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dave jenkins
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« on: August 05, 2010, 04:28:09 PM »

Could be the movie of the year: http://criterioncast.com/2010/05/20/trailer-for-olivier-assayas-carlos-cannes-film-festival/

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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2010, 07:00:20 AM »

It isn't.
It's one of these well done biopics without any point of view. You clearly see that what the director (who's an interesting guy for a french filmmaker by the way) was interested in:

Story? doesn't give a sh*t.
Characted developpement? doesn't give a sh*t.
History? doesn't give a sh*t.
"Realistic" action and "sex" with a certain romantism and a really tough guy? "YEAH. But i'm a real director with a real standpoint since it's a true story."

Although it is not bad at all, there is absolutely no reason to waste your time on this.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 07:04:16 AM by noodles_leone » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 07:37:05 AM »

UK Blu-ray annoucement: http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=5257

It screened at the NYFF last weekend. I'm planning to go see it (the 5-hour version) in a couple weeks up at the Jacob Burns. If it's as good as The Baader Meinhof Complex I'll be content.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2010, 11:56:51 AM »

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/mtapson/2010/10/19/carlos-review-compelling-miniseries/#more-405737

I am looking forward to seeing it--marathon style--Sunday.

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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2010, 04:07:21 PM »

Or it could be like Che, a painfully long, empty bore.

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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 02:00:18 AM »

Or it could be like Che, a painfully long, empty bore.

It also is. Not as much, but it is.

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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 11:26:09 AM »

Carlos (2010) - 9/10. This is very much like The Baader-Meinhof Complex, but with 3 advantages. One, the focus on a single character makes for greater narrative cohesion (we get basically a gun-for-hire's rise-and-fall story). Two, the greater length (It's a five-and-a-half hour film, in three parts) allows for the accumulation of greater detail, especially regarding a wide cast of characters and locales. Finally, Assayas fills his soundtrack with great music (New Order, Wire, etc). All this virtuosity serves a purpose, which is the depiction of its titular character. I've read reviews that say that the film fails to show us who the guy really was, but that's not true. Carlos was a terrorist rock-star (the actor who plays him actually looks a lot like guitarist Mark Kozelek) who followed a well-calculated career trajectory until events, personal and historical, overtook him. A hedonist, he justified his excesses with appeals to Marxist-Leninist cant (I have never seen a film with as much smoking, drinking, or whoring). And as befits a rock retrospective, we get Carlos's greatest hits: the Orley Airport fiasco, the attack on and kidnapping of the OPEC ministers in Vienna, the Sadat Assassination Fizzle. We also get a look at Carlos's greatest groupies, not the actual women, but film actresses willing to shed their clothes in a good cause (the actress playing Carlos's first wife never seems to be wearing a bra in any of her various scenes). Why spend 5 and a half hours following the exploits of this loser? Well, shots of the many babes provide some compensation. (This film pairs well with the Baader-Meinhof flick or Schlondorf's fantastic The Legend of Rita). Once again, Assayas proves that he's France's greatest living filmmaker not named Rivette or Tavernier.

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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 12:22:00 PM »

I think the biggest question about a five-and-a-half hour film is: Do you think that making it shorter would make it worse?

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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 01:27:49 PM »

Yes, I had that very thought. Part of the strategy of the film is its cumulative effect on the viewer: one must constantly view yet another cigarette being lit, another drink being taken, another bimbo--er, committed female revolutionary--being groped. You can't get to Vanity Fair by shutting your eyes. You have to go through the ordeal step-by-step.

Nonetheless, it is a very entertaining film.

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 01:12:47 PM »

Carlos (2010) - 9/10. This is very much like The Baader-Meinhof Complex, but with 3 advantages. One, the focus on a single character makes for greater narrative cohesion (we get basically a gun-for-hire's rise-and-fall story). Two, the greater length (It's a five-and-a-half hour film, in three parts) allows for the accumulation of greater detail, especially regarding a wide cast of characters and locales. Finally, Assayas fills his soundtrack with great music (New Order, Wire, etc). All this virtuosity serves a purpose, which is the depiction of its titular character. I've read reviews that say that the film fails to show us who the guy really was, but that's not true. Carlos was a terrorist rock-star (the actor who plays him actually looks a lot like guitarist Mark Kozelek) who followed a well-calculated career trajectory until events, personal and historical, overtook him. A hedonist, he justified his excesses with appeals to Marxist-Leninist cant (I have never seen a film with as much smoking, drinking, or whoring). And as befits a rock retrospective, we get Carlos's greatest hits: the Orley Airport fiasco, the attack on and kidnapping of the OPEC ministers in Vienna, the Sadat Assassination Fizzle. We also get a look at Carlos's greatest groupies, not the actual women, but film actresses willing to shed their clothes in a good cause (the actress playing Carlos's first wife never seems to be wearing a bra in any of her various scenes). Why spend 5 and a half hours following the exploits of this loser? Well, shots of the many babes provide some compensation. (This film pairs well with the Baader-Meinhof flick or Schlondorf's fantastic The Legend of Rita). Once again, Assayas proves that he's France's greatest living filmmaker not named Rivette or Tavernier.

Lol.
I have to admit I have only seen the first half, so may be I don't see the whole picture (I just could get through it), but you should come to France any summer and see some historic TV films we have here, you'd love them. No wonder why they decided to cut it in something like 10 episodes to release it on TV.
Seriously, the only point of you review I agree with is the soundtrack. In my opinion, Assayas would be a very good short movie director, since his movies tend to have a few brilliant scenes, an interesting atmosphere and some cool acting. But he cannot tell a story, because he just doesn't care.

« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 01:17:13 PM by noodles_leone » Logged


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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 02:54:09 PM »

I disagree that Assayas cannot tell a story; he often chooses material where the story is implicit rather than in your face; however, I can think of examples where his storytelling is front-and-center: Late August, Early September; Les Destinees Sentimentales; Summer Hours.

Since you like the way he uses music, I'll give you a more detailed impression of my experience while watching Carlos:

Quote
In part one he uses edits from New Order's “Dreams Never End” as a kind of leitmotif (it plays the two times Carlos reports to Wadie Haddad). At first I found this a bit jarring—a song from 1981 in a mid-70s setting—but then I reconciled myself to the technique (this is not, after all, an old-school Scorsese-style soundtrack). In part two he dumped New Order and loaded up the soundtrack with Wire, not the classic stuff, but “Ahead” and “Drill” from the mid-to-late 80s. Good, of course, but not A-list stuff, and again, anachronistic. But then: in part 3 he brings in more Wire, but this time it's classic tracks, and, at that point—finally!—songs contemporary with the events being portrayed (we get “Dot-Dash”--twice--and “The 15th”). A great pay-off, one worth waiting for.

That was just what jumped out at me. He uses a lot of music, much that I don't know, so a lot of it went by me. I was only able to notice how he used things I already knew.

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 12:14:19 PM »

UK BD: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Carlos-Blu-ray/14816/#Review

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