The Last Film You Saw in the Cinema?


(scherpschutter) #1161

Haven’t seen Magic in the Moonlight yet, so I’m trailing behind a bit

This one seems right up my alley, serious, bitter and still funny, probably the kind of Woody I prefer


(Stanton) #1162

Dheepan - Jaques Audiard

A “realistic” portrait of a refugee family from Sri Lanka, which actually only pretends to be a real family, which tries to find a new life in France. But the suburbs where they are supposed to live is just another war zone. The eruptive violent end is as surprising as it is unsettling. Strange film, and I’m not sure what it was, but I couldn’t find access to its characters nor to the film’s style. A cautious 6/10 for now.


(scherpschutter) #1163

BLACK (2015, Bilall Fallah, Adil El Arbi)

A Belgian movie, by two young film makers of Moroccan descent, set in Brussels, in one of those city quarters that have been in the news almost constantly during the past few weeks. As a result the movie drew even more attention than expected, resulting in discussions on TV and even a few riots (by young people of Moroccan descent who thought their culture was shown in a negative light once agaon) in and around cinemas where the film was shown.

The story is a not so spectacular variation on the Romeo & Juliet theme: a 15-year old girl from a black gang falls for a Moroccan boy from a rival gang and of course all kinds of trouble and mayhem ensue. Whatever it is, it’s not the emotional powerhouse it was supposed to be. The two young leads do well, but the fast-paced movie is so noisy (including a rap score!) and the visual style so overbearing that I felt totally locked off from what was happening on the screen.


(John Welles) #1164

My top films of 2015:

  1. Sicario
  2. Everest
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. Carol
  5. Steve Jobs
  6. [I]Spectre[/I]
  7. [I]The Duke of Burgundy[/I]
  8. Pasolini
  9. The Martian
  10. Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens
  11. Black Mass
  12. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  13. Jupiter Ascending
  14. The Lobster
  15. Tomorrowland
  16. Woman in Gold

A few caveats of course: I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to this year, especially in the first six months, and I’ve excluded films I [I]did[/I] see in 2015 but truly belong to the previous year (such as [I]Birdman[/I]). This list would probably change if and when I see some of the end of the year pictures, like [I]The Hateful Eight[/I] and [I]The Revenant[/I] but which won’t come out in Britain until 2016. I would also add that 2015, overall, felt a weaker year than 2014: even [I]Sicario[/I], which I admired enormously, falls short of ‘masterpiece’ status, unlike a number of films from last year, such as [I]Mr. Turner[/I] or [I]Gone Girl[/I].


(El Topo) #1165

I guess that not accepting (or liking) the new dominant youth cultures (rap hip hop etc) really means we’re getting old.

To my own defense, during my youth days there was a lot of diversity, now it seems that everything is the same and all the kids look and like the same.


(scherpschutter) #1166

I wonder if those who like rap and hip hop today, will be able to enjoy Beethoven and Mozart in the future. The musicians I used to like (and often still like) when I was young, were no Ludwig or Amadeus, but they were still working in the same field, making music. Rap and hip hop are so different, a true break with tradition that I fear that many young people won’t be able to pick up the trail again. You can like Mozart and still love The Beatles (many of us do), but can you enjoy Mozart as long as you’re into hip hop?


(Bad Lieutenant) #1167

El Topo: Imagine how you were perceived by older generations when you were young. Old people are not interested in youth and therefore see them as ‘all the same’. Youth still have a lot of different subculture. Metal, alternative, hip-hop, techno (I could go on for a while).

Scherpschutter’s comment makes no sense to me either. First of all, rap has been around since the late seventies. How is this a new thing again? All it has done is become more mainstream than it was previously. Enter all crappy rappers who can only rhyme ‘bottle’ with ‘model’. Secondly, rap is a form of music, just the same as any other genre. Not acknowledging this comes across biased, or even condescending, in my opinion. Plenty of rap songs have sampled classical music, I might add.


(Stanton) #1168

Yep …

(Post must be at least 20 characters, so this is why this is)


(scherpschutter) #1169

Well, I started my sentences with I wonder and I fear, expressing doubts. I have no crystal ball, I can’t see the future. So maybe my doubts and fears are not justified, that’s all possible.

Only my last statement is clearly wrong: when rap artists have sampled classical music, they must have at least some feeling for it. But I was referring to the masses, the fans.


(El Topo) #1170

Well BL, I do know there’s still a lot of subcultures, but my experience, subjective and empirical of course, is that those subcultures are more subcultures today that they were in the past.

Back in my highschoold days, there were several urban tribes normally known as:

Punks
Futurists or vanguards
Goths
Surfers
Metálicos (metal guys)
betos (the rich kids)
and in Lisbon you could even find Rockbilies and so on

We were all kids but liked to show our differences from each other. One of the things that helped to create those diferences, was the places were we bought our clothes.

When I say that kids look all the same today, is that I don’t see those diferences anymore, actually everyone buys their clothes in the same places, in some big magazines were everybody goes.

Our society is getting more and more equalized, it’s a small world when I can discuss these subjects with some guy in Holland, when I was a teen, if i wan’t to make a phone call to the Netherlands I would need a loan.

Kids today were a Ramones t-shirts because they sell those in Zara or HM, they don’t understand or know what gaba gaba hey really means.


#1171

I like Alban Berg as much as I like Wu Tang Clan. I like Miles Davis as much as I like Kendrick Lamar. I like John Cage as much as I like Run the Jewels.

Don’t generalise. Just because I enjoy some kick-ass beats and sick rhymes doesn’t mean I can’t also enjoy artier, more compositionally complex types of music like classical and jazz. Also, I’d do some research into art rap like Milo and Sole.

Edit: also, the fact that youth culture is less divided into subcultures was cited. This is probably true, but why does being less tribal mean less individuality? Seems to be the other way around.


(scherpschutter) #1172

Sure, but again: I was referring to the masses, not to individuals. Exceptions to the rule always exist, and I’m an exception myself: I love horror movies and action flicks and I also like Bergman and Fellini, or, in another field, Dostoïevski or German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk.

I’m an academic but I have written extensively about genre movies and football and I have been critisized for this in the past in academic circles regularly. Soccer fans or fans of genre movies have often asked me why I made references to, for instance, Lacan or Zizek (I’ve done that a couple of times in reviews). In other words: I know what you mean, but I also know that the gap between so-called ‘higher’ art forms and art for the masses has become bigger. One of the problems is, ironically, the post-modern idea that there is no such thing as a gap, or a difference, between those two: in the postmodern view, the conception of ‘high’ and ‘low’ in art are fata morganas, false pretentions (see for this for instance: Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition).

When I was young we listened to The Beatles (etc.) at home, and to Beethoven in school, musical friends told me things about The Beatles, The Stones and all the others (I wasn’t a musical genius myself), teachers told me things about Beethoven and all the others. When we left secondary school, at the age of seventeen or eighteen, we were able to make a choice: love a, love b or love a+b. I belong to the third category, I love the Beatles as well as Beethoven (and no, I don’t love The Wu Tang Clan and I’m not a fan of Stravinsky). Offering younger people a choice, offering them the intellectual basis to choose, is the first and foremost condition of good education. If that condition is not fulfilled, the result is uniformity. The problem today, is that the attention for popular art forms has pushed aside the attention for higher art-forms.


(titoli) #1173

To me, when we speak about music, there is a clear difference between art and entertainment, even if we keep aside ‘higher’ art forms, and stick strickly to streetwise, commonman or ‘pop’ culture and art. So, Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus or Rihanna are in completely different category than Tom Waits, Robert Fripp or (put your canditate here). Former belong to industry of entertainment, which is driven by business, profit and are calculated products of industry. Later are artists that are, like any artists from the past, driven by guts and primal human instict to express themselves. I never make comparisons with those two categories, in fact I have very litle interest in the former group, so I simply ignore them. That has nothing to do with a genre of music. I don’t listen to much non-Croatian rap (too quick for me, and you got to listen to words in rap), but Beastie Boys to me belong in the second group, and Pitbull with the first.


#1174

I’m hardly a philosopher, but I know a little about postmodernism etc, and feel comfortable discussing the topic.

While perhaps the postmodern idea that posits high and low culture as a false dichotomy isn’t entirely true, I’m not sure that I agree with the black-and-white idea of pieces of art fitting into categories a & b either. This is probably because I hang around experimental and avant guard art scenes quite a bit, where high and low (good movie) are seemingly largely defined by audience rather than by merit. A few examples:

Is Sunn O))) high culture because their music structurally resembles works by a number of minimalist composers like Eliane Randigue, or are they low culture because they do this within the framework of heavy metal? Are Swans high culture because of their playfulness with form and convention and their apparent difficulty, or are they low culture because they’re a rock band? Are Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart high culture because of the avant-jazz elements of their music, or low culture because of the rock and blues elements? Is jazz itself high culture because of its structural complexity, or low culture because of its roots in popular music?

Of course, this continues to rap. Is Milo high culture because of his syntactical complexity, philosophical themes and constant references to literary fiction, or is he low culture because he’s a rapper? What makes Milo different from Thomas Pynchon or James Joyce? What about Sole? Is Flying Lotus high culture because of his recent focus on frenetic, complex compositions, or low culture because he doesn’t posit himself as a composer? Is Death Grips high culture because of the experimentation and incredible technical proficiency, or low culture because of the yelling? Examples continue, but I think I’ve made my point.

If it is the case, it’s unfortunate that there is less of a focus on higher forms of culture, but it makes little sense to blame it on rap music.

Firstly, because you’ve not explained why hip hop is less likely to direct youth towards “high culture”. Without putting words in your mouth, I’d guess that it has something to do with rap’s lack of focus on melody. I’ve heard this argument before, but I find it silly to place one part of composition over another. Also, there’s an awful lot of jazz that shares hip hop’s focus on percussion and rhythm over melody. Check out this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wgA9L5TN5M. Also also, rap’s focus on lyricism and poetry seems to be as likely to direct attention towards literature as anything else. Check out the beat poem that Kendrick Lamar (who is very popular) employs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZTYgq4EoRo.

Secondly, there are other factors that ought to be taken into account w/r/t the (allegedly) decreasing focus on high-art. At least where I live (and go to school), funding for the arts in school has been almost cut out for years. Art classes (be they music or visual arts or film) are neither required nor encouraged. Until the very end of secondary school, serious literature is not read in English classes, instead focusing on (in my opinion) young adult schlock like Divergent. This year we read Macbeth (which was very good by the way), but even that isn’t mandatory for teachers and seems to be the exception. There are all problems that I think ought to be fixed, and ones that seem to contribute to the sort of problem you’re talking about far more than a little Wu-Tang.


(titoli) #1175

Nice post DC :wink:

Anyway, last movie I’ve seen in cinema is Bone tomahawk.

There were other attempts at western-horror crossover, but this is the most successful I’ve seen. Movie is 100% western and 100% horror, S. Craig Zahler obviously understands what he is doing. In the first half movie excellently establishes emotional connection with the characters and gives us something worth dying for, and then the searchers go to meet cannibal holocaust.Contrarily to kind report from Mr last.caress, there is not only one gore scene, I say there are plenty of them. But I can understand why he forgot about the other, THAT one is…most definitely not for weak stomachs.

Richard Jenkins deserves an Oscar for his performance and do you recognize the guy bellow?


(Søren) #1176

Looks like Sid Haig. Just saw him in Spider Baby :slight_smile:


(Stanton) #1177

I see absolutely no sense to divide into lower and higher art, or like in Germany in entertainment and serious art.

As art is anyway a totally subjective thing, I’m only interested in what fascinates me or what not. Or even simpler, what entertains me and what not.
If it fascinates me it is art.


(scherpschutter) #1178

Two quotes:

Seems stanton goes a step further than Dead Channel, who at least admits that the idea that posits high and low culture as a false dichotomony isn’t entirely true.

Interesting is the following statement:

I guess that only another way of dividing art into serious art and entertainment. What you say is: some forms of art do not fascinate me, others do, and only those that fascinate me, are art, the others only would-be art, or no art at all. Art lovers who wholeheartedly make the distinction, will probably say the same thing, only use different terms.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that I know how to make the distinction, I only say that we should make one. And what’s more important: if we no longer make the distinction, if we start saying it’s all arbitrary, that there’s not a pin to choose between them, the result will me the uniformity that was mentioned above. DeadChannel gives a good example of the effect of this postmodern idea of a false dichotomy when he says:

I couldn’t agree more. They focus on young adult schlock because they think it’s no longer important to distinguish between schlock and Shakespeare. That’s the idea behind it.

In fact the last paragraph (about fundings, etc) of the post has my full approval.

And by the way: I’m not worried about a little Wu Tang. I only referred to them as a pas pro toto and because others had already referred to them. Actually I hardly know them (I checked a few things because they were mentioned here)


(Sebastian) #1179

My first trip to the movies this year was O’Russell’s JOY. Quite an impressive movie.


(Asa) #1180

Saw Star Wars - The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015) last night. My spoiler-riven dribblings on the matter here:

http://letterboxd.com/lastcaress1972/film/star-wars-the-force-awakens