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Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




See China and Die

I think most of what has already been said about this one that I could say has been said by other people. The presentation is cozy and fuzzy like a made-for-tv-movie. My attention wavered throughout, and when I did focus on something intently I either saw passing glances of what has been described as a kind of mammy archetype vibe, or else noticed an area where it felt like the movie had been truncated. In general watching this felt like I was viewing something that had been chopped up from something better. not great mouthfeel.

Singapore Sling

SPEAKING of mouthfeel.

My review from the October Challenge 2020 covers most of my rambling stream of thoughts about this precious piece of film:

quote:

It's all spoilers and not spoilers here: Close quarters and rustling leaves. Deep breathingÖrestrained and then released, the characters only breathe with the film. Every thing has a shadow: the food and the entrails, the penis and the knife, the ďdaughterĒ and the ďmotherĒ A storm surrounds and isolates the inhabitants, in their diegetic space, the house the eye of a storm. Inside is maybe not a stillness, but a lack of exchange: where something precarious and teetering holds. Held by a uncomfortable gravity. Itís a fully dilated dream.
Nothing is eaten, yet there is appetite and consumption. Meals are held and food is had, but thereís almost a role-playing here of the day-to-day living, an upper level of acting above even their sexual games. Thatís where the fantasy starts. There is a reveling in the hunger that canít be sated. Food is eaten with gusto and vomited back up. A sort of immortality, or at least stagnation. A relishing disgust. That's not all of it but it is some.
A person may only watch it once, but Iíd recommend it to anyone for at least one viewing. I was kinda captivated by it. I can even see and understand a certain response where itís almost cringey out of maybe some recognition or belief that itís trying to shock you. I donít think itís meant to shock. I think itís trying to communicate at a point beyond the shock response to these scenes. Maybe itís shock then numbness, then some sort of return to feeling on the other side.
Not the best phrasing or breakdown, but some impressions from being steeped in itís atmosphere.

Otherwise, my new thoughts from this viewing mostly centered around the greek mythology comparisons: the relative depiction of filth, the entanglements between the characters and their natures, all remind me of a less sanitized mythological aesthetic than is generally seen. These myths being about stories where people turn into trees and as they try and break off the wood start realizing its their skin now, and start screaming and crying and bleeding, and their blood and tears start freezing into sap. Zeus is played for laughs in Disney movies and elsewhere, but he makes what Father did seem tame, etc. Mortal life is just a series of endlessly permutating games for the gods.
The realization that the mother was the mother in Dogtooth (a film I saw long before I was "watching movies" as a thing) blew my mind while watching this time. I felt a similar sense of a world contained within itself there, which made for an interesting through-line across these years for me.


Singapore Sling easily wins my vote, but I'd have given See China and Die: The Series a chance, had it existed.

Peacoffee fucked around with this message at 14:54 on Jan 26, 2021

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Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




Well, I voted a couple of days ago somewhat unhappily for Trouble Every Day and The Faculty. Both match ups were of movies which elicited strong negative responses paired with one which fell flat for me. Frans post is wonderful, and appreciated, as I really canít bring myself to write much about either of the films I picked lol.

I think Trouble Every Day has lots of merit even if I wasnít in a good place when I saw it, whereas Iím not as convinced Rabid needs a second viewing. The Faculty is extremely problematic in ways which invite discussion, whereas GB2 feels like its gonna do its thing, get its claps, and take its seat as the GB film to skip.

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




I ended up voting Ms. 45 over Salo, based on the general idea that Salo is probably already recognized enough as extremely good that those interested will find it. I did find it relatively mild (though, thatís only compared to the reputation.)

Ms. 45 is just too much fun and the title/summary is unassuming enough to be overlooked, and for that somewhat specious reasoning, I voted for badass gun nun and the wild sax.

Oh and I voted for Re-animator over The Woods.

In all, I thought it was a fun pile of movies for the week.

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




My roughly worked out feelings on rewatching Jenniferís Body while seeing Perfect Blue for the first time, is that when you give a complete vision like Perfect Blue, and had to draw the visual material out of the minds working on the movie to animate it, having it breath feels like a greater accomplishment to me than Jenniferís Body, for all the things i liked about it. So Iíll be voting for Perfect Blue.

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




I voted for Beneath Still Waters over Scouts Guide because boring (with some fun effects!) for me is better than something which I found negatively energizing. Debbie's post sums it up pretty well. As an American one is used to these kinds of votes.

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




As somebody who probably saw their *first* Troma film the other night, I have to admit that I felt the kinship of an artist *over* the threats of a cruel culture directed at me. When it was framed as anarchist art in a post above, that settled the association that I felt with it. Itís a movie my family branches with money would be horrified by, and one thatíd have made a enjoyable film to watch on a thrifted/dumpstered portable dvd player in a squat one evening. In a house you have to always keep context in mind, outside those spaces though it shapes reality.

Iím sure there are actually good examples of Troma films, whereas this is a mix of things, but as someone closer to people like those described on 4chan (because I often cannot avoid fascists), this movie is a flawed (thatís being *generous*) antidote to that kind of negative energy, for me. If someone growing up watching Troma became a fascist or a fascist thought it spoke to them, itíd be the sum of an ill society causing it, not a movie.

I think Debbie said that this kind of movie was the sort that made her want to make movies, and for me at least I felt similarly in that there was *room* made for voices here. Not to compare it to a movie itís not up against, but maybe to explain my vote logic here, In Scouts those voices were roundly stomped in the face, and the film pauses for you to clap in triumph.

Many normalized evils walk across movie screens every day and no one bats an eye unless thereís someone who feels the pain to point it out. A lot of movies which get votes from me are ones that, otherwise, I probably would never bother to see or recommend to another person. The fact that this is constructed competitively makes thinking clearly about any of this really frustrating. Thatís not a complaint, so much as I get through most of a post before realizing this format doesnít suit me well and my points end up all over the place.

Peacoffee fucked around with this message at 23:38 on Apr 6, 2021

Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




I thought Showgirls was very interesting, and as has been said, wild. For me it fits very well into a type of movie that I would call Unnatural Desertification. Where places like Reno or Las Vegas are used as a backdrop for the desert and how the real wasteland seems to be what actually draws peopleís eye: the heavily constructed artifice of cities like Vegas.

In movies like Desert Hearts you get the message that flowers maybe do bloom in the desert, whereas here the message is maybe more about what that ďrealĒ wasteland, the cultural one, does.

In that regard I think Nomi is not really meant to be sympathetic, to a point maybe, but mostly she sucks the area dry and bombs out and drives off, leaving notably a woman of color in a terrible place after she fed her ruthlessly to that predator, probably to crash into that final destination for the westward-driven wastelander: LA.

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Peacoffee
Feb 11, 2013




Yeah I softened on the wording but I donít personally find her sympathetic. I think also buried in there is something about the Heroís Journey, which carries a lot of baggage culturally, and often most of our ďheroesĒ have been awful people. The Heroís Journey as it relates to Western Civ has been a pretty miserable and bloody journey. As an idea I generally find it to be a bit of a joke, a sort of high school english class way to reinforcing a vague sort of manifest destiny, which is also how I saw the ending framing it.

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