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Unappreciated masterpieces?

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by Blackthorn, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. I enjoyed "Tucker: That Man and His Dream" as you guys have noted more for the style and vibe because the story was handled at too much of a surface / superficial level to be an outstanding movie.

    And while about a horse not a car, I thought "Seabiscuit" was a better version of the same concept, with Jeff Bridges in the same role: a man with a dream about an underdog (horse or car) uses drive, determination and passion to realize that dream while pulling everyone in his orbit along for the ride.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
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  2. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I loved Seabiscuit. It had everything I love in a movie.
     
  3. For a recent movie depicting the Era the way I like to see it depicted, I'm fond of "Me And Orson Welles," from 2008. It's not so much a self-conscious masterpiece -- despite its subject, who was the unquestioned king of Self-Conscious Masterpieces -- so much as it's a story of the people who came together to create the vibrant New York experimental theatre movement of the late 1930s. Its evocation of that precise moment in time is about as flawless as a movie is capable of generating, and Christian MacKay as Welles is absolutely dead-on perfect in his portrayal of the Boy Wonder's sweeping hubris. There's a simple, rather corny love story that drives the basic plot, but the real fun of the picture is seeing how Welles's own infinite gravitational field swallows up anyone and everything in his path.

    For a wonderful double-feature, watch this along with "Ed Wood," with Johnny Depp as the Bizarro Orson Welles --- whose impact on his circle and whose absolute dedication to his own genius is precisely that of Welles himself, albeit in a Woolworth's bargain counter kind of way.
     
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  4. And the book was even better - best race horse book I've ever read and even works if you don't care much about horse racing.
     
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  5. Now I'm going to have to watch it again as my vague memory is that I liked it, but it didn't make a big impression, but that's a heck of a review.

    I used to dislike people like Welles as their "all about me" wears me out, but overtime - as with many thing - my view has become more nuanced. I know on a personal level, I'd still have little tolerance for the bluster and the "it's my train, it's powerful, so get on board or get out of my way" personality, but those people also move many things in the art, science, well, every world forward.

    They invent, improve, advance many things, but usually also leave an ugly debris field in their wake. A very smart woman I worked with once said to me "every strength comes with a weakness attached" and I've only grown to appreciate the perspicacity of that idea over many years.
     
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  6. The picture of Welles offered in the film is interesting -- it's not the blowhard caricature that dominated his public image in the actual 1930s as much as it is that of a genius child-man whose own ego and sense of personal entitlement absolutely blinds him to the impact his actions have on others.

    The caricature Welles was all over prewar popular culture -- the most hilarious moment was during a guest shot on Fred Allen's radio show, where an elaborate fanfare preceded his entrance and Welles "came out of three doors simultaneously." But this is not that Welles -- it's more a peek behind the bluster at a man who saw other people as merely toys for his personal amusement. When you get tired of one, or it's served its purpose, throw it aside and grab another.
     
  7. The debris field, but darn it if some of those people don't move the world forward in incredible ways - "Citizen Kane" for example.
     
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  8. The best part of Kane was that it pitted two people of the same type against each other -- Welles vs. Hearst, no quarter asked and none given. I'd have paid top dollar to see that in a steel-cage match at Madison Square Garden.

    The Ultimate Welles Moment, though, has to be his condensation of "Hamlet" into two half-hour radio episodes on the "Columbia Workshop" in 1936. He was twenty-one years old. Who's this guy Shakespeare?
     
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  9. ⇧ My opinion of "Citizen Kane" has evolved over the many years and times I've seen it. Early on, I found it a bit hokey and overwrought, but now I appreciate its "Greek Drama / Clash of the Titans" aspect as you highlighted. Also, I now get that it was a leap forward in movie style and technique that, while dated today, was fresh and groundbreaking for its day.
     
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  10. Famous, though probably apocryphal, story that Welles used to tell in TV appearances:

    On the day of Citizen Kane's premiere, Welles found himself alone in an elevator with William Randolph Hearst!

    Welles asked if he was going to the premiere, and Hearst said no. As Hearst stepped out of the elevator...

    Welles said: "Charles Foster Kane would!"
     
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  11. If it was true, that's one heck of a line to use at the perfect moment.
     
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  12. Inkstainedwretch

    Inkstainedwretch Practically Family

    My favorite Welles moment was in the late 60s when the news came from Spain that Welles had been taken to the hospital to have his stomach pumped after eating an entire roast goat washed down with a gallon of wine. The man's appetites were epic.
     
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  13. And then there was his (in)famous "Frozen Peas" moment...

     
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  14. Just for laughs: the Brain does a classic bowdlerized Orson Welles "Frozen Peas" tribute:
     
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  15. That's pretty darn funny, his rant about "in July," "crumb-crisp coating" and "in the depths of your ignorance" are all fantastic.
     
  16. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Eastern Promises, with Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen. Here's another one I can't believe I never heard of. Made in 2007, on first viewing it seems flawless to me. Not for the faint hearted, though, it's extremely violent.
     
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  17. Inkstainedwretch

    Inkstainedwretch Practically Family

    Eastern Promises is one of the most violent movies ever made and not a single shot is fired in it. It scores a first in having a fight using linoleum knives, a common tool found in any DIY shop anywhere in the world, and one with which you can eviscerate a horse.
     
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  18. I think Scorsese's "After Hours" is a brilliant black comedy, but it rarely gets mentioned alongside his more well-known masterpieces. It's funny, disturbing and even a bit scary at times, with brillant performances by Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Fiorentino, John Hurd, Terri Garr, Verna Bloom, Catherine O'Hara, and even Cheech & Chong!
     
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  19. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn My Mail is Forwarded Here

    The Tailor of Panama.

    Brilliant and heartbreaking
     
  20. basbol13

    basbol13 One of the Regulars

    The Fabulous Stains...now there is a classic
     

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