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#1 Ryan H.

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:01 AM

Quite a cast. The notice quoted below will inform you that Christoph Waltz and Matt Dillon are in the film, but it also features Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet:

Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Matt Dillon (Crash) will play their husbands in Polanski’s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony-winning play. Shooting begins in Paris in February for 12 weeks. Although the film is set in Brooklyn, Polanski’s legal troubles mean that he has to shoot in France. The Academy Award-winning director cannot enter the US due to allegations against him for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in 1977. The film is being co-produced by French producer SBS and Constantin Film of Germany. Said Ben Said of SBS recently produced Reza’s feature directing debut Chicas, which starred Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner. Jeff Berg of ICM has been packaging the project since Reza first disclosed she was adapting her play with the Academy Award-winning director this summer. I’m told that Pathe and UGC are both vying to be French distributor. God of Carnage tells the story of two sets of parents who meet after their sons are involved in a schoolyard fight. The meeting goes disastrously wrong as each pair attacks the other’s parenting skills before turning on each other about problems in their own marriages. The show ran for 452 performances on Broadway before closing in June. James Gandolfini, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis originally starred. God of Carnage won three Tony awards, including Best Play.

Wikipedia describes the play as such: "The play is about two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos."

Edited by Ryan H., 16 April 2011 - 07:34 AM.


#2 Nathaniel

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 12:02 AM

Cool. Now I can mentally let go of the idea that The Ghost Writer will be the swan song of my favorite living director.

Hmm, but it's also an adaptation of a play, his first since Death and the Maiden, which means Polanski will have to work extra hard to disguise its theatricality. Not an easy task, but he's such a painstaking craftsman it's hard to believe that this will be anything but riveting. Frankly, I'm stoked. ::w00t::

Edited by Nathaniel, 25 September 2010 - 12:03 AM.


#3 Ryan H.

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 06:14 AM

Now I can mentally let go of the idea that The Ghost Writer will be the swan song of my favorite living director.

Polanski is one of my favorites, too. I was worried for a bit there that THE GHOST WRITER would have been his last. Not that it would have been a bad note to go out on, mind you, since I think THE GHOST WRITER was a very fine film, and the kind of well-made, intelligent, adult film that I wish we saw more of these days..

Hmm, but it's also an adaptation of a play, his first since Death and the Maiden, which means Polanski will have to work extra hard to disguise its theatricality. Not an easy task, but he's such a painstaking craftsman it's hard to believe that this will be anything but riveting. Frankly, I'm stoked. ::w00t::

Well, he's got a terrific cast. I don't know the play too well, but from what I've read, it sounds like this will be Polanski's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? And since WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? is one of my all time favorite films, I take that to be a very good thing.

Edited by Ryan H., 25 September 2010 - 06:40 AM.


#4 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 11:49 PM

Apparently the film is simply called Carnage now. No God of.

#5 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 07:33 AM

Apparently the film is simply called Carnage now. No God of.

I don't get it. GOD OF CARNAGE is a pretty neat title. CARNAGE, just by itself, ain't. Did they figure it was too confusing for the public, ala the change from THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE III to THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE, and thus decided to dumb it down?

#6 Ryan H.

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

CARNAGE will open the New York Film Festival this year.

#7 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:44 PM



#8 Ryan H.

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 07:16 AM

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxX02-KdsXM"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=xxX02-KdsXM[/url]

Nice.

#9 Ryan H.

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:18 PM

Reviews from Venice:

Daniel Kasman:


Polanski’s filmmaking is effortless and mostly invisible, interested in the actors hitting the right gestures at the precise moment, containing or spiking each exclamation, with the form of Carnage left to continuity and keeping the talker and movers in frame, the pacing in check. (Only Waltz is allowed some physical presence in the frame, with a notable exception being any moment when Winslet feels nauseous, one of the film’s triumphs, but at those points the film…clearly…is…setting…the…stage…for…physicality.) With the filmmaking placidly seamless the cast is likewise perfect, perfect at rising to the cliches that have been written for them, pushing them just a bit over the brink of absurdity, and holding them back—which will undoubtably lead many to accuse the film, surprisingly, of not going far enough, lacking the truest bitter edge, the harshest, freshest vision of humanity (as all stories about people stuck in rooms must be about humanity).

But what that criticism misses is the enjoyment of Carnage, not just that it is enjoyable to watch—its weird semi-theatricality and self-awareness of its own generalities adds a subtle, compulsive edge to everyone’s expected scene-chewing—but rather that everyone seems to be secretly enjoying themselves too, actors and characters, that these people cannot leave their conflict because they are having too much enjoyment masking their bitterness, parrying attitudes, revealing secrets,getting angry, and getting drunk as an excuse to cut loose. By devolving into awfulness these people find a kind of communal high in their safe space of hatreds, safe things to hate, safe people to fight with. I remember a lesson from yesterday’s Bene, and perhaps even of Dreyer’s Joan, that corporal solitude leads to death (what kind of death is a different question), and the disappointing and anti-climatic conclusion of Carnage with its distinct lack of death and destruction, only underscores how positively thriving these people are, together.

Justin Chang:

The gloves come off early and the social graces disintegrate on cue in "Carnage," which spends 79 minutes observing, and encouraging, the steady erosion of niceties between two married couples. But the real battle in Roman Polanski's brisk, fitfully amusing adaptation of Yasmina Reza's popular play is a more formal clash between stage minimalism and screen naturalism, as this acid-drenched four-hander never shakes off a mannered, hermetic feel that consistently betrays its theatrical origins.

Guy Lodge:

Waltz’s surgically timed pauses and inadvertently louche appropriation of others’ space are responsible for the biggest laughs in “Carnage,” perhaps because they seem more explicitly scaled for the medium than anything else in the film. Polanski probably made the right choice in refusing to open the play out for the screen — save for a pedestrian pair of external bookend shots that needlessly contextualize the scrap between the otherwise invisible children — but Pawel Edelman’s lensing aims to outdo the intimacy of the theater experience by getting unflatteringly, claustrophobically close to the actors. It’s a tactic that seems a little over-compensatory when the single most striking shot in the film — a tableaux where all four are caught momentarily distracted from each other — could be contained within the proscenium arch. Swift and savage and so sparing in generosity that it risks selling its smart world-view a little short, the ample pleasures of “Carnage” (title notwithstanding) are those of its source, but it might have found more of its own.

Oliver Lyttelton:

It’s been a while since Polanski’s done an out-and-out comedy (unless you count Pierce Brosnan‘s performance in “The Ghost Writer”—oh, snap!), and the good news is that “Carnage” is very, very funny. The play brought down houses around the world, and the director and his cast hit every beat with expert timing; there are moments here that rival anything we’ve seen in recent years for hilarity. There’s often a darkly funny undertone to Polanski’s work, but this reinforces that he’s got a real knack for comedy, for perhaps the first time since “Fearless Vampire Killers,” and we hope he doesn’t neglect that particular muscle from here on out.

But it’s also a film of very little ambition, a minor entry in the director’s canon. Perhaps it was just the desire to shoot something fast and quick after his brush with justice, which is certainly understandable, but he has essentially taken a pre-existing script, cast four A-listers, locked them in a room, and shot it. There are few directorial flourishes beyond a firmly Polanski-esque opening shot, and almost nothing to enable the identification of the movie as a Polanski picture; for once in his career, it feels like almost anyone could have directed it. It’s not as though the play could have been opened up much, but he really might as well have stuck some cameras in the audience of a stage production. Maybe that approach would have been fine for a more substantial piece, but at best Reza’s material is targeting some fairly low-hanging fruit (upper middle-class hypocrisy, in the main) without adding much to the discussion, and at worst it’s not about much more than the set-up for the next gag. And that’s even ignoring the major issue with the construction of Reza’s piece—there’s no reason for the characters to stay in the room together, except that the writer decides they should.


Todd McCarthy:

Roman Polanski as often been at his best in close quarters -- the small yacht of Knife in the Water, the Warsaw ghetto of The Pianist, the house in The Ghost Writer, the apartments in Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby and The Tenant -- so it should be no surprise that he's right at home examining the venality of the human condition in the living room of the Brooklyn apartment that serves as the setting for Carnage. Snappy, nasty, deftly acted and perhaps the fastest paced film ever directed by a 78-year-old, this adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece while entirely convincing as having been shot in New York, even though it was filmed in Paris for well-known reasons.

Richard Corliss:

Reza's diagram of devolution might be made for Polanski — if its satire weren't so timid. Dramatic logic might at least require that by the end the two men are fighting, as their sons had. But Carnage only skates on the surface of such de-profundis dramas as Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, or virtually any play by Harold Pinter, or The Lord of the Flies. For the ultimate satire of decivilization, see Luis Buñuel's 1963 film The Exterminating Angel, in which guests at a posh dinner party find they can't leave, anarchy slowly ensues, one couple commits suicide and sheep wander in to be slaughtered and cooked for food. How's that for a last supper?

Reza isn't up to such grand misanthropy. Nor does she have the skill to trace a plausible course from the human to the beastly. Michael, the most amiable of the four, suddenly reveals that he threw out his daughter's pet hamster; apparently he'd never told Penelope that he just hates hamsters. Alan keeps getting cell-phone calls about a fast-developing crisis in his business — but he'd rather stick around and argue with his wife and the Longstreets. And if the four main characters are meant to personify the decline of Western civ, Polanski's one significant addition to the play undercuts that dour generalization.



#10 Darrel Manson

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 08:43 PM

Just got back from this. Laughing at a train wreck. Wonderful humor and dialogue as we watch the veneer of social pleasantry slowly (well, not that slowly, it's only 80 minutes) get stripped away. A very enjoyable experience - to watch.

#11 Ryan H.

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

Just saw this, one I've been wanting to catch up with for a while now (Polanski is, after all, one of my favorite working filmmakers).

CARNAGE, despite the intimidating title, is almost ebullient. Daniel Kasman gets it right in his review: "By devolving into awfulness these people find a kind of communal high in their safe space of hatreds, safe things to hate, safe people to fight with." The polite veneer drowns in anger and alcohol, and what emerges is a new honesty, or something approaching it, and, with that, energy and excitement. You can almost feel the sense of relief on behalf of the characters as they revel in the freedom to be themselves, or at least more of themselves than they were before. That's the big gag here, really. These folks don't split up because on a deeper level they want to let the ugliness out, and are happier when they do. There isn't much guilt to be found in CARNAGE (unlike, say, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, which is drenched in guilt and regret).

Now, that's a pretty dark vision, when you get down to it, but what else can you expect from the ever-pessimistic Polanski?

Edited by Ryan H., 18 February 2012 - 04:15 PM.


#12 Nick Olson

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:00 PM

For the record, I thought CARNAGE was laugh-out-loud funny, however darkly.

#13 Tyler

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

Ms. Winslet is now Mrs. RocknRoll. Yes, literally.