Author Topic: Essentially - A movie orgy  (Read 8120 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #130 on: April 05, 2016, 01:07:42 AM »
I remember some interesting camera work, namely laying the camera on the floor - or almost - to film characters sitting down on the floor Japanese style. Or sometimes standing up even. I think I had reasons to find that interesting.

More than that, I responded favourably to the movie but have forgotten most of the plot. How does the son react to learning about his father ? I would be hard pressed to comment on the movie without remembering that.

I will say however, that there was a feeling about it. A sort of hot summer evening feeling, when everything goes a bit slower, with considerable melancholy making the air heavier, as if with humidity. It was a movie with little hope it seems to me. Resignation was most people's reaction to tragedy. The characters learned to make do with the changes they had to go through instead of being driving forces behind the changes.

I really don't know what else to say, it's been months.
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chardy999

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #131 on: April 05, 2016, 01:44:01 AM »
More than that, I responded favourably to the movie but have forgotten most of the plot. How does the son react to learning about his father ? I would be hard pressed to comment on the movie without remembering that.

He says he doesn't need a father. Then the father realises that makes sense - and makes it explicitly clear that he felt shame about being a low-grade kabuki actor and hence not worthy of being a father. He does turn his nose at all the women though. That's where the class commentary comes in.

The son is not married to this dogma through his opinions and his actions. It's all a small "ah-ha" moment in a decent film.
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.
- Groucho Marx

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #132 on: April 12, 2016, 09:43:33 PM »
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #133 on: April 20, 2016, 08:46:21 PM »
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valmz

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #134 on: April 20, 2016, 11:39:00 PM »
url=https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/the-fountain/]The Fountain[/url] (2006)
Here's a post from the spoiler thread which lays out what I think "happens" in the film. It should be noted, though: Within this interpretation, both the conquistador and the scientist end up being "consumed" by their quest to overcome death - literally and figuratively. Essentially the entirety of their lives are spent in this pursuit, and it is how they die. While this is certainly a romantic idea, there are some people who feel that it is perhaps not the best way to spend one's life. Indeed, the wife in the present agrees, as she tells her husband to stay with her while she is alive rather than be "consumed" by his work. The end of the film tells us two things: That the husband stays true to his wife by finishing her book (he has his ring, because he is not the character from the future, who is fictional), and that the husband stays true to his wife by accepting death rather than being "consumed" by trying to prevent it. To seal this, he gives life to a tree over her grave. Perhaps an offspring from his "tree of life", (which is probably fictional, anyway), or perhaps not - it doesn't matter, because the quest to save her wasn't what was important to her, anyway. I like that sentiment much more than the frankly dehumanizing idea that one is defined by the spectacle of death, not by the deeds of one's life.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #135 on: April 20, 2016, 11:45:26 PM »
Did you participate in the rather long discussion we had about that ending when I originally posted my review in here ?
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valmz

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #136 on: April 21, 2016, 12:09:08 AM »
Did you participate in the rather long discussion we had about that ending when I originally posted my review in here ?
It appears that I even participated! It was a long time ago, your post tricked me!

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #137 on: February 05, 2017, 04:49:13 AM »
Crossposting from the Respond thread and crossing this one off.

La Grande Illusion
Jean Renoir (1937)


The wistful Monsieur Gustave would have been at home in La Grande Illusion. Not only do the protagonists share his inclination for prison-breaking but the movie is also a celebration of the gentler, more civilised times he yearns for. In the midst of the barbarity of the trenches and the birth of modern warfare there was a space for civility and manners. Away from the butchery, Germans and French could deal with one another with respect and even kindliness, even separated by their roles of prisoners and gaolers. This was back when two people could go to war without believing each other to be minions of darkness, when a guard could take it upon himself to lift the spirits of an enemy confined in solitary, when two officers of opposite sides would share a moment to enjoy cigarettes and talk. It is not surprising that the movie was censored in Germany when it came out. It is a painful reminder of tenderness lost and of the bestialisation of that country during those preceding decades. Surely Renoir must be idealising to some extent ; I really couldn't care. This is how enemies should behave if enemies there must be, and whether it was ever truly real is immaterial. How far we have come when presidents consider torture acceptable. These Germans would never have fathomed it.

As I understand is the rule, much of the spirit of the movie is about class distinction. De Boeldieu and von Rauffenstein are the heart of the movie to me. They refuse to surrender their manners and refinement to war and the passage of time. They are committed to their duty but never eschew politeness in its business. Von Rauffenstein looks down on men of lesser breeding while Boeldieu befriends them and sees their valour. There always remains a distance between them however, even with the wealthy Rosenthal. Both aristocrats are vestiges of dying eras, artefacts of institutions that must crumble in democracy's unrelenting progress. No economy can provide ten pairs of white gloves for all its people ; it is the side downside of democracy that it must destroy the best in order to improve the many. It is a good thing that we should be born in societies of equals ; La Grande Illusion provides a melancholy reminder that that was achieved more by bringing the elite to the level of the people than the reverse and invites us to be the worthy descendants of those who gave the word gentleman its meaning.

The movie ends with the cutting of an orchid. 

8/10
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #138 on: February 05, 2017, 04:55:48 AM »
Updates:

Cidade de Deus
Soliaris
Under the Skin
The Third Man
In a Lonely Place
Shotgun Stories
Double Indemnity
Sweet Smell of Success
Charulata
The Maltese Falcon
Witness for the Prosecution
Dog Day Afternoon
Cool Hand Luke
Network

No reviews:

Eraserhead
On the Waterfront
8
The Seventh Seal
Another Year
Life Is Beautiful
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
For a Few Dollars More
All About My Mother
The French Connection
The Exorcist
The Double Life of Veronique
Blazing Saddles
Floating Weeds
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 06:14:09 AM by DarkeningHumour »
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Essentially - A movie orgy
« Reply #139 on: February 05, 2017, 06:16:33 AM »
I don't think I ever finished this one and therefore never posted it. The draft is just a collection of ideas with no conclusion.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
John Huston (1948)

As soon as we hear Bogart boast that he would never succumb to gold fever, that he would be able to stop himself from digging further once having reached his initial goal and that he would not give into the frightening paranoia of successful diggers, we know Treasure of the Sierra Madre can only end in one way for him. And so we watch as Bogart, slowly and irrevocably descends into inescapable madness.

What makes that descent so terrible is that Bogart is not a bad man ; or rather, I should say he is not a worse man than others. The characters here are never bad, except maybe for the desperados, but they are certainly never good either. Bogart is no more evil nor more crazy than the rest. By the beginning of the digging, he and Curtin are almost indistinguishable. Both were desperate Americans begging for scraps and yearning to find work in a Mexican border town. Both had the same ability for violence but seemed equally friendly and amiable.

Like a mosquito bite, gold fever would seem to strike at random.

The second tragedy is that, ultimately, all of it, the madness included, was for nought. The gold is washed away by the exhalation of the laugh of the gods of irony. In an instant countless sacrifices count for nothing, both for the result and to the characters. They brush aside their loss like a hilarious joke of the destiny. So what was it all for ? Did they risk so much for something that, in the end, they gave up so easily ? The ending of the movie suggests a message about true happiness. It is not its best part.

Everything leading up to that though, is far better. We see where the characters come from and who they are in expansive detail, and yet the beginning never feels overlong. We witness the hardships of gold digging and the value of a seasoned prospector to a group of novices. There isn't any lengthy exposition about the technique of it all and yet it all appears to us seamlessly and the workings of this foraging operation are as transparent as if they had been explained through voiceover.

Bogart's character arc is perhaps the biggest achievement of the movie. The different stages of his paranoia are subtly handled. No one section of the movie, except its ending, is entirely dedicated to them. We are administered droplets of it on occasion, but our attention remains mostly focused on other things: the mining operation, an altercation with a newcomer, a group of bandits, etc.


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