The Hateful Eight (movie review)

TheHatefulEight

By Franz

I like Tarantino. I like most of his films. But I don’t think he’s a flawless, genius, God-like director, he’s pretty good. That’s all. The Hateful Eight is pretty far from is best works, but it’s no where near his worst. In my opinion at least. I had a lot of problems with this film but I will say one thing: I enjoyed this film, despite the problems and I would recommend this. So, since I’m a lazy, un-talented hack of a critic, I’m going to do this review with the simple “Pros and cons” style. So, let’s start.

Pros:

The performances are great all across the board. It’s no surprise, Tarantino writes his characters for actors and he usually can get anybody he wants in his movies so it’s rare that there would be a bad performance in his works. Kurt Russel shows a shit ton of charisma, Samuel L. Jackson is fine (I’ve never thought Jackson was an interesting lead, and he doesn’t prove me wrong here), Jennifer Jason Leigh was awesome as a total fucking asshole, Walton Goggins was no doubt my favorite character and performance and Bruce Dern was pretty good as well. The characters are somewhat interesting, everyone has a motive and everybody’s hiding something, they all have wonderful chemistry together. There’s no “Oscar-worthy” performance here, but still everyone was very solid.

Now, basically everybody has been hyping this film up because Tarantino shot this in 70mm, which is nice but nothing to rave about. Jeremy Jahns’ review (which I liked a lot) was almost cringe-inducing the way he talked about how insane it was. I mean, 70mm isn’t dead. Sure, it’s not used as much anymore, but pretty fucking far from dead. Christopher Nolan is known for using 70mm in his films (never fully shot in 70mm, but parts are) and Paul Thomas Anderson shot The Master in 70mm (actually 65 but basically the same thing) and that’s just a couple of examples. Trust me, Tarantino’s choice wasn’t groundbreaking. It was cool and the film looks nice, but nothing to masturbate to.

Anyway, the cinematography is nice, nothing fantastic (surprisingly enough, Tarantino doesn’t have a visual style, which is odd considering he’s one of the most stylized directors), but very decent. He breaks the 180 degree rule at least once here, but that’s fine, I don’t want to nit-pick, just something I noticed. I kinda like the idea of shooting with 70mm and then have 95% of the film be in this small cabin, but I’m not completely sure does that work. It has “epic” landscape shots, but they were fairly blah in my book. RedLetterMedia brought up The Master in their review and Mike said that “the whole film takes place in a church basement”, which was a funny line, but The Master has a lot more epic, beautiful shots than The Hateful Eight does. In my opinion, The Master uses the format a lot better than Hateful Eight. But they are two completely different films. I do love the set design here, the cabin, while fairly small, is just so detailed and the 70mm shows so much I just wanted to pause the film and look at every little thing object there.

The story is very strong, like you would expect. Though I have a lot of problems with it, I will say I enjoyed the ride for the most part. It was a lot of fun trying to guess who was the culprit and all that. Even when it kinda fucks up with the flashback stuff, I actually really liked the flashback sequence. I did find the first 40 or so minutes to be almost un-bearably long and fucking tedious, but after they get to the cabin, it gets better. Tarantino kinda sold this movie as an Agatha Christie style western, and it kinda is, but no where near as wonderful written as Christie’s works. However, the mystery is interesting and Tarantino does know how to build a story. So good job.

Cons:

One of the biggest flaws (in my opinion) was the lack of suspense. In Inglorious Basterds, the bar scene is no doubt the most suspenseful scene Tarantino has every filmed (in my mind, the best scene he has ever filmed). It’s suspenseful because we have no idea what’s going to happen. There’s so many fake-outs, so many points where everyone can die, but it doesn’t happen, Tarantino holds the scene, letting the characters continue their discussion. Even when you know for certain shit’s gonna happen, we don’t know when exactly. It’s classic Sergio Leone style suspension, and it works amazing. There isn’t a scene like that in here. Most of the time when he was going for scenes like that, I knew what was going to happen. When Jackson shows the Lincoln letter for the first time, how many of you guessed Leigh was going to spit on it? That was just way too screenwriting 101, pretty amateurish. Or when Jackson was telling the story about Dern’s son, again, pretty fucking obvious what he was trying to do. Also that monologue was pretty great until the black cock thing which was annoyingly terrible. But, I just couldn’t feel any suspense here, even though you don’t know what’s gonna happen or when, there was just a bit too much information in every scene which to me destroyed the suspense. Like the flashback moment, you know it’s gonna happen and the “when” doesn’t matter.

Also, I hate to say this, the violence. Okay, before you consider me a total prude, I don’t mind his violence at all. In Django, which is a pretty fucking violent film, I loved the violence, because that was the punchline. Django in general is a very tongue-in-cheek film where violence is played off as silly and over-the-top. The Hateful Eight has comedy as well, in typical Tarantino fashion, but it’s not where near as “funny” as Django. In fact, most of the film is so straight and serious, whenever a “joke” comes, it’s not only distracting but took me out of the film. I got that the Jackson’s monologue to Dern was a joke, but a dick joke? Really Tarantino? And I get it, the violence is meant to be over-the-top because it’s Tarantino’s trademark. But The Who doesn’t smash their instruments on stage when they play Behind Blue Eyes, you get what I’m saying? There’s a time and place for his type of violence. And in my opinion, this film doesn’t need it. Since the violence is just so ridiculous here, so gory and gruesome, it took me out of the film, it killed any kind of suspense, the little there was. When Tarantino indulges on the blood and guts that much, it’s hard to take the whole mystery seriously.

And last problem I had was the first 40 minutes were kinda tedious. Actually really tedious. Do we have to see Jackson slowly putting his revolvers on the ground and slowly walk towards Russel? Do you have to start the film with a slow zoom-out of Jesus and then don’t give a pay off? Just couple things like that kinda annoyed me.

 

Overall:

I still recommend this film, despite it’s flaws, it’s an entertaining film and a somewhat unique film in his filmography. The Hateful Eight gets a Hateful 7/10 from me.

Movie review: Planet of the Apes (1968) & Beneath The Planet of the Apes (1970)

*Just some quick thoughts on these two films*

By Franz

Planet of the Apes series is one of the most infamous movie series of all time, parodied a million times and also hailed as one of the most creative sci-fi series ever. Now, I’m a movie buff, but this is my first time seeing any of them, for some reason, I just never seen them. But I got the original series for only 15 euros on DVD and honestly, five films for 15 euros is such a good deal, I would have bought any movie that kind of price.

plönät

So, I guess we should start with the first one, the original 1968 PotA with Charlton Heston. It’s considered one of the finest sci-fi films and was a huge hit that has probably parodied more that any other sci-fi film. And I don’t understand why it’s considered a classic. Okay, sure, it’s interesting, the world is very well constructed, there’s some interesting, if somewhat blunt, philosophy and Heston is very charismatic. And while the story is though provoking and fantastical, the script is so blah. The only interesting thing about the story is just the concept, other than that, it’s just screenplay 101, with nothing interesting in it, I knew where it was going all the time and yeah, that may be because everyone has already spoiled everything about this film, but still, the story construction was overly simple. I really hoped that the story would have been told with more creativity and imagination like the concept is.

But there are good things: I love the set design, it really gave a feel that this is a real place and I can understand how it would fool somebody into thinking it’s not Earth. Heston, even though how over-the-top he can be, is a joy to watch and does show his charisma. The ape make up, which is infamous, is fine for the most part, but I have to say it’s pretty dated now, especially when they kiss, they basically just ram their heads into each other like fucking goats. And the ending is quite fantastic, even though everybody will see it coming because of years of parodies. And for years now, I have been quoting Heston’s lines like “You maniacs!” and “Goddamn you all to hell!” and whenever me girlfriend touches my face “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty APE!”. I’m just kidding. But anyway, it’s a lot of fun to hear those iconic lines in context.

I don’t have a lot to say about this film, the concept is great, Heston is fun and overall it’s pretty entertaining. The script is so basic and un-imaginative and it’s a bit dated. I can’t say it’s a “great film”, but it’s  good film at least. It’s 6/10, maybe a 6.5/10 from me.

Beneath the Planet of the Apes

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One of the reasons I wanted to see the original series was because I’ve heard that the sequals were batshit nuts. And during the first half of this one, I was concerned. It was just very poorly made, but it wasn’t crazy enough. But after about forty minutes, I was delighted. This is film is fucking crazy. Like Michelle Bachman crazy. Actually more like Alex Jones crazy: it doesn’t make any goddamn sense, but the ideas are so from the left field, you kinda just want to listen to where it’s going.

Okay, first up: it’s not a good film. I know there are some fans of this film and call it one of the best films in the series, but I have to heavily disagree here. Am I really the only one who thought that the ideas in this film weren’t brilliant, rather childish and just complete mindfucks? I’m going to spoil some shit, so if you haven’t seen this yet, well, go see it. Why do they have masks on if they’re the only ones in there? Why would they feel insecure? If they have magical powers, why don’t use them on the apes? If they are afraid of the apes, why did they hide just a mile away from them? How did the apes even find them? Did they follow Brent’s scent? Was he that smelly? Why did the humans first speak to Brent via telepathy and then randomly switched to normal speaking, wouldn’t it have been a lot easier just to talk? How did they get their clothes? The nuclear holocaust probably happened thousands of years ago, since if it happened recently, the apes (the common apes) would have known about the humans, so how are the current humans disfigured? Do disfigured people have disfigured babies? Is that how evolution works? And how did they make the masks? If the masks are old, how have they stayed so nice looking through the years? If human evolution reached the point of telepathy, how come the normal animal-humans couldn’t even speak? Did the evolution just forgot about them? Why did Heston dissolve into a mountain?

But it was a fun film, 3/10.

If you have answers to my questions, please by all means, post it in the comments.

The Martian (2015)

mörtiän

I know I haven’t been very active lately, I just haven’t had the time to review a lot of stuff. But, finally I’ve made me glorious comeback to film writing. So, what am I going to review? Well I just saw Luis Bunuel’s classic 1961 film Viridiana. And I also saw James Marsh’s Man on Wire, oh and also Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu. But I know most of you don’t care about those films, so I also saw Ridley Scott’s The Martian. So, I guess I should review that one, since it is a new, big budget film.

I was hyped for this, I didn’t read the novel, but I like Scott’s work and the trailer looked really good, like absolutely fucking good. I was so hyped, I actually went to the the theaters to watch this, and I rarely go to the theaters (no time, no money, you know). And to my surprise, it was okay. I want to stress that I haven’t read the novel, so I have no idea how the film differs from it, I’m judging this as a film, not an adaptation. So, let’s start the review:

Characters/Performances

This film has a lot of characters and a lot of famous actors: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Donald Glover, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels and the list goes on. But really there’s only one main character and that is of course Matt Damon as Mark Watney. His character is a smart, wise-cracking, joe-schmoe-with-a-degree-in-botany and Damon does a decent job. He’s very likeable with his sarcastic remarks and his tough human spirit thing, but I didn’t really think he’s all that special. Sure, he’s a lot of fun, he’s the everyman (kinda) so it’s easy to relate to him, but as somebody who prefers complexity over everyman-status (in most cases), I can’t say that I found the character to be anything more than a popcorn film star. I mean, Damon is very natural in it and he has a lot of charisma so nothing feels awkward at all and Watney is a very sympathetic character, it’s very easy to root for him and his comments are often chuckle-worthy.

dömen, my man

I’m not saying he’s a bad character at all, but we rarely see him anything more than a sarcastic smart-guy. There’s like two scenes, where he’s desperate and thinking he’s going to die, now, you could argue he doesn’t indulge into fears like that because he’s a trained astronaut, but that’s a bit stretching to say, considering NASA probably doesn’t train astronauts to survive alone in a planet. So, I would have hoped to see a bit more desperation, a bit more of him losing his sanity. Most of the problems are solved fairly easily and not a lot of problems even come. I was expecting something awful to happen constantly like in Gravity, but really only one (albeit majot) bad thing happens, which again, is solved pretty quickly. There is a wonderful scene where we do see Watney scared, which is the little moment when he is looking at the MAV (I would give more detail, but I don’t want to spoil it). That was a quite stunning, subtle scene. But, basically right after he goes back to the headquarters, after almost dying and his crew leaving him, almost right after he’s like “I’m not going to die”. Which was strange, I mean, you’ve been there like two hours, you should be thinking “I am going to die here”. But, anyway, Watney’s likeable enough, nothing special, but whatever.

Like I said, this is filled with recognizable faces and most of them are pretty good. Daniels as the douchebag authority is fine I guess, though his character is a bit cheap, he brings some charisma. Donald Glover as the quirky scientist is decent, I liked Glover in Community where he was pretty damn hilarious, but here he’s the standard quirky nerd type which doesn’t really fit him, so at times his delivery is awkward, but overall he was very decent. Kristen Wiig was surprisingly forgetable in this, which is strange, ’cause she’s a very good actress. I don’t even remember what her character was doing in the film. Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena and the rest of the crew of Hermes are all just cardboard cut-outs, they have no personality other than Pena who is the “bro” for Watney. But the rest are just so basic and boring, I found them the dullest part of the film. Sean Bean was fine, I guess, he looks like he’s about the cry in every scene he’s in, but fine I suppose. Chiwetel Ejiofor (totally had to look how to spell that one from IMDB) is good. He’s very natural in his performance, though his character is average and borderline boring, Ejiofor brings charisma to it.

Basically the only stand out performance was the lead, sadly. Though it’s an impressive cast, I can’t say many of them were very unforgetable. Glover sticks out in my opinion, but probably just because I’m a fan of Community. While nobody was terrible, nobody was really spectacular either, which was a disappointment to me, since I was hoping a lot more from this cast.
Click to page 2 to read the rest

Film Review: Amour (2012)

amour_poster__2012_in_hindsight_series__14__by_ll_og-d5qfg9x

*I know, fucking finally a new review. Sorry boys and girls, I’ve been busy and shit like that, enjoy this review now*

By Franz

I’ve seen only four movies by Michael Haneke, but I must say I’m absolutely loving his work. I adored the ambiguous brilliance in Cache, Funny Games US was an entertaining and thought provoking film about violence and while I didn’t love Benny’s Video, I do respect that film for what it’s trying to say. And his 2012 film about love and the pain of losing someone, Amour, might be my favorite of his. Amour was just about the last 2012 film that I wanted to see, but hadn’t, until recently and somewhat surprisingly, it’s probably my second favorite of the year, behind P.T. Anderson’s The Master. It’s one of the most difficult films I’ve ever seen emotionally and one of the most perfect I’ve seen.

While some complained that the film is “cold”, since Haneke directs it very objectively, rather than trying to emotionally manipulate you into feeling something. The subject matter is sad, heart-breaking and something we can all relate to, either you have experienced what the main character is experiencing or you will. And even if you haven’t, it’s still a powerful emotion. So, Haneke’s objectivity can throw you off, thinking it’s a cold film, but it’s not, it’s simply trying to show something “real”, without wanting to sugar-coat it, showing you the harsh reality. If the film could be described with one word it would be “real” or “humane”, at least in my opinion. If this was an American movie or simply a movie by a lesser director, there would be big, emotional crying scenes and a happy ending of somewhat. But Haneke does almost the exact opposite. For example, when Anne has her first stroke and goes to the hospital, we expect a hospital scene, something right before the surgery or something, but no, Haneke skips that. And almost every “big” moment, Haneke doesn’t show, rather he decides to show their everyday life, showing her decay slowly and the impact of their normal day to day life. And that’s a lot more effective than having a tedious hospital moments. And another thing, Haneke shows them as humans, as real people, they aren’t perfect. We slowly see how the husband starts getting sick of her, you feel his pain as his wife is slowly dying and as each day passes, she isn’t the same person anymore. And of course the ending is something you wouldn’t see in a classic tear-jerker movie. Haneke shows his characters as honestly as he can, as flawed people, which to me makes the film so heart-breaking and humane.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanualle Riva are both fantastic, of course both are excellent actors, who worked with some of the greatest directors of all time like Bertolucci and Alain Resnais, they’r one of the main reasons why this film works as well as it does. Of course everybody talks about Riva’s great performance as Anne, and she is heart-breaking and so real and most definitely should have won the Oscar, but Trintignant is great as well, showing how difficult it is to let go and showing so much restraint through out the movie. Riva is amazing as well, the embarrassment and humiliations on her face is so painful to watch at times, she’s just so real in the role and especially the shower scene is one of the most difficult scenes of all time. And those two are pretty much the only people in the film, sure their daughter is in this too, and she’s fine, but she has like three scenes. However the character is still very interesting, wanting to keep her mother alive but knowing how it will end and how soon that will be. She’s frustrated and shows it a lot more than the much more frustrated Georges. But she doesn’t have a lot screentime, so she’s not really worth talking about. So it’s basically just Riva and Trintignant, and Riva doesn’t really talk after the first hour so basically they have to carry the movie and they do it amazingly well.

The film is slow and if you don’t like slower paced movies, you shouldn’t watch this, especially the last ten or so minutes are very slow and even I’ll admit it went on maybe a minute too long. But the pacing didn’t hurt the overall, the slower style suits the film, like Cache, it creates a fantastic atmosphere rather than bore the audience. I guess you could say that about every Haneke film, though my only big complaint about Benny’s Video was that I thought it way too fucking slow, un-bearably slow at times. But Amour, even if the last ten minutes are very quiet and slow, never gets boring, the acting and Haneke precise camera work kept me interested through-out and even if the film doesn’t show “big” moments, the day-to-day stuff is still so heart-breaking. It’s a very quiet film, of course one of Haneke’s trademarks is he doesn’t use music that isn’t “in the story”, only music here is when it’s featured in the film, for example they go to a concert in the beginning and we hear the piano. And that’s effective, somehow the lack of emotional violin music in the film, actually make the film more emotional. Even the camera work is so naturalistic and subtle, Haneke doesn’t waste his time with expensive jerking-off shots or even beautifully lit moments, rather he prefers realistic settings and subtle cinematography. Everything seems so realistic and down-to-earth. Some could argue that Haneke doesn’t have a “style” but I would disgaree. People who say that are probably the people who say Zack Snyder has his own “style” because his films look slightly different, but that doesn’t make you an auteur. Haneke’s style isn’t visual, rather story-telling, always being objective and realistic, leaving the moral questions to the audience to decide for themselves. His visual ques are mostly subtle, every edit and angle are just about perfect and it seems like he knows why to shoot a scene with angle like this or that, rather than just doing a nice angle for the sake of having a nice shot. Every shot and cut seems meaningful and honest. Ps, I’m not ripping on Snyder, he’s fine, not unique in any way, but fine as a director.

If you don’t mind a little slower pace, you’re going to fall in love with Amour (pun intended?), it’s heart-breaking, emotional, humane and most importantly, honest. It’s a tear-jerker, but not your traditional one, it’s shows the pain of the characters very objectively and doesn’t force you into liking these people, but it’s asking you to understand them. They’re flawed people, who are trying to do the best they can, but sometimes they can’t, because of human error. It’s one of the most beautiful films ever made, with some of 21st century’s most realistic performances. If you have a heart, this is going to break you down and probably depress the shit out of you. It’s a masterpiece: 10/10.

Thoughts on: Southpaw (2015), Maps to The Stars (2014) and Cache (2005)

By Franz

Yeah I know, long time no new content. But, like I said about five times now, I’m working on a screenplay with a bunch of friends so that has been keeping me busy. But since I think I’m some what comfortable with the progress so I can take a brake from worrying about how big of a piece of shit it will be, I thought I should review some films I’ve seen recently. I thought I would give each of these their own review, but I’m too lazy and honestly only one film here actually deserves a lengthy review and that is Cache, because it is a brilliant film, but I think it has been analyzed to death, so I’ll be brief (or try to be) with these.

fuck faqua

So up first is the brand new Jake Gyllenhaal boxing movie Southpaw aka Rocky 7: The Revenge of Adrian. I was fucking hyped for this movie, Gyllenhaal coming straight from Nightcrawler, where he played a skinny weirdo, buffing himself up to be an aggressive boxer, it looked and sounded great. But then the trailer hit and it sucked. But I thought “Well, I shouldn’t judge based on the trailer”, but my judgement was completely right; it fucking sucked. While movies like The Fighter and Warriors are cliche in the story and even in their characters, they get away with those because of the acting and most importantly: they seem genuine. They seem like they were passion projects and aren’t just some heartless studio hack stuff, but sadly Southpaw is just a cliche, boring hack-eyed and lazy film that suffers from terrible directing and sup-par performances and characters. If you ever said to yourself “Hey, I would love to see Rocky 1, but with more melodrama, even more cheesiness and the villain from Rocky 3” then you’re probably a fucking mongoloid. Practically everybody’s terrible in this, sadly even great actors like Forest Whitaker and Rachel McAdams (okay, not a “great” actor but still). However there is a somewhat saving grace here, and that grace goes by the name Jake Gyllenhaal. But, kinda disappointingly, it’s a good performance, but not a great one. It should be a great one, it should be his show, but somehow he never reaches that intensity and power he showed in Nightcrawler, which isn’t his fault, since there were plenty of scenes were he acted his ass off, the script just wasn’t very good.

Short Term 12 (2013)

short-term-twelve

*Repost from TSW

By Franz

I wanted to see this film for a long time, but it wasn’t coming to the theaters here in Turku (my hometown here in Finland) but now I finally found it online. And it did not disapoint at all. I just loved this film, probably one of the best of 2013, I would maybe even put this in my top 5 or even top 3 or 2013, this was one fucking great film. And like always (well, most of the time), I’ll separate the review in 3 parts: Acting/performances, directing/cinematography/etc and overall, so let’s start with…

Acting/performances

The main character, Grace, is played by Brie Larson and I’m shocked that she wasn’t even nominated, ’cause her performance was fucking excellent. The character is fascinating, Larson’s performance is emotional gripping, she’s just brilliant. I love the character of Grace, she seems normal enough but as we see more of her life, we find out just how broken and tired she is at life. On the outside, she’s a balanced normal girl with a loving boyfriend, a nice job and a great future. On the inside, she’s struggling with borderline suicide, she’s a emotional mess, she’s confused at what’s she’s going to do, she has no plans and shes not even sure about her relationship with Mason. She keeps it all inside, not even talking to Mason about her problems, as she feel he couldn’t understand and she might be right. She does start opening up to a girl, who she feels is going through the same experience as she did and they do find comfort in each other. Grace is one of the most natural, one of the most human, characters I’ve ever seen on screen.

Also her boyfriend, Mason, played by John Gallagher Jr. is wonderful as the loveable, sweet boyfriend. Really, this guy is like every mid-20’s women’s dream, loving, caring, knows how to cook, he’s cute etc. But he’s not portrayed as perfect neither, he’s a pushover and he’s not always sure what does Grace want of him. Gallagher as well should have been nominated, like he probably wouldn’t have deserved to win the Oscar, but at least a nomination.

Other’s were just as good; Rami Maled as Nate (who I kinda like, kinda don’t, he’s was kinda great in The Master, but kinda weird, he’s kinda cute, kinda isn’t, but in this he brings nice nuanced comedic moments which the film did need), Keith Stanfield as Marcus (damn, his rap was actually pretty good and goddamn the scene where they shave his head was fucking tear jerking) and Kaitlyn Dever as Jayden (who at first seemed kinda cliche, but managed to pull off surprisingly strong and emotional performance). Click page two to see the rest of the review

Mouchette (1967)

fuck bresson

By Franz

For years now, people have been hyping this one, telling me it’s one of the greatest films ever made and Bresson is one of the greatest directors. So, I finally saw this, and this was my first Bresson film, and I hated it. This film fucking sucked. And before somebody says “Go back to your Star Wars films!”, I want to make it clear that I love art film and I don’t mind slower paced films, 2001, The Master, Le Plaisir, Last Year at Marienbad and Walkabout all belong in my top 20 and I would hardly call those “fast paced”. So it’s not like I didn’t like this film because I’m not used to watching films like this, I grew up watching films like this! But this film sucked ass, and I’m going to explain why. This isn’t going to be a standard review, because I just couldn’t.

Nadine Nortier plays the lead, Mouchette, and she is extremely boring. She’s so goddamn bland, she has no personality aside throwing mud into the faces of other girls and being sad (I guess?). I have no idea where people are coming from when talking about her performance as “heart-breaking” or even emotional, I didn’t see any of that. Bresson is known for using amateur actors, and sure that’s a nice idea, but it also means you’re going to hire some terrible actors, they’r not amateurs for no reason. And the rest of the cast was as bland and terrible as she was, the guy who rapes her is trying to be drunk, but I didn’t even realize he should be drunk before he said he is, that’s how bad he was.

There isn’t a lot of talking in this movie, it’s to the point of making it stylized. However, it’s one of the things Bresson gets wrong completely. If you’re going to do something as stylized as that, yet trying to pass it off as real world, well, it’s not going to work. There are two directors that came to my mind, who may or may not have been influenced by this, but did it better: Jean-Pierre Melville and the greatest Finnish director of all time Aki Kaurismäki. The films of both directors are known for their sparing use of dialog, but they know how to make it work, they have never made “realistic films”. Melville’s movies have always been fantasy like, at times they were ridiculously naive and fantastic, because he made homages to the films he loved (American film-noirs), but he stylized the shit out of them. And when he made a more realistic movie, like Army of Shadows, he played by real world rules, it wasn’t stylized, it was gritty and ugly and people talked normally. And Kaurismäki has never made “real world” films, he’s made extreme realism, which is a term I just made up, meaning his films are something where we can mistakenly say that it’s like real world, but once we look at it for a while, notice nothing in it makes any sense in the real world. Nobody talks like his characters do, nobody acts like them, but he always gives us the world where these characters would and it makes sense.

Those directors created worlds where sparing dialog works, but Bresson doesn’t create a world, which is fine if you’re going to play by real world rules, but he doesn’t. Nobody talks, when they should be talking, people do things nobody would unless they’r retarded, it’s like Bresson is trying to both create a world but is so lazy he stops mid-way and in my mind, it fucks the movie up. The world should be realistic, but it isn’t, and it left me cold. I have no idea where Bresson was going with this film, I didn’t see anything he was trying to say with this film, it felt like an empty film. I’ve always said that I think that Godard is a self-indulgent asshole, but at least he was always trying to say something (I guess?), but I didn’t see what Bresson was trying to say with his boring, overly slow paced story? Was he trying to make us feel apathy in the rape scene because he didn’t develop the character at all? Maybe, but it seems like a lazy cop out. I don’t buy it, feels like he just didn’t know how to develop a character, you could have made it really interesting by showing that maybe Mouchette isn’t a very likable person, make her terrible, so the apathy in the rape scene would have been so much more interesting as we, the audience, wouldn’t know what to feel. Also, during the rape scene (which is terrible directed), she puts her arm on his back, showing she wants him, now that’s interesting, but since we know basically nothing about the character, I don’t what to say about it, every time it was beginning to get somewhat interesting, it killed itself because there was no character, they were just made out of cardboard.