Author Topic: Certified Copy  (Read 7668 times)

sdedalus

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 11:47:42 PM »
No thoughts on the value of copies of artworks?
It's all spelled out in the beginning. They all have value. The original, the copy. I agree with that.
Are you suggesting the value of this film being a copy of Scenes From a Marriage?

I don't know about Scenes of a Marriage, but the fact that yours is the first review I've seen reference it makes me doubt it's so obviously similar.

I think the idea of a copy being as valuable is fascinating, I don't know how you can just agree with it and move on.  Even if I agree with it (which I don't know that I do), its implications are something worth exploring (is pretending to be married the same as being married?  Is the emotional identification we have with art (especially narrative art and especially especially cinema an effective substitute for real emotional experience?  If so, is there any operative difference at all between reality and art, reality and fantasy, truth and fiction?  etc etc etc).  That's what I think the film is about far more than going through the motions of what you seem to think is a typical marriage.

This kind of meta-commentary on cinema I think is very much of a piece with Kiarostami's career, Close-Up in particular (what is that film if not a meditation on the value of pretending?)
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Lobby

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2011, 12:32:42 AM »
The idea that this movie refers to Scenes from a marriage never occurred to me.

I wanted to like it; it seemed to be the sort of movie I like, but unfortunately it left me cold. The long and tedious conversations/lectures about copy vs original didn't tickle me at all. The only thing that was midly interesting was the little "game", where you were wondering if they knew each other or if they were just playing a game. But that little idea isn't enough to carry an entire movie and more than once did I find myself looking at my watch.

The cynic inside me couldn't help starting to think about the multi-national nature of it: that there were equal amounts of French and Brittish ingredients, taking place in Italy, and then I looked at all the companies that came up in the credits, and I thought to myself: "that's the way to get financiation if you're operating in EU. You need to make sure your movie includes the major EU countries - only Germany missing this time.".

OK, I admit that Toscany is pictoresque enough and I enjoyed to see some of those settings. Like most middle-aged women do, I suppose. But it only can take you so far when the story and the characters feel so distant and hard to identify with or care very much about.

This was my first encounter with this director and it certainly didn't leave me craving for more of the same thing.
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FroHam X

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 12:43:30 AM »
Lobby, do yourself a favour and watch Close-Up. I am personally recommending it to you. Even if it doesn't instantly become a favourite for you as it did for me, it will no doubt be one of the most valuable film watching experiences you'll have had in a good while.

I think the love or non-love of Certified Copy comes down to a simple thing. It's all about whether you find the discussion interesting right from the start. I found that more tangential conversation at the start about copies extremely interesting, which then lead to some really interesting thoughts about what happens later in the film between these two characters. Once you're on board I think you're in it for the whole ride. But if for whatever reason you can't connect to the characters or the discussions they are having don't grab you, then the whole movie falls apart.

For me, Certified Copy was an intensely captivating film about two people exploring the very concept of a long-term relationship such as a long marriage. The questions that it raises are, to me, endlessly compelling. And I'm not talking about the surface level, "are they actually married or not?" sort of questions. I was much more interested in the idea, for example, of a marriage several years in being a different, or even lesser, form of the marriage at the start. That in a sense when they go out in public or when they try not to fight with each other by not expressing their true feelings, they are basically trying to create a copy, a forgery of a relationship that no longer exists, or at least doesn't in the same way. This opens up a whole other can of worms, which is to do with whether any two people can maintain a flowery relationship over such a long period, or if people just become comfortable with their situation and with the people around them.

It also helps that I found Binoche totally charming, and I thought both characters were great, well-developed, and fully drawn. Their conversations felt natural, but always interesting, and much like the "certified copies" they look at in the first half of the film, there is much more under the surface of their words than either of them would care to admit. It's through conversation and the little "game" they play that the layers of their characters are slowly peeled away, and I loved every minute of watching that take place.
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Lobby

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2011, 12:49:06 AM »
FroHam - I think the way you put it, it sounds like a topic that would interest me immensly. It's a pity I just couldn't see it that way. You're spot on about what happened to me: I almost fell asleep during the initial scene in that townhall with the lecture thing. The movie lost me already there: I thought to myself: "I'm probably too stupid to get this movie, it's been to long since I went to uni, I'm not interested in this kind of abstract reasoning anymore". I guess it didn't help much that I was kind of tired that night.

But the way you describe the movie... well... maybe I should give it a second chance if it turns up at some point. My initial impression was very bad, but it may have been to hasty or it was maybe "just one of those nights". I probably should have watched something lighter, easier.

I'll check out if my library has Close-Up in their collection. Seems like the kind of movie they might like to buy.
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FroHam X

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2011, 12:56:57 AM »
Close-Up got a Criterion (Blu-ray!) release last year, so it definitely got exposure. Not sure about Europe though.
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verbALs

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 02:14:10 AM »
Lobby I don't if you were still engaged with the film by this point but at the end the husband doesn't remember where he spent his honeymoon. They are sitting on the steps of it? How did that make you feel? I am particularly interested since the couple are our kind of our age.
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FroHam X

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2011, 02:20:56 AM »
Can I just say, I loved that bit. It was so heartbreaking.
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Lobby

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2011, 02:26:10 AM »
I'm afraid they lost me at a very early stage. All this talking about copy vs original concerning art really bored me out of my mind. :(

I did get a bit in touch with the movie towards the end at the revisiting, the tenderness in the scene with her hurting feet.
I can see now that the movie HAS an interesting story about an aging marriage to tell. It's just a shame it didn't quite get through to me due to all the abstract art discussions that clouded my sight and made me sleepy.
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verbALs

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2011, 02:38:04 AM »
Can I just say, I loved that bit. It was so heartbreaking.
It was the point that decided for me this wasn't a real relationship. In fact I would say Binoche was playing it for real and he wasn't. If that sounds confused and conflicted then I think that's what was being aimed at. When you add the art aspects I think this film is trying very hard to be clever.

I love 1SO view that the cafe scene jumps 15 years (at least I thought you were saying that) that actually would be spectacular and interesting. Also Scenes from a marriage sounds evenore interesting now and I feel Bergman would handle this material much better. For instance the restaurant scene was far too dumb Englishman abroad not to choke me.
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Lobby

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Re: Certified Copy
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2011, 02:43:03 AM »
When you add the art aspects I think this film is trying very hard to be clever.

This.
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