The Films of 2020

Discussions of specific films and franchises.
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Persona
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: The Films of 2020

#26 Post by Persona » Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:58 pm

The way 2020 is going, Sonic the Hedgehog will probably be the best movie I saw in the theater.

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Reverend Drewcifer
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Re: The Films of 2020

#27 Post by Reverend Drewcifer » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:10 pm


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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: The Films of 2020

#28 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:02 pm

Damn, I was sure that Peter Berg was gonna beat the pack to make the first movie about COVID

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Never Cursed
Such is life on board the Redoutable
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Re: The Films of 2020

#29 Post by Never Cursed » Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:17 pm

Josh Trank's Al Capone biopic Fonzo is now called simply Capone and has a first trailer. In a move that shows that the distributor (the same as of hit films Billionaire Boys Club, The Professor And The Madman, and Gotti) has nothing but confidence in the pic, it will be released May 12 directly to streaming

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colinr0380
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Re: The Films of 2020

#30 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 5:30 pm

Reverend Drewcifer wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:10 pm
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/a ... n-features
That's enough internet today.
Corona Zombies is the subject of The Cinema Snob's latest video and somehow is even worse than could be imagined. It is a little bit of new footage but the rest of the film is a re-dubbed 'comedy' version of Bruno Mattei's Hell of the Living Dead(!) and the terrible mid 2000s film Strippers vs Zombies. Apparently it is 'directed' by Charles Band, but this is a far cry from Trancers! Or even the Gary Busey starring The Gingerdead Man!

I mean even disregarding the insensitivity in the current situation, it makes one feel sorry for Hell of the Living Dead as well for not deserving to be treated in such a manner!

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Mr Sausage
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Re: The Films of 2020

#31 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Apr 16, 2020 7:02 pm

colinr0380" wrote:I mean even disregarding the insensitivity in the current situation, it makes one feel sorry for Hell of the Living Dead as well for not deserving to be treated in such a manner!
Seems fitting for a movie that's 30% stock footage to become essentially stock footage in another movie!

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

Re: The Films of 2020

#32 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:39 am

I suppose the Cinema Snob is correct then by terming it the Inception of bad movies as we dive deeper and deeper into layers of stock footage!

Calvin
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: The Films of 2020

#33 Post by Calvin » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:52 pm

Lav Diaz's new short film, Himala: isang dayalektika ng ating panahon (Himala: A Dialectic of Our Time) can be viewed here - from 1:44:04 of the recorded live stream.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Films of 2020

#34 Post by domino harvey » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:05 pm

At first I was like, "Well, yeah, I guess 104 minutes is the equivalent of a short film for Lav Diaz"

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knives
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Re: The Films of 2020

#35 Post by knives » Thu Apr 23, 2020 10:45 pm

Since his newest films don't get much light shown on them I thought I should point out Jean Marie Straub's latest is streaming on Youtube (the production company put it up). I linked to the version with english subtitles, but there are several other subtitle options. It's an adaptation(ish) of Bernanos' France Versus the Robots. It continues Straub's post Huillet fascination with turning texts into still lifes though this time with a Kiarostami's 24 Frames conception of still. It's also a much more blatantly political text with Straub's concerns being pretty obvious considering what France has been through in the last year. Though what's more interesting is his continued fascination with multiple takes though this time the difference are quite clear (side stepping the obvious pun). I found the setting and how it evolves to add an emotion to Bernanos' sometimes hyperbolic phrasing.

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Persona
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Re: The Films of 2020

#36 Post by Persona » Wed May 06, 2020 6:08 pm

The Half of It

This is half trope, half unique teen dramedy. Wish it had committed a bit more to its less conventional side, but all the same I enjoyed it and found a few moments quite moving. Lovely final scene where we can almost see the world opening up within Chu's eyes, staring into Wu's eyes (the gaze of the camera and the memory of the writer-director).

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Films of 2020

#37 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue May 12, 2020 11:46 pm

Fourteen is a faux-Rohmeresque American indie film that catalogues flashbulb moments in time across a decade of friendship between two women through their early-adult life. The scenes appear random at first but reveal idiosyncratic mannerisms and objective observations on friendship dynamics that sting. They remind us of our own bittersweet relationships and specifically the forced acceptance of the limitations in our ability to change or influence the ones we love. The film is also a meditation on memory, and how the formulation of our experiences are filled with equal parts Big Events and small details. Roles are defined through memory, and after the first third of the film was over, I realized that we are only seeing one perspective of events, and thus one comprehension of a role. Is the 'savior' really carrying the burden we see in snippets across ten years enough so as to identify as such? No, but in the context of her closest friendship she does, and that belief is what matters in validating her own experience. Some moments are a bit much, and incredibly self-fulfilling if taken objectively (boyfriends begging Mara to stand by Jo, etc.) but if viewed as Mara's own fallible memories, which are always subjectively distorted just a tad, the film works much better.

This is a decent outside look at mental health as well, purely detached and desperately seeking a way in to share the pain and help. But just like Mara, we cannot access Jo enough to help, or know the root of the problem. Spontaneous unbroken long shots feel out of place at times, like the one at the train station, but they signify that detachment and encourage the audience's processing to gain mastery over the intent of the frame - to find whatever the filmmaker is asking us to look for - like Mara's own helplessness to bridge the impenetrable walls Jo puts up to bar even the most intimate resources. Norma Kuhling is exceptional as Jo, and I felt a strong kinship to both characters for various reasons. This is a film for the caretakers, the self-destructors, the addicts whose co-occurring disorder was initiated by other mental health issues (around 90% of addicts have co-occurring disorders, so not really a stretch), and the general population of adults who have lived through their twenties on the road to self-actualization, watching relationships and opportunities slip away to the vacuum of time.

And yet there is a tendency for overblown theatrics and masochistic wish-fulfillment for Mara. Dan Sallitt walks a very dangerous tightrope, and there were times where I was bothered by the amount of drama that occurred directly because of the Mara/Jo baggage, a few overexplaining rants that were unrealistic and I often thought about the much-better The Souvenir, which did something similar by showing one side of a powerless dynamic. I have to believe that the film defines neither Mara nor Jo - because to interpret it as such would be a mistake and transform the picture into a piece of condescending trash. Sallitt doesn't convince me that this isn't his intention though, even if on a subconscious level. He binds us to Mara's identity as a savior and reinforces the myth of the 'caretaker' role's grandiose power seeking pleasure in suffering. The film can read as a self-fulfilling prophecy, or the dream of the 'caretaker' in acknowledgement and celebration of their influence along with self-pity. Scenes are too on-the-nose and the reality is that this many coincidences don't arise where the befallen happen to pop up and force the crossing of paths and opportunities for engagement.

The end result is a mixed bag - there's a lot to admire but I found myself giving it too much rope and eventually felt like the ulterior motives were self-gratifying and carried uncomfortable implications. At the same time, as someone who has engaged in both roles we see, I 'get' it and maybe would be eaten this film up ten years ago, when I wanted so desperately to be 'seen' and 'cared about' as a struggling young person, and wanted to be recognized for 'seeing' and 'caring for others' just as much. Today, it's a little much, but I appreciate the big picture of time and universal loss that everyone can relate to. The ending phone call reconnected me to where I'm at today and those reminders of fading connections paralleling inevitable growth is something to be recognized, pitied, empathized with, and celebrated.

And then there is the actual ending, which deflated the wavelength I thought was a humble branch, and the film became exactly what I feared. Unless we do take it all as Mara's skewed interpretation of her own role, but even still, the self-indulgence felt icky.

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brundlefly
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Re: The Films of 2020

#38 Post by brundlefly » Sat May 23, 2020 9:44 am

La Casa Lobo (Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León).

(This played festivals in 2018, but KimStim is doing the “virtual release” thing now, here.)(Trailer.)

The expressive, unsettling meat of this is a jaw-dropping accomplishment in stop-motion animation. The slight narrative – a young girl Maria runs away from a cloistered German society in Chile, hides herself in a remote cabin in the woods – is mostly set-up that draws on the existence of the Colonia Dignidad and self-isolationist fairy tales (most obviously “The Three Little Pigs”) to inhabit a knotted, struggling mindset that’s dealing with personal trauma and imbued cultural hierarchies.

One of those works where the house is the head, where what’s fantasy and what’s delusion doesn’t matter so much as the suggestion that something has happened before and that there’s a lot going on. And the film is restless and rotting; the camera feels like it’s always shaking and pushing forward, everything it shows us is relentlessly breaking down and reconstituting itself. Characters pour across and spill off the walls. There seem to be a few full-sized objects – you wonder about the size of the animators’ workspace – but mostly it’s paint and papier-mâché, masking tape and cellophane. Debris. It looks amazing, but it is elaborately ugly; as hard as Maria works to assemble her fantasies, everything is unfinished and already coming undone.

The colony’s German narrator (the “shepherd of this community”) speaks Spanish, but when he’s the Wolf he speaks German. Maria talks to the Wolf in German, but otherwise in Spanish. There is corruption and decay: Maria’s escaped from “a community that remains isolated and pure” to the isolation and purity of her own room. There’s the confusion of care and control: Maria has reimagined a pair of pigs (that may exist?) into Chilean children, and then into Aryan children. "You will have no reason to escape from here," she tells them. "The only way to be safe is to listen to me." The Wolf is outside, the Wolf is inside.

The one sore point was the way the work coyly uses its framing device, an expository promotional film that introduces Maria’s story as a cautionary tale made from recently restored found footage. Though there are other meta touches (at one point, the TV she’s watching is describing the scene she’s in), the tone is wrong there, and the extra layer of playfulness is both unnecessary and illogical.
Last edited by brundlefly on Mon May 25, 2020 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: The Films of 2020

#39 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun May 24, 2020 10:55 pm

Koko-Di Koko-Da: I thought this was interesting, but not exceptional. zedz already explained a good portion of what makes the film successful in the horror thread, and it's impossible to discuss the film outside of spoiler boxes, so
zedz wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:03 pm
SpoilerShow
The central conceit of the film is that it takes the "horror movie character wakes up from a nightmare, which then starts to happen for real" trope and turns it into an entire narrative structure, so that a camping couple keep reliving the same ghastly encounter with freakish characters in the woods, but with the knowledge of what had happened (and hadn't worked) in previous iterations, so the husband keeps getting the chance to try new strategies to escape their dire fate. It's very tense, and very strange (there's one reiteration that is radically different, where the focus is on the wife). There's quite a bit more to the film than this, and it's a while before the film arrives at the time loop structure. Each loop is also accompanied by additional flashbacks to what went immediately before, so the film has quite an elaborate narrative structure even without factoring in the weirdest part of it.

Unlike Triangle, or something like Source Code, there's no internal narrative explanation for the looping structure: it's just the narrative form of this particular film. Psychologically, of course (and the same is true of Triangle to some extent), it's a form that expresses how one can obsess over what one could have done differently when confronted with a personal tragedy.
SpoilerShow
For me the two 'reveals' in this film each staggered different ideas with varying success. The first was the initial acute predicament of the loop causing a traumatic response in trying to 'fix' the current situation. This seemed to take on a social critique of patriarchal cultures' (of which I believe Sweden is one) facades of masculinity. The husband, who has been unable to keep his daughter safe, his wife happy, and then his wife safe, all but crumbles in his POV re-births. The scene where he runs to the car, grabs the knife, and waits to pounce and save his wife only to hesitate with terrified paralysis, is cringe-worthy. He quietly screams "No" to himself with crippling shame. This is the bitter truth of human beings' capacity for weakness regardless of gender or societal role.

The more interesting 'reveal' was not that the couple was reliving this traumatic event, but that this was a waking nightmare of purgatory aimed at serving a greater purpose to address the traumatic event from three years prior. The music box theme is playing on the radio, the characters who kill them were on the music box, etc. They cannot escape their fate until they actually look at one another and honestly embrace, supporting one another and facing their own emotions.

So is this 'camping trip' state in a dream, concocted by the ghost of their dead daughter (who, by the way, died how?) or analogous to the therapeutic process the couple needs to move on? It doesn't really matter, and I loved the ending for that. Unlike zedz, I don't think this sets itself apart as that much more original than its sister films. I think that the narrative explains itself just as much as Triangle does, except ending on a cryptically optimistic note. As much as I appreciated this on a therapeutic analogy a la I Am A Ghost (though nowhere near as complex) I'm not sure I prefer it to the desperate Sisyphus ending of that and Triangle (and now that I'm thinking about it, I Am A Ghost seems like the most similar film to this one).

I do want to know what is up with the puppet show, and the significance of the 'rooster' (the first lines I believe are "my/the rooster is dead"). The visualization in the silhouette of a beautiful creature, doomed to be trapped in a cage until the rabbits let it go free, could resemble the life cycle of coping with grief; the weight of holding onto the daughter destroying that beautiful memory from being liberated until the parents surrender to acceptance. I don't know, that's the best analysis I got. But that switch-up to the wife wandering into the woods to watch the puppet show was the highlight for me.

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