This is why I paid the five bucks. December 11, 2008 6:34 PM   Subscribe

This is why I paid the five bucks.

What started as - with no disrespect meant to the originator - not the meatiest of posts has gradually become the most entertaining and thought-provoking film discussion I've listened to in many years.
posted by Joe Beese to MetaFilter-Related at 6:34 PM (150 comments total)

Oh yay. Have a cookie.
posted by dame at 6:37 PM on December 11, 2008 [10 favorites]


It is a fun thread, yes. I also feel vindicated knowing I'm not the only one who liked Alien 3.
posted by middleclasstool at 6:56 PM on December 11, 2008


Not the only one, mct. We're usually just quiet about it. The tarring and feathering gets a little old after a while.
posted by lekvar at 7:08 PM on December 11, 2008


If you already got your $5 worth, there is always the server fund.
posted by netbros at 7:09 PM on December 11, 2008


Or a therapist.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:13 PM on December 11, 2008


OH, A CALL OUT IS IT? WHY YOU...

Oh, alright.

Fair enough.
posted by Artw at 7:29 PM on December 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's like a Batman thread, Artw. You are by definition forgiven.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:31 PM on December 11, 2008


"This is why I paid the five bucks."

Thanks, we were wondering.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 7:52 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's may not be all bad news for xenomorphs though - 2009 will see the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines is still just around the corner, hopefully.

Note to self: When tweaking a sentence on preview make sure the beginning and ending of the version you go with actually match each other.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like a Batman thread, Artw.

It always wins?
posted by middleclasstool at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2008


$5 to get the first comment in a thread?

Whoopdie fucking doo.
posted by clearly at 7:56 PM on December 11, 2008


Follow up questions:

Who's cooler: Bradys or Partridges?

Quien es mas caliente, Wonder Woman o Daisy Duke?

(answer: Partridges. Wonder Woman.)
posted by jonmc at 7:59 PM on December 11, 2008


Has anyone yet pointed out that jscalzi has the best profile picture on Metafilter yet? Oh, ok.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:02 PM on December 11, 2008


This is why I paid the $5. Now I want it back.
posted by googly at 8:02 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I spent $5 to rent "Dark City" tonight, yes? It is...delightfully moody, yes? It makes "The Matrix" seem...inadequate, yes? And it can Tune.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:05 PM on December 11, 2008


No, Dark City was a steaming pile of crap, despite the promising beginning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on December 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Dark City was a hidden bit of awesome. Plus, Jennifer Connelly in one of her last roles while she was still hot before she caught that Hollywood disease that takes perfectly fine looking women and turns them into leathery, emaciated husks with plastic bits tacked on.
posted by Eideteker at 8:16 PM on December 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


Dark City was sort of interesting, but no, not better than The Matrix. You could bring the Matrix sequels into the discussion, but that seems cruel.

Me, I like Pi.
posted by Artw at 8:41 PM on December 11, 2008


Dark City was great, and Ebert's commentary made it even greater.
posted by graventy at 8:41 PM on December 11, 2008


Why was Dark City great?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 PM on December 11, 2008


It had spirals!
posted by Artw at 8:47 PM on December 11, 2008


Dark City was sort of interesting, but no, not better than The Matrix. You could bring the Matrix sequels into the discussion, but that seems cruel.

Okay, you must be high. You must be. Because I defy you to show me one twenty-minute stretch of "The Matrix" that involves actual talking and yet does not at some point make you cringe internally at either a line of dialogue or its piss-poor delivery.

Don't get me wrong, I love The Matrix like I love Star Wars, and with good reason: they are both iconic stories that take very old Messiah themes and wrap them in sci-fi but nevertheless feature a fucking awful script and acting that aspires to be passable.

Dark City's script gets, at worst, meh, and is often very good. The shots are gorgeous. The art direction is beautiful. There is enormous attention to detail. There ain't a weak actor in the bunch, not a goddamn one. And its examination of the "the world is a sham and we are puppets in it" theme is much more intelligent and nuanced and not directly cribbed from William Gibson.

Dark City ain't Shakespeare, no, but it is Citizen Kane compared to The Matrix.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:52 PM on December 11, 2008 [10 favorites]


graventy's comment about Ebert's commentary is spot-on, too.
posted by middleclasstool at 8:53 PM on December 11, 2008


I love Dark City.
posted by taz at 8:58 PM on December 11, 2008


Because I defy you to show me one twenty-minute stretch of "The Matrix" that involves actual talking and yet does not at some point make you cringe internally at either a line of dialogue or its piss-poor delivery.

Woah.


On the Dark City side of things, I'm with Brandon Blatcher...help me understand why it was so great. I've seen it, enjoyed parts of it, saw hints of greater brilliance that somehow just didn't seem to get fully realized and have left it with a "meh" (although I completely agree it is a far more nuanced film than Matrix). But I'm open to hearing what I've missed.

Is the Ebert commentary written, or on the disc?
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:19 PM on December 11, 2008


I hated Pi.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:36 PM on December 11, 2008


Dark City is one of the venerable class of movies I don't want to watch so much as live in.

The key! the key to the hotel room in the first 10 minutes! I want that key! ect, ect, ect ect.
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 PM on December 11, 2008


Also, alternative treatments of the Alien series using the same basic elements as the first, GO!
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 PM on December 11, 2008


Dark City was nice to look at. That's about it.
posted by electroboy at 10:28 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Ebert commentary is on the DVD. It's more about the actual framing, the storytelling with pitures, and the sheer weight of the photography more than anything else. As a totally visual, almost silent movie, it's a huge achivement.

If you like Dark City but would like a more complete take on it's metathemes, may I suggest The Fall.

It's so good.
posted by The Whelk at 10:34 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dark City ain't Shakespeare, no, but it is Citizen Kane compared to The Matrix.

Being as Citizen Kane is not at all famed for its acting or topical originality, but mostly as cinematic tour de force, I am marking you dow-

Oh wait, you mean I'm not grading papers in SciFi yet? It's still winter break? I'd better get clear away from fanboys while I still can, then.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:40 PM on December 11, 2008


Hey, know what's underrated? the Thirteenth Floor.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:41 PM on December 11, 2008


The Aliens thread is awesome. I see posts as sandwiches. There are some really meaty sandwiches, like those Philly cheese steak ones. Awesome tasting, theres a lot there, they take some time to digest. It doesn't have to be something with a lot of links, just something with good content. The comments are like the fries and coke: good tasting but not the focus of the meal.

Then there are the posts that are more like a deli sandwich. Not as heavy as a really meaty post, complemented well by a bag of chips and a soda, doesn't leave you feeling heavy. It's a perfectly good lunch.

For me, personally, the Aliens thread was like an In N Out burger + animal style fries and a shake (no pop). I've thought a lot about it and in that combination the burger is secondary. The fries and shake are the comments, and that's what's interesting about the meal/thread.

There are threads where neither the links nor commentary is worth it, no matter how much there are. This is like those McDonald's where you could substitute fries for small cheeseburger. Yeah, wooo, you've got two burgers but they're still crap. Ugh, and the soft drinks are watered down so no matter how many refills you get you're never satisfied. Like refreshing controversial political threads. Sure, you get a lot of commentary but it's not filling like you wish.

man am I hungry or what

Oh man, I'm totally off topic for this thread. I watched Dark City. Don't remember much of it though.
posted by Mister Cheese at 11:01 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dark City was nice to look at. That's about it.

You're kidding me. When John Murdoch broke free of the gurney and faced the Strangers, my friend and I actual jumped out of our seats in the theater high-fived each other and led the entire audience in a cheer.

When Neo resurrected himself to face Agent Smith, I thought, "Shit, they're gonna let Reeves open his mouth again."
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 11:08 PM on December 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


you paid five bucks for the privilege of reading that discussion?

hate to tell but you could have saved them. only posting costs.
posted by krautland at 11:25 PM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like a Batman thread

LET'S PUT A :) IN THAT THREAD OF YOURS
posted by katillathehun at 12:18 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


The Fall left me so disappointed. The Mark E Smith character was played by an actor with too many teeth.
posted by item at 12:29 AM on December 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's like a Batman thread

It ends with bunch of poseurs whose familiarity of Batman begins and ends with DKR, yet that does not stop them from yammering on like they know what they're talking about?

Zing!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:48 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, know what's underrated? the Thirteenth Floor.

When I bought my very first DVD player back in 2000 it was late evening and most of the shops were closed. The selection of DVDs available was very basic. By chance they had both The Thirteenth Floor and Dark City, neither of which I'd heard of. I bought them because I didn't want to wait until the next day to watch my first film. Probably the best random purchase I've ever made.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:06 AM on December 12, 2008


I could have sworn Dark City was on Moviedrome (and therefore and automatic ROCKS!) but the internet tells me it wasn't

PI was pretty good but it could have been so much better. IMHO Darren Aronofsky is very overrated as a director (fully expecting, well hoping tbh, The Wrestler will prove me wrong)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:00 AM on December 12, 2008


Or a therapist.

You should print out this thread and show it to them.
posted by inigo2 at 6:08 AM on December 12, 2008


i never expected to want to watch aliens 3 ever again, but after reading that thread i kind of do. dammit.

CURSE YOU, METAFILTER! *shake fist*

pi was pretty awesome. thirteenth floor was underrated. dark city was totally better than matrix because it had richard o'brien in it.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:15 AM on December 12, 2008


Zing!

You see, Newt represents Ripley's subsumed desire for a return to domestic life, but the aliens—a superstitious and cowardly lot—are a psychological barrier to that escape, hence Ripley's dualistic struggle.

Also, Waaaaayne Industries? Weeeeeyland Yutani? Eh?

posted by cortex (staff) at 6:32 AM on December 12, 2008


You're kidding me. When John Murdoch broke free of the gurney and faced the Strangers...

Maybe you don't like good things. It's a common affliction.
posted by electroboy at 6:38 AM on December 12, 2008


Dark Shitty City would have been a halfway-decent film if they didn't use the shoot-for-the-edit style, if the shots lasted more than two frames, if they cast actors who could, you know, act (Kiefer's performance was one of the most stunningly awful things I've ever seen, like watching a drunk guy impersonate Lorre), and if the director were better at getting all the performances on the same page. Sure, the art direction, costume design, and cinematography is good, but you can't see any of it because the shots go by so fucking fast.

You want an art deco film that's more than just a poorly-edited, poorly-acted noir morass? Add Il Conformista to your Netflix queue. The performances are stylized without being ridiculous (Keifer), and the editing is expressionistic without cutting the print into guitar picks.

[end rant]
posted by pxe2000 at 8:12 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seriously, Gastone Moschin could eat Jack Bauer for breakfast.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:21 AM on December 12, 2008


Seriously, Gastone Moschin could eat Jack Bauer for breakfast.

As long he doesn't WHISPER EVERYTHING while doing it.

posted by inigo2 at 8:33 AM on December 12, 2008


IMHO Darren Aronofsky is very overrated as a director (fully expecting, well hoping tbh, The Wrestler will prove me wrong)

*needle scratch sound effect*

Aronofsky directed "The Wrestler"?

Wow.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:59 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dark City is a beautiful masterpiece and anyone who says it isn't is off my Christmas list.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:59 AM on December 12, 2008


it should have been called DORK City amirite
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:17 AM on December 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


::high-fives kittens for breakfast::
posted by pxe2000 at 9:18 AM on December 12, 2008


This is why I paid $5.*

*Not really. I pre-date these new pay-for-play corrupt MeFi practices.
posted by wfrgms at 9:31 AM on December 12, 2008


So the point of this was to continue the discussion you were having on the blue? Joe I still don't think you get this place.
posted by Big_B at 10:07 AM on December 12, 2008


I think the point was to say "hey, this is a neat thing that makes me happy about metafilter". The discussion is just the inevitable result.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:10 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think Joe paid $5 because he needs attention.
posted by found missing at 10:11 AM on December 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


We love you long time Joe.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on December 12, 2008


Dark City was good, but Dark Star takes the cake.
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wanted that cake.
posted by everichon at 11:55 AM on December 12, 2008


This isn't where I can make that stupid and tired "OMG THE CAKE IS A LIE!!!" jokes, is it?
posted by booticon at 12:24 PM on December 12, 2008


We love you long time Joe.

Sorry. $5 is all my mom will allow me to spend.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:17 PM on December 12, 2008


Hey Mr. November 25, 2008, are you, of all people, seriously praising a thread?
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:30 PM on December 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


If more people were as awesome as me he would have joined earlier!
posted by Artw at 1:32 PM on December 12, 2008


Sorry. $5 is all my mom will allow me to spend.

So you want it twice?
posted by electroboy at 1:34 PM on December 12, 2008


Kudos to languagehat for sort of bringing things full circle.
posted by theroadahead at 1:35 PM on December 12, 2008


"If more people were as awesome as me..."

I.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2008


Myself.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on December 12, 2008


Moi?
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:57 PM on December 12, 2008


moi-même
posted by Dumsnill at 3:02 PM on December 12, 2008


et tu?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2008


Brute.
posted by Phire at 4:16 PM on December 12, 2008


I paid it so I could participate in the Metatalk pile-ons when newbies flame out.

We still haven't given up on you, Joe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:31 PM on December 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


hang on, i didn't go grey but I drooled over and slobbered on the paying of the $5 just a day or so ago for Conan

meh.

get no respect around here
posted by infini at 5:47 PM on December 12, 2008


I said to myself, said I.
posted by The Whelk at 6:32 PM on December 12, 2008


The.
posted by jtron at 7:27 PM on December 12, 2008


Oh gosh, I don't even remember "Dark City", but I'm bored and a little drunk, so here I am. Entertain me.
posted by Evangeline at 8:29 PM on December 12, 2008


*Pulls down pants*
posted by Catfry at 8:37 PM on December 12, 2008


She wants drama, not comedy.
posted by found missing at 8:41 PM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ouch.
posted by Evangeline at 8:45 PM on December 12, 2008


You know, actually I'm more than a little drunk - who am I kidding?

I remember Kiefer in that movie. I thought it was a brave choice, but ultimately he was miscast. God, I was so hot for him when he was in "Lost Boys". But now, when I watch him in "24", it just wearies me. He's okay when he's kicking ass, but when he starts to do that whispery sincere shit -ugh.
posted by Evangeline at 8:48 PM on December 12, 2008


You know, actually I'm more than a little drunk - who am I kidding?

So, what do you really think of cortex?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:58 PM on December 12, 2008


Oh gosh, I don't even remember "Dark City", but I'm bored and a little drunk, so here I am. Entertain me.

Imagine a Smashing Pumpkins video stamping on a human face, forever.
posted by Artw at 9:00 PM on December 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


Cortex? Oh don't even get me started. What a big hunk of prime grade A man meat.

Was that sexist?
posted by Evangeline at 9:04 PM on December 12, 2008


You're not drunk. Where's all the misspellings?
Sorry, I don't know how to be entertaining.
*Pulls pants back up*
posted by Catfry at 9:30 PM on December 12, 2008


The spelling is the last to go, Catfry. I'm on my 5th IPA.

Now drop 'em.
posted by Evangeline at 9:34 PM on December 12, 2008


This is starting to remind me of a very bad spelling bee experience.
posted by found missing at 9:42 PM on December 12, 2008


Correct spelling is the only thing that separates us from the gutter.
*Drops pants*
posted by Catfry at 9:48 PM on December 12, 2008


Honestly, folding laundry is a bit tedious when you have to use the floor.
*Picks up pile*
posted by Catfry at 9:52 PM on December 12, 2008


*BADUM-TSHH*
posted by Catfry at 9:54 PM on December 12, 2008


*insert visual here*
posted by h00py at 12:46 AM on December 13, 2008


go away for a few hours and this turns into a cathouse
posted by infini at 12:51 AM on December 13, 2008


I paid five bucks for the privilege of paying five bucks.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:04 AM on December 13, 2008


I am just now starting to get drunk, was finshing a paper during yall's party. I just finsihed the first 25% of my MA! Huzzah!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:36 AM on December 13, 2008


Congratulations AV!
posted by Evangeline at 10:31 AM on December 13, 2008


I paid five bucks for a lousy sock puppet!
posted by eriko at 11:37 AM on December 13, 2008


I paid 5 bucks and all I got was this lousy interesting and entertaining time-sink.
posted by The Whelk at 11:47 AM on December 13, 2008


I paid $5 and all I got was you guys.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:01 PM on December 13, 2008


Dark Shitty City would have been a halfway-decent film if they didn't use the shoot-for-the-edit style, if the shots lasted more than two frames, if they cast actors who could, you know, act

What the hell is shoot for the edit style? I didnt notice any problems with any of the things you mentioned. I remember watching this movie and being engrossed by the story and the visuals. I dont like movies in general, I feel theyre dumbed down and silly most of the time, but thought Dark City actually carried itself very well.

PS I love how you closed your comment with a recommendation for a foreign movie. Are you wearing a beret right now too? Are you a living cliche?
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:04 PM on December 13, 2008


Are you wearing a beret right now too?

So many comments on Metafilter make me think the commenter is wearing a beret.

Others, of course, a fedora.
posted by jayder at 1:39 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh jeez, that reminds me, for the first time in my life I met a man who wears an honest to god fedora or similar looking hat

of course, it was in northern europe

and it was snowing

but this was no cap, woollen thing, no sirree

it was Dick Tracy all the way

wassupwithtaht?
posted by infini at 1:58 PM on December 13, 2008

What the hell is shoot for the edit style?
shooting a film with the intention of cutting every shot so that it's less than a second long. See also: Bay, Michael.
Are you wearing a beret right now too?
Cloche, actually. (Handknit, too.) But thanks for playing!
posted by pxe2000 at 2:39 PM on December 13, 2008


I love how you closed your comment with a recommendation for a foreign movie. Are you wearing a beret right now too? Are you a living cliche?

I dunno the answer to that, but you are certainly not steering clear of being a cliche here, damn dirty ape.

I'll thank you to take your snide defensiveness about to the use of cinematic lingo and and recommendations for foreign films and shove them directly up your ass. You wouldn't want people who can say original things about movies, for example Dark City's overuse of shoot for the edit - which frankly, I don't recall from it, it's been too long, but the noir morass bit, most definitely, though not in an unappealing way, sort of a hue between The Matrix and... *GASP* La Cité des Enfants Perdus WHICH IS FROM "FRANCE" - anyway - wouldn't want us to dumb them down for you, would you?

If you don't like movies in general, just stay the fuck away from cinephiles, eh?

/obviously just spent too long writing about the dialectical construction of spectatorship in compilation ethnography.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:44 PM on December 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


::: michael bay dot com / shoot for the edit / the official site :::



haaaaaahahahaha
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:45 PM on December 13, 2008


Ambrosia:

I love you.

(But let's not pick out curtains or anything.)

Fondly,
PXE
posted by pxe2000 at 2:56 PM on December 13, 2008


I've seen, so. many. fedoras. now that's cold in NYC. Not just on old men, but young men. And they look good! They're all wearing old big Greatcoats which make the hat look less affected.

I'm just jealous. I can't wear hats. I always look like someone in Dad's clothing.
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on December 13, 2008


When I studied film in college, my prof always had fedora pride when he ran the film noir class. It was kind of endearing.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:32 PM on December 13, 2008


PS I love how you closed your comment with a recommendation for a foreign movie. Are you wearing a beret right now too? Are you a living cliche?

Oh my god movies by furriners! What next? Bears on unicycles? Lord protect us from their dirty unAmerican ways!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:01 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only issue I care about with editing is whether the story makes sense and the edits work in the context of the story being told. And although Dark City's shots average under two seconds, the films itself makes sense, and the shots themselves are frequently gorgeous. This is a film where reality is constantly being revisited and reexamined, and the sort of fragmenting of space that happens with that sort of editing seems totally appropriate to the story being told.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:13 PM on December 13, 2008


It's impossible for me to follow a film where the shots last that short a period of time. (Yes, I grew up while MTV was still showing music videos, so this might seem a bit odd.) Cutting a film at two seconds a shot makes it seem exciting, but it also strikes me as a bit manipulative -- you're not creating suspense from the story or the characters, but through this stroboscopic editing technique. That said, I would have respected DC if the three-frames-a-shot editing style was used in specific scenes rather than throughout the entire film.

Also, I could have almost, almost accepted the film as a fanboy curio that had little appeal for me if it only had one of the issues I described. If it was merely miscast to an embarrassing extent...well, I could forgive Wes Anderson for Gwynnie's wan performance in The Royal Tenenbaums, so I could forgive Proyas this lapse in judgement. If the performances were just all over the place, but everything else worked, I could deal with that. If Proyas had shown some skill in casting the film well and directing the actors, but the film was edited like a Michael Bay movie...that's a big hurdle for me to clear, since I am a massive editing geek, but I might let it slide if everything else worked. As it was, the acting was a mishmash of styles and approaches, with one performance (guess which one!) bringing the film way down, and it was among the most badly-edited films I've ever seen.

Also, and I know this is going to sound snobby, but I've seen the noir films to which Proyas is paying tribute. He's not bringing anything new to the table. He's not using the noir tropes as a jumping-off point for a new kind of film, he's just regurgitating them. The reason why I brought up Il Conformista is that it has some common denominators with noir films from the 1940s and '50s, but Bertolucci incorporated different styles and techniques and ways of telling a story into his film. (I could go off on a tangent about this, as Il Conformista is among my favorite films of all time, but this comment is already very long. To start with, and I know I sound like a broken record right now, but OMG the editing. The way he handles the flashbacks is just stunning.) Compared to that, Dark City is merely the film equivalent of a cover band. With a really bad bassist.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:44 PM on December 13, 2008


Dark City smells like Cheetos and Sprite. There is no need for further analysis.

The other night, I had to wear a suit (which I rarely do), and picked up an off-the-rack black pinstriped number. It looked okay. It dawned on me, though, that I should probably have a hat to go with it. It dawned on me that the only hat that would work was a fedora. I did not buy a hat. Then I spent a lot of time standing outside in thirty degree weather. Now I'm kinda coldy. There is no moral to this story.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:20 PM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen, so. many. fedoras. now that's cold in NYC. Not just on old men, but young men. And they look good! They're all wearing old big Greatcoats which make the hat look less affected.


posted by The Whelk 8 hours ago


yes, agree, it did indeed look very good and makes me jealous too. i dunno why i want to dress like that so much, it would look ridiculous on me (157cm, 46kg, asian female) i must have been a PI in my previous life ;p
posted by infini at 1:39 AM on December 14, 2008


Also, and I know this is going to sound snobby, but I've seen the noir films to which Proyas is paying tribute. He's not bringing anything new to the table. He's not using the noir tropes as a jumping-off point for a new kind of film, he's just regurgitating them.

These complaints make no sense in the context of the film. It's not supposed to be a dazzlign new vision. It's supposed to be a half-remembered vision done wrong. That's what the film is supposed to look like. The world was built by aliens who inhabit the corpses of our dead and rebuild a city every night, remanufacturing it from our own questionable memories.

And the complain that you personally cannot follow quick editing is a valid reason for you not to see a film that edits that quickly, but is otherwise meaningless. I had no trouble following it. Quick editing is not inherently harder to follow than any other sort of editing.

I found the performances consistent: A sort of robotic deadpan, which makes sense, given that these are people whose memories and personality are tinkered with every single night.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:27 AM on December 14, 2008


Wasn't Asian Girls in Fedoras a Fashion Statement a while back? Tiny women in over sized hats have been Officially Adorable since, like Annie Hall.
posted by The Whelk at 11:22 AM on December 14, 2008


Astro Zombie: I don't think I'd want any Christmas presents from you, anyway. :P

In all seriousness, I had no idea when I rented the film that it was going to be edited in that way. In spite of my cinephile leanings, I had never heard of it when a friend of mine sat me down with it in 2002 (before it had become a fetish object for slavering fanboys and Ebert acolytes), the friend who sat me down with it hadn't mentioned anything about the MTV editing (and would, in fact, go on to say that the editing was the worst part of the film), and there were no warnings on the package that the cutting was seizure-inducingly fast. Had I known that the cutting was that fast throughout the film, and in scenes in which such cutting was wildly inappropriate, I wouldn't have watched it. I could spend some time complaining that this kind of editing has become the norm to the exclusion of other, better editing styles, but that is neither here nor there.
I found the performances consistent: A sort of robotic deadpan
Were you out of the room when Jack Bauer was on screen? Cos I don't think I'd call that robotic or deadpan.

Yeah, I'm starting to sound like a broken record now.

Can we talk about Bad Timing now? Noir-influenced feature dealing with four people and their unreliable memories, with a unique approach to cutting? Cos that would be a fun conversation...
posted by pxe2000 at 11:36 AM on December 14, 2008


Is this the right place to say that, after finally watching Star Wars as an adult, I kept screaming "CUT AWAY! CUT! SCENE IS OVER!" With the exception of the Death Star sequence, almost every shot is held for about 30 seconds too long. And this as someone who likes lofty, low-cut editing.
posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on December 14, 2008


No, this isn't the right place. This is the place to wonder why Joe Beese has to alert us every time he drops a fin.
posted by found missing at 11:56 AM on December 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tiny women in over sized hats have been Officially Adorable since, like Annie Hall.

I have a raging hatred of that movie, since 50% dimwitted broad in this city think they're Annie Hall. The other half think they're Mary Richards.
posted by jonmc at 12:13 PM on December 14, 2008


jonmc: I'm one of those dimwitted broads who thinks she's Ruth Gordon. What does that make me?

No, wait, don't answer that.
posted by pxe2000 at 12:28 PM on December 14, 2008


I thought the other half thought they where Holly Golightly.

Oh wait, you said dimwitted.

If dees girls like big floppy hats so much, why not a return to the huge, over-sized Edwardian constructions with dead birds and netting and gold dust? Anything to save me from the indefatigably fashionable "Huge felt tureen" look.


Guys? Stop wearing skicaps. Now. If you must wear a hat, wear a big boy hat. If you're dressed down, it makes you look homeless, and if you're dressed up, you look like you left your proper hat at your mistress'. Unless you're actively working outside all day, you can suffer minor ear-freeze for our sake, K?
posted by The Whelk at 12:28 PM on December 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen, so. many. fedoras. now that's cold in NYC. Not just on old men, but young men. And they look good!

Damn right! I've already got my grandsons started on the hat fetish. They're comin' back, folks!
posted by languagehat at 12:31 PM on December 14, 2008


I have yet to find a hat I don't look completely ridiculous in. Maybe it's the shape of my face or the quality of the hat or the haircut or whatever, but how come I put on Steve's Trilby and I look like a bit player in Lake Woebegone's High School production of Guys and Dolls, but Steve puts it on and he's a dashing rouge?

Life can be so harsh sometimes.
posted by The Whelk at 12:40 PM on December 14, 2008


pxe2000, I'm in ur mefi, stealin ur handle to make FPPs.

hats: there are not enough varieties of hats commonly worn to get all uptight about a particular style, except for beanies which are totally stupid and make your head look like a knit penis-melon.

Dark City: You are both wrong.

Faster edits are absolutely, cognititively more difficult to understand, especially if you're not shooting in a narrative Hollywood framework. The closer you adhere to the established lexicon of edits, the easier it is to make meaning from the montage, so, you "get used to" quick editing, but lemme tell ya, you can get pretty fucking far from even that "postmodern" comprehensibility, and the speed of the edits can totally largely responsible for that. People, even hip people, HATE my beloved Baldwin, for example, and he's not exactly James Joyce. Visual language is maddeningly immersive, you can drown in it when it's anagrammatic.

Film Noir isn't really a project that needs developing, it's just a style of realism, totally worthy of repeated iterations, permutations, and projections into new narrative contexts.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:05 PM on December 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


AV, they're called yarmulkes.
posted by Eideteker at 2:25 PM on December 14, 2008


AV: This might not be the argument you're making, and it might not be relevant, but...to me, faster edits are a color on the pallette (if you will). If an editor cuts a scene quickly with the awareness that fast edits are disorienting, and because it's necessary to disorient the viewer, that's one thing. However, so many movies are being cut at the rate of two seconds a shot and maintaining that editing style throughout the film. This is something of which I do not approve.

(This is coming from someone who loved Russian Ark [side selections NSFW] and counts Jeanne Dielmann among her favorite films. So perhaps this is a particular hangup of mine...)
posted by pxe2000 at 4:48 PM on December 14, 2008


Edits aren't the real problem in modern filmmaking anyway. The problem is that bullshit Gladiator/"NYPD Blue" pukeycam style that just will not fucking die. I'm sure there are cinematographers the world over who live each day furious that they studied for years just so that some twenty-something douchebag director in a trucker cap could order them to make their hundred million dollar movie look like The Blair Witch Project.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:50 PM on December 14, 2008


I could go OFF on Russian Ark and editing. It's a big "Fuck you, Eisenstein, and the representationality you rode in on! We're going BACK to the beginning and staying there forever! UNCUT"

But anyway, you're not explaining why you think fast edits are bad filmmaking. I think that tends to be the case because if the shots are well-composed and intended to contain unique meaning generated from their mise-en-scene, specifically the angle, say, some set at a low dutch angle and some wide shots and some closeups at just below eye level, straight-on their subject, the speed of the edits between these does effect the viewer's capacity to read those collision montages. The signifying value of each edit diminishes, contributing instead to an overall frenetic tone instead of creating a series of meaningful contrasts, shot to shot. It's nigh impossible to parse meaning shot to shot at superspeed, and so the meaning in the edits just goes out the window in favor of tone. So speedy editing and forgettable films tend to go hand in hand. Few films take thematic advantage of disorientation, which you mentioned. I think most cinephiles/movie buffs/media scholars *polishes nails on lapel* are there for the traditional montage-made meaning. See my defensiveness in favor of Eisenstein, above (though I think Russian Ark is really just figuratively ribbing or rolling its eyes at montage cinema more than passionately disavowing it as the harbinger of postmodern hell).
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:07 PM on December 14, 2008


I have a raging hatred of that movie, since 50% dimwitted broad in this city think they're Annie Hall.

Blame the fans, not the band, man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:45 PM on December 14, 2008


Oh gosh, I don't even remember "Dark City", but I'm bored and a little drunk, so here I am. Entertain me.

Imagine a Smashing Pumpkins video stamping on a human face, forever.


This reminds me of my idea for a film company:

Human Face Forever Productions
posted by grobstein at 11:26 PM on December 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ambrosia Voyeur hates Jewish headwear.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:49 PM on December 14, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur hates Jewish headwear.

I was gonna say that about the Fedora haters. Antisemitic, obviously.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:54 PM on December 14, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur hates Jewish headwear.

Beanies are NOT yarmulkes.

Only a tiny, tiny part of me hates Jewish headwear, because I spent my glamorous senior year of high school singing and dancing in the musical... as Yente. AW, DANG.

The rest of me? Picked a college based on jewfulness, shot and SCORED, and is always waaaaay ahead of my Jewish boyfriend at temple to get that yarmulke on him. There's something about that little black circle amongst the brown curls that makes this shiksa go all mayonaise on her pastrami.

Take off your tallit katan...
You fine, Feinman.
Let's see those tzitzit
Flutter aaaand flit.
Take off your kittel
Oooh you sho' ain't little.
You can leave your yarmulke on.
You can leave your yarmulke on.
You can leave your yarmulke on.
You've got me sayin' l'chaim.
You've got me sayin' l'chaim.
You've got me sayin' l'chaim.
You can leave your yarmulke on.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:32 AM on December 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


well, fwiw mr fedora dumped me last night

time to find me a beanie?
posted by infini at 2:20 AM on December 15, 2008


Well hello there.
From here on out this thread is jdate.

posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:23 AM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are you wearing a beret right now too?

Hey, I could be wearing a beret right now. A nice one too, which I earned the hard way, through the finest and most challenging of military traditions:

I out-drank a ranger.

jonmc : Quien es mas caliente, Wonder Woman o Daisy Duke?

(answer: Partridges. Wonder Woman.)


Wonder Woman is the easy choice. She has an invisible jet and a truth lasso. Daisy Duke has to be awesome by nothing more than the virtues of her short-shorts and plucky spirit. In this respect, she is exactly like Batman.
posted by quin at 7:56 AM on December 15, 2008


There's something about that little black circle amongst the brown curls that makes this shiksa go all mayonaise on her pastrami.

I love this woman. Even if she did just out me as the sort of Jew that gets his kipah out of the wicker basket at the back of the synagogue.

Actually I do have my own, handed down from my grandfather, but I haven't seen it in forever. I fear I might've somehow lost it and am wracked by guilt every time I think about it
posted by contraption at 8:15 AM on December 15, 2008


Then there are the posts that are more like a deli sandwich. Not as heavy as a really meaty post

Clearly, you have not been to the right delis.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:14 AM on December 15, 2008


This is why I paid the five bucks.

Woo hoo 900th comment
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:26 AM on December 15, 2008


Errr, that is, had I been posting on MEFI that would have been my 900th comment. I'm all hopped up on cough syrup right now, so just like, nevermind.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:28 AM on December 15, 2008


You know what I fucking hate?

When in a movie there is a cut, and suddenly you are in the future. It always disorients me. I was happy when they showed the "2 years later" text on the screen for at least a minute, time for me to prepare. When they started doing the "pages falling of a calendar" thing, I knew we were screwed.

And you know what is even worse, a lot more disorienting? When a movie is progressing normally, like a story should, from the past to the present (or at least the nearer past), and suddenly they go to the past. What do the kids call that? A flashbang? A cashback?

GET OF MY LAWN YOU AND YOUR CONFUSING STORYTELLING!
posted by dirty lies at 1:04 PM on December 15, 2008


I paid five bucks for the 'gas prices fell near election day, amirite?' which quickly became 'suck my balls' and missed it. Damn.
posted by fixedgear at 1:15 PM on December 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


¡¡¡noʎ sʎɐd ɹǝʇןıɟɐʇǝɯ 'ɐıssnɹ ʇǝıʌos uı
posted by blue_beetle at 11:34 PM on December 15, 2008


i just saw this on twitter too, where is it coming from?
posted by infini at 11:50 PM on December 15, 2008


Ha ha: Crow remake in the works. Sob on that, Dark Shitty fans.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on December 16, 2008


Crow remake

I was about to bitch about what a horrible idea this was (and probably still is) when I noticed that it has Stephen Norrington set to direct it. Everyone only remembers the kinda suck that was his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but everyone also totally forgets how surprisingly good Blade and Death Machine were.

I still don't want them to do it, but if they have to, at least they chose a director that I like.
posted by quin at 10:45 AM on December 16, 2008


That's like saying that stars are still bright when you put them next to a black hole.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on December 16, 2008


The Whelk, I watched that movie The Fall while I was frying balls with my wife and OH MY GOD. It took every bit of my brain to understand what was going on because I kept falling on the fucking floor over what I was seeing. It was so beautiful, and I won't lie - by the end of the movie, I was crying my eyes out.
posted by Bageena at 7:46 PM on December 16, 2008


That was indeed a good thread. Very fun discussions going on, and I'm going to go rent the entire Alien series and watch it over the week.

Did that proposed mefi project about the comic books get started yet?
posted by snwod at 7:47 PM on December 16, 2008


It has been only in the very roughest sense been started, but yes. Anybody who owns some Aliens comics and wants to jump in the mix, drop me a line.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:14 PM on December 16, 2008


I think Mel Brooks should direct the next Alien movie.
posted by vronsky at 8:16 PM on December 16, 2008


quin, I gather you never read the comics that The Crow was based on.
posted by lekvar at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2008


I went to the Toronto International Film Festival in 2006. Saw 21 movies in 4 days, most of them quite good, including Pan's Labyrinth. But The Fall was hands-down the best of the movies I saw there.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:26 PM on December 17, 2008


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