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VOLUPTE NOIR's Posts

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Films About Suburban Ennui and Malaise in America: If You've Seen One You've Seen Them All? over 2 years ago

The Swimmer from 1968 starring Burt Lancaster and based on a John Cheever short story has this theme running through it. Ennui and malaise in suburban America is an important trope not only because “the air-conditioned nightmare” (Henry Miller) is what many in this and other countries sadly aspire to, but also because the consumerist, culture-free bourgeosie generated by this lifestyle goes very far in explaining modern America.

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Good Title, Bad Movie over 2 years ago

The original title of Breathless is of course A Bout de Souffle which doesn’t necessarily mean without breath, but translates more loosely to mean “at the end of one’s rope’” which aptly describes the two main characters. And there’s no way that it is a bad movie.

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A Pet Peeve of Mine: Non-English Speaking Characters Speaking in English over 2 years ago

At the other end of the spectrum is what Terence Malick did in A New World. Not only did all the Native Americans in the film speak in their native tongue, but also the dialect they used was Virginia Algonquian which hadn’t been spoken in two centuries. The research done for the film is helping Algonquian peoples revive this old dialect.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

This is precisely why artists and thinkers have always in all cultures been considered dangerous to the dominant paradigm…because they are. This is why Socrates was killed. Recall John Lennon being surveilled by the Nixon White House and FBI. One could offer a plethora of like examples. Art matters. It is not a luxury. Art at its best should be dangerous to those in power. Art is a source of beauty and vision, yes, but also a very powerful agent for change. This man in Syria is my new hero.

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Cinema Literature over 2 years ago

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More examples of cliché-shots over 2 years ago

One of my favorites is when someone approaches a refrigerator, opens it, and when he closes the door, someone is standing behind it. I’ve seen it in literally scores of films.

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More examples of cliché-shots over 2 years ago

@Alexs The only one that immediately comes to mind is in The Ring (American remake). It usually occurs in scary movies. If I happen to think of other examples I will be happy to pass them along.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Speaking of space…

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Is Thelma and Louise the Last Great Film About Women? over 2 years ago

I have always felt that hunters should be required to eat everything they kill…and that would include wartime.

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NCAA FOOTBALL over 2 years ago

Alabama looks poised to run the table. if so, the state of Alabama will win its third national title in a row. Has that ever been done?

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Just an illustration of what one can learn from watching films (apart of course from the intrinsic value of the film itself). I was re-watching Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom last night and then a short documentary about the film: “A Very British Psycho”. Much of that doc is an interview with Leo Marks who wrote the film. Prior to writing for films, Marks had been a brilliant codebreaker during World War II for Britain’s SOE. He routinely sent agents into France that he knew would probably not come back. He wrote a book about his experiences called Between Silk and Cyanide (great title). He mentions among others the legendary agent Violette Szabo who had an amazing and tragic short life. You can read about her in VIOLETTE SZABO. Marks by the way was a bookseller at his family’s antiquarian shop Marks & Co. which is featured prominently in 84 Charing Cross Road, which may be the best film ever made about books and reading.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Her daughter Tania is still alive and wrote a book about her mother called Young Brave and Beautiful which I want to read.

TANIA

It’s a heartbreaking story all the way round, but such were the times. Violette did it because she was imbued with almost unimaginable courage (she was tortured for four days without revealing anythng) and because she knew that nothing less than Western civilization was at stake.

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When Does a Movie Become Off-Limits for a Director to Alter? over 2 years ago

I much prefer Blade Runner with the original narration. It somehow adds a hardboiled film noir piquancy to the film. And I prefer Apocalypse Now without the French plantation scene but as long as both versions of each are available, I say take your choice.

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When Does a Movie Become Off-Limits for a Director to Alter? over 2 years ago

It is possible to be too finical and exacting. There’s a famous story about James Joyce when he was writing Finnegan’s Wake. He went to a cafe with some friends and informed them that he had spent the whole day working on one sentence. He was asked if he was trying to get exactly the words he wanted, and he replied that he already had the words, it was the order of the words that he had spent the day on.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Cecil, if you’re channeling Muhammad Ali, it’s “Float like a butterfly”

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

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When Does a Movie Become Off-Limits for a Director to Alter? over 2 years ago

I want Lucas to release the version of Star Wars where Darth Vader is played by Woody Allen.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

I’m thinking 10,000 by Christmas.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

No, silly, 10,000 pages.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

I thinking I’ll just start copying Anna Karenina and get to 5,000 all by myself. What ho!

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

WHAT ARE DAYS FOR? TO PUT BETWEEN THE ENDLESS NIGHTS.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

RE: ANDERSON LAURIE

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

The creepiest aspect of Dead Ringers is that it’s true.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Speaking of Eyes Without a Face and the products made from cattle (odd confluence that), George Franju’s first documentary, included on the DVD of Eyes, was The Blood of Beasts about a day in a Paris abattoir. It is one of the most horribly graphic films I’ve have ever seen, far worse than any horror film I have watched.. I seriously thought I was going to be sick. Check it out!

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Yes Mubians are a randy bunch. We on my planet have come to study their mores in order to learn.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

The subject of taboo in different cultures is quite fascinating. All cultures have strictures against the sexual abuse of children and rightly so, but the way children are filmed varies widely. For example, there was an excellent French thriller of about ten years ago called With a Friend Like Harry that features several murders and a good deal of suspenseful nastiness. But what struck me was a scene where the children of the family in the film, two little girls, are taking a bath. They are naked as one would be in a tub. An innocent and non-exploitative vignette that only lasts a moment. But I remember thinking that if this had been an American film with similarly naked American girls, the media would have been full of outrage over this shocking lack of decorum. And yet, one can easily name a dozen films in the Evil Little Girl genre where young girls commit or cause all sorts of murder and mayhem and apparently that goes without much notice.

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STOP THE LISTS! over 2 years ago

Those pro-lifers can be pretty bloodthirsty.

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Drive (2011)--An Art Film About Manliness over 2 years ago

As a point of reference, there’s a perceptive REVIEW by Anthony Lane in this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Lane, although English, is one of America’s best film reviewers. His book Nobody’s Perfect collects many of his New Yorker reviews and profiles. He is at times devastatingly funny.

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