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A Confession.

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Kylee Peña
A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:17:53 pm

I hate The Fifth Element.

Everyone loves it. It has so many elements I should love. But I hate everything about it. I hate Leeloo. I hate the story. I hate the opera singer. I hate the art direction and costuming. I hate how everything is all wacky looking. I think the plot is predictable and the ending is ridiculous and the characters are annoying.

The Fifth Element is the only film I've ever watched and actively hated while watching it. It's pretty unusual for me. But seriously, I hate this movie.

I feel better now that this is out there.

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Mark Suszko
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:34:57 pm







Are you trolling us, Kylee?

Oscar-bait? No, It isn't. Visual marvel, super-green.


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Scott Roberts
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:39:47 pm







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Kylee Peña
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 1:58:33 pm

I'm totally serious. I realize the film achieves...things...probably. But Scott's response is me watching Fifth Element.

Truthfully, I was hoping you people would throw in your own confessions. None of you are perfect! Stop judging me! I know somebody out there has something even more vile than this!

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Stephen Smith
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 2:01:13 pm

Kylee,
If it makes you feel any better I haven't even seen The Fifth Element. When it came out I thought it looked strange and never watched it.

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Scott Roberts
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 2:36:12 pm

[Kylee Wall] "Truthfully, I was hoping you people would throw in your own confessions. None of you are perfect! Stop judging me! I know somebody out there has something even more vile than this!"


This might top you... I've given it a couple tries, and I've never successfully gotten all the way through The Godfather Part II. It just doesn't do it for me. I've seen the beginning, I've seen the end, I've seen parts of the middle. But I've never sat through the whole thing from start to finish. I love the first Godfather (and admittedly have never seen ANY of Godfather 3), but I am just not a fan of Part II. And I've tried.

Conversely, an embarrassing admission in the opposite direction: I'm actually completely entertained by Legally Blonde. I've probably seen it about eight times (all on TBS).


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Kylee Peña
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 2:45:22 pm

Stephen - Thank you. Though people will hate you less because you still have potential.

[Scott Roberts] " I've never successfully gotten all the way through The Godfather Part II"

I dunno, *I* consider that to be ridiculous (WTF it's the best one), but I don't think anyone would act like you sat on their puppy if you told them this.

[Scott Roberts] "I'm actually completely entertained by Legally Blonde. I've probably seen it about eight times (all on TBS)."

Ain't nothin' wrong with that.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
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Tim Wilson
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 3:32:33 pm

The Fifth Element is a desert island movie for me. Definitely top 5 all time. I have many thousands of records, and this is the only soundtrack I've bought too.

My equivalent is probably The Matrix. HATED it. HATED. Loved Carrie Anne Moss, but after her first sequence, I just couldn't wait for people to stop talking. Jesus. Talktalktalktalk. Got through the second under duress because it was supposed to be better (I obviously took the wrong pill), and could barely get through a few minutes of the third. Some cool stuff here and there, but I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd stopped at the trailer.

No Godfathers at all for me. None. Never saw Raging Bull, even though Taxi Driver is another desert island movie. I'm old enough that I may never get to them, just because there are a lot of other movies and my days are numbered. LOL

I put off Apocalypse Now for years, for about the same reasons Kylee put off Die Hard (uhm, just because, STOP LOOKING AT ME THAT WAY), only a lot longer than she did. I had no older, wiser film mavens to guide me. LOL I wound up enjoying it quite a bit. Ellie Coppola's on-location chronicle Hearts of Darkness may be even better, and in any case, unbelievably highly recommended.

I didn't see Star Wars until 1978, and only saw it 7 times in the theater. THERE. I SAID IT. ONLY SEVEN. When I told my girlfriend this in the early 80s, she nearly dumped me on the spot. (Twelve was her threshold for acceptability.) I was able to hold on long enough for her to marry me. LOL Twenty eight years later, she only brings it up occasionally now.

This probably means nothing to you tots, but my first time seeing Gone With The Wind was in a theatrical re-release in the 70s, and I walked out at intermission. Still haven't seen the rest. I actively hate His Girl Friday, supposably [sic] maybe the greatest of the screwball comedies, and I love a lot of those.

The newest James Bond, I only made it until Bardem came in. Talktalktalktalk. Jesus. I'd wanted to leave a lot earlier, will never watch the rest. And I LOVE Daniel Craig (Connery WHO? Craig is the ONLY Bond worth talking about) and Javier Bardem, but Jesus. Talktalktalktalk.

I'm sure you kids will inspire me to find even more things I've screwed up. LOL


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Kylee Peña
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 4:02:26 pm

I don't understand people who don't like The Matrix. What is not to like? Bullet time, philosophy, kung-fu, landline phones.



I can understand hating Fifth Element and its stupid soundtrack because...okay, never mind.

Oh yeah, Apocalypse Now. I was going to watch that a couple weeks ago but then I didn't because well I dunno. I'll feign ignorance on this because Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite books so the themes and stuff are interesting. Just haven't gotten around to it, not avoiding it because it's a stupid movie that sucks a lot like SOME movies. It goes in the subcategory of my movie-watching sins that don't necessarily send me straight to hell just yet.

The funny thing about Gone with the Wind and Skyfall is that they get a lot more interesting after the points in which you left them. You put in the time without the payoff. I hope you're happy.

At least I'm not the only one with major cinematic viewing flaws!

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
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Scott Roberts
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 4:15:05 pm

If either of you do decide to eventually watch Apocalypse Now; just watch the theatrical cut, don't bother with the Redux version. That is, unless you want to watch the guys take a 30 minute detour to a French plantation for some reason. THERE'S A REASON IT WAS CUT.

I couldn't get through Gone With the Wind either. But I don't consider that so bad, seeing as no one I know has seen it anyway.

But I agree with Kaylee, the first Matrix was pretty sweet when it came out. Now I've kind of grown out of it (probably by over-watching), but back in 1999, it was awesome. 15-year-old me had to buy a ticket to something else and sneak into the theater to see it the first time.


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Mark Suszko
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 5:57:47 pm

Geez, you guys, don't even tell me what you think about The Deer Hunter then...:-)


I'll sit thru just about anything, once I've chosen to watch it. I'll intentionally watch bad movies, to try and learn something from them, because, hey, at least that guy made and distributed a MOVIE, which is more than I've yet to do...

But the only generally well-acclaimed movie so far that made me want to chew my own leg off to escape, was "There Will Be Blood". I sat thru it, but bolted as soon as the credits started. Oh, and I fell asleep watching Laura Croft; Tomb Raider", about 3/4 of the way into it. To be fair, I was tired from a full day shooting on the road, and it was all there was on the hotel cable.


You Millenials live on internet time, everything is an ADHD-affected blur, and so movies in general seem overly slow-paced to you if they are more than maybe 10 years old, and especially in monochrome... But there are treasures there, I'm telling you, that are worth the finding.

Does Fox News or Rush Limbaugh get your blood pressure up? You MUST see "A Face In The Crowd". You will wonder at how much has NOT changed.


Watch "To Have and Have Not", which some say is a better version of "Casablanca", and marvel at how the film didn't melt and burst into flame from the on-screen heat between Bogie and Bacall. This is an excellent date movie.


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Tim Wilson
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 5, 2013 at 10:06:36 pm

[Kylee Wall] "I don't understand people who don't like The Matrix. What is not to like? Bullet time, philosophy, kung-fu, landline phones."

TalktalktalktalkSTOPTALKINGtalktalktalktalkSSSSTOOOPPPPPPTALKINGGGGGGG. Stop. TALKING.

And like so many modern movies, easily half an hour too long.

To Scott's point about seeing it young, I think I got over the "Duuuuuude, what if it's all a dream and we're like, butterflies, or dead or something" thing some time just before the Carter administration. LOL Scott and Kylee, I think you were the exact right age to see it. LOL

Not that I was too old for the Matrix. Some of my issue was that it wasn't nearly trippy enough. You punk kids know NOTHING about trippy movies.

Maybe they'd have had more time for tripping if they weren't tripping over their own Ideas. (Note the capital I. This movie was full of capital I ideas. More punching, please. Yes. Punching. I'd like that.)



[Kylee Wall] "I'll feign ignorance on this because Heart of Darkness is one of my favorite books"

You're going to be amazed at how little this movie has to do with Heart of Darkness. It's certainly not an adaptation at all.

Yeah, Brando is Kurtz, "The horror...the horror..." blah blah blah, but that's a tiny part of it. John Milius described HoD as an allegory that informed his script, and there are those explicit touchstones -- but that all came along fairly far along in Milius's process. The GOAL was to create a movie about Vietnam. Not so much about the war itself as about being IN Vietnam, IN a war.

The book that's maybe more important is Michael Herr's Dispatches, a collection of articles he'd written as a correspondent for Esquire. Vets were still not really talking about what happened to them there, and by and large still haven't. Before Herr, nobody was even guessing in the right direction. Milius had seen one of those articles in Esquire, which described the drugs and rock'n'roll aspects of the experience, and not in a happy way. These guys were calling in airstrikes ON THEMSELVES.

In fact, THIS is a trippy movie. Milius called his first draft The Psychedelic Soldier, and again, not in a happy good time way.

While we're talking about books, Francis frequently talked about Joseph Campbell's analysis of mythology called The Golden Bough as a shaping influence, in much the same way that Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces shaped Luke Skywalker's journey of discovery in Star Wars chapters IV-VI. Liberal arts nerds, I'm tellin' ya.

It's always worth noting that this generation of mavericks were by and large insanely hardcore film nerds. Francis, Scorsese, Lucas, Malick, Spielberg, Lynch and a lot of these other young directors went to actual film school.

Others were highly educated in other ways -- in addition to a film MFA, Malick's a philosophy Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard who attended Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship to get a PhD in philosophy, Cimino has both a BFA and MFA in painting, etc.

So you gotta also know the movies. Start with Conrad's Lord Jim (NOT the book), with an amazing Peter O'Toole performance that really hints at the hallucinatory disorientation that Milius teased out. Herzog's Aguirre, Wrath of God evokes another madness-driven quest into the jungle (in this case, conquistadors into the Amazon). There are others, but both of those, especially the latter, carry more weight than HoD.

The REAL reason to see it is the artistry. Building on Milius's heartstopping script you've got Storaro's cinematography, Murch and his team's sound design (both of these brought the film's sole 2 Oscar wins), Carmine Coppola's score, astounding editing (agreed, btw, skip Redux altogether -- I still think the first cut was the right one), and indelible performances. Duvall's iconic "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" Lt Col Kilgore, Dennis Hopper at his trippy best, a 14 year old Larry Fishburne (although 17 when filming wrapped!), and a performance by Martin Sheen so intense that it damn near killed him by a heart attack at 36.





Look at that picture and ask yourself, what does this have to do with Heart of Darkness? The answer is exactly what you think: nothing. LOL

BTW, Eleanor's Hearts of Darkness was a title that, as much as anything, called up the hubris of the filmmakers, not always in a bad way. It took pretty much every ounce of hubris to finish the thing at all, and to not let the obstacles get in the way of their goal of creating an artwork that would endure for as long as the best artworks do. But it also speaks to the madness of the enterprise as a whole.

At one point, the studio wondered if Sheen was actually dead -- they'd heard he was -- and there's a scene of Francis yelling into the phone, "Martin Sheen is dead when I SAY he's dead!" He blocked the release of the doc on DVD for many years because he felt it was too easy to take his words as callousness toward Martin's actual near-death state, or that he'd be the one to give Martin PERMISSION to die when Francis was ready, but I always felt he was too sensitive about this. It was the heat of battle for everyone.

Think of it as Lost In La Mancha squared, and you're moving in the right direction. Essential viewing for every filmmaker, even if they never get around to watching Apoc Now itself.

This is the short version. Apocalypse and Hearts deserve their own proper thread. But don't let Conrad's book slow you down.

Anyway....


[Kylee Wall] "You put in the time without the payoff. I hope you're happy."

Not happy that I stayed in either of them as long as I did, so I doubt that watching more of them will make me happier. If I'm wrong, likely among the least painful mistakes I've made this week.

In general, though, some days are better than others. It's a process. Thanks for asking. LOL


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Mark Suszko
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 6, 2013 at 12:21:11 am

Murch suggests a fascinating back-strory tying together Apocalypse Now and Star Wars. I'm going to see if my memory has it mostly right or not...

Lucas and Coppella founded American Zoetrope studios to make the kinds of films they wanted to make, in an egalitarian fashion. One of their in-house practices was rotating who was directing and who was producing or otherwise occupied on each film.

Anyway, they're working with Warner Brothers, and Warners HATES George's re-made version of his school film, "THX 1138". The press for it is not kind, the audiences stayed away. George is slated in Zoetrope's upcoming schedule to direct a Vietnam movie, which will become Apocalypse Now, but it is decided afte the THX debacle that George needs a time out, to wait for the stink to die down, before they start pitching him to direct with the studios again... so they switch-up their original order, and have Coppola work on Apocalypse Now, instead of Lucas.

I think we can all be grateful for that decision. Imagine a Lucasian Apocal - no, wait, I can't.

But Lucas also still wants to make his war film about Vietnam. Hell, every film student in that era probably wanted to do some take on the war, but the mood of the country at that time was that the nation was trying to forget about that bummer of a VietNam war, and move on, and the studios felt the same way. That's one reason Apocalypse had a hard time getting going itself. There was a real question of whether the audience would be there for it.

So, Murch says, in this story I can no longer locate to confirm, Lucas decides on a time-worm technique of clever film-makers: he will tell his VietNam war story in an allegorical form, clothed in science fiction/fantasy, of a group of plucky rebels, with few resources, using their wits, courage, and a mystical power from Above, as they fight a heavily mechanized, technological, gigantic Evil Empire.

That's right; the Empire was supposedly America, and the Rebel Alliance was the V.C./China. The Emperor is Nixon. Obi-Wan is Ho Chi Minh.

THAT kind of blew my mind when I first heard it. I don't know if Lucas ever confirmed or denied this "origin" story for his inspiration about Star Wars.


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Mike Cohen
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 6, 2013 at 9:07:16 pm

Interesting story about the original THX movie from when Lucas was a grad student at USC. He wanted to shoot a film in color, but color was only available for teaching, not for student films. So Lucas was shooting a lighting class, thus giving him access to color film. His lighting lessons were conveniently enough the scenes needed for his THX movie. Not sure this is true.

Did you know Apocalypse Now was the first film to be rough cut on video? They had hundreds of U-Matic dubs of the raw film and cut the draft using machine to machine editing.

Murch describes this so it is probably true.

Last time I was in San Fran I went looking for the original Zoetrope warehouse, but it is now a high rise apartment building.

Mike Cohen


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Kylee Peña
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:12:40 pm

But what if we ARE butterflies? I love all the dialogue in Matrix, and a couple of the talk heavy scenes have some awesome editing so pleh. Scott, I think we were the same age when we saw it because I asked for it on DVD when I was 15, no sneaking required. Maybe we were impressionable enough.

"I like a book with similar themes."

"Oh that's cute, here are 7 other more relevant books and films that you should investigate instead and also a brief history lesson."

But of course I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge as always. Damn though, I know nothing.

More forum homework. I'll watch Apocalypse soon and start another thread in which I will probably discuss how ridiculous it is that it took me so long.

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Tim Wilson
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 7, 2013 at 4:21:37 pm

[Kylee Wall] "a couple of the talk heavy scenes have some awesome editing"

No they NEEDED editing.

Seriously, perfect stuff for a 15 year old to talk about. I'd be worried if you didn't. I talked about stuff like that I was 15 too, back in the Ford administration. LOL

I don't mean to insult it as an idea for a movie. But I think the movie would have been a lot better if it spent less time talking about it.


[Kylee Wall] ""Oh that's cute, here are 7 other more relevant books and films that you should investigate instead and also a brief history lesson.""

What the hell else am I gonna do with my day? WORK?

I didn't mean to say that you needed to read/watch those to appreciate Apocalypse Now. But if you CARE to consider its sources, Heart of Darkness is only a small part.

And hey, you may not care. That's cool. You don't need to approach it as a Great Film. It's also just a damn good movie. It's FUN. Francis is a populist entertainer who was trying to make movies that a lot of people would enjoy.

Dispatches, you should read some day, regardless. Everybody should.

The kind souls at Wikipedia can tell you everything you need to know about The Golden Bough and Hero With A Thousand Faces. LOL Unless you decide to take up anthropology or something, in which case, yeah, read 'em.

And since you care about MAKING movies, or at least seeing how they're made, Hearts of Darkness should also go on the list. It's also just an amazing, amazing documentary. It's been a couple of years since we've talked about favorite documentaries, but the last time I made a list, this was in my top five.



[Kylee Wall] " a brief history lesson"

WTF? BRIEF?!? I've never said anything that mean to YOU. LOL Although I guess by my standards, it was pretty brief. I'll do better next time. LOL


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Kylee Peña
Re: A Confession.
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:47:57 pm

Please, don't work. These history lessons are the only thing educating me as an adult. That's probably true of a lot of the people that meander through the forum.

It's just crazy how much stuff you can read and watch to supplement another film. Overwhelming. I have a document where I add stuff that I need to read or watch. Damn man. It's getting long. Ima just go watch Die Hard again.

"Brief" was super mean. Sorry. LOL.

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