Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Project)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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cdnchris
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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#176 Post by cdnchris » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:07 pm

domino harvey wrote: Krippendorf’s Tribe (Todd Holland 1998)
Oh Jesus, I forgot about this film! I remember renting it with friends when it first came out and was so horrified by it despite not being anywhere near the most socially conscience person out there. Not only was it not funny but it was trying to be funny based on awful sterotypes (not criticizing them or mocking them I should add, playing them straight) and then what I was sure was actually a rape scene. Fuck this film.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#177 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:13 pm

It's truly unreal that a film like that could be made and released with a big budget and name brand cast less than twenty years ago. If anyone ever compiled a list of films least likely to ever be released on Blu-ray, I'd throw all my weight behind this one-- can you even imagine what would happen on the internet if more people realized this film exists?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#178 Post by cdnchris » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:45 pm

I was just looking up reviews now from the time and they certainly weren't favourable. But yes, the Internet would explode now. I'm really tempted to increase the awareness of the film, but I could only imagine the death threats against everyone involved.

My memory is foggy but I'm pretty sure there were no consequences for Dreyfus' raping, filming of it, then screening of it, short of a "oh the nerve of him!" like reaction from Elfman, who, you know, was severely violated on a multitude of levels.

Again, fuck this film.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#179 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:48 pm

domino harvey wrote:Candy (Christian Marquand 1968) I’m assuming screenwriter Buck Henry had blackmail material on most of the A Listers who show up in this absurd but unfunny sex comedy based on a one joke premise (take the absurd logic of pornographic literature and remove or elide most of the sex). The film looks expensive, and the set design is often impressive, but it is all at the service of so much nothing.
I've never seen this. How's Ringo?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#180 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:01 am

Considering he portrays a Mexican gardener named Emmanuel who is overcome with unstoppable Trump-sanctioned sexual lust for the titular teenager, whom he rapes on a pool table in the basement while Richard Burton makes out with a mannequin in a corner and Sugar Ray Robinson mixes drinks, he's okay

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#181 Post by Rayon Vert » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:03 am

Ah, the sixties.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#182 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:12 am

cdnchris wrote:I was just looking up reviews now from the time and they certainly weren't favourable. But yes, the Internet would explode now. I'm really tempted to increase the awareness of the film, but I could only imagine the death threats against everyone involved.

My memory is foggy but I'm pretty sure there were no consequences for Dreyfus' raping, filming of it, then screening of it, short of a "oh the nerve of him!" like reaction from Elfman, who, you know, was severely violated on a multitude of levels.

Again, fuck this film.
Well, as I mentioned in my writeup, she gets her revenge by... making him uncomfortable on TV... by forcing him to eat a live bug, which truly holds roughly the same weight as being raped. And then he angrily grabs and twists her nipple through her blouse and she slams a giant stick against his crotch on live TV. Also, unbelievably, Elfman and Dreyfuss end the film partaking in a family picnic together in domestic bliss, which is odd since up until the last scene she's strangely shown in an unfairly negative light as alternately an idiot for, shock, being nice to her mentor and inspiration, or an opportunist for, double shock, wanting a cut of the grant money Dreyfuss has stolen. Dreyfuss and Elfman do end up briefly semi-reconciling by making out near the end of the film after getting carried away by lust when dressing in blackface together, so I guess that's another date idea to employ on one's next OKCupid outing

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#183 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:20 am

Oh, and you forgot that Elfman witnesses the broadcast of her rape while inside a Best Buy, surrounded by horny onlookers who catcall the tribal woman shown on the wall of TV screens, after which Elfman pulls up her hoodie and slinks out of the store. Wildly hilarious!

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#184 Post by cdnchris » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:42 am

Yep, I read that in your write up but for some reason I didn't link her "revenge" being specific to her rape. I guess I remember her more being annoyed than horrified, though it could be because the film treats the whole situation so cutesy, almost like "boys will be boys" level BS. (Fuck this film.)

And yes, totally forgot about the Best Buy moment. You're right, this film will never see the light of day on Blu ray (though a lot of that could be related to the fact Disney isn't rushing it's films out on the format).

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#185 Post by movielocke » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:50 am

cdnchris wrote:Yep, I read that in your write up but for some reason I didn't link her "revenge" being specific to her rape. I guess I remember her more being annoyed than horrified, though it could be because the film treats the whole situation so cutesy, almost like "boys will be boys" level BS. (Fuck this film.)

And yes, totally forgot about the Best Buy moment. You're right, this film will never see the light of day on Blu ray (though a lot of that could be related to the fact Disney isn't rushing it's films out on the format).
once the counter internet protest decides to brand it the unfairly repressed "song of the south of the nineties" the film will become a sought after relic.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#186 Post by domino harvey » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:39 pm

I'm holding onto my copy so I have something to punish my future children with

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#187 Post by dustybooks » Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:31 pm

It's such a pity about Krippendorf's Tribe because the novel is brilliant. I think particularly of
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I'm just kidding, who the fuck knew that movie was based on a novel!?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#188 Post by bottled spider » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:28 pm

Bluebeard (Breillat, 2009). I definitely would have voted for this if I'd watched it at the time, not least for its unpretentiously beautiful use of saturated colour. I liked the dual story lines of the fairy tale itself and the girls reading it, how the two stories mutually comment on each other, and refresh one another.

Brief Crossing (Breillat, 2001). I don't think I even considered this for the list at the time, probably because I found it rather slight the first time I watched it. Revisiting it recently, however, I found it richer and more ambiguous. I could listen all day to Sarah Pratt's Alice ruminate over adulthood and youth, men and women, life in general. And Pratt herself is simply mesmerizing to look at, with her piercing blue eyes and pale skin, formidable yet -- disarmingly -- seemingly maternal. I've never seen her in anything else, so I'm eager to watch The Last Mistress.

Winter's Bone (Granik, 2010). I don't have anything to add to the contentious discussions about this film elsewhere on the fora, just mentioning it as another film I could easily have voted for if I'd seen it at the time.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#189 Post by bottled spider » Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:09 pm

Tu Dors Nicole (Stéphane Lafleur , 2014) This is one of the most continuously amusing films I've ever seen, bubbling throughout with its own quiet, original humour, complemented by some gratuitously beautiful cinematography.

Here is Your Life (Troell, 1966) I was instantly taken with this, and liked the whole thing, with the reservation that I grew exhausted with it by the last twenty minutes or so. This would have been in my top ten if I'd seen it in time. A remarkable film in every respect.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#190 Post by TMDaines » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:37 pm

swo17 wrote:Melody for a Street Organ
Russia hates its children but also all of its other residents.
It's in Kiev, Ukraine — not Russia!

Was searching the forum to see if anyone had written about this film, as I'm going to make it some Christmas viewing whilst over here.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#191 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Sorry.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#192 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:53 pm

Recent viewings:

Adult World (Scott Coffey 2014) I gather that Emma Roberts isn’t thought of too highly as an actress, but I’ve liked her in everything I’ve seen her in, and this is no exception. Indeed, she’s the only thing here that works, and it’s a shame her character and performance are trapped in such a cliche-ridden, unfunny, and illogical mess of indie checklist items. Roberts plays a pretentious poetry major who graduates from college with no prospects, no real skills, and she spends all her money on entrance fees for poetry contests instead of, say, car insurance. As someone who dabbled in the poetry scene during college, I found this character 100% accurate regardless of the decided lack of subtlety in her presentation. And like some other notable (and far superior) indie films from this era (Roos' the Other Woman, Solitary Man, Young Adult), the film prides itself on presenting us with an unapologetically unlikable protagonist, which here as there just makes them more interesting and, yes, likable. Roberts’ character and her foolish plight to follow her dreams could be the kernel of a great and observant film about our current millennial career crisis and delayed maturity.

But after a promising twenty minutes or so (opening with Roberts sticking her head in the oven to commit suicide before deriding herself for “suicide plagiarism”), the film goes completely off the rails by introducing its basic premise: Roberts gets a job working at a mom and pop sex shop. Okay, so maybe such a place could still exist in the internet age, but could one really support two additional full-time employees who always seem to be working at the same time (and are provided with medical insurance, WTF)? Unlikely.

Also unlikely: Roberts begins obsessively stalking John Cusack’s once-famous poet, and his alternately indifferent and bewildered responses to her rarely rise above a second-rate Grady Tripp impression. The film never gets a handle on the Cusack-Roberts relationship: Is he annoyed, impressed, intrigued, protective, evasive, attracted? The film doesn’t know, and it comes off less as ambiguity and more as poor writing. Cusack does his best with the part, but once the inevitable drunken seduction scene happens, I kept thinking “I don’t buy it,” which is a sentiment vocalized by Cusack within the scene itself to Roberts’ phony come-ons, but which describes his own role in this farce as well.

At least Cusack fares better than the other supporting players, including Roberts’ fellow American Horror Story vet Evan Peters as a generic issue manic pixie dream guy with no personality whatsoever (though inexplicably the two are engaged in real life— no evidence of shared charisma exists in the film), and a sassy transvestite hooker— now there’s a cliche that never would have escaped even a Freshman 101 creative writing workshop!

Roberts’ character is well-observed and acted, and belongs in a better film that had the confidence to be about her struggles and self-delusion, rather than providing her with an outlet for kooky distraction and simple, pat resolutions. Adult World is refreshingly honest in its depiction of its protagonist, but utterly phony in all other regards. My examples earlier of other indie fare with similarly strong central portrayals of flawed protagonists are all great films outside of their main character. This one is certainly not. REJECTED.

the Enchanted Desna (Yuliya Solntseva / “Alexander Dovzhenko” 1964) A Russian man reflects on how his life has been shaped by the titular body of water, with numerous Malick-anticipating insights into childhood spoken by the adult narrator while the characters interact freely with the landscape underneath. I’m not the biggest Dovzhenko fan to begin with, but this film posthumously based on his original script fares okay— there are some memorable visuals, especially an Easter church service
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enacted while an entire village is flooded, with all of the participants floating between each other in small boats and other vessels to receive their sacraments and rites.
Those receptive to the pleasures of its famous inspiration may find more improved results.

Hitler, connais pas? (Bertrand Blier 1963) A “random” selection of French youth are filmed in a blank studio answering unheard questions about their lives. The film is stylized to death, with non-stop interruptions of the participants’ stories to show random parts of their body or the camera crew or, most frequently, to intercut with false reaction shots of the other participants (all interviewees were filmed separately but the film edits things together to make cheap shots like a bad YouTube remix). The film is frustrating, and the over-reliance on all these tricks shows how little confidence the filmmakers had in their premise or their results.

How I Got Into College (Savage Steve Holland 1989) Holland is a director with a Tashlin-lite approach to visual comedy, though this ranks far below his other 80s teen efforts. The biggest pitfall here is inescapable: the movie isn’t funny. Its barbs about the college anxieties of high school seniors only occasionally land, as in the recurring SAT math problems that get worked out using recurring characters A and B (as in “Man A is traveling six miles an hour and Man B is traveling five miles an hour…”) who berate our protagonist for not being able to solve their problems. But most are hoary jokes and gags that were never funny, or worse, no jokes at all. It’s all too genial to exert much energy against it, but it’s just not a good movie.

Thrashin’ (David Winters 1986) If you are a fan of young people with bad haircuts and worse fashion sense jumping off of things on their skateboard, this is undoubtedly a masterpiece. All others need not apply. Second-hand embarrassing dramatics and silly self-serious skate ethos abound in this tale of Valley teen Josh Brolin (giving no indication that he would later be capable of acting) going up against the nefarious skate punk gang the Daggers. Predictable and obvious from start to finish, with the only surprise coming during the end credits, when it’s revealed that the awful titular song that plays throughout the film was written and performed by Meatloaf! Wow, Meatloaf, now there’s true sk8r cred.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#193 Post by TMDaines » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:59 pm

TMDaines wrote:
swo17 wrote:Melody for a Street Organ
Russia hates its children but also all of its other residents.
It's in Kiev, Ukraine — not Russia!

Was searching the forum to see if anyone had written about this film, as I'm going to make it some Christmas viewing whilst over here.
Not sure I would consider this a film about youth, but a masterpiece nonetheless. A scathing critique of aspects of modern society, not just in the East, but everywhere where the virtues of capitalism reign supreme. Grotesque is much underused since Fellaini stopped. The ultimate unsentimental Christmas film.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#194 Post by bottled spider » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:55 pm

Since this thread has floated its way toward the top of the page, I'm curious about the reception outside of Canada of a couple Canadian films I never got around to re-watching for this project.

My American Cousin (1985, Sandy Wilson). This was enormously popular in Canada when it came out, and has aired frequently on CBC television ever since. (Though perhaps no longer the case; I haven't had a television for years). It's been released (or re-issued?) on DVD fairly recently. A search for the title on this site came up blank. Is it not well known outside of Canada?

Treed Murray (2001, William Phillips). Made for CBC television. Towards dusk a businessman traversing a large city park fends off a teenage mugger, only to be chased up a tree. Out of sheer cussedness, the boy and his gang are determined to bring Murray down and give him a beating. But the man is high enough to evade projectiles, and manages to fend off one of them who attempts to climb up after him. So they settle in for a long night of psychological warfare. (This would also have been eligible for the <24 hrs project). I'm not sure how well known this is even within Canada, let alone elsewhere.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#195 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:59 pm

Never heard of either of those

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#196 Post by beamish13 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:29 pm

bottled spider wrote:Since this thread has floated its way toward the top of the page, I'm curious about the reception outside of Canada of a couple Canadian films I never got around to re-watching for this project.

My American Cousin (1985, Sandy Wilson). This was enormously popular in Canada when it came out, and has aired frequently on CBC television ever since. (Though perhaps no longer the case; I haven't had a television for years). It's been released (or re-issued?) on DVD fairly recently. A search for the title on this site came up blank. Is it not well known outside of Canada?

Treed Murray (2001, William Phillips). Made for CBC television. Towards dusk a businessman traversing a large city park fends off a teenage mugger, only to be chased up a tree. Out of sheer cussedness, the boy and his gang are determined to bring Murray down and give him a beating. But the man is high enough to evade projectiles, and manages to fend off one of them who attempts to climb up after him. So they settle in for a long night of psychological warfare. (This would also have been eligible for the <24 hrs project). I'm not sure how well known this is even within Canada, let alone elsewhere.
I'm not familiar with the latter, but My American Cousin has become something of a classic, especially in Western Canada, as it prominently features British Columbia above the 49th parallel line. It has indeed been restored.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#197 Post by John Shade » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:10 pm

This is one of the list threads that I tend to lurk through. I wish I had joined to participate (along with this and the Westerns and Hitchcock, oh well, school year gets busy, one day...). I've seen a bunch of the following films fairly recently and didn't see much written about them.

Edge of Seventeen: I wrote about it in its respective thread so I won't add much here, except to say I think it was a mostly well-made, well-acted and enjoyable one with some very funny moments (and then tender moments too, it is a teen film). I plan to watch again at some point later this year. I think it came out after this list though.

Get a Job: A very bland, formulaic recent movie which I saw on one of the HBO type channels recently. Well, I didn't finish it. I think it was aiming for the same thing as a movie called Post Grad, which I also saw on a movie channel years ago but was much more enjoyable. You can watch the trailer to figure this one out. The very unlikable and smug lead character played by Miles Teller lives with his sitcom roommates who still just want to play video games, or whatever, and yet all of them need jobs because the economy is apparently bad. It's a lazy movie filled with cliches and there are so many better cliched movies to watch.

Paper Towns: I think this might go down as the manic pixie dream revisionist film, if it goes down for something. This was somewhat slick, but the performances are good and the characters aren't cloying. Sure, it has the typical teen obsessed with a (literally) unreachable girl. If any teen movie can use stray references to even remotely get one or two kids out there to pick up Moby Dick or Leaves of Grass then they can't be all that bad.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Speaking of films with references. This was another one seen from streaming in the last year. There might have been some thinking that this was going to be a sneaky hit; earlier critics liked it. I tend to be with those critics who saw the many references to movies in this very shallow, kind of like "Hey, these teenagers love old movies, and here's the weird Dad." Again it suffers from the white male dominating, while his black friend and dying girlfriend fight for screen time and any sense of point of view. Finally, why would the Archers be such a dominant influence? What do these kids see in those films? I'm genuinely curious as a fan.

Mistress America: One of my favorites from the last few years and I've never been a fan of Baumbach. This is such a well-written movie and in some ways a really good depiction of college life, usually just a stereotype in most movies. The uncertainty of every relationship, people trying out different identities and desperately trying to be cool. Lola Kirke is excellent, awkwardly fumbling around from roommates to lectures to the elite literary society club. The way she latches on to Greta Gerwig hearkens back to other great youth film motifs: a young person becoming attached to a romantic or chaotic adult. One of the college kids reveals at the end something like "I'm a genius and why doesn't everyone know it?"--this sounds like most college-aged young men. I could go on...Going to probably do a more complete write up on its respective thread, which if I remember got fairly little attention.

Adventureland: Sorry to the person who had this as an orphan: I would have it in my top ten and maybe even number one (eh, the ending...). A great summer movie that perfectly captures the mood from college to the working world. Here the yearning quality of many youth films works very well. Not to mention it takes time to give nuance, background, and the economic reality of its characters and shows us wonderful bits here and there. This is probably Kristen Stewart's best performance, here her stammering and awkwardness is the point. Ryan Reynolds gets to play the town cool guy, easily loved by the young, but treated with pity here by Mottola. The movie was poorly marketed in the wake of Superbad and I wonder if Eisenberg was not well liked at the time, similar to Michael Cera in the also great Scott Pilgrim. With movies like this it's the little details that I always remember: the awkward encountering of your childhood friend in early adulthood--here the brilliantly named Frigo, the slowly evolving relationship with your parents epitomized by a few scenes, a restaurant called the Velvet Touch which seemed classy at 22. A great soundtrack of bands that I loved at that stage of my life didn't hurt for me, along with Martin Starr giving a potential date a copy of Gogol's "Overcoat".

A few stray observations about the list: a recent rewatching of Breakfast Club was a big letdown for me. Far too humorless and self-important. Ferris Bueller remains my favorite Hughes, however it's been a while since I saw it. The other one of his I recently saw again was Uncle Buck and that's still really likable. John Candy's shenanigans, his interactions with the typical teenagers, and the development of his relationship with his niece make this worth it still. Finally, is Francois Truffaut's Small Change not well thought of here? Or his other Doinel films?

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#198 Post by bottled spider » Thu Aug 17, 2017 2:20 am

My American Cousin (1985, Sandy Wilson) Finally got round to revisiting this. Warmly recommended. Summery, scenic, sweet. The young lead Margaret Langrick had a real spark.

American Friends (1989, Sandy Wilson) The justly forgotten follow-up, easily avoided: if you don't own a VHS player you should be completely safe.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Proj

#199 Post by bottled spider » Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:08 pm

zedz wrote:And I have to say: a films of youth project in which only one person votes for a film from the Bill Douglas Trilogy should be made to stand in the corner until the bell rings.
If it's any consolation, now that I've finally seen the trilogy, My Childhood & My Ain Folk would have usurped the top of my list. I found them positively exhilarating. Not a reaction I expected to have. At the risk of being misconstrued, I want to call these films witty. There's a kind of deadly serious wit at play, even in the bleakest moments, in the way he cuts and frames, something akin to comic timing without being comic. (Although, of course, there are moments of actual humour too).

~
Angela (Rebecca Miller, 1995). I fell bad about hating this movie, but I hate this movie. It's a mess of tones. At the outset it seems like it's going to be a heavy drama, then seems to be morphing into a quirky feelgood or maybe a bittersweet coming of age, at some points it threatens again to go very dark but pulls back, and then it seems to be aiming for moody atmospherics, then it gets very weird again, and finally
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it actually does end in the most appalling tragedy. I was outraged! Actually, in and of itself the ending was well done. Nevertheless: fuck you Rebecca.
If a defender of this film listed its virtues, I'd probably concede many of them. And if this had been the first Miller I'd seen, rather than being put off, it would've piqued my curiosity to see another of her films. Still hate it.

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Re: Films of Youth List Discussion + Suggestions (Genre Project)

#200 Post by domino harvey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:47 pm

An exhaustive analysis of the pizza scene from Home Alone

EDIT: Party cut?? What the fuck, Chicagoeans, explain yourself

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