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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
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!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:32 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain
Mireille Darc, actress and Alain Delon's companion


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
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!


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
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.


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 Post subject: Re: 4 Love
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:28 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 4:09 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'.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:59 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?


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:41 pm
Location: Framingham, MA
Richard Anderson


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Shelley Berman


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:58 pm 

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


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:04 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England
Walter Becker.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago
Donald Fagen on Walter...

Quote:
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:31 am
John Ashbery


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Italian actor Gastone Moschin, of The Conformist and Milano Calibro 9 fame (and much else besides).


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England
Murray Lerner.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:25 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Brandywine River
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


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:49 pm
Kim Ki-duk (the other one).


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:33 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 11:20 am
Jerry Pournelle


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico
Len Wein, comic book writer, co-creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Passages
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Don Ohlmeyer


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