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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:11 pm
I wanted to share my thoughts, but don't really have any (zedz already covered everything, really). It's excellent filmmaking all-around, but most importantly, I loved the structure of the film and how, as others have alluded to, it felt a bit like a series of vignettes. It's interesting to see everything that Carlos does and how little it ultimately accomplishes by the end of the film. Édgar Ramirez was very well-cast and I agree with the Marlon Brando comparison, this time it really works.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:49 pm 
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jbeall wrote:
I guess what I'm asking is: what's the relevance of a biopic on Carlos the jackal today?

By the end of the movie, it seemed to me that he was just an arms dealer as you mentioned. That is, a means to a mercenary end. There's no more idealism because that moment has passed - now it's a business and a matter of course for nations! - and countries now need someone to get the work done, pure and simple. Assayas chronicled that era to show how the system made use of Carlos - and abandoned him. I'm not sure how Carlos' story relates to whatever idealism (if there is any) that exists in contemporary Islamic terrorism. I'd like to see how that fits here. Or maybe it fits in that like Carlos the new terrorists are used as means to their ends by the countries using them.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:55 pm 
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I thought that the film was the an interesting point of reference to today's fundamentalism/extremism, and how the glamor of Carlos' era is so far removed from the world of al-Qaeda. But I don't think Assayas was trying to provide a reflection on contemporary global terrorism, though, rather capture the bygone era of Cold War radicalism.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:16 pm 
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jbeall wrote:
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.)

I don't know if the main theme of the film that Assayas wanted to explore was terrorism. I see Carlos more as a film about globalization, which is the theme Assayas has been exploring, directly (demonlover, Boarding Gate) or obliquely (the family in Summer Hours, the film and music business in Irma Vep and Clean - as I recall we even get a touch of this theme in Les Destinees sentimentales). In Carlos it's front and centre, and one of the most interesting aspects of the film for me is the geopolitical one: Carlos himself as a function of how governments actually interact with one another, beyond the polite lie of official diplomacy. As such, the film helps to show how contemporary (post-Cold War) geopolitics developed in the 70s and 80s more than it specifically shows whence modern terrorism sprang - though of course the former is a partial answer to the latter.

And I think one of the film's great strengths - noted by yourself, jbeall and Jean-Luc Garbo - is that it doesn't worry about explaining everything for the audience. There's way too much relevant background to fit into a movie anyway, and it's all there for the taking on the (gloriously globalized!) internet, in a more useful format. It's a good sign if people want to read more after seeing the film.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:33 am 
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This cover just doesn't seem to work for me. It doesn't seem to fit the subtlety and complexity of this film. It seems overly sensationalist. I really hope Criterion stays away from it.

This is the new Canadian release with the entire 5 hour film on a 50gig disc. Because of that, they weren't able to include a lossless audio track according to blu-ray.com.

It's a shame to split it up, but that might be best for CC's release.


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 Post subject: Re: Forthcoming: Carlos
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:06 pm 
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aox wrote:
[This is the new Canadian release with the entire 5 hour film on a 50gig disc. Because of that, they weren't able to include a lossless audio track according to blu-ray.com.

It's a shame to split it up, but that might be best for CC's release.

Yeah, since they want to include the theatrical cut, I hope they go ahead and spring for a three-disc Blu-ray release. I don't have any problem with breaking up the miniseries/roadshow version, since it is in three parts anyway. Put Part I and Part II on disc one, Part III on disc two along with the supplements, and put the theatrical cut on disc three.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:39 am 
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Interested to know what "Much More" is going to be... I'm still hoping for something more vintage, like news reports or much more on the making-of than just 1 scene. But judging from what it says, this is ONLY the mini-series version and not the theatrical?


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:18 am 
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manicsounds wrote:
Interested to know what "Much More" is going to be... I'm still hoping for something more vintage, like news reports or much more on the making-of than just 1 scene. But judging from what it says, this is ONLY the mini-series version and not the theatrical?

That's the way it seems, but it can certainly change. I am sort of OK with that anyway. I am certainly not someone who thinks longer runtime=always better; however, the 5 hour cut was the intended cut (from everything I have read). The truncated cut seems to simply be a curiosity.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:56 am 
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Still, this is a 2 disc BD/ 4 disc DVD, which could easily include the theatrical cut plus a lot of extras. I would also love to see more vintage stuff as well as some documentary on the Jackal.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:11 pm 
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It looks like the Carlos features are all set...

- High-definition digital transfer, supervised by cinematographers Denis Lenoir and Yorick Le Saux (with DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition)
- New video interviews with director Olivier Assayas, actor Édgar Ramírez, and Lenoir
- Selected-scene commentary featuring Lenoir
- Carlos: Terrorist Without Borders, an hour-long documentary on the career of Carlos
- Archival interview with Carlos associate Hans-Joachim Klein, by Jean-Marcel Bougreau and Daniel Leconte
- Maison de France, a feature-length documentary on a Carlos bombing not included in the film
- Twenty-minute making-of documentary on the film’s OPEC raid scene
- Original theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Colin MacCabe and Greil Marcus, as well as a timeline of Carlos’s life and biographies of selected figures portrayed in the film, written by Carlos’s historical adviser, Stephen Smith


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:27 pm 
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The newly added stuff is:
Quote:
- Selected-scene commentary featuring Lenoir
- Carlos: Terrorist Without Borders, an hour-long documentary on the career of Carlos
- Archival interview with Carlos associate Hans-Joachim Klein, by Jean-Marcel Bougreau and Daniel Leconte
- Maison de France, a feature-length documentary on a Carlos bombing not included in the film

Those are some pretty big "more"s. It all sounds really great. The only thing is, I wish they'd push the set to three Blu-rays, even if it added 10 bucks to the price. We are looking at 8 to 9 hours of video squeezed on to two discs. If they added a third disc, they could put each of the three parts on its own disc and spread the lengthy supplements out between them.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:52 am 
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Blu-Ray.com


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:57 am 
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I wrote a thousand words about CARLOS for GreenCine. I originally wrote about 2000 but hacked myself into a rather disjointed corner.

I imagine nobody here would debate the merits of the film; it's perfect for what it is (in my estimation). Other than THE WIRE, I can't think of a better acted, more in-depth crime sage. It might have less stylistic fireworks than, say, Scorsese's films or the GODFATHERs but it's a mature treatment of a sticky, hard to parse subject. In the (too brief) doc on the OPEC raid, Assayas references SCARFACE and CARLITO'S WAY as examples of films dominated by antiheroes. But if he set out to make a film like those -- and I don't think he did -- he failed (thank God). I doubt you'll see too many dorm room posters featuring CARLOS.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:20 pm 
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He was getting a little chunky by part 3


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:59 pm 
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I really don't like how Criterion handled this though I realize my complaint is minor in the grand scheme of things. Spreading it across the two discs was wise, and the set, PQ/AQ is perfect (though I find the cover boring), but I hate how they maintained strict adherence to the episodes. I wish they at least would have offered a play-all featuring seamless branching over episode 1's closing credits and episode 2's opening credits. Having this film chopped up is just jarring and really doesn't do it justice.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:09 pm 
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That's how they've always handled miniseries and frankly how miniseries should be handled since the television cuts are made with those breaks in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:13 pm 
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knives wrote:
since the television cuts are made with those breaks in mind.

Fair enough, but the film itself from what I understand was never intended to be a miniseries and was not filmed as one.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:16 pm 
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Not filming is different from editing. I doubt Assayas didn't give his consent on the opening credits.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:50 pm 
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It was first made for (and funded by) TV, so the miniseries is the original version, with episodes. The film came later.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:26 pm 
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Arn777 wrote:
It was first made for (and funded by) TV, so the miniseries is the original version, with episodes. The film came later.

Do you have a link to that? I was unaware of this. I was under the impression that it was funded from Sundance and StudioCanal as a 5 1/2 hour epic and then sold to European TV and chopped up to recoup.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:03 pm 
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My understanding is that the project was always mini-series + film, but that the mini-series was always the primary version, with the much shorter film version filleted out of it. In no sense was the TV version 'chopped up'. I don't think it was envisaged that the long television version would get a regular theatrical release until it was shown at Cannes and received so much critical attention.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:22 pm 
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zedz wrote:
My understanding is that the project was always mini-series + film, but that the mini-series was always the primary version, with the much shorter film version filleted out of it. In no sense was the TV version 'chopped up'. I don't think it was envisaged that the long television version would get a regular theatrical release until it was shown at Cannes and received so much critical attention.

Thank you Z, and by "chopped up", I wasn't implying that the film was reedited, but I admit I could be incorrectly inferring. I kind of meant the term in the sense of making two literal cuts to make three episodes.

Anyone else know what the original intent of this film (miniseries) might have been?


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:24 pm 
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I don't know original intent, but when I saw it theatrically it was split up into three parts. It's not like Criterion made this decision on their own.


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:27 pm 
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Brian C wrote:
when I saw it theatrically it was split up into three parts.

Seems like the final word. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 582 Carlos
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:20 am 
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aox wrote:
I really don't like how Criterion handled this though I realize my complaint is minor in the grand scheme of things. Spreading it across the two discs was wise, and the set, PQ/AQ is perfect (though I find the cover boring), but I hate how they maintained strict adherence to the episodes. I wish they at least would have offered a play-all featuring seamless branching over episode 1's closing credits and episode 2's opening credits. Having this film chopped up is just jarring and really doesn't do it justice.

It played on Australian tv recently. It is definitely a three-part series, and works very well in a split format. Watching it in one sitting would be a drag for me. Each episode opens with a bang, literally, and is almost perfect in 'fictionalizing' the Jackal's journey from man-myth-to myth to deluded man.

I wouldn't buy it, personally, but it is fine entertainment,without ever reaching the heights of great cinema. The cinematography and editing are seriously well-done. Ramirez is almost always captivating, but I feel the female characters are not anywhere close to being fully drawn, and are, perhaps, largely, miscast. Great TV, but a fully-formed feature film, it is not.


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