Claire Denis

WebEschatology

Well-known member
oh word I somehow thought you mean the opposite thing by "captures", that makes more sense

no other examples come to mind but I doubt she was the only director addressing the IMF/global south in 2008, tho it's usually less direct than having a class of grad students just discuss it for the audience. I experienced the heyday of antiglobalization in the early 00s - the whole scene of post-Seattle huge protests against the IMF, World Bank, G8, FTAA, etc - and tho I wasn't really paying attention to film at the time I do feel like that was definitely the moment when the basic injustice of that debt peaked in Western etc public consciousness, before it was essentially wiped out and replaced by the financial crisis. I'd bet she filmed that before the financial crisis broke, in fact.

anyway, I agree, I think she's pretty good on power dynamics. one of her more recent films that I haven't seen - White Material - sounds like almost a response to the white people having character arcs and emotional journeys to an African backdrop of something like Out of Africa (which isn't even a like, bad movie, just one that would nowadays I assume at least try to give non-white characters some kind of agency, rather than just functions of the white main characters the surround). High Material is about, among other things, indentured servitude.
yeah White Material is good you could argue its the bluntest film she's made but even then it's got those eliptical qualities

Weirdly i remember one guy talking about that Ridley Scott movie the counseller where he said his biggest problem with that movie is that the characters keep talking about this great evil that's coming but it never arrives whereas in White Material it does in the form of civil war and everybody gets damaged by it.

also they would do that with Out of Africa if they were to remake it today but that's also because Out of Africa is one of MANY examples of a average movie that got awards thrown at it and nobody even now understands why
 

WebEschatology

Well-known member
@padraig (u.s.) Jarman...Jarman's odd for me i have alot of respect for him i thought Blue was incredible and i've got his book on colours Chroma but the issue for me with Jarman is like the England as depicted in his films is one that barely washes up on my shores.

The stories and ideas he pulls from for him probably felt timeless and in a way subversive breaking away from the opressive history of this island but for me it's just not all that inspiring.
 

WashYourHands

Cat Malogen
He’s from a Britain that doesn’t really exist anymore. You could add Greenaway but clearly less subversive in intent

I’m grateful to Jarman for his early super-8 shorts. The Art of Mirrors? Spellbinding. That he continued pushing through later projects these damp islands (which love to soak up dreams) would’ve shat back out if allowed. An exercise in will
 

version

Well-known member
Weirdly i remember one guy talking about that Ridley Scott movie the counseller where he said his biggest problem with that movie is that the characters keep talking about this great evil that's coming but it never arrives whereas in White Material it does in the form of civil war and everybody gets damaged by it.
The Great Evil's already arrived in The Counselor, hasn't it? The drug war's ongoing and the bulk of the characters are profiting from it. That seemed part of the point to me, that it finally spilled into the lives of people who can normally turn a blind eye.

That, and to tie it back into the Denis Johnson discussion earlier in the thread, Denis Johnson's thing about not knowing whether you're in Hell.

What I don't think has been talked about is the fact that in order to be Hell, the people in Hell could never be sure they were really there. If God told them they were in Hell, then the torment of uncertainty would be relieved from them, and their torment wouldn't be complete without that nagging question - "Is this suffering I see all around me my eternal damnation and the eternal damnation of all these souls, or is it just a temporary journey?" A temporary journey in the fallen world.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The Coubsellor, is that the thing where Cornac Mccarthy wrote the screen play? Those long metaphysical monologues which he so often puts in the mouth of the most implausible z even impossible - characters in his books and somehow it works, but it turns out if you do it in a film it somehow goes back to being as shit as you would have thought.
 

version

Well-known member
The Coubsellor, is that the thing where Cornac Mccarthy wrote the screen play? Those long metaphysical monologues which he so often puts in the mouth of the most implausible z even impossible - characters in his books and somehow it works, but it turns out if you do it in a film it somehow goes back to being as shit as you would have thought.
I really liked it.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Well at the time I really hated it. But I have found myself thinking of it loads of times since (althoughthink I'd forgottenthe name). In fact I was thinking about it yesterday and so when I saw the name I thought "That's a coincidence" but then I thought, not that much though cos I'm often thinking about it. Why is that I wonder...
 

version

Well-known member
It's pretty ridiculous in places, I thought Cameron Diaz was miscast, the first two scenes - the embarrassing sex scene between Cruz and Fassbender and the scene with Diaz and Bardem watching the cheetahs - are terrible, but I enjoyed the rest.

I liked how a lot of things went unsaid or unresolved, like the scene with the body stuffed in the oil drum. You don't find out where it goes or why. There's no real sense behind it. You're just shown that it's happening. The scene where Fassbender's delivered the DVD and doesn't even need to watch it is absolutely devastating too and I enjoyed every scene with Pitt's character.

The bit where Cameron Diaz has sex with the car is absolutely hilarious too, Bardem's face and Fassbender just being like "What?!".
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I think something about the casting... a great line-up and with Mccarthy too. I wanted a lot.

There IS something interesting about the idea that - if I remember correctly - their problem with the cartel arises due to an error, a coincidental misunderstanding - and yet, as Brad Pitt tells Fassbender, the cartel thinks they betrayed it and now they are dead. It is completely inexorable, unstoppable and inevitable. Once that belief has been raised it becomes fact, and once that 'fact' has been established there is no reasoning with the cartel, no bargaining, it will simply not stop ever until they are really really dead. Or worse, have been forced to watch some video of unimaginable horror.

But something about the philosophical phone call to Fassbender after he's seen the video just annoyed me. It's a real McCarthyism but off the the page it just didn't make sense in fact probably it doesn't make sense in the books either but somehow he makes it work.

Just the other day we were talking about Cameron Diaz - I think she's retired from acting right? - and wondered if she felt she'd achieved everything she wanted in acting. But then we were thinking if she's ever done a serious film (especially a good one) and we struggled to think of one. And you mention this a couple of days later... but she's not really right as you say.
 

version

Well-known member
But something about the philosophical phone call to Fassbender after he's seen the video just annoyed me. It's a real McCarthyism but off the the page it just didn't make sense in fact probably it doesn't make sense in the books either but somehow he makes it work.
Yeah, that bit is a bit clunky and it goes on for too long.

He doesn't actually watch the video though. He doesn't need to. We already know what's on it from the conversation with Brad Pitt earlier in the film. That's why he breaks down just looking at the disc in his hand.
 

version

Well-known member
Is that it? Had forgotten.
There's a bit earlier in the film where Brad Pitt mentions a cartel snuff film where they torture and behead a woman then rape her corpse then near the end they snatch Peneolpe Cruz at the airport and someone pops a DVD under Fassbender's door in Mexico with "Hola!" written on the disc and he just collapses and bursts into tears.

The viewer's then shown a headless woman's body being dumped somewhere, but you never see Fassbender actually watch the film. He can't and doesn't need to.
 

william_kent

Well-known member
He’s from a Britain that doesn’t really exist anymore. You could add Greenaway but clearly less subversive in intent

I’m grateful to Jarman for his early super-8 shorts. The Art of Mirrors? Spellbinding. That he continued pushing through later projects these damp islands (which love to soak up dreams) would’ve shat back out if allowed. An exercise in will

strangely enough I was reading about Jarman in issue two of "man is the animal: a coil zine" last night - there's an article by the editor about The Angelic Conversation where he writes this:

posterity has not been so kind to Jarman. His type of filmmaking has become increasingly outmoded as new forms of technology and distribution have, perhaps ironically, foreclosed interest in formal experimentation. Whereas his films were routinely broadcast on television in the 1980s and 1990s, and his music videos had an even wider audience, he is now only remembered by cineastes. Granted, his queer activism and punk sensibility are now at home in the culture, but there are certain things about his filmmaking that are now entirely foreign to the culture. Firstly, the type of formally experimental films he made are alien to the current compulsion for narrative flow. Secondly, the belief in the possibility of film as an act of magick has become somewhat incomprehensible to a culture that seeks ceaseless entertainment.
 
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