307 Naked

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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sevenarts
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Re: 307 Naked

#26 Post by sevenarts » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:37 am

One of my favorite films ever, and it's now the latest entry in my Films I Love series.

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somnambulating
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#27 Post by somnambulating » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:57 pm

blindside8zao wrote:one of the most amazing parts of thewlis' performance for me was after he returns to the house at the end of the movie and is kneeling before the "landlord", and he babbles something that sounds jarbled and meaningless, but I think a lot of meaning can be construed. The emotional "naked"ness in Thewlis' eyes is all the more moving because it's the only point in the movie that he's vulnerable.
Okay now, once and for all... what's he getting at in this scene? The dialogue's teeming with loaded words from which you can infer this that and the other but then you have Leigh mention that he'd let Thewlis go now and again and this looks like it could be one of those scenes.

For instance: "I'm still wet." Wet behind the ears? Is this a sexual reference?

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puxzkkx
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Re: 307 Naked

#28 Post by puxzkkx » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:49 am

My favorite Leigh. The performances are among the best in his canon, and its his most intensely personal and emotional film...

was anyone else as enamored of Claire Skinner's one-scene performance (at the end of the film) as I was? She gets my 1993 supporting actress gong.

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Re: 307 Naked

#29 Post by dadaistnun » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:53 am

puxzkkx wrote:was anyone else as enamored of Claire Skinner's one-scene performance (at the end of the film) as I was? She gets my 1993 supporting actress gong.
"It's the tin lid!"

Yeah, she's pretty hilarious in this. I loved her in Life is Sweet & was so pleased to see her bring a sort of whirling dervish levity to Naked.

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Re: 307 Naked

#30 Post by puxzkkx » Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:37 pm

dadaistnun wrote:
puxzkkx wrote:was anyone else as enamored of Claire Skinner's one-scene performance (at the end of the film) as I was? She gets my 1993 supporting actress gong.
"It's the tin lid!"

Yeah, she's pretty hilarious in this. I loved her in Life is Sweet & was so pleased to see her bring a sort of whirling dervish levity to Naked.
I actually preferred her to the twitchy Horrocks in Life is Sweet, and she's done great work on British TV. Here's hoping Leigh will cast her in a lead sometime in the future...

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HistoryProf
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Re: 307 Naked

#31 Post by HistoryProf » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:57 pm

Can someone clarify the packaging on this two discer? is it the old double wide or a newer single wide keep case? the pictures from our review here are head on and don't show the case open, so it's impossible to tell. I can't seem to locate the info anywhere else either...

FTR: I'm not so anal that I wouldn't buy a film because of the packaging, but I'm ordering a few soon, this included, and need to know which i'll be repackaging into slimmer cases...all two disc sets still sold in those silly double wide cases get repackaged due to my limited shelf space :)

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Re: 307 Naked

#32 Post by domino harvey » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:59 pm

Doublewide. The single-depth packages came with the logo redesign

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Re: 307 Naked

#33 Post by HistoryProf » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:22 pm

good to know...thanks!

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Re: 307 Naked

#34 Post by HistoryProf » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:12 am

Just finished this and I don't know that i've ever seen anything so compulsively watchable. It certainly had the charm of a trainwreck, but there was a whole lot more to it. My wife, who is lucky to still be awake at 10pm, was on the couch about to go to bed at 1:30am when I put it in (to watch before *I* went to bed), and she ended up sucked in to the bitter end. The way Thewlis manages to make his character so brutally vicious towards others and vulnerably weak and sad at the same time is one of the most astonishing pieces of acting i've ever seen. The only aspect of the narrative I'm still not sure about is the landlord's roll in it all...I'm assuming he represents the callousness of capitalism, but i'd hate to think Leigh would be so obvious with something like that. It feels like film school metaphorical bad guy stuff.

What i'd really like to ask our British friends here though, is about this film being a critique of "post-Thatcher" Britain. Why is the portrayal of London upon the ascension of Tony Blair portrayed in such dystopian extremes? What did Thatcher do that hurt the "underbelly" - or rather expanded it? Was Thatcher so bad that Johnny took comfort in the impending apocalypse? I assume her reign had some significant impact, and is the obvious context underlying the film, but I confess to knowing little about modern UK history...really anything post WWII. I guess what i'm asking is whether this is a film that can only exist in 1990 London, or is Leigh after something more timeless?

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Re: 307 Naked

#35 Post by HistoryProf » Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:37 am

oh, and watching the interview with Leigh and Will Self, did anyone else notice Self's incredibly annoying habit of nodding and uttering "HMMMM" in a deep resonant tone? what was odd is how he would do it in the beginning of sentences by Leigh, in the middle, or whatever...often in rapidfire succession to every fact he related! I counted at one point and there were 27 brief moans of agreement in a 5 minute span. It was the interviewer equivalent of having a subject stuck on "uh" trying to answer questions :lol:

No clue who Mr. Self is, but i hope to god he isn't allowed to do this on tv...

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Re: 307 Naked

#36 Post by carax09 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:23 am

I didn't find Self's tics to be annoying, but then I consider the man's significance in the Arts, to be on par with Leigh. The two writers capable of carrying Ballard's torch (a torch very much in need of carrying), are Martin Amis and Will Self.

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zedz
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Re: 307 Naked

#37 Post by zedz » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:14 pm

Will Self is a well-established media 'bad boy' (not intended in a dismissive way) and idiosyncrat, so his persona wouldn't be such a hurdle for a British audience. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if more British viewers greeted the news that "Will Self Meets Mike Leigh" with a "Who's Mike Leigh?" than a "Who's Will Self?"

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Re: 307 Naked

#38 Post by GaryC » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:10 pm

I don't own this Criterion, but if this interview is the 40-minute "In Conversation" programme (taking place in a bar), it's also included in the Mike Leigh at the BBC box set that 2Entertain released in the UK last year.

Will Self is a novelist and media personality. He used to be restaurant critic of The Observer, but was fired for taking drugs on then Prime Minister John Major's plane. (Self is also a confessed former heroin addict.)

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HistoryProf
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Re: 307 Naked

#39 Post by HistoryProf » Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:19 pm

zedz wrote:Will Self is a well-established media 'bad boy' (not intended in a dismissive way) and idiosyncrat, so his persona wouldn't be such a hurdle for a British audience. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if more British viewers greeted the news that "Will Self Meets Mike Leigh" with a "Who's Mike Leigh?" than a "Who's Will Self?"
i did a little reading up on him last night after watching that interview, and it does sound like he became a rather notorious figure in the UK in the 90s, what with the snorting of heroin on the PM's plane and all! His Book of Dave sounds pretty good, if terribly derivative of a strikingly similar book called "Ridley Walker" - as is noted also by an amazon reviewer. I loved RW, so would be curious to read his treatment.

Anyway, that was just an aside, and i'm much more curious to hear more from native Brits about the bleak portrayal of their leading metropolis. Interesting that Leigh hails from Manchester, but has lived in London for 40 something years, while having both Johnny and his ex pining for Manchester - her repeatedly, together at the end - as if it were a more human place to live.

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Re: 307 Naked

#40 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:43 pm

GaryC wrote:I don't own this Criterion, but if this interview is the 40-minute "In Conversation" programme (taking place in a bar), it's also included in the Mike Leigh at the BBC box set that 2Entertain released in the UK last year.
That's sounds like the one. Was the version in the box set the same as on the Criterion disc i.e. without clips from Leigh's films (apart from Naked), or did this release contain the clips?

HistoryProf, I'm not the person to talk to about the political landscape of Britain but it might be worth tracking down Leigh's High Hopes, which is an interesting companion piece as it is much more about the Thatcher years and the polarising effect it had on society - it is not as rantingly bitter as Johnny is in Naked but just as angry a film in its own way.

I'd say that Leigh's film is both of its time and timeless - it is grounded in a specific period yet a lot of the comments about the ascent of money and the disconnection of the people from any sense of community and shared goals other than mutual dependence based on power, status and money are still pretty relevant today, mostly because very little changed under 'New' Labour.

Have you seen Ratcatcher yet? It would be interesting to see whether this needs much contextualisation of the bleak state of 70s Britain, though in that film the idea of three day weeks and crippling utility strikes is kept much more in the background to a more standalone story of the boy's guilt over the death of his friend

Actually this is going off on an unrelated tangent but it seems interesting that both of Lynne Ramsey's feature films so far have involved death as a catalyst for another character's slightly spiritual journey. (We could maybe even count the dead cow in the first segment of the short Small Deaths, though the three shorts on the disc are a lot more about the death of innocence and dreams shattered than physical death.) I suppose that might have been what could have attracted her initially to wanting to adapt The Lovely Bones - to combine the deceased and the person on a quest into the same character.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Gropius
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Re: 307 Naked

#41 Post by Gropius » Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:41 pm

HistoryProf wrote:What i'd really like to ask our British friends here though, is about this film being a critique of "post-Thatcher" Britain. Why is the portrayal of London upon the ascension of Tony Blair portrayed in such dystopian extremes? What did Thatcher do that hurt the "underbelly" - or rather expanded it? Was Thatcher so bad that Johnny took comfort in the impending apocalypse? I assume her reign had some significant impact, and is the obvious context underlying the film, but I confess to knowing little about modern UK history...really anything post WWII. I guess what i'm asking is whether this is a film that can only exist in 1990 London, or is Leigh after something more timeless?
Naked was actually made a few years before Blair came to power, towards the end of an 18-year stretch of Conservative rule (the last seven of which were overseen by Thatcher's lifeless successor, John Major). You could compare Thatcher with Reagan in the US - presumably similar objections were made. She was associated with slogans such as 'There's no such thing as society', promoting an ideology of private gain at the expense of social conscience, and accelerating the decline of British industry by selling it off and weakening trade union power. (Not that most of this was centrally relevant to London, where the process of social atomisation and deindustrialisation was already far advanced, although the privatisation of formerly council-owned social housing was an important issue in the capital.) Naked's landlord is a caricatured embodiment of the borderline-psychopathic exploitative individualist mindset that Thatcherism supposedly encouraged (cf., on the other side of the Atlantic, American Psycho's Patrick Bateman).

As Colin notes, an earlier Leigh film that complements Naked is High Hopes (1988), which presents a cross-section of British class society in rather plainer terms: an economically marginalised and politically radical motorbike courier is contrasted with his money-grabbing sister and brother-in-law, and the gentrification of once-affordable residential areas is illustrated by the contrast between an elderly working-class woman (the main character's mother) and the wealthy and snobbish young couple next door. Of course, right-wing critics might accuse Leigh of left-wing sentimentality or simplification, but the counter-argument is that a certain crudeness is polemically necessary.

Another relevant film to compare with Naked, made around the same time, is Patrick Keiller's quasi-documentary London (1994), a work which I actually prefer. Through a series of static shots with no actors on screen, it conveys a similar sense of burnt-out bewilderment and mute despair, presenting a vision of a grimy and grey city that is subject to IRA bomb scares and managed by culturally bankrupt politicians and financiers, but conceals glimpses of the sublime. However, it is another creation of a Romantic leftist aesthete - most of the great British filmmakers seem to fit this mould - which undoubtedly exaggerates the atmosphere of decadent misery. Also, one probably ought to situate these films in the wider climate of fin de siècle millenarianism (as Johnny asks, 'Do you think the world will end in 1999?').

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Re: 307 Naked

#42 Post by cc99999 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:09 pm


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Re: 307 Naked

#43 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:20 pm


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Re: 307 Naked

#44 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:35 pm

The Blu-ray looks fantastic, guys

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Re: 307 Naked

#45 Post by rrenault » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:59 am

It's labeled as available on blockbuster and I've had this at the top of my queue since last night, but they still sent me the next one down instead. Thoughts?

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Re: 307 Naked

#46 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:53 am

Blockbuster is not always great at sending you the top item in your queue even if there's no wait. I have a small enough queue there that if I really want something to come next I'll clear everything else out so they have no choice but to send me what I want.

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Re: 307 Naked

#47 Post by rrenault » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:56 am

That's actually a great idea swo. Thanks.

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Re: 307 Naked

#48 Post by Toxicologist » Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:50 pm

Just curious if anybody else experienced a couple second audio drop out around 2hr 6mins or so mark on their copy?

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Re: 307 Naked

#49 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:31 am

I finally watched this, after having it sit on my shelf for more than a year-

It's self evidently a great movie, insofar as it's both minutely well realized (which is something Leigh seems always to do) and has an enormous amount of ambition, managing to take in sort of the whole human condition and create a very apocalyptic, doom-laden world without ever leaving more-or-less plausible reality. There's almost no point in talking about the individual performances, as one of the effects of Leigh's style is that however theatrical things get, nobody ever feels like they are performing- I wind up very much lost in the characters, and never observe any technical aspects about how those characters are created.

Structurally, though, I do have an objection- I think that, in effect, the character of Jeremy acts as a counterpoint for Johnny, and the contrast between them acts to soften our reactions to the horrible things that Johnny does. Thewlis himself observes, in the commentary, that he thought what he did in the film was nasty until he saw Greg Crutwell's performance- and I think the implication, that what Johnny does isn't so bad after all, is both inevitable and leading in a way that the rest of the movie scrupulously avoids. It leads to what seems to be an unintentional false dichotomy: I don't think the idea is that we should embrace men like Johnny lest we run afoul of men like Jeremy, but that seems to be the choice we're given.

It's certainly not a fatal flaw- I think a similar false dichotomy is intentionally presented in A Clockwork Orange, and I think that remains a great movie anyway- but it's a distraction from an otherwise very nuanced presentation of a complexly shaded character. Apart from the Jeremy stuff, what we have is a movie that opens with a man committing sexual assault of some kind (if not outright rape) and makes us empathize with him without ever softening him, nor letting us forget that he's a man capable of doing such things- and while he is badly injured near the end of the movie, it does not pull the Clockwork Orange trick of getting us to feel bad for him solely because he is helpless. But the juxtaposition of what Johnny does with what Jeremy does does soften Johnny, arguing that there are worse things out there- it's an effect the movie doesn't need, and it lessens its achievement.

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Re: 307 Naked

#50 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:30 pm

That's an interesting argument, though I kind of think Johnny is worse since it feels that he obviously has some conception of doing terrible things (unlike teflon-coated sociopath Jeremy - although in a way only material success or failure separates them, opposite ends of the spectrum of the same kind of personality, with certain ideological differences, or lack of the same, brandished as a weapon more than wholeheartedly subscribed to) and almost masochistically acts with cruelty towards others, almost as if he is anticipating that they would do the same thing to him were they given half a chance. But he needs to make sure they feel for him first before he hurts or abandons them.

It is very telling that Johnny gets his comeuppance in the encounter with Gina McKee's girl in the cafe, who while obviously far more troubled is the only person who is able to pre-emptively reject him. Though of course that rejection can also get folded into a kind of self-justification for Johnny's later actions.

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