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 Post subject: Krzysztof Kieślowski
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:30 am 
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Krzysztof Kieślowski (b. 1941-1996, Warsaw)

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"Everyone wants to change the world whenever they make
the effort to do something. I don't think I ever believed the
world could be changed in the literal sense of the phrase.
I thought the world could be described.
"


Filmography

Personnel (Personel 1975)

The Scar (Blizna 1976) Kino Video

The Calm (Spokój 1978)

Camera Buff (Amator 1979) Kino Video

Short Working Day (Krótki dzień pracy 1981)

Blind Chance (Przypadek 1981) Kino Video

No End (Bez końca 1984) Kino Video

The Decalogue (Dekalog 1988) Facets

A Short Film About Killing (Krótki film o zabijaniu 1988) Kino Video

A Short Film About Love (Krótki film o miłości 1988) Kino Video

The Double Life of Véronique (La Double vie de Véronique/Podwójne życie Weroniki 1991) Criterion Collection

Three Colors: Blue (Trois couleurs: Bleu/Trzy kolory: Niebieski 1993) Miramax

Three Colors: White (Trois couleurs: Blanc/Trzy kolory: Biały 1994) Miramax

Three Colors: Red (Trois couleurs: Rouge/Trzy kolory: Czerwony 1994) Miramax


Documentaries / Shorts

The Office (Urząd 1966)

Tramway (Tramwaj 1966)

Concert of Requests (Koncert życzeń 1967)

The Photograph (Zdjęcie 1968)

From the City of Łódź (Z miasta Łodzi 1968)

I Was a Soldier (Byłem żołnierzem 1970)

Factory (Fabryka 1970)

Workers '71: Nothing About Us Without Us (Robotnicy '71: Nic o nas bez nas 1971)

Before the Rally (Przed rajdem 1971)

Between Wrocław and Zielona Góra (Między Wrocławiem a Zieloną Górą 1972)

The Principles of Safety and Hygiene in a Copper Mine (Podstawy BHP w kopalni miedzi 1972)

Gospodarze (1972)

Refrain (Refren 1972)

The Bricklayer (Murarz 1973)

First Love (Pierwsza miłość 1974)

X-Ray (Przeswietlenie 1974)

Pedestrian Subway (Przejście podziemne 1974)

Curriculum Vitae (Życiorys 1975)

Hospital (Szpital 1976)

Slate (Klaps 1976)

From a Night Porter's Point of View (Z punktu widzenia nocnego portiera 1977)

I Don't Know (Nie wiem 1977)

Seven Women of Different Ages (Siedem kobiet w roznym wieku 1978)

Railway Station (Dworzec 1980)

Talking Heads (Gadające glowy 1980)

Seven Days a Week (Siedem dni tygodniu 1988)


Forum Discussions

The Double Life of Veronique

Three Colors Trilogy

Various Films


Internet Resources

Senses of Cinema

Musicolog

Polish Culture

AllMovie

Mahalo


Publications

By Kieslowski:

Kieslowski on Kiesloski

on Kieslowski:

The Films of Krzysztof Kieslowski: The Liminal Image

The Fright of Real Tears: Krzystof Kieslowski between Theory and Post-theory

Krzysztof Kieslowski, doubles vies...

The 'Three Colours' Trilogy

Lucid Dreams

Decalogue: The Ten Commandments, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz (Faber & Faber)(foreward by Stanley Kubrick)

La Double vie de Véronique, au cœur de Kieslowski, Alain Martin, Caroline Cottier (IrenKa)

The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Marek Haltof (Wallflower Press)

Memory and Survival: The French Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski, Emma Wilson (Legenda)

After Kieslowski: The Legacy of Krzysztof Kieslowski, ed.Steven Woodward (Wayne State University Press)

Le cinéma et moi, Krzysztof Kieslowski (Noir sur Blanc)

Le Hasard et autres textes, Krzysztof Kieslowski (Actes Sud)


Last edited by Dylan on Sat Jan 06, 2007 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:28 am 
Dylan wrote:
From Rumsey Taylor's review of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors: Red

I have also recently seen only last week CC's The Double Life of Veronique so it piqued my interest again in the Three Colours Trilogy so I just bought the newly remastered R4 DVD digipak today so I look forward to revisiting these great films in the next few days as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:58 am 
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RED puts me to sleep; the endlessly fascinating mystery of KK's mise en scene, the endless sense of uniqueness and surprise, the carbonated originality and teetering along the edges of humor that are the signature of his usually pounding genius has by this film become grossly stock-still and overserious due to being hypercommodified in the west. The most interesting things happen in RED after you turn the film off and the nuances play around in your head, but the effervescence and incredible originality are gone (for me anyhow) during the viewing process. KK making a "KK Film" instead of a truly good/great/whatever film.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:30 am 
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Dylan wrote:
It feels so controlled, and it just looks so cool.

I felt this way with Blue. That film is the most lyrical of all Kieslowski's films, imo, with its exceptional use of image and sound and Juliette Binoche's silent, yet powerful presence; I was just stunned by that film. I've been collecting all of his work since then, and though I've seen a great deal of it, I think Blue is still his very best, his most cinematic, his masterpiece. I haven't felt close to that with The Double Life of Veronique, but the tremendous enthusiasm on this board indicates to me I should take another look... Red I like second in the Colours trilogy. It was okay from what I remember, but maybe I was just lost, I don't know. I certainly thought White was the weakest, but never mind that now...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:45 am 

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HerrSchreck wrote:
RED puts me to sleep; the endlessly fascinating mystery of KK's mise en scene, the endless sense of uniqueness and surprise, the carbonated originality and teetering along the edges of humor that are the signature of his usually pounding genius has by this film become grossly stock-still and overserious due to being hypercommodified in the west. The most interesting things happen in RED after you turn the film off and the nuances play around in your head, but the effervescence and incredible originality are gone (for me anyhow) during the viewing process. KK making a "KK Film" instead of a truly good/great/whatever film.

Could you explain "hypercommodified" please? You mean like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:14 am 
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RED: "For when your imagination pales beside the majesty of an old emoticon!"

"Do words make you trip and klunk yer head when you speak them and hafta go thru the pain circulating blood & serum & pancreatic enzyme simultaneous? Then RED just may be your film."

"Eyes well up with tears whenever you see the 'd'oh!' guy? Well..."

"Need to be retrained after each lunchbreak? Then etc..."

PS.. Yea I guess my earlier post was a little uh, ahem, hyperwordified. As in "LIVE WOMAN'S CHEST" exuberance etc. But I still truly think RED is a cornball of a flick it takes itself way way way too serious-- a little too much of what the average dunce tends to dislike viz 'foreign-film-pretension' syndrome iS oozing thru that film, particularly in the convos w Jacob & Jean-Louis Trintignant .... overwrought.

Just a bit redick (to quote the MALTESE).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:54 am 
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I'd start really busting on you marto but it'd be so patently unfair-- you actually used another emoticon-only post after all. (sound of my palm whizzing over your haircut).

Try talking about the film, now mort. The booming originality of the little yellow man is overhwelming... need a break.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:18 am 
HerrSchreck wrote:
I'd start really busting on you marto but it'd be so patently unfair-- you actually used another emoticon-only post after all. (sound of my palm whizzing over your haircut).

Try talking about the film, now mort. The booming originality of the little yellow man is overhwelming... need a break.

I would if you stop ridiculing and insulting those such as Dylan who actually like the film with your made-up words that not even my good friend, Roget Thesaurus, knows what you are talking about.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:37 am 
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Listen knucklehead:

Talking to you is like lifting a naked ass off the bowl and trying to get a to & fro going with fresh shit-- it just sits there and doesn't get it.

I'm insulting you-- and only you. Because you insulted me-- get it? Like a well oiled machine it all works real well and exactly according to handbook.

I wasn't busting on Dylan, or anyone else who like the movie. My initial post expressed an opinion about the film, not an opinion about those who like the film. My second-plus posts were busting on you and your mind-free use of emoticons and lack of any nouns or verbs whatsoever. Don't assume that because you don't know english that Stupidity Is The Better Way... at least not for everyone.

I'll leave you to your half-banned, private hell-- last response you get from me kid... although I will say at least this has been a variation on your usual form of uselessness: gaybashing. If I start really ponging your head around folk'll start calling PETA and hitting me with the red pencil for abusing animals.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:07 am 
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Marty, it's Roget's Thesaurus.

At an altogether less sublime level, is Kieslowski overrated? (I am certainly not a fan. At all.) a decade or so ago every style fag I knew who ever had delusions of good taste and went into overdrive on Juliette Binoche (obscenely underused in the K movies) was allowed to gush at this voided mush. For me he definitely comes out of a "hypercommodified" popular"art film" genre of neatly encapsulated "beauty" and "form" and the whole experience is totally devoid of impact.

To quote Linda Lamont "Kehnn't StennIT!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:08 am 
TedW wrote:
HerrSchreck wrote:
RED puts me to sleep; the endlessly fascinating mystery of KK's mise en scene, the endless sense of uniqueness and surprise, the carbonated originality and teetering along the edges of humor that are the signature of his usually pounding genius has by this film become grossly stock-still and overserious due to being hypercommodified in the west. The most interesting things happen in RED after you turn the film off and the nuances play around in your head, but the effervescence and incredible originality are gone (for me anyhow) during the viewing process. KK making a "KK Film" instead of a truly good/great/whatever film.

Could you explain "hypercommodified" please? You mean like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest?

It appears I wasn't the only one who was mystified.

Regarding my supposed gaybashing, just because I thought Shortbus was the biggest piece of shit I had seen all year, I am gaybashing? Then that's fine with me. I prefer my gay films with a little more class and subtlety.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:53 am 
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Happily we can all see Shortbus on DVD from Region 4, come (so to speak) March.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:15 am 
davidhare wrote:
Happily we can all see Shortbus on DVD from Region 4, come (so to speak) March.

bon soir, monsieur....


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:16 am 
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(it goes off upon prompting just like a football play! Drearily predictable... one little nudge and whoops!)

Back on KK and re David:

I need to explore a bit more of KK's polski works (been eyeing ther Kino box since it's incep), but I see VERONIQUE as certainly a high point in his career where the west caught on to what the guy was doing, on the outer lip of the CHOCOLATing (Or Mirimaxing, if you will, and you need your hypercommodification examples strong and in Disneyesque-- yes they own Miramax now, so the PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN motif works, certainly by dint of TedW's happy accident-- terms) syndrome: i e when Arthouse Came To The Suburbs. He got sucked into the whole 90's Miramax movie equivalent of Standing Stylishly With A Meaningful Pose And Talking About Nothing While Catching The Light With A Skyy Martini Twinkling In Your Hand.

The VERONIQUE blip was for him clearly a turning point to some degree where what was formerly interesting became a bit freeze dried and served with a flump by western cheers of "encore!" Whereas VERON is very interesting to me (though a bit visually overwrought, my opinion only), RED-- for example-- is a sucked out wasted husk of what was so bitching in that earlier film.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:33 am 
Herrshreck, it seems to me you are blaming Kieslowki for the so-called western world of appreciating his films. Just because by the time Three Colours: Red was released, the western world had cottoned onto his films does not diminish them. In my opinion, Kieslowski's life was cut way too short and I would have loved to see what else he could do, despite his so-called retirement shortly after Red. Kielsowski would have been more than happy if his films were only released in Poland but just because Miramax picked up his films does not devalue them. I can appreciate anyone not liking his films because they happened to stray into arthouse popular culture as you mentioned in your last post about Miramax. In the end, cinema is much better for the existence of Kieslowski and that's about it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:55 am 
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Wasn't he going to bed?

Lest anyone be confused by the schnauzer running loose, I did NOT say I didn't like RED because, essentially, He Got Famous (i e western attention in and of itself)... It's because the style became frozen, the expression dried up, and the artist seemed to go thru the motions of repeating a motif in lifeless, far too serious terms. My observation is merely that this phenomenon occurred as his western recognition/pop culture adoration seriously ratcheted.

Leave it alone Marty.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:03 am 
HerrSchreck wrote:
Wasn't he going to bed?

Lest anyone be confused by the schnauzer running loose, I did NOT say I didn't like RED because, essentially, He Got Famous (i e western attention in and of itself)... It's because the style became frozen, the expression dried up, and the artist seemed to go thru the motions of repeating a motif in lifeless, far too serious terms. My observation is merely that this phenomenon occurred as his western recognition/pop culture adoration seriously ratcheted.

Leave it alone Marty.

Ok.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:57 am 
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Certainly not wild about the Three Colors Trilogy except for maybe a bit of Blue simply because it resembles Veronique in style somewhat. Binoche doing nothing but drinking coffee at a quaint little cafe can be more then enough for me. That finale of Blue is just as breathtaking as the entirety of Veronique and not as stunning and soul-stirring as anything in White and Red, even including its famous finale on the ferry. Irene Jacob is gorgeous but I don't remember a thing about her in Red and as for Veronique, I remember plenty and plenty.

I'm with Schreck that Veronique is the pinnacle of Kieslowski's career. White is dull. So is Red. Almost every review gushes about the use of red but that has been done before...and much more effective, beautiful and thrilling: Cries and Whispers and Suspiria.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:03 pm 
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The colors trilogy, despite having the "aren't we poor Europeans living in the new free market economy" (and the weaker second film) seems a little too contemplative in a valuable and interesting way to be part of the commodification or Weinsteining of foreign films. I was of *exactly* the same thought about this filmmaker when I first found him, and I still think he does suffer from a bit of sentimentality (in a way a sort of sped up Tarkovsky, who explains his character's motives in relative detail), though I'm in doubt whether sentimentality is something worth dwelling on (I'm still working through my ideas of sentimentality, and how it results in my hitting a wall of appreciation with other cultures and my own).

I changed my mind about Kieslowski after seeing Blue (the first film by him I caught), and watching the special feature (on the heinous Miramax disc) where the director discusses exactly how long he should capture holding a sugarcube being held in a cup of coffee before dropping it in, and cutting. Anyone who sincerely cares this much about the sensations that a material object can bring to a film, and add so much depth, is the type of person who could be shielded from the pressures of commodification, insulated by the art of his craft (as ridiculous as this might sound to the cynical side of my brain). I'm not saying he wasn't commodified, but perhaps it showed up at his door more than he returned the favor. When it all comes down to it, I'm really only half familiar with his stuff before Veronique, and even less with his documentaries, but his attitude about film, seems that of an old master, and this opinion was enhanced by experiencing more of his work (Decalogue, Camera Buff, Veronique).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:56 pm 
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Steven H wrote:
...where the director discusses exactly how long he should capture holding a sugarcube being held in a cup of coffee before dropping it in, and cutting.

It was how long the cube would last before fully dissolving. They had to find the right size so it wouldn't go too quick or too slow, I think was his point. That was one of the triggers for me, as well, in exploring his work...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:52 pm 
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Despite making another NY rez to not talk about directors or films I don't like, I've already stumbled into this one, so..

Schreck hit it right on the head. The Trois Couleurs have always struck me as cannily calultated pan-Euro bling for people like the Sydney Film Festival crowd who wouldn't know a real pioneer like Skolimowski or Fassbinder if they fell over him in the shower. God knows I tried with Dekalog and Trois Couleurs but K's picture leave me completely cold and unmoved. He inhabits the Euro equivalent of Sarris' "Strained Seriousness" category of American directors, and there are quite a few of those.

It also irks me greatly that someone like K, with whatever minor or other vitrues he might have becomes lionzed while other directors of great merit - Gianni Amelio, Manuel d'Olivera, the list could go - on are completely ignored and unknown by the very same people who "worship" Kieslowski.

But that's my taste. And I've been told by my betters I have to give Veronqiue another chance.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:34 pm 
wax on; wax off
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davidhare wrote:
Despite making another NY rez to not talk about directors or films I don't like, I've already stumbled into this one, so..

Schreck hit it right on the head. The Trois Couleurs have always struck me as cannily calultated pan-Euro bling for people like the Sydney Film Festival crowd who wouldn't know a real pioneer like Skolimowski or Fassbinder if they fell over him in the shower. God knows I tried with Dekalog and Trois Couleurs but K's picture leave me completely cold and unmoved. He inhabits the Euro equivalent of Sarris' "Strained Seriousness" category of American directors, and there are quite a few of those.

It also irks me greatly that someone like K, with whatever minor or other vitrues he might have becomes lionzed while other directors of great merit - Gianni Amelio, Manuel d'Olivera, the list could go - on are completely ignored and unknown by the very same people who "worship" Kieslowski.

But that's my taste. And I've been told by my betters I have to give Veronqiue another chance.

Yet another post condemning a filmmaker for the audience that attaches itself to him. If Amelio and d'Olivera don't get the recognition they deserve then that just sucks and I'm going to stop going to church now cause clearly God didn't make it all nice and fair. But living in this region and having seen the Decalogue I fail to see what the "Strained Seriousness" has to do with the reality this filmmaker emerged from. Do you say the same about other filmmakers from behind the former Iron Curtain? And not the Soviets cause they built the stupid thing and have a significantly different experience. Do you know about the history/environment that they emerged from--I'm sure you do, but are you taking this into account? that it isn't the same as the Central American or Paraguayan or Nigerian approach to parsing and reintroducing their respective sense and sensibility? The propensity for escapism, compiling/creating signs/signifiers into a code that'll be readily understood like the prison tapping system between politicals ala Koestler's Darkness at Noon....yeah, it can seem overwrought at times, but if you watch KK's early films and especially the Decalogue you can see the progression, or at least I saw Red as a consistent evolution in his ouvre. I forget who it was that said that the sum total of a filmmaker's films comprise a single film or narrative but KK definitely fits the bill. Musical motifs and emotional themes overlap and repeat, albeit at times less subtle than other times.

I finished watching Red an hour ago after seeing the slamming it was taking on this thread (which surprised me). Many filmsters will certainly feel that they have 'graduated' from the more pedestrian art film fare brought to us by KK, but he's certainly no slouch. And I don't see how he can be compared to these other filmmakers mentioned just the same as it would be absurd for me to say Tarkovsky sucks because he gets more lip service than Zoltan Fabri or Jiri Nemec or whoever I put on a higher pedestal than the guy who brought us the incredible Rublev, but also the bloated dead-body washed up on the beach fart called Nostalghia (yeah, talk about KK making a KK-derivative film, or Godard making an over-Godardian film--how many times do we need to see Erland Josephson 'dramatically' falling down in an AK film?! [quickly ducks as large blownglass projectile filled with life-sustaining water flies past head...followed by a mysteriously drifting white shirt which in turn sets off a rain of white feathers]).

That HerrShreck finds the film unstimulating I can understand as it's a matter of experience--to each their own--if it doesnt work for you then so be it, blahblahblah...but to slam something because it appeals to such and such a crowd (and is it really the responsibility of the masses to seek out and raise the real pioneers? Ok, this gets into the whole 'should we blame Spielberg for making a profit on his films). And do you really think that Miramax, the evil corporate entity, really skewed the realization of this guys vision? I highly doubt it, so why not give that commodification jazz a rest. KK made a film that you don't dig, so there's no need to make him out as a capitalist whore.

But I can see the temptation to categorise him as art film for the masses, not unlike what happened to Amelie. If we compile a Child's Primer to Art House Cinema there would probably be a debate about who comes after the Coen Bros.: Almodovar or KK. It's approachable. Henry and Mildred in Shitberg Pennsylvania can watch Red on a recommendation and not be offended and maybe even have a half dozen lines of conversation: "It's certainly beautiful"--"yeah, there's that certain..."--"yeah, lots of red"--"no, I mean that certain jew no say quaw about it"--"Yeah, I know what you mean: and lots of red. Wonder if most people notice that about it."

Dylan, thanks for bringing it up. Nice post.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:44 pm 
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So it's not okay to slam movies or directors if we don't like them? Dylan asked for our thoughts so we did that precisely, just like yourself.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:45 pm 
wax on; wax off
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Michael wrote:
So it's not okay to slam movies or directors if we don't like them? Dylan asked for our thoughts so we did that precisely, just like youself.

No. You misunderstand me. It's not ok to slam movies or directors if I like them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Oh okay. :) I understand now.


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