Re: Last movie you watched

Have never seen Threads, and continue to have mixed feelings about whether I want to.   Possibly because I have seen Testament, a feature that came out the year before Threads and covers pretty much the same ground.  Testament seems mostly forgotten now, though Jane Alexander was nominated for an Oscar for it. 

It's not as sensational as I gather Threads is - it's a very small movie about a small town outside San Francisco after a nuclear war. Nothing spectacular happens, it's just two hours of watching things get worse and characters dying of fallout poisoning, with Jane Alexander trying to keep it together as the mom of a small family after dad never came back from work that day.     Saw it once in 1983 and some scenes are still burned into my memory. Although it's a great, well-made movie I've never felt an urge to watch it again.

So I wouldn't call this a recommendation per se, but hey, if you saw Threads and thought "gosh I hope there are more movies like this", then Testament is there for ya.

Of course there's also On The Beach, the original "well, the world is over so NOW what?" fallout movie from 1959, in which the residents of Melbourne wait to die from the aftereffects of a Northern Hemisphere nuclear war they weren't even involved in. 

So that'd be one hell of a triple feature, if you want to really cheer yourself up.


Re: Last movie you watched


I say this having watched Threads four days ago: this is the bleakest shit I've seen in my life. Wild how you could be forgiven for assuming the events depicted are a Kafkaesque parable for existence under capitalism only to learn NOPE TOTALLY A THING THAT HAPPENED.

Fonda's incredible—heading right from this into Klute is a hell of a streak.


Re: Last movie you watched


Stunningly lovely animation and music elevate what's already an extremely solid period melodrama/ode to the working class. I wanted to live in every single frame of this movie—the things it does with light and color made me vocally go "This is so fucking pretty" under my breath over and over for a good chunk of the ninety-minute runtime. I don't like much anime, but when I do I like it a lot.

Streaming on Netflix! It's technically a feature-length spinoff of a show, but I watched it sans any context and followed along just fine.

Last edited by Abbie (2020-04-20 03:37:56)


Re: Last movie you watched


Was not prepared for how viscerally this was going to make me want to murder a kid.

Pushes the Hays envelope as far as it can to depict the destruction homophobia wreaks on the lives of two closeted lesbians when they're outed by a vindictive child's half truths. As an artifact of its time it is by nature imperfect, but the level of sensitivity and nuance a picture made in 1961 could have toward these women is still really surprising. Incredibly difficult to watch but I'm glad I did.

Also, speaking of lesbians . . . my god, that we were blessed by Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn sharing the screen. My god.


Re: Last movie you watched


Unrateable. An impenetrable spiral of self-absorption which for all its technical ineptitude manages to leave an impression if for no other reason than your certainty that it must be on purpose. Succeeds in being politically prescient in fits and starts, mostly because it throws all Dylan's half-formed thoughts at the wall and ensures some of them stick—at its best this plays like a slapdash prototype of Southland Tales, only superficially skating over societal collapse and balkanization but doing so in a way that rings true when so little has changed. Police squads roaming the streets? Government efforts to benefit the sick that are only feeble PR stunts propped up by gangsters? Threats to trample prisoners with wild elephants in football stadiums? Say it ain't so.

Nearly all the performers are at sea, but Goodman plays his heart out, almost single-handedly holding the piece together through bluster and his correct instinct to deliver his dialogue as if he knows it's horseshit where everyone else tries to take it straight and ends up looking embarrassed. Ed Harris shows up in blackface. Val Kilmer legitimately forgets his lines for like ten seconds while the camera keeps rolling. The third act twist is that Bob Dylan's folk singer is the son of a dictator who looks a good twenty years younger than him. Jeff Bridges gets beaten to death by Blind Lemon Jefferson's guitar.

In short, exactly what you'd expect from a late-period Bob Dylan movie, for all that implies. Not good, not even all that interesting, but your suspicion that the central figure knows this and managed to rook the BBC into doing his bidding keeps you going.

Last edited by Abbie (2020-07-20 06:09:47)


Re: Last movie you watched


Any moral or ideological point this film attempts to make is negated by its own existence.

The wanton slaughter of live animals is the most visceral of the hypocrisies on display here, but it's far from the only one. Actors were coerced into sex scenes they didn't wish to perform, and by their own account suffered lasting psychological damage. Native extras were held inside a burning hut and then paid nothing. Cannibal Holocaust looks at these acts committed in its name, shakes its head, and says, "Boy, any society that could perpetrate these evils just to make a movie must be monstrous, huh?"

Beyond the scope of the direct harm committed in order for the filmmakers to chide themselves, the film also dehumanizes and brutalizes the people groups it claims to be defending. The indigenous peoples depicted in Cannibal Holocaust are props for degradation—raped, maimed, and discarded in loving detail. Not content to torture them, the film also villainizes them. Its ultimate message is that its white colonizer characters are no better than its indigenous characters—the colonizers' crime is sinking to the level of rape and sadism that the indigenous peoples practice. Not only is this founded on a lie—there is no war between the two tribes used as the film's basis, and they do not practice cannibalism outside of funeral rites—it places the onus of evil back on the so-called "primitives." Colonization's ultimate sin, this school of thought insists, is that it reverts "civilized" Western man back to his savage roots—that it could be its own unique, far more malevolent kind of evil is never considered.

What, then, is the utility of the movie? I doubt there's a single person on earth who prior to watching Cannibal Holocaust did not realize imperialism was bad only to have the film open their eyes. And to convey that message, it practiced by necessity the very same tactics it condemns. Cannibal Holocaust's ultimate thesis is that its own existence is an evil—that films like this should not be permitted to be made, and that any purpose they could serve is outweighed by the evil required to bring them about. I will do it the credit of taking it at its word.


Re: Last movie you watched

Well there's one film I don't think I ever have to watch.

I think this world is wearing me out. The older I get, the less tolerance I have with violence and visual horror in movies. I'm seeing enough of that shit everyday, you know?

Sébastien Fraud
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