Re: Grandchild Guidance Suggested

1

Funeral Parade of Roses is a charming Japanese update on the Oedipus myth.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
2

Yeah, I just watched that with my five-year-old, Ben.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
3

The Illusionist


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
4

You're a good father, Ari.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
5

2: It's discouraging to keep discovering new ways in which I was a negligent parent.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
6

Jane Austen movies?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
7

"Into the West" isn't new, but it's absolutely lovely and she probably hasn't seen it. "A Very Long Engagement" was a sweet tearjerker with a little sex in it. "La Vie en Rose" was good, but maybe too much implied sex? I recently say "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill," which isn't new, but I can't imagine anyone not liking it. "Ratatouille" really is worth seeing, even for grownups. "Bride and Prejudice" is fun. "TransAmerica" is a really charming family-values type movie, if you think grandma can deal with the fact that the lead character is a mtf transsexual. "Whale Rider," not new, but she might not have seen it yet.

The problem with asking parents is that we actually don't see new release adult type movies very often....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
8

Oh, and that "Blue Planet" series Ogged was raving about a while back is very nice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
9

The Straight Story? The Saddest Music in the World?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
10

Enchanted? Offside?

Grindhouse?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
11

Genghis Blues?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
12

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, if it's out on DVD.


Posted by: the Other Paul | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
13

Dreamgirls?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
14

Oh yeah, my parents were way into Blue Planet. Totally charmed them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
15

Oh, I'm sorry, I've failed to pick up on Ben's theme. Perhaps a lovely triple feature of Harold and Maude, Away from Her, and Number Our Days.

(Both Enchanted and Offside were legitimate suggestions.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
16

Clip from Genghis Blues. Pretty awesome.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
17

Some family-friendly website recommends the heist caper Flawless. Maybe also Sweet and Lowdown? I wouldn't be too uncomfortable discussing that with grandma.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
18

Maybe some of the recent popularish documentaries like Farenheit 9/11 Word Freaks or Spellbound?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
19

All of my suggestions except the first were legitimate.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
20

Rififi.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
21

Which is being remade?!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
22

Not exactly what you would call recent, but if she hasn't seen Gosford Park, how about that? It's even a mystery. It seems to be rated R, but I can't remember anything that any actual grownup couldn't cope with.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
23

Really, The Straight Story? Good movie, but seems a bit much on the memento mori kick for Gramma Becks.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
24

Oh yeah, good point. Maybe not The Straight Story, then.

I had forgotten about why he was making the trip and remembered only Midwesterness.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
25

I have a certain dread fascination with the idea of a Rififi remake; I suspect it will manage to be both worse and more pointless than the Psycho remake.

If you haven't seen them, Becks, how about some of the Alec Guiness Ealing Studios comedies, like Kind Hearts and Coronets or The Man in the White Suit? I'm a big fan.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
26

Family-friendly site also recommends The Namesake, which I also haven't seen. Seems grandma-friendly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
27

BTW, I find it weird how I end up doing this---only thinking about "kid-friendly" films because of uptight adults I know.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
28

It isn't new, and contains nudity, but I recently watched The Same River Twice and it is both good, and could be interesting to talk about with someone from a different generation.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
29

Ooh, what about The Lives of Others?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
30

only thinking about "kid-friendly" films because of uptight adults I know.

Recent serious dramas without implied sex or violence are pretty uncommon.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
31

29: Nevermind, there's all that sex stuff in it, I guess. Mostly it's just implied, though.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
32

It's not very new but I'd second _The Illusionist_. It's a pretty good mystery and since it wasn't hugely popular she might not have seen it. _The Painted Veil_ might also be good- a bit newer though not that new. I found _Whale Rider_, which I just saw the other night, a bit heavy handed and didactic but it's not bad. You can never go wrong w/ my favorite move of all time, _Babe_ (but avoid the sequel, _Babe: Beyond Thunderdome_ or whatever it was called.)


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
33

I hated The Painted Veil, despite really wanting to like it. Very racist, misogynistic, and weirdly boring.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
34

I thought Music and Lyrics was nearly tolerable, for a rom-com.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
35

Grandma might like Stranger than Fiction, too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
36

Another one that could be interesting from a generational perspective -- Radical harmonies. The documentary is only OK, but the history is interesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
37

Going thru my onDemand

Paprika is R but I only remember one nude/challenging scene otherwise it is adult anime. Kinda incomprehensible.

Oooh, Tank Girl. but that's old.

A Good Year with Crowe & Finney is sweet. Painted Veil? Nasty marriage, but all turns well. Except for the cholera thing. China pretty.

Fuckiknow. Ghosts of Abu Ghraib?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
38

The documentary film equivalent of Word Freak was actually called Word Wars. Haven't seen it.

I second Wild Parrots.

Be Kind Rewind was very family-friendly. Though also fast-paced and nonsensical.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
39

The Devil Wears Prada is clean, and pretty cute for what it is. Plus, grandmas love Meryl Streep.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
40

I didn't like Painted Veil either, but my grandmother might.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
41

Good Night and Good Luck


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
42

I killed the blog with sincere recommendations. Sorry, everybody!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:18 PM
horizontal rule
43

3:10 to Yuma, the Prestige, and The New World, amount to a serving of Christian Bale.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
44

AWB- I didn't find _The Painted Veil_ to be any of those things. (Boring might be a matter of taste but otherwise I'd think you're confusing the view of the characters of the story with some deeper level.) I, despite my better judgment, watched _The Devil Wears Prada_ on a plane and hated it, as all good people should, as a film about deeply unpleasant people and also extremely dull.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
45

I was thinking Wonderland, a Rashomon-like take on the Laurel Canyon murders. To be sure, Val Kilmer plays John Holmes in it, but there isn't any nudity. Some might find the violence excessive.

Seriously, though, they make movies that meet your specs all the time: Cinderella Man, Million Dollar Baby just off the top of my head.


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
46

44: Could be an expectations thing. I expected to hate DWP and love PV, and found myself surprisingly unoffended by the former and horrified by the latter. Even my mom found it totally disgusting. This could be a woman thing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
47

Grandma might like Stranger than Fiction, too.

I initially misread this as Pulp Fiction. Boy would that be entertaining viewing with grandma.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
48

Shadowlands, the story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham, starring Anthony Hopkins and Deborah Winger, comes to mind. Also, maybe, The Queen.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
49

48 made me think of Finding Neverland. Probably over the line sexually, but Notes From a Scandal, and though it is one of my least favorite Russo books, Empire Falls filmed up pretty well (although since it was made-for-TV it kinda defeats the purpose).

What this really did was make me feel older than dirt when I looked up the dates of the first three that came to my mind: Tender Mercies, Coal Miner's Daughter and Never Cry Wolf.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
50

Any grandmother who likes The New World has my vote.

I recommend Ran. Old people love samurai movies! About old people.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
51

It's not new at all, but Murder on the Orient Express remains a family delight. The Red Shoes is good for hanky moments. Guys and Dolls remains an utter hoot. Episodes of the Muppet Show might go over very well; ditto the Carol Burnett Show. For mysteries it's hard to beat The Manchurian Candidate.

Looking at my shelves for "things my nearly-80 'little old lady who really is from Pasadena' Mom enjoys much more than she'd have guessed" entries:

Raising Arizona, The Blues Brothers, episodes of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (more so than the movies; she's not much on Harrison Ford), and The Princess Bride.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:54 PM
horizontal rule
52

Never Cry Wolf was my very favorite movie when I was little! Really, really good, as I remember.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
53

Grandmothers love Jesus, hate Nazis: Bresson's A Man Escaped.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
54

I initially misread this as Pulp Fiction
i liked Scratch very much, very funny though violent
coz Grandmas are fun loving people too :)
but maybe she already watched it


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:16 PM
horizontal rule
55

if she is interested in foreign films maybe i'll write some Russian movies, old though the 60-70-up to perestroika, coz after that not good imo
i love our old movies, very good, just i'm afraid they are not translated or not digital yet or not available online


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:22 PM
horizontal rule
56

The Red Shoes is good for hanky moments.

Also by Powell/Pressburger and recommended are
The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp and I Know Where I'm Going (the latter is, admittedly a version of a rom-com).

i liked Scratch very much, very funny though violent

Scratch? Did you mean Snatch?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
57

I, despite my better judgment, watched _The Devil Wears Prada_ on a plane and hated it, as all good people should,

I liked it because I thought it got one crucial emotional truth right. The moment that she becomes completely seduced by and attached emotionally to her job and the associated life isn't a moment of privilege (meeting famous people, going to expensive events, etc . . . ) but the moment that she is given an impossible task to do and pulls it off.

That is very true to my work experience.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:31 PM
horizontal rule
58

I just remembered a good one, from my file of generic movie recommendations.

Everyone should see The Heart of The Game.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
59

My mother, now 75, absolutely loves the movie "Big Trouble" (based on the novel by Dave Barry). She's borrowed it from me so often it now simply resides with her. A wild-and-wacky comedy-drama-love-story, simply drawn but fast-paced with a wide spectrum of lovable characters (Tim Allen, Rene Russo, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Janeane Garofalo, Ben Foster, Zooey Deschanel), there's only one (the great Stanley Tucci) who's really unredeemable here; as the token but undeniable "patriarchal idiot," he gets his "just deserts" at the end.

Of course there is a MacGuffin, a suitcase nuclear weapon, and if one can't take their humor and three interlocking love stories with a dash of bitters (which includes arms dealers and inept but snarky mafia hit men) then this might not work. But my mom laughs herself to tears from beginning to end every time.


Posted by: e | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
60

Yeah, NickS, I may also have liked it more than it deserved because it reminded me of my first NYC job, working really close to celebrities and models, being expected to anticipate the whims and desires of powerful, mean, rich, fickle people, getting paid nearly nothing, constantly being aware that the work had nothing to do with my degrees and expertise, being told I was too fat and too ugly to work there by the very people who hired me, and still, for some sick reason, becoming really devoted to the company.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
61

Kind Heart and Coronets. Its class sensibilities seem downright odd to the modern viewer, but it's a very funny film about a vengeful young man whose mother has been cast out by her snobbish family, and resolves to kill his way to the dukedom. Every member of the family who stands in his way bears a striking family resemblance, as they are all played by Alec Guinness. A very funny and clever film, but not at all overtly salacious or violent. I watched it again last week with my wife and mother-in-law.


Posted by: Kevin | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
62

Episodes of the Muppet Show

That might be veering a bit too far toward the safe side, unless Grandma's demented. Rushmore? Threepenny Opera? Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show? Night on Earth or Down by Law?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
63

I only laughed a couple times at Kind Hearts and Coronets. Thought The Ladykillers was a far far far far far better film than its peer.

Or The Wrong Box...if that's in print now.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:44 PM
horizontal rule
64

Snatch, Snatch
again should check first before, my memory is so unreliable


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
65

The Big Lebowski. A heartwarming buddy movie.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:50 PM
horizontal rule
66

Mcmc: You may be underestimating the Muppet Show, if you haven't actually watched episodes lately. It was routinely very smart and operating at rather a high level of vaudeville lunacy.

And - Becks, correction please if I'm wrong - I took the post to be asking for things that would likely to be actually enjoyable, for Becks and her grandmother. So I've been thinking about what Mom and I have actually really enjoyed, particularly in our visits since Dad died.

\


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
67

Probably Spanking The Monkey is a bad choice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:56 PM
horizontal rule
68

Coffee and Cigarettes.

You could just have a Jarmuschathon.

Sprinkle in a few episodes of Fishing with John.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
69

Fishing with John. I don't want to give anything away, but I believe that they both die at the end of the Willem Dafoe episode.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
70

I wouldn't trust anyone over 40 to stay awake during any Jarmusch movie other than maybe "Ghost Dog". Especially not "Coffee and Cigarettes", which has no plot and no script and mostly inaudible dialogue.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
71

The 2003 Russian film The Return (Vozvrashcheniye) is pretty good.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
72

You know what your problem is, Fatman? You have no joie de vivre.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
73

I should add that the film in 71 is not on the funny side, but has some mystery to it.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
74

Burnt by the Sun is rated R for some language and sexuality, but I don't recall anything that would discomfit one if viewed with a grandparent. Also, it's fittingly lighthearted.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:30 PM
horizontal rule
75

Gosh, it must have been weird for Grannie Becks living in the middle of the century, which, as we know, was devoid of sex and violence, especially in the cinema. When I think about those good old days, I imagine plunking down my money and shambling in to the movie palace to watch wholesome, uplifting films like The Naked Kiss, Cape Fear, Touch of Evil and Sunset Boulevard. Not to mention Tarzan and His Mate, but of course that one's more for the kiddies.

Seriously, recent non-embarrassing-to-Becks movies could include: The Impostors, King of Kong or Chunking Express, if subtitles are okay.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:31 PM
horizontal rule
76

Ooo, what about Russian Ark? It's got, like, culture and shit.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
77

What I said about Jarmusch films applies about a hundredfold to "Chungking Express". Dear lord, was it hard to stay awake during that.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
78

i like 'Burnt by the Sun', b/c of the great artists and the song
73 after perestroika Russian movies got either too serious and heavy or too like mobbish and dark
maybe there are new good movies i didn't follow them recently
the old movies, i was thinking the old comedies like The Brilliant Hand? The Caucasian Prisoner? or The Office Romance all are very funny
on russian dvd site they are available i think, not sure whether translated or not though


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
79

One good new Russian movie was A driver for Vera.

Hmm, it seems a lot more obscure than I thought. Also, the first viewer review claims that it is a pale imitation of "Burnt By the Sun". This seems to reinforce #78.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:43 PM
horizontal rule
80

Also, it's fittingly lighthearted.

A double bill of Burnt by the Sun and Before the Rain would be an absolute laff riot. Throw in some phenobarbital and vodka, and you've got yourself an evening of fun.

Ooo, what about Russian Ark? It's got, like, culture and shit.

Russian Ark is beautiful, but though the one-shot thing was technically an awesome achievement, it made me squirm. It's like staring without blinking for over an hour and a half. Cut! Cut!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
81

it must have been weird for Grannie Becks living in the middle of the century, which, as we know, was devoid of sex and violence

Yeah, I have this thought about my mother's taste in movies and television (she's just turned 70, really not elderly at all). No graphic violence; nothing of the dark side in general, no monsters or sci fi; romance as romance, not as sex.

It's difficult to find things to watch with her. I've never explored Netflix: does it, or any other place, have some sort of 'If you liked this, you might also like this' function? My mom very much liked Best in Show, for example; does not like romantic comedies in which the principals act like ditzes, since she is not stupid; loved, on TV, Murder She Wrote, almost any Mystery series on PBS, loves CSI, loved Quincy, if anyone remembers that.

It's an identifiable type, but I'm damned if I can put my finger on it with respect to movies. Wholesome doesn't quite cover it. I'm off to spend a week with her shortly, and have been asking myself Becks's question.

Actually, I've just had a brainstorm: Sleuth, Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier. Might work for Becks, too, if they all haven't seen it already.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:58 PM
horizontal rule
82

Burnt by the Sun has scenes of sex and of suicide and of depressing Stalinism. East/West is similar in some ways, but has a memorable scene of people being picked out as not what they claim they are by the kind of shoes they're wearing.

Russian Ark is interesting in a making of way - it's one continuous 70 minute shot, and since it's on film they had to build a special camera for it - but boring in a watching way.

The Brilliant Hand? The Caucasian Prisoner? or The Office Romance

I'm guessing these are this, this*, and this. I like the first two, which are kind of silly slapstick, but thought the third - which is more traditional romantic comedy - was not so great. Subtitled versions exist for all three, but maybe not on Netflix.

*There's a 1996 film with the same English title which is pretty good but definitely not a comedy.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
83

My 81.last: Might work for Becks, too, if they all haven't seen it already.

Ah, sorry. "Recent-ish" movies were called for.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
84

Netflix does have a recommendation function. It's rather hard to avoid, as I remember. Also, it tends to recommend based on criteria other than what a disinterested party with a broad knowledge of film would select.

I liked Russian Ark! I don't think it was hard to watch at all. Also, aren't there actually about 3 or 4 cuts in it? I can't remember.

Parsimon: How about classic Hitchcock? Has she seen them all? There's quite a few. Free associating: am I the only person who's noticed that Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel functions as a satirical detournement of Ten Little Indians? It seems like it sometimes. It's very lonely. I know w-lfs-n feels me on this.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
85

Television, but old PBS dramas or BBC imports tend to be grandmother-friendly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:10 PM
horizontal rule
86

My mother is kind of an interesting case. She still blushes at sexy scenes in movies, but she did seek out Brokeback Mountain and apparently wants to see Lars and the Real Girl.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
87

Stardust? PG-13 (fantasy violence, some risque humor)

Fairy tale-type movie, with some romancey stuff.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
88

aren't there actually about 3 or 4 cuts in it?

From Wikipedia: "It was filmed using a single 90-minute Steadicam sequence shot."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
89

I'd recommend these as highly enjoyable, fairly recent films with nothing uncomfortable for viewing with grandma: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Schultze Gets the Blues, About Schmidt, and Kitchen Stories.


Posted by: pomi | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
90

The Incredibles might be fun.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
91

How about classic Hitchcock?

Good point. I don't know if she's seen them all. Yes, I keep thinking in the classic direction -- I'd say, Hey mom, let's watch Gaslight, I've never managed to see it! -- but it occurs to me that she seems to prefer more recent stuff.

Frustrating, but I thank the thread for making me focus on this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
92

Soviet comedies are great- "Diamond Arm" and the like- you can get them on netflix- my wife and I have been watching a lot of them. I'd vote against _Burnt by the Sun_ but that's because I mostly hate Mikhalkov (especially his terrible _Barber of Siberia_ but BBTS has many of the same flaws.) He's stilted, didactic, beats you up with his morals, and so on. The only film of his I liked very much was one he didn't like- Urga/Teritoriya Lybvi, a great film about some Mongols that inspired me to go to Mongolia on the train. Plus, he's a terrible person.

The Return was really good, but maybe not something a grandmother would like.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
93

Maybe 'Calendar Girls', about the middle-aged English women who put together a nudie pinup calendar of themselves for some reason? Helen Mirren, etc.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
94

Nacho Libre?


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
95

Sisterhood of the travelling pants?


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
96

Probably not the vibrator movie. (Although if the history it presents is accurate, it's nothing your grandmother wasn't already familiar with.)

Becks, maybe Mad Hot Ballroom? It's about elementary school kids in NYC competing in a ballroom dance contest. Or Laws of Attraction, with Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan? There are a couple of ill-advised scenes of drunkenness, but the message is startlingly wholesome, all things considered.

Parsimon, maybe Charade (not Hitchcock, but darn good) or that much more recent David Duchovny/Minnie Driver movie Return to Me, which is slightly tearjerking but ultimately very loving movie about a woman from a large Italian family who falls in love with a guy...you know how it goes.

Ooooh! Both of you! Once. (Although not if your mother/grandmother wants a totally sweet ending, rather than bittersweet.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
97

Have Ma Parsimon or Grannie Becks seen the BBC's Cold Comfort Farm?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
98

let's watch Gaslight,

You could watch both versions back to back. And then watch both of Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. I think the British versions of both are better. Maybe I'm just contrarian.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
99

Maybe the Stephen Fry / Hugh Laurie 'Jeeves & Wooster' series?

Not new, but something she might not have seen.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
100

Speaking of Hitchcock, I got to see North by Northwest on the big screen recently. It was delightful, but I was disappointed that the theater wasn't as packed as it has been in the past. There are so many wonderful lines in there, and they resonate differently in a full room.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
101

Mini-series and short seasons may also be a possibility. Diana Rigg's been in several things shown on Mystery in recent years, and Mom's a junkie for all of them. Also for Foyle's War, a mature, dark drama about a British police officer and his investigations during WW2.

(I note that we went backward from Diana Rigg well-seasoned to her seasons on The Avengers, which Mom had never seen but loved.)


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
102

Mihalkov's At Home Among Strangers, A Stranger at Home or whatever it's called isn't so bad and it has a train wreck. Although not as good as this train wreck.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:47 PM
horizontal rule
103

North by Northwest ... It was delightful

We have very, very different tastes if film, I suspect.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
104

in film


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
105

103.2: Since you appear to think that the '34 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much is superior, I would have to agree.

(How can you not love NXNW? Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, puns galore, the dubbed scene on the train that was too racy for the censors...people, you are missing out. And I speak to all of the under-60s who were not at the theater the other night. Your loss!)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:52 PM
horizontal rule
106

I would have gone to see North by Northwest if it had been playing anywhere near me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
107

Excellent, Ben, I'll keep it in mind.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
108

Another vote for The Illusionist, which was totally better than The Prestige

Also, my mother seemed to enjoy Batman Begins and Inside Man.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
109

In general I don't like the Hitchcock movies with the big stars. There's some discussion of this somewhere in the archives. Hitchcock also had this thing about creating plots solely to be able to set up some shots at the end. So NBNW exists pretty much so that there could be a chase scene on Mt. Rushmore. There's a Statue of Liberty chase in one of his earlier films.

(Also, the difference in approaches to gender roles between the two Man Who Knew Too Much is really remarkable.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:58 PM
horizontal rule
110

Since I've got Ed Norton on the mind, The Score is a few years old now, but was pretty good.

Ed Norton rules, which is why all good Americans should support his work by seeing the new Hulk movie. I reserved my tickets days ago.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
111

that much more recent David Duchovny/Minnie Driver movie Return to Me

Er, yuck. Sorry. I like Minnie Driver (and Duchovny, though my mom thought the X-Files was stupid), but uh, romantic comedies are sort of a no go.

I'll look at the other suggestions. Cold Comfort Farm I've seen a bit of, not bad.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
112

The Grifters might be fun to see with grandma.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
113

(If anyone actually cares what I think about Hitchcock: previous comment on The Man Who... etc., a Hitchcock list)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
114

My grandma's had a couple of small strokes so subtitles are out, as is anything that requires too much remembering. Humor and easy to follow mysteries, with obvious good guys and bad guys as oposed to subtlety, are the best bets.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
115

"Humor and easy to follow mysteries, with obvious good guys and bad guys as oposed to subtlety, are the best bets."

Ratatouille might be good then.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
116

Even I liked Ratatouille. And all I do is complain about movies.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
117

So, Becks, movement on your brother?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
118

112: Good idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:13 PM
horizontal rule
119

114: Well, then Cold Comfort Farm and The Impostors are probably safe. I liked The Score, but like most heist movies, it's most enjoyable if you are closely tracking the plot twists.

w-lfs-n is being, as they say in Latin, a dorkus malorkus. If you want a Jim Thompson film for older relatives, you have to go with the Peckinpah version of The Getaway. Or, as I like to call it, No Country For Old Men: The Prequel.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
120

Implied sex is more brazen than inferred sex.

I second the nod to classic film and caper flicks.

Classic:
_The Apartment_ (1960) with Jack Lemmon is one I don't mind re-watching (again) every few years.

Caper:
_The Score_ (2001) with Ed Norton, De Niro, and Brando.

Also recommended:
Kikujirō no Natsu (菊次郎の夏) or just about anything else with Beat Takeshi is great if the relatives understand Japanese.

Don't mention _Gummo_ in this thread.



Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
121

Does your Grandmother know Italian, Becks? Johnny Stecchino isn't too old is pretty funny.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
122

Isn't The Apartment kind of fast-talking?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
123

For those who aren't cool with subtitles, there's a dubbed version of La Strada -- if you aren't familiar with the film, I'll say that it's a sentimental story of two people in love and their journeys across the rustic Italian countryside.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
124

Searching for Bobby Fisher -- if she hasn't seen it already. It's very, very sweet, somewhat suspenseful (in a Behind the Music/formulaic-but-not-too-annoying sports movie kind of way), and interesting enough to hold your attention as well.

If somebody said this above, my apologies. If nobody did, you should ignore everyone else and just watch this movie over and over again each night of your visit.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
125

I prefer the Stewart-Day version of "The Man Who
Knew Too Much", except for Doris' musical number.

Would Gram Becks like "Juno"?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
126

125: Would Gram Becks like "Juno"?

Would anyone?


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
127

Of the early, somewhat less famous Hitchcock films, The Lady Vanishes is a favorite of mine. It's just fun. On the other hand I'm not so enthusiastic about the first Man Who Knew Too Much, although Peter Lorre makes anything better.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
128

except for Doris' musical number.

Oh yeah, that's a bit cringe-inducing. I dunno. When I think of Doris Day, I just don't get the warm fuzzies. I think perhaps because she makes me think of Bob Hope, and I truly don't like that guy (he makes me think of bombing civilians in Vietnam and the pageantry of empire and stuff).

I haven't seen the 1934 Man Who Knew Too Much, but people here seem to have strong opinions on the relative merits of the two versions.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
129

124: Ari is right about the film, but wrong about the spelling of 'Fischer'. Is there a better film about chess? I can't think of one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
130

Would Gram Becks like "Juno"?

I was thinking "Little Miss Sunshine" in the same vein.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
131

129: there was a movie adaptation of The Defense, which I haven't seen. It stars John Turturro as Luzhin, which is probably not a good sign.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
132

What's wrong with John Turturro? He is the most distinctive looking person to pass as a hundred different ethnicities.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
133

people here seem to have strong opinions on the relative merits of the two versions.

I think it's just me. And the strong feelings are really about the Day/Stewart version.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
134

There are those who think that John Turturro's Jesus Quintana in "The Big Lebowski" wasn't the best bit part ever, but they don't include me and John Goodman.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:13 PM
horizontal rule
135

Ari is right about the film, but wrong about the spelling of 'Fischer'.

Well, you know. Ari is more of an 'ideas' man. He leaves the details to his assistants.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:14 PM
horizontal rule
136

114: Shrek seems to fit the bill - the first and second are better than the third.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
137

I have just discovered that one of my favorite depressing films, Sekal Must Die, has been put up on YouTube, but in the Polish-dubbed version without subtitles. I recommend it to any Polish speakers out there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
138

Comedies of remarriage: The Lady Eve. Or anything with Barbara Stanywyck, really, or anything by Preston Sturges. Even if the movie's not that good, it's still worth watching.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
139

Is there a better film about chess? I

Yes


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
140

129: Oh, that's embarrassing. The lesson? Never comment on the run. And always ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
141

And always ask yourself, What Would Jesus Do?

Oh always, to be sure. Just like your grandmother always taught you.

Better films about chess seems rather specialized. But it's a niche market, I guess.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:03 PM
horizontal rule
142

My beloved grandnephew just told me that there's only one monster: me. He's mono-monstrous.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
143

I hope the Rififi remake is better than the last Jules Dassin remake.

Capturing the Friedmans could be an interesting documentary choice. A movie/mystery about allegations of deviant, criminal sex, but no sex in it. O Brother, Where Art Thou could have grandma cackling. American Movie is a genre of its own.


Posted by: Brad | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
144

The Bear Came Over the Mountain, but not if she is worried about dementia.


Posted by: bemused | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:09 PM
horizontal rule
145

Burnt by the Sun, Before the Rain, hey, while we're in the depressing East European mode, how about A Short Film about Love (the extended version of the Kieslowiski Decalogue segment about voyeurism, shyness, and suicidal loneliness) or Knife in the Water. Add in Last Exit to Brooklyn and that inheritance should be coming right along. Or just watch the Decalogue straight through, that should do it.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:15 PM
horizontal rule
146

He's mono-monstrous.

Well, Moses and Monotheism or Moses and Monomonstrosity...but why quibble over semantics? The point is, your grandnephew knows what it means to respect The Law.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
147

Or just watch the Decalogue straight through, that should do it.

I tried to watch the Decalogue straight through, but just couldn't. I am weak, I will freely confess. Sweet Christ, that kid going through the ice? I just about broke out in hives, and please don't give me any film-crit claptrap about its deeper meaning. Dead means dead, and I just felt manipulated.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
148

I was going to suggest Last Exit on Brooklyn. Naked Lunch would be good too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
149

146 I watched the Decalogue in two nights way back when in the DC filmfest, then the first eight ones over two nights at Walter Reade, and over and over again on videotape and DVD (the problem with successfully pushing a film is people then want to watch it with you.). I recommend two at a time over about two or three weeks. There is deeper meaning, there's also the literal meaning. It's depressing on both counts but a masterpiece - who says network TV can't be great art.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
150

Burnt by the Sun, Before the Rain, hey, while we're in the depressing East European mode

Wait, I'd never heard of Burnt by the Sun etc., and obviously didn't look it (them) up, but someone is (isn't) seriously suggesting Eastern European films for grandparents, right?

Ah. I scrolled back up and looked. No, nobody is. I'm afraid I was only skimming the thread. 145 made me pay a bit more attention.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:42 PM
horizontal rule
151

but someone is (isn't) seriously suggesting Eastern European films for grandparents, right?

if my grandparents were still around, I might suggest it for them, but they were East European.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:45 PM
horizontal rule
152

Not to disrespect Kieślowski or anything, but has your gran seen The Incredibles? I know Ratatouille appeared upthread, but I'm not sure if the other part of the Bird oeuvre made the grade. And, just to underscore my love of Serchiing Four Bobby Phisher, I'll let you all know that I've just ordered it: t'will arrive Wednesday. All are invited for a screening and popcorn (maple donuts for Mary Catherine; artisanal bear jerky for John Emerson).


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
153

151: Good enough. My grandparents aren't around either. Movie-watching wasn't anything they were interested in in the first place. All mud in the water.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:50 PM
horizontal rule
154

A Short Film about Love

The actor who plays the voyeur, Olaf Lubaszenko, is one of the leads of the film linked in 137. More about it here for anyone who's interested.

The Decalogue is utterly great, but there's not much of it I'd watch with Grandma.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:53 PM
horizontal rule
155

There are light-hearted Eastern Ueropean films. How about...um...no, nothing from Romania...nothing from Russia...nothing from the former Yugoslavia...aha, there's this director, whose last two films are very accessible, more like the classic French drama type of thing.

This was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in the madcap farce genre, but it's hard to find for non-Polish speakers.


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:57 PM
horizontal rule
156

155 Haven't seen that one. Of Polish comedies my favorite is Rejs


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
157

There are lighthearted moments in Svankmajer films.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
158

Goran Paskaljevic's The Powder Keg is brutal and bleak; I recommend it highly. (It was released in the US as Cabaret Balkan, because rights to the original English title had already been claimed by Kevin Costner, which is kind of a shame considering that Costner is profoundly unpowderkeglike.)


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
159

(maple donuts for Mary Catherine; artisanal bear jerky for John Emerson)

Well, I hate to sound difficult or anything, but a couple of weekends ago I went "up the [Opeongo] Line," up to Co. Renfrew, I mean, with my father. And do you know (or d'ye ken, they might say, up the line), they're still selling "fresh bison meat" up by way of Mount St Patrick, even at this late date? I thought of Emerson, needless to say. Me being all citified and gentrified, of course I just wanted a doughnut.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
160

I recommend two at a time over about two or three weeks.

This is how I watched the Decalogue. I thought the first one with the kid was pretty weak. And I didn't like the short film about love (number 6). The other 8 I liked, especially the Decalogue version of A Short Film About Killing (which I thought was a little better than the extended version, which is the best thing I've seen about the death penalty). Number 10 is kind of light-hearted (seriously).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:27 PM
horizontal rule
161

which I thought was a little better than the extended version, which is the best thing I've seen about the death penalty

That is to say, the non-extended is the one I thought was the best. I think it's number 5.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:29 PM
horizontal rule
162

who says network TV can't be great art

Network executives.

There are light-hearted Eastern Ueropean films

There's an unintentionally comic Russian flight disaster film. So many things go wrong, one after another after another in almost clock-like fashion that by the end people in the crowd of language students I was in started laughing each time there was a new development.

This is fairly light.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
163

Number 10 is kind of light-hearted (seriously).

Greed! Double-crossing! Selling a kidney for a rare stamp! Compared to the rest of the series, it's positively madcap.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
164

I found that the one about the Holocaust survivor and the old professor to be the least depressing and the weakest one. I agree that the original version of A short film about killing was better than the extended version, while in the case of A short film about love was the reverse, though I liked both. Talking about sex, violence and depressing excellent Polish films, apparently Wajda's gone prudish in his old age and chopped up The Promised Land, with the original version disappearing.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
165

the one about the Holocaust survivor and the old professor

I thought of that one after I posted. I think the historical aspect saved it from seeming as weak to me as the first one, but I agree that it wasn't up to some of the other ones.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:49 PM
horizontal rule
166

Hard to specify without info about what she's already known to like, but I would have to second the recommendation upthread of Cold Comfort Farm.

Also I must mention State and Main. No masterpiece, but funny, tightly written, impeccably cast, and featuring a pearl of wisdom I've often quoted: "Everybody makes their own fun. If you don't make it yourself, it isn't fun. It's entertainment."

There's a fair amount of salty language, but no "behavior" I can recall; and by and large the respectable characters (and there are some!) are pretty wholesome.


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 12:15 AM
horizontal rule
167

The Thin Man series was reissued on dvd a few years back - silly little mysteries played for laughs. I also second the Preston Sturges recommend above.

We're No Angels - Sweet comedy about escaped convicts with Bogart & Ustinov. An overlooked little gem.

Shakespeare in Love has some mild nudity/bawdy humour but grandmas love Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth.

The Iron Giant or any of the Pixar films if she's down for animation.

I'm also gonna throw up a vote for Searching for Bobby Fischer - I love that movie and had planned to suggest it as well.


Posted by: Bob's yer uncle | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 1:16 AM
horizontal rule
168

Oh, I had meant to add in Millions by Danny Boyle for more recent family fare - a real charmer.

Akeelah and the Bee was watchable, and my teen daughter really enjoyed Freedom Writers.


Posted by: Bob's yer uncle | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 1:32 AM
horizontal rule
169

Brassed Off! Gramma will never listen to the intro to "Tubthumping" the same way again.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 1:42 AM
horizontal rule
170

stupid close tag.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 1:42 AM
horizontal rule
171

It is an axiom of the medium that grandmas love Audrey Hepburn.

Actually, everyone loves Audrey Hepburn. When the time comes to separate the sheep from the goats the clean from the unclean the birds of the air from the beasts of the field the real humans from the disguised smog monsters of Pleiades V, a viewing of Funny Face or Charade will be involved.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 6:56 AM
horizontal rule
172

I feel compelled to voice dissent on Searching for Bobby Fischer, a bland Breaking Away treatment of what was in fact a very fascinating book on chess and competitive parenting. A rather predictable critique I guess, but if you do like the movie, do yourself the favor of reading the book, good stuff on the actual dynamics of the interesting mix of cultures that is the Washington Square and overall New York City chess scenes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
173

Nazis hate Audrey Hepburn. It's as if she killed Hitler herself, with her adorable little 15-year old hand. And she had such opportunities, too, with a Nazi father and everything.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
174

La Strada -- if you aren't familiar with the film, I'll say that it's a sentimental story of two people in love and their journeys across the rustic Italian countryside.

Surely you jest?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
175

Perhaps an adult animation from France for fun and amusement: The Triplets of Belleville


Posted by: swampcracker | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
176

Becks, are you taking careful notes? We're trying so hard here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
177

Stormcrow is correct on Searching For Bobby Fischer on its own merits, though I haven't read the book.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
178

174: Surely you jest?

Oh, I'm not even sure what we're talking about here anymore. Becks said no subtitles or excessively complicated plots, and yet people seem to be seriously recommending all kinds of obscure Polish cinema.

What about the less-violent John Sayles movies? Casa de los Babys has a bit of subtitling, and pulled too many of its punches, but Lonestar is a modern classic, as is Brother From Another Planet. (That doesn't have too much sex in it, does it?) And of course there's The Secret of Roan Inish too.

In that vein, there's also the Tom Davenport Appalaichan fairy-tale films, which unfortunately are not as widely available as they should be, even though a lot of them have been on PBS. Looks like you can get them from his website davenportfilms.com now though, and if they're on DVD, then Netflix should have them. I can't recommend those highly enough. If you liked Pan's Labyrinth even a little, you should really check Davenport's oeuvre out. Parents and cool aunts and uncles take note: these are some of the best fairy-tale films ever made. Your kid needs to see them.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:04 AM
horizontal rule
179

Showgirls. Easy plot to follow.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
180

Oh, I'm not even sure what we're talking about here anymore.

I meant in your description of La Strada, not your recommendation of it. Jesting, yesting?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
181

Nazis hate Audrey Hepburn.

You know what's wrong with Audrey Hepburn?

Nothing.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
182

180: So, nu, it was a joke I made, because everyone had been naughtily recommending things that were obviously inappropriate, so I recommended one of the more emotionally brutal films I've seen, but with a saccharine synopsis that, while technically accurate, also fails to convey the bleakness and despair of the film in question. Analagously, I might have described Gummo as a film about children at play on a few summer days in a small town in Ohio.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
183

Yar. Sorry to make you kill your own good wee joke dead dead dead.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:30 AM
horizontal rule
184

minnie, when you make a joke like that, and people ask "are you serious?" it means you've won.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
185

Well, I just couldn't stand the thought of anyone sitting there in puzzlement, wondering if La Strada was really a chipper, uplifting movie and if maybe they'd completely missed the point of it.

Although, I would argue that the denouement of Nights of Cabiria is one of the most hopeful scenes in cinema, especially in contrast to the grueling climactic scenes which preceed it. It would be really interesting to go back to 1957 and interview some regular Italian filmgoers about their impressions of NoC. My sense is that for a lot of Romans and other southern Italians, the ending would have seemed pretty optimistic, perhaps unbelievably so. But then you have La Dolce Vita just 3 years later, which sort of follows the opposite arc. I dunno, maybe trying to limn the history and historiography of the Italian post-war experience from Fellini films is too fraught a project to be useful as anything besides cocktail party conversation, and it's a little early in the day for that here in the upper midwest.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
186

I would argue that the denouement of Nights of Cabiria is one of the most hopeful scenes in cinema, especially in contrast to the grueling climactic scenes which preceed it.

That's how I've always felt about it too. God, I love Giulietta Masina.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:50 AM
horizontal rule
187

Flippanter, the way you identify so totally with Audrey Hepburn the anti-Nazi makes we suspect that you're trying to divert attention from something questionable in your own past.

Hedy Lamarr, the inventor of frequency hoping was another hott anti-Nazi, but she's less famous than she was.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
188

so i did a little internet hunting and what i found, our movies! sorry, no translation and mostly, if not all, black and white, if you have a lot of time and patience and don't mind watching foreign films, like me, without subtitles and not actually understanding the language, maybe you'd enjoy some of them
http://www.tv5.mn/tv5/index.html
so, have to find the link BUSAD in cyrillic on the front page and from that find mongol kino link and there are several movies
also from the russiandvd.com i found some of my faves
Slujebnui roman
The white sun of the desert
Buratino
pity, they are not translated, though one is subtitled, but really funny movies


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
189

Rfts and I just had a stirring discussion of whether 8 1/2, Cabiria, or La dolce vita was Fellini's best movie, so Minneapolitan has won twice.

What about the less-violent John Sayles movies? Casa de los Babys has a bit of subtitling, and pulled too many of its punches, but Lonestar is a modern classic, as is Brother From Another Planet. (That doesn't have too much sex in it, does it?) And of course there's The Secret of Roan Inish too.

I think Brother is great, but actually thought on second viewing that Lonestar was one of Sayles' weaker movies, based on a script that tried to do way too much and was way too dogmatic (and I say this as someone who very much liked his straight-forwardly Marxian Eight Men Out a good deal; has anyone read the novel, which I hear is excellent?).

Emerson, there's a new play, Frequency Hopping, about the Lamarr/Antheil collaboration.

Going back to legitimate suggestions for Gramma Becks: Walk the Line?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
190

Hmm, I guess I'd agree that Lonestar could probably have used one less subplot or another 20 minutes to tell the story. I wish the Joe Morton angle had either been left out or gotten way more play. But I do feel like the whole reason to go see a Sayles movie is for some solid didactic fun. Matewan and Men With Guns are certainly nothing if not strident, and I think those are two of his best. I'd have a better answer if I would get around to seeing the several Sayles movies I never made it to, though. Perhaps we can revisit the topic in a few months.

Back to Fellini: Once again, I should watch the rest of his work before I go around making absolute judgments, but it's hard for me to imagine that any of his films will ever supplant La Dolce Vita in my heart. For me, it's not just Fellini's best film, it's easily in my top 10 films ever, and probably in the top 3 to 5. (This is assuming that all of those spots are not taken up by Bunuel films, obviously.)

This exercise has been pretty frustrating. I feel like I'm not mixing up the genres enough, 'cause nearly every recent English-language film I can think of that I would ordinarily recommend (Dirty Pretty Things or Boogie Nights or Men With Guns, for some examples) has got plenty of graphic sex and violence. Which is fine. So does the Bible, for chrissakes. But a co-worker's six year-old son was just mournfully bemoaning to me that all of the recent superhero movies are too risque for him to see. And with the exception of the better Pixar stuff, I'd say that most recent "children's" and "family" films are horrid little dollops of pabulum, not fit for a dog. And an Andalusian dog at that!

(Speaking of "risque", the way the reader says it in the sound file here is just about perfect)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
191

(Speaking of "risque", the way the reader says it in the sound file here is just about perfect)

Sounds like Smithers!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
192

Yeah, a slightly deeper voiced Smithers! I thought it was familiar. I'm imagining this guy with more of a creepy/John Waters molestache/35 year-old at the hipster show vibe though.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
193

That's how I've always felt about it too. God, I love Giulietta Masina.

Juliet of the Spirits doesn't get enough love.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
194

PS, I wound up watching Enchanted on a recent bus trip. What kind of idiot would throw over hot, hip, womanly Idina Menzel for a virginal, borderline Asperger's naif like Amy Adams? Hollywood is so stupid.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
195

Juliet of the Spirits doesn't get enough love.

We were just discussing how wrong it is that neither of us has seen it. If you're wondering, the answer is: wrong wrong wrong.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
196

Paprika is R but I only remember one nude/challenging scene otherwise it is adult anime. Kinda incomprehensible.

When Rah and I went to watch this with friends there was a very elderly couple a row or two back from us in the theater. They appeared to be there on a date. When the camera panned across the creepy bedroom full of dolls and toys the gentleman in the couple said to his companion, in full-yet-whispy Old Man Voice, "THAT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ROOM!"

I nearly died trying not to spend the rest of the movie laughing.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
197

Parsimon, maybe Charade (not Hitchcock, but darn good)

Dude. So incredibly good. Rah just poked his head in to ask what I was doing and when I said, "Endorsing Witt's endorsement of Charade," Rah's reply was, "I would watch that movie right now."

Rah also recommends My Cousin Vinny for Gramma Becks, which I think is pretty brilliant.

parsimon - I highly endorse Netflix. I've filled in a lot of gaps in my experience of film using it and watched some things I was simply never going to find on a shelf here, not even at the good, local, independent store.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
198

I highly endorse Netflix

I know; I'm honestly not sure why I haven't gotten around to it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
199

I am curious about the criteria.

I can understand why you would not want to choose porn or something bloody & gruesome but ... have your grandparents never experienced sex ? Or watched a cop show on TV ?

Obviously I do not know them, but are they sheltered and innocent or have they perhaps experienced all sorts of things during their lives ?

What about a movie that "makes you think" (Al Gore, Michael Moore, What the bleep etc).

Or a DVD of a long-lost TV show that they used to love (Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, Milton Berle etc).


Posted by: rich | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
200


If she likes nature shows, she might like the Planet Earth DVDs.


Posted by: Jon H | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
201

I really enjoyed Stardust. It's a fairy tale, it's a completely told out story and while the violence is a bit high, it's a fairy tale kind of violence.


Posted by: Paula Helm Murray | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
202

Perry Mason

Also: I fucking love Perry Mason.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:15 PM
horizontal rule
203

I find the Planet Earth series quite compelling for the older set.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:17 PM
horizontal rule
204

Also, obviously, the Cremaster series is high-spirited fun for the whole family, yet really quite thought-provoking.

Alternately, have they seen Gummo or The Brown Bunny?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
205

Are you joking, Sifu? No one has seen The Brown Bunny.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
206

But everybody's seen the one scene from it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:26 PM
horizontal rule
207

206: fuck yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:27 PM
horizontal rule
208

What about a double feature of Bambi and Godzilla meets Bambi?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
209

La vita e bella, maybe? The best mystery in recent years was Gosford Park, but I don't know how appropriate either of those would be. My mom and grandmother are mystery consumers, and they're both transfixed by the A&E version of Poirot, so if Christie-style mysteries are her thing, then you might want to give them a shot.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 12:42 AM
horizontal rule
210

For non-formulaic 'kid' movies that adults also tend to enjoy, I'd suggest Holes or Millions (and of course anything Pixar). I've had luck watching the new Miss Marple series from the BBC (starring Geraldine McEwan) with my mother--they're a bit spicier than the old ones, but still very PG, and great for a game of "there's that British actor from that other thing."

For Russian stuff I'd also recommend Mikhalkov's early film Unfinished Piece for Player Piano, which has all the good Chekhovian stuff from Burnt by the Sun without the political self-importance. Subtitled, but less sex and violence. Beware of The Car (Beregis' Avtomobiliia) is another good sixties comedy, too, from the director of An Office Romance; not sure if it's on Netflix.


Posted by: mdbl | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
211

For good, watchable "family" movies I'd say The Incredibles or Stardust, like a few other people upthread.

For relatively inoffensive movies that are still grown up I'd suggest Kinky Boots (Chiwitel Ejiofor as a transvestite revitalising a Midlands shoe factory) or one of my favourite films of all time, and probably the greatest film ever made about the Holocaust, Life if Beautiful. Depends on how her eyes are, though - that's Italian with subtitles.


Posted by: McDuff | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
212

i like the waltz from 'Beware of The Car ? '
pram-pa-pa-prarapra-pam-pa
prampapa prampapa prampa-paaa
track 2
for you, Ogged!! for all too, of course


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
213

actually all tracks' melodies are good imo
hope you'll enjoy


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
214

The Water Horse is a kid's movie, but it's enjoyable enough for adults.

Either of the two Elizabeth films should be sufficiently not-naughty for a grandma who's not super uptight.


Posted by: The Critic | Link to this comment | 06-17-08 10:54 AM
horizontal rule