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Movies from yesteryear

Arvind Mahendra
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Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
I have younger people coming over so I have decided that I would do something different and instead of entertaining them with the current crop of movies which I feel has not much to offer in terms of depth. I show them older films to instill in them an appreciation of fine cinema. I would like some suggestions from you all about some titles you recommend. I would like poverty and other plagues of society to be the main attraction of these pieces. Unless it doesn't have subtitles then just Hindi and English.

[ December 22, 2007: Message edited by: Arvind Birla ]
[ December 22, 2007: Message edited by: Arvind Birla ]

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marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
...I would like poverty and other plagues of society to be the main attraction of these pieces...

Interesting. On that subject matter, a few documentaries immediately come to mind:
  • Dark Days is about homeless people living in the tunnels of New York's subway system. These images and stories will stay with you.
  • Union Square is about heroin addicts (also homeless in New York). One of the best heroin films I've seen.
  • War Photographer is about photojournalist, James Nachtwey. This is particularly captivating because much of it is shot with a tiny video camera mounted on Nachtwey's camera, so we "see" what he's seeing while he works. His own commentary is very moving.
  • Brother's Keeper is about 4 reclusive brothers, barely able to function on an adult level, and the legal nightmare that ensures when one of them is found dead.
  • The True Meaning of Pictures is about a photographer and his controversial subject matter of dirt-poor, uneducated Appalachian families.
  • A Time for Burning is about a midwestern Lutheran church torn apart by the 1960's Civil Rights Movement.
  • But how old are these "younger" people? Some material in these documentaries is pretty intense.
    [ December 22, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]

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    marc weber
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    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
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    Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
    ...the current crop of movies which I feel has not much to offer in terms of depth...

    I appreciate what you're saying, but I think there really are a lot of exciting things happening in film today. It's just that all the hype (money) around blockbusters tends to drown out these lower-budget, limited distribution films. On the topic of social ills, a couple of recent gems that come to mind are Virgil Bliss and Milk and Honey, both by Joe Maggio.
    Ulf Dittmer
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    Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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      45
    Mississippi Burning has the distinction of being a major movie with great acting as well as depicting an important moment of the civil rights movement.


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    Arvind Mahendra
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    Joined: Jul 14, 2007
    Posts: 1162
    Thanks for the suggestions. They all look fascinating. I'll be heading out to the video library this week. hoping they have them.
    Frank Silbermann
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    Joined: Jun 06, 2002
    Posts: 1385
    "Gone with the Wind"
    frank davis
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    Joined: Feb 12, 2001
    Posts: 1479
    Fight Club should offer some content for discussion. It deals with a young man's struggle to deal with his mental illness and find a deeper purpose for existence.
    Greg Charles
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    Joined: Oct 01, 2001
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      11

    "To Kill a Mockingbird". I recently read an article that argued that Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch was one of the best matches of actor to role in the history of cinema. The movie deals with heavy issues like justice, poverty, and bigotry, but mostly seen through the eyes of Scout, Atticus's young daughter.
    Arvind Mahendra
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    Joined: Jul 14, 2007
    Posts: 1162
    My library have none of these. You think it has something to do with the fact I live in India :roll: Anyhow I got some old Hindi black and white films. I must say Im fairly impressed with the quality. I guess it must be BollyWood's golden age. What surprised me more when I found alot of BollyWood music found popularity as far as Russia and Greece in the 40s and 50s.

    Old Hollywood movies Ive seen and liked are Fiddler on the roof, Citizen Kane(but this is very overrated) ,Psycho.

    Also I need you help remembering a B&W film I once caught on TV where the main character becomes a congressman and then tried to fight against the system against corruption or gets embroiled in some kind of a scandal?. Anyone know the name of this? The guy held the floor for many many hours in order to stall some kind of an event or a bill from passing. I saw this long time back, and don't remember who was in it but the main actor was brilliant in his portrayal.
    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba
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    Joined: Oct 02, 2003
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    I've never seen it, but it sounds like it could be "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", with Jimmy Stewart, I believe.


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    Arvind Mahendra
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    Joined: Jul 14, 2007
    Posts: 1162
    Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
    I've never seen it, but it sounds like it could be "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", with Jimmy Stewart, I believe.


    Yup That looks like its the one. How the heck did you google this?
    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba
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      16

    who says i googled? My brain is a vast wasteland of useless information.

    Plus, that is a classic. pretty much anything with Jimmy Stewart is a classic.
    marc weber
    Sheriff

    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 11343

    Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
    ...Citizen Kane(but this is very overrated)...

    I used to think Citizen Kane was a marginal curiosity, but after studying it in film classes, I think it's deserving of its status. On the other hand, it's difficult to appreciate without putting it in the context of its era; and because the film was so influential, its innovations don't stand out much today.

    Without that context, it's still a great movie, but unless someone is studying film history, I probably wouldn't recommend it that strongly.
    [ January 07, 2008: Message edited by: marc weber ]
    Srikanth Raghavan
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    Joined: Oct 31, 2005
    Posts: 389
    If you consider 1970s movies as old, then my favorites are:
    - The Godfather
    - The Godfather Part II

    Srikanth
     
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