How did you get into older, obscure films?

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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Jonathan S
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#101 Post by Jonathan S » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:54 pm

fiddlesticks wrote:
alben1 wrote:And as my mother was often in the room watching with me (well at least one showing) I could generally depend on her to say, "Ah! Allen Jenkins!" or "Ah! Guy Kibbee" and so forth.
My father would do that, too.
My father would say: "Oh, look it's... er... that actor who was in that film we watched the other day - the one with Lassie's dad in it - the one about the man who... or was it another film..?" And so on, throughout the broadcast. I suppose I'll get like that one day, too.

karmajuice
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#102 Post by karmajuice » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:56 pm

My mother is completely incapable of remembering whether or not she's seen a film. We've gotten literally halfway through some films before she said, "Oh, I think I watched this before."

alben1
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#103 Post by alben1 » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:15 pm

In addition to Million Dollar Movie (which I mentioned previously) there was, back in the early 60's, a local program called "Silents, Please" which showed chopped down half-hour versions of films like "Nosferatu", thus giving me exposure to both silent and foreign films at the same time.

Incidentally, if anyone remembers "Silents, Please" and can tell me the name of the piece used as theme music, I'd be very appreciative. For some reason (not to get off-topic) Paul Shaffer plays it whenever Martin Short is a guest on the Letterman Show. It's very strange to hear after some 40 years.

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jesus the mexican boi
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#104 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:01 am

Silents, Please intro and outro.

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Crab Society North
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#105 Post by Crab Society North » Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:49 am

Long story short: Kill Bill Vol. 1 opened up the floodgates for me with the many possibilities of cinema. Consider it my gateway drug and yeah I still love the Kill Bill movies if not for anything else, just because of that.

jojo
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#106 Post by jojo » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:24 pm

It's hard to say. As a child I watched a lot of animation, but unlike my classmates I was fascinated by the filmic language presented in anime, such as Robotech (Macross, Mospeada). Although I couldn't articulate exactly why at the time, I believe I was fascinated by the editing techniques and idiosyncratic compositions that were found in anime. I was responding to a certain "style" of presentation.

I think I've always had a fascination for the motion picture beyond just being told a story or being wowed by flashy effects. The first film I ever saw in a theatre was Return of the Jedi...a "popular" film to be sure, but the interesting anecdote is this: every kid in the theatre who was around my age FELL ASLEEP DURING THE FILM!! My parents observed that I was basically the only kid under the age of 6 who stayed awake from beginning to end. Though some would argue I just have bad taste and SHOULD have fallen asleep (ha-ha), I argue that ever since I was a kid my enjoyment of the medium was so great that I could sit through just about anything!!! :D

In high school, I started getting into some of the more so-called "controversial" films (at the time) such as Natural Born Killers and Pulp Fiction... and I was responding to their non-mainstream-appealing nature. It was my "rebel" phase and I started seeking out films that I deemed were "rebellious" in some way. Along the way, I started paying more attention to details such as the application of music in film, narrative rhythm, etc,.

I also remember buying an issue of Premiere, in the mid to late 90s, that was an all "rebel" issue. They had a "top 100" list of films in it that they deemed were "rebellious" or "avant-garde" in some way. Naturally, I went and tried to seek those films out, being in my "rebellious" phase and all. :lol:

While I was being a "rebel", I also had a brief hankering for some mystery/detective drama films, because I was on a crime novel "high" at the time. Somehow I found my way to Vertigo...and the rest is history. Vertigo wasn't *exactly* what I was looking for :lol:, but it really opened my eyes up about what film could do, and I was astonished at how stuff this edgy and idiosyncratic could be happening in the 1950s! That's when I went rummaging around older films to try to find hidden gems.

So yeah, the main reason I got into obscure or older films was because I was a teenager who got his rebellion phase out of the way by broadening his viewing habits. I just happened to keep these viewing habits past this phase.

Well, maybe I still have a bit of that rebel in me. I guess it's not dissimilar to Armond White's inability to resist being contrarian. ;)

j99
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#107 Post by j99 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:01 pm

It was the BBC for me. The film which changed everything for me was Lindsay Anderson's If.... I think it was broadcast on BBC 1 in primetime in the mid 70s, and although it probably went over my head at the time as I was only about 12, it did make a deep impression because afterwards I began to seek out films which were away from the mainstream. As already mentioned above, BBC 2 was also a source of off beat films, and I especially liked Derek Malcolm's Film Club, especially the broadcast of Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev and the complete version of Bergman's Fanny And Alexander.

Costa
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First film you ever saw at the theater & its bluray release

#108 Post by Costa » Mon Nov 07, 2016 6:51 pm

I searched and didn't find something similar. :)
so, i thought this would be fun:

1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters
2) Has it been released on Bluray?
3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?
4) if no, why haven't you bought it yet?


mine was Romancing the stone, at the age of 5 I guess.
i still wonder how my parents took me to that film.
I remember i was very impressed by how big the faces looked in close-ups!
(one of the scenes i remembered until i saw the film again some years ago, was the scene inside the plain when it was raining outside).
It has been released in bluray but i haven't bought it (although i'd like to have this film in my collection), because the sound is not good at all from what i understand.
Listening to a comparison with the dvd, the latter was much better.
Also i see this film has got a 4k restoration, which i'm waiting to be released in bluray.

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domino harvey
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#109 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:01 pm

Let's not. Feel free to frame your discussion more broadly around the general perimeters of the thread I moved your post to, though

Costa
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#110 Post by Costa » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:14 pm

domino harvey wrote:Let's not. Feel free to frame your discussion more broadly around the general perimeters of the thread I moved your post to, though
i'm sorry, i don't understand how the topic i started is relevant to this thread.
(eg. if someone says E.T or Jaws, they're certainly not obscure movies)
Anyway..

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feihong
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#111 Post by feihong » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:28 am

I'll play the game, though, on whatever thread.

1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters

It was The Muppet Movie, in 1979. I was a year old, and terrified when Animal ate his way through a brick wall at the outset. I think I was brought back into the theater about 20 minutes later and watched the rest of it without being upset.

2) Has it been released on Bluray?

There is some kind of "nearly" 35th Anniversary blu ray edition.

3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?

I haven't ever bought the film, on any format. I rented it about 15 years ago and really enjoyed the movie. It was far funnier than I remembered. Screencaps of the blu ray online make it look really quite lovely, with good grain and a rich, filmic look.

4) if no, why haven't you bought it yet?

I never felt as if The Muppet Movie would ever really be at risk of being out-of-print. And while it was pretty hilarious, I don't identify with it in any deep way. What's more, I hardly have any out-and-out comedies in my collection––I appreciate no end of comedy when it occurs naturally within a story, but I feel really wary when the genre in question is "comedy"--as if the genre classification were to deliver the same promise as, say, "martial arts" as a genre, or "noir." I've always been fond of the Muppets, but comedy films just don't resonate with me so much--I far prefer The Muppet Show to the movies.

There's also the sense of growing/changing tastes. As a teen my favorite film was the Terry Gilliam The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. I can hardly stand to watch that film now. It seems so fussy, mannered and contrived. It's thematic payload--something about the victory of the imagination over grim reality, which moved me no end as a teenager--seems entirely unearned by the drama of the film when I look at it now. I wouldn't want to own that movie. Nor would I want to own Willow, my favorite film before that. At this point, just films in the English language comprise a little less than 10% of the films in my collection. Within that fairly select group, The Muppet Movie doesn't make the cut.

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MichaelB
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#112 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:42 am

1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters

The Belstone Fox (1973)

2) Has it been released on Bluray?

Absolutely no idea.

3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?

No.

4) if no, why haven't you bought it yet?

I've never had any especial interest in seeing it again. I really don't remember anything about it besides a couple of close-up shots of a fox, so it wouldn't fuel any sense of nostalgia.

On the other hand - and this is far more on-topic for this thread - I realised the other day that my eleven-year-old daughter is older than I was when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, and my thirteen-year-old son is only a couple of months off the age I was when I saw Stalker, both in cinemas. And yet I find it almost impossible to imagine my kids voluntarily watching either, and I seriously doubt that they'd stay the course. They're growing up in a completely different cultural landscape from the one that shaped me.

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Alphonse Tram
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#113 Post by Alphonse Tram » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:01 am

MichaelB wrote: On the other hand - and this is far more on-topic for this thread - I realised the other day that my eleven-year-old daughter is older than I was when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, and my thirteen-year-old son is only a couple of months off the age I was when I saw Stalker, both in cinemas. And yet I find it almost impossible to imagine my kids voluntarily watching either, and I seriously doubt that they'd stay the course. They're growing up in a completely different cultural landscape from the one that shaped me.
I remember staying up or recording several of the infamous Channel 4 Red Triangle films broadcast in 1986, with Yılmaz Güney's The Wall sticking in my mind the most. This was in 1986, where I would have been Eleven going on Twelve. In fact, I can remember watching all sorts of films on Channel 4 during this time, I have clear memories of being sat with my Mum watching Jerzy Skolimowski's Moonlighting , both of us thoroughly enjoying it. It was also around the mid-eighties when my life long obsession with all things Alan Clarke started after being blown away by Christine.
I still have very fond memories of those days, and they certainly, along with BBC horror double bills, played a huge part in my formative years.

It was only 4 channels then, so people from every possible class and background could end up catching some of Themroc, El Topo or Bad Taste

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Oliver!
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#114 Post by Oliver! » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:58 am

MichaelB wrote:1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters
The Belstone Fox (1973)
That must have been one of the very first films I saw too. If I watched it again, I'd be most curious to see quite how explict the scene was where the hounds were lured onto a railway track in the path of an oncoming train. It felt quite extreme at the time. Another early cinema experience was seeing subtitles for the first time, in Tora! Tora! Tora!, and being able to understand what Japanese people were saying, which seemed much more amazing than any of the action scenes.

dda1996a
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#115 Post by dda1996a » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:09 am

MichaelB wrote:1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters

The Belstone Fox (1973)

2) Has it been released on Bluray?

Absolutely no idea.

3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?

No.

4) if no, why haven't you bought it yet?

I've never had any especial interest in seeing it again. I really don't remember anything about it besides a couple of close-up shots of a fox, so it wouldn't fuel any sense of nostalgia.

On the other hand - and this is far more on-topic for this thread - I realised the other day that my eleven-year-old daughter is older than I was when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, and my thirteen-year-old son is only a couple of months off the age I was when I saw Stalker, both in cinemas. And yet I find it almost impossible to imagine my kids voluntarily watching either, and I seriously doubt that they'd stay the course. They're growing up in a completely different cultural landscape from the one that shaped me.
Well as a 20 year old, my father showed me great cinema since an early age. I remember arguing to watch The Matrix when I was around seven and being shown Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and Godfather 1&2 from ages 7-10 and I was excited and awe struck to be shown them. I think it's more child specific, as my father also had me listen to Zeppelin and Deep Purple while kids in my class didn't know who they were

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Cremildo
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#116 Post by Cremildo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:14 am

It was thanks to Roger Ebert and his 'Great Movies' books.

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willoneill
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#117 Post by willoneill » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:17 am

1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters
Song of the South (the 1986 re-release)
2) Has it been released on Bluray?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?
obviously not
4) if no, why haven't you bought it yet?
racism, yo

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Roscoe
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#118 Post by Roscoe » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:02 am

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a magical land called PBS, where they used to run classic foreign films, like Ivan The Terrible, M, Smiles Of A Summer Night, Rules Of The Game, things like that. My dad would watch those classic films and invite me to join him, and I got a lot out of them, some more than others, I was a kid after all, but the seed had been planted.

Then assorted repertory theaters across the country, especially the Crystal Theater in Missoula Montana (don't ask) where I beheld on a screen that wasn't huge but was at least bigger than my TV set such glories as LA DOLCE VITA, BLACKMAIL, SAFETY LAST, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and most astonishingly to me SEVEN SAMURAI.

I guess I was born with a love of this stuff.

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#119 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:42 am

When small I was allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve and one station would show a marathon of silent and early comedies -- Chaplin, WC Fields, Laurel & Hardy, etc.
Pretty sure that's where I learned to like old films.
Also, Abbott & Costello every Sunday morning on WPIX CH 11 in NYC in the 70's and 80's.
Right before the early NFL game.

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JSC
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#120 Post by JSC » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:00 am

Started by watching Chaplin, Keaton, the Marx Brothers, etc.

I grew up in a small town, but our library had this incredible selection
of films (on VHS). Someone who bought acquisitions for them in the
late 80s early 90s must have been a bit of a film fanatic.

These are just a few samples:

The Spider's Stratagem
The Home and the World
The Official Story
Touki Bouki
Stevie
Vagabond
Dersu Uzala
Interrogation
Summer Interlude
Waiting Women
Man of Marble

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dustybooks
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#121 Post by dustybooks » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:16 pm

JSC wrote:Started by watching Chaplin, Keaton, the Marx Brothers, etc.

I grew up in a small town, but our library had this incredible selection
of films (on VHS). Someone who bought acquisitions for them in the
late 80s early 90s must have been a bit of a film fanatic.
That's wonderful. I work in a rural library system and the bequeathing to us of an aging film scholar's DVD collection instantaneously made us a more culturally rich resource for cinema by leaps and bounds. The discs don't get checked out constantly or anything, but I like to think they'll make a big difference to those who do find and use them.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#122 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:32 pm

1) Name the first film you ever saw at the theaters
While it is quite possible that I saw the second run of 101 Dalmatians, a reissue of Pinocchio or, yep, Song of the South, prior to this, my earliest cinema-going memory is seeing Bonnie and Clyde right after I turned four in September, 1967. While Clyde's impotence and the revolver as phallic symbol went completely over my head at the time (!), I recall being struck by the contrast between the exhilaration of the comic romanticism and the tragedy. Seeing the film a second time as a young adult, I discovered my emotional memory of that first viewing was an accurate one.

2) Has it been released on Bluray?
Yes.

3) Have you bought it? If yes, are you content with its quality?
I avoided the Digibook release, but bought the stand-alone disc once the price came down. The quality is decent and it's a good film; an important one in the evolution of late 60s/early 70's cinema if not an absolute favorite of mine.

The need for local television to fill it's airtime during my childhood resulted in me seeing all manner of classic films, from Universal horror to Douglas Sirk or Nicholas Ray dramas, and , of course, all of the comedy teams. Even Murnau's The Last Laugh was broadcast one afternoon. I also borrowed condensed 8mm silent films from the the library to screen with friends. By the time I was 12, I was reading books about films and actively seeking out specific titles that were well-praised.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#123 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:33 pm

Our town has a genuinely spectacular (dvd) collection in large part because when our arthouse video store went out of business, they ran a fundraiser to give them the means to donate their entire stock to the library. As a result, the library has nearly everything one could want in R1 up through around 2012- which is to say, more than my actual college library ever had.

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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#124 Post by alacal2 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:17 pm

Philip French, the late great film critic of 'The Observer'. I read the paper as a teenager as a protest against my Daily Telegraph-supporting parents. It was French who took me off (not literally!) to the National Film Theatre that was, to watch the entire Apu Trilogy on a Sunday afternoon. I guess our parents will figure quite significantly, one way or another, in our introductions to 'arthouse' cinema.

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MichaelB
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Re: How did you get into older, obscure films?

#125 Post by MichaelB » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:23 pm

alacal2 wrote:I guess our parents will figure quite significantly, one way or another, in our introductions to 'arthouse' cinema.
Not for me.

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