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Old 05.29.2012, 07:28 AM   #16061
Genteel Death
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
The Church was the film that started me thinking that Argento might ultimately be a better producer than he is a director.


I was thinking about your comments on Argento being a better producer than director, and I was reminded that I kind of thought the same after watching the whole of a Giallo TV series he once produced called ''Una Porta Sul Buio'', which translates as ''A Door on the Darkness''. All episodes last about 1 hour and can be found on Youtube, albeit in non-subtitled versions. The series was commissioned by RAI TV after he made his first 3 movies, and all but one ('' Il Tram'') are non-Argento directed. His episode is pretty good, actually, and makes great use of a tram’s movement and its internal switching lights at night to frame the murderer, but ''Il Vicino di Casa'' (The Neighbour), directed by Luigi Cozzi and apparently inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘’Rear Window’’, has to be my favourite. I LOVE how the murderer gets caught because the two delivery men in the morning hear a baby crying who had been sleeping like an angel all night, miraculously, while his parents fell foul of their new neighbour after their car got them stuck inside their new, empty house overnight. It’s almost all filmed at night and the size and lighting of the building where most of the action takes place add that nice claustrophobic touch.
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Old 05.29.2012, 07:28 AM   #16062
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@Genteel Death

It makes total sense that if you're not into the whole Witchcraft/Medieval thing, you probably won't be that into The Church. Although on the Soavi tip, I'm surprised that you haven't seen Dellamorte/Dellamore (unless you have and forgot it was made by him), which I think is his best film by far.

I tend to think the problems you mention with Opera apply to most of Argento's films. They invariably have one or two really outstanding set pieces but it's the dead spots between them that ultimately let him down for me. Without wanting to sound like I'm belittling him (and in some ways quite the opposite), I think he'd be great directing quite high-end commercials or doing stuff for a gallery. Anything that lets him focus on his obvious visual flair while not having to bother with narrative or plotting, his obvious weakspot. Without currently being able to check, I'm sure he's done some promo or backdrop work for Agnes B.

My internet connection is really slow right now, so I'll have to look at that Bava doc later. It doesn't look like one I've seen before. Thanks!

Oh yeah, and it turns out Sabrina Salerno was in a film called Delirium, not Stagefright. I've no idea how I got them mixed up. As far as I can gather, there isn't any connection between her and Soavi at all. Maybe my wishing she was in more films than she is, extends to me imagining she's in movies that she never had anything to do with. Pure wishful thinking.
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Old 05.29.2012, 07:28 AM   #16063
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Good call on dressed to kill. I think my favorite by de palma is sisters... I believe the hitchcock influence is evident in most of his work too. I kind of find him more entertaining than Hitchcock. Isn't Body Double in a way a homeage to some of his work? Even though I don't really consider him to be one of my all time favorite filmmakers or anything, I'd say he's one of the best I've seen when it comes to using the camera to tell a story. The split screen effect used in Sisters is very memorable to me. It was really clever to see the characters in separate locations going from one side to the next while the former couple is trying to clean/hide the whole murder. Then it eventually spirals into a strange direction that I didn't fully understand the first time I saw it.
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Old 05.29.2012, 07:30 AM   #16064
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murmer99
*spoiler alert*

isn't the ending to Opera where the main character suddenly appears in a forest, and the man she seemingly killed in the fire shows up to kill her? it was very bizarre, and even included something about a lizard if I'm not mistaken. I'll have to watch it again but I remember this throwing me off guard. I think Argento may have intended it to be a joke or something. I have the dvd somewhere that includes this little documentary on the making of the film... which is worth a watch if you enjoyed the movie. It may very well be my favorite thing he's directed.

Yeah, that's the one. Many a joke about falling in love with the lizard ensued after last time I went to the cinema to watch it. He MUST have intended the ending to that film as a joke for sure!
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Old 05.29.2012, 07:45 AM   #16065
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genteel Death
I was thinking about your comments on Argento being a better producer than director, and I was reminded that I kind of thought the same after watching the whole of a Giallo TV series he once produced called ''Una Porta Sul Buio'', which translates as ''A Door on the Darkness''. All episodes last about 1 hour and can be found on Youtube, albeit in non-subtitled versions. The series was commissioned by RAI TV after he made his first 3 movies, and all but one ('' Il Tram'') are non-Argento directed. His episode is pretty good, actually, and makes great use of a tram’s movement and its internal switching lights at night to frame the murderer, but ''Il Vicino di Casa'' (The Neighbour), directed by Luigi Cozzi and apparently inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘’Rear Window’’, has to be my favourite. I LOVE how the murderer gets caught because the two delivery men in the morning hear a baby crying who had been sleeping like an angel all night, miraculously, while his parents fell foul of their new neighbour after their car got them stuck inside their new, empty house overnight. It’s almost all filmed at night and the size and lighting of the building where most of the action takes place adds that nice claustrophobic touch.

I'll definitely have a look at those once my connection speed is sorted out (First World problem etc). I've watched a few Gialli in their original Italian and have to say that I'm rarely any more confused seeing them like that than I am when they're dubbed or subtitled. I'm tempted to think there's a level of sheer incomprehension to the giallo that's almost a condition of the genre itself.
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Old 05.29.2012, 08:24 AM   #16066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murmer99
Good call on dressed to kill. I think my favorite by de palma is sisters... I believe the hitchcock influence is evident in most of his work too. I kind of find him more entertaining than Hitchcock. Isn't Body Double in a way a homeage to some of his work? Even though I don't really consider him to be one of my all time favorite filmmakers or anything, I'd say he's one of the best I've seen when it comes to using the camera to tell a story. The split screen effect used in Sisters is very memorable to me. It was really clever to see the characters in separate locations going from one side to the next while the former couple is trying to clean/hide the whole murder. Then it eventually spirals into a strange direction that I didn't fully understand the first time I saw it.

Adam/Atsonicpark has a really interesting take on DePalma. Personally, I like his films but my ongoing problem with him as a director is that he seems to have trouble transcending his influences. Of that 'movie brat' generation, it doesn't take too much effort to identify the influences behind most of the directors involved but, while most managed to find their own voice too, I just don't think DePalma ever really has. I think Dressed to Kill is a great homage/tribute to Hitchcock/Argento but it doesn't really add anything particularly new or unique to them. In my opinion, obviously.
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Old 05.29.2012, 09:03 AM   #16067
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666

Oh yeah, and it turns out Sabrina Salerno was in a film called Delirium, not Stagefright. I've no idea how I got them mixed up. As far as I can gather, there isn't any connection between her and Soavi at all. Maybe my wishing she was in more films than she is, extends to me imagining she's in movies that she never had anything to do with. Pure wishful thinking.

I think you got confused because Stagefright's title in Italian is Deliria, and some people on the internet seem to think Delirium is also another title for Stagefright.

Again, you make some good points about Argento's skills as a director. The thing is, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci I concluded had a better way with Horror/Giallo than Argento because of how versatile as directors they were, and also because of how they could distance themselves from a particular style without becoming too repetitive or giving the impression it isn’t their own movies you are watching. Argento to me increasingly developed his films in a style too eager to please an international audience, which obviously can turn out to be a very good thing if you are not facing the limitations of horror as a genre, and the obvious limitations of being known primarily as a horror movie director.

Both Bava and Fulci were repeatedly involved in comedy and domestic movies which have had very little impact (for the best, trust me) outside of Italy because they wouldn’t make sense to an outsider. That versatility of Bava and Fulci reflects on many of their actors too, what with many of them having often switched roles almost schizophrenically from comedy to horror and soft porn etc.
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Old 05.29.2012, 08:06 PM   #16068
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Deliria makes sense. I've seen both films and they're completely different but Sabrina's role could've fitted into either. I have a strange obsession with her, Im afraid.

I think you're dead right about Argento's relative lack of range, which is frustrating because in interviews he seems far more interesting than his films often suggest; far more than a lot of filmmakers I prefer, even. I half wish he'd been more adventurous in his choices. I really don't think we'll ever see the best of him so long as he sticks within the limitations of horror movies. Those limitations worked perfectly for someone like Fulci but I think Argento's general style has always been slightly hindered by them.
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Old 05.30.2012, 02:38 AM   #16069
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Adam/Atsonicpark has a really interesting take on DePalma. Personally, I like his films but my ongoing problem with him as a director is that he seems to have trouble transcending his influences. Of that 'movie brat' generation, it doesn't take too much effort to identify the influences behind most of the directors involved but, while most managed to find their own voice too, I just don't think DePalma ever really has. I think Dressed to Kill is a great homage/tribute to Hitchcock/Argento but it doesn't really add anything particularly new or unique to them. In my opinion, obviously.



DePalma has his cinematic ups and downs, but "Casualties of War", "Femme Fatale" and "Blow Out" are marvelously sensationalistic pieces of work. I'd throw "Carlito's Way" in there as well with its completely fatalistic and moving finale. Sure, they crib from here or there, but I find it hard to deny the momentum a majority of his films build up. Kinda hoping his latest work, "Passion"- which should get a Toronto Film Fest unveling later this year- holds up to the best and not the worst like "Black Dahlia".
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Old 05.30.2012, 10:04 AM   #16070
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I have to admit, I completely forgot that he made Casualties of War and it's certainly true that not all his films are simple homages to other directors but I'm still not sure he's ever really found a style of his own. Saying that, there's quite a few of his later films that I haven't seen.
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Old 05.30.2012, 12:24 PM   #16071
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yeah not all of them are like that, and it's arguable that he at least made his films more entertaining. That's from my perspective of course, as I'm easily more fascinated by De Palma as a whole, but I have a lot of respect for both regardless. Like Godard said, "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to." and I agree to an extent. I think it's generally difficult for an artist to avoid entirely illustrating the influence of preceding artists. But it's definitely important to not worry about such comparisons and try to stay as honest to your ideas as possible. Woody Allen is obviously an adequate example of someone who perhaps relies heavily on the directors that influenced him. He has however surprised me at times... and I would consider myself a pretty big fan. I see what you're saying though... if it reminds you too much of something else at times, it probably makes more sense to just watch whatever it resembles instead.
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Old 05.30.2012, 03:01 PM   #16072
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genteel Death
Rabid Dogs wipes off Tarantino's entire movie career in one long, low-budget car ride.

To be fair to Tarantino, while I'd maybe agree with that in reference to Reservoir Dogs I think Rabid Dogs is simply too different to anything Tarantino's made since to really warrant a comparison. I'm not even sure it's that comparable with most other Bava films.

Quote:
Did you ever watch this short but sweet documentary about ''Danger Diabolik''? Interesting comparisons made by Stephen R. Bisette between Bava's framing of images in a comic-like movie context and ''Batman'' and ''Barbarella''.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...42787231129368

Finally got to see it. Great stuff. As interesting on comics as it was on Danger Diabolik. And definitely does a good job trying to undercut the whole camp argument. Great find.

Inspired me to watch Barbarella again tonight ...
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Old 05.30.2012, 03:35 PM   #16073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murmer99
yeah not all of them are like that, and it's arguable that he at least made his films more entertaining. That's from my perspective of course, as I'm easily more fascinated by De Palma as a whole, but I have a lot of respect for both regardless. Like Godard said, "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to." and I agree to an extent. I think it's generally difficult for an artist to avoid entirely illustrating the influence of preceding artists. But it's definitely important to not worry about such comparisons and try to stay as honest to your ideas as possible. Woody Allen is obviously an adequate example of someone who perhaps relies heavily on the directors that influenced him. He has however surprised me at times... and I would consider myself a pretty big fan. I see what you're saying though... if it reminds you too much of something else at times, it probably makes more sense to just watch whatever it resembles instead.

I'd say Godard's point is far more applicable to Woody Allen. The interesting point for me isn't that a film like Stardust Memories was so heavily influenced by Bergman but that Allen was inventive enough to translate that influence into comedy. That's my problem with a film like Dressed to Kill. It takes the Hitchcock/Argento thing but only in order to make the exact kind of film we've already seen them do numerous times. Although I wouldn't want to sound like I think there's any kind of absolutes in terms of the 'right' or a 'wrong' way to use influences. There are plenty of films I love that'd contradict any such 'rule' (Body Double being an obvious one).
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Old 05.30.2012, 04:29 PM   #16074
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i've never been a big de palma fan though i did love scarface. i haven't seen all his movies, not even such a pop culture icon as carrie. why? i'm just not attracted. still, he's not nobody-- love him or hate him he stands for something (though what is that "something" is up for debate)

so after reading everyone's comments i was looking at his quotes on imdb today and i thought they might be relevant:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000361/bio#quotes

namely this one:

I don't think I do referencing, I use ideas which I think are effective in this particular piece at the moment. If they've been used before, fine. I mean, who cares? To me, it's all grammar. If I've got that word available and it was used before and if I can use it again more effectively for my piece - why not? It's the history of art from the beginning of time. Why do you think painters still paint Chartres Cathedral? Do you think they should be painting some rock in a garden? But they have this incredible architectural thing in front of them! Are they copying, are they simulating it? Well, maybe they have a different interpretation of the piece of art that's in front of them. I mean, how unusual...

he also said (it's a bit above that):

[on Alfred Hitchcock] He is the one who distilled the essence of film. He's like Webster. It's all there. I've used a lot of his grammar.


He calls it grammar, but funny thing, his Untouchables version of the Odessa steps was not the same grammar at all as Eisenstein's-- for Eisenstein, the baby cart was a metaphor for the budding revolution, for De Palma, it was a cheesy device to the make the audience gasp-- grammar my ass.
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Old 05.30.2012, 07:06 PM   #16075
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Interesting point about his version of the Odessa Steps. I've never looked at it that closely and so always took it to be quite faithful to the original. Ultimately though, like your thing with Carrie (which is actually very good, btw) I don't particularly care because I don't think The Untouchables is that interesting a film anyway or DePalma that interesting a filmmaker. And I can never decide whether Scarface is a really good film or a pretty bad one that just happens to be really enjoyable.

Anyway following the discussion of Bava, I just watched a erm Roger Vadim film ...

 


Barbarella

If nothing else, I suppose it's definitely one of the most 'sixties' films out there but where say Danger Diabolik is simply too well made to be written off simply as a kitsch historical artefact of swinging Europe, I'd say that's pretty much the sum of Barbarella's appeal these days. The film equivalent of a lava lamp.
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Old 05.30.2012, 07:22 PM   #16076
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Originally Posted by Dr. Eugene Felikson
Fucked up individual - how exactly?

I'd cast her in heartbeat. Difficult to work with or not.

I found out what it was. She's apparently one of the most ruthless for blocking her stuff from being made available on forums. So she's alienated a large section of her fanbase, who've started bad mouthing her as a result. |That's how the rumours started, about her being some out of control drug fiend who no photographer would work with. A case of porn fans turning nasty when they can't get what they want for free.

You should seriously think about trying to cast her in something. I doubt very much if she's that expensive and seems far more open to doing something different than a lot of the others.
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Old 05.30.2012, 11:31 PM   #16077
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
Interesting point about his version of the Odessa Steps. I've never looked at it that closely and so always took it to be quite faithful to the original. Ultimately though, like your thing with Carrie (which is actually very good, btw) I don't particularly care because I don't think The Untouchables is that interesting a film anyway or DePalma that interesting a filmmaker. And I can never decide whether Scarface is a really good film or a pretty bad one that just happens to be really enjoyable.

it's probably a bad movie, cheesy all around, but pacino is awesome in it and that carries the movie, plus it's full of memorable lines like "sey hellow to my littul frenn", etc.

potemkin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps-v-kZzfec
soldiers crushing the budding revolution

untouchables:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJpRSf4q-hI
nice prop for a 'hero" shootout and cool slow-mo edit, but that's all-- not really the "grammar" of soviet montage at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Anyway following the discussion of Bava, I just watched a erm Roger Vadim film ...









 


Barbarella

If nothing else, I suppose it's definitely one of the most 'sixties' films out there but where say Danger Diabolik is simply too well made to be written off simply as a kitsch historical artefact of swinging Europe, I'd say that's pretty much the sum of Barbarella's appeal these days. The film equivalent of a lava lamp.

ha ha @ lava lamps

i did see that movie some years ago, can't remember anything about it except for jane fonda's fabulous legs. and i just watched the trailer and still.. that's all i remember.

i know nothing of bava, having never seen anything by him (i think, anyway). gonna check him out after this maybe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
I'm sure I read somewhere that she had some falling out with the industry over some kind of drug-related lifestyle issues. Although I haven't found anything to substantiate it on a search I just did. She changed her image for a while and went pretty much all-out goth/fetish and was almost unrecognizable from her previous, more clean-cut/nerdy/manga look. So maybe the rumour was started by some disgruntled fan of the 'old Ariel' who took her new image as an indication that she was on drugs, or something. She also changed website and I know some site owners spread rumours about girls who, for whatever reason, stop working for them. She got an AVN nomination last year so I'm guessing things can't be all bad for her.


Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
You should seriously think about trying to cast her in something. I doubt very much if she's that expensive and seems far more open to doing something different than a lot of the others.


you guys are aware that these pornettas can't act for shit, right? which is why they work out of the san fernando valley and not hollywood. srsly, some people can act, some people have a great ass, some intersect both groups--the first set are the character actors, the second set are the porno people, and the intersection are the potential movie stars-- those are very long odds. even the legendary marilyn chambers, whose memory i adore, was quite shit in cronenberg's early movies.
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Old 05.31.2012, 01:52 AM   #16078
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i know nothing of bava, having never seen anything by him (i think, anyway). gonna check him out after this maybe.

Well I do think everyone should watch Danger Diabolik at least once.

Quote:
you guys are aware that these pornettas can't act for shit, right? which is why they work out of the san fernando valley and not hollywood.


That used to be far truer than it is now. Once you get into the more mainstream end, the competition is so high that while some of that 70s wooden thing is still there, it's by no means 'industry standard' anymore, and definitely not with the the bigger companies. I'm not saying any of them are gonna worry Judi Dench or Helen Mirren come oscar time but I definitely don't see much of a leap in acting skills between say Megan Fox and a girl signed to Vivid.
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Old 05.31.2012, 01:58 AM   #16079
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wow, i surprisingly enjoyed the avengers a lot.
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Old 05.31.2012, 03:15 AM   #16080
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