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Zer Netmouse
June 6th, 2004
10:29 am

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Young Adam
So, Matt asked me what I thought of the movie.

When it was over and I was talking to Bjorn about it, his first comment was that it was Dark. Very Dark. And my next thought was that that had not been my first thought at all. Somber, sure. Morally complex and non-heroic, yes. But I guess when I think Dark I think darkly humerous or twisted and this wasn't that way. It was more real life than dark to me. A darker or sadder shade of real life, to be sure.

Bjorn's friend then said that she found the movie to be too self-aware. And we both came up with moments when you definitely slip out of the movie and think - "oh, they're doing this to create tension," or "look at that lighting," or "why the fly? It's only there, in this one shot on her nipple, and you never see it before or after, so why? And how many tries did it take to get that shot?"

I thought the cast did a terrific job, the story being what it was. I could see why it was referred to as Dostoyevskian. Very internal conflict, not much external (though some does occur). It's a little confusing, it takes a while to be able to figure out which scenes are flashbacks and which ones are "current" -there were definitely scenes I thought were current that I had to mentally adjust in my sense of the storyline later when I knew more about it.

But it starts with the two men fishing a dead woman out of the river. And there's some suggestion that Joe (Macgregor's character) knows her, so I guess that sets you up to expect flashbacks, and I was expecting them, but it still took me a turn to figure out which they were and get into the swing of it. They don't give it all away at once, see, because they don't show the dead woman's face.

It was interesting. I liked it. I don't want to say too much about it because I think that would spoil it and I find that I would indeed recommend it.

So there you go.

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From:matt_arnold
Date:June 7th, 2004 07:28 am (UTC)
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So I take it "life-affirming" is not a descriptor that would apply. This is a question I ask about dark, or sad, movies. "Life Is Beautiful" was one of the saddest movies I ever saw, but it ended on a life-affirming note. I watched the first two-thirds of "The Pianist" the other day before the rented DVD just quit from smudges and scratches that could not be removed. I'm debating whether to go out of my way to watch the rest of it, because I was left wondering "why did anyone bother to make this movie? In order to sap our will to live?"
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From:bjorng
Date:June 7th, 2004 08:00 am (UTC)
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Definitely not life-affirming. Its main character drifts aimlessly through his life, much to the detriment of those around him. On some level I found it draining to watch.

On balance, though, I'd say it was a good film. It's a slice of life I wouldn't want to try out directly, but it was interesting to watch. I did find the glimpses of barge-life strangely appealing. Though it was sad to see that too was doomed.

I'm not really sure what dostoevskian means; I'd classify this as a sort of neorealist film noir. I'm not sure if the main character is amoral, sociopathic, or just so disconnected he can't relate to anyone. If those are meaningful differences.
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