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Buffalo '66 is Better Than Chinatown

Started by Dr Rock, June 17, 2022, 10:44:34 AM

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Dr Rock

Ok, I really really like Chinatown, but having just watched Buffalo'66 for the fifth time, I like it more. Gallo and Ricci are almost too much for one screen, they both look amazing. I know Gallo is a cunt in real life, but Polanski's worse.

Anyway, are there two great films you like but prefer the less celebrated? Well don't be shy, tell us why!

Egyptian Feast

I really like Citizen Kane, but prefer Caddyshack, if that helps.

Indomitable Spirit

Ghostbusters > A Matter of Life and Death.

Martin Van Buren Stan

Didn't like either but I thought Chinatown was the most boring forgettable film I've ever seen. Literally the only memory I have of it is Jack Nicholson walking on a roof

Sebastian Cobb

I was a bit let down by Chinatown as well. It wasn't bad, Jack and Faye both did well, I think I disliked the cinematography more than anything, high contrast black and white make film noirs, this well lit colour stuff, nah.

The 80's neo noirs sort of worked out how to use contrast and a lot of blue-filter to imply darkness and other colours and light to make them wonderful, but Chinatown is like a well lit 70's film but with old shit in place. Don't like it.

Blumf

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on June 17, 2022, 11:18:20 PMThe 80's neo noirs sort of worked out how to use contrast and a lot of blue-filter to imply darkness and other colours and light to make them wonderful, but Chinatown is like a well lit 70's film but with old shit in place. Don't like it.

Have you tried The Long Goodbye?

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Blumf on June 18, 2022, 01:54:18 AMHave you tried The Long Goodbye?

Yeah, love it, got that on bluray as it happens, but it intentionally apes the genre, I think it's also, cinematographically speaking, more drab; Chinatown feels overexposed by comparison.

Blumf

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on June 18, 2022, 02:01:52 AMYeah, love it, got that on bluray as it happens, but it intentionally apes the genre, I think it's also, cinematographically speaking, more drab; Chinatown feels overexposed by comparison.

I think you're right on that, CT doesn't match TLG for cinematography. Have to say I enjoy the story in CT, and the issues with control of water still resonate in California today.

I suppose another comparison would be with Farewell, My Lovely, which seems to be a pretty trad take on noir, just with 70s colour stock. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, mind.

13 schoolyards

I saw a recent (online, take with grain of salt, etc) survey which said more people like Blade Runner: 2049 than the original Blade Runner, so I guess my clear preference for the first film fits in here.

The original Blade Runner's also a great noir film, whereas 2049 is... not.

#9
The Two Jakes is better than Buffalo 66

edit: not really but that gallo geezer seems like a bit of a silly goose to me

dissolute ocelot

Chinatown is very well made and gripping while you're watching, but after not so much. Maybe it's the nature of the detective story and the twist.

Anyway, Mona Lisa is better than The Long Good Friday. And About A Boy is better than Trainspotting.

holyzombiejesus

The Wicker Man (2006) is better than The Wicker Man (1973)



dissolute ocelot

Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002) > Schindler's List (Spielberg, 1993)

Also, Johnny Mnemonic is better than Speed.

willbo

#15
The Adjustment Bureau - surreal "love VS a godlike conspiracy" story, Philip K Dick adaption - marketed as a "similar to Inception" film soon after Inception came out, but I liked it a lot more.

some of the films that came in the wake of Batman 1989 (Dick Tracy, Rocketeer, etc) are probably more interesting now

Avatar < Battle for Terra

Blumf

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on June 23, 2022, 12:14:53 PMAlso, Johnny Mnemonic is better than Speed.

Oooo, that's a tough one. I like cheesy 90s cyberpunk, but Speed is great fun.

Reeves related: The Thirteenth Floor is better than The Matrix

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Blumf on June 18, 2022, 02:35:24 AMI suppose another comparison would be with Farewell, My Lovely, which seems to be a pretty trad take on noir, just with 70s colour stock. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, mind.

I don't think it's a fault with 70's stock in general, and even if 70's stock has a look and limitations plenty of films did well with it, see The Killing of a Chinese Bookie - contrast and colour works well even though I think in some of the club scenes it's basically just red and black and very grainy, wonderful still.

Network is another one from a similar era, wonderfully lit and I'm not just talking about the Ned Beatty bit either, because the reasons for that oppressing table scene happening are largely due to them shooting in an office in the New York public libaray, and not allowed to rig lighting, in the end they were allowed to use a light on a pole front-light Ned (and the cinematographer thinks he still over-exposed it a little). Although googling the location for this post it seems they did really think about light from beginning to end:

QuoteLumet and cinematographer Owen Roizman worked out a complicated lighting scheme that in Lumet's words would "corrupt the camera". Lumet recalled: "We started with an almost naturalistic look. For the first scene between Peter Finch and Bill Holden, on Sixth Avenue at night, we added only enough light to get an exposure. As the movie progressed, camera setups became more rigid, more formal. The lighting became more and more artificial. The next-to-final scene—where Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, and the three network gray suits decide to kill Peter Finch—is lit like a commercial. The camera setups are static and framed like still pictures. The camera had also become a victim of television."[18]

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on June 23, 2022, 12:14:53 PMJohnny Mnemonic is better than Speed.

I watched Johnny Mnemonic for the first time recently and the film from a similar era I automatically felt it played second-fiddle to was Strange Days.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on June 18, 2022, 10:13:36 AMAnyway, Mona Lisa is better than The Long Good Friday.

Stand by this one 100%.

Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: Blumf on June 23, 2022, 10:49:30 PMThe Thirteenth Floor is better than The Matrix

Have you seen the 70's German tv serial World on a Wire that it was based off of? Cyberpunk before it existed and very gritty in a typical German way plus really grainy 16mm (pm me if you like).

I'd also argue Bound is better than the Matrix.

Blumf

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on June 24, 2022, 12:05:46 AMI don't think it's a fault with 70's stock in general

Wasn't complaining, just saying the only difference with old noir was the use of colour.

I love 70s grain, me. A great decade for films and that look is the cherry on top.

QuoteThe Killing of a Chinese Bookie - contrast and colour works well even though I think in some of the club scenes it's basically just red and black and very grainy, wonderful still.

It's got to be deliberate. But they knew what they were doing, had the confidence to set things up without having direct feedback on the output.



Tarkovsky's famous Polaroid pictures too, showing it's not the quality of the tools, it's the skill of the person using them.


Blumf

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on June 24, 2022, 12:11:26 AMHave you seen the 70's German tv serial World on a Wire that it was based off of? Cyberpunk before it existed and very gritty in a typical German way plus really grainy 16mm

It's on my (never shrinking) list.

Stigdu


monkfromhavana

An unheralded film from the 70s is definitely Charley Varrick, but I can't think of anything to really compare it with.

Iron Eagle bodies Top Gun.

Blumf

Quote from: monkfromhavana on June 26, 2022, 04:57:23 PMIron Eagle bodies Top Gun.

My man! Also F16 > F14



Electra Glide in Blue > Easy Rider

dissolute ocelot

Returning to the original post, Cutter's Way is a better 70s conspiracy theory about the super-rich than Chinatown. Jeff Bridges and John Heard beat Jack Nicholson and his nose.

Sebastian Cobb

Cutter's way is great and I like how the plot can be summarised in a way that makes it sound the same as the Big Lebowski despite being a very different film