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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
Ugh the second half of the second half of the film is stomach churning.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think they're going for one of those psych things: Stockholm syndrome or "learned helplessness".

Lord knows in an apartment with cutlery, a gas stove and open windows (to shout from) she could have devised a way out if she wanted. I suppose she didn't want to make a scene or wasn't capable of it?

For some reason not doing anything to get out takes me back to the bit where she cuts her clothing up to bits and flushes it, something she'd only do if she's internalized some really toxic perceptions of herself and her place in the world.

But yeah, a gas stove turn on the gas and the landlord will be bursting through the door before you know it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:35 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
Well, I surely hated this film. I could not give less of a shit about how New York is shot in this film— we’ve all seen countless noirs from this era that tethered this aesthetic to something worthwhile, why praise a movie for doing the bare minimum here?

There’s certainly a key detail to talking about this movie that gets conveniently left out, namely that
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Something Wild is what would happen if the troupes from Out 1 put on a performance of the Collector. I assume everyone skirts around the second half of the film because addressing it is more weight than a defense can possibly hold. The film was already pretty bad before Meeker showed up, and then when we think we've suffered the most we can in the film, those last fifteen minutes kick in and oh ho one learns the meaning of going off the rails. There’s a good reason no one ever wanted Terence Stamp to get with Samantha Eggar.

I take it that that comment about NYC being shot in the way it is in this film is referencing my raves for it, so I'll address this review directly.

First off, I understand that nothing is more satisfying for some than firing off rockets of aggravation directly at a film one was driven nuts by.. and firing them off fresh from that viewing-- speaking in declaratives, as though the reviewer of the film is writing for the entirety of the world and is jotting down some quick thoughts that surely represent the feelings of all who have clean common cinematic sense. The film is “bad” “shit” et cetera as though these are formally and officially understood facts across the width of the whole world.

Frankly everything that apparently drives some folks berserk with anger (which is not something I encounter an awful lot) over this film are the things I love about it. The characters--one must be warned--are completely and totally retarded. They do not act like characters in a conventional drama. "The window--open the window and go!" and vreep! out the window they go. If you’re looking for logical flow of script convention, you’re seeking to sip your cinematic coffee in the wrong house... you're getting some bizarre Bedouin tea poured from feet in the air, not Starbucks cap.

This film is about what happens in a big, decaying city when people in emotional distress withdraw, grow completely dislocated, and lose just about all contact with common sense and all the better angels of guidance in the outside world. It’s what happens when this dislocation creeps into almost every aspect of their decision making until the lost soul is barely recognizable versus the image of the sensible, functioning human being that existed before the slide.
"Go out the window and save yourself!"

In a large city, just about every day, you will see a perfectly able bodied 25 year old young man who’s taken the wrong turn in life, and he spends his entire day panhandling in the subway; rather than spending a moment’s time looking for a job, seeking help for a drug problem if he has one—no. Rather, he will sit there day after day after day NOT doing the very thing that would be the most obviously sensible thing to do were one to assume the individual wants to extricate himself from the predicament. Rather, something in his mind is shut almost completely off, and he will befuddle his friends and family who wonder “what the &^%$ has happened to ___? Why does he not take the very clear and obvious path to liberation?”

We see men and women in captive, abusive relationships. People are beaten, abused, stolen from—and the target remains, all semblance of integrity and self-defense drained away and they are degraded, befuddled, belittled, a meekly protesting remnant individual unable to stand up for themselves.

Something Wild is a tale about the kind of dislocation in a big city that’s rarely possible nowadays. We are all interconnected. We walk around with devices that put us instantly in touch with any kind of help, or talk, trouble, vice, any kind of companionship or contact with friends & family at the push of a button. Our lives leave literal trails. In the era running up to the mid 1980’s, people lived in dilapidated quarters of an extremely decayed and squalid NYC, a very different world of rust and decay and shambles of living; life could be lived extremely cheaply among the lice and the bedbugs and the mice and the roaches, there were very few cops, (and they were corrupt), there were few to no social services, vice was everywhere, crime ruled the streets, and the city was filled with strangely dissolute, curious individuals, people with unattended mental illness, people whose minds were permeated by the squalid nature of city tenement life, a kind of urban lost soul that could exist no-place else but in NYC.

The fact that these characters behave in a manner that makes little to no sense and drives the viewer insane with confusion because of the strange lunacy of their (lack of) decision making is what I love so much about it. It’s not an unflawed film—it’s nothing close to a universal film… it’s almost a film made for the intellectual urbanite who sees the unique beauty in certain early portrayals of lost urban souls living out on the rarely witnessed fringes. It may be that only people who’ve encountered this fringe form of urban life can find a film like this so satisfying. For me, the characters in Something Wild feel almost as if they’re the ones who’ve just happened to have passed on through. It could be about thousands of others—paranoid, muttering, making no sense, giving a shit about nobody and nothing like raucous Jean Stapleton. Like Taxi Driver, the city is the main character—even though, by contrast to other city symphonies and noirs, its somewhat understated but for the location shooting here and there..

I don’t doubt that Something Wild is something along the lines of a delicacy. But if you recognize the flavor, it’s ecstacy.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:37 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm
movielocke wrote:
Ugh the second half of the second half of the film is stomach churning.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
I think they're going for one of those psych things: Stockholm syndrome or "learned helplessness".

Lord knows in an apartment with cutlery, a gas stove and open windows (to shout from) she could have devised a way out if she wanted. I suppose she didn't want to make a scene or wasn't capable of it?

For some reason not doing anything to get out takes me back to the bit where she cuts her clothing up to bits and flushes it, something she'd only do if she's internalized some really toxic perceptions of herself and her place in the world.

But yeah, a gas stove turn on the gas and the landlord will be bursting through the door before you know it.


I found the 2nd half pretty fascinating.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
And I was especially intrigued by the mechanics of the door itself--you need a key to go out AND in. And I looked at the door open and close several times and didn't know where the upper keyhole lock was on the outside of the door. So is he really locking the door when he goes out? If he's just locking the door regularly, then Baker should be able to go out as it's only the upper lock that seems to give her trouble. Meeker is seen using the key on the upper lock to go out several times but at one point I also questioned whether it's more psychological than real. There is also one ambiguous line where Meeker tells Baker "You're hopeless." after yet another argument between them about opening the door. One is meant to take the line as Meeker being frustrated at Baker not accepting just living there with him, but reading it another way, it can also suggest that Meeker is implying Baker can get out anytime she wants to and chooses not to. When she finally does leave, it's only when the door is practically wide open.


I think the first half of the film does a pretty good job of predicting her actions and mindset of the 2nd half.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
She was already setting herself up for isolation and self-confinement before she meets Meeker. This was evident when she moved out of her house to go live in a slummy apartment that was already pre-echoing Meeker's pad.



HerrSchreck wrote:
[

Something Wild is a tale about the kind of dislocation in a big city that’s rarely possible nowadays. We are all interconnected. We walk around with devices that put us instantly in touch with any kind of help, or talk, trouble, vice, any kind of companionship or contact with friends & family at the push of a button. Our lives leave literal trails. In the era running up to the mid 1980’s, people lived in dilapidated quarters of an extremely decayed and squalid NYC, a very different world of rust and decay and shambles of living; life could be lived extremely cheaply among the lice and the bedbugs and the mice and the roaches, there were very few cops, (and they were corrupt), there were few to no social services, vice was everywhere, crime ruled the streets, and the city was filled with strangely dissolute, curious individuals, people with unattended mental illness, people whose minds were permeated by the squalid nature of city tenement life, a kind of urban lost soul that could exist no-place else but in NYC.



The biggest thing about having devices that allow us to connect is that it requires money. And for those that are living on the margins, and with mental illness (poverty and mental illness are often interrelated), they are further shut out of society, even more invisible, often by their own doing as well. There are still many people whose only real access to the internet is the public library. And increasingly not even the library, as many now require some sort of ID or library card number to use the computers. And for you to get that, you need a permanent address...


Last edited by jojo on Fri May 19, 2017 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am
Well she also has to live in a slummy apartment because I think it was illegal at the time for a woman to rent an apartment if she was single. Women had to live in supervised boarding houses like in the film Brooklyn , it's why Fran lives with her sister and brother in law in the apartment, and why all those married executives borrow baxters apartment since none of the single women are legally allowed to rent an unsupervised apartment, literally the execs aren't allowed to visit the women's domiciles.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm
movielocke wrote:
Well she also has to live in a slummy apartment because I think it was illegal at the time for a woman to rent an apartment if she was single. Women had to live in supervised boarding houses like in the film Brooklyn , it's why Fran lives with her sister and brother in law in the apartment, and why all those married executives borrow baxters apartment since none of the single women are legally allowed to rent an unsupervised apartment, literally the execs aren't allowed to visit the women's domiciles.


Right, but my point is
[Reveal] Spoiler:
she was socially retreating from her family. She was living with her mother and stepfather in a comfortable house. She was never kicked out by them, nor did she have any practical reason to leave home, where it is clean and she is well fed and comfortable. She simply leaves. It is never explained "why" she leaves. But the film gradually shows her cutting herself off socially from everyone she knows, to the point where she'd rather live alone in squalor than at home where bed and meals are already paid for.


So, the ending, on a certain level at least, isn't completely inconsistent with her actions throughout what we see in the film.


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