Blonde (Andrew Dominik)

Started by Capote, September 15, 2019, 04:55:14 AM

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WorldForgot

I dug the book and look forward to seeing the movie.

The way this discourse so quickly shifted from discussing the potential of the film to 'defending' or chastising two peeps that are just doing their job is interesting. Why take it so personally either way? Interviews are meant to be interrogative / excavate. As a reader I gleam something about them both, I wouldn't be surprised if this was one of the more lucid conversations had on the press tour considering he brandished about that he's read 'everything' about Marilyn, and especially that what he turned on to about the material is precisely the pain and neglect Norma experienced, Dominick sez he has, too. In that sense his answers are nihilistic, as iz the spirit of the project he's promoting. Seemz in step.

Dominick feels like Marilyn, Donald Glover feels like Anne Hathaway.

samsong

just responding in kind to, "i haven't seen this movie, but i read some stuff and this sounds terrible."  what i'm presupposing is... maybe it isn't.

WorldForgot

Yeee i feel ya... But that's something you can defend about any flick! Bit less engaging than a discussion on the actual film or like you or eward giving us more morsels of you two discussing it (since you both HAVE seen it). Drenks at least contending with his own expectations of Dominiks ability and perspective, lol.

Just an interesting shape that the interviews shrapnel left in the air.

eward

from r/blankies


Also WF
QuoteJust an interesting shape that the interviews shrapnel left in the air.
lovely!!!


wilder

Greatest movie since Phantom Thread.

Spoiler: ShowHide
The "what's in the box?" scene rival's Seven's. It gave me a full-body sensation I've never received from a movie, before. The layers of myth in this are astonishing.

The movie is predicated on Marilyn attempting to replace the love of her absent parents through endless trysts and interactions with men.

She lives under the shadow of the myth of "Marilyn Monroe", the public's projection, and privately rides on the hope of another myth: the return of her idealized father.

Marilyn puts hope in two places: on the return of her father, who might bring unconditional love, and on the potential of a baby, who she could give and receive unconditional love to/from - the only two people in the world who could provide her with an unvarnished, "naked" understanding.

Her mother, though alive, is both a lost-cause and potential reason for her own current and possible future child's condition. Her abortions and miscarriages serve to severe the hope she places in that future, leaving only the idea of her father's return as a beacon of light.

The dream of her father's recognition is a way to attain a solid sense of self, a way to be reflected in the eyes of another who knows and understands her. Marilyn's first sexual interaction with Cass, who constantly redirects her attention to the mirror, underlines this. Even privately, Marilyn only understands herself as an image reflected.

The letter casting retroactive doubt on Marilyn's entire conception of her private self is such an unholy bombshell. Her public self "isn't her", as she mutters while staring up at the screen during the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premiere, but her private self-conception also turns out to be a mythology, a double betrayal not only by the public but by her own mind. Marilyn suffers at the hand of the myth not only projected onto her but also the one projected by her own hand.

samsong

Quote from: wilder on September 28, 2022, 06:58:28 PMGreatest movie since Phantom Thread.

let the church say, "amen."

Spoiler: ShowHide


QuoteThe letter casting retroactive doubt on Marilyn's entire conception of her private self is such an unholy bombshell. Her public self "isn't her", as she mutters while staring up at the screen during the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes premiere, but her private self-conception also turns out to be a mythology, a double betrayal not only by the public but by her own mind. Marilyn suffers at the hand of the myth not only projected onto her but also the one projected by her own hand.

couldn't have said it better myself.  the decision to have the writing on the note manifest before our eyes is about as astonishing a movie moment i've seen in some time.  absolutely WRECKED me, and a moment of such brilliant lucidity of theme. 

dominik mentioned in a podcast that there's a moment during a premiere where the actor playing her imagined father is present in the crowd.  i haven't had a chance to look for this, but this being an incredibly dense text, i'm looking forward to poring over Blonde ad nauseam.

a quick flippant thing, were you as blown away by how well they managed to integrate ana into the films?  i guess it's prob just Some Like it Hot, but god lord, it's sorcery how good it is. 

stemming from that, and to speak of brilliant choices, the conceit of shifting aspect ratios and prismatically ensconcing her almost exclusively in the imagery of her public life is just perfect, and perfectly executed.  the consternation it's caused for some is probably similar to the incredulity i feel about those that are bewildered by it.  not saying everyone has to view it the same way, but to be confused and ultimately bemused by it is emblematic of what i've perceived as bad faith dismissiveness from the dissenters. i'm both heartened and depressed by how uniformly one-note the negative opinions have been about this.  guess i can find some comfort in being amused at the irony of it all.  i'm still waiting on a compelling argument from someone who isn't of the same mind.  jessica kiang's review is not.  i'm sure they exist.

did you by chance read that "Blonde is ANTI-CHOICE!!!!!" op-ed? 



wilder

Quote from: samsong on September 28, 2022, 07:36:27 PMdominik mentioned in a podcast that there's a moment during a premiere where the actor playing her imagined father is present in the crowd.  i haven't had a chance to look for this, but this being an incredibly dense text, i'm looking forward to poring over Blonde ad nauseam.

I wasn't aware of that, but the extras casting in Blonde is some of the best I've ever seen. Those faces leering at her on the red carpets, and the general demeanors of the men sitting quietly in the dark in the soundstages are so evocative.

Quote from: samsong on September 28, 2022, 07:36:27 PMa quick flippant thing, were you as blown away by how well they managed to integrate ana into the films?  i guess it's prob just Some Like it Hot, but god lord, it's sorcery how good it is.

Yeah it was impressive. There's a black and white clip of her singing that moves into her face, that I think was a morph? By the end of the shot I had questioned whether it was Ana at the beginning, too.

Quote from: samsong on September 28, 2022, 07:36:27 PMstemming from that, and to speak of brilliant choices, the conceit of shifting aspect ratios and prismatically ensconcing her almost exclusively in the imagery of her public life is just perfect, and perfectly executed.

Dominik had mentioned in an interview that the reasoning behind the shifting aspect ratios just came from trying to recreate the aspect ratios of the original photographs they were referencing. Your interpretation makes a ton of sense. I've only read a couple of interviews with him regarding this movie, but whatever choices he made that people are accusing him of lacking reflection on I think are coming from a place of an intuitive sense of truth in regards to the internal logic of the story he's constructed.

Something he said several years ago is relevant here:

Quote from: Andrew Dominik"Superhero movies are always the same story. They're about somebody who develops magical powers at the first sign of trouble, but they always have to have a secret identity, their self is always split. And it's usually due to something that can harm them that comes from their story of origin, their childhood or something like that. And because of this they have to split themselves in half. And one half can get public acclaim, and then the other half, the real self, has no hope of intimacy - and this is the story that Americans love. And...it's strange...to me. In a way Taxi Driver is a superhero story."

Blonde is especially tragic because as a movie about an American icon [re: Superhero], there's a double impossibility of intimacy in that Marilyn lacks the foundational underpinnings of a private sense of self that allow for that potential in the first place. Whatever hope of intimacy there might be in a more simple version of this kind of American mythos is dashed.

Quote from: samsong on September 28, 2022, 07:36:27 PMdid you by chance read that "Blonde is ANTI-CHOICE!!!!!" op-ed?

No...but that sounds silly. She just wants a baby.


eward


samsong


eward


samsong

Quote from: wilder on September 28, 2022, 10:07:24 PMI wasn't aware of that, but the extras casting in Blonde is some of the best I've ever seen. Those faces leering at her on the red carpets, and the general demeanors of the men sitting quietly in the dark in the soundstages are so evocative.

YES.  and the fucking photographers at the premieres!

Quote from: wilder on September 28, 2022, 10:07:24 PMYeah it was impressive. There's a black and white clip of her singing that moves into her face, that I think was a morph? By the end of the shot I had questioned whether it was Ana at the beginning, too.

you're talking about the first Some Like it Hot scene, yeah?  i don't think that's a face morph, and it's that the resemblance in that scene is probably the most uncanny there, and it gives me chills (to say nothing of what directly precedes it...).  fun fact: the actor playing jack lemmon in those scenes is his son, chris. 

Quote from: wilder on September 28, 2022, 10:07:24 PMI've only read a couple of interviews with him regarding this movie, but whatever choices he made that people are accusing him of lacking reflection on I think are coming from a place of an intuitive sense of truth in regards to the internal logic of the story he's constructed.

there's no doubting its aggressive arthouse-ness, but i personally found that alone to be entrancing.  reminiscent of The Tree of Life in that way--a relatively obtuse and sincere art film that has broader reach than something like this normally would have, upsetting/boring audiences. 

confounding that anyone can accuse the film of being joyless when, at a minimum, it's so palpably there in the filmmaking.  there's just so much to feel in this movie and an obvious affection, despite its preoccupation with her pain.  i wonder if those who wanted to see a more demonstratively reverent portrayal think that norma spent a ton of her time admiring her accomplishments and bolstering her sense of self with them.  don't think anyone can say for certain, but it is a matter of record that self-loathing was a struggle for her and it seems reasonable to me that in attempting to immerse the audience in this character's subjectivity, the silver lining doesn't shine very brightly. 

i've re-watched this a couple times now and its emotional resonance has intensified with each viewing. 

wilder

Quote from: samsong on September 30, 2022, 08:55:00 PMyou're talking about the first Some Like it Hot scene, yeah?  i don't think that's a face morph, and it's that the resemblance in that scene is probably the most uncanny there, and it gives me chills (to say nothing of what directly precedes it...).  fun fact: the actor playing jack lemmon is in those scenes is his son, chris.

Holy shit.  Maybe I was just too focused on her, but I don't think it even registered that it wasn't Jack Lemmon, period. I need to rewatch!

Quote from: samsong on September 30, 2022, 08:55:00 PMreminiscent of The Tree of Life

Yes! Tree of Life is the movie that feels the most similar to me - the impressionistic onion-peeling of a character's psyche.

Quote from: samsong on September 30, 2022, 08:55:00 PMconfounding that anyone can accuse the film of being joyless when, at a minimum, it's so palpably there in the filmmaking

Thematic gravitas and originality of vision aside, I dropped Phantom Thread as a cinematic roadmarker because the filmmaking here is unrivaled by anything I've seen, since. The cuts are as deliberate as they come, hypnotic in their effect, and liquid in their sequence. Refn's Neon Demon did something similar, too, in my eyes.

When reading people's reactions, I'm struck by how often the 5 star vs 1 star reviews seem to be describing entirely different movies. Blonde feels like a real litmus test of how you view them.

WorldForgot

Jennifer Lame iz a fantastic editor. Really enjoying tracking her work. In that S&S interview, Dominik highlights her as having edited out the 'excess.'

wilder

Rewatched it, and it hit just as hard the second time.

First round I'd really thought the Some Like it Hot footage was a composite, or at least intercut. The recreation is unbelievable.

That moment of Marilyn's skirt rising repeatedly during the Seven Year Itch shoot is one of my favorite pieces of film, ever. For me this is the first great-looking digitally shot movie, ever.

Also the sequence leading up to the final premiere has such a dark, gorgeous tone — her car feels like a hearse arriving at a funeral procession (as it might as well be).