Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Leave the World Behind

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    It's good to read what Esmail's intent was, but therein lies the problem with telling people how to view one's work: he says we need to feel and experience it, but I was relatively detached to the goings-on because I couldn't relate to much of the emotional responses shown within the film. If I knew the **** was hitting the fan to that global degree, I wouldn't be dancing to records or getting high and flirting by the pool, I'd be a nervous wreck having panic attacks--but that's not this film. True dreamscapes, I think, are more surreal than this....but also tend to be less accessible, though (see: David Lynch films).
    +1 to this exactly. I watched this past weekend and was just "Meh". Lots of broad stereotypes in the characters - which I believe were hoping for visceral reactions based on which "tribe" we might see ourselves as.. based on nothing more than wardrobe. And could not get past the heavy handed music score instructing me this was a very serious, dramatic film.

    If the goal / point of the film was to root for the animals over the humans... then maybe the film did achieve a small success with me.

    Comment


      Originally posted by markfpv View Post
      Lots of broad stereotypes in the characters - which I believe were hoping for visceral reactions based on which "tribe" we might see ourselves as.. based on nothing more than wardrobe.
      That's a funny thing to say. I don't think we were supposed to see ourselves as the characters. It basically satirized them. I'm also not sure any of them fit neatly into a stereotype, excepting maybe Kevin Bacon's character and the teenage son. Hawke played a professor who cheats on his wife with his students but is also henpecked. Generous and trusting yet also willing to leave someone in need on the side of the road. His wife was a cold bitch who hates the fake backstabbers of the city. She pretends to live in a more upscale neighborhood than she does but is also ready to let her hair loose and dance like no one's watching. Ali was a black guy on the board of a symphony. Sure, there are people like that but it's not a common stereotype. His daughter was a sort of typical SJW. Except she was also an entitled rich kid.

      That's the crux of the issue. It was a social commentary. The unfolding disaster is just a backdrop for their reactions. It's not about escaping doom.
      www.AbeFilms.com

      From the river to the sea

      Comment


        Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
        ITrue dreamscapes, I think, are more surreal than this....but also tend to be less accessible, though (see: David Lynch films).
        I've been thinking about this -- if the film has to qualify as a "true dreamscape" to play fast and loose like it did. And I've also been thinking about the director's quote:

        So, whenever people are trying to piece together the film in a purely detached, logical way, I think that doesn’t work, and honestly, I don’t think it works with most films. I think a film has to be felt and experienced, and not necessarily thought through in that way.
        And basically I think that's true. I think that films operate with an emotional logic that supersedes reason.

        Take Gladiator -- does it make sense that the emperor doesn't write down or tell anyone else of his succession plans, doesn't have anyone present with his son, and has no signs of foul play on his corpse? Maybe. But it doesn't make sense that Maximus can ride so far so fast with such a serious wound. And it absolutely makes no sense that he, a Roman citizen, is then enslaved. But the movie isn't a historical reenactment. The emotional logic is clear -- there are two feuding (figurative) brothers; and our hero undergoes Christlike redemptive suffering. The key thing is that you're emotionally invested in the characters and scenes so you will suspend your disbelief, which is where I think Leave the World Behind failed for its detractors.

        The central areas of concern of a story need to be airtight. If it's an action movie, we want the fight scenes to make sense. If it's a romcom, we want the relationship choices to make sense. Some people criticized Dunkirk for its historical inaccuracies but that misses the poetry of the film. Movies like The Prestige or Inside Man better have an airtight explanation for how they pull off the central trick because the whodunnit/howdunnit are key. (But obeying the laws of physics is not, at least in the case of The Prestige.)

        I'm watching The West Wing (great show). Some problems that I have with it include that the press secretary is romantically involved with a reporter. Sure, that COULD happen. But it seems like a major breach of protocol that would seriously undermine their credibility and threaten their careers. (This point is touched upon, but only very lightly.) I understand that it's a narrative device to illustrate the relationship of the press to the administration and also add a soapy layer to the press secretary's character. But it's an issue for me because the show is steeped in the minutia of the political process. It's almost a docudrama. Therefore, violating political realities undercuts the story for me in a way that it wouldn't for House of Cards.

        Similarly, the president's daughter is dating his Black body man. (Which reminds me of the Key & Peele sketch where they discover an alien impostor because he says he would let a Black man date his daughter.) It's not impossible, just far-fetched. And then I realize that this is not a realist show, just a show that makes use of realism. It lays out the central conceit in a backstory episode where the president's staff ask, "Can a good man be president?" So -- do I want to follow that thought process by watching the show?

        Leave the World Behind is a series of metaphors that comment on America. Going to the country, lying by the pool/beach, being attacked by our own oil tanker/plane/drone/technology generally, being consumed by our media/coffee/booze/weed/drugs generally and rendered practically inert while our natural environment turns inside out. Do we tear each other apart or cooperate?

        Do I care who orchestrated the attack on the US? Or how did they it? Or if we see panicked crowds fleeing? Or if the NYC skyline appears to be the correct distance in the background? 0%. Those aren't central concerns of the movie. This isn't 2012 or War of the Worlds.
        Last edited by ahalpert; 01-23-2024, 10:12 PM.
        www.AbeFilms.com

        From the river to the sea

        Comment


          Originally posted by ahalpert View Post

          I'm watching The West Wing (great show). Some problems that I have with it include that the press secretary is romantically involved with a reporter.

          Similarly, the president's daughter is dating his Black body man. (Which reminds me of the Key & Peele sketch where they discover an alien impostor because he says he would let a Black man date his daughter.).
          You stalking me mate?! Ha. Yes you mentioned you were working your way through West Wing. One of my favorite shots was one I did with CJ and Danny was this one sliding through a funky stairwell connected to the press room (although it wasn't actually). For some reason the message board doesn't like this link, but it works if you cut and paste vs clicking it: https://vimeo.com/papert/steadicam?share=copy#t=140

          And the alien imposter sketch is also close to my heart, because that's my trusty old silver Honda CRV behind them in the first :30 of the clip. I remember suggesting we leave the door open because nothing says abandoned car more than...an open door?! https://youtu.be/U8yzhumtZ4w?si=HKwejO_LnuUa2VaZ
          Last edited by CharlesPapert; 01-24-2024, 10:31 AM.
          Charles Papert
          charlespapert.com

          Comment


            Originally posted by ahalpert View Post

            That's a funny thing to say. I don't think we were supposed to see ourselves as the characters. It basically satirized them. I'm also not sure any of them fit neatly into a stereotype, excepting maybe Kevin Bacon's character and the teenage son. Hawke played a professor who cheats on his wife with his students but is also henpecked. Generous and trusting yet also willing to leave someone in need on the side of the road. His wife was a cold bitch who hates the fake backstabbers of the city. She pretends to live in a more upscale neighborhood than she does but is also ready to let her hair loose and dance like no one's watching. Ali was a black guy on the board of a symphony. Sure, there are people like that but it's not a common stereotype. His daughter was a sort of typical SJW. Except she was also an entitled rich kid.

            That's the crux of the issue. It was a social commentary. The unfolding disaster is just a backdrop for their reactions. It's not about escaping doom.
            I think a funnier thing to say is to tell other people who watched the exact same movie... essentially that your opinion of said movie is the correct one. Your descriptions read like stereotypes to me. It's ok to tell me why you liked it - but don't suppose I missed something of the "social commentary" just because it fell flat for me.

            Comment


              Originally posted by markfpv View Post

              I think a funnier thing to say is to tell other people who watched the exact same movie... essentially that your opinion of said movie is the correct one. Your descriptions read like stereotypes to me. It's ok to tell me why you liked it - but don't suppose I missed something of the "social commentary" just because it fell flat for me.
              Anybody who ever had an argument said that their opinion was the correct one. These descriptions can't possibly be stereotypes because they're internally contradictory (in other words, nuanced). As for missing the social commentary -- Doug said he thought the Starbucks cup was product placement. But it was obviously a symbol of bourgeois comforts. That's pretty much a cliché by this point. Missing obvious metaphors like that raises doubts about one's analytical acumen.
              www.AbeFilms.com

              From the river to the sea

              Comment


                Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post

                You stalking me mate?! Ha. Yes you mentioned you were working your way through West Wing. One of my favorite shots was one I did with CJ and Danny was this one sliding through a funky stairwell connected to the press room (although it wasn't actually). For some reason the message board doesn't like this link, but it works if you cut and paste vs clicking it: https://vimeo.com/papert/steadicam?share=copy#t=140

                And the alien imposter sketch is also close to my heart, because that's my trusty old silver Honda CRV behind them in the first :30 of the clip. I remember suggesting we leave the door open because nothing says abandoned car more than...an open door?! https://youtu.be/U8yzhumtZ4w?si=HKwejO_LnuUa2VaZ
                Key & Peele comes up surprisingly often, maybe because the sketches had such strong and memorable concepts. Just on Tuesday, a PA said to me "insubordinate and churlish" and I flagged the Substitute Teacher reference. Then we went through all the mispronounced names we could remember. Then he brought up a capalla group already has a black guy sketch and I brought up the Magical Negro Fight, one of the best. ("THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE...")

                That's a nice shot in the West Wing. I like the way you moved into a tight close-up on CJ and then pulled back and let Danny in the frame. Very dynamic. A lot of nice work in that reel.

                John Brawley told me he was rewatching the West Wing, and I thought to myself gee, I haven't even seen it a first time. (He had a baby recently and I think he's been watching it while he watches the baby.) Then in Leave the World Behind, the white daughter says she's seen "only the Aaron Sorkin seasons." I didn't realize he wrote so much of it and I thought yeah, I can manage 4 seasons. 7 would be a lot. I've been trying to watch more movies lately and less TV.

                On a technical level, the West Wing is really superb.
                www.AbeFilms.com

                From the river to the sea

                Comment


                  I bought a boxed DVD set of the entire West Wing series a few years ago and never found time to watch it. Now I guess I'd be better off streaming.
                  Doug Jensen, Sony camcorder instructor
                  HOW TO MAKE MONEY SHOOTING STOCK
                  http://www.dougjensen.com/

                  Comment


                    I haven't watched West Wing in a while and to find that one clip I re-watched that particular episode (In Excelsis Deo, S1 E10). It reminded me again how great the performances were, and how musical Sorkin's writing rhythms could be. It's certainly a time capsule. On a personal level, it was a mixed experience overall--the hardest I'd ever worked physically on a TV show (even notched up from ER), and not an easy set to be on tonally. Of the cast members, I had nothing but adoration for Alison Janney who was a love, and Brad Whitford who was an utter hoot. At that time I was doing a lot of dayplaying and short stints on shows, flitting from flower to flower, and on this one I was getting the crap beat of me daily so I didn't stick around too long. But it is fun to look back at those episodes (a little shocking that it was 25 years ago now!), and remember hurtling around those hallways and sliding through doorways. Also a little wild seeing it in 16:9, since we were still very much composing for 4:3 and sort-of protecting the outsides. A few years back I noticed this particular moment and captured it, there are quite a few like it.

                    https://youtu.be/1w9UloOL-5I?si=A15syPZZ4qK1-kT_

                    For the record, we were instructed to protect 16:9 but there were times the edict was just ignored on a case-by-case basis, if it was inconvenient to do so. The assumption was that when the time came for new widescreen masters to be struck they would be gone over carefully and things like this would be fixed via VFX. That...didn't happen.

                    Key & Peele however was a delight from start to finish, and I wish we had done more. It's still fascinating to me that Substitute Teacher struck as much of a nerve as it has (230 million views!) since I didn't find it all that memorable when we shot it, but prognostication has never been my strength.
                    Last edited by CharlesPapert; 01-26-2024, 09:09 AM.
                    Charles Papert
                    charlespapert.com

                    Comment


                      As a former "inner city" teacher, it never ceased to amuse me. Quite a lot of their lines have become catchphrases at my household. "That's just being cavalier with your finances" is probably the most quoted one.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
                        I haven't watched West Wing in a while and to find that one clip I re-watched that particular episode (In Excelsis Deo, S1 E10). It reminded me again how great the performances were, and how musical Sorkin's writing rhythms could be. It's certainly a time capsule. On a personal level, it was a mixed experience overall--the hardest I'd ever worked physically on a TV show (even notched up from ER), and not an easy set to be on tonally. Of the cast members, I had nothing but adoration for Alison Janney who was a love, and Brad Whitford who was an utter hoot. At that time I was doing a lot of dayplaying and short stints on shows, flitting from flower to flower, and on this one I was getting the crap beat of me daily so I didn't stick around too long. But it is fun to look back at those episodes (a little shocking that it was 25 years ago now!), and remember hurtling around those hallways and sliding through doorways. Also a little wild seeing it in 16:9, since we were still very much composing for 4:3 and sort-of protecting the outsides. A few years back I noticed this particular moment and captured it, there are quite a few like it.

                        https://youtu.be/1w9UloOL-5I?si=A15syPZZ4qK1-kT_

                        For the record, we were instructed to protect 16:9 but there were times the edict was just ignored on a case-by-case basis, if it was inconvenient to do so. The assumption was that when the time came for new widescreen masters to be struck they would be gone over carefully and things like this would be fixed via VFX. That...didn't happen.

                        Key & Peele however was a delight from start to finish, and I wish we had done more. It's still fascinating to me that Substitute Teacher struck as much of a nerve as it has (230 million views!) since I didn't find it all that memorable when we shot it, but prognostication has never been my strength.
                        I'm sorry to hear your experience was mixed on WW. I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering both how numerous and demanding the steadicam shots were; and what I know about the general tenor of high-end production.

                        It's funny seeing that gear blooper. I thought to myself -- surely they fixed it by now. I would have noticed that. And then I checked the playback on HBO Max. Nope. It's still there and I didn't notice.

                        Re: Substitute Teacher -- I don't think anyone knows what is going to be a hit in advance. Certainly, I've heard that said by musicians about their releases. Disney thought Pocahontas would be huge and they were taking a chance on Lion King. I think I read that Psycho was a little film Hitchcock tossed off between larger projects.

                        I think Substitute Teacher has that genius idea at the core -- mispronouncing white names with AAVE inflection. It sort of calls into question why these differences exist without answering it. And, like so much K&P, manages to punch in both directions of the race barrier at the same time. Plus, Key's performance alone is worth the price of admission.
                        www.AbeFilms.com

                        From the river to the sea

                        Comment


                          This is interesting. Christopher Nolan makes a similar statement to that of the Leave the World Behind director in defense of Tenet:

                          If you experience my film you are getting it. I feel very strongly about that. I think where people encounter frustration with my narratives in the past, sometimes I think that they’re slightly missing the point. It’s not a puzzle to be unpacked. It’s an experience to be had, preferably in a movie theater but also at home, hopefully in an unbroken period.

                          It’s an experience to be had, that is the point of it, that’s the feeling of it. Everything else, if people are interested to talk about it or debate it more, if ideas resonate, that’s a huge bonus.

                          You’re not meant to understand everything in Tenet. It’s not all comprehensible.
                          https://screenrant.com/christopher-n...ting-response/

                          I haven't seen Tenet because I was disappointed by Nolan's preceding mind-benders. But I don't think his statement is true of his other films, at least not for me.

                          Nolan's movies tend to be kind of cerebral. The feelings I have while watching them usually come as a result of thinking about the story. It's not that they're devoid of mood. But my primary interaction is trying to figure out the mechanics of the story.

                          There are some exceptions, such as Memento. To my knowledge, the plot of Memento holds together. But it had a powerful and pervasive mood of confusion and paranoia. There I could buy the idea that it was an experience and not a puzzle.

                          Regardless, it's interesting that he's positing a theory of viewership similar to the other director's.
                          www.AbeFilms.com

                          From the river to the sea

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X