GFO Film Club, film 3: THE BIG SHORT (until 13 March)

Discuss movies, television, music, games, books, media, and culture (including pop culture) generally.

What should be the next film for the GFO film club?

Poll ended at 12 March 2017, 14:51

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
0
No votes
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
2
50%
Interstellar
2
50%
Kubo and the Two Strings
0
No votes
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
0
No votes
Prayers for Bobby
1
25%
Schindler's List
0
No votes
Spotlight
2
50%
Stoker
1
25%
The Handmaiden
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 8

Re: GFO Film Club- film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 5 February 2017, 23:52

Thank you for comments and reviews for Closet Monster so far! There is still one more week to see the film, if you haven't already seen it yet, before we move onto the second film for the GFO film club. (Please note that you have until the 19th to post your thoughts and opinions of the film here).

I have just put up the poll to pick the second film of the GFO film club. As we didn't receive any new film suggestions, I have added four films uding the films/themes suggested during the first week. The four films added are:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (ranked as one of the greatest animated films of all time and is considered to be the beginning of the Studio Ghibli films);
Stoker (a psychological thriller-drama film which was one of Mod's film suggestions);
The Big Short ( nominated for five Academy Awards and the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards);
The Shawshank Redemption (one of Joe's suggestion and considered to be one of the greatest films of the 1990s)

These four films, replaces Closet Monster, and three films, which didn't receive any votes in the first poll. Members have seven days to vote, are able to pick up to two films but are not able to change their votes after voting, so please choose wisely. :)
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby OprahWindFury » 6 February 2017, 07:08

So three non spoilery points I want to make:

1. The acting was top notch especially the kid actor, for the small amount of screen time he had, he really delivered.

2. The way the movie was shot made me feel all the feelings, the scenes emotions were easily conveyed through the scenery and color, Top notch!

3. I loved all of what I heard from the soundtrack, really unique songs that didn't feel overrated.

Spoilery thoughts below V

I started it with major dread and felt as if It'd be like pulling teeth but with the sincerity of the actor's performances and the very "Silent Hill" take on the more thriller/shocking scenes it really sold it for me, I'm going to get my father to watch it with me to show him how much I appreciate him NOT being the dad in the movie. tldr: Recommended to anyone with a stomach for dark subject matter.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 6 February 2017, 23:05

I am a little surpised that no one has mentioned Buffy, the hamster, yet. I love the hamster and it was one of my most enjoyable aspect of the film.

The hamster had a couple of functions, most importantly on an emotional level is that he/she serves as Oscar's only reliable form of companionship and support after his parents split. The fact that his closest friend is a talking hamster rather poignantly underscores, I think, some of the ways in which LGBT people are forced to seek moral support outside of a traditional heteronormative system. Secondly, he/she helps to thematise certain ideas in the film, namely the fluidity of identity, but also how we erroneously assign fixed labels and essences to people.

I love Buffy's last comment in the film, it made me laugh! :3


Connor Jessup who plays Oscar, the main character, was really good!
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby KrisCross » 7 February 2017, 23:49

Oh I didn't know we were supposed to suggest new films already! :P Can we just give ideas whenever we want?

I watched to movie last week and I really enjoyed it. Good acting, especially on Jessup's part, good cinematography, nice soundtrack etc. I feared this would end in a bit of a clichéd sob story for some time, with either Oscar committing suicide or killing his father and fucking up the rest of his life. I'm glad it didn't, or at least not entirely. Buffy's dead was sad (I entirely agree with Tony's assessment), but I knew it was going to happen from the moment she was introduced. His crush on Wilder also didn't really end in flames and wasn't entirely the main focus of the film. I would say it's a refreshing LGBT movie, although I haven't seen many yet myself.

Speaking of killing his father, that entire sequence was intense and very well done. It really grabbed me and for a moment I legitimately thought he would kill his dad. Overall I enjoyed the tone of this film, it featured some heavy themes, but elements like Buffy, the romance and the ending lifted the story up.

Was a bit confused in the end though. What kind of art school/refuge gives you your own fancy designer cabin on such a gorgeous location? Sign me the fuck up!
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 8 February 2017, 20:58

KrisCross wrote:Oh I didn't know we were supposed to suggest new films already! :P Can we just give ideas whenever we want?

Yeah, of course!

Members can give films suggestions at any time, they wish. :)
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Marmaduke » 9 February 2017, 21:24

So, I finally got around to watching it this evening.

Overall, I liked it. Connor Jessup just absorbs the character and carries the whole film really well.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Personally, I thought it touched on one or two too many cliches for a gay coming of age drama; the broken home, the masc masc father figure, the underlying suggestion of nurture over nature, the tired 'gay teenage boy tries on clothes from his mother's closet' routine - though tastefully reworked - made an all too predictable appearance.

That said, I thought Buffy was a really nice way to approach the character's internal monologue and 'personify it', it ended up being what I found to be a main contributor to a real dream-like vibe I ended up having across the whole film which I quite liked. I halfway expected Oscar to wake from some sort of fever dream or hallucination at the end and for a split second thought I was right after the end scene with Dad in the front garden when he wakes up in bed surrounded by The Brady Bunch, but then I wasn't sure.

Talking of that scene, I think up until there the film seemed a little hazy but ultimately resolved, I felt like a story was being told behind a light veneer of fantasy, but from there it fell apart a little for me. I never quite felt sure from that point what was real and how much was real and what was veneer. Where did the steel rebar come from? Was it there? Did he really attack his Father's birdhouse with it? I'm sceptical because he came over all Hulk and bent it by hand. Up until there, I could resolve the plot in my head, there I didn't know if that happened or didn't. I didn't get the odd island artists refuge scene at the end either, that just didn't fit for me, it was an odd contrast and I don't get what it brought. I did very much like that Buffy addressed her own non-existence though.

I liked the backstory and the traumatic flashbacks, I thought it was all really engaging and well done. I really enjoyed the crush, the pursuit of the crush and it's ultimate resolution in the first kiss. I liked that it wasn't the typical back-porch-of-the-party kiss with red plastic cups of beer in hand and awkward bro moment after.

I thought the Direction had some odd choices, mainly regarding scenes with the child actor at the beginning, but overall I liked it and the overall visual aesthetic of the film. I wasn't struck by the cinematography, editing and production though.

Loved the soundtrack. I thought it was pretty much the perfect feel for this film and was such a nice way of complimenting the almost ethereal fantasy vibe. I liked it so much I copied it onto a spotify playlist.


Yeah, overall, good film. Not amazing, not without it's faults, but I definitely liked it. 7/10

And as we're taking suggestions going forward, I would like to nominate Kubo & The Two Strings. I've been really excited to see it for ages, I've just gotten myself a copy of it and am happy to provide it to others to make sure it's accessible, I'll hold of on watching it for a little while because I like the idea of watching it first for something like this where I'm in a nit-picky mindset.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 10 February 2017, 12:55

Firstly, I would like to quickly remind the members/participant that the poll to pick the second film for the film club, is still going on so please do vote, if you haven't already done so.

I really liked your review Joe! I saw Kubo & The Two Strings in the cinema last year and I really enjoyed it, it's a beautiful(ly made) stop motion animation. I think it's a great film suggestion, and would love to hear/read the member's opinions of the film, if/when it's picked. :)
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Brenden » 12 February 2017, 13:43

René and I finally watched it last night.

[Reveal] Spoiler: My thoughts
I enjoyed it, despite being full of unrealistic gay clichés, especially the whole makeup-artist bullshit. Like, why not just a photographer? How did he randomly pick up costume makeup as a hobby in youth? It's just so stupidly cliché to have gay characters be artistic, and then to push it even further with a stereotypically gay artistic pursuit. He has a masculine dad and gets conditioned to worry about signs of gayness (like how he looks at his fingernails), yet he goes into makeup? Totally unrealistic.

I was also expecting him to kill somebody; it seemed foreshadowed with the spike being featured prominently in the beginning and not 'finishing the job' with those homophobes. With the talking hamster, seeing bloody iron poles coming out of him, seeing "unfortunately" written everywhere, he's clearly presenting as suffering from some kind of psychosis along with PTSD from seeing the assault.

Speaking of the hamster, I loved Isabella Rossellini doing its voice. Best part of the film. Isabella's voice can do no wrong.

I really didn't like how the dad was portrayed. He did not seem like a purely bad father. All the childhood scenes, especially the first one, show him being a loving, involved father trying to do his best. I think his issues later in the film are completely understandable considering what he's been through: his wife just leaving him and their son. There's no pre-split justification presented for her later explanation as to why she just up and left like she did. I didn't like how he became the pure villain and thought he was mistreated by Oscar just as much as Oscar was mistreated by him leading up to the climax (which he is totally in the wrong for, killing the hamster and trashing his son's stuff, but is also somewhat understandable given everything).
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby René » 12 February 2017, 14:12

[Reveal] Spoiler: My thoughts
It was messed up. But Oscar was cute :3
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Marmaduke » 12 February 2017, 14:15

In the interests of making films available going forward, I need someone that has a plex account to help me diagnose why the cloud beta isn't streaming; local or whether the issue is pulling the data from Google Drive.

Drop me a PM if you have a username and don't mind me sharing a server with you. There's not a lot on it at the mo, but I'll slowly be moving bits and pieces cloud-side.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Marmaduke » 12 February 2017, 14:18

Also;

I agree with Brenden, I would've liked a little more context to the parent's split. It's a big motivator for the main character and sets up who the secondary characters are as people and it's completely missing. 45 seconds or so would've done it.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby rxxli » 12 February 2017, 14:36

Well I finally managed to watch the movie for the second time.

I've seen a lot of LGBT movies over the past few years. Overall I think that this is one of the better ones out there.

I like how they put a new spin on the coming of age films. Usually it's a standard I am gay but I don't want to be kind of thing. Here they took a similar approach but expanded it with him witnessing that assault and of course those things having some consequences. I think that those "flashback" scenes are meant to show the struggle that almost every gay person goes through when they are first discovering their sexuality. Just more intense of course.

I can't really blame the authors for portraying daddy and mommy issues. These things seem to be a constant in almost every LGBT movie - good or bad. And at least here the father has some depth to him. He isn't just a bad guy. And our main character here seems to be a bit of an ass to him as well - probably because he is just a normal teenager.

The hamster was a weird but nice addition I would say. A good way to show that internal monologue.

I didn't quite like the ending to be honest. But I am not entirely sure why. Maybe the fact that he suddenly goes along with his mother just fine despite hating her throughout the movie? I don't know.

Also... Connor Jessup is cute as fuck.





My suggestion for a movie is Prayers for Bobby. This is probably the best LGBT themed movie out there. One of the reasons is probably that the actors in it are pretty good as well - Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley for instance. This is definitely a must see for any gay person and if it doesn't make you cry you are pretty much a heartless bastard :D .




EDIT:
Marmaduke wrote:Also;

I agree with Brenden, I would've liked a little more context to the parent's split. It's a big motivator for the main character and sets up who the secondary characters are as people and it's completely missing. 45 seconds or so would've done it.

From what I've gathered the reason for this was how the dad was acting. Being all nice at one point and going batshit crazy a moment later. I don't think that this started after the split.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Brenden » 12 February 2017, 15:16

Oscar and his father both show signs of borderline personality disorder.

rxxli wrote:I didn't quite like the ending to be honest. But I am not entirely sure why. Maybe the fact that he suddenly goes along with his mother just fine despite hating her throughout the movie? I don't know.

Perfect example of splitting with an abrupt shift in polarity.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 13 February 2017, 08:00

Voting for the second poll for the GFO film club has ended, with both Spirited Away and The Big Short receiving 5 votes from the 10 total members who voted in the poll.

However yesterday I realised that despite the fact that I specifically made sure that members could not change their votes after they send in their votes, someone has decided to override my decision and allow re-voting, just so that they could change their vote(s). :nono:

For those reasons, there will be a delay in announcing the next film for the GFO film club.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Mod » 13 February 2017, 10:34

I am just watching this now because I am scum, I'll write my thought's when I'm done, in the meantime I have two Kiwi movies to recommend:

[Reveal] Spoiler:




Brenden wrote:Oscar and his father both show signs of borderline personality disorder.

rxxli wrote:I didn't quite like the ending to be honest. But I am not entirely sure why. Maybe the fact that he suddenly goes along with his mother just fine despite hating her throughout the movie? I don't know.


I think it's the kind of gay movie I've needed to see for a while.
I don't really feel like comparing it too much to other gay films. I don't really think I can untangle my own experiences from this film anyway. What I will say is that any film showing a fucked up parental situation for me is my norm. It's not a cliche for me it's just the way I've experienced things. It took me a long time to see a permanent relationship as a thing that can happen. When Oscar remarks that a couple's marriage has maybe 7 years built into it I can see that as a realistic perspective. It's the perspective I had for a very long time.
I don't think the film needed to explain why the parents split up.
It showed the parents splitting up while he was a young age. From my experience I can definitely say that when I was 4 I never had any context for my parents splitting up, it was a thing that just happened amidst their explosive rage fuelled, screaming arguments.

I think I like that it doesn't tell you why, as a 6? year old he was never told why he was just dumped with the consequences. You can infer the reasons after the fact, Oscar practically says the reasons why to the girl his dad was dating anyway, his father has the behaviour of a toxic man-child at times enough to make the relationship unbearable after a while. Frankly some people are only good in a relationship while things are exciting, when things settle they dump around all their flaws and get bitter about the reality of the situation. His parent's relationship felt like that to me anyway.
I like that the guy who started his sexual awakening never really ended up being his love interest. The mum talking to him at the end felt very flat. The iron rebar scene at the end was surreal but more annoyingly it didn't feel like there was any kind of realistic outcome that could have taken its place except he maybe screamed at his dad and fainted.
The picturesque wilderness pod at the end felt too forced for that movie, I feel like they only included it because it looked nice rather than it making sense, they could have had a better explanation for him being there other than 'art sanctuary'. The ending of the movie is rightfully uncertain, however I think the beautiful location undercuts the uncertainty rather fully.


Anyway I'm glad that a movie like this exists which is more about the internal journey of coming out while coming from a damaged background. I like that it's more a journey about the self rather than "a boy with troubles is rescued by his gay angelic lover and they live happily ever after" or "a boy with troubles is bullied by his christian family and he dies but it imparts an important moral lesson to his christian family" (no thanks Prayers for Bobby). Actually that's a thing I really appreciate. That the homophobia has nothing to do with religion in this film. It's all about masculinity. Quite how his masc policing dad overlooked how gay makeup artistry was is something that defies explanation, there are plenty of other ways to pick up chicks.

As for the violence I was pretty sure multiple times that he was going to kill his hamster in a fit of rage so he could deny his conscience.

Come to think of it this film reminds me of Paranoid Park and Elephant by Gus Van Sant, it's hard to pin point, something about the tone in a teenage drama.

Also I don't see anywhere where it says that nurture made him gay (unless I read that in a review rather that here). He was already being singled out and identified for unconsciously nonconforming behaviour before the attack and it in no way implies the divorce or lack of parental stability made him gay

Also just to comment on Brenden's thoughts about the Dad, a lot of shitty parents can be loving and involved right up until it becomes work for them, or the child becomes too old for them to project onto. Again from experience :P but as a kid grows up to be their own person the parent can become threatened or distanced from the child as they end up interested in different things. Some parents see children as full extensions of themselves and they can get a nasty surprise when that expectation is not met by reality.
Overall the Dad seems like your run of the mill authoritarian man-child who believes in strict rules only if they benefit him and is ok with how his son's life is as long as it matches things/reasons he's permissive of.
Film makeup doesn't seem like a realistic outcome of this upbringing because the only way it seems like it works is if he was already spending time with the girl and the only reason that seems like it works is if he's really good at photography/film makeup.
Last edited by Mod on 9 May 2017, 03:06, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 1: Closet Monster (until 12th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Marmaduke » 13 February 2017, 13:42

Tony wrote:However yesterday I realised that despite the fact that I specifically made sure that members could not change their votes after they send in their votes, someone has decided to override my decision and allow re-voting, just so that they could change their vote(s). :

For those reasons, there will be a delay in announcing the next film for the GFO film club.


Sorry, I did that, that was me. I didn't read the part of your post at the top of the page that said vote altering was forbidden. I only took one of my votes from Spirited Away as I'm striving to provide good quality streams of all the films going forward to keep them accessible to everyone and finding a decent quality copy of Spirited Away that isn't 10GB+ in size is quite the chore, so I won't be able to host it.

Apologies for the democratic quandary I have left you in, I will leave your the decision in yours hands, I either voted for Spirited Away or Shindler's List. I will let the state decide.
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 2: Spirited Away (until 27th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 14 February 2017, 03:00

Putting those poll/voting issues aside, I have made a decision for the next film(s) for the GFO film club.

I am pleased to announce that the second film for the GFO film club will be the anime fantasy film Spirited Away, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Poster and the trailer
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The film received the joint first highest numbers of votes in the most recent poll, and came second place in the first poll (getting 5 votes from the 13 total voters.

Members have from now to Monday 27th February 23:59 PST, to watch the film, and also a further week after that to submit their review (6th March), if they have not already done so in those two weeks.




With The Big Short also being the joint winner of the recent poll with 5 votes from the 10 total voters, the comedy-drama filmabout the financial crisis of 2007–2008 which was triggered by the United States housing bubble will be the third film of the GFO film club, with viewing and discussions starting from Tuesday 28th Feb till Monday 13th March. More details will come when it's time, but now the focus will be on Spirited Away. :)
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 2: Spirited Away (until 27th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby KrisCross » 18 February 2017, 21:50

Nice! I already saw it, but I'll probably watch it again, or at least parts of it. It's such a good movie!
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 2: Spirited Away (until 27th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby Tony » 19 February 2017, 23:31

I know we may be waiting for a few reviews for Closet Monster, from perhaps C1ask0, Acpro and xyz72, but I wanted to say that the discussion period for Spirited Away has began and will end in two weeks time (Sunday 5th March).

I guess I'll start off the reviews for the second film club :3 I just watched the film (again) and what can I say? Saying it's incredible is an understatement! Quite possibly the best anime I've ever seen. :)

Aside from the outstanding and ground-breaking animation, the beautiful dream-like story, the awe inspiring background illustrations and the wonderful character design; it's the little touches that make it stand out from the rest.
It's difficult to say whether the mouse/bird double act or the soot creatures were my favourites, the attention to detail and comic timing is absolutely impeccable. Moments that really got me were the mouse kissing his aunt's nose as they left her house, the bird/mouse recreation of Chihiro stamping on the spell slug to the applause of the soot creatures and the mouse's expression when Chihiro offered to let them ride on her shoulder. I also loved Chirhiro's face at the end as she was tempted to look back but remembered what Haku told her and snapped her head back.

It's such a perfect fantasy film and the musical score was spot on. As I type more perfect moments are occurring to me and I could probably go on all night talking about this film.

I do have a question for the participants for the GFO film club, once they have seen the film, for a possible discussion. :)
What happens in the end? Does Haku return to the 'real' world? What do you think?
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Re: GFO Film Club, film 2: Spirited Away (until 27th Feb 23:59 PST)

Unread postby SS91 » 20 February 2017, 00:22

Tony, you have just said everything I was about to type for my review, I think :-) all i can say is wow. I've watched it earlier this week it and it was :gaping: :heart:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
It was one of those films that just make you feel all warm inside and have a real good moral feeling to everything. Also, the entire film just LOOKED gorgous. The scene where the spirits get off the boat just had my mouth wide open all the way through. I just cant describe it, but this film was just so cool! Oh also the scene where they are on the train, it was just so, i dont know the word, 'mellow' perhaps? Not sure how to describe it, just weird!

I watched the film not knowing really much about it except the excellent reviews it had received. My mum was also watching and I expected her not to like it (as shes very critical of films!). However, as the credits rolled we both thought it was fantastic.

Cant think of anything else to write at the mo...maybe more will come back to me. Anyway, fantastic :thumbsup:
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