Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Story Within a Story


Welcome to Thursday...again...and not for the last time. Hopefully. Never mind. Just know that it's time for Thursday Movie Picks. As you know, movies try to tell a story. Occasionally, they do so by having one of their characters tell another story. Our wonderful host, Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, has directed us towards those films that tell a story within its story. I was trying to figure out how to do a blog post within a blog post for this, but well, forget it. Let's just get to my picks.


Forrest Gump
(1994)
I'm not telling you what this movie is about. I mean, c'mon. Even if you haven't seen it you probably know. What you may not know is that our hero really spends the first two acts of the movie sitting on a bus stop bench telling his life story to anyone who happens to sit next to him. The film eventually shifts away from that tactic to continue the story he was telling everyone else. Hanks is amazing, and so is Robin Wright as the literal love of his life. I know it's become fashionable to hate this movie, but screw you. I still love it.


Bad Education
(2004)
A famous director gets an idea for a movie from an old flame who demands to play the lead. Against his better judgement, he makes the movie. It's based on a true story, as lots of movies are, the movie he's making that is. The difference is that we actually get to find out how close, or not close, his movie is to the story it's based on. It's sublimely insane and all sorts of compelling. I recently watched this for The Blind Spot Challenge, and I'm still reeling.


Strange Circus
(2005)
The movie starts with a father who's not exactly in the running for Father of the Year. He forces his daughter to watch he and his wife have sex by stuffing her in a cello case with a peephole cut out. And it gets worse from there. Much worse. However, we eventually find out that the story we're being told is the novel being written. Or so we're told. And the writer has a messed up life of her own. The question becomes is the book a novel or an autobiography. This is one of the craziest movies I've ever seen. It's disturbing and repulsive, yet wonderfully acted and beautifully made. In other words, take the title of this film seriously. (My full review)



18 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Strange Circus but I'm gonna put it in my watch list. I'm glad you enjoyed La Mala Educacion as we all need some Almodovar in our lives. As flawed as Forrest Gump is, it's still an enjoyable film. After all, he did charm Nixon, played ping pong, asked JFK where the bathroom is.

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    1. Strange Circus is a wild film. I'd love for you to check that one out.

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  2. Strange Circus and Bad Education seem intriguing. Forrest Gump was okay, it's one of Tom Hanks' memorable work.

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  3. I'm fine with you loving Forrest Gump, but know that I've disliked the movie since the first time I saw it. It's not about it being fashionable for me--I've always found the movie depressing.

    Yeah, I realize that's not what most people get from it.

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    1. Depressing? Wow. I've heard lots of criticisms of it, but that's not one. However, I will grant that if viewed through Jenny's eyes, it's quite tragic.

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  4. We matched on Forrest Gump! I hope to see Bad Education sometime this year, its currently in my Netflix queue.

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  5. UGH Bad Education is SO GOOD. Almodovar was at the peak of his powers there.

    Forrest Gump still works, but.... when I saw it recently I was a bit appalled by how facile everything seemed. Robin Wright is so good and what the film does to Jenny is just... that's always been the part of the movie I liked least, and on that recent watch it seemed even worse. Still and all, it is mostly enjoyable.

    Man, there are a lot of really well-made, REALLY FUCKED UP Asian movies out there.

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    1. Glad to see more love for Bad Education.

      Fair points about Forrest Gump.

      Strange Circus definitely fits that description.

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  6. I had hoped to see Bad Education before you watched it for your Blind Spot but haven't gotten to it yet. I do still plan on getting to it soon though. Strange Circus sounds aptly named, I'll have to think about that one but right now I don't think it's for me.

    My opinion on Gump has never changed, I thought it was puerile dreck when I saw it in the theatre and I still think so now. I know it has it's devout fans and so be it, and I can't fault the cast-I a huge fan of Hanks, Sally Field and Gary Sinise, but it's specialness blew right by me.

    I struggled with this week outside of my last choice which I thought of instantly but thanks to a couple of serendipitous viewings of my others two, the first was a first viewing which I thoroughly enjoyed and my second a reacquaintance with the film which I stumbled across, within the last couple of weeks it was problem solved!

    Hellzapoppin’ (1941)- Projectionist Shemp Howard (ya one of the Three Stooges) is running a filmed dance number that turns into a funhouse ride collapsing into Hell where the dancers are tortured by demons until comics Olsen & Johnson arrive in a taxi and disrupt the scene. They call the scriptwriter in and we discover we’re in Miracle Pictures Studios (their slogan “If it’s a good picture, it’s a Miracle!”) where the boys are attempting to translate their Broadway hit show into a movie. Crazy patchwork quilt of a film throws everything, including a kitchen sink! into the mix and comes up with unrestrained lunacy that might make little linear sense since it bounces back and forth between stories but adds up to a very enjoyable viewing experience. Good cast with a standout Martha Raye. The source play was the longest running musical in history up to that point.

    The Locket (1946) - Because of a false accusation of theft as a young girl a woman (Laraine Day) sets out for revenge on the world becoming a kleptomaniac, chronic liar, and eventually a murderess. The story is told in layered flashbacks (flashbacks within flashbacks) from different points of view. Complex thriller has many noirish touches and a good cast including a young Robert Mitchum.

    The Fall (2006)-In a hospital ward in 20’s Los Angeles a young girl with a broken arm meets a seriously injured stunt man (Lee Pace) who as their friendship grows weaves elaborate stories in extravagant settings of different men who share a mission. As each story ends he asks her to forage in the hospital infirmary for morphine to help him endure his pain. Cryptic and challenging.

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    1. Hope you get to see Bad Education soon.

      So much hate for Forrest Gump! Boo!

      Haven't seen any of your picks. I'm mildly intrigued by Hellzapoppin'. That's mostly because I had no idea Shemp ever did anything besides being a poor replacement for Curly.

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  7. I love Forrest Gump. I don't think it should have won Best Picture against Pulp Fiction or The Shawshank Redemption , but I love it. I haven't seen the other two but Bad Education is already on my watchlist.

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    1. I agree it's not better than either of those, but it's still an awesome movie.

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    2. Wow. Beating both those movies! Yikes.

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  8. I thought I wrote here...anyhoo...I have only seen Forrest Gump which seems to be popular today. It is good flick but shouldn’t have won all this awards. I haven’t seen the other w but Bad Education looks intriguing

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  9. I don't think I've heard of your bottom two pick.
    Forrest Gump is sweet but I don't love it as other people do.

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  10. I love to watch movies and trailers. Thanks for aware me about these best movie collections. I am so excited to watch these movies. Last I Watch Ant man and the Wasp 2018 Online trailer.

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