MUWT3: Return Of The Thread

Movies You Watched Today.

I just watched Drive and it was great. I thought a lot about the recent arguments about super hero versus incel. I think it is more super awkward guy finally has a chance fall into his lap and then trying to do the right thing with bad luck.

I mean the right thing in this case is being a getaway driver which he already did. But still.

What a cool movie. Thanks for convincing me to watch it again. My next film will be my 100th film of the year. Thinking it will be a second watch of Apocalypse Now or that Fellini film on Youtube. I felt 8 1/2 was way too navel gazy and anything that is CINEMA that loves CINEMA makes my eyes roll.

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i mean it’s sort of about navel gazing, right

on the whole i don’t connect with fellini much but i do love 8 1/2, i actually just watched it a couple days ago for the first time in a while and i still think it’s hilariously better than the 6000 movies that are basically remakes of it

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Wow you reminded me I saw that Don Quioxte film in theaters and how much that sucked.

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has anyone watched Fellini’s Satyricon? how’s that, i had a friend who used to love it

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I saw it a way long time ago so take it with a grain of salt, but I loved Satyricon. It’s one of those movies about the past that uses almost sci-fi style worldbuilding to put you there in that moment and that mindset. It’s vivid as hell.

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I also think Juliet of the Spirits is underrated, the super bright colors in that movie are gorgeous.

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Juliet of the Spirits is sooooo good. Super overwhelming at times with all its color and motion and the surreal elements on top of all that.

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yeah, Satyricon is awesome. it’s the first movie i saw about ancient Rome where i felt like…yeah, this is gross and weird enough that it feels like what ancient Rome was actually probably like.

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trying to catch up on horror films in the lead up to halloween (anything from august onwards is basically halloween).

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Emotion (1966) - nothing to do with david cage. short film by the Hausu director watched in an online screening of his early work. the first two movies in the screening were fine, kind of dutiful art films about pregnancies and love triangles and etc with some fantastical or nonlinear touches meant to show the character’s subjective impressions etc - this one was a lot more fun in that it puts chaotic visual sensibility first and then just leaves you to pick up on the traces of family dynamic happening underneath. also, at least part of it is a dracula movie and has many enjoyable sections of dracula hovering ominously around in a forest. after this they showed some of obayashi’s commercial work - apparently he directed charles bronson in an ad for an aftershave called “mandom”??

Blood & Black Lace (1964) - i liked this and especially the enigmatically lit fashion house full of mannequins, it’s kind of funny that it now plays more as “a giallo with a strangely played-straight plot” rather than “a thriller with strangely extravagent visuals” as i guess it would have at release. so on the one hand it’s mostly not as delirious as you’d hope but on the other there’s an unexpected creepiness in having a lucid, materialistic murderer in this context rather than another abstract slasher.

Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970) - wonderful but special shout out to the art gallery’s newest installation, “enormous metal wall covered in jutting spikes”, from the tecmo’s deception school of plastic arts.

Dawn Of The Dead (1978) - sort of more punishingly paced than i remember, like, why show one zombie getting shot apart when you could follow it up with 7-8 additional shots of different zombies getting shot apart in the same manner? and long sequences of characters doing stuff we’ve already seen them do again - very point to point and procedural in a way i’m not as into. but i enjoyed the political stuff, esp as less of a general shot at consumerism than as something specifically playing on and set inside the steady rightwards drift of the mid-70s usa. everybody at the tv station knows to be on edge when government spokespeople start talking about lethal force and riot squads but they don’t really know how to respond beyond yelling and dumb pranksterish gestures, and meanwhile they’re all privately making their own quiet arrangements to flee the city to a farmhouse or something. The universe of the movie is largely divided into cops, yuppies, and menacing counterculture-coded bikers, and even outside the zombies sort of plays on the way this schema is inherently paranoid and depressing.

Shiver Of The Vampires (1971) - everyone has a different read on the fundamental allure of the vampire myth or whatever, i enjoyed this one, which is that it’s mostly about people wandering around decaying castles and occasionally encountering either sinister or lesbian dream imagery. favourite characters were the weird, giggling vampire hunters turned vampires.

Re-Animator (1985) - hadn’t seen this before but enjoyed. i like that the jeffrey combs character’s big secret plan at the end is to give the villain an “overdose” of the reanimator juice, and it doesn’t really have any effect beyond getting him strangled by an even more fucked looking special effect - i feel like most films would portray this as a good move, but this one is very committed to the dual theses of “injecting things with the juice absolutely never has any positive effects, and also, the only way these guys know how to solve problems is by doubling down on injecting them with juice.”

Phantom Of The Paradise (1974) - any shot with the bird guy glowering crazily at people from behind the mask is a delight but otherwise it’s maybe not as fun as a movie about committing elaborate revenge on an evil phil spector analogue should be… maybe i just didn’t like the songs (or realise how much of the movie was gonna be songs??). r.i.p. to the iggy pop surrogate character named “BEEF”. rest in beef.

Ascension Of The Demonoids (1985) - embracing Kucharmania by finally watching this, which is essentially 40 minutes of crazed overlay effects and library music applied to an enigmatic half-there story about UFOs. very slack and hazy but a lot of fun within that and many small pleasures - like the different repeating shots of characters having intense conversations while someone wanders into the shot in their underwear to get something from the fridge, or of people delivering plot exposition before breaking down into giggles, or people getting into a fight in a room with a very low ceiling lamp that constantly bumps into their faces. a lot of casually beautiful hypnogogic imagery.

Born Of The Wind (1964) - another Kuchar Bros short film but this time a relatively straightforward genre piece about a man who reanimates and falls in love with an egyptian mummy. kind of nondescript for most of the 20 minute running time but has a wonderful ending.

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it’s a cliche to mention it i guess but 8 1/2 is probably one of the most well-constructed movies of all time to me. also it’s one of my favorites. i’ve probably seen it almost 10 times by now. maybe it’s wanky self-indulgence from a big ego male director (which might make it not be in vogue to some people right now) but he did that kind of movie before everyone else, and in a way that still feels honest and also unencumbered by the rules of what you’re supposed to do in narrative film and exploring a new space in a way that all of the people who tried to emulate that couldn’t reach. also i can totally tell where Scorcese got like 10 different things in the way he films his movies from Fellini (as much as i’ve come around to Scorcese a lot of that experimentation was definitely watered down in his films). but i guess that’s almost a cliche to say cuz Fellini was ridiculously popular and influential in general to any kind of “art cinema” that came after in the late 60’s and beyond. i am a huge fan of La Dolce Vita and Nights of Cabiria also, though never got into his later stuff as much. admittedly though i watched these a lot when i was first getting into European art cinema around age 19-20 so i might feel differently about later Fellini now.

also i hate Drive and gave it 1 1/2 stars on letterboxd. it’s just a pale imitation of Scorcese to me. i like Albert Brooks i guess.

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speaking of liz’s favorites i rewatched night of the hunter because i was watching ace in the hole, taizo horis favorite movie, and the way it just fucking GOES PLACES made me really wanna see night of the hunter again. veronica hadnt seen it before so i got to hear her yell OH MY GOD THIS GUY IM SO TIRED OF THIS GUY right before the kid says ‘doesnt this man ever sleep?’

i like the use of gospel songs in that movie and it still makes me freak out when i see the love/hate thing since ive seen radio raheem do it so many times. night of the hunter is my favorite epsiode of goosebumps

i would like to watch more 50s movies that escalate WAY MORE than you expected

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I need to watch more with Robert Mitchum. He’s so scary in that!

In terms of extreme escalations, I think Bigger Than Life goes pretty hard, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it.

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i would potentially check out Carnival of Souls, purely based on the recommendations i’ve gotten about it. still intending to finally watch it. also potentially Edgar G Ulmer’s Detour again based purely on recommendations i’ve gotten. though both are very low budget neither are technically from the 50’s lol. also might be worth checking out some films by Samuel Fuller like The Naked Kiss or Shock Corridor as far as grimy weird b&w movies go.

also Ace In The Hole is great too! but yeah Night of the Hunter is an absolute classic, its style is totally and completely unique and inventive, and it’s really sad Charles Laughton was never able to direct another film.

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Shock Corridor, Naked Kiss, and Night of the Hunter all share the same cinematographer, Stanley Cortez!

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i was gonna say those fullers too! didn’t ever make that stanley cortez connection but of course!!

i kind of feel this way about man of the west and treasure of the sierra madre but maybe those are more adjacent vibes

touch of evil… fuck i wanna watch touch of evil

i will finally watch ace in the hole this week (surely sunset blvd counts here too for that matter)

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I love how Night of the Hunter takes a storybook song break halfway through kids being chased by a serial killer who just killed their mom. That instant context switch from deep horror to innocent fantasy, without a real integration between them, feels so specific and true to a child’s mindset.

An adult is able to view the whole situation together and carry a mood through it; a kid gets swept along.

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@lasa posted about In a Lonely Place in the old movies thread, I feel like this one also fits into that category of 40s-50s movies that are insanely dark and just about like murder and deceit and moody descents into madness with very problematic main characters.

This was a weird era of hollywood, things were still very chaste and moralizing but you could have a mainstream movie whose plot is basically “What if this fucked up guy existed? Damn.”

I was reading about another one with John Wayne (!) called “Wake of the Red Witch” that is a movie about a guy going nuts and sinking a treasure ship, then eventually dying while trying to recover the treasure, in the guise of a high seas adventure tale or whatever.

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god damn it i almost mentioned in a lonely place just now too but then i was like am i just susceptible to any movie about humphrey bogart unhinging (yes)

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i think this is the darkest old hollywood film i’ve ever seen: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrily_We_Go_to_Hell

there’s some real wild shit if you go digging into pre-code

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I really enjoyed Eighth Grade. An A24 movie I didn’t know existed until yesterday.

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