Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

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Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:37 pm

Corrie Class Trip is a project where we rotate the selection of a title for group watches on an appointed day/date to then discuss [previous iterations linked below]. We welcome all to participate and share their thoughts and feelings! The sixth viewing for Round 4 is scheduled for Saturday, August 3rd. Please post about the film itself and your experience with it in this thread, and any off-topic posts about the series itself in the Class Trip Discussion Thread.

Thanks and enjoy!!!

xoxo,
your classmates

:heart: :heart: :heart:
Saturday, August 3rd, 2019
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Marseille (Angela Schanelec, 2004)
Marseille describes an interlude in the life of young Berlin photographer Sophie (Maren Eggert). Wanting a change, Sophie does an apartment swap, so she can go photograph the city of Marseille, and most of all get away from Berlin.

Past Trips, Senior Year:

#1 - Ex Drummer (2007, Koen Mortier, Belgium) | Slentert
#2 - The Territory (1981, Raul Ruiz, Portugal) | Rock
#3 - Wake In Fright (1971, Ted Kotcheff, Australia) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Night Must Fall (1964, Karel Reisz, UK) | Captain Terror
#5 - Fat Girl (2001, Catherine Breillat, France | Oxnard Montalvo

Past Trips, Junior Year:

#1 - La maternelle (1933, Jean Benoît-Lévy & Marie Epstein, France) | wigwam
#2 - Time and Winds (2006, Reha Erdem, Turkey) | Oxnard Montalvo
#3 - Clean, Shaven (1993, Lodge Kerrigan, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Diabeł (1972, Andrzej Żuławski, Poland) | Oxnard Montalvo
#5 - Black Friday (2004, Anurag Kashyap, India) | Rock
#6 - Schizopolis (1996, Steven Soderbergh, USA) | Slentert
#7 - Hearts and Minds (1974, Peter Davis, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#8 - Xtro (1982, Harry Bromley Davenport, UK) | crumbsroom
#9 - The House (1997, Šarūnas Bartas, France) | Oxnard Montalvo
#10 - Spider-Baby (1967, Jack Hill, USA) | Slentert
#11 - Oh Lucy! (2017, Atsuko Hirayanagi, Japan/USA) | Shieldmaiden
#12 - The Heartbreak Kid (1972, Elaine May, USA) | Jinnistan

Past Trips, Sophomore Year:

#1 - The Worthless (1982, Mika Kaurismäki, Finland) | snapper
#2 - Shopping for Fangs (1997, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin, USA) | takeshi
#3 - The Heart of the Wise Lives in the House of Sorrow (2009, Marin Malešević, Serbia) | Shieldmaiden
#4 - The Forbidden Quest (1993, Peter Delpeut, Netherlands) | kopello
#5 - São Bernardo (1972, Leon Hirszman, Brazil) | Bandy Greensacks
#6 - Evdokia (1971, Alexis Damianos, Greece) | Epistemophobia
#7 - The Ball at the Anjō House (1947, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, Japan) | snapper
#8 - Sérail (1976, Eduardo de Gregorio, France) | takeshi
#9 - Passport for a Corpse (1962, Mario Gariazzo, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#10 - Aksuat (1997, Serik Aprimov, Kazakhstan) | Shieldmaiden
#11 - Dangerously Excited (2011, Koo, South Korea) | wigwam
#12 - Himala (1982, Ishmael Bernal, Philippines) | snapper

Past Trips, Freshman Year:

#1 - Distant Journey (1949, Alfréd Radok, Czechoslovakia) | snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Susumu Hani, Japan) | Das
#3 - The Policewoman (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal) | charulata
#4 - Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (1989, Vitali Kanevsky, USSR) | Bandy Greensacks
#5 - The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974, Francesco Barilli, Italy) | Trip
#6 - Weddings and Babies (1958, Morris Engel, USA) | snapper
#7 - The Man with Three Coffins (1987, Lee Jang-ho, South Korea) | Notes from Underground
#8 - Malina (1991, Werner Schroeter, Germany) | Shieldmaiden
#9 - Bad Luck (1960, Andrzej Munk, Poland) | B-Side
#10 - The Girl with the Suitcase (1961, Valerio Zurlini, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (1972, Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece) | BandyGreensacks
#12 - Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934. Yasujirō Shimazu, Japan) | snapper
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:38 pm

everybody was dragging their feet so like the absolute madman that I am, I have chosen the next Class Trip to teach you all a lesson. as far as I know there is no rule that says I can’t do two in a row. no binding rules anyway.

as always, anybody who can’t find this movie on their own can shoot me a private message.

also I have not seen this movie before but it appears there is far less rape and murder than the last one.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:25 pm

I'll be there.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:23 pm

I love Schanelec! I'll try to be around for the discussion.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:58 pm

I chose this movie because LEAVES was hoping for more discussion on Angela Schanelec. I’m not much of an expert on her oeuvre so LEAVES if you’re out there, feel free to jump in.

Marseille is a very slow, shapeless, and opaque movie and I say these not as criticism but just as straight-forward descriptions. I’ve seen and enjoyed many movies that are slow, shapeless, and opaque even if I don’t always know how to discuss them. I enjoyed the slice-of-life scenes when the protagonist was in Marseille. it was (no doubt intentionally) disorienting to cut to her at home followed by glimpses of her strained relationship with her sister (likely due to an undefined relationship the protagonist has with her sister’s partner). and I say glimpses because the movie spends a bit of time observing the sister working as an actor as well, the narrative floating away from our supposed main character.

at the end, our protagonist returns to Marseille where she is mugged at gunpoint (we don’t see what exactly happened only her account to the French detective). due to the overall movie's lack of structure, I took the mugging not as some sort of “punishment” for anything the protagonist may have done (i.e. some way for the movie to make a big thematic point) but just “hey, that’s life, things happen, there’s no pattern, one day it’s this, another that, riding high in April, shot down in May”. the movie closes with a wide shot of the beach, every person diminished in the frame. a possible reminder the big wide world is indifferent to our comings-and-goings but it’s hard to leave any movie in a bad mood when it ends on such beautiful scenery.
if I met some girl in a bar and she started describing a movie where a women was washing herself with lemon, I know I would have yelled, “ATLANTIC CITY!” like I was on Family Feud. I doubt she’d appreciate that though, heh
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:24 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:58 pm
Marseille is a very slow, shapeless, and opaque movie and I say these not as criticism but just as straight-forward descriptions. I’ve seen and enjoyed many movies that are slow, shapeless, and opaque even if I don’t always know how to discuss them. I enjoyed the slice-of-life scenes when the protagonist was in Marseille. it was (no doubt intentionally) disorienting to cut to her at home followed by glimpses of her strained relationship with her sister (likely due to an undefined relationship the protagonist has with her sister’s partner). and I say glimpses because the movie spends a bit of time observing the sister working as an actor as well, the narrative floating away from our supposed main character.
It's really interesting that you describe it as shapeless, because I consider it to be rather formally structured -- the way she slices it up into France and Germany, the way she plays a "how many ways can I communicate?" game with language, silence, image, mise-en-scène, even ellipsis.

the movie closes with a wide shot of the beach, every person diminished in the frame. a possible reminder the big wide world is indifferent to our comings-and-goings but it’s hard to leave any movie in a bad mood when it ends on such beautiful scenery.
I'm not sure from the way you word this: did you see Sophie (in her yellow dress) walking down the beach into the beautiful scenery? I agree it's a hopeful ending, and a big part of that is the fact that she's walking again, right into her chosen city of escape and freedom. She's going to be fine.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:57 pm

yeah I definitely missed her walking down the beach. is this her?
Image
although even if the big wide world is indifferent, that doesn't necessarily mean one can't still choose their own path, make their own future. in spite of it all.

maybe shapeless wasn't the right word. I just meant that it wasn't "this scene leads directly to this scene, this is driving this plot thread, etc". it's not a movie that is going to reveal its narrative the way something more conventional would.

but again, that's not a knock on the movie.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:11 am

Just saw it. I noticed and appreciated its splice-like narrative. Due to it, many scenes with minimal plot progression were in here. In addition though, some vital scenes (Sophie and her sister's argument by the pool) were also in it while others (the mugging) were left out. If the film was tightened up and only consisted of scenes vital to the plot, this feeling would be lost. Cutting the mugging and her trip back to Berlin out of the film is perhaps a way to make this point clear. As for the beach scene at the end, we ultimately don't know what she's feeling at that moment. Perhaps, that's the point though. After all, she's just a blur standing next to all the other people on the beach who are also blurs. In the words of the late Rutger Hauer, "Tears in Rain".

Overall, I'd say this is a good film. I get what it's going for and it clearly is what it wants to be, so I can't fault it for that. Its one layer of complexity sat well with me and it's more interesting and unique than much of what gets released today.

As for a rating, probably 8/10.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Jinnistan » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:22 am

Looking forward to seeing this whn my copy comes in the mail.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by LEAVES » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:58 am

Re: the mugging - she gets mugged in Marseille. Nothing more needs to be said or shown. She did not choose to be mugged. What does she choose?

We talk about characters being given “agency” in a film. Consider: a shy woman who ventures to a foreign city, makes friends, and returns home thinking that her time is up. After revisiting her home life, she decides to return to this foreign city in a foreign country - and is mugged. When she goes to the police station she is a victim, and an outsider. When she speaks to the police, she speaks through an interpreter as a victim, and an outsider. Halfway through, however, the translator is no longer involved, as she chooses to treat herself as a constituent, as a resident who is unwilling to be pushed away by the fear of the unknown. You don’t need to know what is going on with her in the last scene because what you know is that she has chosen this place and all the infinite details of a life in this place - positive, negative, and everything in between, it will happen in this place, and that choice is what is important, not the rest of it. You know this all because she refuses to fall back on her past but instead to lean into the language and, implicitly, a life in this place. Is she in the last shot? Probably, but it doesn’t matter because you know that she has chosen to live in this place and not merely remain an outsider visiting this place.

Consider what Schanelec does here: without the character saying a single word in dialogue, you understand the trauma she has experienced and the change in mind state that exemplifies how she views her place in the world and what her future will entail. She does this in the context of a violent event, but without showing a single moment of violence. She films a scene in a police station without focusing for a single second on the particularities of the station or the officers, because the director chooses to view them as mere transitory details just as the character chooses to view the mugging. That is to say: Schanelec shows nothing but solely what is important and delivers context and agency through a character while the character is speaking but without using dialogue to do it. You can’t really do it better.

Try another sequence in the film and see if its particularities are as complex despite its apparent simplicity. Then consider how much more needlessly complicated such a sequence might be in another film - and how much more it would rely on dialogue to do it.

On the other hand, there are certainly scenes far simpler than you would find in another film, yet you’re unlikely to find anything more interesting in those other films’ needless complexity, either. Sometimes sculpting in time is its own reward, and a barrage of edits ends up with a pile of rubble rather than a marvelous sculpture. Perhaps the larger point is: there is nothing Schanelec can’t do with almost nothing - and her films at times contain almost nothing, which is to say: limitless potential for those that need not be caught up in the pointless minutia.

Her recent films are supposed to be exceedingly simple AND exceedingly complex. Sounds like a recipe for Schanelec masterpieces if I’ve ever heard it.

Also, city-walking a la Celine and Julie or I Am Twenty et al used to be regarded as one of the principal delights of cinema on this forum, and especially if we include the city-drinking of the first half this is one of the best. It’s also one of the best naturalistic, unhurried, unbothered by plot first halves - this is the pace life lives at, and the shyness exhibited by real people, and the compassion of real strangers. And if that is too simple - the second half is an opaque, structuralist puzzle full of metaphors and extended non-dialogue sequences. Eat your heart out!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:39 pm

LEAVES wrote:It’s also one of the best naturalistic, unhurried, unbothered by plot first halves - this is the pace life lives at, and the shyness exhibited by real people, and the compassion of real strangers. And if that is too simple - the second half is an opaque, structuralist puzzle full of metaphors and extended non-dialogue sequences. Eat your heart out!
Yesss!

<3
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sun Aug 04, 2019 4:07 pm

Those are some fine thoughts. I definitely noticed the sculpting in time you were referring to and how none of the "vital" scenes which were cut harmed the film as they weren't necessary for it to work. Like you said, when it comes to the more story-driven moments, this film solely contains all that's required and nothing unnecessary. I like what you said on the police station at the end. I might watch it again as I actually didn't pick up on the detail with the translator which you observed. I also imagine that the second half will flow at a much smoother pace now that I know where the transitions between the city and the perspective from her to her sister occur. Overall, that was a fine post and I definitely enjoyed reading it. Thanks for providing your take on it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:40 pm

LEAVES wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:58 am
Consider what Schanelec does here: without the character saying a single word in dialogue, you understand the trauma she has experienced and the change in mind state that exemplifies how she views her place in the world and what her future will entail. She does this in the context of a violent event, but without showing a single moment of violence. She films a scene in a police station without focusing for a single second on the particularities of the station or the officers, because the director chooses to view them as mere transitory details just as the character chooses to view the mugging. That is to say: Schanelec shows nothing but solely what is important and delivers context and agency through a character while the character is speaking but without using dialogue to do it. You can’t really do it better.

Try another sequence in the film and see if its particularities are as complex despite its apparent simplicity. Then consider how much more needlessly complicated such a sequence might be in another film - and how much more it would rely on dialogue to do it.

On the other hand, there are certainly scenes far simpler than you would find in another film, yet you’re unlikely to find anything more interesting in those other films’ needless complexity, either. Sometimes sculpting in time is its own reward, and a barrage of edits ends up with a pile of rubble rather than a marvelous sculpture. Perhaps the larger point is: there is nothing Schanelec can’t do with almost nothing - and her films at times contain almost nothing, which is to say: limitless potential for those that need not be caught up in the pointless minutia.

Her recent films are supposed to be exceedingly simple AND exceedingly complex. Sounds like a recipe for Schanelec masterpieces if I’ve ever heard it.

Also, city-walking a la Celine and Julie or I Am Twenty et al used to be regarded as one of the principal delights of cinema on this forum, and especially if we include the city-drinking of the first half this is one of the best. It’s also one of the best naturalistic, unhurried, unbothered by plot first halves - this is the pace life lives at, and the shyness exhibited by real people, and the compassion of real strangers. And if that is too simple - the second half is an opaque, structuralist puzzle full of metaphors and extended non-dialogue sequences. Eat your heart out!
aye, I should mention that the opaque-ness didn't stop me from "feeling into" the movie based on the rhythm of each scene (once I understood where the movie was). it's not like it was impenetrable.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:40 pm

Has anyone here seen Carlsen's Hunger? If so, would you guys be okay with doing that one next? A fine copy of it can be found on youtube in case anyone can't find a way to rent it.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:08 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:24 pm
the way she plays a "how many ways can I communicate?" game with language, silence, image, mise-en-scène, even ellipsis.
And nametags!
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Jinnistan » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:32 pm

(Thanks Ox for the copy)

I thankfully didn't find the film to be very opaque or slow at all. Every scene has something interesting to observe, and I appreciate the focus on behavior over plot. I appreciate the judicious use of hand-held work, confined to street scenes and social bustle, but I don't think I noticed one trembly shot in all of the intimate interior shots. Maren Eggert was wonderful.

What I got from the film was the trappings of vicarious living. Like her sister, I got the impression through much of the film that Sophie was an actress, and Marseille was her stage, propelled by her need to transcend herself. I like how her sister, even in performance, is stuck in a rote role of seemingly endlessly repetitious banality. I like how her husband acts like her still loves her. I like how his photo shoot illustrates the necessary vanities of otherwise faceless laborers, desiring meaning in their own thankless roles. I agree that the film is ultimately about communication, and moreso about overcoming the artificial pretenses of our standing platforms of communicating.

I'm not aware of any significance in the city of Marseille itself that would shine further on the film's theme. I noticed that "Why Marseille?" was a frequent inquiry. Like a private Idaho, maybe. Chinatown? Paris, Texas?
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:15 pm

Jinnistan wrote:And nametags!
Yes! :)

I agree that the film is ultimately about communication, and moreso about overcoming the artificial pretenses of our standing platforms of communicating.
Ooh, well put! Sophie needs a new stage because she's stuck on the old one. Schanelec tries out a new platform for her and for us.
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:01 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:40 pm
Has anyone here seen Carlsen's Hunger? If so, would you guys be okay with doing that one next? A fine copy of it can be found on youtube in case anyone can't find a way to rent it.
I haven't
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Re: Corrie Class Trip 4.0 #6: Marseille (Sat 8/3)

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:38 pm

I'll start the thread later today unless it's revealed that a wave of people here have already seen it, meaning I'd have to pick something else.
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