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Entries in Hit Me With Your Best Shot (194)

Friday
Oct302015

HMWYBS: Repulsion (1965) 

Not with a bang but with a whisper. That's the way Hit Me With Your Best Shot season ends this year. We didn't want to let our signature craft-loving series go... so we extended by a few random spaced-out episodes but as it turns out this series needs the weekly check-list reminder to keep the party hopping. So next season we'll return to our March-August madness only.

Happily, whispering feels appropriate when it comes to our final film this season: Repulsion (1965) in which Catherine Deneuve barely speaks because there's probably no room in her brain for words what with sex filling every metaphoric or literal (if you will) crack.

What would Roman Polanski make of the virginal Final Girl trope that took over the horror genre about a dozen years after his masterful trilogy of horror flicks wherein people lose their marbles (and possibly souls) in apartment buildings? (More...)

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct202015

Top Ten '86 Flashback. Plus A Room With a "Best Shot"!

We've done a terrible job of having top tens ready for you every Tuesday so here's a quickie from 1986 since it's Best Shot time again.

Top Ten Films of 1986

  1. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  2. Aliens (James Cameron)
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz)
  5. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Betty Blue (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
  8. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola)
  9. Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood)
  10. The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen many of these films in a very long time. I am sure there are major titles I should reconsider or see for the first time since I wasn't seeing movies as voraciously back then. 

What does your top ten from that year look like?

Basically the top three there are "all-timers" for Nathaniel, not just for an annual list. And yes yes, I'm aware that IMDb considers the James Ivory classic a 1985 movie but that's stupid because it did not open that year. It opened nowhere that year. It opened in both its home country of the UK and in the USA and then spread to other countries in the early summer of 1986. It was a big deal, crossing over from the arthouse and justly receiving a slew of Oscar and BAFTA nominations (and actual statues, too). If you've never seen it, I envy you your first time. 

BEST SHOT CHOICES...
Please click over to see the choices and read these articles. My choice will be up tomorrow so if you're running late you still have time! REPULSION, our finale of the season, will also be delayed two days (you have until Thursday the 29th to post your choice) because we have a sudden trip to London for The Danish Girl interviews this weekend so Tuesday will be impossible.

FILMMIXTAPE

The film is never lacking for gorgeous imagery, with even the most perfunctory medium dialogue shots being frames you want to live inside.

ANTAGONY & ECSTASY

The fact that it's a depiction of a literal room with a view wasn't part of my calculation

CHIRAPAT

When my mind and body long for relaxation and comfort, I usually swing the ‘costume drama’ window wide open and let it soothe my soul... 

FILM ACTUALLY

Loved every preening, posh second of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance.

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

Maggie Smith, she’s the ultimate symbol of the film’s humor, making (poor) Charlotte Bartlett into one of her most remarkable creations and an indispensable part of the film’s comedic construction.

ALLISON TOOEY

If it wasn’t for the costumes and some of the dialogue, the movie could have been set in almost any time period...

SORTA THAT GUY

Like many films chosen for this series, A Room with a View is a film I had meant to see sooner, but just never got around to it. 

MOVIE MOTORBREATH

Oh look!...

Exactly! Look at these movies. Pick a shot. Repulsion (1965) starring Catherine Deneuve is next on October 29th.

Tuesday
Oct202015

Best Shot: Final Two Episodes! 

We promised two episodes to conclude our sixth season of Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Join us in these parties by picking what you think of as the movie's "best shot" on the following days. We'll link up.

A ROOM WITH A VIEW (James Ivory)
Deadline Wed October 21st - Here are the first articles ! 
One of the greatest movies ever according to sane people like your host. "Merchant/Ivory" became a substitute name for an entire genre (the costume drama) for a time but there was never anybody as good at as them in their heyday. See Helena Bonham Carter & Daniel Day Lewis as engaged young Brits back when they were babies before anybody knew who they were. Plus Rupert Graves and Julian Sands at their prettiest. And, last but not least, Dame Maggie & Judi, best friends in real life, as best friends on screen. And so much more! 
Netflix Instant | Criterion Collection | Amazon Instant 

REPULSION (Roman Polanski)
Deadline Thursday Evening October 29th
In which virginal Catherine Deneuve totally loses her (mental) shit. A psychological horror and the first of Polanski's three consecutive films about people losing their minds in apartment buildings. (Rosemary's Baby was right around the corner.) 
Netflix Rental | Criterion Collection | YouTube Full Movie

You in?

Wednesday
Sep092015

Belated Thoughts / Wide Eyes: Mad Max Fury Road's "Best Shot"

Nathaniel, reporting, one sleep before TIFF screenings drag me into the darkness and swallow me up...

one of the scariest images ever onscreen. one of the best title card intros, too.

Have you finished reading the previous choices for Mad Max Fury Road's "Best Shot" in the visual index? It's one of most perfect subjects for this series we've ever chosen, in no small part because the movie's gargantuan pleasures stem so specifically from the visual storytelling, rather than from dialogue, performance or sound --though those bring their own pleasures, of course. In fact, there is not a lot of dialogue in the film. Neither is their any exposition for expositions sake. The story is all there in the imagery, a grand adventure which can be enjoyed on multiple levels, provided you're really looking at it. Unlike many fine films we see each year, it's impossible to imagine this one in another form. It's neither a novel with pictures nor possible to conceive of as a stage play; Fury Road is pure cinema. 

For this, we cinephiles, must raise our hands in that pyramid shape the War Boys are so fond of and pay respects. Not to Immortan Joe who claims himself the "Redeemer" who saved his slave-like masses but to director George Miller and his cinematographer John Seale who are saving the action picture. (At least for now. Miller, like fellow rare action genius James Cameron, works too infrequently to actually do permanent rescue.) More... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep072015

Visual Index ~ Mad Max: Fury Road "Best Shots"

For this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot, our last until October, we're looking at George Miller's thrilling return to his signature franchise Mad Max: Fury Road. It's the kind of movie that, as we just discussed on the "best of summer podcast," really goes the extra mile. And we're not talking about Imperator Furiosa's detour to "the green place" though that's well out of her way as drives go. George Miller completely outdid himself with this saturated, explosive, delirious, feminist action film.

One shot won't do of course which is why "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" is a communal experience. We each choose one and hopefully it adds up to a survey of a movie's crucial inspired images. My piece will be up late tomorrow before your host heads out for the Toronto International Film Festival and because this movie totally deserves an extra day. If you meant to participate and forgot, you have 24 more hours to get your choice in. I'll add more entries if they come in...

MAD MAX FURY ROAD
Directed by George Miller (Mad Max, Lorenzo's Oil). Cinematography by John Seale (The English Patient, Witness). Starring Charlize Theron & Tom Hardy
Click on the 10 images to read the 12 corresponding articles

Miller has made his subtext text in this image...
-The Entertainment Junkie 

 Despite being an intensely colorful film, there are actually just two main colors in the film’s palette...
-Magnificent Obsession 

 I was not prepared to be blown away by the awesomeness...
-Jija 

Given the sprawling vistas and circus craziness that are the film's bread and butter, my pick for best shot is almost idiotically off-book:
-Antagony & Ecstacy 

For all the images incongruous potency and humor, it's also a rich story point, introducing us to "the stuff" that got stolen and humanizing it.
-The Film Experience 

It just hit me so hard in the cinema I legit gasped...
-Cinematic Corner 

Movie Motorbreath - VIDEO ENTRY

Throughout Fury Road, character is defined by action; how we react to it and what we do after.
-Zitzelfilm 

Anguish never looked so beautiful...
-I Want to Believe

 

The grand spectacle that Miller created in that vast, unforgiving, and beautiful desert wasteland...
-Sorta That Guy

a palpable sense of the scale of the action...
-Film Actually

The movie is full of scenes that reveal themselves with a remarkable efficiency
-Awards Circuit 

AGAIN. You have 24 more hours to get your "best shot" in before we close out this episode late Tuesday night before TIFF travels begin!