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Old 01.26.2014, 01:26 PM   #17781
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Great, great film based on the lives of a soul DJ based in the Dalston area in 1977. Fine action/plot, a class soundtrack, accurate portrayal of gay characters, and a piece of social history in itself. Never a boring moment, either. Definitely recommended if this sounds like it floats your boat.
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Old 01.26.2014, 02:12 PM   #17782
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Old 01.26.2014, 05:52 PM   #17783
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Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
 


Great, great film based on the lives of a soul DJ based in the Dalston area in 1977. Fine action/plot, a class soundtrack, accurate portrayal of gay characters, and a piece of social history in itself. Never a boring moment, either. Definitely recommended if this sounds like it floats your boat.

Sorry but while it's heart might be in the right place, that's a bloody awful film. A cliche ridden embarrassment.
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Old 01.26.2014, 06:09 PM   #17784
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
Sorry but while it's heart might be in the right place, that's a bloody awful film. A cliche ridden embarrassment.

Heh heh - been a while since we disagreed on a film, eh? Fair enough to you - personally, I found it enjoyable stuff, though certainly don't expect you to like everything I do! Be interested to know your take on it, if you have a spare moment.

Talking of seriously bad films, someone on FB tried to talk up Jesus Franco's "Bloody Moon" as being a decent giallo effort. I remember that one as being an absolutely godawful trainwreck, with some of the worst special effects I've ever seen. I think I lent it to you, and you referred to it as "Bloody Awful"!

PS. Just about to watch Claude Chabrol's "The Breach" - have you seen that one at all?
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Old 01.26.2014, 06:39 PM   #17785
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I just think Isaac Julien was so busy shoe horning good causes into the thing that he forgot to make a watchable film. The acting's no better than you'd find in a 'serious' bit of kids tv and the politics seem no more real than those massive 'community' murals you used to find on the sides of run down housing estates. YSR is testament to a period when British cinema seemed to be run by social workers rather than filmmakers.
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Old 01.26.2014, 08:38 PM   #17786
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
I just think Isaac Julien was so busy shoe horning good causes into the thing that he forgot to make a watchable film. The acting's no better than you'd find in a 'serious' bit of kids tv and the politics seem no more real than those massive 'community' murals you used to find on the sides of run down housing estates. YSR is testament to a period when British cinema seemed to be run by social workers rather than filmmakers.

Definitely some interesting thoughts there - to be honest, I haven't seen that much Brit cinema of this period, so I should check out some more to see where you're coming from on this. Agreed that the acting ain't exactly A1 level stuff, but it didn't come across as that particularly awful to me. As for the politics - well, I did have a good laugh when one of the characters turned out to be an SWP member (they get everywhere, don't they?), and will concede that the "NF News" bit was a tad shoehorned in, though I still think the gay stuff was overall sensible and even-handed. I'm trying to think of other films that had the "worthy" thing going on which I've seen, and nothing's coming up so far - it'll probably come to me once I wake up in a few hours time (wait a sec - would Godard's "La Chinoise" count as "worthy", or is that a different beast altogether?).

Anyway, ta muchly for your take on it - always appreciate your views on film business and stuff.
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Old 01.27.2014, 04:44 AM   #17787
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Overall pretty impressive stuff by Claude Chabrol - a decent story, some good performances, and pretty-well paced. My criticisms of it is that it could have lost 15-20 mins of running time to tighten up the flow of the film, the ending is slighty daft, and the plot seems to veer off at tangents at times. But all in all, good work by Mr Chabrol. Will check out his "L'Enfer" in due course.
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Old 01.27.2014, 11:53 AM   #17788
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Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
Definitely some interesting thoughts there - to be honest, I haven't seen that much Brit cinema of this period, so I should check out some more to see where you're coming from on this. Agreed that the acting ain't exactly A1 level stuff, but it didn't come across as that particularly awful to me. As for the politics - well, I did have a good laugh when one of the characters turned out to be an SWP member (they get everywhere, don't they?), and will concede that the "NF News" bit was a tad shoehorned in, though I still think the gay stuff was overall sensible and even-handed. I'm trying to think of other films that had the "worthy" thing going on which I've seen, and nothing's coming up so far - it'll probably come to me once I wake up in a few hours time (wait a sec - would Godard's "La Chinoise" count as "worthy", or is that a different beast altogether?).

Anyway, ta muchly for your take on it - always appreciate your views on film business and stuff.

The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Loach? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to features I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

Some better politically oriented Brit stuff from that period would be (for me anyway) something like Letter to Brezhnev but the best stuff seemed to be more TV based: Edge of Darkness, Our Friends in the North, A Very British Coup, Boys From the Black Stuff, Made in Britain, etc.
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Old 01.27.2014, 11:55 AM   #17789
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to feature films I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

maybe it's the way these people get funding. here if you want money from PBS you have to touch all these fucking "points" or whatever. ugh!
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:00 PM   #17790
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to feature films I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

Didn't realise that Julien didn't make another feature after YSR - well, I never. Think I'll defo check out some of his shorts though. And yep, agree w/you on the political film-makers you cite. I'd also throw in Costa-Gavras ("Z") too. Re. Godard, I love loads of his pre-explicity political stuff, and even "La Chinoise" has its charms to me as well, even if I think the nutty Maoist stuff therein is completely daft. I do remember coming away from the "British Sounds" doc though thinking he missed a trick there - what could have been a v interesting politically-themed doc was a bit of a misfire to me in the end. A real shame, that.

PS. Your "thank fuck" comment made me chuckle

EDIT: Just seen the addition to your last post - not seen "Letter To Breznev", as it goes, but have seen much of the TV stuff you cite (especially love "Boys From The Black Stuff).
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:22 PM   #17791
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British Sounds fluctuates between brilliant and boring in roughly equal measures. But I like the fact that it's so confrontational and almost encourages you to walk out. YSR's far too nice for its own good, like an episode of Desmonds directed by Tom Robinson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
maybe it's the way these people get funding. here if you want money from PBS you have to touch all these fucking "points" or whatever. ugh!

That's probably true in this case. The bulk of the money for that film was put up by Channel 4 which at that time liked to see itself as a champion of all things marginal. I'm sure there were meetings held during production as to whether room could be found for a black dyslexic lesbian vegan. For better or worse, it's no wonder the country quickly turned to the Happy Mondays and Men Behaving Badly as an antidote to it all.
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:39 PM   #17792
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A documentary covering the history of the cocaine trade within Miami, and the attendant "drug wars", during the late 1970's, up to the end of the 1980's. What I was hoping to be a serious, sober look at the cocaine industry turns out to be nothing of the sort - starting out with gun pornography, this documentary wheels outs much-repeated cliches and tropes (including some rather racist commentary upon the Colombian and Cuban population of Miami), and seems to revel in death and murder (there are many gruesome still photos of murder victims featured throughout)

There are little actual insights from the law enforcement agencies and "experts" (no surprise there then), and those involved in the cocaine trade themselves seem to spend much time talking about the "good old days". Police corruption and political campaign financing is touched upon momentarily, but never followed up, and the documentary peddles the nonsense that Miami was "crime free" before the cocaine wars kicked in. George Bush Senior is shown in his "war on drugs" mode, which the documentary considers to be a "success", and other minor-league politicos get to air their views without being challenged once.

The last hour of the documentary spends much time upon the life of Medellin Cartel member Griselda Blanco, but even this gives no real insights into her control, power and influence within Miami and beyond - all we hear is that she had expensive tastes, was a lesbian (shock horror!), and was not averse to having rivals bumped off. The rest of the running time involves various small-fry gangsters and hitmen talking about their activities, and how they ended up being caught and imprisoned.

The documentary itself has a distinctive made-for-TV feel to it, and at 2 hours in length, is way overlong; the running time could easily have been cut by at least 30 minutes. There's absolutely no comment made on the impact of the cocaine trade on Miami's Latino population - all we're told is that the Latinos are essentially "bad" people, and that's your lot. There's also zero comment on the effect/impact of the cocaine trade within Colombia itself.

"Cocaine Cowboys" seems to possess all the accuracy and insight of your average "Mondo" film, and says nothing at all about how the influx of cocaine affected a major American city. In fact, the only thing to note on this documentary is that the incidental music was done by Jan Hammer, composer of the "Miami Vice" theme tune...and you'd probably get a more accurate idea of the drug trade by watching an episode of said TV programme!

An uninformative, slanted and cliched documentary, then. Doubtlessly there are other drug-related documentaries out there which offer far more in scope and information. Seek them out instead, and avoid this pile of nonsense. Not recommended at all.
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Old 01.27.2014, 01:49 PM   #17793
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I have a perverse fascination with that whole 80s Miami thing. I read as much about it as I can (including the book the doc was based on) and can say that as far as the truth goes it's about as close as you'll get. The problem is everyone involved has a massive agenda, either to stay out of jail, to boost their ego or to simply stay alive. And you really can't gloss over the Colombian thing. Not to say people like Jon Robrts weren't violent but once the cartels started to get properly involved the violence did simply go off the scale. Shootings in shopping malls, etc. You should read the book it's based on. The author questions the validity of a lot of the stories he's told but even he eventually can't deny that it was horrible, but also utterly glamorous. It's hard not to turn Miami in the 80s into gun porn. The police would never talk about it because they were knee deep in it all themselves and from what I've read about Griselda, the doc actually under-plays a lot of it.

 


This is the book you want to read. It's what the doc was based on but more focused on Roberts (it's basically his memoir). It gets repetitive towards the end as it does just become a paranoid sequence of killing and fucking but I do believe that for people like Roberts, that was what it was like. And the first third, which talks about him in Vietnam and which barely makes the doc at all is I guarantee one of the most flat out crazy things you'll ever read - even if you don't end up believing a word of it.
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Old 01.27.2014, 02:06 PM   #17794
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I have a perverse fascination with that whole 80s Miami thing. I read as much about it as I can (including the book the doc was based on) and can say that as far as the truth goes it's about as close as you'll get. The problem is everyone involved has a massive agenda, either to stay out of jail, to boost their ego or to simply stay alive. And you really can't gloss over the Colombian thing. Not to say people like Jon Robrts weren't violent but once the cartels started to get properly involved the violence did simply go off the scale. Shootings in shopping malls, etc. You should read the book it's based on. The author questions the validity of a lot of the stories he's told but even he eventually can't deny that it was horrible, but also utterly glamorous. It's hard not to turn Miami in the 80s into gun porn. The police would never talk about it because they were knee deep in it all themselves and from what I've read about Griselda, the doc actually under-plays a lot of it.




 


This is the book you want to read. It's what the doc was based on but more focused on Roberts (it's basically his memoir). It gets repetitive towards the end as it does just become a paranoid sequence of killing and fucking but I do believe that for people like Roberts, that was what it was like. And the first third, which talks about him in Vietnam and which barely makes the doc at all is I guarantee one of the most flat out crazy things you'll ever read - even if you don't end up believing a word of it.

Thanks for the book recommend - that looks really interesting, will see if I can order that online tonight (EDIT - just ordered it from Amazon UK)

Agree with you on what you say on the Miami/Colomiba drug wars thing - "Cocaine Cowboys" could have really gone into that into great detail, but for whatever reason, chose to skim the surface and not dig any deeper. Griselda is a fascinating/gruesome figure, for sure, and you'd think that spending so much time on her, the doc would have provided some real info there - but again, the doc skims the surface and treats her like some sort of "mystery" figure.

(EDIT - missed the bit where you said you've already seen the doc - whoops! Sorry about that)
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Old 01.27.2014, 03:36 PM   #17795
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I've seen it and I love it but, as I said, I'm fascinated with everything related to that subject so I was always going to. And compared to the book, the doc is, if anything, really toned down. A lot of it's fabricated but enough isn't for it to be a total mindfuck.

The problem for the film is that because it could never really go into some of the violence it kind of had to focus more on exotic characters like Griselda and the glamourous lifestyles. It's all in the book too but more as a backdrop to the more brutal stuff. The problem with the gun porn argument is that that's how people like Roberts saw it and pretty much lived it. Same with the glamour. To underplay it would've been to pretend that they weren't leading playboy lifestyles, which they were. For a time anyway.

Same with the issue of the cartels. The film (and the book) isn't really about them. It's really about some young American upstarts who pioneered the drug trade in Miami prior to their arrival so it's not really fair to criticise it for not dealing with a topic it's only tangentially about. There was definitely violence before the cartels got involved but its a historical fact that once the likes of Carlos Lehder got involved it escalated out of all control, but that's really when the story of people like Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday sort of ends. There's plenty of books and docs about the cartels. This tells another story where they're really not at the centre. If you want to get more into that stuff, Simon Strong's book Whitewash is far better, and there's countless docs on people like Lehder and Escobar.

There's a sequel to Cocaine Cowboys that's pretty much all about Griselda. It's not as good as the first one but obviously goes into lots more details about her. But it seems much more tailored to a kind of gangsta-rap friendly audience than the original was.

Cocaine Cowboys II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_M3_FBUTY

Hunting Escobar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwuud6vwkhw
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Old 01.27.2014, 05:08 PM   #17796
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There's a Cocaine Cowboys II?? Ye gods! (Have saved that onto my "to view" list on YouTube, & ditto w/"Hunting Escobar").

The cartels stuff you mention sounds completely insane/psycho - will defo have to look more into that. Have added "White Wash" to my Amazon wishlist - will buy it once I've bought and read "American Desperado".

And on this: "The film (and the book) isn't really about them. It's really about some young American upstarts who pioneered the drug trade in Miami prior to their arrival so it's not really fair to criticise it for not dealing with a topic it's only tangentially about." - I hadn't factored in the cartels stuff, so I think that's fair comment, even if, on balance, I still personally feel that "CC" is highly flawed. But as you say, there is plenty on this subject to get your teeth into.
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Old 01.27.2014, 05:34 PM   #17797
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The Caine Mutiny

I tried watching On The Road, but even Kristen Stewarts nipples couldn't get me through it...
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:19 PM   #17798
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evollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's assesevollove kicks all y'all's asses
Excellent interview with Joaquim Pheonix, discussing HER and more:

http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-ai...ate=2014-01-21
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:26 PM   #17799
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tesla69
Kristen Stewarts nipples

i like her face a bit, but i think she's a terrible actress

AM I WRONG?
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:32 PM   #17800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
i like her face a bit, but i think she's a terrible actress

AM I WRONG?

Did you see Adventureland? It's with Kristin, before she got big. I remember thinking how much I liked her and how I wanted to keep an eye on her future projects. Boy, was I wrong.

She's no longer a real actress. She's just "Kristin Stewart" the celebrity/product. Good or bad doesn't matter. She shows up in a movie and you either go, "She's cool" or "She's annoying" and that's about it.

All that said, I'd enjoy seeing her nipples.
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