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Old 08-30-17, 11:18 PM   #26
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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For those who have participated in previous Criterion challenges, what's something you've taken away from them?
Criterion really does have the best catalog of any company out there. They deserve the fanboy love and the haters can suck it.

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What's something you've enjoyed about previous challenges?
It gives me an excuse to ignore TV and games for a while and focus on my real life goal.

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Have you set any objectives for this year?
BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ!!!

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Will you be watching movies solo or are you planning to share your viewings with others?
Mostly I watch them solo, but once in a while I can tie something into a group activity.

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Are you planning to focus on first time viewings, or are you leaning more toward revisiting movies you've seen before?
Except for Chungking Express, I'm planning on only first time titles.
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Old 08-30-17, 11:31 PM   #27
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Amazon Prime currently has:

Le Havre
Ride in the Whirlwind
The Shooting
If. . .
Cameraperson
David Lynch: The Art Life
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Old 08-31-17, 08:38 AM   #28
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

This Challenge is always the most problematic for me, if just in terms of really making time for it. The problem is the calendar.

As a lifelong football fan, September is always a very busy month outside of film for me. Most of my free time has historically been committed to watching and thinking about football. You all think I'm obsessive about Challenges or comic books, it's nothing compared to my obsession with football. Until recently, I could recite the scores of every Super Bowl. There has not been a day since 1972 that I haven't thought about the Minnesota Vikings. I used to scour stats and watch highlights constantly, played fantasy football before the Internet existed, and was outside playing with friends every day. That passion has diminished with marriage, and may disappear as I get disgusted with the sport's handling of CTE. But for now at least, I'll likely still spend more TV time next month on football than on all other media combined.

But even if I give up football, September is busy with family commitments (school starting for my wife and daughter), and enjoying the weather. I hate the heat of the summer, and typically use April and September as my main "fresh air" months.

All that pesonal fluff aside, I still love this Challenge for the same reason I love Criterion films themselves. The chance to explore non-popcorn story telling and sometimes experimental film styles broadens my horizons and hopefully helps me grow in knowledge and compassion.
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Old 08-31-17, 08:49 AM   #29
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

^ And I must also confess that much of my (August and) September free time is spent planning for the October Horror Challenge.
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Old 08-31-17, 12:19 PM   #30
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I will be watching solo because my husband usually spends his time playing video games. One of the reason I enjoy this challenge is to have the opportunity to discuss these films with fellow cinema fans. I find your comments educational and I am often turned on to new directors and films.
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Old 08-31-17, 12:54 PM   #31
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

The highlight of this challenge every year for me is ticking a couple titles off the unwatched list.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:01 PM   #32
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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The highlight of this challenge every year for me is ticking a couple titles off the unwatched list.
That's always the main goal for me, but I rarely get more than a couple done. Between the busyness of my month, and the need for these films to require more time/attention than most (subtitles), I tend to watch a lot of the same English Criterions year after year.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:05 PM   #33
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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That's always the main goal for me, but I rarely get more than a couple done. Between the busyness of my month, and the need for these films to require more time/attention than most (subtitles), I tend to watch a lot of the same English Criterions year after year.
Right, I try not to watch The Rock and Silence of the Lambs EVERY year.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:16 PM   #34
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

You know, I haven't watched The Rock in years. In fact, it's possible that I've only seen it once. But that box is in storage David, rats.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:56 PM   #35
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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You know, I haven't watched The Rock in years. In fact, it's possible that I've only seen it once. But that box is in storage David, rats.
It's the Michael Bay film that it's OK to like!
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Old 08-31-17, 03:18 PM   #36
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Right, I try not to watch The Rock and Silence of the Lambs EVERY year.
I have to make a concerted not to watch Sweet Smell of Success ever year. However, I may have to pop in Akira despite having seen it many times.

Tonight is Movie Night, and it's my night to choose the film, so we're going to watch The Exterminating Angel! I'm very excited to show this to my friend for awhile.
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Old 08-31-17, 09:53 PM   #37
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I'm starting off the challenge tonight with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. It's also doubling as the last movie in my friend's Letterboxd August Scavenger Hunt. The task: Watch a film set in Kansas. No problem.
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Old 09-01-17, 12:43 AM   #38
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

My friends really enjoyed The Exterminating Angel, and we had a lively discussion about the film as well as context. None of us know about Franco's Spain beyond the broadest of strokes, so there was a lot we know we were missing, but the surreal yet human situation still left an impression on us. The film is about a group of upper-class people who find themselves mysteriously unable to leave a couple of room in a large mansion. As the situation frays their nerves and resources run short, they go a bit... crazy.

The film reminded me of a couple of things I watched and read recently (including the excellent When the Wind Blows for the animation challenge) that explore what happens when the infrastructure of civilization fails or in inaccessible. With the horrific disaster in Texas as well as the erosion of our governmental agencies and norms by the current ruling body, it seemed more poignant and hellish on this viewing. Thankfully, our current prison is the world - which is preferable to a drawing room - but trapped is trapped nonetheless, and I found myself empathizing with the characters' desperation and madness.
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Old 09-01-17, 10:00 AM   #39
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

My goal is to complete the checklist as I try to do every year. I find that this gets me to dig deeper into the collection and try out some things that I might not otherwise try. It also stops me from just watching whatever the stuff is that I most want to watch. I used to be Criterion blu-ray complete until I saw something would eventually be coming out that I could not justify supporting, so I have a lot of stuff that has been languishing in my backlog for years. I started last night with They Live By Night which was really good. I still haven't decided which boxset or Eclipse set to watch this time, but since I still have four days remaining in my vacation that I will be home for, maybe that will happen sooner rather than later.
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Old 09-05-17, 01:30 AM   #40
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

After a holiday weekend without any Criterion viewing, I returned home and watched Broadway, a supplemental film on the BD of Lonesome. It's a pretty standard backstage drama about a showgirl caught between her poor partner and a wealthy producer who bootlegs on the side. There were several impressive tracking shots of the theater and several musical numbers, and the cinematographer, Hal Mohr, gives an interview about how they were accomplished that is worth a listen. All-in-all an okay film with several technical flourishes to recommend it.
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Old 09-05-17, 01:57 AM   #41
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Got a late start to this year's challenge, but I finally wet my feet with Tampopo. It's late and I'm drowsy, so I'm gonna have to come back tomorrow to organize my thoughts. For the moment, I'll simply note that it was odd in that the story wasn't at all what I had imagined, but the experience itself kinda was. It's zany, it's sweet, it's energetic, it's funny, and at times, its non sequitars become almost dizzying. It was, in a word, delightful.
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Old 09-05-17, 03:01 AM   #42
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I got a late start to the Challenge myself. I was browsing the Dish Guide, and came across Rosemary's Baby, on Epix Drive In. I had never seen it before, but I thought it was a very good movie. I can see why it was chosen to be part of the Criterion Collection.
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Old 09-05-17, 06:34 AM   #43
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Late starter as well, but popped in The Lady Vanishes yesterday. I had picked it up at the library a couple of weeks ago and held on to it for this month. If course, I've seen it before but it had been quite awhile. It so interesting to watch the early Hitchcock films and see how he progressed over the decades.
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Old 09-05-17, 11:19 AM   #44
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Been watching about two films a day so far, following my recent norm of racing to complete my personal checklist first, and then being able to relax and pick more for enjoyment the latter part of the month.

That said, I've loved my choices so far, including old favorites like The Wizard of Oz (in 3D!) and Carnival of Souls, and a fantastic first time viewing of The Shooting.

Queued up next is my possibly first serious viewing of Dr. Strangelove; seems like an unfortunately timely choice.
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Old 09-05-17, 11:56 AM   #45
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Originally Posted by Travis McClain View Post
Got a late start to this year's challenge, but I finally wet my feet with Tampopo. It's late and I'm drowsy, so I'm gonna have to come back tomorrow to organize my thoughts. For the moment, I'll simply note that it was odd in that the story wasn't at all what I had imagined, but the experience itself kinda was. It's zany, it's sweet, it's energetic, it's funny, and at times, its non sequitars become almost dizzying. It was, in a word, delightful.
I saw it in theaters many years ago and have only a poor-quality (probably non-anamorphic) DVD. I gave my parents the new Criterion version but should probably get it myself someday. The Ramen Girl wasn't terrible but not nearly as charming.
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Old 09-06-17, 04:22 AM   #46
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Late starter as well, but popped in The Lady Vanishes yesterday. I had picked it up at the library a couple of weeks ago and held on to it for this month. If course, I've seen it before but it had been quite awhile. It so interesting to watch the early Hitchcock films and see how he progressed over the decades.
Unlike a lot of other folks, I'm not actually into most of Hitchcock's iconic, later works (Psycho, Vertigo, The Birds, etc.), but I highly enjoyed a lot of his earlier ones, and I found The Lady Vanishes in particular was engaging from start to finish. I would not have guessed at the outset that it would wind up going where it did, and thankfully I'd managed to not know anything about it before I watched it so I was genuinely taken in and surprised along with our protagonists. It's easily one of my top 5 Hitchcock movies. (Another would be The 39 Steps, also in The Criterion Collection.)
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Old 09-06-17, 04:31 AM   #47
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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I saw it in theaters many years ago and have only a poor-quality (probably non-anamorphic) DVD. I gave my parents the new Criterion version but should probably get it myself someday. The Ramen Girl wasn't terrible but not nearly as charming.
Aha! Someone else who has seen The Ramen Girl! I felt the romance subplot incongruous and undermined the final act, but otherwise I really dug it. It's probably my favorite Brittany Murphy performance, though I've yet to make my way through her entire filmography.

That said, it's no Tampopo. I've seen very few movies this year to date (this was just my eighth, and that count includes a short film), but even so, it's been quite some time since I reacted to a film with the kind of bemusement, fascination, and affinity that this one elicited from me.

I am, however, retroactively even more disappointed that I wasn't well enough to attend the Speed Art Museum's screening of it earlier this year.
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Old 09-06-17, 04:31 PM   #48
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I met Brittany Murphy several years ago, and she seemed really genuine and charming. And then she was gone.
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Old 09-07-17, 10:51 AM   #49
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Finally watched the cult dark comedy Harold & Maude and loved it.
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Old 09-08-17, 10:38 AM   #50
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Finally watched the cult dark comedy Harold & Maude and loved it.
And now you know how Wes Anderson was made.
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