Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Intelligent movies

User avatar
Justin Swanton
Reader
Location: Durban, South Africa
Contact:

Intelligent movies

Postby Justin Swanton » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 5:59 am

I watched Batman The Dark Knight last night and once again marvelled at the ability of the moviemaking industry to spend so much money, employ such a brilliant cast, create such breathtaking special effects - and produce such drivel.

Trying to get analytical about it, it seems to me that a good movie must please on three levels: mental, emotional and audiovisual. It is the first of these levels that is so much up the creek in contemporary movies.

I'm looking for recommendations for good movies, preferably but not exclusively historical, that engage the mind as well as the senses. A classic example is A Man for All Seasons. Any other like movies and where can I find/download them? This is a heartfelt appeal.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.

Author of Centurion's Daughter

Come visit my blog

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 6:02 am

I really enjoyed the King's Speech. It might fit your definition.

User avatar
Justin Swanton
Reader
Location: Durban, South Africa
Contact:

Postby Justin Swanton » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 7:17 am

"MLE" wrote:I really enjoyed the King's Speech. It might fit your definition.


I did watch it. It was brilliant (did think Helena Bonham-Carter was a bit miscast though).
Last edited by Justin Swanton on Thu May 3rd, 2012, 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.



Author of Centurion's Daughter



Come visit my blog

User avatar
fljustice
Bibliophile
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Contact:

Postby fljustice » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 3:28 pm

Movies based on plays (such as MfAS) usually have more going for them. I also adored The Lion in Winter (either version.)
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
User signature picture

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Thu May 3rd, 2012, 4:17 pm

Hmm... what we think is intelligent or drivel is still very subjective. I always have a hard time making recommendations like this. But check out Criterion's website where various people in the film industry give their top 10 list. You might get some ideas there.

Some favorites of mine (a lot of these are older and you've probably already seen):

Ridicule, a 1996 French film set in the decadent French court of Louis XVI where words and wit are wielded as deadly weapons.

Blow-up, 1966 English film based on the marvelous Julio Cortazar story.

Pi, 1998 independent film about a mathematician searching for universal patterns in nature. Mileage may very with this one. THe effects are very grainy and rough around the edges (deliberately so) but the subject matter is very cerebral.

My Dinner with Andre, 1981 film. Not actually one of my favorites, but one that many people I know rave about and I think fits your criteria. Very philosophical.

Yes, 2004 film. Dialogue is almost entirely in iambic pentameter, but it turns out very naturally.

rebecca
Compulsive Reader

Postby rebecca » Fri May 4th, 2012, 2:34 am

Hmmm this is a difficult one because it is down to your own personal taste. I enjoyed Batman the Dark Knight(with Heath Ledger)I have not seen the newest Batman. Here are some movies and mini-seriels that I liked.

Black Hawk Down

The Lion in Winter

Out of Africa

The Last King of Scotland

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Politicians Wife

Elizabeth I (With Helen Mirren)

The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep

Atonement

Babette's Feast

Mrs Doubtfire(it's one of the funniest movies I have seen)

Centurion with Michael Fassbender(some hated it-I liked it)

House of Cards and its sequels.

But I have to admit it is hard to choose a recent movie as many are comic book type movies. I didn't mind Thor but I would not buy it and I liked X-Men. So my mix is kind of eclectic.

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Fri May 4th, 2012, 8:44 am

Elizabeth I was excellent. Haven't seen most of the others but I remember being bored still by A Man for All Seasons when we were shown it at school, but we were only about 12 and were forced to sit and watch it, and the projector - it was a long time ago - kept breaking down which didn't help.
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Fri May 4th, 2012, 4:50 pm

Some good recommendations on here already.

Good Night And Good Luck made me think. It covered events that happened before I was born so I was learning some in addition to watching a movie.

The American President is one of my perennial favorites. Very well written and funny.

Lately I've been watching more comedies and family films than anything else so I'm pretty behind. I don't have the energy to think too much when it comes to films right now.

User avatar
Justin Swanton
Reader
Location: Durban, South Africa
Contact:

Postby Justin Swanton » Mon May 7th, 2012, 6:05 am

Thanks for the list. I've seen Babette's Feast, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Black Hawk Down. All very good. Not any of the others but I will try to track them down.

By intelligent movies I don't mean just movies with an intellectual theme. I was thinking more of movies that respect the logic of their world and properly explore and develop it. The Toy Story trilogy does it brilliantly (like everything from Pixar).

The one good thing in Batman was the Joker - his brand of criminal lunacy was intriguing. But Batman himself with his gruff voice and oh so serious expression (as opposed to his rich playboy alter ego), and the attorney character who loses half his face - oh dear!

State of Play which I watched 2 nights ago is on the plus list. A clever plot which explores the moral dilemma of a journalist who must tell the police the facts of the criminal case he is investigating, but not too soon or he will lose his story. The world of the Washington Post is well created, with no straining of credibility, obvious plot contrivances or artificial hyping up of character or action.
Nunquam minus solus quam cum solus.



Author of Centurion's Daughter



Come visit my blog

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Mon May 7th, 2012, 11:05 am

The movie of State of Play was very good - was the original TV series ever shown in the US? It was excellent, and much more multi-layered than the movie, but one of the best TV series of the last few years. It was a BBC series.
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross


Return to “Movies, Television, Radio, and Music”