The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

#1 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:43 pm

Brady Corbet's 'Childhood of a Leader' is pretty impressive; its look at the childhood of a future dictator takes inspiration from Fowles/Sartre as well as real life events from the childhoods of Mussolini and various other twentieth century despots. I'm sure Corbet's work with Haneke, von Trier and Ostlund (he's very much the American guy for European autuers) has helped, although he's said it's no more an influence than Dreyer or various other classic European directors he admires. Plus you get a very aggressive Scott Walker score. Tom Sweet, who plays the titular leader as a child, is really something.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2016

#2 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:43 pm

Impressive is the right word, particularly for the very confident and distinctive direction for a debut feature, with several of Corbet's striking decisions - and especially the use of the pummeling score - making this a very pleasant surprise. The dream sequences and the more hallucinatory final few minutes were powerfully done, and though I'm sure the delirious final shot will come in for some criticism, it worked for me. Auteurist flourishes and influences aside, Childhood also felt compelling in the context of the election cycle from hell Americans are currently suffering through, and the film lends its themes and allegorical value a stronger punch with its lack of specificity regarding its historical referents.

Thanks for mentioning it, TFaS, as I almost certainly wouldn't have caught it if I hadn't read your mention of it here!

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Lemmy Caution
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Re: The Films of 2016

#3 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:33 pm

I also found Childhood of a Leader to be an interesting film that I would have missed if not for the mention here. I thought the casting was terrific, as the mother, father and son all gave really assured performances.

Unfortunately my viewing was a mess. Firstly, my dvd player was on the fritz so I started watching it on my old troubled player, which was set for Chinese subtitles which I couldn't remove or switch to English. But then there were extended scenes in French, so I had to give up after 45 mins or so. The next night I got the other dvd player to work and started from the beginning. I had English subs, but fell asleep halfway through as I started it late. Then finally on the 3rd night I finished watching the film. But even then the English subs on my Chinese disc were pretty awkward and at times bad or confusing. So I watched the film 1 1/2 times over 3 nights, and still haven't really seen the film properly.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Films of 2016

#4 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:41 am

It's a shame that your viewing experience was pretty sub-optimal, but I'm glad to hear you found value in it even under those circumstances. I was concerned after seeing it that some of the visual and especially the audio elements wouldn't seem nearly as noteworthy during a home viewing compared to the theatrical experience (which for me happened to have featured ideal projection and sound quality).

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Grand Wazoo
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:23 pm

The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)

#5 Post by Grand Wazoo » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:28 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:30 pm
The 4 PM screening at BAM on Saturday, December 15th will have Brady Corbet and Natalie Portman in attendance for a Q&A (along with, more importantly, mfunk9786 and LQ). Tickets are here.
Thanks for the heads up on this! I just got tickets. This is my most anticipated movie this year, in part due to Childhood of a Leader blowing me away when I saw it at the American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland at a 10am screening after being up for about 28 hours straight before that. I'm afraid to watch it again because that insane mindset cannot (and should not) be repeated, but I assume at least some of my memories are reliable and it was an impressively audacious debut. I also have a friend with a small role in Vox Lux so I may be extra biased, but Brady Corbet's bombastic filmmaking is genuinely exciting and I hope this lives up to my expectations. Either way, I'm on board with whatever he does for quite a while.

dda1996a
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Re: Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)

#6 Post by dda1996a » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:04 pm

Mfunk did you like Corbet's first movie? I found it an utter bore so wondering if he simply improved and found a great script and I should get excited about this

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mfunk9786
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Re: Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)

#7 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:31 pm

I haven't seen it. He wrote this script.

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swo17
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Re: Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)

#8 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:33 pm

He cowrote Childhood of a Leader too. I found it promising and engaging while watching, though I must confess it hasn't really stayed with me.

dda1996a
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Re: Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)

#9 Post by dda1996a » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:46 pm

I miswrote. Didn't mean found a great script, but used as a foundation a good script (whether he wrote it or not is irrelevant). I found his debut to be a real slog that needs contextual information to even get anything from it. Hopefully this isn't like that

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knives
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Re: The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

#10 Post by knives » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:08 pm

I think this one is the opposite of a slog, though would also agree with Swo that it is more promise than success.

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John Cope
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Re: The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

#11 Post by John Cope » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:20 pm

An absolutely superb film, really one of the very best directorial debuts ever, and that's not just because of the way in which it defies contemporary convention for acceptable subject and form. Corbet's film far exceeds expectations in every way. It ultimately comes off as a fusion of Visconti and Von Trier at his best. Obviously Brady Corbet, as a performer for some real auteurs (including Trier), has drawn much from his experience. And honestly I would laud this for the guts and the capability alone of presenting a film like this paced as this one is; it's utterly anathema to the sensibilities of many in this era and one wonders how he ever even got it made while being grateful that he did.

Part of the picture's greatness is that Corbet has surrounded himself with superb talents on either side of the camera and obviously that makes a vast difference. Beyond that, in terms of the actual subject of this film and how it's handled, I was astonished by not just the pace of the picture, its willingness to be slow and steady in its observations and eschew excess dramatics, but also by its extraordinary subtlety, a subtlety of writing, performance and staging, of overall temperament, quiet and consistently understated. The power dynamics that inform this piece are not always easily discernible and wend their way through all the relationships, informing the entire social and cultural milieu with an attentive thoroughness. The end truly chills when we get there because we somehow both understand and are mystified by how we got to this point (the dislocation of the final shot is utterly appropriate). It informs while never shedding its overall mystery, or suggesting its richness can be easily determined. One of the very best films of 2016. Cannot wait to see Vox Lux. I hope for a very long and productive career for Corbet as the counter and antidote to Xavier Dolan.

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JamesF
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Re: The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

#12 Post by JamesF » Fri Dec 28, 2018 4:28 am

Hope no-one minds me plugging the Soda UK Blu-Ray, where we worked with Corbet on creating some exclusive extras, including a director’s commentary, an earlier short film of his, and Scott Walker’s score in an isolated lossless surround track.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Childhood-Lead ... 01LNMOWIO/

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Lemmy Caution
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:26 am
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Re: The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2016)

#13 Post by Lemmy Caution » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:26 pm

PLug away. Sounds good.
Hell, I would have waited a few days or a week, so you could rebump the thread.

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