Jump to content

Certified Copy


Peter T Chattaway
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 152
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

He is in a rare mood today. This is an instant Alejandro classic: "'Independent film' is a commodifiable glaze, a mere button in our editing software. It's not a world/field to which one should aspire."

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A gorgeous visual film. and rich in ideas. It's fascinating how these two characters represent such a head vs. heart dynamic: dry intellectualism vs heart emotion; a spark of intimacy vs. the 27 Eharmony points of compatibility. Also I find the film offers much to chew on as far as the nature of fiction: a created history vs. a lived history. Can two strangers, in one day, can two strangers develop that kind of intimacy that is developed in a long-term relationship. This is so rich, it demands another viewing to unpack the copies, the layers.

The ending is heartbreaking. Keeping a schedule, meeting a train as opposed to finding true love. As Mark Heard once said, "Ain't that the curse of the second hand,

Ain't that the way of the hour and the day."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Darren.

So, someone else copied down long swathes of text from this film. I transcribed almost the whole thing the second time through, because I can think of few films whose every line is as charged as this film's.

I'd recommend that folks reading this thread avoid reading that essay, though, until they see the film, since it reveals quite a bit that was, at least for me, great to discover during a first viewing.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! What a knockout film. So glad I waited for the theater and didn't get it ON DEMAND. I figured with Kiarostami's first film as a foreigner it might be worth the wait, that the visuals would be done with better, western funding. And I think it showed. I have no proof about the financing and whether that went like I thought it out, but the visuals here are the best he's done. Some of it simply because he's in Italy. Some of it because he is a master filmmaker.

I went into this having only read this thread (without the spoilers) and thinking, "Oh boy, here we go again, I'm gonna hate it and probably won't even post." Not this film. Give me this over Linklater's Before whatevers any day of the week -- and I actually (mostly) like both of those films.

Binoche takes it, yet again, to another level. The James Miller guy -- eeh, not so much. But Binoche carries his weaknesses, she makes up for him everywhere they go. And in the end, in that final scene, he makes up for a quite a few of his earlier, less convincing rants.

The use of mirrors, hallways, windshilds, alleyways, staircases, wedding parties, old folks, lighting, camera movement, perspective in the visuals -- stunning. Nothing less. And not so serious that it can't be enjoyed. This is the highly enjoyable film that I wade through films like Helena From the Wedding in order to find. Truly a classic, released in Grand Rapids this week for the first time, I am counting it for my 2011 TEN.

Like quite a few here have said, I have got to see this again.

And who was Kiarostami reminding me of with all the mirror shots and that awesome windshield scene? Is there another director that makes films like this?

The Linklater films are one point of comparison. Lost in Translation might hit even closer to home.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Linklater films are one point of comparison. Lost in Translation might hit even closer to home.

I agree, but Certified Copy is the platonic ideal and these films are the shadows.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to clarify. Linklater and Coppola the Younger are in my cinema pantheon. That is how good CC is.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfect. Perfect. Your next viewing with her will itself be a certified copy.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife saw THE CERTIFIED COPY without me (sadly), and she liked it a good deal. However, the fact that she has seen it already means that I will be waiting for the DVD release.

First of all, Super-Lame, dude. Don't do it that way. Get up, go, do it do it do it.

Second, quit using the word "THE" in the title. Thread title has been wrong for quite some time.

Eeh, might as well say, thirdly: Filmsweep Reaction.

OK, OK, can't stop me now. Fourth:

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM

I am not convinced these two are married. This is a fun, artsy film. FEELS like Last Year in Marienbad or something. I guess that is the easiest reading, but I don't think it's the only one.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, Super-Lame, dude. Don't do it that way. Get up, go, do it do it do it.

If it comes closer to me--ala the nearby Bryn Mawr Film Institute--I'll check it out there (I've been hoping for OF GODS AND MEN to make it there, too). But it's not likely that I'll drag my butt into downtown Philadelphia, where I'll pay $13+ for parking, just so I can see this film on the big screen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, OK, can't stop me now. Fourth:

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM

I am not convinced these two are married. This is a fun, artsy film. FEELS like Last Year in Marienbad or something. I guess that is the easiest reading, but I don't think it's the only one.

Yeah, it's why multiple viewings for this is so exciting - to challenge how you interpreted things in earlier viewings.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Saw it. Very good. Can't wait to dig deeper into the links in this thread.

As for the church stuff, which is thrilling, I have to ask: Could the church simply represent for the filmmaker an idea of marital stability? The two protagonists at one point watch an older couple emerge from church, and they look at them longingly. That's who they want to be, right? And somehow the church has helped that older couple stay together over the years. But the spiritual connections were a bit elusive, I thought. I wondered what Kiaroastami was going for. I know what I wanted him to be saying. I'm just not sure that's what he intended to say.

I don't know what this means, but as great as the dialogue between the two main characters was, my favorite scenes in the film were those that included others: the female shopkeeper early in the film, and then the other couple, the one with the man who offers the husband some "fatherly advice."

Further thoughts, maybe, after I've thought on the film some more. Thanks to everyone for recommending this one.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, OK, can't stop me now. Fourth:

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM

I am not convinced these two are married. This is a fun, artsy film. FEELS like Last Year in Marienbad or something. I guess that is the easiest reading, but I don't think it's the only one.

Yeah, it's why multiple viewings for this is so exciting - to challenge how you interpreted things in earlier viewings.

Darrel (or anyone), do you have an opinion on my question?

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stef, I thought of the same film while watching The Certified Copy. But maybe that's because you'd implanted the thought in my subconsious during an earlier read of this thread?

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had it in spoilers. Your fault! :)

And is the title of this film The Certified Copy or Certified Copy. I thought the title showed no "The," and IMDB has it listed as such.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, OK, can't stop me now. Fourth:

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM

I am not convinced these two are married. This is a fun, artsy film. FEELS like Last Year in Marienbad or something. I guess that is the easiest reading, but I don't think it's the only one.

Yeah, it's why multiple viewings for this is so exciting - to challenge how you interpreted things in earlier viewings.

Darrel (or anyone), do you have an opinion on my question?

My reading was the same as yours. However, if Ebert Presents At the Movies has a nice debater between Christy and Ignaty over that point. Christy reads it our way, Ignaty the other.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! What a knockout film. So glad I waited for the theater and didn't get it ON DEMAND. I figured with Kiarostami's first film as a foreigner it might be worth the wait, that the visuals would be done with better, western funding. And I think it showed. I have no proof about the financing and whether that went like I thought it out, but the visuals here are the best he's done. Some of it simply because he's in Italy. Some of it because he is a master filmmaker.

Yeah, the look of this film was very surprising to me. Perhaps I need to see more Iranian cinema, but nothing I've seen from that country, including early Kiarostami films, prepared me for the simple beauty of this film. The locations had something to do with that, no doubt, but I'll be curious to read more about who the director worked with on this film (DP, primarily).

I went into this having only read this thread (without the spoilers) and thinking, "Oh boy, here we go again, I'm gonna hate it and probably won't even post." Not this film. Give me this over Linklater's Before whatevers any day of the week -- and I actually (mostly) like both of those films.

I thought of both those films as well, and I share your "give me this" preference, without sharing your admiration for the Linklater films, which I wanted to like but didn't.

Binoche takes it, yet again, to another level. The James Miller guy -- eeh, not so much. But Binoche carries his weaknesses, she makes up for him everywhere they go. And in the end, in that final scene, he makes up for a quite a few of his earlier, less convincing rants.

Glad you brought up the guy. Binoche is marvelous -- I didn't think it would be possible, but she's getting better with every movie I see her in -- but the fella is ... well, he's debonair, distinguished, just right for the part ... until he gets angry with Binoche's character. Those flashes of anger made him look ... goofy. I wonder if this is because so many of the shots of the actor were in profile, but when he attacks Binoche's character, he's filmed straight on. Something about the guy looked silly to me, just when I was supposed to be buying into his outrage. Not what the filmmaker had in mind, no doubt, but I was wondering if that's just a personal tic of mine. I like what he says in those scenes, but found myself very aware that I was watching an actor, not just a character, in those moments. That was my main drawback with the film, although it doesn't change my strongly favorable opinion of Certified (no "The") Copy.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those flashes of anger made him look ... goofy.

Exactomendo.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for the church stuff, which is thrilling, I have to ask: Could the church simply represent for the filmmaker an idea of marital stability?

This is an interesting question to tease out, as the director is Iranian. It kind of startled me that he used a church so symbolically at a key moment in the film.

The James Miller guy -- eeh, not so much. But Binoche carries his weaknesses, she makes up for him everywhere they go. And in the end, in that final scene, he makes up for a quite a few of his earlier, less convincing rants.

I can kind of see this, but I am fully aware that I look goofy and stupid when I am angry. I felt very uncomfortable during his rants, and I think that was a fitting thing to feel.

Marriage Question:

As far as the marriage question is concerned, I don't think it matters. They were married and they weren't married. They used to know each other and they never knew each other. I am looking forward to teasing this out in a review, but I think it is important to let that ambiguity oscillate throughout the film. People compare the film to the Before Sunrise/Before Sunset films, but I think that is mistaken. Whereas those are films about a relationship with a backstory that is mediated by conversation, CC is about something far more fundamental, universal, and abstract. The idea that we can't tell whether or not this couple has a real backstory is a wise expression of the way we actually feel in relationships, and the fact that we can feel the fear of feeling unknown and unloved even by someone we have been married to for decades. The narrative oscillation in CC obtains in our actual experience of love itself.

And all this really culminates in the much discussed bra removal, through which Kiarostami reminds us what is at stake in this film: the possibility of intimacy.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well said, M. I wasn't joking a few months ago when I nominated Eyes Wide Shut for the horror films list. To me, it explores some of these same ambiguities but ends in existential despair. But maybe that's just me. ;)

I'm still waiting on that EYES WIDE SHUT essay.

Personally, I'd say EYES WIDE SHUT ends with an existential quandary that is fraught with all kinds of difficulties, but I wouldn't describe it as out-and-out "despair." And, while I don't think authorial intent is everything, I think there's good evidence from the development of the film that Kubrick wasn't aiming for a despairing conclusion, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...