Author Topic: the hunt  (Read 2669 times)

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samsong

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the hunt
« on: October 10, 2013, 08:04:50 AM »
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thomas vinterberg's latest. 

Mads Mikkelsen (NBC's Hannibal, A ROYAL AFFAIR, CASINO ROYALE) won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his penetrating portrayal of Lucas, a former school teacher who has been forced to start over having overcome a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered when an untruthful remark throws his small community into a collective state of hysteria. As the lie spreads, Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity.



anyone else see this?  trashjunkiesomething's comment in the shoutbox about how a best foreign film nomination for the hunt would be cause for concern for the future of cinema (as if there isn't enough as it is) caught my eye and piqued my interest in a movie i was only partially interested in.  just finished it and i have to say i don't understand the comment at all, and more than anything would like to hear more. 

personally i thought it was really good.  particularly impressed by mads mikkelsen's performance, who's quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.  i guess that's the most common highlight having glanced over some reviews, and the fact that he won best actor at cannes.  it should be more a testament to how great he is in the movie than cause to believe it's the only thing worthwhile about it.  i'm still mulling but i found this to compare favorably to the work of lee chang dong in its incisive commentary and plausible purposefulness in dramatic construction.  quietly powerful stuff.

ElPandaRoyal

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 08:17:05 AM »
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I don't understand that comment either. It's a good movie with an excellent performance. Mikkelsen is great in every movie he's in, but here I think he's at the top of his game.
Si

jenkins

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 11:39:12 AM »
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it's been one year since i saw the hunt. i wanted to like it because vinterberg, and because before i saw it devin faraci told me it was as bad as an 80s tv movie and i didn't want that to be right. aside from components of the story i don't think faraci was right,

but it's more accurate to say vinterberg is drifting from my interests. vinterberg begins with the celebration, that's top shelf. dear wendy i enjoy because it's a southern usa movie shot in denmark (i wrote about dear wendy in the past),

and ok here we are, at the problem of vinterberg losing my interest. where the problem begins for me is submarino. i enjoy a northern eupropean tradition of portraying death and doom and think they can excel at it. i like to see artists who understand struggle and endurance. i'm all about that. for example, before or sometime around submarino i watched joachim trier's reprise, brier's in a better world, and fly's the inheritance. those movies feel like they have real people with real emotions, and the directors use cinema as a canvas. that's important. people can see that and feel less afraid, it can give them strength, and they can learn about cinema. submarino, i don't buy it. i can't believe it. it doesn't mean as much to me as other great danish movies happening right now -- i haven't even made a global competition, i'm talking about movies within the country of denmark. it's interesting to me that epr hates von trier because von trier makes his characters suffer, and all vinterberg does is make his characters suffer. he treasures their suffering in a way that, to me, is vastly different from the way von trier makes his characters suffer. i can see how/why vinterberg/von trier work together, but i view von trier's movies with meaning in the subsurface, and vinterberg is pure doom and gloom

bam, i've arrived at the hunt -- a movie of one man's doom and gloom, and a child's perspective. a child, still within innocence, is sheltered from life's cruelty and also unable to fully understand life's cruelty. so we get to see a movie about gloom generated by innocence spiraling. it's been about a year, but in the hunt there's once or twice a scene where they have the child explain the movie. she's saying something else for adults in the movie, but in narrative form she explains how the movie can be contrived, how she's a child. adults in the movie don't know what to do except hate the accused. it's awful. mikkelsen should be given an award for signing up to make this movie, yes, sure, but i can't buy a second of the narrative. and that's my opinion, ok. i don't like to go carrying around my opinions as if i'm an authority because i'm not and i don't even want to be that type of person,

but as an academy nominee, fuck that hardcore and all the way to "shouldn't happen." i like movies and live in los angeles, so once a year i have a modicum of hope for the oscars. somehow the academy could pick a great movie to celebrate, more people will become excited about movies, more people will see more types of movies, and maybe this city and its academy could help restore the importance of cinema

nothing about any part of the hunt will increase the stature of the oscars or the stature of cinema or encourage anyone new to see a movie or highlight aspects of movies that often go unnoticed. i don't think it needs to be in the house of the oscars, and i agree with samsong that there are many problems in cinema to worry about right now and this isn't the worst no, but in terms of placing it in a house that i desire to help fix cinema's problems, i don't think it needs to be there

samsong

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 06:13:59 PM »
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i've only seen the celebration, which i enjoyed quite a bit, so i can't say i came in with as much baggage as you did. 

as far as the oscars are concerned, i had a feeling that may be where you're coming from, and on that there's nothing really to discuss because i don't have any hope for it nor give it much credence for its influence, so it doesn't matter to me what they do or don't get behind.  but i hardly think adopting the hunt, which i think has more going on for it than you give it credit for, would be the most egregious offense to the public's understanding of cinema.  out of curiosity what do you think of argo winning best picture?  (i could go back to the thread and look for what you might've written, but i'm lazy.)  i also think best foreign picture is one of their worst categories in terms of acknowledging quality.  you seem to still have some esteem for the "house of the oscars" but i have to tell you, there's a pretty great tradition of championing mediocrity there just as much as it remains a beacon for people to pursue cinema further should they be so inclined. 

not buying into a narrative is a death sentence for a movie; everything kind of goes out the window at that point, especially for a movie that's as narrative-centric and straightforward as this.  implausibility seems to be the major criticism of the movie but i personally didn't have that problem with the hunt.  i thought everything in the film is pretty well constructed and accounted for, at times a bit too conveniently but i was so wrapped in the drama that i didn't mind.  i found the conflict and the way it unfolds to be entirely believable given the setting, and the nature of it makes how the film goes down pretty convincing.  i also got the immediate sense that the film was a bit of a parable so its narrative deliberateness was entirely acceptable, but i don't think it ever gets out of line in that regard. 

given that believing the narrative isn't an issue, i think there's a lot of great, subtle, powerful work done to create an unsettling drama that promotes and, more importantly, challenges empathy.  no one in this film acts in an overtly typical fashion.  it's easy to divide the people in the film up by where people stand and take everything at face value from there but for a story of this kind of volatility it curbs easy histrionics and judgements and instead provides a challenging narrative that a willing viewer can engage with on what i think is a very deep, humanist level.  there are a few characters who are outright awful but in a small town and that kind of accusation, i don't think it impossible that some people would get that way.  lucas may be getting shat on for the most part but i think it's important to consider how he's taking on the situation, and i think it's to mikkelsen's boundless credit for making that character so layered.  more than just the obliteration of his social status, he's suffering an assault on his soul as a result of randomness and human fallibility, and i found watching him grapple with that to be entirely cathartic.  the scene in the church is absolutely devastating, and what comes after is transcendent, and i think the film works towards and earns those things.  also i don't know that it warrants the comparison to the way some people choose to perceive the films of lars von trier (making characters suffer for the sake of it, etc.).  instead it seems more appropriate to reference hitchcock and his innocent wrongly accused trope.

i guess my question is what do you consider worthwhile contributions to the future of cinema?  thomas vinterberg and the hunt may have been on your radar but i think it's safe to say your interests are more focused and eccentric than the average moviegoer, and the hunt hardly enjoyed a huge and receptive opening to the masses.  does the fact that you saw nothing useful in it mean someone else can't, or that there really is nothing there? can't any movie, really, lead a person to learn more about the medium?  i get it though, as it was something i struggled with at multiple points as a self-proclaimed cineaste.  i guess i'm just a lot less jihadist about it, if it's even on my mind at all.  i'm opinionated and i enjoy discourse with conflicting perspectives, but i no longer burden myself with the idea that i know anything about what's good or not good for people and the art form.  any statement i make as such of late tends to be purely facetious. 

 

jenkins

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 07:09:07 PM »
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explanations:

out of curiosity what do you think of argo winning best picture?
didn't see it. i would've seen it if such a situation arose, and i'd still see it, but i haven't. i saw the artist and think it has no reminders about the beauty of silent cinema -- it reflects back on the nature of silent movies, but i don't see the elegance or dynamics of silent cinema. the king's speech, check out my curveball here, i like more than people tend to. i've noticed people become frustrated with hooper for various reasons, including his photographic framing, but i see his craft and appreciate his goals. the hurt locker brought bigelow to the masses, of course that joyed me. i only saw it once in the theater but i remember when they're in the desert and they're trying to fight an enemy and people have to figure out the trajectories of a desert fight, and that became the sequence and illustrated difficulties of the war. i thought the hurt locker did a good job of portraying the war's challenges. that's my response back to 2010

i also think best foreign picture is one of their worst categories in terms of acknowledging quality.  you seem to still have some esteem for the "house of the oscars" but i have to tell you, there's a pretty great tradition of championing mediocrity there just as much as it remains a beacon for people to pursue cinema further should they be so inclined.
i agree and you've exaggerated my esteem. if anything i've illustrated personal frustrations, which frustrations were of such vital importance to me that i mentioned them in the drunk tank

i also got the immediate sense that the film was a bit of a parable so its narrative deliberateness was entirely acceptable, but i don't think it ever gets out of line in that regard.
mhmm, it is a parable. that's what it is

given that believing the narrative isn't an issue, i think there's a lot of great, subtle, powerful work done to create an unsettling drama that promotes and, more importantly, challenges empathy.
its mission is to showcase the difference between a perception of a person and a person's actual existence. it's tricky to consider, and vinterberg has the mission and it's a good one. there's a chance his fable orientation will help the movie endure. the hunt confronts the problem without tailoring it directly to this specific era, and that gives it a flight through time. realistic social movies tend to die out of esteem after a short number of years. like i've said before, if the problems persist, so too should the movies

given that believing the narrative isn't an issue, i think there's a lot of great, subtle, powerful work done to create an unsettling drama that promotes and, more importantly, challenges empathy.
cool

a challenging narrative that a willing viewer can engage with on what i think is a very deep, humanist level.
hmm. i like how easy you are. maybe i should be easier. the point of this movie is deep and humanist enough, sure, but what is the will you want from the viewer? everything in the movie is pretty fucking obvious and easy to see. no one seems to have missed the point

lucas may be getting shat on for the most part but i think it's important to consider how he's taking on the situation, and i think it's to mikkelsen's boundless credit for making that character so layered.
like i said, northern europe is great with characteristics of struggle and endurance

more than just the obliteration of his social status, he's suffering an assault on his soul as a result of randomness and human fallibility, and i found watching him grapple with that to be entirely cathartic.
cool

the scene in the church is absolutely devastating, and what comes after is transcendent, and i think the film works towards and earns those things.
agreed. i don't think it drives itself off course

also i don't know that it warrants the comparison to the way some people choose to perceive the films of lars von trier (making characters suffer for the sake of it, etc.).  instead it seems more appropriate to reference hitchcock and his innocent wrongly accused trope.
von trier wrote vinterberg's dear wendy. vinterberg made the first dogme 95. they have a history of creative partnership and vinterberg tends to say many nice things about von trier. if he doesn't make it to the von trier layer, ok. i guess now we'd have to talk about how some of hitchcock's movies weren't good. they weren't all excellent. are you throwing hitchock down and walking away? if you want to

i guess my question is what do you consider worthwhile contributions to the future of cinema?
i listed three danish movies, and i tend to talk about movies here

does the fact that you saw nothing useful in it mean someone else can't, or that there really is nothing there?
no! what a question. i should've ended with "but this is also just my opinion about the potential achievements of the oscars and it's my opinion" because i did in fact say i'm disinterested in authoritative judgments. i'd be like some character in the hunt, but in a movie sense. if the hunt is nominated, if people see it, enjoy it, and take things from it, that's great. i don't think movieland needs to be driven by my personal opinion, i just happen to have one, like you do

can't any movie, really, lead a person to learn more about the medium?
like, can pure chance solve the matter? mhmm. i like that. and it's obvious i don't only select a chosen few

i get it though, as it was something i struggled with at multiple points as a self-proclaimed cineaste.
what was your struggle? can be such a bummer, but it's not a big deal. you have no aspirations to make a movie? i can't relate, but i'd hear about it

i'm opinionated and i enjoy discourse with conflicting perspectives, but i no longer burden myself with the idea that i know anything about what's good or not good for people and the art form.  any statement i make as such of late tends to be purely facetious.
oh, an explanation. nice. i'm doing that too. you asked me too. and i've enjoyed this as well

samsong

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 11:17:13 PM »
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sorry guess i probably could've elaborated on the hitchcock name drop.  what i meant was that hitchcock's innocent wrongly accused films, namely and most obviously the wrong man addressed social issues and the plight of an individual in the midst of (an inherently flawed) society by way of his techniques of "pure cinema" and drawing from his strengths as a director of suspense/thrillers/horror, which generally stray pretty far from realism.  artifice as a means to truth.  to varying degrees that's essentially the goal of cinema/art.  i was trying to frame the hunt as a film that as a film that uses pretty overt technique (in this case, more in the writing than the aesthetic style, though the framing... i'd have to see it again to make an argument for that as i can't cite any patterns in particular, but it struck me as being very thoughtful at the very least) to achieve a truth.

i get the similarities between von trier and vinterberg, and i'm not a fan of the observation that they tend to make films that dwell on human suffering, because people are content to leave it at that.  it rarely comes with a reason as to why/how it fails for the person. 

the reason i bring up the film's parable leanings is that in most parables, the narrative is shaped to reach a pretty clear observation, and it isn't always concerned with presenting something that's acceptable under realist scrutiny.  that said, i personally didn't have a problem buying anything in the movie and am of the opinion that most everything is justified and addressed within the narrative.  as for topicality and timeliness, sure the film doesn't really announce when it's set (though i think it's pretty clearly present day) but i don't see how that's relevant when considering a topic as universally deplored and feared as child molestation, and on the grander scale the juggernaut of mob mentality and fragility of social status.  i'd be content if the film were just that.  what elevates it for me is the character of lucas and how he navigates his way through the shit storm.  there's no one way to summarize it, no pervading psychology to attribute everything to.  one minute he's calm, seemingly confident that the confusion will subside, at other times completely angry and acting out, then withdrawn... his grief and suffering as a result of this occurrence in his life to me felt completely organic, and i felt for him at each step.  lucas struck me as a bressonian protagonist (i contend the film might as well be called au hasard lucas), and while the grace he exhibits throughout the film is flawed (as are all things that come from people), it's grace nonetheless in the face of social injustice and human cruelty, which to me is a welcome reprieve and a much more interesting perspective than something like the vindictive loss of one's soul like in prisoners.  in that sense it reminded me of mouchette as well.  as easy and obvious as the the moral conflict at the center of the film is to understand and grasp (i consider it a virtue of the film, as it isn't really a small or easy topic to present in such a way), no one seems to address the complexities of lucas's plight, and that to me is where this film truly soars.

but i suppose we just saw different movies.  anyway the matter of wanting to know what you meant by that statement is settled.  thanks for humoring me.

samsong

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 11:20:06 PM »
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i think it goes without saying that i think people should see this movie.  my recs of late don't seem to go over well with the board (i think at this point pubrick avoids anything i endorse like the plague), but... i dont know.  whatever.

jenkins

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 11:38:10 PM »
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at this juncture i'd quote things you said and respond with agreement/disagreement, but squabbles aren't my goal, no. what matters is that people see movies and think for themselves

this was a nice chat and i enjoyed it. you've done a good job of rocketing the hunt into conversation. i think people will be more likely to see it now

jenkins

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Re: the hunt
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 03:26:09 PM »
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@BobWeide  Jan 28
Just streamed Danish Oscar nom "The Hunt." What interesting timing. Recommended viewing for all those discussing my @thedailybeast piece.

it really is a strangely appropriate movie

 

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