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Old 04-13-2017, 10:26 AM   #211
teh b0lly!!1
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Moonlight



one of my fav movie posters in recent years

how fortunate of me to be somebody who essentially lives under a rock and doesn't listen to new movie buzz (mostly) until i get to see it. i even managed to forget Moonlight was the movie who actually won the oscars, even though it was a scandalous affair that was all over teh internetz for at least a few weeks. so all that is to say, i went in knowing nothing about this film. not even what it's about. which is, as i always proclaim to everyone and anyone who begs me to leave them alone, always the absolute best way to go.

it really was hauntingly beautiful. out of all movie genres, coming of age films probably have the most powerful effect on me. it's always been like that. perhaps because i have my own fixation on that time period in my life and the awkwardness of growing up. but this film achieved so many beautiful things without ever coming off as cheap, or concocted, or fake. it didn't feel like one of those films that were made to generate oscar buzz (i.e Revenant, as great as that film was), but rather one of those films that the schmaltzy oscar folks happily latched onto because of its somewhat taboo subject matter.

tbh i didn't like finding out that this movie was 'teh big oscar winnar' for similar reasons that i mentioned in my embarrassingly long essay on '12 years a slave'. it's not quite the same, though - because this is a MUCH better film, and is deserving of all the praise it gets. it's just that it's such a 'small' movie, like a sparse song with only a guy singing and playing acoustic guitar, and to have it win every bigtime award kinda feels like P.C was forced unto it, and that's what i don't particularly care for. the hollywood machine is cynical.

BUT, to say again, none of this goes to say this movie is not top notch. there is something that differentiates a truly grade A movie from the rest of the pack, and you can tell immediately, like in the first 30 seconds of the film. always. first shot of this film where Juan simply pulls over in his car, i knew this was gonna be a good one. i don't know why. Buzzard probably knows the technical details that makes one swoon over a particular image.

as good as all other actors on this film were (and most of them really were great), i gotta talk about Juan first (Mahershala Ali). this dude was absolutely amazing. he fleshed out a character that's so warm and fatherly, so engaging, so deeply likable and yet so morally questionable, and he did it so fluidly and naturally as an actor - it really is quite remarkable. imho he's arguably the best character of the film (obvs other than Chiron) but he only does it in like 35 minutes of screen time.

like i said in lari's corporate movie thread - i can't recall the last time a film has made me care so deeply about its characters, so immediately. like, literally within the first 10 minutes of the film, i was totally invested in those characters. tbqh i don't know exactly what it is that makes this film have such a profound emotional core, but it just goes straight into the heart like an arrow. only movie that made me feel like that recently that i can recall is Blue Is The Warmest Color, and that's a massive three hour relationship arc film.

the cinematography is incredible here, and although not particularly 'fancy', it just works so beautifully well. in addition to the nice camerawork, they hired an (obviously very gifted) colorist, who gave each of the chapters a distinct 'look', emulating a certain type of analogue film: kodak, agfa, and fuji. what a brilliant, subtle addition. and the color palette is indeed striking (i swear i thought about this even before i read the trivia about this film). in general it's just a beautiful movie to look at. it's so inspiring to experience it when people marry the correct technical possibilities to the right narrative. and this is exactly it.

also, i just have to mention this sequence:



that's just fucking visual poetry. definitely my single fav moment of the film. the way it's shot with a highspeed camera, so that her entrance to the brightly pink lit room feels like she's getting sucked into it - a perfect representation of the allure of drug addiction. and then, Chiron turning the other way - which is the same direction on screen due to mirror imaging. just absolutely brilliant and heartbreaking.

the three actors portraying Chiron all did a really admirable job, and are all very convincing as the same person. they all share that essence. the delayed reaction time, the tame and borderline uncommunicative demeanor (even when Chirone is a transformed adult). the same history runs through all three of them. an impressive feat (even more so considering the three actors never met on set - an interesting directorial approach that obviously worked very well).

at first i was kinda bummed at the downbeat finish, but then i realized i wasn't disappointed with the way it ended at all - it was perfect. i was just sorry to part with these characters.

more to say but i'll sign off this one for now
yours truly,

 
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Old 04-13-2017, 11:15 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by teh b0lly!!1 View Post
on a final note, i really hated the multiple occasions in this film that indirectly legitimized animal abuse. Royal Tenenbaum is portrayed as a good sport who loves dog fights, and it's even insinuated that he takes he grandchildren there - seriously what the fuck? that's just not cool. also, a dog gets run over, and is promptly literally replaced in a couple of minutes by a (5000$ store bought pure breed) dog. then you have a hawk that is carried around from place to place with a cover on its head and eyes, etc. but mainly the dog fight thing portrayed as a juvenile joy, that just really rubbed me the wrong way.
i don't think chaz & margot even know what happens on these little outings, the dogfights was just one of the things too. Royal only ever takes Richie and thats why they're so envious. i mean i don't think you're supposed to like everything about royal, he lies about having colon cancer to get in the house and he calls a black man "coal train" for example, and he's kind of supposed to be an old school hemingway man's man which is problematic and taking a boy to dogfights is part of this contradictory package. he's not a good father or not even really a good man, but he's sorry about it & he dies.

the falcon with the cap on is just how people do falconry, its abuse if you think it is, but its been done for generations

 
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:27 PM   #213
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Gotta bump this, really great review.

Reminded me I've yet to see Blue is the Warmest Color.

 
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:00 PM   #214
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thanks lari.
v. happy to see you back <3

also, make it a point to watch Blue is The Warmest Color. i won't say anything about it as to ramp up your expectations except you need to see it. it's good.

 
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:12 PM   #215
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She watched and reviewed it!

 
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:07 AM   #216
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Paterson



i love me some Jim Jarmusch. he's so unique in his filmmaking and has such a distinct voice in what he does. it's been a while since i watched a Jarmusch flick, and they've all been 1999 or earlier. so i was thrilled when i found out he had a new film out, and even though i knew nothing about it i was intrigued to see where it would go.

well, after watching it, i still kinda don't know.

for starters it's a really, really beautiful film to look at. i love how Jarmusch knows how to play with his colour schemes and palettes, just to tilt you a little bit without you even realizing it. the film feels so warm and sunlit and breezy but yet you can't help but feel an undercurrent of desolation under it. perhaps because of Adam Driver's constantly mournful expression.

the entire film, to me, is an exercise in extreme nuance (not unlike other Jarmusch films). it's only ever really about the subtleties in life, which is only fitting because it's not only a movie about poetry, but about contemporary postmodern poetry. so like one review i'd read said quite nicely - much like the poetry in it, the film itself also doesn't rhyme, and doesn't beautify its subject matter with ornaments - but is just... is.

so in other words, there's essentially no real 'plot' to this film. it's about a guy waking up in the morning, going to work, driving a bus, overhearing conversations and writing poetry.

so understandably it's not an 'entertaining' film. it can get glacial, and doesn't really command your attention at all times, but much like other Jarmusch films, it has a strong spiritual core and it leaves you those 'spaces' in the film that allow you to reflect about your own life.

one of the best aspects of this movie to me was it's depiction of the city it was shot in (New Jersey). it was so masterfully shot and orchestrated, that i felt like i could almost smell the streets and feel the breeze against my skin. the coarse buildings, the streets, the mixed population, the rugged beauty of it all. and it really is beautiful when you look at it the way the film suggests you to. it seemed to me like Jarmusch had filmed this movie exclusively (or almost exclusively) using natural light, which gives it a very, very earthy, warm feel. lots of 'magic hour' shooting. the only other movie i can think of that made me get such a vibe and connection to the city it was set in, was He Got Game. and that was such a different story with a different vibe.

like i said before, there's an undercurrent of desolation to the whole thing. it works on several levels, and never really resolves at all, or provides relief. throughout the whole film you're walking that tightrope, not knowing if Paterson genuinely deeply loves his wife & dog & house & routine he has for himself, or if he's just grinding through it. you really can't tell if he's perfectly content with the life he has with his wife, or if he's feeling downcast in it. when every day opens the exact same way and each day echoes the other, you can't help but get that desperation in it, but it's all so beautifully delivered. so like in life, i suppose it skillfully captures that contrast between appreciating the beautiful things in life, and dealing with the real shit too.

the lead character is very stoic, very expressionless. it's an interesting filmmaking choice, because basically all stimuli that's to bounce off this lead character, just gets drowned in his lack of expression. having such a timid protagonist reminded me of The Lobster, where Colin Farrell also had to navigate in his acting on a very limited emotional scale. Adam Driver is pretty good in this though, and he has that look in his eyes that makes this whole story, and world built around him for this film, believable.

his wife is especially beautifully portrayed by Golshifteh Farahani - she captures such a fine balance between being this angelic person who's all about pure goodness and naivety, yet somehow being inexplicably insufferable and annoying. btw this might be the place to say i found all those sequences of Paterson and Laura waking up together and immediately bursting into chatter kind of fake and annoying. who the hell wants to have a close up goddamn face to face chat when your breath is still all dank from a long night of sleep?

another thing i didn't like so much was how Jarmusch incorporated twins into the film. i thought it was a cool surreal touch while i was watching it, but as the movie progressed it seemed to make less and less sense, and sure enough - after i finished watching it, i read online that Jarmusch just accidentally happened upon the idea while filming and decided to toss it in.

since this film is only very very faintly surreal, and mostly realistic, it feels like a strange touch, and fairly out of place - especially considering it doesn't mean anything. i mean to me it feels like billy corgan passing off one of the general stock machina songs as being 'part of teh big mystery'. can't say i understand what it was supposed to contribute, except throwing the viewer off.

holy shit this got long. no real "big conclusions" to be made about this movie; it's sort of profound and mundane at the same time. no big questions; no big answers. i can't say it was riverting, but it was beautiful, delicate, skillfully made and thought provoking.

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:33 PM   #217
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I had taken the multiple sets of twins to suggest that they'd simply begun standing out to him once the film's opening lines of dialogue had revealed his partner's dream, effectively demonstrating the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

It's funny how differently we can perceive the same things, though, as I had actually thought to myself that their post-sleep pillow talk was more or less exactly how my weekends begin.

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:29 PM   #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotskilicious View Post
he calls a black man "coal train" for example
It's Coltrane, as in John

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:32 PM   #219
teh b0lly!!1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard View Post
I had taken the multiple sets of twins to suggest that they'd simply begun standing out to him once the film's opening lines of dialogue had revealed his partner's dream, effectively demonstrating the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

It's funny how differently we can perceive the same things, though, as I had actually thought to myself that their post-sleep pillow talk was more or less exactly how my weekends begin.
omg you're one of those?
how come morning breath doesn't bother you?

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:45 PM   #220
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I have yet to observe any major changes to the oral bouquet upon waking.

What happens to your mouth between that last dance with the toothbrush and regaining consciousness, exactly?

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:46 PM   #221
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elves shit in your mouth while you're sleeping

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:48 PM   #222
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Perhaps it's all the dead spiders.

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:48 PM   #223
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bolls, looking forward to your forthcoming review of a ghost story

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:57 PM   #224
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googled it, sounds intense
can't wait to watch it

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:57 PM   #225
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googled it, sounds intense
can't wait to watch it

 
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:27 PM   #226
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Will Oldham will be in it, it seems, arguably giving me scope enough to point out that the following song sounds like something redbreegull would enjoy.


 
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:37 PM   #227
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Trainspotting 2: Judgement Day



man oh man, i've been waiting to watch this movie for so long.
few works have shaped my life more than the original film did. i watched it when i was probably 12 years old, which is way too young for a film that fucked up, no question. but it affected me so deeply, juts really carved itself into my heart. i remember walking around with it for DAYS and days, playing and replaying in my head.

i'd watched it countless times, i remember every shot and recite every bit of dialogue, and i was really excited at the prospect of seeing and spending time with those characters again. this film has been like a good friend to me in a weird way, and so are those people. i grew up with them. but on a more grounded note, i knew there was no possible way any film they could come up with, would ever hold up to a film i had mythologized and idealized for some 20 years - even if it would be a colossal masterpiece. it's like developing an affinity for a damaged old sound recording, warbly tape and dropouts and distortion and all. or an old photo. seeing it all digitally cleaned up in 4K would only destroy the memory.

that is only one of the things that really bothered me in this new release: it is just too slick. it just doesn't feel like it is truly happening in the same universe as the original film, which was beautifully analogue - the very subtle grainy quality and the idiosyncratic color palette and the sorrowful, humid scotland air you got from it. this new film is much too generic looking - not costumes wise, not set wise, just the way it was shot. i was never one of those huge camera geeks so i don't know the technical terms to express exactly what it is i don't like - i just know it doesn't feel right to me. and very generous amounts of histrionic post production CGI did not help alleviate that sentiment.

i mean to be honest, when it first showed up, i thought the novelty CGI stuff was a cool little touch that almost rejuvenized that cool 90's feel Boyle achieved with the original - but then it was used again, and again, and again, until it was too much.

but here's the funny thing about all this. all my criticisms can sort of be nullified by the fact that this movie deliberately works on a very meta level. i mean it tells the story of four absolutely damaged individuals who suddenly find themselves still being the same fucked up people in their late 40's. the whole point is that what was endearing, sexy and attractive when they were a bunch of dysfunctional 20 year olds, is mostly offputting in their adulthood. thematically, the whole film goes for disenchantment - so in a way, one could claim that making a movie that is much less compelling, successful, driving, and moving, is simply about reflecting the fading and wearing of the characters it tells the story of.

but of course, this sentiment is relating to the general effect, or the 'outcome' of the movie - meaning that, it would have been ok to walk away from it a bit underwhelmed, or expecting to see something different.

so i guess, after much verbal trodding, i'm finally able to pinpoint to myself that the reason i didn't like it, is because i feel like i wasn't underwhelmed for the right reasons.

i was disappointed because the smug self referencing and glorifying the first movie within the body of the second movie, is fucking weak form, and it's everything i hoped it not to be. there are so many moments that are basically emulated replicas of great moments from the first movie, as if to say "HOW GREAT WAS THIS, EH?". and it does so in such a forced and cumbersome fashion. it might be something as tiny as the way renton convulses when he sees a filthy toilet at the dance club (you can almost hear Danny Boyle yelling in your ear: LOL REMEMBER THE TOILET SCENE? HE MADE THE SAME FACE THEN!), but it also applies to much bigger things that were so lazily hacked into the script.

a good example of that is the millenial version of the Choose Life monologue. i fucking hated it when i first heard it as a voiceover in the trailer, and i hated it now - BUT wit that said, i do sort of understand why they would want to include it in the film. but - and here is my point - the best way they could come up with to shove it in there, is have renton go to dinner with sick boy's gf, and have her say: "OH BTW WHAT'S 'CHOOSE LIFE'? I HEARD SICK BOY SAY IT, LOL WHAT IS IT?"

and then Ewan Mcgregor just launches into it, completely forced and crude as fuck, as the camera awkwardly stays on him. zero subtlety. same goes for a lot of other stuff, namely the film basically turning almost into a slasher film with a monstrously unreasonable Begbie chasing Renton with a bag of weapons in his hand, planning to murder him. it is so flat, so fake, so dumb and inconsistent with what we know about his (amazing) character from the first film. sigh. it was just so disappointing.

btw, another example of how they stitched in a scenario for the sole purpose of ripping off a moment from the first film, was to have Renton get hit by a moving car again, pause for a second and smile heartily. although this time around he waits juts a momenttoo long, as if to relish in applause and celebration of the first film - yet another sign of the smugness i was talking about.

another problem i made a quick note of before, is the actors themselves don't have much credibility going for them as aged version of the characters they played in 1996. Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle and even Ewen Bremner were very hit and miss, but who really dropped the ball big time on this was Ewan Mcgregor. here's what he himself had to say about reprising the role of Renton:

Quote:
Of all the characters I’ve played who’ve been Scots, Renton is the most Scottish of them all. And I suddenly thought, ‘Fuck! What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not Scottish enough any more?’”
Quote:
‘We just wanted to nail it. My nerves were about: can I find Renton again? Everybody knows him. People know who he is. I hadn’t tried to be Renton for 20 years. But in the end it was easy.’
"it was easy" my ass. it just means you weren't trying hard enough, cunt. he didn't even sound scottish anymore - it sounded like he was trying his hardest to sound scottish, when he's not anymore.

in fact, the whole film suffers from performances that are simply too self-aware. it really seemed to me like everybody on screen was trying to rev themselves up, but it just looks like they're all trying too hard. there are redeeming moments here and there, mainly very small moments where the actors 'slipped up' and just delivered a small, human gesture, without some ulterior motive or intention behind it. as if they did it without realizing it - and that's where the magic was at for me. that's when i felt at home again with these characters.

i'm sorry that this review is essentially endless bitching, but another thing i didn't like was the direction. it was unrecognizable from the thrilling, punch-packing, visceral, inventive direction that characterized the original. the music selection was fucking awful too, and it was especially noticeable because the original may be the one single movie with the strongest use of music i have ever watched. the sequel had not an ounce of that same flair.

in fact, this whole film and the direction behind it, felt to me like an old dinosaur rock band trying to write songs that emulate their most successful record. this is kinda the equivalent of Quasar or whatever the fuck that song is called. it's the same guy, it's the same guitar sound, the riffs are in the same vein, it's the same shtick, but the heart is just not there. it's sterile.

it could have been so great if they would cast aside all the homages, and winks, and nods, and references, and just try to make something completely independent of the original. just cut themselves loose creatively, and try to come up with something brilliant again, instead of placing all this self importance on themselves. because all those homages and self references, are ultimately there to make the crowds roar. Danny Boyle can tell tales about how he used it thematically to convey the futility of nostalgia, etc, but underneath all the word crust it's still the same thing as all those reboots and self celebrating sequels.

i'll definitely watch it again, i think, just to form a more solid opinion on it. but psychologically, i already find myself separating it from the original, just to keep it intact, and not 'harm' what it means to me. like everyone here calls whatever incarnation it is of sp, SP2 or 3 or 4.

i really miss the 90's sometimes.

 
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Old 05-26-2017, 11:06 PM   #228
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man that is so embarrassingly long i'm sorry. not my best work.
i didn't even hate the film THAT badly, it's not all bad. but i don't think writing any more is the answer. emotional attachment is a thing, turns out

 
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:04 AM   #229
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Damn that was a good read.
I am with you for the most part on your assessment of the film. It's like a self conscious cartoon version of the characters, it's a little off putting.

 
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:54 AM   #230
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Raw




after hearing so much raving about it, i approached this film expecting some real cinematic candy. i think i might have processed it very differently if it just happened to come on TV and i only vaguely knew it was about a cannibalistic college chick - but i didn't, so it left me feeling pretty divided.

to start things off - i will admit that i don't really agree with all the praising and accolades all singing in unison. i think it would have been better if i was expecting something trashy - although i do wish to emphasize i'm not saying this is a trashy film at all.

to start from the upside, i think this film brilliantly sets out to fuse together a slew of very disparate and narratively distant genres. a cannibalistic vampire oddball outsider girl, goes into a strict schooling system with initiation rituals echoing the dehumanization of Full Metal Jacket, almost, and then develops her own sexuality and learns to come to terms with herself. like, it's horror, drama, coming of age, cannibalism/vampirism, love, family, sisterhood, gay overtones. self control. even anorexia. that's creative originality that i really respect. it's all tossed into this massive melting pot and at the very least, this is a very original film unlike other that i'd ever come across, and for that it's admirable, especially so for a debut effort.

it is also quite arresting visually and beautifully shot, and the cinematography was obviously much labored over. but, interestingly (or not, if you consider me a boring old fuck, in which case i don't blame ya) - those two upsides also leak into what i found disappointing about the film, as well. and by that i mean, that although it deals with a particularly diverse array of genres, plot arcs, and ideas, it somehow feels very dense, and yet quite lean at the same time.

it seemingly deals with such a large and great variety of ideas and themes, but in the end it ends up merely 'commenting' on most of them, and never really fully cease almost any of them. very few of all these really interesting angles and ideas were really fleshed out like i wished they had. not Justine's beautiful relationship with Adriane; not her maturing process and coming to grips with herself and her sexuality/frightening impulses; not her getting through this unbelievably dehumanizing initiation process. not her dealing with her seemingly complex/congested family situation.

in this regard, it feels somewhat like an exploitation film. it mostly focuses on shock factor moments, of which it has plenty, and arguably too many. the puking of a long string of hair, the bikini wax scene, the chicken/finger eating scene, etc etc.

another somewhat 'exploitative' dimension in the film that i thought was a bit lackluster, was how some sequences were tailored into it, seemingly mostly to indulge the director, rather than wholly and truly serve the story and the film. like, that shot of the new students crawling to the party like insects, or even that nice shot that referenced "A Clockwork Orange" -

it's not like they're super bad, distracting and unnecessary bigtime money shots or anything... but they are slightly offset to the rhythm of the film, i thought. some moments like that felt slightly displaced to me. like the story was being interrupted by occasional heavy handed set pieces, that although beautiful in their own right - don't allow for one continuous stream of unbroken storytelling.

the one aspect in the film i found most beautiful, was Justine's relationship with her sister, and that story delivered some of the most beautiful moments for me. learning to piss standing up on a deserted rooftop; having this sadomasochistic love-hate relationship with each other, that's ultimately rooted in real, deep love.

that one sequence where they fight like savage animals in the school yard, and sink their teeth into each others' arms, then gaze into each others' eyes, before walking away from the scene with their arms around each other, fending off people who came for 'help' (i.e separate them)-

that's quality acting. quality storytelling. that's filmmaking that makes you empathize with something so otherworldly, so depraved, so backwards of what is 'real'. and at that moment it just becomes a good story that moves you, regardless of the fucked up circumstances within which it was bred. that's the kind of beautiful subtlety i wish there was more of in the picture, and unfortunately i thought it missed a fair share of other opportunities for that.

one last thing that i found really cool and interesting about this film, is the staggering difference between what it is about on the surface, and what the symbolism stands for. of course, the metaphoric meaning runs parallel to it all along, hand in hand. like a transparent sticker on a new screen, that finally reveals itself fully and comes off in the very last scene of the film - with Justine's father revealing his mutilated, scarred chest, and telling his daughter she will find a way to get through it, just like himself and her mother did.

and only then it sort of hit me fully that even though it's a fucked up movie about cannibalism and violence and depravity, what it's really about is just learning to deal with life, and what you're given - be it your (fucked up) family, the world you live in, your sexuality, your natural inclination and demeanor, etc.

so all this basically boils down to a lot of praise i just typed up on a film that i basically really loved the idea of, but wish it was fleshed out more profoundly and in a more layered fashion. because as it stands, it is frankly, more than anything else, a stylish exploitation film with a distant layer of symbolism, that although it works quite nicely - is way underutilized within the context of the actual film imho.

it's been a while since i typed up one of those. i hope i didn't lose it. thank you for reading. i would also like to point out that i very seriously considered multiple times during the course of the film to stop watching it, because it had a LOT of very, very unnecessary scenes that depicted animal abuse that was absolutely unjustified, and that was shitty and made me feel shitty for watching this as entertainment.

ta!

Last edited by teh b0lly!!1 : 07-17-2017 at 11:46 AM.

 
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