Oops, HoH link is b0rked: here you go.
Cheers, bizarre_eye. I re-watched TDRO fairly recently and it's just completely bananas, melodramatic and daft. But quite unique! It also gives me lovely House of Hell flashbacks - bonus!
A difficult one indeed, so I just went on pure entertainment value in the end. List is here, cheers.
- The Shining
- The Wicker Man
- Whistle and I'll Come to You
- Dead of Night
- Dawn of the Dead
- The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
- An American Werewolf in London
- The Thing
- Eyes Without a Face
For SchederzMoviez' 'Top 50 Horror Films of the Letterboxd Community'.
These aren't necessarily what I consider to be the best, just (personally) the most enjoyable.
If someone were ever to ask me to conceptualise the ego, I would point them straight at Enter the Void. Both the film as a production and the protagonist’s journey are about ego; there’s a constant push and pull where sometimes the ‘art’ wins out and sometimes Noé's ego does. Just like the swooping, invasive meta-character in the movie, sometimes you’re drawn into the moment, but just as often you’re swooshed out of it . For example: startlingly realistic footage of a car crash from a first-person perspective = impressive. Watching some pointless lezzie sex that clearly pleases the director = ego.
It’s a film Noe clearly thought would get people saying, OMG WHAT DID I JUST WATCH! ...but is actually far more conventional than that. The plot is very grim and the action (and sex) realistic, but delivered in a predictable manner, with the commentary on humanity getting somewhat lost in the mix.
The (astonishing) format lends itself to amazing exploration (imagine a tale of fascinating characters, their every character nuance explored by an amorphous entity, their lives becoming poetry) but instead we get strippers, drugs and a bunch of nasty twats. Feels like a waste. After this and Boardwalk Empire it also feels like I’ve seen Paz de la Huerta’s pudenda more than my wife’s.
So yes, it’s very immature. But on the other hand it looks absolutely amazing. Amazing. Going into this I assumed other reviewers were exaggerating but honestly, the things done with camera movement, SFX and perspective in this film are just phenomenal, and I don’t say that lightly.
Reconciling the visuals with the plot and dialogue was an impossibility in the end, so I just gave up, lay back and enjoyed the pretty.
In summary: OMG WHAT DID I JUST WATCH!
Just kidding ;)
Although it may come across as a trite soundbite, the Vietnam war changed how we perceived soldiers and combat. The filmic ‘coming home’ stories from that conflict (like The Deer Hunter, Born on the Fourth of July and, indeed, Coming Home) show people damaged by their experiences and reviled by the public they thought they were fighting for.
No longer was there this romanticised ideal of a square-jawed military man coming back bloodied but unbowed having done his duty to God and country. In his stead was a man with haunted eyes and PTSD, witness to atrocities; dehumanised. WWII films rarely went anywhere near this subject, and when they did it was generally to portray demobbed soldiers as the perfect GI: unsullied, wise and of strong moral character.
The Best Years of Our Lives is the most successful and well-regarded film of the period to tackle the subject of ‘readjustment’ and, whilst it’s not as brutally honest as the post-Korea, post-‘Nam stories it still packs a decent punch.
A long (but never slow or dull) tale of three ex-servicemen – Dana Andrews, Fredric Marsh and Harold Russell – returning to Smallville USA and trying to fit into a diminished world that refuses to treat them as individuals. They are idealised or mistrusted, feared or pitied, patronised or ignored. Even the caring people in their lives view them with a mixture of awe, love and terror.
The three men returning to the bosom of their pre-war lifestyle represent youth, middle years and retirement age (which is kind of cruel on Fredric Marsh. Poor bloke was only 50-ish at the time!) and how they struggle: Russell’s character, Homer, lost both hands in the war (as did Russell himself – a genuine amputee) and manfully faces people’s need to see him as weak, lame or amusing.
Andrews’s character, Fred, faces an unloving wife who perceives him as jobless and pathetic, and Marsh’s young family want to treat him as a retiree, boxing him off as a gentle older chap soon for the knacker’s yard. Marsh himself still has fire in his belly and something to contribute, and struggles to reconcile this with his family’s view of him as redundant.
The three lives interweave, forming a tapestry of post-war society. The comforting world of Mom’s apple pie, checked tablecloths, soda jerks and jobs for everyone is shown as superficial. Infidelity, trauma and alcoholism are as true to this world as sock hops, and Packards on Main Street.
At such a long remove the film could easily feel like a period piece and, whilst it definitely shows a glimpse of a world that no longer exists, it manages to feel very honest and have a timelessness that’s unusual for Forties Hollywood fayre. The dialogue is simple, direct and authentic, whilst the main character’s performances are all possible career bests.
The only minor flaws come from some of the more stagy supporting characters and the sometimes intrusive and overbearing soundtrack; other than that The Best Years of Our Lives manages – almost seventy years after its release – to remain a thoughtful and moving story in almost every way.
The 'B'-est of B-movies. Quite a lot of camp fun to be had watching Spacey, Russo, Dustbin et al. clearly taking the piss, but dragging it out wasn't a great idea - should have ended when they tranqed the little blighter who caused the whole mess.
Looking forward to seeing Marcel again in Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan.