It is currently Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:42 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: 893 Certain Women
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:54 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village
Certain Women

Image Image

The expanses of the American Northwest take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-contained but interlocking episodes, Certain Women navigates the subtle shifts in personal desire and social expectation that unsettle the circumscribed lives of its characters: a lawyer (Laura Dern) forced to subdue a troubled client; a woman (Michelle Williams) whose plans to construct her dream home reveal fissures in her marriage; and a night-school teacher (Kristen Stewart) who forms a tenuous bond with a lonely ranch hand (Lily Gladstone), whose unguardedness and deep attachment to the land deliver an unexpected jolt of emotional immediacy. With unassuming craft, Reichardt captures the rhythms of daily life in small-town Montana through these fine-grained portraits of women trapped within the landscape's wide-open spaces.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

• New 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Kelly Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• New interviews with the film's cast and crew, including Reichardt and executive producer Todd Haynes
• New interview with Maile Meloy, author of the stories on which the film is based
• Trailer
• PLUS: An essay by critic Ella Taylor


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:26 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC
FrauBlucher wrote:

I'm not sure what to make of her interview. Her complaints are no doubt valid, but based on Certain Women which is the only film of hers I've seen she's not being entirely fair. It's a tough, tough film to get into, if anything it seems like it's a film designed to alienate the audience. Therefore, to suggest her films are personal in the vein of Linklater or PTA is entirely disingenuous. If you're making the kinds of films she is that's the reason why you're broke, not the distributors, nor is it about sexism.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
I'm curious as to why you this as such an alienating film. I saw it at a well-attended festival screening where it was warmly received (and warmly recalled and discussed several weeks and dozens of films later). It's based around a bunch of great, appealing performances by well-known actors, it's funny, it isn't narratively obscure (three reasonably straightforward short stories). I haven't come across anybody who found it tough to get into. I actually haven't even come across anybody who didn't love it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 1:19 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Also how is style an argument against a film being personal especially if you are comparing her to PTA who got a lot of the funding for The Master with the knowledge it would alienate some audience members and lose money (the other producers didn't seem to realize that though).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC
Zedz, full disclosure my comments may very well have been reflective of suffering from festival fatigue. I'm in my third week now of watching 2 to 3 films a day back to back. In Certain Women's case it followed Toni Erdmann which is a completely different vibe. There was also a problem with the projector that caused a delay and a shift from Walter Reade to the additional seats brought in, much smaller cramped (I'm 6'4) theater across the street. That being said, tho I thought the performances were great I just couldn't get into the pacing and found myself lost regarding what was going on. After the film, this was a press screening, in chatting with a couple of people their sentiments were the same. Again nobody hated it or was openly hostile to it, but we were somewhat dumbfounded. Most including myself felt it would be good to watch again for the reasons I just mentioned.

Now what gave these sentiments on the film credence in my eyes worth responding to here was the press conference after where it was made very clear that this disconnection, slow paced focus on everyday monotony is a theme throughout her work. This Knives was what I was referencing when I commented on her comparing her personal films to PTA and others, none of those guys films are slow paced. As we know this style is very much for a niche audience like ours here that the average movie watcher will not have patience for.

In fact we were hanging out tonight as people were shuffling into the public screening joking around about those coming in to see the new Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams movie having no idea what they were in store for.

One note on Kristen Stewart having had the opportunity to be around her in person, she is not like anything I expected. Very outgoing, funny, goofy even in a down to earth charming way. It's odd that to my knowledge at least she hasn't been in a film that's brought these characteristics of her out more on film. She has a freshness about her that would be fantastic in the modern day screwball roles Greta Gerwig has seemingly monopolized.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:04 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
I can't speak for this film, but I've shown off her previous three to many a layman who find Wes Anderson even too esoteric and nearly all of them are beloved (I've met a few who found Night Moves too violent). Discussing imaginary laymen is always a losing argument.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:13 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC
Well from what I've been told her films even by indie standards have all tanked at the box office so there's that.

What else can I say? Your friends are far cooler than mine.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:33 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC
One thing that came to mind I wanted to ask about is her style of shooting, use of light and shadow reminded me a lot Kieslowski. Has he generally been an influence on her work or was this exclusive to this film?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:44 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Really bummed that I missed Monday night's NYFF screening - the lead performers as well as Reichardt did a Q&A, and there was even discounted rush tickets available.

Anyway, IFC Center announced a few screenings with Reichardt in attendance - this well be two weekends from now, so get them while you can.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:13 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:04 pm
Location: Hants, UK
Not surprised Criterion are releasing this since it's a Sony acquisition. If Criterion UK does carry on into next year, I hope they consider releasing this one in the UK as well!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:26 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:49 am
Location: Transylvania
Black Hat wrote:
Well from what I've been told her films even by indie standards have all tanked at the box office so there's that.
I'm not sure filmmakers like Reichardt can even be held to "indie standards," but I guess it depends on who you define as her indie peer group (which would not include PTA or Wes Anderson). Her films perform financially (in theaters) far better than Alex Ross Perry's, Joe Swanberg's, and Ti West's but nobody really considers them failures. (All of these filmmakers are surely performing far better on home video and VOD, and those numbers are held much more closely to the vest.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 pm
rapta wrote:
Not surprised Criterion are releasing this since it's a Sony acquisition. If Criterion UK does carry on into next year, I hope they consider releasing this one in the UK as well!

It's actually an IFC acquisition, although that just means Criterion picking it up is even less surprising.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:15 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Black Hat wrote:
Zedz, full disclosure my comments may very well have been reflective of suffering from festival fatigue. I'm in my third week now of watching 2 to 3 films a day back to back. In Certain Women's case it followed Toni Erdmann which is a completely different vibe. There was also a problem with the projector that caused a delay and a shift from Walter Reade to the additional seats brought in, much smaller cramped (I'm 6'4) theater across the street. That being said, tho I thought the performances were great I just couldn't get into the pacing and found myself lost regarding what was going on. After the film, this was a press screening, in chatting with a couple of people their sentiments were the same. Again nobody hated it or was openly hostile to it, but we were somewhat dumbfounded. Most including myself felt it would be good to watch again for the reasons I just mentioned.

Now what gave these sentiments on the film credence in my eyes worth responding to here was the press conference after where it was made very clear that this disconnection, slow paced focus on everyday monotony is a theme throughout her work. This Knives was what I was referencing when I commented on her comparing her personal films to PTA and others, none of those guys films are slow paced. As we know this style is very much for a niche audience like ours here that the average movie watcher will not have patience for.

In fact we were hanging out tonight as people were shuffling into the public screening joking around about those coming in to see the new Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams movie having no idea what they were in store for.

One note on Kristen Stewart having had the opportunity to be around her in person, she is not like anything I expected. Very outgoing, funny, goofy even in a down to earth charming way. It's odd that to my knowledge at least she hasn't been in a film that's brought these characteristics of her out more on film. She has a freshness about her that would be fantastic in the modern day screwball roles Greta Gerwig has seemingly monopolized.

Ironically, I also saw Certain Women right after Toni Erdmann, back in July (though there was a night between them and it was right at the start of the festival conveyer belt).

I think you've got the wrong end of the stick regarding Reichardt, and I urge you to see more of her films. A 'focus on everyday monotony' isn't a description I would apply to any of her films. Even the least dramatic of them, Old Joy, is about a one-off road trip. I suppose there's technically 'monotony' in Meek's Cutoff, but it's there to build tension, and it's about as far from 'everyday' as any contemporary film could be (it's a western about a bunch of people lost in the wilderness). Wendy and Lucy is a micro-thriller about a woman placed in a terrible position in a strange town by looming economic forces, but her crisis is framed on an intimate, human scale. And Night Moves is about a bunch of naive terrorists. 'Everyday' for whom?

None of these films clock in at over two hours, and Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy run well under 90 minutes, so I don't even think 'slow-paced' is a tenable criticism, considering how much is fitted into them. Certain Women is the longest, but that's telling three complete stories as well as subtly tying them together. All the films are thoughtful, beautifully observed and powerfully dramatic (in unconventional ways), and she's every inch as major a talent as Linklater or Anderson. I suspect the folk you were talking to about Reichardt hadn't seen any of her films either, but were too embarrassed to admit it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:30 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:04 pm
Location: Hants, UK
The Narrator Returns wrote:
rapta wrote:
Not surprised Criterion are releasing this since it's a Sony acquisition. If Criterion UK does carry on into next year, I hope they consider releasing this one in the UK as well!

It's actually an IFC acquisition, although that just means Criterion picking it up is even less surprising.


Ah right, well it's definitely Sony for ROW anyway, which should make things easier if it were to be ported over here too. Turns out Criterion UK are still continuing as planned, so hope they do decide to release it here (would be one of a few contemporary titles that Criterion will be able to release in both territories).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:06 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:36 pm
Is this actually confirmed at this point? At the risk of turning off anyone who hasn't bought Soda's BD boxset yet, isn't it more likely Reichardt has a phantom page because Kino's license on Old Joy is possibly ending soon and Criterion have snapped up the rights?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:41 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
JamesF wrote:
Is this actually confirmed at this point? At the risk of turning off anyone who hasn't bought Soda's BD boxset yet, isn't it more likely Reichardt has a phantom page because Kino's license on Old Joy is possibly ending soon and Criterion have snapped up the rights?

Criterion has right of first refusal on all IFC releases. There is no way that they are going to turn down a critically acclaimed Kelly Reichardt film.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:40 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Just saw this tonight at IFC, and afterwards they announced it had just won the London Film Festival award for best picture.

It took a while for me to lock into the same wavelength as the picture - after the first two sections, I thought this could have been portraying the connection between the misogyny and working class frustration that have come to define Trump's presidential campaign. It was a fleeting thought before I finally locked into the film's rhythms, and I definitely want to revisit this sometime in the near future.

I haven't seen or revisited any of Reichardt's work since Meek's Cutoff at the NYFF, which I believe was six years ago - perhaps my memory of her work has faded in that time, but I was immediately struck by her thoughtful and meticulous command, from the visuals all the way down to the sound mix. (The weak radio signal in the third section is great, reminding me of something others have written about Springsteen's Nebraska - the idea of living in someplace so isolated and desolate that instead of finding freedom and salvation in what music AM radio was able to find in the ether, all you got back was static and the greater sense of loneliness that came with it.)

The visual rhythm was particularly striking, recalling Ozu's pillow shots. This was especially true in the first section when we transition from afternoon to evening...
[Reveal] Spoiler:
...through Laura Dern at home in bed to the hostage situation. She sets up the next extended scene in three shots with no expository dialogue. It's composed abstractly enough so that it's not entirely an economical approach - it's only clear what's happening after we see these shots, not during.


Even better is in the third section. At first the approach gives us an immersive effect where we fully realize the monotonous and lonely daily life of the central character. But later on, the action in the imagery changes (into dish washing and laundry), right after a conversation in a diner - out of context, it would seem like nothing remarkable, but knowing the conversation that happened the night before, these images take on a different weight, that of a woman with no one to talk to during the daytime processing and empathizing with every word she heard from Kristin Stewart's character back in the diner.

And it's astonishing how Kristin Stewart has grown as a performer. She now seems to naturally channel Jodie Foster, in everything from her posture to her phrasing to her mannerisms.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Michelle Williams will be at two post-screening Q&A's this Saturday after the 1:45 and 4:20pm shows.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:34 pm
Location: NYC
zedz wrote:
I think you've got the wrong end of the stick regarding Reichardt, and I urge you to see more of her films. A 'focus on everyday monotony' isn't a description I would apply to any of her films.

None of these films clock in at over two hours, and Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy run well under 90 minutes, so I don't even think 'slow-paced' is a tenable criticism, considering how much is fitted into them. Certain Women is the longest, but that's telling three complete stories as well as subtly tying them together. All the films are thoughtful, beautifully observed and powerfully dramatic (in unconventional ways), and she's every inch as major a talent as Linklater or Anderson. I suspect the folk you were talking to about Reichardt hadn't seen any of her films either, but were too embarrassed to admit it.
Zedz, I've now given Certain Women three shots . The first time I already wrote about, the second time I passed out towards the end of the first act, waking up momentarily here and there to only fall asleep again waking up just in time for the final shot. The third time I stayed awake mostly with a brief lets call it resting of my eyes in the third act. I don't take pleasure in saying this or specifically making this choice of words, but Certain Women is fucking boring. I'm not crazy either as there were people all over the theater the three times I've seen it in various states of somnus.

I feel bad because it's clear Reichardt is a fantastic director, her compositions exquisite — as HTS said reminds me very much of Ozu — I also appreciate how she lets certain small gestures or glances from her actors tell you what's going on internally which especially came thru in the second story between family members. The problem for me in Certain Women which I suspect led to me nodding off is feeling little connection to the characters. Jared Harris gives a fine performance, but his behavior even before his 'break' provided me with little of the sympathy needed for me to be invested in his plight. Michelle Williams I thought was great, but the problem with her story is it lacked context. Meaning instead of understanding why she is the way she is you come away thinking, 'what on earth is her problem?'. I think if Williams was given the amount of context Harris was her story takes on qualities which would have made it really brilliant. I would love to see a feature film about her character and family. Indeed I thought Williams was the overall most interesting character, but I agree with the many who felt the last story to be the film's strongest purely on the basis of the emotion produced by Lily Gladstone's acting this I very much felt, understood and was able to relate to. Conversely with Kristen Stewart I have very little idea what she was about outside of a vessel for Gladstone's character to project feeling on to... perhaps this was the point and that's totally fine.

I regrettably have to emphatically disagree with you and say the pace of the film is incredibly slow which when you don't care much about the story or its characters is what makes it a slog to get thru. I do agree with your estimation of Reichardt's talent and will eagerly watch the rest of her films.

Have you or anyone read the Maile Meloy stories the films was based on? I would certainly be interesting in reading these.

Plot question
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Was that Michelle Williams' husband in bed with Laura Dern
.

Certain Women is a film you can write or talk about endlessly as there is a universe breathing beneath its surface, but for many people myself included it doesn't pass the 'is this entertaining?' test. How much you penalize it for that is up to you, but I would encourage all to see the film as Reichardt is doing something far different than any of her peers.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:28 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC
Black Hat wrote:
Plot question
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Was that Michelle Williams' husband in bed with Laura Dern?

Yes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:10 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:41 pm
If you've seen this movie three times and have to ask that question I'm not sure the problem is with the movie.

Also, Certain Women is a million times more accessible than Inherent Vice or The Master.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:11 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles
I got a very strong Raymond Carver vibe from the movie which is why I liked it so much. Can't help but imagine Maile Meloy is influenced/a huge fan of his.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am
AquaNarc wrote:
If you've seen this movie three times and have to ask that question I'm not sure the problem is with the movie.

Also, Certain Women is a million times more accessible than Inherent Vice or The Master.

I'm not so sure. I think the people who are willing to watch one will watch the other. Maybe not one for one, but I think PTA's fans are also adventurous enough to watch Reichardt, and I'm an example of this (loved Night Moves and Wendy & Lucy)

Quote:
for many people myself included it doesn't pass the 'is this entertaining?' test
worst parameter ever. Films don't have to be entertaining to be great, unless you consider everything that affects you as entertaining. Haneke, Roeg and Kieslowski are some of my favorite directors but I wouldn't really call their films entertaining.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
I've seen it twice now, and I think that it's probably Reichardt's best film. It's one that I want to watch over and over, because there's so much going on. I find each of the three stories riveting individually, and love the little thematic connections between them.

Each is about a woman who is outwardly strong and independent, but frustrated by a need to be respected, included, accepted. They want to make a connection -- Laura to her clients, Gina to the land she lives in and the family she's feels ostracized from, the rancher to the woman she is infatuated with -- or really any human being.

I love Reichardt's precise framing and formal rigor. The opening shot has a train that enters from the middle right of the frame, travels to exactly the center, and disappears into the lower left-hand corner. That cuts to illicit lovers après afternoon delight who, in what is theoretically the most sensual scene in the film, are each boxed in to their own miniature frame. Characters are frequently framed by mirrors or windows, and it feels like they spend much of the film behind glass. Reichardt gives Kiarostami a run for his money in driving shots.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Each of the stories build to a crescendo, and instead of the expected climatic confrontation or resolution, there is an anti-climax. Stories are left, for the moment, unresolved. The first story's hostage situation just quietly unravels -- no violence, yelling, or gunfire -- just Laura looking at her antagonist, now just a cognitively-impaired forlorn old man (a fantastic Jared Harris), pinned behind the glass of a police car. The second finds Gina staring at her own cognitively-impaired forlorn old man (a fantastic René Auberjonois), pinned behind the window of his lonely cottage, hoping for an indication of acceptance or approval. It never comes. The unrequited love of the final story remains, well, unrequited. Unacknowledged for that matter. No explanations, no pleas, just uncomfortable silence, until finally the rancher has to watch the object of her affection pinned behind the glass window of her small town law firm going on with her own life and interacting with other people. There's a coda, of course, to these miniature glass-encased stories. Laura finally gets resolution and satisfaction; she and Fuller develop a rapport of sorts. Gina gets no resolution with Albert, but finds smug satisfaction anyway, staring contentedly at her pile of sandstone as she takes a drag from her cigarette, no longer bothering to hide her vice from her husband and daughter. And the rancher? She gets no resolution at all, because that's the way it often goes. She has to get back to the horses. They'll be wondering about her.

The film is full of great performances. In particular, Lily Gladstone, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams are quietly showing a thousand things left unsaid with a look, gesture, or bit of business. Gladstone is a revelation, conveying aching loneliness and the beatific joy of being in love without hardly saying a word. I love Stewart's little eccentricities like wiping her mouth with the still rolled up silverware and her hesitations and social awkwardness. The way she begins to write Elizabeth on the board for her class, stops and changes it to Beth (there's a pretty glaring continuity error there).

Reichardt pays so much attention to the way sets and characters are dressed. The outfits on Dern, Williams, and Stewart tell so much about their characters. Particularly Williams with her designer athletic and mountain gear and Stewart with her mom jeans and white sneakers. Every room feels perfect too -- the wood paneling of the offices and the unfinished drywall of the rancher's quarters. The movie has such a sense of place. Livingston's little downtown streets and outskirt shopping centers. The 80s-era mall with its mix of muzak and video game noises. I could almost smell the sad little food court where the Native American dancers gathered after their performance. That's one of the nods to the history of this place, and one of the reasons that I'm anxious to watch it again. I've never been to Montana, but now I kind of feel like I grew up in Livingston. I want to wallow in this place and keep getting little glimpses of these great characters.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:22 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:32 am
Thanks Jeff, I saw this film recently and too found it to be Reichardt's best film to date - no easy feat. You've managed to say everything I wanted to say about this film but was unable to put into words.
All I can say is that I fully echo these sentiments and cannot wait to see this film again.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection