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Re: Goya's Ghosts

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  • Rick
    Yeah, I checked rottentomatoes.com after my post, and was shocked by the sheer venom Forman and Carriere s effort has unleashed -- you d think this was Gigli
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 30, 2007
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      Yeah, I checked rottentomatoes.com after my post, and was shocked by
      the sheer venom Forman and Carriere's effort has unleashed -- you'd
      think this was "Gigli" or something. Richard Roeper was particularly
      nasty, and you'd think that as a professional film critic he'd at
      least give credit to a movie for trying to say something serious about
      the state of the world, as opposed to the onslaught of commercial crap
      film critics often have to sit through. For myself, I found that
      myself enjoying the movie for the very things most of the press hated
      it for: its refusal to offer clear solutions for the questions it raised.

      --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein <cellar47@...> wrote:
      >
      > Wow, Rick -- this is the first positive word I've
      > heard from ANYONE about this. Even its publicist hated
      > it.
      >
      > It played theaters all of three minutes and for many
      > signals the end of Forman's career.
      >
      >
    • Blake Lucas
      ... Isn t that kind of an extreme reaction? I missed Goya s Ghosts (so far) but how many people ever liked his forlorn first American film Taking Off ? Not
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 1, 2007
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        --- In a_film_by@yahoogroups.com, David Ehrenstein <cellar47@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Wow, Rick -- this is the first positive word I've
        > heard from ANYONE about this. Even its publicist hated
        > it.
        >
        > It played theaters all of three minutes and for many
        > signals the end of Forman's career.

        Isn't that kind of an extreme reaction?

        I missed "Goya's Ghosts" (so far) but how many people ever liked
        his forlorn first American film "Taking Off"? Not many maybe,
        but I did, and in fact it remains my favorite of all his movies.

        On the other hand, how good is "Amadeus" really?

        There are so many times in film history when something has been
        derided and ridiculed and "played theatres all of three minutes"
        but held up well over the years. And I'm sure David (or anyone else)
        could name as many examples as I could.

        So now mean to make a point to see in "Goya" even if on DVD.

        Blake
        >
        > --- Rick <rick.segreda@...> wrote:
        >
        > > Last night I also saw Milos Forman's and Jean-Claude
        > > Carriere's
        > > "Goya's Ghosts," starring Stellan Skarsgard, Javier
        > > Bardem, and
        > > Natalie Portman. This might be Forman's best film
        > > yet, and certainly
        > > as sharp a commentary on the Iraq war as any film
        > > actually set in the
        > > present, and in Iraq. Indeed, this is one of the
        > > best films about
        > > history, religion, art, sex, and politics since
        > > Visconti's "The
        > > Leopard." Let's just say that nobody comes up
        > > smelling like roses once
        > > the dust from the Napoleonic conquest of Spain has
        > > settled.
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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      • Bilge Ebiri
        ... Yes, it is, and, indeed, GOYA S GHOSTS isn t all that bad. It has problems, to be sure -- Forman seems to be aiming for the simplicity of an absurdist,
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 1, 2007
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          >>
          >> Wow, Rick -- this is the first positive word I've
          >> heard from ANYONE about this. Even its publicist hated
          >> it.
          >>
          >> It played theaters all of three minutes and for many
          >> signals the end of Forman's career.
          >
          > Isn't that kind of an extreme reaction?
          >

          Yes, it is, and, indeed, GOYA'S GHOSTS isn't all that bad. It has problems,
          to be sure -- Forman seems to be aiming for the simplicity of an absurdist,
          comic fable, and he's only intermittently successful at it (though the
          film's last shot is a career highpoint unto itself). In an interview I did
          with him at the time he said that he wished the film could have been
          funnier, and I think I agree. Also, much of the film has a certain
          Euro-pudding awkwardness to it, with an international cast speaking
          uncertain, accented English, which I'm sure didn't help it attract any
          viewers. At the same time, it feels like one of the most personal films
          Forman has made in decades. You can read my (not always coherent) review
          here:
          http://nervepop.com/filmlounge/review/goyasghosts/index.aspx

          Part of the problem, career-wise, is that the film actually premiered and
          came out in Europe well in advance of its US release, before a distributor
          Stateside would pick it up. So the film's reputation as a disaster grew and
          grew. I wouldn't call it a successful film, but it's far from an outright
          failure (except, I guess, in the financial sense).


          >
          > On the other hand, how good is "Amadeus" really?
          >

          I still don't understand the hostility to this movie. So many people dislike
          it as a prime example of a prestige Hollywood biopic, but I must say, I find
          it to be absolutely haunting to this day. I watched it again a couple of
          years ago, to see if it held up, and it was still beautiful.


          -Bilge
        • David Ehrenstein
          ... but how many ... More than you would imagine. I ve always loved it, and it has one of my favorite Buck Henry performances. ... Oh it s pretty good. It just
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 1, 2007
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            --- Blake Lucas <lukethedealer@...> wrote:

            but how many
            > people ever liked
            > his forlorn first American film "Taking Off"? Not
            > many maybe,
            > but I did, and in fact it remains my favorite of all
            > his movies.
            >

            More than you would imagine. I've always loved it, and
            it has one of my favorite Buck Henry performances.

            > On the other hand, how good is "Amadeus" really?
            >

            Oh it's pretty good.

            It just has too many notes.





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          • barry alpert
            I witnessed the Washington DC premiere of Forman s Goya s Ghosts amidst a packed house of 500 at the National Gallery of Art. The director was supposed to
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 2, 2007
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              I witnessed the Washington DC premiere of Forman's
              "Goya's Ghosts" amidst a packed house of 500 at the
              National Gallery of Art. The director was supposed to
              introduce the film, but health problems yielded his
              last minute replacement by producer Saul Zaentz, who
              did manage to interest the audience. Some time later
              I did catch most of Charlie Rose's video interview
              with Milos Forman, and registered his point about the
              rhyme between the succession of divergent rulers over
              Czechoslovakia and Spain. I don't recall mention of
              Iraq, though. Can't be exactly certain about this,
              but I believe the film ran for at least two weeks at
              both branches of the Landmark chain in this area.
              Never thought of walking out and was impressed by
              Javier Bardem's acting, but little memory remained of
              the four Forman films I had last seen 30-40 years ago
              and little came to my mind during the screening
              pertinent to the presence of the auteur. In fact,
              when Milos Forman's absence and the reason for it was
              announced by Saul Zaentz, I abandoned my intent to
              write one of my ekphrastic texts.

              Barry Alpert
              <http://www.fieralingue.it/modules.php?name=Content&pa=list_pages_categories&cid=17>




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