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Never-ending Film Discussion/Debate/Questions Thread


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#1 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:15 PM

First off, if this has already been done, whoops, just let this thread fade into the vast expanse. Please read the concept first though, because I’m somewhat certain it’s a bit different from previous threads. To business. Sound Opinions has the “Now Playing” for movies thread, which is all well and good, it allows for a good amount of conversation. My idea for this thread is to lead to more discoveries for people, and to allow for suggestions and discussion about films that other may otherwise miss. Aside from that, discussion about well known and obvious films is also worthwhile, because people are doubtless to have different opinions. Essentially, whoever starts should post a film title, whether it’s one they haven’t seen or one they feel passionate about (like or dislike). If it’s the latter, make your case, and someone can respond to that; if it’s a film you haven’t seen, just post the title, and ideally someone will give you some sort of opinion on it, different elements/values of the film, see it don’t see it, etc. If there’s a good discussion going on a film you haven’t seen, just post another film, multiple discussions can go on. Finally, if you’re the person responding to someone’s query on a film, post the title of another, so someone can do the same for you. This way, the thread should have a pretty balanced ratio of give and take. All the while, we can express our interest in film in a more open and interesting environment. If something doesn't make sense, it's probably because I forgot something in my description, let me know. If this is a solid thread, anyone feel free to start the discussion, post a title you haven't seen/want to know about, or one you have feelings about. EDIT- Thinking about it a bit more, even if you have seen the film, feel free to just post its title if you're curious to see what others thought of it.
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#2 Agrimorfee

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

I'll bite with something I like and think more people could check into
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The Wizard of Speed and Time is a 1989 low-budget feature film written, directed, and starring animator Mike Jittlov, as well as a 1979 16 mm short film, also by Jittlov.

[edit] Short film
In the original short film, a young man in a green wizard costume runs throughout America at super speed, much like the superhero The Flash. Along the way, he gives a pretty girl a swift lift to another city, gives golden stars to other women who want a trip themselves and then slips on a banana-peel, and comically crashes into a film stage, which he then brings to life in magical ways.

Jittlov is a special effects technician, and produced all of the special effects in the film himself, many produced through stop motion animation.


[edit] Feature film
Years later, Jittlov was able to incorporate the short, as well as portions of some of his other short films (such as Time Tripper and Animato), into a feature-length 35 mm film. The feature version recounts the exploits of a special effects "wizard" (played by Jittlov) trying to fulfill his dream of making a full-length movie. The tricks of movie magic are exposed; but so are the tribulations of the independent moviemaker working around the heavily-unionized Hollywood film industry.

Straeker: There are your film cans, but you can't move them.
Jittlov: Why? Are they stuck to the floor?
Straeker: No, to the system!

Many scenes in the movie turned out to be only too prophetic, according to Jittlov. In the film, a director, Lucky Straeker (Steve Brodie), and a producer, Harvey Bookman (Richard Kaye), bet over whether Jittlov can actually complete a major effects assignment, and Bookman does everything in his power to thwart Jittlov. In real life, Richard Kaye, who also produced the actual movie, turned out to be an actual Evil Producer. He sold the film to distributors without Jittlov's knowledge, or offering him compensation.

The feature film is also filled with subliminal messages, many hidden in single frames during the "Wizard Run" sequence (which was remade and expanded from the original short film), or hidden in electrical sparks generated by various happenings in the film.

The feature film was released to theaters in 1989 (though it was never widely distributed), and was later released on VHS and laserdisc. Although there is no official DVD release yet, Jittlov's fans have (with Jittlov's knowledge and at least tacit approval) created a DVD image file, and made it available for free on peer-to-peer networks until such time as an official release is realized.
(link to a bitorrent site if you are interested...)

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#3 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

I'll bite with something I like and think more people could check into
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[i]The Wizard of Speed and Time is a 1989 low-budget feature film written, directed, and starring animator Mike Jittlov, as well as a 1979 16 mm short film, also by Jittlov.


You'd think this would the sort of thing Criterion would be all over. I haven't seen this, but am interested, I'll look into the torrent, I must confess that I've always avoided them and am thus clueless as to what to do with them. Hopefully you'll get some actually knowledgeable responses to your film choice.
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#4 Agrimorfee

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:00 PM

I'll bite with something I like and think more people could check into
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[i]The Wizard of Speed and Time is a 1989 low-budget feature film written, directed, and starring animator Mike Jittlov, as well as a 1979 16 mm short film, also by Jittlov.


You'd think this would the sort of thing Criterion would be all over. I haven't seen this, but am interested, I'll look into the torrent, I must confess that I've always avoided them and am thus clueless as to what to do with them. Hopefully you'll get some actually knowledgeable responses to your film choice.

The short film will give you a taste (but the movie has actual dialogue, and the surprising appearance of Philip Michael Thomas as a cop late in the flick;) )
and the trailer

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Read all of my stupid song parodies here. Latest song improved/ruined: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.

 

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#5 Finn McCool

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:16 PM

Criminally snubbed at the Oscars and resoundly dismissed by critics. A monumental piece of work, it pits the Everyman against the Man as embodied by no less than a fierce Jessica Tandy. The tender yet tough story also touches on ageism & gentrification. One of the top 5 American films.

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#6 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:23 PM

The short film will give you a taste (but the movie has actual dialogue, and the surprising appearance of Philip Michael Thomas as a cop late in the flick;) )
and the trailer


Quite a fun little short. I liked the introduction to Hollywood, and the girls flapping mouths on the telephone, as well as the roadrunnerish feel in the desert bit, and perhaps most of all, the world wide exploration/alteration. Basically, I enjoyed it in general. Just beat up the schmuck with the 9.7. Now if I could just get the wizard to leave money in my mailbox, I could be off on my own little film...

Looking at imdb, it's too bad Jittlov hasn't made much else.
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#7 Agrimorfee

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:26 PM

Posted Image


Screenplay by Brad Bird... (I'll be darned... :huh: This does need a re-examination...)

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#8 Efrim

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:28 PM

Quite an audacious thread for a newcomer. I like the cut of your jib, Magnus. You're clearly a go-getter. I'll contribute later.

#9 Guest_NumberTenOx_*

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:31 PM

When Showtime first started, they used to run all sorts of little short films-- the Wizard of Speed and Time was one of them. Bit of a pity that the clip didn't show the stop motion with all the movie gear.

#10 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:37 PM

Quite an audacious thread for a newcomer. I like the cut of your jib, Magnus. You're clearly a go-getter. I'll contribute later.


Thanks, and looking forward to whatever you throw out there.

And Alan, Batteries Not Included is one of those films I always hears mixed things about- leaning strongly one way or another. It's one I've intended to check out, and you've just bumped it up my list, I'll be sure to post my thoughts when I get around to it.

Glancing at it on imdb, apparently, Luis Guizman was an extra. Somewhat amusing.

I'm going to post my opinions on a film many of you probably haven't seen (and probably won't want to) in a bit. It's one of those I wish had been better received/noticed at all.
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#11 Slackmo

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:39 PM

Option 1: soundly Option 2: resoundingly not an option: resoundly
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#12 Finn McCool

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:42 PM

Having your grammar corrected by Professor Slackmo sucks. :(

I made the word up, man...and I italicized it even...and it's ribbed - for your pleasure.
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#13 Slackmo

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:47 PM

Having your grammar corrected by Professor Slackmo sucks. :(

I made the word up, man...and I italicized it even...and it's ribbed - for your pleasure.


I didn't realize you were coining a term. In that case, well done, and I resoundly apologize.
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#14 Finn McCool

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:50 PM

Not that kind of made-up. Not the clever sort. I just flubbed it...here on the internet. In front of everybody, too.

Anyway, the movie has these cute little flying saucers and shit.
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#15 Vivian Darkbloom

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 04:54 PM

cute little flying saucers and shit.


post/avatar combo, if I'm not mistaken about the provenance of that image.
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#16 Magnus Malcolm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:02 PM

Anyway, the movie has these cute little flying saucers and shit.


I honestly don't think there's ever been a better reason to see a film. This may very well mount to the top of my gargantuan Netflix list.
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#17 Agrimorfee

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:21 PM

I think the reason it got such a trouncing all around because it came out on the heels of Short Circuit, Cocoon (which Cronyn & Tandy were also stars in), Flight Of The Navigator and other heart-warming Spielbergian fare.

"Is everyone on here just an act sometimes?"--Hummingbird

Read all of my stupid song parodies here. Latest song improved/ruined: "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper.

 

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Also jabbering about music and movies at www.rateyourmusic.com


#18 brainstorm

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:12 PM

Has anyone seen Riders of the Storm?

It's a Dennis Hopper movie, made right around the time he started getting sober and getting work. Also features Michael Pollard, of Bonnie and Clyde and Scrooged fame. Concerns an underground TV network run from a Flying Fortress that hasn't landed in, like, 25 years, and its crew's efforts to sway US presidential elections.

Not a great movie, but fun, esp. the sign on for the network whenever they jam transmission: The scream from "Won't Get Fooled Again" with an image of a red, white and blue fist giving America the finger. Kinda juvenile, I suppose, but in my early 20s I found it entertraining enough. I don't know that it ever came out on DVD.

As a good friend said when I showed it to him, "Not a great movie, but a movie full of great ideas."

Later, we'll need to discuss the British Terminator rip, Hardware, which introduced me to PiL's "Order of Death."
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#19 WesterMats

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 07:19 PM

I'm going to go in a slightly different, but related direction.

Two of my all time favorite movies are Harold and Maude and The Big Chill. However, despite 20+ viewings for each, I am still left wondering:

1. Does Harold's third date, the actress ("Sunshine Dore"), actually accidentally stab herself (fatally?) with what she thought was Harold's "fake" knife, did the knife turn out to be real after all, or was she acting?

2. Do the characters of Sarah (Glenn Close) and Michael (Jeff Goldblum) have sex when everyone else is having sex (on the couch while watching the video documenting the weekend)?
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#20 HandBanana

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 07:24 PM

*batteries not included was the 485th movie released in the 80s to use the fun "I learned how to speak from watching TV/TV commercials" schtick that moms of the time seemed to enjoy so much.
Because it's so cute when a foreigner/robot/animal speaks in recognizable catchphrases that we all remember from the teevee.
Therefore, fuck *batteries not included.
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