The Film thread - Page 34
Styleforum Top Picks
One of my favorite movies of all time is Prospero's Books. Gielgud's incredible in it, and the set and costume and hell everything is fucking fantastic. On a related note, every halloween I unintentionally watch Coppola's Dracula, which is a shit movie but beautiful and I love it. I also love Brotherhood of the Wolf, which is also shit, but has (in addition to the new Iron Chef Chairman posing as a Native American) great sets and costumes and is, generally, pretty stylish.
Anyway, where I'm going with this is that I love opulent, stage-like set designs, incredible costuming, and acting that is probably better suited for the stage than the screen. Does anyone have any recommendations along these lines? I don't really know enough technical terminology to specify, but I like that stuff. I also like Ran, if that counts.
Maybe anything with Christopher Doyle as a cinematogropher?
e.g. Wong Kar-wei's 2046:
If you want something a bit nuts, try the Holy Mountain:
To refer back to Fuuma's unnecessarily uncharitable post, Nolan is one of the better filmmakers working in the mainstream today (I don't mind damning him with faint praise), and Prestige is undoubtedly one of his better films (alongside Memento, and, in my opinion, nothing else worth remarking upon outside of Ledger's performance in TDK).
You can't legitimately equate his high water mark with the outright garbage of Transformers, G.I. Joe and Fast Five.
That said, Interstellar is deeply inferior to The Prestige as anything but a vehicle for the special effects -- which are serviceable, but hardly memorable. It's a vacuous echo of Solaris and 2001 with a side helping of laughable metaphysics (referring to transcendental love, not time dilation, which Nolan already served up in Inception) that sabotages the much-vaunted input of theoretical physicists on the effects sequences and plot.
It's got slick production values in place of a soul, just like every other Nolan film. He should be grateful to get such talented casts -- speaking of which, McConaughey was quite good, Chastain was good, (I'm getting sick of seeing Michael Caine dragged into every Nolan project,) Hathaway was less believable as a scientist than she was as Catwoman (even before her hilarious speech about love), though I think the script just introduced her very poorly -- and Matt Damon was awful. I'm always happy to see John Lithgow getting work (he is amazing live on stage), but he hasn't had a properly meaty part in quite a while.
Hans Zimmer's music is the best thing in the film.
I think you definitely can equate Nolan's stuff to Transformers, etc; it's essentially the same stuff repackaged into a different form for a different audience. Nolan plays very well with the young-ish, "intellectual" crowd, you know, mod houses, wine, coffee shops, reading Proust in public. His work is Transformers for people who want to be taken seriously or at least want to come off as serious people. The Prestige and his earlier works aren't exceptions to this either-- they've always been action-thriller-dramas catered towards people who may like to dabble in overexposed "thinking" concepts filled with all the tropes you'd expect from an action film.
Does that make him a bad filmmaker? I don't think so, I think he has his place in entertainment and can be highly enjoyable with the right mindset, and if you compare him to other mainstream acclaimed directors (Coens, PTA, etc etc) it's very easy to see what I'm talking about.
I don't understand why anyone would go to a Nolan movie expecting anything deeply philosophical explorations, but if you go in expecting an action movie with some neat little "huh interesting" tidbits then he's much more enjoyable.
That said, I really enjoyed McConaughey, why the fuck was Matt Damon even in the movie, scientifically/philosophically maybe not the most stimulating thing, but enjoyable. Visuals were definitely a treat on Imax tho
Nolan makes science fiction films, science fiction belongs to speculative fiction, which usually lies outside of the literary canon. I like Insomnia, I thought that was Nolan's best movie. Otherwise I think his work appeals to a much younger audience than we imagine, mainly people who are only into speculative fiction; fantasy, sci-fi, horror, etc, which means they're probably not intellectuals.