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 The Berlin School and Beyond 
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snapper wrote:
How do you define Weerasethakul's style then? His thesis statement?
Oh geez. I have no idea. Thesis statement? For me his films are little epiphanies of atmosphere and mood (like music, as I've said before). I have almost no idea what he's doing exactly, just its effect on me.

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:58 am
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lol atmosphere and mood

DETERMINE HIS THESIS STATEMENT

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:00 am
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oh was like, Low blow Trip, and then backread that snaps actually asked that :shifty:


Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
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the way to a guy's heart is to lick his hand


Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:07 am
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The cinema of the Berlin School is one very much concerned with persons displaced and their lack of cultural identity, so the subsequent exploration of expatriation seen in films such as Angela Schanelec's Marseille, for example, seems an almost natural progression. Ulrich Köhler's Sleeping Sickness, then, very much falls into step, presenting the family of Ebbo Velten, a German doctor working on a project in Cameroon to treat locals suffering from trypanosomiasis. Velten is clearly an influential individual, never afraid to flash a toothy smile, though with an obvious sense of condescending entitlement that becomes apparent very early on. The only person seemingly able to see through this is Velten's daughter, whose years away at boarding school have resulted in nothing but scorn for her father. It is a relationship that perhaps reflects Velten's apparent estrangement from his native country, for dance as he might - and unlike dealing with the fickle and thinly-veiled demands of border patrol - he simply cannot get through to his daughter. Upon encountering Velten three years later - once Sleeping Sickness has switched surrogate to the young Doctor Alex Nzila - your classic fish out of water who has been sent to inspect the project, and after a brief Beckettian interval - we can't help but notice his change in appearance. Beard unkempt and eyes bleary, he seems to be suffering from the very plague that he is supposed to be treating. Velten's disheveled state and Nzila's initially fruitless search for him recall Conrad's Heart of Darkness, making him the Kurz to his young counterpart's Marlowe, and it is darkness that Köhler then plunges us into for the film's finale, as the pair embark on a fatal hunting trip. Discomfort reigns as blackness and bush press in from all angles, as in some kind of feverish dream, but are we to believe what it is we see once we wake?
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Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:30 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
The whole film is much more Denis than Joe. I can see his enthusiasm for the latter in the extremely white, sterile city French hospital, made to contrast with the jungle hospitals in Cameroon, but that's as far as it goes. There's no atmospheric magic using sound or light.

Yes, I must admit that the existence of White Material in particular gives you quite a strong case here! I found her portrayal of an outsider on the inside and the whole post-colonial context to be much more sympathetic, with less of the "pontification" or lecturing found here. Though, Köhler's film is certainly more grounded and lacks the moments of dread and paranoia that we see in White Material - aside from perhaps one or two scenes, such as the initial border confrontation and when Nzila almost gets conned with the car/case. Denis also grew up in Africa, did she not?

Still, I can't help but see a lot of Joe here. Perhaps not in the use of sound and light, as you say, but the structural similarities are too strong to ignore, what with the film being split into two halves that are then used to reflect or complement the other. There's also the fact that both directors' parents work in medicine, which must shape the way doctors are portrayed in the films. Metamorphosis or transmutation is an idea that obviously applies to different cultures, but here seems almost directly lifted out of Joe's work, despite its apparent importance to Köhler as a childhood memory. There's also the mention of sleeping sickness itself in Tropical Malady, is there not? Even in the title! See, that's really the one critical element that Köhler's film lacks when compared to Joe's: the mystery and the magic. Putting the titles side-by-side, the words "Tropical Malady" evoke the mysterious danger of exotic locations, whereas "Sleeping Sickness" is a term that belongs on the pages of a medical journal. It's an efficient definition; and even more efficient in German, when boiled down into a single word. It's thanks to this mystery and magic in Joe's world that we almost resign ourselves to the possibility of something like animistic metamorphosis. Kohler's film lacks that, meaning that we are almost taught to take that final scene in the cold, detached way of the Berlin School; that is, with no small amount of dubiousness.

Then again, I just read Mark Peranson's admittedly great essay on Sleeping Sickness, and:

Quote:
Though there is a slight mirroring of Ebbo and Alex, there’s nothing simple about it, and this structural looseness is perhaps the closest that Köhler’s version of the cinema of the opaque comes to Apichatpong; to make this comparison due to the mere presence of a jungle is indicative of lazy thinking, akin to bringing up Claire Denis because she’s also a European filmmaker shooting in Africa. Indeed, I suspect most people who will watch Sleeping Sickness, like myself, will have formed their views of Africa through fiction, literature or film made by Europeans—hence the many comparisons of Sleeping Sickness to Joseph Conrad or Graham Greene (Köhler says the film was sparked by Sudanese author Tayeb Salih’s Season of Migration to the North, and indeed the main characters are richly novelistic and complex—they jump off the page).

http://cinema-scope.com/festivals/festi ... -sickness/

So yeah, what do we know?

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:15 am
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Love the Conrad comparison! I really like the way this one settled and expanded in my mind afterward. I really wasn't thinking of White Material when I made the Denis comparison. That one stands apart from her other work for me. I was thinking more of Chocolat and L'intrus.

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to make this comparison due to the mere presence of a jungle is indicative of lazy thinking, akin to bringing up Claire Denis because she’s also a European filmmaker shooting in Africa
Hahaha. He has us coming and going! You make good points about the two-part structure and the doctor link. And I do think there's mystery here, but it's a completely different type, bound up in how hard it is to know another person (or even one's self).

By the way, Nzila wasn't getting conned by the driver at the airport. That car pulled up at Velten's house later. He really had been sent to pick him up!

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:15 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
By the way, Nzila wasn't getting conned by the driver at the airport. That car pulled up at Veltan's house later. He really had been sent to pick him up!

Oh, really? I hadn't noticed that!

And I guess we should probably stop talking about the Joe influence/non-influence, ha! Though, have you seen the synopsis for his next one, Cemetery of Kings?
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A lonesome middle-age housewife tends a soldier with sleeping sickness and falls into a hallucination triggering strange dreams, phantoms, and romance.

:D

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:34 am
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A lonesome middle-age housewife tends a soldier with sleeping sickness and falls into a hallucination triggering strange dreams, phantoms, and romance.
Hah!

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:39 am
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Petzold's Ghosts trades the intellectual intensity of his other films for a more immediate emotional energy, fueled by bold colors and music, and a smoldering Sabine Timoteo. He seems to stay firmly within the rules (if you can call them that) of the movement; as in The Days Between, all the music is diegetic, and its formal precision is everywhere evident. But, sound/music has always had enormous influence on me, and this film had a visceral impact I haven't felt before in these German films. Not that there's not plenty to think about here, with the thematic playfulness of the title, the hints that Nina has made Toni up, and the final question of Francoise's mental stability. But, so much of the film is spent looking over Nina's shoulder, Enter the Void-style, that we barely have time to think, as we, too, get caught up, first in Toni's web, and then Francoise's. I love it!

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:41 am
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I didn't have time to re-watch Ghosts in its entirity, but am writing something! :heart:
Shieldmaiden wrote:
Love the Conrad comparison! I really like the way this one settled and expanded in my mind afterward. I really wasn't thinking of White Material when I made the Denis comparison. That one stands apart from her other work for me. I was thinking more of Chocolat and L'intrus.
Yes, the Conrad one is the comparison that initially jumped out at me. I love the Godot-like pause in proceedings after Nzila gets to the country; the typically unaccommodating secretary, and then the smiling gentleman who seems to be lying through his back teeth so as to protect the whereabouts of Velten. But then, I guess the mystery surrounding Velten would have been thicker had we not already been introduced to the character in the first part of the film. It also reminded me, given the identity issues that it brings up, of Antonioni's The Passenger. The most recurring image from that film, indeed the most memorable given its involvement in the closing scenes, is of Locke lying on the bed in that dingy hotel. If you read that Peranson essay, he makes an interesting point that there are many instances of people sleeping or at least lying down in the film, which one supposes are used to reflect the titular disease: their doorman is found sleeping rather than keeping watch, for example. I also love the little metaphorical scene at the airport where Velten and his wife are trying to talk to each other, but the glass is in the way:

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:29 pm
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I maintain that Köhler has an agenda in Sleeping Sickness, whether political or otherwise, but this is an excellent read:

http://newfilmkritik.de/archiv/2007-04/ ... cal-films/

Love this part in particular:
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Producers know that they get money thrown at them as soon as they make projects against racism, Nazism, oppression of minorities, or poverty in distant lands: political education and culture stewing in the same pot. You just have to look at the list of funded German films or count the number of swastikas in contemporary cinema or TV. This “two for one” policy asks too much of the arts and underestimates the intelligence of its citizens. It restricts the artist and deprives the viewer. It produces a massive pile of films loaded with clichés, that are politically as ineffective as they are artistically worthless. And even worse, apart from the fact that some of these films are revanchist, they support societal standstill by giving citizens the feeling of doing something good by consuming “political” films or plays. As Marlen Haushofer writes about De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves: “The tear in Mrs. Mueller’s eye brings no poor devil his bicycle back and only [endows] Mrs. Mueller with the illusion [of being] a good person. This illusion has to be rejected.”
Also, this:
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Starship Troopers (1998) is an antiwar movie, Saving Private Ryan (1995) reactionary filth.
:D

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:59 pm
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I did read that excellent review and I meant to find Köhler's essay, so thank you. I'm liking him more and more! You say he has an "agenda" in the the film, but he's not claiming art is without ideas/opinions, just that he's not trying to take a political side (in the everyday sense of that word).

That point about the characters sleeping made me think. Until he gets sick, Nzila seems to have a very hard time sleeping. So, I guess you could say he has a different type of sleeping sickness: insomnia. :D

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:19 pm
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My favorite part is when he calls Schindler's List "historical pornography". He's not the first to do so, but it always pleases me to hear.

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:31 pm
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He comes across as so thoughtful and not afraid to probe his own motivations. He's speaking from a particular situation in Germany right now, but very convincingly draws on the history of film to make his points.

I have a lot of favorite parts, but
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The art that has played an important role in my life is characterized by its openness, its ambiguity, its amorality, and its refusal to be exploited and functionalized. If art is political, it is political exactly in this: It refuses to be exploited by the daily round of political and social concerns. Its strength lies in its autonomy. Even though this may be an illusion—each artwork is also a market product—it is a necessary utopia for the artist.
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Maybe behind the criticism of us “apolitical” filmmakers is the accusation that we don’t develop ourselves artistically because we don’t question ourselves enough. I would have more understanding for that. It is a critique that requires an actual confrontation with each film.

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:04 pm
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Terrific piece. Thanks.

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Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:33 pm
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This thread is just a wealth.

Can't wait to get the time to go through a lot of these films myself. Great work guys.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:18 am
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Seriously, best thread <3 I just watched Sleeping Sickness but likely won't get to reading and responding till tomorrow. But soon.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:39 am
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Starship Troopers (1998) is an antiwar movie, Saving Private Ryan (1995) reactionary filth.

A very true statement.


Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:52 am
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Casting as a motif has appeared once before on this trip through the Berlin School, in Thomas Arslan's A Fine Day, where it is used to pose questions about identity and the performance aspects of real life. Petzold uses it in a similar fashion in Ghosts, sending his two young protagonists Nina and Toni into an audition and having them read out spontaneously produced lines that recall and consciously exaggerate some memory from their own lives. Their attempts to "recast" themselves so as to please the director - something that Toni takes all too literally later on - reflects their own existences outside the casting room, where they struggle to find and maintain an identity so as to "fit in" and be accepted by society at large. The title Ghosts, then, refers not only to the historical phantoms of a post-Unification Berlin, but also this younger generation of figures that drift, often hopelessly, through its topography in search of a purpose. The spaces that Nina continuously and persistently moves through, even those in which urban sterility gives way to the welcome green of nature, are governed by powers that she has little to no influence upon. Like a ghost, she has little effect upon the things she comes into contact with, and - head so often bowed, voice barely audible - it is really a wonder people notice her at all. Ironically, the one person that does notice her, a wealthy older woman named Françoise - who, in contrast, is very much at liberty in her surroundings, despite being a foreigner - confuses Nina with her long-lost (perhaps even dead) daughter, thus confirming Nina's existence here as a spectral presence. At the end of Ghosts, she turns from the camera and walks away; gone is the sudden purpose and brief sense of belonging felt in the company of Françoise, and so she finally fades away before perhaps even disappearing completely.
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:34 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
The title Ghosts, then, refers not only to the historical phantoms of a post-Unification Berlin
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political education and culture stewing in the same pot... they support societal standstill by giving citizens the feeling of doing something good by consuming “political” films or plays.
...

Sabine

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:38 pm
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Is that considered "political" though, really? Surely that's just an inevitable part of the landscape by now, no?

You're just mad because I didn't mention her more often.

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HAPPY NOW?

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:33 pm
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Technically that is not a spoiler.

It's an enhancement.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:07 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Not that there's not plenty to think about here, with the thematic playfulness of the title, the hints that Nina has made Toni up, and the final question of Francoise's mental stability. But, so much of the film is spent looking over Nina's shoulder, Enter the Void-style, that we barely have time to think, as we, too, get caught up, first in Toni's web, and then Francoise's. I love it!

You know, I hadn't even thought of that. What specific hints were you referring to?

The Françoise character is definitely the most intriguing, at least for me. She, at least initially, seems to represent the kind of strong, independent woman that Nina perhaps thinks she should be aspiring to become. She has the confidence and beauty of Toni that Nina is so attracted to, but seems in total control of her life. But then, she is also psychologically unstable, which is something that Nina - despite her willingness to believe she is this long-lost daughter - must be aware of. By the end, then, she has seen Françoise break down and Toni compromise her principles with the film director; two strong female figures she idolises, ultimately exposed. Ghosts disappear once they have completed their unfinished business, and I think that Nina's disappearance at the end of the film is a version of this: she realises that the attributes she looked up to in these two women were only skin-deep, and that being at ease with oneself is more important than playing a role. Thus, she finds some kind of peace.

Françoise is also interesting in that her mere presence here stirs up a handful of important influences and references. Firstly, and at the risk of once again being accused of mentioning something political, it should be noted that the loss of her child occurs when visiting Berlin in 1989: obviously a period defined by trauma and turmoil and separation. As a character, Françoise also seems to resemble the grieving mother in the Grimms' The Shroud, which serves as a nice continuation of this revisiting of local folklore that we have come to associate with Petzold's work:

Quote:
There was once a mother who had a little boy of seven years old, who was so handsome and lovable that no one could look at him without liking him, and she herself worshipped him above everything in the world. Now it so happened that he suddenly became ill, and God took him to himself; and for this the mother could not be comforted, and wept both day and night. But soon afterwards, when the child had been buried, it appeared by night in the places where it had sat and played during its life, and if the mother wept, it wept also, and, when morning came, it disappeared. As, however, the mother would not stop crying, it came one night, in the little white shroud in which it had been laid in its coffin, and with its wreath of flowers round its head, and stood on the bed at her feet, and said, “Oh, mother, do stop crying, or I shall never fall asleep in my coffin, for my shroud will not dry because of all thy tears which fall upon it.” The mother was afraid when she heard that, and wept no more. The next night the child came again, and held a little light in its hand, and said, “Look, mother, my shroud is nearly dry, and I can rest in my grave.” Then the mother gave her sorrow into God’s keeping, and bore it quietly and patiently, and the child came no more, but slept in its little bed beneath the earth.

It remains to be seen whether Françoise will now give her sorrow "into God's keeping", rather than continue to suffer from its anguish, but her meetings with Nina certainly resemble those between Mother and Child in the fable. It also clicks nicely into this idea of Nina being a ghostly presence, and eventually leaving us or disappearing once she has found some kind of peace. I read a great essay by Andrew J. Webber on the "recasting" of Berlin in Ghosts, and how the city represents a "land of phantoms". In it, he also mentions Murnau's Nosferatu as a potential influence, in that Françoise and her husband can be seen at the start of Ghosts crossing a bridge to reach this land - well, in this case an overpass.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:08 pm
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Be warned: the following is rather spoiler-filled.

JediMoonShyne wrote:
You know, I hadn't even thought of that. What specific hints were you referring to?
I’m not saying it works completely, but the idea seems to be there in Nina’s diary, where she writes what she imagined happening to Toni, rather than what she saw. That initial attack seems to be of a “debt collecting” type, right, not rape? Toni’s shirt is still intact when they run off, and even when the park squad is chasing her. But when Nina finds her (a little too easily?), she looks as though she’d been through the type of assault Nina describes in her diary and dream. And, at the end, she’s the one who truly disappears, the most ghostly of the three.

That dream Nina describes is particularly fascinating. You realize she was describing Francoise’s convertible with its classical music blasting? So, it’s at least implied that these are childhood memories from before she was kidnapped. Which brings us to Francoise. I agree she's an intriguing character. I think the irony is that, after years of mental deterioration, she's too unstable to understand that Nina actually may be the one she’s looking for. When Nina sees the age-progressed picture, it’s like finding the last piece of a puzzle you've already thrown away.

Quote:
By the end, then, she has seen Françoise break down and Toni compromise her principles with the film director; two strong female figures she idolises, ultimately exposed. Ghosts disappear once they have completed their unfinished business, and I think that Nina's disappearance at the end of the film is a version of this: she realises that the attributes she looked up to in these two women were only skin-deep, and that being at ease with oneself is more important than playing a role. Thus, she finds some kind of peace.
My view is so much bleaker! Toni has no principles to compromise. She’s simply surviving moment to moment, doing whatever she has to, including manipulating Nina for just as long as she needs her, and no longer. You see Nina as the helpful specter of Francoise’s child, but I see Toni and Francoise as the phantoms, slightly menacing yet seductive to Nina. Both appear to be signs of hope; both evaporate uselessly. I can’t see that either one did her any good. I don’t get any sense of hope from Nina's final walk. She has, literally, nowhere to go.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:16 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
It's an enhancement.
I agree. Every thread needs pictures of Sabine Timoteo.

Also, your link is something I've been thinking about lately. Maren Ade is the big gap in our coverage at the moment. She may have only two features under her belt, but Alle Anderen is phenomenal, and one of the best things I’ve seen from the Berlin School.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:32 pm
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but we both plan on correcting that soon, y :)?

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:35 pm
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Trying not to overpromise here. :D

Yes.

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Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:40 pm
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It's been a while since I've seen Alle Anderen, but I remember liking it enough to revisit and discuss now, if you guys are up for it!

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:39 am
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I'm up for it. She deserves to be here.

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:08 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I'm up for it. She deserves to be here.

Oh, I don't think there was any doubt that we'd get to her eventually!

I just watched the first one from Marais, so will get to the Ade after that!

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:59 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Oh, I don't think there was any doubt that we'd get to her eventually!
I know, and I'll watch it soon, too. I think I find her a little intimidating. :P

In the meantime I polished up some stuff I wrote on Marseille a while back...

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:33 am
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Marseille is completely enveloping, the sights and sounds so absorbing it feels like smell and temperature are somehow involved, too. And what we're enveloped in is an atmosphere of escape, of room to breathe and to appreciate the beauty around us. And beauty is everywhere here, in aging buildings, serene beaches, and twilight traffic. But, as visually striking as it is, the true excitement is in the structure. In a film about connection and expression, Schanelec makes a game of communicating in non-traditional ways. Communication fills this film: in the written word, in maps, in stage directions and photographs, in languages, fluent and translated. But it's in the cinematic language of mise-en-scène and editing, of what's on screen and what's not, that she makes her best moves. She's saying, "Look! See what I can tell you without words or images, without showing anything at all." And, what she shows us isn't Marseille, but Sophie, a woman we know on a level deeper than loneliness or discontent, in terms of what she lacks and is capable of. We know (we can see) that she needs to get away from the stifling, crumbling family she’s mixed up with. And, we see (we can feel) that her chosen city means change and freedom, courage and initiative, talking and being heard. But communication is the means, not the story.

Image Image

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:35 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
In the meantime I polished up some stuff I wrote on Marseille a while back...

Good stuff!

I didn't make the connection until reading this analysis by David Clarke, but similar fates befall Sophie and Nina in their respective final scenes:
Quote:
In a similar fashion to the denouement of Schanelec's Marseille, Ghosts ends with Nina's virtual disappearance ... the mise-en-scène is particularly important here, in that Nina's disappearing form is finally less important in the image than the trees swaying in the breeze in the foreground. Similar shots of Berlin's green spaces have already appeared at various points throughout the film and, as with the beach in Marseille, offer an image of the world as "intrusion of reality," an image that escapes the concerns of the disappearing and defeated female protagonist.

Also, come to think of it, Köhler has his protagonist disappear almost mysteriously at the end of Bungalow.

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Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:52 pm
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Interesting! They are very similar stylistically, but I think they have different meanings. Ghosts and Marseille are opposite, even. I see Nina as defeated and Sophie as recovering. There's a lot of room for interpretation in both, of course. :)

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:01 am
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Image
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One thing that hasn't yet been mentioned about Christian Petzold's Ghosts is how it revives some of the themes seen in his earlier - indeed, the films belong to a loose "Ghost Trilogy" - The State I Am In; those of escape and constant flight, as well as the conspicuous lack of a stable or rooted (family) environment in which these young protagonists may be allowed to grow. The first film from Pia Marais, The Unpolished, bears a much closer - perhaps even striking - resemblance to Petzold's earlier film, featuring a young girl named Stevie who has just moved from Portugal to a small town in Germany with her slacker parents and their buddies. Both films feature this idea of adolescent awareness and burgeoning resentment, though there is none of the left-wing drama of The State I Am In to be found here; no next-door terrorism or high-speed police chases. Instead, Marais draws on her own experiences: a transitory childhood of "overwhelming chaos", as she puts it in her director's statement, and a notable "lack of borders" that most teenagers rebel against but all require to thrive and develop into young adults. This is perhaps the most impressive aspect of The Unpolished: its understatement, its observational detail and restrained naturalism, and to a certain extent its refusal to portray Stevie's parents as anything other than petty, overgrown children who would rather shirk responsibility - as many adults are. Likewise, while we can feel the young girl's growing bitterness towards this card she has been dealt, and her longing for more stability and normalcy, she rarely ever explodes at her parents in the kind of rebellious juvenile outburst that can be seen to define such similar, certainly sloppier western films as Catherine Hardwicke's Thirteen. Stevie doesn't pass judgement, as all those around her do. Instead, she merely observes.
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Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:31 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I’m not saying it works completely, but the idea seems to be there in Nina’s diary, where she writes what she imagined happening to Toni, rather than what she saw. That initial attack seems to be of a “debt collecting” type, right, not rape? Toni’s shirt is still intact when they run off, and even when the park squad is chasing her. But when Nina finds her (a little too easily?), she looks as though she’d been through the type of assault Nina describes in her diary and dream. And, at the end, she’s the one who truly disappears, the most ghostly of the three.

It's interesting that you should mention the diary, because, while re-watching the film, I noticed Nina move to hide the diary when they're first in her room. It seems you picked up on a lot of the details in the film that escaped me, like Nina's dream relating to Françoise and her car; I didn't get that at all! I got that it was Bach, and a particularly melancholic piece, but that's about it. You say that your view is bleaker, but wouldn't this "last piece of the puzzle" idea that Nina might actually be the one Françoise is looking for be a more positive outlook? For me, all those photos did was underline Nina's lack of identity, if you will. She grows, as the face does in the computer-processed photos, but she develops no particular identity as she does so.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:10 am
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
You say that your view is bleaker, but wouldn't this "last piece of the puzzle" idea that Nina might actually be the one Françoise is looking for be a more positive outlook?
But what good does it do if she is the missing daughter, if Françoise is too mentally fragile to understand? To be that close to rescue and have it taken away seems worse than never knowing at all.
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For me, all those photos did was underline Nina's lack of identity, if you will. She grows, as the face does in the computer-processed photos, but she develops no particular identity as she does so.
Aw, that is harsh. :(

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:39 am
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The Unpolished is one of the better ones that I've seen, even if I don't know why. Probably because I found it enjoyable and amusing rather than overly serious. That's what I remember, at least. I can't remember it having much of an ending, which hurts.

Shieldmaiden's post about Marseille was good too, even though I don't like the film.


Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:54 am
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Circus Freak wrote:
Shieldmaiden's post about Marseille was good too, even though I don't like the film.
Thanks. What didn't you like about it? Was it her game playing? The harshness of the ending?

Have you seen any more Arslan?

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:50 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
But what good does it do if she is the missing daughter, if Françoise is too mentally fragile to understand? To be that close to rescue and have it taken away seems worse than never knowing at all.

I don't know, it seems way too romantic to me! :D

But then, I guess Petzold is something of a romantic.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:42 pm
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Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm still keeping an eye on all of this. Just waiting for a good opportunity to jump in.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:51 pm
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B-Side wrote:
Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm still keeping an eye on all of this. Just waiting for a good opportunity to jump in.

I imagine we'll probably discuss Ade's Everyone Else at some point this week, if that interests you!

Otherwise, feel free to suggest a film or director you'd prefer to talk about.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:07 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
I imagine we'll probably discuss Ade's Everyone Else at some point this week, if that interests you!

Otherwise, feel free to suggest a film or director you'd prefer to talk about.


That's the thing; I don't wanna make any promises since my film-watching habits are so erratic. That one in particular hasn't jumped out at me so far, but this is based purely on screenshots and a synopsis, so it's flawed logic at best. If I stumble upon one I feel I'd want to see promptly, then I'll let you guys know.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:14 pm
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B-Side wrote:

That's the thing; I don't wanna make any promises since my film-watching habits are so erratic. That one in particular hasn't jumped out at me so far, but this is based purely on screenshots and a synopsis, so it's flawed logic at best. If I stumble upon one I feel I'd want to see promptly, then I'll let you guys know.

Sounds good!

If you get the chance, go through this list/collage and see if there's anything you like the look of:

http://mubi.com/lists/berliner-schule
http://passthepopcorn.me/collages.php?id=3058

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:19 pm
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Seems nobody's touched on Andreas Dresen so far. I'll see if anything of his grabs me.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:30 pm
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B-Side wrote:
Seems nobody's touched on Andreas Dresen so far. I'll see if anything of his grabs me.

Oh, nice. I've not seen any of this, but have one or two of them bookmarked.

Also, I just found out that Maren Ade co-produced Tabu. What?

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:22 pm
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Eh, nothing of his jumped out at me. I should really stop having screenshots and a synopsis inform my viewing habits. I understand these films aren't necessarily the type that lend themselves to striking photography and synopses that immediately intrigue. They're more intimate and humane, so this approach really doesn't work very well.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:48 pm
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B-Side wrote:
Eh, nothing of his jumped out at me. I should really stop having screenshots and a synopsis inform my viewing habits. I understand these films aren't necessarily the type that lend themselves to striking photography and synopses that immediately intrigue. They're more intimate and humane, so this approach really doesn't work very well.

That's a shame. :(

And yes, it's all very clinical and understated. Some lovely composition, though.

How about one of these?

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:20 pm
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Stopped on Track is meant to be very good

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