Author Topic: The Witch  (Read 6277 times)

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jenkins

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The Witch
« on: August 19, 2015, 03:16:39 PM »
+2


unspecified 2016 release date from A24, also the official website is boss: http://thewitch-movie.com

reminder: Ghostboy loves this movie as much as all caps and Mad Max.

Just Withnail

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2015, 11:41:04 AM »
0
Hell yes. That's the place where cinema lives.

jenkins

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 11:49:08 AM »
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Release date: February 26, 2016

why is this movie being celebrated? i'm not sure but i'm positive that's awesome.


Just Withnail

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 05:47:19 AM »
+3
Hell yes. That's the place where cinema lives.

Ugh. Not quite. I was thrilled by the trailer, but the film was a let-down. It starts off borrowing a whole bag of tricks from the TWBB playbook, but quickly goes off into own territory, but territory that didn't work for me. The dialogue is in an extremely stylized faux old New England vernacular, but I didn't think the actors pulled it off, which clouded a lot of the film for me, even the parts that were excellent otherwise.

SPOILERS

It does occasionally manage to build up dread, and the blocking, length and composition of scenes are usually really well done - especially a set-piece involving the middle brother being possessed - OR IS HE? I wish the film had taken a stance in the beginning, whether witches actually exist in the film's universe or not. I didn't get which reality we were supposed to be in, though that might be more my fault than the film's. The film has the disclaimer "A New England Fairy Tale" right under the title, but we're certainly not in a fairy tale, the film is too much rooted in naturalism.

The film might be set in a completely un-magical universe, since way the fairy tale elements are incorporated seem specifically designed to shed doubt on their reality, but are we then just watching the girl go crazy? If yes, see Der Nachtmahr instead.

The fairy tale elements could also be taken at face value, as real in this universe, as it really does invite you to think so at times, but far too rarely to really feel like a New England Fairy Tale. I wish it had gone all the way with those elements, that would actually steeped you the mentality of the time.

It seemed to both want to be a film about the steps that could plausibly lead to someone being accused of being a witch, seen from today's viewpoint, outside of the characters situations, in a naturalistic manner, in a non-magical universe where superstitious people project their fears onto the wrong things - which I think the film mostly pulled off very well - and at the same time be a film possibly semi-locked to the POV of this girl, who may or may not just be going crazy. OR IS SHE REALLY A WITCH? Which is a boring question to me.

It went in too many directions for me, not seeming to know quite what it was.

(edited for sentences that didn't make sense)

pete

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 01:42:16 PM »
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spoilers but not really

I dug it - there was that scene in the middle of the movie that was like a lynchpin scene - one that would've validated all the suspense before it and made you accept all the ridiculousness after and I thought the film did a stellar job. felt like the film was never a sixth sense thing where it wanted you to guess whether or not there was ghost/ magic in this world. the film just wanted to create a context in which witches are very scary. the film's ambition is actually quite straightforward - it just wants to scare you with witchy stuff, through the eyes of 17th century folks.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

Ghostboy

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 07:38:23 PM »
+1
I don't think there's meant to be any ambiguity whatsoever about whether there's a witch, or whether witchcraft and/or magic exists in this world. It's established pretty literally in the first ten minutes that the witch is a witch, in the classical sense. That's what I love about it. It just gets that out in the open. There's ambiguity over who's actually been bewitched, I suppose, but not about the fact that bewitching is occurring.

Just Withnail

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 02:21:13 PM »
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It's been a while since I saw it now, so my memory is a bit hazy on specifics, but I remember feeling like the reality of the witch was very often linked to the pov of the girl, but I might be mistaken. You are both describing the film I wanted to see! I might just have been in a bad mood, which could certainly be assumed by the tone of my writing up there.

Ghostboy

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2016, 11:29:15 AM »
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They break subjectivity very specifically (and very gruesomely) for an extended sequence within the first fifteen minutes, just to cast out any doubt that this might all be in the characters' heads.

Just Withnail

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2016, 12:20:25 PM »
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They break subjectivity very specifically (and very gruesomely) for an extended sequence within the first fifteen minutes, just to cast out any doubt that this might all be in the characters' heads.

It's horrible to have forgotten so many details. I do remember that we see the witch explicitly very quickly, but help jog my memory, in which way do they break subjectivity?

Ghostboy

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2016, 04:11:14 PM »
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SPOILERS

After the baby is stolen, and there's that subjective shot of Tomasin looking at the bushings moving in the woods, we then break from the family's perspective and cut to a shot of a witch scurrying through the woods, carrying the baby. She takes it back to a hovel. Then se see inside the house where she's naked and places the baby on a table and holds a knife up to it. Then we see her churning something in an old butter-churning thing - obviously the baby. Then she starts scooping out baby goo and slathering it all over her body. Then there's a shot of her greasing up her broomstick. And then, lastly, a shot of her rising up towards the full moon, presumably astride her broom.

Just Withnail

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 04:03:47 AM »
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Thanks! I remember that happened early, but didn't remember the details or whether there were any witnesses to it. I felt like the fact that Tomasin didn't actually see any trace of the witch carrying off the baby, in combination with us seeing the witch very explicitly immediately after, in a very phantasmagorical sequence that I felt stood quite a bit apart from the style of the film as a whole, made me think it could have been imagined. Granted, this is a convoluted way of making this the film I didn't want to see, while the more elegant explanation is the film I wanted and that you guys saw.

jenkins

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 04:21:35 PM »
+1
2046 screens opening weekend, both local arthouses and multiplexes.

opening weekend: they're not competitors they're friends, and The Witch opened at $8,685,270 while Ex Machina wide-opened at 1,255 with $5,349,500.

The Witch's opening has already grossed above all of A24's 2015 moves after Ex Machine (which made $25m), as in opening weekend The Witch made more theatrical money than the entire run of Amy, While We're Young, A Most Violent Year, The End of the Tour, and from 2014 it's already made more than Obvious Child, Under the Skin, Tusk, Locke, The Rover, and from 2013 Spring Breakers made $14mil, The Spectacular Now made $6.8, The Bling Ring made $5.8, and A24 isn't listed in 2012.

company wise, the horror genre came and did the thing it does where it rakes in money. helps the whole team. and David Lowery has been a superdelegate. A24 < Disney, as a company -- ok, the Pete's Dragon opening will at least triple The Witch, right? it'll at least open at $24mil, that's the laziest guess i can make. i don't know the precedent to a Pete's Dragon box office, this type of Disney reboot, and beginning to imagine things like this is next-level stuff from both the inside and outside. obvious bias for conversational fork, point is The Witch landed strong.

samsong

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 02:06:21 PM »
0
been looking forward to this since the early festival buzz and it over-delivered.  the horror movie of my dreams.  takes a big steamy shit all over it follows.  fucking loved it, and my favorite horror movie since... cronenberg's the fly i guess?  (chronologically speaking.)  completely transportive and visceral.  was delighted to find the movie to be a period family drama kissing cousin of polanski's repulsion.  dreyer's fingerprints are all over this as well.  terrified during its running time, elated afterwards to have experienced such pure cinema. 


wilder

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2016, 02:23:29 AM »
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Yeah this was awesome, really well done. The final ten minutes are completely phantasmagoric and I didn't want it to end.

Quote from: pete
the film's ambition is actually quite straightforward - it just wants to scare you with witchy stuff, through the eyes of 17th century folks.

That's what I thought I was watching, and I bought into it, but to be totally honest the language confused me a lot of the time and I wasn't even sure if I was missing anything -- if the movie had greater ambitions and I was just lost. Either way, I haven't seen a feature debut this assuredly directed in ages. And the cast is made up of such magnificent faces, even the bit parts in the beginning, that any missteps that could be attributed to the script (if it can even be said there are any?) pale in comparison to the the skill with which the rest was executed. I mean what an achievement...

This Anya Taylor-Joy girl is gonna be huge, right?

samsong

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2016, 02:55:21 AM »
+1
this review (http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/the-witch) has some incisive ideas about the film's subtext, and while i'm personally a little tired of the constant search for and citing of feminist angles as a badge of honor/seal of quality, it's pretty potent and earned in the film.

anya taylor-joy should supernova with success after this.  the performances all across the board are tremendous, making eggers's accomplishments with this film that much more impressive.  can't shake the film.  officially obsessed. 

on a separate note, just read that eggers is going to be doing a miniseries about rasputin.   i have to think ralph ineson's at least on the shortlist for that... the likeness is pretty uncanny.

 

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