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Author Topic: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded  (Read 3992 times)

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2018, 05:06:37 PM »
This one is for both you and Sam.

Daisies

The theme is clear: No rules. Two young girls who decide that since others can be "spoiled" why can't they spoil themselves?  They will do whatever they please.  And so will the director, the cinematographer, and to a lesser extent, the editor.  Everyone is going to play. Tints, games with men, quick edits, stealing food, body teasing... just play.

The overall effect on me, though, is... boredom.  Perhaps because I've seen this play before.  Because I prefer Varda's version of new wave playfulness better.  Perhaps because there's only so much you can do with tints and quick cuts.  I guess I wish there was more imagination, more variety.  I can see the innovation for the 60s, and I can see the attempt to do something startling, and I guess it was, back in the day.  But it seemed rather drab to me in 2018.

3/5
Yeah, it may be that Daises in a way is stuck in it's own bubble a little. Bear in mind though, that the movie was made over 50 years ago in a socialist country behind the iron curtain; that in itself makes the film a remarkable artifact. How the film was allowed to pass through the needle's eye of communist censorship is a little mysterious to me, but I guess that there are some aspects that can be read as criticism on consumerism and what have you and thus it was seen as somewhat tolerable.

Some formulaic aspects weigh down the movie: the way the girls talk is very monotonous, there are scenes that are varied (or repeated) every so often and the slapstick isn't top notch. But the dadaistic energy overthrows all that in my opinion. The girls themselves say that they have "gone bad" and so they create a space around themselves, sort of, where they can do pretty much anything they want, a string of avant garde-ish carefree of antics and excesses. And that is the point where they also get stuck. The question then is, what happens in such a free and liberated pocket? Do you become truly free there, or does the freedom make a captive out of you? I think that the film is both a provocation and a warning example at the same time.

Thanks for watching!
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oldkid

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2018, 06:55:45 PM »
I think that your explanation is more interesting than the film.  I cannot disagree that it provoked controversy and that it presented new ideas.  I want to give a film credit for the innovation it contains, but also recognize that later films might use that innovation more effectively or in a more entertaining fashion.  Daisies pushed the envelope, and was an important artistic influence but I would praise some that were influenced more than the original.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2018, 10:40:33 PM »
All that is fair. I would say that I too admire the film more than I enjoy it.
:)
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Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2018, 12:34:15 AM »
@1So and @Bondo:

I will let my finger rest on the trigger a little, until Sandy reports in on La Cérémonie. Also, tbh, I need to rewatch this shebang.
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Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2018, 01:32:05 AM »
You have seen this already, but here it is:

Spoilery review

Touch of Evil (1958 Orson Welles)

There is an off-ness to this movie, the opening seems like a musical, the framing is just not right. The people are just not quite right, but they are oh so real. I was very much drawn into this world, although I had trouble tracking which side of the border they were at different times.

There was a lightness to the evil of most of these characters, like they only had a touch of evil. Perhaps it is my time spent watch more recent films, where evil is so often bathed in that has me considering this only light evil. It makes me wonder if there was an implicit "The" in front of the title or an "A". Perhaps it was both. No it was both. Perhaps Welles just had to pull it back because of the times. I am think particularly of what happens to Heston's wife. The film goes in like they were going gang rape her, but later Grande asks a question and the answer is they did not, it was like the film could not go that dark, but it really wanted to.

I cannot think of a similar role Charlton Heston ever played.

Rating: 79 / 100
I don't know if I have much to add from what was said yesterday, other than how that great opening sequence reminds us how we are about to descend into a foul place.

Thanks for watching!
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smirnoff

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2018, 02:46:35 AM »
Vagabond

A film that explores a character who doesn't seem to want to be explored. It's an pretty intimate look at her life but when it was over I'm not sure I really understood her. She wants to be left alone, except for when she needs something from you. Her ambition seemed to extend no further than finding her next cigarette. More than once she repels a generous offer which would require she give up her vagabond lifestyle. She steals, and lays about, is rude and unapologetic. And she's quite content to not be going anywhere or improving her situation. The land she wanders is bleak and unattractive. She seems content in this as well. Watching the film makes you wonder about how you should be reacting. I'm not sure I see any tragedy in the story, as there's so little indication this is not the life she wants for herself. And yet who would want such a life? I don't believe it, even if she says so. And neither do those few generous people she encounters. She's very young and stubborn... her life before this must have been even worse if this counts as an improvement. She's ignorant of what a good life actually is, and sneers at those who would offer it to her. It puts her on a doomed path with no way out.

This is very hands off film making, nearer a Fredrick Wiseman doc. I've never seen any Varda, so maybe this is her way. Pretty much the opposite of the kind of thing I'm into generally, but it was not difficult to watch.

Curious what your memories of it are, KOL.

oldkid

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2018, 10:43:11 AM »
Just a note about Vagabond before KOL chimes in. 

Smirnoff, I think you caught the spirit of the film, which is quite unlike a Varda film.  Varda is normally unusually generous with her filmmaking, pursuing stories that enliven us, awaken our joy.  Here, her subject is so lacking in joy that she drains the audience, confuses us, makes us wonder how we should react.  This is in stark contrast with other Varda films and my personal opinion is that it should be watched in the context of their other films.  For me, while the protagonist is lacking that generosity, I still sense the compassion and generosity behind the camera.  This isn’t about a person who deserves help, but Varda wants us to experience the life of someone that we would easily ignore, would easily dismiss.   Varda helps us see the humanity of this character, whom we might never give a second thought.

From my own experience, the protagonist doesn’t represent the majority of people on the street, but there is a certain segment.  She isn’t a sociopath, in my experience, but a person who has so rarely received compassion or true assistance that she trusts no one, even those who seem imminently trustworthy.  People on the street for a year or more receive kind offers every day, but rarely are they followed through on.  This builds a wall between them and people who could help them, because they don’t trust.  When you don’t trust, you become completely self reliant, you take what you can when you can, but you don’t wait around for someone to prove their untrustworthiness.  There is always a wall, always a barrier.  Eventually, you tell yourself that this is how you want to be.  LIfe is brutal and you need to be brutal and unemotional to meet it.   I believe the Vagabond believed that this is how her life needs to go,.  We say that she is making her own choices.  She would say that she has no choice. That it is just how life is.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

smirnoff

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2018, 01:59:46 PM »
Just a note about Vagabond before KOL chimes in. 

Smirnoff, I think you caught the spirit of the film, which is quite unlike a Varda film.  Varda is normally unusually generous with her filmmaking, pursuing stories that enliven us, awaken our joy.  Here, her subject is so lacking in joy that she drains the audience, confuses us, makes us wonder how we should react.  This is in stark contrast with other Varda films and my personal opinion is that it should be watched in the context of their other films.  For me, while the protagonist is lacking that generosity, I still sense the compassion and generosity behind the camera.  This isn’t about a person who deserves help, but Varda wants us to experience the life of someone that we would easily ignore, would easily dismiss.   Varda helps us see the humanity of this character, whom we might never give a second thought.

I can see how it would be enhanced within the context of the director's other works. A better understanding of her priorities and intentions would change the approach. I wouldn't say I suspicious of the film, but definitely uncertain. Questioning weather or not particular choices were deliberate and full of intent and meaning, or whether they were just done for mood or practical reasons. For instance, the first 10 or so seconds of the opening credits, the background footage is actually played in reverse. Without any context I stowed that away as possibly being an important detail. Eventually though it was clear that it was done for entirely extraneous reasons (the footage wasn't long enough to fit all of the credits so they extended it by playing the first be backwards). I think it's something audiences were not meant to really notice. Over the course of the movie though I did think myself in directions which it later became clear were not meaningful. It is very much a "what you see is what you get" kind of film.

Quote
From my own experience, the protagonist doesn’t represent the majority of people on the street, but there is a certain segment.  She isn’t a sociopath, in my experience, but a person who has so rarely received compassion or true assistance that she trusts no one, even those who seem imminently trustworthy.  People on the street for a year or more receive kind offers every day, but rarely are they followed through on.  This builds a wall between them and people who could help them, because they don’t trust.  When you don’t trust, you become completely self reliant, you take what you can when you can, but you don’t wait around for someone to prove their untrustworthiness.  There is always a wall, always a barrier.  Eventually, you tell yourself that this is how you want to be.  LIfe is brutal and you need to be brutal and unemotional to meet it.   I believe the Vagabond believed that this is how her life needs to go,.  We say that she is making her own choices.  She would say that she has no choice. That it is just how life is.

Mmm, indeed. The film seems to agree with you.

Sandy

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2018, 06:01:12 PM »
La Cérémonie



*Spoilery*

"I must work night and day for someone who doesn’t appreciate me; I must bear the wind and rain, scarcely eating or sleeping! I, too, would like to be a gentleman, and no longer a servant." -- Leporello in Don Giovanni

What's the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath? Well, there is much debate over the two terms, but a simplified way of looking at it could be meditative vs. highly impulsive and possibly, nature vs. nurture. What do they have in common? According to Dr. Xanthe Mallet, they have "a lack of remorse or empathy for others, a lack of guilt or ability to take responsibility for their actions, a disregard for laws or social conventions, and an inclination to violence. A core feature of both is a deceitful and manipulative nature." With this rough sketch, I would put Sophie squarely in the psychopath camp and Jeanne in the Sociopath one, because Sophie is all quiet and even movement and Jeanne is all outbursts and angles. I don't know their childhood stories, except for Sophie's illiteracy (which kinda puts her in the sociopath/nurture category, which messes with my assumptions), but they are both currently unable to feel the smallest amount of sympathy towards anyone, except for themselves and each other, which makes them savagely simpatico.

The scene is set as the haves and have nots and Jeanne makes much protestations on the matter, but I don't buy it. She has been given great leniency with her daughter's death, as well as a return to a job that she sucks at. As my grandma would say, "She'd complain if she were hung with a new rope." Which doesn't make a lick of sense, but for crying out loud, must the world always be at fault? As for Jeanne's employers, they have high expectations, but also bend over backwards to give her the benefit of the doubt for her strange ways; much to their regret. If this is social commentary, it is lost on me. It's not a crime to be wealthy and it's not shameful to be a maid, or postal clerk. Vivre et laisser vivre.


(Now I can read the other reviews.)

1SO

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Re: The Top 100 Club: Knocked Out Loaded
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2018, 10:44:15 PM »
Important to note the part in [ ] was added last. I was going to make a counter-point and ended up doing exactly what I noticed Sandy did.


One of the things I like most about La Cérémonie is it struck me as a blank enough canvas for the viewer to bring their own reactions to complete the picture. [Your last paragraph reads more judgmental than you usually get about movie characters, which I take to be a reaction to what they ultimately get up to together. I was going to write about how I was a more casual observer, but what I put down was this...]

Jeanne over-complains about everything like she's the great righter of wrongs, but I've seen that in life and accept that as part of this character. Sophie is more passive-aggressive, easily manipulated by Jeanne, though for much of the movie I thought it was an act of liberation not one of control. Until the end, they're a couple of misfits looking to scratch out a little happiness. Jeanne rails against the haves, while Sophie behaves like she quietly suffers under them, even though they're good to her.


My new mantra is that Isabelle Huppert and Sandrine Bonnaire are two of the most under-appreciated masters of their craft. Equal to the women from our Great Actresses Marathon
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 10:49:49 PM by 1SO »
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