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Hi all...

This film was first reviewed by the major outlets last March, and the Phantom Tollbooth reviewed it, but that was all I was able to find on it. It took a long time, but it finally came to my area (ok, 1 hour from where I live).

I will see this Saturday night. I just have one question...

Should I postpone finishing Yi Yi until I see this? (Both are long family-oriented epics in foreign lands). We're only forty minutes into Yi Yi.

God Bless...

Nick

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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You are correct on the only thing to worry about, which is the six hours. Not the movie, though, from what I hear -- the word is that it is fantastic. The hardest part about the six hours is just in finding the time to see the film. That was my problem, and unfortunately I was not able to see it here in Chicago.

-s.

Edited by stef

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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It's great, Nick--enjoy. And yes, Yi Yi should wait because it's on DVD and The Best of Youth is fairly rare theatrical opportunity.

Make sure you check the showtimes and go on the nights Part I is showing; I made the mistake of not doing so and had to come back the next day. My review.

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Saw Part 1 last night. There were some moments where I felt like it dragged, notably the scenes of the landmark court case about electroshock therapy. I'm not familiar with that part of Italian history, and this wasn't as big a deal for me as it was for the country, I gather.

That said, so far, the critics are very right. The film has characters that you care for, that you get involved with, and that take different turns throughout. Had it been severely edited to match a normal running time, it would appear to have elements where characters making nonsensical decisions. The long running time, in this case, creates a naturalism and flow that feels quite natural.

We're also overjoyed to have discovered this movie theater that's just a little bit further away than us being used to. The theater seemed to be of the type that welcomes suggestions. I, for one, will try to contact them, and convince them to get the Lonnie Frisbie documentary.

Can't wait for part 2.

Nick

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Part I opened in Vancouver last Friday. It closes tonight. I think Part II opens next week.

Should I make a point of catching tonight's one remaining screening, which isn't until 8pm, and which will probably end close to midnight? I mean, given that I have to get up early to go pay my sister a Canada Day visit in Victoria tomorrow morning?

Or should I count on some rep theatre in town being brave enough to screen both of these films more or less side-by-side once they hit the second-run circuit?

"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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Part I opened in Vancouver last Friday.  It closes tonight.  I think Part II opens next week.

Should I make a point of catching tonight's one remaining screening, which isn't until 8pm, and which will probably end close to midnight?  I mean, given that I have to get up early to go pay my sister a Canada Day visit in Victoria tomorrow morning?

Or should I count on some rep theatre in town being brave enough to screen both of these films more or less side-by-side once they hit the second-run circuit?

Very few theaters are this brave. I think you should see it. It's very interesting, it's very well acted, and the stories are universal. Even my wife loved it so far--we have an incredibly busy weekend, but we're working hard to fit Part II in, and she's already talking about getting the DVD when it comes out.

Nick

Nick Alexander

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Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Saw part 2 of this last night...

First off, was very disappointed in the poor turnout for part 2. Did people get aggravated in that they didn't know it was a six hour miniseries played on the movie screen (and I mean that in the best possible light)? The first night there were some twentyfive couples in this large theater. Last night there were four, one of which who wasn't there for part one. *sigh*.

I did tear up at the end. They handled this one scene so perfectly that I felt a rush of emotion, in this one unbroken take. (It's the scene in the outdoors, walking, 'nuff said).

Anyway, I expect that it will be a fave for years to come. It's a DVD purchase for sure.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Part I played for a single week in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago, and Part II opens today. I have no idea if Part I is coming back at all.

"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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  • 8 months later...

Finished this last night. It flows nicely as a single piece (although I doubt most people will really take it in at one sitting.) I wonder if American miniseries could be edit together so nicely. I doubt it.

What I missed was being able to understand some of the deeper conflicts in some of the lives.

Matteo's suicide just when his life could be finding joy and meaning -- if he'd let it. Giulia's longing for her daughter, but fear of that relationship.

Certainly I sensed the pain in Giulia more than in Matteo, but then, as outsiders perhaps we're meant to not really understand their pains. Isn't that the way life is, we don't understand why people do the things they do. (Which of course in an American film, would have been made excruciatingly clear.) I guess it shows my acculturation that I want more here.

A foreign movie can't be stupid.

-from the film
Armin

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  • 2 months later...
That said, so far, the critics are very right. The film has characters that you care for, that you get involved with, and that take different turns throughout. Had it been severely edited to match a normal running time, it would appear to have elements where characters making nonsensical decisions. The long running time, in this case, creates a naturalism and flow that feels quite natural.

I watched Part One earlier in the week and am sitting down to watch Part Two right now. I am psyched for it.

Dead-on comment, Nick. At first I felt like this was going to be a movie with shallow characters, but as it progressed, and as time went on, I was drawn into their lives, their passions, the world views. At the end of Part One, I welled up with tears.

If only Matteo could've seen his dad. I felt this was at once so right, and yet so terribly sad.

-s.

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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OK, I admit it: I just returned the DVD, without watching it, for the second time. The six-hour running time is daunting to me, although I'm sure if I got into the first disc, I'd move through the entirety of BOY pretty quickly.

Is it something you can knock out in a couple of nights, or do you need to take it in small chunks? I can get the DVD for a week at a time.

Somebody convince me. I need a good push.

"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, too, saw Part One this weekend, and really loved it.

Giorga has the same arresting presence that Marie has in Au Hasard Balthazar. I missed her during the long absence in the second hour, and her return is hearbreaking.

The thoughtful pace, the complex characters... I'm really enjoying this.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

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

 

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Well as you might recall, Christian, it was one of my top ten films of the year. Not sure what else I might say beyond that to recommend it. :)

It can definitely be seen in two nights--theatrical screenings were split into two days. And, honestly, you get so swept up in the drama and there are so many characters it doesn't feel that long at all.

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I started this thread, and strangely enough, my wife and I are watching it again on DVD. We've been going at it in small installments this time, twenty minutes here, thirty minutes here, which makes the entire experience more invigorating as we re-enter the film. (Whereas, watching it in three-hour stretches, while strong, still felt like a chore at certain points).

My solution: just purchase the darned film. Or wait till you get a good price for it on DeepDiscountDVD. You can always resell it on eBay.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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I started this thread, and strangely enough, my wife and I are watching it again on DVD. We've been going at it in small installments this time, twenty minutes here, thirty minutes here, which makes the entire experience more invigorating as we re-enter the film. (Whereas, watching it in three-hour stretches, while strong, still felt like a chore at certain points).

My solution: just purchase the darned film. Or wait till you get a good price for it on DeepDiscountDVD. You can always resell it on eBay.

Great suggestion for me. I watched the first disc, skimmed the first disc a few days later, watched key scenes from the first disc again, sat down to watch the second disc, watched two hours of the second disc, fell asleep, went back to watch the last hour of the second disc but instead began to skim it, ended up watching yet again two hours of the second disc and yet again, falling asleep.

And I'm telling you, it really is so good that I'm going to attempt that last hour again tonight.

-s.

Edited by stef

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Disc 2 comes in the mail tomorrow. Can't wait.

Yes, I've gone and done it. I'm a Netflixer now.

I'd be your netfriend or whatever they call it, but I just switched to Blockbuster.com. Three at a time plus weekly instore rentals were the straw on the camel's back. And if it's ultra-rare and Blockbuster doesn't have it, well, as mentioned above, it's just as easy to buy it (especially when you work less than two blocks from Deep Discount DVD).

-s.

Edited by stef

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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The last 1:45 of this thing is as good as the rest of it. I've finally seen all of Best of Youth, and the little that my wife watched with me last night convinced her that she wants to see the whole thing. I'm buying the DVD today. We're going to try to watch it in one hour segments.

What a great film -- thanks, board members, for recommending it.

-s.

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Bought it. Own it. I am going to absolutely relish these one hour segments.

-s.

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I

"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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  • 4 years later...

Huge miss for end of the decade lists. Huge. Did it make anyone's list here? It really should have. At the very least, I should've had it in consideration. Wow, sad. Huge miss. Have I said that?

Looked up the thread just to see what I wrote here -- Ebert's comparison of this to the Red Riding trilogy is unfair to The Best of Youth. I can see it length-wise, but the comparison stops there.

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

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Not sure I'd put it that high, though I wouldn't have a problem with anyone who did.

It's been a while since I watched it, but the main things I remember were that it didn't feel as long as it was, and that I wished I could figure out how to write stories that sustain their arcs for so long (screen time and elapsed time in the movie).

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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  • 2 years later...

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