Dog Star Man…it’s the most experimental film ever made…
That is quite a claim. Do you maybe mean, in your opinion, it is the best experimental film ever made? Calling it ‘the most experimental’ is a claim that no one in the avant garde world – including Brakhage himself – would claim.
That said, when I first saw Brakhage films I was blown away by their aesthetic beauty as well as the way they pushed the boundaries of what a film could be.
Brakhage is the master of the avant-garde.
Clement Greenberg:The avant-garde poet or artist tries in effect to imitate God by creating something valid solely on its own terms, in the way nature itself is valid, in the way a landscape — not its picture — is aesthetically valid; something given, increate, independent of meanings, similars or originals. Content is to be dissolved so completely into form that the work of art or literature cannot be reduced in whole or in part to anything not itself.
I should always bracket my sweeping statements with “in my humble opinion.”
There is still a plethora of avant-garde/experimental cinema I have not yet seen but of that which I have (The Fall of the House of Usher (1928), Man With A Movie Camera, Un Chien Andalou, L’Age D’Or, the films of Jean Cocteau, Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Chris Marker, Derek Jarman, Guy Maddin, David Lynch, Jan Svankmajer, Brothers Quay, Begotten), Brakhage expanded my mind the most since the narrative becomes light, shadow, & nature (rather than the more explicitly psycho- social- cultural- frameworks of the ones mentioned.)
Dog Star Man seems so different from these other films (but I’d definitely be interested in hearing which films pushed the envelope the most for everyone else.)
the scarlet empress the sets are just ridiculous. i’ve never seen anything like it
also a cottage on dartmoor fantastic british late silent thriller
Gimme Shelter (1970). Awesome.
The Man Who Laughs… and to a lesser extent, Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Recently Diary of A Country Priest. Blew me away might be the wrong choice of words since it’s such restrained film, but the film’s humanity will stay with me for quite some time.
I’m not going to say anything about it, but watch The Temptation of St. Tony. Watch it now.
The Spirit of the Beehive
“Blew me away” is probably too strong, but I was very impressed with Close-Up. The way some people drool over Kiarostami, I expected to hate his stuff, but this has me really excited to do some exploring.
Of the Kiarostami I’ve seen, Close-Up is my favorite. (I’d be surprised if you like The Wind Will Carry Us—but if you do, maybe you can help me with it. :) The impact of the ending surprised me, as it seemed to come out of nowhere—both the emotion and the actual circumstances. I also liked the courtroom scenes. What I’d really like to know is the accuracy and realism of the judge. Their system may have problems, but I was impressed and moved by what transpired. (I’d love if some of the Persians would comment on this.)
Probably “The Big Sleep.”
I’d have to say Midnight in Paris (Allen) since this movie made me want to go pack my bags and live in Paris. Such a beautiful film in terms of its cinematography and the story itself. Plus, Brody as Dali is spot-on! :)
It’s been a few months since a new movie blew me away.
It’s starting to get frustrating. All these cool Cannes selections like We Need To Talk About David and My Life In Antonia, everyone buzzing over Turin Horse, and the art houses near me keep showing good but not great American indie films which I go to see because I want to go to the movies, and not because I am excited about them.
Usually the last wave of Cannes picks come out the following March. I really wish they’d hurry up.
Melancholia comes out where I am this week. I’m not a Von Trier fan, but I suppose I’ll see it next time I’m in the mood to see women be tortured. (I know nothing about the film, but it’s a Von Trier film, so I assume women get tortured.)
It’s starting to get frustrating.
I know the feeling. It can be a little discouraging.
FWIW, I’ve lost interest in von Trier, so I watched the trailer for the new film. It looked really nice, I’ll say that—enough to make me interested.
Blew me away as in challenging my prereconceptions of the medium? That would be Colossal Youth.
Blew me away as in, really impressed, leaving a strong emotional impact? Probably Cria Cuervos, which i didn’t see until 4-5 months ago.
Just this year, these have been some of the films which blew me away.
1. India: Matri Bhumi (Roberto Rossellini)
2. Train of Shadows (Jose Luis Guerin)
3. The Circus Tent (Govindan Aravindan)
4. Lodz Symphony (Peter hutton)
5. Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton)
6. The Ceremony (Nagisa Oshima)
7. Finisterrae (Sergio Caballero)
8. Tange Sazen and the pot worth a million ryo (Sadao Yamanaka)
9. Kairat (Darezhan Omirbaev)
10. Assassination (Masahiro Shinoda)
I’m very easily blown away by great films.
Children of Men
I watched it again and . . . wow, those long shots are absolutely mesmerizing. And Clive Owens’ performance speaks for itself. This movie blows me away every time.
i watched Shadow of the Tiger (1979) last night, and it did totally blow me away
O Estranho Caso de Angélica
i thought my head was clean blown off, and then i read víctor erice in a rouge article:
“At the beginning of the ‘50s, in the last century, Manoel de Oliveira had only directed a few documentaries and one fiction feature, Aniki-Bobó, filmed in 1942. Cut off from the film industry, he dedicated himself entirely to agriculture. However, in 1952, he imagined a film, Angélica, based on an experience he lived due to the death of a young woman, his wife’s cousin.
Before the burial, the family asked Oliveira to take a photograph of the deceased. As he recounts it:
The young woman was very beautiful, she was lying on a blue sofa, in the centre of a sitting room. Her hair was golden and she was dressed in white, as a bride. I was carrying a Leica camera, which would produce a splitting of the image when focusing. One had to pay special attention and focus when both images appeared as superimposed on each other. Since I was photographing a dead woman, which now had a double image that had detached itself from her, I was struck by the idea that one of the images could correspond to the living woman, not the dead. And that this image might not trap the other, thus altering everything. The event affected me immensely, in the same manner that the protagonist of Angélica, when developing the photograph of a dead woman, perceived her as being alive.
This experience (heralding fictions such as Carl Dreyer’s Ordet (1955), Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana (1961) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958)) renewed Oliveira’s interest in cinema, in another type of cinema: one that could show itself to be, in the first instance, a medium to fix life, one that would be even capable of bringing back the dead from the beyond. Since then, Oliveira has been in the habit of saying: O cinema é sempre um fantasma da realidade – ‘Cinema is always reality’s ghost’."
The Leopard with Burt Lancaster directed by Luchino Visconti.
Why did I wait so long?
Kill lIst (2011)
Born on the Fourth of July.
I also ask myself, why did I wait so long?