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Old 09-27-17, 10:03 PM   #101
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Definitely call it a win! I am glad I watched it. It's definitely outside of what I normally am drawn to. I thought the actors all did a great job and it was well paced and filmed. That being said...Got a little frustrated at the wife. I'll put the rest in spoilers though...
I spent the last hour writing and revising responses to the points you raised. This one is just too personal for me to discuss openly. I'm not even sure I'm up to discussing it privately at present.

The one thing I will address, though, is your frustration over the ending. Writer/director Andrew Haigh is on record as saying the ambiguity of the final shot was so clear to him when he began writing the screenplay that he built the entire picture around it.

My reading of it is no more "right" than anyone else's. I can only tell you that the night I watched this last year in a theater with only two other people sitting about ten rows behind me, I went through the wringer and by the end, I was left not feeling I needed to see a single minute further, but instead simply with a feeling of hope that Kate, Geoff, and Kate and Geoff, can all begin to truly heal. Maybe, though, I just felt that way because that night, I needed to feel that hope for myself and these characters had become my proxies.
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Old 09-27-17, 11:09 PM   #102
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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I spent the last hour writing and revising responses to the points you raised. This one is just too personal for me to discuss openly. I'm not even sure I'm up to discussing it privately at present.

The one thing I will address, though, is your frustration over the ending. Writer/director Andrew Haigh is on record as saying the ambiguity of the final shot was so clear to him when he began writing the screenplay that he built the entire picture around it.
I think both our interpretations are equally valid-we're both coming from totally different angles in our personal lives and I can see why it touched you a lot more than it did me. I hope, in the end, that Kate and Geoff can truly heal too! But where you were happy when the film ended, I just wanted a few more minutes for them to at least proceed a bit longer in some sort of direction.

But that's what makes life not boring-everyone has different tastes!

On a different note, as I went through The Black Stallion's extras, I found a really nice featurette where they talk with the director Carroll Ballard (was thinking for some reason it was Coppala, but he was the producer, not director) and his interview/discussion was what I was looking for-details about how the film was made, the actors in it and stories about the film being made. Definitely gives me the feeling that Criterion did spend enough time putting extras together (though I still would have liked something on Rooney!)
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Old 09-28-17, 08:24 AM   #103
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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There is an included essay but it's on the back of a large poster of Alec and the Black which makes it hard to read. I'm also worried about tearing it or snagging it as it's pretty large when unfolded.
Check the Criterion web site. More times than not the essays are on line.
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Old 09-28-17, 11:37 AM   #104
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Check the Criterion web site. More times than not the essays are on line.
https://www.criterion.com/current/po...a-on-horseback
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Old 09-28-17, 12:45 PM   #105
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Not sure this is the right spot to discuss, but it was a cool experience so here goes.

We went to the Seattle Symphony concert last night with John Williams conducting his own music. It was an add-on to our regular subscription but we said "Hey, it's John Williams so why not." It opened with an arrangement of Hooray for Hollywood accompanied by a movie screen filled with five seconds of clips from Charlie Chaplin to Gene Kelly and on. It was pretty wonderful, and reminded me of why we hang out at this site. They also played pirate music from Tintin accompanied by clips of Errol Flynn, The Princess Bride, and other swashbucklers.

The second half started with Jaws, then Williams mentioned he had worked on it with Spielberg. Then Spielberg walked out of the wings. The crowd went nuts, and everyone started taking pictures even though they're not allowed during the concerts. Spielberg introduced every selection from then on, including War Horse, Schindler's List, and ET. They showed the River Phoenix scene from Last Crusade on the screen without the score, then they showed it again with Williams and the orchestra playing the score live. Encores were from Lincoln and Indiana Jones. A great evening.

Pic spoiled for size:

Spoiler:
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Old 09-28-17, 01:20 PM   #106
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Check the Criterion web site. More times than not the essays are on line.
Thanks, I did find it, I was just more wishing that instead a large poster, I had gotten a booklet.

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Thanks! These online essays do come in handy.

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Not sure this is the right spot to discuss, but it was a cool experience so here goes.
WOW! I bet that was amazing to experience!
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Old 09-29-17, 01:14 PM   #107
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I had a hankering to watch Forbidden Planet and my DVD from the TCM Classics set is split and nearly broken so I went ahead and bought a digital copy. Why are the publicity stills for it in black and white, though? I almost thought it was the wrong movie!
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Old 09-30-17, 08:39 AM   #108
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to finish the Checklist this year since I had been really busy the last few weeks, but with the completion of the The Warped World of Koreyoshi Kurahara Eclipse set last night, the only thing I have left to do is watch something from 0-100 which will be knocked out tonight after dusk when I watch Dead Ringers for the Horror crossover. I used to be a Criterion blu-ray completionist until last year, so this is the best challenge of them all for me in watching deep backlog stuff that has been sitting in my collection for years. This challenge is always a good motivation for that. Thanks for another great challenge, Travis!
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Old 09-30-17, 07:55 PM   #109
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I fell way behind, but because we have until dawn, I am still hellbent on finishing Christopher Nolan's Top 10. First up will be the longest, The Thin Red Line, clocking in just under three hours. Wish me luck, y'all!
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Old 09-30-17, 08:08 PM   #110
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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I fell way behind, but because we have until dawn, I am still hellbent on finishing Christopher Nolan's Top 10. First up will be the longest, The Thin Red Line, clocking in just under three hours. Wish me luck, y'all!
Good luck! I'm a huge fan of The Thin Red Line; it's such a beautiful and contemplative film. I also didn't get much viewing done this month. I'm planning to watch Kwaidan to finish things up!
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Old 10-01-17, 04:10 PM   #111
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Well, I did it, y'all! I started with The Thin Red Line, then moved on to The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, revisited 12 Angry Men, and had the sun come up as I was finishing For All Mankind. It's been ages since I last did that kind of a movie marathon. I would blame not being able to keep my plans with a friend on it, except the only reason I was even able to watch all four of those at all was that I had a rough night/morning health-wise anyway.

I didn't come close to finishing the challenge checklist (Christopher Nolan's Top 10 was largely redundant for that purpose), but at least I have now actually finished a Top 10 during a challenge, and that's a first for me.

I had to forego dashing off notes about each one after finishing it, so it'll take me some time to write up everything, but I do want to note that it was all but impossible for me to stream anything from VUDU or Filmstruck. I had to resort to Amazon for The Thin Red Line; I was stuck with Filmstruck for For All Mankind. I love the idea of Filmstruck, but so far its execution has made me resentful that they left Hulu, where I had no problems whatsoever.

Now that the challenge is officially over, I'd love to hear from everyone! How was your experience this year? What do you feel you got out of it this time? If you set any objectives for yourself, how'd you do with those?

And, of course, what one film from all that you watched this year would you recommend to participants in the 2018 challenge? I'm going to use the second post in the list thread to compile those recommendations, so let's have 'em!
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Old 10-02-17, 06:55 AM   #112
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Thanks for hosting, Travis. This is one of the challenges I really look forward to every year. It forces me to watch the Criterions that I purchased during the year.
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Old 10-02-17, 10:57 PM   #113
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Kudos to malazar as the only participant who complete the challenge checklist this year! I have revised the second post in the list thread to make note of that, as well as to identify all the films that were watched by more than one participant this year. If you have a recommendation that you feel 2018 participants should consider, dash off a post about it in this thread and I'll link to it there.

I think what I learned more than anything else is that I don't share a lot of Christopher Nolan's taste in film. Since his remarks on that list are so terse and lacking anything resembling insight into either the films or his take on them, I have no way of knowing where it is that he and I diverge. I just know that I was split between "kinda liked it", "alright", and "meh", with Koyaanisqatsi confirmed as a film I just plain hate. Nolan seems to favor films that he finds visually interesting more than anything to do with characters or even themes, per se, and I think those priorities are evident in his own filmography.

That said, I did find myself engaged by The Complete Mr. Arkadin and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, both of which were interlibrary loan rentals. I was able to take my time and delve into all their respective supplements, and I found my interest and appreciation for them grew the more I learned about them. That's seldom the case with most DVD's/Blu-ray Discs, but it is often the case for Criterion releases, which is why I so ardently encourage participants to forego squeezing in as many movies as they can and instead dedicate some viewing time to those supplements.

I was also really into The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. That one, I own and can revisit at my leisure. I've got two weeks left on a free trial of Filmstruck (I've had enough a/v problems I can't fathom paying money for this service until I hear it's improved) and almost a full month of free HBO on Hulu (reliable streaming, but oh my God, do I hate the new interface!), so it'll be awhile before I make time for it, but it's at the front of the line when I return my attention to my own disc library later.

I had a handful of other Criterion discs that I intended to get to this year. Aside from Mabuse, I only made it to one: Tampopo. I first heard of that when it was screened earlier this year at the Speed Art Museum, and it sounded neat but of course I was too physically miserable to attend that night. I took the chance on it during July's 50% off sale at Barnes and Noble, and I'm glad I did. I found it absolutely delightful, and if I were to make a single recommendation for next year's participants, it would be that. [I would always recommend 12 Angry Men, but I figure that one is already on everyone's radar.]
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Old 10-02-17, 11:10 PM   #114
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

I was hoping to slip one more watch this weekend, but it was not to be. I had a reunion that went really well and didn't have any down time. Plus, the wi-fi at my hotel was horrible so I doubt I would have been able to watch more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time. Oh well, one of these days I'll get to Pan's Labyrinth!

Thanks for hosting, Travis! I'm glad you were able to finish your top 10 list, I know that's been bugging you for a while, now.

I also liked that 2nd post showing the overlaps and how many unique movies we've all watched. Pretty impressive list! And kudos to the other watcher of The Black Stallion!
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Old 10-02-17, 11:12 PM   #115
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Kudos to malazar as the only participant who complete the challenge checklist this year!
Thanks! I am surprised that I am the only one who completed it since this challenge is tailor made for using the checklist to get to stuff, for me at least. That's five straight years completing it for me.
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Old 10-03-17, 07:25 AM   #116
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Thanks! I am surprised that I am the only one who completed it since this challenge is tailor made for using the checklist to get to stuff, for me at least. That's five straight years completing it for me.
Kudos indeed! Personally, I had too many lapses where I went a few days without watching movies. I always enjoy doing this challenge. Thanks for hosting, Travis!
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Old 10-03-17, 02:08 PM   #117
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

Congrats on your achievements, Travis and malazar!

I had a ridiculous month in which I was out pretty much every night, but at least I managed to run through the tape with a few viewings at the end. One of these years I'm going to tackle those samurai and Samuel Fuller movies!
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Old 10-03-17, 02:16 PM   #118
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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And, of course, what one film from all that you watched this year would you recommend to participants in the 2018 challenge? I'm going to use the second post in the list thread to compile those recommendations, so let's have 'em!
Thanks for hosting! I would definitely suggest everyone watch Breaker Morant which I imagine is a crowd-pleaser. The disk highlights what makes the Criterion Collection vital and worthwhile. The many interviews and the essay included gave me a richer understanding of the film and the motives behind it. I would also recommend Stalker which is a much more abstract film that may not land with all people. However, it's a beautiful film that has so many interesting things to say.
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Old 10-05-17, 06:48 AM   #119
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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I was also really into The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. That one, I own and can revisit at my leisure...

I had a handful of other Criterion discs that I intended to get to this year. Aside from Mabuse, I only made it to one: Tampopo. I first heard of that when it was screened earlier this year at the Speed Art Museum, and it sounded neat but of course I was too physically miserable to attend that night. I took the chance on it during July's 50% off sale at Barnes and Noble, and I'm glad I did. I found it absolutely delightful, and if I were to make a single recommendation for next year's participants, it would be that.
The Testament of Dr. Mabuse is one I've probably owned for 10 years and have still not watched! Next year for sure! And Tampopo was one of the titles I had from the library because a couple of you were talking about it but I had to return unwatched when my film festival started... bummer.

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I was hoping to slip one more watch this weekend, but it was not to be. I had a reunion that went really well and didn't have any down time. Plus, the wi-fi at my hotel was horrible so I doubt I would have been able to watch more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time. Oh well, one of these days I'll get to Pan's Labyrinth!
Oh man! You definitely need to watch that! I've seen that film 5 times... Twice at the theatre.

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I would also recommend Stalker which is a much more abstract film that may not land with all people. However, it's a beautiful film that has so many interesting things to say.
Stalker is another one I've owned for a decade and not watched! What is my problem??
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Old 10-05-17, 10:58 PM   #120
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Oh man! You definitely need to watch that! I've seen that film 5 times... Twice at the theatre.
I've had it on my watch list for at least 2 challenges now, maybe 3. Just hasn't gotten watched! Part of it is subtitles-it's not that I mind subtitles, but it does take more concentration than normal. Hoping this month might be the one where it actually gets watched!
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Old 10-06-17, 07:16 AM   #121
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Re: 2017 Criterion Challenge Discussion Thread

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Stalker is another one I've owned for a decade and not watched! What is my problem??
Might be the same as my problem, well one of many. My tastes are too eclectic, and when you combine that with my hoarding/collecting bug, you get mountains of stuff that you'll never have time to fully enjoy.
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