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Any pick up the Irreversible DVD yet?
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.11.2003 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak for myself, and I can say that I actively resist allowing budget and star power to factor into my reactions.

Generally, I'm always suspicious of extremes, both negative and positive. Heading into Gigli, I assumed that the bad press was a combination of overreaction, loathing for celebrity, and opportunistic chiding of Affleck and Lopez. (In other words, my skepticism was similar to yours.) This time, though, the bad press was actually accurate. There's not a single scene that plays well, not even close. Its meager charms--the occasional Lopez smile, the wink-wink Affleck grin--are completely subsumed by its deficits. Besides the sputtering pace and unappealing tone (it aims for mean-spirited jokiness), where do we begin to describe its bad taste? With the disabled kid being used for constant, appalling, unfunny comic relief? With Affleck able to "convert" the lesbian Lopez for one hot night? With the fish that snacks on human brain matter? With the crude, braindead dialogue? (Okay, maybe that last one is an inadvertent charm.) At no point are we convinced these two are actually mobsters (or that the kid is actually disabled, for that matter). And the conclusion is interminable, actually relying on two endless, ridiculous "emotional" goodbyes back-to-back. Quite shameless, this enterprise.

Still, I must agree with your overall point, Night Watchman. Hudson Hawk, Ishtar, or Last Action Hero are not as bad as their reputation suggests. None are good pictures, but they are (especially Last Action) indeed watchable.

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.11.2003 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I saw the movie before hearing any of the bad press. But I guess it all comes down to taste. I thought a lot of scenes did work well; Chris Walken's cameo had me chuckling for five minutes after his exit, and I found Pacino's scene tense and blackly humorous. (Even the brain-eating fish.) I also liked many of the monologues, specifically the debate over the superiority of male vs female sexual organs, which is the one that seems to get bashed the most. I also didn't see the love scene as the conquest of a straight man over a gay woman. It was almost the reverse. Lopez's character gently feminizes Affleck's character while she seduces him, something pretty daring if you ask me. (And it's also pointed out earlier on that Lopez is more bisexual than homosexual, although she prefers women and has ostensibly "chosen" to be lesbian, so the coupling isn't total contrived).

On the other hand, Justin Bartha's performance of the retarded Brian is atrocious, I'll give you that, and there are also quite a few scenes that don't work, as least as many as those that do (or at least worked in my opinion). The ending is dumb and overlong. Lopez and Affleck's characters were also unconvincing as mob enforcers, since both were too tenderhearted to last long in that profession. I did like their characters, however, and did think they had chemistry, and thought they were performed well.

But I think the thing that impressed me about "Gigli" was its novel way it approached what essentially amounts a romantic comedy, especially one that stars a real life couple. Making Lopez's character a lesbian puts a certain spin on the proceedings. And the emasculation and feminization of Affleck's character's machismo is something I've never seen in a mainstream movie. I think there was certain ballsiness to the proceedings I found endearing, even if in the end I couldn't overlook all it's failings.
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PostPosted: 08.11.2003 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What intrigues me more are the very mixed reviews; the hate it/love it ones. I can think of two recent occassions where critics gave a movie either a 4/4 or a 1/4. Moonlight Mile of last year and Northfork of this year. I can say, I really liked both. Major splits always make me want to go see the given movie, unlike negative reviews.
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 08.11.2003 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I picked up "Irreversible." Haven't quite worked up the guts to watch it yet, though.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.11.2003 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn?t find Irreversible difficult to stomach, perhaps because the backwards structure reduces each act of violence to an abstraction; only afterwards are we allowed to fully identify with the situation and characters at hand. Perhaps it was because the film's hammering, monotonously overbearing style never allowed me to forget that I was watching only a movie. (As an aside, the only films that I recall being physically tormented by are In the Realm of the Senses and maybe Bunman: The Untold Story.)

I would never argue that the picture is exploitation or incompetently made. Clearly Noe has a visual sense, a certain dark virtuosity, and both Belluci and Cassel are quite marvelous. There?s also a great scene where three characters freely discuss their bedroom feelings on the subway. Still, I question the movie?s aesthetic weight. Unlike Haneke?s Funny Games, which also asked us to confront conventional notions about screen violence, Irreversible inflicts certain realities without offering any new ideas about them. Honestly, do we really learn anything new, valuable, or insightful about rape, revenge, men, sex, anger, guilt, or relationships from this film? I wasn?t offended by much in it?perhaps the fascination with anal activity could be read as homophobic, supported by the depiction of the club?but I did find the movie rather tiresome and adolescent.

Noe insists that the underpass scene increases our understanding of rape, which baffles me: What do we gain in the eighth minute of Belluci?s assault that we didn?t already know after the first? Or that we didn?t already know going into the movie, as human beings? Worse, Noe confuses the violence of rape with an act of sex, by lecherously gazing at Belluci throughout the entire film, even placing her in a dress that overtly sexualizes her before sending her down to the underpass. The tunnel?s red walls, described later (earlier?) by her as part of a dream, clearly carry sexual significance as well. Again a comparison to Funny Games seems appropriate: In that film, there?s a ten-minute segment in which virtually nothing happens, except two torture survivors sit, bloodied. The length of the scene is necessary, because it builds both psychological and emotional tension (and its real subject is the practical aftermath of violence). In Irreversible, the length of Belluci?s assault is extraneous, because the scene doesn?t increase in horror as it continues, and doesn?t provide new insights as it progresses. (One might even argue that the length desensitizes us to rape, rather than the reverse.)

What sticks in mind when Irreversible is over is not its fatuous ideas or violence, but merely its stylistics?and when ten-minute takes, rotting lights, and hang-gliding cinematography upstage the awfulness of rape, the ham director has trivialized his subject. After I Stand Alone, which brilliantly offered a glimpse into the mind of psychopaths and understood how social- and self-hatred informed their behavior, Irreversible seems to me a step backwards for Noe.

Eric
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filmsRpriceless
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PostPosted: 08.12.2003 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Haneke's Funny Games is a brilliant study of violence. But so is Irreversible.

I read once that the camera spinning around at the beginning and at the end signifies three things: cyclical violence, Nietzsche's "eternal recurrence", and the vertigo of life itself. During the beginning, Noe pays tribute to Hitchcock's Vertigo. And at the end, which is really the beginning of the day for Alex, there is no experience of vertigo at all. At the end, when the camera spins around in the park, it suggests somehow that the movie is spinning out of control entirely and it sticks with me because even though we're witnessing a blissful and beautifully poetic moment, it's a visual distillation symbolizing chaos in a way by a blinking white strobe light. I think that the strobe light is important to note when we recognize where Alex is during the rape sequence (the framing of her body somehow relates to garbage and the light is mirrored again when she is in bed with Marcus at the beginning of the day). And natural light is just as important; during the rape, any natural light is refused. There is an apparent difference made between the bedroom and rape scene that Noe makes a point of by way of light and skin tone and sexual digression in the bedroom. The song played in their house implies that we're heading in circles in particular relationships; that it results in a downward spiral of sorts, but the real questions is: where is it heading? Where are we going?

During the painful and wounding rape sequence, there are moments where Noe makes statements on violence itself. The tunnel splitting into two symbolizes the menstrual cycle most likely, evolution and biology are shaped by loss, and a descension into the unknown. It's possible that Noe labels the other half of the tunnel, realizing it as another class altogether, a new sexual orientation, gender, and a person. I've read a few interviews by him, and I'm not 100% on what his intentions were (but I do know that he studied Nietszche for a few years). Another thing about the rape scene that provokes me because of how it parallels to the bedroom scene. There's a moment where Marcus is positioned the exact same way Le Tenia is during the actual rape, as his hand is over Alex's mouth so he can sleep. Why do you think she's wearing the fleshy dress? Le Tenia brings it up: "Your boyfriend must be a fag to let you wear a dress like that!" I honestly don't understand why a few people say it's a flaw for her to take the underpass so late at night. Don't they understand that she's devastated of Marcus and she takes the underpass because a woman tells her it is "safe" to take.

The film is philosophical, to a degree. Is Noe truly existentialist? I don't know exactly. Existentialism applies to a film like Gus Van Sant's Gerry, while Noe suggests more nihilism in humanity in a fetishized world, and we're also told that there is no right or wrong in man's actions since Noe implicates everyone. An existentialist chooses to respect life at all costs, the freedom to live and to act of your own volition being the only act left. In a Noe interview, he says that the book that Alex is reading is An Experiment With Time by J.W. Dunne, "about a guy who is noting his dreams each morning and coming to the conclusion eventually that 80 percent of the material came from the previous day, but that maybe between 10 and 20 percent was made of things that were going to happen, say, the next day. He developed a whole theory on how the brain creates the perception of time when time is already there, pre-existent." Belucci tells Marcus of her dream: the red tunnel where she'll be raped. Ideas of pre-destination seems more Nietzschean. I am not as familar on this area as I want to be, so I apologize for rambling and most of the post is from one of my posts on Rotten Tomatoes.
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 08.12.2003 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

filmsRpriceless wrote:
The film is philosophical, to a degree.


You've listed the stylistic qualities and obvious parallels that are clear in the movie without addressing my central question: Do we really learn anything new, valuable, or insightful about rape, revenge, men, sex, anger, guilt, or relationships from this film? In other words, what makes it a "brilliant study of violence"? Aside from the aggressive formalism, what actual ideas exist in this work? To what end is Noe's formalism applied? Without certain insights as the destination, the formalism is a trivial journey, merely an empty exercise. Ah, the chaos of existence! The sanctuary of artists with nothing to say!

Perhaps because the film strikes me as existentialist only tangentially (and superficially), I don't find the "philosophical" qualities of Irreversible very convincing?I'm much more inclined to read it as a simplistic revenge manifesto: "Vengeance is man's right." Regardless of Noe's stated goals, the evidence on screen supports vengeance as a natural impulse.

What else does Irreversible have to say? Let's recount:

Time destroys everything, and reveals everything. I disagree, but it sure sounds like ?deep? undergraduate thinking. Perhaps Noe ought to learn what a qualifier is.

Love is the basis of life. Idealistic, isn?t he? Even if this were true, there?s little evidence in the film to support such a thesis. Since Noe wallows in ugly nihilism, it?s difficult to pretend that he considers love a controlling force. I?m more comfortable reading the final scenes as parody, especially the ?bliss? of the bedroom scene. Noe seems to ask, Is that all love?s got? Next to violence and rage, love is a feeble opponent. He also seems to mock the idea of male reproduction (perhaps as another act of oppression). I could accept these developments as worthwhile if I agreed with them, or if I at least believed Noe was genuinely interested in exploring them.

There is no right or wrong, only deeds. If it requires an ethical context, I suppose we could revise it to read, Most crimes are never punished. Neither version seems to be Noe?s primary focus; again, I?m skeptical that there?s enough evidence in the film to support this claim. Its inclusion seems a mere byproduct of the nihilism on display.

Man is animalistic. I?m willing to concede that the picture is a reasonable proof of certain principles of Naturalism, namely that humans are beasts that can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings. It also examines how people are governed by instincts, the environment, and chance. Fate will be harsh, and since our lives are controlled by heredity and the environment, free will is an illusion. Nevertheless, these notions are not fresh?modern storytelling has been marked by them since at least Crane and Hardy?and I think that Noe?s stylistics overpower anything he might have to say regarding them. His contribution is to simply trot out the same old notions, failing to dramatize them in a manner that is meaningful to contemporary civilization.

One critic discussed how the film has inspired contradictory interpretations, and concluded: ?Whatever one decides, it becomes a rationalization either for Noe?s violence or for our willingness to tolerate it. If Irreversible has any value it lies in our pondering which form of rationalization we?re engaging in.? I concur, but would hasten to add that it?s easy to fall into a secondary rationalization: Since Noe?s formalistic skills, unyielding ideology, and technical virtuosity are mesmerizing, it?s tempting to excuse our thematic and ethical misgivings, and paper over the barren territory with our own preconceptions about man and violence. We must not allow compulsive filmmaking to exempt empty (and, in my opinion, false) thinking.

(On a different subject... I was thinking about I Stand Alone, and I remember finding that film much more difficult to stomach, visually speaking. Perhaps because I accepted the general thesis of the film, the film's violence meant more to me than the violence in Irreversible. I dunno.)

Eric
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PostPosted: 08.12.2003 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the person glances, I asked myself a number of questions: Did he know Alex? Was he scared? Was he weak? Why was he watching and why were we watching along with him? Was he Pierre? Thoughts like this culminate in philosophical fetishism, disregarding filmmaker ethics for human instincts. What the film does is portray life as it is; it doesn't think about playing by its own rules. La Tenia is rich, but has used his wealth in an anti-progressive way, while Alex's progressive attitude refuses to fully come out beyond the sex scene towards the end. La Tenia is wealthy but still manages to fetishize wealth because he's surrounded by unstable energy, which he needs to make part of his life. His unstable energy can only be fulfilled by someone as sexy as Alex. It's a film like Eyes Wide Shut (which I am watching again soon and can't wait) about fetishized world. And in the world, Alex is the most free, unlike her two friends.

What also popped into my head during the rape is the metaphor for moral guidance -- as I said, the lighting is important to note that it twitches and doesn't obscure our view. I dunno if Noe had a lot to say, and like I said many times in the past discussing his film, its depth may not be directly from behind the camera, but what I am able to draw from it. This is the case with many great films I can think of, where the filmmakers intention does not matter to me. It is what I am able to grasp and watching Noe's Irreversible, I uncovered a lot more than I expected to, unlike watching Funny Games, which doesn't venture as deep as Noe's. It is still a great film, don't get me wrong.

The tunnel splitting into two most likely symbolizes the menstrual cycle, and how evolution and biology are shaped by loss, and descend into the unknown. The film doesn't merely say sex equals violence and that time destroys everything, etc. It is much deeper than that. A major point of the film is that, although we may weaken, we will continue to learn more and more as a race, further expanding, etc. I think I mentioned the song that Marcus played in the apartment, after Alex suggests him putting music on. Human error plays an important theme in the film -- the circle becomes a spiral, but where does it end? The idea that bliss can lead to fetishism or vice versa by way of romantic idealism is what Noe is hinting at and allows us to fill it in for ourselves, so the film can speak to us even on a personal level.

When the film ends in the park, we think of dreams, Alex's dream and of the mysterious notion that although premonition shows our fate, free will goes deeper than fate in the human experience and finds its way in love. Which is also what Irreversible is about at its core. But I think of it to be too difficult to spell out, so what Noe implies is knowledge may not be able to function as our survival from violence of history. I dunno about the end title, though of "time destroys everything." Which is rather unnecessary, but doesn't strike me as a major flaw. The film is a masterpiece overall. A second viewing confirmed so, but as much as it spoke to me, I dunno if I can sit through such a painful experience again.
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PostPosted: 08.12.2003 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

filmsRpriceless wrote:
La Tenia is rich, but has used his wealth in an anti-progressive way, while Alex's progressive attitude refuses to fully come out beyond the sex scene towards the end. La Tenia is wealthy but still manages to fetishize wealth because he's surrounded by unstable energy, which he needs to make part of his life? A major point of the film is that, although we may weaken, we will continue to learn more and more as a race, further expanding, etc. The idea that bliss can lead to fetishism or vice versa by way of romantic idealism is what Noe is hinting at.


Hi Ray,

These insights would be compelling and convincing, if only I agreed that there is evidence in the film to support them. For me, Noe leaves enormous intellectual gaps that must be exposed?or filled with personal speculation. As I said previously, ?Since Noe?s formalistic skills, unyielding ideology, and technical virtuosity are mesmerizing, it?s tempting to excuse our thematic and ethical misgivings, and paper over the barren territory with our own preconceptions about man and violence.? We must distinguish between what we want a film to say?or what a filmmaker intends it to say?and what it actually does say.

I?m skeptical of any reading of La Tenia and ?unstable energy,? since we learn so little about him. I could just as easily argue?and this is just off the top of my head?that his violence toward Alex is social; he views her as a symbol of capitalistic success that has been denied him. Screwing her is like screwing the system. His contemptuous comments about her ?class? and his compulsion to destroy her beautiful face would lend support to such a theory, but I?m still unconvinced. There isn?t anything else in the film to confirm such a reading. To me, that reading, as well as yours, comes from within us rather than through anything Noe does. At best we can offer wishful-thinking conjectures that lack sturdy support.

Therefore, I don?t see in the film a connection between La Tenia?s wealth and Alex?s progressiveness. I found Alex?s confidence and individualism to be a strength?the acting in the picture is beyond reproach?and would not limit her progressiveness to the bedroom scene. In fact, while that scene has certain appeals, I think the subway scene (the movie?s best) is far more revealing about her and the two men. That scene actually deals with the issues of privacy, shame, inadequacy, bliss, sex, and the free, whereas the rest of the film is unfocused, merely alluding to those issues.

I also see little evidence to support the idea that ?we will continue to learn as a race.? There may be a few asides strewn along the way (in the form of stylistic gimmicks), but there seems to be overwhelming evidence for the opposite case: Here?s a film about the bestial nature of man, about how, under the right circumstances, we are all capable of violence. Or under the right circumstances, we are all capable of losing control of our sexuality, our reason, our self-respect, our civilization. I?d rather argue that Noe believes, despite our gains as a race, that nature has imposed a ceiling on our progress.

Noe may indeed be hinting that ?bliss can lead to fetishism or vice versa by way of romantic idealism,? but all he does is hint, rather than develop. Fetishism doesn?t strike me as a main subject of the film, except briefly as a state of depravity. For me, the film?s trivial nature only increases if the movie is about a fetishized world?especially since the graphic imagery only has value if it is used to illuminate the commonplace, everyday realities of violence, not abstractions. I also hope that the relationship between Alex and Marcus isn?t Noe?s idea of ?romantic idealism.? Again, I?m more inclined to read the late scenes as parody, as a mockery of what often passes as ?romance? in the movies.

filmsRpriceless wrote:
Its depth may not be directly from behind the camera, but what I am able to draw from it. This is the case with many great films I can think of, where the filmmakers intention does not matter to me.


That?s a perfectly reasonable defense, and I agree with the sentiment. The viewer-response critical theory is valid, but also deeply rewarding. I guess in the case of Irreversible, where you uncover profundity, I only discover banality. To answer my own question (Do we really learn anything new, valuable, or insightful about rape, revenge, men, sex, anger, guilt, or relationships from this film?), I didn't gain anything from Irreversible that wasn't painfully obvious or familiar to me from many other, better films and readings.

I?m with you in regards to Eyes Wide Shut, though. There?s a film that can withstand examination, intellectual as well as formalistic. Did you happen to read "Eyes Wide Open," Frederic Raphael's memoir about writing the movie's screenplay for Kubrick? It's a quick, easy read, but loaded with interesting insights about what it means to create and revise. I was also intrigued by his frequent assertions that Kubrick had zero ideas of his own--that he was an artist who had no clue what he wanted, only what he didn't want. Raphael seems bewildered by the realization, yet unwavering in his belief that Kubrick was a genius.

Eric
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PostPosted: 08.13.2003 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I watched "Irreversible." Damn, that tunnel scene was rough. I nearly didn't make it through. Yet, I thought the movie as a whole was really good. I'm not quite prepared to deliver my take on it quite yet, but I will say that I don't think Noe's intention was to "say anything new" about violence or revenge or man's destructive impulses. Not really. I think he was more interested in presenting life in the shadow of the potential of tragedy and devastation, hence, the reverse narrative and the use of the concepts of pre-destination and precognition. I also think Noe is arguing against, rather than illustrating, the notion that "times destroys everything" or that everything must be destroyed by time and tragedy -- that is, if I understood the final moments correctly.
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PostPosted: 08.18.2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
I don't think Noe's intention was to "say anything new" about violence or revenge or man's destructive impulses. Not really. I think he was more interested in presenting life in the shadow of the potential of tragedy and devastation.


I tend to agree. My problem, though, is that I don't believe Noe has dramatized that concept in a mature or meaningful manner. The structural conceit works beautifully as theory, but as drama... well, what happens in each chapter, for the most part, doesn't resonate with me. I would argue that many other recent films have better illustrated the idea that we all live life "in the shadow of potential tragedy." The first few examples to spring to mind: The Son's Room, In the Bedroom, Live Flesh, Funny Games, Ordinary People. All of those films are genuinely interested in what it means to live life after the potential of tragedy becomes a reality. I find their focus on the commonplace--rather than on violent retribution--to be more honest, true, relevant, and edifying than anything Noe has to say. The initial rage of Marcus is far less intriguing than the emotional and psychological ramifications he will experience in the next week, month, year. If Noe was truly interested in examining "life in the shadow of potential tragedy," why not start much later? Why begin with rage and vengeance? Perhaps because that's easier, and more provocative and cinematic than going further. Limiting his scope in such a way suggests that Noe is indeed more fascinated with violence as a driving theme than some are willing to admit.

(I am willing to concede, though, that the current structure is effective in turning the opening violence into abstractions, and therefore unclouded studies of such acts. Still, the film's aggressive, monotonously overbearing stylistics work against that effect, by never allowing viewers--or at least me--to forget they are watching only a movie, not a version of reality. Perhaps my resistance is the Bazin in me coming out.)

I also consider it revealing to note the origins of Irreversible. Initially Noe approached Bellucci and Cassel about appearing in a film that would feature them having real sex. When they rejected that notion, Noe proposed they make the most violent picture in history. In other words, Noe exchanged one exploitation for another. I can't say with certainty--and surely Irreversible is made with enough skill to refute this--but it strikes me as very possible that Noe's main focus is merely badboy provocation, a means by which to gain attention through controversy. That would help explain some of his thematic confusions.

Eric
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PostPosted: 08.18.2003 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beltmann wrote:


My problem, though, is that I don't believe Noe has dramatized that concept in a mature or meaningful manner. The structural conceit works beautifully as theory, but as drama... well, what happens in each chapter, for the most part, doesn't resonate with me.


Well, I guess that's a matter of taste. The reverse order of the film, for me, brought Marcus's madness into bold relief. To see him gradually "growing saner" as the movie progresses makes the rage with which he is introduced seem more -- not shocking, but surprising and sad. Also, the "doubling" of topics makes the movie much more immediate, and much more "obvious." The discussion between Pierre and Alex on the subway about male attentiveness during sex vs. male inattentiveness during sex in regard to female orgasm takes on a completely different light when we've already experienced the rape in the tunnel and the murder in the club.

beltmann wrote:


I would argue that many other recent films have better illustrated the idea that we all live life "in the shadow of potential tragedy." The first few examples to spring to mind: The Son's Room, In the Bedroom, Live Flesh, Funny Games, Ordinary People. All of those films are genuinely interested in what it means to live life after the potential of tragedy becomes a reality. The initial rage of Marcus is far less intriguing than the emotional and psychological ramifications he will experience in the next week, month, year. If Noe was truly interested in examining "life in the shadow of potential tragedy," why not start much later? Why begin with rage and vengeance? Perhaps because that's easier, and more provocative and cinematic than going further. Limiting his scope in such a way suggests that Noe is indeed more fascinated with violence as a driving theme than some are willing to admit.


I don't think Noe was interested in the after-effects. He suggests Marcus and Pierre's lives have been totally destroyed by this event, with the image of Marcus on the stretcher and Pierre in a paddywagon. I think Noe's interested in showing how everything taken for granted is suddenly cast in a different light in the shadow of an oncoming tragedy. In other words, "Irreversible" is the memory of how life was before the event. It's a recollection one's life with the knowledge of tragedy, when suddenly little things taken for granted "feel" wrong or guilty. For instance, all heterosexual male veiwers do, I'm sure, even if we're not aware, unconsciously objectify a woman's body. It's something we don't think about; it's almost instinctual. But after we've witness that woman being brutally raped, we are suddenly aware of our perceptions, and a confusion is created by the natural and innocent act of wanting to watch Alex dance, and the memory of what we just saw (what will happen to her). In other words, Noe is showing us what our memories (and Marcus's memories, since he was objectifying her along with us) would be after the fact. Noe's objectifying camera becomes self-relexive.

beltmann wrote:
Still, the film's aggressive, monotonously overbearing stylistics work against that effect, by never allowing viewers--or at least me--to forget they are watching only a movie, not a version of reality. Perhaps my resistance is the Bazin in me coming out.


I guess that might be just a matter of taste. I found the constantly roving camera a little distracting at first, but I grew accustom to it, and, anyway, it does gradually settle down. The idea, of course, is that since this is a memory of a man who was "temporarily insane," his recollection of events will be fragmented, unfocused, and distracted.

beltmann wrote:
I can't say with certainty--and surely Irreversible is made with enough skill to refute this--but it strikes me as very possible that Noe's main focus is merely badboy provocation, a means by which to gain attention through controversy. That would help explain some of his thematic confusions.


So Noe's intentions were less than honorable? Well, maybe. But I don't really see any thematic confusions. ?Irreversible? certainly produces emotional confusion, but that?s because, I think, it?s illustrating the self-doubt and guilt we create for ourselves when we reflect on our lives, hence, its reverse structure.

One quick question: The pregnant woman reading the at the end is Alex, right? On another message board someone suggested that this was in fact Alex's mother; that the film had jumped further back in time, rather than forward. The dress and the "2001" poster seem to support this.
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="the night watchman"]
beltmann wrote:


One quick question: The pregnant woman reading the at the end is Alex, right? On another message board someone suggested that this was in fact Alex's mother; that the film had jumped further back in time, rather than forward. The dress and the "2001" poster seem to support this.


That's what I thought, but I assume it can be read differently.
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the woman at the end is Alex's mother, the movie would be completely nihilistic, and I think I would probably respect it less.
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PostPosted: 08.20.2003 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the night watchman wrote:
If the woman at the end is Alex's mother, the movie would be completely nihilistic, and I think I would probably respect it less.
I don't think it is, personally.
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