What movies are you watching today?

Here's the place to talk about DVDs (or VHS) films and movies you have seen on television and recommend or don't recommend. Discuss actors and scores, too.

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jserraglio
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What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:57 pm

Tonite — If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

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


jserraglio
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » 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.

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

Belle
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by Belle » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:07 pm

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.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:04 am

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.
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:30 am

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.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » 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. Wiseman's documentary is excellent for what it does, but it doesn't do everything.
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:04 am

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.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:19 pm

1st viewing ever — Bergman: Wild Strawberries

Belle
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by Belle » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:52 pm

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

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:30 am

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).

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:03 am

Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven (1978). Great story mostly told via imagery.

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

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:11 am

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.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:38 am

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) Richard Burton & Claire Bloom. Stunning flick. I'm in love with Claire Bloom. I had only heard her in the Caedmon Shakespeare audio recordings, never seen her. She steals the film from Burton and this is one of his greatest performances, I think.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) Gary Oldham (I was confused! Never read the book.)
_______________________________________________
Next in my film odyssey will be this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHeM9ESwP24


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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:03 am

If you need more Smiley, you'll find the BBC's dramatizations of "Tinker, Tailor" and "Smiley's People" with Alec Guinness as Smiley in YouTube. There are two versions of TTSS, one complete (I believe) and one edited for PBS and a couple of minutes shorter in each episode.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq61jstTApk

There are two versions of "Smiley's People," one apparently complete and the other with the spisodes edited down to 55 minutes each for PBS. This is the complete one:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyvvZYKbnt4

When I was in the Army stationed in Germany I saw "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" in the post movie theater just after coming back from a visit to Berlin, west and east. Creepy.

On another trip, I went to see Peter Brook's National Theatre production of Seneca's "Oedipus" at the Old Vic and found myself sitting directly behind Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom, who were then married. No, I didn't bother them for an autograph. :)
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:31 am

John F wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:03 am
If you need more Smiley, you'll find the BBC's dramatizations of "Tinker, Tailor" and "Smiley's People" with Alec Guinness as Smiley in YouTube. There are two versions of TTSS, one complete (I believe) and one edited for PBS and a couple of minutes shorter in each episode.
Thanks I was going to indulge in this 4-hour UK version tonite, then re-read Spy and read TTSS and maybe the rest of the trilogy for the first time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHeM9ESwP24



I am a very big fan of the very-different-tone-and-style MI flicks. I showed MI 5: Rogue Nation as an experiment in my film class and the kids actually liked the opera scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgYaks1W97s


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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:09 am

I saw that - for some reason the uploader cut 2 hours out of the complete version. I haven't watched it but he must have done some serious damage. Certainly I was never bored and I'd seen the TV versions before, on PBS. Still, if you have a better use for the 2 hours... :)

The current editions of TTSS and SP have forewords by Le Carré in which he praises Guinness very highly. This despite Guinness not looking at all like the descriptions of Smiley in the book, which Le Carré makes much of, but what short fat British actor could have done as well? You'll also find there are a few interesting differences between the books and the TV adaptations, which Le Carré had a hand in. Improvements, I'd say. But he didn't go back and revise the novels accordingly.
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:21 am

Then I"ll watch the uncut versions you linked to. The video quality seems way better too. I know I saw some of these episodes in the 80's but only gave them glancing notice. Big fan of Alex Guinness in anything and everything though. Herbert Pocket! Who knew?

Image

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:42 am

Watched all 6 episodes of the TTSS TV series last night on YouTube: afterwards watched half of the 2011 movie which now made complete sense to me. I noticed that the audiobook of TTSS is also on YT (7 hours). I think I'll borrow the Kindle edition from my library and listen.

Worth watching just to read Alex Guinness's facial expressions and body language. But the most insightful comment came from the traitor, Bill Haydon: [The English] were already America's streetwalkers. True then, even more true now.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:40 am

Strange Days (1995) by Kathryn Bigelow.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4OAPD3Au3Fc


A feel-bad flick, guaranteed: an ugly, violent, oxymoronic dated and prescient forecast of what lay in store for America in the new millennium.

Sadly, much of it has come to pass in our jacked-in era kicked off by iPhone, Facebook, VR headsets and neofascist goonies spawned by Trumpism.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 28, 2019 6:37 am

The Bookshop (2017) - a marvellously involving little film from the UK. Now I gotta read the famous 1978 novel by Penelope Fitzgerald it was based on.

Image

LATimes review here https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/m ... story.html

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:28 am

I watched "Beat the Devil" again on YouTube - funny and brilliant or the other way around, with a perfect cast. The script is credited to Truman Capote and the director John Huston; Capote said they wrote it as they went along, day by day, just keeping ahead of the shooting schedule.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muPpF5bwR4A
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:51 am

John F wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:28 am
I watched "Beat the Devil" again on YouTube - funny and brilliant or the other way around, with a perfect cast. The script is credited to Truman Capote and the director John Huston; Capote said they wrote it as they went along, day by day, just keeping ahead of the shooting schedule.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muPpF5bwR4A
Thanks, I used to have this on VHS. How nice to learn that it's now available on YouTube. It's been put on my watch list for tonite. Pundits on cable TV be damned. I'd rather watch this film classic.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:56 am

John Huston's Beat the Devil (1953) on Amazon Prime. I particularly liked Gwendolen's dialogue (Jennifer Jones). Right out of Oscar Wilde.

Image
Roger Ebert wrote:Capote spoke daily by telephone with his pet raven, and one day when the raven refused to answer he flew to Rome to console it, further delaying the production.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:29 pm

Toy Story 3 (2010), with my 5-year-old grandson.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hIs3k4iKFjM



followed by

Toy Story 2 (1999)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8c22Y4Fb2Q

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:15 am

Mrs. Dalloway (1997) dir. by Marleen Gorris, with Vanessa Redgrave

Stream of consciousness about as well handled on film as I've ever seen it.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:01 am

Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996) - about as good as one could expect in translating Henry James to the filmic medium. Stellar cast, including John Gielgud and Shelley Winters in cameo roles.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:22 am

The Artist (2011) is a silent movie that speaks volumes about the art form. One of my favorite movies of the decade.

Image

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-artist-2011

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:37 am

Toy Story 1 with 2 of my grandkids, followed by Toy Story 3.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:20 pm

Richard Linklater's Trilogy:

Before Sunrise (1995)
Before Sunset (2004)
Before Midnight (2013)

Nothing much seems to happen to Jesse and Celine over the two decades covered in the films, but a lot happens between them. Each of the screenplays is brilliantly written.

Three of my favorite films of all time. The argument sequence at the end of Midnight rivals Albee's in WAVW.
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:28 am

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Dated split-screen techniques, but lavishly photographed in and around 1960s Boston.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by Belle » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:24 am

jserraglio wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:28 am
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Dated split-screen techniques, but lavishly photographed in and around 1960s Boston.
A very good film. I remember seeing it in London in the early 70s with a cinema full of smoking patrons. I nearly choked.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:42 am

Wes Anderson's second film, Rushmore (1998). Charming and funny.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Jul 27, 2019 10:18 am

Park Chan-Wook's The Handmaiden (2016). South Korea.

Convoluted, but a cinematic feast. Set in the 1930's. Centered on a same-sex-love affair that rivals in intensity that between Kim and Donald. Had to watch this flick twice to follow its flashbacks and plot twists. Worth it. Seems to have a lot going on that I didn't get about the cultural clash between colonized Korea and imperial Japan.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:34 am

Two Merchant/Ivory productions of two of Henry James' greatest works.

The Wings of the Dove (1997) - captures what James was all about like no other film adaptation of his fiction I have ever seen.

The Golden Bowl (2000) - lush, stunning, gorgeous but for some of its actors (viz. Nick Nolte, Uma Thurman), Henry James is way above their pay grade.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:18 am

Two more adaptations of classic novels.

E.M. Forster: Howard's End (1992)

Edith Wharton: House of Mirth (2000)

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:52 am

Have you seen Truffaut's "Day for Night"? One of my favorites. Here's a clip:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=271ymG6B7aw
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:55 am

John F wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:52 am
Have you seen Truffaut's "Day for Night"? One of my favorites.
Many, many times to the point of memorization. In a Cambridge MA theater iwhen it first came out. I would go to the first continuous showing and stay thru to the very last. This flick (plus Jules et Jim, Dreyer's Joan and Pasolini's Gospel) were THE movies that converted me to cinema as an art form, and Day for Night even more than the other three b/c it was about making a movie. Yet strangely, I did not see 400 Blows for the first time until just this summer.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:47 am

That would have been the Brattle Theatre, right? What a great movie house - I'm glad to see they're still in business. Not only the theatre but the audience was something else. The Brattle didn't just show "art" films, during exam period they would show old-time favorites. One of these was "Frankenstein," and I'm told that one time, when the villagers were pursuing the monster with torches and dogs, a bunch of students stood up and chanted "Bulldog! Bulldog! Bow wow wow!" Some movies, possibly including "Beat the Devil," were so well known that some in the audience would speak the lines along with the screen actors.
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:31 am

No, not the Brattle but IIRC a theater right on Harvard Square. I recall it was a '30s/40's-ish vaudeville palace with a stage and a balcony where I always sat, not an art & revival house (lotsa Bogart and Bergman at the Brattle). Day for Night played in wide release.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:42 am

If (1968) - an anarchic look at the English public school. Malcolm McDowell's first film.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by John F » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:10 am

I saw that movie when it first came out because it's directed by Lindsay Anderson, and I'd liked "This Sporting Life," with screenplay by David Storey. But I didn't like "If" at all, and now I remember Anderson mainly for his brilliant stage direction of Storey's "The Changing Room" and "Home," with John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. Storey stopped writing in the 1970s, a real loss to the theatre; I don't know why, as he lived on until 2017.

Fortunately "Home" was filmed and it's on YouTube:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YiCYNSZwXA
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:36 am

John F wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:10 am
I saw that movie when it first came out because it's directed by Lindsay Anderson, and I'd liked "This Sporting Life," with screenplay by David Storey. But I didn't like "If" at all
I agree. It was my very first time seeing it. But for some reason I could not hit the damn STOP button and watched the bloody dated thing all the way thru.

The first item on last nite's double feature (a throwback to my early days of moviegoing) was a re-viewing of The Portrait of a Lady (1996). Despite its at times mannered cinematography and its distortions of the novel (i.e., the Gilbert Osmond character (John Malkovich) is made out to be totally repulsive, a kind of Soamesian Man of Property), I liked the rest of the movie a lot. Is Henry James the most subtle psychologist in English prose fiction? If not, he has to be pretty close.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:25 am

The Seagull (2018). Music in part by Nico Muhly.

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:18 am

Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970) – complete on YouTube


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVlFtA8ZUJ0

OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQioloF01TM
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:43 am

Yesterday nite's quad feature . . .

La La Land (2016)
Us (2019)
Get Out (2017)
Her (2013)

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:42 am

Le souffle au cœur (Louis Malle, dir., 1971)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:21 pm

Lacombe, Lucien (1974) dir. by Louis Malle
1900 (1976) dir. by Bernardo Bertolucci
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:34 pm

On Amazon Prime Video:

The Jewish Journey: America (2015) PBS documentary
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1997) documentary
Goodbye, Columbus (1969)
Fear and Desire (1953) dir. by Stanley Kubrick
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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:34 am

The Witch (2016) directorial debut by Robert Eggers (director of The Lighthouse, now in wide release).

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Re: What movies are you watching today?

Post by jserraglio » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:21 am

Repeat viewings of Mission Impossible V and VI: Rogue Nation and Fallout.

The most exciting action/adventure thrillers I have ever seen. Cinématographe, pure and simple.

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