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Thread: Nyff 2009

  1. #31
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    Outstanding thread so far, Chris.

    Alain Resnais is a cinema God.
    My favorite film of his is Last Year at Marienbad, a timeless, mysterious, Epic work. It still stuns me, so many years since it's release...

    Looking very forward to hearing what you have to say about Anti-Christ. I wish I saw it here at TIFF...
    de Oliveira is 100. Wow.
    And glad that Wajda is still out there, creating.
    Are you going to review The Wizard of Oz?

    And Catherine Breillat & Todd Solondz always memorable...

    Thanks for the info on Moore's release in New York.
    the 47th NYFF seems to be great this year.
    Last edited by Johann; 09-23-2009 at 10:11 AM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #32
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    Thanks. I have a review of von Trier up now. Maybe in future more than the "shocking" mements the new glossy 'cinematic" look will be considered the most notable aspect.

    No Wizard of Oz for me. I'm mostly skipping sidebar items, though I did watch the Pasolini doc, because of my interest in him and in things Italian. I wish i could see the Brit TV noir series, and somebody I know saw it and said it's great, but I didn't have time for another six hours of viewing in another venue during this period, so I'll have to wait for that.

    In retrospect I tend to prefer Hironshima mon amour to Marienbad. I have not seen a lot of Resnais' films in between those and now, and some of those I have seen I have not been impressed so much by. I don't think much of Stavisky, am not a fan of Providence. I also have trouble seeing what they all have in common. Let's not forget there is a new Ravette coming to the NYFF, though it may be a minor work (short anyway).

  3. #33
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    Authentic horror? Stunner from Lars.

    Lars von Trier: Antichrist (2009)

  4. #34
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    Visceral 1982 Lebanon war film from Israel won Samuel Maoz the Golden Lion at Venice for this first film. Like the maker of Waltz with Bashir he is a veteran returning to his experience of 25 years with anti-war sentiments.

    ]Samuel Maoz: Lebanon (2009)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-03-2017 at 03:42 PM.

  5. #35
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    Jean-Luc Godard is on record saying Jacques Rivette is a better filmmaker than Kubrick. I've liked every film I've seen of his (the last being Va Savoir, several years ago. I need to see more of his stuff.

    So Trier's film is a stunner that you don't want to see again?
    That sounds fair.
    Is there enough in it to recommend it, or is it too offensive?
    Does it have anything to contribute to understanding relationships between men and women or is it too "intellectual" as you pointed out? It sounds like the boy's death was the catalyst for the woman's downturn.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #36
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    I may not have made myself clear about Antichrist -- it wouldn't be the first time I've failed to get my point across -- but I think if you read my review carefully you'll find answers to most of your questions. I did clearly say "This isn't a film I'm eager to watch again right now." I didn't say never as you imply.

    I don't see that I need to recommend Antichrist, especially to you, since you want to see it. My review is quite favorable and I give it a 9/10, my highest rating usually for any recent film. I thought I was making clear that it is neither too offensive nor too intellectual and detached. I specifically said the offense was taken at Cannes but not in New York yesterday.

    The problem of detachment sometimes making his films emotionally uninvolving, I was saying, is something that is much less evident here in this film. Throughout, I could use the word I over-used for the film Lebanon, "visceral." It could be seen as an enlightening study of the power struggles of sexual relationships, and a whole lot besides.

    Another point that I didn't go into. Generally von Trier has been accused of being abusive toward women in his films. Nicole Kidman is cited as asking him why. Well, in this one, the woman (Charlotte Gainsbourg) has a chance to get back at men (a man) big time, although the man has the last laugh, or the last scream, or last groan, I'm not sure what it is. Curious?

  7. #37
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    "It sounds like the boy's death was the catalyst for the woman's downturn."

    Well, yeah. Her little boy died. "Downturn" is a funny word to use. As I explain and the chapter heading shows, she is grieving. Then the issue arises of whether she should be medicated because she has collapses from grief, or should go back out of the hospital and stop taking medications and try to confront her grief. Then it turns to anger.

    One might hypothesize that the anger is against her husband for manipulating her too much and taking over her case, when as a therapist he shouldn't try to treat his own family member. But she is also obviously angry at herself. She is also afraid. Her fear is of nature, or of herself, or of the chapel of the Church of Satan (Nature) that nature has set up in herself.

    She blames herself for the death of her son. Of course his death was accidental. But she believes she knew something her husband didn't know and took a chance he wasn't aware of.

    But apart from all that any mother would grieve over the death of her young son. Many mothers who lose young sons are never the same again. It's not a lurid invention of Lars von Trier, but a very legitimate course of events.

  8. #38
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    Second new film by octogenarian Andrzej Wajda in the past two years. This one combines short stories and a great actress' actual memories of her cinematographer husband's sudden terminal illness, and is mostly a medication on youth and death.

    Andrzej Wajda: Sweet Rush (2009)

  9. #39
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    In German director Maren Ade's second film a young couple summering at a villa in Sardinia test the relationship waters, measuring themselves against a seemingly more successful couple.

    Maren Ade: Everyone Else (2009)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-25-2009 at 03:19 PM.

  10. #40
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    IFC is releasing Antichrist as part of their Video on Demand service two days before the theatrical (commercial) premiere on October 23rd.

    I thought Trier was raised atheist and converted to Catholicism. I have read numerous Trier interviews over the years. He is highly voluble and contradictory. I get the impression sometimes that he is not being honest or straight but saying things for effect or to generate publicity. He is somewhat like Hitch in this regard.

    I hope people watching new Rohmer, Rivette and de Oliveira at the NYFF appreciate how lucky they are to be alive and going to a movie theater to watch a new film by these MASTERS. Future cinephiles will be green with envy the way I feel about folks who got to listen to Coltrane live.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 09-24-2009 at 10:41 PM.

  11. #41
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    You struck a cord, because I actually do regret not hearing Coltrane or Billie Holiday live; I could have, but I have heard other jazz greats live, and more important, Umm Kalsoum in Cairo. I'm not sure how this is comparable to watching new films by old directors, but you're welcome to your opinion. However, I don't see any Rohmer on the NYFF slate this year. That was Astree et Celadon a couple years ago, but a lot of people found it a bore, including me. I guess I'm not an "auteurist," and just the name of a director doesn't give me a hard-on,* especially not if he's over 80 years old.

    *A French saying once quoted by society columnist Taki, if I recall it correctly, was "Il y a des noms qui font bander," there are names (i.e. aristocratic titles) that give you a had-on. I'm probably quoting the French wrong, but you get the idea.

  12. #42
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    The new Bruno Dumont: is there a link between violent jihad and ecstatic Christianity? Premiered at Toronto, not opening in France till November 25.

    Bruno Dumont: Hadewidjch (2009)

  13. #43
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    What really interests me about this specific film in Trier's filmography is that it's been made clear in interviews that not only was this a 2-person man & woman story, but that it was also a cathartic exorcising of some demons for the director.
    He's been very depressed in recent years.

    As for the idea that he's abusive towards women, it's a tough one. He's definitely got some "female" issues. But I can also say in the same breath that he's honored them, too.
    Bjork in Dancer in the Dark is a Hero to me, as is Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves and Bryce Dallas Howard & Nicole (as Grace) in Manderlay & Dogville. They all go through extraordianry ordeals, intense situations. But they are all brave women, admirable.
    Is Charlotte not brave in AntiChrist?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #44
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    The Dumont sounds very interesting.
    I like "luminosity of some Saint in a medieval panel"
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  15. #45
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    Is Charlotte not brave in Antichrist?
    Well, sure, and much more than that. As I said of Gainsbourg's character, "Eventually she rebels, and takes extreme measures against both her husband and herself." I'm no expert on the von Trier "canon," but I'd say she takes more initiative against the Man in the tale than his other heroines. In this one, Lars finally gives his heroine a chance at revenge.

    The Dumont [Hadewijch] sounds very interesting.
    I like "luminosity of some Saint in a medieval panel."
    Yes, thanks. I'd have failed if I hadn't made it sound interesting. Tthe new Dumont is indeed interesting, though that's too mild a word. Everything he does is disturbing and gut-wrenching, numbing and provocative. I have been a fan of Dumont all along, except for his one misstep, Twentynine Palms. This one being sweeter and less bestial may even make a very few new converts to his small coterie of passionate admirers, though I'm not sure one can say that of Mike D'Angelo of Not Coming to a Theater Near You , a tireless blog writer who made it to Cannes this year against all obstacles. At last D'Angelo revises his statement, to say now that he sometimes likes films by Bruno Dumont. You may also be interested in what he wrote back in May about Antichrist, in the form of a love/hate letter to Lars von Trier. (His Cannes reports ran in the Onion's AV Club section.) I can hardly believe the film is not a put-on but he recognizes that the tone of most of it suggests it's serious. He deplores the film but applauds von Trier for having the audacity to make stuff like thisj and says its what Cannes should be like but mostly isn't. Read that discussion -- it's heartfelt and good and goes into more detail than I do.

    D'Angelo also has some sharp comments on the same blog about Samuel Maoz's Lebanon, which he's even more critical of than I allowed myself to be; I would agree in preferring Bigelow's The hurt Locker. A war movie is an action movie, and to make a good one you've got to be a good action director, as she is. D'Angelo's right that Maoz's views of outside the tank are painfully literal:
    Maoz doesn’t understand that the best way to convey maddening, terrifying semi-blindness is to emphasize what’s not quite visible. Instead, he makes such painfully crass moves as a slow, lengthy zoom onto the tear-filled eye of a dying donkey, bludgeoning the viewer with editorial pathos in a way that would make even Steven Spielberg wince.
    Ouch! D'Angelo is absolutely right that Mao's characters are broadly-drawn and one-dimensional. Basing a script on one's own experience doesn't guarantee an authentic feel. Maoz, who apparently was the rookie gunner, was probably too naive and scared then to observe character in his team members deeply, and seems to lack the skill as a writer today to inject the depth he lacked back then. The movie is exciting and tense, but the "formalist stunt" of shooting everything inside a tank isn't enough to justify a big award at Venice. Nor is this as profound a statement (even granting their limitations of the Israeli point of view) about the Lebanese war of '82 as either Beaufort (a conventional, but intricately suspenseful war film) or(most thoughtful of the lot) Waltz with Bashir.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 09-25-2009 at 06:09 PM.

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