Author Topic: Shutter Island  (Read 29151 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Pozer

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 2289
  • Respect: +139
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #60 on: November 15, 2009, 04:19:47 PM »
0
i hope he sees this one. the right expression really makes these. 

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +639
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #61 on: February 04, 2010, 11:49:27 PM »
0
Scorsese, DiCaprio and Lehane navigate 'Shutter Island's' rocky shoals
The director was challenged by the plot-driven story. The actor was emotionally drained. And the writer, well, he just feels lucky.
Source: Los Angeles Times

To many -- movie fans, film theorists and the dozens of young directors who've sought to emulate his two-fisted early style -- Martin Scorsese is the consummate American auteur. He's a filmmaker, that is, with a profound and distinctive personal vision and the clout and courage to put it on screen.

But when Scorsese, 67, was working to adapt a tightly constructed thriller by author Dennis Lehane -- a novel that pulls the rug out from under its premise several times -- the director was suddenly in a very un-auteur-like straitjacket. Not only did the book's twist-driven structure preclude reinterpretation or personal moments, "Shutter Island," which reaches theaters Feb. 19, sent him on an exhausting emotional journey as well.

"When I got to it I said, 'Oh, my, this has to be exactly right,' " a compact-and-dapper-looking Scorsese says of the film's hair-trigger plotting. And the actual filmmaking made him feel he was trapped inside a Hitchcock movie: "When I got to the shooting and editing of it," he says, "it was like being thrown down a spiral [staircase].

"I just don't know how to do it any other way," the director says, sitting in the bar at the Beverly Hills Hotel as torrential rains assault the city. "I tried to pull back a few times and not get so emotionally and psychologically involved. . . . But this story, these characters -- it was a very unsettling experience."

"Shutter Island" takes place off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1950s, in and around a hospital for the criminally insane run by an eccentric and possibly dangerous doctor (Ben Kingsley). The film begins with the arrival of Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who have been sent to investigate the disappearance of a homicidal patient. But before long, a hurricane begins closing in, putting everyone on the island in imminent danger.

"Shutter Island" (shot mostly in and around Boston Harbor, including Peddocks Island) may most closely resemble Scorsese's 1991 "Cape Fear" remake. Like that film, "Shutter" is also a singular piece of work featuring some spectacular performances, but one that could face some inherent commercial challenges. Ostensibly, it could be too sophisticated and complex for younger audiences and too intense and genre-driven for many of the adults who support cinema by serious directors.

Although "Shutter Island" might have seemed like a slam dunk -- bestselling novel by well-regarded author, the director's first feature since the four Oscars that greeted "The Departed," top-tier cast -- adapting it for the screen ended up being trickier than expected. And Scorsese wasn't the only one who found the production to be a particularly wrenching experience.

"There were moments on set where I definitely felt like we were going into uncharted territory," says DiCaprio, whose marshal is also a World War II veteran haunted by what he saw at Nazi concentration camps. "It was draining. It got to the point where it became more and more realistic the deeper it got -- swerving away from anything stylistic and becoming more about human nature."

And a late-inning schedule change by Paramount, pushing the film's opening date from Oscar-rich territory in October to the no-man's land of mid-February, has only made matters more complicated.

Seed of an idea

The project was born of nightmare -- literally.

Lehane, esteemed for his series of South-Boston based mysteries featuring detectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, had just watched his novel "Mystic River" shoot up bestseller lists. The book had not yet been made into an Oscar-winning film by Clint Eastwood, but this story of bloody revenge in Irish Boston had already become his breakthrough novel.

"I was faced with the possibility of writing a certain kind of book," Lehane, 44, recalls by phone. "A blue-collar literary mystery. I didn't want to be writing 'Mystic River 2,' '3' and '4.' "

So while Lehane was walking on a Florida beach, he got the glimmer of a setting for his next novel.

"I'm loathe to tell this," Lehane says, laughing. "But I had this dream one night -- and it was the whole novel. There was some stuff that I wouldn't have come up with."

Lehane had not been partaking of the opiates that inspired certain English poets but credits stress and his mother's illness with producing his visions. He scrawled it down upon waking the next morning. "Once I got all the plot points down, I had to write it as fast as humanly possible."

The resulting novel was both a real departure for Lehane and a kitchen-sink of genres: anagrams that come from Poe, Brontës-style dark-and-stormy-night, B-movie psych-ward thriller, hard-boiled detective story, Golden Age "locked room" mystery, and a little Hitchcock to wash it all down.

"I was surprised, as I read the script, how it kept shifting from one genre to another," says Scorsese of the screenplay from Laeta Kalogridis, who also worked with James Cameron on "Avatar." "And how I was in total acceptance of those shifts. It didn't feel artificial."

The fact that the book's tight, house-of-cards storytelling allowed for no deviation didn't bother Scorsese -- except for one thing: "I'm not very strong on plot," he admits. "I prefer character and mood and atmosphere -- and music. I find it a little difficult to visualize, to make clear to an audience what's going on . . . which is not good for a director! I never really quite know the extent to which I'll be challenged to tell a story -- I never know until I'm there."

Ultimately, Scorsese looks to cinema's past for inspiration (see sidebar). For shots of the mental hospital, he thought of the trapped, claustrophobic spirit of "The Trial," Orson Welles' often overlooked 1962 adaptation of Kafka. He also had in mind Sam Fuller's "Shock Corridor," a classic of twisted pulp he knew he couldn't exactly emulate. "You can't beat 'Shock Corridor.' The super-low-budget added to the horror, the sense of tension, the sense that somebody behind the camera was unbalanced -- in a good way."

The director knew then that he had to play the story straight. An early script, Lehane says, written while the book was optioned by Columbia Pictures, took liberties with the plot. "It won't work -- I constructed the labyrinth in a very specific way. If you go down the wrong corridors you're never coming out."

Mutual admiration

"Shutter Island" marks the fourth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio -- perhaps the richest run with one actor the director has had since his eight films starring Robert De Niro.

Neither Scorsese nor DiCaprio calls their four films a challenge to those earlier movies -- including "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull" -- that manage to be both genuinely disturbing and indomitable parts of film history: DiCaprio calls that union "the greatest collaboration of all time." And the director, who's known De Niro since he was 16 years old, says they share "the same fundamental references -- friendship, trust, obligation, betrayal, forgiveness, trust again."

But Scorsese and the "Titanic" star have been on a pretty good roll since 2002's "Gangs of New York." And appropriately, their connection goes back to De Niro himself.

"Bob had been talking to me about him," Scorsese says. De Niro had worked with the then-teenage actor in "This Boy's Life," adapted from Tobias Wolff's memoir, and told the director, " 'Here's a young actor you're gonna have to someday work with,' " Scorsese recalls.

DiCaprio had first seen Scorsese's films as a 15-year-old preparing to work with De Niro and was especially struck by "Taxi Driver."

"I just remember being so incredibly emotionally invested in Travis Bickle," he says. "His isolation, his loneliness, his contempt for his environment. I cringed when he took the girl to the porno film for their first date.

"What Scorsese does so well is when the lead character starts to betray you after a while: After you're with him, he starts to do things you don't understand."

And after working with him, DiCaprio got to see how the director's main focus is a character's "emotional journey."

For his part, Scorsese seems sincerely touched that a young actor would know his early films. And he always thought of DiCaprio as an actor, not a movie star.

"I saw 'Titanic,' " Scorsese says. "It's a different type of film, a wonderful audience experience of cinema, back to that very basic impulse. But I always remember his performance in 'This Boy's Life' and 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape.' I was cognizant of the popularity of 'Titanic,' but I didn't listen to or read or have anything to do with the mania."

Of course, "The movie star helped get the movies made, the way in the '70s De Niro helped get movies made," Scorsese says. That was especially important with the 2004 film "The Aviator," a big-budget spectacle starring DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, and it didn't hurt with "The Departed," which won Scorsese an Oscar.

Some will consider the actor's Boston accent in "Shutter Island" too pronounced (it's not dissimilar to the one he used in "The Departed"). But it's a strong performance by any measure and a difficult one because he's playing a character with a more complicated back story than he lets on.

"It's the one thing I thought of when they moved the date of the film," Lehane says of DiCaprio's role. "This would have been a horse race between him and Jeff Bridges at the Oscars. I remember feeling in the pit of my stomach, 'Oh, poor Leo.' "

Path to the screen

At the very least, "Shutter Island" is likely to garner strong (though probably not unanimous) reviews as well as special notices for its constellation of actors.

For Scorsese, it will be another departure in a career of departures, for DiCaprio another performance that reinforces his growing seriousness -- and for Lehane, the third adaptation that's led to a critically acclaimed film (besides "Mystic River," the Ben Affleck-directed "Gone Baby Gone," starring Casey Affleck, also ended up as a gripping neo-noir).

The author -- who seems somewhere between skeptic and pessimist on the workings of Hollywood -- is well aware of the good fortune he's had with adaptation. "I've been ridiculously lucky. It has nothing to do with me in the end. I've never written an original book in my life. 'Mystic River' is a Jimmy Cagney film updated," while the "Shutter Island" novel came from "The Manchurian Candidate," 19th century Gothic and a host of other sources. "I'm not exactly Mr. Originality."

Lehane credits the success of the three adaptations as "the auteur theory completely in play: a writer, a director and a locked script with no studio interference. You can't tell Clint Eastwood how to make his movie, even if you take his budget away. And with Martin Scorsese, what are you gonna say?"

No amount of clout by the director, though, was able to keep Paramount from moving the film's release from the fall to February. The official word from Paramount was that the initial scheduling had taken place during "a very different economic climate," bringing about a need "to recalibrate and adapt to a changing environment."

The studio also may have worried that the film was simply too horrifying for Oscar voters. Which leads to an essential paradox about the film. Can a serious and sophisticated genre movie -- with supporting actors associated with Gandhi (Kingsley) and Bergman (Max von Sydow plays a doctor at the hospital), a subtext about psychiatric theory, and several especially gory sequences -- appeal to a wide audience? Only the box office knows for sure.

But when it comes to the new release date, even the star of what was until recently the highest-grossing movie in history knows that it's best to remain philosophical. "Some things," DiCaprio says with mock gravity, "are beyond our control. Just out of our hands."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

samsong

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1213
  • Respect: +219
    • http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&sub=All&id=samsong
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2010, 06:21:52 PM »
0
mediocre as expected despite how much i wanted it to prove otherwise.  i'm not even going to address the awful screenplay or the flimsy psychology that fuels it.  speaking strictly in terms of scorsese, this is a tepid exercise in visual showmanship that's uneven as fuck.  no doubt that there are inspired, effective moments to be enjoyed, mostly in seeing scorsese indulging in genre and hollywood excess, and making references to his favorite films, but in no way does it come close to being greater than the sum of its very few great parts.  this is probably his most superficial film to date (without having seen kundun or bringing out the dead, both of which i'm led to believe are great) and while i'll take a scorsese misfire amongst all the early year fodder,  it's disheartening to find that not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days.

i was hoping for great performances to help carry the dead weight of the writing but that isn't the case.  di caprio  hams it up while ruffalo seems clueless.  ben kingsley does fine with an unworthy character.  max von sydow, jackie earle haley, and patricia clarkson turn in memorable single scenes each while elias koteas, one of my favorite actors, isn't even given a chance.  i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

Captain of Industry

  • The Vision Quest
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Like You Know It All
  • Respect: +1
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2010, 06:41:34 PM »
0
mediocre as expected despite how much i wanted it to prove otherwise.  i'm not even going to address the awful screenplay or the flimsy psychology that fuels it.  speaking strictly in terms of scorsese, this is a tepid exercise in visual showmanship that's uneven as fuck.  no doubt that there are inspired, effective moments to be enjoyed, mostly in seeing scorsese indulging in genre and hollywood excess, and making references to his favorite films, but in no way does it come close to being greater than the sum of its very few great parts.  this is probably his most superficial film to date (without having seen kundun or bringing out the dead, both of which i'm led to believe are great) and while i'll take a scorsese misfire amongst all the early year fodder,  it's disheartening to find that not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days.

i was hoping for great performances to help carry the dead weight of the writing but that isn't the case.  di caprio  hams it up while ruffalo seems clueless.  ben kingsley does fine with an unworthy character.  max von sydow, jackie earle haley, and patricia clarkson turn in memorable single scenes each while elias koteas, one of my favorite actors, isn't even given a chance.  i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

I agree with this post from the first sentence onward, omitting 'not even a master can be counted on to deliver in full these days' because Wild Grass is a terrific and fun movie.  Although that's another conversation there are definitely lessons of grace and levity which Scorsese could take from Resnais's film.  Shutter Island sags through most of its runtime.

Did you think we'd get to prove otherwise in the opening moments?  I did.  There are about a handful of strong moments of disquiet in the film, including some jarring edits, present at the beginning.  It's interesting that in a film which conjures only vague dread there can also be such specific bursts of visual intensity, my favorite being the basement's red door which drips with rain water and seems truly like a bleeding door.  The light tower scene had a bizarre fusion of dread/humor.  Also, the film's final moment touched me.

SPOILERS, probably.

Most disappointing for me is that it's a mystery film without any lingering mysteries.  The plot is pretty hermetic, and I just want more from Scorsese.  I thought he was headed towards analogies of modern culture, and although there's minor build up in that direction, any possible double-meaning is abruptly truncated when the story turns on its own path.  Motifs of self-fabricated identity and defensive illusions are more fun when not so literal.

Captain of Industry

  • The Vision Quest
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Like You Know It All
  • Respect: +1
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2010, 06:54:14 PM »
0
i had no idea who ted levine was before this but his turn as the warden in a scene that takes place on a jeep makes him a notable talent.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) .... Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb

I didn't realize either.

samsong

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1213
  • Respect: +219
    • http://www.dvdaficionado.com/dvds.html?cat=1&sub=All&id=samsong
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2010, 07:08:42 PM »
0
holy shit.  the voice!  should've known.
i haven't seen wild grass.  perturbed that it didn't get picked up; it never made its way out to l.a., at least not to my knowledge.  i've found resnais's recent output to be underwhelming.  wasn't a fan of not on the lips or private fears in public places
the opening did give me hope for the film but that was quickly dashed. 

©brad

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 4516
  • Respect: +227
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2010, 07:30:10 PM »
0
Your criticisms are definitely valid. I have to say though overall I dug the ride. It was very unnerving. I have to give Marty some credit because I don't think I relaxed one bit throughout the whole film. And call me a simpleton but I did not see that ending coming. It felt like Scorsese's Shining, but obviously not as good.

Gold Trumpet

  • The Master of Three Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 5781
  • Respect: +166
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2010, 12:35:57 AM »
0
Yea, very disappointing film. The story is muddled and doesn't know what identity it wants to be. Two types of stories are at work and both are underdeveloped to be truly effective. On one hand, there is a classical psychology story where the audience gets to know and identify with Leo's backstory as an emotional cushion in collision with troubling, new story. The other story is a filmmaking journey through hallucinations, reality alterations and senses being blurred.

While both aspects can be blended together, what I think this film needed to do was decide which one it was going to highlight more. In the case of Leo's backstory, before the audience understands the full history of past deeds and anguishes, the film has already taken too many turns as far as plot is concerned. While we are trying to still understand who he is, we're also being told by the film to not trust anyone around him and instead put ourselves into his shoes and fully trust his perspective, yet I never was able to. Then when the film was fully destroying his credibility as a character, I was still feeling unconvinced about who he was.

The reason why I believe its important to establish a firm rapport with Leo's character is because to believe in the full entangling of his senses and psyche is to begin with an established idea of who he is. While Dr. Cabinet of Caligari is slim on characterization, the one reliable character set up is with the protaganist. He's the only fixed juxtaposition in a trip who through a world of wonders. When the carpet is pulled from under his shoes, it's a major reveal for the audience because the only thing the audience could understand was him so his insanity becomes ours because we have no conception of what is real and not. Shutter Island lacks the same entrapment because when it's starting to untangle his reality, it's still building his so called history. The film acts like it wants to build trust with him for the audience's sake, but it never fully does.

Then there is the visual journey. Scorsese announces the limits of his imagination by confining the major visual moments to hallucinations that feel different in small ways, but are consistently repetitive of the same imagery. It makes sense Leo's character would consistently hallucinate about a burning image in his memory, but Scorsese believes consistently showing the same imagery over and over again will suffice for being the whole of the character's sensory experience. It isn't until very late in the film does Scorsese start to adjust the standard sight lines of his composition and alter the visual reality. As expected, he mainly does this when the story picks up major tension in the story, but the better thing would have been to have created a more hallucinogenic reality from the get go where the production implants creepiness and disconnect from the beginning.

Scorsese stays too classical by trying to build up the idea of certain images on the island. Ward C, the lighthouse and the caves are considered forbidden and supposed to play into Leo's mind as treacherous places to enter, but Ward C is quickly shuffled away as terrifying when a storm allows Leo and Mark Ruffalo to skirt in with little disagreement from anyone. There is almost no heightening of the tone at all when they finally enter. It's all too casual. The caves are a minor reveal for one thing and the lighthouse is the major reveal, but the tension never fully mounts up to anything extraordinary at all. A decent movie memory allows anyone to feel underwhelmed because the story is playing with emotions and fears that are too age old to feel interesting on story principles.

Yet, I also feel Scorsese wanted a lot of the story to feel classical. He consistently mirrors the time period of the 1950s with styles and conventions that were popular then. A lot of the look, acting and story are hallmarks to a different generation, but then a lot of the imagery and visuals are modern updates that couldn't have been done back then. The lasting feeling is that Scorsese didn't devote himself to excelling on either point. He mixes and matches too much and stays away from indelible ideas or feelings.  


SiliasRuby

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
  • Spits Hyperbole Like Nobody's Business
  • Respect: +2
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #68 on: February 21, 2010, 01:02:39 PM »
0
I really wanted to love this but I only liked it a lot. I know that's a weak description of how I felt but I am having trouble trying to muster that kind of enthusiasm for this picture. Disappointing and the score at many points took me out of it. There are many great performances but even those seem operatic and hammy. Scorsese was clearly going for a classical type b movie that could have been made in the mid 50's and in only that sense does it truly succeed. Maybe it'll grow on me by the time I get it on blu-ray 4 months from now.
The Beatles know Jesus Christ has returned to Earth and is in Los Angeles.

When you are getting fucked by the big corporations remember to use a condom.

There was a FISH in the perkalater!!!

My Collection

Reinhold

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 2452
  • Respect: +3
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #69 on: February 21, 2010, 01:36:23 PM »
0
... so you disliked it enough to know that you're going to buy it?
Obviously what you are doing right now is called (in my upcoming book of psychology at least) validation. I think it's a normal thing to do. People will reply, say anything, and then you're gonna do what you were subconsciently thinking of doing all along.

SiliasRuby

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
  • Spits Hyperbole Like Nobody's Business
  • Respect: +2
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #70 on: February 21, 2010, 01:56:30 PM »
0
... so you disliked it enough to know that you're going to buy it?
Well, yeah... Duh.
The Beatles know Jesus Christ has returned to Earth and is in Los Angeles.

When you are getting fucked by the big corporations remember to use a condom.

There was a FISH in the perkalater!!!

My Collection

ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 5894
  • :boxing:
  • Respect: +20
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #71 on: February 22, 2010, 11:05:35 PM »
0
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?
"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

Captain of Industry

  • The Vision Quest
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Like You Know It All
  • Respect: +1
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2010, 12:14:17 AM »
0
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?

You were laughing with Scorsese!  I loved that moment, even as I was also the only one in the theater who laughed.  How he flips up the light onto the chart, that killed me.

MacGuffin

  • Admin
  • *****
  • Posts: 22985
  • Respect: +639
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2010, 12:30:13 AM »
0
**MINOR SPOILERS**


I don't blame Scorsese; I blame what he had to work with. I only question his reasons for wanting to do this picture, because all his film are more about characters, and this was a psychological thriller focused more on story. He does his best with the standard material because the picture looks beautiful and the scenes of flashback and dreams are the best parts of the film. However, after a quick paced opening, the film starts to drag and becomes a series of one scene after another of two people trapped in cramped quarters exchanging huge blocks of exposition. Not what we expect, or want, from Scorsese. I understand what he was going for in the score by relating to old thriller noirs, but at times it reminded me too much of the Jaws theme.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


Skeleton FilmWorks

ᾦɐļᵲʊʂ

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 5894
  • :boxing:
  • Respect: +20
Re: Shutter Island
« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2010, 01:15:34 AM »
0
SPOILZ


The movie was all right, still have some issues with it, but the least forgiveable moment is when Ben Kingsley shows Leo Dicaprio the chart that explains the anagrammed names.  I was the only asshole laughing in the theater, but come on, what is that shit?

You were laughing with Scorsese!  I loved that moment, even as I was also the only one in the theater who laughed.  How he flips up the light onto the chart, that killed me.

I may as well give Scorcese credit for that.  Surely he wouldn't have done that as a nonjoke, but perhaps in the moment, since it was all part of the, let's face it, totally obvious twist, I guess that actually shines as hamming it up for the "NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND" element.
"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

 

DMCA & Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy