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  1. Russ

    The Son (Le Fils)

    Maybe on a second viewing some of the length of scenes might not seem so unnecessary. It's really not a film about plot or getting from A to B, so there's not necessarily going to be a way that you can take individual scenes and parse out how they advance the film. I do think that many of those scenes provide insights or character details which give us more understanding of Olivier and the boy, or heighten our anxiety about the inevitable conflict. Oh, yeah. I said above, last summer-- a bit misguided-- that I wasn't really worried that he'd hurt the boy. That's crazy. The threat of harm is always there, and imagine how another filmmaker might have handled this. Yeah, you, Gaspar Noe. I don't know if Olivier changes, or if from the beginning he's consistently been motivated by a desire to know the boy and improve his life. I know that the earlier scenes serve a purpose by introducing us to the lonely and clipped stasis that characterizes Olivier's life. I guess I prefer them to the shorthand that is often used to make the same point in much quicker time, e.g., character arrives home to empty house, presses answering machine button to hear message from mom ("Why haven't you called me?), heats up unappetizing TV dinner and turns on game show.
  2. Jeffrey, I'm glad you saw the original. I watched it about six months ago for the first time in over twenty years (I saw it edited on a network affiliate's afternoon movie when I was maybe 11 or 12). The heavily-repeated theme song (which Carpenter wrote) and the scene with the guy driving away only to have a gang member stowing away in the backseat stayed with me. Of course, the brief scene with the girl from those Witch Mountain movies is something else. This film is like those weird 70s dystopia films, but different in that it's set present-day (to then). It's a bit after the first Dirty Harry and around the time of Death Wish, but it's really intriguing to me to kind of envision the sort of crime-paranoia that Carpenter is playing with. And his minimalism here is really effective. I think it holds up, and it's my favorite of his films.
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