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Thread: Movies We Didn't "Get"

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    Movies We Didn't "Get"

    What movies weren't you able to quite wrap your head around?

    I have seen so many movies that I didn't understand and needed other people to explain them to me (and they keep coming!). As I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, I'm suggesting this thread where we can either propose movies that we need explained or help explain a movie that's already been proposed.

    The general approach I think should be that no suggestion is too "ignorant" or "obvious", and that people have different strengths, e.g. some are better suited for understanding existential dramas and others are better at unlocking the wonders of detective stories etc.


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    L'Avventura (1960) - Michelangelo Antonioni

    Has anyone seen this and been able to make sense of it? It's one of those "must-see" artsy films, but I don't know how to appreciate it.

    A woman disappears. Why? Is it metaphor? In that case, what of? Loneliness? Boredom? What's these people's motivation? Don't they have any? What's going on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skärmträl View Post
    L'Avventura (1960) - Michelangelo Antonioni

    Has anyone seen this and been able to make sense of it? It's one of those "must-see" artsy films, but I don't know how to appreciate it.

    A woman disappears. Why? Is it metaphor? In that case, what of? Loneliness? Boredom? What's these people's motivation? Don't they have any? What's going on?

    I never heard of it before. I googled it. 81% of viewers liked the movie. It is basically a taboo romance. The missing woman is being cheated on by her boyfriend and her best friend. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Avventura

    Swedish wikipedia: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84...t_(film,_1960)


    In Michelangelo Antonioni's classic of Italian cinema, two lovely young women, Claudia (Monica Vitti) and Anna (Léa Massari), join the latter's lover, Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti), on a boat trip to a remote volcanic island. When Anna goes missing, an extensive search is launched. In the meantime, Sandro and Claudia become involved in a romance despite Anna's disappearance, though the relationship suffers from the guilt and tension brought about by the looming mystery.

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    Possession (1981)- Andrzej Zulawski

    Where do I began? It certainly was terrifying...

    Let us not desire delights, daughters; we are well-off here; the bad inn lasts for only a night.
    -St. Teresa of Avila

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    Primer was a movie I thought one needs to watch more than just once to really "get" it.





    Primer is of note for experimental plot structure, philosophical implications, and complex technical dialogue, which Carruth, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics and a former engineer, chose not to simplify for the sake of the audience. A diagram explaining the operation of time travel in Primer:



    I found the plot to be pretty complicated, it's not a movie you watch for pure entertainment. You need to actually pay attention to the details.
    "Tradition doesn't mean holding on to the ashes, it means passing the torch."
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    Mulholland Drive, of course, amongst others. But I've always had my own (evolving) theory and read those of others as well.



    To be honest, I usually give up thinking about the meaning of a movie pretty soon - it's a first world disease to obsess on motion pictures and their multimillionaire casts. Plus, these movies which aren't well understood tend to be pretentious & arty farty and hearing the explanation for them doesn't work for me and it is often a disappointing experience then.

    The meaning of a work of art can be so incredibly personal to its creator I don't think it matters at all what someone else makes of it, including directors. If I enjoy a movie/book/painting/music and find meaning in it, I couldn't care less about the artist's obscured intentions and the actual narrative as opposed to my take. You consume art for you, for what it can do for you - it's not like science.

    If everything that happened in the movie was supposed to represent a dream or a drug trip or 'a descent into madness' of the lead actor, which happens far too often, but there was no way for viewers to know this, I'm not interested in the head cannon of a director. If the explanation for a movie is at odds with what actually happened in it, I prefer to ignore it. If you, the viewer, are not given the tools and clues to figure out a movie, it is cheap, inept and lazy and potentially never meant to be understood. I'm not interested in the movie that was not made, an off-screen movie, but the one which I saw. A movie has to be incredibly interesting for me to change my mind about this and most movies are simply not good enough to warrant conducting an investigation on the part of its audience. I'm not gonna let what little joy I experienced be ruined by some half assed explanation which strikes me as random, irrelevant and sometimes unnecessary, when that explanation does more harm than good to a movie.

    And motion pictures are to paintings as what pop music is to classical music or a comic to literature, maybe with a few exceptions, but surely not that many. It's a lesser form of art.
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
    I never heard of it before. I googled it. 81% of viewers liked the movie. It is basically a taboo romance. The missing woman is being cheated on by her boyfriend and her best friend. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Avventura

    Swedish wikipedia: https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%84...t_(film,_1960)

    [Plot summary]
    Yeah, I mean, I have googled it, I have read several reviews and whatnot, and I know what the plot is, but I'm afraid that doesn't really help in solving what it all means. Thanks anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alice View Post
    Possession (1981)- Andrzej Zulawski

    Where do I began? It certainly was terrifying...

    Terrifyingly good, right?

    I'm thinking those monsters symbolize the corruption of their fragile souls; the characters are on the brink of mental collapse brought on by jealousy (the Sam Neill character) and religious doubt (the Isabelle Adjani character).

    If I remember correctly, the director was himself on the brink of mental collapse at the time as a result of divorce. There is something in this film about Polish national anxiety as well, but that is stuff I'm not knowledgeable about enough to fully decipher.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmetterling View Post


    I found the plot to be pretty complicated, it's not a movie you watch for pure entertainment. You need to actually pay attention to the details.
    I haven't seen the film, but that diagram is fascinating! It makes a lot more sense than most time travel narratives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    Mulholland Drive, of course, amongst others. But I've always had my own (evolving) theory and read those of others as well.

    To be honest, I usually give up thinking about the meaning of a movie pretty soon - it's a first world disease to obsess on motion pictures and their multimillionaire casts. Plus, these movies which aren't well understood tend to be pretentious & arty farty and hearing the explanation for them doesn't work for me and it is often a disappointing experience then.

    The meaning of a work of art can be so incredibly personal to its creator I don't think it matters at all what someone else makes of it, including directors. If I enjoy a movie/book/painting/music and find meaning in it, I couldn't care less about the artist's obscured intentions and the actual narrative as opposed to my take. You consume art for you, for what it can do for you - it's not like science.
    It's not like science, I agree, but e.g. Mulholland Drive provided me with a lot stronger emotional punch once I understood it (or thought I did) than before I did so. I think of artworks like other people. You don't analyse them like you do other objects, but there is an emotional logic to them that I think can be more or less properly understood. It's like when you truly connect with another person: a whole new world of experience and understanding comes rushing through you and your own mind is a much richer place than before.

    And motion pictures are to paintings as what pop music is to classical music or a comic to literature, maybe with a few exceptions, but surely not that many. It's a lesser form of art.
    And the written word is just a cheap copy of the spoken word, or so said wise gurus a few millennia ago. So I'm sure all subsequent literature is really just irreverent tosh.

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