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I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman

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Drenk

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Reply #105 on: November 28, 2019, 07:43:59 AM
Spoiler: ShowHide
She closes him off from the beginning, and it's just plot, shots to establish the ending: thirty seconds of a soap opera moment. The movie decides to totally erase his family outside of the necessary exposition, which makes it artifical. The movie being what it is, I would have been more affected if he had simply regretted having neglected his kids at the end: it's harsh, real, and like mobsters would say: "What are you gonna do?" Anyway, not a fan of the last thirty minutes, it's Boyhood for eldery people. And I don't like Boyhood. I don't feel the time at all. The scene where he says to the priest that he doesn't regret anything is interesting, but it's mixed with this artificiel storyline with the daughter. It doesn't take seriously the fact that he knows nothing about his daughters, it prefers putting moral judgment into a Special Kid. It's cheap. It's dead.

It's the best of the mobs flicks, too, because it seems avare of the emptiness of the protagonist—even if you get Hoffa with him—that's just a guy doing his job, you know, everything is easy, even if a little bit weird sometimes when you gotta whack the guy with whom you had all these pajama parties. But the way these movies are build around illustrating facts told through voice over kills almost every scene, it's the cinematic equivalent of a cop file.

By the way, I had a similar feeling when I watched Barry Lyndon regarding voice over/illustration, and I thought that Scorsese must be a big fan of this movie.

That's all very negative, but my impressions come from a place of frustration: I was not bored for a second, and I like thinking about it. The movie also subverts the narration I dislike by entertwining the decisive moment of his life with the moments before the murder.
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jenkins

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Reply #106 on: November 28, 2019, 03:01:05 PM
i think that went well. i’m highkey addicted to soap opera which i call melodrama and consider emotional realism, personally. you know there isn’t like a coked-out paranoid looking for helicopters scene, so it’s a gangster movie with a wider perspective, and really cinema continues riffing on narrative concepts introduced by Shenmue 1&2


©brad

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Reply #107 on: November 30, 2019, 08:09:45 PM
They couldn't turn one woman in almost 4 goddamn hours into an actual character? Anna Paquin was so silent some scenes with her felt like self-parody. The crowd I was with was literally laughing at how muted she was.

This movie was overall quite delicious and I can't wait to rewatch, but fucking hell Marty/Steve there's no excuse for women in this story to be such a nonfactor. It's such a boring choice.


Drenk

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Reply #108 on: November 30, 2019, 09:00:39 PM
You're supposed to care about The Special Kid representing the moral judgment of the audience. I don't believe that excluding the women is a good way to represent the misogyny of the characters: the moments with Pesci's wife in the car, smoking, or when she reminds him to take his shoes off, are good—but in the first twenty minutes. Is it possible to capture an inadequate family life by not showing it?

I watched Serpico after The Irishman, and Lumet brings so much life to the girlfriends, you feel like you know them in a few minutes, and that's as much a "man" movie as this one.

ItalianAmerican is wonderful, but Scorsese seems unable to capture the energy of his mother in fiction, even when she appears in the movie.

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jenkins

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Reply #109 on: December 01, 2019, 01:00:48 AM
i think Sharon Stone plays the most interesting and expansive character in Casino


Alexandro

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Reply #110 on: December 01, 2019, 11:26:19 AM
They couldn't turn one woman in almost 4 goddamn hours into an actual character? Anna Paquin was so silent some scenes with her felt like self-parody. The crowd I was with was literally laughing at how muted she was.

This movie was overall quite delicious and I can't wait to rewatch, but fucking hell Marty/Steve there's no excuse for women in this story to be such a nonfactor. It's such a boring choice.

that's the point. he doesn't speak to them, he doesn't know, but more than anything, he doesn't tell us anything about them, he doesn't think they're as worthy  of telling us as his own job and people from the job. this is his point of view. by the time he is dying is too late to be interested.

you can think it's a boring choice, but I think it was the right one and a bold one, precisely because it can get reactions like yours and people laughing, as if it were some kind of accident from the writers. 

anyway, I enjoy the film too much. I was telling a friend the other day, the film is so good is not even worth debating how good it really is or isn't. time will put it in its rightful place.


samsong

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Reply #111 on: December 01, 2019, 06:50:35 PM
i put this on just to see how it looked in 4k on my tv and ended up watching the whole thing.  flew by faster, resonated deeper, strengthened my resolve that this is among the very best of scorsese’s oeuvre.  what a fucking movie, and one i’ll likely be revisiting often. 


eward

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Reply #112 on: December 02, 2019, 07:18:53 AM
Fish? Fuck you know about fish?

Never put a fish in your car. That'll help you out in life.
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


eward

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Reply #113 on: December 02, 2019, 05:14:49 PM
Watching “The Irishman” on Netflix Is the Best Way to See It

by Richard Brody

Having seen it both ways, I can attest that “The Irishman,” which I first experienced on the big screen, at its New York Film Festival première, is even more satisfying, even more thrilling, when viewed at home on Netflix. The reasons for my preference have to do with the specifics of the artistry and the choices of the director, Martin Scorsese, and also with the emotions and ideas that home viewing left me with. “The Irishman” is three and a half hours long, and, watching it at home, I took breaks for reasons other than banal practicalities: I found myself overwhelmed by feelings and thoughts and sheer beauty, and I often stopped the movie to savor the moment, back up a bit, and watch a scene again. Viewed this way, the movie stretched out closer to five hours—a day very well spent.

One reason for the pausing and the savoring is the majestic intricacy of the tale’s construction. “The Irishman” is the story of Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), who was, around 1950, a Philadelphia-based driver of a refrigerated meat truck for a supermarket chain. While hanging around in a tough-guys’ bar, he got inspired to steal sides of beef in order to ingratiate himself with a local gangster (Bobby Cannavale), and was then recruited by a big-time Mob boss, Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci), to do strong-arm work. A series of steps and missteps lead Frank to become a hit man (or, in the code of the trade, a “house painter”—think blood on the walls), and then the bodyguard and right-hand man to the labor leader Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), who disappeared in 1975 and hasn’t been seen since (and Frank has something to say about that). The story (from a script by Steven Zaillian) is told in three ingeniously intertwined movements: the elderly Frank’s reminiscences from a nursing home, which give rise to two layers of flashbacks, one centered on a 1975 road trip that he took with Russell, and the other going back to his first meeting with Russell and moving ahead until it catches up with and continues past the 1975 events.

“The Irishman,” rather self-evidently, is filled with the subtle and deadly half-tone negotiations and whispered hints on which the bloodily decisive realm of the Mob is formed. The real-life Hoffa (as the movie makes clear) was a major political and cultural figure of the time, the head of the Teamsters union and a crucial player in both gangland politics and the actual practical politics of the day, and the movie’s key through line is the inseparability of those two realms. “The Irishman” is a sociopolitical horror story that views much of modern American history as a continuous crime in motion, in which every level of society—from domestic life through local business through big business through national and international politics—is poisoned by graft and bribery, shady deals and dirty money, threats of violence and its gruesome enactment, and the hard-baked impunity that keeps the entire system running.

Yet on a second viewing—and a closeup one—the grim political implications of the story took a back seat to its near-metaphysical ones. Scorsese presents not merely one skein of interlocking scandals but an existential vision of society, the very immoral essence of humankind, looked in the face and wearing suits. “The Irishman” struck me, this time, as the most perversely secular of Scorsese’s religious films (or vice versa), as a mighty fresco of temptation and damnation—and, as such, a companion piece to the best of Scorsese’s later films, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” from 2013. That wild ride, about a financial fraudster’s rise, fall, and scaled-down return, ends with one of the most ingenious scenes in the modern cinema, one that turns the movie’s themes of greed and desire around to implicate the audience, the public at large, in its consuming frenzy. In “The Irishman,” Scorsese does something similar, and he does so by way of a set of gestures that play an exceptional and forcefully significant role in the drama and, above all, by way of a character who, in the sweep of the action, seems diminished by its emphases—yet who, in home viewing, with the power of the proximity to a smaller screen and the power to rewatch, comes devastatingly to the fore.

The gesture is silence—specifically, the silent gaze—and the character is Peggy, one of Frank’s four daughters with his first wife, Mary (Aleksa Palladino). Peggy is played as a child by Lucy Gallina and as a teen-ager and an adult by Anna Paquin. Much has been made of the fact that Peggy, who’s prominent throughout the film—and whose ultimate rejection of Frank is a wound that he never gets over—has very few lines of dialogue. That’s certainly true; the question of what purpose Peggy’s (relative) silence serves is something else altogether, and that purpose, that context, and the extraordinary role that Peggy plays in the movie’s thematic web struck me when I watched “The Irishman” at home. What’s more, the spotlighting of Peggy results from crucial artistic choices made by Scorsese that particularly invite and reward the intimacy and the repetition afforded by a home viewing.

Early in the film, sometime in the late nineteen-fifties, the young Peggy is at the center of a sequence that scars her for life. After she accidentally made a mess in a corner grocery story, the grocer shoved her. Learning of this, Frank takes Peggy by the hand, brings her to the store, and, so that she can see, pushes the grocer through his own glass door and kicks him in the head and repeatedly stomps on his hand, audibly breaking it—on the sidewalk, in front of Peggy and other passersby who look on in mute horror (and it’s quite certain that their horror will remain mute, because they know what they’d get for snitching).

Peggy’s own sense of horror is manifested, soon thereafter, in her aversion to the cagey and calculating Russell, who’s a frequent presence in the Sheeran family (and whose increasingly transparent efforts to ingratiate himself with her grow all the more hopeless). Her sense of principle is displayed in her affinity for Hoffa, who also spends time with the family, and whose public role as a labor leader whose celebrated achievements for Teamsters members (wage increases, pensions, medical benefits) endear him to her (as does his expansive personality). She doesn’t talk much—not in Frank’s presence, and it’s never clear what she has to say when she’s not around him. But it’s pretty clear what she thinks—and, above all, what she knows.

Peggy not only knows that her father and his associates are violent monsters; she is a sharp observer, who is present at key moments throughout the film and who detects and discerns—even more than do other gangsters, let alone union officials, politicians, and law-enforcement officers—what’s being planned behind the scenes and what will ultimately be done with deadly and devastating effect. She isn’t just sitting on the sidelines looking frontally but askance at the ruthless and violent people in her midst; she is one of them. No, she’s certainly not violent. But she has the same temperament—the same insight, the same steely clarity of observation, the same acumen—as they do. (There’s a crucial banquet scene that she dominates without saying a word—she solves it visually, as if it were an equation.)

Her powerfully penetrating gaze, however, isn’t alone; it’s not in dramatic isolation. Rather, Peggy’s silences are merely the counterpart of other silences. The crucial moments of understanding in “The Irishman,” the crucial bond of trust between the criminals at its center, are moments of silence—and Peggy’s silences are of exactly the same kind, exactly the same caliber, exactly the same level of insight as Frank’s and Russell’s silences, as well as those of other gangsters whose communications must take place in code and in silence for the purpose of legal deniability. (Even the euphemism of “house painting” suggests the deceptions at the story’s core.)

Peggy is aware; she is part of the same regime of power—the regime of silence—as Frank and Russell. Hoffa, by contrast is different—he is the opposite of silent—not only is he a literal speechmaker at the rostrum, he’s a running-off-at-the-mouth talker in private, in one-on-ones and “business” meetings. Peggy isn’t merely enticed by Hoffa’s political rhetoric; she has confidence in him precisely because he’s different—because he’s a talker. Though Frank tells, in a voluble voice-over and an on-camera narration, the story of his life and his, um, work, the crucial moments between Frank and Russell, the ones in which the hit man gets an assignment, are silences.

It’s worth watching “The Irishman” for these silences; seen at home, they resound mightily. One of the moments that forges the bond between Frank and Russell involves Frank’s telling of his experiences as a soldier in the Second World War, fighting in Italy; there, too, he explains, a code of silence prevails—and leads to bloody outcomes. The movie’s silent gazes—whether the fearful silence that protects criminals whose retaliation would be devastating, or the loyal silence of criminals protecting each other, or the symbolic silence of criminals communicating with each other—are sublime to observe, and they’re the mark of Cain.

Peggy’s silence, too, is a grim and tainted one, which she finally breaks—briefly, decisively, judgmentally, essentially, prosecutorially, and to devastating effect. Her ultimate rejection and repudiation of her father and his world is more than merely practical—it’s a sort of monastic renunciation. Endowed with the same talents, the same smarts, the same audacity as Frank, Peggy chooses the workaday life that he gave up for a life of crime. It’s depicted as a life behind glass, cut off from human contact. It’s as close to a repudiation of society at large as a functioning member of it can pull off. (For a further mark of the existential drama underlying the political, historical, and familial one of “The Irishman,” trace out the obsessive repetition of the line “It’s what it is.”)

Scorsese clearly knows the power of these silent gazes—and the essential silence of implacable power. He knows their historical role in the history of cinema, and he brings them to the fore, making sure that they register with the viewer. (The movie’s editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s longtime collaborator, has brilliantly honed these moments into razor-edged glints.) He does so, above all, in a scene (I won’t spoil the specifics) in which Russell orders Frank into a high-stakes and risky mission. The meeting takes place in a motel restaurant, in an early-morning quiet, and, at the decisive moment, Frank, who is staring intently at Russell, flicks his gaze straight into the camera; he does it again a few moments later. The gesture has the same cataclysmic power as the collective look into the camera of the striving and yearning crowd at the end of “The Wolf of Wall Street,” except that in “The Irishman” it’s not a look of desperate ignorance but of desperate knowledge—and of unfathomable solitude, the closest thing to a spiritual trial of which he’s capable.

The telling details that overrun the sweeping narrative of “The Irishman” are all the more conspicuous, all the more thunderous, when watching the movie at home. Scorsese—consciously or not, but nonetheless conspicuously—has composed the film to reward repeated viewings—and, for that matter, to reward the kind of closeup, hands-on intimacy that laptop-watching affords. The movie places enormous weight on visual asides, of a sort that haven’t dominated Scorsese’s previous work. “The Irishman” isn’t a work of television; it’s a feature film, but one that, having been made for a studio that’s mainly in the business of streaming, derives particular benefits from the streaming experience.

Only Netflix was willing to spend the money that it took to make “The Irishman” as it needed to be made—namely, with elaborate digital technology applied to De Niro, Pesci, and Pacino, so that they could play roles ranging over decades. (Scorsese is one of the great digital artists of the time; this film, no less than “The Wolf of Wall Street,” depends on digital technology and uses it more audaciously than anyone else does.) The decision does more than make sense; it’s definitive. The movie is populated by actors who, like the protagonists, are marked by the selfsame moments in history, the identical forces, the same tones and moods as the ones that it dramatizes; it turns the movie into a virtual documentary. “The Irishman” is a film of fear, of terror. It’s not merely a fear of the deadly threats of ruthless criminals but, rather, a fear that, by functioning and being shaped by a world dominated by such criminals, we are inescapably sharing in their sin. It’s a movie made by a filmmaker who fears not only for society, not only for humanity—but also for his soul.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/watching-the-irishman-on-netflix-is-the-best-way-to-see-it

If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


jenkins

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Reply #114 on: December 02, 2019, 05:27:53 PM
people are so funny


eward

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Reply #115 on: December 05, 2019, 09:57:55 AM
 :yabbse-smiley:
If I could move the night I would
And I would turn the world around if I could
There's nothing wrong with loving something you can't hold in your hand
You're sitting on the edge of the bed, smoking and shaking your head
Well there's nothing wrong with loving things that cannot even stand
Well there goes your moony man
With his suitcase in his hand
Every road is lined with animals
That rise from their blood and walk
Well the moon won't get a wink of sleep
If I stay all night and talk


jviness02

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Reply #116 on: December 05, 2019, 03:17:35 PM
They couldn't turn one woman in almost 4 goddamn hours into an actual character? Anna Paquin was so silent some scenes with her felt like self-parody. The crowd I was with was literally laughing at how muted she was.

This movie was overall quite delicious and I can't wait to rewatch, but fucking hell Marty/Steve there's no excuse for women in this story to be such a nonfactor. It's such a boring choice.

As others have mentioned, that’s the whole point. Also, to act like it’s “self-parody” isn’t exactly an honest way of looking at human behavior. My sister was exactly like this to the extreme of staring and not saying a single word to my father after we discovered he was having an affair. I literally sat next to her on his birthday one year where she would talk to me and feed my niece and say nothing to him. Awkward, but it can happen.

I find it humorous and quite on point that the film is essentially framed as an old man’s ramblings. We have an unreliable narrator which makes the whole “Forest Gump in American Organized Crime” feeling of the story easier to digest.