Too Old to Die Young

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Jean-Luc Garbo
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#26 Post by Jean-Luc Garbo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:06 am

Chance Hale wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:09 pm
Now streaming on amazon, episodes range from 97 to 30 minutes.
Four of them being ninety minutes at least and the last an half hour with the other five being 76 minutes or an hour and change.

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The Fanciful Norwegian
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#27 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:17 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:08 am
There are Netflix shows which get physical releases, mostly shows which are not produced entirely by them. Amazon's movies get physical releases, but not sure if a series of theirs ever did.
They're few and far between but there are some Amazon series with physical releases: Jack Ryan, Alpha House, Sneaky Pete, Good Girls Revolt, Mad Dogs, Bosch (though some of these are only available on disc outside the U.S.). As with Netflix, it seems to happen primarily with co-productions with major companies like Paramount or Sony, and Too Old to Die Young doesn't fit that bill.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#28 Post by black&huge » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:28 pm

Jean-Luc Garbo wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:06 am
Chance Hale wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:09 pm
Now streaming on amazon, episodes range from 97 to 30 minutes.
Four of them being ninety minutes at least and the last an half hour with the other five being 76 minutes or an hour and change.
This seems mammoth. Was planning on watching it all this weekend but looks like it'll be a weeklong affair.

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Lost Highway
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#29 Post by Lost Highway » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:47 pm

Not having enjoyed most of Refn‘s films, the only reason why I would this give this a try is my undying love for Jena Malone. She elevates everything she appears in and her performance was by far and away the most enjoyable aspect of The Neon Demon

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R0lf
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#30 Post by R0lf » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:26 pm

Jena Malone doesn’t show up until the halfway point.

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Lost Highway
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#31 Post by Lost Highway » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:47 pm

R0lf wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:26 pm
Jena Malone doesn’t show up until the halfway point.
Of the entire season ?

There is too much on my too-watch-list anyway, it looks like I’ll have to skip this.

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R0lf
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#32 Post by R0lf » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:52 pm

Yeah. If you don’t like Refn already this isn’t going to win you over. If you want to see it for Jena Malone maybe just watch episode ten because it’s a self contained episode and all her scenes are front loaded into it (plus it features her absolutely best scene for the series).

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Lost Highway
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#33 Post by Lost Highway » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:54 pm

R0lf wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:52 pm
Yeah. If you don’t like Refn already this isn’t going to win you over. If you want to see it for Jena Malone maybe just watch episode ten because it’s a self contained episode and all her scenes are front loaded into it (plus it features her absolutely best scene for the series).
Cool, thanks I’ll do that !

I always want to like Refn‘s films. His aesthetic is seductive but with the exception of Drive and the second Pusher film, all the other films I’ve seen of his had their moments but as a whole I found them frustrating, often tedious.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#34 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:05 pm

I’m halfway through and very surprised to say that I really like this so far. Perhaps it helps that after his last few outings I pretty much know what to expect from a Refn film regarding an emphasis on style and mood from the mise en scene, as well as very slow pacing and space between dialogue and physical movement. I understand the Lynch comparisons but beyond the eccentricities born from the above stylistic choices it’s a very different experience, with Refn’s thematic intentions far more obvious. However, the initial meeting with William Baldwin’s character, and the scenes with Martin’s fellow detectives, felt right out of Twin Peaks: The Return in their bizarre social exchanges.

I appreciate Refn’s view of the world as such a wild, unpredictable, and violent place that his characters and position of camera (as its own character, arguably his most emotional) move and respond against social expectations, with flat affect, apathy, and acceptance. As they are still forcefully bound to this world in regard to its nature and yet disconnected to the society built on top of it, it makes sense to attempt to forge a connection or sense of meaning through violence and this allows his style to make sense in his esoteric milieu.
SpoilerShow
Martin doesn’t crack a smile until halfway through the series, immediately after he makes his first ‘emotional’ choice by advocating to be given a mission to kill “the worst” people, at the moment he faces his first worthy target. This expression of pleasure he gets from the high of moral intervention, or taking action toward some idea of meaning in a meaningless existence, breathes life into him in ways that his socially acceptable moral interventionist career of policeman/detective, or even loving/sexual moments with his girlfriend, can not. This is like an even darker version of Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus, with an emphasis on a world, and embedded society, drained of moral value.
Refn’s use of visual imagery and sound highlights his worldview just as well, with abrupt gunshots sobering the characters and audience back to reality from a state of coasting in dreamlike states, and then right back to them (even in the middle of what should be a heart-pounding car chase sequence, suspenseful manhunt footrace, etc.) reminding everyone of the brutality and unpredictability of life while remaining observantly apathetic and ironically serene amidst its meaninglessness. While I can’t blame anyone for disliking or even hating this or any other work of his (I don’t particularly like most of his filmography, though I do find myself inexplicably drawn to a few, and yeah I’m one of those people who loves Drive), this feels like the ideal format and length for Refn to fully realize his ideas this time. Who knows if I’ll feel this positive by the end of it but I look forward to seeing where this goes and how he executes the rest of the story.

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R0lf
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#35 Post by R0lf » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:32 pm

I think any comparison to Lynch is superficial from people who won’t engage with anything beyond labelling it “weird”. I don’t think Lynch’s social exchanges are bizarre at all but that he is acutely observational in seeing the way people present or act and that he then doesn’t filter the way he shows that on screen. Because we’re so used to seeing idolised and narrated versions of people in our media to then show us up for who and for how we are becomes jarring, stilted, and confronting. The other main signature for Lynch is that I think his movies come from a humble place of deep love and affection of both people and the world. Even when his movies go to dark or upsetting places they are about the good in people and the redemptive power of the human experience.

I think Refn’s main form of cinematic empathy is the eroticisation of the human form. Unlike Lynch the “very slow pacing and space between dialogue and physical movement” is there to establish physicality and erotic tension. His camera is always adoring and caressing his leads whose bodies then become punching bags for visceral ultra erotic violence in lieu of sex. It’s a needed dialogue in media given our social disfunction and lack of discourse around sex and sexuality. The unhealthy way we repress our sexual desires which don’t go away but are then sublimated and converted into real world things. Refn is full of imagery that flows from reconverted or stagnated sexual desire. From the inverted vaginas and menstruation in THE NEON DEMON to signposting the “maricones”, mummy issues, gay rape panic, and enacting a Robert Mapplethorpe fetish photo in TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG (TOTDY has to go in there with Ken Russell’s WOMEN IN LOVE for straight directors making movies about male love).

Anyway, Refn and Lynch are a whole world apart.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#36 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:26 am

I should have probably been clearer in saying that my understanding of the comparisons being made between them (in regard to this work specifically) is exactly what you describe- that most people are not used to such deliberate pacing in the medium or pause in exchanges between people. My use of the word “bizarre” was intended to be synonymous with “strange” and specific to those encounters, which are absolutely unusual in the way they unnerve the viewer via destabilization of how characters ‘should’ engage in the medium according to the average viewer’s conditioning through media (rather than a clinical analysis of “bizarre” behavior rooted in reality where one is indicted for exhibiting odd behavior compared to real people).

I agree with you on these accounts as well as your comments on Lynch’s intentions, and while I stand by my view that Lynch is less obvious about his (and perhaps more complex), Refn is clearly more complicated than my thoughts should have indicated. Your analysis of his “eroticization of the human form” is interesting and definitely at play in this work, though the other themes felt more palpable here than, say, The Neon Demon where that eroticism was more central to the execution on an apparent level. I’ll absolutely be keeping that in mind as I watch the second half, as it’s a lens to Refn that is woven throughout his work regardless of how pronounced (and I’ll just add that in episode 6 it becomes strikingly noticeable).

Either way, yes Refn and Lynch are very different (I only mentioned Lynch because I read his name as a comparison in practically every review of TOTDY prior to watching, so I was scanning for similar details when I’ve never thought them alike) but it seems what they have in common is the ability - or willingness - to shake up their audiences through these expositions that, regardless of how much they mimic reality, are categorized as ‘bizarre’ as they upend normative projections of human behavior in the medium and create a response of discomfort. With Lynch this avenue often leads to affection and love, as you say, and other elements of meaningfulness. With Refn, I believe that they indicate not so much social disconnect but existential disconnect, and a meditation on perhaps not an objective lack of meaning, but a perceived lack of meaning, in aspects of the world. But even those descriptions are too concentrated and reductive; though, regardless of being worlds apart, this contrast has spawned insight and appreciation for both artists I probably wouldn’t have made without people choosing to compare the two.
Last edited by therewillbeblus on Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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R0lf
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#37 Post by R0lf » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:07 am

Yeah. Scanning headlines or social media regarding this I saw a lot of shout outs to Lynch but I dreaded clicking on any of those so don't know really how far any of the comparisons go.

I thought the first five episodes were incredibly tight and well made but during the second half there are a number of "world building" elements that weave their way in that I didn't feel were very organic to Refn's interests as a director. I thought the second half could have benefitted from *actually* being as agonisingly indulgent as people say Refn is. Imagine if episode 9 was just a PETRA VON KANT-esque single set piece of 90mins structured around the role play scenario from that episode and then for the finale he just remakes INDIA SONG!

It also doesn't help that some of the politics in this are aggressively juvenile (even beyond what I can get a kick from as farce; "Do you know what my mother used to call me? D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S" !!). People who don't understand that depiction-is-not-endorsement are going to have a field day.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#38 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:34 pm

Question about episode 7:
SpoilerShow
Why was the film Janey’s father screened for Martin incriminating? It showed a familiar dynamic of the first scene of episode 1 where a black cop and white cop pull a woman over and harass her, but with different actors and also clearly staged with adjusting camera angles so not a ‘cop cam.’ Was this supposed to be an artsy way to demonstrate evidence of his corruption, as in those different actors were supposed to actually be Martin and Larry? Whatever it was, it caused Janey’s father to say “I own you now” and seemed to finally push Martin to kill him. I’m sure I’m missing something.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#39 Post by R0lf » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:53 pm

re. episode 7
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I thought there was nothing incriminating about the footage and he just killed Jeney’s dad because he masturbated in front of him.
And to expand on that and my point above I’m getting the impression after letting it percolate awhile that Refn didn’t have 100% creative freedom and that there was some studio mandated rewrites for the second half of the season. The wrap ups for Janey’s dad and the police force both felt incredibly perfunctory (and so poorly filmed in comparison to the rest of the series that they were possibly even pick up shoots not involving Refn) and the secondary story with Jena Malone and John Hawkes feels much too like a a TV writers room. It’s very DEXTER or AMERICAN GODS and doesn’t feel like any of the material we’ve seen Refn explore in his movies. None of these beats actually connect organically to the plot either - they serve to wrap up loose ends or to expand the story in case it gets picked up for series. I really feel like Refn wrote this as a self contained series with the Jesus plot we see on screen as the wrap up and the studio found it too kinky. The studio let him keep what he wrote with the proviso that he offset it with some more vanilla material, wrap up the loose ends, and with the possibility of expanding the series.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#40 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:19 pm

Re: Episode 7
SpoilerShow
That’s strange considering Martin asks him what he’s going to do with it, Janey’s father suggests that he’ll show it to Janey and then says “I own you now.” These details plus the similarity of the film to the scene at the beginning surely must be more than fluff?
R0lf wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:07 am
I thought the first five episodes were incredibly tight and well made but during the second half there are a number of "world building" elements that weave their way in that I didn't feel were very organic to Refn's interests as a director.
While I didn’t feel this transition from the first half to the second quite as strongly, I do agree with your point specifically to the world-building with the Mexican cartel compared to the Martin storyline (though a lot of my problems with this storyline occur in the first half as well), mostly because it was presented as familiar and one-note (i.e. loyalty to the cartel, revenge for the death of a family member, quests for power as drug kingpin, territorial warfare) vs. the more existential exploration of how to channel violence and forge meaning in the Martin story. I really enjoyed the latter’s world-building though, and Jena Malone’s cult “business” is one of the more interesting institutions Refn has explored in thus far. I wish he provided the same opportunities for intricacy within culture or systems in the Mexican storyline instead of falling into the contrived conventions that pigeonhole its characters, and by giving this story as much attention as he does magnifies its banality.

However, this is almost completely forgiven for it provides a platform for the force of Yaritza. She is a fascinating character who is well-drawn as a mysterious, possibly magical, otherworldly figure to mirror Jena Malone’s; both are powerful, cold saviors leading traditionally patriarchal systems to fight evil with violence, and yet both have saintly qualities that intensify their presence.
SpoilerShow
Yaritza’s movement from worship of the deceased matriarch into becoming her was the best part of that storyline and just as interesting as anything in Martin’s.
Cold with power, yet subject to emotional responses shaped by her trauma and subjective moral code, she is perhaps the most complex character in this film.

There are some tender moments between Martin and Janey, and Martin and Viggo, in the second half too (particularly in episode 8) that are arguably the most emotional Refn has done since Drive. They highlight not only the desire, but the natural push to act in attempting connections with others, and in spite of the violent, apathetic, and cold milieu Refn has created, these scenes are quite powerful and provide brief pockets of warmth, while they last.
R0lf wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:53 pm
And to expand on that and my point above I’m getting the impression after letting it percolate awhile that Refn didn’t have 100% creative freedom and that there was some studio mandated rewrites for the second half of the season.
I didn’t feel like the second half indicated a lack of creative control, as the time spent on the holistic, spiritual, erotic, sexual, violent, and power drives in the final acts are woven together in ways that feel like Refn to me (even if I didn’t love the last two eps). He’s certainly pushing himself in applying his style and interests to new territory, with more pathos and showing a pretty terrific sense of humor (who knew?), but it felt very much like him doing his own thing and not as tidy or polished as I’d expect from studio interference. You could be right for all I know, but either way for me this stands with his best as one of his most accomplished pieces yet.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#41 Post by black&huge » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:05 am

I finished the second ep tonight. Did anyone notice the actors with deeper voices seemingly have louder sound mixing whenever they speak? Even if someone else is responding in the same scene their loudness isn't matched. Specifically talking about Billy Baldwin's character and Don Ricardo

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R0lf
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#42 Post by R0lf » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:34 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:19 pm
I wish he provided the same opportunities for intricacy within culture or systems in the Mexican storyline instead of falling into the contrived conventions that pigeonhole its characters, and by giving this story as much attention as he does magnifies its banality.
I was reading this plot as complementary to the Martin plot on the homosexual bent
SpoilerShow
that the sex club scene (where the camera pans to Jesus sitting in the "maricons" section while watching his cousin who clearly can't get off without fucking a women unless he is with his male lieutenant) is setting up the fact Jesus is a repressed homosexual. They then double up the imagery with the colostomy bag and the "fag" dialogue from the uncle. And it's made as a through dialogue for the series with Martin in episode five where the plot hinges on the gay scare anxiety of Martin being raped. The symbolism of Jesus sleeping with the snake later on is that same homo sex desire. Walking through a house full of Pierre et Gilles level camp photos of his mother. The outdated notion of the absent father and the overbearing mother. Him seeing images of his mother in lingerie while he is wearing pink speedos which make it abundantly clear that those images of his mother stir absolutely no sexual desire in him. And the lack of sexual desire then following through in a Freudian text of fetish being a substitute for female castration anxiety where the mother has mentally castrated her son so he latches on to the penis substitute as his fetish; in this case when his mother is killed he whips (another double up of the snake symbolism) the killer as the sex act for the object of his real sexual desire which is then turned into actual homosexual sexual gratification when he is then choked and sodomised with the same whip. He then kills Martin with (another penis substitute) a machete (which is the second time Martin is stabbed while avoiding actual sexual rape) which he brands as his rebirth and baptism, that is, he has never had to acknowledged his gay desire but has acted the physicality of it through violence which was then funnelled back into actual sexual gratification. It then makes it even more satisfying that the place he reaches after this is that he has to physically transform into his mother through the role play with his wife (who sleeps in another room and who he has no actual sexual desire or interest in).
therewillbeblus wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:19 pm
There are some tender moments between Martin and Janey, and Martin and Viggo, in the second half too (particularly in episode 8) that are arguably the most emotional Refn has done since Drive. They highlight not only the desire, but the natural push to act in attempting connections with others, and in spite of the violent, apathetic, and cold milieu Refn has created, these scenes are quite powerful and provide brief pockets of warmth, while they last.[/spoiler]
I think this ties back into the substitute of violence for human contact and desire. Viggo's story was bookended by this tenderness:
SpoilerShow
his final scene with Martin is a warm hug and his final scene with Diana is a big smile from her while firmly grasping her hand. Both small, intimate, and moving gestures.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#43 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:54 pm

R0lf wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:34 am
I was reading this plot as complementary to the Martin plot on the homosexual bent
SpoilerShow
that the sex club scene (where the camera pans to Jesus sitting in the "maricons" section while watching his cousin who clearly can't get off without fucking a women unless he is with his male lieutenant) is setting up the fact Jesus is a repressed homosexual. They then double up the imagery with the colostomy bag and the "fag" dialogue from the uncle. And it's made as a through dialogue for the series with Martin in episode five where the plot hinges on the gay scare anxiety of Martin being raped. The symbolism of Jesus sleeping with the snake later on is that same homo sex desire. Walking through a house full of Pierre et Gilles level camp photos of his mother. The outdated notion of the absent father and the overbearing mother. Him seeing images of his mother in lingerie while he is wearing pink speedos which make it abundantly clear that those images of his mother stir absolutely no sexual desire in him. And the lack of sexual desire then following through in a Freudian text of fetish being a substitute for female castration anxiety where the mother has mentally castrated her son so he latches on to the penis substitute as his fetish; in this case when his mother is killed he whips (another double up of the snake symbolism) the killer as the sex act for the object of his real sexual desire which is then turned into actual homosexual sexual gratification when he is then choked and sodomised with the same whip. He then kills Martin with (another penis substitute) a machete (which is the second time Martin is stabbed while avoiding actual sexual rape) which he brands as his rebirth and baptism, that is, he has never had to acknowledged his gay desire but has acted the physicality of it through violence which was then funnelled back into actual sexual gratification. It then makes it even more satisfying that the place he reaches after this is that he has to physically transform into his mother through the role play with his wife (who sleeps in another room and who he has no actual sexual desire or interest in).
These are terrific thoughts and add a complexity that make me appreciate the Jesus storyline much more. As I reflect on it, the drawn out world-building feels necessary for both his and Yaritza's characters to develop to the extents that they do, even if aspects of it have a coating that on the surface feels tiresomely familiar.
R0lf wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:34 am
I think this ties back into the substitute of violence for human contact and desire. Viggo's story was bookended by this tenderness:
SpoilerShow
his final scene with Martin is a warm hug and his final scene with Diana is a big smile from her while firmly grasping her hand. Both small, intimate, and moving gestures.
Those were the scenes that I was thinking on as well, and while the "substitute of violence for human contact and desire" is a theme embedded in all of Refn's work, I'm grateful that he allotted the time he did to show these moments of authentic compassion here that are either absent or less defined in his other films, which only accentuated the weight of their power.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#44 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:23 pm

After the first two episodes, this is something I enjoy in theory, but that I'm unable to really plug myself into in execution. No idea who anyone is, what anyone is talking very slowly about, why in the world Refn decided to have all of this unfold like molasses... I guess my primary question is whether I should be concerned that I have absolutely no clue what the fuck is going on, particularly in the 2nd episode.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:16 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:23 pm
After the first two episodes, this is something I enjoy in theory, but that I'm unable to really plug myself into in execution. No idea who anyone is, what anyone is talking very slowly about, why in the world Refn decided to have all of this unfold like molasses... I guess my primary question is whether I should be concerned that I have absolutely no clue what the fuck is going on, particularly in the 2nd episode.
I had no idea what was going on at that point either, but soon we see that Refn is taking his time building these two different milieus that he will use to focus the overall story, as they interconnect, mirror one another, and also exist separately. The second episode was probably my least favorite of the series, but later it becomes clear that some of the development was necessary for certain characters (though perhaps not all of the details he presents there..) - Either way I thoughts episodes 3-5 were some of the best of the series (along with 7 and 8), so it's worth continuing to see if the introduction of the most interesting elements he plays with (coinciding with the introductions of Jena Malone and John Hawkes) change your feelings on it. The series continues to have a glacial pace, but the thematic avenues it travels become more interesting shortly, and by around episode 4 I became so used to the stylistic pacing choices it stopped being noticeable altogether.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#46 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:25 pm

So should I rewatch those until I feel like I have a bead on who these people are? Or just keep going? Outside of the obvious ones (Teller, Teller's girlfriend, her father, his old partner's girlfriend, etc) I can't say I have a perfect read on who everyone is and how they fit into the narrative. It's almost like a change up in baseball, the pitch is coming in so slow that I'm not able to swing at it very well.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#47 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:54 pm

I’d just keep going. It took me a bit longer to realize who any of the people in ep 2 were or how they fit into the story but that part especially of the story moves slowly enough to give plenty of time to understand. The plot also never becomes that complicated so once you do figure things out (who’s who) there’s not much to do except analyze the characters with the information we’re given through Refn’s usual stylistic methods regarding their developments, motives, etc.

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#48 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:51 pm

Thanks!

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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#49 Post by John Cope » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:02 am

Thought this was absolutely fantastic. Easily the best "film" of the calendar year so far, and Refn's magnum opus, his greatest accomplishment yet. And as a film, as well as on an episode by episode basis, it has the unique distinction of being thoroughly experiential--you really feel like you've been through something with this, like you've lived through something you can barely believe you made it through, barely believe exists. There were many, many times (maybe even *most* times) when I couldn't believe what I was seeing and I say that as a fan of Refn from the beginning. This is one of those times when I would have dearly loved to have been a fly on the wall of Average Joe's house when he sat down to watch this but frankly I really don't think Average Joe would make it through episode one, let alone the bullwhip S&M scene toward the end (or any manner of shit in between).

Initially, I liked it but really did think that Refn was in some vital respects just fucking with us, overextending everything for the sheer perverse sake of doing so. But quickly I began to appreciate the series as the ultimate forum for his own very distinctive experimentation with style and form, as well as thematics. Episode two I regard at this point as being quite possibly the best single thing Refn has ever done. Just on its own terms as a piece unto itself it is utterly remarkable from frame one to the end and as perfect as anything I've ever seen. The pace in that particular one is the apotheosis of excruciatingly slow but it is not merely for its own sake; it is appropriate as that episode is all about waiting for death to arrive and all the prospective changes that loom with it and may accompany it beyond the death of the particular, in the wider realm beyond the individual. Any single shot set piece from that episode is as good and perfectly accomplished as anything I've seen anyone ever do. That episode is like a massive granite mountain, impassable and impenetrable but something to marvel at in wonder.

But the entire series is remarkable for its extraordinary thematic and aesthetic richness and the pacing and tempo only deepens and accentuates that, making us regard all things anew. Part of what I loved so much was that sense of never knowing what you were going to get, where this was going and what to expect. Refn throws all expectations out the window and in doing that reveals his underlying thematic interests more explicitly throughout. Because that's the big revelation here. You think you know what you're going to get, that this is going to be clearly one kind of thing eventually and then it is not that. Refn's interests here seem to me to be much more with a real, serious exploration of cultural, political and personal annihilation writ both very large but also in the most subdued key imaginable. It's also one of the very finest portraits of America (by anyone) that I can think of, even as it has broader social and even cosmological implications; it is rich and horrifically resonant as a mirror back to us of our own abiding obsessions, even poisonous cultural lineage, of violence as a virtually inescapable paradigm for both action and perception. In that regard the monologue at the end by Jena Malone (always sooo great) is kin to the TLJ speech at the end of No Country for Old Men. And the indictment is to all for sinking into a mass of power hungry rage (even as it may be justified, substantiated, argued away), a conflagration finally of epic proportions. That's also why we get the police department scenes. At first I simply took these as welcome comic relief but they become so clearly and progressively isolated that their absurdity becomes paramount. The idea of "police" becomes either an obscenity or an absurdity.

Many have compared this and Refn's style in general to Lynch and that's easy to see and to say but I think it's way too simple. Obviously Refn loves Lynch and is indebted to him and there are many reference points here but this is just as close in style to Bruno Dumont or Carlos Reygadas or even Matthew Barney or Panos Cosmatos, where the ponderousness and portentousness is absolute, overwhelming and provides a unique remoteness and distance, an extreme, rigorous and severe austere formalism. In regards to Lynch the very best thing I can say about this ultimately is that it is absolutely on level with his recent season of Twin Peaks, and that's remarkable enough.

As to the question above about episode 7:
SpoilerShow
I didn't take the scene literally but rather as another heightened expressionistic manifestation, this time one that serves to indicate the range and extent of the Baldwin character's reach, his power; that it is, like so many other powerful figures, almost but significantly not quite godlike.
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dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#50 Post by dda1996a » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:24 pm

So everyone here recommends it? I'm rather fond of Refn for the most part, and I like slow cinema. But reading every review labelling it slow and indulgent, had me worries a bit.
If I love Drive, didn't like Only God Forgives, and really liked Neon Demon until the last third (the first part was especially great), should I spent 13 hours on this?

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