selenak: (Kate Hepburn by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
From [profile] vash11. Soon, the Munich Film Festival will be upon me, so I figured I'd better get this out first.


1.What’s the most depressing movie you’ve ever watched? Fassbinder's version of Effi Briest. I get what he was aiming at, but it lacks all the wit and vitality which Fontane's dialogues have, Hanna Schygulla is awful (and awfully static) in the title role, and you're not sad about Effi's ending, you're glad the bloody movie is finally over. Except I had to watch it several times, due to writing a paper about the various movie versions of Effi Briest.


2. What’s the most disturbing movie you’ve ever watched? Wellllll. Given I attended a seminar on propaganda movies, which included some of the vilest the Nazis have produced, the bar there is high, or rather, low. Mind you, some of those movies today would be hilariously ineffective, like Hitlerjunge Quex. (Except for one particular scene, in which Bad Communist Dad forces his Hitler Admiring Rebelling Teenage Son to sing the Internationale; he literally beats the kid into it, and since he's played by Heinrich George, until this point (1933) one of the most Weimar Republic famous actors of "proletarian" roles like Franz Biberkopf in Berlin Alexanderplatz, and one of the best German actors of his day, the casting is doubly effective. But other than that scene, the movie today would be laughed at even without knowledge as to who the Nazis were. Meanwhile, Jud Süß by Veit Harlan didn't get its infamous reputation for nothing. (Sinister trivia: young Michelangelo Antonioni wrote ecstatic praise of it after it was shown in Venice.) Harlan was a master of melodrama, the cast consisted of the top of the day (Heinrich George was in that one, too, playing the lecherous Duke), and it's every bit as evil in antisemitic propaganda as its reputation suggests. (Supposedly it was shown to concentration camp guards in preparation, but it's evil even if that's not true.) If it could be shown outside of teaching circumstances, no doubt it would still work on at least a part of the viewers.

However, it feels a bit cheating to name the most infamous German movie of all time, or maybe trivializing the Holocaust for a meme. So here are two alternate newer movie suggestions:

Hero, directed by Zhang Yimou. Breathtaking aesthetics. Vile central message: the suffering of the individual is no longer relevant when compared to the welfare of the community, which can only be achieved by a strong ruler, even if that ruler acts with incredible brutality to achieve his aims. No.

The Hateful Eight, directed by Quentin Tarantino. I am not easily squicked and have discovered I'm quite splatter tolerant if there is something in the tv show/movie which holds my attention otherwise; I mean, I've watched and enjoyed other Tarantino movies, and the entire series of Spartacus. But The Hateful Eight still disturbed me beyond my personal endurance level; for the reasons why, see here.

3. An actor/actress you’ve seen in more than 8 movies? Katharine Hepburn. (Watched, among others: Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, The African Queen, Summertime, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter.)

4. A film you could watch on repeat for the rest of your life? I suspect I'd get to hate whichever movie would be played endlessly for me - that's how they torture people, isn't it? No matter how much I liked the movie before. But here's one which I've watched countless times, which I suppose is what the question is getting at: The Kid, directed by Charlie Chaplin.

5. What’s the very first film you remember watching?: Leaving aside movies I must have watche on tv before that, it must have been Winnetou, because Karl May's novel was one of the earliest book's I've read, and I remember being quite upset about the changes as a child.

6. A film you wish you hadn’t watched? Eh, there are several that bored me, alienated me etc. But you know: I went to the above mentioned class on propaganda movies without any one forcing me into it, knowing full well that I'd have to watch a great many vile things, about which I wanted to learn.

Otoh, you know: The 1993 version of The Three Musketeers (the one with Tim Curry as Richelieu) was the first movie I ever walked out on and to this day have not finished. I loathed what I had watched far too much. So maybe that?

7. A film you wish had a sequel? None comes to mind. My reaction when I hear about sequels where none were intended to movies I loved generally is one of "must you? Please don't".

8. Which book would you like to see adapted into a film? Her Majesty's Will by David Blixt. It practically begs to be filmed.

9. The most aesthetically pleasing movie you’ve ever watched? Well, you know, David Lean didn't get his awards and reputation for nothing. I'm going with the movie that made the desert breathtakingly beautiful and gave us Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in their youthful glory: Lawrence of Arabia.

10. What’s your favourite movie director? Billy Wilder.

11.Your favourite movie genre? Don't have one. Every time I say I like them all except Genre X, I know a movie or two in Genre X will come to sway me. It really depends on the movies.

12. A movie that holds a special place in your heart? The Lion in Winter, for oh so many reasons, and among others because it introduced me to the Plantagenets in general and Eleanor of Aquitaine in particular when I was one impressionable teenager interested in history.

13. Which is your favourite non-English language movie? Wir Wunderkinder, directed by Kurt Hoffmann.

14. Your favourite comedy film? Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder

15. A music video you would love to see developed into a film? Say what now?

16. A film everyone loves but you hate? There is no "everyone", but I seem to recall that the 1993 Musketeers which I walked out on was fairly popular?

17. A film you love but (almost) everyone else hates? Again, there is no "everyone", but I do unironically love the three Star Wars prequels, so...

18. Which cinematic universe would you like to live in? Steven Spielberg's. There's almost always a happy end guaranteed, no matter how unlikely, the occasional wondrous alien visit tends to be benign (with an exception yes, but I haven't watched the exception), justice prevails and families are reconciled. And a certain individual would never, ever have become President of the US in a Spielbergian universe.

19. What’s your favourite biopic? Discounting Lawrence of Arabia, because, well, would it count? Anyway, it's Frida, directed by Julie Taymor, about Frida Kahlo. I love the way it makes Frida's art so integral to the film aesthetic and the storytelling, and the characters are all vividly brought ot life. Runner up: Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton. Yes, I know, subsequent Burton and Depp collaborations as well as behavior probably soured a great many on what came before. But this movie is still fantastic, and a love declaration to all Hollywood losers. Also, Martin Landau so earned his Oscar as Bela Lugosi.

20. Mainstream movies or indie movies? Both. Indies were a later developed taste that came with being able to attend the Munich Film Festival, but I never saw that as mutually exclusive to loving blockbusters.

21. Old movies or contemporary movies? Both.

22. A film with an amazing soundtrack? Kill Bill; Tarantino is usually good with sound tracks, but that's probably my favourite of his.

Date: 12 Jun 2017 14:36 (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] makamu
Oh, I really need to do this one as well. But I agree with you on so many films (the early Karl May films, Her Majesty's Will, and negatively, The Hateful Eight). The last one was a bit of a surprise, considering that I am actively fannish about Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds, but the fact that it was all body-count and blood and no plot squicked me pretty badly.

Date: 12 Jun 2017 16:54 (UTC)
makamu: (Krimhilde by areyouaddled)
From: [personal profile] makamu
Oh no, unlike the trailer of Inglourious Basterds, this one was definitely a case of truth in advertising. Alas indeed!

Date: 12 Jun 2017 15:12 (UTC)
muccamukk: Athos looking up with an ironic half smile. (Musketeers: Wry Look)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
I'm glad someone else hates that Musketeers movie as much as I do. I'm pretty easy on adaptations (I even enjoyed the air ships one), but that was just a stinker.

Need to rewatch Some Like it Hot.

Date: 13 Jun 2017 07:47 (UTC)
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
From: [personal profile] andraste
Having rewatched Ed Wood recently, I was relieved to find that it still holds up despite all the RL awfulness. (I've sworn off paying for anything containing Johnny Depp, but given that I bought the DVD years ago I don't feel bad about playing it again. Better than I feel about rewatching Chinatown on Netflix, anyway.)

Years after you told me about it, I am still trying to wrap my brain around Richelieu plotting to become king and failing. They could have had him plotting to get rid of Loius and put a puppet on the throne! Or plotting to become Pope instead! Not that either Historical!Richelieu or Book!Richelieu would have done either of those things, but at least the plot would not have been founded on an incomprehensibly poor understanding of how monarchy works. (The King of France is not a Disworld wizard!)

Date: 14 Jun 2017 09:23 (UTC)
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
From: [personal profile] andraste
Fascinating! I knew that the film reflected Burton's relationship with Price to some extent, but not that it was the scriptwriters' idea to pitch it that way. (Meanwhile, I am adding The People vs. O.J. Simpson to my already ridiculous Netflix queue ...)

Were it not for the fact that I would have to watch the movie, I'd be tempted to write fanfic where other versions of Richelieu show up and give TimCurry!Richelieu tips on coming up with a more plausible Evil Plan. (Historical!Richelieu stands in the corner muttering that he was way too busy sleeping with half the nuns in France trying to get the sewers working to do much evil planning at all.)

Date: 16 Jun 2017 04:26 (UTC)
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
From: [personal profile] andraste
This is perfect :). Hopefully Tim Curry!Richelieu can take advice ...

I am somewhat concerned that a bidding war would break out over Chrisopher Lee!Rochefort before all these gentlemen return to their own universes, since he is clearly the best one.

Date: 13 Jun 2017 08:31 (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Yay, someone else who hates what Hero suddenly turned out to be! Despite the gorgeous aesthetics, the great action and the delightful stories-within-stories, it left a really bad taste in my mouth.

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