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24 reviews in total 
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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
For fans of Sellers Only? Perhaps., 18 July 2006

I saw this with my dad when I was 10. He is a huge Peter Sellers fan and therefore took me, and anyone who wanted to go, to see every Pink Panther movie. People talk about how awful it was, but I liked it so much, I insisted on seeing it twice when it was released.I bet I'm the only one who did. My favorite part has to be the musical production number at the end. I thought it was a fun scene for him to go out with.

Yes, Peter Sellers has made much better films. And if this weren't his last, his fans would probably dislike it a lot less. This movie isn't funny in a slapsticky kind of way. It's funny because it's such an unusual mix of comedy and adventure. I think it's a cult classic waiting to be rediscovered. And remember, Peter Sellars was warned by doctors not to do this movie. His poor health was in part a result of his insistence of doing all of his own stuntwork. If fans really respect Seller's dedication to his craft, they will appreciate the fact that he nearly killed himself, doing what he liked to do best - playing an eccentric characters like this. So why not honer the actor by watching his final screen performance? Allow yourself to forget all about Peter Seller's other work and let his portrayal here stand on it's own. Another suggestion: order some Chinese food to eat while you watch it. It can only make the viewing experience better.

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Stormy Yet Clear Documentary, 5 November 2005

This is one of the most amazing documentaries I've ever seen. Like a lot of people, I had a low opinion of the Weathermen at the beginning of the film. They seemed like selfish and unsophisticated amateur activists at first, and they were. It took a few of their own being killed by their own device -a homemade bomb- to wake them up. This was the turning point not only for them, but for the film.

Although one is a narrative and the other a documentary, this film makes for a great companion piece with Antonioni's ZABRISKE POINT. I feel like I understand that film so much better now having seen this one. In fact, a couple of WU people appeared in Antonioni's film.

The filmmakers have done an excellent job of capturing the emotional and political climate of the Vietnam War era. This is also the only documentary I have seen that shows Martin Luther King Jr. giving his personal opinion on that war. Also, it's a real ear and eye opener to hear a former Weatherman criticize modern day terrorists like Timothy McVey and those connected with the 9-11 attacks. What gives him the right to come across sounding so smug? Maybe the fact that The Weather Underground never killed anybody. If I could suggest a couple of things to the filmmakers it would be if they had only put the words "CASUALTIES: 0" with each bombing mentioned, it would have been more impressive. And secondly, I wish they'd gone into more detail about how the WU successfully broke Timothy Leary out of prison - but then as a magician never reveals, why should they?

By film's end, I had a totally opposite view of these people than I had at the beginning. So there is a real arc to the film that showed how these people had changed, thus keeping the subjects human rather that mere counter-culture stereotypes. That is a challenge for any documentary filmmaker doing a film on such controversial figures as these.

6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Earth to Joseph Gordon- Levitt : You Totally Rock!, 20 August 2005

While this movie is still fresh in my mind, I want to commend Joseph Gorden-Levitt for taking on a role few actors would dare to touch. I would have, but I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Gregg Araki - yet. I've faithfully followed Araki's career since TOTALLY F'ED UP and I've since felt he could make an important and profound film - if only given the opportunity and the budget. He finally has! 3RD ROCK is one of my all time favorite TV series, and I've since felt JGL had could prove himself as one of the all time great actors, if only the right script presented itself. This is it, guys! Keep up the good work. I can't wait to see Araki's next film OR JGL's next performance. If you guys were to break up, it would be like The Beatles or Zepp breaking up all over again - so don't do it!

Detour (1945)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Audience participation was invented for movies like this., 13 August 2005

This is one that never gets old. Tom Neal and Ann Savage have a chemistry that is one part fire and two parts gasoline. He, the pessimist hopelessly mad at the world. She, the femme fetal out for the kill. So what's funny about it? Everything. Tom's decisions are laughably stupid. Why did he try to hide the body on the side of the road in the first place? Was he really that down and out? He was better off where he was, making a modest living as a piano player. But he even criticizes the generous tips he's given. Is it worth giving up what he's good at just to thumb his way across the country to keep his would be "actress" girlfriend off the casting couch? The dude is simply hopeless. What he has in common with Ann Savage's character is they both have a screw loose. Are they natural born criminals or just a couple of lowlifes desperate for kicks? Do I sound like I hate the movie? No way, I love it! If anything, the characters make you feel better about your own problems for about an hour. It's so funny, too, especially after a couple of drinks. Watch this one with a group, at a party. You'll laugh your speed bumps off! Detour is an over the top, unintentionally funny cult noir classic.

The Brig (1964)
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Few plays translate so well onto film., 13 August 2005

The Brig was an off Broadway play. A special performance of it was performed for Jonas Mekas' camera. If it hadn't been, it could have been long forgotten about. The acting is first rate. The sync sound was captured live directly onto the the film. The dialog sounds somewhat garbled, but that works here, since the marine captains' verbal abuse of their soldiers is as nonsensical as their actions. So this could be shown universally and people everywhere would get the point about what's going on. It all takes place in one setting and is captured with a hand-held camera. Thus we feel like a silent witness to the action. The black and white photography is instrumental in capturing such a bleak world. So whether by design or by luck, the film of The Brig is no doubt every bit as rewarding an experience as the original stage play was. Simply put, this film is a work of modern art that successfully captures modern art. It should be preserved for all time.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
a testament to Chaplin's genius, 28 July 2005

Charles Chaplin was truly the first independent filmmaker - with the exception perhaps of Georges Melies. Chaplin wrote, directed, starred in and scored nearly all of his films. No one understood the craft of film-making (silent or otherwise) better than Chaplin. He never compromised his artistic vision, perfectionism, or his integrity. Charlie literally made his films up as he went along, rehearsing on film and discarding whatever didn't work. Such techniques would prove too costly and time consuming today. This documentary consists of some of Chaplin's best experiments - some of which he re-shot and much of which he ordered burned. Like many a magician, Chaplin didn't want his secrets getting out. Luckily, many of his best tricks are revealed here for posterity. It's all lovingly narrated by James Mason. And the scenes that were cut from THE CIRCUS, CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES are as good as anything that ended up in the final releases. I wish this was available on DVD, as my tapes are beginning to wear out.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Yes! A 10th Anniversary Edition would be super!, 16 July 2005

My name is Jon Shelton. I too am a fan of RECEPTION TO FOLLOW. I'm also a friend of Charles Ellis and I knew him when he was making this movie. The other reviewer is right - it does seem like only yesterday. I've had the pleasure of seeing this film thanks to Cellis. It's awesome! I'd put it in the comedy and romance category more than the drama category, although it does have some good dramatic moments. The cast is charming, fun, and attractive. In addition to the two leads, I really liked Charles Sexton in his supporting role of Chris. I feel like when I watch this movie, I'm taking a bath myself. So it's the perfect bathtub movie if you've got a TV and video set up in your bathroom. I also liked some of the film's more imaginative moments - like how a painting is admired by the people on screen but it's never actually seen by the viewer. Another moment that allows you to use your imagination is the story of how Morgan and Katherine met. I guess it will be shown in the prequel, but I like the way the story is told in the movie. It adds depth to the film. The Love Jones contributed some of the music, so could you please put out a tenth anniversary soundtrack album as well? Love that theme song "Now You're Looking Like Me" by Charles Ellis and Vince Emmet! Also, I look forward to seeing the long awaited prequel to this: PAPER CUT.

13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
A Cult Classic Waiting To be Rediscovered, 12 July 2005

Jess Franco's direction, as well as the story, acting, cinematography and music are all first rate. This was one of the first major films to depict lesbian love scenes and inter-racial love scenes. The title VENUS IN FURS refers to the main character - a lesbian with a fur fetish who digs getting it on in a group setting while fondling the statue of Venus Di Milo. (Now how much would you pay?) From a camp perspective, she is the X rated equivalent of a BATMAN villain. The pans and zooms were appropriate in keeping with the jazz theme and score. This movie reminds me a lot of BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS in look, production design and over all style with it's absolutely beautiful use of color. It would make a great double bill with BTVOTD. How this movie was overshadowed by that one is beyond me. It should be viewed in it's original widescreen format, too. Sure, it's dated, but it's also a refreshing blast from the past!

88 out of 140 people found the following review useful:
100% Sirky. Accept No Imitations!, 6 July 2005

As others have pointed out, IMITATION OF LIFE is an important film for many reasons. Seeing it again recently, I was reminded of the top three reasons why it has earned a cult following among women, African Americans and gay men. For women, it's all about letting go of a child and allowing them to live their own life. For African Americans, it's a reminder of how much they've had to struggle for equality in American society. It's the message of not hiding who you are and not living a lie just to please other people that resonates with gay men. This film was one of the first to expose the cultural divide between black and white in America. That really wasn't being addressed in the cinema up to that point. So it must be put in it's historical context to be fully appreciated.

This film marked a crossroads not only for American society, but for the acting profession as well. Sandra Dee and Susan Kohner seemed to be of the new school of method acting. By contrast, Lana Turner and Juanita Moore seemed to be of the old school of melodramatic acting. Perhaps this is why the older actors come off as far less believable than the younger one's do. That's what makes Sandra Dee's line, "Oh mother, stop acting!" so hilarious. I really thought Sandra Dee was too perky to be taken seriously until that scene. Then she showed she could act by keeping it real. Compared to Lana Turner, she's Katherine Hepburn! Also, anyone serious about an acting career should study Susan Kohner's amazing performance. She steals the show in a role that would be a challenge for any young actress. I think she was one of the most talented actors to ever leave the business for married life.

IMITATION OF LIFE is one of those rare films that gets better every time I see it. I guess that's because it's important on more levels than you can take in on a single viewing. I could go into how it's also about a single mother's struggle for independence in 1950's male dominated society. I could argue that it's not as sappy and melodramatic as it's reputed to be. I could argue that John Gavin's performance was better than a lot of people say. However, I think I'll save those discussions for when I see it again.

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Deserves another comment, 3 July 2005

I too love this quirky little Brakhage film. It's just too strange not to like. We see Stan's wife Jane with the Brakhage children clipping a chicken's wings - in sync sound, which was unusual for Stan. Meanwhile, the filmmaker is heard on the soundtrack reciting whimsical poems about the sun, the moon and the stars. There is also nature footage and beautiful light patterns captured as only Stan can. My description really doesn't do it justice as this film is truly indescribable. There is no other category to put this in other than experimental or avant guard. It's a standout on the BY BRAKHAGE: AN ANTHOLOGY DVD, which is highly recommended. Watching Brakhage films like this, you can really feel the influence Stan had on 60s and 70s film students like George Lucas and David Lynch.

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