Frost/Nixon and Synechdoche, NY

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Frost/Nixon and Synechdoche, NY

Postby David Loftus » Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:31 pm

Caught the above two films this weekend, and rather enjoyed both, each in its own way. Anybody else see 'em?
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:54 am

David Frost was always a smooth operator. Ironic that he is now on Al Jazeera english.

The Charlie Kaufman film got mixed reviews, but didn't see it. He can be one clever little bugger.

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Postby David Loftus » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:26 am

FrankChurch wrote:The Charlie Kaufman film got mixed reviews, but didn't see it. He can be one clever little bugger.



Synechdoche left me in a bit of a state of shock. It's stately, quirky, hugely ambitious, often frustrating, occasionally gorgeous and moving, and the more I think about it afterwards the more I like it -- or at least am filled with admiration for his attempt at it. As is often the case, the acting is better than the writing or directing, but the latter two, especially the writing, gave them a lot more to rise above.

I read quite a few online reviews linked from the IMDb, and many critics said they liked it more/got it better on second viewing. Either that or they guessed it would reward/demanded multiple viewings.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby Moderator » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:32 am

Frost/Nixon is a film I want to see, but will likely be delayed to Netflix status.

I'll admit to not having heard of Synechdoche. Your comments make me wonder why I haven't, and even more so, where it's playing in our area.
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Postby David Loftus » Mon Jan 05, 2009 12:42 pm

Barber wrote:I'll admit to not having heard of Synechdoche. Your comments make me wonder why I haven't, and even more so, where it's playing in our area.



It's the latest piece of screenwriting by Charlie Kaufman, author of the scripts for "Being John Malkovich," "Adaptation," "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," and "The Enternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and his directorial debut.

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars, and the cast includes Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener (of course), Tom Noonan, Samantha Morton, and in smaller supporting roles, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest.

Ebert adored it.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:57 pm

Ron Howard discussed the film on Democracy Now, if you can believe that. Didn't know he was political. When Opie is a leftie we know the world is right.

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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:34 pm

David I have seen Frost/Nixon. I was fortunate enough to have seen the play when it ran here in DC a while back. I did not think the movie crackled quite as much as did the play and I didn't think the documentary type narration worked as well in the film as it did on stage.

That said, Langella is brilliant and the scenes between him and the actor playing Frost and their relationship are mesmerising.

Another recent great Frank Langella performance not to be missed is in Starting Out In the Evening . He plays an aging writer who has slipped into obscurity who is approached by a graduate student who is interested in writing her Master's thesis about him and his work. The movie is about their relationship (no cliches in sight). Also a wonderful performance by Lili Taylor as his daughter.

http://www.amazon.com/Starting-Out-Even ... 618&sr=1-1
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Postby Douglas Harrison » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:27 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:Also a wonderful performance by Lili Taylor as his daughter.

Lili Taylor--the definition of underrated. She was in Say Anything, Shortcuts, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Ransom, High Fidelity, Factotum, "Six Feet Under," and The Notorious Bettie Page, but most moviegoers will give you the big "Huh?" when you mention her name. Fuck you, "Access Hollywood."

D.

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Postby David Loftus » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:19 pm

Not to mention Dogfight and I Shot Andy Warhol.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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Postby paul » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:00 pm

I Shot Andy Warhol was great.

Those movies are on my immediate 'see' list. I was a tad annoyed that Frost/Nixon was at "selected area venues" but wasn't playing here in Austin, so I had to wait 'til nationwide release. What are we, chopped liver!?

I am a huge fan of Kaufman. The backstory as to how and why he wrote Adaption is fantastic.

Langella's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in Gillette's The Strange Case of Alice Faulkner was the very first Holmes portrayal I saw on stage/screen. I was 11 and saw it on an HBO special, and I remember it to this day.

Lili was great in Factotem.

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