You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

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Lost Highway
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#51 Post by Lost Highway » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:46 am

Adam Grikepelis wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:49 am
I've not yet seen You Were Never Really Here, and really don't remember how I felt about We Need to Talk About Kevin as I've only watched it once, so I can only comment in relation to her first two features.
I do feel, Lost Highway, like we're looking for different things in cinema based on your comments. I've found those two films to be pretty mesmerising, and find that while there's a narrative that holds things together, they're very much about character more than anything else. Not the mundane approach of watching a character go through experience and evolve changed at the end of it, but rather bearing witness to a characters experience from a very subjective point of view. The style, visual and aural, supports this - they're not about telling you a story with a boring three-act structure. They're about seeing and feeling a transformative moment in a character's life.
Not all filmmakers continue on the same tangent they started with, so with this latest work, she may well've produced something as vacuous & horrible as a Zach Synder production, but I have a very hard time believing it; yet there are plenty of directors, writers, musicians, who started out with wonderful work only for that early promise to quickly peter out. Focussing on a film needing to prioritise "characterisation, structure and story-telling" is, I feel, missing what Ramsay is doing in favour of what you feel she should be doing.

And I wouldn't say the number of films a director has made is any indication of their worth as a filmmaker. Not everyone is willing or able to produce a film every two or three years, especially when they're not working within a system like Hollywood, though I've never personally been interested in an artist's personal relations anywhere near as much as I am in the work they produce. Besides, pretty much every filmmaker has had many projects that haven't made it to fruition. There are obviously many more factors involved than the personality of the director.
I really don’t need to have it explained to me that not all filmmakers are conventional storytellers. The majority of my favorite filmmakers are focused on audio/visual aspects rather than being focused on narrative and characterization. That doesn't mean that every filmmaker who takes that approach is successful and I just don't recognise the visionary genius in Ramsay that others see in her. I've read interviews with Ramsay where she claims that she gravitates towards character studies and her films always aspire to that and they fail. And yes, I know that a character study can also be done in a way that's less conventional and more focused on visuals and mood. Her British compatriots Jonathan Glazer and Andrea Arnold are the real deal as far as I'm concerned and both of them are audio/visually oriented filmmakers but their films also succeed in character studies.
MoonlitKnight wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:34 am
Not to mention she's managed to make only 4 films in 20 years; she often seems attached to various projects that have fallen apart while she was associated with them ("The Lovely Bones," "Jane Got a Gun," etc.), which would lead one to believe that she's not particularly the most reliable filmmaker in terms of working with others. Or am I reading too much into it?
Her walking out on Jane Got a Gun on the first day of the shoot no doubt did damage to her reputation as a reliable filmmaker. I believe The Lovely Bones wasn't her fault, she got passed over for Peter Jackson. There are scores of idiosyncratic, brilliant film-makers who take years between projects either due to their perfectionism or because it takes forever to get funding and sometimes both.

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MichaelB
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#52 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:06 am

A case in point: Debra Granik. I’d almost forgotten her existence when Leave No Trace showed up.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#53 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:50 am

Lost Highway wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:46 am
I really don’t need to have it explained to me that not all filmmakers are conventional storytellers...
That’s actually not what I was saying at all, and I’m not trying to explain to you, or convince you of, anything. I was talking specifically about Lynne Ramsay’s films, and my impressions of them (in response to yours), and I’m sorry if it came across otherwise.

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jazzo
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#54 Post by jazzo » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:27 am

Altair wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:58 am
MoonlitKnight wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:34 am
Not to mention she's managed to make only 4 films in 20 years; she often seems attached to various projects that have fallen apart while she was associated with them ("The Lovely Bones," "Jane Got a Gun," etc.), which would lead one to believe that she's not particularly the most reliable filmmaker in terms of working with others. Or am I reading too much into it?
I haven't seen any Lynne Ramsay films (but that's my fault), but this seems such a weird critique: Terrence Malick made two films in twenty-five years, and did anyone seriously question his talent because of that?
Well, I question it, but in a general sorta way, not because of the frequency with which he makes them.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#55 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:30 am

Lost Highway wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:46 am
You Were Never Really Here was supposed to be an action thriller (and as such the most generic of premises with the most generic of protagonists) where she clearly hasn't mastered the basics of the genre. I'm sure her defenders would call it a deconstruction, but I don't buy it.
This assertion is what I'd take issue with; on what basis are you saying that the film was "supposed to be" anything other than what it is? Why assume that the elements of her film that subvert the basics of the action thriller genre are an attempt at deconstructing those tropes (or failing to execute them faithfully) instead of a clear indication that we shouldn't be expecting that kind of movie at all?

Also, Zach Snyder wishes he was the mainstream Lynne Ramsay in terms of visual technique, narrative coherency, or thematic weight.

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domino harvey
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#56 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:44 am

Sucker Punch is better than all of Ramsay's movies put together

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Lost Highway
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#57 Post by Lost Highway » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:52 am

DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:30 am
Lost Highway wrote:
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:46 am
You Were Never Really Here was supposed to be an action thriller (and as such the most generic of premises with the most generic of protagonists) where she clearly hasn't mastered the basics of the genre. I'm sure her defenders would call it a deconstruction, but I don't buy it.
This assertion is what I'd take issue with; on what basis are you saying that the film was "supposed to be" anything other than what it is? Why assume that the elements of her film that subvert the basics of the action thriller genre are an attempt at deconstructing those tropes (or failing to execute them faithfully) instead of a clear indication that we shouldn't be expecting that kind of movie at all?

Also, Zach Snyder wishes he was the mainstream Lynne Ramsay in terms of visual technique, narrative coherency, or thematic weight.
Let me re-phrase that. The movie is built on the most basic tropes and conventions of the action thriller, its plot is that of every second Jason Statham movie. Of course I don't expect a conventional action movie from a director like Ramsay, I expect more. But apart from some striking images, I didn't feel I got a lot more than a basic action film with bungled action sequences. In terms of characterisation it was almost as basic as a Statham vehicle. The abuse trauma of the lead was the most cliched character motivation imaginable and it was rendered in the most trite way possible via its artsy attempts at flashbacks.

The only thing I liked was the warm and funny relationship between Phoenix' character and his mother, but that made up about five minutes of the movie.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#58 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:04 pm

Lost Highway wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:52 am
But apart from some striking images, I didn't feel I got a lot more than a basic action film with bungled action sequences.
I don't think I'm going to drag you over to the right side of film history here, so I'll let it go after this, but characterizing what would in another movie be the marquee action sequences as "bungled" implies that they were attempted to be executed like those in a particularly grim Jason Statham movie, or even as directly as Taxi Driver's climax. I'd argue those sequences were very purposefully and expertly de-emphasized so that the viewers' focus isn't on elegantly choreographed violence but on the implications of that violence for the central character; we clearly disagree on the efficacy of this characterization through action, but I think to label the depictions of violence as incompetently executed is a misreading of their purpose in the film.

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Lost Highway
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Re: You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)

#59 Post by Lost Highway » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:16 pm

True, I'd regard that reading as charitable.

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