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What Non-New Films Have You Seen? (2021 Edition)

Started by zomgmouse, January 14, 2021, 11:12:22 AM

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zomgmouse

A Private Function. Fantastic. Tremendous script, played to perfection, looks pristine. Such grand drama over such trivial matters. Loved it.

Egyptian Feast

Josie And The Pussycats (2001) When boy band DuJour discover their music is being used as a vehicle for subliminal advertising, evil record company executives Alan Cumming and Parker Posey have them bumped off and look for a new band to use for their nefarious purposes. Enter Riverdale's top pop-punk power trio The Pussycats, who are immediately catapulted to the top of the charts with songs that make listeners feel an instant craving for McDonald's (with a stop off at Foot Locker along the way). Attempts are made to push singer Rachel Leigh Cook as a solo act by driving her away from bandmate besties Rosario Dawson & Tara Reid and have them beaten to death by a baseball bat wielding Ryan Seacrest.

Enjoyably daft satire for the pop kids (who unfortunately stayed away). The constant bombardment of product placement from the beginning is an amusing bit of sledgehammer subversion, even though I'm sure none of the corporations targeted were unhappy with the free advertising (nobody paid for the privilege). It's a fascinating time capsule of a bygone era - many of the brands featured are now extinct or irrelevant and packed record stores would soon be a thing of the past. Cummings, Posey and Reid are especially amusing.

Dirty Work (1998) My first encounter with Norm MacDonald. I'm aware it's not highly regarded by his fans, but I found it hilarious when I saw a hooky video of it at a mate's flat at the time and it still holds up for me now. My partner hadn't heard of Norm, so it was the first thing I reached for when he died. It's maybe not the movie it could've been if he'd been allowed to release an R-rated version and the romantic interest subplot is laughably perfunctory, but Jack Warden more than makes up for any flaws.

The Wrong Guy (1997) Another underrated comedy gem, Dave Foley's twist on the 'innocent man on the run' genre deserves to be much better known. The central conceit, which I won't spoil, is ingenious, as is a subplot about
Spoiler alert
impoverished small town bankers and mall-owners being crushed by an evil, snarling farmer who plans to tear down their businesses and replace them with fields of crops.
[close]
Man of the match is David Anthony Higgins as the cop on the case, a man so fantastically lazy, incompetent and freeloading he's admirable.

Spoiler alert
The Saboteur parody at the climax is so delicious I was offended on the filmmakers' behalf that a recent podcast about the film didn't pick up on any of the Hitchcock references, especially this beaut.
[close]

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Egyptian Feast on September 28, 2021, 03:04:10 PM
Dirty Work (1998) My first encounter with Norm MacDonald. I'm aware it's not highly regarded by his fans, but I found it hilarious when I saw a hooky video of it at a mate's flat at the time and it still holds up for me now. My partner hadn't heard of Norm, so it was the first thing I reached for when he died. It's maybe not the movie it could've been if he'd been allowed to release an R-rated version and the romantic interest subplot is laughably perfunctory, but Jack Warden more than makes up for any flaws.

I love Dirty Work.  I'm also a big fan of Screwed, which gets even shorter shrift.

Egyptian Feast

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on September 28, 2021, 06:31:36 PM
I love Dirty Work.  I'm also a big fan of Screwed, which gets even shorter shrift.

Ooh, that had completely passed me by. Cheers for the heads up! The cast alone makes it look like essential viewing.

Small Man Big Horse

Quote from: Egyptian Feast on September 28, 2021, 03:04:10 PM
Josie And The Pussycats (2001) When boy band DuJour discover their music is being used as a vehicle for subliminal advertising, evil record company executives Alan Cumming and Parker Posey have them bumped off and look for a new band to use for their nefarious purposes. Enter Riverdale's top pop-punk power trio The Pussycats, who are immediately catapulted to the top of the charts with songs that make listeners feel an instant craving for McDonald's (with a stop off at Foot Locker along the way). Attempts are made to push singer Rachel Leigh Cook as a solo act by driving her away from bandmate besties Rosario Dawson & Tara Reid and have them beaten to death by a baseball bat wielding Ryan Seacrest.

Enjoyably daft satire for the pop kids (who unfortunately stayed away). The constant bombardment of product placement from the beginning is an amusing bit of sledgehammer subversion, even though I'm sure none of the corporations targeted were unhappy with the free advertising (nobody paid for the privilege). It's a fascinating time capsule of a bygone era - many of the brands featured are now extinct or irrelevant and packed record stores would soon be a thing of the past. Cummings, Posey and Reid are especially amusing.

Dirty Work (1998) My first encounter with Norm MacDonald. I'm aware it's not highly regarded by his fans, but I found it hilarious when I saw a hooky video of it at a mate's flat at the time and it still holds up for me now. My partner hadn't heard of Norm, so it was the first thing I reached for when he died. It's maybe not the movie it could've been if he'd been allowed to release an R-rated version and the romantic interest subplot is laughably perfunctory, but Jack Warden more than makes up for any flaws.

The Wrong Guy (1997) Another underrated comedy gem, Dave Foley's twist on the 'innocent man on the run' genre deserves to be much better known. The central conceit, which I won't spoil, is ingenious, as is a subplot about
Spoiler alert
impoverished small town bankers and mall-owners being crushed by an evil, snarling farmer who plans to tear down their businesses and replace them with fields of crops.
[close]
Man of the match is David Anthony Higgins as the cop on the case, a man so fantastically lazy, incompetent and freeloading he's admirable.

Spoiler alert
The Saboteur parody at the climax is so delicious I was offended on the filmmakers' behalf that a recent podcast about the film didn't pick up on any of the Hitchcock references, especially this beaut.
[close]

I'm with you on all three of those, they're all a lot of fun and deserved to do a lot better upon release than they did.

And I only discovered the existence of Screwed after hearing that had Norm died, but have obtained it and plan to watch it soon-ish.

The Dark Backward (1991) - Another Adam Rifkin movie, one of the most inconsistent directors I've ever come across, this is a showbiz satire where Marty (Judd Nelson) is a garbageman by day and stand up comedian by night, and when his irritatingly brash pal Gus (Bill Paxton) spots a growth on his back he's initially unconcerned. Of course he should be as a third arm emerges from it rather quickly, but the only thing anyone thinks about is how he can use it to become famous, and it's almost weird how little the third arm features in proceedings. It's a grubby, grimy and grotesque movie, loud and lurid but while it has its moments (James Caan's shitty doctor and a couple of dream sequences amused) its relentless ugliness is exhausting rather than entertaining and the ending is frustratingly weak, making the whole thing feel a bit pointless. 3.4/10

Dusty Substance


The Postman - Kevin Costner's largely forgotten ludicrous vanity project from 1997 attempted to combine the scope of Dances With Wolves, the heroism of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves and the post apocalyptic action of Waterworld but with not much success. Costing $80million but only grossing $20million, it at least actually looks like a film (unlike a lot of today's green screen CGI spectacles) and the money is on the screen - it's well photographed, costumes, tons of extras and horses (so many horses), epic score etc. but it moves at the pace of a 90s TV series.
So many unanswered questions in this end of the world scenario -  Where does electricity supply come from? How is food provided? Just as I thought it couldn't get any more insane, there's a montage set to some AOR 90s rock, then Tom Petty turns up (seemingly playing a 2013 version of HIMSELF!) and it ends with Kevin Costner singing a duet with Amy Grant over the end credits.
A genuinely fascinating period piece which says a lot about late 90s Hollywood and, more specifically, Kevin Costner's ego after a short run of box-office and Oscar success. I'd bloody love to watch a warts n all Making Of documentary.

Quote from: frajer on September 27, 2021, 04:58:08 PM
Gemini Man (2019) which is fairly recent for a non-new film, but feels like something straight out of the early 2000s.

It's not exactly bad so much as it is completely pointless and pisses away what could have been a fun premise. Don't watch it.
Ang Lee's career has been bizarre especially recently. He obviously wants to make action movies, going back to Hulk - I've never seen it, but its reputation suggests he shouldn't have made any more action movies. Obviously some very good dramatic films, and even Life Of Pi was pretty, but Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk sounded bizarrely awful, like some kind of South Park parody - not sure if anybody ever watched it. I hoped Gemini Man might be a decent action movie, but again seems like what the hell is he doing?

frajer

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on September 29, 2021, 11:16:33 AM
Ang Lee's career has been bizarre especially recently. He obviously wants to make action movies, going back to Hulk - I've never seen it, but its reputation suggests he shouldn't have made any more action movies. Obviously some very good dramatic films, and even Life Of Pi was pretty, but Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk sounded bizarrely awful, like some kind of South Park parody - not sure if anybody ever watched it. I hoped Gemini Man might be a decent action movie, but again seems like what the hell is he doing?

Yeah it's a bizarrely bland film, when the premise yells "pulpy fun". For all the money involved it looks cheap too, with no memorable set-pieces (although the CGI de-ageing for Smith is impressive). Feels a bit like an extended pilot for a telly series that was never made.

Shit Good Nose

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on September 29, 2021, 11:16:33 AM
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk sounded bizarrely awful, like some kind of South Park parody - not sure if anybody ever watched it.

I saw bits of it.  From memory it was originally supposed to be every bit as satirical as the novel and be about "AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!" type shenanigans with returning war heroes, but it quickly (d)evolved into a slushy melodrama.  I can easily believe blame can be applied to one or both Lee or the studio.

Egyptian Feast

Justice, My Foot! (1992) The earliest Stephen Chow film I've seen so far, from one of his busiest years, in which he banged out eight films. This one is a period comedy about a sneaky lawyer notorious for twisting the truth into weird new shapes. He and his kung-fu master wife (Anita Mui) are raking in the trolleys of gold and being repaid in terrible karma. Mui remarks casually near the beginning that they've lost eleven sons due to their father's misdeeds and soon enough their latest child drowns in a well. She convinces him to retire, which apparently will curse him to father a child with no dick if he goes back into business. After a few weeks of boredom, Mui (pregnant again) gets involved in a murder case and convinces him to represent a falsely accused woman...

This was a lot of fun, even if I didn't have a clue what was going on sometimes due to translation issues. Mui, Chow and his stock company (particularly Ng Man-Tat as a magistrate with chronic room-clearing flatulence and Wong Yat-Fei as Chow's henchman Ah Fook) are always watchable and if this wasn't quite one of my favourites, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to seeing both of the Royal Tramp films next (thanks again, SMBH!), which according to imdb were the next two movies he did that year.

The Sparks Brothers (2021) Bit recent for this thread, but I don't have much to say about it other than it was pretty much the film I was hoping to see and I loved every minute. It just pips Zappa as my favourite music doc of the year, though admittedly I've a few to catch up with, like Summer of Soul.

Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938) This Billy Wilder co-penned Ernst Lubitsch comedy is not one of his most beloved movies and I can understand why. It's very funny throughout, but it does leave a sour aftertaste.

Claudette Colbert is the daughter of a marquis with financial difficulties  and expensive tastes who meets multimillionaire businessman Gary Cooper when each are trying to purchase half a pair of pyjamas in a department store that refuses to sell tops and bottoms separately (because that would be communism). She accepts his offer of marriage (much to her father's relief), only to discover he has been married seven times previously, always for only a few months before he gets fed up and lets them go with a settlement of $50,000 annually. She is disgusted by the news, but agrees on the condition that he gives her $100,000 a year when they inevitably divorce. She reveals to her friend David Niven that she's going to make sure that they do, to teach him a lesson about treating women like commodities.

Spoiler alert
Their honeymoon in Prague (there are lots of pointed references to the recently-annexed Czechoslovakia) and Venice is utterly miserable, she refuses to put out or even be pleasant to him and even starts writing him anonymous letters suggesting she's having an affair, to the point where Cooper's mental health breaks down. The sight of Cooper muttering a calming mantra to prevent a violent meltdown isn't as funny as the filmmakers think and the inevitable happy ending wrapping everything up in a couple of minutes doesn't compensate for the previous unpleasantness.
[close]

phantom_power

Plan B - Excellent film from the excellent actor and now director Natalie Morales (Middleman, Parks & Rec, loads of good comedy things) about a "good" girl who thinks she might be pregnant and needs to get a morning-after pill. Great performances and chemistry between the (to me) unknown leads. Reminded me of Booksmart and Good Boys from recent times

Dusty Substance

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on September 29, 2021, 11:16:33 AM
Ang Lee's career has been bizarre especially recently. He obviously wants to make action movies, going back to Hulk - I've never seen it, but its reputation suggests he shouldn't have made any more action movies.

I watched Hulk for the first a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's best to forget all you've heard about it and go in without any preconceived notions. It's a really interesting piece of work which deals with Freudian ideas and has more in common with Universal monster movies than it does with, say, Donner's Superman or Burton's Batman.  It was refreshing to see a superhero film before they became so homogeneous.

phantom_power

I remember liking it more than others but it does drag in places. I did love the comic book panels though, and the depth it attempted and sometimes pulled off

peanutbutter

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on September 29, 2021, 11:16:33 AM
Ang Lee's career has been bizarre especially recently. He obviously wants to make action movies, going back to Hulk - I've never seen it, but its reputation suggests he shouldn't have made any more action movies. Obviously some very good dramatic films, and even Life Of Pi was pretty, but Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk sounded bizarrely awful, like some kind of South Park parody - not sure if anybody ever watched it. I hoped Gemini Man might be a decent action movie, but again seems like what the hell is he doing?
120fps and 3D, if any cinema in a nearby country was able to show it I'd've probably considered seeing it. Tripling down on the FPS increase stuff after it flopped massively with the Hobbit was an absolutely batshit crazy move to do.

Given some of the weirder moves he's done in his career, it's almost odd how bland his films in general are. Even the really good ones and absolutely awful ones don't really have much to them where I'd be like THIS IS AN ANG LEE FILM!

greenman

Quote from: peanutbutter on September 29, 2021, 06:11:10 PM
120fps and 3D, if any cinema in a nearby country was able to show it I'd've probably considered seeing it. Tripling down on the FPS increase stuff after it flopped massively with the Hobbit was an absolutely batshit crazy move to do.

Given some of the weirder moves he's done in his career, it's almost odd how bland his films in general are. Even the really good ones and absolutely awful ones don't really have much to them where I'd be like THIS IS AN ANG LEE FILM!

Combined with the rather bland look it ends up feeling more like a documentary about someone making an action film, I kept waiting for something to go a bit wrong, for Will Smith to be left hanging upside down on a wire whilst laughing "cut!".

Small Man Big Horse

Screwed (2000) - Norm Macdonald, Dave Chappelle, Elaine Stritch, Danny DeVito and Sarah Silverman star in this farcical silliness where Willard (Macdonald) is fed up working for the selfish cookie mogul Miss Crock (Stritch) and so plans to kidnap her dog, but everything spirals out of control and soon he has to pretend to kidnap himself, and then with DeVito's help find a dead body he can pass off as his own. His best pal Rusty (Chapelle) mostly freaks out and knocks people unconscious, and Silverman is on hand to occasionally offer assistance, though the movie could have used her a bit more often than it did. Otherwise I've no complaints, it's a comedy of errors with a lot of funny moments, it's not up there with the best the genre has to offer but it's a very easy, enjoyable watch that deserves a better reputation than it has. 7.3/10

Egyptian Feast

Boom! (1968) I was given this DVD by my boss who has never watched the whole thing, but has recently upgraded to the blu-ray version due to the John Waters commentary. I'm not sure how long it would've taken me to get around to it if we weren't making a concerted attempt to reduce our stack of unwatched DVDs (some of which have been lingering for over a decade), using a dice to select from the first six on the pile (the other five, fact fans: Midnight Cowboy, Joker, Run Lola Run, Rumble Fish and Monsieur Verdoux). That'll teach me to gamble.

An adaptation of Tennessee Williams' flop play 'The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" (which the author thought was the best film version of his work, having adapted it himself), Boom! is beloved by John Waters as an example of "failed art" and that's probably the best way to approach it. Elizabeth Taylor (36) plays Sissy Goforth, an elderly widow well aware of the punning opportunities her surname provides, who has outlived half a dozen husbands, and is spending her final days dictating her memoirs on her private Mediterranean island, terrorising her domestic staff ("Shit on your mother!"), having trespassers torn apart by dogs or shot dead (like one unfortunate villager) and having spectacular coughing fits. Richard Burton (43) is a desirable poet in his twenties with a reputation for visiting women just before they pass away, earning him the nickname 'Angelo del Morte', who trespasses on her island, braving a savaging from her dogs, in his determination to pay her a visit...

I wasn't in the mood for this and groaned when the dice rolled a 4 ("This is the one thing we didn't want to happen!"), but I ended up enjoying it, mainly due to Taylor turned up to 11, chewing the gorgeous scenery and spitting it in everyone's face. Burton (who thought he and Taylor were miscast) is surprisingly low key in comparison, but Noël Coward (in a role originally offered to Katherine Hepburn, who was hugely insulted) makes up for it, although he's dispatched to the mainland too soon for my liking and his (he complains he can't go back in a dinner jacket during daylight hours and I agreed).

The stories about the shoot are very entertaining. Apparently Coward and Michael Dunn (who plays Taylor's dog-siccing dwarf bodyguard) were antagonistic throughout filming, while Losey, Taylor and Burton spent the entire time sozzled. It may be an urban myth, but supposedly the famous couple attempted to purchase Goforth's villa despite it being a film set and uninhabitable.

Small Man Big Horse

October 01, 2021, 07:42:19 PM #1397 Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 07:57:18 PM by Small Man Big Horse
Huh, can't say I've ever heard of that but it does sound quite unusual and I might have to check it out at some point.

Hocus Pocus (1993) - Supernatural daftness that is over the top and then some with all three leads turning in extremely pantomime-ish broad performances. I wasn't sure about this initially but then about 35 minutes in a talking cat pops up and that's all I need to keep me happy, your Eerie Indiana fella makes for an okay lead, Thora Birch's precocious little sister amused and the film often has a quirky sense of humour with the witches being nicely weird fuckers. The ending is a little too action packed and then sickly sweet and just not that funny, but otherwise this is a decent enough ride. 6.7/10

Dusty Substance


Rush Hour - I saw a lot Jackie Chan films on VHS in the early to mid 90s but had no interest in any of his Hollywood films (the Rush Hours or either of the Shanghai Noon/Knights) but stumbled across the first Rush Hour on Netflix, was in the mood for a popcorny film with a runtime of less than 100 minutes, so decided to give it a try.

Although I don't know anything about the making of this film but it does seem like it would have been the perfect concept to give to Eddie Murphy for Beverly Hills Cop IV (or if they hadn't bothered making the third and the BHC series and just made this instead). So instead of motormouth wisecracking cop Axel Foley, we get motormouth wisecracking cop James Carter, played by Chris Tucker, teaming up with Jackie Chan's Inspector Lee to solve the case of the kidnapped daughter of a wealthy friend of Lee's.

It's perfectly fine. No big laughs but plenty of chuckles to move the story along. Tom Wilkinson excellent as always in the first (?) of his Hollywood villain roles, Philip Baker Hall playing the hangdog police captain, and they even hired a supporting actor who looks remarkably similar to either Rosewood or Taggart (the one with the moustache ie: not Judge Reinhold) which only added further comparisons to Beverly Hills Cop.

Decent action, Jackie doing his confused look thing even more as his English wasn't all that good in 1998, traditional out take reel at the end, 70s funk and soul soundtrack (mostly Edwin Starr's War) crowbarred in presumably to justify a soundtrack CD (remember when they did a *LOT* in the late '90s?).

Should I bother with the others in the series? Or even the two Shanghais? I assume The Tuxedo is as bad as it sounds.



Small Man Big Horse

Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders (1970) - Valerie has turned thirteen and appears to be desired by everyone she encounters, be it for her youth or her virginity, while she wishes to discover who her parents really were. It's a beautifully filmed and very strange fantasy horror that deals with sexuality, adulthood and mortality and which is filled with stunning visual moments, the nudity makes it problematic but if you can ignore that this is a quite outlandishly beguiling affair which is memorable and then some. 8.0/10

Dusty Substance

The Kings Of Summer - A 2013 indie coming of age buddy comedy  in which a trio of teen lads decide to run away to the woods and live in a makeshift house they built. The pull quotes on the DVD cover say "The spirit of Stand By Me lives on", "Hilarious" "Brilliant", none of which are fully accurate. Owing more to Jared Hess than to Rob Reiner and Stephen King, it's not as annoyingly quirky as, say, Moonrise Kingdom but not as interesting and dark as the excellent 1980s Channel 4 mini series One Summer. Personally, I could have done without the character of Biaggio, very much the 'McLovin' oddity of the runaway trio - Either write him out or tone down the kookiness.

The grown ups are played by Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and a bunch of other U.S comedy stars that I won't spoil as it was pleasantly surprising to see them pop for brief appearances. 

If it had been 10% less quirky, it would have been 100% better.

The director followed this tiny $1.5million indie comedy with the $185million Kong: Skull Island.

Small Man Big Horse

Louise En Hiver (2017) - Very gentle and sweet natured French animation where at the end of the holiday season the elderly Louise misses the final train from the small town she spends her summers in, and quickly discovers a love for solitude while she reminisces about her past. It's one of those films I think you need to be in the right mood for as it's slow paced and not a lot happens, but I was in that place tonight and connected with it's thoughtful, wry sense of humour, the occasional moments of melancholy, and its observations on the nature of ageing and memory. 8.0/10.

Small Man Big Horse

Death Note (2006) - Live action adaptation of the Japanese manga where disillusioned law student Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara) finds a book "accidentally" dropped by the God of Death, and as long as he knows what they look like whoever's name he writes in it will die, and if he fancies it he can decide exactly how too. It's an amusing set up, with the police investigation led by the mysterious "L" included to make life complicated for Light as he initially only kills criminals but soon does what he can to make sure he's not caught, but though the ending's decent enough it sets up the sequel in a less than subtle manner and we've clearly only got half of the story here. 7.3/10

Small Man Big Horse

Tito On Ice (2012) - Two Swedish comic creators, Max Andersson and Lars Sjunnesson, are invited to Slovenia to attend an exhibition of their work, and we follow their journey along with a mummified model of former Yugoslavian ruler Tito that they've made. It's an odd mix, a slight exploration of their work and of life and culture in Yugoslavia both before and after Tito's rule, with some parts recreated in black and white stop motion animation, and it's at its best when we hear from some of the writers and artists who live in the countries of former Yugoslavia. But it only skims the surface of its subject matter and left me wishing we'd heard a lot less about the Swedish duo, and much much more about everyone else. 5.6/10

Sebastian Cobb


Shit Good Nose

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on October 04, 2021, 10:55:53 AM
Drowning by Numbers - bit weird innit?

Depends on what metrics you're using for comparison.  Generally it's one of Greenaway's more "normal" films.

Sebastian Cobb

The only other one I've seen is A Zed and Two Noughts, mainly because it was an inspiration of Dead Ringers. Will keep checking him out.

Shit Good Nose

The Falls is brilliant, but atypical of Greenaway.  Otherwise I'm not a fan (I find Prospero's Books to be particularly interminable).  They're all sumptuous to look at, but I personally find them to be quite empty and alienating.  File him with the likes of Guy Maddin, Derek Jarman and, to a degree, Sally Potter and Alain Resnais (EDIT - and, come to think of it, Ken Russell when he's in artsy mode).  YMMV of course.

Mobius

Watched Silent Hill because I told my partner I hadn't seen a scary movie in my entire life, and she said this one was right scary and would shit me up.

It didn't, and it was pretty awful.

zomgmouse

Quote from: Shit Good Nose on October 04, 2021, 02:49:59 PM
The Falls is brilliant, but atypical of Greenaway.  Otherwise I'm not a fan (I find Prospero's Books to be particularly interminable).  They're all sumptuous to look at, but I personally find them to be quite empty and alienating.  File him with the likes of Guy Maddin, Derek Jarman and, to a degree, Sally Potter and Alain Resnais (EDIT - and, come to think of it, Ken Russell when he's in artsy mode).  YMMV of course.

greenaway is funny. maybe viewing his films through that lens would help. ditto maddin and potter whom i both adore. resnais i'd need to see more of but i've loved what i've seen so far