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Any pick up the Irreversible DVD yet?
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jboy
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PostPosted: 08.21.2003 4:07 am    Post subject: irreversible Reply with quote

I just watched the DVD Irreversible. I found it extremely hard to watch, especially the infamous "2 scenes". While it mimics Memento for the backwards storytelling, the reason for this format are completely different. The director in this film is saying that no matter what you do, you can't go back and change whatever has happened in your life, if it is horrible, it's always going to be horrible. While this may seem fatalistic in some respects, it also tells is to live every life and moment fully and happily because you never know what may happen next.
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xxxchloexxx
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PostPosted: 08.23.2003 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive not even heard of this film, Embarassed what is it about? is it worth watching? Question Question
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.24.2003 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be hard-pressed to recommend "Irreversible to anyone I didn't know well. There are portions that are very painful and are probably not worth sitting through unless you're going to get something positive from the movie as a whole. I'd read some reviews first so you know what you're getting into.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.24.2003 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I would be hard-pressed to recommend "Irreversible to anyone I didn't know well. There are portions that are very painful and are probably not worth sitting through unless you're going to get something positive from the movie as a whole. I'd read some reviews first so you know what you're getting into.


That's good advice.

I don't think Irreversible is especially successful--I seem to be in the minority around here--but it is indeed a serious work that demands a serious response, and for that reason I think it is worth viewing (probably more than once) Still, like Night Watchman, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending it to someone unless I knew he/she was the kind of filmgoer that is willing to engage with difficult, controversial, and challenging fare.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 08.24.2003 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just watched "Irreversible" a few days ago, and it was undeniably exciting and the work of a filmmaker who enjoys exploring new boundaries of possibilities - but at several moments it feels as though the director, Gaspar Noe, is showboating, covering up shock cinema with a supposedly universal and mammoth theme. I agree with Beltmann that we don't really learn anything new about violence or tragedy, although the conceit of a cyclical destruction by nature is pretty interesting. Even so - and I realize how contradictory it is to say this - does a movie have to be envelope-pushing in its gore and brutality in order to say something about violence and the community around it? I can think of some movies about violence - "Bonnie and Clyde," "Taxi Driver," the original "Scarface" - that are classic but don't gain controversy by revolting their audience. Even so, I'd call "Irreversible" an important if not entirely successful work; the chances are good, I think, that it will still be talked about years down the road.
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matt header
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PostPosted: 08.24.2003 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic is getting extremely long-winded, but I just watched Noe's film "I Stand Alone" and I think it makes "Irreversible" practically obsolete. The butcher in "I Stand Alone" ruminates brilliantly about all of the things Noe is trying to stress in "Irreversible" - the bestial nature of man, the impossibility of knowing the past or the future, the demeaning nature of society - with a lot more dramatic flair (I wept at the end - "Irreversible" made me uncomfortable and, yes, dazzled, but never as effected as this). It feels completely new, and it's much better, I think, than "Irreversible."
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.25.2003 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you, Matt. I too found I Stand Alone more difficult to stomach than Irreversible, perhaps because it delves deeper into the meanings of its violence. It also achieves a tense, oppressive sense of potential violence at every moment; although there are only two genuine scenes of physical carnage, every second feels violent. To my mind, it does a much better job of examining life in the shadow of oncoming tragedy than Irreversible does: without relying on the reverse narrative gimmick, the future tragedy is never in doubt.

Still, I was more disturbed by its verbal violence. The muttering narration--angry, macho, xenophobic, homophobic, racist--by the main character (a French butcher who actually appears in the first scene of Irreversible) takes us deep into his psychosis, and helps us understand a political climate that tolerates someone like Le Pen.

Like Irreversible, I Stand Alone is partially about movies and the ways we identify with what's on-screen; both pictures toy with our point-of-view, our expectations, and our tolerance. Yet, even though it was made first, I think I Stand Alone goes further in this regard by adding more to the discussion, including, among others, our implicit trust that what we see is happening and true, our impulse to sympathize with characters, and our psychological response to violent stylistics. (This is a movie that suggests our own imaginations, when sparked by Noe's jolting aesthetics, isn't far removed from the butcher's anti-social fantasies).

When I Stand Alone was over, I felt it warranted further analysis and exploration; there seemed to be reward in unpacking its aesthetic and ideological intricacies. I didn't feel the same way about Irreversible.

Eric
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matt header
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PostPosted: 08.26.2003 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree: the movie feels you shaken up, like you've just experienced something worthwhile and grueling, new and exciting. And I love the subtle jabs at cinema itself, and when the bold warning flashes across the screen that suggests we have 10 seconds left to leave the theater if we want to, I had to smile: extreme violence seems imminent with this character, but we have actually begun to identify with the character we usually despise in movies, and we couldn't escape his demented mind at this point even if we wanted to.
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The Third M?n
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PostPosted: 09.14.2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Danny Baldwin wrote:
I'm not sure that I'll have the urge to watch it ever (nor would my parents let me right now), even though it does strike me as interesting...All the controversy over it, though, is quite intruiging.


That's exactly my opinion/case.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.15.2005 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
Even so, I'd call "Irreversible" an important if not entirely successful work; the chances are good, I think, that it will still be talked about years down the road.


I suppose... we still talk about Triumph of the Will and Birth of a Nation--two pictures, by the way, that are easier to defend, aesthetically and morally, than Irreversible.



The rationalizations for Irreversible require such intellectual somersaulting that I'm tempted to observe that its defenders might just be primarily interested in not sounding like squares. But I'm reminded of how Pauline Kael once accused critics who didn't speak out against excessive violence of "implicitly saying that no brutality is too much for us." In the case of Irreversible, it's not that the brutality is too much; the real problem is that the brutality ultimately means too little.



(Thought I'd lob a few bombs after all the recent talk about the movie.)



Eric
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Monkeypox
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PostPosted: 06.15.2005 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, especially since I didn't really catch this thread when it happened.



And, I agree.
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a35mmlife
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PostPosted: 06.15.2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I juuuuust posted about Irreversible in another thread... odd.



This was the only film I have ever walked out on. No amount of innovative story structure can make me want to subject myself to that kind of abuse willingly. Why would I? Why would I put myself through it? To try to relate to the feeling of being a victim? Is that the point? To feel just as victimized as the rape and murder victims? Or to suffer the same pain as their survivors? No Thanks.



Like I said in the other thread, its not that I haven't seen horrible imagery projected. Anyone whose seen any of the films listed in this thread is aware of the powerful tool that violence and brutality can be in cinema when employed properly. But for me this film crosses a line. The violence in this film translates into another form of abuse that I don't feel like subjecting myself to.



Rationalize it as you wish. I hope it serves a purpose. Personally I think its a heavy handed masturbatory film that because it lacks purpose will be washed away into obscurity. Or so I hope.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 06.15.2005 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a35mmlife wrote:
I juuuuust posted about Irreversible in another thread... odd.


Actually, the only reason I revived this thread was because you brought it up in the other thread.



Although I dislike the movie and feel that it fails to justify its content--such violence levels can indeed be justified in some art--I'll concede that Noe clearly intended to make a serious work. If he had been more successful or convincing in terms of ideas, I'd be more willing to forgive his willingness to brutalize the audience. As it is, I feel that he has contributed something ugly to the atmosphere.



Eric
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