So I finally watched this last night after holding it in my keyvip for a few months. Very impressed, and I think accusations of it being derivative are inevitable but maybe half-baked. Lots of movies have been made about life in civilization's outskirts like ghettos and slums, trying to capture the alienation and the difficulties that these people face. These films all take place in similar settings, feature similar cultures and subcultures, and I have to wonder to what degree is this derivative of another film, and to what degree are they merely kindred representations of similar milieux? I've seen some comparisons to Taxi Driver, maybe due to Jodie Foster's involvement and the superficial reference in the film. I think the two films have remarkably little in common, though. They both have guns and violence and alienation, sure, but they present completely different scenarios with completely different intents and results. La Haine resembles other films, but it did not feel particularly derivative to me (obviously it is informed by other films, but I don't think it relies on them).
The subtitle discourse was an entertaining read. I don't have much to say about it, because I know enough French to see through the changes. I'm a little disappointed, but that's all.
I'm most interested in hearing people's opinions about two elements from the film. First, the moments of absurdity in the film, these bizarre and seemingly incongruent situations that provide such stark contrast to the harsh realism of the piece (the cow, the man who tells the story about Siberia; to a lesser degree the drunk man who hangs out with them while they carjack, the whole scene with the guy Asterix). What do you think these accomplish? Why include them? I loved them, but I'm trying to think about their purpose, how they might function in the narrative as something more than just random comedy.
The other thing I noticed was the tendency for the camera to linger, often staying on a scene after the characters left, and typically seeing something there, often for comedic or ironic effect. This happened several times, to the point where it either seemed like directorial excess or like it might have a particular purpose. I found the shots interesting, just not sure what to think about them. There were several instances of this, but some that stand out clearly: the guy peeking out of the bathroom stall after they all leave (hysterical), the breakdancer spinning and spinning for a few seconds after everyone else has run to see "the shit going down" outside, and the Eiffel Tower cutting off after their attempt to mimic turning it off themselves (eloquently suggesting that they have no control over their world; I also think the allusion to "that only happens in the movies" is also relevant).
Any ideas? Humor me and my random observations.