What are you watching on the Criterion Channel?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Electric, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I have watched several films since posting on here. I tend to watch more movies as the weather gets cooler, and it feels like Autumn is in the air lately. A good time to catch up on so many Criterion movies on my list.

    It's not the easiest or most uplifting film, but stick with it and it has lots to recommend. Tatsuya Nakadai is always great, and this is one of his earliest films.

    Black River
    Directed by Masaki Kobayashi • 1956 • Japan

    Perhaps Masaki Kobayashi's most sordid film, BLACK RIVER examines the rampant corruption on and around U.S. military bases in Japan following World War II. Kobayashi spirals out from the story of a love triangle that develops between a good-natured student, his innocent girlfriend, and a coldhearted petty criminal (Tatsuya Nakadai, in his first major role) to reveal a nation slowly succumbing to lawlessness and violence.

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  2. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    Watching this again:

    The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975
    Directed by Göran Olsson • 2011 • Sweden, United States

    THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE 1967–1975 mobilizes a treasure trove of 16 mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the U.S. to seek out stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power movement—Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver among them—the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Thirty years later, this lush collection was found languishing in the basement of Swedish Television. Director Göran Olsson and coproducer Danny Glover bring this footage to light in a mosaic of images, music, and narration chronicling one of our nation’s most indelible turning points. Music by Questlove and Om’Mas Keith and commentary from prominent African American artists and activists who were influenced by the struggle—including Erykah Badu, Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli, and Melvin Van Peebles—give the historical footage a fresh, contemporary resonance and make the film an exhilarating, unprecedented account of an American revolution.

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  3. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    I can't believe I've never seen this until now. A wonderful, wonderful movie:

    Fat City
    Directed by John Huston • 1972 • United States
    Starring Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell

    John Huston’s adaptation of the cult novel by Leonard Gardner (who also wrote the screenplay) stands as one of the finest and most achingly human films ever made about the desperate, less-than-glamorous side of boxing. On the down-and-out margins of Stockton, California, washed-up, alcoholic boxer Billy Tully (Stacy Keach) finds himself in limbo between retirement and his youthful prime. Sparring with budding, eighteen-year-old fighter Ernie (Jeff Bridges) inspires Tully to get back in the ring—but as the young man’s career ascends, Tully finds himself battling against his inner demons in his quest to make a comeback.

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  4. JAuz

    JAuz Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Good movie. Susan Tyrrell is a real scene stealer in this one.
     
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  5. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Interesting. I tried watching this recently and only made it half way. It wasn't doing much for me that day. I meant to finish it, and now I will. John Huston and Jeff Bridges should be a slam dunk, but I wasn't feeling it.
     
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  6. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
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    New York Stories: 61 Films
    Wondered when they were gonna get around to doing this. Anyone here have a favorite (either here or not included)? Mine is Anthony Mann's 1950 film, Side Street. One day peeps will get hip to its pleasures. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  7. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    I've seen a few of those, but the one I've seen more than once from that list is The Apartment. I will, however, be watching Side Street tonight, on your recommendation. Thank you.
    Not on the list is a favourite: Next Stop Greenwich Village.

    EDIT: Looks like Side Street is not part of the Canadian package. :(
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  8. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    Lo-budget, bad acting, but holds together, perhaps due to the incomparable Jean-Michel Basquiat:

    New York Stories
    Downtown 81

    Directed by Edo Bertoglio • 2000 • United States
    Starring Jean Michel Basquiat, Anna Schroeder, Giorgio Gomelsky

    In 1981, writer and Warhol associate Glenn O’Brien, Swiss photographer Edo Bertoglio, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, a graffiti innovator and noise-music artist who’d just begun to exhibit his paintings, hit the streets of lower Manhattan to make a movie about the bombed-out bohemia that they knew, with a script by O’Brien, Bertoglio directing, and Basquiat starring. Left incomplete due to financing problems and only assembled for release in 2000, DOWNTOWN 81—which follows Basquiat trying to move a painting while hustling for a place to sleep—became a window onto the lost world and crazy creative ferment of early-1980s New York. Complete with appearances by John Lurie, Fab Five Freddy, and Debbie Harry, plus musical performances by DNA, James White and the Blacks, and Kid Creole and the Coconuts, this essential time capsule displays Manhattan in all its mangy glory.

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  9. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    And now:

    Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
    Directed by Tamra Davis • 2010 • United States

    The brief but bright-burning life of influential artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is vividly recounted in this illuminating documentary directed by the superstar painter’s friend Tamra Davis. Set against the vibrant creative backdrop of New York City in the 1970s and ’80s, JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT: THE RADIANT CHILD charts the charismatic Basquiat’s journey—from his early work as a graffiti artist to his close friendship with Andy Warhol to his struggles with heroin addiction and tragic death at age twenty-seven—and brings to life the legendary downtown scene that he embodied.

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  10. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Oh no, my apologies; I didn't mean to convey that it was. I actually started to list my New York favorites that aren't on their list but as there are many I haven't seen it seemed pointless. Dailymotion has a decent copy of Side Street streaming if you're still interested. Do wish CC had included more of my faves like Gloria (Cassavetes), Marathon Man, Fame, Shaft (that soundtrack!), Serpico, The Pope of Greenwich Village, and/or any number of Woody Allen and/or Martin Scorsese classics, but the unheralded titles they do have make it an intriguing promo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  11. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
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  12. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    [​IMG]
    Initially, this YouTube poster's small list of the best 1960's Japanese films on Criterion looks impressive. But upon reflection a couple of my favorites (Red Beard, An Autumn Afternoon) didn't make his list. Still, it's an interesting beginning for those who haven't ventured into this period of Japanese cinema. All his (and my 2 faves) are currently streaming on the channel.
     
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  13. rmath84

    rmath84 Forum Resident

    Thanks to the OP for reminding me to finally sign up for the Criterion Channel. I like NYC and they are pushing it so I watched Panic in Needle Park. 72nd and Broadway, NYC has changed. Great movie, looking forward to many more.

    Not thrilled with the UI. I can't easily turn on subtitles (Roku) and the initial page is messy. Still happy to spend $100 to support great film.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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  14. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    This is a real charmer!

    Cluny Brown
    Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1946 • United States
    Starring Jennifer Jones, Charles Boyer, Peter Lawford

    The final film completed by Ernst Lubitsch, this zany, zippy comedy of manners, set in England on the cusp of World War II, is one of the worldly-wise director’s most effervescent creations. Jennifer Jones shines in a rare comedic turn as Cluny Brown, an irrepressible heroine with a zeal for plumbing. Sent to work as a parlormaid at a stuffy country manor, she proceeds to turn the household upside down—with plenty of help from Adam Belinski (Charles Boyer), an eccentric Continental exile who has fled the Nazis but is still worried about where his next meal is coming from. Sending up British class hierarchy with Lubitsch’s famously light touch, CLUNY BROWN is a topsy-turvy farce that says nuts to the squirrels and squirrels to the nuts.

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  15. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
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    Autumn Sonata (1978, Ingmar Bergman)
    This was the only collaboration between cinema’s two great Bergmans: Ingmar and Ingrid, the monumental star of CASABLANCA. The grande dame, playing an icy concert pianist, is matched beat for beat in ferocity by the filmmaker’s recurring lead Liv Ullmann, as her eldest daughter. Over the course of a day and a long, painful night that the two spend together after an extended separation, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship. This cathartic pas de deux, evocatively shot in burnished harvest colors, ranks among the director’s major dramatic works.
    I watched a discussion of the film with Liv Ullmann from 2018 last night (in the post above). Found it fascinating.
     
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  16. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Great movie. Fantastic acting all around.
     
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  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    A couple years ago or so I watched pretty much every Kurosawa film I could find. I love him. There are still several left that I need to see, so I watched this one a couple days ago. Interesting early film that is under an hour long and you can already get the sense that he is going to be a great filmmaker.

    The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1945 • Japan

    The fourth film from Akira Kurosawa is based on a legendary twelfth-century incident in which the lord Yoshitsune and a group of samurai retainers dressed as monks in order to pass through a dangerous enemy checkpoint. The story was dramatized for centuries in Noh and Kabuki Theater, and here it becomes one of the director's most riveting early films.
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  18. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Indeed. It’s one of my favorites from him.
     
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  19. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Speaking of Kurosawa, this film is like a salve for me. It remains of the most beautiful motion pictures ever made, imo.

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    Rashomon (1950, Akira Kurosawa)
    Four people give different accounts of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks.
    I concur with Robert Altman's thoughts on the film above.
     
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  20. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Love it. Throne Of Blood is perhaps my favorite which Altman also mentions. Rashomon is a great film. I need to watch it again!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  21. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Continuing on to finish watching all the Kurosawa I have not seen yet. I expected his first film to be weaker and I was pleasantly surprised that I loved it! He was great from the beginning. I liked this so much I went ahead and also watched Sanshiro Sugata part 2, which was also very entertaining. It makes for a good double feature. Part 2 is supposedly the first sequel ever that was called part 2. It might not be as great as the first one, but if you like the first one I believe you would like the sequel. Part two does suffer a little more in the quality of the film transfer.

    Sanshiro Sugata

    Directed by Akira Kurosawa • 1943 • Japan

    Kurosawa's effortless debut is based on a novel by Tsuneo Tomita about the rivalry between judo and jujitsu. Starring Susumu Fujita as the title character, Sanshiro Sugata is a thrilling martial arts action tale, but it's also a moving story of moral education that's quintessential Kurosawa.

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  22. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Location:
    Out of My Element
    About 15 years ago when I was renting every AK title I could get from Netflix (in the 3 DVDs at a time days), I could only find this one to purchase from China. The subtitles had undergone a painful Japanese > Chinese > English process, but the quality of the film making still shined through.
     
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  23. NickySee

    NickySee Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, NY
    I love catching homages to Kurosawa's work like the murder of the gangster scene in Juzo Itami's 1985 film, Tampopo: it's straight out of Drunken Angel, where the camera follows Mifune as he's murdered by a competitor. Itami gives it a gloiously surreal spin. It's hard for me to revisit Angel though. Kurosawa's critique of American materialism and hedonism is a bit much; for instance, I love jazz music and have an affection (probably too romatic) for the musicians who play it but they're painted as dissolute influences on Japanese youth. I'll chalk it up to Kurosawa being a "younger" filmmaker and more distressed by the overall direction of his countrymen in post-war Japan than predjudice against American export, in general. Luckily, the end of the American occupation of Japan took much of that element out of K's subsequent work.

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    And yes, Throne of Blood is still one of the most fascinating films to watch, the Shakespeare plot withstanding. :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021
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  24. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I have never seen Tampopo. It's been on my list for months. I did have some excellent ramen last night!
     
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  25. Electric

    Electric The Medium is the Massage Thread Starter

    It's hilarious. A must see, IMO. And boy do I miss ramen. There is not one ramen restaurant where I live now.
     
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