Author Topic: Necktie Youth  (Read 963 times)

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jenkins

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Necktie Youth
« on: November 02, 2015, 07:35:50 PM »
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Sibs Shongwe-La Mer is an independent film director, screenwriter, visual artist, TED Talks alumnus and musician from Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2014, he wrote, directed, partially composed, edited and starred in debut feature NECKTIE YOUTH, which had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.


Just Withnail

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Re: Necktie Youth
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 06:12:15 AM »
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I saw this at the Berlinale and liked it a lot, though a lot of the details are fuzzy by now. I remember being intoxicated by its energy (both fast and leisurely) and immersion into the environment it portrays, as well as shocked by certain images.

jenkins

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Re: Necktie Youth
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 01:20:35 PM »
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it's very contemporary in this regard: it's highly self-aware and self-interested.

Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, the writer/director, toward the movie's end -- so this is a spoiler i guess, but this is a spoiler you can guess, since there's crossover between this movie as fiction and this movie as reality, and of course you know he makes it out of Johannesburg into Hollywood -- he says he doesn't want to leave behind his friend's broken hearts, since their hearts were already broken. that's a beautiful thing to say. he's also directly talking about the success his life is finding and where his life will take him. he's celebrating himself.

he's acknowledging that he gets to have his cake and eat it too. since also in the movie he takes drugs and travels around to parties. there's an anecdotal story about him receiving a blowjob and the followup cumshot. he's like his friends but better. and, isn't that true enough? but i don't think it used to be said this way.

i think Harmony Korine is the best and easiest reference point here. tonally and topically one could say there are similarities between Gummo and Necktie Youth. Shongwe-La Mer has the ability to weave dangerous material into poetic detail. he's talented at it. but let's say, for example, that instead of Korine on a couch talking during a scene in Gummo, let's say Korine was in Gummo, all of Gummo was the same except include him as a character, and at the end of the movie Korine was like "oh. my. god. they sure are crazy! well i love them, and i'm getting the fuck out of here now."

i liked this movie and recommend it. it makes me think about the things i mentioned.

jenkins

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Re: Necktie Youth
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 05:01:06 PM »
+1
then a little bit later i want to say, there are other ways of thinking about Necktie Youth, there are more perspectives than those mentioned.

there were titlecards for different characters with their own stories. there were some topic-themed titlecards. a group of friends have a conversation sitting on grass in a park. the previously-mentioned cumshot face has a [spoiler] gaze. the actors are the ages of the characters they are in the movie, this feels “realistic” and comes from a life the writer/director knows from personal experience.

the actors tell their emotions to the camera sometimes. like in Lake Mungo. they're asked about emotions related to the movie's opening suicide, and how they feel living where they do, in South Africa outside a city the residents call Johan. now i know that, from Necktie Youth. there's a solid-gold race joke. there's the best possible race joke i've ever heard. September (Sibs) is having a questionnaire with a person to be recorded by a camera. she asks him if he's ever thought of suicide. i think there's a silent, paused beat. i know then he says something i forget, then he says "some things white people do are outrageous."

to mention things, there's a scene where a main character, September's best friend Jabz (Bonko Cosmo Khoza), he starts a power altercation with two guys in a store. September calms both sides down, calms his friend outside. this example refers to the social dominance orientation installed post-Apartheid. everyone's together (September, using advanced humor technologies of 2015, says "everyone's black now”), but there remains power struggles and the thought of them.

the two friends, September and Jabz, have an interesting real-life conversation in a parking lot then a car. about swag and drugs. they have a romantic friendship. in Necktie Youth they're old friends, i'm glad to see a sturdy guy friendship, i think it's a positive male quality there's a rich history of. i have a personal interest in seeing a movie that feels like two males generating a relationship, because also in life i gotta figure that out.

there are emotions Necktie Youth frames from certain angles, and i have my own emotional frame while first watching the movie, and sometimes there's emotional interference, so i think he's making movies right, and if i watched it again it would be the same but i would think about it differently.

factually speaking it's the movie i talked most about from the four movies i saw at afi this year. but also what can happen is two years from now Evolution is a movie i call a life inspiration, or i most remember the shot in Mountains May Depart where the camera makes a dramatic pan for a guy entering a conversation, or i’ll get EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE tattooed on my lower back. i’m not sure what’ll happen, but i know i liked thinking about Necktie Youth today.

 

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