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What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:57 pm
by jserraglio
Tonite — If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=78ozCL4sQoI


Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:35 pm
by jserraglio
Frederick Wiseman's Ex Libris (2017).

A stunning, wonderful docuFilm about the NY Public Library. And the City and its people. This is NYC as I remember it. Open. Inclusive.

I also admire 2 of Wiseman's early films: High School and Titicut Follies.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:07 pm
by Belle
I must compliment you on your obviously wide and eclectic taste in cinema. I haven't watched most of those you mention, except Spike Lee's earlier films.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:04 am
by John F
jserraglio wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:35 pm
Frederick Wiseman's Ex Libris (2017).

A stunning, wonderful docuFilm about the NY Public Library. And the City and its people. This is NYC as I remember it. Open. Inclusive.
Yes, it's a fine tribute to the New York Public Library and what it does. I was particularly interested in the board and staff meetings which we don't ordinarily hear anything about. But a reviewer objected, and he was right, that Wiseman is so concerned with the library's educational and social services that somehow the books etc. get left out, as well as facilities for researchers and writers. You wouldn't know from "Ex Libris" that the Library for the Performing Arts has the second largest sound archive in the western hemisphere (after the Library of Congress), and that everything in it is available for listening in the library for free. But what "Ex Libris" does cover, it covers very well.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:30 am
by jserraglio
John F wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:04 am
Wiseman is so concerned with the library's educational and social services that somehow the books etc. get left out, as well as facilities for researchers and writers.
Nevertheless, Wiseman suggests (as an elegant French lady librarian states toward the end of the film) that a library is about, without being simply a storage bin for, books. And what about the numerous clips showing the digitalization of -- you might of guessed it -- books?

And of course, as a film, it is slanted toward the visual, so the viewer is shown the NYPL's largest picture collection in the world but not its second-largest sound recording collection, though the presence of an performing-arts audio archive is amply suggested by a substantial clip showing the recording of a work by Nabokov.

Is research given short weight? Maybe, but I do recall one sequence (brief though it may have been) of what was obviously a researcher intently taking notes on original manuscripts in some sort of noiseless rare-book room. Not to mention the long, eloquent discussion of how the NYPL's research holdings were used by civil-rights pioneers like Thurgood Marshall. And the NYPL archive being a corrective for the misinformation about slavery found in current McGraw Hill textbooks.

The thing is there is no Ken Burns/David McCullough narrating what you see and telling you what to think. The viewer has to figure out -- hey, that DUDE being interviewed is Elvis Costello or Patti Smith. I really liked that.

And I was bowled over by the shots of the people! The so-called 'melting pot' still exists. Seeing this film, I fell in love with New York all over again.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:48 am
by John F
A book or periodical or other original document is a physical object printed on paper that can last for centuries, not a digital file that can be destroyed with the push of the wrong button. That the more perishable items are being digitized, not just printed matter but recordings and films, is certainly a good thing, but hunting for brief glimpses or making passing reference to people actually reading, and reading for a serious purpose, doesn't answer the reviewer's objection. Wiseman's documentary is excellent for what it does, but it doesn't do everything.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:04 am
by jserraglio
John F wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:48 am
A book or periodical or other original document is a physical object printed on paper that can last for centuries, not a digital file that can be destroyed with the push of the wrong button. That the more perishable items are being digitized, not just printed matter but recordings and films, is certainly a good thing, but hunting for brief glimpses or making passing reference to people actually reading, and reading for a serious purpose, doesn't answer the reviewer's objection.
Did this unnamed reviewer not notice the numerous shots in Wiseman's movie of NYPL's stacks in the main and branch libraries, stacks filled with just those precious, imperishable physical objects he pines for?

Or the scene of little kids at a table laden with books in a reading room with walls lined by books?

Or the shot where the librarian runs thru every book in Frank Baum's Oz series to help a patron choose one of them to take out?

Or the phone call where the patron is informed he already has reached his limit of checked-out books and can't borrow any more?

Or the lengthy strategic-planning session about how the library must balance its e-book holdings with acquisitions of less popular print books and research monographs that might otherwise be unobtainable in the future?

So, one need not scrounge for them, books are abundantly present in the film for any viewer to see.

BTW, one push of the wrong button in Abu Dhabi that deleted a digital file would be countered by all the prior buttons that had retrieved copies of it.

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:19 pm
by jserraglio
1st viewing ever — Bergman: Wild Strawberries

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:52 pm
by Belle
jserraglio wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:19 pm
1st viewing ever — Bergman: Wild Strawberries
I studied that film in 1st year at university, decades ago. I found it a bit torturous, to be honest. But I do appreciate this delicious parody from French and Saunders:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2rbr9l

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:30 am
by jserraglio
Terrence Malick's The New World (2005). A breathtakingly lyrical film by a filmmaker's filmmaker (Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life).

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:03 am
by jserraglio
Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). Great story mostly told via imagery.

Works of Terrence Malick
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf74qellkok

Re: What movies are you watching today?

Posted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:11 am
by jserraglio
Terrence Malick's To the Wonder (2012). Hands down, one of the most poetic films about a love affair I have ever seen. The mise en scene (Paris and Oklahoma, old world juxtaposed against the new) takes your breath away.