Author Topic: Phoenix  (Read 12231 times)

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samsong

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2016, 01:55:51 AM »
+1
i personally know absolutely nothing about german divorce law in the 40s, but understand divorce in narrative fiction to carry significant emotional and moral weight, especially if it isn't mutual.  an  abject declaration of the loss of love.  so in that sense i don't have a problem at all simply going with it when divorce papers are offered as evidence of betrayal.  lene also fucking killed herself in revealing it so that casts out any doubt i have that it isn't damning evidence.

as for it not really clicking with johnny's scheme, he's an incredibly selfish character living in postwar destitution, so that idea of it being hairbrained isn't tough to buy.  either that or he's counting on the miracle of her being alive to skirt the issue of legality, hence the intense vetting process to make her as convincing as possible.  and if that is the case, my ignorance of german divorce law also applies to my knowledge of their judicial system at large. 

i don't think it's the goatse-level plot hole it's being made to be, but even if it is... who cares.  i get that getting hung up on a detail like that can tarnish the experience a bit, but to quote hitchock, "it's only a movie."  i can't for the life of me think of a single movie in existence that doesn't have something about it that someone can find narratively objectionable or consider a plot hole.  i was too caught up in being moved and impressed to let potential plot weaknesses get in the way, especially because it doesn't miss a beat emotionally.  and anything that gets me to that ending and to have it stick the way it does, i'm not trying to poke holes in. 

jenkins

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2016, 11:55:50 AM »
0
see i was caught up in "i'm only human"
Every perspective is an act of creation.

seth

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2016, 11:08:14 AM »
+1
Yes, we all have different minds that work in different ways.
Samsong, I respect the fact that, the way you mind works, if the movie is riveting and irresistible to the end, you don't get caught up in details that don't follow. I just seem to have one of those minds that question obvious gaps in logic, even as I'm being entertained by a great story and atmospheric movie.

This is especially true when the movie is being made by a highly-skilled director and team of writers. It's obvious, when watching "Phoenix," that Petzold and his crew are of above-average intelligence. You simply couldn't make a movie this amazing and not have tremendous smarts. That's where it galls for me, or where I don't buy any "It's just a movie" defense from the director. Because if you are obviously that smart, how could you not see this, care about it enough, and take the few extra minutes or hours with your crew to say, let's fix this, let's get it right, let's offer another piece of paper or another more plausible angle? It would not have been a big deal for smart people to change this before final cut. So I can only see it as lazy.

samsong

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2016, 03:00:41 AM »
0
i'm not giving it a pass, because i don't really think it's a plot hole or a fault in logic.  i can see where your view of it goes in the direction that it does but i think i offered an alternative view on the matter that's just as valid, if not just as purely speculative.  your take on the the issue of divorce and it negating his motive is contingent on things unfolding in a certain way after what's being shown in the film.  so if it's a matter of using your imagination to fill in gaps in such a way that renders the thing "illogical, and therefore wrong/lazy", why not use your imagination to fill in the gaps so that it fits?  either way it takes the same amount of thinking outside of what's presented in the film to go in one direction or the other. 

i honestly never really thought of any of this when i saw the film and i'm addressing all of this not having seen it for several months, because i think everything that goes down in the movie is true to its characters.  it wasn't like i was watching the movie and thought to myself, "oh man, divorce?!  that really doesn't make any sense, but it's just a movie so whatever."  hence my chiming in in the first place, because i don't think it's a big deal and i don't think you have as strong a case against the movie's supposed laziness as you think you do.  at the end of the day though i doubt either of us is going to convince the other of anything so this is the last i have to say about any of it. 

samsong

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2016, 03:32:43 AM »
0
alright i lied.  last thing.  started going through the film again on netflix and there's a scene early on where we first see johnny being chased out of the records office.  when lene goes through the files that were left on the floor she finds the writ of divorce.  pretty clear implication to me that he's there to retrieve that document and that, in retrospect, it has something to do with claiming the inheritance.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

wilder, your girl didn't deserve to get slapped.  if anything she's more beautiful now than she was then.  and criterion's cover for this is one of their best, ever.

pete

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2016, 12:55:59 PM »
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wait - I thought inheritance can and do go to ex's?
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
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Axolotl

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #36 on: May 09, 2016, 05:54:10 PM »
+1
I get your point Alexandro but as I saw it it wasn't about failing to recognize your wife, it's about refusing to recognize her because the implications of her being alive and there were too major for him to compute and entertain.

Alexandro

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2016, 10:03:00 AM »
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I don't really remember at this point, so I can't be sure, but I don't think I ever felt this ambivalence on Johnny's part. The idea of refusing to recognise her would demand that we sense some kind of doubt, or at least a certain uncomfortability from him, particularly as she becomes more and more open with him and more like herself when with him. But I don't think that happens in the movie because he seems completely oblivious and fully engaged in the money and the scam up until the very end. In fact now that you mention it, I feel is one opportunity missed from the film.

I don't know. The only other two films I remember now that deal with face reconstruction are Face/Off and The Face of Another, and I had no problems buying any of the intrigues and insanely illogical things that happened there.

Axolotl

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Re: Phoenix
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2016, 08:31:17 PM »
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Understandable and I get that would require a certain amount of buying into it but I didn't have a problem with that. To be honest I wouldn't even mind if we were supposed to think Johnny was oblivious to it on a subconscious level too. All it had to do for me was make emotional sense.

 

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