Forthcoming: 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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rohmerin
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#26 Post by rohmerin » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:41 pm

It's one of the strongest films I've seen, and pretty disgusting too. Not so masterpiece in my opinion, but it's good.

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#27 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:46 pm

davidhare wrote:I note the OLFC gives it an MA15 rating, not the R everyone expected.
Perhaps they are saving that rating for Lake of Fire!

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#28 Post by funkcisco » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:17 pm

Does any one have a still from the film of high resolution (not that 72 pixel/ inch picture I find from the web)?

Or a press kit?

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#29 Post by MichaelB » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:20 pm

I'm assuming these aren't hi-res enough for you - but you could always contact Artificial Eye through that link: they'll certainly have better ones.

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#30 Post by codam » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:09 pm

This site has lots of hi-res stills.

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#31 Post by jbeall » Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:30 pm

I didn't really know where to put this, but I just saw Mungiu's Occident a couple of days ago and loved it. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell of it getting a dvd release it needs (it gives new meaning to the phrase "shot on a shoestring budget", and apparently the rightsholders wants beaucoup $$$ now that Mungiu's famous), but it's very funny and completely unlike 4 Months... I emailed Mulvaney to suggest it just for the hell of it.

Anyway, if you can get your hands on a copy, I definitely recommend Occident.

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#32 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:00 pm

This was quite a wonderful film. I was particularly happy that it never took the easy route out by giving the film a pat ending, which would have in my mind been cheap and ruined the mechanical drive that keeps our heroine constantly moving forward-- the film was a braver version of Jeanne Dielman, with the courage to forgo the cheap conclusion of Akerman's film (Spare me hate-filled retorts about this).

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#33 Post by domino harvey » Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:55 pm

R1 DVD release on June 17

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david hare
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#34 Post by david hare » Sun Mar 30, 2008 4:48 pm

I simply cannot make any connection between this fine movie and Akermann's masterpiece. The only conceivable similarity is that both are highly formal, and both movies express their meanings largely through form.

But the deus ex machina in Jeanne Dielmann is like a bolt out of the blue and simply compounds the mysitification of what goes on outside the frame more than it "explains" anything.

I suppose you could say the second trimester abortion itself in Four Months is also a narrative hook on which to hang the entire reality of an intolerable life under someone like Ceaucescu. But this has an entirely different outcome for the movie.

And of course Dielmann is both a feminist and post feminist movie in the sense it could only have been made by a woman, but it sepaks past feminism. Mungiu's film is not specifically feminist despite
"Seeing" its world through the eyes fo the two women, becuase it is transcribing a universal daily reality of impossible horror to everyone who has to live in it. The men are almost universally repulsive to be sure, but the men in Dielmann are barely more than peripehral fragments in Deilmann's life, even the semi-imbecilic son who seems to only speak ever out in alarmingly oedipal terms of his jealousy when other men fuck her.

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foggy eyes
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#35 Post by foggy eyes » Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:00 pm

davidhare wrote:I simply cannot make any connection between this fine movie and Akermann's masterpiece. The only conceivable similarity is that both are highly formal, and both movies express their meanings largely through form.
David, totally agree, but I think it is precisely the sheer formal rigour of 4 Months that might encourage one to think of Jeanne Dielman. Although Mungiu's technique is far more involved than Akerman's, and his film certainly far more "dramatic", both achieve a similarly remarkable level of intensity through sustained durational observation. Rewatching Akerman's film, I find it amazing that the mundane routines of Jeanne's everyday activity during the second and third days of JD become as unbearably "charged" as the similarly extended yet far more emotionally direct sequences in 4 Months (such as the goldfish bowl shot that magnifies Otilia's anxiety during the dinner party). A superficial comparison, perhaps, but certainly one that could serve to underline the effectiveness of both styles.

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#36 Post by david hare » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:43 am

I understand what you're saying but I really see two very distinct styles.

Mungiu unfolds the movie in long takes but with movement of the camera and less frequently within the frame. People leave and re enter rooms in ways that imply different meanings to Dielmann, alhtough one might be tempted to also read all the entrances and exits in Four Months as denied "options" for freedom.
I think Akermann's mise en scene, and technique is the more radical of the two for a number of reasons. For one thing the shots are enitrely static, and their duration gives rise to rhythms which you only begin to realize has lulled you ( the spectator) into false certainties as the movie enters the third act, and the rhythms begin to alter, just as Delphine herself begings to fumble, dropping cutlery, or breaking the routine patterns of timing to enter and leave one room for the hallway or another room, or even neglect to turn the light off - of such minute gestures and actions is her life inscribed. IN tandem with this Akerman subtly but devastatingly changes the edit points, and the duration of shots.

The final result of Akermann's film is to compeltely alter your state of consciousness. Not only subjectively, but perceptually.

I think Mungiu's mise en scene, which is formally very impressive serves to connect the actors to his meanings through spatial relationships and movement- if that's not rambling too much - and to address a political reality through the relationships that mistrustfully arise from a specific situation, and which are never altogether credible as thruthful.

Certainly though both movies are extremely impressive. But I've had more time to digest Dielmann.

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foggy eyes
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#37 Post by foggy eyes » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:59 am

Yes, I guess I'm not really making much of a point - these are indeed two very different long take/sequence shot styles, but I suppose what interests me is how sustained observation produces such a different effect in both films (which, as usual, you've outlined very nicely). The relentless unbroken camera movement accentuates dramaticness in 4 Months, whereas the static and distancing set-ups in Jeanne Dielmann serve to underscore their undramaticness - contrasting effects achieved through a similar device (very long takes) but not technique. This makes the sequences in JD involving purely through the rhythm of Jeanne's activity and movement within the frame, also calling us to pay attention to routines and details that will achieve heightened significance when they begin to unravel. There is of course barely any time or real need to do this during 4 Months.
The final result of Akermann's film is to compeltely alter your state of consciousness. Not only subjectively, but perceptually.
Absolutely!

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#38 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:33 pm

davidhare wrote:I think Akermann's mise en scene, and technique is the more radical of the two for a number of reasons. For one thing the shots are enitrely static, and their duration gives rise to rhythms which you only begin to realize has lulled you ( the spectator) into false certainties as the movie enters the third act, and the rhythms begin to alter, just as Delphine herself begings to fumble, dropping cutlery, or breaking the routine patterns of timing to enter and leave one room for the hallway or another room, or even neglect to turn the light off - of such minute gestures and actions is her life inscribed. IN tandem with this Akerman subtly but devastatingly changes the edit points, and the duration of shots.

The final result of Akermann's film is to compeltely alter your state of consciousness. Not only subjectively, but perceptually.
Yes yes yes. This is absolutely my experience of the film. Though I'm with Domino in my opinion of the 'climactic' ending, which is the element that seems to me the most dated. It's also so unnecessary given how much more devastating the gradual accrual of discordant elements that David points out has been. The shot immediately before the 'payoff', in which Seyrig renders Jeanne's panic and desperation so potently, is a far more powerful and distressing climax. The coup de grace, on the other hand, dispels all that tension with a false resolution ("oh, so that's what it's all about"). But the greatness of the rest of the film makes it easy to forgive.

Mungiu's film is similarly accomplished, and with just as precise a match of form to content, but his realism is much more in the Dardennes, Clarke and, dare I say it, Loach vein than Akerman's Martian (Marxian?) realism.

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#39 Post by david hare » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:10 pm

Z it's interesting both you and foggy take exception to the - err - let's call it "Surprise twist" in Dielmann. To me,coming as it does both unexpectedly and without apparent motivational context, it hits me in a more hallucinatory way.

Rather than "sealing" the story of Jeanne's life so far, it leads me into other byways where I wonder if this has happened before, or will happen again. The jolt is far more disconnecting than resolving. Especially considering this action is actually "seen" by us, where so much more of her life has been "unseen", while the camera has happened to wait silently for another entrance or exit. In one of three rooms.

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#40 Post by foggy eyes » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:32 pm

I don't have any real problems with the resolution/climax/whatever it is myself (probably confusing me with domino, David!). Any potential textual imbalance created by Jeanne's action is, for me, counterbalanced by the final extended shot that somehow manages to give away nothing and suggest everything at the same time. As Seyrig sits at the table, the shifting light from the window forming patterns across her profile, and her expression going through a series of barely perceptible registers, the effect is so enigmatic that it opens up a whole host of other questions and possibilities (creating, alongside the act itself, the "byways" that David mentions). Maybe the issue of whether the "surprise twist" is effective or justified depends on how one experiences or interprets this shot - for me it is the real climax, and I'm sure it would not exert the power it does without the action upon which it reflects.

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#41 Post by zedz » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:57 pm

davidhare wrote: I wonder if this has happened before, or will happen again.
Oddly enough, these possibilities never even occurred to me, which may be one of the reasons it 'closes off' rather than 'opens up' the film for me. Jeanne's gradual breakdown throughout the film suggests to me not the former; and her state at the end suggests that she wouldn't be able to get it together to cover anything up. Unless she's going to breadcrumb an awful lot of schnitzel.

I like the way we're pussyfooting around the spoilers here. Is there anybody remotely interested in the film who doesn't know how it ends? For the longest time it was about the only thing I did know for sure about it!

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#42 Post by david hare » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:53 am

Far be it from me - as one totally dismissive of spoilers - but the first time I viewed it I had NO idea!!!

En tous cas.. I think revealing it as some sort of quasi-Spoiler misdirects people into expectations of the movie.

Don't you?

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#43 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:15 am

zedz wrote:I like the way we're pussyfooting around the spoilers here. Is there anybody remotely interested in the film who doesn't know how it ends? For the longest time it was about the only thing I did know for sure about it!
Actually I have no idea and was ready to go into rapid skim mode when spoilers started appearing.
Then again I still have no idea of the twist in The Sixth Sense, which seems to leave some incredulous.. I do hope the Dvd of Jeanne Dielmann turns up soon.

Carry on ...

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#44 Post by Hail_Cesar » Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:38 pm


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#45 Post by foggy eyes » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:16 pm


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#46 Post by toiletduck! » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:10 am

jbeall wrote:I didn't really know where to put this, but I just saw Mungiu's Occident a couple of days ago and loved it. There isn't a snowball's chance in hell of it getting a dvd release it needs (it gives new meaning to the phrase "shot on a shoestring budget", and apparently the rightsholders wants beaucoup $$$ now that Mungiu's famous), but it's very funny and completely unlike 4 Months... I emailed Mulvaney to suggest it just for the hell of it.

Anyway, if you can get your hands on a copy, I definitely recommend Occident.
It's apparently coming to the Siskel Film Center in June, for all you Chicago or willing to make the trip to Chicago folk out there.

-Toilet Dcuk

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#47 Post by tavernier » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:16 pm

toiletduck! wrote:
jbeall wrote:I just saw Mungiu's Occident a couple of days ago and loved it. ...

I definitely recommend Occident.
It's apparently coming to the Siskel Film Center in June, for all you Chicago or willing to make the trip to Chicago folk out there.
It's playing at Lincoln Center this Thursday at 1 PM.

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#48 Post by hot_locket » Wed May 07, 2008 1:33 am

Just saw this... all I can say is "wow". Such a tense film. The minimalist style was sensational.

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#49 Post by Der Müde Tod » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:33 am

I saw and grabbed a "Borders exclusive" DVD of this film, which is listed at Beaver with a US release of July 14. The cashier asked me if I had seen the film, it was supposed to be really good. =D>
SpoilerShow
The film is not so much about the reasons behind the abortion - there is never a doubt that it has to happen - but rather about the consequences of actually performing one under the circumstances (Romania in the 1980s). These are distilled into 90 intense minutes, where we see the world of Otilia fall apart. There is no good or evil in this film - even the "Dr. Bebe" stays in a chilling equilibrium by demanding/accepting his payment. I find it difficult to find comparable films. Kieslowski's "A short film about killing", or Kluge's "Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave" are in certain ways similar.
In any case, I was very impressed, and many of the images will stay in my mind for a long time.

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#50 Post by exte » Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:25 pm

hot_locket wrote:Just saw this... all I can say is "wow". Such a tense film. The minimalist style was sensational.
I have to agree.

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