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Old 12-11-2005, 18:58   #41
earl_roberts2002
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I agree with your point about De Palma having a rather cynical contempt for audience, character and everything related as this is something difficult not to notice in some of his films, but I'd say this was something that developed over the course of his career, rather than something he consciously concentrated on throughout all of his films.
Maybe critical reception to some of his work made him retreat into endless references and soulless nonsense but early in his career, pre-Dressed To Kill perhaps, there were frequent flashes of originality which are often overlooked by people out to dismiss him. For example I myself have yet to see a filmmaker come up with something like 'Be Black, Baby' from Hi Mom! which seemed extremely original to myself, and also very gutsy for a white filmmaker in the late sixties.
Also, the point most people pull him up on are his references. His Psycho reference in Phantom of the Paradise was inspired and extremely successful with reference to the film it featured in. I don't think we are meant to take this reference seriously, just as you suggest, but surely this doesn't make it totally redundant?
I think that someone like Tarantino is hard to take seriously as a result of his use of references but when they are (often) used as well as De Palma uses them, surely they have merit.
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Old 12-11-2005, 22:36   #42
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No doubt like many directors who become successful his earlier films tend to get over looked,Sisters doesn't get mentioned much as one of the more scary horror films but that's just what it is.His obsession with aping Hitchcock does work for Phantom,but isn't that because it's a parody?It just seems self indulgent to do it to the extent that he does.I think Tarantino would like to think he made films in the De Palma tradition,but the point you made about how De P's style developed-well Tarantino style has been appropriated from elsewhere from day one.His fans would argue he does it so well that it doesn't matter,but if you were making films you'd want them to look like your own wouldn't you?His films have a "fan art" quality that I find unbearable,it's like he's parodying cinema itself at times,everything seems totally false,of course if you're unfamiliar with the films he's nicking from you don't notice which makes him even worse.His films are so dialogue heavy that you imagine he does it to take the viewers mind off the visuals!That's some self-indictment!
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Old 13-11-2005, 00:33   #43
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Oops, just re-read my incorrect wording in my previous post, maybe I should have done that before I posted!!

I agree with what you say about Tarantino fully, I also find his 'film-making' process unbearable and the fact that he receives or has received such a huge amount of
critical acclaim whilst someone who is truely original like, hmmm let's just say Seijun Suzuki, goes almost completely unnoticed by near-enough everybody is horrible.

What I did mean was that when references are used well, as De Palma's often are IMO, then they have merit and warrent being taken seriously or rather not just totally disregarded for the fact that they are references, not that Tarantino should be taken seriously for his use of reference, anything but!
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Old 13-11-2005, 03:45   #44
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I thought Kill Bill was the biggest bag of asterisks I'd seen in a long while when I forced myself to watch it.It doesn't have any of the drive or weird inventiveness of the films it was "hommaging",it's pseudo cool.The dvd cover of JP Melville's Le Cercle Rouge has a QT quote- "Melville did for the crime film what Leone did for the western",it's this kind of self publicity by association with true greats that I find amazingly arrogant,from someone who maintains that anyone can make a film given the equipment and time.You also find dvds of the films he ripped off-Lady Snowblood etc.,packaged with "The films that inspired Kill Bill" written on them.It's not so much De Palma or Ridley Scott on the list that rankles,it's knowing that so many lesser known talents such as you mentioned don't seem to get a look in over the years because of the Western stranglehold on cinema/everything else.

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Old 13-11-2005, 09:26   #45
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Whatever I personally feel about Tarantino, there can be no denying his significant influence in modern cinema (something I find hugely ironic, given the copious borrowings he makes from other filmmakers) and I think he is, at the very least, an accomplished filmmaker who bothered to look further than 10 years previous for his cinematic influences.

The fact that his relatively paltry output captured the zeitgeist of the Nineties so effectively (the time when we witnessed the emergence of a new breed of film geeks and superfans) has meant that his reputation IMO is now massively overrated in many critical circles.
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Old 13-11-2005, 09:33   #46
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May I just add that it is very easy to forget how massive a shock to the system Reservoir Dogs was in the early nineties, when cinema was in danger of becoming dull and stagnant.

I was managing a local arts cinema at the time and the buzz around the film that just kept growing was something that I had never witnessed to that extent before (let's not forget that it was the UK that 'broke' Tarantino).

For me, Dogs will remain his greatest legacy, unless he comes up with something very special.

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Old 13-11-2005, 17:18   #47
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It (Dogs) doesn't really hold-up rather well today though does it? I can imagine it looking pretty insignificant in another ten years.
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Old 13-11-2005, 17:48   #48
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Especially if you watch 'City on Fire' first...
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Old 15-11-2005, 10:36   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earl_roberts2002
It (Dogs) doesn't really hold-up rather well today though does it? I can imagine it looking pretty insignificant in another ten years.
Absolutely, even when you get past the total lack of originality, it seems very heavy-handed and amateurish. Call me old fashioned but I'd take The Asphalt Jungle or The Killing any day.
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Old 15-11-2005, 12:21   #50
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I would put Eastwood in there myself.
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Old 15-11-2005, 15:20   #51
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Clint Eastwood's inclusion would make more sense than Ridley Scott,John Boorman,William Wyler,etc. that's for sure!He's a consistently good film maker for one thing and modest with it.
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Old 15-11-2005, 15:32   #52
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There's a fair bit of crap in the Eastwood oeuvre - Space Cowboys, Sudden Impact, Blood Work, True Crime, The Rookie etc.
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Old 15-11-2005, 16:20   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
There's a fair bit of crap in the Eastwood oeuvre - Space Cowboys, Sudden Impact, Blood Work, True Crime, The Rookie etc.
I'm a big fan of Eastwood though - even those lesser films I can happily sit through and enjoy. Play Misty for Me is a cracker and personal favourite of his films as director. And not only is he an icon as an actor and a double Oscar winner as a director ... he even takes his mom to the Oscars. Awwww.
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Old 15-11-2005, 16:31   #54
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The Eiger Sanction,The Dead Pool,Firefox....not that consistent after all!But we still love him like his mom and Clyde and Don Seagull

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Old 15-11-2005, 16:47   #55
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I can honestly say that Eastwood hasn't directed a single film that I truly love. I find Breezy, The Beguiled, Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby watchable, but no more. Some others like Mystic River, White Hunter Black Heart and The Bridges of Madison County I find grossly overrated. Certainly wouldn't swap him for Wyler, Boorman or even Ridley Scott as someone suggested.
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Old 15-11-2005, 16:56   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno
I can honestly say that Eastwood hasn't directed a single film that I truly love. I find Breezy, The Beguiled, Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby watchable, but no more. Some others like Mystic River, White Hunter Black Heart and The Bridges of Madison County I find grossly overrated. Certainly wouldn't swap him for Wyler, Boorman or even Ridley Scott as someone suggested.
I hate to be the nerd in the class, but Don Siegel directed The Beguiled.
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Old 15-11-2005, 16:57   #57
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I *truly* love Bronco Billy and Honkytonk Man, much more so than his generally regarded "classics". And I have no problem admitting Million Dollar Baby was one of the best films I've seen in a very long time - it wasn't perfect (there was a bit too much caricature for my liking) but it wasn't far off.

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Old 15-11-2005, 17:01   #58
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I think The Outlaw Josey Wales is a terrific piece of work and Unforgiven a finely crafted and mature film - both of which are right up IMHO (and it is, as we have pointed out many times, subjective).

I also think The Bridges of Madison County is a truly adult romantic film, made by, and for, grownups; heartbreaking, subtle with both leads on the top of their game. I love White Hunter, Black Heart for it's sheer lack of subtlety and chutzpah, and a bravura performance from Eastwood. And the more I watch Bronco Billy, the more I appreciate it.

Eastwood has more going on than Scott, has, admittedly, never had that Point Blank moment (yet), but has never fallen into Wyler's late career trap of being unnecessarily windy. He has some turkeys in there, sure - which director hasn't in a CV that extensive?

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Old 15-11-2005, 17:06   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackal
I hate to be the nerd in the class, but Don Siegel directed The Beguiled.
You're right of course. Siegel was such an influence on Eastwood that at one point it was difficult to tell where one ended and the other one started.

I do like Bronco Billy and think it's Eastwoods most likable film. Still, he never made a anything that means as much to me as does The Heiress, The Letter, Roman Holiday, Point Blank, Deliverance, Alien or Blade Runner (and I will admit that the last two films are as far as my admiration for Ridley Scott goes)

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Old 15-11-2005, 17:16   #60
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Unforgiven alone should be reason enough for Eastwood's inclusion IMO. Reno, you have no taste....

Last edited by StevenMTaylor; 15-11-2005 at 17:17.
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