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Tim Bradstreet

Non-Mainstream Film

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First I want to say that I'd like to set a few basic rules for this thread.

1. Post one film suggestion at a time.

2. Please include your personal thoughts on the film and how it effected you (in other words, what's so special about it?)

3. Please suggest only films that did not attract a mainstream audience, ie, The Fountain, Solaris.

 

I'd like to use this thread as a forum to share your film experiences. We should feel free to comment on people's suggestions, but PLEASE refrain from criticizing people's choices. Support it if you want, otherwise just suggest something YOU like. I'd like to use this thread to turn people ON to things they might have missed.

Not debate whether something is deserving or not.

 

New films, old films, it makes no difference. Time to enlighten each other.

 

- TB

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My first offering is a film some would call strange, silly, or even stupid.

I could not disagree with these sentiments more strongly.

 

Zardoz - 1974

Written and Directed by John Boorman (Excalibur, Point Blank, Deliverance, Beyond Rangoon)

Starring Sean Connery as Zed

Charlotte Rampling as Consuella

Sara Kestelman as May

Niall Buggy as Arthur Frayn / Zardoz

John Alderton as Friend

 

Genre - Sci-Fi, Fantasy

 

ZARDOZ.jpg

 

John Boorman made this film for the lofty sum of one Million dollars back in 1973. Zardoz was filmed at Ardmore Studios - Herbert Road, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland and on location in the county of Wicklow. To me it's a stunning achievement. I first saw this film in the early 80's when I was but a wee lad. At the time a lot of the film's themes and subtexts were over my head. I thought it was cool but I didn't really "get it". I rented it because of Sean Connery and the fact it was a sci-fi film.

Over the years I've come to appreciate this film on a much grander scale. I love the period in which the film was made. The cinematography (by Geoffrey Unsworth) is absolutely gorgeous, as with all Boorman films. Unsworth also DP'd 2001: A Space Odyssey for Stanley Kubrick.

 

I love this film because it's so different from anything else I've ever seen. I don't want to explain the film in depth or offer any spoilers. If you want to learn more go check out the IMDB page - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070948/

 

Connery had some serious balls to run around the film in a scanty red costume. And I'm sure that is one of the very things detractors find ludicrous. But that's silly.

If the costume is distracting then just get over it. Behind all that is a wonderful, original, daring, and audacious film. Some people find it slow. I find it paced wonderfully as Zed (an Exterminator) goes from the "outside" (the wastelands) into "The Vortex" and struggles to comprehend a community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity's achievements, a people referred to as "The Eternals". But there is a lot more to this puzzle than meets the eye. The music by David Munrow is also very different. To me it evokes the same effect that Wendy Carlos lent to "A Clockwork Orange". In tandem with Boorman's world and Unsworth's photography it creates a singular vision. One you will never see the likes of again. The film is a time capsule. I have a major affinity with sci-fi films from the late 60's/early 70's, so this film resonates with me on that particular level as well.

 

I watch Zardoz about once a year and it's special every time. Sometimes I sit down and watch it completely, sometimes I simply have the film on while I work, as I find comfort in immersing myself in the film while I'm creating. The music that plays over the final scenes is from Beethoven's 7th symphony, 2nd movement. A classic cue that exits the film on a deliciously sombre note.

 

Zardoz is not for everyone. Lot's of folks will find it boring because there are no explosions every 5 minutes. Some folks may find it too slow for their own sensibilities. To that I say wake up and discover something new, even if it's old. Or wait to watch it until you're ready for something more, or finally grow tired of the same old thing.

 

watermarkphp.jpg

 

 

- TB

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Funny you should bring this flick up when I'm reading a book that touches on bioethics. I haven't seen this movie in a long time, and your writing about it makes me want to see it again. Long, long ago I read the book before I saw the film in the theater. I'm assuming the book was just a novelization of the film. I found the story fascinating, and knowing the story before seeing it on film didn't diminish it at all. I'll have to put this old friend on my netflix queue.

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Funny you should bring this flick up when I'm reading a book that touches on bioethics. I haven't seen this movie in a long time, and your writing about it makes me want to see it again. Long, long ago I read the book before I saw the film in the theater. I'm assuming the book was just a novelization of the film. I found the story fascinating, and knowing the story before seeing it on film didn't diminish it at all. I'll have to put this old friend on my netflix queue.

 

Righteous!

 

I've got to check about that novelization. I'd love to read it.

It gladdens me that there is someone else out there that refers to Zardoz as an "old friend".

It is so with me as well.

 

- TB

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I always felt that The Game was a truely amazing film that was burried by expectations of being Se7en. The script was brilliant in that it builds the tension at a great pace and luckily Fincher, being the genious that he is, he didn't botch it by making it fast paced.

On top of the tension is the paranoia that keeps mounting. You never are sure weather or not The Game is really going on, as a game, or is this a life or death game?

Penn is great, but only has a small part. As for Douglas, I find this my favorite character of his, right next to Gordon Gecko. This guy goes through hell and back, and still asks for punishment. The only down fall is best summed up by a line in the film, "Once you play the game, it's just not the same the second time."

 

michael_douglas_b5-1.jpg

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425px-Romeo_is_bleeding_ver2.jpg

 

Directed by

Peter Medak

 

Produced by

Hilary Henkin and Paul Webster

 

Written by

Hilary Henkin

 

Cast

Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis, Roy Scheider

Music by Mark Isham and Gary Alper

Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski

Distributed by Gramercy Pictures

 

Even though this movie was panned by the critics, I loved it. It is funny now that I think about it, but I can't remember the movie I was going to see and this film was a sneak preview so I had to watch it first. What knocked me out about this movie was the performance by Lena Olin. Man, I loved her character's name: Mona Demarkov. So cool. There were so many interesting twists to this movie and they had some heavyweights in this film, particularly Roy Scheider. He was so sinister and delicious at the same time. Gary Oldman plays this dirty cop, who truly has no morals, and what he does beside his day job is provide the Mob with the names and locations of mob turncoats about to testify. It is a regular sequence for him, he provides info, then goes to his post office post and picks up the cash. He then buries it in his backyard. I don't know for sure if this film was meant to be a dark comedy, but it was for me, that's for sure. Gary Oldman is one amazing actor, I have to say. He takes you on this journey inside his life, where he is able to separate his work from his home life. Annabella Sciorra is magnificent playing his wife.

 

Then into his life walks a Russian assassin played by Lena Olin:

Romeo055.jpg

 

She manages to turn his world and all those around her, upside down. Beautiful woman, with no remorse whatsoever. I really don't want to give too much of this away, but my favorite scene is a short one, between Olin and Oldman. They are sitting in the car, and she begins to explain her younger life and how she and this young man went out on a date and how they had to be so quiet and innocent and I was digging this, because this scene made me feel sorry for her UNTIL she looks at Oldman and says "You never forget your first." I will leave it right there...:lol:...the next shot you will say either very quietly or very loud, "Dayum, I love this bitch." This was the first movie where I saw so many vignettes wrapped into one film and it flowed smoothly. If you enjoyed "Four Rooms", you can definitely get into this film.

 

This was one of those times I was really happy to see a woman in charge of the situation; Lena's character was always one step ahead of all these men and she had no soul. She made no apologies for the way she was and yet was teaching Oldman's character so many life lessons. You have to watch this film only if you have no outside interference. You blink and you will miss plenty, trust me. I did not enjoy Juliette's performance, even though I know she was trying to show her character as someone that was sexy, I just did not see that in her. Loved the cinematography and the soundtrack. I highly recommend it.

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"Feed the hole".

 

- TB

 

Dayum TB, I just spit out my water. U badd.

 

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Such a great line.

Great film too. Nice one Tiara.

I know James O'Bri will be jealous you posted it first ;)

- TB

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Certainly THEY LIVE counts!

Just watched it the other night.

It's the closest (in my opinion) that Carpenter ever came to rekindling the magic of Escape From New York.

Anti hero against all odds.

 

bprpiper.jpg

 

The score is EFNY-like too, though more deliberate in the main theme.

Definitely got the "down on his luck, working man" vibe.

Roddy Piper (mullet and all) showed that he wasn't just a one trick pony.

He was actually pretty fun to watch.

And the fight between Piper and Keith David was a classic, brutal, knock-down drag-out BRAWL!

Fun and funny too.

Carpenter regular "Buck Flowers" is classic as "The Drifter".

Keith David is always awesome (and another Carpenter alumni).

 

It's one of the last "signature" Carpenter films along with "Prince of Darkness (1987)", both created independent of the major studios by Alive Films.

Alive was a short lived production company that also produced "Shocker (1989), and Wes Craven's "The People Under The Stairs (1991)".

Though I think you can add 1995's "In the Mouth of Madness" to that signature Carpenter list. Everything between They Live and ITMOM seems to fall short, and everything since ITMOM hasn't cut the mustard either. Though his contribution to Masters Of Horror - "Cigarette Burns (2005)" makes a valiant effort.

 

Incidentally, The screenplay is credited to "Frank Armitage" which is a John Carpenter pseudonym.

For Prince Of Darkness, Carpenter used another pseudonym, "Martin Quatermass".

Not sure of the connotation of Frank Armitage, but Martin Quatermass is almost certainly a nod to author Nigel Kneale's seminal science hero "Prof. Bernard Quatermass"

Carpenter must have been a fan of the 1967 film "Quatermass and the Pit", AKA, "Five Million Years to Earth" (USA title).

 

See?

I just side-stepped my own rules.

Now you have to go rent Prince Of Darkness, AND Five Million Years to Earth!

Classic Carpenter and Classic Sci-Fi!

 

- TB

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The score is EFNY-like too, though more deliberate in the main theme.

Definitely got the "down on his luck, working man" vibe.

- TB

 

THEY LIVE is classic. One of my all time favourites. A good example of creative narrative with limited budget. After the marketing flop on Big Trouble in Little China the budget had to step down and while I love Big Trouble I have to admit that They Live ranks higher.

 

The score is equally as charming. I have it on CD, picked it up for $10 in a second hand surf music store near Melbourne, Australia. Just looked at Amazon - they want $247.02 for a copy - hell I knew it was rare but not that much.

 

If anyone is interested I can mp3 it - a good score to add to the collection.

 

regards

 

Andrew

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OLDBOY

 

Oldboy_film_poster.jpg

 

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Produced by Lim Seung-yong

Written by Hwang Jo-yun, Park Chan-wook, Lim Chun-hyeong, Lim Joon-hyung, Garon Tsuchiya

Music by Jo Yeong-wook

Cinematography Jeong Jeong-hoon

Distributed by Show East

 

Cast

* Choi Min-sik as Oh Dae-su: The film's protagonist, who has been imprisoned for 15 years.

* Yu Ji-tae as Lee Woo-jin: The man behind Oh Dae-su's imprisonment

* Kang Hye-jeong as Mi-do

* Ji Dae-han as No Joo-hwan: Dae-su's friend and the owner of a cybercafe.

* Kim Byeong-ok as Mr. Han: Bodyguard of Woo-jin

* Oh Tae-kyung as Young Dae-su

* Ahn Yeon-suk as Young Woo-jin

* Oo Il-han as Young Joo-hwan

* Yun Jin-seo as Lee Soo-ah: Woo-jin's sister

* Oh Dal-su as Park Cheol-woong: The private prison's manager.

 

oldboy.jpg

 

This film truly creeped me out on so many levels, yet I could not keep my eyes off the screen. I am not normally into foreign films, but then one comes along where I have to say yes, this movie rocked. Imagine being jailed and tortured for 15 years and not knowing why and then being freed and taken the next 5 days to figure it all out. Such is the case of Oldboy. This movie makes "Fight Club" look like a movie for Disney.

 

I guess the uncomfortability comes from the taboo subject covered in this film. It is a tale of tragedy, sadness, revenge, with major doses of gruesome sprinkled throughout.

 

Oldboy_hammer.jpg

 

800px-Lee_Woo-jin_smug.jpg

 

The final minutes of this film will leave you wanting more and asking questions. I heard Quentin Tarantino ranted and raved about this movie and I would be doing the same thing. This movie is a masterpiece.

 

ALSO...beware of a movie called "Zinda", because I swear Zinda is a major knockoff of this movie. The directors of Zinda are being sued for copyright infringement...that's how much they ripped off Oldboy.

 

 

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Oldboy, man that one is great. Personally, I liked Sympathy for Lady Vengence a bit more.

Park Chan-Wook's revenge triliogy is deffinatly one worth checking out. Each film turns the genre on it's ear and destroys any expectations. What I love about Lady Vengence is that it challenges the characters involved on what they would do to the one who killed their child. Each couple has to go through that turmoil knowing that the killer is in their hands and that they can decide his fate, and the police will cover it up either way.

 

As for the cinematography, I don't think I've seen another film shot quite as beautifully as this one. Chung Chung-Hoon is a visual master. I especially love the sences in the streets when it's snowing.

 

Also, the gun that she has made, it's just menacing. Small, simple, cool as hell.

 

978dc40b.jpg

 

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JWeber, you have endeared yourself to my heart. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance was off da chain! And you're right about that gun... :D

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JWeber, you have endeared yourself to my heart. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance was off da chain! And you're right about that gun... :D

 

 

The same about you here. The only problem I had with this film was when is came out on DVD I sent half a day freaking out because no one had it. Then I found out that the American title was shortened to Lady Vengence while I was looking for Symapathy for Lady Vengence.

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The same about you here. The only problem I had with this film was when is came out on DVD I sent half a day freaking out because no one had it. Then I found out that the American title was shortened to Lady Vengence while I was looking for Symapathy for Lady Vengence.

 

Here in Sarasota, we have the Sarasota Film Festival and they showed this film and I was blown away. I had a friend send it to me from overseas because I could not locate it either. Another problem I had was the Lady Vengeance I thought I had ordered was in fact, the name of a Lifetime for Women movie and I knew I had problems... :lol:

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Another problem I had was the Lady Vengeance I thought I had ordered was in fact, the name of a Lifetime for Women movie and I knew I had problems... :lol:

 

 

Ugg. ;)

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Great stuff so far everyone.

Thanks for sticking to the rules and please, if you notice anyone NOT sticking to the rules, please advise the individual in question to see the initial post in the thread.

If things persist please alert me.

 

Jane turned me on to "Oldboy" a few years back and I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at Amoeba in LA (unbelievable selection).

Definitely turned this type of genre film on it's ear. Incredible. Thanks for tipping me to "Sympathy For Lady Vengeance".

Got it on my list!

 

- TB

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Such a great line.

Great film too. Nice one Tiara.

I know James O'Bri will be jealous you posted it first ;)

- TB

Damn right, I love that film. Lena Olin is so hot and Gary Oldman is just cool as hell.

 

JO

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Damn right, I love that film. Lena Olin is so hot and Gary Oldman is just cool as hell.

 

JO

 

So James, gonna let me live another day? Because TB scared me about your feelings about this film. I will dress and act like Lena and hopefully that will keep you smiling... :lol:

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I'm going to stick in a classic film realm and also stick with John Boorman for my next suggestion . . .

 

Hell In The Pacific (1968)

Directed by - John Boorman

 

Starring -

Lee Marvin as the American Pilot

Toshiro Mifune as the Japanese Pilot, Captain Tsuruhiko Kuroda

 

Cinematography by the late GREAT Conrad Hall

 

Music by the legendary Lalo Schifrin

 

The tagline says it all - "They hunted each other as enemies...they tormented each other as savages...they faced each other as men!"

 

leemarvin.jpg

 

It's WWII and two pilots who had engaged in a dogfight, both crash land on the same island. The tension is high as they begin to hunt one another as mortal enemies.

But this isn't so simple, and when you get right down to it survival itself becomes the name of the game. This film inspired the cool 80's sci-fi movie Enemy Mine.

Enemy Mine is a fun film but it's not even close to Hell In The Pacific. John Boorman's taught direction and Conrad Hall's breathtaking cinematography are a wonder to behold. And smack dab in the middle of it are two icons of the cinema, Marvin and Mifune at the top of their respective games.

Hell In The Pacific is an often overlooked film MUCH deserving to be seen by more, and seen in widescreen.

 

hellpacificlc8.jpg

 

You can pick this one up real cheap on DVD - http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pacific-Lee-Mar...2692&sr=1-1

 

 

It's bound to be added to your list of favorite films

 

- TB

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Here's another cool shot from the set -

 

From left to right -

Connie Hall, Lee Marvin, John Boorman, and Toshiro Mifune.

 

hallcl4.jpg

 

Love the lens dangling in the breeze, hanging over the back of Conrad Hall's chair ;)

 

- TB

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