Criterion Prediction #72: Tampopo, by Alexander Miller

18 Jan

Title: Tampopo

Year: 1985

Director: Juzo Itami

Cast: Tsutomu Yamazaki, Nobuko Miyamoto, Ken Watanabe, Koji Yakusho Rikiya Yasuoka

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On 1930s Class Relations, Dangerous, Bette Davis, and Background Players; by Scott Nye

17 Jan

1935’s Dangerous is rightly discussed in relation to 1934’s Of Human Bondage anytime is comes up – both deal with responsible men of mediocre artistic talent becoming infatuated with and nearly ruining their lives for Bette Davis. Davis is the best part of both films, and though Of Human Bondage is the infinitely superior film, she won her Oscar for Dangerous, many say as a way for making up for the fact that she was infamously not even nominated for the prior work. Dangerous isn’t a bad film, but it’s a water-treader, a rock-solid story not told particularly well, shielding minor notes as mysteries and far too straightforward in its dialogue.

But it had one moment that completely captivated me, one that should have been commonplace in the 1930s but one that I instantly realized I don’t think I’d ever quite seen before.

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Aaron’s Top Ten of 2016

17 Jan

Another year, another top 10 list. I feel like every year around this time I say this was a particularly great year, that it was difficult to choose only ten films, yadda yadda yadda. It’s true and it always is. In most years, though, there is usually one film that stands out from the pack, speaks to me as an undeniable best film of the year. Less than a month after the conclusion of the year, 2016 doesn’t have that yet. Maybe more than any year I’ve put together a formal list, this list could be completely rearranged. That may be a negative aspect of the year in film, but it was also particularly deep and diverse. For example, it was one of the best recent years for animation with Moana, Kubo and the Two Strings, Zootopia, and an unusual film that made my list. I love genre films, and aside from the films that are listed below, I adored 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Wailing, The Eyes of My Mother, The Love Witch, Under the Shadow, and many others. Yeah, the blockbusters were particularly bad in 2016, but c’mon, we’re not apart of the Battleship Pretension fleet by only judging the year on capes and cowls. Of the 1,003 eligible films from 2016, I saw a paltry 256. That may be more than most people, but this still produces wide gaps that prevent this list from being personally definitive in any way. For the films I haven’t yet seen at the time of this submission: Aquarius, Toni Erdmann, The Red Turtle, Train to Busan, Queen of Katwe, Julieta, and undoubtedly many more worthy of consideration. For those I have seen, let’s get to it.

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Musical Notation: Director/Composers

17 Jan

In this episode, West discusses directors who compose their own music.

I Do Movies Badly: Solaris

17 Jan

In this episode, Jim continues his series on Tarkovsky with a discussion of his science fiction classic Solaris.

New to Home Video 1/17/17

17 Jan

Review

EPISODE 513: SUNDANCE 2017 PREVIEW

17 Jan

In this episode, Tyler and David are joined by Scott Nye to discuss this year’s upcoming Sundance Film Festival.

BP’s Top 100 Movie List Challenge #96: Eyes Wide Shut, by Sarah Brinks

16 Jan

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have tragically never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I had only seen Eyes Wide Shut in the last few years for the first time and I expected not to enjoy it. But to my surprise I really liked it. I think I saw it at the right time in my life, because if I has seen it when I was younger I think I might have dismissed it as exploitative or confusing. Seeing it again just reinforced how much I do like the film. In general I am not a big Stanley Kubrick fan. I can see from an academic perspective that he made good films he just didn’t make films that really appealed to me. Eyes Wide Shut was Kubrick’s last film he made before he died, but what a film to end his career on.

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Monday Movie: Baby Boy, by David Bax

16 Jan

Back in the summer of 2001, way before #OscarsSoWhite, way before I’d ever heard the term “Social Justice Warrior”—let alone been proud to be one—I was an eighteen-year-old who probably lacked the sophistication or vocabulary to explain why I found John Singleton’s Baby Boy so compelling. Here was a movie that not only had no white characters in it but actually felt like it was made without a white audience in mind. Such movies by and for black Americans were actually more common at the time (Gary Hardwick’s underrated melodrama The Brothers had been released only a few months earlier), before Tyler Perry’s artless, pandering cottage industry cornered the market. In any case, my experience reflects the added bonus of calls for diversity. When we talk about representation, our main focus is rightly on expanding opportunities for people who don’t usually see themselves on movie screens to do so and thus be more empowered in the industry and in the culture at large. As a fringe benefit, though, those of us who are so accustomed to seeing ourselves on screen that it’s unremarkable get a chance to see the world from a new perspective. Isn’t that what movies are supposed to do?

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The BPs Nominations!

16 Jan

Best Picture
ARRIVAL
LA LA LAND
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
MOONLIGHT
THE WITCH

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