Started by matt35mm, November 24, 2017, 07:59:23 PM
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Quote from: Pringle on January 09, 2018, 06:36:41 PMI posted before about shots from the trailers that were not in the final film, and just saw a YouTube ad/trailer that included shots from scenes that are not in the film..
Quote from: wilberfan on January 09, 2018, 07:07:30 PMQuote from: Pringle on January 09, 2018, 06:36:41 PMI posted before about shots from the trailers that were not in the final film, and just saw a YouTube ad/trailer that included shots from scenes that are not in the film..There seems to be a few new selections on Youtube. Can you provide a link to the one you're describing?
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMwhat do you guys make of "never cursed"?
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMthere's a subtle, veiled expression of pain right after he proclaims himself a "confirmed bachelor" (her reaction to this line is gorgeous, too) that immediately endeared me to him. he's a man devoted to his craft who's also resigned to the notion that his love life has to suffer as a result.
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMwhich brings me back to "never cursed." reynolds explicitly refers to the things he sews into garments as secrets that only he would know about, which to me suggested that it's a place where he expresses his vulnerabilities. "never cursed" then seems to me a well-wish for the new bride but also a wishing well wish cast into the ether that he, in fact, wasn't cursed to a life of confirmed bachelorhood. there's a longing there that i love so much
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMthere's also that absolutely heartbreaking moment during the big confrontation during his surprise dinner when alma says that she's, "waiting for [him] to get rid of [her]." the way ddl reacts to this line moves me to no end, especially because he follows it by saying rather callously that he doesn't need her. i revel in the humanity of that moment of contradiction, and the film is rife with them.
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMwhen alma leaves to go to the new year's eve party alone and reynolds is left to deal with his insecurities (which greenword's score so gorgeously conveys) then goes after her, it's the kind of movie moment that you would expect to end in some sweeping romantic gesture, and for so long it builds that way. when they finally come face to face, it turns into a staring contest that reynolds indeed loses, him reacting kinda poorly (i read his expression in that scene to be a "what are you looking at?" gesture) and taking her back home.
Quote from: samsong on January 10, 2018, 07:43:01 PMi described this movie as the 2001: a space odyssey of romances to someone to relate how momentous i find this movie to be. there's a nebulous, all-encompassing quality to what this movie's about in the context of romantic relationships that engages in that kubrickian "bow to the unknown" (as jan harlan once put it) that i find utterly poignant.
Quote from: Etan WeisfogelMuch like TWBB and The Master, this is a film about a deeply unhealthy co-dependent relationship, but this film lacks the socio-historical context that made the affectations and behavior of the characters in TWBB and The Master easier to accept. Phantom Thread exists in a hermetically sealed universe, in largely one location, and PTA seems to me to have chosen mid-50s London as the time period/social milieu entirely for aesthetic reasons. The clothes and production design and music and so on and so forth are indeed all sumptuous and ravishing, but I don't think he's saying anything of note about fashion culture of the time--that an acclaimed male artist is a fussy asshole and treats women like shit certainly does not feel particular to this era. So, where the strange, almost inhuman behavior of characters like Daniel Plainview and Freddie Quell is explicable when these characters are seen as representative of moments in history (the rise of industry and postwar anxiety, respectively), the similarly odd behavior of Woodcock and Alma can't be explained in the same way.That's not necessarily a bad thing (I find the way Plainview and Eli are so clearly meant to represent capitalism and religion a little simplistic, though that film needs a rewatch) but PTA doesn't adjust his approach in any discernible manner. So, all we're left with as an audience, then, is a dual study of two characters whose behavior is often incredibly alienating to the audience. We're constantly put in the position of asking "Why do these people act this way? What are their motivations? What is driving them?" and PTA often frames them in tight closeup, as if to search their faces for answers. Why does Woodcock keep the company of women when he seems to so clearly see their presence as a burden? Why does he tread over other women but kowtow to Cyril? What is his obsession with his mother? And for Alma, why does she not just leave? Why does she continue to allow herself to be humiliated, shamed, and treated like nothing? (Let's not assume, for the moment, that Alma is operating within an abusive relationship because, though it may be true, that's not the framework the film ultimately sets forth.)The answer to these questions, I think, all end up being fairly simply. But then there would appear to be a disconnect between the strain and effort of the aesthetic to understand these people, and the ultimate simplicity of their psychology (e.g., Woodcock has mommy issues, Alma wants to be seen as beautiful, etc). The problem is perhaps that PTA wants to create a sense of mystery, a sense of ambiguity, but that ambiguity is just stalling until an inevitable end rather than being a useful or necessary tool for the narrative, keeping the audience in the dark in order to shock them at the end but not providing any insight. PTA's goal here, in other words, is not exploration but rather obfuscation; preventing us, until the very end of the film, from having all the clues necessary to understand this relationship, then cutting us off from these characters once we have actual material to work with! Like Woodcock playing Alma, or perhaps vice versa, PTA is playing a game with the audience, but I don't think I'm much interested in the nature of his game.The idea that the end should really be the film's midpoint is an idea I've heard a lot from those who don't like the film, but I think those people like the ending but just find it misplaced, whereas I take issue with the ending! The final montage seems to be suggesting an idea that I simply reject having sat through the prior two or so hours (isn't this relationship beautiful? Nah, sorry, it's an awful relationship). And I think that idea is contingent on Alma having the same power as Woodcock, which she simply does not. For this to be a mutually abusive relationship, or an equally abusive relationship, which is what I think the film pushes us towards, Alma's form of abuse would have to exist as something other than a reaction to Woodcock's constant belittling and mistreatment of her (again, because PTA doesn't explore what the relationship becomes once Woodcock understands what Alma is doing to him, we have no way of knowing if this ever does exist as something other than that). My rabbi Adam Katzman thinks that this is the point of the film--exploring the power dynamics between a man and a woman in this time, and locating the only way in which a woman could assert power over a man in this context--which is a solid interpretation, but for me the fact that Woodcock accepts her revenge at the end dismantles any power she might have had, because her power is necessarily couched in his permission to give her power, and thus it becomes not a revenge at all but rather another form of subservience to him.Maybe that would be interesting to explore if the film was placed entirely in Alma's perspective, and thus the ending would be her own skewed view of this relationship in which she has no power, but despite her narration the film switches perspectives often (the first twenty minutes is focused on Reynolds), and Dr. Harding never provides any kind of objective counterpoint to her subjective telling of this story, and instead just acts as a sounding board. So all we get is the "this is love!" ending, which just strikes me as disingenuous. For this to work as an allegory about relationships in general (i.e., we all mistreat each other and seek power over one another in different ways), it has to work on the literal level first, and I simply cannot accept that this is a good relationship, even on the characters' own terms, and I certainly cannot accept that this is anything like my relationship or any other healthy relationship I can think of!
Quote from: Etan WeisfogelI want to expand on some thoughts my good buddy Graham had about Pialat and his supposed American counterpart Cassavetes. I think Graham is right that the central concern of both of their films is emotion, specifically, I would add, how to structure narrative around certain emotions. That may sound like an obvious or not particularly noteworthy aim, but I think it's different from how most people make films, which is to build emotion out of narrative, rather than narrative out of emotion.I guess many arthouse/independent directors do this, but one reason I think Pialat and Cassavetes are so often associated with each other is that both deal with extreme emotions--not necessarily unrealistic emotions, but certainly outsized, intense, and passionate emotions. They are, in a sense, emotions that might easily lend themselves to melodrama. But while both directors certainly show some affinity for the melodramatic, I think both are interested in finding ways to work around melodrama, to find other ways to portray these emotions. Cassavetes does this at least partially through exaggeration, allowing actors to explore an emotion in full during extensive sequences that tend to go on past the moment where another director might think the actor had gotten across the "point" (most acting is, of course, simply telegraphing narrative information or responses to narrative information). Pialat takes the opposite approach, attempting to find the mundane in the melodramatic. As Graham points out, the former approach lends itself nicely to duration, while the latter lends itself to ellipsis (skipping over moments that might be deemed important to a narrative of melodrama).
Quote from: Etan Weisfogelthe final montage seems to be suggesting an idea that I simply reject having sat through the prior two or so hours (isn't this relationship beautiful? Nah, sorry, it's an awful relationship). And I think that idea is contingent on Alma having the same power as Woodcock, which she simply does not. For this to be a mutually abusive relationship, or an equally abusive relationship, which is what I think the film pushes us towards, Alma's form of abuse would have to exist as something other than a reaction to Woodcock's constant belittling and mistreatment of her (again, because PTA doesn't explore what the relationship becomes once Woodcock understands what Alma is doing to him, we have no way of knowing if this ever does exist as something other than that).
Quote from: modage on January 11, 2018, 06:57:40 PM- In the first scene where Woodcock is measuring Alma and he tells her to stand up straight and she pushes back with a "Why didn't you just say that" she is so, so pissed off. It seems like she fucking hates him whenever she's able to shoot these daggers back at him. And I believe that she admires/adores him but harder to believe she loves him. But if she were truly in awe of him from the beginning she'd probably shrink like a wallflower instead of pushing back so forcefully so soon. I wonder if Krieps and DDL had any friction on set and these moments display some of that bubbling over? Either way, it's a great performance.
Quote from: jenkins on January 11, 2018, 07:21:59 PMsometimes Reynolds sounds so, so pissed off, as if he fucking hates people. it isn't necessarily a personal affront against another person, rather an expression of an interior force.
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMi'll admit that i've submitted to the film as being a kind of universal allegory of all relationships [...] and view the power dynamic more as a dance than a fight.
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMi also do think think in that dinner scene that reynolds does know that he needs alma, or loves her more than he lets on, as suggested by how taken aback he is when he hears her say something as painful as feeling unwanted, but isn't ready to open about it, and he certainly isn't going to concede or let her win that argument. he'd sooner tell her to fuck off.
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMon to etan. i don't find his oversimplification of character psychology in the film to be in any way cogent. if anything one of the things pta does so brilliantly is eschew easy psychological character mapping. there seems to be a common issue with those with negative impressions of the film are an overly literal reading of the film, and broad judgements made about the characters based on said reading.
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMobviously i find his rejection of the film's success as an allegory for relationships in general to be misguided, particularly in his insistence that its functionality as allegory is contingent on its success on a literal level.
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMi've always maintained that human beings are fucking insane
Quote from: samsong on January 12, 2018, 05:18:07 AMthat this film is decidedly unromantic (in the traditional sense) in its portrayal of a relationship is one of the reasons why it's so goddamn great. thought matt ross put it nicely in his indiewire blurb where he posits that one of the things the film is about is "the impossibility of understanding a relationship from the outside (that is – if one is not in it)."