Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A morose, contemplative film about sad people.
I really had high hopes for this one. Veiko Ounpuu's The Temptation Of St. Tony was one of the most stunning films I had seen in some time. It combined so many elements for a truly stunning film. This one though? Well, watching it the film looked very familiar, I couldn't quite place why and then I realized I had tried watching the film before but was so bored that I skipped around looking for an interesting scene, but not finding one I decided to not finish the film.
This time I sat through the entire film, but at the end of it was completely indifferent. I hoped perhaps it would give me insight into it's country of origin (Estonia), but I sincerely doubt any element of "normal" is to be found here. This film is made up of very unhappy people for reasons I couldn't understand, and as far as I could tell, any advance they made to bettering their station in life would be completely by accident. They are perfectly content to act out their miserableness in an urban wasteland where no one seems to be willing be so impolite as to restrict someone from acting gross misconduct in public.
Where does the money come from to allow such lifestyles to continue? How could people be so tolerant? I think the answer could be summed up in the words, "pretentious script." Oh well, nearly every good director has at least one mind numbingly pretentious film in their cannon.
Gli estoni stanno proprio in paranoia
Good. A slice of Estonian life illustrating the fruits of socialism and its negative effect on the human psyche â" lost bemused people living in boxes trying to be happy (paraphrased by one of the characters). I like the political message included in the movie. It is a little bit poorly directed though and the dialogues are not the main thing here.
In a lot of ways, it's kind of exactly what I love about movies. Gutsy formalistic choices. A conscious attempt to make sense of the deeply psychological using the several tools cinema affords us with sound and image. Its aspirations for greatness may put a lot of people off. But I think there's a lot of truth, beauty, power, and brilliance here.
SÃ¼gisball is for people who don't mind slow-paced artistic films. It's visually stimulating, raw and unique.
A rather impressive portrayal of the lives and loneliness of several people living in a soulless tower block neighbourhood in Tallinn, Estonia. Full of black humour, but with a small silver lining at the end.
Quite a strong movie, despite being really dark and grey. Cinematography in SÃ¼gisball is superb and when both the story and the actors are there as well, it kind pushes the film directly to a decent level. Yes, the movie has a few cliches and yes, there is some over-acting, but still, these things come in few numbers and the overall things the movie oozes is quality. Characters are quite interesting and the movie paints a realistic-feeling portrait of one of the Tallinn's suburbs. All in all, it's quite recommendable, especially for those ones who don't just watch those too obvious Hollywood movies.
Melancholic but also very funny movie, shot in a grey suburb of Estonia's beautiful capital, Tallinn. Great cinematography. At times a bit too hysterical. Wonderful acting overall.
Autumn Ball had some problems. It also had some really beautiful, even arresting images, a gorgeous soundtrack, some good characters, and some occasionally heartfelt writing. The trouble was that these positives never seemed to coincide. At times when the images/actions of the characters are epic and aesthetically pleasing, the writing is not strong enough to justify these actions or make them seem sincere. At times when the soundtrack builds to a roaring intensity, no one is doing anything to justify the drama. Tension is built only to be interrupted by weak comedy or comedy is built only to be pushed aside by jarring violence and ugliness (for the sake of ugliness). An arrogant architect who looks like Blixa Bargeld does a spasmic dance in a Lynchian ballroom/restaurant after his girlfriend leaves him. A man who looks like Patrick Bateman (i.e. Christian Bale in his Patrick Bateman role) attempts to connect with women but always falls short of their expectations, then starts to bash up a director of romantic comedies (wryly funny, I suppose) endlessly to the point of being a bloody dead pulp (kind of fucked up). Also it did that thing that movies do that intend to shock you; starting with violence and horridness before youâve had a chance to even begin to care about the characters.
But a bigger problem with Autumn Ball was its sexist and morally ambiguous subtext. The Patrick Bateman character was a Doorman and point-scorer who had a list of over 200 women he had slept with, however each of the women rejected him in a more fundamental way. Finally he found a woman he really liked, and she really seemed to like him, however after finding out that he had no financial future, she went back to her arrogant (rich) architect boyfriend. Shortly afterwards, he murdered some random guy for being an arsehole/romantic comedy director. Another guy, whoâd almost killed his girlfriend at the start of the film when she tried to leave him, spent most of the movie drunk and occasionally harassing women. Is he supposed to be a sympathetic character? At the end of the movie the girlfriend goes back to him and helps him clean up the apartment which he has ransacked while sheâs been gone. Women are portrayed as motivated by money, weak, and in need of a man. Only one of the female characters has a recognisable profession (um, factory worker, and presumably this is punishment for her leaving her abusive and alcoholic husband, who is also portrayed sym[pathetically] as slapstick funny drunk guy), although all of the male men are defined as such. Men are portrayed as in need of a woman also, but when rejected they behave violently. As often, the sexist stereotypes end up being just as degrading to men as they are to women.
I would believe that the movie is a straight-up critical social commentary (the trouble with Estonian society today etc.) except for the morally ambiguous and unevenly sympathetic portrayal of these people whose behaviour is also inconsistent and sometimes arbitrary. Also the movieâs comedy (far from being absurd) relies on slapstick and cynical bitchiness. Anyway it sounds like I hated it more than I actually did, because it was very beautiful and some of the characters were quite appealing, and the acting was mostly very good. But I think the plot devices were hackneyed and problematic, and the editing/transitions between scenes/moods are badly done.