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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:23 pm 
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I appreciate the feedback. The conventional biopic is certainly not what I was looking for nor wanted. I suspect my initial reaction is more influenced by a disappointment in seeing the shorter version rather than the miniseries cut, as has been the case with viewing shorter versions of other foreign epics/miniseries truncated for America. When the miniseries cut is more widely available, I'll check it out again. I've really liked the few titles I've seen from Assayas and I'd like to give him a fair critique by reviewing the longer cut he intended. It seems hard to be objective when I essentially saw only half the movie.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Confirmed for a Criterion release in 2011.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:38 pm 
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Antoine Doinel wrote:
Confirmed for a Criterion release in 2011.

The fact that they want to include the theatrical cut should push this to at least three Blu-rays (and a MSRP north of $60 -- the three-disc Brakhage Blu-ray is $80). That is, of course, unless Criterion jams the five-and-a-half hour version onto a single Blu-ray. I know that a BD can easily hold that amount of data, but I'm not entirely convinced that it should. I'm hoping that they'll dig up lots of historical supplements about Sanchez and especially the OPEC raids. A lengthy portion of Barbet Schroeder's Terror's Advocate focuses on Sanchez and has some great interviews. Hopefully Criterion could license those excerpts from Magnolia. I imagine they'll reproduce portions of the souvenir booklet that was distributed at roadshow engagements. It has a Jim Hoberman piece from Film Comment, interviews with the principals, and a useful timeline of events. This has the potential to be a definitive release of one of the best films of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:44 pm 

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Optimum's 3-disc Blu-ray release is very reasonably priced (11 pounds on Amazon.co.uk) but lacks of special features and is region B locked.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:42 pm 
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Excellent news. This will be Day 1 for me. I haven't seen the film, but it is the kind of film I usually go for, I have read nothing but great things, and I know CC will do a remarkable presentation.

EDIT: If it does turn out to be $60 (which probably means $40-$45 on amazon), I might wait until the July B&N 50% sale.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:23 pm 
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Antoine Doinel wrote:
Confirmed for a Criterion release in 2011.

Excellent news! I have the Optimum DVD, but the raft of Criterion extras (and inclusion of the shorter cut) will make this a necessary upgrade for me. This is an excellent film so I'd recommend it to anyone with a taste for films like this. The price tag may give some pause, but Carlos is worth it. If not, feel free to give it a try by buying my Optimum copy! I hope they have some good new interviews with Edgar and Assayas as the interviews on the Optimum discs were good, but brief. Anyone think that Assayas will record a commentary?


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:30 pm 
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None of the IFC Criterions have had commentary tracks; I don't see them using a 4+ hour film as the place to change that.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:38 pm 
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Che had a track, though it wasn't a filmmaker track.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:51 pm 
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CSM126 wrote:
None of the IFC Criterions have had commentary tracks; I don't see them using a 4+ hour film as the place to change that.
Antichrist is an IFC-licensed film with a commentary track and, yes, Che is an IFC title with a commentary and a running time of over four hours. I don't think commentary is particularly likely for Carlos, but it wouldn't be unprecedented. I wouldn't mind hearing a different scholar or historian paired with Assayas for each of the three parts.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:23 pm 
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This excites me. I can't wait to own this.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:59 pm 
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tavernier wrote:
Armond White, who takes his pop music seriously, hates what Assayas did on the soundtrack:
Quote:
Besides Ramirez’s striking performance, Carlos’ most distinctive aspect is Assayas’ perverse decision to score the 1970s-set story with anachronistic pop music from British and American post-punk bands of the 1980s. This helps distance the story’s political and moral significance by emphasizing the fun of post-punk rhythms and political affectation. If Wire’s “Ahead” didn’t have such stirring rhythms fit for exhilarating cinema, this gimmick would seem decadent and appalling—particularly for how it distracts from historical gravity, such as a clip of Yasir Arafat’s stunning UN speech: “I come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let branch fall from my hand.” Does its inclusion mean Assayas’ endorsement or merely a period marker for a film too cool to announce such things?

This guy is easily the Sarah Palin of film criticism. Assayas wanted to use Feelies songs as the entire score, but they objected so he had to start over and choose different music. The inclusion is in all likelihood not as charged as White thinks. Assayas used music over all of the newsreel footage moments in the film. He did it to segue from one section to another. Did White even consider that the music could be ironic? Assayas used mostly postpunk in the soundtrack so he could be making a veiled statement about the political allignment of the musicians (or not) rather than indulging in political affectation. Although to be honest, the use of "Sonic Reducer" told me all I needed to know. Unless Assayas used all that postpunk as a way to fit in the Dead Boys track in which case White's whole argument is moot. I think that what happened is that Assayas loves this music and wanted to use it because it works so well. Thanks god he didn't instead elect to use any Sonic Youth as that would've been a laugh. I don't think that the film detracts from historical gravity in the least. Assayas actually goes out of his way to place the film historically. Focusing on the music is an interesting point, but White's "J'accuse" is inept and lazy. He's really barking up the wrong tree here.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:23 pm 
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Just won the Golden Globe for Best TV Movie or Mini-Series. Upset (arguably) The Pacific. Tom Hanks looked irritated.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Haha I can't believe the foreign press went out of their way to piss off a movie star. I love it!


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:32 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:11 pm
Would it be appropriate to watch the miniseries in chunks, with seperate other movies possibly in between?


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:50 am 
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You can if you want, but it flows so perfectly that you won't.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:07 pm 
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knives wrote:
You can if you want, but it flows so perfectly that you won't.

This was my experience with it. Part one and part two are too good to break into separate evenings anyway. You may want to get a snack for part three, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Also, as I recall, the big OPEC set piece actually straddles two of the parts, and you won't want to break that up. It's structured much more like a five hour movie than a three-part mini-series.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:12 pm 

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zedz wrote:
Also, as I recall, the big OPEC set piece actually straddles two of the parts, and you won't want to break that up. It's structured much more like a five hour movie than a three-part mini-series.

I just got done with Part 1 and they're on the way to the OPEC conference... a very foreboding final shot, and don't you just hate when a large title card pops up ("CARLOS") and just snaps you right back into reality? Anyway, I'll have to save Part 2 until tonight, but I'm looking forward to it to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:17 pm 
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(Not really a spoiler) The OPEC sequence is practically a (really good) whole feature film plunked down in the middle of Carlos - build-up in part one; execution and fallout in part two.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Part two really is the best feature I saw from last year just because of the Opec sequence which is some phenomenal film making. Even just at the start when they're lining the bodies against the wall I was at the edge of my seat. The first murder is probably the most memorable part of the entire film, absolutely brutal.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:26 pm 
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If you have Comcast and get the Sundance Channel, the entire trilogy is On-Demand for free as of right now (including HD)


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:28 pm 
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Cold Bishop wrote:
If you have Comcast and get the Sundance Channel, the entire trilogy is On-Demand for free as of right now (including HD)

And streaming on netflix.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:17 am 
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2/3 of the way through... Were I a younger man, I'd propose a drinking game involving the frequent lighting of cigarettes in this film. To wit: every time someone lights his cigarette, drink. Every time a character lights someone else's cigarette, drink twice. Every time a character stubs his cig out in an ashtray, finish your drink.

I'm enjoying the series immensely, although it's constantly sending me to google/wikipedia to learn more about the historical events and people referenced in the film. I think one of its strengths is that it tends to eschew expository dialogue, assuming viewers can learn about this stuff on their own. Particularly fascinating, to the extent that it's faithfully reproduced (and that I have to read more about, once time permits), is the relationship between international terrorism and Cold War politics.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:34 am 
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jbeall wrote:
2/3 of the way through... Were I a younger man, I'd propose a drinking game involving the frequent lighting of cigarettes in this film.

I noticed as well and found it rather wonderful that the photography of the smoking looked so good. Only Mad Men does that well, too.

jbeall wrote:
I'm enjoying the series immensely, although it's constantly sending me to google/wikipedia to learn more about the historical events and people referenced in the film.

The wikipedia entry - which I used for quick reference after watching Carlos - was detailed enough to be quite helpful. I needed those details as the political situations described in the last part got rather tangled for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:13 pm 
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Yeah, I actually read it a several times before starting part 3, and it made the last part so much more comprehensible.

An impressive series. It's interesting how
[Reveal] Spoiler:
in the later half, Carlos is so clearly no longer a revolutionary (if he ever was), but just a petty arms dealer. His self-regard, expressed in his belief that Western governments still give a shit about him, is quasi-delusional, and his political pronouncements are increasingly shown to be the cliches of the times, rather than heartfelt belief. Of course, Carlos is the guy at the center of 70s-80s international terrorism, but I wonder how many people like him were really committed to a cause, and how many were in love with the prestige (and access to women) that such a lifestyle afforded.


Anyway, I'm still processing it (all five hours!), but I was wondering how it all relates to the nature of terrorism today. While the terrorists in the 70s had emerged out of the radicalism of the 60s and often came from developed nations, I'm not sure this is the case today. I guess what I'm asking is: what's the relevance of a biopic on Carlos the jackal today? (Definitely not trying to critique Assayas' film/series, which I like very much, but just open the discussion up.)


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