The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and others

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hope
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The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and others

Post by hope » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:30 pm

This month I discovered the vast collection of classic videos in my library. I've been checking out a couple every week and watching them while I work; for a former film student there's an awful lot I haven't seen. My favorite so far is The Prisoner of Zenda, which was incredibly entertaining throughout (but then, I'm a sucker for swashbuckling and moustached leading men).

Others I've enjoyed: Nothing Sacred (also from 1937), The Pirate (1948 Judy Garland/Gene Kelly musical; Kelly does amazing things with a cigarette), Roman Holiday (yes...I really hadn't seen this), Midnight Cowboy (or this), and Tampopo (a "Japanese noodle western;" bizarre but delicious).

And two I didn't: Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (the melodrama got to me), Gabbeh (I gave up after fifteen minutes, so maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance).

Next up: Kubrick's Lolita and On the Beach.[/url]

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Post by Kazu » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:36 pm

You're on a great run, Hope! Not a huge fan of Midnight Cowboy, but I LOVE Tampopo!! Definitely Juzo Itami's best. I could watch it on a loop for days... I will have to shamefully admit that I haven't seen the rest. :(
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hope
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Post by hope » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:41 pm

Speaking of Itami, IMDB has this to say about him:

"Itami was attacked by Yakuza (the Japanese mob) in 1992 due to the release of "Minbo no Onna", which portrayed Yakuza in a bad light. He was slashed around the face and neck and was hospitalized."

And then, in 1997: "Flash, a Japanese tabloid, alleged that Itami was having an affair. Itami left a note denying the affair and jumped from the roof of the eight-story building where he had his office."

Bizarre, and sad.

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Post by Kazu » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:44 pm

Yeah, when I heard the news of his apparent suicide I only thought back on the events that occurred after Minbo. Very sad.
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Post by Shama Lama » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:44 pm

I suggest seeing if they have Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926). A great, great sci-fi movie.

an aside: I remember finding this on film (FILM!) in my College's collection. I set up the projecter in my basement and had to sit next to it since it was kind of cramped for space (small basement). (I love the sound of a movie projector.) Truely an enlightening experience for my education in film.

If you find it, stick with the original piano score, it's best. The others are OK, but I prefer original.

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hope
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Post by hope » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:47 pm

Yeah, Metropolis is great. I also like the anime version (if you can call it a version), although I seem to be the only one. :)

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Re: The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and others

Post by Kean » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:49 pm

hope wrote:(but then, I'm a sucker for swashbuckling and moustached leading men).
So am I. A sucker for the swashbuckling, I mean. The moustached leading men not so much.

I shall have to give this Prisoner of Zenda a look-see.

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Post by Kazu » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:50 pm

I like the anime version! Hehe. It is a bit slow, but the visuals and the end sequence are breathtaking...
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Post by Chevalier » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:06 am

How could you go this long without seeing either the Roman Holiday or Midnight Cowboy? These are classics well beyond the arts crowd.

I thought Xiu Xiu was very touching and sad, especially if you consider the political climate in China. The film was banned there.

A short story on Metropolis:

Lang’s masterpiece was re-released to theaters, in a gloriously restored print. I went to see it several times in Highland Park. The two times, the experience was religious even. I admire the film for it’s vision. It was one of the first such films, and I place it along with October, Battleship Potemkin and The Birth of a Nation. Now, something that all of these film have in common is, that their story and morals are terrible (to say the least). That’s not why I watch them, I watch them for I have a deep love for cellulite, for the light that is captured… and so on and all that mushy stuff that you don’t care about. On my third, and sadly last, viewing, to get back to the story, I was annoyed by snickering in the back of me. Like in a Seinfeld episode, I did a 1/3 turn, a ½ turn and decided to tough it out. As I leave the theater, I notice the hecklers – they’re not at all young – I thought these were kids or something; but, no, they’re actually in their 40s. Yuppies. At this time, heckler 1 makes an idiotic remark about, all things, the special effects. Heckler 2 chimes in by saying ‘the story sucked as well’’ Now, I have rarely lost control of myself, but I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I jumped the guy, grabbed him by his Banana Republic jacket’s collar and thrust him onto the wall. I trembled, and really didn’t know what to say… thoughts flashed across my mind… dismissed at an instant, I couldn’t just launch into a lecture on the merits of German silent era classics… not when I’m in this position. I must have stood there for another second. The guy was surprised, as was his friend, but they must have been even more baffled when I let him go and ran as fast as I could out.

Also: That egg exchange scene in Tampopo has got to be the most erotic kiss ever captured on film.

Also: Ahh… Lolita, I have so many conflicting thoughts about the entire affair. On one hand, Nabokov created a masterpiece. On the other, he had problems with Kubrick. Yet, on another hand, Kubrick had his hands tied in the creation of the film due to the Catholic League of Decency. I understand why the film came out so uneven. The newer version is I think slightly better (a Kubrick film that’s been surpassed? Heresy!), but perhaps it’s because I love Jeremy Irons. He is, to me, the most handsome and talented actor alive. I know it’s irrational, but that’s love for you.

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Post by dik pose » Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:47 am

I just saw Midnight Cowboy last week, it was cool, but it left me completely empty, the charcters went downhill, they hit rock bottom, and then "barely" came back up at the end, I wanted them to get to Florida and live happy lives dammit!!!! Not just "barely" make it to Florida. So, this film was totally worth watching, but I didn't think it was "great".

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