Author Topic: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father  (Read 5963 times)

smirnoff

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2010, 09:46:55 AM »
I'm just worked up. I love and respect you all. It was mainly just skjerva that pissed me off.

I read your post while looking through this thread earlier and the point you made in the first spoiler tag is one I agreed with. And I also cringed during the line in your second spoiler, but I mean... I think it's forgivable right? A person trying to sound profound... say something important about life while she's on the spot. I dunno. To me that's just how some people are and the film captured that, and many other, very human reactions.

I also can't argue with the second half of what sdadelus said:

Finally, the film simply made me feel very uncomfortable, not so much because it's "misery porn", but because of the voyeurism of it all.  It felt like an overdose of reality TV, or those tragic memoirs that get featured on Oprah or Dr. Phil or something.  I find that kind of thing deeply unsettling, which perhaps makes me strange, but I don't want to see strangers' home movies and I don't want to read their diaries.  If the film was 15 minutes long, say a story on 60 Minutes or something, I probably wouldn't have had that objection to it.  Or if it was a fictional story, I certainly wouldn't have.  I don't quite understand why that is.  Perhaps it has to do with the specificity and intimacy of the storytelling preventing the kind of abstraction or generalization or distance that allows me to relate comfortably to the narrative.

Personally I still found enough distance, but I get this.

CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2010, 06:28:04 AM »
Taste is discerning, not all encompassing.

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johnnyd

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2011, 02:27:04 PM »
There's a lot of interesting discussion here, and I could see what's so polarizing about it.
It's very strange voicing an opinion about a story like this. There's obviously something inherently dramatic about it, and it seems inappropriate to register problems with it in a documentary, whereas a compelling or high-concept storyline in a narrative film could be critiqued.

I, for one, didn't really like the film. As some other people, I found the editing style really distracting and it kept me at a distance from the emotions in the film. I also understand how personal this is, but in scenes like the breathless narrating of the legal hoops they jumped through, it's so clearly one-sided that I instinctively kept thinking about what else we're not hearing.

I don't think it's misery porn, though it's certainly a depressing story.

Hot Biscuit Slim

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2011, 12:00:53 AM »
This isn't going to go over well, but I have to say it. (I saw this well over a year ago so my details about it are fuzzy; forgive me if I err.)

**SALTY LANGUAGE AHOY**

To accuse Zachary's grandfather of misogyny, because he kept referring to that psychopath as "that bitch" is splitting hairs in a way I cannot possibly fathom.

Remember: this woman KILLED HIS SON and then KILLED HIS GRANDSON. I am all for equal rights of all people, but this woman was a colossal bag of shit. If someone had done the things to my family that she had done to Zachary's family, you can bet that "bitch" would be the 15th worst word that I would use about her.

Furthermore, if I remember correctly, he was saying all this in retrospect, after the fact ... after all the facts. Can you imagine something happening to your loved ones that was so preventable? The fury that would well up inside me would send me into a rage I don't ever want to have to have to experience. (I get mad about blown calls in playoff games; I can't imagine what this must be like.)

I think to compare him calling this woman a "bitch" to if he had used the "N-word" (the example cited) is not quite parallel: one is a reference to a person's nationality, the other is a reference to a person's personality. We all would have been taken aback if he had used any kind of ethnic slur (had it applied to the situation), because ethnic slurs are based not on a person's character, but on their race; that's why ethnic slurs always come off as ignorant, they are a prejudice based on physical appearance only. Whereas calling the woman a "b" -- while generally reserved for females -- is a commentary on her character as an enormous pile of shit. It's not as if he said "that lesbian" or "that women's libber" or any other gender-specific, personality-neutral term as a slur, just as you wouldn't call just any ol' woman a "bitch" or any ol' male an "asshole" (which is generally reserved for men, I find). If it were a man who did this, I don't know that we would begrudge him calling the perp a "son of a bitch."

**END SALTY LANGUAGE**
<hBs>

oldkid

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2011, 01:27:06 AM »
It is interesting that "bitch" can be applied to males.  Although usually in prison.
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sdedalus

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2011, 02:25:15 AM »
I miss skjerva.
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Bondo

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2011, 08:33:33 AM »
He could have called her a c-word. That would have probably been more offensive.

maņana

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2011, 02:58:15 PM »
This movie sounds creepy in a number of ways.
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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2017, 04:24:41 PM »
It's been almost 6 years, but I want to qualify my stance on the "bitch" debate. I didn't and don't have a problem with the grandfather calling her a bitch. My issue is with Kurt Kuenne's choice to include it in the movie. It's just not in keeping with his portrayal through the rest of the movie. But after re-reading this thread I'm reminded that this was Kuenne's first movie and it completely destroyed me so, yeah, I was splitting hairs.

On a lighter note, this film has stuck with me for 6 years and it's still in my top 100.

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oldkid

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Re: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2017, 05:42:16 PM »
Such a great film, but I am nervous to ever watch it again.  I was so devastated.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky