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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Halfway through this movie I had to stop simply because it was beginning to infuriate me.

    This... I am a writer and words fail me on how to properly describe this film. It begins with random scenes that you can only presume is the end result of the film. These first five minutes are what others who disliked the film said were the only thing worth watching.

    I disagree. They are so drawn out, literally in slow motion, ridiculously so, to the point I wanted to scream. It might take a full minute to show a single footstep.

    It then goes on to a woman's wedding dinner, bypassing the wedding completely. At the halfway mark of this movie, over an hour in, we're still at the reception.

    The entire thing is awkward, painful, self conscious, you name it. You finally begin to get it that this woman that has gotten married is pathologically depressed. As in so lethargic she couldn't even bring herself to commit suicide.

    Her husband of all of two hours then leaves her after trying his hardest to make her happy, and telling her about his plans to help her combat this 'melancholy'.

    Why? we don't know, he just leaves. She even says, 'What did you expect from me?' and I'm wondering the same thing. Obviously this guy knows exactly what is wrong with her and then up and leaves? Her family then pretty much tells her they hate her and leaves.

    She is now left without a friend in the world, this overly depressed person, in the middle of the dinner hall with no way to get home.

    Oh, and I didn't even mention that they rented the entire place and have rooms. So her new husband starts to get serious with her, and she says she needs some air... so she goes outside, shoves a random strange onto the ground, and begins humping him like he's a slab of meat, all the while with this droopy look on her face.

    Why did she cheat on her wedding night, pushing away her husband to go screw another guy? Who knows. But that completes the entire first half of the film.

    I supposed the title of the film warned us, but why make such a thing? A film about complete drollness and uncaring and boring depression?

    This is from a guy who's favorite film is The Fountain, that's been called depressing and pretentious. This film is just that, pure art, because there is no actual entertainment value, inspiration, or even insight to be derived from it. Just random depressing things between two layers of depression with a side of who cares.

    Oh, and at this point there is no introduction of another planet yet. Folks said this was a slow sci-fi... but it's not. It's a dramatic claptrap without even much drama. For there to be drama there has to be actual feeling. There is a difference between slow and completely lethargic. This goes beyond the bounds of rationality.

    Now that I've gotten this out of my system, going to try to continue the second half, so stay tuned.
    @}--,--'-- The Angels That Fell Sideways --,--'--{@

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    ... wow.

    Ok, so it got better in the same way that crawling out of a boiling water and into a fireant nest is better.

    The visual and atmospheric effects of the planet approaching is beautiful. That is the way in which it got better. However, it really didn't make an appearance until like half an hour before it ended.

    So this manic depressive comes to live with sister that was running her wedding. This depressive is so depressive that there is an extended phone conversation just to encourage her to even get out of bed to get into the taxi.

    Why is this woman not in the hospital??? She gets out of the taxi looking like a zombie, can't even feed herself, and has to be carried to her room, where she sleeps for nearly two days. Is she given medication? Hospitalization? Of course not. She just wallows in her funk.

    She is enticed out with her favorite meal finally... only for her depression to be so bad she can't taste it.

    But yet she can go horse riding like every day for the rest of the film.

    Lots of little things they never explain, like this stupid horse won't go over a little stream bridge, or why the planet recedes... only to suddenly turn back around an get bigger. Yeah, it comes right back for Earth, despite being a much larger planet. Why? Dunno.

    Husband finds out it is getting bigger, and disappears. Finds him in the horse stall. We assume he's dead. Why? Dunno Did horse kick him? dunno. Did he take poison? Dunno.

    So wifey covers him with hay and says nothing to anyone about it. Doesn't even cry. She does however check the size of the planet with this little homemade measurer and freak outs, despite the fact she already knows it's getting closer. She tries to drive away with her son... though why that will help them from planetary annihilation is anyone's guess. All the cars are dead? Why? Dunno.

    Yet the golf cart works... until it hits that bridge the horse balks at. Then it dies. So she carries her son, who is at least six or seven, struggling with him back towards the house in the middle of a hail storm. She then succumbs to her own misery and dumps the kids beside her in the middle of a field with hail beating them. Why the kid doesn't walk himself I dunno. Why do they not go for the security of the tree cover they JUST LEFT? Dunno.

    And of course depresso is actually cool with the coming apocalypse. Says that life is evil and needs destroyed. So basically she's a nihilist.

    And then the earth slams into giant blue planet. The end.


    Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is explained. They throw in all these things you expect to actually have something to do with the plot, or at least with an expectation you'll discover why they were thrown in, but they aren't.

    Don't see depresso's husband or have any mention of him at all for the entire second half. And the entire first half is devoted to him just so he can leave? What? And we still don't know why she left bedding with him to go ram a stranger in the field.

    None of it makes sense. But that's the point of the film I think. That life makes no sense and has no point.

    It's like a literal nightmare; disjointed, nonsensical, and darkly whimsical.
    Last edited by Silkspinner; 2012-11-03 at 12:57 AM.
    @}--,--'-- The Angels That Fell Sideways --,--'--{@

    (Come in, Read, Critique)

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Think that's the longest film review/rant I've ever written.
    @}--,--'-- The Angels That Fell Sideways --,--'--{@

    (Come in, Read, Critique)

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    The sister's husband took all the pills and OD'd, suicide. There was a scene where she can't find her husband, then looks where he put the pills and finds the empty bottle, then she runs around and eventually finds him in the stable. Basically, he spends the whole time being super confident and condescending, but when he finds out he was wrong he takes himself out like a punk because he's really just a lameass coward.

    As for the first half of the film, the whole wedding reception is just there as a lead up to Kirsten Dunst discovering the rogue planet. And to establish how screwed up her character is, I guess.
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2012-11-06 at 09:25 AM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

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    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Silkspinner View Post
    Why did she cheat on her wedding night, pushing away her husband to go screw another guy? Who knows. But that completes the entire first half of the film.
    Apparently because sex doesn't require any more motivation than sitting in a corner and people with no self esteem are so seductive they can just get it any time they want.

    Obviously a true artist wouldn't put a out of character sex scene into his film just for titillation. We are just too philistine to grasp the momentous genius of it all.
    "that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss" - At The Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft

    When a man decides another's future behind his back, it is a conspiracy. When a god does it, it's destiny.


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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Closet_Skeleton View Post
    Obviously a true artist wouldn't put a out of character sex scene into his film just for titillation. We are just too philistine to grasp the momentous genius of it all.
    Yeah, it's not like Kirsten Dunst's character later posed topless on a rock for no reason at all. Oh, wait.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    You philistines don't get it. Including random nudity/sex scenes is meta-commentary on how modern movies pander to the lowest common denominator to replace quality writing and acting. The movie's pointless titillation is okay because it's only being done ironically.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    I loved it. It was surreal and beautiful. One film critic called it "a hateful little masterpiece" and I agree.

    The whole film for me was an analogy for depression (which the director suffers from). I was depressed when I saw it and found it to be strangely cathartic. Seeing the Earth being obliterated by a giant blue planet gave me a warm feeling inside.

    I guess it was made for a very specific demographic. I am not trying to put on airs by saying I liked it (I can certainly see why someone would have hated it) but it was honestly my favorite film of that year.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    You philistines don't get it. Including random nudity/sex scenes is meta-commentary on how modern movies pander to the lowest common denominator to replace quality writing and acting. The movie's pointless titillation is okay because it's only being done ironically.
    LOL

    Okay, but how are we supposed to tell the ironic ones from the ones that just don't know any better (not that I mind a little titillation)?
    Last edited by KillianHawkeye; 2012-11-10 at 09:43 AM.
    "Nothing you can't spell will ever work." - Will Rogers

    "What you must learn is that these rules are no different than the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken." - Morpheus, The Matrix

    Quote Originally Posted by Krellen View Post
    Remember, Evil isn't "selfish". It's Evil. "Look out for number one" is a Neutral attitude. Evil looks out for number one while crushing number two.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    I liked it a lot, as well. I think a lot of the complaints come from people who want the film to operate within the logic of the real, rather than the logic of the symbolic. It is not, nor is it trying to be, hard science fiction; the rogue planet careens towards Earth without regard for astrophysics because it's the shadow the real world casts, a planet like our own, but even more massive, dangerous, and unreasonable, such that we are even smaller and more helpless in the face of it. The whole film is analogous to a kind of melancholic state, with the impending doom appearing at the supposedly joyous occasion of the wedding, and only growing worse as the marriage fails to provide any kind of salvation from her melancholia. Similarly to the other "unexplained" details, which happen not in accordance with the laws of cause and effect so much as the tropes of symbolism. To "explain" them would either result in facile, out-of-place technobabble; having a jump cut to a scientist in a bunker jabbering to a stern-lipped general about EMPs or some such thin would ruin the mood.

    This isn't to say that the movie is inherently good and that everyone should like it, just that I believe a lot of people who dislike it intensely do so because they went into it with the wrong expectations. I believe the OP said that someone had told him Melancholia was a sci-fi film, which is the sort of thing I mean. If one goes into it with the right mindset, it may not be one's cup of tea, but I think it generally stands as a competent, if unusual mood piece.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by LaughingLemur View Post
    I loved it. It was surreal and beautiful. One film critic called it "a hateful little masterpiece" and I agree.

    The whole film for me was an analogy for depression (which the director suffers from). I was depressed when I saw it and found it to be strangely cathartic. Seeing the Earth being obliterated by a giant blue planet gave me a warm feeling inside.

    I guess it was made for a very specific demographic. I am not trying to put on airs by saying I liked it (I can certainly see why someone would have hated it) but it was honestly my favorite film of that year.
    Part of it were surreal and beautiful... but only the parts where they are looking at the planet.

    And btw, I suffered depression for a good long while and this film in no way represented or catered to my feelings at the time.

    The problem wasn't exactly even the depression, but that it threw in random artsy stuff that made little to no sense and wasn't even interesting.

    If she just collapsed and did nothing at the wedding, that make sense. To lay there and let her new hubbie hump her lifeless form, that makes sense.

    Her going out to screw another guy, making an effort to do so, that's not lethargy. That's not melancholy. That is, possibly, self destructive. But she wasn't. She didn't cut herself or abuse herself or do anything, because it took too much effort.

    Hubbie didn't know she did this, yet he up and leaves? No husband, who knows he is marrying a manic depressive, is going to just leave on their wedding night. Maybe a few weeks or months later, but that very night? Give me a break.

    The film is completely inconsistent about depression and melancholia.
    Last edited by Silkspinner; 2012-11-10 at 07:23 PM.
    @}--,--'-- The Angels That Fell Sideways --,--'--{@

    (Come in, Read, Critique)

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    In what sense did you find it inconsistent? Are you familiar with traditional definitions of melancholia as a state of frenzy?

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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zrak View Post
    In what sense did you find it inconsistent? Are you familiar with traditional definitions of melancholia as a state of frenzy?
    I was going to post just that, word for word.
    Now I'm interested in watching this movie. Wonder when it will be on Netflix.
    Last edited by ThiagoMartell; 2012-11-11 at 05:06 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Melancholia [Lots of Spoilers]

    If I'm not mistaken, it already is. I thought I saw it recommended to me the other day.

    EDIT: Yep, it was available for instant view for me when I just checked. I hope you enjoy your foray into the wild world of Lars Von Trier.
    Last edited by Zrak; 2012-11-11 at 05:52 AM.

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