And what did you think of them?
This /r/Flicks General Discussion thread is for any kind of general discussion such as questions and posts that don't deserve their own post, off topic discussion, lighter movie-related comments, jokes and humor, etc. Have fun and remember rule #1.
According to IMDb Marlon Brando turned down numerous of iconic roles in:
High Noon, Lawrence of Arabia, Ben Hur, Doctor Zhivago, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Godfather Part II, Superman II, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Salvador, Magnolia, Sleepy Hollow and American History X. He was also considered for the role of the Penguin in Batman returns, The Great Gatsby and Ryan's Daughter. Between 1981 and 1983, he received multimillion offers to play Al Capone, Pablo Picasso and Karl Marx but turned them down. The very last film role that was ever offered to him was Rayburn in Man on Fire, less than a year before he passed away.
Is there any actor or actress on this planet who turned down so many legendary roles? Imagine how different those movies would have turned?
I’ve been stuck on this idea for awhile, but I’ve often wondered what Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) would’ve been like with two different lead actors.
For example, it dawned on me that Denzel Washington and Laurence Fishburne- two acting powerhouses - have never been in a film before in both of their careers, but by that time they were in their peak. In my alternate universe of fan casting, Denzel is cast in Pacino’s role and and Laurence Fishburne plays DeNiro’s role.
Of course, the film is a masterpiece imo and can’t be touched, but if you were casting the film with two heavy-hitters as your leads from that year/era, who would you cast?
This article contains a lot of film stills. For a fully illustrated version please click here - https://filmofileshideout.com/archives/les-blanks-documentaries-about-lightening-hopkins-clifton-chenier-and-mance-lipsomb/
All documentaries are doomed to fail. For the most part documentary films are trying to capture something that can not be captured. Whether it is something abstract like the human experience, or more specific like an event or an individual, no documentary can capture a full representation of whatever it is documenting.
This failure is partly due to the limits of film as a medium, but the heart of the problem is in the plural nature of perception and reality. No single point of view can represent the entirety of reality, or the entirety of a person or event.
The history of documentary production is a history of documentarians struggling with these issues. They court an objective and gestalt perception by minimizing their presence and maximizing the presence of their subject’s.
You can see this struggle in Les Blank’s three music documentaries The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins (1968), A Well Spent Life (1972), and Hot Pepper (1973). Blank does what he can to keep himself out of it. There is no narration. There are no linkages that string scenes together into some larger meaning. There is very little except the subject and his friends presenting themselves to the camera.
Blank makes no claim to pure objectivity but you can see that he is trying to let the subjects speak for themselves. His efforts produce something compelling that indeed does feel “authentic” and “whole.” It is however important to recognize that Blank is the one choosing what to shoot and when to shoot it. He is the one asking the prompts, and editing the answers. His hand may not be seen in the documentary but it is none the less present.
Blank was one of several men who went down south to find “authentic” blues and folk music. Alan Lomax and his son John Lomax led the way. They had communist leanings and spent their lives seeking out “the music of the people” all over the world. Blank knew the Lomaxes and was influenced by their work. Like the Lomaxes, Blank would just drive out into rural areas of Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas and ask around to find who in the area was playing music at the local fish fries and juke joints. That’s how Alan Lomax found Muddy Waters. When Lomax found his way to Muddy Water’s farm Lomax found Muddy burning his still. Muddy had heard that there was a white man looking for him and figured it had to be the revenue men.
The racial politics of Blank, Lomax and the others is complex. It would be far too reductive to describe them as racist but there were difficult issues that posed problems. When Lomax discovered Huddle Leadbedder, also known as Leadbelly, Lomax wanted to send Leadbelly out on a tour of the United States. Lomax planned to dress Leadbelly in overalls, a bandana, and a straw hat as if he were a field hand. However Leadbelly wanted to wear a suit. Lomax wanted to present audiences with a bonafide piece of southern American history and Leadbelly wanted to be a charismatic, successful musician.
These are the sort of difficulties Blank hoped to avoid in his films. All three of the musician films allow the musician to present himself on his own terms. Although it is hard to truly parse out. Blank came to Lightnin’s world and filmed Lightnin’ in his element. Lightnin’ was drunk, but it would have been hard to find him in any other state. He was dressed sloppily and wearing his trademark dark sunglasses and sometimes a straw hat. Intentional or not Lightnin’ fulfilled the stereotype. More than Chenier or Lipsomb, Lightnin’ was a showman. He was always bragging, always on.
Blank could have sought out Lightenin’ at a club and caught him looking more “polished.” Conversely Blank could have tried to break through Lightenin’s facade to seek out something more genuine and intimate. Lightenin’, like all of us, is a moving target that changes his performed identity depending on the context.
Compared to Lightnin’, Mance Lipsomb was a far more soft spoken and modest man. Lipsomb was a different kind of entertainer. He mostly sang the popular blues songs of his day, whereas Lightnin’ wrote most of his songs. They both helped to pioneer a unique style of guitar picking that differs from the rhythmic thumping of the Mississippi style, but you don’t learn any of that from one of Les Blank’s films. Instead of braking down these musician’s contributions to their style, Blank chooses to show us the cows chewing their cud, the kids playing in the field and the chickens pecking around for bugs. Differences in picking technique is too abstract, too rarefied for the atmosphere. It’s not direct enough for what Blank is cultivating. Blank is looking for a straight forward portrait of a man without the interference of an ethnomusicologist
The Clifton Chenier documentary is made the same way as the others. The camera simply follows Chenier from the farm to the barber shop, and then to the bar where he plays. There is no information presented, nothing is quantified or analyzed. There is Mr. Chenier and his cohort talking about life, love and music and joking about getting old. By the end you feel as though you have spent the day with a warm and talented musician. It feels personal.
It seems likely that Chenier would approve of the final product that Blank made, but Chenier might wonder why it wasn’t more polished. Chenier often wore a crown on stage because he had crowned himself the king of Zydeco. Blank’s film does contain a small amount of footage of Chenier wearing the crown on stage. Such bravado begs the question of what a documentary authored by Chenier himself would look like. Blank was not there to play into Chenier’s vision of who Chenier was. Blank was hoping to capture the feeling and atmosphere that helped create Chenier. I have to acknowledge my own biases in writing this piece. As I write these words there is a picture of Lightnin’ Hopkins hanging over the doorway to my living-room. As a guitar player myself and blues enthusiast I am an avid admirer of Lightnin’s music. With the “me too moment” fueling a new examination of art and artists, a man like Lightnin’ would pose challenges for some people. As I said I admire his music, but it would not be easy to separate the man from his art. His songs are essentially about the difficulties of his life. The songs themselves are a coping mechanism for him. He has spoken specifically about the blues as a means to sooth his pain. I admire his connection to his work and the way it functions in his life. I admire his ability to bring it to others and help forge a community around basic human experiences. From what I understand he was an alcoholic, and if his songs are an indication of how he treated women I certainly don’t admire his ideas surrounding love and gender.
I have plenty of Lightning Hopkins cds, and I have carefully gone through several of his songs in an attempt to learn them note by note, but putting his picture on my living room wall seems like a different kind of admiration. It has more to do with admiring him as a person than just a musician. It’s hard to separate the two.
I have a picture of Tom Waits on my desk at work. I’ve never met him or Lightnin’ Waits is a showman just like Hopkins. Waits has created several different personae that he presents to the world. Is the picture on my desk a portrait of Waits, or a portrait of the image he has crafted? The difference between Waits and Hopkins is that Waits has more control over how he is seen. Even with Blank coming to Hopkin’s home, the image that Blank captures, edits and constructs is out of Hopkins’ hands. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Blank’s film works to lessen Blank’s presence but it isn’t necessary to eliminate it. Blank has a contribution to make. He is using his craft to create a portrait. A portrait that may reveal something about his subjects that others might not immediately see.
The Blues According to Lighten’ Hopkins is a film by Blank about Hopkins, but the problem arrises when publications like The Daily write an article that begins “Les Blank, the poetic documentary filmmaker who gave voice to the obscure and gap-toothed, died Sunday at his home in the Berkeley hills.” To be fair “The Gap Toothed” comment refers to a movie Blank made about gapped toothed women, but still the quote positions Blank as a bit of a messiah, or at least a benevolent white man granting favor to the helpless. I don’t think he saw himself that way but his work exists in a context that cannot be avoided.
Blank was a highly educated white man venturing down south to find black musicians he could capture in film portraits. I am glad he did. The portraits he rendered are rich and beautiful. His films display a genuine effort to fully respect and render his subjects.
In A Well Spent Life there is considerably more talking than in the other two films. Mance Lipscomb tells stories and philosophizes about life and particularly about married life. When he sits down at the table to have dinner his wife sits down on the couch. Lipsomb is trying to show how wise he is as a husband but his wife explains that Mance came home so late one night that his dinner had gotten cold. She had dinner waiting on the table, but he didn’t get home in time so she swore that night that she would never serve dinner at the table again. Since then she cooks the meals but it’s up to him to serve himself.
It was Blanks choice to include this story which unravels a little of the story Lipscomb is weaving. Blank allows the possibility of Lipsomb being an unreliable narrator which brings a deeper dimension to the entire presentation. We end up with competing narratives.
It all speaks to the connection between identity and narrative. A large part of our identities is formed by a group of stories we tell ourselves, and others, about our lives. Relationships are essentially collaborative narratives. Whether it is a romantic “meet cute” or the recounting of a fight, all relationships are a constant negotiation between differing points of view. Making documentaries involves the same negotiation. The director, the subject and anyone else involved are engaged in constructing meaning through the assembly of events into a story. Each version of that story has to contend with the other competing versions. When it comes to Lipscomb and his wife the two versions of their marriage sit side by side in the film. Blank offers no ultimate reconciliation, he just presents what is said. However the movie is ultimately about Mance Lipsomb and just by virtue of his face being on the poster we are pre-disposed to lend his words more import.
Whether it is a documentary film or real-life experiences we are eternally embroiled in a never ending tangle of singular points of view that we are obliged to reconcile. This is the only way we know how create meaning. Blanks films present spontaneous interactions between him and these three men. They are unscripted but planned. They are free floating exchanges but they are edited. They are focused closely on each man, but stay general in an effort to include context. These contradictions are not problems as much as they are issues that create intriguing tension.
The three films make an effort to present their subjects at face value. They make an effort to reserve judgment and minimize analysis. It appears that Blank wants his audiences to think of his films in a similar fashion. We are meant to take the footage at face value, as simply a document of what he saw, but as simple as it may appear, exchanges between individuals, either on film or off, are never that simple.
Lashana Lynch's performances in The Woman King and Matilda made me realize how much she was wasted in James Bond and the Marvel films she was in
She very quickly became one of my favorite actresses working today in the last year. The range she exhibited between the two roles was amazing. She was fully convincing as both a battle-hardened African warrior and a timid, loving schoolteacher. I just watched Matilda and I saw zero traces of her Woman King character in Ms. Honey.
I think she could have actually been a great Bond girl had they let her be. Her role in The Woman King was funny and charming without undercutting the character's authority or the seriousness of the subject matter. Her roles in James Bond and Captain Marvel were really two-dimensional and didn't use her talents at all. I genuinely completely forgot she was in Captain Marvel to be honest.
I think she's going to be really successful as a character actor. She really deserved a best supporting actress nomination for The Woman King.
Just watched this movie. Made in 1997, I thought I saw it before but I definitely didn't. It stars Robert Deniero, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, michael Rapaport & Sylvester Stallone. I have to say I am blown away by Stallones performance. He plays an alcoholic, loser sheriff. His performance was well done. The way he carried himself, how soft spoken he was, his facial expressions. Stallone wore this role like a glove. When Robert Deneiro says to him, it's too late, I asked you for help 2 weeks ago. The look on Stallones face, now being sober and not realizing 2 weeks has passed. Really surprising performance. The movie over all, I enjoyed. Check it out, if you haven't seen it.
So I just got done watching Uncut Gems and realized that Howard would have had to have faced other consequences, possibly like the one in the end, due to his very nature of betting/gambling.
Are there any other films that are similar with protagonists still facing doom, regardless if they survived their demise at the end?
I have two:
Mrs. Serial Killer. It’s about a wife who becomes a serial killer in order to prove her husband isn’t one. When I first heard about it, I thought it was so out there and I didn’t know how the characters could possibly resolve their conflicts. 😵💫
Everything Everywhere All at Once. I initially avoided watching it because of how crazy it sounded, but that’s honestly what made it great. All movies should strive for creativity like this one did.
What movie had the most bizarre premise to you? 👀
Let’s not overthink this, it’s just meant to be a fun thought experiment.
Call me a heretic, but I was watching The Seventh Seal for the first time in a long time (I watched it many times as a teenager) and thought it might have been better in color. I wanted to see vibrant green grass and foliage, blue sea and skies, brown taverns, colorful theatrical troupe, etc. I think it would make a nice contrast with the plague-ridden setting and the recurring grim reaper.
While I’m at it, I think Lolita, Hidden Fortress might have looked better in color.
As for color movies that might’ve been better in black & white, how about Miller’s Crossing?
Fede Álvarez directed the shit out of this reboot. This feels nothing like a cash grab, it takes the original cult-classic and creates a reinterpretation with a strong voice executed brilliantly.
The cold open establishes the crazy violent tone and stakes, the set up of why the characters are there and the interpersonal dynamics is compelling, the second half of the movie is pure pay-off with the goal of giving you a terrifying, uncomfortable, grotesque experience.
Also, the blend of practical and CGI effects is mostly seamless, Jane Levy’s performance is Oscar-worthy, the deaths are creative, the set design is creepy and effective, the movie is short and doesn’t waste your time, the cinematography and editing are superb and complement each other.
I think is great and under appreciated. It’s the best version of what is going for.
I don't care how much people like the ending and no offense to anyone that likes this movie. Talk to the hand.
There is nothing here that we haven't seen in the previous two movies. I mean it's basically just a copy of the story beats of T2. Terrible comedy. Miscast actors. Semi decent action scenes which again are just copies of scenes from T2.
Is it as bad as Terminator: Genysis? I'd say they about equal in terms of quality. Not much else to say other than the series really did end with T2.
Not that romantic interests in Happy Madison movies usually have the best chemistry with the main characters (With the exception of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore/Jennifer Aniston) but Nick Swardson and Christina Ricci's chemistry in Bucky Larson is...weird
Christina Ricci keeps talking to him like he's a child or someone with mental disabilities; she's always talking in this cutesy, sing songy voice to him. It makes it kind of uncomfortable that she ends up being his "love interest".
Got the idea for this thread from another one that did it for Heat. Great idea for a thread.
Love this movie but if there is one thing i would change...is Brad Pitt. He works for the role but the gulf in acting between Freeman and Pitt is too vast.
I heard both Pacino and Denzel (who passed on it and says it is his biggest regret) were up for the role.
Pacino and Denzel would have been AMAZING!
What would your alternatives leads be?
After a politician's daughter is kidnapped at a ruthless gang, a brutal policewoman is released from jail and sent after them. Trailer https://youtu.be/C__iXssy19M
Come join us on r/PicturesInTime, where for the remainder of February, we will be discussing 1920's cinema, with a special focus on the films of F. W. Murnau!self.picturesintime
Or if they did get one, either because you didn’t like it or some other reason, you think they deserve another one?
Bonus points if you want to give the actors who should portray them
Deathtrap (1982) was really excellent and a lot of fun. Highly recommended if you want a fun, twisty movie.
I....I....I....did NOT see that coming!
To me, that is the ultimate test of a thriller movie like this. Indeed, this movie passes with flying colors. I had no idea what was going to happen and that kept me gripped.
Loved it. Great movie. Check it out. Michael Caine and the rest of the cast are really excellent.
Who are 5 actors and actresses who didn't even get nominated for an Oscar, but should have (and arguably won)?
EDIT: I read a comment below and idk how this slipped by me, but Christian Bale in American Psycho is my #1 worst snub. Top 5 performance of all time.
1) Ted Levine (Supporting Actor) in Silence of the Lambs 2) Michael Madsen (Supporting Actor) in Reservoir Dogs 3) Jack Nicholson (Lead Actor) in The Shining 4) Leonardo Dicaprio/Samuel Jackson (hell, the whole cast!) (Supporting Actors) in Django Unchained 5) Willem Dafoe/Robert Pattinson (Supporting Actors) in The Lighthouse 6) Mickey Rourke (Supporting Actor) in Sin City (had to include my guy)
ACTRESSES: 1) Judy Garland (Lead Actress) in Wizard of Oz 2) Toni Colette (Lead Actress) in Hereditary 3) Uma Thurman (Lead Actress) in Kill Bill 4) Sigourney Weaver (Lead Actress) in Alien 5) Dakota Fanning (Supporting Actress) in Man On Fire
Two similar movies that came out around the same time where one is obviously much better than the other
CB4 and Fear of a Black Hat
CB4 has its fair share of funny moments, great performances (Shout out to Phil Hartman, Theresa Randle, Allen Payne, Charlie Murphy, and Chris Elliott) and well done satire (I'm Black Y'all is iconic) but the plot is kind of all over the place; it starts off as a mockumentary, then is told mostly in flashback, and then has a rather weak, anti-climatic, and homophobic/transphobic climax plus an ending that's vague on what exactly Chris Rock's character learned
Fear of a Black Hat is a much more focused movie as it sticks with the mockumentary format rather than trying to have a standard Hollywood plot and is much better for it
Who is that actor who seems to almost ALWAYS seem to play a villain, no matter WHAT you see them in?
I have a few in mind, just wanted to see where everyone else’s thoughts were.
Also, do you think actors who are typecast as villains really care one way or the other? Or are they just happy to be working?
This film is a masterclass in storytelling. No throw-away scenes or wasted shots, just pure cinema from start to end. The framing, blocking, sound design; every technical aspect of the film is top notch.
The story it tells is also a fascinating one. Set in Japan during WWII, it follows a matrimonially content housewife and her husband as they discover a grave secret and are forced to grapple with the choice between moral duty or patriotism.
I've always enjoyed war stories that focus on the small, seemingly insignificant people who inhabit the margins of history. People who will stake their entire life, and everything that they are, on the chance to make even the smallest impact on the impregnable war machine. In that regard, "Wife of a Spy" is in the prestigious company of such films as "Army of Shadows", "The Train", and "Hangmen Also Die".
Kurosawa tells the story with empathy at the forefront, and an understanding of how easy it is to get swept along and swallowed up by the currents of political zeal.
Definitely recommended for fans of period dramas, the especially those set during wartime.
What are some films that are both good and bad? Meaning, one half of the film might have been great and the other half not near as good?
I watched The Menu recently and I really enjoyed the first half but then something about the second half was really unsatisfying to me. I feel like it made less and less sense as it went on and didn't really stick the landing. It's a shame because the atmosphere and acting was very good.
Hancock also had a great first half and a terrible second half. The plot twist with Charlize Theron's character ruined the whole thing. It literally should have just been about an alcoholic superhero trying to improve his image. There was no reason for Hancock to even have a backstory let alone the incredibly bizarre one that they gave us.
Conversely, Hacksaw Ridge's first half (in bootcamp) was not very good but the second half (in Japan) was fantastic. The first half was corny as fuck but when the bullets started flying, Gibson really showed his prowess as a director.
Lately, I’ve watched a lot of music videos featuring people going to parties and having the time of their lives. Well, are there any films like that? I’ve never been to a party myself so I’m unfamiliar with the genre if there is one.
Movies with no sex, no drugs, no violence, no melodrama, just people going to parties to have fun and escape the harsh realities of the real world.
I prefer films in the adult and young adult genres as long as they don’t contain anything I mentioned above.
Note: the music video that mostly inspired me to make this post is Justin Caruso’s Your Move. It’s a great song and a great video about people just having a good time. Y’all should check it out!
Natasha Lyonne tends to play snarky, cynical characters. Even in American Pie she's "the sarcastic girl".
However she plays a much more sweet and innocent character in But I'm A Cheerleader. And she surprisingly plays it well.
I give it credit for the originality and some superb fight choreography.
But I'm missing what people loved so much about the film. It felt like a lot really good ideas but not executed in an effective manner.
And the ending just dragged way too much. But the amount of nominations it has received and how people say its one of the best films in recent years...I'm lost.
I remember when Parasite was hyped and when I watched it...it deserved ALL that hype
What am I missing?