mpbyme-coverphoto

Movie Posters By Me #14: Deep Throat

Movie Posters By Me
Episode Fourteen: Deep Throat
http://www.beforewediefilms.com

An eight-year-old is given the title of a film he has never seen, and is asked to “illustrate a poster for this movie and explain what the movie is about.”

This week’s film is Gerard Damiano’s 1972 film, Deep Throat
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Throat_(film)

Movie Posters By Me is a sub-project of our 1001 Movies to See Before You Die Blog at http://www.beforewediefilms.com

mpbyme-coverphoto

Movie Posters By Me #13: Eraserhead

Movie Posters By Me
Episode Thirteen: Eraserhead
http://www.beforewediefilms.com

An eight-year-old is given the title of a film he has never seen, and is asked to “illustrate a poster for this movie and explain what the movie is about.”

This week’s film is David Lynch’s 1977 film, Eraserhead
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eraserhead

Movie Posters By Me is a sub-project of our 1001 Movies to See Before You Die Blog at http://www.beforewediefilms.com

enlight1-18

#61 Frankenstein (1931)

Coined in Schneider as “the single most important horror film ever made,” Frankenstein showcases a classic Boris Karloff in iconic makeup to portray a brutal, animalistic, touching, crazed, and horrifying creation. This first “Universal Monsters” film tells the story of the creation and fallout of one man’s conquest of dominance over nature, but features mainly stage hands, rudimentary makeup that was conceived on a shoestring budget, and a storyline that…sorta defined a genre by cutting up some source material to make a new story on screen. Definitely innovative, this piece takes a lot of interesting origin stories and combines them to create a work of art that seems like it would not have come together with what we have now, a film that is a “chilly and invigorating cornerstone of its entire genre” (Newman).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein_(1931_film)

Garrett

I’ll start with this one… Whoa boy. So, I am really interested in what people see in this film. I am convinced it is simply some sort of drive-in cruisin’ baby boomer late night double feature nostalgia or something. I literally cannot figure out what is so great about this film, except that it appears to be the first horror film like it (it isn’t the first horror film at all, though) with a shoestring production and budget that all seemed to come together in this miraculous way. It is interesting that a lot of the characters were stage hands (including Karloff), but the script and the performances are mediocre, camp, and cliche – maybe they were terrifying for early audiences, but I found myself ‘meh’ for most of the film. I did find myself fascinated by the makeup (but not who wore it), and the sets. The sets were incredible, and interestingly just some simple stage theater tricks with perspective and lighting easily turned small flat walls into gigantic, sprawling hallways and creepy windows. The main question, however, is: does that make this good?

I think my major gripe is that this literally couldn’t be any further from the book. The characters have different names, people don’t really die, the monster is scary and Victor isn’t made to deal with his choices (wait…he isn’t Victor), there is a weird campy dad, there are really no stakes or motivations for any of the characters, and what is with the ending? Scary, but literally couldn’t be further from Shelley’s work. Is my main gripe that it is nothing like the book? No… It’s that it isn’t anything like the book in every way, from tone to execution to theme to violence to science… heck, it spends practically half of the film covering material that is literally directly told to the audience that it is not in the book on purpose (probably because it would be as boring as it is in the movie). This probably colored the entirety of my feelings about the film…well, that and it is marketed as one of the greatest film achievements of all time by the Universal marketing department.

Will this be an unpopular opinion? Maybe. Frankly, aside from it being innovative, I was simply not only not scared, but I was disappointed, bored, and don’t understand what the motivation was to tie it to the book. If they had called it “the scientist” and used new names, I think I would be slightly less disappointed. To me, it just wasn’t as great as people and Universal markets as so very sacred. Meh.

Jennifer

So, I have never read the book, Frankenstein.  Prior to watching this film, Garrett treated me to an in-depth, scene by scene recounting of the original story – one of his favorite books of all time.  Watching the movie after this, I was utterly confused.  Pretty much the only thing that was the same was the name Frankenstein? Also, they changed Victor’s name to Henry in the movie because they thought the name Victor sounded too “unfriendly.”

A few interesting facts about the making of the movie, since I really don’t have too much to say about the actual film.  Each of the monster’s shoes weighed thirteen pounds each, and his costume weighed forty-nine pounds.  The filming was of course done primarily in the summer.  Currently, the monster’s makeup is under trademark by Universal Studios until the year 2026.

Many of the sets seemed impressive and well dressed.  None of the acting or the actors interested me, and I can’t say I was rooting for any of the characters.  When researching the movie I found that the movie was apparently based on a stage adaptation of the novel, rather than the novel itself.  Also, with more than a century between the novel’s debut and the movie along with various different stage productions and adaptations occurred – including parodies.  While this makes sense when thinking about the vast difference between the novel and the movie, it didn’t make the film any more appealing to me.

mpbyme-coverphoto

Movie Posters By Me #12: The Silence of the Lambs

Movie Posters By Me
Episode Twelve: The Silence of the Lambs

An eight-year-old is given the title of a film he has never seen, and is asked to “illustrate a poster for this movie and explain what the movie is about.”

This week’s film is Jonathan Demme’s 1991 film, The Silence of the Lambs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silence_of_the_Lambs_(film)

enlight1-20

#485 Le Samouraï (1967)

Le Samouraï is a gorgeous film that is almost definitively 1960s New Wave cinema. In the film, we follow Jef Costello as he tries to navigate the perils of the police and his employers stalking him after a botched hit. Costello is a lone-wolf assassin who balances allegiances with stealth and interpersonal political intrigue. With clockwork-accuracy, Jean-Pierre Melville builds a 1960s Paris universe from the ground up through the lens of his debonair, accurate, stealthy and deliberate contract killer. Costello can only be described as the stereotypical samurai of samurais in the hip French modernist style of the 60s. Melville’s Paris is a world that has never existed and will never exist again – a west-coast-cool Paris in a magnetic hour and a half visual love letter in beautiful color, stark composition, measured framing, gorgeous setting, and sharp costuming. This film, with its angular performances and obsessive shooting, is absolutely gorgeous – from where everything sits in the frame down to the meticulous detail of single gestures. As a “breathtaking work, stylized to the point of asphyxiation…(that has led) Paul Thomas Anderson via Quentin Tarantino and Walter Hill (to plunder) it as the veritable Bible of cool moves,” this flick is as snazzy hot as it gets, and it led Garrett to consider throughout the film, “boy was I born in the wrong year…” (Martin).

We watched Le Samourai on Criterion (#306) that featured two great interviews on the special features.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Samoura%C3%AF

Jennifer

Extraordinary film!  One of the best things about this movie is how the narrative explodes from a seemingly straightforward plot (man kills man, tries to avoid police) to an increasingly intricate and intertwine story.   This movie grabs you from the very first scene and relentlessly holds you tight.  A large chunk of the beginning of the movie has no dialogue, as we watch the protagonist Jef Costello (Alain Delon) in action.  The first few minutes of the movie set the stage for the rest of the narrative to unravel and reveal itself.  Not one moment or scene is wasted.

The movie has an ice cold vibe and is extremely stylized in 1960’s fashion.  Interestingly, Delon’s girlfriend in the movie was his actual wife (at the time of the filming). They have a scorching on-screen chemistry in a movie in which the characters are otherwise unemotional.

Madonna’s 2012 song Beautiful Killer is a tribute to Alain Delon.  In the song, she conjures up moments of Le Samouraï and to Delon’s Jef Costello.

Extremely enjoyable movie to watch.  This is one of the films that makes me grateful for this project – without our 1001 Films Before We Die book, I would not have had the pleasure of viewing this movie.

 

Garrett

But seriously, the whole time I was like, “I was born in the wrong year.”

This movie is too cool for its own good. Alain Delon cuts through Paris with the accuracy of a razor. He is a sexy, sharp, cold man who commands every scene with a single glance. The result is a feeling of freshness and awe as he weaves in and out of the streets and the subways. He not only has command over the audience for the entirety of the film, but in much the same way, all of the characters around him are similarly captivated by him. More than anything, we seemingly feel like we are the ones who can empathize with being bewitched by Costello as much as those around him rather than empathizing with Costello himself.

The music, the costumes, the action, the suspense, the women, the deceit, and the ending all morph together to create a truly excellent film that was a pleasure to watch. Perhaps what is most beautiful about Melville’s film is its attention to detail and obsessive perfection. A true monument that freezes the 1960s in time – an almost hyperreal, perfect 1960s. The 1960s of dreams. The love, the awe, the splendor of 1960s Paris. It was all a great deal of fun to step in and be a part of for an hour and a half.

January Update!

We’re currently catching up on editing and posting a few reviews from last year, and have at least two new ones coming up very soon!

While you wait, make sure to check out a couple of new features of the site that we’ve also been working on to start the new year!

First, we added the “Movie Posters By Me” link in the menu above. This is a side project that Garrett is doing with the oldest child where he is asked to illustrate a movie poster and describe a film he has never seen. The films? You’ll have to watch a few of the short clips to find out. It’s creative, funny, and a quick diversion from real life.

Second, we added the “Extras” section of the site. Here you will find all kinds of new extras to the site that don’t seem to fit anywhere else. This includes a permanent link to the Theme Song Music Video, as well as the storyboards, original lyric notes, and downloadable MP3 or M4a of the song if you want to take it with you. You’ll also find links to places online where we’ve found external references to our site – including the newest, three citations on the Wikipedia page for Shaye Saint John. There is also a collection of other stuff you might find interesting about the site, our films, or us.

Stay tuned for a 2017 full of great films!