Author Topic: My Punch-Drunk Love Paper  (Read 5583 times)

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ono

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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2003, 09:04:32 PM »
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See if you like this one any better, GT.  All comments and criticisms welcome.  Just be constructive.  Hehe, this oughta be interesting.

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2003, 09:14:51 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
See if you like this one any better, GT.  All comments and criticisms welcome.  Just be constructive.  Hehe, this oughta be interesting.


You guys love long papers. Gimme a day or so to comment on that one. Shaftr's paper drowned me out for tonight.

ono

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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2003, 01:11:00 AM »
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Cool, no rush or anything.  Not like I can change anything now, anyway.  Already turned it in, but comments are still cool.  I should say that the goal of my essay was to take a text and analyze it for one filmic element (for me it was cinematography and mise-en-scene, then sound and dialogue to a lesser extent), and then explain whether it's a hegemonic or counter-hegemonic text, and explore how it develops its idea through those devices.  So yeah, those were the limitations I had.

And an update: not that it really matters, but I got an A on the paper.  I couldn't help but notice a few glaring mistakes on my own, and he noticed a few as well, but it wasn't nothing that detracted from the paper as a whole.  Any thoughts are still welcome.

prophet

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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2003, 02:10:29 PM »
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i didnt read it, it was too long :)
We gonna do a little Q&A Mr. Worley, and at the risk of sounding redundant please... make your answers Genuine...

ono

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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2003, 02:14:39 PM »
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Thank you for your incredibly insightful reply.

Something Spanish

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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2003, 04:16:10 PM »
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Here is my take on Punch-Drunk Love. Like the movie itself, the review is short and sweet.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
review by Shaun Sages

Jumbling various genres in his new and quirkily touching “romantic-comedy”, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson knew only one solid detail before venturing to make his fourth film. There was no plot or script yet, but one certainty remained: Adam Sandler would star. The pairing of Sandler, a critically scorned charismatic goofball, with Anderson, whose movies are filled to the brim with anguish and loneliness, sounded insane…yet exciting in the sense of sampling a new cinematic flavor. So after 2-years of keen anticipation, not to mention nail-biting apprehension, I’m glad to announce that Punch-Drunk Love is not the chaotic mistake many predicted it would be.

In a film full of surprises, perhaps the greatest is realizing Anderson can control his usual sprawling nature. PDL only lasts for 97-minutes, which is half the length of his last opus, Magnolia. While the brief running time doesn’t mean Punch-Drunk isn’t compact with original ideas, although the story is expectedly frail, the film plays so speedily that its abrupt ending leaves you craving for an additional hour. But then again, any film that’s as magically uplifting as this would leave you salivating for an encore.

Sandler plays painfully shy business owner Barry Egan. Managing a company that sells and manufactures novelty toilet plungers, with designs like dice and cards on the handle (for Las Vegas hotels), Barry leads a lonely life and is prone to violent outbursts when put under surveillance. His antagonizing seven sisters, who tease him with such playful insults like “gayboy”, cannot comprehend why their brother lives in constant discomfort and isolation. But when some bizarre (and surreal) events begin occurring in his life, including a battered harmonium and love-interest Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), Barry is forced to take steps towards confronting his problems instead of avoiding them.

Technically, the film has no noticeable plot; or better yet, nothing you can summarize in one sentence. What Anderson does is follow Barry as he journeys to find love and fulfillment. And it’s his journey, filled with phone-sex scandals and pudding contests, that comprise the movie.

Punch-Drunk Love has such fluidity that it can be perceived as one 97-minute musical number; especially when Jon Brion’s experimental score, sounding like some twisted 30’s Hollywood musical, booms on the sound track. Barry even sports the same colored blue suit, used in musicals such as On the town, throughout the movie. But what inspired Anderson most when creating Barry Egan, other than Sandler himself, were the films of French auteur Jacques Tati, whose comical Mr. Hulot similarly wore one suit in all his features. The difference between Tati and Anderson is Tati’s films were social satires, commenting on everything from bourgeois lifestyles to tourist resorts, while Anderson focuses on his characters’ conditions.

There was much skepticism regarding whether Sandler could pull-off a serious performance. After two viewings of the film, I can safely say he does so with aplomb. No one would be able to utter such a thing while watching Billy Madison or The Waterboy, but Mr. Sandler not only tames his adolescent humor, he also utilizes it for dramatic purposes. It’s more disturbing than humorous when Barry, out-of-the-blue, smashes his sisters’ glass closet before dinner. His performance is not, like many critics are claiming, your typical Sandler shtick. And that isn’t because Sandler doesn’t use his trademark speech impediments.  

Anderson, whose dexterity for writing deeply-wounded characters has never been more evident, for the first time focuses all his attention on a single protagonist. This isn’t an ensemble, like his erratic porn epic Boogie Nights. PDL places the spotlight solely on Barry, which allows for better character development.

While Anderson doesn’t have any sing-alongs or amphibious rainstorms, Punch-Drunk is just as surreal. Its many enchanting moments are proof to the elevating power movies sustain, reminding me of why I love the medium: The phone booth Barry is calling from lights up when he finally gets through to Lena in Hawaii; wavy psychedelic colors (by artist Jeremy Blake) are splashed on the screen in between scenes; a car unexpectedly crashes and is never mentioned again. For all its dreaminess, the film never feels illusory.

Although audiences may not consider Punch-Drunk Love a musical, its scenes feel choreographed. When Barry frantically runs thorough the hallways of Lena’s maze-like building, searching for her apartment to deliver a goodnight kiss, it plays like a dance ditty synchronized to Brion’s score. It’s a well-crafted sequence that, while comical in its intentions, is also quietly romantic.

Anderson seems comfortable setting his films in the desolate San Fernando Valley (His stomping grounds). His latest does take pitch-stops in Hawaii and Utah, but the camera is more intent on capturing the Valley’s loneliness than Waikiki’s lush background. The widescreen format emphasizes on the vast emptiness of this little-known section of California; located on the outskirts of LA. And DP Robert Elswit, who shot the director’s pervious three films, once again beautifully captures each location, using lighter filters than he did in Magnolia. Hopefully, most Valley residents aren’t as miserable as Anderson’s characters.

Remaining one of the most innovative filmmakers of his generation, Anderson continues to surprise and push-the-limit further with each outing. Punch-Drunk Love is no exception. Like the Steven Spielberg sci-fi epic, Minority Report, this film isn’t quarantined to one particular genre. It freely floats from comedy to arthouse to romance, all without missing a beat. Whatever negative criticisms may surround PDL, most anyone will agree, it isn’t like anything currently playing in theatres.  
******

And remember: Digital! Makes the gloomiest day feel sunny.

Didn't dig SHAFTR essay, sorry dude. But dug the one by the guy with the Jay Sherman avatar. rock on buddy.

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2003, 08:52:36 PM »
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Quote from: Onomatopoeia
Thank you for your incredibly insightful reply.


Ahhhhhhh......I completely forgot about your essay. So so so sorry. Doing it tomorrow, doing it on Christmas. Don't care how limited I am on computer.....fucking guranteed! I also want to comment on shaun digi's review.

mogwai

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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2003, 03:12:57 AM »
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loved your essay, onomatopoeia.  :yabbse-thumbup:  :yabbse-thumbup:

subversiveproductions

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« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2003, 05:24:14 AM »
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Shaftr, good essay, but you have a few grammatical and spelling errors.  I wrote an essay on recurring themes in PTA films last year, if anyone gives a shit, which I doubt, but maybe I'll post it anyways, just in case.
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GodDamnImDaMan

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« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2003, 03:18:34 PM »
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F-
Aclockworkjj:  I have like broncitious or something
Aclockworkjj:  sucks, when i cough, if feels like i am dying
Aclockworkjj:  i can barely smoke

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SHAFTR

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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2004, 08:35:58 AM »
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Much thanks to those of you who read my essay.  I'm not sure what I got on the paper but I received an AB (3.5 GPA) in the class.  I'm on a slow connection at home which is why I have rarely posted.  Once I get back to school, I plan to read the other essays.
"Talking shit about a pretty sunset
Blanketing opinions that i'll probably regret soon"

 

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