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TM2YC's 1001 Movies (Chronological up to page 48/post 480)
(07-25-2020, 07:17 PM)TM2YC Wrote: 60 years ago...

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Breathless (1959)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Country: France
Length: 87 minutes
Type: Crime, Drama

Jean-Luc Godard's influential film 'Breathless' ('A Bout de Souffle" = "out of breath") seems intended to break all the formal rules of filmmaking which had then been established for about 25-30 years and still tell a perfectly coherent, easy to follow story, with defined characters... and thereby demonstrate that the rules need not apply. It's filmed hand-held, there is no continuity between edits, 'match cuts' don't match, he makes jump-cuts in the middle of shots, there is 4th-wall breaking, dialogue is placed over people who aren't actually speaking (but which is what they were thinking/expressing non-verbally) and there are self-conscious cameos, of Godard himself, a girl selling copies of his film magazine and other directors too. Martial Solal's Jazz score is excellent, Jean Seberg is breathtaking (like the title) and Jean-Paul Belmondo has a great anti-heroic charisma. He plays Michel, a killer, petty thief and womaniser who is trying to evade capture and spend time with various girls. It's got a tone and style that'll be recognisable to anybody who has seen much later films like 'Pulp Fiction'.

Another Charlton Heston epic next.

I'm with Kermode on this one...i actually prefer the Mr Gere version although its not perfect and could do with a nip & tuck.. My bias is probably due to the fact that i watched it before A Bout de Souffle back in the 80's unknowing that it was a remake. ..but i just couldn't fathom Jean-Paul Belmondo . He drove me as nuts as Brando in A Streetcar Named desire another overrated classic....horses for courses i suppose. Watching Jean Seberg & Vivian Leigh is always a bonus.
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^Last Impressions, out of curiosity, could you help out a clueless speaker of American?  What does the English expression "horses for courses" actually mean?
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(07-30-2020, 07:06 PM)mnkykungfu Wrote: What does the English expression "horses for courses" actually mean?

It means they're delicious to eat.

Only joking. Some race-horses are better suited for running on some race-courses than others.
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(07-31-2020, 01:53 AM)TM2YC Wrote:
(07-30-2020, 07:06 PM)mnkykungfu Wrote: What does the English expression "horses for courses" actually mean?

It means they're delicious to eat.

LOL i just spat my nice cuppa tea all over my screen ...that tickled me....mnkykungfu "Different people like different things" thats why this world is a wonderful place. 

Thank you gents.  I've always figured it was like an expression I'm used to: "Different strokes for different folks", but seeing the etymology of the expression is interesting, too.

And btw, horse meat is delicious.   Angel
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60 years ago...

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Pickpocket (1959)
Director: Robert Bresson
Country: France
Length: 75 minutes
Type: Crime,Drama

A pickpocket learns his craft, while being watched by the police and having conflicts with his friends and family. I didn't love 'Pickpocket' as much as Robert Bresson's previous two films ('Diary of a Country Priest' and 'A Man Escaped'). I like the way it's filmed, it's mood, it's stylish look, it's pacing and it's story but the cast of non-professional, first-time actors didn't work for me. I got nothing from lead actor Martin LaSalle and the performance by writer Jean Pélégri as a police inspector was very odd.  The way the scenes of pickpocketing are shot and edited is so graceful and balletic, making it look like slight of hand magic.

Another Alain Resnais film next.
61 years ago...

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Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)
Director: Alain Resnais
Country: France/Japan
Length: 90 minutes
Type: Romance,Drama,War

'Hiroshima Mon Amour' starts in a unique way, a 15-minute intro in which two 30-something lovers in Hiroshima (a French woman and a Japanese man) caress each other's bodies (in close up) while their disembodied voices reveal their feelings about the Hiroshima bombing, inter-cut with real footage of the horrors of the event. It shouldn't work but it does, it's beautiful, tragic and intimate... I guess that's why Director Alain Resnais is a genius. The rest of the film is relatively more conventional but just as powerful. We spend a day and a night in the company of these two characters, caught in the intensity of their brief affair, as Elle's (Emmanuelle Riva) love for Lui (Eiji Okada) brings back harrowing suppressed memories of her dead first love, a German soldier. Resnais moves so effortlessly between past, present, future and place. The way Riva suddenly howls "I was so young once!" expresses all her feelings in one moment. The gliding camera work and the immaculately composed black & white images are gorgeous. A total masterpiece.

Another John Wayne Western next.
61 years ago...

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Rio Bravo (1959)
Director: Howard Hawks
Country: United States
Length: 141 minutes
Type: Western

'Rio Bravo' has very little plot: Sheriff has got bad guy in jail waiting a week for the Marshal to pick him up, so other bad guys attempt to free him and/or kill Sheriff... repeat 'til movie is over. The pleasure comes from seeing how the good guys cope with this constant threat and the bonds they forge with each other. John Wayne plays the stoic, unyielding and taciturn Sheriff, a part ideally suited to his "specific" range. Dean Martin is completely brilliant as Wayne's deputy and best friend, a once proud gunslinger, now the pathetic town drunk. His redemption arc forms the backbone of the film. Ricky Nelson plays a curious hotshot young gunfighter who is cautious about throwing in his lot with the Sheriff. By the time Martin and Nelson (two real life singers) sit down to perform a duet, late into the film, it doesn't feel like a superfluous showbiz gimmick but a real emotional sharing of two brothers in arms. Walter Brennan is Wayne's other Deputy, his usual grizzled old hillbilly shtick is so strong it almost needs subtitles. Angie Dickinson is a female card player who falls for Wayne and helps him out. I really need to see more Dickinson films because she is outstanding. By the time the final showdown was on, I found myself actually cheering the heroes! I can see why this is regarded as a defining classic of the Western genre.

A film by Jacques Becker next.
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I see you linked a Carpenter interview.  I put Rio Bravo on my watchlist after finally seeing Assault on Precinct 13 last year.  I read that Carpenter essentially wanted to do his take on the story.  Rio Bravo is free on Tubi right now, so I'll have to watch it soon!
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60 years ago...

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The Hole (1959)
Director: Jacques Becker
Country: France
Length: 132 minutes
Type: Drama

It's a shame that Director Jacques Becker died right after finishing 'The Hole' ('Le Trou') because it's a proper masterpiece and I want to see more. The film concerns a real-life escape attempt by five convicts from Paris' La Santé Prison and features one of the actual escapees playing himself (Roland Darbant aka Jean Keraudy). The camera hardly leaves the cell, or the prisoner's sides and mostly stays at their eye-level and perspective, so we feel like a 6th conspirator. There is no music so the viewer can listen intently to the echoes of the prison interior and the sounds of danger, just like the characters. To further the immersion, some sequences play out in real time, most notably when the prisoners/actors take turns to smash trough a concrete floor in one 4-minute shot. The quick thinking ingenuity the men show in using bits of mirror, an ink pot, pieces of their beds and cardboard boxes as makeshift escape tools is incredible. It's tempting to watch it all over again.

Another Yasujiro Ozu film and the last entry for the 1950s next.

60 years ago...

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Floating Weeds (1959)
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Country: Japan
Length: 119 minutes
Type: Drama

'Floating Weeds' ('Ukikusa') takes place in a quiet seaside town as an itinerant kabuki theater troupe arrives. The lead actor Komajuro uses the residency to reacquaint himself with his former mistress and his grown-up son (who has been told he's just an uncle). His happy and secretive visits attract the ire of his current mistress, so she hatches a plot to expose him. It's about class, status and generational conflict but the emotion is sensitive and understated. Ozu employs his trademark locked-off camera, precise blocking, perfect composition and POV editing style. His technique is totally stylish and stylized but somehow also unobtrusive and tranquil. I'm starting to see why Ozu is seen as such a genius.

Another Visconti film next.

With the 1950s section of the 1001 book complete (354 films), I've decided to loosen up my chronological approach. I'll still be mostly watching films in date order but if the opportunity presents itself, or if I just feel like it, I'll be watching and reviewing films from any year. It was a worthwhile exercise to see the evolution of film technology, editing innovations, changes in tastes, the advent of sound, colour and aspect-ratio. With the arrival of the "French New Wave" I think were essentially into the modern film-making era from the 1960s onwards, so a chronological approach is increasingly less valuable.

(It's only taken me 5-years and 1-month to reach the start of the 1960s Big Grin )
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