XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Martin Scorsese => Topic started by: MacGuffin on October 23, 2007, 12:14:30 AM

Title: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on October 23, 2007, 12:14:30 AM
Scorsese, DiCaprio team for 'Island'
Paramount, Columbia to co-produce film
Source: Variety
 
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio will reteam early next year on "Shutter Island," a Laeta Kalogridis-scripted adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel.

Pic is coming together quickly as a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures, with production starting in March. Paramount will supervise production and distribute domestically while Columbia is looking to distribute internationally.

The project will be a co-production between Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia and DiCaprio's Appian Way banners. Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese will produce. Lehane, Kalogridis and Louis Phillips will be exec producers.

Drama is set in 1954, with DiCaprio in final talks to play U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, who is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island.

Scouting will begin shortly on the film, which most likely will shoot in Massachusetts, Connecticut or Nova Scotia.

Lehane's novel "Mystic River" was turned into a film by Clint Eastwood, and his "Gone Baby Gone" is the basis for the Ben Affleck-directed drama that opened this past weekend.

"Shutter Island" was originally optioned in 2003 by Columbia. The option lapsed and Lehane's Gersh reps resold it to Phoenix Pictures. The producer enlisted Kalogridis, the "Alexander" scribe who also wrote "Battle Angel" and "The Dive" for James Cameron. Phoenix and Kalogridis developed "Shutter Island" for about a year.

Scorsese and DiCaprio, who've now worked together on three films, were looking at several projects to do early next year, including an adaptation of "The Wolf of Wall Street." The "Shutter Island" script quickly drew both director and star, and a deal is expected to fall into place quickly.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 23, 2007, 04:51:13 PM
I didn't like this yesterday and I dislike it even more today. I figured Scorsese would align himself to a project pre-strike since he was the only major filmmaker who didn't have one ready and waiting to go. I understand he will never make the films I want him to make, but he had better projects on the table than this one. This project just looks like the only one not tied in legal battles.

Maybe the premise doesn't do the story justice, but no part of it sounds intriguing. It's another historical film for Scorsese, but it looks like it will be his first to have no resonance to any part of history or world culture (considering his adaptation of The Age of Innocence). The descriptions paints the picture of a mystery or action film only. I really do hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on October 25, 2007, 03:47:39 PM
I love Scorsese and all but this is a letdown. He should shake it a little bit by making Silence for 30 million instead of his im sure planned 90 million and leave alone all these projects anyone else could make with no problem.

I mean I know he can make it great and get a bunch of terrific performances from anyone. But it's time for a personal film.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on November 27, 2007, 01:51:42 AM
'Island' life calls Ruffalo
Source: Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK -- Mark Ruffalo will star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's drama "Shutter Island" for Paramount and Columbia.

In Laeta Kalogridis' adaptation of Dennis Lehane's 2004 novel, Ruffalo will play U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule, who travels with his new partner (DiCaprio) to the eponymous Massachusetts island in 1954. As they investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane, they encounter a web of lies, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Ruffalo has all but signed a final contract for the film, set to begin shooting in March. It will be produced by Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia Prods. and DiCaprio's Appian Way. Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese will serve as producers. Lehane, Kalogridis and Louis Phillips will executive produce.

Paramount will supervise production and handle North American distribution. Columbia is set to handle international distribution.

"Island" is the latest prestige project for Ruffalo ("Zodiac"), who next will be seen in Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness" for Miramax and Rian Johnson's "The Brothers Bloom" for Summit Entertainment.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on December 03, 2007, 11:03:32 PM
Kingsley catches 'Shutter' bug
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Ben Kingsley looks to have caught a case of island fever.

He has joined Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Martin Scorsese's drama "Shutter Island" for Paramount.

The film, adapted by Laeta Kalogridis from Dennis Lehane's 2004 novel, centers on a U.S. marshal (Ruffalo) who along with his new partner (DiCaprio) travels to a Massachusetts island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane. During their inquiry, the two encounter a web of deceit, experience a hurricane and become involved in a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Kingsley will play Dr. Cawley, the hospital's enigmatic chief physician who must reluctantly play host to the two U.S. marshals.

Shooting is set to begin in March, with the film being produced by Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia Prods. and DiCaprio's Appian Way. Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fishcher and Scorsese will serve as producers with Kalogridis, Lehane and Louis Phillips executive producing.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on December 06, 2007, 06:50:02 PM
Michelle Williams joins 'Island'
Actress added to Scorsese-directed drama
Source: Variety
 
Michelle Williams is poised to join "Shutter Island," playing the wife of U.S. marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the Martin Scorsese-directed drama for Paramount Pictures.

Williams is in talks to join DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley in the adaptation of the bestselling novel by Dennis Lehane. Laeta Kalogridis wrote the script, and Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese will produce.

The drama revolves around the trip made by Daniels to a remote New England island in 1954 to figure out how a multiple murderess escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane. He is grieving over the recent death of his wife, who was killed in a fire by one of the inhabitants of the facility.

Williams just opened in the ensemble of the Todd Haynes-directed Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There." She will next be seen starring with Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman in the Marcel Langenegger-directed drama "The Tourist" and the Charlie Kaufman-directed "Synedoche, N.Y."

She will juggle the role in "Shutter Island" with another in Lukas Moodysson's currently shooting pic "Mammoth," in which she stars with Gael Garcia Bernal.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: theyarelegion on January 25, 2008, 08:24:32 PM
Title has been changed to "Ashecliffe".

http://imdb.com/title/tt1130884/
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on February 26, 2008, 12:42:00 AM
Trio of stars in for 'Shutter'
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Max von Sydow, Emily Mortimer and Jackie Earle Haley have joined the cast of Martin Scorsese's mystery drama "Shutter Island" for Paramount.

The three join Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams and Patricia Clarkson in the film, which was adapted by Laeta Kalogridis from Dennis Lehane's 2004 novel.

The story revolves around two U.S. marshals (DiCaprio and Ruffalo) who travel to a Massachusetts island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane. Chaos ensues for the two as they encounter a web of deceit, a hurricane and a deadly inmate riot that leaves them trapped on the island.

Von Sydow will play one of the hospital's physicians, while Mortimer will play Rachel, an escaped hospital patient. Haley will play an inmate.

The film is being produced by Phoenix Pictures, Scorsese's Sikelia Prods. and DiCaprio's Appian Way with Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Scorsese serving as producers. Kalogridis, Lehane and Louis Phillips are executive producing.

With production set to begin March 6, the project was just sold by Paramount Vantage to several major European territories including Germany (TeleMunchen) and Italy (Medusa). TeleMunchen picked up "Shutter's" distribution rights for $12 million while Medusa paid $10 million.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on February 26, 2008, 05:35:15 PM
that's a fucking cool cast.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on April 08, 2008, 12:37:55 AM
Patricia Clarkson Opens Up On Scorsese’s ‘Ashecliffe.’ Well, Sort Of.
Source: MTV

Patricia Clarkson’s role in the upcoming Martin Scorsese picture “Ashecliffe” (formerly “Shutter Island”) is epic, it’s life-changing, it’s a tour de force. And, oh yeah, it’s a complete mystery.

“I don’t want people to know who I’m playing,” the talented actress teased us when we recently caught up with her. “It’s a great character and it’s very exciting. It’s a challenging role and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’ve had a very long talk with [Martin] about it,” the actress added when we pressed her for more details.

An adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel, “Shutter Island” follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) as he investigates the escape of a murderess from a hospital for the criminally insane.

Alongside Mark Ruffalo as Chuck Aule and Ben Kingsley as Dr. John Cawley, IMDB has Clarkson listed as playing Nurse Marino. But that can’t possibly be right given how jazzed Clarkson seemed for the role - can it? After all, Marino is a small part.

Full disclosure, I haven’t read the book (although I did just read the last five pages on Google Books. SNAP!) Maybe somebody who has can make heads or tails of what Clarkson said of her conversations with Scorsese:

“We discussed how she is emotionally and physically challenged. She’s been through a lot,” Clarkson said of her mystery character. “There’s twists and turns and surprises with this character and I think that she has a lot at stake. She’s a very intelligent woman but she’s very compromised when you meet her.”
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: JG on June 17, 2008, 06:21:25 PM
they are shooting the climax of this movie right up the street as we speak. its funny how massachusetts has become the new place for big time movies. lots of pretty locations where i live. dad says sunsets just aren't like that anywhere else.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: for petes sake on June 17, 2008, 06:30:20 PM
they are shooting the climax of this movie right up the street as we speak. its funny how massachusetts has become the new place for big time movies. lots of pretty locations where i live. dad says sunsets just aren't like that anywhere else.

Where are you from in Massachusetts?  I'm from the South Shore but one of my friends from school lives in Nahant which I've heard is where they're shooting this.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: JG on June 18, 2008, 10:29:15 AM
nahant is where, which is a strange coincidence cos nahant is super small so i bet i know (of) your friend.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on September 24, 2008, 12:16:03 AM
Mark Ruffalo Promises ‘Ashecliffe’ Will Rank Among Martin Scorsese’s Best
Source: MTV

Saying that a man who directed “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “The Departed,” and many more has helmed some great films isn’t exactly stepping out onto a ledge. Saying that that very same man’s best work is in front of him? Now we’re talking!

Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” (or “Ashecliffe,” we’re not exactly sure) is shaping up to be one of the famed director’s best, co-star Mark Ruffalo said.

“It is Martin Scorsese’s playground with this movie. He gets to do everything he loves about film,” Ruffalo insisted. “He does noir, fantasy sequences, dream sequences, madness, suspense, tough urban stuff. It’s absolute madness and twist upon twist. This could be one of his great films.”

The film, based on a book by “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” author Dennis Lehane follows two US Marshalls (Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio) and their investigation into the disappearance of a mental patient from a Massachusetts asylum.

Anybody who has read the book, however, (as I have since my last article about the film, when I was unable to figure out which role Patricia Clarkson would play) could tell you that the film is about so much more than the basic plotline sketches at. Ruffalo, like me, would rather some of that remain a mystery, the actor only going so far as to say that it’s “so much bigger.”

So what does Ruffalo call the recent Oscar winner on set?

“You sort of go Mr. Scorsese, Mr. Scorsese, Mr. Scorsese,” the thesp laughed, “but at some point after day 60, you’re like ‘hey Marty!’”

And what does he say? Please and thank-you, that’s what.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: modage on April 22, 2009, 09:51:22 AM
(http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb52/The_Playlist/ashecliffeempire.jpg)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on June 10, 2009, 08:24:54 PM
(http://images.apple.com/moviesxml/s/paramount/posters/shutterisland_l200906101534.jpg)


Trailer here. (http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/shutterisland/)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: modage on June 10, 2009, 08:31:09 PM
Leo needs to quit it with the accents.  Mark looks like Dick Tracy.  Marty is going WAY genre here.  I hope this is not one of those movies with the Fight Club twist.  You know the ones.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Stefen on June 10, 2009, 08:33:52 PM
I have a feeling this is a lot better than that trailer suggests. Judging by the trailer it looks like just your average run of the mill suspense film but I trust Marty.

Is it just me or does Leonardo kind of suck now? He used to be the bomb but I feel like he gets by more on reputation than on skill these days. The roles he's picking don't suit him very well. I still can't take him seriously as an adult.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on June 10, 2009, 08:35:54 PM
I also think this will be a lot better than the trailer. I thought the same about Leo before The Aviator but he was amazing, so I think he can pull off anything.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Stefen on June 10, 2009, 08:59:21 PM
He just always looks like he's so angry all the time.

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: cinemanarchist on June 10, 2009, 09:45:56 PM
Oh, I hope the island isn't entirely in his mind. Looks visually appealing but I too have problems with Leo playing an adult. I've only really been sold on him as a grown-up in Revolutionary Road.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: SiliasRuby on June 10, 2009, 10:30:25 PM
Picky, picky, I trust marty and you guys do to....yall are fucking buzz kills.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on June 11, 2009, 03:56:38 AM
It looks a lot better than it read on paper. The psychological thriller is much more than an age old genre, it's one of the better founding genres in cinema. Everything from the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to Woman in the Dunes showed that the genre is one of the breeding grounds for new styles and cinematic touches. I doubt Scorsese will be breaking ground the way those two films did, but this project has more potential than his last 5 films had. I liked the quality of every shot and the variety of style in the trailer. It suggests Scorsese is going to be on his compositional toes with this film. Every project he's attached to these days sounds like a variation of every other "rise and fall biography" film he's ever done so this will at least be something different. It could still suck, but I'm a lot more interested than I was yesterday.

Also, this doesn't look like the Departed. Scorsese isn't going to have to force feed his style into a muddled story that is going every way and has a million different identites. It seems tailor made for a film style the same way Cape Fear was. Scorsese should be at home here.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: hedwig on June 11, 2009, 07:01:55 AM
give me Silence or give me death.
(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ©brad on June 11, 2009, 08:38:44 AM
Well I liked it.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Fernando on June 11, 2009, 09:48:53 AM
I did too, although I feel the trailer as many do these days showed way too much, 5 min. ago I didn't know anything about it and now im already making theories (maybe that was the point  :yabbse-undecided:)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on June 11, 2009, 01:18:30 PM
I thought the same about Leo before The Aviator but he was amazing, so I think he can pull off anything.

Everything after Howard Hughes's plane crash is when I felt I saw Leo grow up.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: cine on June 11, 2009, 05:22:28 PM
so its like The Shining. okay.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Bethie on June 13, 2009, 02:30:51 AM
this is scary :shock:
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ©brad on June 13, 2009, 02:48:54 PM
this is scary :shock:

In like, a good way? Or a what the fuck has Marty been smoking way?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Bethie on June 14, 2009, 02:21:59 AM
this is scary :shock:

In like, a good way? Or a what the fuck has Marty been smoking way?

the latter
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on June 14, 2009, 11:27:10 AM
i saw it without sound cause i don't want spoilers. could be either fantastic or a big bomb. being scorsese it will probably be great and will go to pretty crazy places. he seems to be making his own version of shock corridor here...
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gamblour. on June 14, 2009, 06:56:58 PM
Oh, I thought this trailer looked awesome. I have the book sitting here, but I don't want to read it because I've had bad luck with watching adapted films that I've read the book prior. Anyway, this looks very Cape Fearish in terms of him delving into genre, and I think it'll be just fine.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on July 22, 2009, 03:52:59 PM
(http://shocktillyoudrop.com/nextraimages/shutterislandposter.jpg)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Fernando on July 22, 2009, 04:21:27 PM
^^ that poster is a good contender for what ravi said in the giant fucking face thread.

(http://image.allmusic.com/00/adg/cov200/drt500/t508/t50833rivj7.jpg)

Giantest head ever?  His head alone is 3x as big as the city.

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on July 23, 2009, 05:26:29 PM
bad poster and generic tagline...

"someone is missing"?

im pretty sure the film is way more interesting than what that poster suggest...
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 12, 2009, 02:23:06 AM
bad poster and generic tagline...

"someone is missing"?

im pretty sure the film is way more interesting than what that poster suggest...

i would hope, unless it's another paycheque movie like cape fear... which rocked, but at the expense of shindler's list
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: I Love a Magician on August 12, 2009, 10:47:57 AM
god cape fear is just awesome
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on August 12, 2009, 11:23:10 AM
why at the expense? schindler's list came out pretty good. have you seen it lately?
and cape fear indeed rocked. it is easily one of the best most entertaining "thrillers" around.

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 12, 2009, 06:38:02 PM
why at the expense? Schindler's list came out pretty good. have you seen it lately?
and cape fear indeed rocked. it is easily one of the best most entertaining "thrillers" around.



right it came out fucking amazing, no argument here. 

i meant at the expensive of making a masterpiece, he made a balls solid thriller.  look I'm not saying he'd even do a better job then Spielberg.  i am saying both films are amazing. yet, i would think that making Schindler's list would have been more of dream project.  it has been widely discussed in various books/interviews that Scorsese and Spielberg switched projects because A. it was a fatter paycheque (something Marty wasn't used to, and a carrot held by Stephen) and B. Spielberg used the him being Jewish card on Marty, a film about "his people". 

at the end of the day i would feel proud as film maker with either of these amazing films, but Schindler will be remembered and written about in film history books.  also, it's a movie you can write home about, mom would be proud... less so proud about a crazed killer movie.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on August 12, 2009, 07:02:24 PM
We'll never know about Schindler's List by Martin Scorsese...didn't Spielberg offered Schindler to a bunch of people before deciding to do it himself, Roman Polanski among them???

Cape Fear is probably way better because of Scorsese's involvement. Just two examples that I remember now of changes he made to what Spielberg had in mind are the trnasformation of the family from the usual Spielberg happy suburban family to the trainwreck of the final film, and making the scene between De Niro and Lewis a verbal confrontation instead of an action chase sequence.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on August 12, 2009, 07:27:11 PM
If Scorsese had done Schindler's, Kubrick might still have gone through with Wartime Lies, and then we wouldn't have had Eyes Wide Shut.  :ponder:
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 12, 2009, 08:44:44 PM
We'll never know about Schindler's List by Martin Scorsese...didn't Spielberg offered Schindler to a bunch of people before deciding to do it himself, Roman Polanski among them???

Cape Fear is probably way better because of Scorsese's involvement. Just two examples that I remember now of changes he made to what Spielberg had in mind are the trnasformation of the family from the usual Spielberg happy suburban family to the trainwreck of the final film, and making the scene between De Niro and Lewis a verbal confrontation instead of an action chase sequence.

agreed again.  i don't even want to see Schindler's list by Scorsese, and wasn't the intent of my post.  i was just trying to get in his head (if i may even be so bold) at the crossroads when he had to make that decision.  i wouldn't change history.  just like now, shutter does seem like a fun piece, and it shouldn't be anything but that... i think it has a great potential of being strong like cape fear... i was only trying to state the distinction that in the past it came at a cost; even if the correct call in the end.  I'm just being nerdy mentioning it, not criticizing :)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: modage on August 21, 2009, 01:24:51 PM
not looking good...

"Shutter Island" has now been bumped off its October 2nd release date and shuffled into the not-so-Oscar-worthy month of February. Ooof, no really, February 19, which means it'll go head-to-head with the " From Paris with Love" which makes it feel like the special Olympics of box-office weekends.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on August 21, 2009, 01:27:31 PM
WHAT?

That's terrible. For them to do that to both Scorsese and Di Caprio... the movie must suck.

Where did you read that?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on August 21, 2009, 04:18:31 PM
That's too bad.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on August 22, 2009, 12:38:49 AM
UPDATED: 'Shutter Island' shuttered until next year

UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM BRAD GREY

Paramount Pictures is pushing the release of director Martin Scorsese's highly anticipated "Shutter Island," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, from Oct. 3 to Feb. 19 of next year.

The move means that the gothic thriller won't be in Oscar contention for this year. Paramount has spent heavily already marketing its summer movie hits "Star Trek," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and didn't want to shell out another $100 million on advertising and prints this year, especially when it has two other releases -- "The Lovely Bones" and "Up in the Air" -- that it will also be pushing for Oscar consideration. The best picture category for the Oscars has been expanded to 10 starting next year, but apparently Paramount needs one that goes to 11.

Still, the decision is not without risk. Scorsese was told earlier this week that this was being considered and if it ends up backfiring on the studio, it could strain the director's relationship and deal with Paramount Pictures and its chairman, Brad Grey. The move was first reported by Deadline Hollywood Daily.

"Our 2009 slate was green-lit in a very different economic climate and as a result we must remain flexible and willing to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment," said Grey in a statement.

"Shutter Island" is an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel about two investigators who probe the escape of a female mental patient and get trapped on the island that houses the institution.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: New Feeling on August 22, 2009, 04:05:22 AM
Bummer
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gamblour. on August 22, 2009, 03:39:56 PM
FUCK. I was waiting to read this book after I saw the movie. Dammit, I was really looking forward to seeing this.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on August 25, 2009, 10:10:14 AM
when this played before IB i thought,

"Marty's doing a horror movie?"

but then i remembered he did Cape Fear - which i've never seen all of, just bits on TV.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on August 25, 2009, 10:25:05 AM
when this played before IB i thought,

"Marty's doing a horror movie?"

but then i remembered he did Cape Fear - which i've never seen all of, just bits on TV.

Scorsese also did a horror episode of Spielberg's tv show, Amazing Stories.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on August 25, 2009, 10:32:06 AM
when this played before IB i thought,

"Marty's doing a horror movie?"

but then i remembered he did Cape Fear - which i've never seen all of, just bits on TV.

Scorsese also did a horror episode of Spielberg's tv show, Amazing Stories.

Never heard of it. sounds interesting.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 25, 2009, 03:01:01 PM
ya it was one of the better ones, i think a bunch of good directors did them. toby hooper comes to mind among others.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Stefen on August 25, 2009, 03:29:45 PM
a bunch of good directors did them. toby hooper comes to mind

Oh, no.....
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 25, 2009, 09:42:55 PM
tobe*

hey he did some good shit, especially around that time
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Stefen on August 25, 2009, 09:46:27 PM
I don't think he's ever done anything that was good. Fun maybe, but not good.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: socketlevel on August 25, 2009, 10:11:30 PM
i didn't know those two qualities are mutually exclusive
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on October 05, 2009, 12:07:09 AM
New Trailer here. (http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/shutterisland/)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: brockly on November 15, 2009, 06:06:36 AM
P's contribution..

(http://i636.photobucket.com/albums/uu90/humblefox/shitterisland.jpg)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: children with angels on November 15, 2009, 06:59:20 AM
Hahaha... In terms of title/tagline at least, that may be the funniest so far...
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Pozer on November 15, 2009, 04:19:47 PM
i hope he sees this one. the right expression really makes these. 
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on February 04, 2010, 11:49:27 PM
Scorsese, DiCaprio and Lehane navigate 'Shutter Island's' rocky shoals
The director was challenged by the plot-driven story. The actor was emotionally drained. And the writer, well, he just feels lucky.
Source: Los Angeles Times

To many -- movie fans, film theorists and the dozens of young directors who've sought to emulate his two-fisted early style -- Martin Scorsese is the consummate American auteur. He's a filmmaker, that is, with a profound and distinctive personal vision and the clout and courage to put it on screen.

But when Scorsese, 67, was working to adapt a tightly constructed thriller by author Dennis Lehane -- a novel that pulls the rug out from under its premise several times -- the director was suddenly in a very un-auteur-like straitjacket. Not only did the book's twist-driven structure preclude reinterpretation or personal moments, "Shutter Island," which reaches theaters Feb. 19, sent him on an exhausting emotional journey as well.

"When I got to it I said, 'Oh, my, this has to be exactly right,' " a compact-and-dapper-looking Scorsese says of the film's hair-trigger plotting. And the actual filmmaking made him feel he was trapped inside a Hitchcock movie: "When I got to the shooting and editing of it," he says, "it was like being thrown down a spiral [staircase].

"I just don't know how to do it any other way," the director says, sitting in the bar at the Beverly Hills Hotel as torrential rains assault the city. "I tried to pull back a few times and not get so emotionally and psychologically involved. . . . But this story, these characters -- it was a very unsettling experience."

"Shutter Island" takes place off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1950s, in and around a hospital for the criminally insane run by an eccentric and possibly dangerous doctor (Ben Kingsley). The film begins with the arrival of Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who have been sent to investigate the disappearance of a homicidal patient. But before long, a hurricane begins closing in, putting everyone on the island in imminent danger.

"Shutter Island" (shot mostly in and around Boston Harbor, including Peddocks Island) may most closely resemble Scorsese's 1991 "Cape Fear" remake. Like that film, "Shutter" is also a singular piece of work featuring some spectacular performances, but one that could face some inherent commercial challenges. Ostensibly, it could be too sophisticated and complex for younger audiences and too intense and genre-driven for many of the adults who support cinema by serious directors.

Although "Shutter Island" might have seemed like a slam dunk -- bestselling novel by well-regarded author, the director's first feature since the four Oscars that greeted "The Departed," top-tier cast -- adapting it for the screen ended up being trickier than expected. And Scorsese wasn't the only one who found the production to be a particularly wrenching experience.

"There were moments on set where I definitely felt like we were going into uncharted territory," says DiCaprio, whose marshal is also a World War II veteran haunted by what he saw at Nazi concentration camps. "It was draining. It got to the point where it became more and more realistic the deeper it got -- swerving away from anything stylistic and becoming more about human nature."

And a late-inning schedule change by Paramount, pushing the film's opening date from Oscar-rich territory in October to the no-man's land of mid-February, has only made matters more complicated.

Seed of an idea

The project was born of nightmare -- literally.

Lehane, esteemed for his series of South-Boston based mysteries featuring detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, had just watched his novel "Mystic River" shoot up bestseller lists. The book had not yet been made into an Oscar-winning film by Clint Eastwood, but this story of bloody revenge in Irish Boston had already become his breakthrough novel.

"I was faced with the possibility of writing a certain kind of book," Lehane, 44, recalls by phone. "A blue-collar literary mystery. I didn't want to be writing 'Mystic River 2,' '3' and '4.' "

So while Lehane was walking on a Florida beach, he got the glimmer of a setting for his next novel.

"I'm loathe to tell this," Lehane says, laughing. "But I had this dream one night -- and it was the whole novel. There was some stuff that I wouldn't have come up with."

Lehane had not been partaking of the opiates that inspired certain English poets but credits stress and his mother's illness with producing his visions. He scrawled it down upon waking the next morning. "Once I got all the plot points down, I had to write it as fast as humanly possible."

The resulting novel was both a real departure for Lehane and a kitchen-sink of genres: anagrams that come from Poe, Brontës-style dark-and-stormy-night, B-movie psych-ward thriller, hard-boiled detective story, Golden Age "locked room" mystery, and a little Hitchcock to wash it all down.

"I was surprised, as I read the script, how it kept shifting from one genre to another," says Scorsese of the screenplay from Laeta Kalogridis, who also worked with James Cameron on "Avatar." "And how I was in total acceptance of those shifts. It didn't feel artificial."

The fact that the book's tight, house-of-cards storytelling allowed for no deviation didn't bother Scorsese -- except for one thing: "I'm not very strong on plot," he admits. "I prefer character and mood and atmosphere -- and music. I find it a little difficult to visualize, to make clear to an audience what's going on . . . which is not good for a director! I never really quite know the extent to which I'll be challenged to tell a story -- I never know until I'm there."

Ultimately, Scorsese looks to cinema's past for inspiration (see sidebar). For shots of the mental hospital, he thought of the trapped, claustrophobic spirit of "The Trial," Orson Welles' often overlooked 1962 adaptation of Kafka. He also had in mind Sam Fuller's "Shock Corridor," a classic of twisted pulp he knew he couldn't exactly emulate. "You can't beat 'Shock Corridor.' The super-low-budget added to the horror, the sense of tension, the sense that somebody behind the camera was unbalanced -- in a good way."

The director knew then that he had to play the story straight. An early script, Lehane says, written while the book was optioned by Columbia Pictures, took liberties with the plot. "It won't work -- I constructed the labyrinth in a very specific way. If you go down the wrong corridors you're never coming out."

Mutual admiration

"Shutter Island" marks the fourth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio -- perhaps the richest run with one actor the director has had since his eight films starring Robert De Niro.

Neither Scorsese nor DiCaprio calls their four films a challenge to those earlier movies -- including "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" -- that manage to be both genuinely disturbing and indomitable parts of film history: DiCaprio calls that union "the greatest collaboration of all time." And the director, who's known De Niro since he was 16 years old, says they share "the same fundamental references -- friendship, trust, obligation, betrayal, forgiveness, trust again."

But Scorsese and the "Titanic" star have been on a pretty good roll since 2002's "Gangs of New York." And appropriately, their connection goes back to De Niro himself.

"Bob had been talking to me about him," Scorsese says. De Niro had worked with the then-teenage actor in "This Boy's Life," adapted from Tobias Wolff's memoir, and told the director, " 'Here's a young actor you're gonna have to someday work with,' " Scorsese recalls.

DiCaprio had first seen Scorsese's films as a 15-year-old preparing to work with De Niro and was especially struck by "Taxi Driver."

"I just remember being so incredibly emotionally invested in Travis Bickle," he says. "His isolation, his loneliness, his contempt for his environment. I cringed when he took the girl to the porno film for their first date.

"What Scorsese does so well is when the lead character starts to betray you after a while: After you're with him, he starts to do things you don't understand."

And after working with him, DiCaprio got to see how the director's main focus is a character's "emotional journey."

For his part, Scorsese seems sincerely touched that a young actor would know his early films. And he always thought of DiCaprio as an actor, not a movie star.

"I saw 'Titanic,' " Scorsese says. "It's a different type of film, a wonderful audience experience of cinema, back to that very basic impulse. But I always remember his performance in 'This Boy's Life' and 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape.' I was cognizant of the popularity of 'Titanic,' but I didn't listen to or read or have anything to do with the mania."

Of course, "The movie star helped get the movies made, the way in the '70s De Niro helped get movies made," Scorsese says. That was especially important with the 2004 film "The Aviator," a big-budget spectacle starring DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, and it didn't hurt with "The Departed," which won Scorsese an Oscar.

Some will consider the actor's Boston accent in "Shutter Island" too pronounced (it's not dissimilar to the one he used in "The Departed"). But it's a strong performance by any measure and a difficult one because he's playing a character with a more complicated back story than he lets on.

"It's the one thing I thought of when they moved the date of the film," Lehane says of DiCaprio's role. "This would have been a horse race between him and Jeff Bridges at the Oscars. I remember feeling in the pit of my stomach, 'Oh, poor Leo.' "

Path to the screen

At the very least, "Shutter Island" is likely to garner strong (though probably not unanimous) reviews as well as special notices for its constellation of actors.

For Scorsese, it will be another departure in a career of departures, for DiCaprio another performance that reinforces his growing seriousness -- and for Lehane, the third adaptation that's led to a critically acclaimed film (besides "Mystic River," the Ben Affleck-directed "Gone Baby Gone," starring Casey Affleck, also ended up as a gripping neo-noir).

The author -- who seems somewhere between skeptic and pessimist on the workings of Hollywood -- is well aware of the good fortune he's had with adaptation. "I've been ridiculously lucky. It has nothing to do with me in the end. I've never written an original book in my life. 'Mystic River' is a Jimmy Cagney film updated," while the "Shutter Island" novel came from "The Manchurian Candidate," 19th century Gothic and a host of other sources. "I'm not exactly Mr. Originality."

Lehane credits the success of the three adaptations as "the auteur theory completely in play: a writer, a director and a locked script with no studio interference. You can't tell Clint Eastwood how to make his movie, even if you take his budget away. And with Martin Scorsese, what are you gonna say?"

No amount of clout by the director, though, was able to keep Paramount from moving the film's release from the fall to February. The official word from Paramount was that the initial scheduling had taken place during "a very different economic climate," bringing about a need "to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment."

The studio also may have worried that the film was simply too horrifying for Oscar voters. Which leads to an essential paradox about the film. Can a serious and sophisticated genre movie -- with supporting actors associated with Gandhi (Kingsley) and Bergman (Max von Sydow plays a doctor at the hospital), a subtext about psychiatric theory, and several especially gory sequences -- appeal to a wide audience? Only the box office knows for sure.

But when it comes to the new release date, even the star of what was until recently the highest-grossing movie in history knows that it's best to remain philosophical. "Some things," DiCaprio says with mock gravity, "are beyond our control. Just out of our hands."
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: samsong on February 19, 2010, 06:21:52 PM
mediocre as expected despite how much i wanted it to prove otherwise.  i'm not even going to address the awful screenplay or the flimsy psychology that fuels it.  speaking strictly in terms of scorsese, this is a tepid exercise in visual showmanship that's uneven as fuck.  no doubt that there are inspired, effective moments to be enjoyed, mostly in seeing scorsese indulging in genre and hollywood excess, and making references to his favorite films, but in no way does it come close to being greater than the sum of its very few great parts.  this is probably his most superficial film to date (without having seen kundun or bringing out the dead, both of which i'm led to believe are great) and while i'll take a scorsese misfire amongst all the early year fodder,  it's disheartening to find that not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days.

i was hoping for great performances to help carry the dead weight of the writing but that isn't the case.  di caprio  hams it up while ruffalo seems clueless.  ben kingsley does fine with an unworthy character.  max von sydow, jackie earle haley, and patricia clarkson turn in memorable single scenes each while elias koteas, one of my favorite actors, isn't even given a chance.  i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Captain of Industry on February 19, 2010, 06:41:34 PM
mediocre as expected despite how much i wanted it to prove otherwise.  i'm not even going to address the awful screenplay or the flimsy psychology that fuels it.  speaking strictly in terms of scorsese, this is a tepid exercise in visual showmanship that's uneven as fuck.  no doubt that there are inspired, effective moments to be enjoyed, mostly in seeing scorsese indulging in genre and hollywood excess, and making references to his favorite films, but in no way does it come close to being greater than the sum of its very few great parts.  this is probably his most superficial film to date (without having seen kundun or bringing out the dead, both of which i'm led to believe are great) and while i'll take a scorsese misfire amongst all the early year fodder,  it's disheartening to find that not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days.

i was hoping for great performances to help carry the dead weight of the writing but that isn't the case.  di caprio  hams it up while ruffalo seems clueless.  ben kingsley does fine with an unworthy character.  max von sydow, jackie earle haley, and patricia clarkson turn in memorable single scenes each while elias koteas, one of my favorite actors, isn't even given a chance.  i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

I agree with this post from the first sentence onward, omitting 'not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days' because Wild Grass is a terrific and fun movie.  Although that's another conversation there are definitely lessons of grace and levity which Scorsese could take from Resnais's film.  Shutter Island sags through most of its runtime.

Did you think we'd get to prove otherwise in the opening moments?  I did.  There are about a handful of strong moments of disquiet in the film, including some jarring edits, present at the beginning.  It's interesting that in a film which conjures only vague dread there can also be such specific bursts of visual intensity, my favorite being the basement's red door which drips with rain water and seems truly like a bleeding door.  The light tower scene had a bizarre fusion of dread/humor.  Also, the film's final moment touched me.

SPOILERS, probably.

Most disappointing for me is that it's a mystery film without any lingering mysteries.  The plot is pretty hermetic, and I just want more from Scorsese.  I thought he was headed towards analogies of modern culture, and although there's minor build up in that direction, any possible double-meaning is abruptly truncated when the story turns on its own path.  Motifs of self-fabricated identity and defensive illusions are more fun when not so literal.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Captain of Industry on February 19, 2010, 06:54:14 PM
i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) .... Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb

I didn't realize either.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: samsong on February 19, 2010, 07:08:42 PM
holy shit.  the voice!  should've known.
i haven't seen wild grass.  perturbed that it didn't get picked up; it never made its way out to l.a., at least not to my knowledge.  i've found resnais's recent output to be underwhelming.  wasn't a fan of not on the lips or private fears in public places
the opening did give me hope for the film but that was quickly dashed. 
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ©brad on February 19, 2010, 07:30:10 PM
Your criticisms are definitely valid. I have to say though overall I dug the ride. It was very unnerving. I have to give Marty some credit because I don't think I relaxed one bit throughout the whole film. And call me a simpleton but I did not see that ending coming. It felt like Scorsese's Shining, but obviously not as good.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on February 20, 2010, 12:35:57 AM
Yea, very disappointing film. The story is muddled and doesn't know what identity it wants to be. Two types of stories are at work and both are underdeveloped to be truly effective. On one hand, there is a classical psychology story where the audience gets to know and identify with Leo's backstory as an emotional cushion in collision with troubling, new story. The other story is a filmmaking journey through hallucinations, reality alterations and senses being blurred.

While both aspects can be blended together, what I think this film needed to do was decide which one it was going to highlight more. In the case of Leo's backstory, before the audience understands the full history of past deeds and anguishes, the film has already taken too many turns as far as plot is concerned. While we are trying to still understand who he is, we're also being told by the film to not trust anyone around him and instead put ourselves into his shoes and fully trust his perspective, yet I never was able to. Then when the film was fully destroying his credibility as a character, I was still feeling unconvinced about who he was.

The reason why I believe its important to establish a firm rapport with Leo's character is because to believe in the full entangling of his senses and psyche is to begin with an established idea of who he is. While Dr. Cabinet of Caligari is slim on characterization, the one reliable character set up is with the protaganist. He's the only fixed juxtaposition in a trip who through a world of wonders. When the carpet is pulled from under his shoes, it's a major reveal for the audience because the only thing the audience could understand was him so his insanity becomes ours because we have no conception of what is real and not. Shutter Island lacks the same entrapment because when it's starting to untangle his reality, it's still building his so called history. The film acts like it wants to build trust with him for the audience's sake, but it never fully does.

Then there is the visual journey. Scorsese announces the limits of his imagination by confining the major visual moments to hallucinations that feel different in small ways, but are consistently repetitive of the same imagery. It makes sense Leo's character would consistently hallucinate about a burning image in his memory, but Scorsese believes consistently showing the same imagery over and over again will suffice for being the whole of the character's sensory experience. It isn't until very late in the film does Scorsese start to adjust the standard sight lines of his composition and alter the visual reality. As expected, he mainly does this when the story picks up major tension in the story, but the better thing would have been to have created a more hallucinogenic reality from the get go where the production implants creepiness and disconnect from the beginning.

Scorsese stays too classical by trying to build up the idea of certain images on the island. Ward C, the lighthouse and the caves are considered forbidden and supposed to play into Leo's mind as treacherous places to enter, but Ward C is quickly shuffled away as terrifying when a storm allows Leo and Mark Ruffalo to skirt in with little disagreement from anyone. There is almost no heightening of the tone at all when they finally enter. It's all too casual. The caves are a minor reveal for one thing and the lighthouse is the major reveal, but the tension never fully mounts up to anything extraordinary at all. A decent movie memory allows anyone to feel underwhelmed because the story is playing with emotions and fears that are too age old to feel interesting on story principles.

Yet, I also feel Scorsese wanted a lot of the story to feel classical. He consistently mirrors the time period of the 1950s with styles and conventions that were popular then. A lot of the look, acting and story are hallmarks to a different generation, but then a lot of the imagery and visuals are modern updates that couldn't have been done back then. The lasting feeling is that Scorsese didn't devote himself to excelling on either point. He mixes and matches too much and stays away from indelible ideas or feelings.  

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 21, 2010, 01:02:39 PM
I really wanted to love this but I only liked it a lot. I know that's a weak description of how I felt but I am having trouble trying to muster that kind of enthusiasm for this picture. Disappointing and the score at many points took me out of it. There are many great performances but even those seem operatic and hammy. Scorsese was clearly going for a classical type b movie that could have been made in the mid 50's and in only that sense does it truly succeed. Maybe it'll grow on me by the time I get it on blu-ray 4 months from now.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Reinhold on February 21, 2010, 01:36:23 PM
... so you disliked it enough to know that you're going to buy it?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 21, 2010, 01:56:30 PM
... so you disliked it enough to know that you're going to buy it?
Well, yeah... Duh.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 22, 2010, 11:05:35 PM
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Captain of Industry on February 23, 2010, 12:14:17 AM
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?

You were laughing with Scorsese!  I loved that moment, even as I was also the only one in the theater who laughed.  How he flips up the light onto the chart, that killed me.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on February 23, 2010, 12:30:13 AM
**MINOR SPOILERS**


I don't blame Scorsese; I blame what he had to work with. I only question his reasons for wanting to do this picture, because all his film are more about characters, and this was a psychological thriller focused more on story. He does his best with the standard material because the picture looks beautiful and the scenes of flashback and dreams are the best parts of the film. However, after a quick paced opening, the film starts to drag and becomes a series of one scene after another of two people trapped in cramped quarters exchanging huge blocks of exposition. Not what we expect, or want, from Scorsese. I understand what he was going for in the score by relating to old thriller noirs, but at times it reminded me too much of the Jaws theme.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 23, 2010, 01:15:34 AM
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?

You were laughing with Scorsese!  I loved that moment, even as I was also the only one in the theater who laughed.  How he flips up the light onto the chart, that killed me.

I may as well give Scorcese credit for that.  Surely he wouldn't have done that as a nonjoke, but perhaps in the moment, since it was all part of the, let's face it, totally obvious twist, I guess that actually shines as hamming it up for the "NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND" element.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gamblour. on February 23, 2010, 07:15:48 AM
SPOILS

Hated this. Never really liked saying that about a Scorsese picture, but who does? A friend of mine says the book, which I still plan on reading, comes off more as Vertigo rather than, what I think of this as, a Fight Club. There's a difference between ambiguity and getting the rug pulled out from under you, and I think they played this completely wrong. I completely check out when they started explaining, well, everything. I no longer cared for any of the characters at all, because I just had two hours of my life wasted. It's just so cheap, saying that it wasn't real. Such an awful device. Obviously there are ways to do it well, but this wasn't it.

And I had been enjoying it so much until it became apparent there wasn't shit in that lighthouse. And yeah, I agree with Mac, I knew something was wrong when they got locked in that mausoleum and started talking about the story for like twenty minutes. Very, very disappointing. Let's move on.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: RegularKarate on February 23, 2010, 11:45:14 AM
SPOILS

Yeah, there were some enjoyable pieces, but overall it came off as a really boring Dark City with the twist being that everything was bullshit the whole time.

When reality is being twisted, it's way more difficult to ground things and make you actually care for any characters.  I also have a feeling if I watched this again, I would find it impossible to believe.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 23, 2010, 12:37:02 PM
I still can't decide how I feel about this movie... Maybe that was the intent.  Going in THINKING it would be good by proxy because of the director, but then the rug gets pulled up from under you.

When I first saw the, or one of the, trailer(s), and Leo was like "There are 66 inmates, who's the 67th!?", maybe it was from seeing enough movies to know, but my mind is already assuming it's him and I envy those who would otherwise be oblivious to this.  In that, I figured there would be more inventive twists to the story or a really solid reveal... But the dreams felt blandly surreal.  Instead of how dreams can feel like actual dreams, these just appeared like "Wouldn't it be weird if we covered his delusions this way?"

Though, one thing I will say that I like about the movie is it's ambiguity in the sense that he has an incredibly intricate conspiracy thought out in regards to Nazi brainwashing experiments.  Like, the reveal is still not the truth because, as he was informed, even if by his own constructions, he has no friends.  He has vivid recollections of both seeing the holocaust, took part in slaughtering nazis and killing his wife for remorselessly drowning their children.  If any of that is true, then we can assume that it can all be true.

In the end, it isn't totally true that the island is only used for positive rehabilitation.  Is he so crazy that he has this crystal clear of an  alternate reality or are both true?  Are we left with the impression that the island is used for good since they control the island and ultimately have the final say?

Damn, maybe I do like the movie. 

Cool.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on February 23, 2010, 01:17:09 PM
Fuck you people are crazy. I loved it.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: RegularKarate on February 23, 2010, 01:36:54 PM
i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) .... Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb

Wait a minute, was he a great big fat person?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ©brad on February 23, 2010, 04:43:17 PM
I think this would have been way scarier and ultimately more compelling had they gone really low-budge, especially with the dream sequences which suffered from being so overt and cgi-ish.

i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) .... Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb

Wait a minute, was he a great big fat person?

Hah!

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 23, 2010, 06:52:58 PM
Fuck you people are crazy. I loved it.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say I retract any and everything I've said thus far in lieu of this enlightening passage.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: SiliasRuby on February 25, 2010, 02:16:47 AM
Fuck you people are crazy. I loved it.
Shouldn't there be a comma in this post.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on February 25, 2010, 02:23:39 AM
No need to overanalyze everything...
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: pete on February 25, 2010, 11:38:22 AM

Shouldn't there be a comma in this post.

shouldn't there be a question mark in this post or you may be sarcastic
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: squints on February 25, 2010, 04:00:45 PM
I, liked this, (movie) a lot?
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: matt35mm on February 25, 2010, 05:02:50 PM
,
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Derek on February 25, 2010, 08:53:53 PM
Loved the crisp, jarring editing in the first 20 minutes. I liked how the composition of  the main character in the frame would shift suddenly from one cut to the next. The score was quite effective too, especially the 'Jaws' type riff - I'm not sure what it was...Packed theater, heard mostly 'it was a renter' in the lobby afterwards.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on February 26, 2010, 12:59:02 PM
No, need to overanalyze everything.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Derek on February 26, 2010, 07:41:10 PM
No, need to overanalyze everything.

Well, I'm not sure if this comment is directed at me.

The editing at the beginning gives the film an energy that seems to dissipate further into the film with long exposition scenes.

Done thinking now, I'll go back to breathing through my mouth.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: 72teeth on February 27, 2010, 11:05:09 PM
you guys are on crack, this was awesome... im high now but i may write more later.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on February 28, 2010, 06:37:38 AM
After I saw it, I thought "well, it's good, but not a great Scorsese movie". Now, almost 24 hours have passed, and I keep being assaulted by shots and scenes from it all the time. It's a nightmare the Scorsese that I actually like a lot more than I originally thought. Great DiCaprio, great visuals, great soundtrack and great ambiguous ending that keeps fucking with my head. It's, it's maybe a little slow in the middle, but it's never boring or out of place. Loved it.

SPOILER MAYBE

Have you guys noticed how Scorsese uses a glass of water in this movie almost to the same effect as he did with Taxi Driver? [Meaning, to show us the mental deterioration of his protagonist.] I loved that, just like I loved all the little details and clues he used all over the movie to comment on what was goin on.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on February 28, 2010, 10:08:46 AM
you guys are on crack, this was awesome... im high now but i may write more later.

So your argument is that they naysayers are high that's why they didn't like it. You liked it, but admit you're high.  :yabbse-huh:
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on February 28, 2010, 11:46:04 AM
you guys are on crack, this was awesome... im high now but i may write more later.

So your argument is that they naysayers are high that's why they didn't like it. You liked it, but admit you're high.  :yabbse-huh:

crack does bad shit to you and fucks up with your brain... i don't think he was high on crack :)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on February 28, 2010, 01:42:46 PM
So, this is my brain on Shutter Island?


(http://www.thereheis.com/nucleus3.22/media/gallery/20090911-EggPan.jpg)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: hedwig on March 01, 2010, 12:51:21 AM
non-spoiler review: i saw this and Princess and the Frog this weekend. both are SHIT, but at least the disney film had some good tunes in it. Shutter Island is one of Marty's worst yet. compared to this dud, The Departed is a goddamn masterpiece. this film is two hours of shiny cinematography to keep you distracted while the one-dimensional characters spout endless boring expository dialogue to over-explain the predictable plot. i don't know whether marty considers this "one for him" or "one for them", but more than anything he's done in the last 10 years, this film panders.

and now the spoilers begin: whenever i hear talk of a "twist ending" i am content with the possibility of being underwhelmed by its shock value and more eager to see how it is executed. with that mindset, i was not disappointed when i figured out that teddy was a patient in the hospital like 30 mins into the film. i kept hoping the 'twist' would at least unravel in a compelling way, but instead i am forced to sit through scene after scene of characters reiterating the storyline to each other, intercut with shots of leo freaking out. it felt like a zillion other movies we've all seen before.

as far as the kubrick comparisons go (two posts here calling this scorsese's Shining): there's obviously no comparison in terms of quality. both films explore the mind as it manifests in an isolated environment. the similarities end there. The Shining stays true to its subject by giving the audience no delusions of objectivity and NO ESCAPE from the confusion/horror endured by the characters. the most affecting moments in The Shining are never explained. they come out of nowhere. on the other hand, Shutter relies on cliché in every department. the filmmakers clearly do not want the audience to be confused. flashbacks recur at predictable intervals along with corny CGI-showcase dream sequences. all symbolism gets explained away. and somehow, the character feels one-dimensional even after he is revealed to have multiple personalities.

OH WELL,

give me Silence or give me death.
(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)(http://www.studentshangout.com/style_emoticons/default/suicide.gif)(http://www.he15man.net/Emoticons/suicide.gif)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on March 01, 2010, 02:42:52 PM
I think this would have been way scarier and ultimately more compelling had they gone really low-budge, especially with the dream sequences which suffered from being so overt and cgi-ish.
 

At the beginning all the CGI skies were overdone.

First theater experience I've had in a while. I can understand any criticisms about the film, but I enjoyed it. I think I have to accept that a B-movie story line does not neccesarily cheapen a movie to me if it's done well.

It felt all Kubrick-y and Hitchock-y - I know the soundtrack - the huge score just when they were entering the gates - think of how plain that sequence is and how it's taken to another place with the score. Now that some time has passed, I'm already forgetting other stuff I liked.

Here's a question - if everything was the same, but there was no twist, it turned out to be true, would you like it more?








****spoiler***
of course there is a litle twist/twist in that he choses the labotomy.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: squints on March 01, 2010, 05:26:51 PM
I think to really get this film you have to understand what scorsese was aiming for here. Its like his own Hitchcock film, but it has to be the way he would have made the picture then, only making it now. But the way he would have made it then. If he was alive now, making this now, he would make it now as if he made it back then.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 01, 2010, 06:02:57 PM
I think to really get this film you have to understand what scorsese was aiming for here. Its like his own Hitchcock film, but it has to be the way he would have made the picture then, only making it now. But the way he would have made it then. If he was alive now, making this now, he would make it now as if he made it back then.

I don't think Scorsese goes the full route to make it a homage film. As I said in my review, he's mixing so many modern elements with classical elements he's continually facing an identity crisis of what the film wants to be. The over embellished skies, the pychological deconstruction of DiCaprio's character and the thriller elements are all classical psychology (Hitchcockian), but the exuberant fantasy scenes of horror and other sensory disturbances are more modern. Hitchcock only experimented with sensory overload a few times and mainly that was a scene or two in movies like Vertigo and Spellbound. Hitchcock never had an interest to make them a majority of a visual story, but Scorsese is always treading on doing that in this film.

Hitchcock was more about changing our understanding of visual compositions and changing how we see the sightlines of action, like focusing on the object that would kill someone instead of the person doing the killing. Or during a chase scene, starting to alter the comfort of the editing patterns by making them obstruct normality in different ways. Scorsese does that when the movie starts to pick up tension, but he's mixing too many other elements for his homage efforts to be sincere. In the end, both elements are underdeveloped by Scorsese.

I also agree with people who say the story was too expounding for its own good. The film wants you to be drawn into it's story, but it continually makes self conscious remarks about how it is a mind puzzling story and it's making you question the plot before it fully warps you into a new reality. The self conscious identity continues when the reveals feel too superficial to be fascinating, but even if the reveals were better, the set up itself would have been disappointing anyways.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ on March 02, 2010, 08:24:53 PM
No, need to overanalyze everything.

Well, I'm not sure if this comment is directed at me.

The editing at the beginning gives the film an energy that seems to dissipate further into the film with long exposition scenes.

Done thinking now, I'll go back to breathing through my mouth.

It wasn't directed at you, I was fixing the typos in kal's post.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on March 09, 2010, 10:15:59 PM
Man stabbed with meat thermometer at movie in CA

LANCASTER, Calif. - Authorities say a man was stabbed in the neck with a meat thermometer after asking a woman to silence her cell phone during a screening of the film "Shutter Island" at a Southern California movie theater.

Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore says the stabbing happened Feb. 27 during a screening of the Martin Scorsese film in Lancaster. He says the two suspects remain at large.

Whitmore says the victim had complained about a woman sitting nearby who was talking on her phone during the movie. He says the woman left with two men, but the men returned minutes later and stabbed the victim in the neck.

Two other people in the theater came to the victim's aid and also were hurt. The man was hospitalized with serious injuries.

The sheriff's office says it knew the weapon used was a meat thermometer because the suspects left it behind. No further details were released.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 14, 2010, 02:02:23 PM
SPOILERS OF COURSE

To be fair, I might have to see this again. On a purely narrative level it was very disappointing. And for all I had heard about Scorsese being all pyrothecnic and manic, the whole film feels very restrained visually. A lot of standard camera movements for him, and almost nothing memorable visually. Also unusual is how little humor it has.

Of course my main beef was with the supposed "twist", which I figured about 20 minutes in and in fact thought it wasn't even a twist. It was so obvious I was like "ok, so he's a patient there, what else?" and to my astonishment, the film went on and on without fulling acknowledging this and moving forward to something else. And yes, it was weird how much dialogue was wasted on this plot. In fact everything felt weird and not very disturbing. Don't get the Shinning or Hithchcock comparisons at all, it would be a disservice to those films.

Frankly I'm so surprised by how the whole film plays that I'm thinking maybe there's some irony I'm missing, or something, because it's hard for me to even begin to understand why this film was even made with such talent involved. So after my second viewing I'll add some more to this.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 15, 2010, 08:59:56 AM
SPOILERS!

The thing is, you really need to read more into the film than what the screenplay tells you. People talk about knowing about the twist 20 minutes in, but the truth is, the ending doesn't clarify anything. What if Teddy is really a sane person and his wife died in a fire, and all that talk about him being a patient there is only a conspiracy to make him stop investigating about the place? What if the meds they gave him actually messed with his mind so much so that he doesn't know anymore what's real and what's not? What I love about this movie is that it's never clear, for a mere second, about where the ending leaves us. And that's what makes Shutter Island far more satisfying than your average thriller.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: mogwai on March 15, 2010, 09:26:33 AM
Saw this last friday at the cinema and fell asleep after one hour. I frequently woke up under the last 30 minutes but nothing made me interested. I guess it wasn't the Marty/DiCaprio masterpiece I was rooting for. I'll give it another try when it's out on DVD.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 15, 2010, 11:06:20 AM
SPOILERS!

The thing is, you really need to read more into the film than what the screenplay tells you. People talk about knowing about the twist 20 minutes in, but the truth is, the ending doesn't clarify anything. What if Teddy is really a sane person and his wife died in a fire, and all that talk about him being a patient there is only a conspiracy to make him stop investigating about the place? What if the meds they gave him actually messed with his mind so much so that he doesn't know anymore what's real and what's not? What I love about this movie is that it's never clear, for a mere second, about where the ending leaves us. And that's what makes Shutter Island far more satisfying than your average thriller.

Spoilers
Then why would the last scene exist, where Mark Ruffalo is checking his sense of reality and DiCaprio's character is back to acting his original ways and Ruffalo has to nod to everyone that he has regressed back to insanity and delusion? It's a clarification scene of who is crazy because 1.) to believe in DiCaprio's position is to believe Ruffalo is a detective when he's obviously not and 2.) afterward DiCaprio allows nurses to walk him out like he's used to the patient treatment.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: RegularKarate on March 15, 2010, 12:14:46 PM
SPOILERS!

The thing is, you really need to read more into the film than what the screenplay tells you. People talk about knowing about the twist 20 minutes in, but the truth is, the ending doesn't clarify anything. What if Teddy is really a sane person and his wife died in a fire, and all that talk about him being a patient there is only a conspiracy to make him stop investigating about the place? What if the meds they gave him actually messed with his mind so much so that he doesn't know anymore what's real and what's not? What I love about this movie is that it's never clear, for a mere second, about where the ending leaves us. And that's what makes Shutter Island far more satisfying than your average thriller.

Spoilers
Then why would the last scene exist, where Mark Ruffalo is checking his sense of reality and DiCaprio's character is back to acting his original ways and Ruffalo has to nod to everyone that he has regressed back to insanity and delusion? It's a clarification scene of who is crazy because afterward DiCaprio allows nurses to walk him out like he's used to the patient treatment.

Exactly, and the whole "It might be real, it might not be" thing is nothing fresh and new.  It's a pretty common thing amongst "turns out this reality isn't what you thought" movies to be mildly ambiguous about what really happened.

I'm still waiting for a good argument for this movie being well written.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 15, 2010, 12:26:57 PM
SPOILERS!

The thing is, you really need to read more into the film than what the screenplay tells you. People talk about knowing about the twist 20 minutes in, but the truth is, the ending doesn't clarify anything. What if Teddy is really a sane person and his wife died in a fire, and all that talk about him being a patient there is only a conspiracy to make him stop investigating about the place? What if the meds they gave him actually messed with his mind so much so that he doesn't know anymore what's real and what's not? What I love about this movie is that it's never clear, for a mere second, about where the ending leaves us. And that's what makes Shutter Island far more satisfying than your average thriller.



Spoilers
Then why would the last scene exist, where Mark Ruffalo is checking his sense of reality and DiCaprio's character is back to acting his original ways and Ruffalo has to nod to everyone that he has regressed back to insanity and delusion? It's a clarification scene of who is crazy because 1.) to believe in DiCaprio's position is to believe Ruffalo is a detective when he's obviously not and 2.) afterward DiCaprio allows nurses to walk him out like he's used to the patient treatment.

I agree with this. however I think teddy might not be insane enough to have forgotten the horrible things he wants to forget.
one thing is starting to make sense to me and adding more enjoyment is the actual line di caprio says about choosing between living like a good man or a monster, which implies I think that he is willingly faking insanity in the final moments as to be classified incurable and getting a lobotomy. i'm not really sure, but its an idea I got a the end and it¡s been growing and of ocurse it puts the film in another perspective and turns it more than a thriller into a tragedy. however I do need to see it again because frankly I don't think I paid enough attention.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on March 15, 2010, 02:19:08 PM
spoilers


one thing is starting to make sense to me and adding more enjoyment is the actual line di caprio says about choosing between living like a good man or a monster, which implies I think that he is willingly faking insanity in the final moments as to be classified incurable and getting a lobotomy. i'm not really sure, but its an idea I got a the end and it¡s been growing and of ocurse it puts the film in another perspective and turns it more than a thriller into a tragedy. however I do need to see it again because frankly I don't think I paid enough attention.

this is what i thought and briefly mentioned.

i took it he really has come out of it and is choosing that over having to live with those memories.

the grander movie question this film has brought to mind is:


Why can't a film with any type of twist ending be considered great? There are some, but generally they never are simply because of that fact.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: RegularKarate on March 15, 2010, 02:32:55 PM
Why can't a film with any type of twist ending be considered great?

Where do you get the idea that they can't or aren't?

I'm pretty sure the ratio of Terrible Movies with a twist ending to great movies with a twist endings is the same as simply Terrible Movies to Great Movies.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 15, 2010, 04:52:43 PM
SPOILERS!

The thing is, you really need to read more into the film than what the screenplay tells you. People talk about knowing about the twist 20 minutes in, but the truth is, the ending doesn't clarify anything. What if Teddy is really a sane person and his wife died in a fire, and all that talk about him being a patient there is only a conspiracy to make him stop investigating about the place? What if the meds they gave him actually messed with his mind so much so that he doesn't know anymore what's real and what's not? What I love about this movie is that it's never clear, for a mere second, about where the ending leaves us. And that's what makes Shutter Island far more satisfying than your average thriller.



Spoilers
Then why would the last scene exist, where Mark Ruffalo is checking his sense of reality and DiCaprio's character is back to acting his original ways and Ruffalo has to nod to everyone that he has regressed back to insanity and delusion? It's a clarification scene of who is crazy because 1.) to believe in DiCaprio's position is to believe Ruffalo is a detective when he's obviously not and 2.) afterward DiCaprio allows nurses to walk him out like he's used to the patient treatment.

I agree with this. however I think teddy might not be insane enough to have forgotten the horrible things he wants to forget.
one thing is starting to make sense to me and adding more enjoyment is the actual line di caprio says about choosing between living like a good man or a monster, which implies I think that he is willingly faking insanity in the final moments as to be classified incurable and getting a lobotomy. i'm not really sure, but its an idea I got a the end and it¡s been growing and of ocurse it puts the film in another perspective and turns it more than a thriller into a tragedy. however I do need to see it again because frankly I don't think I paid enough attention.

First, you suppose Ruffalo's nod to the doctor at the end means he is regressing. That is logical, and that is the literal meaning of that scene. However, if you think like I'm thinking, it can also mean that their plan didn't quite work out, and that nodding means they'll have to lobotomize him in order for him to forget about that place. Sure, by that time, Teddy seems like he has stoppped fighting and accepting whatever they'll do to him. But let's not forget that he's a traumatized man. Either he killed his own wife, or she died in an accident, it's clear that he loved her and will always be traumatized by that. And the fact that they fucked with his mind so much, reviving memories of his lover, may cause him to accept his fate. He wants to forget it, or he'll go crazy anyway, so he goes to the lighthouse.

And that, in my opinion, is GREAT writing. Not only does it leave room for more than one interpretation, but it also ends with an amazing line: "it's better to die like a good man than living like a monster" or something like that. And even that single line is open to interpretation. But the way I see it, Teddy knows there's no way he'll get out of the island, so choses to go to the lighthouse, and "die" like the good man he believes himself to be, refusing to believe in what they want him to believe, meaning, that he's the man who murdered his wife. The movie doesn't ever make it clear that it's all a fantasy neither that it's a conspiracy, and it's up to the viewer to choose what to believe. And a screeenplay that doesn't treat you like a 9 year old and can be that ambiguous, is never poor in my book.

Either way, it's always tragic. He lost the love of his life, he has war traumas he can't surpass, and either way his memories are consuming him in a way that will make it impossible for him to lead a normal life. He will always  live in a trauma, whoever that man really is. And a movie that leaves me with these many questions, will always be worth watching in my book.

Also, on a sidenote, I totally agree that this is not the pyrothecnic work I was led to believe it was. But that's a good thing in my book. There are a lot of Scorsese movies that do that sort of thing wonderfully. In Shutter Island, it felt far more classical than I thought it would, but there's still a lot to be amazed by visually, as well as many little details that inform you about the characters and their mental state. I, for one, am loving this movie the more I think about it.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 15, 2010, 06:10:37 PM
It may not matter, but I'm still not convinced. I think what has happened is that the film tried to be open and shut with its mind fuck idea but it left theoretical possibilities open to consider other possibilities. That isn't the same as purposeful ambiguities that do want you to question and wonder about what something means. When Taxi Driver is ending and Travis Bickle is picking up the girl, the logic of the scene makes no sense but yet it has an emotional resonance to the rest of the story so it makes you wonder about the scene and question what really happens.

The final scene in Shutter Island is all too logical to explaining everything that needs explaining. One could argue that the security of the explanation is a false pretense, but if the film is banking on someone coming to that conclusion and still questioning everything, it's just bad writing. If the film still wanted to be ambiguous, it needed to end with a scene that was a lot more illogical and left things open because the scene mirrors exactly what happens in the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and how the carpet is pulled under from the audience and they have to accept a new reality because their hero is the person who is really crazy. As far as insanity goes, Shutter Island copies Cabinet of Dr. Caligari pretty thoroughly. Scorsese is honest in his film references so I don't think he's using the film reference as a scapegoat to a weak twisting of it.

There is a possibility within the line of choosing to die a good man rather than living like a monster, but it's just one line. Again I consider that bad writing because if the main connection point to an ambiguous story is one line then Scorsese is just playing with things that are better for rationalizations instead of thoroughly developed points within a film that would lead to a rational disbelief or discouragement of the sanity. Instead all the points in the film are made to epitomize a watered down version of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. When DiCaprio is trying to get to the lighthouse instead of the island, it could mean he is choosing to die a good man, but the points within the film point to him be disillusioned and psychotic and trying to rescue the lies of his insanity. I don't see how he knows he won't ever get off the island. I just see how he isn't concerned with it because the mystery is taking precedence. He's ignoring everyone who talks to him unless what they say things that tell him something that will lead him to solving the mystery. That is his main concern because when they tell him things that should make his question reality, he ignores it so he continue on his path of what he believes the truth is.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 15, 2010, 07:36:19 PM
Well, I suppose we'll just see it from different angles, then. However, I still insist on the fact that the ending didn't explain anything to me. The whole thing is constructed in a way that left me wondering throughout, and even weeks after I first saw it. And we will surely disagree that it's badly written because it leaves it to you to get your own conclusions. It doesn't give straight answers, and it should not do so. It's a movie about being inside the mind of a very disturbed person who, on top of that, is being treated by some seriously fucked up "experts" with sinister motifs.

Also, I don't see how paying homage to Caligari means it needs to be talking exactly about the same thing. Sure, the protagonist's insanity is a possibility, but it's not a certainty. It evoques Caligari because the themes are the same. I insist, there is no scene in the movie that clearly indicates that he's just an insane person from the begining, apart from the scenes where Kingsley and Ruffalo try to convince Teddy of that. Those characters are not reliable (if anything, because they treat their patients with lobotomy), and the fact that the whole movie is told from Teddy's point of view never makes that completely clear. The same thing happens the other way, when Patricia Clarkson's character explains Teddy her version of what's going on. She's also not a reliable character, well, because she either 1) doesn't exist or 2) is a former patient, therefore subject to the same treatments and medication as Teddy.

Finally, and this is maybe the most arguable point of my post, and should be attributed to Dennis Lehane, I love the fact that this story takes place post-WWII and during the Cold War. Teddy and his inner struggle reflect the period of turbulence and confusion going on in the world, where the difference between good guys and bad guys is hard to tell. It's all about paranoia, yet at the same time about doing everything you can to win the fight. And so is Shutter Island.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 15, 2010, 07:39:43 PM
well I want to see it again now for sure. and at least we found something else to comment on a martin scorsese movie than a dumb fucking twist that is not even a twist.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 15, 2010, 08:28:33 PM
Also, I don't see how paying homage to Caligari means it needs to be talking exactly about the same thing. Sure, the protagonist's insanity is a possibility, but it's not a certainty. It evoques Caligari because the themes are the same.

Sam Fuller called Dances With Wolves "homage" because it took on a similar approach to his film, Run of the Arrow. Homage was a good word because parts of Costner's film took after things unique about Fuller's film, but both films were pretty different. Shutter Island borrows from Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as a basis of logic all the way through. It's more than paying homage because it's trying to correlate a pattern of logic how the psychosis is built up and finally revealed. You don't just borrow from that logic and skip out in the end with a piece of dialogue and call that a clear break from the original. If Shutter Island was only taking elements of the logic of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, I would be with you, but it's pretty thorough.

I insist, there is no scene in the movie that clearly indicates that he's just an insane person from the begining, apart from the scenes where Kingsley and Ruffalo try to convince Teddy of that. Those characters are not reliable (if anything, because they treat their patients with lobotomy), and the fact that the whole movie is told from Teddy's point of view never makes that completely clear. The same thing happens the other way, when Patricia Clarkson's character explains Teddy her version of what's going on. She's also not a reliable character, well, because she either 1) doesn't exist or 2) is a former patient, therefore subject to the same treatments and medication as Teddy.

I'm not arguing my position is full proof, but it's as full proof as artistic understanding can get. It's like evaluating science. Science isn't based in fact but it's more about probabilities. Religion can have a technical theoretical basis in an argument just because science can't say it fully knows all, but that lack isn't a reason to say there is a real argument for the opposing side. For me, the only thing the opposing side has in this debate is that one piece of dialogue. It's not enough to reconsider all the purposeful structure and style points that specifically want you to assume certain things about the film as you're watching it. I could technically argue the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari isn't what it seems and is about a world gone mad instead of the man, but I wouldn't have much as far as substantive points go.

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 16, 2010, 05:48:26 PM
Sam Fuller called Dances With Wolves "homage" because it took on a similar approach to his film, Run of the Arrow. Homage was a good word because parts of Costner's film took after things unique about Fuller's film, but both films were pretty different. Shutter Island borrows from Cabinet of Dr. Caligari as a basis of logic all the way through. It's more than paying homage because it's trying to correlate a pattern of logic how the psychosis is built up and finally revealed. You don't just borrow from that logic and skip out in the end with a piece of dialogue and call that a clear break from the original. If Shutter Island was only taking elements of the logic of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, I would be with you, but it's pretty thorough.

I can't agree with you here. Not by a second. Both films are about insanity, about mentally disturbed characters, and that's why I see Scorsese looking at Caligari to pick some ideas, on how to approach the themes and the visuals. Whatever you think about Teddy in the end, he's always insane. That he already was from the beginning, that's a different story. If P.T. Anderson shows Network to his production crew before filming Magnolia, or Giant before filming There Will Be Blood, it doesn't mean he's going to make those exact same movies. It means those are good examples on how to successfully approach similar themes. That's point number one.

Point number two, let me tell you, after thinking about it for a while, I think I have more reason to believe Teddy Daniels suffered from a conspiracy than you have to believe he was insane all along. It isn't, and never was, about a line of dialogue. The movie opens with a federal marshall on a mission to find a missing patient. It hopens on a boat trip, we see Teddy and his partner getting in the island. You see him taking meds given to him by Ben Kingsley's character. You see another character in a cave telling him it's all a conspiracy. However, other people base their assumpion that Teddy was always crazy because a doctor who lobotomizes his patients tells him so. That's it. A man who cuts people's brains on an island somewhere. And you don't understand why I find it hard to believe that he'd get into all the trouble of creating a complete make up world just to see his patient recover? And then, since he doesn't recover, he lobotomizes him? I think I have every right to believe it's a conspiracy as you have to believe it's a cure. And again, that final line of dialogue doesn't make anything clear at all. Teddy either accepts being lobotomized and to die like the good man he is, or he refuses to believe that he killed his own wife, and keeps on pretending to be a marshall, a good man, and dies as such. It doesn't give you answers, it keeps you asking questions, and that's what's great about it.

I'm not arguing my position is full proof, but it's as full proof as artistic understanding can get. It's like evaluating science. Science isn't based in fact but it's more about probabilities. Religion can have a technical theoretical basis in an argument just because science can't say it fully knows all, but that lack isn't a reason to say there is a real argument for the opposing side. For me, the only thing the opposing side has in this debate is that one piece of dialogue. It's not enough to reconsider all the purposeful structure and style points that specifically want you to assume certain things about the film as you're watching it. I could technically argue the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari isn't what it seems and is about a world gone mad instead of the man, but I wouldn't have much as far as substantive points go.

Well, I'm not sure, but I believe you wrote here many times that film criticism should be about going further than what the movie tells you. Apart from the fact that I have far more in this debate than a mere line of dialogue, as I wrote above, but now I want to comment on your analogy. What science doesn't or shouldn't do, is ignore small pieces of evidence (small as they might be) in order to keep it's theories right. If there's a small detail that can put it into debate, it should be analysed, not ignored.

And yes, you can argue that Caligari is about a world gone mad. I mean, the character's gone mad, but was he always mad, or did the world transform him? If we put the movie into context, we're talking about a picture made in post-WWI Germany (1920), in a time where germans were facing an identity crisis that ultimately lead to Hitler coming to power. The movie was written under that state of identity crisis, and the character reflects that. That screenplay might not refer to it directly, but the context shouldn't be separated from the product at all. And that brings me back to what I said before on a sidenote about Shutter Island reflecting the state of paranoia going on in the world during the time its action takes place. It may, or may not be relevant to the way you see the movie, but two different pairs of eyes rarely see the same thing.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 16, 2010, 06:20:14 PM
I can't agree with you here. Not by a second. Both films are about insanity, about mentally disturbed characters, and that's why I see Scorsese looking at Caligari to pick some ideas, on how to approach the themes and the visuals. Whatever you think about Teddy in the end, he's always insane. That he already was from the beginning, that's a different story. If P.T. Anderson shows Network to his production crew before filming Magnolia, or Giant before filming There Will Be Blood, it doesn't mean he's going to make those exact same movies. It means those are good examples on how to successfully approach similar themes. That's point number one.

Considering I'm arguing the results of what a film turned into and how it compares with the end results and not what was screened beforehand for the crew to keep in mind as inspiration what the film could resemble, I'm pretty sure we're talking about two different points of influence. Filmmakers screen lots of films before they start making a film for various reasons. I would never start arguing that doing that is the same as a film taking after a previous film on substantive levels. I don't even think it's comparable.

Point number two, let me tell you, after thinking about it for a while, I think I have more reason to believe Teddy Daniels suffered from a conspiracy than you have to believe he was insane all along. It isn't, and never was, about a line of dialogue. The movie opens with a federal marshall on a mission to find a missing patient. It hopens on a boat trip, we see Teddy and his partner getting in the island. You see him taking meds given to him by Ben Kingsley's character. You see another character in a cave telling him it's all a conspiracy. However, other people base their assumpion that Teddy was always crazy because a doctor who lobotomizes his patients tells him so. That's it. A man who cuts people's brains on an island somewhere. And you don't understand why I find it hard to believe that he'd get into all the trouble of creating a complete make up world just to see his patient recover? And then, since he doesn't recover, he lobotomizes him? I think I have every right to believe it's a conspiracy as you have to believe it's a cure. And again, that final line of dialogue doesn't make anything clear at all. Teddy either accepts being lobotomized and to die like the good man he is, or he refuses to believe that he killed his own wife, and keeps on pretending to be a marshall, a good man, and dies as such. It doesn't give you answers, it keeps you asking questions, and that's what's great about it.

So your idea is that while he was investigating the crime, the doctors were feeding him pills that allowed him to draw back on memories of his tortured past and make him go insane for exactly one night but also allow him to perfectly return to normal the next morning and act as if nothing happened? That makes no sense and is silly. It's a Hollywood fantasy. The person he is at the beginning is the same person he is by the end scene of the film. It does make psychological sense for someone who is insane to have a momentary lapse and come out of their delusional world but slip right back into the threshold of their trauma.

And yes, you can argue that Caligari is about a world gone mad. I mean, the character's gone mad, but was he always mad, or did the world transform him? If we put the movie into context, we're talking about a picture made in post-WWI Germany (1920), in a time where germans were facing an identity crisis that ultimately lead to Hitler coming to power. The movie was written under that state of identity crisis, and the character reflects that. That screenplay might not refer to it directly, but the context shouldn't be separated from the product at all. And that brings me back to what I said before on a sidenote about Shutter Island reflecting the state of paranoia going on in the world during the time its action takes place. It may, or may not be relevant to the way you see the movie, but two different pairs of eyes rarely see the same thing.

I don't deny the societal reflections that were intended. I just don't believe it meant to shine in the lead character the way you believe it could have.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 16, 2010, 06:40:56 PM
I can't agree with you here. Not by a second. Both films are about insanity, about mentally disturbed characters, and that's why I see Scorsese looking at Caligari to pick some ideas, on how to approach the themes and the visuals. Whatever you think about Teddy in the end, he's always insane. That he already was from the beginning, that's a different story. If P.T. Anderson shows Network to his production crew before filming Magnolia, or Giant before filming There Will Be Blood, it doesn't mean he's going to make those exact same movies. It means those are good examples on how to successfully approach similar themes. That's point number one.

Considering I'm arguing the results of what a film turned into and how it compares with the end results and not what was screened beforehand for the crew to keep in mind as inspiration what the film could resemble, I'm pretty sure we're talking about two different points of influence. Filmmakers screen lots of films before they start making a film for various reasons. I would never start arguing that doing that is the same as a film taking after a previous film on substantive levels. I don't even think it's comparable.

We are talking about the same thing, we just look at it differently I guess. I don't think it makes sense that just because a movie shares similar themes with another, it can't go into a different direction. The examples I gave before are just a proof of that. Even if Shutter Island was a remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, it could end differently. I really don't see the issue here. They share themes, they don't have to share the exact same storyline. And I insist that in the end, Shutter Island doesn't give answers anyway. It leaves questions.

Point number two, let me tell you, after thinking about it for a while, I think I have more reason to believe Teddy Daniels suffered from a conspiracy than you have to believe he was insane all along. It isn't, and never was, about a line of dialogue. The movie opens with a federal marshall on a mission to find a missing patient. It hopens on a boat trip, we see Teddy and his partner getting in the island. You see him taking meds given to him by Ben Kingsley's character. You see another character in a cave telling him it's all a conspiracy. However, other people base their assumpion that Teddy was always crazy because a doctor who lobotomizes his patients tells him so. That's it. A man who cuts people's brains on an island somewhere. And you don't understand why I find it hard to believe that he'd get into all the trouble of creating a complete make up world just to see his patient recover? And then, since he doesn't recover, he lobotomizes him? I think I have every right to believe it's a conspiracy as you have to believe it's a cure. And again, that final line of dialogue doesn't make anything clear at all. Teddy either accepts being lobotomized and to die like the good man he is, or he refuses to believe that he killed his own wife, and keeps on pretending to be a marshall, a good man, and dies as such. It doesn't give you answers, it keeps you asking questions, and that's what's great about it.

So your idea is that while he was investigating the crime, the doctors were feeding him pills that allowed him to draw back on memories of his tortured past and make him go insane for exactly one night but also allow him to perfectly return to normal the next morning and act as if nothing happened? That makes no sense and is silly. It's a Hollywood fantasy. The person he is at the beginning is the same person he is by the end scene of the film. It does make psychological sense for someone who is insane to have a momentary lapse and come out of their delusional world but slip right back into the threshold of their trauma.

Well, I don't see how taking a pill would turn him completely crazy overnight. If you do drugs, you go delusional, and then you go back to normal. No treatment works overnight, we can all agree on that. The thing is, given Teddy's fragile state of mind, the revival of his darkest memories could make him more fragile and more easily subject to manipulation. Don't forget that he takes pills the moment he walks on that island and that, according to Patricia Clarkson's character, everything they give him and feed him can be poisoned. If the drugs can affect his mind, it can be more easily manipulated. Of course we're in movie universe, in a Hollywood fantasy, but that's not even the point. The point is that the possibility that Teddy is being medicated and made to act a certain way is there.

And yes, you can argue that Caligari is about a world gone mad. I mean, the character's gone mad, but was he always mad, or did the world transform him? If we put the movie into context, we're talking about a picture made in post-WWI Germany (1920), in a time where germans were facing an identity crisis that ultimately lead to Hitler coming to power. The movie was written under that state of identity crisis, and the character reflects that. That screenplay might not refer to it directly, but the context shouldn't be separated from the product at all. And that brings me back to what I said before on a sidenote about Shutter Island reflecting the state of paranoia going on in the world during the time its action takes place. It may, or may not be relevant to the way you see the movie, but two different pairs of eyes rarely see the same thing.

I don't deny the societal reflections that were intended. I just don't believe it meant to shine in the lead character the way you believe it could have.

Well, I guess we just belive in different things, then. It's just that I'm right and you're wrong. (joking here, of course.)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Gold Trumpet on March 16, 2010, 06:55:51 PM
Yes, this conversation is almost over. Thanks for participation, but no one is going to convince the other here.


We are talking about the same thing, we just look at it differently I guess. I don't think it makes sense that just because a movie shares similar themes with another, it can't go into a different direction. The examples I gave before are just a proof of that. Even if Shutter Island was a remake of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, it could end differently. I really don't see the issue here. They share themes, they don't have to share the exact same storyline. And I insist that in the end, Shutter Island doesn't give answers anyway. It leaves questions.

I think Shutter Island is borrowing more from Dr. Caligari than you think. I said it borrows heavily storywise, but more importantly, it borrows a certain logic from it as well. Shutter Island would have needed to change more things than it does to begin to really play with the conventions of the previous film. By taking a lot from Caligari and trying to switch things up by changing a few anecdotal points I don't think is enough of a sea change from the previous film. That's why I believe Scorsese was honoring the original.

Well, I don't see how taking a pill would turn him completely crazy overnight. If you do drugs, you go delusional, and then you go back to normal. No treatment works overnight, we can all agree on that. The thing is, given Teddy's fragile state of mind, the revival of his darkest memories could make him more fragile and more easily subject to manipulation. Don't forget that he takes pills the moment he walks on that island and that, according to Patricia Clarkson's character, everything they give him and feed him can be poisoned. If the drugs can affect his mind, it can be more easily manipulated. Of course we're in movie universe, in a Hollywood fantasy, but that's not even the point. The point is that the possibility that Teddy is being medicated and made to act a certain way is there.

I think if someone was driven to a breaking point where their delusions took over, it would last longer than one night. There would be more carry over effect even if it was just temporary, but not only does it quickly end, but it allows DiCaprio to return to his original demeanor with little lasting impressions. Doesn't add up for me. That's all.

Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 16, 2010, 07:13:05 PM
Allrighty then. You made valid points, I just don't agree with most but it was a great discussion for me. I love talking about Shutter Island, and I believe it's going to be among the best movies of 2010.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 18, 2010, 08:38:32 AM
SPOILERS

Saw it again. I enjoyed it a lot more and was of less bothered by the twist this time around. Yet is hard for me to fly with the premise of this thing.

I don't believe the it's ambiguous anymore. The last scene clearly shows with precision what is going on. The doctors check on him one more time, and he acts crazy. Ruffalo nods, Kingsley is clearly disappointed and agrees to lobotomize him. The master touch is then executed when DiCaprio says that line where he is obviously implying that he prefers to have a lobotomy than continue living with his new found sanity. Not only that but Ruffalo senses this yet he doesn't stop him from standing up and walking with the nurses at his side, who we have seen seconds before with a the lobotomy tools wrapped in a towel.

In the end, I think the film is uneven. It has a great start but around the middle there is an ABUSE of exposition. I'm thinking expressively of the mausoleum scene, which was NOTHING but a lame excuse for exposition via dialogue.  It's also very weakly done how Ruffalo and DiCaprio just walk around and get into the forbidden parts of the Island, and Ruffalo going missing for no reason once in the Ward C. The way characters just talk and talk about the plot eliminates the tension. It is interesting once, but try it a second time and it becomes tiresome.

Yet despite these serious faults the film manages to be entertaining and tense. As the story progresses it becomes more hallucinatory and visually interesting. The Ward C sequence is good scary fun, and Jack Earl Haley makes the most of his screentime. The cave scene is very cleverly shot and Patricia Clarkson owns it. (I liked the way a lot of the supporting parts are played by actors who have been psychos in other movies, like Early haley, the buffalo bill guy, ben kinglsey, john patrick lynch, etc., it's a nice touch).

And let's not forget the subtext, which is I suspect the reason Scorsese felt for the film, as it is clearly an exploration of postwar paranoia in USA (and who knows, maybe is not only postwar WWII, but postwar in general), with DiCaprio representing within himself the basic moral ambivalence of a society that fought and won a horrific war and was then facing a new one, choosing in the end to "die a good man". It is certainly more interesting than it seems.

However, though I appreciate the effort of making a B-Picture in the classical sense, with haunted house, crazy scientists, pulpy theories, etc...i can't forgive the film for it's basic flaw of spending such a long period of it's running time in dialogue explaining what should be shown with actions and images. the twist I don't mind that much the second time, or the pulpy conventions. it is a b movie at heart and that's great, but then it should be more fun in the middle, when it drags forever.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: matt35mm on March 20, 2010, 04:10:43 PM
SPOILERS

The film was mildly enjoyable for the visual elements.  Unfortunately, I felt like the screenplay was not very good at all, mostly because it forced all the actors to stand there and just explain what's going on.  All of the big revelation scenes are just people explaining things and then repeating in ridiculously simple language so that everyone in the audience could get it.  There were a few times where I understood what they were saying the first time they said it, and then felt annoyed when they immediately repeated the same idea in simpler language.  Never for an instant could I believe that any of the psychiatrist characters were speaking as a psychiatrist would, mostly because of the simplicity of the ideas, and because they explain things as you might to a child.  They don't even sound like adults talking to other adults because of this over-explanation.  Also, the notion of a person "going insane," such that they were sane and, due to a single traumatic event, become insane, seems dubious to me.  There are post-traumatic disorders, but that doesn't seem like the same thing as insanity, which would be a chemical/physical problem of the mind that plagues a person's whole life.

That was my biggest problem with the screenplay.  The structure of it is okay, though I think the more intriguing story idea would have been "Could a sane person be made to believe that he has been insane for years?"  That would have been a more interesting revelation, since a lot of people seem to guess that Leo's already insane (he sure acts insane for the whole damn movie).  It's mildly hinted at with the last couple of lines that he might not have regressed and is choosing to have the memories ripped out of him, but that it still remains clear that he did kill his wife and did go insane.  What I'm suggesting is a story where the Leo character really did just land on that island a few days ago and by the end of this experiment, was made to believe that he had been there for years.  It would, at least for me, raise a lot more disturbing questions and be more philosophically interesting.  But that would be a different story.

Stylistically, my favorite thing was the lack of continuity between shots.  Scorsese actually does in his other movies, which is a stylistic choice that I respond to more than his kinetic camerawork, which is usually more remarked upon by others.  When I edit, I'm often a slave to continuity, and it's not difficult to achieve continuity if that's important to you, so I don't consider it a mistake when Scorsese eschews continuity.  It's something that I would like to experiment with someday.  Anyway, I believe that the lack of continuity is done more in Shutter Island than in other Scorsese movies, for the obvious reason that Teddy is insane, and it's effective.  I'm talking not so much about an object being there in one shot and not the next, but rather having a back and forth between the actors and from cut to cut their hands are in different places.  I believe there a few times when a character has a cigarette in his mouth and in the next shot he's holding it by his hip or something.  I think it's a really neat idea to not direct the actors to have their hands in specific places for specific lines, and then edit according to performance rather than continuity.

Other than that, it was stylistically and technically fine... really good, even, but we've come to expect showy stuff like that from Scorsese, so the experience is never mindblowing.

But really, the main thing that prevented me from liking this was the exposition-heavy screenplay.  Other than the Teddy character, none of the characters had any motivation to be saying any of things that they were saying, except to explain it to the audience, and for the 10th time to Teddy.  It was very emotionally distancing for me.  Also, the representations of insane people were borderline silly.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Captain of Industry on March 20, 2010, 06:47:46 PM
SPOILERS

They don't even sound like adults talking to other adults because of this over-explanation.  

Is there a moment when this type of conversation happens without DiCaprio in the room?  Because otherwise it seems perfectly reasonable to me, given the preposterous circumstance.    They have one day down to one moment and one chance to reveal his insanity to him, and it seems to me they'd have to use a variety of intellectual and social devices in order to achieve this.  He HAS to get it.  They're going to make it impossible for him to not get (aside:  as an audience member, in that watch tower, I didn't mind this, and I really also think it's the most transparently humorous moment of the movie in terms of genre deconstruction and bizarre expectation reversal, and I really felt myself passing through the phases of acceptance myself [given the preposterous circumstance]).  You are saying his mind was more developed than a child's, but I'd say that specific point of comprehension would be extremely difficult for him to reason.

Also, the notion of a person "going insane," such that they were sane and, due to a single traumatic event, become insane, seems dubious to me.

What I'm suggesting is a story where the Leo character really did just land on that island a few days ago and by the end of this experiment, was made to believe that he had been there for years.

Obviously a direct and unintentional contradiction here.  For a number of reasons.  How many days does the film take place over?  Four, maybe five?  You're saying it's more likely for man to be convinced, in five days, that he's been on an island for years and didn't realize it (!), even though he probably came to the island sane, and has little emotional investment in any of the people there, then for a man to go nuts because his fucking wife murdered the goddamn kids in a super weird and thoughtless way!  Get out of town.  Does the film specify that Leo went immediately nuts, that a helicopter was flown in to lift him out of the backyard because he was so immediately insane?  To me, the guy could have gone nuts, however long it took, and he definitely didn't have to be insane to kill his wife in that moment.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: matt35mm on March 20, 2010, 07:53:43 PM
NOTE: This is long because I'm working out what I think about these ideas, not because I'm arguing with you about anything.  So it meanders a lot and I wouldn't blame you for not reading it.  Just don't read it as some kind of rant against what you said, because it's not.

SPOILERS

They don't even sound like adults talking to other adults because of this over-explanation.  

Is there a moment when this type of conversation happens without DiCaprio in the room?  Because otherwise it seems perfectly reasonable to me, given the preposterous circumstance.    They have one day down to one moment and one chance to reveal his insanity to him, and it seems to me they'd have to use a variety of intellectual and social devices in order to achieve this.  He HAS to get it.  They're going to make it impossible for him to not get (aside:  as an audience member, in that watch tower, I didn't mind this, and I really also think it's the most transparently humorous moment of the movie in terms of genre deconstruction and bizarre expectation reversal, and I really felt myself passing through the phases of acceptance myself [given the preposterous circumstance]).  You are saying his mind was more developed than a child's, but I'd say that specific point of comprehension would be extremely difficult for him to reason.

I can't really recall any scenes where DiCaprio is not there.  Your argument makes sense for the scene where they finally tell him what's going on, but what I'm talking about is a problem that runs throughout the movie.  The dialogue is all very expositional.  I couldn't pick up on any subtext in the film because I felt like it was all verbally spoken, down to the motivations and why everyone did what they did.  I suppose that could be reasoned away with the fact the Teddy is crazy and half the people he speaks to don't even exist, but I found it difficult to reconcile that with me as an audience member having to sit there and have these things effectively be explained to me as well as to Teddy.

It's like how some people here found it funny (you say you find it humorous as well) when Ben Kingsley reveals that board with the anagrams on it.  I felt like that was what the dialogue was doing all the time.  If the whole style of the dialogue is about how you explain things to a person with limited reasoning abilities, then the movie still doesn't give the audience any additional work to do, effectively making it so that everything that happens is explained verbally to us in simple terms.  I felt like I never got the chance to discover anything that wasn't explained verbally to me.

Now that I'm thinking more about it, I think one of the problems that I have with it is that an insane person's mind is not simply like the mind of a child--an essentially normal mind.  An insane mind has an inability to reason properly, so the notion of talking to Teddy in a way to make it impossible for him not to get doesn't really work.  They're explaining it to him like he is a sane but stupid person, a poor tactic for Teddy, but a great tactic for the audience (except, not really).

Also, the notion of a person "going insane," such that they were sane and, due to a single traumatic event, become insane, seems dubious to me.

What I'm suggesting is a story where the Leo character really did just land on that island a few days ago and by the end of this experiment, was made to believe that he had been there for years.

Obviously a direct and unintentional contradiction here.  For a number of reasons.  How many days does the film take place over?  Four, maybe five?  You're saying it's more likely for man to be convinced, in five days, that he's been on an island for years and didn't realize it (!), even though he probably came to the island sane, and has little emotional investment in any of the people there, then for a man to go nuts because his fucking wife murdered the goddamn kids in a super weird and thoughtless way!  Get out of town.  Does the film specify that Leo went immediately nuts, that a helicopter was flown in to lift him out of the backyard because he was so immediately insane?  To me, the guy could have gone nuts, however long it took, and he definitely didn't have to be insane to kill his wife in that moment.

Well, I'm really talking about two different things here, so I should clarify.  The first clarification is that I was definitely talking about a different story, not this story.  I didn't mean it as a suggestion to change this story, but rather that it made me think of another kind of story that I would have found more intriguing.

I don't really know much about mental insanity from a psychiatric point of view, so I was just saying that I am under the impression that, for actually mentally insane people, there are chemical and/or physical defects in the brain that were always there, and not caused by a single traumatic event.  While a traumatic event could trigger apparently insane behavior, the lack of sanity was always there, such that a sane mind cannot become insane, barring physical damage to the brain.  The length of time (whether Teddy went instantly crazy or went crazy over a longer period of time) doesn't matter.  Oh, and I neither suggested nor thought that Teddy was insane when he killed his wife; that action was reasonable given the circumstances (i.e., sane).

So anyway, the other story that I was suggesting would be based on an experiment whereby a sane person is isolated from society, expose him to strange things that are performed by actors which he cannot fully explain, and then later explain to him that his actual life was imagined and that he has physically been in this place all along.  The reason that this would be intriguing to me is because you can always logically explain that the things that you thought were real are not real (in the way that Descartes logically proves that he cannot know that the world exists at all outside of his mind).  There does actually exist a logically sound explanation as to how everything you think is real could actually be imagined.  A sane person would be able to logically follow the explanation, and the experiment would be to see whether that, in the context of inexplicable happenings (which are actually performed by actors) could, over time, convince the sane person that he has been insane all along--not that he once was sane and became insane, but that he was always insane.  It would be explained with such strong logic that it would be sane to think that you might be insane.  Interestingly, you would have to be sane in order to be convinced of this, because one of the hallmarks (as far as I've heard) of actual insanity is an inability to fully follow logic.  So, if you can be convinced that you are insane, you are probably sane, yet it still remains possible to be convinced that everything you thought was real was actually a dream or trickery.

This is a seriously considered thought in philosophy (though normally discussed in terms of the existence of the world, rather than whether you are sane or not), so this story idea would be to take the thought experiment into the realm of an actual experiment.  Maybe a better way to put it is not to convince a sane person that he is insane, but rather that everything he ever thought was real was in fact not real, and that he has physically been on this isolated island for years while imagining a life elsewhere.  This is a very different story than the one in Shutter Island, but I brought it up because the movie made me think about it.

But I just wanted to clarify that I don't think it's a contradiction because the story idea would not require that a sane person actually becomes insane, but rather is made to believe that he has always been insane, and that if he were to realize that his ability to follow that logic means that he's not insane, he may still be convinced that his real life was actually invented in his mind (which is not the same as insanity).

Which now actually makes me think that the Teddy character in Shutter Island is not technically insane, but is instead suffering from something closer to what Leonard suffered from in Memento.  He must be sane if he can be convinced, even through super obvious explanation, that he is insane, at least if we're subscribing to the notion that insanity specifically involves an inability to follow logic.  That makes Ben Kingsley's notion that he can simply talk a person out of their insanity or let them play out their insane behavior until it has passed ridiculous.

But again, to clarify, I don't really know anything about real mental insanity.  
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Captain of Industry on March 20, 2010, 08:51:09 PM
I'd watch your Cartesian thriller.  Have you read The Invention of Morel?

(http://a5.vox.com/6a00c2251e4a7f549d00e398ae99f50003-320pi)

If so, let's talk about it in relation to what you're saying.  If not, I recommend it and think you'd like it.

As far as Shutter Island is concerned, I hadn't begun to consider the insanity aspect thoroughly until your post.  I did the easier thing and accepted it blindly as a dramatic element.  But immediately when I read your post I realized it was worth considering.  And having considered, I think Scorsese definitely used insanity for its dramatic features, sure like Leonard in Memento, or Tyler Durden in Fight Club.  

And if the film is about a man whose kids were slaughtered by their mother, his wife, who he then slays, if that's the emotional and dramatic current, then either way (he was insane or not) the ending is perfect (I just love the end).  Either way the film is more about guilt than insanity in the first place.  Scorsese uses insanity to emphasize self-preserving dimensions of guilt, and the DiCaprio character from The Departed has simply been pulled out of a gangster drama and thrust into a psychological horror film.  Psychological dramatically speaking, in its approach to exposing the interior of its central character, but not scientifically speaking, as in not actually dealing with the reality of insanity or insane people.  Which I agree would be an awesome movie, and I agree that it isn't this one.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: matt35mm on March 20, 2010, 09:21:49 PM
I haven't read The Invention of Morel, but I've got some free time coming up so I'll make it a point to read it soon!  Thanks.

And if the film is about a man whose kids were slaughtered by their mother, his wife, who he then slays, if that's the emotional and dramatic current, then either way (he was insane or not) the ending is perfect (I just love the end).  Either way the film is more about guilt than insanity in the first place.  Scorsese uses insanity to emphasize self-preserving dimensions of guilt, and the DiCaprio character from The Departed has simply been pulled out of a gangster drama and thrust into a psychological horror film.  Psychological dramatically speaking, in its approach to exposing the interior of its central character, but not scientifically speaking, as in not actually dealing with the reality of insanity or insane people.  Which I agree would be an awesome movie, and I agree that it isn't this one.

Yeah, that all seems fair to say.  Thinking of it in terms of guilt works much better for me, and indeed I didn't think it was a bad story.  I felt a pang in my heart at the end because of I responded to the tragedy of the story.  Still, I'm left bothered by what remains as unnecessarily simplistic and expositional dialogue that feels like it's there to make sure that every member of the audience gets it.  It wasn't only the psychology that was explained, but also character motivations and thoughts.  I blame the screenplay for it.  I'm guessing that the book is better, simply because books can bring us into a character's mind without the need to have the character say it.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: matt35mm on March 21, 2010, 05:47:55 PM
By the way, has anybody pointed out that the Max Von Sydow character in Shutter Island looks like a parody of the parody of a Max Von Sydow-esque scientist from the Monorail episode of The Simpsons (post poorly-timed haircut)?

(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/matt35mm/ShutterVonSydow.jpg)(http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a385/matt35mm/SimpsonVonSydow-1-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kellen on March 22, 2010, 12:37:17 AM
haha, i totally thought the same thing when i was watching it.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on March 22, 2010, 02:48:49 PM
spoilers


the whole part with the lady in the cave in a very hard place to get to - was that real? i'm trying to remember the context, but even when watching i thought it was a crazy place to go to. what if he died on his way to that spot or the lady for that instance? it's was a pretty treacherous place to get in and out of if I remember correctly.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on March 22, 2010, 03:53:11 PM
spoilers


the whole part with the lady in the cave in a very hard place to get to - was that real? i'm trying to remember the context, but even when watching i thought it was a crazy place to go to. what if he died on his way to that spot or the lady for that instance? it's was a pretty treacherous place to get in and out of if I remember correctly.

He was investigating at that point, and if I remeber correctly, he went down on the cave (nice!) because he thought his partner had fallen there.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 22, 2010, 05:16:45 PM
SPOILERS

at that point the film is clearly telling you this guy is nuts. the way ruffalo is shown just suddenly lying there without having made a sound while falling and dicaprio's ambivalence about what just happened are clear indications of this. but sure, the fact that he just goes down that wall of rocks like a professional rock climber tells you right away this is just one big hallucination.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Kal on March 22, 2010, 09:11:50 PM
SPOILERS

at that point the film is clearly telling you this guy is nuts. the way ruffalo is shown just suddenly lying there without having made a sound while falling and dicaprio's ambivalence about what just happened are clear indications of this. but sure, the fact that he just goes down that wall of rocks like a professional rock climber tells you right away this is just one big hallucination.

But he was taking those pills for his headache, so you don't know why he was hallucinating exactly
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: 72teeth on March 23, 2010, 11:54:37 AM
SPOILERS
 but sure, the fact that he just goes down that wall of rocks like a professional rock climber tells you right away this is just one big hallucination.

...or just bad writing. and that kind of laziness is so common in movies nowadays that its often hard to tell whats intetional.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 23, 2010, 12:58:08 PM
SPOILERS

At that point in the film I was absolutely convinced this character was insane, but it was the first time I noticed the film admiting it in such direct way.

I don't think that particular moment is an example of bad writing, it's not a badly written movie per se actually, but the CHOICE of relying so heavily in the explanation via dialogue is just off putting in this day and age.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: tpfkabi on March 23, 2010, 04:21:42 PM
it could be like Hitchcock's 'water cooler moment' like the hotel scene in Vertigo?
 :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: Alexandro on March 23, 2010, 04:30:12 PM
well as much as I love Psycho, I would love it if Hitchcock would have cut the near to the end scene where everything is explained, or at least made it less cheesy.
Title: Re: Shutter Island
Post by: MacGuffin on August 29, 2014, 04:39:45 PM
HBO, Paramount Plot ‘Shutter Island’ Series ‘Ashecliffe’ With Martin Scorsese And Dennis Lehane
by Mike Fleming Jr; Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: As the TV biz prepares to celebrate another ground breaking year tonight, underwritten in no small effort by feature talent, the remarkable thing to consider is how much more of this is coming. Here’s one that has great potential: HBO and Paramount Television are making deals to turn the 2010 hit film Shutter Island into a TV series. Tentatively titled Ashecliffe, the plan is for the pilot to be directed by Martin Scorsese from a script by Dennis Lehane, who wrote the bestselling thriller novel that Scorsese and screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis turned into the hit film that Leonardo DiCaprio starred in.

Ashecliffe is the name of the isolated mental hospital where the movie took place, and the series begins before the events of the film. The focus is the past of hospital, and the secrets and misdeeds perpetrated by its founders who erected the hospital in the early 20th Century and developed the methods of treatment use for the mentally ill. Scorsese directed the pilot for Boardwalk Empire and he is posting the pilot for the unititled 70s rock n roll project he is doing with Mick Jagger, Victoria Pearman, Rick Yorn, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter. Winter wrote it and he also scripted Scorsese and DiCaprio’s Oscar nominated last film, The Wolf Of Wall Street.

I’m told the series was an idea by Paramount TV head Amy Powell, who brought it to Scorsese and LBI’s Yorn and Chris Donnelly and Brad Fischer, a producer of the original movie who is now partners in Mythology Entertainment with Kalogridis and James Vanderbilt. They enlisted Lehane, the Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone author who loved the idea and expand the vision of his bestselling novel. Scorsese, Lehane, Fischer, Appian Way’s DiCaprio and Jennifer Killoran Davisson, Kalogridis, Yorn, Donnelly, Koskoff, Phoenix’s Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer, will be exec producers. Tom Bernardo is working with Lehane as a co-writer of the format.