Author Topic: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho  (Read 15640 times)

pixote

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90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« on: April 28, 2009, 03:15:23 AM »
Will it be a good birthday for Basil?

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

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 08:09:03 AM »
I think at least three of us are just gonna come in here and freestyle. So come tonight and check it out. 

If the others don't show up I'll attempt to entertain you by unleashing my rampant hatred upon the match-up.

Junior

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 08:11:29 AM »
And I'll figure out some way to strangle you through the internet. Should be fun!
Check out my blog of many topics

Im not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!

FLYmeatwad

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 09:32:18 AM »
This should be fun, I just finished my films yesterday.

Melvil

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 01:13:28 PM »
I'm going to be late to the party, but I plan to make up for it with my incredible insights and razor sharp wit.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 02:51:18 PM »
I'm going to be late to the party, but I plan to make up for it with my incredible insights and razor sharp wit.

You're supposed to be Zack, remember?  >:(  >:(  >:(

THATguy

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 02:55:35 PM »
If it's still going on, I'll be happy to give a lot of thoughts after work tonight, but more than likely, it will be me piling on to what's already been said by people who have likely already gone to bed.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 09:07:22 PM »
The sex scenes in My Own Private Idaho kick so much ass.

George Clooney is really great in Out of Sight.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 09:23:06 PM »
Starting I want to go big picture and then zoom into the details. I know it's shallow to just slap labels on these films but I think here it's worth discussing the identity of these films through labels and how they conform, or don't conform to it.

Let's start with Out of Sight. On one level it's a on the run/heist film wherein George Cloony is our handsome, witty protagonist. He's not tough, or fast. He's just dashingly charming and smooth with words. Yet the film layers on top of this a romantic comedy between Cloony and the cop chancing him, Jennifer Lopez.

My Own Private Idaho
is part romance/buddy film between two male prostitutes played by Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. However, it's also loosely based around Shakespeare's Henry IV and the characters occasionally break out into lengthy monologues. On top of that Gus Van Sant also adds this poetical narrative focused around River Phoneix's character.

I have problems with both these films because of this because I think instead of melding the genres into one coherent film each film splits into fragmented bits and pieces where one scene plays to one part while another caters to another. In both films I felt like I was watching two different film at once. In Out of Sight I was watching a corny, implausible romantic comedy one scene and the next I was watching a buffoonish heist flick. In My Own Private Idaho one scene played to the out of place Shakespearean influences, the next to the buddy film where we are never quite sure why the two are buddies and the nest moment I was watching a poetical piece that was murkily unclear and occasionally incoherent.

Thus begins my madness. I must sadly turn to FLY for reason.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: 90s US Round 5: Out of Sight vs. My Own Private Idaho
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 09:45:48 PM »
And on the 28th day, FLYmeatwad said let there be logic, and there was logic, as well as a new episode of The Suite Life: On Deck. That last part didn't happen, but there will be logic.

I would tend to agree that the films attempt to meld two genres together, but unlike my friend sam I think that both directors do one Hell of a job blending the lines between their respective genres. In a way both films establish themselves as forces conscious of their existence as films. The monologues in My Own Private Idaho serve as a way to take the audience out of the film, I think there is little coincidence that Van Sant decided to use Shakespeare in order to tell this story, there's hardly anything more theatrical, in the average viewer's mind, than good old Billy. As for the effect this had on the film, I felt that it heightened the surreality of the film and makes the viewer disjointed to better engross us in the disconnected world that River's character is supposed to exist in, though I may be spot off, tell me otherwise I suppose.

With that said, I think the disjointed nature of Out of Sight simply exists for Soderberg to have fun with, he toys with the convention of both genres and gives the audience just enough to build the tension that the goofy heists and inexplicable romance are unable to provide on their own. I think this is very apparent in the exact times when the cuts to the flashbacks are made and how brief the time we are allowed to see at the prison occurs. The driving force, I would argue, is not the romance nor is it the heist, we are practically told at the beginning of the film exactly how things are going to end up, the driving force is the back story and why the characters interact with each other the way they do, and in that respect I think the choice to make the film so clearly different works spectacularly.

Actually, I think that both films are more about the characters and their interactions with each other than they are really about the plots as the cyclical nature of My Own Private Idaho really sets up the contrast between River's character with and without Reeves.

 

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