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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Location: NYC
matrixschmatrix wrote:
I think one of the problems with the movie is that there are a few moments which stick in the memory and eventually overwhelm the tone and conception of most of the movie- the ending, the red coat, and the watch speech in particular are all sort of embarrassingly Hollywood clip moments, but I don't think they're at all representative of the overall tone or conception of the film.

Those moments usually get cited quite a bit, so much that it does overshadow what works in the movie (unless you think the film is completely without merit).

I generally have mixed feelings about Spielberg, but I still think Schindler's List and A.I. are his two most interesting works, the ones I would revisit the most. They're far from perfect, but the debates over both films can be compelling because of their flaws, especially when they branch out to the idea of more popular (or I guess populist) cinema and the implications of dealing with material like this within the same parameters of populist filmmaking. (To paraphrase J. Hoberman's question, is it even possible to make a Hollywood film on something like the Holocaust that is wholly successful on both an artistic and commercial level? Of course, if you're Kubrick, the short answer is no.)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:05 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: Twin Cities, MN
I'm sure it's been noted elsewhere that Spielberg is a collector of Norman Rockwell's work. How about we admit that at times he (Spielberg, not Rockwell!) has provided us with some truly marvelous cinematic moments, but still can create truly "yecch" moments (thank you, Mad Magazine) ala Rockwell? Maybe I'm being naive, but I think the speculation over "Oscar" moments is unfair. The guy wears his heart on his sleeve. Yes, a number of failed sequences in his "serious" movies, but many quite a few memorable, moving, and "how he do that?" moments...

...as well as a number of great popcorn flicks. I, for one, will always remember the summer of 1974, where, as a Southern California native, I found it incredibly fucking difficult to do anything at Huntington Beach except look at the water, rather than going in. And if you haven't enjoyed Bruce chewing on the citizens of Amity Island, Indiana Jones beating the crap outta Nazis, a Tyrannosaurus Rex chasing a jeep or Martian Death Machines stomping through New Jersey, you've forgotten how to have fun at the movies.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:25 am 
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I guess I never new how to.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm
Anyone who doesn't like hits x, y, and z by this band I like has forgotten how to enjoy music. They're so popular and objectively great that people who are left cold by their music must be too odd or uptight to appreciate any form of mass entertainment.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Tuco wrote:
I, for one, will always remember the summer of 1974, where, as a Southern California native, I found it incredibly fucking difficult to do anything at Huntington Beach except look at the water, rather than going in.

Blimey - if you were already that paranoid, what on earth was it like the following summer when Jaws opened?

Snarky quibble aside, I agree with you - I still have very fond memories of someone round these parts putting scare quotes round the word "fun" when quoting something I'd said back to me, a gesture that spoke not so much volumes as encyclopaedias.

I've just been compiling a selection of work by the late Gilbert Adair for publication on Sight & Sound's website (next week, hopefully), and I deliberately ran together his reviews of Stalker and E.T. on the same page to emphasise the fact that he was a fan of both Tarkovsky and Spielberg. And my other selections are similarly designed to highlight the fact that for someone who quite deliberately cultivated the image as an aloof cultural elitist, Adair also very much knew how to enjoy himself.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:23 am
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Tuco wrote:
.......a Tyrannosaurus Rex chasing a jeep ..........

I enjoyed the heck out of that scene. But what about the rest of the movie? It just circles back to what Zedz was saying in the first page. It'd be more fun to have a movie that was fully realized rather than one with a single worthwhile sequence shorter than your average amusement park ride.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
hearthesilence wrote:
I generally have mixed feelings about Spielberg, but I still think Schindler's List and A.I. are his two most interesting works, the ones I would revisit the most.

A.I. I think is Spielberg's best 'serious' work mostly because, in contrast to Schindler's List, he can go all out with wacky/'overpowering' setpiece digressions (even Robin Williams playing a magical wizard and Jude Law a gigolo doesn't derail the film!) and sentimentality (which feels earned because it only gets resolved in a 'fairy tale' way that proves to be even more upsetting), and yet none of this is able to destroy that incredibly bleak framework of yearning for the unattainable and simply not being able to process abandonment and move on. That for me feels like Spielberg's true masterpiece in which a lot of his 'entertainment' proclivities are correctly used in service of a devastating story.

This is perhaps the best piece of criticism on A.I. I have read.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:55 am 
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where's Armond when we need him?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:42 pm 
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Coming to Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/Ultraviolet Combo Pack on March 5th

In case you ever wanted to watch Schindler's List on your iPod Touch on a plane.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:53 pm 
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My only real use for this film is to have it on in the background during makeout sessions. Which digital format is recommended for that?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:27 pm 
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Image


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:02 am 
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Well that gives the film a different spin.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:57 pm
Well, I’m also a Schindler’s List supporter. I like how Spielberg left his comfort zone, the cranes and the zoom lenses, and shot a lot of the film with handheld cameras. He was really trying to make serious art, although a bit of melodrama was inevitable.
Really, a lot of the negative reviews I read focus on the “happy” ending. I remember something Stanley Kubrick said in an interview, about how the holocaust was about failure (6 million people who died) and Schindler’s List was about success (focusing on 6 thousand who didn’t). But, in my opinion, the film isn’t that feel-good at all. For over 2 and a half hours we see people suffering and dying, and when, in the end, the Schindler jews survive, it just feels like a ray of sunshine after a huge storm. Plus, the movie doesn’t let us forget about the people who weren’t so lucky, as there is a shamelessly weepy scene when Schindler cries his eyes out and regrets the millions of lives he couldn’t save.
So, the ending isn’t so much “happy” as it is hopeful, but that’s alright. The film reflects on a sad time in History, it shows us the uglier side of humanity, but the final message is something like “Hey, you know, there is still some room for hope. There are still things worth fighting for.”
I’ll admit I didn’t love the shower scene. It’s slightly manipulative, yes, but it was inspired by facts. It’s not like the filmmakers invented that event to shock and terrify the audience. Besides, although the main characters are saved, there is an ominous shot of the black smoke rising from the chimneys, remembering us yet again that, for every person Schindler saved, millions died.
That said, I do think it is a great film, although surely not among the 10 or 50 greatest films off all time, and definitely not as relevant as documentaries like Shoah.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:13 pm 
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Location: Grand Junction, CO
In a blog, Benjamin Naylor attempted to explain why Saul Bass' Schindler's List poster was rejected by the studio. The graphics artists who design movie posters often go minimalist in order to capture in a simple, striking graphic, the 'aboutness' of a film. Aboutness is the relevance of a text to its reader. Aboutness can be seen as a clarification, that makes data or information more clear and easily retrieved. Aboutness does that to information, and it makes aboutness a logical necessity. If we didn't have aboutness, we wouldn't be able to describe the world around us in a proper way. Movie critics provide a good example of aboutness judgments. When some critics rave and others pan, it is not because they have seen different physical texts; rather, all the technical knowledge, topical knowledge, emotions and beliefs of each critic are being engaged in the construction of a response to the physical text.

Ebert began his 2nd and last review of Schindler's List by writing that the film isn't about the Holocaust, it's really two parallel character studies. If Ebert's response to the text of the movie is valid, wouldn't the official movie poster display images of Neeson and Fiennes? Neither of Ebert's reviews mentions the most criticized scenes in the entire film - the weeping scene and the red coat scenes. However, the official movie poster by Tom Martin apparently displays Schindler hand-in-hand with red coat girl, which didn't actually happen, it's from Schindler's imagination. I think Tom Martin and other minimalist poster artists are on to something. It was deep in Schindler's psyche to save red coat girl, he didn't, and for that he wept. The most criticized scenes in the movie are also the most misunderstood scenes.


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