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iCMFF: Main Slate [Official Thread]
Topic Started: Nov 20 2017, 01:18:24 AM (3,985 Views)
outdoorcats
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Welcome to the 2017 iCheckMovies Film Festival!

This is the first annual festival to be held here on the iCM Forum, and the third of its kind which originally started on the IMDb message boards (you know, back when those existed).

For the full program guide and a brief explanation of what the festival is, look no further than here.
For the unofficial challenge thread, look no further than here.

Please rate the films the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award. This is not connected to the Unofficial Challenge and therefore it does not matter when you saw the films in question.

Other sections:

English-Language Independents
International (I and II)
Animation
LGBT
Arthouse
Documentaries
Just Before Dawn
Shorts Programs

This is the thread where all users can rate and discuss the films in this year's Main Slate:

Quote:
 
The Age of Shadows dir. Kim Jee-woon. 2016, 140 min. Posted Image
Starring Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, and Yoo Gong.
A nail-biting thriller, a series of spectacular set-pieces, a twisty rabbit-hole of double-crosses that will have you guessing everyone's motive up until the final scene - Kim's latest embarrassment of riches is all that and more, equal parts period war epic and hardboiled noir in the paranoia-haunted world of Japanese-occupied Korea during World War II.
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Christine dir. Antonio Campos. 2016, 116 min. Posted Image
Starring Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, and Tracy Letts.
Along with his compatriots Sean Durkin and Josh Mond, Campos has helped redefine the direction of American indie cinema for the past 10 years. Christine finds him delving deeply into the true story of 1970s television reporter Christine Chubbock, as extreme depression and career frustrations send her into a downward spiral with a haunting conclusion.
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Crumbs dir. Miguel Llanso. 2015, 68 min. Posted Image
Starring Daniel Tadesse and Selam Tesfayie.
In this "romantic surreal post-apocalyptic adventure in Ethiopia," a man embarks on an epic odyssey to board a hovering spaceship. To do so, he must traverse a bizarre and dangerous world in which photos of celebrities are revered as shrines and witches, Nazis, and Santa Claus roam freely.
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I Believe in Unicorns dir. Leah Meyerhoff. 2014, 80 min. Posted Image
Starring Natalia Dyer, Peter Vack, and Julia Garner.
In this achingly honest and personal ode to being a teenage girl, 16-year-old Davina (Stranger Things' Natalia Dyer) embarks on a road trip with her older boyfriend which doesn't live up to her romantic expectations. In her first feature, Meyerhoff suffuses Davina's story with dream-like imagery, evoking the inner life of a romantic desperate to escape her surroundings.
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In Order of Disappearance dir. Hans Petter Moland. 2014, 116 min. Posted Image
Starring Stellan Skarsgard, Pal Sverre Hagen, and Bruno Ganz.
In this darkly comic, pitch-black Scandanavian noir in the tradition of Fargo or In Bruges, international star Skarsgard stars as small-town citizen Nils, an honest and upright man who enjoys his job plowing snow day after day. When his son is killed by drug dealers, however, he begins calmly and methodically hunting down and killing everyone connected to the crime, inadvertently igniting an international gang war in the process.
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Ivy dir. Tolga Karacelik. 2015, 104 min. Posted Image
Starring Nadir Sarabacak and Hakan Karsak.
Cabin fever sets in when six men on a large cargo vessel stranded off the Egyptian coast begin to suspect a supernatural entity is on board in this tense Turkish thriller. Overlaid with resonant political overtones, this mesmerizing film channels the moral quandaries of a classic Melville or Conrad.
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Kaili Blues dir. Bi Gan. 2015, 113 min. Posted Image
Starring Yongzhong Chen and Yue Guo.
In this mesmerizing and wholly unconventional feature, poet/filmmaker Bi Gan takes us on a journey through time and space as a doctor searches the hills of China for his missing nephew. This remarkable film is anchored by a remarkable setpiece which gives Sokurov's Russian Ark a run for its money in sheer breathtaking execution.
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Krisha dir. Trey Edward Shults. 2015, 83 min. Posted Image
Starring Krisha Fairchild and Alex Dobrenko.
Aging Krisha, a recovering addict, tries to reconnect with her estranged family after an absence of 10 years in this emotionally brutal and raw family drama. When Shults brought Krisha to Cannes, he was hailed as a major new voice in American film, and it's easy to see why. It conflates the visually striking and confident look of an auteur director with the deeply-personal, too-close-to-home story that even reflexive documentary filmmakers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot-pole.
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Der Nachtmahr dir. Akiz. 2015, 92 min. Posted Image
Starring Carolyn Genzkow and Sina Tkotsch.
A visually eye-popping blend of Spring Breakers and It Follows, artist/filmmaker Akiz' teen horror centers on a teenage girl who begins to experience unsettling visions after she begins attending rave parties with her friends.
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Stations of the Cross dir. Dietrich Bruggemann. 2014, 110 min. Posted Image
Bruggemann's demanding study of the crossroads of devotion and fanaticism follows the trials of teenage Maria as she attempts to forge a different path than her fundamentalist Catholic household - rigorously shot in 14 long takes.
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Edited by outdoorcats, Nov 20 2017, 02:18:57 AM.
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Carmel1379
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First! Cheers again. :cheers:


My Der Nachtmahr write-up [repost], the only Main Slate film I have seen so far.

Against the indispensable backdrop of techno-psychedelic throbbing drug-infused party experiences, a teenage girl starts seeing a hyperstitional monster resembling a living-corpse embryo in her house, which wants to idle around, consume food and come closer to the girl. Alongside classical dynamism of sanity vs. craziness, there’s an unique kind of isomorphism going on between the girl and monster — Tina is the monster and grows an attachment to it (when it’s hurt, she feels the repercussions on her flesh and mind) — uncovering themes of self-image, uncertainty of pregnancy and relation to friends (especially the guy she has a crush on), making this a more intelligible coming-of-age film (she becomes 18). However the film is edited in a way to seem free and incomprehensible, in the sense that planes of reality, dream and perception are merged, such that for example scenes later in the film seem to occur as if those before didn’t happen, vice versa, and so on. The hand-held camera always sweeps to make the viewer feel as a fellow party-goer or a ghost gliding next to the characters. The beginning already introduces a lot of ambiguity with its portayal of a non-linear time disturbance that’s very much related to plausible anxious visions happening on a reckless passionate party night, with its libidinal and death instincts, distinctive visceral flowing trajectories and trips, that fervently coalesce in this psychological rave film. 8/10
Edited by Carmel1379, Nov 20 2017, 01:55:42 AM.
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Nathan Treadway
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Really excited about this. As an aside, I wonder how this is going to affect 500<400 next year?

Current rankings:

1. Stations of the Cross
2. Ivy
3. Krisha
4. Der Nachtmahr
5. I Believe in Unicorns
Edited by Nathan Treadway, Nov 26 2017, 07:29:41 PM.
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cinewest
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Saw only Kaili Blues, which has a very interesting long take (45 minutes) at the end of the film. There is also an interesting subtextual story, and the involvement of a minority tribe in China, but it isn't fully fleshed out in my O.P., so I can't rate it higher than a 6.5. Worthwhile, but incomplete in my book, or at least not handled like a master, completely.
Edited by cinewest, Dec 9 2017, 05:50:18 AM.
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sebby
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Christine: 3.5/10
Krisha: 3/10

Two of the worst American films I've seen this year. Krisha in particular just offers nothing,
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Nathan Treadway
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Krisha 7/10

Krisha Fairchild is going to be a strong contender for Best Actress in this otherwise ordinary family drama. An amateurish, and extremely annoying, soundtrack completely ruins the mood at times, and really brings the film down quite a bit. As does a weaker supporting cast.
Edited by Nathan Treadway, Nov 20 2017, 07:15:05 AM.
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matthewscott8
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So before the program announcement I hadn't seen any of the main slate, but I got going straight away and am up to 5 now. Just reviews at the moment, and when I've seen them all I'll put numbers besides them, want to wait so I get the ranging right. I often give movies I like 10 on IMDb, but want to be able to differentiate for purposes of this festival.

Ivy / Sarmasik (2015 - Tolga Karacelik).

A film set on an anchored cargo ship, where the ship owner has gone bankrupt (most ships are owned by extremely wealthy individuals who will have 1 or 2 as opposed to by companies), and a skeleton crew has to remain to look after the vessel. The name of the movie is very confusing, but don't worry you won't be in any doubt as to its meaning by the end of the film. It's a horror film that has a political message pretty specific to Turkey. There's a lot of criticism of authoritarianism, corruption, the combustible mix of secular and religious traditions and also the elephant in the room, the question of Kurdish autonomy. Beyond that it does manage to assemble quite a good collection of male archetypes under patriarchy, and deliver some high-pitched surreality. This was a good example of the type of film you can see under the iCMFF (ex IMDb) festival, I wouldn't have watched something like this otherwise. It was a very passionate movie, delivered by creative folks with a finely channelled rage at the state of their nation. I watched this one twice.

There's a really good review of the movie here http://time.com/4153386/turkish-film-and-american-fear/. Favourite part of review: "Led by the husky Beybaba, the captain whose name deconstructs into the words "mister"and "father," the characters that remain are archetypes (men that are submissive and anxious, lazy and drugged, deeply religious and unquestioning) whose values collide in the ship's confines."

As a film that deconstructs society it's valuable outside of the direct political allusions.

Crumbs (2015 - Miguel Llanso).

Wow this was nice and crazy. Post-apocalyptic Ethiopian sci-fi. Really loved how quite a lot of vulnerable feelings are expressed in this movie. People have clammed up a lot in the society of spectacle, to themselves and each other, but here's the open clam with Venus riding on top of it. The director isn't afraid of the magical that's for sure. A lovely couple, Candy and Birdy, live in a bowling alley in the countryside and a strange hovering spaceship that has been dead for years suddenly sparks into life. Candy wants to get on the spaceship with Birdy and fly off to the stars. He consults a soothsayer who tells him to go to the city, and there his quest begins.

Like Harmony Korine, but even sweeter.

In Order of Disappearance (2014 - Hans Petter Moland)

There is definitely something of early Coens in this, which is bad news for me. It's a revenge drama set up near the Arctic Circle, a workaday citizen becomes involved in the score settlings of some drug cartels. The humour is exceptionally dark, and if you like that you are in for a treat. It's a body count film, and every time someone dies you get a little cross appear on the screen (or other symbol if not from a Christian tradition). I loved it when the Coens got more sophisticated than this. Seeing stupid people die isn't funny for me.

The Age of Shadows (2016 - Jee-woon Kim)

Wow I really loved this one. I didn't expect to, tbh, I thought it was going to be a real chore, I didn't like the only other movie I've seen from the director, A Bittersweet Life. No way I would have seen this outside of the ICMFF. So it's set during the Japanese Occupation of Korea and is about the resistance and the Japanese counterespionage effort. Lee Jung-Chool, the Korean chief of police has a delicate position, patriotic, but pragmatically serving the Japanese. It's a gorgeous movie, the sets are impeccable and the cinematography as well. The action set pieces are immense. I was reminded of Shakespeare's quote that "All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players." That came across strong here somehow. Maybe because of the enjoyment the characters seem to derive when they tangle with each other. Now I really want to get hold of the poster for my wall, one or the other of these. Let me know if you know how to get hold of the top one, I can't find it to buy.

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Krisha (2015 - Trey Edward Shults)

Holy Cow. Car crash cinema, very painful to watch and I had to take a few breaks. But so important. This is about a lady in her sixties who is in town for Thanksgiving to see her family. She's an addict, and looks fresh out of rehab. She's not ready to reappear to her son and her family but I guess the problem is when you're that old, when will you be ready. There's a lot of column inches and hype about this one, and I could see why, it's shockingly intimate. Most of the cast are actual family members so you get that impossible to act intimacy. Outside of Krisha's experiences with her family it's also quite a good behind the scenes look at American family life. I sympathised with Krisha because I know what it's like to not belong anywhere, but she for sure is a loose cannon, and it's like in one of those space movies where an astronaut is floating off into the void, she's losing communication and panic is setting in a lot. The family ex Krisha is somewhat living the American Dream, but it also all feels so precarious, Doyle aludes to a general problem when he says to Krisha that she's a bird that's hit windscreens one too many times, and her wings are getting weaker and "them cars is gettin' faster" (quote from memory). They have all their consumer goods, and they are all bonded, but it feels like they are all holding their breath. This is a really important film whose only problem is that it's so honest it's hard to watch. The only character that you feel behaves well is Grandma.
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St. Gloede
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In order to be able to see everything I wanted I started watching the main slate as soon as the category was announced. Prior I had only seen Christine, which is incredible. Now I only have Ivy and I Believe in Unicorns left. I could barely believe how many 9/10s there were below - this festival might end up completely changing my top 10s of the last 3 years.

The Age of Shadows (2016,. Kim Jee-woon)
Beautifully shot, crafted and brought to life Kim's tale of freedom fighters in Japanese controlled Korea is an enjoyable and entertaining action thriller. It's main weakness is that it is too clea, it is essentially exactly what you ould expect visually of a period film of it's kind.

Luckily the plot is a little more subversive, and has a couple of surprises. It too is primarily clean and simple in execution, but succeeds in execution. This is an example of when great craftmanship elevates the story, and the great action set pieces really stand out. A great new film from Kim, though my favorite film of him is by far his least glossy, namely The Quiet Family. He truly succeeds as the stylized action director, but I miss his more creative outbursts, and I hope we will see even more of the old Kim in future efforts. 8/10.

Christine (2016, Antonio Campos)
In one of the best character portrayals I have seen, Rebecca Hall demonstrates she is one of the greatest actresses of her generation. Christine is a claustrophobic and unsettling journey into one woman's mind, as the pressure starts to increase. The 70s atmosphere is perfect, and each character stands out in their own right.

The craftmanship is wonderful and feels like the work of a master director (which is odd given Campos' previous reputation, not seen anything else from him mind you). It has a steady hand throughout, establishes the perfect atmosphere of a mental breakdown and leaves the rest to Hall. Simply fantastic. 9/10.

Crumbs (2015, Miguel Llanso)
This absurdly iconoclastic surrealistic surprise is a wonderful exercise in absurdity and futility. It is funny, though perhaps at times a little childish. Lead actor Daniel Tadesse has incredible charisma, and shines in every scene he is in. It has many off notes, and was clearly done on a very low budget, but most makes it only feel more endearing.

The only thing that really brings it down from greatness from me are the more out of place seens with the love interest, Birdy, her moaning in bed and doing little supersititious things to help our lead, Candy, succeed in his mission partially seem out of place and puts a few bumps in the road for the general atmosphere. However, this is a really good film, and I am very happy to have seen it. 7/10.

In Order of Disappearance (2014, Hans Petter Moland)
As a Norwegian I never really appreciated Moland as much as some, and he never truly felt like an accomplished director to me, rather a more tired middle-range action director. Of late he has been focusing on subtly dark comedies, and this is definitely the element that is strongest here. Note, the English title will make the film slightly better as it moves focus to what can be seen as an interesting structural exercise - the Norwegian title however means The Power Idiot.

The movie is clumsy and feels a little miscast, especially in regard to it's main villain. The ideas are largely good, and the concept of the fuzzy villain and arbitrary normal dialog has been popular for a long time now - Moland executes it quite well - but it's not exactly refreshing. The new idea of entering people's names as in the death notices from the paper every time they are killed is a very good joke, and is definitely the highlight - especially as there is a secondary twist to this format.

It is very offbeat and I see many predicting it as a cult classic - this does seem likely as despite it's limitation it was very much enjoyable, good fun. 6/10.

Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
To be completely honest I know I did not get everything this film was doing with time and perspective, but I absolutely loved it all the same. The beautiful tracking shots thjat are so seamless I didn't even realize one of them lasted 40 minutes is a document of cinematic craftmanship. It is impossible not to be drawn into this poetic journey. A pearl of comtemplative cinema, and yet a reminder that modern China is one of the most intruiging places for great cinema. 9/10.

Krisha (2015, Trey Edward Shults)
Krisha is a remarkable emotional experience that uses long takes as an emotionally draining tool filled with movement and obfuscation as the recovering addict tries to re-kindle a homelife with her family. The disorienting way it blurs words and actions around her as the large family gathers for thankgiving, while she feels owerhelmed and disconnected is simply fantastic. It builds into a sense of terror, you feel everything will go wrong, you feel as out of place as she. Shot over 9 days, and using a large amount of unprofessional actors this is a true marvel of cinema. 9/10.

Edit: Though it does not have a focus on speedy dialog, this feels like a film Cassavetes may have done, or loved, if he was still alive, and while watching it I could not comparing Krisha Fairchild to Gena Rowlands, and yes, she could hold her own.


Der Nachtmahr (2015, Akiz)
It opens with a gradual sensory overload as poor digital cinema aesthetics are used to set up an amazing paranoid, tacky, disoriented, fragile and surreal party experience. I was certain this would be a new favorite but as the actual plot starts rolling there are several key errors, such as the "monster" simply feeling off, like a bad spin on E.T., and the general cxharacter gallery feels badly thought out.

This would have made perfect sense in the first part of the film, but as it settles into a slowly moving psychological drama of sorts, it falls short of keeping the tension. Overall a really good film, but the tastes from the first 15-20 minutes or so leaves the rest a large letdown. 7/10.

Stations of the Cross (2014, Dietrich Bruggemann)
Stations of the Cross is an extraordinary experience as the cinema is almost as rigorous as the religious positions explored. The film is soaked in tragedy, as you feel worse and worse for our 14 year old lead as she, in her faith, decides to "sacriface" more and more, including comfort and feeling warm, as a testament to her faith. There is something so childlike and innocent to her acts that it truly breaks your heart, at least it broke mine.

The film is presented in 14 long takes, almost all without camera movements, which leaves us locked on the words and actions which take place. Every movement becomes meaningful, and Lea van Acken is simply incredible. There is what you can call an "Ordet" moment here (always considered it Dreyer's weakest), and interestingly it continues past it. The intended mening of the filmmakers do seem slightly dubious, but paints a wonderfully bittersweet experience.

If I could offer one minor complaint it would be the 3 takes that includes movement. There may be structural meaning in why they were chosen (i.e. passage) - what do the rest of you think - but a part of me wishes it has stayed completely true to the one take,no movement set-up, as this would truly have created a masterwork in my mind. 9/10.
Edited by St. Gloede, Nov 20 2017, 02:28:38 PM.
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matthewscott8
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St. Gloede
Nov 20 2017, 08:11:06 AM
Krisha (2015, Trey Edward Shults)
Krisha is a remarkable emotional experience that uses long takes as an emotionally draining tool filled with movement and obfuscation as the recovering addict tries to re-kindle a homelife with her family. The disorienting way it blurs words and actions around her as the large family gathers for thankgiving, while she feels owerhelmed and disconnected is simply fantastic. It builds into a sense of terror, you feel everything will go wrong, you feel as out of place as she. Shot over 9 days, and using a large amount of unprofessional actors this is a true marvel of cinema. 9/10.
Agree with this. I didn't really mention technique in my review, but in addition to what you mention, I just loved the way they played Nina Simone after the red wine, so clever, it was a tune that defined wooziness.
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St. Gloede
Nov 20 2017, 08:11:06 AM
Krisha (2015, Trey Edward Shults)

Edit: Though it does not have a focus on speedy dialog, this feels like a film Cassavetes may have done, or loved, if he was still alive, and while watching it I could not comparing Krisha Fairchild to Gena Rowlands, and yes, she could hold her own.
I had the same sort of vibe as well, unfortunately, I've seen Woman Under the Influence (which I love), and couldn't help but unfairly compare Kirsha to it. There is nothing wrong with Fairchild's performance, but, she isn't Rowlands (who probably gave one of the greatest performances of all time in WUtI)
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I Believe in Unicorns 5/10

Nothing is more damning in a road movie than boring, unlikable characters. I found myself detached from the film way too often for a film that doesn't even run 1 1/2 hours.
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matthewscott8
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Nov 20 2017, 08:11:06 AM
In Order of Disappearance (2014, Hans Petter Moland)
The ideas are largely good, and the concept of the fuzzy villain and arbitrary normal dialog has been popular for a long time now, and Moland exacutes it well.
Yes I felt this a lot, the film uses Tarantino very much as a touchstone in that regard.
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viktor-vaudevillain
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Crumbs - 6
It's nice for an hour and 8 minutes film, but the whole consumer/pop culture-apocalypse thesis seemed too conceived for me, though it made for some nice laughs. Stunning locations, and a deliberate quiet mood.

Kreuzweg / Stations of the Cross - 8
Great stuff. In the spirit of Breaking the Waves and Ordet, but in a more formalistic and minimalistic approach, resembles the filmmaking of Jean-Marie Straub & Daniéle Huillet a bit.

Lu bian ye can / Kaili Blues - 9+
Edited by viktor-vaudevillain, Dec 7 2017, 03:34:45 PM.
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Lu bian ye can - Kaili Blues (Bi Gan, 2015) - 9/10

Poetic and mesmerizing, one of the best films i've seen from the last couple of years
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I Believe in Unicorns: I recently saw this movie and there is very little to say about it. Apart from the stop-motion animation and some dream sequences, the movie is dull and not very interesting. The film seems like a hipster's idea of what an art film is supposed to be. Lots of clichés, bad dialogues, exaggerated reactions, etc. 5/10

Previously seen:
Christine: Wonderful acting by Rebecca Hall. The story is interesting. I saw this movie right next to the documentary about it, so I get them confused a bit. But I thought it was good, not great. 7/10

Kaili Blues: I really liked this film until the 40 min shot that everyone loves. This movie is about simplicity and appreciation of the surroundings. While the 40 min shot was interesting. It was confusing at times and made littles sense, like taking a boat to cross (because that was the only way to cross) only to return from a bridge immediately or other cases like it. If it was only the movie sans that part I would had given it 9 but my score is 6/10

Krisha: I loved this film. It has become one of my favorite films. The complicated relationships between Krisha and her family as they slowly come to the surface. The struggle that she honestly makes to better herself but no one believes or acknowledges. It is a very simple, unassuming family drama that packs a lot in terms of acting, writing, photography and directing. 9/10
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Kaili Blues was wonderful, watching it I felt relieved of a great illness. I haven't felt that peaceful for years.
Edited by matthewscott8, Nov 20 2017, 10:38:34 PM.
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Just watching this from the sidelines, but the reactions to Kaili Blues are wonderful to read. A mystifying film in the best way.
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Stations of the Cross 8/10
(Proceed with caution; spoilers ahead)

The strongest of the films I've seen so far. The concept and structure is solid, and the storytelling, at least for the first hour or so, splendid. I really wish I knew what the filmmaker's intentions were, and what stance they were taking, as it could be taken by opposite positions of religious fanaticism. The only flaw I saw besides that was it really got weaker after she got sick. It seems they were trying to force the narrative towards closure, which probably wouldn't have been completely necessary.
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Crumbs (2015, Miguel Llansó)

The word "surreal" is thrown out a lot, and I’d concur on its usage in the genre / formulaic sense to describe this movie. Surrealist pieces are products of immediate imagination, bizarre pairings, "previously neglected associations", strictly against realism, analysis, meaning or message, exempt from reason, any aesthetic or moral concern.

A man owning a plastic sword, expecting himself to defend with it, displays no rational strategic competence. He’s not fit to live within "reality", and could only have emerged in a super-reality, i.e. a sur-reality. The film starts with an assertion that "war is over" or even "obsolete", which by default situates its world outside of our reality. But with war being over, no children are bred either, there’s no advancement or drive for procreation.

Yet as the surrealists do utilise pieces of the "real" (they’re just cut-off from their sensible context), so the world in 'Crumbs' is an "after-world", an open plane where remnants, crumbs of reality (-- history, cultural artefacts, consumer goods, memes -- ) are present / materialised, but freely recombined and hardly understood. People have lost a grip. "Michael Jackson’s vinyl was popular among the Molegon warriors during the Third Century." A mickey mouse gas mask Nazi uniformed man with a plastic toy gun roams the deserts. "Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his destiny, has trouble assessing the objects he has been led to use, objects that his nonchalance has brought his way, or that he has earned through his own efforts".

The three sink points in 'Crumbs' are a spaceship, Santa Claus and Superman. In my view they are what remains valuable within the surreal world, at least to the two protagonists (it seems that others are, still, satisfied by a mercantile system). The spaceship represents journeys to different planets, Santa Claus wish-fulfilment, and Superman their wishes - the protagonist wears the t-shirt and considers this his symbol, although clearly, due to his physical deformities, he's no Superman. But he might be, right? He can dream, and actualise that dream, because his reality is not reality, but surreality, defined by Breton as the place of resolution of dream and reality.

So what is this film then? An attempt at quirky surreal show-offs? An ode to dreaming misfits? Those are my guesses, and I also know that I'm rating this a 5/10.
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Ivy (2015, Tolga Karacelik)
Ivy is a slow-burning journey into madness, as the skeleton crew of a container ship, stuck with no prospects of getting back on shore, becomes increasingly detached from reason and the real world. In a way a character study, in others it places you as a fly on the wall while these 6 men get pushed towards the boiling point. You never know who will snap first, and the film does a great job setting almost all of them up with strong characteristics, and a sense of pity.

No, these are not particularly likeable characters, but they are desperate characters, and written well enough for their personalities to clash in very believable and increasingly frightening ways. Many have pointed out that it is likely, in part, a political commentary on the situation in Turkey, and as such it works incredibly well, however it stands perfectly on it's own.

One of my favorite aspects of the film was how the ship was utilized as an almost subtle character of it's own. It was not as extreme as the jungle in Aguirre, but the empty decks and run down halls becomes ingrained in what this film is. I also really appreciated how the fantasy/horror elements where played out, as you can not be sure exactly what they are, and you can easily read it in a non-supernatural fashion. They do however feel a little out of the left-field, a little simplistic and though I understand why it ended when it did, it definitely left you wanting a little more.

I also felt more could have done with time, as it ends up only becoming numbers. The actors did a great job showing just how desperate their situation felt, but when they said they had been there 50 days, I had not really felt it had been that long. Could have been an interesting extra dimention and atmosphere builder. Regardless, a great film with extraordinary atmosphere and tension. 8.5/10.
Edited by St. Gloede, Nov 21 2017, 07:05:47 AM.
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cinephage
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Der nachtmahr - 7,5/10
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matthewscott8
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St. Gloede
Nov 21 2017, 07:05:35 AM
I also really appreciated how the fantasy/horror elements where played out, as you can not be sure exactly what they are, and you can easily read it in a non-supernatural fashion. They do however feel a little out of the left-field, a little simplistic and though I understand why it ended when it did, it definitely left you wanting a little more.
With Ivy, I think that's why you need to have a political perspective, at least at points, because Kurd disappearing, it's political, it's not rational vs supernatural. There is no "explanation". Just like in Cache, focussing on "who shot the video" misses the point that it's a non-real device to generate guilt. The names in the movie are hard to avoid, "Beybaba", father and lord, "Cenk" literally means war, "Kurd" - same everywhere.
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Nov 20 2017, 08:11:06 AM
Kaili Blues (2015, Bi Gan)
The beautiful tracking shots that are so seamless I didn't even realize one of them lasted 40 minutes is a document of cinematic craftmanship.
Hehe, same, didn't feel like a gimmick at all.
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Spoilers galore, ofc...

The Age of Shadows - 8

I've seen it a while ago, so forgive me for not remembering all the details. I loved it, the set pieces looked beautiful, I felt transported to Korea of the time. I found the story and the characters captivating, especially Lee Jung-Chool's character who is split between his patriotism and his job (and well-being). A lot of twists and turns along the way only make it more intriguing. My favorite thus far.

Der Nachtmahr - 7

Strange film. It’s not the first one I watched in which mental illness (or issues, maybe not illness per se) manifest themselves physically, by literally creating a separate entity that represents the psychological state of protagonist. I can't say I loved it, but I did find it quite interesting. Music is cool (if you’re into clubbing and EDM). There's that time shift at the beginning, and even near the end, that I'm not sure how to interpret. Was the entire film the protagonist's fever dream just before her death?

Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
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matthewscott8
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Nov 21 2017, 09:44:02 AM
Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
My fave bit was
Spoiler: click to toggle
I just think it's quite a deep movie. I think it's interesting that some people see Krisha as a mess who is making everyone else's and her own life miserable, and some see the family as not being very supportive of her, and essentially bullying her. I just think the movie is endlessly fascinating. It's very hard to be simplistically pro-Krisha and anti-family when for example
Spoiler: click to toggle
but also hard to be pro-the family and anti-Krisha
Spoiler: click to toggle
. There's a throwaway scene where two of the youngsters are discussing their relationship, and love, and the lady says something like, "do you even understand how women think about sex", something like that, all the dude is interesting in is "throwing one in" whenever the opportunity arises. The conversation is hardly Diotiman. This is probably a very "normal" family, but I found them a little emetic.

In the real life that this movie is based on, the relative is dead from an overdose a month later.
Spoiler: click to toggle
.

I also like thinking about who Krisha may have been a long time ago. You can guess that she may have been a flower child in the late 60s for example. It's an Indian name, and you wonder if she was born to that, or gave it to herself later on. And you don't normally see a movie which points out what the aftermath of that counterculture might look like.

A good thing about the movie was that it reminded me, and I need this frequently, to remain mindful.
Edited by matthewscott8, Nov 21 2017, 10:57:12 AM.
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cinewest
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Nice to see some actual film discussion on this board. Wish I could embrace Kaili Blues to the same extent as everyone else, here. When I saw it, I went in with great anticipation, and got swept up in its "cinematic poetry" for various periods, only to lose touch during other periods of confusion and unanswered questions, or hanging threads.

Can't say it helped to be at the theater with my wife, who wasn't enjoying herself at all.

It may be one of those films I feel differently about upon a second viewing (this has happened often enough before).



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I watched Kreuzweg on Sunday. I think it stuck to its concept well, but its strong minimalism kept me distanced and made the whole film feel very cold. I think this was an intended effect, but it made it a bit inaccessible for me at the same time. Good acting and nice ambivalent presentation of its plot, leaving it open to interpretation in a good way. I'm quite honestly not quite sure how to read the whole thing in the end.
Spoiler: click to toggle


Edit: Rating: 7/10
Edited by metaller, Nov 21 2017, 03:05:34 PM.
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matthewscott8
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cinewest
Nov 21 2017, 02:49:52 PM
Nice to see some actual film discussion on this board. Wish I could embrace Kaili Blues to the same extent as everyone else, here. When I saw it, I went in with great anticipation, and got swept up in its "cinematic poetry" for various periods, only to lose touch during other periods of confusion and unanswered questions, or hanging threads.

Can't say it helped to be at the theater with my wife, who wasn't enjoying herself at all.

It may be one of those films I feel differently about upon a second viewing (this has happened often enough before).



Interesting, I have a friend who is very much into Buddhism and I straight away last night was thinking I need to recommend this to him. But I actually thought, he's married, and is this really a "couples" watch. Certainly it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable if I'm watching something and I know the other person doesn't like it, and it destroys my attention.
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Perception de Ambiguity
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matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 03:27:41 PM
cinewest
Nov 21 2017, 02:49:52 PM
Nice to see some actual film discussion on this board. Wish I could embrace Kaili Blues to the same extent as everyone else, here. When I saw it, I went in with great anticipation, and got swept up in its "cinematic poetry" for various periods, only to lose touch during other periods of confusion and unanswered questions, or hanging threads.

Can't say it helped to be at the theater with my wife, who wasn't enjoying herself at all.

It may be one of those films I feel differently about upon a second viewing (this has happened often enough before).



Interesting, I have a friend who is very much into Buddhism and I straight away last night was thinking I need to recommend this to him. But I actually thought, he's married, and is this really a "couples" watch. Certainly it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable if I'm watching something and I know the other person doesn't like it, and it destroys my attention.
Recommend it to your Buddhist friend. Bi Gan is on the right wavelength, trust me.
Edited by Perception de Ambiguity, Nov 21 2017, 04:35:55 PM.
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St. Gloede
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matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 03:27:41 PM
cinewest
Nov 21 2017, 02:49:52 PM
Nice to see some actual film discussion on this board. Wish I could embrace Kaili Blues to the same extent as everyone else, here. When I saw it, I went in with great anticipation, and got swept up in its "cinematic poetry" for various periods, only to lose touch during other periods of confusion and unanswered questions, or hanging threads.

Can't say it helped to be at the theater with my wife, who wasn't enjoying herself at all.

It may be one of those films I feel differently about upon a second viewing (this has happened often enough before).



Interesting, I have a friend who is very much into Buddhism and I straight away last night was thinking I need to recommend this to him. But I actually thought, he's married, and is this really a "couples" watch. Certainly it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable if I'm watching something and I know the other person doesn't like it, and it destroys my attention.
That's partially true for me as well, but you are assuming he watches every film with his wife. Couples usually have a decent bit of alone time. I rarely watch films with my fiance for instance. And remember the guy with the world record, 25 000 films, he made it by watching 2 films a day while his wife watched the soaps. I'm sure your friend will have some hours during the week for a film on his own.

Or who knows, maybe the wife would be interested as well.
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matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 10:53:05 AM
Cynical Cinephile
Nov 21 2017, 09:44:02 AM
Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
My fave bit was
Spoiler: click to toggle
I just think it's quite a deep movie. I think it's interesting that some people see Krisha as a mess who is making everyone else's and her own life miserable, and some see the family as not being very supportive of her, and essentially bullying her. I just think the movie is endlessly fascinating. It's very hard to be simplistically pro-Krisha and anti-family when for example
Spoiler: click to toggle
but also hard to be pro-the family and anti-Krisha
Spoiler: click to toggle
. There's a throwaway scene where two of the youngsters are discussing their relationship, and love, and the lady says something like, "do you even understand how women think about sex", something like that, all the dude is interesting in is "throwing one in" whenever the opportunity arises. The conversation is hardly Diotiman. This is probably a very "normal" family, but I found them a little emetic.

In the real life that this movie is based on, the relative is dead from an overdose a month later.
Spoiler: click to toggle
.

I also like thinking about who Krisha may have been a long time ago. You can guess that she may have been a flower child in the late 60s for example. It's an Indian name, and you wonder if she was born to that, or gave it to herself later on. And you don't normally see a movie which points out what the aftermath of that counterculture might look like.

A good thing about the movie was that it reminded me, and I need this frequently, to remain mindful.
Oh yeah, the culmination near the end is definitely one of the high points, but that's expected, right? I was trying to pinpoint a couple of scenes that weren't planned to be a climax.

If I were to join either camp, it would certainly be pro-family. I agree that it's not all black and white, but I can't take the side of the person that left her kid for 10 years, that's for sure. I think she was a bit selfish, after all, despite the things that we learn about her. When she confronts her son, we can see how self-centered she is, she just assumes that she knows him by heart and that he's not doing what he loves, even though she didn't speak to him for 10 years. Also, near the end, she's yelling at him to love her, which again shows her egotistical nature. The rest of the family was far from perfect, I mean dropping the turkey isn't such a big deal, but Krisha was certainly the one that had to improve herself the most.

The thing that was sad to me was the fact that she just had to hold it together for this one day and she couldn't do it. Actually, she couldn't do it precisely because of the pressure of that one day. It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, she retreated to her substance abuse exactly because she was trying so hard not to. It just makes the whole situation that much sadder.
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St. Gloede
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matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 10:53:05 AM
Cynical Cinephile
Nov 21 2017, 09:44:02 AM
Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
My fave bit was
Spoiler: click to toggle
I just think it's quite a deep movie. I think it's interesting that some people see Krisha as a mess who is making everyone else's and her own life miserable, and some see the family as not being very supportive of her, and essentially bullying her. I just think the movie is endlessly fascinating. It's very hard to be simplistically pro-Krisha and anti-family when for example
Spoiler: click to toggle
but also hard to be pro-the family and anti-Krisha
Spoiler: click to toggle
. There's a throwaway scene where two of the youngsters are discussing their relationship, and love, and the lady says something like, "do you even understand how women think about sex", something like that, all the dude is interesting in is "throwing one in" whenever the opportunity arises. The conversation is hardly Diotiman. This is probably a very "normal" family, but I found them a little emetic.

In the real life that this movie is based on, the relative is dead from an overdose a month later.
Spoiler: click to toggle
.

I also like thinking about who Krisha may have been a long time ago. You can guess that she may have been a flower child in the late 60s for example. It's an Indian name, and you wonder if she was born to that, or gave it to herself later on. And you don't normally see a movie which points out what the aftermath of that counterculture might look like.

A good thing about the movie was that it reminded me, and I need this frequently, to remain mindful.
Interesting points about self-projection here. You are certainly right, people are in a way invited to see two different stories - the story of Krisha overwhelmed by the family and their lack of trust/love - and the story of the family who try to welcome someone who has hurt them so much back into their lives, only to be let down again. It's understandable that many people would use their own experiences to pick a side. Personally I was only an observer, seeing the pain on both sides and taking it in. I agree that it's hard to side either way from a personal perspective - but I had not contemplated how different these two stories are - I saw it as a whole.

On a side note I never really noticed the consumer focused lifestyle. It was pointed out by Krisha in the fight, but the plot never really paid note to them caring about things to such an extent. I saw them rather as what the counterrevolution would call "normies", people focused on the practical and safe. The house is certainly large and luxurious, but the artifacts inside it is not really in focus - aside from the computer that the doctor could not use and Krisha's son set up for him (but this seemed more like a standard family situation). Maybe I missed something, but when Krisha said they where consimer focused my first thought was that she was trying to see everything they were doing wrong in raising her son in a non-creative way.
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Nov 21 2017, 05:27:24 PM
matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 10:53:05 AM
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Nov 21 2017, 09:44:02 AM
Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
My fave bit was
Spoiler: click to toggle
I just think it's quite a deep movie. I think it's interesting that some people see Krisha as a mess who is making everyone else's and her own life miserable, and some see the family as not being very supportive of her, and essentially bullying her. I just think the movie is endlessly fascinating. It's very hard to be simplistically pro-Krisha and anti-family when for example
Spoiler: click to toggle
but also hard to be pro-the family and anti-Krisha
Spoiler: click to toggle
. There's a throwaway scene where two of the youngsters are discussing their relationship, and love, and the lady says something like, "do you even understand how women think about sex", something like that, all the dude is interesting in is "throwing one in" whenever the opportunity arises. The conversation is hardly Diotiman. This is probably a very "normal" family, but I found them a little emetic.

In the real life that this movie is based on, the relative is dead from an overdose a month later.
Spoiler: click to toggle
.

I also like thinking about who Krisha may have been a long time ago. You can guess that she may have been a flower child in the late 60s for example. It's an Indian name, and you wonder if she was born to that, or gave it to herself later on. And you don't normally see a movie which points out what the aftermath of that counterculture might look like.

A good thing about the movie was that it reminded me, and I need this frequently, to remain mindful.
Oh yeah, the culmination near the end is definitely one of the high points, but that's expected, right? I was trying to pinpoint a couple of scenes that weren't planned to be a climax.

If I were to join either camp, it would certainly be pro-family. I agree that it's not all black and white, but I can't take the side of the person that left her kid for 10 years, that's for sure. I think she was a bit selfish, after all, despite the things that we learn about her. When she confronts her son, we can see how self-centered she is, she just assumes that she knows him by heart and that he's not doing what he loves, even though she didn't speak to him for 10 years. Also, near the end, she's yelling at him to love her, which again shows her egotistical nature. The rest of the family was far from perfect, I mean dropping the turkey isn't such a big deal, but Krisha was certainly the one that had to improve herself the most.

The thing that was sad to me was the fact that she just had to hold it together for this one day and she couldn't do it. Actually, she couldn't do it precisely because of the pressure of that one day. It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, she retreated to her substance abuse exactly because she was trying so hard not to. It just makes the whole situation that much sadder.
Great observation here. Krisha's expectation of who her son would or should be, and how she had to fit into his life was quite extreme. After 10 years of absence she is telling him she will follow him, move near him, etc. and is trying to change his choices. In this situation, like everything in the film, the truth is likely somewhere inbetween, and the son might actually have a passion (especially as he seems styled after the director himself).

Spoiler: click to toggle
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cinewest
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Nov 21 2017, 04:33:36 PM
matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 03:27:41 PM
cinewest
Nov 21 2017, 02:49:52 PM
Nice to see some actual film discussion on this board. Wish I could embrace Kaili Blues to the same extent as everyone else, here. When I saw it, I went in with great anticipation, and got swept up in its "cinematic poetry" for various periods, only to lose touch during other periods of confusion and unanswered questions, or hanging threads.

Can't say it helped to be at the theater with my wife, who wasn't enjoying herself at all.

It may be one of those films I feel differently about upon a second viewing (this has happened often enough before).

Interesting, I have a friend who is very much into Buddhism and I straight away last night was thinking I need to recommend this to him. But I actually thought, he's married, and is this really a "couples" watch. Certainly it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable if I'm watching something and I know the other person doesn't like it, and it destroys my attention.
Recommend it to your Buddhist friend. Bi Gan is on the right wavelength, trust me.
I should probably have added that I saw the film in Beijing, with my Chinese wife and about 15-20 others in a fairly empty theater.

There are some interesting new filmmakers in China, but in country full of people they have a very small but growing following (at least among the sub 30 crowd), and the general public has a worse taste in movies than in mainstream America. In fact, they ship movies that bomb in Hollywood over to China where they break box office records (which are about 10x what they are in the U.S.)

The "arthouse" Chinese films that are championed in the West are often unheard of in China, and some of them have even been banned (though, in some ways that just creates more interest in the younger cosmopolitan Chinese, who are very savvy at getting access to what has been forbidden).

Besides the Buddhist influence in Kaili, this film involves the protagonist's connection to a minority ethnicity/culture in China, as well as with his own past, but while I may have have been distracted somewhat by my wife's boredom, I can't blame her for the bulk of my confusion with certain things, nor my feeling that the narrative was not handled as well as it could have been.
I saw the film around the time it first came out, so its hard to remember what my questions were at the time, but I remember not being fully satisfied (I have had a similar feeling about films from the Thai Buddhist filmmaker that is so popular with critics these days, though I have loved other "Buddhist" films), if only because I got lost at certain points, which created gaps in my ability to follow it fully. I also think that narrative quality was uneven, with some scenes not coming off nearly as well as others.

As I said in my previous post, I have re-watched and come to love quite a few films I didn't completely get into the first time, often because I have come around to a filmmaker's style or way of working with cinema, so I'll probably give Kaili Blues another go at some point.
Edited by cinewest, Nov 22 2017, 08:57:19 AM.
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Nov 21 2017, 05:54:50 PM
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Nov 21 2017, 05:27:24 PM
matthewscott8
Nov 21 2017, 10:53:05 AM
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Nov 21 2017, 09:44:02 AM
Krisha - 8

This didn't seem like something I'd enjoy after reading the synopsis. It's not the type of film I seek out. I liked the director's latest film It Comes at Night, so I was still a little excited. Anyway, the plot really is thin, there's not a lot going on, but once the family problems get to the surface, it becomes quite riveting. I loved the camera work, which was kind of centered on Krisha for most of the time, but still managed to pinpoint other characters that are important in a particular scene (like the one in which camera circles around Krisha while her son is walking in the background. That was a standout moment for me, along with the scene in which she gets drunk.
My fave bit was
Spoiler: click to toggle
I just think it's quite a deep movie. I think it's interesting that some people see Krisha as a mess who is making everyone else's and her own life miserable, and some see the family as not being very supportive of her, and essentially bullying her. I just think the movie is endlessly fascinating. It's very hard to be simplistically pro-Krisha and anti-family when for example
Spoiler: click to toggle
but also hard to be pro-the family and anti-Krisha
Spoiler: click to toggle
. There's a throwaway scene where two of the youngsters are discussing their relationship, and love, and the lady says something like, "do you even understand how women think about sex", something like that, all the dude is interesting in is "throwing one in" whenever the opportunity arises. The conversation is hardly Diotiman. This is probably a very "normal" family, but I found them a little emetic.

In the real life that this movie is based on, the relative is dead from an overdose a month later.
Spoiler: click to toggle
.

I also like thinking about who Krisha may have been a long time ago. You can guess that she may have been a flower child in the late 60s for example. It's an Indian name, and you wonder if she was born to that, or gave it to herself later on. And you don't normally see a movie which points out what the aftermath of that counterculture might look like.

A good thing about the movie was that it reminded me, and I need this frequently, to remain mindful.
Oh yeah, the culmination near the end is definitely one of the high points, but that's expected, right? I was trying to pinpoint a couple of scenes that weren't planned to be a climax.

If I were to join either camp, it would certainly be pro-family. I agree that it's not all black and white, but I can't take the side of the person that left her kid for 10 years, that's for sure. I think she was a bit selfish, after all, despite the things that we learn about her. When she confronts her son, we can see how self-centered she is, she just assumes that she knows him by heart and that he's not doing what he loves, even though she didn't speak to him for 10 years. Also, near the end, she's yelling at him to love her, which again shows her egotistical nature. The rest of the family was far from perfect, I mean dropping the turkey isn't such a big deal, but Krisha was certainly the one that had to improve herself the most.

The thing that was sad to me was the fact that she just had to hold it together for this one day and she couldn't do it. Actually, she couldn't do it precisely because of the pressure of that one day. It's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, she retreated to her substance abuse exactly because she was trying so hard not to. It just makes the whole situation that much sadder.
Great observation here. Krisha's expectation of who her son would or should be, and how she had to fit into his life was quite extreme. After 10 years of absence she is telling him she will follow him, move near him, etc. and is trying to change his choices. In this situation, like everything in the film, the truth is likely somewhere inbetween, and the son might actually have a passion (especially as he seems styled after the director himself).

Spoiler: click to toggle
Yeah, that's another moment that operates in grey area. Krisha might've been completely right about everything she told him, possibly she hit the nail on the head and he was letting down his artistic passion for a safer route that his family would want him to follow. That being said, after 10 years of absence, Krisha doesn't have the right to preach to him how he should live his life.
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Hi all,a few days ago I saw Crumbs,and I found it to be a striking piece of surrealism,with this being my take on it:

8

Landing on earth at a compact 68 minutes, co-writer/(with Daniel Worku) director Miguel Llansó & cinematographer Israel Seoane conjure up an incredibly surreal post-apocalypse landscape of decaying buildings covered in sand,and tightly held corner shots reflecting the mountains of twisted metal against the walls of each building. Throwing iconic items of American pop culture such as Superman and Michael Jackson records into the surreal blender, Llansó gives the surrealism a playfully comedic twist,with a narration revealing how rare/valuable each of the items has become,as they hover above earth.

Taking place when popular culture appears to have completely stopped, the screenplay by Llansó and Worku keeps a wonderfully chirpy,playful atmosphere bouncing along the wasteland,with the writers studying the value placed on material possessions in a lightly comedic manner,along with Santa and a witch being given a spiky,Cyber Punk edge. Attempting to fly back to the spaceship, Daniel Tadesse gives a great performance as Candy that bursts with superhero excitement,as Candy tries to get a crumb of outer space.
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te18
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Crumbs (2015) 5/10
Brief, at times visually beautiful post-apocalyptic fantasy-drama about big dreams in the face of futility. Mass-produced toys are thought of as historic weaponry and Michael Jordan is worshipped as a deity. This all earns a few laughs but it starts to become repetetive after a few go-rounds and the narrative has no thrust to it, so you end up with a long 68 minutes despite the cinematography. For me, the film doesn't have anything about it that manages to make it more than just a curiosity piece.
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matthewscott8
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I Believe in Unicorns (2014 - Leah Meyerhoff). I enjoyed this a lot. I wondered what it might be like to grow up in San Francisco / Bay Area when I went there last year. I felt privileged to feel some of that. The movie is about a young guy and girl who meet and go on a road trip. I understand when people say that they're not likable. They're not easy to warm too. And it's a one-sided movie, you know a lot about what's going on inside Davina, but not with Sterling, which is OK if the movie is about Davina, but not if judgements are being made about Sterling, which it felt like they were. It is cool to feel the state of wonder Davina is, though I was pondering over how toxic some of the systems of symbols she's been inculcated with are, some of what her ideas can almost be categorised as psychoses. It's very painful as an adult having to deal with other adults who were brought up being told they were princesses or knights in shining armor, and still not having let go.
Edited by matthewscott8, Nov 29 2017, 12:05:59 PM.
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mightysparks
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I've seen three of the main slate films so far.

Der Nachtmar 6/10
I found it an interesting exploration of someone dealing with mental illness, but I also felt that it wasn't clear enough and I found myself just not really caring that much. It was a trippy and fun watch but I just couldn't get that into it.


I Believe in Unicorns 6/10
I Believe in Unicorns is a fairly unique coming-of-age story that blends live action and stop-motion animation sequences that represent the daydreams and inner thoughts and feelings of its lead, Davina, played by Natalia Dyer. Sixteen year old Davina has been forced to look after her sick and disabled mother since she was a child, and after setting her sights on Peter Vack’s, Sterling, she allows herself to indulge in her sexuality, love, and a road trip adventure; hoping to find happiness “anywhere but here”.

Natalia Dyer fully inhabits the character of Davina; her expressive face reveals the turmoil, the sadness, the hurt, the happiness and the love she feels at any given moment. She is an emotionally complex character who is moody and miserable, but also playful and perky. She is young, innocent and naive, but also mature and lustful, as she navigates her sexuality and adulthood. Her fantasies reveal someone who is suffocating in her reality, escaping to a dreamlike setting, becoming a princess in a forest where unicorns abound. Sterling is more mysterious, his charm hiding his violent and angry nature; a side which Davina begins to discover.

The film’s style is consistent, shot in 8mm and 16mm as it documents their blossoming young love as if it were a home movie, taking place in another universe, in another time. It can sometimes be overbearing, particularly as very little of the film feels grounded in reality. It is full of cliches, perhaps on purpose, hidden by the dreaminess. The dialogue is far from realistic, and always feels scripted. Despite great performances from the actors, they are never truly believable. Their decisions and motivations are unclear, and they start to become quite unlikable and frustrating. It is difficult to become fully immersed in the film’s universe, when there are constant reminders that it is all a construction.

Its unusual visuals and enchanting lead elevate I Believe in Unicorns from being a fairly basic coming-of-age teen romance. The script feels incomplete and irritatingly empty; the scenes without dialogue are the strongest. At times it was poignant and relatable, but it was too caught up in its own whimsy to have any real lasting emotional impact.


Christine 7/10
Based on true events of news reporter, Christine Chubbuck, who shot and killed herself on live TV, Christine is a bleak glimpse at the downward spiral of an ambitious woman struggling with depression. She covers local news stories focusing on humanity and the community, yet is pushed by the station to provide “juicier stories”. She attempts to find a compromise between telling the important and juicy stories, but finds her efforts are continuously dismissed. Despite wanting to be married and have children, her unrequited crush on her coworker has not made much progress and a cyst is discovered in her ovary. As her personal and private frustrations build, her depression begins to take over.

Christine’s message seemed a little unfocused as it flitted between a story of depression and that of an ambitious woman working against the world to get the things she wants. It never seemed to settle on a focus making it feel somewhat incomplete at times, rather than being a display of the many facets of one person’s life and personality. However, Rebecca Hall’s amazingly focused performance as Christine Chubbuck covers most of these ‘gaps’. Her determination and drive inhabits every inch of Hall’s face and body language; who also allows it to crumble away in moments of weakness, during some painfully relatable breakdowns.

There are various subplots and events that are hinted at, rather than explicitly said. The camera watches, but doesn’t get involved. The film doesn’t resort to stereotypes and not a single frame is wasted in developing Christine’s isolation from those around her. Christine faces a number of stresses in her life, though the film never points the blame and makes assumptions, instead portraying these things as all potential causes leading to her eventual suicide. As the film is so tightly focused on Christine and her relationship with the world, the end of the film is somewhat jarring and feels like a last-minute addition to wrap things up neatly.

Despite this minor annoyance, Hall nearly single-handedly carries the film on her shoulders with a genuine and sympathetic performance. The 70s style production design brings her world to life, assisted by a mostly strong supporting cast. Treating Christine Chubbock, her depression and her suicide with respect, Christine is a heartbreaking story of a woman at the tragic end of her struggle with depression.
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matthewscott8
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Just was thinking about a scene from Kaili Blues last night and how lovely it was. It's when a mobile crane digger lowers itself off the back of a truck to the ground, avoiding jarring sudden movements, and the driver does it so carefully and intricately. It was a moment of genius, here's someone who is not being clever, he just lucid and he's an amazing observationlist. I'm gonna replay that scene a lot in my head for mindfulness. The director of this film is still only 28!!!!!!!!!
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