Sunday, February 26, 2017
Joel & Ethan Coen
Freddy's Take: As soon as Tanner announced the Coen Brothers would be the focus of his director day, I knew we were in for a treat. These guys seem incapable of making a bad movie. There are so many great films to choose from that you could just pull three out of a hat and have a great day. No Country For Old Men is one of their best. It has some dry humor and a couple of absurd characters and that's a staple for the Coens. O' Brother Where Art Thou? is a great one too. The humor is much more overt, and it's loaded with off kilter characters from the leads on down to the extras. A very fun movie that an audience of any age can really dig. A Serious Man is one of their lesser known films to the general public, but it's by no means a forgettable film. It's more of a comedy than it seems at first glance, because you have to feel sorry for this "Job" like character that just can't catch a break, but all that happens to him is surrounded by bizarre circumstances. The lead character seems to be an extra in his own life. Another great day of movie watching with my friends!
No Country For Old Men
O' Brother, Where Art Thou?
A Serious Man
Freddy's Take: I enjoyed this day quite a bit. I hadn't seen any of these films for awhile, so they felt fresh to me. Holy Grail and Fisher King were totally enjoyable, but although I liked Brazil OK, it's not a film that I really connect with and probably won't feel the need to revisit in the future. Overall, I like what Gilliam brings to the table as a director. He is very adaptive and seems comfortable moving from genre to genre.
The Fisher King
Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Freddy's Take: I am not a huge fan of the "horror" genre, but I have a healthy respect for horror/sci-fi horror/psychological thriller films that are immersive and intelligent. John Carpenter brings that to most of his work and while sometimes he misses, when he hits, he hits big. "Halloween" is an iconic horror film and really opened up the mainstream to the "slasher" film. It spawned franchises such as "Child's Play", "Friday the 13th", and "Nightmare On Elm Street",as well as countless copy cats. "The Thing" is a classic, but it took it a couple of decades to get there and in my opinion is his finest work overall. The pinnacle. The special effects were groundbreaking and even though that's a highlight, the real star of the film is in the way the story is told. It's a tale of paranoia and survival and how one species thrives in a Darwinian way to keep moving on, and the other species tries to cope with personal mortality and relationships in context of surviving. "In The Mouth Of Madness" is highly underrated, but anyone that is a fan of pushing the boundaries of what reality may be or is, should really enjoy this film. It's got enough "horror" elements to appeal to the fans of gore and shock, but underneath of the visuals, there is a sense that reality overall can be changed by reaching a tipping point of a like minded worldview in relation to a vast number of people.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see these movies with friends. I have watched them multiple times, but getting to explore and share my feelings and hear others opinions and view points was a treat. Hearing Chris talk about "Mouth of Madness" was interesting and it helped me sort out a general sense of understanding that I hadn't explored very deeply before.
In The Mouth of Madness
John Carpenter: A Master Of Cinema
Friday, March 25, 2016
Sunday, October 18, 2015
This was a day that was easy to love and though I always feel like I want to follow up Director Day, the very next day, with three more films, this one was especially good for me. Lumet had a storied career, but he never caught on as a celebrity type in the way that directors like Kubrick, Spielberg, Ford, Hitchcock, and Scorsese did. None the less, he was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director four times. I was embarrassed to say that I had not seen "12 Angry Men" before this day. Tanner did a great job in selecting the films to watch. They each were spread out over multiple decades and each felt very much of their time and place. A realistic view of people, who have different motivations in their behavior and how that spills over into the lives of others, for better or worse. "12 Angry Men" goes into instant classic mode for me, which should go without saying. There is so much to like. The characters, the thought provoking exchanges, and the challenge of immersing yourself in a film that basically has just one setting; a jury room. Though Henry Fonda is clearly the star of the movie, Lumet allows all of their characters their moments of influence on the story, which lends to the realism. "Dog Day Afternoon" is a film I have seen numerous times and just can't get tired of. "Before The Devil Knows Your Dead" is a relentless movie that highlights the temporary insanity that can take hold when an otherwise ordinary someone is truly desperate. "Dog Day Afternoon" is a slow burn and one of the great performances of Al Pacino's career. Other notable films from Lumet are "Network", "Serpico", and "The Verdict". Lumet's style is to produce a very realistic feel and I know that I'm going to be searching out more work from him.
12 Angry Men
Dog Day Afternoon
Before The Devil Knows Your Dead
An interesting interview with Lumet.......
I thoroughly enjoyed this day. Before having Linklater's films presented to me in a contained fashion, through our "Director Day" format, I had pretty much been a passive fan. I knew his work. I liked his work, but never really put together a narrative for seeing his career unfold. "Slackers" is a film that I have liked after the fact. I didn't "get it" when I first saw it and while I did enjoy it the second time, I got a better understanding of it only after discussing it with Chris and Tanner and finding out more on Linklaters world view, which is very similar to mine in a lot of ways. I consider "Dazed & Confused" to be my favorite movie by Linklater, but "Boyhood" is moving up! Since Chris' hosting this day and conjuring up my curiosity on Linklater, this director has moved into my consciousness as a film making favorite.
A Scanner Darkly
Dazed and Confused
This is a trailer for a documentary called "21 Years: Richard Linklater" and features friends and actors discussing the great directors career to this point. I highly recommend this.