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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:37 pm 
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we are never given any indication that the perspective of the film is first-person through her eyes

Sure there is. The very nature of the world she lives in is warped from ours precisely to fit in with the depressed person's need to justify her own depression.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:59 pm 
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pnoom wrote:
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we are never given any indication that the perspective of the film is first-person through her eyes

Sure there is. The very nature of the world she lives in is warped from ours precisely to fit in with the depressed person's need to justify her own depression.


that's an interpretation you placed on the film. but where in the film is this established? we see scenes between other characters where she isn't even present and the world is consistent. the perspective being shown is that of the storyteller, which is Lars Von Trier, looking in on the world from third-person. it certainly is warped from reality. but i don't see any reason to believe we are seeing the world through Justine's eyes, but rather its Lars Von Trier who is trying to justify his own cynicism by unfairly characterizing the world and people as being shallow and phony. in which case, we aren't joining the storyteller as he explores depression, we are being prescribed his worldview (a worldview that is justified only by misrepresenting reality).


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Anything either of us say is going to be an interpretation placed on the film. The only relevant question is whether any given interpretation is justifiably occasioned by the film. Given that it's a film about a severely depressed woman, that the world perfectly fits with one telling feature of depression can hardly be treated as a coincidence. I don't think it's possible to reasonably deny that the world is functioning in that role, because that requires saying that Von Trier, in advancing a cynical/pessimistic/nihilistic/whatever agenda, just happened to hit on an incredibly salient feature of depression and exploit it as if that were his intention. I don't see how that's at all plausible.

So I think my position is a forced one if we take the film seriously. Of course, it's possible that Von Trier could be advancing a cynical/nihilistic agenda on top of this: this is what depression is like, and, philosophically, depression is right. But I think this needlessly complicates things. You get a full aesthetic justification of the way the world is in the film by connecting it to that feature of depression. To say further that the film itself promotes that sort of hopelessness, you'd need something more. Otherwise, it's explanatorily redundant. I don't see what there is in the film to occasion it.

Your point about the world being consistent even when she isn't in a scene doesn't cut against this point. My point isn't that the world of the film is idealistic, shaped by her (or others') perception of it. My point is that the very fabric of the world is warped in a way that connects it to her depression. It is very much her world. But it's her world even she's not in a given scene. There's no contradiction or tension there.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:13 pm 
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pnoom wrote:
Quote:
we are never given any indication that the perspective of the film is first-person through her eyes

Sure there is. The very nature of the world she lives in is warped from ours precisely to fit in with the depressed person's need to justify her own depression.


See, I understand that's what Von Trier was doing, and he certainly demonstrated how that works, but I never felt how it works. I've struggled with depression in the past - not as severe as Justine's in the movie (as I'm sure almost anyone watching the movie would have to say), but depression nonetheless. And if Von Trier wanted to convey the disinterest, the malaise, the anhedonia of depression, then I guess he succeeded, but that doesn't mean he made a good movie (in my opinion).

I think a major flaw is the second part, the emphasis on Claire. We move away from the depression and see instead the despair of a woman who desires to continue living. We see Justine destroy what should be the happiest moment of her life, but then she shrinks into the background and we lose the intensity of her experience (if it was ever there). And you don't need a bizarre sci-fi subplot of a planet (cringe-worthily named Melancholia) crashing into Earth to demonstrate how people, depressed or not, react to their impending demise.

I also feel there's a sort of metaphysical exhaustion that goes along with depression - like the real deep down ugliness of it - that was never quite reached because, in my opinion, Von Trier's exploration is surface-level, intellectualized, and ultimately boring.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Sodacake wrote:
His portrayal in the films isn't very heroic and this is particularly true for Iron Man 2. That film is ass.


And that's pretty much exactly what made him an interesting hero in the movies to begin with.

I didn't think Iron Man 2 was that bad. Definitely inferior to the first one though.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:29 pm 
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i'll let LVT argue this for me (from the website for the movie):

Interviewer wrote:
How do you personally feel about the thought that the world might come to an end?


Lars Von Trier wrote:
If it could happen in an instant, the idea appeals to me. As Justine says: Life is evil, right? And life is a wicked idea. God may have had fun at creation, but he didn't really think things through [laughs]. So if the world ended and all the suffering and longing disappeared in a flash, I'm likely to press the button myself. If nobody would be in pain. Then people might say: how nasty, what about all the lives that wouldn't be lived? But I can't help seeing it all as a mean streak.


he goes on to say in the interview that there is far more suffering and pain in the world than pleasure. something i disagree with entirely.

later in the interview:

Interviewer wrote:
According to the motto: Fake it till you make it?


Lars Von Trier wrote:
That's what she's trying to do. However, her longings are too great. Her hankering for truth is too colossal. I think that goes for melancholiacs in general. We have high demands on truth.



he separates melancholiacs from everyone else, and wants me to believe that his depression exists because he has a higher demand for truth than i have. and that's what pisses me off. because what he sees is not truth (well at least, from my perspective). its a distortion of truth. and anything that doesn't fit his worldview is cast off as being hollow. i believe that people have natural dualities. that we can be both selfish and unselfish, that we can be crave both simplicity and complexity, that we can have conflicting opinions and emotions and whatever, and that sadness and happiness can both be powerful and true reactions to life. LVT presents a world in which happiness is hollow, and that only sadness is truth. and he's fully aware of what he is presenting and expresses it very clearly. which makes the movie a masterpiece of expression, and also a movie that annoys me because of what it expresses. if only because i disagree with it and resent how he presents people like me who might not see the world as he does.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Von Trier is so upbeat it annoys me.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:35 pm 
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In other news, I also watched Let the Right One In this morning and really enjoyed it. It's kind of incredible how seamlessly a cute puppy-love story is melded with a horrific vampire story. The ending was a little too predictable (I was hoping Oskar would finally stand up for himself and maybe even use that knife he plays with throughout the movie), but I must say Alfredson put a totally unique spin on a very familiar story.

I'd like to see more good horror films because so many of them are just complete shlock. On that note, I'm gonna go home and watch Vampyr.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:12 pm 
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pave wrote:
Jess wrote:
a revealing poll would be:

a) i liked melancholia and i have experienced what the main characters went through
b) i liked melancholia and i have not experienced what the main characters went through
c) it was boring and i experienced what the main characters went through
d) it was boring and i have not experience what the main characters went through

my point is that almost everyone i've talked to about it were split between a) and d).


well i would venture to guess that the level of depression she experiences is pretty rare so no i haven't experienced that. but i think its kind of unfair to assume people who didn't like the movie have never experienced depression in some form. i have. not to that extent, or anywhere close to that extent, but either way i can identify with what she goes through at least in some way.

my problem stems more from how he paints the other characters, as either shallow, stupid, hypocritical or drunk. and i don't buy that he was painting them only from her perspective. we are never given any indication that the perspective of the film is first-person through her eyes. we are seeing her from third person just like every other character. he doesn't seem to just want to show us her condition, but prove to us that her perspective is ultimately right. i honestly believe Lars Von Trier hates people and thinks the world sucks. and what's worse, instead of trying to change things he seems to have adopted this "fuck it, i'll just join the ride and laugh as the fake happy people realize life will come to an end and everything is hopeless" attitude that annoys me.


*edit: oh and i'll add "weak" to the list of characteristics he paints his characters with. everyone in the movie is presented as weak. crumbling under the weight of their own shallowness. breaking down when things got bad. except Justine, who's spirit improves as the world ends. because she's the only one who understood the whole time just how hopeless life is. :freak:
it was a pretty presumptuous, but semi-joking post on my part.


i think we need to talk about kevin does the same thing. there's no hint at first person narrative but everyone is clearly characterized by tilda swinton's character. it may be third person but it's still her reconstruction of everything that happened. in melancholia the first/third person dichotomy would be less effective if it written as an overt first person narrative.

if his point was to convey the bleak outward projections of someone gripped by that sort of overwhelming feeling of doom, then he did it the right way. first person judgments don't capture the all-encompassing, blanketing sensation of coldness and despair of depression. a depressed person doesn't have a running internal monologue that cynically mischaracterizes the qualities and intentions of those around him or her. they are more likely to experience everyone in the way that you interpret as von trier's cynicism for people in a normative way. but he isn't making normative judgments. it's a positive reconstruction and depiction of the world as a depressed person sees it despite how they can recognize the absurdity of their general cynicism and still fail to accept it. i think the movie shows how von trier acknowledges this absurdity, but admits how violent it nevertheless conflicts with a depressed reality.

basically how you described the way he paints his characters is as a depressed person sees people around them, beneath cynical veils of shallowness and insecurity--it's not conscious or voluntary, and a first person exposition would not demonstrated this distinction. it's confusion and paranoia. i think that is proof enough we are supposed to interpret these characters largely as justine's projections. additionally, these superficialities, dishonesties, and vices other characters display always seem to be either ignored or fly right over the heads of everyone else around. a few scenes were legitimately awkward for a lot of people, but many scenes that magnified negative qualities appear to be viewed very passively or imperceptibly by surrounding characters, with either indifference or obliviousness, making you question the intrinsic authenticity of the vices in the first place. are they justine's projections or are they real? probably exaggerated observations that are consistent with her inner conflict of being unable to temper involuntary abstractions of her friends' characters.

her husband isn't portrayed negatively. his role was sort of tragic. she demolished her one positive relationship out of suspicion and general self-destruction. i have more to say about this but i'm getting a little tired and have work to do.

briefly, about her getting 'better': the end of the world is just a metaphor for the smothering nature of her depression. i thought she reached an oxymoronic state of depressed contentment, while the "end of the world" set on her family who were ill-prepared and inexperienced. a key scene is when they're looking at it approach through the circle thing someone made, and one moment it appears to be receding, creating relief. but then JUST KIDDING it's still approaching. it never diverted its course. that's so depression, lying dormant for a short time, or even a long time, as the subject feels cautious relief, but grips them even more powerfully when they let down their guard.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:16 pm 
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pave wrote:
pnoom wrote:
Quote:
we are never given any indication that the perspective of the film is first-person through her eyes

Sure there is. The very nature of the world she lives in is warped from ours precisely to fit in with the depressed person's need to justify her own depression.


that's an interpretation you placed on the film. but where in the film is this established? we see scenes between other characters where she isn't even present and the world is consistent. the perspective being shown is that of the storyteller, which is Lars Von Trier, looking in on the world from third-person. it certainly is warped from reality. but i don't see any reason to believe we are seeing the world through Justine's eyes, but rather its Lars Von Trier who is trying to justify his own cynicism by unfairly characterizing the world and people as being shallow and phony. in which case, we aren't joining the storyteller as he explores depression, we are being prescribed his worldview (a worldview that is justified only by misrepresenting reality).

because her world is all-encompassing and doesn't only exist within a 10-foot radius around her immediate vicinity. i'd have to rewatch it scene by scene, but i'm pretty sure her most unstable relationships are with characters who exhibit exaggerated superficialities and personal disregard for one another around and nor around her.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:11 am 
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Tudwell wrote:
See, I understand that's what Von Trier was doing, and he certainly demonstrated how that works, but I never felt how it works. I've struggled with depression in the past - not as severe as Justine's in the movie (as I'm sure almost anyone watching the movie would have to say), but depression nonetheless. And if Von Trier wanted to convey the disinterest, the malaise, the anhedonia of depression, then I guess he succeeded, but that doesn't mean he made a good movie (in my opinion).

I think a major flaw is the second part, the emphasis on Claire. We move away from the depression and see instead the despair of a woman who desires to continue living. We see Justine destroy what should be the happiest moment of her life, but then she shrinks into the background and we lose the intensity of her experience (if it was ever there). And you don't need a bizarre sci-fi subplot of a planet (cringe-worthily named Melancholia) crashing into Earth to demonstrate how people, depressed or not, react to their impending demise.

I also feel there's a sort of metaphysical exhaustion that goes along with depression - like the real deep down ugliness of it - that was never quite reached because, in my opinion, Von Trier's exploration is surface-level, intellectualized, and ultimately boring.

I'm too tired to have a fully thought out response, but I want to say briefly that I think this is an excellent critique of the film because I think you are right about what the film is doing, and your disagreement with me comes in your view on how well the film achieves that end. So I like this, even though I disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:18 am 
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Sodacake wrote:
corrections wrote:
Sodacake wrote:
Captain America was a great introduction to the character, imo. Johnston completely nailed the tone of the comic books. What I think is especially cool about The Avengers is how none of the characters looked out of place or like they were just visiting from a different film, if that makes sense. It really felt like everybody belonged in it.


But Captain America is just the lamest super hero ever.

I disagree. I think he's pretty badass, especially in Civil War. Iron Man is way more lame.


I don't read the comics. Just the concept of Captain America is lame.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:33 am 
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I have Captain America boxer shorts.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:36 am 
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Location: Matthew McConaughey has won the Oscar for Best Actor in-- "You think you know me..." Shit.
hawt


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:31 am 
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Tudwell wrote:
I'd like to see more good horror films because so many of them are just complete shlock. On that note, I'm gonna go home and watch Vampyr.

Give some examples of horror films you consider schlock? I want to know because "schlock horror" is also a subgenre of horror that led to the splatter and gore horror pictures. Those I like quite a lot... I assume tho that's not what you were talking about. But anyway, here are a few suggestions for original, creative, scary or just mindbogglingly well made horror films.

Peeping Tom
Videodrome
The Innocents
The Black Cat (1934)
The Devils
Kwaidan
The Mask of Satan
Suspiria
The Brood
Hour of the Wolf
The Entity
Dellamorte Dellamore
Don't Look Now
Nosferatu (both the Murnau and the Herzog version)
Carnival of Souls
In The Mouth of Madness
The Fly
Shivers (aka They Came From Within)
Bride of Frankenstein
Eyes Without a Face
The Vanishing
Black Sabbath (the Italian language version)
Martin
Cronos
Picnic at Hanging Rock
The Haunting (1963)
Jacob's Ladder
The Tenant

(kinda assuming you've already seen, but if not, they're all more than worth the hype and status)
The Exorcist
Halloween
The Shining
Rosemary's Baby
Alien
The Thing


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