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RIP Sidney Lumet ("I'm as mad as hell...")

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KIMaster, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. KIMaster

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    <a class="postlink" href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110409/en_nm/us_lumet_death" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110409/en_ ... umet_death</a>

    Tragic news; my favorite director of all time, and a huge personal inspiration, who directed an excellent picture as recently as 2007 ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), died today at 86.

    If you've never seen Lumet's films, (12 Angry Men, Network, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, etc.) the man despised "artistic" shots and pretension. His films had limited action scenes, and many took place entirely within the confines of a few small rooms. It's merely characters conversing with one another, nothing more.

    Yet, there was no director in history better at either writing or presenting dialogue. His films are incredibly absorbing, shocking, and brutally real. In addition to being wildly entertaining, they were intelligent and multi-layered.

    He is most famous for his gritty crime and court films, but he also directed "The Wiz", starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and Richard Pryor, a 70's black musical adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz". And guess what? That was good, too.

    Focus- Discuss the man and his works.
     
  2. DrFrylock

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  3. DrFrylock

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    It's tough to turn The Wizard of Oz into a post-apocalyptic horror movie that scarred children for life.

    (The original 12 Angry Men is still impressive and holds up as well today as ever).
     
  4. Fernanthonies

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    I first watched 12 Angry Men as an assignment for an ethics class with the expectation that it was going to be very boring. Turns out it was one of the best films I've ever seen. I think that's the only Lumet film I've seen, something I will have to remedy soon.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Watch Network. Probably one of the best films Ive ever seen. Blends stinging social satire with intense human drama. One of those films that correctly predicted the out of control media of today and did so in hilarious fashion. Great performances all around even bit players like Ned Beatty's single scene.
     
  6. KIMaster

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    Indeed; that's my all-time favorite of Lumet's pictures. It's arguably the most intelligent film ever made, and does an insane job of predicting many of the social, cultural, and political phenomena we're seeing today...all the way back in 1976.

    However, Lumet was only one of the people responsible for it. Paddy Chayefsky, one of the greatest Hollywood screenwriters ever, who won 3 Oscars, churned out the best script of his entire career, and Finch, Dunaway, Holden, Beatty, and Duvall combined for arguably the greatest ensemble performance I have ever seen.

    The break-up scene between Max and Diana literally had my eyes bulging out of my sockets, and my mouth ajar. I couldn't believe what I was seeing; how do you manage to convey such emotions and truth in a break-up in a freaking movie?!

    Focus-

    One thing about Lumet is that despite notoriously only shooting 1-3 takes of a scene, he was an expert at drawing out the very best performances from his actors.

    In "Find Me Guilty", a character driven piece centered around...Vin Diesel, Lumet manages to draw out a performance from Baldy that DeNiro in his prime would have been proud of. Needless to say, when he worked with actors like Henry Fonda, Newman, Pacino, and others, the results were even more incredible.
     
  7. Gatling

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    The Verdict

    Although I am a huge fan of Network, Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico I think my favorite is The Verdict.

    Newman's closing argument; James Mason handing the money to Charlotte Rampling and discussing the "law"; Katlin Costello on the stand "why did you change the number on the admitting form"; and the final scene of the ringing phone. Fantastic stuff!!
     
  8. Solaris

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    I loved Network but I didn't really care for the romantic sub-plot. Felt like it was just put into the film to fill it out a little.
     
  9. toddus

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    There was a punishment for worst thread right?