of recognized as the first American film directed by a black man (but I think the reality is it's the only one the survived) is Within Our Gates by Oscar Micheaux. I don't think it's in the Netflix collection.

An excellent movie I saw last year was Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene. I haven't seen anything else by him but his reputation is pretty great.

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Cool I will check those out!

Also interested in international directors -- what are the good movies from Africa perhaps that I should try?  I'll poke around Amazon Prime and Netflix tonight and see what I can list.  My focus on Unspooled has me sort of feeling like I'm missing out on cool stuff from other countries.

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I really wish Barry Jenkins's Medicine for Melancholy was still on Netflix. It's a gem! Although Moonlight is now on Amazon Prime. 

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Cool I will check those out!

Also interested in international directors -- what are the good movies from Africa perhaps that I should try?  I'll poke around Amazon Prime and Netflix tonight and see what I can list.  My focus on Unspooled has me sort of feeling like I'm missing out on cool stuff from other countries.

I don't really know much of anything about African cinema but Ousmane Sembene is from Senegal.

Djibril Diop MambeŐĀty is also Senegalese. He directed Touki Bouki which I thought was okay.

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If you have Shudder, you watch a short-ish documentary, Horror Noire, which is about African Americans in the horror genre.  Though that's both actors and directors.

Which is my periodic reminder that I still really need to see Ganja & Hess.

ETA: I guess the only non-mainstream, but we'll known movie I can think of off the top of my head not listed yet is Killer of Sheep.

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I love Killer Of Sheep, and plan to rewatch it soon.  Told @grudlian. about it a few months back.  I watched in a class in the '90s and it always has stuck with me, and I'm excited to revisit it.

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4 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I love Killer Of Sheep, and plan to rewatch it soon.  Told @grudlian. about it a few months back.  I watched in a class in the '90s and it always has stuck with me, and I'm excited to revisit it.

I need to watch it again sometime. I was expecting a strong narrative throughout instead of what it was. It kind of caught me off guard.

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Oh to close out the Westerns from last month... I watched 9 of them.  I was attracted to the descriptions and plots of spaghetti westerns, but in the end found I much preferred more traditional ones.  I think they had a sense of history that I liked.  Stagecoach was easily my favorite, but also dug Red River.  I did find it sometimes I just wasn't in the mood for a western, but sometimes they were pretty satisfying.  Here was my list of what I saw:

https://letterboxd.com/almostaghost/list/january-2019-theme-month-cowboys-westerns/

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