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Thread: Lynne Ramsey

  1. #1
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    Default Lynne Ramsey

    Yesterday I watched You Were Never Really Here - before the start I didn't really know much about it other than that it had received good reviews, in fact a quick google told me that it had received a seven minute standing ovation at Cannes, that it had a score of ninety percent on Rotten Tomatoes and that all the newspapers and what not had liked it too. In other words, it seemed to be one of those rarest of beasts - a film that was loved by both critics and viewers.
    But not by me. I didn't hate it or anything, it just left me totally underwhelmed. What I saw was a load of art house signifiers - nothing happened for the first half hour, there was minimal dialogue, nothing was explained, violent and exciting scenes took place off screen (wow that's so arty right?) - to make it REALLY clear that you were definitely watching an art film. Another clue to this hugely exciting fact was the lack of plot, or at least, the attempt to spread out thirty minutes of plot over three times that length. But the basic problem was the film didn't seem to know what it wanted to be... was it gonna be harshly realistic? That seemed to be the suggestion when you saw our hero living in a crap flat with his annoying mother, or when the fights he won were at least plausible in that he never kung-foo-d his way through twenty people in balletic slo-mo and they looked kinda nasty. On the other hand it was about a guy who gets paid to discreetly rescue lost girls (why discreetly? If my eight year old daughter gets kidnapped and sex trafficked and I know exactly where to I don't ask a freak with a hammer to bust her out without the papers knowing, I go to the police) from brothels and it had a plot where the paedo ring went right up to the governor and the main baddy's favourite victim was the senator's daughter. Seriously?
    In fact the plot was basically like a really shit version of the second series of True Detective - that's right, the one that everyone said was really rubbish. But without any of the redeeming features that that one had and without any of its intricacies - in fact every time there was a bit that might potentially lead to a bit of complexity or someone having to talk they dealt with that problem by just skipping past it and going whatever.
    So anyway, I didn't know much about this woman who directed the film, Lynne Ramsey, the name didn't mean much to me but then I realised that she is the same person who directed Morven Callar. Now I remember seeing that when it came out and I also remember thinking "this is the kind of film that people who don't really like or understand cinema think is really good but actually it's a very mediocre film dressed up as a good one by putting Can on the soundtrack, amazing how many it can fool". And basically You Were Never Really Here is just the same except it doesn't have Can on the soundtrack as far as I remember. She also directed We Need To Talk About Kevin which I can't be arsed to go into just now but it's total shit. And Ratcatcher which I've never seen but I'm gonna go out on a limb and tell you is really shit.
    So, my question, what is it that makes people think these films are good? How does she keep getting away with shitting this stuff out and everyone pretends it's gold?
    Last edited by IdleRich; 18-09-2019 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    I remember being bored to tears by Ratcatcher in a sixth form film studies class.

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    Er, obviously, I mean, I knew it was shit, not that you were bored to tears in sixth form. So, I think her films are always based on books. Well, certainly I read that the latest one is based on a novella - which is no excuse for the thinness of the plot, from what I've observed over the years, if you make a straight adaptation of an average length novel then it will be an insanely long film, whereas a small novella ought to be plenty of story for a film this long.
    Certainly the Kevin film is based on a book and Morvern Callar is based on a book too. In fact, although I haven't read Morvern Callar, I have in fact read one of the other books that guy wrote. It was called The Man Who Walks - I have to admit that I don't recall too much of the detail of the book but a scene did stick in my mind in which this girl shits in a condom and leaves it in the freezer to make her own artisanal dildo. I think that the book was pretty good in fact in a kinda filthy dark Scots humour Irvine Welsh kinda way.
    I'm pretty sure that Ratcatcher is based on a book too. And a rather well regarded one too. I'm beginning to spot a pattern here - in short this director takes good books and turns them into shit hipster films that idiots like.
    Last edited by IdleRich; 19-09-2019 at 01:06 AM.

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    This is the one with J Pheonix as the hitman, right?

    If so, it reminded me of 'Drive'. It seemed to me a fundamentally empty film gussied up with "style".

    I think there's a conversation to be had about this modern "style", and its emptiness.

    Fincher I think has been very influential (his use of filters and noirish lighting), but is also superior to his imitators in terms of his style actually being intrinsic to his storytelling and "vision", rather than being just pretty.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    I'm beginning to spot a pattern here - in short this director takes good books and turns them into shit hipster films that idiots like.
    Fincher, by contrast, takes airport novels and turns them into something more portentuous. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Gone Girl". Not to say thee are bad books, I've not read them.

    I love "Gone Girl", it's one of my favourite movies of the decade.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Fincher, by contrast, takes airport novels and turns them into something more portentuous. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Gone Girl". Not to say thee are bad books, I've not read them.

    I love "Gone Girl", it's one of my favourite movies of the decade.
    Interestingly my girlfriend said that YWNRH reminded her of Gone Girl.
    I read the Dragon Tattoo book I think.
    I really like Drive - I do think the emptiness was intrinsic to the story though.

  8. #8
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    Ywnrh is total shit, as was Kevin. Both disgracefully bad. Disagree about Morvern Callar tho, and she did some great short films at the beginning of her career.

  9. #9
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    The problem with YWNRH as I remember it seemed to be a Joaquin Phoenix vehicle as it just seemed to follow him around, so if you wasn't feeling that there wasn't much to like.

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