Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 40696 times)
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jbottle
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« Reply #1530 on: August 15, 2007, 07:24:33 PM »

"Existenz" wasn't a fantasy, really, it was a joke about life as a game, creativity as a game, hollywood as a game,  you will notice in the most telling reveal of the "theme" of the film, which is where the new "game console," made of different organic parts (like collaborative film) on a conveyor belt that is mashed together and produced in a mechanical and inorganic way, you get what "Existenz" is really about, how hard it is to get a movie made in Hollywood and the paranoia and femme fatale and weirdos that haunt your dreams, particularly if you have an aversion to the body (forget what that's called) so that the VCR or typewriter or gaming console has to be an object of lust, fascination, etc., yeah, Cronzy is a weird guy, but "Existenz" is pretty much all jokes...
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jbottle
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« Reply #1531 on: August 15, 2007, 07:32:39 PM »

"...and organic way," is stamped "L.A." like this is what I'm talking about, reducing the filming process to a bunch of suits that may as well be FDA inspectors of ground beef...

I always start writing and forget where I started, but the point is that the mcguffin is the game console, and when we see inside the factory where it is produced it is stamped "L.A.," which is a sort of lament I guess where Cronenberg is saying what you see invariably is product, but I think he's being very cynical about the process while being very inventive at the same time by biting the hand that feeds him.  "Existenz" is all bite, sort of a double-bill with "Barton Fink" more than anything science fiction I wouldn't think.  Please see it again if you didn't like it the first time.  It's not perfect, and I'm not sure the actor's are as good as Peter Weller was as Burroughs or anything, so yeah, it's minor, but it's also very arch and very silly at the same time.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #1532 on: August 15, 2007, 09:40:00 PM »

Who's The Poor-Man's Whom?

Julia Stiles / Erika Christiensen

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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #1533 on: August 15, 2007, 09:42:10 PM »

Clive Owen / Daniel Craig
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madupont
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« Reply #1534 on: August 15, 2007, 11:23:25 PM »

Oilcanboyd23,

Isn't that crazy. Clive Owen hasn't grown on me while i recognize that Daniel Craig is too reminiscient of things that I certainly hope I've outgrown. (Well, it  really doesn't matter that much any more at this stage of the game, does it?)

I secretly hoped that when they did that two couples pairing him with Natalie Portman,and Uma gets the bad trade off, whatever that was called, that I might start seeing things "their" way, that he is somehow a good actor, you can almost tell that but then why in the heck are they giving Clive these really dumb circumstances, scenarios, roles if he truly has this potential?

Ahum, let me clear my throat here..[someone, shush, mentioned Jude Law before...] Here is another case of trying us with the same premise only hey,Jude, Law is worse.  I was very much prepared to go along with the program when they Mr. Ripley-ed me. But the only person that I really cared about, coming right off the screen at you, was Philip Seymour Hoffman, someone that you didn't think that  you would have to sympathize with and  then "they killed him" saddle shoes and all. Poor Philip, and it was all the fault of Jude and Matt with their mutual envy fixation   and that young lady who kept getting in the way,Gwyneth Paltrow.  It really teaches you that inversion hysteria is not for everyone.

This is my super negativity day on actors at this level because -- I have come to understand Matt Damon acts. It is just in a different way than expected. You are not going to believe this but where you get a flash of who he might really be, under all the "playing down the character" that he most usually did, is this weird thing he and Heath Ledger enacted for Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Grimm. They do a little something actors practice post-audition before parts are set, that amounts to role reversal, not what you think, it is where they look at each other and one of them says, "Look,how about if I do it this way, trying out what you usually do so well, man...and you play me.?"     "okay, okay,..." the other guy says,"I
got yah!  And, he really does. Damon gets to play lady-killer Ledger(that is before BBM changed his image) and Health plays stupid. They get into bed with two girls and the whole set-up suddenly becomes funny, leaving the faery tale behind at least for a moment  so you can take a deep breath before you once again immerse yourself in the profound nonsense.   I suspect that exercise made it possible to do Bourne;after all,  he was all right in The Departed.
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jbottle
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« Reply #1535 on: August 15, 2007, 11:33:29 PM »

The teeth were made of bullets.
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madupont
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« Reply #1536 on: August 15, 2007, 11:39:10 PM »

jbottle,re:#1554

Since I liked the premise of Barton Fink, I'll take your word for it and try ExistenZ again (wow, have I gotten into something Nirvana threatening, here?).

Mainly because you realized that you are not sure that other actors are as good as Peter Weller as anything!

How ever your best lines were your opener about the FDA inspectors, since they are not inclined to be there at the  life-enhancing split second that could save a thousand lives, while obviously the "Organic way" of L.A. never included suits because that would be like saying that those people in the rented mansion at San Diego waiting for the return of the comet were, somehow, life-affirming.  A mean, that last scenario, right there, beats out about a good half dozen projects that should never have been made. Everybody can sense that possibility. Only everybody is scared to investigate the characters for real dialogue; it would be a little bit like the approach to filming: Munich.  But to put real words in the mouths of these particular dead would make them real. And if they were real, their families would probably sue.  Thus defeating the purpose of finding out what makes these goners tick.

 
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jbottle
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« Reply #1537 on: August 16, 2007, 12:01:23 AM »

I concede then that it's fantasy, but it ain't science fiction, and it might be somewhat about the fear of pursuit, but mostly and largely, it wasn't got, and cain't be really.  I'm just not paid to break it down scene by scene but it seems like a script being passed around that makes people have sex, to be more explicit, heck, I liked the dismorphia (?!!!) better, but then, I like Cronzy, and hope that he has all six teeth in the chicken gun for the indie movie he bought with that whole movie where that guy is in a diner with Ed Harris.  For me, that was one of those movies where I forgot to wear a dinner jacket and only a tie, only that never happens, just kinda, oh, okay, indie, Ed Harris, not too good, I don't feel comfortable, when can I go home???  As we go up we go down.
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #1538 on: August 16, 2007, 12:56:49 AM »

Recently rented & saw with a couple of teeners 1) Stranger Than Fiction  (my 1st Will Ferrell movie, went for it because it had Emma Thompson without any kind of putty on her face) which sucked all of us into the reality/fiction playfulness and was quite satisfying, and 2) Marie Antoinette  about which one cannot but wonder about some of the choices (like the casting of Louis XVI) but which had very much more to it than I expected.  Anyone else see & care to comment on either?
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madupont
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« Reply #1539 on: August 16, 2007, 02:36:28 AM »

Not yet.  The thought of Kirstin Dunst as Marie Antoinette scares me, after knowing what she did in a mere vampire movie.   It just appalled me that all the museums around Paris were selling junk with the seal of approval that it was somehow genuinely a copy of something Toinette would have had around her person.  But I do get what you mean about Louis. A little too fairly good looking?  We've been taught for so long that he was such an ugly oaf.  I won't mention any names but secretly we kind of get that picture of little Louis in some of the forums in the political section where he tries to thwart us under his pseudonym(and, of course, you are not allowed to hit a child, even with modified verbs).
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barton
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« Reply #1540 on: August 16, 2007, 10:05:51 AM »

Crones has a consistent thread in most of his films, which is that the body is our medium for understanding the world.  So he deals with the body in a very literal way, connecting its parts directly to the world whatever it may be.  Jbot I agree with -- it's not really sci-fi, whatever it is.  Epistemology Fantasy?

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #1541 on: August 16, 2007, 11:27:47 AM »

I saw Marie Antoinette and I wasn't sure if I liked it or hated it.  Sofia Coppola's big idea here was to give us a sense of a sort of distancing from reality on the part of MA.   To do this, Coppola used anachronism in her props and her music.  Good idea on paper, but if felt a little overdone.  The indy pop music on the track could have been a bit less intrusive, and there is a definite lack of sublety in the props.   
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madupont
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« Reply #1542 on: August 16, 2007, 11:39:16 AM »

The French viewers at Cannes, first reviewers as they were, came up with reviews at the antipodes of what Americans viewed. They were distressed that the appropriate music had not been used! It was as if no one had ever mentioned in their hearing just what Sofia's big idea was all about so that the music had to be current because her film was self-referential.  After that, there was silence. They were not particularly impressed.
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barton
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« Reply #1543 on: August 16, 2007, 11:48:51 AM »

Nytemp -- I enjoyed Stranger than Fiction as a sort of lighter and less pretentious take on the theme established in "Adaptation."  Fun, but I've mostly forgotten it after a few months.

Just re-watched Belle Du Jour (looks like I'm on some kind of Bunuel retrospective) and again was struck by Bunuel's sense of humor -- I think when I first saw this film, I was around 20 and had that problem attendant on seeing Catherine DeNeuve for the first time and being 20, which is a combination of accelerated heart rate and a near-trance state in which it is hard to be aware of what she is saying. This time around, I was up to the task of following the subtitles and the plot and so forth and enjoying Bunuel's gift for poking fun at wealth and power and men's obtuseness regarding women. Very much a film of its time (1967) when the issues of objectifying women were really entering public discourse in a big way -- great scene where DeNeuve is hired by a rich eccentric to pose as a corpse in a coffin, funny and sad in its connection of desire and death, of eroticism and the need to control.
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« Reply #1544 on: August 16, 2007, 02:13:11 PM »

I was appalled when I read of the music chosen by Coppola.  Marie Antoinette was a champion of Christoph Gluck who was her music teacher in Austria and who wrote some of the most sublime music in opera, the most beautiful being Orfeo ed Eurydice.  Mozart was also playing in France.  She held many recitals at Le Petit Trianon and anyone who supports Gluck is okay in my book.  This decision on Coppola's part continues the dumbing down of America.  Mozart and Gluck are two of the great composers of all time.

I stayed away from the movie.

P.S.  Marie Antoinette neve said "let them eat cake."  Hope Coppola didn't use that line in the movie.
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