Author Topic: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame  (Read 22572 times)

1SO

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 06:02:28 PM »
Decided to put in Lifeboat, which I'd always meant to get to. Now seems like a good time.
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Najemikon

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2011, 06:29:45 PM »
Lifeboat is the much better choice. Slightly experimental, but it has a challenging narrative considering the time. Could also be one of the first disaster movies, I think, building on his The Lady Vanishes to have a varied collection of characters trapped in one place. Bill recently reviewed Mr & Mrs Smith and came to the same conclusion as most. There really is little point!
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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2011, 07:28:04 PM »
For Asquith, I would recommend both Pygmalion and Browning Version over Earnest, but they're all great.

A Cottage on Dartmoor is pretty tremendous.

1SO

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The Directors of Shame: Lindsay Anderson – O Lucky Man!
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2011, 02:01:48 AM »
Marathon Update



O Lucky Man!
Always remember gentlemen, that you are a failure in catering if you don't know what to do with your leftovers.

Quite a start. A bracingly original vision of Great Britain during a time of great change. A sprawling 3 hour journey that swings for the fences and works as a collection of individual sequences. Though in the end, I wasn't sure what it all meant. Sure had fun though.

The major draw here is Malcom McDowell as an eager Everyman, a financially ambitious traveling salesman who embarks on a series of adventures. Some are funny, some are intense and often the two meet at some lunatic intersections. (At one point, he gets lost near a military instillation. He's captured, tortured and ultimately freed by the cleaning lady who complains "they never clean up after themselves.") Along the way McDowell meets mad doctors, evil global businessmen and numerous members involved in the law. He goes from greedy capitalist to peace-loving social worker. It's all performed with an over-enthustiac glee that reminded me a lot of Alex in A Clockwork Orange. It's amazing to see McDowell tear into that character type a 2nd time, and come up with a performance that's equal.

Taken a section at a time, O Lucky Man! works really well. Anderson's go-for-broke approach reminded me a lot of a film by another famous Anderson... P.T.s Magnolia. However (just like my big problem with Magnolia), the running time ultimately works against it. The journey is even more rambling than it needs to be, and it gets pretty tedious in the final half-hour. But I really liked it's ambition, including some greek chorus song breaks by Alan Price. (I thought the songs would slow down the movie, but they're really good. I want to get the soundtrack now.)
RATING: ***

Having seen If... I'm very interested in completing McDowell/Anderson's Mick Travis trilogy and watching Britannia Hospital.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 02:09:11 AM by 1SO »
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tinyholidays

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2011, 09:48:15 AM »
1SO, you're a marathon machine. I'd never heard of O Lucky Man! before now, but your comparison to Magnolia makes me want to seek it out. I'm adding a lot of 1SO picks to my queue this morning!

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Directors of Shame: Lindsay Anderson – Britannia Hospital
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2011, 11:55:23 AM »
Marathon Update



Britannia Hospital

The problem with Britannia Hospital is that it definitely feels like its coming from the same director and writer who made If... and O Lucky Man!, but they amped everything up too broadly to be effective satire. They also push Mick Travis (again played by Malcom McDowell) deep into the ensemble until he disappears from the movie completely. There's no central character here, and the best moments are the discoveries Mick makes because we get his reaction to them. With O Lucky Man! I could see the connection to the first film, but this could just as well been a different person.

I said in my O Lucky Man! review that I didn't really know all of what the film was satirizing. Here it's clearly aiming at the medical system and Thatcherite Britain. The hospital is a Gilliam-esque microcosm of everything wrong with doing things the proper British way. I remember If...s humor being quite subtle. O Lucky Man! was sophisticated with some extreme moments. This one starts at silly and goes out from there, including moments of horrific bloody violence. It's a cynical portrait of people, striking out in all directions with a shotgun. Everyone goes down, but all you've got is a giant mess.
RATING: **

Lindsay Anderson
1. If...
2. O Lucky Man!
3. This Sporting Life

4. Britannia Hospital
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Antares

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2011, 07:09:51 PM »
I don't know how I missed it the first time I looked at your list, but you should also check out Touchez Pas au Grisbi, by Jacques Becker


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1SO

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2011, 08:54:49 PM »
Never heard of him or his films.
Doing some research, Le Trou is more widely known and has a higher rating on IMDB. It's also Martin's #1 pick. If I like it enough Touchez Pas au Grisbi would come next (much like O Lucky Man! led to Britannia Hospital.) I'm still going in with no knowledge so I don't want to commit to both films yet.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2011, 08:55:55 PM »
Leni Riefenstahl – per Sam’s dictation
Olympia Part 1 and 2 are a must.

1SO

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Re: 1SO vs. The Directors of Shame
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2011, 09:00:49 PM »
I feel like Triumph of the Will will appear on my List of Shame soon enough. Didn't know if you'd want me to start with The Holy Mountain.
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