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Author Topic: Documentaries - Discussion - Which should I watch?  (Read 211577 times)
Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #125 on: May 09, 2015, 06:04:36 PM »

Louis Theroux looks at crime in the big city of Lagos, Nigeria, Africa:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOEZufmetec" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOEZufmetec</a>

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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #126 on: May 09, 2015, 06:11:54 PM »

This one's too strange not to post. If you have respect for animals (as you should), it's maybe a little sad. Theroux visits places where exotic pets are kept. A bit of weird Americana - both the situation and the people:

(It may be currently unavailable to stream on youtube. It's called America's Most Dangerous Pets.)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPfiAubnyo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynPfiAubnyo</a>
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #127 on: May 11, 2015, 07:27:55 AM »

This guy was an old PBS film maker from the 70's - 90's or so, and his family preserved some of his work here -

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1m0AmYXDxmXkuBvuWQZJrg .

Some great old stuff, here are my picks -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlQK5Xl0B9s" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlQK5Xl0B9s</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTCSfx47R1w" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTCSfx47R1w</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nJ6lh2u_g0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nJ6lh2u_g0</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRfAdi0s73I" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRfAdi0s73I</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1TUON6xDdY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1TUON6xDdY</a>.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEL0l4C8HMg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEL0l4C8HMg</a>.

Great little treasure chest, there. I saw some vintage Geraldo Rivera (on "Public TV"!!)
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« Reply #128 on: May 11, 2015, 10:50:14 AM »

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
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« Reply #129 on: May 16, 2015, 07:34:57 AM »

Recently, re-watched the Maylses' 'Salesman.' Oh, brother, if you want to see a man come to realize his life/career is wasted, right in front of you, this is your doco. Brilliant. Grim.
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« Reply #130 on: May 16, 2015, 10:07:36 AM »

The 'Up' series (starting with Seven Up! in '64) is quite extraordinary, if you haven't already.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series
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« Reply #131 on: May 16, 2015, 10:19:50 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjHo5BZM7V0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjHo5BZM7V0</a>

Can you imagine. The super-rich are building huge underground living spaces that double as hiding places/shelters, right in the middle of the city. Good watch.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #132 on: May 16, 2015, 10:24:54 AM »

Great picks on the PBS work, BB. His page is like a window to the past.
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« Reply #133 on: May 16, 2015, 10:28:01 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY4eHaiVK9s" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY4eHaiVK9s</a>.

God help us.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #134 on: May 16, 2015, 10:29:44 AM »

Recently, re-watched the Maylses' 'Salesman.' Oh, brother, if you want to see a man come to realize his life/career is wasted, right in front of you, this is your doco. Brilliant. Grim.

I knew those guys had done more than one thing. Smiley

Always meant to look and see what was out there from them, besides that and Grey Gardens. Many thanks, Chimps.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #135 on: May 16, 2015, 10:32:38 AM »

Kind of sad, kind of funny, definitely crazy. Relatives of Jackie O., a mom and daughter live out their days in a broken-down mansion. It's a drifter that requires a certain frame of mind, especially since the ladies are so touched.

Such a classic, though, it can't go without a post.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP2KjNge1FY" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP2KjNge1FY</a>
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #136 on: May 16, 2015, 10:35:15 AM »

Salesman:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXxZnL5HokA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXxZnL5HokA</a>
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #137 on: May 16, 2015, 10:47:48 AM »

The 'Up' series (starting with Seven Up! in '64) is quite extraordinary, if you haven't already.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series

Yeah, it really does look interesting.

Here's this:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKzyJEbfhpw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKzyJEbfhpw</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11TJ1VVnJqA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11TJ1VVnJqA</a>
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #138 on: May 16, 2015, 11:16:02 AM »

Haven't watched, but will stream within next few weeks and maybe comment. This is about Woodstock, from VH1:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZedBs1uoKaA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZedBs1uoKaA</a>
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #139 on: May 16, 2015, 01:50:58 PM »

Louis Theroux examines the problem of crime in Johannesburg:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sifETGOKS18" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sifETGOKS18</a>

Great look at what a society turns into when it's headed for hell. This is the exact route it takes.

The end bit with the person named as Maleven was highly questionable in detail (that was my problem with it, originally, I guess), but Theroux was trying to make a statement about sociopathic behavior. So I get it, now. That was the guy Theroux was delivered to, by his African "fixer"/contact, anyway, so not sure how Louis could have gotten around it without exceeding budget with no clear end (...and to his credit, Louis later mentioned that he didn't know if the details were true or not. His point about sociopathic culture stands strong, though, no doubt.)

That part is at the end. The rest looks at private policing, and what any society that plummets into hell will see. Very interesting watch.
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« Reply #140 on: May 16, 2015, 08:18:31 PM »

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Yes. Looks like it could be a good watch.
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« Reply #141 on: May 17, 2015, 08:42:59 AM »

Said pretty much the exact same thing when it was first posted.

Yes, that's what made me watch it.

Here's an update on that guy, for anyone interested (from April 2015):

*

Bobby Liebling is in a bad place right now. That may not be a huge surprise if youíve ever listened to his band, Pentagram, or happened to catch Last Days Here, the critically-acclaimed 2011 documentary that detailed Lieblingís lifelong struggle withm drug addiction and followed him as he revived Pentagram in his 50s while emerging from his parentsí basement to start afresh with a wife less than half his age and their newborn son. Fast forward to today: Liebling is 61 and may or may not be on drugs again. He and his wife are separated. His aged parents have just been rushed to the hospital. ďIím trying to hang in there,Ē he tells us. ďI havenít been feeling so great lately, and my separation from my wife is killing me. But we all have a lot of baggage. Iím just grateful to wake up these days, because for all intents and purposes, Iím not supposed to be here.Ē

On a much, much more positive note, Pentagram have two new releases in the pipeline. The first is a double DVD collection of vintage and contemporary live footage entitled All Your Sins: Video Vault (watch a clip below). The second is a brand new studio album called Curious Volume, which Liebling and his bandmatesóguitarist Victor Griffin, bassist Greg Turley, and new drummer Pete Campbellóare currently putting the finishing touches on.

Given the personal circumstances mentioned in the first paragraph, Liebling has not been speaking with the press. His faithful manager Sean ďPelletĒ Pelletier (you remember him from Last Days Here) made an exclusive exception for Noisey but almost cancelled at the last minute when Lieblingís parents were hospitalized. Clearly distressed as we talk, Liebling trails off on several non-sequitur tangents and his words occasionally become indecipherable. The following transcript has been edited for coherence and clarity.

How are your folks doing?

Bobby Liebling: Theyíre not doing too well right now. Two days ago they were both taken in separate ambulances to the ICU. Theyíre both in the same hospital right now. Iím kind of on the edge about that because my dad collapsed and my mom missed taking her pills. So itís all messed up. Iím in their house right now, and the walls are starting to creep in on me. Reality is hitting. I mean, my dadís 95. My momís about 84, and theyíre both really sick, and all I can do is just pray for them. If they donít make it, theyíll both go to a better place anyway.

Iím sorry to hear it, Bobby.

Weíre all gonna go. Once you come out of the hole, youíre dying. Most people donít look at it that way, but thatís really what it is. When youíre young, there are all these things you wanna see and doóyouíve got an appetite. But then you get to be my ageóIím 61 nowóand Iíve done it all. Iíve been there, and Iíve got into every damn thing you could possibly name on the planet. The years start going by fast, and it happens to all of us. Itís just part of the plan the big guyís got for us. Thatís at least how I think of it.

You mentioned ďthe big guy.Ē I know your friend and longtime Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin found religion in the last few years. How has that affected you?

Itís affected me totally. Iím on the same exact course now, and weíve grown more than ever as people because weíve turned to God as we know it and it gives us serenity. So yes, Iím really spiritual. I donít believe in the church, but every day I talk out loud for at least a couple of hours to God. When I try to analyze it, I realize you shouldnít try to analyze it. Thatís the point. You just have to believe. And I do. Itís carried me this far. Iím a rock star, and I never thought Iíd get near something like that. Iím not perfect, but Iím doing things right more and more. When I turned in the same direction as VictoróI wouldnít call it ďborn againĒómy spiritual awareness surfaced. It took precedence over our pagan, ritualistic living.

That means Pentagram canít do certain things anymore.

Yeah. No baphomets, no upside-down crosses. Thatís in our riders, in our contracts. People maybe didnít get it when they heard ďReview Your ChoicesĒ or ďBe Forewarned.Ē Those songs are telling you thereís two ways to go, but I canít tell you which to choose. You gotta figure it out for yourself. And itís rough sometimes. Itís hard. I talked to my wife yesterday evening, and thereís a chance we might be able to give it another shot. Iím praying for it, because I really do love her. Sheís done a lot of bad things, a lot of wrong things, but so have all of us. God will forgive you if you pay homage and stop fucking up. When I go, I know where Iím going. And Iím not afraid. I know Iím going to a good place, and Iíll be safe. Somewhere thereís a perfectness, and I will end up there because I believe.

Youíve been through a lot of shit since you started Pentagram in 1971ófailed record deals, drug addiction, and nearly three dozen ex-band members. When you look back, do the good times outweigh the bad?

The good times outweigh the bad times when Iím functionally doing the band thing. But itís not always like that. Nowadays, Iím a total recluse. Iím extremely antisocial. I donít go out of the apartment. I see one or two people a week, if that. I stay at home and watch movies on Netflix. I never go out anywhere. Iím afraid to go out after dark.

Why?

Itís dangerous out there, man. Itís a rotten fucking world. I didnít grow up with guns. I mean, fuck guns! We always fought with our handsómaybe somebody had brass knuckles. But now you can get catch a stray bullet in a drive-by. Itís real. People think, ďOh, not me.Ē Bullshit! You gotta watch it, man. You gotta try to live right, because itís much easier to fuck up. Much easier.

What can you tell us about the new album youíre working on?

We took a real chance with this album. Itís called Curious Volume, which is very self-explanatory because this album is not your typical Pentagram album. Weíve got about 13 songs, and Iíd say half a dozen are the traditional stuff that the diehards wanna hear. But weíve also got a couple of punk songs, and thereís a ballad on there. We took a chance and stepped out to see if we could cut the mustard or not. Itís really a do or die thing, but why not discover that part of yourself?

How did you decide on the album title?

Well, originally the album was gonna have a lot more older stuff. It still has some very old stuffóit has a song I wrote in 1965, and another one I wrote in í69, which is the ballad. So I wanted to call it Over Many A Quaint and Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore [a line from Edgar Allan Poeís ďThe RavenĒ], because it has the old and the new. But we whittled it down to Curious Volume, because I got to thinking about why we have this obsession with playing such dark stuff and stare so much into the void. It hooks you, like a drug. It becomes an outlet for depression. Thatís our calling, basically.

Pentagram bass player Greg Turley recently told Decibel that about half the songs on the new record are from your famously never-ending stash from the late 60s and 70s, and half are new songs.

Every single Pentagram album is thatóevery one, ever. The stuff that Iíve written is all from í68 to í73. Iíll never run out. But out of the 13 songs on the new album, I only participated in writing five and only wrote two alone. Up until this album, my favorite Pentagram album was [2001ís] Sub-Basement. That album is one of the most demented, sick, depraved, god-awful annoying things Iíve ever heard in my life. Itís hard as shit to listen to Sub-Basement and not come away feeling like your head has turned to mud. Itís assaulting. Itís imposing. Itís past the realm of uncomfortable. But I love that because hundredsómaybe thousandsóof kids all over the world have told me, ďI was gonna kill myself, and then I listened to Sub-Basement and for some reason I didnít feel so alone.Ē And that does my heart good. They didnít check out because they realized they werenít the only one with problems. Weíre all part of the malcontent club at times in our lives, arenít we? But after Sub-Basement, Iíd say the new record is the darkest Pentagram album. Itís really creepy.

Did you ever come close to suicide yourself, during your darkest days?

I tried it more than once. Itís not the right thing to do. You gotta try to hold on. And Iím holding on by a thread right now, Iíll be honest. Iím barely, barely holding by a thread. Itís getting the best of me this time because Iím older and wiser and I canít escape it as easily. But playing music gives me an accomplished feeling. I didnít get that before, when I was younger. It was all about the altered state. But now itís uncomfortable for me to be altered, and I want a comfort zone of some sort.

What else has changed?

The band feels really in tune with the higher up. Weíve become much more of a family than we ever were because we know our limitations. I canít jump all over the stage or do these three songs in a row because Iíll run out of air. Victor has to wear glasses onstage because he canít see the frets. These things are all reality, man. Weíre not gonna be here forever, but we can make the best of what weíve got and just make every day count. Itís hard, but you gotta do it. Because weíre still here.

I hope it stays that way for a while.

Me too. In 2013, something like 126 heavy rock Ďní rollers died. Thatís a hell of a number, man. And everyone except two people were between 55 and 65.  So we donít live that long, people in ďthe life.Ē We live fast. You know the old adage, and it holds true. Iím just trying to hang on as much as I can. But you canít dwell on it. [Rolling Stones founder] Brian Jones was my idol, and he died before any of them did. He did all the drugging and had the naked chicks all over the house, and thatís exactly what I did. I did all the drugs and had a house full of naked blondes. But now Iím 61. So when all those people went in 2013, I thought, ďOh boy.Ē Because Iím a fuck-upóletís face it. Iím a big fuck-up. A major, professional fuck-up. But whatís frightening is that theyíre all gone now and Iím still here. So I know Iím here for a reason.

J. Bennett plays guitar in Ides Of Gemini. He is not on Twitter. Source: Vice

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« Reply #142 on: May 18, 2015, 12:13:28 AM »

God help us.

F'n monster.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #143 on: May 18, 2015, 07:13:05 AM »

F'n monster.

Haven't yet watched the whole thing, myself. I want to give it the attention it deserves, as I've seen enough to know it's a very important work.

Have to admit, though, I would have advised him (the guy that made it) to start with some basic introduction into the situation. It felt like I was pulled into something tragic, without having a clear idea of who is who.

This is definitely a watch to be had, and I'll start it again from the beginning.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #144 on: May 18, 2015, 07:15:16 AM »

...I do take your word that he is a monster, though. No confusion about that part.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #145 on: May 19, 2015, 06:24:11 AM »

One more that's sort of related. This is the story of a guy on Guam, who lost his ability to walk because he got too heavy. It also has a surprise in it that I'll mention in the next paragraph, so if you want to watch it to see for yourself, don't read on...

He dies apparently due to an overdose of drugs, while his wife is present. Her 911 call and her story after it don't match up from what I recall, but no investigation followed. She most likely only helped him commit suicide, so maybe that's why.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm2PvqGA8g8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm2PvqGA8g8</a>

Somewhere in this one, when they were showing pics of the guy from when he was mobile, I remember they flashed on one where he appeared to be lifting the back of a car. I wonder if that was legit.
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Jack T. Cross
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« Reply #146 on: May 19, 2015, 06:45:03 AM »

Salesman:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXxZnL5HokA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXxZnL5HokA</a>

The New York Times - April 18, 1969

Albert and David Maysles's Salesman, which opened yesterday at the 68th Street Playhouse, is a documentary feature about four door-to-door Bible salesmen who move horizontally through the capitalistic dream. It's such a fine, pure picture of a small section of American life that I can't imagine its ever seeming irrelevant, either as a social document or as one of the best examples of what's called cinema vťritť or direct cinema.

Salesman is not a total movieóthat is, a complete experienceóas a fiction film may aspire to be. It is fact, photographed and recorded with extraordinarily mobile camera and sound equipment, and then edited and carefully shaped into a kind of cinematic mural of faces, words, motel rooms, parlors, kitchens, streets, television images, radio musicóeven weather.

The movie is a record of the adventures of four real-life, Boston-based representatives of the Mid-American Bible Company, filmed over a period of two months, first in and around Boston, then at a sales convention in Chicago, and finally during a sales tour in and around Miami. The focal point is Paul Brennan, a lean, bristly, professional Irish-American who, in the course of the movie, slowly comes to realize his inadequacy as a Bible pitchman. In a very gentle way, Salesman is Paul Brennan's voyage to personal defeat via rented automobileóa gallant Hickey in a Hertz.

Movie purists may object to some of the techniques employed by the Maysles brothers. They have eliminated from the film all evidence that the people being photographedóthe salesmen and their customersóare aware of the presence of the camera. Obviously, they also photographed much more material than is included in the finished movie, allowing them to impose a certain narrative order on the events, and with that order, a point of view.

For one reason and another, I've seen Salesman three times, and each time I've been more impressed by what I can only describe as the decency of that point of view. The movie's lower-middle-class, Roman Catholic-oriented landscape is not particularly pretty, nor are the hard-sell tactics employed by the salesmen as they pitch their $49.95 Bibles to lonely widows, Cuban refugees, boozy housewives, and to one young couple that can't even pay its rent. "Be sure to have it blessed," a salesman reminds a customer to whom he's just made a sale, "or you won't get the full benefit from it."

However, everyone in the movie seems to be touched by the Maysleses' compassion, even the Mid-American Bible Company's pious "theological consultant," Melbourne I. Feltman, who, at the Chicago convention, urges the salesmen to go about their "Father's work," adding: "God grant you an abundant harvest." Salesman somehow transcends such surface mockery, partly, I think, because the salesmen really are no less vulnerable than their customers.

Giving the movie its comic and poignant dimension is Brennan's performance as Brennan, a cocky, beady-eyed drummer who finally succumbs to "negative thoughts" after a long period of being unable to make a sale. "I don't want to seem negative," he confesses to a colleague after a fruitless day, "but all I can see here is delinquent accounts." Brennan driving aimlessly through the fake Moorish architecture of Opa-Locka, Florida, where the streets are named after Sinbad and Ali Baba and the City Hall is shaped like a mosque, is an image of America as a worn-out Disneyland that is unforgettable.

Salesman is hardly a romantic movie, but in a curious way, it's just as exotic and strange a journey as any that the late Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Tabu) ever took through the Arctic or the South Seas. It may not be the entire story of America or even of the salesmen themselves (whose private lives are barely touched), but it is a valuable and sometimes very funny footnote to contemporary history.


Vincent Canby
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« Reply #147 on: May 19, 2015, 06:52:09 AM »

Since bikers are in the news -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0Xg2wwZUs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0Xg2wwZUs</a>.

Slow in parts, but the parts that were filmed in NY are pretty good.

And this short was interesting, you can see a very young Chuck Zito in it -

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufnpiNov2Jc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufnpiNov2Jc</a>.

And a little more on the guy in the clip -

http://www.secondsout.com/usa-boxing-news/usa-boxing-news/the-incredible-comeback-of-john-lofranco .
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« Reply #148 on: May 19, 2015, 07:37:54 AM »

I've already watched Salesman once (curiosity got the best of me the other day, so I cheated and bumped it up the watchlist - hadn't heard of it before this thread). It's definitely one of those that you can see several times over, and pick up a better understanding each time. I noticed the NYT-guy seems to have found that, too, so thought it would be a good post.

No question, this is an excellent watch that sends important messages (be very careful what you invest yourself in, for one). It gives an almost-unbelievable look into the past, too, that is just priceless. On so many levels, it is brilliant.

BTW, kinda funny how the NYT-reviewer describes the process of making a movie like this, but I guess the explanation was needed back then. I suppose some people wouldn't understand WTF the filmmaker was trying to do, otherwise.
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« Reply #149 on: May 19, 2015, 08:06:42 AM »

Meant to say a few pages back, that I recall seeing the Frozen Addicts vid a few years ago, and it's an interesting watch. Someone attempted to make a synthetic heroin-like drug, and it fucked a bunch of people by causing them to remain in a state of slow-motion. They were still driven to score drugs, though, so some tried to carry on despite having severe damage. One guy broke into a house, then froze on a fence he was climbing to get away.
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