Recent comments

  • Film Log 2014   4 days 11 hours ago

    I was worried you had done a kaplan. Glad to see you are back with us and I hope the hiatus was healing.

  • Film Log 2014   4 days 15 hours ago

    I'll be joining again. Props to you for stepping up and taking the reins now that kaplan is gone. I look forward to next year and hopefully I won't burn out as quickly as I did this year.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   4 days 15 hours ago

    Count me in. Will make my list page shortly.

  • Every animated movie ever created (alphabetical)   4 days 19 hours ago

    Thank you so much. I'very been trying to figure out what that movie was

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   4 days 23 hours ago

    I have difficulty with both, but more of perceiving the emotional content then experiencing/assimilating it. When I was following your "recommended order", since The Doors' debut was first, I tackled it. Out of all the albums I have listened to, their debut was the closest I got to understanding an album, but I feel as if I never fully "got" the emotions expressed. I will take your and Marquee's advice on attentively listening to an album over and over again next time.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 5 hours ago

    Yes, I would agree, it's all about first just listening attentively. None of the rest comes without that. Ascertaining what the music is "about" or "means", etc comes more and more naturally following just listening attentively. As one is listening attentively, I recommend mentally noting the emotional and thematic aspects of the work as it is happening, as it is changing (in both the vocals if there are any, and the composition fluctuations/instrumental elements) -- EVEN if it seems obvious and "unnecessary", because this can actually be "built up" into a greater ability of observation/assimilation the more one practices it, to where one can do it much faster and will actually notice more and more about what one is assimilating.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 5 hours ago

    Okay, I think I'm tracking. Are you having difficulty perceiving the emotional content, experiencing/assimilating it, or both? What about for simpler/more direct albums, such as The Doors debut, or Fugazi's Repeater?

  • Most Influential Films of All Time   5 days 6 hours ago

    You need to add High Noon (1952). Prior to it, all western showed the good guy rounding up other good guys to fight the bad guys. This film set a new pattern of the good guy having to fight alone because the regular folks were, well, regular folks, ergo pretty sheepish. It also garnered a number of other "firsts".
    1. First film of high and general popular appeal to run in almost real time -- the 85 minute film covers a 90 minute time frame.
    2. First film for which the title song was very popular prior to the release of the film.
    3. First film (if I recall correctly) to use inanimate objects, in this case clocks, to increase tension.
    The pattern that High Noon set for good guy alone became the base of most hero type films that have followed it. But it was the first.

  • Film Log   5 days 8 hours ago

    A wonderful, revealing, personal, lengthy interview with Andrei Tarkovsky is the best film related text I've come across in ages.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 8 hours ago

    I don't at all mean this pejoratively, but is perhaps concentration the issue? I yield to no one my love for hip-hop but the kind of attention and awareness it demands is very different from, say, Coltrane, Bix Beiderbecke or Mozart. An example: I picked up Maurice Gendron's rendition of Bach's cello suites the other day, and had it playing in the background. It was very pleasant, but hardly a moving experience. It wasn't until I sat down--undistracted--and really listened, doing my best to stay with every note, and not let my mind wander that it began to open up. Listening to instrumental music--which is ultimately abstract--can be difficult, but rewarding work, and one has to practice, especially in the early stages. Listen, to say, the first movement of Beethoven's Op. 111 every day for a couple of weeks. That's what B.H. Haggin recommends in his wonderful book Music for the Man Who Enjoys Hamlet (available free on Archive.org, highly recommended). The idea isn't to force yourself to enjoy what you hear, but to give the music a chance to unfold properly, to allow your ears to acclimatize to sounds that are so unlike what we encounter in daily life. The point is not to ascertain what the music is "about" or what it "means"; nor is it to be overawed or have a profound spiritual awakening. Simply staying with the sounds--undistracted, moment to moment--is enough.

    I'd assume the same applies to Scaruffi picks like Royal Trux, Red Crayola, etc, but I don't listen to (or particularly like) a number of those works at all.

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2014   5 days 9 hours ago

    Update #20(ish) - 14 Dec [348] days
    =======⥣⥣⥣ > 2 films/day ⥣⥣⥣=======
    =======⥥⥥⥥ < 2 films/day ⥥⥥⥥=======
    01. (01) mightysparks 594 (0)
    02. (02) tom_elce 553 (0)
    03. (03) Ultimo Lee 353 (12)
    =======⥣⥣⥣ > 1 film/day ⥣⥣⥣=======
    =======⥥⥥⥥ < 1 film/day ⥥⥥⥥=======
    04. (04) loonapick 323 (8)
    05. (05) dashforcover 304 (7)
    06. (06) Tatum 293 (3)
    07. (07) Puzzgal 277 (12)
    08. (08) mamushka 225 (4)
    09. (09) LukeRobot 186 (0)
    10. (10) Laivaren 183 (7)
    11. (11) guardianryoga 162 (2)
    +++. (13) julesyoung 162 (5)
    13. (12) danvers 159 (1)
    14. (14) skullduggerish 139 (1)
    15. (15) mattmakins 138 (2)
    16. (17) nyybella 109 (8)
    17. (16) bpchicky 102 (0)
    18. (19) Lendoxia 90 (2)
    19. (18) kaplan 89 (0)
    20. (20) kgracetasticsake 81 (2)
    21. (21) AJDaGreat 77 (0)
    22. (22) hinterland 66 (4)
    23. (23) nukualofa 63 (3)
    24. (24) alberkin 28 (0)
    25. (25) aaliyah16 19 (0)

    Next update: About December 28th-ish

    2013 edition
    2015 edition

    With there just being one week since the last update, there are only a few changes. This week julesyoung jumped from 13 to 11 making a tie with guardianryoga. nyybella clambered over bpchicky to secure 16. Lendoxia gained 18 when kaplan slid to 19. Our group newly logged 83 films. There will be 2 more updates of this list, one about December 28th and the final one at about the time of the first update of the 2015 list.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 10 hours ago

    I'm referring to all music, but specifically music recommended by you and Scaruffi; instrumentals are also hard to dissect due to the absence of lyrics that can help decode the music. I can generally listen to any type of music, but I regularly listen to hip-hop (maybe because it's less emotional than other genres). It's been getting easier for me to listen to longer songs as well.

  • Most Haunting/Nightmarish Films (mid-revision)   5 days 16 hours ago

    Thanks, love your insights! Maybe you'll inspire me to dive back into some film reviews :)

  • Most Haunting/Nightmarish Films (mid-revision)   5 days 17 hours ago

    I just watched The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover...wow. I love it. Part of its haunting effect is that the restaurant/dining room is such an intimate and central part of our lives and culture, and the film extends the setting metaphorically until it attacks both our physical and moral/political disgust. I think current research says physical disgust might be the foundation of "moral" disgust: our disgust with images of things like tyranny seems based on our innate disgust with images of disease, like poop and spoiled food. Our physical nourishment and intellectual nourishment (books) is spoiled by tyranny and narcissism, as if they are bad food. Also, the chaos and acts of deviance that disrupt the norms and table "manners" are ultimately the ones that progress the society, like the events of a revolution, an acquired taste that will lead to malnutrition at first. In the conclusion, Albert can't "stomach" the grievances against him, the remains of his actions he is accountable for. I think the compassion of the film cuts some of its "nightmarishness" - that is, the revolutionary aspect wins over the terrorizing aspect - but it remains "nightmarish" in a cinematic sense, so I think it's a pretty good choice for this list

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 17 hours ago

    Re: Marketa Lazarova and others ... No problem, I want to see it/them again anyway :) I'm going to keep The Mirror up there for sure, and probably Deceit too.

    Thanks, I'll change Seamonsters to the correct date.

    And, no, I don't have a database anywhere. This is mainly because when I started my rock/jazz list years ago I only tracked 7.8+ that made my list and not the others :-( It's not a big deal if someone recommends something I've already heard. It gets me thinking about it again, which is rarely a bad thing...

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   5 days 17 hours ago

    Before I address this, let me make sure I understand where you're coming from: in "not being able to find emotion in music", are you mainly referring to classical and non-vocal music?

    Re: "the number of listens required" ... the number required differs for everyone ... it more accurately (usually) depends more on ones experience with varieties of music/art, and/or with other similar works (particularly it's historical precedents) to the one you are attempting to assimilate.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 28 min ago

    The reason I suggested Marketa Lazarova was because I was too stupid to check your 60s list, sorry. So scratch that as your rating is very high. I do like more than Tarkovsky. You can forget The Mirror and the albums you've heard (didn't realise you had Underwater Moonlight in pop). I was just lazily recommending and if you've seen it then it didn't matter. I wasn't really wanting you to rewatch anything.

    I would like to write why I love Underwater Moonlight but I find it very difficult to describe or deconstruct music. It's one of my favourites - must've listened to it fifty times - but I can't explain it. Peter Watkins is an important filmmaker critical of establishments. La Commune (Paris, 1871) is about the socialist movement that he says the French education system have "marginalised". Shot like a documentary (it has reporters interviewing locals and people own TVs) and set entirely in a warehouse that represents the suburbs of the city. If you want to get an idea of his style his first two feature films Culloden (last battle on British soil in 1746 with a camera crew) and The War Game (speculative imaging of a nuclear war breaking out) are online.

    I've got plenty of film recommendations but I was scraping the barrel for albums I didn't think you'd heard of. Do you use a database to keep track of films and albums you've experienced, like IMDb or RYM?

    Not a big detail but I accidentally put Seamonsters as 1992 when it should 1991.

  • The Top 10 Most Important Directors of All Time (everyone can, must contribute)   6 days 1 hour ago

    Maya Deren,
    Shirley Clarke,
    Joyce Wieland
    Leni Riefenstahl,
    Sofia Coppola
    Elaine May
    Mira Nair
    Nancy Mayers
    Rebecca Miller
    Kathryn Bigelow

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 1 hour ago

    This is unrelated, but I am having some trouble with something. I simply cannot figure out how to find emotion in music. It just seems like a foreign language to me. How could one find emotion through notes, choice of instruments, melodies, atmosphere, etc.? Do you really just have to experience a song / album in order multiple times to understand the emotion that is expressed? You once had a recommended order of albums to listen to and important notes on how to understand those albums, but it looks like the recommended order has been revised. You also stated one must listen to an album over and over again to get it, but what is the point for me to do so if I can't figure out how to find the emotion in the first place? Do you have to be in some sort of mindset or a set of ideals in mind while listening to music? Any advice?

  • Favorite albums   6 days 5 hours ago

    It's pretty exotic and esoteric, certainly not for everyone, but I would bet you're likely to warm up to it sooner or later, judging by your other selections

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 10 hours ago

    Hmmm, thanks for the clarification. Sounds like I should add it :-)

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 11 hours ago

    The thing about No New York is that it is by four different artists, all contributing four songs recorded specifically for the album, and it is widely considered the best material by each of them, who also each happen to have an 8/10 by Scaruffi. It is really, really worth a listen.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 15 hours ago

    I should add "no compilations" please to my author comments, I suppose (not that I hate compilations particularly; I'm just looking for works I'd add to my lists for the time being)

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 15 hours ago

    Read my author comments please and if you have any specific album(s) to recommend, feel free

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   6 days 15 hours ago

    Thanks for those. Regarding...

    Film:
    I already have Marketa Lazarova as an 8.7/10. Is your recommendation that I need to revisit it because I've rated it too low by 0.5 or more (and it should be 9.2/10+, one of the 5 or so greatest films of all time)? Is it superior to Tarkovsky's Mirror, or Andrei Rublev, or even Nostalghia? If so, why? (not that I don't think it could be; I am intrigued that you'd recommend it despite its very high rating)

    I've seen Panahi's The Mirror a few years ago. At the time I rated it just below 7.3/10 (though noted that it could easily move up on repeat viewings). So I'll add that one to "To Revisit".

    I've long wanted to see Drowning By Numbers and I'm a huge fan of Greenaway (possibly the most original great filmmaker of the last few decades).

    I'll add the other two as well. Don't think I've seen any Watkins and I really like Sjostrom.

    Rock:

    I've listened to Bright Lights Tonight but it's been years. Same with Chairs Missing and Deceit.

    Underwater Moonlight is 7.5/10 (and can be seen on my pop list in case you didn't know). Are you suggesting I would rate it higher than 8.0+ if I were to revisit it (I've heard it many, many times.) And, if so, what is it about the album that is that extraordinary that it deserves such a rating?.

    Never heard Seamonsters.

    I'll add the ones I don't have any questions on first. The others are dependent on your reply and whether or not they were "intentional" recommendations. Thanks again!