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There Is No Evil


Andrew
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Thanks - and nice timing! I was just earlier today talking with infrequent A&F participant Victor Morton about the FilmFest DC selections for this year - I recognized only one name (Holland) among the directors - and he highlighted this film, noting it had won the Golden Bear. I might buy an advance ticket this weekend, when the festival is promoting an early/purchase discount - of $1 per ticket. A bargain! (FYI for others who may be interested: The screening is geo-blocked for the DMV region.)

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

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9 hours ago, Christian said:

Thanks - and nice timing! I was just earlier today talking with infrequent A&F participant Victor Morton about the FilmFest DC selections for this year - I recognized only one name (Holland) among the directors - and he highlighted this film, noting it had won the Golden Bear. I might buy an advance ticket this weekend, when the festival is promoting an early/purchase discount - of $1 per ticket. A bargain! (FYI for others who may be interested: The screening is geo-blocked for the DMV region.)

Please watch it!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, and it really is SOOO good.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/15/2021 at 1:02 AM, Andrew said:

Please watch it!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, and it really is SOOO good.

I think I was less impressed by this film than you were - but I liked it well enough. I didn't realize we were getting a multi-story, episodic collection here, so the first transition threw me off. Were these the same characters? What's going on? And that second story - it was too didactic, with each character spelling out the moral dilemma/significance of the pending act and of the governmental/military consequences of resistance. (Also, that section of the film felt like a filmed play. I tend to like a lot of films that get dinged as "filmed plays," but the staging here felt unimaginative, even given the constraints on the filmmakers. That said, what felt like a play isn't, as far as a I know, based on a play at all, so maybe this is an unfair criticism.) Then the nondiegetic music kicked in - was the film now a thriller? (Later, one of the songs seemed to be both nondiegetic and diegetic - with characters singing along to it. Not a failing - I enjoyed the sing-along - but I admit to being somewhat confused in the moment.)  

The film did indeed grow more lovely to look at in the later sequences, and the performances are uniformly good. I just wish the moral dilemmas hadn't been double/triple underlined in that second story in particular. 

"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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I can see where the second story would've left a negative impression; I'm not a fan of the 'filmed play' feeling either (why I wasn't over the moon about Ma Rainey last year).  It was my least favorite episode, but I loved how it then became something more expansive, with a French New Wave sort of energy.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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A question I had (as I recall, I saw it in the fall) deals with the use of the song "Bella Ciao" in the 2nd and last stories. I'm tempted to view them in such a way that the 2nd story is projected decades ahead in the final. Anyone else notice that use of music?

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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