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post #14671 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

Hmm, OK she has featured violence in her movies, but there's still no reason to assume that she's pretending to be a macho or anything similar... otherwise I'm affraid I don't get your point.

 

I called her a macho in the context of our previous discussion when I called men preoccupied with violence, war, patriotism, brotherhood etc. as typical macho types. Zero Dark Thirty has many ingredients of a movie shot by a typical macho. Furthermore there were scenes of torture in a prison which confused many people as pro-torture. Torture is a good thing because it is justified by a higher political goal. But in my opinion these accusations had missed the real intentions of Bigelow. She has been preoccupied with violence during her career because violence is more than entertainment factor for her. She has an intellectual agenda about it. I can't clearly articulate what is her agenda because for that matter I have to dig post-structuralism and French Theory which is not easy. But I do see that themes of violence, prisons, torture, state oppression play a big role in post-modernism. 

 

Bigelow has created her agent Maya's character based on her social and political agendas. For example she consciously portrayed marines as brainless killers in contrast to intelligent Maya. She is a brain, marines are tools. When Maya tortured Iraqi citizens she didn't make an impression of a bad person, on the contrary she was portrayed as one who did a good job in order to get useful information about bin Laden. Her other colleagues ( except another female) were portrayed as losers and good for nothing. It's only Maya who is a hero, others are a bunch of idiots. Then I felt uncomfortable when she called bin Laden "mine" as if he was a property. It was such a pretentious and artificial direction and progression of a story in order to justify director's personal agendas ( I suspect that she wanted to show Maya as an individualist fighting against the system - some kind of leftist ideology at play) - I didn't buy into it at all. On the other hand the film was entertaining. 


Edited by mutabor - 1/4/14 at 9:19am
post #14672 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post
 

 

I called her a macho in the context of our previous discussion when I called men preoccupied with violence, war, patriotism, brotherhood etc. as typical macho types. Zero Dark Thirty has many ingredients of a movie shot by a typical macho. Furthermore there were scenes of torture in a prison which confused many people as pro-torture. Torture is a good thing because it is justified by a higher political goal. But in my opinion these accusations had missed the real intentions of Bigelow. She has been preoccupied with violence during her career because violence is more than entertainment factor for her. She has an intellectual agenda about it. I can't clearly articulate what is her agenda because for that matter I have to dig post-structuralism and French Theory which is not easy. But I do see that themes of violence, prisons, torture, state oppression play a big role in post-modernism. 

 

Bigelow has created her agent Maya's character based on her social and political agendas. For example she consciously portrayed marines as brainless killers in contrast to intelligent Maya. She is a brain, marines are tools. When Maya tortured Iraqi citizens she didn't make an impression of a bad person, on the contrary she was portrayed as one who did a good job in order to get useful information about bin Laden. Her other colleagues ( except another female) were portrayed as losers and good for nothing. It's only Maya who is a hero, others are a bunch of idiots. Then I felt uncomfortable when she called bin Laden "mine" as if he was a property. It was such a pretentious and artificial direction and progression of a story in order to justify director's personal agendas - I didn't buy into it at all. On the other hand the film was entertaining. 

Isn't it possible that a character in a film can be a character that does not in any way represent the director's ideals or agendas? That's all I take Zero Dark Thirty as--a character-driven film about a woman who has made Bin Laden her entire life. Of course some of the film's subtexts are going to be uncomfortable. That's the point. 

 

I'm looking forward to seeing The Past--I hope I get it in a theatre around here at some point. A Separation was utterly devastating, and I've been looking forward to the director's next effort ever since I saw it. 

post #14673 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

 

One particularly cruel and heartbreaking film set in the context of WWII from a russian female director comes to my mind, can't remember the names right now... it's a damn good film.

I believe this director has prominently used violent contexts in her films as well.

 

EDIT: The film I was talking about is called "The Ascent" (1977) directed by Larisa Shepitko. Her ouvre is actually small because, unfortunatelly she lost her life in a car crash when she was 41 old. I highly recommend seeing this movie it's great stuff!

 

I have watched The Ascent and even wrote impressions about it on this thread.

post #14674 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post
 

Bigelow has created her agent Maya's character based on her social and political agendas. For example she consciously portrayed marines as brainless killers in contrast to intelligent Maya. She is a brain, marines are tools. When Maya tortured Iraqi citizens she didn't make an impression of a bad person, on the contrary she was portrayed as one who did a good job in order to get useful information about bin Laden. Her other colleagues ( except another female) were portrayed as losers and good for nothing. It's only Maya who is a hero, others are a bunch of idiots. Then I felt uncomfortable when she called bin Laden "mine" as if he was a property. It was such a pretentious and artificial direction and progression of a story in order to justify director's personal agendas ( I suspect that she wanted to show Maya as an individualist fighting against the system - some kind of leftist ideology at play) - I didn't buy into it at all. On the other hand the film was entertaining. 

 

Your interpretation of Zero Dark Thirty, completelly missed the point of the movie IMO.

Sorry, but I feel that you're making way too much assumptions and not really grasping the premisse and substance of the movie.

It's not about good guys vs bad guys, there's no "hero" in Zero Dark Thirty nor The Hurt locker.

Bigelow isn't trying to do any sort of propaganda for either sides of the conflicts nor trying to stereotypically portray anyone.

As far as I can perceive there's no political agenda in either Zero Drak Thirty or The Hurt Locker.

 

If I had to very recklessly define in one sentence the main premisse of Bigelow's 2 last works, I'd say a psychological study of the main character in an hostile environment.

It's more than just this, of course, but your analysis is way off IMO.

 

EDIT: Just read your impressions of The Ascent and curiously you also seem to make the same sort of fallacious ideological assumptions for it... honestly I saw this movie long time ago so can't say for sure, but I feel the movie is much more imparcial than you assumed it to be.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/4/14 at 10:07am
post #14675 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

 

Your interpretation of Zero Dark Thirty, completelly missed the point of the movie IMO.

Sorry, but I feel that you're making way too much assumptions and not really grasping the premisse and substance of the movie.

It's not about good guys vs bad guys, there's no "hero" in Zero Dark Thirty nor The Hurt locker.

Bigelow isn't trying to do any sort of propaganda for either sides of the conflicts nor trying to stereotypically portray anyone.

As far as I can perceive there's no political agenda in either Zero Drak Thirty or The Hurt Locker.

 

If I had to very recklessly define in one sentence the main premisse of Bigelow's 2 last works, I'd say a psychological study of the main character in an hostile environment.

It's more than just this, of course, but your analysis is way off IMO.

 

Well, I think that you missed the point of the movie either. I would advise you to research who is Bigelow, especially her academic studies and influences. 

 

And it seems that you didn't get what I have been saying all this time. 


Edited by mutabor - 1/4/14 at 10:34am
post #14676 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

 

EDIT: Just read your impressions of The Ascent and curiously you also seem to make the same sort of fallacious ideological assumptions for it... honestly I saw this movie long time ago so can't say for sure, but I feel the movie is much more imparcial than you assumed it to be.

 

OK, teach me what this Soviet film is about because, you know, I have a very miserable knowledge of Soviet and Russian culture. 

 

Quote:
 

One particularly cruel and heartbreaking film set in the context of WWII from a russian female director comes to my mind, can't remember the names right now... it's a damn good film.

I believe this director has prominently used violent contexts in her films as well.

 

Nope. Violence was NEVER a central point of Larisa Shepitko's films even in The Ascent. Her other films had nothing to do with violence at all.


Edited by mutabor - 1/4/14 at 11:12am
post #14677 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalsonata View Post

 

I'm looking forward to seeing The Past--I hope I get it in a theatre around here at some point. A Separation was utterly devastating, and I've been looking forward to the director's next effort ever since I saw it. 

 

In my opinion The Past is as good as A Separation. 

post #14678 of 15937

Sorry, I can see how I could had been rude.

I'm not here to downplay anyone's ability to apprecciate cinema.

Regarding Kathryn Bigelow, it's quite possible I don't get your point indeed and you are free to articulate better if you so wish.

I was just disagreeng with the way how you "read" her movies and with the fact that you seemed to attribute the premisse behind them to her own personal agenda... well actually all artists have some personal agenda behind their works, that's right, but I don't think Bigelow own agenda is was so overtly expressed through Maya character as you made it sound... and yet you say she pretends to be a macho, which sounds like a bit of a contradiction?... I could be wrong dunno...

Honestly you'd have to articulate more clearly about what you think that is Bigelow real agenda to make any sense.

I can agree that she may have an intelectual stance regarding violence... beyond this I can't really say much more about her.

I can see she had some left thinking teachers but so what?

This doesn't necessarily have to mean anything...

 

About The Ascent, I can't really say for sure since it's been a long time, but I think I got the impression that her film was more concerned about more human things than any sort of political or ideological stance.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/4/14 at 11:13am
post #14679 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

Sorry, I can see how I could had been rude.

 

You weren't particularly rude.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

About The Ascent, I can't really say for sure since it's been a long time, but I think I got the impression that her film was more concerned about more human things than any sort of political or ideological stance.

 

 

But why then The Ascent was banned in the Soviet Union if it didn't have any ideological stance? As far as I remember Russian serious films usually have pretty heavy ideological background behind them.


Edited by mutabor - 1/4/14 at 11:28am
post #14680 of 15937
Riddick 2013



I have to say I loved this. Seeing it on an LED big screen in 1080p made it for me. I rate it a 10 out of 10. Simply beautiful, stylized perfection.





2Guns 2013


8/10
post #14681 of 15937

I don't know why The Ascent was banned but it doesn't necessarilly mean that there was any serious ideological stance tried to be conveyed through the film... in that time I can see how lot's of films were banned for all sorts of reasons if there was anything that intentionally or unitentionally was detrimental for the USSR ideology/political paradigma, or international relations, whatever... it still happens today in several parts of the world.

That film has pretty heavy stuff going I can see how it could had cause discomfort.

Sure there could be an ideological background to the film but still I don't think that's what it is really about...

But if you have any proof that the film had an heavy ideological backgound and tried to convey so, then sure you're right.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/4/14 at 11:46am
post #14682 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

I don't know why The Ascent was banned but it doesn't necessarilly mean that there was any serious ideological stance tried to be conveyed through the film... in that time I can see how lot's of films were banned for all sorts of reasons if there was anything that intentionally or unitentionally was detrimental for the USSR ideology/political paradigma, or international relations, whatever... it still happens today in several parts of the world.

That film has pretty heavy stuff going I can see how it could had cause discomfort.

Sure there could be an ideological background to the film but still I don't think that's what it is really about...

But if you have any proof that the film had an heavy ideological backgound and tried to convey so, then sure you're right.

 

Actually The Ascent wasn't banned but was very close to be banned. Nevertheless it had limited release in the Soviet Union so that the majority of population couldn't watch it.

 

The problem is that you can say that Dostoevsky and Tolstoy don't have ideology because they were "more concerned about human things" as you write. Tarkovsky was more concerned about "human things". What I call an ideology is when human relations have complex and deep ideas behind them.

 

Here are quotes about the film which prove that it has deeper meaning, deep enough to call it ideological:

 

Quote:
 With its many references to the Crucifixion, the story takes on heroic proportions glorifying the sufferings of the martyr and his influence on future generations.

 

The suffering of the protagonist wasn't necessary. It was glorifying of the suffering which had symbolic meaning.

 

Quote:
 This is a Judas-Christ parable, with several scenes "composed" like famous paintings of scenes from the Passion. The references and symbolism are endless....in the plot-line, the characters, the mise-en-scene --- the final hanging of the protagonist among "thieves" on a hill (which he has to climb) is a clear reference to Golgotha. 

 

Quote:
 My main complaint about the movie is that it develops into a very unsubtle Christian allegory by its climax. I just don't think the symbolism adds much to the proceedings, especially when I was already intrigued by the debate between the two partisans. It's not quite fair. I was weighing the pros and cons of their argument. I began to lean toward the point of view of a certain character, and then the director pops up and tells me that he's Judas! Despite some heavy-handedness, this is still a must-see.

 

This review below is the closest in my opinion to the core of the film and how it was intended by Larisa Shepitko herself. If you didn't see it like this then I'm afraid that you didn't get it.

Quote:
 I do not believe this film is religious at all. The message is that Mother Russia, not God, is and should be the ultimate objective and reason in life for a Russian man. True to its Russian tradition and communist credo, man should devote life to the greater interest of Nation over self, family, friends or God. There is nothing outrageous to Russians about what the director is doing in this film, except to Christian Russians. She's actually replacing the passion of Christ with the passion of the Russians in WW2, actually debunking Christianity and substituting it with the philosophy of communism and the spiritualism of her master Dovzhenko and Tarkovzky, et al, which view the Soviet government did not particularly appreciate at the time. Romans are now Germans and Jews are Russians, including the traitors who joined the invading forces. Pontius Pilates is now a Russian traitor who decides to save himself and Judas and to allow Christ to be crucified. Christ is not Christ but a Good Partisan, physically weak and ill, who scorns and hits Judas, who doesn't mind and actually approves Judas killing the old Russian man for being a traitor, who thinks of killing himself instead of being captured, who hates Germans but hates Russian collaborators even more (just like the Judas of Christ), and who comes to the conclusion that it is best to die for your country than to survive under such dire human conditions, that it is better to ascend spiritually than to stay and survive as a rat. Just before his hanging, he looks at a Russian boy and the boy looks at him: at that moment Christ is not thinking about God nor the afterlife but of what the boy will learn from his death. And the final shot clearly shows Judas facing the reality that even if he escapes the invaders' camp, even if he escapes the Germans, he will never escape Mother Russia.

Edited by mutabor - 1/4/14 at 1:05pm
post #14683 of 15937

I see what you mean.

I can definitelly agree how some aspects of the plot could very well be a christ parable.

I actually failed to make this connection when I saw the movie back then, despite some familiarity with the nature of the plot, but I see now the obvious mirror of events.

Can't really agree nor disagree about whether this means that Shepitko really had any ideological intent even with the obvious parable, I'd have to see the movie again.

I believe there's more to it than this...

I remember very well that I was pretty damn impressed by this work, by it's cinematic quality and I felt that it's one of those deep movies that requires multiple views to really get all it's meanings and quirks.

But for it's cinematic quality alone it was really a beautiful work in my opinion.

 

I should mention that I tend to apprecciate and analyze films by what I perceive to be their purelly cinematic language/paradigma/tissue (whatever you want to call it, hope I'm making sense...) and I assume the proficiency by which this cinematic aspect is achieved to be the main matter of concern for most filmmakers... maybe naively so.

In other words, I assume that the pure cinematic paradigma is the main goal most filmmakers try to accomplish, so that's what I look for in a film.

Consequently I often leave ideological or political aspects to second place when analizing a movie or regard them as merelly complementary or "building blocks" of the work because otherwise I'd think that I would be watching a work of Propaganda and not a work of Cinema and I really don't like this idea...

Of course there's always the possibility of being both things, but I can't help but feel that a propagandistic work would necessarily show an apparent flaw in it's plot or premisse because any ideological agenda is inherently limited and relativistic. I mean the work would necessarilly be of limited reach and meaning, it would be obvious on a movie not open to interpretation... maybe I'm wrong...

I'm probably generalizing a bit now but hope you get my point.

In The Ascent maybe this is the case, but I didn't get this impression when I saw the movie, I felt there was quite a latitude for interpretation.

I'll have to see it again, it's worth it.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/4/14 at 3:18pm
post #14684 of 15937

Frozen (2013): 8/10

 

If it doesn't completely capture the Disney magic of yesteryear, it comes closer than anything else the studio's animation department has put out in a long time. Perhaps the characters aren't as memorable as one would hope, and the ending is certainly too easy. But the songs are likable, the humor is genuinely funny, a handful of Disney tropes are cleverly subverted, and the design of the film is extremely appealing, and sometimes downright gorgeous. 

post #14685 of 15937
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

 

I should mention that I tend to apprecciate and analyze films by what I perceive to be their purelly cinematic language/paradigma/tissue (whatever you want to call it, hope I'm making sense...) and I assume the proficiency by which this cinematic aspect is achieved to be the main matter of concern for most filmmakers... maybe naively so.

In other words, I assume that the pure cinematic paradigma is the main goal most filmmakers try to accomplish, so that's what I look for in a film.

Consequently I often leave ideological or political aspects to second place when analizing a movie or regard them as merelly complementary or "building blocks" of the work because otherwise I'd think that I would be watching a work of Propaganda and not a work of Cinema and I really don't like this idea...

Of course there's always the possibility of being both things, but I can't help but feel that a propagandistic work would necessarily show an apparent flaw in it's plot or premisse because any ideological agenda is inherently limited and relativistic. 

 

Ironically the reason why I bashed Zero Dark Thirty and why I didn't agree with some aspects of The Ascent was that I didn't like that ideology ( director's agenda) spoiled cinematic experience and integrity of the movies. 

 

In the case of ZDT it was blatant idealization of agent Maya and humiliation of US military apparatus in general. I just tried to analyze why Bigelow did that. I researched her roots and figured out that she was influenced by French Post-Modern ideology which is preoccupied with the themes of violence, torture, State oppression etc. Then I analyzed her entire filmography and yep there is violence in her every movie.

 

In the case of The Ascent it was glorification of hatred towards enemy and betrayers to the level of saint martyrdom with which I didn't agree. You didn't notice that glorification but I did.

 

P.S. If you liked Shepitko's film then I would advise you to watch her husband's film Come and See and also Sergei Loznitsa's In the Fog.


Edited by mutabor - 1/5/14 at 2:57am
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