Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper  (Read 29727 times)


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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #210 on: August 11, 2020, 12:12:02 AM »
Adam Elliot is very sympathetic to these 2 characters, he showed a care for all of their person, although I am unable to give specific details to how I justify that conclusion.

Last night I watched the short "Harvie Krumpet", which is also on the DVD, and it felt a lot more mean-spirited.

Interesting! I saw your previous words on Mary and Max, and I thought if you had seen Harvie Krumpet, you'd be more likely (certainly not less) to see the empathy Elliot has for his characters.

Mary & Max is one where Dave and I overlap, and (maybe "though") it's also way overdue for a revisit.
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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #211 on: August 17, 2020, 12:07:17 AM »

Review chat with Knocked Out Loaded and Sandy (*Spoilery)

Sandy: I'm trying to think where to begin. There's a lot going on here.

KOL: I think that war movies is my least favorite movie genre. Comedies rarely click for me either, but war movies are just so depressing, even if they try to say big things about the human condition.

Sandy: True. At least this one doesn't glorify war in any way and shows the futility of it.

KOL: I think that few movies glorify war even if they sometimes want to paint us a great hero. Here there were no heroes, at least no war heroes. The fruit growers were everyday heroes in a way.

Sandy: Yes, very much so! The hero type I truly care about.

KOL: Me too... I think that these micro conflicts inside the former USSR reminds very much of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

Sandy: Ivo never says why he stayed behind, but while there he supports his friend and doesn't become bitter that he has lost his whole community.

KOL: Yes, they are stoic. Men with great honor.

Sandy: I'm not familiar with the war in Abkhazia. Nika continually tellsl Ahmed that he doesn't know history. I feel like he was talking to me. I don't know the history of the land in Eastern Europe. I don't understand all the simmering conflicts of Yugoslavia. They fight for nationalism, but the lines have shifted so much, it becomes rather pointless.

KOL: At the bottom line neither one knows why they fight, I think.

Sandy: Do you feel as humans we get so focused on the past, we fail to envision a better future? And then cannot move towards it?

KOL: No, but certain people use the past to gain power over people who aren't concerned with it, or not educated of it. That was what happened in former Yugoslavia
and your president behaves in a similar way today. He uses selected parts of it to his own means, but I do not think we shall go down that alley now.

Sandy: Haha! No, let's not! It is a dark, and dreary alley.

KOL: Very much so.

Sandy: It is interesting how Ahmed doesn't really have a horse in this war race. He isn't tied to the land, but is only motivated by money. Like the Hessians. There is no moral reasoning for fighting, just personal gain. Mercenaries are hard to figure out. Fighting without a "holy" cause is beyond comprehension.

KOL: That's right. in a way some U.S. army operations function in the same way. But I won’t put that blame on you. Yes, but it is under the guise of America promoting freedom. There is a great deal of nationality infused into the military. And economy!

Sandy: What's sad is that it is so overly drawn upon, it ceases to hold meaning.

KOL; I think that economic incentives are the biggest reason for going to war.

Sandy: For sure on economy! But that is downplayed, or hidden as much as possible. No one is being honest when it comes to underlying motivations.

KOL: Yeah, all that play is beneath the sheets. Anyway, for my part, a movie that depicts how the layman is affected is much more effectual than one with a big battle with hundreds of corpses.

Sandy: This quiet move accomplishes that for sure. What do you think the tangerines represent?

KOL: You mean the fruit themselves?

Sandy: Yes

KOL: Normality, maybe.

Sandy: That sounds right.

KOL: Cows need to be milked twice a day, no matter what and fruit harvested when they are ripe.

Sandy: They have no need for war.

KOL: Not at all! Tangerines just want to be picked and eaten... I liked the scenes inside, when things got framed in a way. In Swedish we say kammarspel. Kammarspel is probably of German origin.

Sandy: What does that translate into?

KOL: I don't know if you can say chamber piece in English.

Sandy: Yes! It's a definition that is used. Small set, small cast of characters.

KOL: Yes, Bergman used it quite a bit. I like the intensity that occurs. That could have been a little better here. There were few close ups and such.

Sandy: I was a little obsessed with the metal water dispenser and the wood stove.

KOL: How come obsessed?

Sandy: My grandma had a wood stove. She lived at the foot of the Tetons on the Idaho side, on a farm. I used to watch her maneuver it.

KOL: We too had a wooden stove when i grew up.

Sandy: Also, the water dispenser was rather ingenious. I like simple, yet effective technology. You did?! Amazing.

KOL: The wood preparations each year really were a chore.

Sandy: Never ending! Did you go out in the forest and bring in a big haul?

KOL: Nope. We have a saying that the wood warms you several times. Dad or my brother usually got it home, then we cut it to pieces and then we had to chop the pieces in bits with an axe.

Sandy: That's a great saying.

KOL: Then you had to store the produce.

Sandy: Wow, that's impressive! So tidy.

KOL: It may seem picturesque, but i don't miss that one iota!

Sandy: Haha! I bet! It reminds me of the Zen proverb, Chop Wood, Carry Water. "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

KOL: That's very zen!

Sandy:  :) It's illustrated in this movie. Against this backdrop of simple living, the nonsensical war intrudes and does its damage, but after it leaves, the elements remain.
The cows still need to be milked and the tangerines picked.

KOL: It felt very nonsensical, very much so. The movie ended with Ivo having to make coffins instead of boxes for the tangerines. In that way the outside world swallowed up the secure existence that they lived.

Sandy: Yes. :(  The small bright spot is that the men sided with their hosts in the end. They had become enlightened.

KOL: Yes, they were, at least for a moment. I wonder to where Ahmen drove in the car?

Sandy: Home maybe? Back to his family.

KOL: I guess so.

Sandy: Could I come back to this? "Bergman used it quite a bit i like the intensity that occurs that could have been a little better here."

KOL: Okay

Sandy: I got us off on a wood stove tangent. :D But, I would like to hear about what you would have liked to see in this film. More focus on the faces?

KOL: I think that the camera work could have been more intimate and shown us more of the inner feelings of the people. Now, they remained like set pieces in a way

Sandy: A little detached. I'm all for more "inner feelings," so that would have been welcomed for me too.

KOL: But maybe you can only show so much in one movie and to rip people open isn't for every director to do.

Sandy: True. Each one brings his or her sensibilities.

KOL: This went a long way as it was

Sandy: Overall, you liked the story and presentation, even if it was a war film?

KOL: Yes I did. It highlighted the absurdity of war a little and I pity everyone who comes in its way.

Sandy: A whisper is sometimes more powerful than a shout, message wise. I do too. War is too much with us humans. This feels like a good end to our chat review.

KOL: Yes. We should sign it off with a Bob Dylan song!

Sandy: Perfect!

« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 11:31:52 PM by Sandy »

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #212 on: August 18, 2020, 07:04:46 AM »
I have read Sandy and KOL's chat about Tangerines. You found it good, but still missing something for you (or have I read that wrong). One thing reading your chat has made me notice is tonally it is similar to The Twilight Samurai.

It is funny how some parts of our past can have us latching on to unusual parts of a film, the stove being one in this case. I did not have any such past connection to an element of the film, but I recognise its power.

Sandy's comment "A whisper is sometimes more powerful than a shout, message wise." and KOL's comment "It highlighted the absurdity of war a little and I pity everyone who comes in its way." cover what about this film that connects so strongly for me. It is that whisper with the highlight of the absurdity that grabs me.

Thank you both for watching the film.

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #213 on: August 19, 2020, 05:14:11 AM »
Thanks for reading. I am not sure that either of us felt that the movie was lacking anything as such. It is a subdued piece of cinema, and maybe the carachters disappear into their own existences a bit too seamless. I am in favour of open endings but this time they slip out of our hands like a pair of soap bars, if you see what I mean.
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #214 on: August 19, 2020, 06:34:22 AM »
I sort of see what you mean, the detail of the ending of the film has slipped my mind.
I went back through this thread and that is the third one of my subdued films (and there are not that many in the list) you have reviewed (the others being Spring, Summer....; and The Man Who Planted Trees). From the reviews I would guess that Spring is the weakest for you; then Tangerines; then Trees. It is interesting that you have been picking out these, is it just luck of the draw or some other reason?


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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #215 on: August 19, 2020, 09:58:36 PM »
Thank you both for watching the film.

My pleasure, Dave. It was a very good movie experience. I would have never seen it, had you not given it a place on your list. Thank you for that. :)


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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #216 on: August 19, 2020, 11:54:13 PM »

Pardon me while I open this can of worms...

Ah yes, this will be messy at best. Volver is written by a man. And directed by him too. This is not new news, nor is it bad news, but it is important to the understanding of why I'm not quite aligned with the dialogue, characters and plot. Something seems slightly off, like a soundtracking problem where the voices don't match the lip movement. At first, I chalk it up to subtitles and cultural particulars, but as a former student of geography and cultural relativism, I welcome those particulars and seek to understand them. As the movie plays, I think to myself often, "I'm not sure a woman would say that, or react that way" and then realize this is why I'm not fully onboard.

Here's the thing, I believe Pedro Almodóvar seeks to understand women and then showcases what he has found. In some ways he really gets it and in others he gets an "A" for effort. Case in point. Here's the shot that reminds me fully that this film is from a man's perspective.

This is a beautiful shot and Penélope Cruz is a beautiful woman, but it is incongruous to what is being told visually right before it. Almodóvar carefully films two shots where the father is voyeuristically looking at his daughter; which sets up the stage for further plot movements. Then he films this shot of the man's wife. Well, the man isn't hanging from the ceiling, copping a peak; It's just us and the director. Now we're the voyeurs. The director is so enamored with capturing Cruz's beauty (she's also the only character who is in full glamour hair and makeup in every scene), he's willing to sacrifice his narrative for these male gaze distractions.

Lest anyone think I'm against men telling women's stories, my very favorite book is written by a man under a woman's pseudonym. It's my favorite book because it's the first time I recognized myself in a novel. He understood my particular view better than anyone else. I didn't even know he was a male author until a decade later. I applaud Almodóvar's efforts; the hits and the misses. To want to understand others is the greatest of traits. Here are some of Almodóvar's women character wins: A mother's love, strength through necessity, regret for mistakes, forgiveness. His exploration has wrought a wealth of insights.

Since I've opened the can, I might as well lay out my other "worms" on the table.

* Ben Kingsley got the part of Gandhi, because he won the audition. He was the best person for the role at that moment in time. Putting today's standards on the past, negates the historical importance of growth and evolution in art.

* Nobody is angry that men played women's parts in Shakespeare's day. It is a point in time to learn from.

*Art is about creating, bringing something new to light. Ang Lee has every right to interpret and film Sense and Sensibility. An actor with full mental capacity can portray someone with Alzheimers. It's acting. Race is something to be so respectful about, but if Michelle Yeoh, who is Malaysian, is the best person to play a Qing Dynasty Chinese warrior, so be it.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:46:29 AM by Sandy »


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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #217 on: August 20, 2020, 12:20:16 AM »
Don’t know if this changes your perspective at all, but Almodóvar is gay. Not saying that mitigates the male gaze, but it’s something to keep in mind.

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #218 on: August 20, 2020, 09:04:12 AM »
I liked Volver more than you Sandy, but I think I agree that Almodovar tends to be too male gazy for me sometimes. I don't think the fact he's gay makes that any better.
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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #219 on: August 20, 2020, 09:09:50 AM »

Strong take. I enjoyed reading it. This experience following so closely on the heels of your recent immersion into the world of Gilead is an interesting one. I only mention it because I know that experience to be no small thing (having also immersed myself into the show in similar fashion). Along comes Almodovar with his unapologetic leering... I could see how that might throw salt in a wound, regardless of the intentions.

Here's the shot that reminds me fully that this film is from a man's perspective.

Under his eye.