Author Topic: Write about the last movie you watched (2006-2010)  (Read 3765664 times)

Clovis8

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19980 on: September 21, 2009, 01:27:14 AM »
Your reaction to his movie about a high school shooting is rage and disgust. It seems like maybe Van Sant succeeded perfectly.

I was going to add "at Van Sant for screwing it up so bad", but I thought people would get that.

The point is he cant screw it up. It all about your reaction and your reaction seems appropriate to the movies content. Therefore, like it or not, the movie works perfectly.

oldkid

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19981 on: September 21, 2009, 01:29:59 AM »
"There is no explainable reason" is something that can be done effectively, this isn't it. If that's what he was going for, why include scenes of every stereotype imaginable for the killers? The other characters were just as badly portrayed, Van Sant putting together a collection of every high-school personality stereotype in the book. Of course they were only fodder for his little staged tragedy anyways, so there's not much to say about them.

wow, i really wanna smack you right now ;D

Its not about him saying something, and to always expect that is kinda lazy.  The intent of this and last days and gerry ect is a kind of semiotic investigation - its up to YOU to say something.  Unlike say Pixar, this is actually art as film (not to knock it - i love entertainment as much as the next person).  You have these ideas and judgments in your head and he give you visuals that provoke those associations.  Meditate on your own reactions - not on what you think Van Sant's might be because you don;t know what they are because he's actually not interested in telling you.  This is why something like Theo Angelopoulos' Ulysses' Gaze (which tries to do the same thing) doesn't work for me is that I really have no cultural knowledge base from which to draw on to interact with what I'm seeing.  But to disregard this side of the film is to lose so much of what makes the film great. 

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Meditate on your own reactions

I did, my reactions were anger, hatred, and disgust. ;D But seriously, you're not really addressing my problems with the movie. Your description of it sounds great, if it actually succeeded at those things I would have no doubt loved it as I have movies that work in similar ways. But the way Van Sant handles the material actively prevents me from experiencing anything meaningful. I don't expect you to agree with me, but I need you to know I'm not just disregarding Van Sants intent, I'm saying it's:

completely ineffective.

Your reaction to his movie about a high school shooting is rage and disgust. It seems like maybe Van Sant succeeded perfectly.

But his rage and disgust isn't at anything going on in the film, but at the filmmaking process.  I don't think that's what GVS was going for, or a response he would appreciate.

I had to step back, Melville, before I responded to your review, because my initial response was anger and disgust to your review.  I know that you have excellent opinions on movies in general (anyone who likes Spirited Away as much as you do obviously has excellent taste), but it seemed that you completely missed the point of Elephant.

 I thought it was an excellently made film, taking me where it wanted me to go, lulling me with the boring events going through the maze of halls and classrooms of this quiet high school.  We see things from different perspectives all throughout the movie, and even though we know what's going to happen it still shocks and horrifies us-- perhaps because it was all TOO normal, too peaceful, too boring.  The complacency we felt is jarred, and our world is not the same.  Is this a perfect film?  No, but it is marvelous, and the acting isn't great, but real life isn't about great acting-- real life is full of terrible acting.  And by the end, this was MY high school and this event was happening where I lived.

Yet, I recognize that this was my personal experience of the film, and it is wrong for me to not allow you your own response to the film.  So, you were disgusted by the film making.  I don't understand that, but it's your opinion and so I respect it.  And you are a person who deserves respect.  But you are so wrong.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

pixote

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19982 on: September 21, 2009, 01:31:50 AM »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Clovis8

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19983 on: September 21, 2009, 01:35:17 AM »
The point Keith was making, and I agree with, is that his experimental films are pure Rorshach. They tell us more about ourselves than any narrative details. Some will watch Elephant and find his exploitation of stereotypes repulsive while others will think he is showing possible motives for the violence. The film splits its audience into the two camps which already exist. This is not a failure of the film but its success.

oldkid

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19984 on: September 21, 2009, 01:36:59 AM »
Melville

Hehe.

Okay, carry on.

pixote

Dang.  I was going to fix that.  Can we just call him Herman from now on?
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

pixote

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19985 on: September 21, 2009, 01:38:48 AM »
"Safe sucked.  It was so boring."
"It was supposed to be boring.  That's the whole point."
"Was it supposed to suck, too?  Because it totally sucked."
"How can you say it sucked when it totally did what it set out to do?"
"To bore the shit out of me?"
"Exactly!"
"Give me back my Twizzlers."

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Melvil

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19986 on: September 21, 2009, 01:40:50 AM »
But his rage and disgust isn't at anything going on in the film, but at the filmmaking process.  I don't think that's what GVS was going for, or a response he would appreciate.

I had to step back, Melville, before I responded to your review, because my initial response was anger and disgust to your review.  I know that you have excellent opinions on movies in general (anyone who likes Spirited Away as much as you do obviously has excellent taste), but it seemed that you completely missed the point of Elephant.

 I thought it was an excellently made film, taking me where it wanted me to go, lulling me with the boring events going through the maze of halls and classrooms of this quiet high school.  We see things from different perspectives all throughout the movie, and even though we know what's going to happen it still shocks and horrifies us-- perhaps because it was all TOO normal, too peaceful, too boring.  The complacency we felt is jarred, and our world is not the same.  Is this a perfect film?  No, but it is marvelous, and the acting isn't great, but real life isn't about great acting-- real life is full of terrible acting.  And by the end, this was MY high school and this event was happening where I lived.

Yet, I recognize that this was my personal experience of the film, and it is wrong for me to not allow you your own response to the film.  So, you were disgusted by the film making.  I don't understand that, but it's your opinion and so I respect it.  And you are a person who deserves respect.  But you are so wrong.

Thanks Steve, I appreciate the kind words despite vehemently disagreeing with me. :) It basically comes down to that I was not shocked and horrified at all by what happens. It was too artificial and I was too aware of Van Sants directorial choices to be affected. That's what made me angry, because in this movie of all movies I should have been emotionally invested. I had a similar reaction to Paranoid Park, so I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it's the amount that I love the idea of both movies that ultimately makes me as angry as I am that they don't work for me.

oldkid

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19987 on: September 21, 2009, 01:44:23 AM »
The point Keith was making, and I agree with, is that his experimental films are pure Rorshach. They tell us more about ourselves than any narrative details. Some will watch Elephant and find his exploitation of stereotypes repulsive while others will think he is showing possible motives for the violence. The film splits its audience into the two camps which already exist. This is not a failure of the film but its success.

I think we understood Keith's point, and I'm not sure what I think of it, myself.  I just purchased the DVD, so I probably will watch it again soon and chime in on this.  But, again, I think that Melvil's  (check spelling... got it) is outside of what Keith is speaking of.  It is not disgust at the point of what GVS is supposed to be making, but disgust that there is no point at all.  This response tells Melvil nothing about himself-- except his blindness at being unable to see what a fantastic film this is.  If he had been angry at GVS at a message or a moral lapse, then it would support Keith's interpretation.  But for M to say "it's poor film making" is to say there IS no moral point, there is nothing to make a point from.  And then, if GVS is intending to stir an artistic reaction to the film, he failed in Melvil's case.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19988 on: September 21, 2009, 01:46:55 AM »

Thanks Steve, I appreciate the kind words despite vehemently disagreeing with me. :) It basically comes down to that I was not shocked and horrified at all by what happens. It was too artificial and I was too aware of Van Sants directorial choices to be affected. That's what made me angry, because in this movie of all movies I should have been emotionally invested. I had a similar reaction to Paranoid Park, so I shouldn't be surprised by this, but it's the amount that I love the idea of both movies that ultimately makes me as angry as I am that they don't work for me.

Whew!  That's the kind of response I was hoping for.

But, you have to admit, Elephant must be effective in some way, because we are all spending so much effort talking about it.  If nothing else, it is not a neutral film.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

pixote

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Re: Write about the last movie you watched
« Reply #19989 on: September 21, 2009, 01:49:10 AM »
But, you have to admit, Elephant must be effective in some way, because we are all spending so much effort talking about it.
The Hannah Montana: The Movie thread contains 121 posts, so I assume that's a more effective movie.  :D

I'm no help here at all.

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.