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Thread: Alexander: Best film of 2004

  1. #16
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    Re: ALEXANDER: Polarizer

    Originally posted by oscar jubis
    The main concern regarding the structure of the film was mentioned by arsaib and anduril. Why did Mr. Stone and his collaborators chose to interrupt showing us how Alexander came to power, opting to flashback to Phillip's assassination during the final hour? Maybe one of the posters lauding this picture can tell us what was gained by it?
    Let me give my 1 cent worth. There are several objectives, I believe, and I will list the most important to the least ...

    (1) By opting for a flashback scene nearer the end rather than in a chronological order, Oliver allows the audience to feel in two ways -- what happens if the King indeed was assassinated by OTHERS? Would that have "answered" how Alexander was behaving now? -- and what happens if I quickly flashback to tell you that Olympias, or even Alexander might be a partner in crime? Would that have "changed" your original feeling of why Alexander was behaving as such now? IF Oliver had opted for a chronological order, the audience would simply have the mindset that Alexander should behave as though he was guilt driven and hysterical ... By doing the flashback, Oliver sought to achieve the "wow and enlightenment" effect (like in a mystery/thriller film), now I understand why better ...

    (2) It allowed a parallel of the mutiny scene and the overthrowing of King Philip by the assassinators/rebels ...

    (3) It let you wonder about the repetition of history ... the circle of life ...

    (4) It makes you wonder, is there such a thing as retribution ...

    (5) This is simply UNINTENTIONAL ... critics or audience at times try to CREDIT the director too much ... ha ha ha
    e.g. the blizzard scene in House of Flying Daggers was compelled by nature (an early snowstorm). It was NOT planned in advance nor was it in the script. However, I like the scene a lot and thought it helped convey the moods and emotions VERY well ...

    that's all
    ;PPP
    Last edited by hengcs; 12-19-2004 at 11:29 AM.

  2. #17
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    I appreciate the effort to sustain some type of discussion here. It's obvious to me that, by waiting until later to show Philip's assassination, a sort of mystery is created. Several possible explanations remain plausible, including the possibility that Alexander himself had his father killed (after all, he was the main beneficiary). You bring up the issue of how Alexander's actions (particularly his reluctance to return to Macedonia I imagine) can potentially be explained in relation to Philip's murder and the possible culprits. But the script and Farrell's performance are not focused enough to make it a compelling experience for the viewer. It's the eye that is engaged throughout, not the mind.

    As for the murder scene itself, as scripted and filmed, it's clear to me that Alexander himself was not involved and that he suspects Olympias played a significant role. According to most historical sources, Pausanias killed Philip on behalf of others, not conclusively identified. Alexander is said to have had several individuals killed because of their alleged involvement. I think the film hints strongly that Olympias was at the least a co-conspirator. But the film, faithful to the vague historical record, leaves several possiblities open.

    Another issue I didn't bring up in my previous post is the use of the aged Ptolemy as narrator. Hopkins is fine but, at least after one viewing, I failed to connect the aged Ptolemy to the young one as a participant in significant events. Why is Ptolemy the one narrating? I found out from reading comments and reviews after viewing that several feel the same way. Others in the audience seem to simply tune out upon hearing a barrage of unfamiliar names of persons and locales right off the bat, without the necessary context.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 12-20-2004 at 10:05 AM.

  3. #18
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    The flashbacks are a Stone hallmark. He does "the flashback" better than anybody in cinema. JFK- the whole movie is practically a flashback; The Doors- Oliver flashes back to the dead indians on the road several times; Natural Born Killers- Mickey and Mallory are shown in flashback and verite-style re-created events abound. It should be no surprise that Oliver is using this device, in fact one could expect it. And with this film, he's used it brilliantly.

    Think about how you would make a film showcasing Alexander the Great. How are you gonna convey in two, three hours what that man was like?

    I give a standing-o to Oliver Stone.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #19
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    News

    I hope this isn't true but according to the NY Post Stone is making some changes to the film for its upcoming DVD release.

    "January 6, 2005 -- OLIVER Stone is disappointed in the response to his "Alexander the Great," and plans to alter the movie for its release on DVD. "There's a raging fundamentalism in morality in the U.S.," Stone fumed at the movie's London premiere this week. "From day one, audiences didn't show up. They didn't even read the reviews in the South because the media was using the words, 'Alex the gay.' " Earlier, Stone griped to the London Telegraph, "The gays lambasted me for not making Alexander openly homosexual, and, in the Bible Belt pastors were up in the pulpit saying that to watch this film was to be tempted by Satan." Stone said he'd change the offending scenes for the DVD: "The bond [between men] can be suggested in different ways."

  5. #20
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    As if they weren't changed enough already!

    That makes me disappointed in Stone, who appears to be taking the road of Lucas in his reediting decisions! Damn!
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  6. #21
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    It's tough, man.
    Alexander is awesome cinema, but you can't drag people into the theatres. Their loss. I don't know if it's the timing, the "gay" aspects or the audience, but I do know that most moviegoers are damn ignorant of a lot of shit. And being bored by Stone's film is easily forseeable with so many millions of malignant consumers of reality T.V. and video games...

    Stone's vision is unacknowledged and misunderstood yet again.
    He's made a "flop" so to speak but, for what it's worth Oliver:---- 'em. They just don't get it.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  7. #22
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    Everytime Angelina Jolie opened her mouth, all I could hear was Anne Baxter under the direction of that pompous ass DeMille. I have to agree with the majority on this one fellows. Everyone has a flop from time to time, even my buddy Steven. Stone got in over his head and came up short. The "hysterical" epic is not his cup of tea. Perhaps he should try a musical next...
    Last edited by cinemabon; 01-10-2005 at 10:36 PM.

  8. #23
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    Congratulations!

    Alexander has just crossed the $100m mark in international markets.

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