Café Cinema: 1895 - 1999

All non-Nolan related film, tv, and streaming discussions.
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First time I see that. Looks like Ken Russell directed The Exorcist. :shock:

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Just finished Network (1976) and Faye Dunaway reminds me of Robin Wright today, not just the looks, but her maturity as an actress and her ability to be a commanding feline presence without doing much.

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m4st4 wrote: NFs, thoughs on Excalibur and Deliverance by John Boorman?
ArmandFancypants wrote: Excalibur doesn't get there. Deliverance is amazing.
m4st4 wrote:Thought so, thanks, gonna skip it for a while. Deliverance gets a major bump on the watch list, always wondered about it.
Like Friedkin and Coppola, John Boorman is another filmmaker with a very uneven filmography, but maybe this can be said about most of the directors of the American 70's cinema. They had a lot of freedom so, sometimes they came up with some questionable (or crappy) films. But no doubt, Deliverance is a bold, courageous masterpiece, and maybe Boorman's best (quick mention to the classic duelling banjos scene). The casting is right on the money, even Burt Reynolds. It's unnerving to witness those 3 city guys follow his sociopathic ass down that creepy river populated by creepy hillbillies. He's the only character who feels at home in that sinister scenario which gets even more sinister once you know it will all be gone due to the building of a dam. Lewis (Reynolds) says that, right from the start, giving us a feeling that anything (bad) can happen because afterwards, it will be buried under millions of tons of water.
deliverance
The ending dream scene illustrates this concept, but also makes it clear that the guilt can never be washed away.

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:? :wtf: :shock:
Before that, Boorman had scored attention with the conceptual cop-thriller Point Blank (1967), and the minimalist Hell in the Pacific (1968) both with collaborator Lee Marvin. And things kept getting weirder. All through those years (till' early 80's), Boorman's hallucinogenic trips were notorious. Zardoz (1974) is way, way out there and even The Exorcist II (1977) has a kind of weird quality (but not a good one overall). Then came Excalibur - which was what I really wanted to talk about.

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Well, the thruth is… I FUCKING LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: Seen it dozens of times, know the dialogue and music by heart. Even took my Excalibur fanboy status to the extreme, producing a graphic adaptation of the film, much like I did with Apocalypse Now. For whomever might be interested, here are the links:
Excalibur: http://www.exages.blogspot.com.br/
Apocalypse Now Files: http://www.apocnowfiles.blogspot.com.br/

Anyway, what I love about Excalibur: first of all, the legend, of course. That fascinating tale that all of us are familiar with in one way or another (in this case, the 15th century romance Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory), and Boorman being on acid (or whatever he was taking at the time) made it even more special for me. The casting (well, with one or two exceptions), the music, cinematography, costumes... I mean, I loved everything from the very beginning - the letterings ponctuated by the music of Richard Wagner - Siegfried's Funeral March from his opera Götterdämmerung, a piece that would return from time to time, becoming a musical theme for Excalibur. Then, after the title, we see knights in the dark, lighted only by torches and bonfires. They seem to be waiting for something dreadful. They're armours are exquisite, very different from the classic version we were used to. They were almost alien-like, but simple, very dirty, scratched and smashed. They were all different from each other, like there was no official armour manufacturer for the kingdom. Like every knight had to find his own blacksmith and come up with his unique armour. Designer Terry English created the Excalibur's armours and years later, the Colonial Marines armours. Back to Excalibur, its excellent costume design marks Bob Ringwood's (Dune, Batman, Alien3) first large scale production. Years later he mentioned that Terry English' armour designs were a big influence when working on Burton's Batman costume, which I believe, influenced super-hero costumes in the following years till' today. So, Excalibur's costume design is awesome, especially its armours AND especially Mordred's armour, the most singular one.

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The cast features theatre medallions like Helen Mirren (delightfully evil as Morgana) and Nicol Williamson (cool, funny and intense as Merlin). Besides Mirren, other members went on to become movie stars like Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, and Gabriel Byrne (a wrathful, scumbag Uther). Unfortunately, Nigel Terry (Arthur) and Nicholas Clay (Lancelot) never convinced me.
Cilogy wrote:fuck, we used to watch Excalibur in high school and make fun of the really awkward dialogue and acting

it's fun if you view it like that
When was that? 10? 20 years ago? After The Lord of the Rings trilogy and lately, Game of Thrones, Excalibur may seem pretentious, trying to be "avant-garde" with an epic story and looking cheesy sometimes. But if you can look pass this (it's a 15th century romance, directed by a tripping filmmaker) and see it as what at the time was considered a different approach to an epic story, you may enjoy Boorman's take. But I understand completely what you're talking about. Maybe the film hasn't aged very well. I can't really say, I'm bias. But who knows? maybe back then I would have laghed with you at some points.
m4st4 wrote:Carmina Burana is in the movie right, not just the trailer? I remember watching it as a kid on television, seven years old or something like that... pissed my pants. :lol:
m4st4, my m4st4... the music of this film is something else. Trevor Jones composes an original score that blend perfectly with the classical pieces sellected by Boorman. Besides Siegfried's Funeral March, the film features more of Richard Wagner's music from his operas The Ring, Parsifal and Tristan and Isolde (its prelude becomes Lancelot and Guenevere love theme). And, like you said, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. I also heard it here for the first time, and the scene in which it was used became memmorable to me, so emotional and so grandiose.

To sum it all: tripping director, classic actors and text, sex, violence, weird photography and sets, glorious soundtrack, beautiful and cool costume design. Yeah, I love this film. But hey! that's just me. :twothumbsup:

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Damn I really need to watch Network again

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m4st4 wrote:Just finished Network (1976) and Faye Dunaway reminds me of Robin Wright today, not just the looks, but her maturity as an actress and her ability to be a commanding feline presence without doing much.
I still haven't seen anything from Wright approaching the level of Dunaway in Network, but she's certainly managing her career better.

I like her best in Most Wanted Man kind of things where it's a muted but lethal presence. Dunaway however is at her best when she lets loose... although this truly catapaulted over the edge with Mommie Dearest.

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m4st4, I'm still waiting for you to visit Mike Nichols' first feature film.

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BlairCo wrote:m4st4, I'm still waiting for you to visit Mike Nichols' first feature film.
Oh man... soon, quite soon! It's a promise.
ArmandFancypants wrote:
m4st4 wrote:Just finished Network (1976) and Faye Dunaway reminds me of Robin Wright today, not just the looks, but her maturity as an actress and her ability to be a commanding feline presence without doing much.
I still haven't seen anything from Wright approaching the level of Dunaway in Network, but she's certainly managing her career better.

I like her best in Most Wanted Man kind of things where it's a muted but lethal presence. Dunaway however is at her best when she lets loose... although this truly catapaulted over the edge with Mommie Dearest.
Yeah just wanted to add that Dunaway is certainly more unhinged and, especially in Network, it works. She's a wild one, while Wright often plays the silent, misterious or even controlling type.

As for Excalibur, Dado... after that huge block of text, you convinced me. My battle armor is ready!

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Ingmar Bergman is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors from before... the more I see from his filmography the more I'm hungry for more of his singular, honest, mesmerizing voice. Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries 1957) felt strangely similar to Nebraska (2013) - Alexander Payne surely revisited this movie at least once before directing Bruce Dern's black & white odissey. It's a film that I plan to revisit in ten, twenty years, and surely it will feel even more relevant with passing of time since it deals with individual's reconciliation with inevitable and unstoppable death but in a style that isn't just frightening and cold, but often soothing and smile inducing (half of the smiles because of Bibi Andersson's famous childish sincerity). It's a film about maturity and memories as vivid as a bright today, about life and life's ends but also inner peace and people that build our character and help create who we are simply by entering and exiting are lives.

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Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL?

HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you.

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Dave Bowman: What's the problem?

HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?

HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL.

HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

Dave Bowman: [feigning ignorance] Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?

HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock.

HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave? You're going to find that rather difficult.

Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore! Open the doors!

HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

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