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    • Hello again, back with more from my watch of AFI 100 Films list.

      Earlier posts: [Films 100 thru 87] [Films 86 thru 76] [Films 75 thru 59] [Films 58 thru 46]

      Films 45 thru 35

      45. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
      Some iconic moments, thoroughly watchable (if a bit silly). Unfortunately, Blanche reminds me so much of my bf's mom it is....disturbing. She's certainly not as bad or scheming as Blanche, just...she's just as shallow a pool and just as likely to feign flighty incapability. But I digress!


      44. The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
      This film...ooofff. It has some remarkable shots (especially for 1915!) and some fascinating (if unsuccessful) effects. Viewed only as a technical work of putting image to film, it is pretty incredible for its time...more coherent than many of the other films on this list that were produced later...

      But this film...is simply evil. At essentially every moment in this film, the content of it is disgusting. It is at best uncomfortable, often stomach-churning...at worst it is a complete fabrication of history presented as truth and done in the most despicable manner possible. I was aware that it was horribly racist and revered the KKK and included blackface, but even being prepared for all that by the end I was extremely distraught...that someone could create such damaging and horrific "art" is not news, but watching it and getting acquainted with it for 3 hours is difficult and feels utterly shitty.

      The plot is not free of issue pre- or during the war, but everything post-war is so much worse than I could have been prepared for. The content is extreme. I was so angry when it was over...I can only imagine it's a similar feeling to watching Triumph of the Will or some other evil use of cinema.

      I've been wanting to watch Nate Parker's The Birth Of A Nation to see if it's a meaningful echo/response to this film, but I've yet to find the time (and am still unsure if I'll be able to watch and judge the rape scene in a "fair" light :S).

      Fuck this film and D.W. Griffith.


      43. King Kong (1933))
      So King Kong is not without problematic elements, but after The Birth Of A Nation I was just so excited to watch 1930's special effects. @_@
      (Never thought I'd say that!)

      And I was really impressed! Kong's face does NOT AT ALL hold up, many of his movements are very artificial and rubbery, but although not 100% convincing the rear-projection bits with the human actors are INSANELY IMPRESSIVE for 1933. Like...wow!


      42. Rear Window (1954)
      Good film! I think it's kind of insane that in the end the guy actually did kill her??? but aside from that largely silly ending, it was tight and exciting, cool gimmick, well-shot/blocked.


      41. West Side Story (1961)
      A little surprised this was as high on the list as it was? I had seen it before in school and it's obviously a classic, but it really only has maybe 3-4 great songs and while it's well done it's not quite mind-blowing? Maybe for the time.


      40. North By Northwest (1959)
      Okay I liked a lot of this, but the love scenes and the iconic crop-duster bit are...kind of insane. Setting those bits aside though, it was a fun film and the plot felt more reasonable than Double Indemnity so...decent film.


      39. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
      I was quite disappointed with this one...maybe in part because of the acting conventions of the time? There's not quite enough emotion in Zhivago's face to sell me on his longing and love and suffering and such...and it's so long and both so much and so little happens. I mentioned watching this to my coworker (she's seen a lot of these older films) and she exclaimed "Oh what a romance!!" and I just...don't get it. Also his poor wife! Eugh. The sets/locations were the best part for me.

      I found other earlier "cinematic epics" to be more compelling generally...at #82 Giant (1956), for all its flaws, had a lot more interesting concepts stirring about and left me disappointed because the threads weren't explored as much as I wanted...rather than just feeling like "oh here we go again" as Zhivago goes off stupidly again for xyz reason only to (surprise) get swept off his path into some political shit. Eh. I've not read the book and I'm unsure if the adaptation of it is "good" or not, but it was just not doing it for me.


      38. Double Indemnity (1944)
      Fairly good if a bit stupid! The plot they conceive of is just straight up dumb (in part because of censors I guess), but setting that aside its still a pretty tight film and feels very classic. The dialogue is insane (in a good way?) and the fact that their plot is so dumb that a character essentially states that as a reason this couldn't be a scam almost redeems how stupid the murder plot is. Almost. Still thoroughly watchable though!


      37. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
      A bit on the PSA-side, but surprisingly progressive-ish? Some things were handled in ways I was surprised by for the time and some things are handled bizarrely. Not an extremely compelling narrative, but a watchable one and each of the three mains does feel like he gets a decent story arc/exploration of his individual circumstances. A perfectly fine watch.


      36. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
      Far far better (and more coherent) than Easy Rider from the same year, but still plagued by some bizarre choices that I assume stem from its somewhat avant garde existence. Compelling, but not overly great to me. A lot of "...whhhaaat" moments. Not my favorite by a looong shot.


      35. It Happened One Night (1934)
      So setting aside the general misogyny of the era, this was pretty good? Nothing spectacular, but had some clever bits, some fun visuals/gags, and good follow through! Certainly more coherent than some modern films.
      Also I discovered buried deep within my brain are the lyrics to the chorus of "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze". I started singing along to it during the bus scene and my bf looked at me as if I were possessed. I mentioned this to my mom and she instantly knew where it was from: Disney's Sing Along Songs...I must have watched the circus VHS "a million times".

      Next up: 34. To Kill A Mockingbird!

      artwork by Qistina Khalidah- join Farore Scouts today!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Vynrah ().

    • Jehanne wrote:

      Oracle of Truth wrote:

      He helped make some of my favorite movies of all time. Grave of the Fireflies, Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky....damn
      I never did watch Grave of the Fireflies. We owned it at one point, but I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to handle it so I avoided it. And I think we gave the DVD away.
      It's pretty devastating emotionally, not gonna lie. It's one of those movies that you don't really want multiple viewings of, but make you appreciate the fact that you saw it. It's a heart-wrenching experience, but one that every Studio Ghibli fan should watch.
    • Your call. Just know that you're missing out on ONE OF THE GREATEST EXPERIENCES OF ALL TIME.

      I'm being hyperbolic of course. ONE OF THE GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME.

      In all seriousness, I would highly recommend the heartbreak for one day. It's a historical piece, yes, but I wouldn't necessarily call it educational, or one that would supplement your understanding of Japanese history. I just find it to be a profound piece in animated dramatic cinema.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Oracle of Truth ().

    • kimbra and a perfect circle released albums today!

      a perfect circle was predictably lame, no matter how hard my housemate lobbies me to think less critically of it


      kimbra on the other hand... i have really not been digging her singles lately, and have found them very derivative and contrived. i do think that overall it sounds much better together as a single package, but i am still not wowed.

      a Vows or Golden Echoes it is not

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Lucretia ().