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Thread: Films you've seen recently and would unreservedly recommend:

  1. #3001
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    I dont know if he was his son either, its never clear, but seems possible. Also, was he a savant? He never speaks outside the performance.

    Its not getting a lot of love but I rated that one. Fantastic acting from the young fella, and Nesson's walk in the final frames was fantastic.

  2. #3002
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    Well, I suppose he COULD be, but I get the feeling he ended up with Neeson by happenstance. Actually, that deepens the story (for me) because it makes you wonder how this actor ended up limbless and forced to perform to tiny crowds.

    I loved the part when he starts to declaim Prospero's famous speech ("Our revels now are ended...") and Neeson starts going around the crowd for the money, intruding visually and audibly into the speech.

    By the way, although this probably won't mean much to the aesthetes on here, the limbless actor is played by the actor who played Dudley Dursley in Harry Potter.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 27-11-2018 at 11:13 AM.

  3. #3003
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    Re: him never speaking, I took that to show how these two men have little if not nothing to say to each other. Neeson barely speaks either, except when he's drunk.

    How did you interpret Neeson making him be in the room for his visit to the brothel? A sort of act of revenge for having to feed him?

  4. #3004
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    Revenge, callousness - or if he's a savant, just lack of regard, he's just a meal ticket after all. Primarily a character/plot device really. The look on his face was brilliant though.

  5. #3005
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    Tom Waits was brilliant also. The most Tom Waits role ever, and yet, it didnt seem forced or hokey at all.

    here's the London short story it was based on: http://www.online-literature.com/london/49/

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  7. #3006
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    "The enigmatic quality of each story invites me to try to work it out, and of course working it out is what we all always try to do and never quite manage to do. The appropriate literary comparison would be Kafka, who I'm sure must have inspired them."
    In that respect it reminded me of The Dekalog; the way a new story starts and you think what will this one be? Who is the main character (ok here this one doesn't apply so much)? Is it a comedy or a tragedy? etc It could go in any direction basically.
    Last edited by IdleRich; 28-11-2018 at 03:47 PM.

  8. #3007
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    Oh, and in that story I somehow assumed the actor was the impresario's son on my first viewing, which changed everything. But perhaps that's what you're supposed to think at first?
    For me I just automatically assumed that they weren't related, purely because the showman had an Irish accent and the boy had a fairly pronounced English accent. I realise that that is hardly conclusive but it's just the gut feeling I had. If that is the case then of course it instantly raises the question of how he came to effectively have a slave in the form of this boy. Now that I think about it, I suppose I had subconsciously built a backstory in which a society of mountebanks trade acts amongst themselves. That's the beauty of this kind of minimal story when it's well done I suppose, it leaves gaps that your mind tries to fill in.
    Also, did anyone else think that there was some kind of homage to Freaks (Tod Browning) with this section - or maybe it's just that that's such an important film that anything involving a circus of sorts and people with missing limbs will always feel like that.

  9. #3008
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    For me I just automatically assumed that they weren't related, purely because the showman had an Irish accent and the boy had a fairly pronounced English accent. I realise that that is hardly conclusive but it's just the gut feeling I had. If that is the case then of course it instantly raises the question of how he came to effectively have a slave in the form of this boy. Now that I think about it, I suppose I had subconsciously built a backstory in which a society of mountebanks trade acts amongst themselves. That's the beauty of this kind of minimal story when it's well done I suppose, it leaves gaps that your mind tries to fill in.
    Arguably that's revealed when he buys the chicken from the other entertainer.

  10. #3009
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    Well yeah but at the same time it undermines what I'm saying as, rather than selling the orator boy so that he remained in circulation, he chucked him off a bridge.
    What is it with the chicken anyway? What do you get for your money when you buy that? A magic mathematical chicken or just the secret to making people think that your chicken has mathematical powers? I don't think that there is an implication that he's been rip-offed or anything... nothing so crude as that to make the ending crueller with a cheap irony, the point is that it is utterly brutal without that.

  11. #3010
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    I think the lesson there was that the boy had outlived his value, too highbrow, worthless - a crude comment on the entertainment industry.

    I assume the chicken had been trained in some way.

  12. #3011
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    I think the lesson there was that the boy had outlived his value, too highbrow, worthless - a crude comment on the entertainment industry.
    Yeah, there was no kind of lower circuit for him to move down to and eke out an even more pathetic existence Alan Partridge style.

  13. #3012
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    We watched Demobbed, a black Russian comedy from about 2000. In one sense it's typically Russian humour, the absurdism of the situation filtered through a fatalistic cynicism and tempered with alcoholism. It reminded me somewhat of The Suitcase by Dovlatov and my girlfriend said something about Chekhov. But on the other hand, seeing as the film is all about the army, it could also be viewed in the tradition of those books/films about the insanity of the army - not war, I specifically mean the army. I'm thinking of Sword of Honour, Mash, Catch 22, certain sections of A Dance to the Music of Time etc etc Basically this film is pretty much Catch 22 but in Russia in the early 21st Century.
    The main characters are a bunch of feckless recruits who have failed at everything, including their attempt to evade being recruited into the army. Now trapped they spend their time drinking, trying to avoid being bullied by older recruits and hoping that they don't get given some totally insane orders by their crazy superiors.
    What lifts this film out of the ordinary is the focus and tautness. From the start the jokes (for want of a better word) come at you thick and fast, the film maintains quality and impact of the lines from the beginning to the very end unlike other films that go for this style of rapid fire humour, there is simply no let up. Watching it with two others we stuck it on to watch a few minutes at the start cos we had to go to bed.... we thought... but we were hooked and watched, laughing all the way through, they laughed more than me cos, although the subtitles were generally solid there was the occasional suboptimal line and, of course, some puns can't be fully translated without losing something and some references were lost on me as a non-Russian. But whatever, if you haven't seen it, you should check it out.
    As a footnote, the next day we decided to check out another film by the same director (Roman Kachanov) called Down House - an adaptation of The Idiot. Also worth watching with the same mind clearly behind a lot of the humour but it seemed to me that the very narrowness of the army film, the fact that it was limited to a certain number of locations and characters worked to focus the film like a laser beam. In Down House the film was free to roam wherever it chose and if anything this was to its detriment.

  14. #3013
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Tom Waits was brilliant also. The most Tom Waits role everhttp://www.online-literature.com/london/49/
    He struck a pocket of thespian gold after years of searching!

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