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Movies that Grow on you

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Mike Cohen
Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 22, 2009 at 2:40:46 pm

There have been movies that, when seen in the theater, I was not too fond of. But then you rent the DVD, maybe listen to the director's commentary and watch it with a more critical eye. Over time you grow to like or even love the film, or at the very least appreciate the filmmaker's vision.

Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick's last dance, is a movie like that. The first time I saw this, I was disappointed. But once I got over the Tom Cruise factor I started to see this as another example of Kubrick's unique approach to filmmaking. The film plays almost as a waking nightmare - not a scary nightmare, just a nightmare in which you are running from something, unsure of what it is, but you never seem to get away. then you wake up and are unsure if it was a dream at all.

So what movies have others had grow on them over time?

Mike Cohen


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Paulo Jan
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 22, 2009 at 10:31:15 pm

First of all, let me say how happy I am to find this forum. We spend so much time here talking about the technology, the different vendor brands, the gigabytes and megapixels... that I sometimes lose track of, well, the aesthetic part.

Back to the topic at hand, a movie I can think of is "Picnic at hanging rock", by Peter Weir. The first time I saw it was on TV, with commercial breaks and family talking around, and it was pretty much "meh", despite all the critics I had read talking wonders about it. A few years later I saw it properly, in a theater, and could finally appreciate the beautiful/spooky atmosphere that Weir was getting at. Of course, all movies lose something when seen on TV, but I've seldom found one less adequate to be appreciated on a small screen.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 22, 2009 at 11:58:48 pm

[Paulo Jan] "First of all, let me say how happy I am to find this forum. We spend so much time here talking about the technology, the different vendor brands, the gigabytes and megapixels... that I sometimes lose track of, well, the aesthetic part. "

Welcome to the forum Paulo! Glad you like the concept...

I think this forum will be a great way to get to to know fellow Cows on a whole new level. We may never get to watch a movie and discuss it afterwards with some of our Cow friends, but here we can pretty much do the next best thing. I think discussing movies is like golf, it reveals a lot about the personalities of people you only thought you knew.

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Chris Poisson
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 23, 2009 at 3:15:30 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "I think discussing movies is like golf, it reveals a lot about the personalities of people you only thought you knew."

Oh how true, in the ad business, golf was one of the first things on the agenda with new clients, you learn everything about a person. And yes, talking movies is very much the same.

Back to the topic, I kinda squirmed through Cast Away when I saw it in the theater, but it was on TV a few weeks ago and I was mesmerized. I think it has more day for night in it than a spaghetti western, some of it not too great, but it is a great film nonetheless.

Have a wonderful day.


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 23, 2009 at 6:13:35 pm

First of all, I agree with everyone - this should be a great forum! And secondly --

Unforgiven

I guess I was expecting Silverado action with High Noon morals. A couple years later I revisited it, and, wow - yes! Wonderful. Painfully wonderful! Every character has light and dark and it is that very dichotomy that drives this great film!


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 23, 2009 at 7:05:52 pm

[Jeff Breuer] "Unforgiven... ...I revisited it, and, wow - yes! Wonderful. Painfully wonderful! Every character has light and dark and it is that very dichotomy that drives this great film!"

Well stated Jeff! Definitely a film worth revisiting. Its a film with understated power and remarkable integrity -- just try to find a single false or contrived moment anywhere in the film. I don't think it exists.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Dave Hardy
Re: Movies that Grow on you
on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:52:04 am

It's definitely a favorite of mine as well Mike. I hope you have also read the screenwriter's account of his work with Kubrick on the script "Eyes Wide Open" by Fredrick Raphael, which I seem to remember also includes the original short story from which the film derives. Living in north america I have only seen the censored version as even the DVD have fallen victim to social prudery.

My first awareness that movie could be more than simple entertainment was in the summer of 1945 when I saw John Ford's "Stagecoach" for the first time. It wasn't just Ford's marvelous ability as a director, or Bert Glennon's Rembrandt lighting or Dorothy Spencer's editing, it was that the film had something worthwhile to say. It was all about prejudice & bigotry, from the opening sequence with the women of the Law & Order League forcing Dallas & Doc Boon to leave town on the stagecoach to Ringo
walking down the wooden sidewalk to find his girl in the red light district of Lordsburg. Like most good films it causes you to reflect on the fact that people who really count & not the narrow minded conventions that all societies concoct to make it efficient to get on with day to day process of living.
When the camera makes a sweeping move from the valley with the stagecoach to the ridge with Geronimo & his followers, nothing has to be said We know it is their land & that though might may make right on the government level, its just another instance of social injustice.

Similarly, with Eyes Wide Shut, its a film which causes us to examine our social & moral values & examine what we think we feel & believe compared to what is real when we are confronted with an actual situation. It gives us something to chew on.

Dave

Dave Hardy


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Bob Cole
Do they grow on you, or were you influenced?
on Apr 28, 2009 at 8:50:35 pm

[Mike Cohen] "There have been movies that, when seen in the theater, I was not too fond of. But then you rent the DVD, maybe listen to the director's commentary and watch it with a more critical eye. Over time you grow to like or even love the film, or at the very least appreciate the filmmaker's vision."

True, "but." You touch on a sensitive point: do you risk the integrity of your critical judgment, by hearing that you "should" like a given film?

Here's where I agree with you: I have learned a ton by reading film criticism, listening to lectures, & looking at DVD commentaries. Most recently, "Yojimbo" turned into a much richer experience for me, after listening to the commentary on the Criterion Collection DVD.

But I morally squirm when I "learn to appreciate" any work of art. I start to wonder whether my immediate, gut reaction is more valid than the more "educated," intellectual response.

There was a wonderful experiment at Harvard University, when a professor handed out a poem at each lecture, without the title or the author's name, and required his students to write a paper on the poem's merits before the next lecture. Half the poems were "in the canon" of greatness, the other half trash.

The Harvard students got it "right" only a little better than if they'd flipped coins (for all I know, that's what they did). The professor mined their essays, with their rationale for their critical decisions, and wrote a wonderful book about it. If you read the book, you can "take the test" just as the students did, by reading these untitled poems before turning the page and finding out whether they were written by D.H. Lawrence or Woody Woodbine. It's a humbling experience, at least for me.

More: the critical judgments of any one era's finest minds are often viewed as incomprehensible, in the next decade/century. There was a great essay (in Slate?) recently, on the worst films to win the Oscar.

I'll keep reading about film, enjoying this forum, listening to commentaries, etc. because it really does help me to appreciate things I wouldn't notice otherwise. But I'll also keep saying to myself, "Listen to the FILM, not the critics, not the commentary."

Bob C


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Mike Cohen
Re: Do they grow on you, or were you influenced?
on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:55:49 pm

Excellent points Bob. Gives us something to think about.

Maybe I should clarify my original post - not to be influenced by other posts, but because over time my original post grows on me too ;)

I think the comment about "learning to appreciate the director's vision" could be a thread unto itself, so let's put that aside.

Gut instinct is something we all have. For instance, after walking out of Spielberg's War of the Worlds, my gut told me it was a bad movie. Sure there were classic Spielberg moments: carnage, kids in peril, family in crisis, technology vs humanity - typical formula. I rented the DVD and watched bits and pieces while channel surfing, but the film suffers from many problems which do not improve with repeat viewings.

Take another film, perhaps an extreme example - Waking Life. The first time through one suffers from mental overload trying to take in the visuals and try to pay attention to the heavy dialogue. A film like that you need multiple viewings just to catch everything.

Another often cited film, 2001, is one of my favorites. However it was not until I read the book and other writings about the film that I truly began to develop an understanding of the work, and move beyond simply a fascination with the visuals.

As far as "not liking a movie" and then determining that I do like it, after learning more about it - is this turning a blind eye to my own instinct? I don't think so. Take Hamlet - a play everyone reads in high school. I recently read Hamlet again fro the first time and aside from remembering the odd memorable line as one was required to memorize as a kid, this was a fresh new story full of wit and drama. I have not been influenced by popular culture or critical reading telling me how great Hamlet is. Rather, I have matured and become more educated myself, thus making me a better recipient of Shakespeare's "genius."

Relating this to film - I believe that one can view a film and just "watch" it the first time through, then "see" the film on repeated viewings. The more you see it, the more you see of it.

Opinions may vary - the beauty of film criticism is everyone's opinion can be correct. As a group we can help one another appreciate opposing opinions, interpretations and meanings. Yes, we can even convince each other that a good film is great or that a bad film is less great.

Mike


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