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From the director of Waltz with Bashir (2008). Based on a novel by the man who wrote Solaris (the film versions of which came out in 1972 and 2002).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gv3zSqBBfg

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 5 months later...

Saw this yesterday at AFIFest.  I liked it quite a bit, although the middle (animated) section of the film is a bit of a weak link. The film (especially in the first act) has some very nice soliloquies placed within the the conversations.  Act 1 is comedy lampooning the Industry.  Act 2 is a bit muddled, but serves as a transition to the drama in Act 3.  The exact shift to Act 3 (return to live action) was for me one of those moments that takes your breath away.  It immediately brought to mind Children of Men.  Drafthouse is listed as a distributor so it will be interesting to see just how broadly it gets out.

 

Just found out they are looking to release it in May.

Edited by Darrel Manson
A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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I think my reaction might have been slightly opposite; I enjoyed the surrealism of the animation much more than I did the live-action stuff or anything that felt more "grounded" (in story, in narrative, etc.). That being said, I agree that the transition from Act 2 to Act 3 is quite stunning.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 6 months later...
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Saw this yesterday at AFIFest.  I liked it quite a bit, although the middle (animated) section of the film is a bit of a weak link. The film (especially in the first act) has some very nice soliloquies placed within the the conversations.  Act 1 is comedy lampooning the Industry.  Act 2 is a bit muddled, but serves as a transition to the drama in Act 3.  The exact shift to Act 3 (return to live action) was for me one of those moments that takes your breath away.  It immediately brought to mind Children of Men.  Drafthouse is listed as a distributor so it will be interesting to see just how broadly it gets out.

 

Just found out they are looking to release it in May.

 

 

I think my reaction might have been slightly opposite; I enjoyed the surrealism of the animation much more than I did the live-action stuff or anything that felt more "grounded" (in story, in narrative, etc.). That being said, I agree that the transition from Act 2 to Act 3 is quite stunning.

I'm not sure I even remember the transition from act 2 to act 3, but I think I know the moment you're talking about.

 

I'm more negative on the film than both of you, if only because I was so captured by the first hour -- so dazzled, frankly, by Robin Wright (what else is new?), the camerawork and the critique of how actresses are treated (not sure I'd describe it as "comedy") -- that the second half of the film was a bitter letdown. I struggled somewhat with the animation in Waltz With Bashir, too, but found that story more consistently engaging, even though it never reaches the early peak of The Congress.

"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

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  • 2 months later...

I saw this at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and I really enjoyed the bold surreal vision of this film, even through the unevenness of the storyline.  Robin Wright is terrific, and her performance helps provide an emotional through-line through each of the three acts, even though the animated section doesn't quite deliver on what it's trying to accomplish.

Edited by Crow
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Argh.... so wish I would have seen this in the theater. It is this year's Southland Tales, in that it is a scattered, sprawling, beautiful, borderline nonsense apocalyptic that everyone doesn't really like. And it ends in an unexpected, haunting merge of two central identities in the storyline - which is posed by the script as an act of love.

 

This film is either brilliant, and perfect as-is, or it is a complete failure. I can't tell which. But I wouldn't be surprised if its lack of press and attention is in part due to its Miramax/Paramount lampoon?

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)

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