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Happy New Year, everyone! What are your most anticipated movies for 2023? Me, I'm eager for the new Scorsese.

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5 hours ago, Beltmann said:

Happy New Year, everyone! What are your most anticipated movies for 2023? Me, I'm eager for the new Scorsese.

Thinking I will make my first trip to the cinema since Covid to watch Tár (not out in the UK yet). That aside I've woken up my Netflix account from a 5 year slumber and so have quite the backlog of stuff I'm interested in!

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At the risk of recency bias, I’m going to declare Mohammad Reza Aslani’s Chess of the Wind one of the greatest movies ever made. Too bold? Maybe. Might the latest Sight & Sound poll have me overthinking what it means to belong to the canon? Perhaps. But my mind can’t stop replaying this forgotten Iranian marvel that now has an epic reclamation story to join its towering artistic ambition. Brazenly sabotaged by rivals upon its 1976 release, and then banned after the ‘79 Islamic revolution, the movie was believed lost forever. Then, in an impossibly Hollywood-like twist, Aslani’s son chanced upon the movie’s reels in a junk shop in 2014. After a long restoration process, the movie finally received international recognition in 2020. I saw it thanks to its inclusion on Criterion’s most recent installment of Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project.

 

Set inside a sprawling mansion in 1920s Tehran, the story is easy to follow: After the estate’s matriarch dies, her oily husband Hadji believes he is the rightful heir to the family fortune. But her ailing daughter Aghdas, mourning from the confines of a large wooden wheelchair, rejects Hadji as both a member of the family and as the estate owner. What ensues is a series of usurping plots that involve Hadji, Aghdas, and several other schemers. The seductive drama--greed, parlor intrigue, secret lovers, murder--plays out like Shakespeare in miniature, but what elevates the melodrama is the way Aslani uses it all to forge a powerful, allegorical critique of the cultural hierarchies and collapsing values of Iran in the Seventies.

 

Meanwhile, Aslani commands the medium like a master (think Kubrick, Visconti, Bresson, Bergman). The film is a stylistic triumph filled with gliding cameras, ravishing compositions, elegant symmetries, striking set designs, expressive aural choices and rigorous symbols--in particular, the mansion’s central staircases tell us who intends to ascend or destroy the hierarchy, and Aghdas’ wheelchair might be a throne that each character, in turn, longs to make their own. The luxurious beauty of the estate is depicted in familiar ways, including heavy candlelight, but there’s real shock when the movie leads viewers to the mansion’s dungeon-like lower levels and Aslani unleashes a fiery, hellish vision of reds and blacks, underscored by the same sinister music that had been warning viewers of impending calamity but now goes further, suggesting there are demons in the shadows. For a movie that has come back from the dead, speaking to us from beyond, this otherworldly metaphor could not be more fitting.
 

 

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The Detectorists special - usual great low key stuff with a couple of nice twists. A treasure of itself.

The Great Escape - from Boxing Day I think. What is Christmas without The Great Escape? Every time you think that Hilts just might make that jump over the wire.

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We watched the first two episodes of Somebody Somewhere on HBO Max ---- funny, interesting show. Nicely written. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Albert Tatlock said:

The Great Escape - from Boxing Day I think. What is Christmas without The Great Escape? Every time you think that Hilts just might make that jump over the wire.

 

That used to be a Saturday afternoon or late night movie back in the day. 

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1 hour ago, Analogman said:

 

That used to be a Saturday afternoon or late night movie back in the day. 

Sunday afternoon here. Was very tempted to watch El Cid too. Maybe this weekend if it's still on iPlaver

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I did not know there was a 3rd series.  I like that show she was in with Phil Davis - Rose and Maloney.

 

Now if we could only get more of Whitechapel. I have watched that many times.

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An emotionally powerful movie. It's films like this that make me go to the theater. Brendan Fraser is incredible. Not sure what the competition will be but he's a serious contender for Best Actor. Great performances in the supporting roles, too. 

 

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Two episodes into  The English on Prime, definitely shot nicely. Interesting lead character - the whole Indian - US Soldier duality.

 

Also started watching the sitcom The Inbetweeners (British) - nice way to unwind down from The English.

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4 minutes ago, calvino said:

Two episodes into  The English on Prime, definitely shot nicely. Interesting lead character - the whole Indian - US Soldier duality.

 

Also started watching the sitcom The Inbetweeners (British) - nice way to unwind down from The English.

I thought The English was really good. I won't do any spoilers.

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On 1/17/2023 at 2:41 AM, calvino said:

Also started watching the sitcom The Inbetweeners (British) 

LOL. The first coupdl eo series were good.

 

Have you tried Friday Night Dinner?

 

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/may/26/farewell-friday-night-dinner-the-joyous-jewish-sitcom-that-became-a-national-treasure

 

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2 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

 

Never heard of "Friday Night Dinner" -- will check it out.

 

Recently, we did watch the 1st two episodes of  "We Are Lady Parts" --- pretty interesting. 

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On 1/16/2023 at 6:41 PM, calvino said:

Also started watching the sitcom The Inbetweeners (British) - nice way to unwind down from The English.

 

5 hours ago, Albert Tatlock said:

LOL. The first coupdl eo series were good.

 

My nephew said once that the four main characters on The Inbetweeners were just like him and his three best friends in high school.  So I had to watch it, and I was horrified (and also, horrified at how much I enjoyed it :lol)

 

2 hours ago, calvino said:

Recently, we did watch the 1st two episodes of  "We Are Lady Parts" --- pretty interesting. 

 

I loved We Are Lady Parts!

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I'm not sure I understood a bit of it, but it was still quite an experience. As much as I want to be put off by it, I find myself loving it. 

 

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2 hours ago, Boss_Tweedy said:

I'm not sure I understood a bit of it, but it was still quite an experience. As much as I want to be put off by it, I find myself loving it. 

 

ems.cHJkLWVtcy1hc3NldHMvbW92aWVzLzA3ZjU2

I loved this movie.  I wasn't sure why I did, so I read up on it the next day to confirm why I thought I loved it.  And I still do.

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44 minutes ago, Chez said:

I loved this movie.  I wasn't sure why I did, so I read up on it the next day to confirm why I thought I loved it.  And I still do.

I need to read a plot explanation or some form of "cliff notes" to gain an understanding of what I watched. But I can't stop thinking about how uniquely brilliant it is. 

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