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Abuse of Weakness

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  • The Master of Two Worlds
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on: September 24, 2014, 03:19:29 AM

SPOILERS (Maybe, I mean I just sorta talk about what I like about the movie and probably say something revealing, but there's not like a twist or anything and honestly, if you have any interest in reading it, you should, and if you feel like you need to see the movie in it's entirety, I get it, so try to see it, it's really good, but this is just me reaching out, hoping someone else saw it.  I also hope they liked it if they saw it.  Now I'm realizing that the lack of thread may imply that if it was seen, it wasn't enjoyed.  Well fuck that, here's a thread.  Maybe it'll get redirected, this movie apparently came out in 2013 according to IMDB, but I did search in 2013 and didn't see a thread for this, so here goes.)

I'm surprised by the lack of mention of this movie here.  Catherine Breillat is among my favorite living directors, and even then, maybe with the dead included.  Her dialogue is always spot on and her movies always stir up in me such a complicated mix of emotion that I can never say I felt exactly entertained or repulsed.

She has full command of her expression here, perhaps since the movie is semi-autobiographical.  Not to mention, Isabelle Huppert is amazing in this and really pulls off having suffered a recent stroke well.  I feel like that's a fine line most actors may not have the chops to do without making it look comically forced.  Then again, most filmmakers don't seem poised to have a protagonist out of a stroke victim.

Kool Shen has a great performance here, I wasn't aware he could act aside from his musical persona.  Hell of a lot of charisma to convey all the while being a conman.  At no point was I entirely vilifying him for what he was doing.  I could only see him acting opportunistically because he had no reason not to.  He would be absolutely clear about what he wanted and was going to take, and she was so taken by his bitter pride that she played right into it.

We are to hold her in equal parts in contempt for being swindled, but also sympathizing with her for falling for his charms.  I've never seen such a troubling presentation of victim's accountability as well as demonizing of people who take what they can because they can.  Everything just feels so lose/lose here, but only if you find yourself giving in to the easier mode of life and never thinking objectively.  The real danger, it seems like, is just committing to yourself and staying true to what you feel comfortable with and neglecting obvious signals that everyone around you is trying to emphasize.  This applies to both her and him and the necessary changes they could make to better themselves, but never feel entirely inclined to do so because they simply refuse to acknowledge the help.

Moreover, the film really has an interesting analogy of love to money and how we may loan love to people, with or without interest back from them, or how people may hold their debts until they feel inclined to repay them, in whatever fashion they deem necessary.  Even then, love is not something that can be infinitely dispensed.  The more you focus it on one person, the more you take away from the love other people are trying to share with you, which makes a negative reciprocation on their behalf.  Then you must somehow find a way to manage forgiveness, to atone for the love you've neglected in favor of the new investments you've made. 

By the end, she finds herself bankrupt and has to make sense of it all in front of people demanding she explain herself, as well as people automatically ready to forgive her as having a loose state of mind from the recent stroke.  So eloquently, particularly for an autobiographical film, she defends and admonishes herself with "It was me, but then it wasn't me."
"As a matter of fact I only work with the feeling of something magical, something seemingly significant. And to keep it magical I don't want to know the story involved, I just want the hypnotic effect of it somehow seeming significant without knowing why." - Len Lye


  • The Master of Two Worlds
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Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 04:28:42 AM
dvd nov 11^

breillat is a golden so thanks for the mention