The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

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Noiretirc
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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#101 Post by Noiretirc » Mon May 14, 2018 11:10 pm

I'm sure that all of these people adore Schindler's List though.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#102 Post by dda1996a » Tue May 15, 2018 1:09 am

Noiretirc wrote:I'm sure that all of these people adore Schindler's List though.
Yeah, can you please not? Thanks

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#103 Post by black&huge » Tue May 15, 2018 1:20 am

dda1996a wrote:
Noiretirc wrote:I'm sure that all of these people adore Schindler's List though.
Yeah, can you please not? Thanks
To be fair it's not like Spielberg never treated brutal violence as entertainment value.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#104 Post by dda1996a » Tue May 15, 2018 1:23 am

To be fair I don't think using the Holocaust or a filmic presentation of it should be made here.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#105 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2018 1:28 am

How many walkouts is this thread gonna get?

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#106 Post by black&huge » Tue May 15, 2018 1:33 am

dda1996a wrote:To be fair I don't think using the Holocaust or a filmic presentation of it should be made here.
I never said it was Schindler's List that did it.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#107 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2018 1:44 am

Image

The chief critic at Vanity Fair, ladies and germs

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#108 Post by black&huge » Tue May 15, 2018 2:16 am

Oh man I feel really bad for him. Who knew taking a film critic job meant you had to see movies. Even ones you're biased against.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#109 Post by bainbridgezu » Tue May 15, 2018 2:33 am

He's since deleted the tweet, which makes him somehow even more pathetic. What is it the kids say? Retire bitch.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#110 Post by Lost Highway » Tue May 15, 2018 3:51 am

Every few years Von Trier releases some cinematic provocation and every time critics and audiences dutifully clutch their pearls in response, just as intended. This has become a Road Runner cartoon and the lack of self awareness of those being played is ridiculous.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#111 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 15, 2018 3:56 am

Lost Highway wrote:Every few years Von Trier releases some cinematic provocation and every time critics and audiences dutifully clutch their pearls in response, just as intended. This has become a Road Runner cartoon and the lack of self awareness of those being played is ridiculous.
...and then I catch up with it a few years later and wonder what all the fuss was about. I suppose I should get round to Antichrist one of these days, but I’m (still) not in any hurry.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#112 Post by Lost Highway » Tue May 15, 2018 4:05 am

MichaelB wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:Every few years Von Trier releases some cinematic provocation and every time critics and audiences dutifully clutch their pearls in response, just as intended. This has become a Road Runner cartoon and the lack of self awareness of those being played is ridiculous.
...and then I catch up with it a few years later and wonder what all the fuss was about. I suppose I should get round to Antichrist one of these days, but I’m (still) not in any hurry.
I‘m not disagreeing, I feel the same about his actual work. As to Antichrist, there are things to recommend it but they aren’t the themes, ideas or the balls pounding. Its cursed fairy tale forest is a thing of beauty though.

I’m not easily provoked by depictions of violence, no matter how transgressive, especially not when I know what I’m in for. I find the performative virtue signaling around extreme films tiresome. You can’t get through a discussion of A Serbian Film without lots of people professing their outrage without even having seen the film, positioning themselves as morally superior to anybody who would as much as watch the film or even see some value in it.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#113 Post by tenia » Tue May 15, 2018 4:37 am

But on the other end, many extremely violent films haven't much more to offer than just button-pushing violence, and it seems to be the problem with this LVT movie.
I don't mind extreme violence on screen myself. But as for Serbian Film, I'm amongst those who've actually seen it (twice) and while my memory of it is now quite fuzzy, I found it to be just not very good and interesting. I understand what it tried to achieve. I just think it wasn't very good at it, and that it chose a very gratuitously way to do it. If you can't get to the heart or the brain, get to the guts...
I much prefer the 1st Human Centipede, which is much less graphic, but is IMO better done and atmospherically better crafted.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#114 Post by Lost Highway » Tue May 15, 2018 4:55 am

tenia wrote:But on the other end, many extremely violent films haven't much more to offer than just button-pushing violence, and it seems to be the problem with this LVT movie.
As for Serbian Film, I'm amongst those who've actually seen it (twice) and while my memory of it is now quite fuzzy, I found it to be just not very good and interesting. I understand what it tried to achieve. I just think it wasn't very good at it, and chose a very gratuitously way to do it. If you can't get to the heart or the brain, get to the guts...
I much prefer the 1st Human Centipede, which is much less graphic, but is better done and atmospherically better crafted.
Having been shocked by the atrocities committed during the Yugoslav wars of the 90s, I found it a valid response. It makes an attempt at putting the audience though what those countries went through. It also works as a pitch black outrage comedy, it‘s much like an adaptation of the gross out joke at the centre of the documentary The Aristocrats.

As someone who's more put off by offensive ideology or politics than extreme imagery, I have no problem with what the film does in that regard. It doesn’t condone any of its atrocities, they are meant to revolt and horrify. In that regard I find the film less problematic than a mainstream Hollywood film like Fatal Attraction, with its anti-feminist pro-family values propaganda.

I’m not even sure where The Human Centipede comes in there apart from that t was discussed in regard to the so called torture porn cinema of the period. I strongly disagree that it is better made than A Serbian Film. It’s fairly amateurishly made, written and acted. Apart from its hilarious bad-taste hook, it doesn’t even deliver on the gross-out promised, it’s a disappointingly timid movie in that regard. Despite a low budget A Serbian Film is a far better made movie in every respect, built around an impressive central performance.

Im not going to go further into discussing the individual merits of each movie we’ve discussed here. Maybe there is some space for that in Navelgazing and Infighting under an Atrocity Cinema thread or some-such.
Last edited by Lost Highway on Tue May 15, 2018 5:36 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#115 Post by tenia » Tue May 15, 2018 4:58 am

Lost Highway wrote:I’m not even sure where The Human Centipede comes in there apart from that it was discussed in regard to the so called torture porn cinema of the period.
Movies that many people discussed as being awfully extreme without even having seen it.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#116 Post by Lost Highway » Tue May 15, 2018 5:02 am

tenia wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:I’m not even sure where The Human Centipede comes in there apart from that it was discussed in regard to the so called torture porn cinema of the period.
Movies that many people discussed as being awfully extreme without even having seen it.
I’ve acknowledged that even in that quote. I think it’s a superficial way of looking at both films.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#117 Post by black&huge » Tue May 15, 2018 5:16 am

Finally a review. Unfortunately it's from The Playlist. Spoilers of course.

This person is the type that will flat out deny to the death being partly responsible for the rise of the "filmbros" they're calling out. Also.. filmbro?

I'm getting pretty sick of the self serving attitude of "I used to defend this person but now they've gone too far." What does one hope to achieve by saying that aside from unearned privilege of being a "voice of reason"? This article stinks of narcissism.

Lastly, the first publicized qoute from Trier regarding this film months ago was that it celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless. So... did people not take that seriously?

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#118 Post by MichaelB » Tue May 15, 2018 5:39 am

Lost Highway wrote:Having been shocked by the atrocities committed during the Yugoslav wars of the 90s at the time, I found it a valid response. It makes an attempt at putting the audience though what those countries went through. It also works as a pitch black outrage comedy, it‘s much like an adaptation of the gross out joke at the centre of the documentary The Aristocrats.
Yes, that's very much how the filmmakers pitched it, accompanied by the suggestion that only they were brave enough to tread this kind of psychological terrain. Which is, not to put too fine a point on it, absolute cobblers - A Serbian Film has no more to say about the legacy of 1990s wartime atrocities than, say, Dejan Zečević's The Fourth Man, made a few years earlier. And at least Zečević wasn't pretending to be making any kind of profound statement: he was merely using the characters' past in the same way that American exploitation filmmakers were using the Vietnam veteran. (This is of course but one of countless examples: I watched a lot of Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian films in the late 2000s thanks to multiple trips to the Sarajevo Film Festival.)
As someone who's more put off by offensive ideology or politics than extreme imagery, I have no problem with what the film does in that regard. It doesn’t condone any of its atrocities, they are meant to revolt and horrify. In that regard I find the film less problematic than a mainstream Hollywood film like Fatal Attraction, with its anti-feminist pro-family values propaganda.
That's letting them off the hook to an extent that I really don't think they deserve. In actual fact, I'd argue that the stronger parts of A Serbian Film are to do with the explicit satire (which is even embedded in the title) about how the term "Serbian" has itself become a catch-all suggestion of truly unspeakable brutality - hence the Vukmir character's keenness to market Serbian pornography on the strength of its country of origin.
I’m not even sure where The Human Centipede comes in there apart from that t was discussed in regard to the so called torture porn cinema of the period. I strongly disagree that it is better made than A Serbian Film. It’s fairly amateurishly made, written and acted. Apart from its hilarious concept, it doesn’t even deliver on the gross out promised, it’s a disappointingly timid movie in that regard.
It's just an old-fashioned mad-scientist movie, but hamstrung in this case by asking the question "OK, now what?" about a third of the way in, and never coming up with an even vaguely convincing answer. Still, it broke the record previously set by Herschell Gordon Lewis's Color Me Blood Red for the slowest chase in the history of the cinema, so that's something.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#119 Post by Lost Highway » Tue May 15, 2018 6:07 am

MichaelB wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:Having been shocked by the atrocities committed during the Yugoslav wars of the 90s at the time, I found it a valid response. It makes an attempt at putting the audience though what those countries went through. It also works as a pitch black outrage comedy, it‘s much like an adaptation of the gross out joke at the centre of the documentary The Aristocrats.
Yes, that's very much how the filmmakers pitched it, accompanied by the suggestion that only they were brave enough to tread this kind of psychological terrain. Which is, not to put too fine a point on it, absolute cobblers - A Serbian Film has no more to say about the legacy of 1990s wartime atrocities than, say, Dejan Zečević's The Fourth Man, made a few years earlier. And at least Zečević wasn't pretending to be making any kind of profound statement: he was merely using the characters' past in the same way that American exploitation filmmakers were using the Vietnam veteran. (This is of course but one of countless examples: I watched a lot of Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian films in the late 2000s thanks to multiple trips to the Sarajevo Film Festival.)
As someone who's more put off by offensive ideology or politics than extreme imagery, I have no problem with what the film does in that regard. It doesn’t condone any of its atrocities, they are meant to revolt and horrify. In that regard I find the film less problematic than a mainstream Hollywood film like Fatal Attraction, with its anti-feminist pro-family values propaganda.
That's letting them off the hook to an extent that I really don't think they deserve. In actual fact, I'd argue that the stronger parts of A Serbian Film are to do with the explicit satire (which is even embedded in the title) about how the term "Serbian" has itself become a catch-all suggestion of truly unspeakable brutality - hence the Vukmir character's keenness to market Serbian pornography on the strength of its country of origin.
I’m not even sure where The Human Centipede comes in there apart from that t was discussed in regard to the so called torture porn cinema of the period. I strongly disagree that it is better made than A Serbian Film. It’s fairly amateurishly made, written and acted. Apart from its hilarious concept, it doesn’t even deliver on the gross out promised, it’s a disappointingly timid movie in that regard.
It's just an old-fashioned mad-scientist movie, but hamstrung in this case by asking the question "OK, now what?" about a third of the way in, and never coming up with an even vaguely convincing answer. Still, it broke the record previously set by Herschell Gordon Lewis's Color Me Blood Red for the slowest chase in the history of the cinema, so that's something.
I didn't say A Serbian Film has anything to say about the Yugoslav wars. I think it makes the audience want to feel something similar to what I felt when I read about them at the time. That may well be exploitative but I found this allegorical approach less problematic than for instance the much admired Son of Saul, which uses the Holocaust for a self-congratulatory exercise in representation.

The Human Centipede, like so many exploitation films, has an enticing title and a bad-taste concept John Waters would have been proud of, but it was hampered by its wobbly and surprisingly conventional execution and a lack of delivering on the gross-out goods. The sequel is a marginally more interesting and better made film than the original but not enough for me to watch the third Human Centipede film.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#120 Post by Oedipax » Tue May 15, 2018 10:38 am

Some critics, at least, seem to like it a lot, going by this aggregator.

I'll be seeing it on Friday night and my curiosity is extremely piqued now. Going into this, I was pretty leery of another Von Trier film in his current aesthetic 'mode,' which for me has had diminishing returns post-Antichrist, becoming quite dull by the time Nymphomaniac came around, but I too think the trailer looks great. Such polarized responses only increase my sense that this might be a pivotal film - hopefully in a positive way - in LvT's filmography.

I would take The Playlist's review with an extreme grain of salt, except to say that it does embody the dominant cultural discourse around art in the U.S. at the moment (something I find as tedious and stupid as it is predictable).

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#121 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:46 am

Riley Keough has sort of come to von Trier's defense (meaning, artistically at least) on Twitter:
I would say he has a different way of approaching issues than most. And that he is a provocateur. And to maybe search for a deeper meaning within the film and see if you can find one :) But his films are not for everyone & everyone is entitled to their own point of view on art.
She also faved a tweet calling her performance "punishingly thankless" in the film, though.

Also, the groundswell of "Scheduling conflicts during Cannes? Suuuuuuuuure" seems to be pretty toothless, as Keough won't be there for Under the Silver Lake either, and Uma Thurman was given a lifetime achievement honor at a Broadway gala last night. I wouldn't take either's absence as some kind of dismissal of von Trier en masse, and even if it were limited to a dismissal of their roles in this film, it would be understandable without being interpreted as some kind of indication that he mistreated either during production.

Oedipax: Yeah, I've been seeing the positive notices trickle in a bit less loudly, but I'm mostly concerned by the fact that many of these reviews indicate that there is a meta layer that makes it very obvious that this is a film about von Trier's relationship to his work, up to and including
SpoilerShow
the inclusion of clips from his other films.
One critic said it plays like it could conceivably be his suicide note.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#122 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2018 10:53 am

black&huge wrote:Finally a review. Unfortunately it's from The Playlist. Spoilers of course.
That's a pretty good film critic you're slagging off, so you're pretty much just living up to the sort of mostly accurate stereotype she's deriding in this thoughtful review of a film you haven't seen. I'm gonna go with the word of Jessica Kiang over the word of new CriterionForum.org user black&huge 100 times out of 100, even if at my own peril

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#123 Post by tenia » Tue May 15, 2018 11:05 am

Without knowing the writer nor black&huge and having not seen the movie, it's true that it was hard not to parellel what the review describes and how black&huge was reacting to it.
This being written, I never followed Kiang as an outstanding reviewer and will take your word on this for the future (I'm currently looking at expanding my "reference UK/US reviewers" pool).

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#124 Post by furbicide » Tue May 15, 2018 11:09 am

black&huge wrote:Finally a review. Unfortunately it's from The Playlist. Spoilers of course.

This person is the type that will flat out deny to the death being partly responsible for the rise of the "filmbros" they're calling out. Also.. filmbro?

I'm getting pretty sick of the self serving attitude of "I used to defend this person but now they've gone too far." What does one hope to achieve by saying that aside from unearned privilege of being a "voice of reason"? This article stinks of narcissism.

Lastly, the first publicized qoute from Trier regarding this film months ago was that it celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless. So... did people not take that seriously?
The end of that review is remarkably defensive. Someone expressing more interest in seeing a film because a critic panned it is a “douchebag”? It’s perfectly ok to hate a film and to express why – it’s just, y’know, possible that not everyone will agree with you.

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Re: The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)

#125 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue May 15, 2018 11:10 am

tenia wrote:Without knowing the writer nor black&huge and having not seen the movie, it's true that it was hard not to parellel what the review describes and how black&huge was reacting to it.
This being written, I never followed Kiang as an outstanding reviewer and will take your word on this for the future (I'm currently looking at expanding my "reference UK/US reviewers" pool).
The Playlist is one of the websites my work network doesn't block for its association with "Movies," for whatever reason, so I've read her a bit. But, I mean, if you ask of your film critics that they like everything you like or suspect that you'll like (which, why bother with film criticism then?), YMMV.

Can't say I have a ton of issue with a film critic being passionate about their opinion one way or another, it's why I like reading some users here so much, because they won't pull punches, even if that opinion amounts to "how can anyone tell me they like this shit with a straight face??"

Lars von Trier has made a handful of my favorite films, but why get angry because someone strongly dislikes his new one, or even questions my motives for wanting to see it? Life is too short to take such a thing so personally.

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