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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
First, your memory of the film isn't correct. Unless I'm hugely mistaken, Kevin's mother doesn't witness the murder of her husband and daughter. She finds their corpses. It makes sense in the narrative context of the movie. Kevin kills his family, but notably not his mother. She suffers from survivor's guilt, asking herself not only "why did he do it" but "why did he spare me".


The big problem is how the movie presents this as a climax. I may have fudged the details of her discovering the bodies vs. seeing the killings, but the issue still remains. It makes no dramatic sense to withhold this information from the viewer when Eva clearly knew it the entire time. The decision to play it as a big reveal is the very definition of exploitative. If the film is supposed to be about Eva's guilt, and not the killings, why use such a cheap dramatic trick to sensationalize the incident? So the audience can gasp and say, "oh my God, he killed the family too!?!?!" That serves no purpose in exploring Eva's guilt and only serves as a violent payoff for the audience, which is something this film is supposedly above.

Unke wrote:
I also don't understand how the subject of the movie should be insulting to anybody.The movie is neither exploitative about its subject, nor does it degrade or deny the feelings of the victims' relatives (or rather, the relatives of victims of similar incidents). If you think that any movie, which doesn't focus on the plight of innocent victims of violence, is insulting, than you can throw all your U.S. made Vietnam War movies out of the window (name one which focusses on the suffering of the Vietnamese people, cartainly not Apocalypse Now or Platoon), most Westerns (the protagonist in Unforgiven isn't even a wholly reformed murderer, nevermind the absence of the genocide of Native Americans in most Westerns), all Gangster movies (The Godfather doesn't show much about the small businessmen who suffer from the Corleone's protection rackets) etc. How did you like Inglourious Basted, by the way?


You're confusing content with how that content is presented. They are 2 very different things. Focusing on a subject matter, in and of itself, isn't offensive, or insulting. When you focus on something like school shootings, but instead of truly exploring the issue or trying to ask a worthy question, you resort to cliches and build to a symphony of violence that's completely unrelated to anything you've tried to explore, I don't think it's a stretch to say that's insulting and exploitative.

The film has no real aspirations. It doesn't exist to incite debate (ironic given the venom I'm spewing today), but to be easily digestible. It's shitty melodrama masquerading as art. That's the most insulting thing about it.

Unke wrote:
You know, I have no problem with your dislike of the movie, although I don't agree with your reasoning. I'm just wondering whether we may have different personal perspectives. As a parent, I am worried how my children will turned out one day and it is an uneasy feeling when, say, the Kindergarten teacher wants to have a word with you because your little lovely one has been pushing and biting for no good reason. This feeling of "what did I do wrong" is something I can relate to very well. Perhaps you can't, in this instance, but the school massacre situation may strike a chord with you (perhaps just for geographical reasons).


We certainly have different personal perspectives, as does everyone. I also don't have children, but I don't think that prohibits me from sympathizing with you, or other parents, worrying about making a mistake raising your children.

Maybe it is a geographic reason, since I know you aren't in America. Here, it seems like every other week there's a school shooting. I think any parent in this country with half a brain should already be asking these kinds of questions. It's part of the reason why the film is a total failure for me. The issue goes so far beyond nature vs nuture or good parenting skills, that the resulting film's adherence to cliches insults my intelligence and comes across as exploitative. I see zero value in the movie.


Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:23 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Hi PeachyPete,
Would Love to continue The discussion but am Off work now and have to use my phone on The Train. Ist quickly: as The Movie doesn't Show any violence and doesn't use The techniques of Action or suspense, how is it exploitative and of what? Don't think we are meant to feel 'oh he Killed The Family, Too' but to make kevin's mum also feel survivor's guilt(See Above). Losing Connection and moment, so will have to discus further on monday. Nice weekend everyone


Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:44 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Unke wrote:
as The Movie doesn't Show any violence and doesn't use The techniques of Action or suspense, how is it exploitative and of what?


The movie may not show violence, but it still uses the idea of violence to encite a reaction from the audience. A reaction that has no bearing on what the film claims to be about.

It uses the carnage and mayhem Kevin inflicts as the climactic moment in a film that's supposed to be about his mother's guilt. The film claims to be an exploration of one woman's guilt, from her POV. There's no reason to conceal the reason for her guilt from the audience, only to reveal it as a big revelation towards the end of the film, other than exploitation. It's more misery than the audience was expecting in order to make them gasp.

Unke wrote:
Don't think we are meant to feel 'oh he Killed The Family, Too' but to make kevin's mum also feel survivor's guilt(See Above).


That may have been the intention, but that doesn't mean it was successful. Again, this is something Eva knew at the outset of the film, and something intentionally withheld from the audience (in a film told "completely" from her POV, no less) for the majority of the movie's running time. Given that the information is presented as a surprise revelation at the end of the movie, I don't see how it isn't exploitative.

Why present it as the big reveal if the only thing it's meant to accomplish is to add an additional layer of characterization to Eva? Why handle the revelation as a climax if that's all there is to it?


Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:16 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Alps

This is a very strange film. Basically, it's about a group of people who take the place of departed relatives in others' families to help the bereaved deal with their grief. As in, they literally take the place of the dead family member...they dress and act like them and do all of the things the deceased did. I'm not quite sure what else to say, except that I liked the minimalist style of the film, despite its odd subject matter.

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Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:39 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Man, I'm getting good at this. I bring up a movie or director and off we go on an epic debate. I love it.

The way the mass murder is presented in We Need to Talk about Kevin is problematic. It would've been better to show it in all its ugliness at the beginning, then spend the movie alongside Eva wondering "Where did I go wrong?" The random order of scenes does not enhance the experience.

The nature vs nurture question is interesting enough to carry a movie. But again, my problem is that these parents ignore the glaringly obvious warning signs and don't get the kid therapy, especially in his teens. The issue isn't even brought up, and that's irresponsible for a movie dealing with this subject. Parents worry about their children all the time, and many seek help for far lesser problems than their son being an obvious psychopath.

That scene where Kevin and his dad are playing a video game is a brief throwaway. Trust me, as a lifelong gamer, I too would've been livid if I truly believed this movie tried to blame video games for violence. But I didn't see that here.

I thought the movie did an excellent job depicting Eva's guilt and inner conflict. And viewing it from a detached perspective, it is well-made. But really, this is a movie that does some things exceedingly well and others that are head-scratching at best. I switched from admiring it to hating it so many times that it gave my brain whiplash. Maybe a middle of the road **1/2 rating fits the bill.

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Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Three in theaters this weekend:

This Is the End (2013) **1/2

A pleasant enough movie to watch, with some good laughs and good times had by all. I didn't find it gut-busting, however, and so it fell just on the 2.5 side of the great 2.5/3 divide.

Before Midnight (2013) ****

First four-star movie of the 2013 year! Woohoo! Before Midnight is the Scenes from a Marriage of this series of films, which is about as high praise as I can give it. Wonderfully directed, acted, and written, it's pretty much a flawless film and deepens what is clearly one of cinema's great achievements.

Now You See Me (2013) **1/2

I'm surprised how well this is doing, as I found it completely ho-hum. It focuses on the wrong characters, features distractingly swooshy camerawork and relentlessly fake CGI, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and utterly wastes Michael Caine (a crime I find unpardonable). Not worth seeing.

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:25 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Now You See Me (2013) **1/2

I'm surprised how well this is doing, as I found it completely ho-hum. It focuses on the wrong characters, features distractingly swooshy camerawork and relentlessly fake CGI, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and utterly wastes Michael Caine (a crime I find unpardonable). Not worth seeing.

This reads more like a 1 1/2 star review then a **1/2 star review.


Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Now You See Me (2013) **1/2

I'm surprised how well this is doing, as I found it completely ho-hum. It focuses on the wrong characters, features distractingly swooshy camerawork and relentlessly fake CGI, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and utterly wastes Michael Caine (a crime I find unpardonable). Not worth seeing.

This reads more like a 1 1/2 star review then a **1/2 star review.


Yeah I'm thinking about going down to **. Definitely not 1.5 though, as that requires an incompetence not present here. But yeah, ** seems about right

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Vexer wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Now You See Me (2013) **1/2

I'm surprised how well this is doing, as I found it completely ho-hum. It focuses on the wrong characters, features distractingly swooshy camerawork and relentlessly fake CGI, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and utterly wastes Michael Caine (a crime I find unpardonable). Not worth seeing.

This reads more like a 1 1/2 star review then a **1/2 star review.


Yeah I'm thinking about going down to **. Definitely not 1.5 though, as that requires an incompetence not present here. But yeah, ** seems about right

What did you think of the "twist" in the film? I thought it was really well done.


Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:43 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Friday The 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter

I felt like watching a dopey horror movie, and this is on Netflix Instant, so...

Anyway, this was the only Friday film I hadn't seen all the way through. It's dopey, but it does have some nice tits and ass, some unintentional humor, and a dancing scene that is absolutely hilarious. Not exactly quality, but I have seen worse horror movies.

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:55 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Vexer wrote:
What did you think of the "twist" in the film? I thought it was really well done.


I found it arbitrary. The plot wasn't constructed so that one person actually made sense as the big reveal character. It could have been Melanie Laurent, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, or Mark Ruffalo and it all would been the same.

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Now You See Me (2013) **1/2

I'm surprised how well this is doing, as I found it completely ho-hum. It focuses on the wrong characters, features distractingly swooshy camerawork and relentlessly fake CGI, doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and utterly wastes Michael Caine (a crime I find unpardonable). Not worth seeing.


A bummer. I wasn't expecting big things, but I was hoping to enjoy it as a mild entertainment. Once I heard that the main character is actually Ruffalo (a misdirection [zing] of a trailer if there ever was one), I was dismayed.


Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I agree with PeachyPete in that the unreliable narrator plays no significance in the film as it did in the book because Ramsay never attempts to clarify the narrators perspective. Ramsay presents the film from the outside looking in when Eva's inner conflict is supposed to be the entire point of the film. It's easy to place your own feelings regarding the subject matter into watching the film but it doesn't change the fact that Kevin fails to delve into the its subject matter and present it wholly to the viewer in its medium, overtly relying on a diluted color scheme and an oh so cutely "appropriate" soundtrack in place of any real substance. As such once we reach Eva discovering her husband and daughter it rings as a hollow shock tactic in attempt to drive home (far too literally) the horror of the situation; its horrific enough as it is, you could at least have some subtlety.

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Phantom Carriage (1921) is a founding classic of Germ--well Swedish expressionism directed and starred in by Victor Sjöström. There's a legend that the last soul who dies on New Year's Eve must drive Death's chariot for the coming year, collecting the souls of the dead sinners. Last year David Holm's friend Georges got the "honor" and this year it's David himself. First of all, though we meet Sister Edit of the Salvation Army, who is dying of tuberculosis contracted, we eventually find out, from David's coat the previous New Year's Eve. Edit has been trying to redeem David for the last year, but David is an unrepentant drunkard who has become cynical after his wife deserted him while he was in prison. Edit naively tries to reunite the couple without realizing that David has been crossing the country seeking revenge on his wife.

Stark, sometimes beautiful (as when a previous soul collector collects a soul from the bottom of the ocean), sometimes brutal, and haunting. The main special effects are double exposures, and it's the best use of the technique you'll ever see. Sjöström's physical presence can be frightening, and David's wife looks worn and dying inside. Tore Svennberg is very effective as Georges.

The film is very influential, particularly on Bergman's The Seventh Seal, and, like Lang's Destiny, is considerably better film. Based on a novel by Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf. (It helped that her novels were popular in Sweden and the judges were Swedish. She also had a moralistic streak in her novels which is one of the criteria put on the prize.) This is a film that's aged very well. (8.5 of 10)

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Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
PeachyPete wrote:
Unke wrote:
as The Movie doesn't Show any violence and doesn't use The techniques of Action or suspense, how is it exploitative and of what?


The movie may not show violence, but it still uses the idea of violence to encite a reaction from the audience. A reaction that has no bearing on what the film claims to be about.

It uses the carnage and mayhem Kevin inflicts as the climactic moment in a film that's supposed to be about his mother's guilt. The film claims to be an exploration of one woman's guilt, from her POV. There's no reason to conceal the reason for her guilt from the audience, only to reveal it as a big revelation towards the end of the film, other than exploitation. It's more misery than the audience was expecting in order to make them gasp.

Unke wrote:
Don't think we are meant to feel 'oh he Killed The Family, Too' but to make kevin's mum also feel survivor's guilt(See Above).


That may have been the intention, but that doesn't mean it was successful. Again, this is something Eva knew at the outset of the film, and something intentionally withheld from the audience (in a film told "completely" from her POV, no less) for the majority of the movie's running time. Given that the information is presented as a surprise revelation at the end of the movie, I don't see how it isn't exploitative.

Why present it as the big reveal if the only thing it's meant to accomplish is to add an additional layer of characterization to Eva? Why handle the revelation as a climax if that's all there is to it?


Despite your, KWRoss's and JJoshay's interesting contributions to the discussion, I still fail to see how 'We need to talk about Kevin' could be considered to be exploitative about its subject matter.

Of course, Lynne Ramsay could have shown the massacre and its aftermath in the beginning and proceeded from there. I think she took the right dramatic choice in building up to it, because otherwise there would be little dramatic tension . From the outset, we know that Kevin has done something awful, affecting the whole of the community permanently and making many people antagonistic towards Tilda Swinton's character. The movie doesn't expressively say that Kevin commited a school shooting-style massacre, but it also doesn't make a mystery out of it. We also know that the father and daughter are absent from her current life. Their death didn't come as a surprise or a big reveal. Hence, I don't think that the dramatic tension equates to exploitation here.

In contrast to JJoshay, believe that the unreliable narrator perspective is of significance and that it is therefore impossible to clarify the narrator's perspective (how would that be possible with an unreliable narrator anyway). It's a movie that asks questions rather than providing answers.

Such as the question raised by KWRoss: Why didn't the parents send Kevin to a psychiatrist? Well, perhaps they did or at least discussed it at length, we are just not being shown. There are a number of subtle scenes which allude to some conflict between the parents about whether there is something wrong with Kevin, but we aren't shown much of it. I think the movie is better for not making these scenes explicit. Would you honestly prefer a scene in which a psychiatrist explained Kevin's mindest or condition at length?

I think I'll leave it at that, because I don't think that I'll convince any of you of 'We need to talk about Kevin's merits and I'm afraid that you probably won't convince me of its exploitative nature or troublesome treatment of the subject. In his last post on the topic, JJoshay stated that the movie fails to delve into its subject and present it wholly to the viewer. Perhaps that's the key difference in our reaction to the movie: Whereas you wanted the film to be an examination of how someone could commit a massacre or, specifically, how his upbringing might have played a role in it, I saw a movie about the soul searching of a confused mother, whose child has gone wrong. I concede that 'We need to talk about Kevin' fails as a movie about school shootings, but, in my opinion, that's not its real subject.


Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:40 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Last Stand (2013)
Arnold Schwarzenegger shoots loads of guns. Again.
It's weird that the Styrian man-mountain should have chosen such a low key action film as his comeback movie. Everything in this movie is decidedly second or third rate: the humour, the action, the plot, everything. Given that Schwarzenegger's age prevents him from relying on his once formidable physique - although he still has his screen presence -, he is reduced to act and gives it a game try, although his thespian qualities have never been his strong suit. I wonder whether he could make use of his political background and perhaps try to play a character role, which wouldn't be too much divorced from his real personality or biography. It might be a colossal failure, but his playing it safe in 'The Last Stand' results in a failure, too. Absolutely not worth checking out. 3/10


Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:06 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Way (2010) (Netflix Instant)
Writer/director Emilio Estevez draws upon his family's and his own personal experiences with the Camino de Santiago (aka The Walk of Saint James), which annually takes thousands of Christian pilgrims to the city of Santiago de Compostela in nothern Spain. Estevez tells the story of Tom, an aging California opthamalogist who's very comfortable in his practice and his weekly golf games. He has lost his wife some years ago and his only son Daniel has decided to leave graduate school to go out and see the world and get a more proper education. Tom and Daniel disagree on this decision. When Tom questions the life choices Daniel is making, Daniel blithely answers, "You don't choose a life, dad. You live one."

Things take a turn when Daniel is killed in an accident on the Camino de Santiago, an 800km trek from southern France and across northern Spain to the Atlantic Ocean. Tom goes to France to claim Daniel's remains and is presented with Daniel's final posessions, which consist of all of the gear necessary to make the pilgrimage. Not a very religious person, Tom makes the fateful decision to make the trek in honer of Daniel's memory.

The resulting story is Tom's journey of discovery of the features along the trail, the assorted pilgrims and local citizens he meets along the way, and the discovery of himself and what Daniel really meant to him. As Tom goes along, he meets and journeys with Joost, an overweight Dutchman from Amsterdaam who enjoys indulging in everything from food to illicit drugs, Sarah, an angry Candadian who is trying to give up smoking, and Jack, an Irish writer of travelogues who is suffering writer's block. Each of these individuals start the trek for different reasons, and part of the movie's experience is learning what those reasons are, and which are just rationalizations for deeper motives.

This is very much a "road movie" and, as such, can get a bit slow at times (you think there was a lot of walking in "The Fellowship of the Ring"?). Also, while the characters are different and layered, their introductions are a bit abrupt and jarring at times. Sarah and Jack, in particular, are a bit over the top in their interactions with Tom when we first meet them and they don't seem very natural.

If you are open to it, the film can be very inspirational. It is pretty simple and there are no huge surprises. Estevez's script and direction are both pretty safe and personal. But I liked it. It's messages are not overly complicated...or rather...they are just complicated enough. 3.5 / 4.0


Last edited by Johnny Larue on Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:28 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Airport

Yes, it's pretty badly dated. Yes, it does have a cornucopia of stars around every turn (Burt Lancaster! And Dean Martin! And George Kennedy! And Maureen Stapleton!). But it's also mildly entertaining, and an interesting portrait of Hollywood in transition; Airport came out in 1970, and a few years later releasing a movie like this would be unthinkable.

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Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Samurai Rebellion - I’ve seen four films now from Masaki Kobayashi, and I think I’m ready to put him on my list of favorite filmmakers. I had previously been impressed with Harakiri, Kwaidan, and the epic The Human Condition, but this latest viewing may have left the largest positive impressive out of all of them (so much so that immediately after the film ended I went online and ordered Criterion’s recently-released Eclipse collection Masaki Kobayashi Against The System). As the title of that set indicates, Kobayashi spent a good part of his career focusing on stories of individuals standing up against unjust society structures and attitudes, and Samurai Rebellion represents one of his more definitive statements in that area. Toshiro Mifune plays Isaburo Sasahara, a loyal vassal who is forced to marry off his son Yogoro to Ichi, the castaway mistress of the powerful daimyo. Isaburo and Yogoro are initially hesitant, but they understand their duties and accept. As time passes though, Ichi is accepted into the family. However, after the daimyo’s first son unexpectedly dies, there is a need for Ichi to return to the daimyo in order to care for the son that she had with him before being tossed aside. Isaburo and Yogoro are unwilling to part with Ichi, which leads to heated confrontations and inevitable tragedy.

In a career filled with brilliant and iconic performances, Toshiro Mifune may never have been better than he is in this film. He starts the film as someone who is completely compliant to his lord, a man who sacrificed any chance of individual happiness for the “greater good”, quietly accepting a loveless marriage and his overall role in life . His only real moments of happiness and pride come either when he gets to show off his skills as a swordsman or when he has conversations with the province gate guard who is his good friend (Tatsuya Nakadai in a small but critical role, who finds himself torn between his friendship and his loyalty to the daimyo). As the film moves forward, Mifune watches as injustice after injustice is made, until he reaches a point where he won’t submit to pressure any longer. He’s supported by a string of strong supporting characters/performances, with Yoko Tsukasa’s Ichi standing out as the one with perhaps the strongest will and resolve out of all the characters. Kobayashi is a master at quietly building tension, keeping everything spare and controlled until the moment when it all explodes, and because he has so much skill at character development and pacing, it’s almost impossible not to be riveted the whole way through. This film really is Kobayashi operating at the peak of his talents as a filmmaker. I’m not usually someone who likes to use the word “perfect” in relation to anything, but that word might very well apply here. 10/10.

Fallen Angels - Wong Kar-wai’s 1995 film was originally conceived as the third part of what eventually became the two-part Chungking Express. The material that didn’t make the cut for that film became its own film, serving as a loose continuation but also as its own distinct statement. The big difference with this film, apart from how it intertwines its stories instead of separating them into two halves, is its tone. Chungking Express operated mostly in offbeat romantic territory; Fallen Angels veers closer to noir, darker and, in a couple moments, more explicit than anything else in Wong’s filmography. This is apparent right from the outset, with the film’s first main character, a hired killer played by Leon Lai, preparing for his work over a piece of music that heavily samples Massive Attack’s ‘Karmacoma’. His actions are intercut with the work of his female partner, played by Michelle Reis, who cleans his apartment and gives him new assignments, while remaining strangely elusive and out of his sight.

It’s an effective opening, introducing Lai and Reis in a way that is kinetic and exciting while also orientating the viewer to the portrayal of nighttime Hong Kong that the film is going to explore. Wong, once again working with cinematographer Christopher Doyle, mostly uses wide-angle lenses to add to the film’s occasionally-nightmarish atmosphere; everything is slightly distorted, which fits with the film’s secluded and mysterious personalities. Still, despite its perpetual nighttime setting, the film isn’t all darkness, and the tone lightens considerably with the introduction of Takeshi Kaneshiro’s character, a mute escaped convict who finds a way to generate income by breaking into closed-up shops at night and selling whatever goods are available to sometimes-unwilling passers-by (his name and explanation for his mute condition are just a couple of many subtle references to Chungking Express). Both Lai and Kaneshiro’s characters move through the film attempting to establish some sort of connection, whether it’s with an unseen love or with a father on his last stretch of life. It’s not accidental that the film’s only glimpse of sunlight comes at the very end, when two previously-separate characters finally connect with each other. A couple elements keep the film from reaching the same level as Chungking Express (particularly Lai, who doesn’t really register as the hitman, lacking the presence that someone like Tony Leung could have brought to the role), but it’s an interesting semi-detour for Wong that is both refreshingly familiar and refreshingly different. 7/10.

Medium Cool - Does a cameraman have an ethical responsibility to intervene in the situations they are recording, or is their role simply to document the times? Acclaimed cinematographer Haskell Wexler’s directorial effort from 1969 poses this question, among many others, while documenting one of the more tumultuous eras in American history. Robert Forster’s John Cassellis works as a television cameraman, someone who has no problems getting coverage on a car accident before calling for an ambulance. His detached but hard-nosed approach to his profession is challenged when his department informs him that the FBI is looking at his footage. While this is going on, he finds himself in a relationship with a humble small-town teacher, a big change from his usual practice of one-night-stands. Throughout the film, Waxler weaves this fictional story with documentary footage, culminating with fact and fiction blending together during the Democratic National Convention and the riots that accompanied the proceedings.

As an experiment of blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction, the film is never anything less than fascinating. As a statement on the strange power of the camera and the potential ethical responsibilities that come about when wielding one, it’s thought-provoking and its message is certainly still relevant for modern times, especially in an age when so many people carry around cell-phones that double as video recorders. As a piece of effective drama, however, it’s maybe not quite as successful, its storytelling a little too fractured and strangely passive to really generate much real interest in the central characters. Forster has a cool, almost Charles Bronson-esque presence, but at least at the point of his career when this film was made, he still had some work to do as an actor. Still, much like the filmmakers of the French New Wave, Wexler isn’t particularly interested in serving up a conventional piece of entertainment, and elements like performances and narrative aren’t really his main concern. His work here pushes boundaries, and it’s easy to forgive any unevenness when for most of its running length it’s delivering such a fresh and intellectually-stimulating experience. 8/10.

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Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:24 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Kobayashi had a streak of about eight years where he may well have been the best director in the world and made those six movies. I'd like to see some of his other films. Samurai Rebellion's my favorite of his movies.

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