/ Lockdown Cinema! Time to make amends
Final Lockdown recommendations thread.
I'm going to aim to use my quarantine time to get around to watching all those classic films I know I should have watched already but always thought "nah, another time"
Deep breath, here we go (shame on me):
- Citizen Kane
- Gone With The Wind
- Psycho (actually, erm, any Hitchcock at all...)
- Rebel Without a Cause
- 12 Angry Men
- The Sound of Music
And that's just the 'classics'.
What about you?
Funnily enough I bought myself Citizen Kane at the weekend (my Saturday "panic shopping" consisted of hoovering up DVDs from charity shops)
I have a huge backlog to "work" through. Much of it is demanding stuff that I've never quite found the "mood" to watch, like City of God (and plenty of other long heavy non-English-language dramas)
I am not sure that there are any true classics that I need to catch up with aside from Citizen Kane, True Grit (John Wayne version) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but there are plenty of old "not so classic" ones kicking around.
e.g. The Diary of Anne Frank (3 hours long, from the early 1960s, strangely hasn't tempted me in yet)
If you want a recommendation for a couple of proper old classics, and I see you have listed 12 Angry Men up there so I am thinking "courtroom drama", how about a Stanley Kramer double whammy of:
Inherit the Wind (Spencer Tracy vs Fredric March in dramatisation of the 1920s Scopes "monkey trial" about the teaching of evolution in schools). Other film adaptations of this play do exist, I think I've seen one with Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards, and there is one with George C Scott and Jason Robards which I'd really like to see.
And Judgment at Nuremberg, Spencer Tracy and an astonishing ensemble cast of big stars often turning in their best ever work in their small roles, and all watching the young unknown Maximilian Schell steal the whole film from under their noses and justifiably win an Oscar. 3 hours long and remarkably compelling.
Prepare to be disappointed by Casablanca (but you do HAVE to watch it). If you'd like some Bogart, I'd go for The Big Sleep and the throroughly downbeat In A Lonely Place. If you want see Ingrid Bergman being all alluring, go for a Hitchcock, notably "Notorious"
Citizen Kane has been on my shelf unwatched for years. It sits alongside a half-watched Fitzcarraldo.
Liberty Vallance is something I haven't seen either so that's promising.
Citizen Kane is pretty unappealing, to be honest. I get that it has amazing camera work and Welles was so young when he made it, but the story sounds dull.
I have seen Fitzcarraldo a few times and aside from the famous "haul the ship over the mountain" centrepiece (and a later scene with the ship loose in some treacherous water), and the fun of watching Kinski at possibly his most unhinged, it doesn't half go on. The story is wafer-thin, it's really not Herzog's (or indeed Herzog/Kinski's) best. I'd go with Aguirre, Wrath of God for that, with Nosferatu a close second. This does remind me that I must get around to Cobra Verde and some other unwatched Herzog that I have.
If you're going for Hitchcock, Rear Window would seem appropriate for being stuck inside!
> City of God
If you mean the film set and filmed in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro then go for it. I LOVED that film. It's not thst long, just over 2 hours, and it's not all heavy going. There's some grim stuff in it, but also humour.
Thanks aln. For some reason I keep thinking it is three hours long!
I do mean that film.
This sounds fantastic, I bloody love Richard Widmark, I don't know how this one has passed me by! (NB he is also in Judgment at Nuremberg, albeit in a rather minor role, so that's two mentions for Widmark already!)
The stand out performance is Jack Palance's
I can't imagine you could find something that many critics regard as the best film ever made dull. The tale of media magnates and dirty tricks and politics resonates today and will continue for a long time. Money can't buy love nor happiness is universal. It oozes cleverness: has great direction and cinematography stealing many of the best innovations of the day (to a lesser extent also for sound). The writing is fabulous, playing the watcher with the many unreliable witnesses. It influenced political opinion in the US.
Thanks! I realise now that I never really knew if it had a proper resonant plot or if was just a load of dull flashbacks. I will try to remember to try to watch it at the weekend, while the concept of "weekend" still exists....
Last Man on Earth. 1960s Vincent Price version of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend", I think maybe the first film adaptation. It's good. Cheap-looking but kind of cool, filmed on the cheap somewhere in Italy. B&W Roger Corman no-budget thing. Price is great, and I believe that it's this film that gave the world the word "zompires", unless that is from Matheson's text which I have not read.
> Final Lockdown recommendations thread. > What about you?
World War Z
Night of the Living Dead
28 Days Later
I think you have to have some Kurosawa in there. Seven Samurai to start?
> If you're going for Hitchcock, Rear Window would seem appropriate for being stuck inside!
North by Northwest is very watchable.
> North by Northwest is very watchable.
I think Al was defining "apt" as opposed to "watchable", not that both films aren't watchable of course.
My favourite Hitchcock, if anyone cares, is "Foreign Correspondent"
Anything by Michael Haneke is worth watch.
> Prepare to be disappointed by Casablanca
I couldn't disagree more. I think it's a wonderful film. Along with the African Queen.
Ice cold in Alex is another classic worth a watch.
Prepare to be disappointed by Liberty Vallance .
I would put it a long way down in a list of Ford films but won't say any more yet. Probably the most disappointing film with a good reputation since I watched Easy Rider.
If you're going to be working your way through a lot of Hitchcock films, maybe you should add Mel Brooks's 'High Anxiety' to the list as a palate cleanser afterwards.
> Prepare to be disappointed by Liberty Vallance .
I am well prepared! There is a reason I’ve never got around to it, it always did look a tad dull. But I picked up a John Wayne compact triple film set for literally pennies in a charity shop clearout. Liberty Valance, True Grit and Sons of of Katie Elder I think
Netflix and Video On Demand have made accessing classic films easier, but you still can't beat specialist torrent sites for finding that ' pearl rare'. Just taking two as an example: Karagarga and Passthepopcorn, together they have a library of over 700,000 torrents. I've a number of classic climbing films that I keep meaning to watch : Opera Vertical ( Patrick Edlinger) ,Hard Grit (Richard Heap & Mark Turnbull) , Sherpa ( Jennifer Peedom) and so many more ! I reckon we'll be in lockdown until the end of June !
I just discovered that Moon (2009) is on telly this evening - 9pm, 'Sony Movies Channel' (on Freeview).
For anyone who missed it back then, especially fans of that 'realistic' science-fiction genre, it's a must. (Hm.. though you might want to give it a miss if you're suffering from cabin-fever already!)
I did not watch Citizen Kane or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance this weekend. I watched The Spy Who Loved Me with Lewis Gilbert and Ken Adam’s commentary, my tenth viewing of Game Night in two years, and Logan with the writer/director James Mangold doing commentary
Just seen Force Majeure. Excellent , but once again if a Scandinavian film is described as a comedy or part comedy it seems to mean something rather different.
I understand the American remake falls a long way short,
A bit disappointed that the You Tube incident which inspired the ending actually puts some of the students at my old Uni to shame.
Yes, Moon is superb! Saw it when it came out at the cinema, still remember it clearly.
a better Orson Welles film is "Touch of Evil"-superb.
A deeply unfashionable opinion especially, for some reason, on UKC, but I thought Moon was “quite good”, no more. Indeed I was disappointed as I didn’t see it on initial release so had a couple of years of people raving on about it, plus many many years of being a fan of Sam Rockwell.
“Quite good” of course still means “quite good”, it just wasn’t the modern instant classic that was sold to me.
The 2011 film Contagion has recently returned to the top ten for some reason. Not seen it yet but an obvious candidate.
I've been looking at TV series some of which are of film quality. I'm currently watching Gotham which definitely falls into that category: solid acting, reasonable script and film quality production and special effects. Like most in this genre it's really, really long (about 100 x 45 min episodes).
Others that have been recommended to me are The Wire, Breaking Bad and Peeky Blinders.
I never watch TV and always been intimidated by the length of these epic series but maybe now is the time. All these can be found online if you know where to look. ;)
The Wire is the best long form piece of TV I've ever seen. It's Shakespearean. The first time round I found the change of focus at the beginning of the second season a bit unsettling - it's no longer looking so closely at the police and dealers that you got so intimately acquainted with - but give it time and it all comes full circle. All in the game.
Mind you, if you're not fluent in Baltimore then I'd genuinely recommend subtitles for the first few episodes to you get used to it!
> Prepare to be disappointed by Liberty Vallance .
> I would put it a long way down in a list of Ford films but won't say any more yet. Probably the most disappointing film with a good reputation since I watched Easy Rider.
I went through a western watching period and I'd agree. Out of about 50 it was one of a couple that I'd send to charity after watching.
> I couldn't disagree more. I think it's a wonderful film. Along with the African Queen.
> Ice cold in Alex is another classic worth a watch.
The Maltese Falcon too.
This is probably more one for the "March movie thread" as I just watched it for the first time last night, after several decades of seeing it highly recommended.
"The Man Who Haunted Himself", starring a pre-Bond Roger Moore (1970) in a strange tale of a man who, after near-fatal car accident, seems to have a doppelganger who he never sees himself; only hears other peoples' reports of out-of-character things HE hasn't done and places HE hasn't been. The audience is kept as much in the dark as Moore's character, which keeps it compelling.
It's excellent and Moore really ACTS well in this. Not just "pretty good considering it's Roger Moore", but an actual good strong lead performance.
This sort of story has been imitated or borrowed from subsequently, and perhaps it wasn't that original in 1970 (it IS based on a novel though, and I am not sure when that novel was published, but of course the concept of the doppelganger or split personalities is a very old idea)
I give this 10/10 so there!
The Ruling Class. (1972)Currently on you tube and imo is the best British film of all time as it has everything and Peter O'Toole is sublime https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ijd8bregkt4
Kind Hearts and Coronets. (1949) Alec Guinness pure genius.
All Pink Panther films with Peter Sellers for a good laugh.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) adventure and Bogart's best acting performance.
The Kabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)Currently on you tube Horror German expressionist classic.
Night of the Hunter(1955) Classic which borrows from the above in some haunting scenes.
M (1931) German Classic Fritz Lang's first talking movie currently on you tube almost does for In the Hall of the Mountain King what the song Leaning on the Everlasting Arms does in Night of the Hunter.
Touch of Evil and Citizen Kane go without saying as does Battleship Potemkin and my favourite To Kill a Mockingbird.
Edit-to add The Third Man.
One week into lockdown and the UKC/UKH staff are starting to climb the walls. We're taking solace in the fact that the hills will be there when we emerge. Meanwhile there's an abundance of online films to help us plan our next adventure....