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 Maiden's Voyage 
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Derninan wrote:
I'm in heaven! I'll read all of this later when I have the time, but just wanted to say, now: I'm in heaven!
Ekinflog wrote:
This is excellent!
Thanks, guys!

kiddo in space wrote:
This was my first Zulawski, I was overwhelmed by it, to be honest. I found it fascinating, but to appreciate it better, it needs to be rewatched, now that I've seen more of the director's films and know a bit more about his style.
I think it's almost made for the repeat viewings. The second time through the love story is epic.

charulata wrote:
I can't say that this really answers my questions about the title but Breillat talks about it here.
Well, that's interesting. One of the rare times the foreign title is better than the original.

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Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:06 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
On the Silver Globe – I went into this one with trepidation, but found it completely mind-blowing. I had to be a little patient through the very first part as the stranded astronauts struggle to maintain their grip on sanity. But the second time through it was fantastic. I expected to understand what the characters were talking about the second time, but no. I think I’d almost understand it better with the subtitles turned off – maybe I’ll try that next time.

Most of my favorite things in the film are in the second half, when Marek lands and finds the society in crisis. People are still speaking in monologues, but now their speeches fit together like puzzle pieces and I understood everything on some level (at least until the very end). Marek’s doomed craziness is a perfect match for the society consumed with fear and desperation. Most important, this part is filled with some of the most beautiful images I’ve ever seen: the underground city, Ihezal, the Shern city, the scarves on the water, everything really. I love how strangely convincing it all is, despite the insanity and the stylization. I’ve never seen anything like it!

The only thing I don’t like is the cars. Why are there cars? I guess there are thematic reasons; I think he’s trying to make that section, that time and place, feel sort of contemporary. I think it’s supposed to be the starkest possible contrast to the other planet. The people are bored, dull, lifeless, compared to the crazy life and energy of the new civilization. And it’s supposed to be the most familiar feeling, with the theater, the casino, and the… government chambers? Still, it throws me violently through the fourth wall every time the cars appear. I need a seat belt, haha.

The reconstructed parts work better than I could have imagined, especially when it feels like we’re looking at the intended audience of the video that’s been sent back. It has such a fitting sadness to it, sadness for the lost movie, sadness for the ruined society. Loss, grief, mournful nostalgia! I love how the film itself becomes a historical artifact – sent, not through space and time, but through oppression and censorship. It almost seems wrong to like the effect as much as I do, since it wasn’t what he’d originally planned.

Image

You know that this film must have meant a great deal to Zulawski for him to reconstruct what he could of it. And then to release it that way. It would have been cool to see it this way and then have him find out that the other footage did exist after all; that he had shot it and put it aside...but, of course, that couldn't happen. He really didn't get to shoot the rest.

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Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:48 am
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charulata wrote:
I can't say that this really answers my questions about the title but Breillat talks about it here.

Nice find


Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:19 pm
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Watched Brief Crossing last night thanks to this awesome thread. Made me think about how there's always some degree of deceit inherent in the way we construct our identities in an attempt to connect with others. Reminded me of Denis's Vendredi Soir a little bit in the way she observes physical intimacy. You mention up top in your Breillat post that you often find her insights tender. I couldn't agree more and despite the harshness of the ending, I felt a lot of sweetness in the film.
I like to think that despite how devastated Thomas looks at the end, that ultimately he'll look back on this day with fondness.

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:36 am
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charulata wrote:
I like to think that despite how devastated Thomas looks at the end, that ultimately he'll look back on this day with fondness.


With some time, he might even find that the event is absurdly funny.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:26 am
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charulata wrote:
Watched Brief Crossing last night thanks to this awesome thread. Made me think about how there's always some degree of deceit inherent in the way we construct our identities in an attempt to connect with others. Reminded me of Denis's Vendredi Soir a little bit in the way she observes physical intimacy. You mention up top in your Breillat post that you often find her insights tender. I couldn't agree more and despite the harshness of the ending, I felt a lot of sweetness in the film.
I like to think that despite how devastated Thomas looks at the end, that ultimately he'll look back on this day with fondness.
Yay! I'm glad you liked it. Briellat is such an interesting mix of tenderness and toughness!

Time will definitely change his perspective...

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:37 am
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this shit still going

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:00 am
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Trip wrote:
this shit still going
:x

Haha. You just want me to say it, don't you? You were right!

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:04 am
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You've made me want to watch Perfect Love. And continue my Movements thread.

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:55 am
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Trip wrote:
You've made me want to watch Perfect Love.


It's excellent.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:07 am
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Trip wrote:
And continue my Movements thread.
Please!? I really miss that one.

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:09 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Please!? I really miss that one.

I miss it and I wasn't even around then.

Maiden, any way I can request you to put an index up top with the films you're reviewing here? That way lazy me can come back and find your reviews more easily once I get around to watching some of these.

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Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:00 pm
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charulata wrote:
Maiden, any way I can request you to put an index up top with the films you're reviewing here?
Done. Though I think you may be overestimating me a bit. I'm not very prolific. :P

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:22 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Drowning By Numbers and ZOO

Image

Peter Greenaway is one of my favorite directors (my first favorite director, in fact), and someone I’ll definitely be revisiting in this thread. I find him fascinating, and endlessly rewatchable. But, this is what I have for now:

Image

Drowning By Numbers: Why is this movie not on DVD? This has long been my favorite film by Greenaway. Visually, it’s less showy than many of his (no sweeping vistas, great architecture, or bizarre color schemes), but I think it’s his most beautiful. The beauty is in nature and light – fruit and bugs on a table, warm interior lights shining out into the dusk, fires making shadows. The characters are among Greenaway’s best, too, affectionate and complicated. The story’s a delicious mix of tenderness, farce, horror, sick jokes, sadness, and death.

A list of things I especially love:

1. popsicle sex
2. Hangman's Cricket (the most complicated game in the world)
3. the way the car interior is alight as they drive at night
4. and, of course, the numbers


Image

I recently rewatched A Zed & Two Noughts because I hadn’t liked it much the first time and knew I had to give it another chance. I’m so glad I did, because I can’t imagine what my problem was the first time! This movie’s terrific, a very close second to Drowning By Numbers for me. Actually, it’s funnier and sexier than Drowning; maybe I like it more. It’s a delirious mix of death, decay, deformity, conspiracy, and grief. With zebras!

If you’ve been reading this thread, it should come as no surprise that I love a hilarious comedy about sadness, and a sadness in this case much sharper than in Life Aquatic. I guess I should more properly call it despair. Yet, the feeling I get from the film is anything but hopelessness; despite what the characters are feeling, Greenaway fills the screen with amazing energy, and endless reasons why life is worth living.

Most uncomfortable moment: When they recreate Vermeer’s The Music Lesson, I couldn’t help but think this must be what Peter Greenaway’s sex life is like. Not a good mental image!


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Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:52 am
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Why have I not seen Drowning By Numbers?

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:56 am
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Trip wrote:
Why have I not seen Drowning By Numbers?
Oh, please watch it! I love it so much!

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:00 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Oh, please watch it! I love it so much!

I know :D

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:01 am
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Trip wrote:
I know :D
Honesty compels me to add that LEAVES does not. Maybe I'm the only one?!

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:12 am
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*waits for Epi*

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:13 am
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I am deficient in Greenaway. Only seen these three:

The Draughtsman's Contract
8 1/2 Women
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:23 am
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Trip wrote:
*waits for Epi*

Hii.

I got the ZOO blu. Pretty as hell.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:31 am
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Epistemophobia wrote:
I got the ZOO blu. Pretty as hell.
But, how do you feel about Drowning by Numbers?

dreiser wrote:
The Draughtsman's Contract
8 1/2 Women
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
I like all three of those, but not quite to same degree as Drowning and ZOO.

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:50 am
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I like it. It's been a few years, though.

I remember Marcus saying he loves it.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:08 am
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Epistemophobia wrote:
I remember Marcus saying he loves it.
Marcus??

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:42 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
A list of things I especially love: popsicle sex


Kinky. ;)

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:44 am
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Sokurov entry

Image
Image

Father and Son is a beautiful, gold-tinted, nostalgic look at a father and son who are so close they can enter each other’s dreams. The performances are extremely stylized, though, and had me baffled, at least at first. The father, who is ill, is the envy of all his son’s friends; he’s an ideal figure, as though he were already memory. The son, though he looks about eighteen, acts much younger most of the time – sometimes an admiring ten-year-old, sometimes a rebellious fourteen. In the end, I suppose it becomes an ageless, timeless portrait of father-son love.



Image

Russian Ark – I’d read a lot about this one, so I knew it was one long shot through the Hermitage, with historical re-enactments along the way. What I didn’t know about was the strange conversation that goes on between the two ghosts who serve as our guides, as they discuss topics like Russia’s obsession with European culture and the historical loss of religious context. It's weird and fascinating, and the main reason to watch it again. Of course, the art is wonderful and the historical re-enactments are true spectacle. The way the scenarios wrap around and through each other is astonishing, and the final ball is full of life, its ending thought-provoking and so haunting! Also, I’m not sure why, but the little scene in the middle, where Catherine the Great runs through the snow, took my breath away. Truly a little jewel of a film!


Image

The Second Circle is a powerful, bleak look at a man dealing with the immediate aftermath of his father’s death. It’s the opposite of Mother and Son in every way: no love, no beauty, no life, only death and emptiness. The son seems completely lost, disconnected, as he gets the death certificate and makes funeral preparations. But, as depressing as this is, I think the worst occurs before the film starts: the old man’s life, alone, in absolute squalor. It’s hinted that he was a bad, quarrelsome man. But, if the title refers to the the second circle of hell, the father’s hell was his life.


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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs ▪ No Country for Old Men ▪ Sorry to Bother You ▪ The Hudsucker Proxy ▪ The Boy Friend ▪ The Fearless Vampire Killers ▪ Mahler ▪ Zama ▪ Delores Claiborne ▪ The Ladykillers ▪ The Rider

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:48 am
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Plus, the Father is hawt.

Also, remember Sinister's thread about indelible sets? I recall this one strongly:

Image

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:50 am
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Brightside wrote:

Kinky. ;)
Haha. Have you seen it?

Trip wrote:
Plus, the Father is hawt.
I assume you're talking about Father and Son, not Second Circle. :D He got on my nerves for some reason. Really took me out of the film. I could see how he was supposed to appear (idealized, handsome), but he just annoyed me. :P

And, yeah, the set is memorable. But it's at least 50% the color, I think.

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:55 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Haha. Have you seen it?


Not yet, but I've been meaning to watch more Greenaway. Been too long.

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:56 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Marcus??

He has many names.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:45 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Dusan Makavejev

      Image Image

Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator – I went into my first Makavejev with no idea what to expect. I knew it would be strange; but I didn’t expect a sweet love story, with cooking! For a sad story of murder, it has a light, humorous touch, with a little CSI, a little political documentary, a poem about rats, and a dry academic lecture about erotica thrown in. I enjoyed the creative images and crazy montage, but the believable characters at its heart are what make it worthwhile.

      Image Image

WR: Mysteries of the Organism is such a crazy mashup of fiction, documentary, and politics, I don’t know how to describe it. To tell the truth, I don’t love it like the other two I’m writing about here, but I feel like it deserves mention. It’s certainly entertaining in all its facets, but the only section I feel like talking about is the Yugoslavian fable, which is the emotional core of the film. It's silly fun (sex, skating, singing, and Stalin) with a serious message. And, you have to like a film where the climactic love scene includes this amazing piece of dialogue: “Are you capable, you rotten louse, of serving the needs of the species by taking the one basic position for an ecstatic flight to the target – like an arrow, or a vigorously hurled spear?” Haha! At least I do.

          Image Image

I was a little disappointed in Man Is Not a Bird and disgusted (as intended) by Sweet Movie (the vomiting, mostly). So I approached Montenegro with trepidation. I needn’t have worried; this movie was made for me. It’s like a Peter Greenaway film with a pop soundtrack. Add chimpanzees, Marianne Faithfull, shovel duels, and a healthy dose of Serbian craziness, and you’ll start to get the idea. Susan Anspach plays a woman struggling against a nervous breakdown, who falls in with a bohemian group of Serbian immigrants at exactly the right (or wrong) time. It’s a story of contrasts – between rich and poor, Swedes and Serbs, repression and abandon – and all sides are ridiculous and sympathetic in turn. My one reservation is that the film can’t decide if it’s a universal bored housewife story or the true tale of a woman with serious mental problems. It’s a weakness; but when a movie has so much pure enjoyment to offer, it can get away with murder.

Also, the more I think about it, the more I’m intrigued by the idea of Makavejev’s influence on Peter Greenaway. Maybe this is obvious to everyone, but if so, I haven’t been able to find it on the internet. And, now that I’ve noticed the connections between this one and Greenaway's late-'80s films, I can also look back on Switchboard, and see similarities in the The Falls.

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:45 pm
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Love Affair is my Makavejev pick at this moment, but Montenegro still goes unseen!

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:48 pm
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Russian Ark falls into that 'mournful nostalgia' category quite well, I think. I particularly like how the camera sneaks glances out of the windows, wistfully observing the world outside, before being snapped back to its march through time. Absolutely stunning film. Great thread, too!

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:53 pm
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I love Montenegro. Felt a bit like Kusturica to me.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:58 pm
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Epistemophobia wrote:
He has many names.
I have no idea who you're talking about.

Trip wrote:
Love Affair is my Makavejev pick at this moment, but Montenegro still goes unseen!
Aw.. It's so much fun.

Unreliable Narrator wrote:
Russian Ark falls into that 'mournful nostalgia' category quite well, I think. I particularly like how the camera sneaks glances out of the windows, wistfully observing the world outside, before being snapped back to its march through time. Absolutely stunning film. Great thread, too!
Yes, totally! There's so much sadness there for things that have been lost to time, from the pageantry of the balls to the religious context for the paintings. When he walks down the stairs with the happy crowd the mournful nostalgia is overwhelming. And, thanks!

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:04 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I have no idea who you're talking about.

memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=121


Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:06 pm
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Epistemophobia wrote:
http://corrierino.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=121
Oh, right. I knew he was a Greenaway fan.

Epistemophobia wrote:
I love Montenegro.
:heart:

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:09 pm
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He's mostly into kitsch and Britishisms.

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Sweet Movie is awesome, and the chocolatey nakedness at the end totally makes up for any vomiting one must endure earlier.

I think I prefer Man Is Not Bird to Love Affair, but only marginally, and it's been a while since I've seen either. Have you seen Innocence Unprotected? That one's delightful. Haven't watched Montenegro yet. Looks like I should.

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:48 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Macrology wrote:
Sweet Movie is awesome


:heart:

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Macrology wrote:
Sweet Movie is awesome, and the chocolatey nakedness at the end totally makes up for any vomiting one must endure earlier.

I think I prefer Man Is Not Bird to Love Affair, but only marginally, and it's been a while since I've seen either. Have you seen Innocence Unprotected? That one's delightful. Haven't watched Montenegro yet. Looks like I should.
I have seen Innocence Unprotected. It was fun... I just had nothing to write about it. I thought Man is Not a Bird was OK, but I missed the crazy montage goodness of Love Affair, and the real affection for his characters. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't see the end of Sweet Movie. But, you make a very good case! I'll give it another try.

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Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:54 pm
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Post Maiden's Voyage: Beau Travail

Image Image

I haven’t had much to say about Claire Denis lately, but she’s still one of my all-time favorites and any record of my enthusiasms would be incomplete without her. I’ll let her be represented here with my favorite, Beau Travail, a film still sadly underseen, not least because it’s out of print in Region 1. You don’t need to know it’s a loose adaptation of Billy Budd to appreciate it, but it probably helps shape a narrative from her impressionistic style and adds layers of richness. She’s changed Melville’s 19th century sailors into modern soldiers in the desert, and it’s an excellent conversion.

From descriptions of the movie, I knew it would focus on military routine and I worried I would find it tedious; I couldn’t have been more wrong. The beauty of the desert and Denis’s surprising musical choices imbue scenes of everyday tasks with unexpected vigor. And, she counters the claustrophobic nature of the military life by offering glimpses of the native population of Djibouti, which opens up the movie visually and thematically. But, it’s the drills themselves that take center stage – so full of visceral energy and rhythm and beauty that you can’t look away! Even more interesting, she uses the military exercises as storytelling devices, developing the tensions between the two main characters in a choreographed style as old as theater.

Melville’s tale is a tragic one, but the beauty and energy in every frame of this film belie its depressing origins. Besides, this is a very different story, where both men are allowed a reprieve, and the emphasis is on reflection and the possibility of change. I especially admire the decision to have the film narrated by Galoup, whose struggles with his conscience and his new life are equally ambiguous. I’ve read a few interpretations of the final scene, and I’m not going to attempt to weigh in here. But it’s impossible to deny the feeling of fantastic release conveyed in Galoup’s solitary moments in the nightclub. It’s an ending both completely mysterious and strangely exhilarating.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

Honestly one of the few great films I love, where the voice-over actually bothers me a little.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:56 pm
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Magic Fister wrote:
Honestly one of the few great films I love, where the voice-over actually bothers me a little.
Hmm. Nothing bothered me in this, but I haven't been able to rewatch it in a while. But I was fascinated by that whole reflection/redemption strand of the plot, which couldn't be represented any other way, I'm pretty sure.

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:05 pm
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Post Re: Maiden's Voyage

god damn that is one sensual movie

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:08 pm
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I think it's pretty clear that Galoup shoots himself at the end of Beau Travail, since Denis lingers on his "serve the good cause and die" tattoo before emphasizing the pulsating vein on his arm (life). The very last shot was probably just an excuse for Denis to fit in Lavant dancing, but it's a solid bookend.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:08 pm
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Trip wrote:
god damn that is one sensual movie


Even moreso the ones that followed it.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:09 pm
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Magic Fister wrote:

Even moreso the ones that followed it.

But this one has strong male flesh, objectively superior.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:10 pm
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Trip wrote:
god damn that is one sensual movie
I'm pretty sure I could smell and taste and touch it! But, then, I always feel like Denis is tapping directly into some extra sensitive point in my brain.

Bandy Greensacks wrote:
I think it's pretty clear that Galoup shoots himself at the end of Beau Travail, since Denis lingers on his "serve the good cause and die" tattoo before emphasizing the pulsating vein on his arm (life). The very last shot was probably just an excuse for Denis to fit in Lavant dancing, but it's a solid bookend.
I'm sure of nothing but its ambiguity. :)

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Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | my bookshelf


Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:17 pm
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Any filmmakers you can think of whose work is as intimate/sensual as Denis'? I got similar vibes from Grandrieux (though a lot of it is disturbing) and Ishikawa.

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Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:19 pm
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