altgodkub's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Before Sunrise
13 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

This is one of those films that for whatever reason I just didn't get around to until now. I think it is just that sometimes I like to hold off on films I know I'm going to like so I can savor looking forward to them a while longer.

Before Sunrise is one of Linklater's best and most characteristic works. It fits in squarely with Slacker, Tape, and Waking Life as being entirely built around characters who talk, who talk a lot, who talk a lot more and more freely and articulately than any real people I know. Basically, college bred, smart, borderline pseudo-intellectuals who spout all sorts of fascinating thoughts. Kinda like if you took Tarantino's characters who constantly talk in circles around a scene and replaced his pop culture references with discussions of the meaning of life and relationships. (It occurs to me that the same comparison would also hold true replacing Tarantino with Kevin Smith.)

I suppose it is a matter of my mood, but usually, since I'm a bit of a pseudo-intellectual myself, I find Linklater's flights of dialog fancy more engaging than Tarantino's.

My favorite scene was the meeting with the poet. What a great character cameo! My favorite thing about the film as a whole was how incredibly sexy it is to have two characters interact so completely through conversation and fall for each other so gradually before ending up having sex -- and then to leave the sex offscreen. It is like conversation as foreplay.

Very smart and entertaining film.

The Red Shoes
The Red Shoes (1948)
13 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I've been on a Powell & Pressburger kick lately and this was up to bat over the weekend. Wow! What a great musical. The technicolor photography is some of the most memorable I've ever seen, the dialog and characters are both light and dark and as clever as in any Pressburger script, and Powell's mastery of camera and editing is in peak form. The 20 minute extended ballet/dream sequence is as good as dance sequences get and surely inspired the similar sequence in An American in Paris. It is also obvious that Scorsese took a great deal from the film, especially when he made New York, New York and The Age of Innocence.

Powell is now squarely in my top three directors along with Ozu and Fassbinder.