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Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen AKA The Forest for the Trees (2003) FotW #375

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joachimt
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Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen AKA The Forest for the Trees (2003) FotW #375

#1

Post by joachimt »

Film of the Week #375: Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen AKA The Forest for the Trees (2003)

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Summary:
As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.

#520 on 1000<400, with 160 checks.
Nominated by 72aicm and Melvelet.
On IMDb
On iCM

From the 500<400 results
#520(⇧949, #1469) Der Wald vor lauter Bäumen (2003)
[The Forest for the Trees]

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Directed by: Maren Ade
(289.49 Pts, 6 Votes) , Top 1–10–50: 0–0–3
History: 52014691120111115363111NA←NA
ICheckMovies: 155 Checks , 14 Favourites , 0 Official lists
List of Voters:
ckfilm88 (12)
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This movie fits the current Directed by Women Challenge.
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#2

Post by joachimt »

joachimt wrote: March 7th, 2021, 4:44 pm Summary:
As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.
A plot summary like this really lowers my expectations.
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#3

Post by sortile9io »

joachimt wrote: March 7th, 2021, 4:46 pm
joachimt wrote: March 7th, 2021, 4:44 pm Summary:
As an awkward idealistic high school teacher begins her first job in the city, things turn out to be much tougher than she had imagined.
A plot summary like this really lowers my expectations.
And the cover on iCM lowers them even more.
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#4

Post by joachimt »

Hard to form an opinion about this. The movie succeeded in making me feel really awkward. In Dutch it's called "plaatsvervangende schaamte", which translates to "vicarious shame". Is that how you call it in English.

But I'm still not sure if the movie set out to do that or to make me feel sorry for her and raise attention to people like her in the real world and how they are treated, or better said ignored by the rest of society.

Anyway, in either case, I didn't really enjoy it, because I don't enjoy feeling "plaatsvervangende schaamte", which is a pretty normal human reaction, I guess.

Another problem I had with this movie was the choice to make this character a teacher. Come on, it's the most easy profession to put this type of person in so you can make fun of her. It's such a cliché. Lame person? Let's make her a teacher! Because all teachers are lame by default and if one is even worse, those little brats will make their life hell and we can have sun really awkward scenes from that. Seriously, I have seen a lot of bad teachers in my life, but this was just too much. No way would a person like this get a job as a teacher, even in times of shortage.
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#5

Post by beavis »

joachimt wrote: March 12th, 2021, 6:30 pm Hard to form an opinion about this. The movie succeeded in making me feel really awkward. In Dutch it's called "plaatsvervangende schaamte", which translates to "vicarious shame". Is that how you call it in English.
I think in English the word "cringe" is mostly used for this feeling
And I do agree with you on the fact that both her conduct in class (and the conduct of her colleagues also btw... to some extent) takes away "some reality points"...
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#6

Post by Torgo »

beavis wrote: March 12th, 2021, 7:28 pm
joachimt wrote: March 12th, 2021, 6:30 pm making me feel really awkward. In Dutch it's called "plaatsvervangende schaamte", which translates to "vicarious shame". Is that how you call it in English.
I think in English the word "cringe" is mostly used for this feeling
Interesting one. Joachim's translation seems to be a bit off, apparently there's "vicarious embarrassment" (according to the Wiktionary). The German word Fremdscham (which should be the same) is curious, I've never encountered it before the rise of Web 2.0 in the late 2000s and it became part of the most important German dictionary just by 2009/2010. I'd like to know if this vocable also is rather new to the Dutch or English language?
The thing is, we had an almost identical idiom in the German language before: sich für jemanden schämen instead of fremdschämen ("to feel embarrassed for someone" vs. actively "to extrinsic-embarrass", if you get my idea?). The old construction felt unsexier to the Millennial crowd, I guess.

Cringe is very interesting. I'd say it's closely related to the whole complex of "awkward" and "general embarrassment", but I associate it with internet culture and interpret it to be even more mocking. When something is cringe, it makes you not only slightly uncomfortable, but gives you an almost physical shuddering because of how embarrassing or just bad (!) it is. Hard to explain for a non-native speaker.


Anyway, I haven't seen the movie and gonna head out :turned:
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#7

Post by beavis »

Plaatsvervangend also means "in someone's place/stead" so similar to that original German concept... but it is not someting new, older generations might use it more often (newer generations might be inclined to use the English word cringe more, when they are not yet familiar with the proper Dutch for this concept/feeling).
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#8

Post by Fergenaprido »

I've never heard of "vicarious shame" or "vicarious embarrassment" as terms, but the concept is easy enough to understand based on the literal translation. You sometimes hear "I feel so embarrassed for you/him/her", which to me is the same idea, but I don't think it's common enough to get a name. I've heard of the latter of the two synonyms that wiktionary lists, though: "empathic embarrassment & secondhand embarrassment".

If a term did come into common usage, my guess is we'd probably borrow the German phrase again, like we did with Schadenfreude. Fremdscham (friend shame?) sounds cool. Maybe it's time to make it a thing, since fetch didn't happen. :P
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#9

Post by Torgo »

Fergenaprido wrote: March 14th, 2021, 3:29 am Fremdscham (friend shame?) sounds cool.
Hehe, close enough. Freund would mean friend (Germans have to beware that fiend is spelled so similar but means enemy - linguists would speak of false friends (ha!))
When a person is fremd it can mean someone is a stranger - such as in Die Frau und der Fremde (official check!); someone who is unknown, unacquainted. The meaning here though is something is fremd, so it takes place outside of one's self - just the opposite of where we would usually actively be ashamed [or embarassed] (=schämen).

Well.
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