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Enemy (2013) 
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Post Enemy (2013)
Hi everyone. I just saw an online review from Chris Stuckmann, one of the online critics I see on Youtube about the film Enemy (2013), directed by Denis Villeneuve (who had also directed Prisoners), and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2316411/?ref_=nv_sr_1

I was wondering if any of you have seen this film, as it looks intriguing. This looks like the kind of film JB would really appreciate.


Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Looks interesting. I'm a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal's. Personally, I found Prisoners to be a bit overrated though it was well made and the mystery aspect of the movie absolutely did work for me. So I definitely will be looking forward to this.


Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:35 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
I'm excited to see a shorter Villeneuve film, as Prisoners did get a little long. Looks good.


Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:32 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
I'll see this eventually.

I watched Polytechnique not so long ago; good, very very tight movie. Did anyone see Incendies, this one or anything else by the director or just Prisoners?

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Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:20 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Mark III wrote:
I'll see this eventually.

I watched Polytechnique not so long ago; good, very very tight movie. Did anyone see Incendies, this one or anything else by the director or just Prisoners?


Yeah, I've seen Incendies. It's good. The twist is pretty shocking and extreme.


Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:10 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
MGamesCook wrote:
Mark III wrote:
I'll see this eventually.

I watched Polytechnique not so long ago; good, very very tight movie. Did anyone see Incendies, this one or anything else by the director or just Prisoners?


Yeah, I've seen Incendies. It's good. The twist is pretty shocking and extreme.

I'm more or less in agreement with this. It's a fairly gripping story for most of its running length, but it runs a little high on melodrama at times. Which is okay.

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Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:14 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
supposedly opens tomorrow, but can't find theater listings in LA.

apparently the ending is garnering a lot of talk.


Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:22 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
IMDB sez it's playing a festival tomorrow. Available on DirecTV which excludes me. Possibly everyone else on the site.

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Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:48 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
just came out on dvd


Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
So I watched this. And I loved it. I don't like this term, but it's a legitimate mind-fuck. Not undecipherable, though, which is what elevates it. Much has been (deservedly) made of that last shot, and the film is built around that, but it's a key more than it's a puzzle piece. For most viewers it won't make you nod in recognition, it will simply get you thinking even more about everything that comes before. Again, the success of the film is rooted in the fact that it's a solvable puzzle, I believe.

It's not for everyone, clearly, but I encourage you to check it out.

Some thoughts on the whole if anyone has seen it... MAJOR spoilers, obviously:

The two most interesting and sensible theories:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
First, either way, I think it's clearly not a linear film.

First theory: it's about one man, and it's reflective of his state of mind. The "real" version is the professor, and the movie star is his alter-ego. Spiders represent his fear of women/commitment/stagnancy, and his sigh at the end seeing the large spider is due to trying to kill off his alter-ego (who visits the sex shows and plans on doing so again) and realizing that he can't/won't. It's hard to tell which scenes really happen... but the fear his wife shows when she visits the professor at the school comes from recognizing the mental issues her husband has, and her accepting of him into her bed/coming onto him on the couch at the end is out of a desire to care for him and his state of mind, not a desire to cheat. The last shot of the film is a version of the early shot where his nude wife is shown on the bed (as in, that's the same shot of him looking at her like she is, not as the spider/embodiment of his fears). There's a million more things to talk about and figure out, but this is the root of things.

The second (less validated by the film, but super fun and interesting) is that it's a body-snatchers film in which our world has been invaded by spider creatures (this is "backed up" by the actor being accused of not being a "real" man, etc). Again, I don't think it holds up, but it's interesting.


All in all, a genuinely fascinating film that earns its intrigues.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:06 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Don't know why I haven't watched it yet. Must do so in the next couple days.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:28 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
MGamesCook wrote:
Don't know why I haven't watched it yet. Must do so in the next couple days.


I hope you do man and look forward to hearing your thoughts. I know you dug Prisoners and Incendies to varying degrees. I sincerely hope you enjoy this.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:59 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
I saw this a couple of months ago and thought it was interesting. Will come back with some thoughts.

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Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:28 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Shade2 wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Don't know why I haven't watched it yet. Must do so in the next couple days.


I hope you do man and look forward to hearing your thoughts. I know you dug Prisoners and Incendies to varying degrees. I sincerely hope you enjoy this.


Thanks Shade! So, I just watched it. What a strange film...but for what it is, I loved it. Alternatively it evokes David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and Brian De Palma. I'm just gonna say, I haven't figured out exactly what was going on yet. I'm stumped. But now I'm gonna read your spoiler section. Here it goes...


Hmmm. Well the first theory is more of an Ingmar Bergman type of thing. But you know, I think the second theory is really onto something. That first theory just isn't quite it. And the second one, though too simple and not precisely correct, I think comes closer to the truth. I'll have more thoughts later...

Thought about it a bit more. Now I'm not sure what to think. I have to say, if the first explanation is correct (and having heard Villeneuve's actual description, it seems so), I'm perhaps not crazy about this movie. I'm not a fan of the whole
[Reveal] Spoiler:
some scenes take place inside his head
thing in movies. For a movie whose meaning is supposed to be definite and literal, I consider that a bit of a cheat. Specifically though...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I knew right after his pregnant wife speaks to him on the bench, then calls him, that Villeneuve was suggesting Gyllenhaal to simply have a split personality. But I feel that that conceit is too obvious for this movie. Because if that's the truth, it's like Villeneuve gives you the correct answer, then cheats by staging several scenes where the two Jakes are speaking to each other.


So if the explanation is as simple as that, I'd consider it to be unsatisfying.


Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:15 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Okay, so now I watched this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9AWkqRwd1I

And have concluded, in fact, that the fault is not with the film itself, but with the people (like the guy who narrates this video) trying to smugly convince others of a simple, unsatisfying, frankly unintelligent solution to the movie's enigmas. It is beyond ridiculous to simplify this kind of movie into the amateurish conceit that this guy comes up with. I intend to put more thought into this movie, and I'm excited to try and let my thoughts go beyond the closed-minded, cynical explanation proposed by this video. It's seriously disheartening to see such a fascinating film reduced in such smug fashion by an elitist who "has it all figured out." Yeah, right.

Anyway, it's a cool movie. Should spark some interesting discussions.


Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:00 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
MGamesCook wrote:
Hmmm. Well the first theory is more of an Ingmar Bergman type of thing. But you know, I think the second theory is really onto something. That first theory just isn't quite it. And the second one, though too simple and not precisely correct, I think comes closer to the truth. I'll have more thoughts later...

Thought about it a bit more. Now I'm not sure what to think. I have to say, if the first explanation is correct (and having heard Villeneuve's actual description, it seems so), I'm perhaps not crazy about this movie. I'm not a fan of the whole

[Reveal] Spoiler:
some scenes take place inside his head
thing in movies. For a movie whose meaning is supposed to be definite and literal, I consider that a bit of a cheat. Specifically though...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I knew right after his pregnant wife speaks to him on the bench, then calls him, that Villeneuve was suggesting Gyllenhaal to simply have a split personality. But I feel that that conceit is too obvious for this movie. Because if that's the truth, it's like Villeneuve gives you the correct answer, then cheats by staging several scenes where the two Jakes are speaking to each other.


So if the explanation is as simple as that, I'd consider it to be unsatisfying.


While Villeneuve has been clear that there's a definite solution, he's also been clear that he's cool with other interpretations. Which is why I have the same problems that you do with that YouTube video. I don't mind if he's saying "Hey! I've figured it out!," but the way he dismisses all other notions as worthless is counter-intuitive.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Like you, I thought the scene of him disappearing from screen to answer his wife's phone call was way too obvious in a way that Villeneuve, for all his flaw, generally isn't. I also think Spiders = Women is a little too direct, and not the intention. Later, the way the scenes are cut indicate that the interactions with the girlfriend are all in his head, but I think that could be a red herring as well.

I'm aware I'm going off the deep end here, but chew on this: The world (or at least Toronto) has been at some point invaded by body-snatching spiders/aliens that look like spiders. But if this is a world in which giant spiders are walking around Toronto, it stands to reason that people might lose their minds a bit, and Adam's a guy who is losing his head (and probably was beforehand). He does have a split personality, but Actor Jake and his exploits exist mostly in his head (the cutting of most of the girlfriend scenes suggests this). If that's the case, the end can be read quite tragically: the only person who understood him and accepted his issues (even being willing to have sex with both versions of him and affirm both) has been taken by these creatures and is gone. His last sigh is one of giving up and of deep sorrow. He's alone. It's probably not the read Villenueve was going for, but that the film kinda supports it speaks to its power and effectiveness, to me.


Glad you enjoyed it. Hoping others jump into the conversation.


Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:10 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
I think that interpretation is intriguing and pretty close. I really like Slate's write-up on it:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/201 ... denis.html

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Suggesting that the key to the film is in Professor Jake's lectures on Totalitarian governments. Jake doesn't realize that the spiders have already woven totalitarianism all around him. The idea of "girlfriend swapping" is also seen in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, which also had underlying themes about fascism. Perhaps there really are two Jakes. As Slate suggests, Jake discovers his double, signifying the loss of individualism. Actor Jake wants to sleep with Melanie Laurent, being already a deviant (he's the one who goes to those weird "sex shows," the bread and circuses provided by the spiders). So he makes up some BS about Professor Jake sleeping with his pregnant wife. Professor Jake cries later that night, because he knows he has sold his soul to the loss of his individuality. Actor's wife belongs to him now, as does the key to the spider sex shows. In the last shot, he sees that the joke is on him. He can't enjoy the privileges of this totalitarian regime because he sees it for what it really is.


Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
Having now read the plot summary for the book on which the film is based, I can say for sure that...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
At the very least, Anthony and Adam are two different people.


That has to be true, or else there's no reason for this story to be told because then there would be no story. And in the book, it's not open for interpretation. My spoiler statement above is simply a fact. So if the movie is fully decipherable, we have to analyze what Villeneuve has added to the story. Because he clearly hasn't changed the basic, overall story. He simply added to it.


Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:41 am
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Post Re: Enemy (2013)
MGamesCook wrote:
Having now read the plot summary for the book on which the film is based, I can say for sure that...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
At the very least, Anthony and Adam are two different people.


That has to be true, or else there's no reason for this story to be told because then there would be no story. And in the book, it's not open for interpretation. My spoiler statement above is simply a fact. So if the movie is fully decipherable, we have to analyze what Villeneuve has added to the story. Because he clearly hasn't changed the basic, overall story. He simply added to it.


Ehhhhhhhhhhh he might have changed it, though. I've read the book and you're correct that it's clear there, but it doesn't necessarily carry over into the movie.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The Shining had a similar disparity between the psychological and the supernatural between the novel and the film.


I don't buy that the spoiler has to be true of the film for there to be reason for the story, though.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I get that you find it less satisfying if they're one person, but that alone doesn't make the story worthless.


Now, Villeneuve has pretty much said that he DIDN'T change the heart of the book (although he added a TON), so unless he's being coy then we're close to the truth with the

[Reveal] Spoiler:
body snatchers


idea.


Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:46 pm
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