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Last Movie Seen

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funkybusiness
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Re: Last Movie Seen

#1681

Post by funkybusiness » September 29th, 2018, 12:49 am

Oh and I forgot to mention of the many fetishist shots, he even attempts a very ahead of its time same species shot (NSFW subreddit) in the pool scene. said shot click here

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#1682

Post by matthewscott8 » October 8th, 2018, 9:39 pm

I wrote about Venom fwiw:

I guess the major feeling I get watching an MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) movie is, wow once the special effects industry was an auxiliary of the movie industry, now the movie industry is an auxiliary of the special effects industry. But I guess everyone's down with that these days? So I won't preach too hard about it, after all Méliès and his effects kicked it all off and so maybe we're back to the beginning of film, with all it's awkwardness and inappropriateness too.

The movie was appealing to me from the poster and the trailer. A normal guy can become Venom, Venom don't take none of the brown stuff, he's gonna kick you ass right out of your face. So yeah a two hour holiday from the tediousness of the social contract.

The film actually comes off as a bit of a buddy movie, inseparable parasite and host journalist Eddie Brock spends most of the movie bonding with comic effect. A main failure is that we're meant to believe that macho figurehead and multi-millionaire heartthrob Tom Hardy is playing a "loser". 

As usual with comic book stuff, you end up feeling that the resulting vigilantism is being given a bit more support than it probably should be getting (the effects of vigilantism are usually heartbreakingly stupid and tragic). The villain (I imagine Elon Musk probably didn't see the funny side with this one) and the antihero both basically have the same general activity, they do whatever the hell they want. But you have to get in bed with the devil to defeat the evil people, right? What popularised the "work with your darkness" nonsense, Dexter back in 2006?

So I enjoyed it, but probably "needed a shower" too. And like a chump I'll probably be back for a second serving of "eyes, lungs [and] pancreas", when they show the sequel.
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#1683

Post by kathulu » October 8th, 2018, 11:09 pm

I just saw "A Star is Born" (2018) and it made me really upset - I understand it's gotten raving reviews and everyone absolutely fall head over heels with it, but my personal reaction was quite strong, not in the direction everyone else seems to react. I can sort of see the artistic merit - the music was really good, and the chemistry between actors was pretty intense, but for largely personal reasons (and some objective ones), this was tough to watch. Anyone else seen it yet?
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#1684

Post by flaiky » October 8th, 2018, 11:50 pm

kathulu wrote:
October 8th, 2018, 11:09 pm
I just saw "A Star is Born" (2018) and it made me really upset - I understand it's gotten raving reviews and everyone absolutely fall head over heels with it, but my personal reaction was quite strong, not in the direction everyone else seems to react. I can sort of see the artistic merit - the music was really good, and the chemistry between actors was pretty intense, but for largely personal reasons (and some objective ones), this was tough to watch. Anyone else seen it yet?
Watched it last night. I'm already a sucker for the story so it was an easy win with me, but the other elements also worked very well (mostly). I found the first half incredibly charming, it totally had me under it's spell, and if it had managed to sustain that throughout I'd be calling it a favourite. Unfortunately it does become a little flabby in the second half - most of the criticisms here aren't exactly wrong - but the swooning-yet-grounded romanticism thing is just too lovely to resist. I could quite happily go and watch it again tomorrow and that's always a great sign.

Also, it's more than 24 hours later and I still have 'Shallow' in my head and I'm not even mad. That is one banging ballad.
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#1685

Post by OldAle1 » October 10th, 2018, 9:12 pm

I just came back from A Star is Born myself and largely agree with flaiky. The biggest single problem I have is with Ally's manager - a poorly written and not terribly interesting acted role - and especially with the one scene where he confronts Jack which just felt very contrived. That's enough to keep me from giving it the top rating for sure...but most of the rest of it is pretty terrific. I don't remember the earlier versions that I've seen ('37 and '54) very clearly, but at the same time everything felt pretty familiar, so it was all up to Cooper's choices as actor/director/producer/writer/songwriter - you don't see that many credits on a big Hollywood film like this very often - and Gaga, and thankfully they put their heart into it. Agreed that "Shallow" is pretty great, but "I'll Never Love Again" isn't far off.

Pleased to see that it's doing so well - with this and The Greatest Showman and that one flick about the girl and the guy in LA a couple of years ago, are we premature in declaring that the musical is back, or at least off life support for a little while?

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#1686

Post by RBG » October 10th, 2018, 9:25 pm

i'm on the fence about seeing this -- i hate bradley cooper and gaga isn't exactly a favorite, love the 54 and 37 versions and don't know why this had to be remade AGAIN. but i'll probs give it a shot eventually. incidentally i've yet to see 'lala land' despite or perhaps because of my love for musicals! :P
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#1687

Post by OldAle1 » October 10th, 2018, 9:55 pm

I don't really have one opinion or another on Cooper - he's fine in most of the stuff I've seen but I don't seek him out. And I don't much listen to current pop music but I was pretty blown away by Gaga's voice when she was on the Oscars a couple of years ago. But I don't really hesitate to see anything that looks any good that isn't aimed at kids, there's so little that makes it's way to the crappy area I live in, so I was going to see it either way. And there's a reasonable chance I'll see it again thought that's going to depend on everything else that's out in the next month and on how often I have to take my mom to the doctor over the next several weeks.

Since La La Land is the GOAT of course you should see it - and if you do I promise I'll see whatever your favorite musical is that I haven't seen. Here's my current musical top list, though it needs to be updated -

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls062807922/

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#1688

Post by RBG » October 10th, 2018, 9:58 pm

haven't seen those demy films either -- tried to watch one once and had to shut it off tehe but that was some years ago. should probs try again

and i must say all this belies the image i've somehow formed of you as a cynical curmudgeon living in the woods of wisconsin :folded:
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#1689

Post by OldAle1 » October 10th, 2018, 10:16 pm

I am a cynical curmudgeon - about myself and the miserable way I've led my life, about politics, about most of my fellow humans. But not about art and culture - if I were as down on those as I am about most things I probably wouldn't be around anymore. I used to get irritated with people that seem to hate everything, and I suppose I still do but I've been moving more in the direction of feeling for them, because I think if ya can't get enjoyment out of a movie or a beer or a meal or a song pretty regularly, then you've got even more problems than I have and are probably pretty unhappy. And many people who are profoundly negative are also quite defensive about it, another sign of unhappiness often - I speak from experience with my dad especially.

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#1690

Post by flaiky » October 10th, 2018, 11:46 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
October 10th, 2018, 9:12 pm
The biggest single problem I have is with Ally's manager - a poorly written and not terribly interesting acted role - and especially with the one scene where he confronts Jack which just felt very contrived.
Yes that actor was TERRIBLE. How the hell is he making a career doing that?

I found all of the supporting characters pretty uninteresting and lacking authenticity - even the much lauded Sam Elliott role/performance (apparently he's one of the front runners to win Best Supporting, which I'm baff'd by) - which was a shame (actually, Ally's dad was endearing and should have been in it more). But it's one of those films that rises above its flaws on pure movie magic.

Still have Shallow in my head. :party:
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#1691

Post by OldAle1 » October 10th, 2018, 11:48 pm

I thought Elliott was fine, and if he gets a Sup Act nod I won't be that miffed, though he'd be getting it - as happens far too often - for just one scene really. Yeah the supporting cast as a whole could've been better. Ehh, perfection's boring.

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#1692

Post by flaiky » October 15th, 2018, 10:58 pm

It will really be a crime if most people can only watch Roma at home. It truly has some of the best photography, background detail, and blocking I've ever seen (great sound design too). You could hardly find a film more worthy of a gigantic screen. :/

Believe the hype - it's an astonishingly beautiful film, with a depth of humanity to match the technical artistry.
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#1693

Post by 3eyes » October 16th, 2018, 1:42 am

The death of Stalin (UK etc 2017)

I think when I've had a chance to sleep on it I'll see its brilliance more clearly. Using a modern idiom in a mix of English/American accents to depict the historical infighting following Stalin's death intensifies the parallels with today. More later maybe.

I can report, though, that I didn't crack a smile the whole time -- I guess because I was a senior in high school when Stalin died and remember the Cold War too vividly.
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#1694

Post by Ivan0716 » October 17th, 2018, 11:56 am

flaiky wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 10:58 pm
You could hardly find a film more worthy of a gigantic screen. :/
Yes! It was unbelievably immersive, I almost had a panic attack as I walked out onto the bustling night streets of London afterwards. The sound is absolutely vital, I wouldn't even want to rewatch this on a small screen without some kind of state of the art sound system.

I almost feel sorry for the other films competing for best foreign language film this year, they have no chance (I do prefer Burning but not only is it not a Academy-friendly film, it's also South Korean :ermm:). I can also see the BAFTA giving Roma best film and non-English film to something else.

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#1695

Post by OldAle1 » October 17th, 2018, 1:43 pm

flaiky wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 10:58 pm
It will really be a crime if most people can only watch Roma at home. It truly has some of the best photography, background detail, and blocking I've ever seen (great sound design too). You could hardly find a film more worthy of a gigantic screen. :/

Believe the hype - it's an astonishingly beautiful film, with a depth of humanity to match the technical artistry.
Sadly, not possible in the USA as far as I know, unless one manages to get to one of the festivals where it's playing. Given that it was made for Netflix in the first place though it's pretty clear that however great it looks/sounds, Cuarón himself was aware that almost nobody was going to see it in the cinema. Heck, it's not in English, so right there it's chances of getting seen by more than a handful of people in the USA is minimal. The last film not in English that played within 75km of me came out 4 years ago.

But it's not just foreign stuff - I remember arguing for Annihilation early this year and how valuable it was to be able to see it in a cinema with the volume turned way up. And in that case I was lucky to be American because it didn't show in cinemas elsewhere. But it was sci-fi-horror so at least it was seen as having some commercial potential - a movie about ordinary middle-class people who aren't American, who the fuck would want to see that besides the gays, the libtards and the feminazis? That's not a real movie for real people, they're all watching Venom for the 4th time.

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#1696

Post by GruesomeTwosome » October 17th, 2018, 1:51 pm

Found this, regarding Roma and two other major Netflix releases (the new Paul Greengrass and Coens films): http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/9 ... gs-22-july
Paul Greengrass’ Norway political thriller 22 July will arrive on October 10, with the much-anticipated Coen Brothers’ western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on November 16, and Alfonso Cuaron’s black and white epic Roma will be released on December 14. These reported release dates also align with the films’ debut on the streaming service. These films will have a limited run in the theaters, only being featured in 10-12 Landmark theater locations in major markets.
Not surprising, but... :( :( :(
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#1697

Post by OldAle1 » October 17th, 2018, 1:58 pm

RedLetterMedia did something predicting that it was only going to be superhero movies and other blockbusters in cinemas very soon, and it looks like they were very prescient. Looks very likely that I won't be able to see all the Best Pic films in the cinema this year and that will be the first time ever that's happened - not that I've seen every BP nom in the cinema or anything, but at least I always had the opportunity, even living in crappy jerkwater towns like the one I'm in now.

Is it that adults don't go see films on the big screen, or that there are no films made for adults that get put there? Chicken meet egg.

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#1698

Post by flaiky » October 17th, 2018, 11:42 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
October 17th, 2018, 1:51 pm
Found this, regarding Roma and two other major Netflix releases (the new Paul Greengrass and Coens films): http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/news/9 ... gs-22-july
Paul Greengrass’ Norway political thriller 22 July will arrive on October 10, with the much-anticipated Coen Brothers’ western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on November 16, and Alfonso Cuaron’s black and white epic Roma will be released on December 14. These reported release dates also align with the films’ debut on the streaming service. These films will have a limited run in the theaters, only being featured in 10-12 Landmark theater locations in major markets.
Not surprising, but... :( :( :(
Wow, only 10-12 theatres? I know that's standard, maybe even good, for Netflix but I was hoping they'd go at least a bit wider for Roma, considering the film's very legitimate Oscar potential. It's truly a shame. I guess it will be the same here in the UK, and everywhere else (even Mexico?)

I'm glad that Netflix is making all this money available for films, but they are setting quite a frightening precedent for distribution. How far is this going to go?

Anyway, I'd very rarely say a film is worth travelling for but this might actually be one of those occasions. If there's anyway you (whoever reads this) can see it on the big screen, just do it.

Edit - More recent article: it will play in 100 cinemas worldwide. That certainly doens't sound good for the entire world, but presumably most of those will be concentrated in a few countries so maybe it's not too bad...
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#1699

Post by OldAle1 » October 17th, 2018, 11:59 pm

The US is a big country. The closest Landmark to me is at least 2 hours each way, and I'm not really able to spend that much time on driving to and fro to one movie very often. I may give it a shot but given winter weather and all, I dunno. I'm MOST bummed about not having a chance to see The Other Side of the Wind on the big screen - it will be the only Welles feature that I won't have been able to see in the cinema.

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#1700

Post by Good_Will_Harding » October 18th, 2018, 1:03 am

I think the best chance us normies have at seeing the likes of Roma on the big screen are for the annual 'Best Picture Showcase' where the local Regal/AMC/Cinemark/etc theaters play all of the year's nominees together in the weeks leading up to the ceremony - that is assuming it scores the big Oscar gold - a foregone conclusion at this point, but nothing is certain these days.

But yeah, Philadelphia would be the closest likely venue for myself and even then, it's at least an hour and a half one way on a *good* traffic day. Maybe I'll pull a Roma & The Ballad of Buster Scruggs double feature on one of the less-snowy weekends coming up. I'd love to see the Welles film on the big screen, but I never assumed I'd get that opportunity at all, so it's less of a sore spot for me.

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#1701

Post by GruesomeTwosome » October 19th, 2018, 2:47 pm

Good_Will_Harding wrote:
October 18th, 2018, 1:03 am
I think the best chance us normies have at seeing the likes of Roma on the big screen are for the annual 'Best Picture Showcase' where the local Regal/AMC/Cinemark/etc theaters play all of the year's nominees together in the weeks leading up to the ceremony - that is assuming it scores the big Oscar gold - a foregone conclusion at this point, but nothing is certain these days.

But yeah, Philadelphia would be the closest likely venue for myself and even then, it's at least an hour and a half one way on a *good* traffic day. Maybe I'll pull a Roma & The Ballad of Buster Scruggs double feature on one of the less-snowy weekends coming up. I'd love to see the Welles film on the big screen, but I never assumed I'd get that opportunity at all, so it's less of a sore spot for me.
Yeah I suppose you're right (regarding your first statement), though is that "Best Picture Showcase" thing a guaranteed slam dunk, year in-year out? I'm still wary that if Roma is indeed nominated, it still might not be released widely at the big theater chains...I'm trying to remember if Amour (2012), a foreign language Best Pic nominee, was ever at a local Regal or Cinemark near me and I'm pretty sure it wasn't. We'll see about Roma.


Philly is also the nearest "major city" for me, and it does have three Landmark theaters so I'm assuming it will snag one of these selected "10-12 theaters" that the article mentions, but it's still a rather taxing hike to get into the city, find parking, pay for parking, get out afterward, etc.
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#1702

Post by outdoorcats » October 20th, 2018, 4:55 am

Two excellent films:

Galveston - Melanie Laurent, who previously directed Breathe, proves she isn't a one-hit wonder as a director with her third feature, a Nic Pizzolato adaptation. She's not aiming to reinvent cinema, but she confidently directs a gripping, grim crime drama set in the rural south that knows how to mislead its audience in a good way. It evokes the same nightmarish, hellish rural atmosphere of Pizzolato's True Detective, exaggerated with the wide-eyed flair only a foreigner could bring to this part of Americana--simultaneously in love with and repulsed by the dimly lit alleys, desiccated houses, cheap motels, and smokey bars of a Northerner's Southern nightmare. Ben Foster is excellent in the lead role.

Diamantino - Possibly the surrealist political satire of the year, a bizarre and hilarious re-imagining of the political thriller with its DNA crossed with a dark fairy tale, old serials, and a gender-and-sexuality-defying love story with a holy innocent soccer celebrity at its center (and puppies, giant fluffy puppies). Considering it relates to the times we're living in and the rise of extreme right-wing politics, it all makes as much (non)sense at it needs to.

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#1703

Post by Ivan0716 » October 20th, 2018, 2:46 pm

I’ve actually seen more than a half a dozen films since László Nemes' Sunset on Tuesday, but I haven’t been able to get this one out of my head, I think he may have just “reinvented cinema”. There seems to be a lot of mixed-to-negative feelings about this film, and I can totally see why. If you’re not buying into his protagonist-as-eyes-and-ears style, the 144 minute runtime will probably feel like a complete slog; but I was totally on board, and for me, it was one of the most rewarding and captivating cinematic experiences ever, and I would gladly follow Irisz on her journey through Budapest for a couple more hours. Watching Roma the day before might have made a slight difference too, my favourite parts of Cuarón’s film were the street tracking shots that were so immersive and full of life, and Sunset is basically that, but for two and a half hours straight. Yes, do watch this on the big screen if possible.

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I wasn’t crazy about Son of Saul in the way that most people were, I liked it enough, but it didn’t wow me. Maybe it's because I’ve read/heard so much about the horrors of the Auschwitz that I already knew what sort of things to expect - even if they are amplified to an extremely uncomfortable degree through the fresh narrative structure and camera technique. Moving away from the claustrophobic defines of the Auschwitz to the breath-taking backdrop of Belle Époque Budapest freed Nemes of the obligation to capture only the ugly and the terrifying, as well as the viewers of their expectation to see the film as such. He was now able to adapt the same style to different possibilities, like recreating the mythical beauty of an often romanticised era in history, and holy shit did he recreate the hell out of Budapest here. It was literally like talking a walk through history, and rather than averting my eyes from the impending horror as was the case with Saul, I was brimming with excitement whenever Irisz approached a door/window or even as she was about to turn a corner - I just couldn’t wait to see what’s on the other side. The transitions from interior to exterior in particular, had me picking my jaws up off the floor every time; combining the overwhelming sound that floods through the opening doorway with the immaculate lighting that slowly reveals the street on the other side and then brings it to life - it was nothing less than cinematic realism at its absolute finest, the yellow filter and 35mm grains also helped giving it a very warm nostalgic mood.

A lot of the criticisms seems to be based around the convoluted plot, while I do feel like I need another watch to make sense of it all, I’m not sure if I actually care. In the Q&A Nemes pretty much said that the plot structure was intended as a “fuck you” to the way TV series and mainstream cinema nowadays have conditioned viewers into believing that they need be fed every little piece of information and that they must to be able to identify with the characters they see on the screen (the latter will be the reason why this film won't get the recognition it deserves), so he decided to create an irrational, unrelatable character and place her the most confusing scenarios he could think of. Interesting choice, and I agree with his sentiment, though I don’t see myself being too impressed with the story of Irisz even if I do manage to put all the pieces together. It’s definitely intended to be a visual/aural experience foremost, and I’m perfectly satisfied to think of the plot and events in the film simply as an excuse to get Irisz from A to B in order for us to experience all these amazing locations and set-pieces through her eyes.

On a side note, thanks to the intimacy created between Irisz and the camera, and by extension, the viewers, I may accidentally have fallen in love with Juli Jakab over the course of the film. She introduced the film with Nemes, but by the time she came back out for the Q&A, I was star-struck like never before :wub: , and this is the same week where I saw Viggo Mortensen and Tilda fucking Swinton.

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#1704

Post by flaiky » October 23rd, 2018, 9:57 pm

Not a film, but a person, allow me to gush like an idiot for a minute.

I managed to nab a last minute resale ticket tonight for "Jane Fonda in Conversation", and that fascinating lady in my avatar is the #1 celebrity I would want that experience with. So it was a huge deal for me; it was such a privilege. She didn't disappoint in the slightest - she talked for nearly an hour and a half, seemed to genuinely be enjoying herself, and was so warm, open, articulate, and funny! I actually didn't know she'd be so entertaining. She did hilarious impressions of Katharine Hepburn while talking about On Golden Pond (I actually got a bit on video, if anyone's interested) which was an amazing merger of two actresses I've been obsessed with, heh. The passionate, activist side came out as well, talking about her belief in "Times Up" and drive to help regular women. Gah I love her.

I waited afterwards in the hope of getting a pic, and she very kindly came back and did lots of signing etc for fans. I didn't get a personal photo, too many people, but she did turn her head, make eye contact and grin at me after I laughed at one of her jokes...which in a way made me feel even more "acknowledged" than if I was just another person asking for a selfie.

They say "never meet your heroes" but I'M A HAPPY FLAIKY! Three pics (I love how the first almost mirrors the They Shoot Horses image in the background):

Image
Image
Image

(Oh, and I also discovered a bizarre subculture of people who obviously go to every possible celebrity sighting in the city and all know each other - the obnoxious girl in front of me even said she couldn't name any of Jane's films, but she'd been waiting all night while we were in the talk and made damn sure she got a selfie. :blink: God people are strange.)
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#1705

Post by maxwelldeux » October 23rd, 2018, 10:13 pm

Woohoo! Glad you were able to get to that one!

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#1706

Post by GruesomeTwosome » October 24th, 2018, 7:18 pm

@ flaiky: That's really cool about Jane Fonda! Unfortunately I'm unable to see any of those pics you posted :(
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#1707

Post by flaiky » October 24th, 2018, 8:29 pm

GruesomeTwosome wrote:
October 24th, 2018, 7:18 pm
@ flaiky: That's really cool about Jane Fonda! Unfortunately I'm unable to see any of those pics you posted :(
Heh thanks, and thanks Max. It was too exciting not to ramble about to anyone I could, including here. These are the 3 pics together in a link (ooh wow, actually it autogenerates an album and lets you click through....now I'm tempted to share 10 more but you get the gist):
Can you believe that woman is nearly 81? I swear she has more energy and better posture than most 30 year olds (and yes, I include myself in that :$ )
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#1708

Post by GruesomeTwosome » October 24th, 2018, 8:35 pm

Nice, the Imgur album works nicely. Yeah, she looks unreal for someone who has entered her 80s.
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#1709

Post by outdoorcats » October 25th, 2018, 4:59 am

Little Woods, this year's entry to the "backcountry noir" canon (see: Winter's Bone, Frozen River, Wind River) features an excellent tough-as-nails lead performance from Tessa Thompson. Unfortunately it has many of the negative hallmarks of a first feature, such as an unfinished-feeling script. There are holes in the logic of the story (what exactly is this mystery job she applies to as a midwestern, small-town ex-con where they literally fly out from Washington to a remote diner in South Dakota to interview her?), the dialogue often a little too on the nose, and at a certain point the film just disappointingly ends, leaving me feeling like a reel was missing between the last shot and the end credits. Overall I applaud it for the effort and the gritty, wintery atmosphere, but this could have been much better.

The Front Runner is much better than the critics would have you believe. Derivative, yes (Altman-esque direction, Sorkin-esque writing sums up the film's style pretty neatly) but it's such a excellently crafted and vivid carnival of moving parts that I couldn't help but get sucked in. There's always a place in my diet for films that don't re-invent the wheel, but just offer an excellently made and slightly remixed version of an old formula. This is one of them.

Burning, Lee's first film in 8 years since Poetry is sure to be one of the most discussed arthouse titles of the year, but that's not immediately obvious. For the first hour or so, I was starting to get the impression this was a somewhat scattershot, overly slow drama with a lot of scenes that could easily have been cut. The second half...doesn't have that problem, and completely re-contextualizes the first half. It's hard to discuss this film without spoilers, but, long story short, I was wrong--every detail matters. I'm sure this forum for instance will see plenty of debate over the meaning of the ending once this reaches a wider release (and if anyone's seen it, hit me up with your theory). This is a film I'd definitely like to see again.

It's not the most recent of the titles I saw, but I saved If Beale Street Could Talk, the best, for last. It is without a doubt in my mind one of the best films I've ever seen. I'm not sure I've ever seen a film filled with so much love. It is a film perversely, rapturously in love with humanity even after having seen its ugliest sides. And along those lines, I don't know that I've ever seen an adaptation which so perfectly channels the spirit of its author, blowing up small intimate moments as Baldwin did into lengthy sequences of heightened reality, intimacy, living and breathing emotions that spill over the screen into the audience. I don't know what else to tell you guys; this film made me fall in love with movies again, I was constantly in a state of near tears the entire movie because everything about it was so beautiful, it connected with things inside me I can't explain--what else can you say? Apparently it's not getting Moonlight-level reviews and I guess everyone will start telling me I'm crazily overrating it. I was in a cloud leaving the theater so I can't really gage what the rest of the packed audience thought. Still, at least one person behind me was sniffling the entire time, so it's not just me. Jenkins made a new cinema with Moonlight, but with Beale Street he perfected it.

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#1710

Post by cinewest » October 25th, 2018, 8:43 am

@outdoorcats

Interesting to read your comments on Burning and Beale Street which are two of the films I most look forward to from this year. Found the other two commentaries interesting, as well.

I like good "back country Noir," and enjoyed Winter's Bone quite a bit, and thought Wind River started out promising before fading quite a bit as so many films do.

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#1711

Post by cinewest » October 25th, 2018, 8:51 am

Ivan0716 wrote:
October 20th, 2018, 2:46 pm
I’ve actually seen more than a half a dozen films since László Nemes' Sunset on Tuesday, but I haven’t been able to get this one out of my head, I think he may have just “reinvented cinema”. There seems to be a lot of mixed-to-negative feelings about this film, and I can totally see why. If you’re not buying into his protagonist-as-eyes-and-ears style, the 144 minute runtime will probably feel like a complete slog; but I was totally on board, and for me, it was one of the most rewarding and captivating cinematic experiences ever, and I would gladly follow Irisz on her journey through Budapest for a couple more hours. Watching Roma the day before might have made a slight difference too, my favourite parts of Cuarón’s film were the street tracking shots that were so immersive and full of life, and Sunset is basically that, but for two and a half hours straight. Yes, do watch this on the big screen if possible.

wall of text no one wants to read, but I need to get off my chestShow
I wasn’t crazy about Son of Saul in the way that most people were, I liked it enough, but it didn’t wow me. Maybe it's because I’ve read/heard so much about the horrors of the Auschwitz that I already knew what sort of things to expect - even if they are amplified to an extremely uncomfortable degree through the fresh narrative structure and camera technique. Moving away from the claustrophobic defines of the Auschwitz to the breath-taking backdrop of Belle Époque Budapest freed Nemes of the obligation to capture only the ugly and the terrifying, as well as the viewers of their expectation to see the film as such. He was now able to adapt the same style to different possibilities, like recreating the mythical beauty of an often romanticised era in history, and holy shit did he recreate the hell out of Budapest here. It was literally like talking a walk through history, and rather than averting my eyes from the impending horror as was the case with Saul, I was brimming with excitement whenever Irisz approached a door/window or even as she was about to turn a corner - I just couldn’t wait to see what’s on the other side. The transitions from interior to exterior in particular, had me picking my jaws up off the floor every time; combining the overwhelming sound that floods through the opening doorway with the immaculate lighting that slowly reveals the street on the other side and then brings it to life - it was nothing less than cinematic realism at its absolute finest, the yellow filter and 35mm grains also helped giving it a very warm nostalgic mood.

A lot of the criticisms seems to be based around the convoluted plot, while I do feel like I need another watch to make sense of it all, I’m not sure if I actually care. In the Q&A Nemes pretty much said that the plot structure was intended as a “fuck you” to the way TV series and mainstream cinema nowadays have conditioned viewers into believing that they need be fed every little piece of information and that they must to be able to identify with the characters they see on the screen (the latter will be the reason why this film won't get the recognition it deserves), so he decided to create an irrational, unrelatable character and place her the most confusing scenarios he could think of. Interesting choice, and I agree with his sentiment, though I don’t see myself being too impressed with the story of Irisz even if I do manage to put all the pieces together. It’s definitely intended to be a visual/aural experience foremost, and I’m perfectly satisfied to think of the plot and events in the film simply as an excuse to get Irisz from A to B in order for us to experience all these amazing locations and set-pieces through her eyes.

On a side note, thanks to the intimacy created between Irisz and the camera, and by extension, the viewers, I may accidentally have fallen in love with Juli Jakab over the course of the film. She introduced the film with Nemes, but by the time she came back out for the Q&A, I was star-struck like never before :wub: , and this is the same week where I saw Viggo Mortensen and Tilda fucking Swinton.
Really intrigued by your comments about Nemes' new film, and I am one who thought Son Of Saul was pretty darn good. Absolutely love filmmakers who are exploring unique approaches to narrative cinema, as they seem to be the most passionate about the art form.

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#1712

Post by cinewest » October 25th, 2018, 8:53 am

flaiky wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 10:58 pm
It will really be a crime if most people can only watch Roma at home. It truly has some of the best photography, background detail, and blocking I've ever seen (great sound design too). You could hardly find a film more worthy of a gigantic screen. :/

Believe the hype - it's an astonishingly beautiful film, with a depth of humanity to match the technical artistry.
Thanks for your comments on Roma. Though I have a large wide screen monitor and can watch it on Netflix in December, I will also be in San Francisco then, and I'm sure there will be access to a theatrical screening.

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#1713

Post by Ivan0716 » October 25th, 2018, 4:01 pm

cinewest wrote:
October 25th, 2018, 8:51 am
Really intrigued by your comments about Nemes' new film, and I am one who thought Son Of Saul was pretty darn good. Absolutely love filmmakers who are exploring unique approaches to narrative cinema, as they seem to be the most passionate about the art form.
I hope I didn't drive your expectations up too high, there are plenty of people who loved Son of Saul but are underwhelmed by Sunset.

Nemes is passionate about film for sure, he spent a good 5 minutes of the Q&A just talking about how proud he was to be able to screen the film on 35mm - the way he wants it to be seen. He went into such great details for every answer he gave. I didn't always follow what he was saying but I really admired the way he talked about his film and the medium in general, it just gives you the idea that he would be happy to stand up there and talk for hours if they weren't pressed for time.

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#1714

Post by flaiky » October 25th, 2018, 5:09 pm

outdoorcats wrote:
October 25th, 2018, 4:59 am
It's not the most recent of the titles I saw, but I saved If Beale Street Could Talk, the best, for last. It is without a doubt in my mind one of the best films I've ever seen. I'm not sure I've ever seen a film filled with so much love. It is a film perversely, rapturously in love with humanity even after having seen its ugliest sides. And along those lines, I don't know that I've ever seen an adaptation which so perfectly channels the spirit of its author, blowing up small intimate moments as Baldwin did into lengthy sequences of heightened reality, intimacy, living and breathing emotions that spill over the screen into the audience. I don't know what else to tell you guys; this film made me fall in love with movies again, I was constantly in a state of near tears the entire movie because everything about it was so beautiful, it connected with things inside me I can't explain--what else can you say? Apparently it's not getting Moonlight-level reviews and I guess everyone will start telling me I'm crazily overrating it. I was in a cloud leaving the theater so I can't really gage what the rest of the packed audience thought. Still, at least one person behind me was sniffling the entire time, so it's not just me. Jenkins made a new cinema with Moonlight, but with Beale Street he perfected it.
I'm jealous of your reaction (!), it sounds like you had the intensely profound, all-immersive experience I was prepared for when I entered the cinema...which probably wasn't fair to the film, but it can be hard to keep expectations in check sometimes. That's not to say I disliked it, no way, it's a beautiful film, but I did have some misgivings and it definitely wasn't Moonlight-level for me. I can expand but I also know it's annoying to hear complaints about a film you adore, I don't want to rain on your parade. :)

I've also seen Burning and yes, it's a fascinating film. I actually wasn't bored at all, it sustained the mysterious intrigue throughout, but I did find the ending a bit unsatisfactory. I've read a few vague theories about it..
SpoilerShow
possibly being in the main character's mind, is that what you mean? I'm not sure that works for me, or what it would add. But then if it is real, his decision to resort to murder seemed a little unbelievable for such a careful film. Plus I wanted to know for sure what happened to Haemi, especially as she was a fascinating character and the actress was great. The film suffered a bit without her presence. I guess it was never going to be the sort of film to tie everything up with a neat bow, and I'd be less bothered by the ambiguity on rewatch I suspect.
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#1715

Post by Ivan0716 » October 25th, 2018, 7:52 pm

Oooh, Burning! Maybe I'm just too dumb to read any deeper into it, but I didn't think it was as ambiguous as people think.
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In the scene at Jongsu's where Ben talks about how he likes to burn greenhouses, he said he's not scared of getting caught because police don't care about dirty, useless greenhouses that are in the middle of nowhere. If you buy the Ben did it theory, which I do, then it seems reasonable to see the "greenhouses" as a metaphor for the lonely people who were abandoned by society...someone like Haemi, who Ben later describes as "lonely, broke, out of touch with her family for years and has no friends", in other words, someone no one will care to look for if they were to disappear. He killed her, apparently not expecting Jongsu to grow obsessive over her disappearance, or maybe he simply doesn't see Jongsu as a factor, with Jongsu being on same boat as Haemi. I think his guilt is the reason why he never reacted to Jongsu's incessant stalking (dude was tailing him in a massive fucking truck ffs). There's also some minor hints that Ben might be a psychopath, for example, the way he feigned interest in the conversations during the gatherings with his friends*.

As for the ending, this is probably the easiest one to swallow out of all the Lee films I've seen, and I kind of get it, with Jongsu being as lonely as he is, finally managing to form a meaningful, mutual connection with another person - perhaps for the first time in his life - in Haemi, she then mysteriously vanishes (after he called her a whore, which is sure to weigh on his mind). But I think another, perhaps more convincing reason why he murdered Ben was out of frustration with his own life; he has goals and aspirations, but can't seem find his way out of the boonies he grew up in. He sees Ben, seemingly carefree, rich and successful for no apparent reason (recall the conversation comparing Ben to Gatsby and how South Korea is full of them), so killing him was a way for Jongsu to act out his repressed anger towards the unfairness of society(a common Lee theme) and the Gatsbys of Korea .

The only thing that didn't make sense to me was the cat, Jongsu apparently never saw it during the weeks Haemi was away in Africa, it never showed itself despite him calling out for it every time, but it ran to him when he called its name in the end?? I'm not a cat person, maybe cats are like that, I don't know.

*obviously I'm not saying everyone who yawns during conversations are psychopaths :D ...but there must be a reason as to why he was shown doing this multiple times in the film.

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#1716

Post by flaiky » October 25th, 2018, 9:00 pm

Ivan0716 wrote:
October 25th, 2018, 7:52 pm
Oooh, Burning! Maybe I'm just too dumb to read any deeper into it, but I didn't think it was as ambiguous as people think.
SpoilerShow
In the scene at Jongsu's where Ben talks about how he likes to burn greenhouses, he said he's not scared of getting caught because police don't care about dirty, useless greenhouses that are in the middle of nowhere. If you buy the Ben did it theory, which I do, then it seems reasonable to see the "greenhouses" as a metaphor for the lonely people who were abandoned by society...someone like Haemi, who Ben later describes as "lonely, broke, out of touch with her family for years and has no friends", in other words, someone no one will care to look for if they were to disappear. He killed her, apparently not expecting Jongsu to grow obsessive over her disappearance, or maybe he simply doesn't see Jongsu as a factor, with Jongsu being on same boat as Haemi. I think his guilt is the reason why he never reacted to Jongsu's incessant stalking (dude was tailing him in a massive fucking truck ffs). There's also some minor hints that Ben might be a psychopath, for example, the way he feigned interest in the conversations during the gatherings with his friends*.

As for the ending, this is probably the easiest one to swallow out of all the Lee films I've seen, and I kind of get it, with Jongsu being as lonely as he is, finally managing to form a meaningful, mutual connection with another person - perhaps for the first time in his life - in Haemi, she then mysteriously vanishes (after he called her a whore, which is sure to weigh on his mind). But I think another, perhaps more convincing reason why he murdered Ben was out of frustration with his own life; he has goals and aspirations, but can't seem find his way out of the boonies he grew up in. He sees Ben, seemingly carefree, rich and successful for no apparent reason (recall the conversation comparing Ben to Gatsby and how South Korea is full of them), so killing him was a way for Jongsu to act out his repressed anger towards the unfairness of society(a common Lee theme) and the Gatsbys of Korea .

The only thing that didn't make sense to me was the cat, Jongsu apparently never saw it during the weeks Haemi was away in Africa, it never showed itself despite him calling out for it every time, but it ran to him when he called its name in the end?? I'm not a cat person, maybe cats are like that, I don't know.

*obviously I'm not saying everyone who yawns during conversations are psychopaths :D ...but there must be a reason as to why he was shown doing this multiple times in the film.
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I picked up on the greenhouses as a metaphor (or at least a clue into Ben's psyche), and definitely on Jongsu's extreme jealousy and resentment (some have said this was coupled with repressed homoerotic urges, but I don't buy that). Regarding the latter: it still didn't seem like he could actually commit murder....it feels like a step too far. I am probably thinking about it too realistically/literally, though, and should see it all as a wider commentary on working class rage.

I can believe the idea that Ben killed Haemi (Lee definitely wanted to paint him as a sociopath - there was also that conversation about him not being able to cry), but I also think it's possible to believe that he didn't, and the idea of Jongsu getting it wrong is more compelling to me. I actually quite like this element of the ambiguity; it's more that I want to know if Haemi was definitely dead or not. For most of the film I had a feeling that she was up to something - maybe a plan with Ben, or maybe alone. She was set up as such a mysterious, messed-up, untrustworthy character that I could definitely see her playing some kind of evil trick on Jongsu. Or she just consciously decided to disappear, or she killed herself....I felt that there were many different options and I did want some closure (even if it was her murdered body being discovered, without knowing for sure if it was Ben).

As for the cat: it was intentionally meant to be confusing, I'm sure. I don't think it was 100% Haemi's cat. I don't think Haemi 100% had a cat. But it was an effective way of making us viewers feel the same kind of madness and paranoia as Jongsu, I really liked it.

To be honest, all this really is fascinating and even my own issues sit more and more comfortably as I think about it. The film deals with its own questions in an amazing way. Is Ben really a psycho? Well, you could definitely read the scenes that way, but remove the film's paranoia (which we inevitably inherit by seeing everything through Jongsu) and maybe he's a normal guy who just yawns, doesn't get emotional easily, and finds it fun to wind up his dorky friend by pretending that he commits crimes. If that's the case, well then, fuck, he's dead and Jongsu is a murderer for nothing. Was Haemi even killed? That's the assumption but as I said, she was strange and unhappy enough that it's impossible to know for sure. And perhaps never knowing, and having her disappearing into the ether, is perfect for her character...Almost everything in the film can be seen two ways IMO and remain uncertain, and that's actually really difficult to pull off and keeps the film lingering long after its finished. Such mystery and tragedy. It's incredibly clever.
Eek, actually really feeling the urge for a rewatch. I might bump this one up to full marks.
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#1717

Post by Ivan0716 » October 25th, 2018, 10:51 pm

flaiky wrote:
October 25th, 2018, 9:00 pm
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I picked up on the greenhouses as a metaphor (or at least a clue into Ben's psyche), and definitely on Jongsu's extreme jealousy and resentment (some have said this was coupled with repressed homoerotic urges, but I don't buy that). Regarding the latter: it still didn't seem like he could actually commit murder....it feels like a step too far. I am probably thinking about it too realistically/literally, though, and should see it all as a wider commentary on working class rage.

I can believe the idea that Ben killed Haemi (Lee definitely wanted to paint him as a sociopath - there was also that conversation about him not being able to cry), but I also think it's possible to believe that he didn't, and the idea of Jongsu getting it wrong is more compelling to me. I actually quite like this element of the ambiguity; it's more that I want to know if Haemi was definitely dead or not. For most of the film I had a feeling that she was up to something - maybe a plan with Ben, or maybe alone. She was set up as such a mysterious, messed-up, untrustworthy character that I could definitely see her playing some kind of evil trick on Jongsu. Or she just consciously decided to disappear, or she killed herself....I felt that there were many different options and I did want some closure (even if it was her murdered body being discovered, without knowing for sure if it was Ben).

As for the cat: it was intentionally meant to be confusing, I'm sure. I don't think it was 100% Haemi's cat. I don't think Haemi 100% had a cat. But it was an effective way of making us viewers feel the same kind of madness and paranoia as Jongsu, I really liked it.

To be honest, all this really is fascinating and even my own issues sit more and more comfortably as I think about it. The film deals with its own questions in an amazing way. Is Ben really a psycho? Well, you could definitely read the scenes that way, but remove the film's paranoia (which we inevitably inherit by seeing everything through Jongsu) and maybe he's a normal guy who just yawns, doesn't get emotional easily, and finds it fun to wind up his dorky friend by pretending that he commits crimes. If that's the case, well then, fuck, he's dead and Jongsu is a murderer for nothing. Was Haemi even killed? That's the assumption but as I said, she was strange and unhappy enough that it's impossible to know for sure. And perhaps never knowing, and having her disappearing into the ether, is perfect for her character...Almost everything in the film can be seen two ways IMO and remain uncertain, and that's actually really difficult to pull off and keeps the film lingering long after its finished. Such mystery and tragedy. It's incredibly clever.
Eek, actually really feeling the urge for a rewatch. I might bump this one up to full marks.
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To be honest I'm not too bothered about what actually happened to Haemi, I'm more interested in the aftermath. There are definitely alternative explanations for her disappearance, such as her being simply pissed the fuck off at Jongsu - the only person she trusts, according to Ben - for calling her a whore, and Ben was happy to oblige her. I did feel there were enough evidence against Ben to make me believe he killed Haemi, but I think I had made up my mind on that quite early on and like you said, seeing the film from Jongsu's perpective leaves plenty of room for doubts, especially if we see Haemi's "murder" as a justification for killing Ben rather than a motivation. What convinced me was Ben's non-reaction to Jongsu's behaviour in the second half, I think any normal person would be crept the hell out if some guy he's barely acquainted with starts following him everywhere...no way in hell I'd be inviting him into my house! Maybe he's curious and thinks it would be interesting to study Jongsu's emotional reaction to Haemi's disappearance because he himself is unable to experience anything like it? Of course, there's his "trophy cabinet" as well, but that felt so damn obvious that it worked in the other direction and made me want to seek explanations for Ben's innocence.

Oh I don't believe it was Haemi's cat, and even if it was, its presence can be easily explained. My confusion with the scene is with the way that Jongsu seemingly came to the conclusion about Haemi's fate based on what the cat did (cats are weird!), but maybe for him it was just that last piece he needed to make his theories click.

I just remembered whole thing with the well, don't remember the details but it seemed to have gone on for quite a bit and I'm sure there's something in that, at least metaphorically. I need to watch it again as well. It's available online, but I still want to catch it on the big screen at some point, and sitting on all this information for a couple of months will definitely make the experience more worthwhile. For now I'm casting my vote for Team Jongsu. :party:

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#1718

Post by blocho » October 25th, 2018, 11:07 pm

City of Hope (1991)

So fucking good. I think I'm the biggest John Sayles partisan in these parts. This is classic Sayles, and as always, criminally underappreciated. His movies have a familiar formula: a group of characters who form a community through a series of interconnecting relationships, all of them very realistically written with authentic dialogue and good acting. And their interactions helps to reveal something about society or humanity or both.

Sayles' communities are all over the place, a small city in the Texas borderlands, a small town in Alaska, a college town. Here he has a northeastern city. It feels like Newark or Albany or something. I love the little details. For example, in a totally forgettable scene, we see a teacher in a school. Her brother knocks on her classroom door. What does she do? She abandons her class and spends several minutes talking to him. As she leaves, she tells the class to continue to mindlessly sing patriotic anthems. The human interaction between the siblings becomes foreground to the systemic dysfunction in society.

This is available on amazon prime.

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#1719

Post by Old Aussie » October 26th, 2018, 1:08 am

flaiky wrote:
October 24th, 2018, 8:29 pm
GruesomeTwosome wrote:
October 24th, 2018, 7:18 pm
@ flaiky: That's really cool about Jane Fonda! Unfortunately I'm unable to see any of those pics you posted :(
Heh thanks, and thanks Max. It was too exciting not to ramble about to anyone I could, including here. These are the 3 pics together in a link (ooh wow, actually it autogenerates an album and lets you click through....now I'm tempted to share 10 more but you get the gist):
Can you believe that woman is nearly 81? I swear she has more energy and better posture than most 30 year olds (and yes, I include myself in that :$ )
Dear flaiky,
I am totally jealous. She's been my favourite actress since the early 70s. Not surprised she was funny - of all the great dramatic actresses, she is one of the few who is equally adept at comedy. A legend.

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#1720

Post by outdoorcats » October 26th, 2018, 4:47 am

@flaiky, Ivan (btw I see you with the Burning screenshot as your new avatar!) - Spoilers for Burning:
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There's no question that Ben is a psychopath. Even if you take everything he says at face value (for instance, he really is burning greenhouses and not murdering people he thinks are useless) he is a textbook psychopath. The question and the ambiguity is whether he's a violent psychopath and a serial killer. Or, more importantly, the question is, did he kill Haemi? Or did Haemi disappear on her own? Or did Haemi and Ben work together to mess with Jongsu? I don't think there's one correct answer; I think the point of the film is the ambiguity, which it sums up in the beginning of the film where Haemi discusses miming and what it means to her (which also eerily foreshadows her disappearance the the ambiguity of whether she's "there" - alive - or not there, and whether Jongsu can will her in or out of existence by whether he believes she's there). Then you have many questions throughout the film with no answer, which it purposefully balances out with evidence for both sides. Was there a cat named Boil, or not? Did Jongsu call Haemi ugly when they were children? Did Haemi fall into a well as a child, and is there even a well near her property? When Jongsu finds the watch in Ben's bathroom, is it one of his serial killer trophies, or proof Haemi is secretly living there? These are very Murakami-esque existential questions.

That said, the film is also filled with allusions to William Faulkner's short story "Barn Burning," which might tip the meaning of the film into Jongsu's murder of Ben not being justified. First of all, if you haven't, I highly suggest looking up Barn Burning online and reading it, as it's both arguably one of the best short stories of all time, and it helps clarify a lot of the film. But for those of you who want the cliffnotes, Barn Burning concerns a young child whose abusive, white trash father burns the barns of rich plantation owners out of pure class loathing.
-Jongsu's favorite writer is William Faulkner, and Ben is later seen reading Faulkner's short story collection
-The obvious barn/greenhouse burning connection
-Jongsu's father described as someone who terrified him and consumed by outbursts of rage. A scene of Jongsu watching his hearing from the back recalls the beginning of "Barn Burning"
-The themes of class rage and resentment carry over from the Faulkner story. Ben exploits both Haemi and Jongsu for his own amusement. Jongsu both hates him and is fascinated by him.
-If we're to see this story as principally about class resentment, and Jongsu is both the son and the father of "Barn Burning," then perhaps all the always-slightly-ambiguous "clues" that Ben murdered Haemi are merely his jealousy manifested into paranoia.

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MATT: That's the guy I was telling you about.

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