Passages

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#6751 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:31 am

I'm very sorry to hear that. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an amazing, shattering film. Its strange to think of the low tech, grubby setting in the context of Hooper's later films, especially in the 1980s where the phantasmagorical special effects became so much the focus. Poltergeist was probably the turning point, but that pulls off almost the perfect balancing act between a grounded sense of a well defined family unit versus all of the special effect sequences later on (the later sequences only being so powerful because of the relationship built up with the family over the early section of the film). For all of the rather unnecessary 'who directed it?' questions, Poltergeist does feel like its in the same tradition of Texas Chain Saw Massacre in its big themes about an older way of life coming back to prey on the modern, rather clueless as to the history of the area they've moved into, characters. Its probably the ultimate film about callous urban development and the way that it relies on its inhabitants having an acontextual sense of their own place in the world, let alone historical context. With people more deeply rooted in the area being seen almost incomprehensible monsters! (His TV mini-series of Salem's Lot is also excellent, and features a lot of the same themes)

After that, and with the Cannon Films, things got a little too broad and goofy for my taste. Though I am starting to warm up a bit to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (especially the Dennis Hopper scenes!) and its complete 180 on tone and style, foregoing the ultimate in gritty and harrowing tension with surprisingly little onscreen bloodshead for broad, goofy neon-tinged comedy and graphic gore everywhere. Its such a tonal whiplash that its quite audacious, but I remember really not liking it at all for the longest time.

Plus of course there's LifeForce, which is similarly overblown but played with a straighter face ("What about the bodies?" "Collect the pieces and watch them!") a fantastically entertaining almost comic-book take on an apocalyptic Quatermass-type story, even if it feels a bit like three or four different films bolted together! At the very least it features Patrick Stewart getting slapped around before his most memorable screen kiss!

The problem with going so far into special effect spectaculars is that you have to keep upping the ante, and after LifeForce (and Invaders From Mars) pushed things to such an extreme, there seemed nowhere left to go. After Cannon and its crazily huge budgets, Hooper had to scale things back to mixed success, and the lack of budget to simply power through the sillier moments really showed up the flaws in the high concept ideas (and he unfortunately wasn't able to pull it back with a big success, as Wes Craven managed with the Scream series). There were still fun moments though such as in the return to the TV movie genre with 1990s I'm Dangerous Tonight (about a possessed cloak!), featuring Anthony Perkins. The Toolbox Murders is a pretty average slasher film and quite badly harmed by taking on the recognisable name of a really good 1978 film for no particular reason (I sort of bracket it in with that House of Wax remake from around the same time). Called anything else and it might have been able to be assessed on more of its own terms.

And the last film by Hooper that I've had a chance to see, 2005's Mortuary, sort of encapsulates that problem that Hooper had after the 80s. Its not a bad film and is about a family moving to a house with an old funeral home in it and then having to fight off hordes of reanimated zombies and the monster of one of the previous family members who has been festering in the basement (very Poltergeist or Salem's Lot-esque, but blunter). It actually has a pretty good action climax, and its great to see Denise Crosby (the ill fated Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation) in a rare starring role there as the mother. But its a really silly premise for the action, especially when compared to the care taken compared to the incredibly grounded and believable set up of Poltergeist. The themes are the same, but Mortuary is in a more generic horror film world - I like Mortuary, but I'm thinking of it more in context with something like Lucio Fulci's The House By The Cemetery! Or even Phantasm, but without Phantasm's dream-like quality. And while that appeals to me as a horror fan, that's very far away from capturing the zeitgeist in the way that Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Poltergeist did. But to have left us with two classics that defined their respective decades in horror (plus Salem's Lot, which uses its longer mini-series running time extremely well to create a slow burning tension and invest the audience into the characters; and LifeForce, which I'd argue anyone with a sense of humour, and a curiosity about naked space vampires, should see!) is still a fantastic achievement! Just think of how differently toned just those four 'successful' features were!

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6752 Post by MichaelB » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:32 am

I think the best "Tobe Hooper" film since Hooper's own heyday is Aleksey Balabanov's Cargo 200 - it's one of the very few films I can think of that manages to recapture that same sense of clammy, grubby panic that infuses The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and some other Hooper films (but very, very few others), to the extent that it works brilliantly as a horror film even if you're not the tiniest bit interested in the political background.

User avatar
rohmerin
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: Passages

#6753 Post by rohmerin » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:02 am

Mireille Darc, actress and Alain Delon's companion

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#6754 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:11 am

rohmerin wrote:Mireille Darc, actress and Alain Delon's companion
Most famously appearing as the handbag obsessed, mutually murderous wife of the jaded couple at the centre of Godard's societally apocalyptic "film found on a garbage dump/adrift in the cosmos" Weekend. The perfect film for a Bank Holiday getaway weekend!

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6755 Post by MichaelB » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:06 am

Károly Makk, by any yardstick one of the greatest of all Hungarian filmmakers, although since his films were much less flamboyant than those of Miklós Jancsó, István Szabó et al, they tended to be appreciated more by connoisseurs prepared to make the effort of seeking them out. But the masterly Love (1971) has been a fixture on Best Hungarian Films lists for almost half a century, and with good reason.

User avatar
Bikey
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 am

Re: 4 Love

#6756 Post by Bikey » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:28 am

RIP Károly Makk.

It is with sadness we report the passing of another great filmmaker - the renowned Hungarian director and screenwriter Károly Makk has passed away at the age of 91.
Second Run have had the honour and pleasure of working with Károly Makk as we released several of his works - including one of our favourites: the exquisite LOVE (Szerelem, 1971), which Derek Malcolm also selected in his 'Century of Films'.

User avatar
Fiery Angel
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Passages

#6757 Post by Fiery Angel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:02 pm

Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6758 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:59 am

Fiery Angel wrote:Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?
I have very good Hungarian DVDs of Love (a more recent transfer than Second Run's) and A Very Moral Night, both from MaNDA.

User avatar
djproject
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Framingham, MA
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6759 Post by djproject » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:38 am


User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Passages

#6760 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:41 pm


feketekino
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:30 am

Re: Passages

#6761 Post by feketekino » Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:58 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Fiery Angel wrote:Sad news about Makk, one of the true greats. Aside from the abortions that Facets put out and Second Run's releases, are any of his films available in English-friendly editions?
I have very good Hungarian DVDs of Love (a more recent transfer than Second Run's) and A Very Moral Night, both from MaNDA.
SZERELEM has been restored in 4k, hopefully a Blu-ray from outside of Hungary will come soon.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: Passages

#6762 Post by antnield » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 am


User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Passages

#6763 Post by hearthesilence » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:05 pm

I really like Steely Dan, especially those first four albums. Saw them twice this past year (the only times I caught them live), and Becker didn't look like he was in good shape, but he was very merry.

User avatar
bearcuborg
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago

Re: Passages

#6764 Post by bearcuborg » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:08 pm

Donald Fagen on Walter...
We liked a lot of the same things: jazz (from the 20's through the mid-60's), W.C. Fields, the Marx Brothers, science fiction, Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Berger, and Robert Altman films come to mind. Also soul music and Chicago blues.
I love almost all of those things largely in part because of Steely Dan. Their last two albums are real treasures to those who mostly know the classic stuff.

User avatar
dadaistnun
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am

Re: Passages

#6765 Post by dadaistnun » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:12 pm


User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6766 Post by MichaelB » Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:56 pm

Italian actor Gastone Moschin, of The Conformist and Milano Calibro 9 fame (and much else besides).

User avatar
rohmerin
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: Passages

#6767 Post by rohmerin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:43 pm

Moschin will be forever one of the friends in Amici Miei, the Monicelli'film that won Jaws in the Italian B.O
His role in Palme d'or winner Signore e Signori is quite important.
He died in Termi, full of beauty that city.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: Passages

#6768 Post by antnield » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:38 am


User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Passages

#6769 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:42 pm

His footage from the 1970 Isle of Wight festival is pretty crucial film of that era of rock music, but also how the dying hippie dream played across the pond.

User avatar
The Elegant Dandy Fop
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Passages

#6770 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:53 pm

No link yet, but apprently Holger Czukay has passed on. There's no denying the brilliance of Can, but his solo albums are absolutely worth checking out too. A real shame.

User avatar
NABOB OF NOWHERE
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River

Re: Passages

#6771 Post by NABOB OF NOWHERE » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:14 am

The Elegant Dandy Fop wrote:No link yet, but apprently Holger Czukay has passed on. There's no denying the brilliance of Can, but his solo albums are absolutely worth checking out too. A real shame.
https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/ ... es-aged-79" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Perkins Cobb
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm

Re: Passages

#6772 Post by Perkins Cobb » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:10 pm


pet42
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:20 am

Re: Passages

#6773 Post by pet42 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:33 am


User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

Re: Passages

#6774 Post by dx23 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:46 pm

Len Wein, comic book writer, co-creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Passages

#6775 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:33 pm

Don Ohlmeyer

Post Reply