La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#101 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:00 pm

zedz wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:50 pm
How the rest of the film relates to the expectations created by Llinas' initial explanation is one of the film's best meta-gags.

(And wait till you see the spider!)
This is exactly what I was referring to by the idea of marrying the initial framework at face value!

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knives
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#102 Post by knives » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:17 pm

The flower may be only the barest hope to the point it is a joke, but I don’t think it is nothing either. I think here a comparison with Rivette’s failed tetrology is useful as there is a lot of overlap between the two projects. That’s an idea very much in utero though and will have to wait till I see the end.

Anyway, to perhaps better explain the Socratic method I’m working through between intermissions here’s my internal dialogue:
Why is this 13 hrs long? Because this features six densely plotted feature length stories in addition to several interludes. Why not release them as six separate features then? Certainly several, such as the second story, could stand on their own? That story’s ending even the current form succeeds in a Mulholland Dr sort of way to emphasize its ability to stand alone. The third story even more strongly shows this by its discursive threads and more significant length. Structurally it’s almost more similar to Gomes’ Arabian Nights. Now that’s a fair bit more complicated. Fortunately the film gives a key to that in its prologue although the door needs a bit more effort to open. Firstly Llinás wants to induce a sort of thematic consideration to develop in relation to the crew especially the four lead women. This is where a distinction between Rivette will need to be developed as that was a concern of his as well. The second part to the key is the explanation of the structure which is so important that it had to be explained and even provided the opportunity for a fun, little logo to be developed. The idea seems to be a sort of joking explanation that all stories are really only the middle of a bigger story as the ending and the beginning don’t need to be present to make a coherent story and in fact those two things can be underwhelming as proven by where the handle reaches the teeth on the fork.

That’s lovely, but why have it be sets of 4-1-1? I can understand only needing one to illustrate your point so the four stands out as unusual. Why not choose your favorite of the four and leave the other three for another project? That’s another tough one! Possibly it has to do with the interconnected nature of the story. Can’t forget the importance of the repetition of actors after all. Also, and this is what I jumped to in my original post, the story’s comment on each other where certain changes and developments between stories give more weight to each until the whole becomes more impressive then the already impressive pieces. Even with this Rivette felt capable of separating his stories though. True enough, but we already addressed that with the need for three stories. Once that became reality the remaining stories wouldn’t make sense on their own as that would mess up the themes on narration which are the focal point to the whole project. Once a droplet let ilium the whole flood gates were opened so to speak.

That makes a lot of sense, but I’m still curious why 4-1–1? Couldn’t it have just as easily been 3-1-2 or vice versa? Good question. I don’t have an answer for that yet. Better finish the movie in that case.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#103 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:39 pm

Your questions are good ones, and you have essentially already answered them, though an unforeseeable answer will be the gift of part four's genius exercise. In construction, Llinas attempted to concoct ideas of films with the foursome and then realized after coming up with singular movies that he wanted to iconize their personalities as actors, expressive souls if you will, by making 'all' the films with them, hence the layered episodic framework- and of course, the way they shift characters are in-jokes too that also serve to emphasize their strengths. There's the obvious loud-mouth/mute one between 2 and 3, but Elisa Carricajo's change from the fearful, weak suffering woman who is not in control in ep 1 (and who we have no fucking idea what is going on with her, just as she probably doesn't with her own enigmatic self) is thrilling as she becomes the master-planner in episode 2, an equally enigmatic figure who doesn't let us in on the plan, but who is in total control, eerily Godlike in her patience and comprehension of the "information" she gets in the interrogation scene.

To be honest I had to let this film swim in my mind for a month and then see it again to really internalize a lot of what it puts forth, especially in the first part when I didn't 'know' the actresses so implicitly. As for the 4-1-1, well, I don't think it's nearly as interesting as you might hope it to be.
Spoiler: AllShow
It's already been mentioned in this thread that Llinas' entire thesis of the film is expressed in the end of episode 4, so in my opinion eps 5 and 6 are just tacked on to continue the gags and work in harmony with the audience to settle into a comfortable rhythm. 5 is, as mentioned already in the thread, a joke in not featuring any of the women after we've achieved the impact of 4's effect. Now we are ready to let that sink in, and the hour in silence helps soothe us. 6 is a short Coda where they're out of focus, some are pregnant and they're moving on to the next chapter of their lives off screen. The film basically ends at part 4 in its thematic significance, and then takes two additional segments to play with narrative some more and involve us in the serene aftertaste of our spiritual experience delivered in 4.

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zedz
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#104 Post by zedz » Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:51 pm

I wish I could respond more fully to Knives' questions, but I can't really say much without giving away the whole shebang
SpoilerShow
The project is of quite a different nature than what he reasonably assumed, and what Llinas deliberately leads the audience to believe.
But I can say that Llinas' structural choices are spot on, even when they might seem baffling in the moment. All six films are standalones, and none of them are. Go with the flow and you'll be amply rewarded.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#105 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:02 pm

Exactly, the film must be digested as a whole (and then, realistically, mused on for a while and digested again). I've tricked a good amount of friends into watching it by saying it's episodic like a TV show they binge, since they would never watch a 14-hour film, but I won't bring that nonsense here

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knives
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#106 Post by knives » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:03 pm

Won’t finish the movie today, though getting through about 2/3 in a day isn’t too bad, but my favorite gag so far in proportion to its size is crediting Boris with ? in the credits for act 3 of the third story. That’s some rewarding of the audience right there.

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swo17
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#107 Post by swo17 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:06 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:02 pm
I've tricked a good amount of friends into watching it by saying it's episodic like a TV show they binge, since they would never watch a 14-hour film, but I won't bring that nonsense here
Not sure if you're joking, because that's literally how Criterion Channel is selling it: "Mariano Llinás's bingeable episodic epic La flor"

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#108 Post by therewillbeblus » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:15 pm

Well of course it is episodic by design and I don’t think that’s a particularly unfair way to sell it (mine or that phrasing by Criterion Channel), but what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t encourage anyone here (who, I assume if on this forum and interested in seeing this film as it’s been discussed, isn’t scared off by long movies) to think of this as episodic in the sense that they could space it out and have the same impact.

At least the channel isn't literally breaking it up like Netflix did with Out 1, going to far as to categorize it under "TV shows"!

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knives
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#109 Post by knives » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:35 pm

The was a pleasant little conclusion.
SpoilerShow
I assume another reason Renoir was chosen is that by its very nature this story doesn’t need a beginning, middle, nor end. It’s just hanging out and having fun. Anything can happen as long as it fits the mood of a day in the countryside. Llinás hilarious introduction also does a great job of providing a meta-text for what you were talking about Blus by explaining their absence as a collective decision due to it being interesting. It also helpfully explains why these two short episodes are a coda and not part of the main text which gives me a lot of reassurance on that 4-1-1 question.
I weirdly liked this a little less than Extraordinary Histories despite episode 3 basically being a bigger budgeted version. I assume it must just be a case of the first bite being the sweetest.

Also, did anyone else have trouble keeping the actresses straight? Gamboa and Paredes have fairly easy for me to identify faces so I could follow them along easily, but the other two I had to be on constant vigilance for as I couldn’t figure out a way to remember their faces.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#110 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:04 pm

I had trouble telling them apart at first, which is why a revisit was helpful for part one especially (and really helps define the wonderful transformation-gag for Carricajo between one and two). It's also helpful to remember that the film was shot over the better part of a decade, so they lived through some pretty age-defining years (filming part three mostly, as I recall from interviews) and there are times where that makes them less distinctive, since they aren't even consistently recognizable between scenes on an individual level sometimes.

I know I'm in the minority, but Elisa Carricajo is easily my favorite of the bunch. She has this riveting enigmatic aura to her, and yet conveys an emotional relatability in her eyes that I've never seen an actor do quite in such a raw way before. However, even her IMDb page is a picture of Paredes, so clearly I'm on a lone island of star worship!

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knives
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#111 Post by knives » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:09 pm

That’s just the thumbnail to the trailer for this movie actually. She doesn’t have an IMDb picture as far as I can see.

The two I mentioned were also the stars of my favorite parts of the film, the song and the assassin, which might be why I could identify them more easily, but well into the fourth even I couldn’t identify Carracajo at all. I can see this becoming an art house Sex and the City thing if we’re not too careful though.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#112 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:13 pm

That's also my favorite segment (aside from part four), but conversely due mainly to Carricajo's villainess. I think she's the most intimidating, interesting, and radiant character in the entire film, magnetically attractive and frighteningly nebulous, and only leaves me more and more paralyzed with awe on revisits. Now that I've typed that out, I guess I know why I selected the picture as my avatar.

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knives
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#113 Post by knives » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:20 pm

Actually the sixth is on first watch my favorite episode, it’s just those two moments are what sold me on the whole project, well along with Spider’s story which is its own little thing.

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aox
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#114 Post by aox » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:12 pm

I just finished this and I thought it was delightful. Unfortunately, I stretched it out over a week (2-4 hours/day). I implore anyone thinking of watching this to do it as much in one sitting as you can. I think the spy movie was my favorite personally, but they are all hold up quite well. What I liked most about it was the screenplay(s) and how this didn't call for elaborate locations or sets. It's a run-n-gun low budget film(s) propped up by fantastic dialogue and necessary exposition. This made more sense when I looked at Llinás' IMDB page and saw that he's primarily a writer over a director. It's a lot to take in, and I am looking forward to revisiting this.

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teddyleevin
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#115 Post by teddyleevin » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:00 pm

Piel de Lava (who generally deserve more credit outside Argentina as an entity outside of and pre-dating La flor), are presenting their play, Petróleo, tonight, Dec 12, and next Saturday, Dec 19. The site is in Spanish but easy to navigate (give me a message if you need any help) and the show will be in Spanish without subtitles. I'll be seeing it on the 19th; very excited as this show has been a recurring success for them over the past couple of years. The price of $900 Argentine pesos works out to around $12 USD.


Re: La flor, I'm thrilled to see it again (and for many more to enjoy it), after enjoying the 3-part presentation on Mubi. I expect the 3-part presentation is better, comparing it to the breakdown for 4-part theatrical presentation (as used on Criterion Channel) detailed in the press kit on Grasshopper's website. I second aox in my belief that prodigious sittings are ideal; avoid segmenting the piece anymore than it already is. I watched the 3-part version on Mubi and let the intermissions be what they are and never paused otherwise. Despite snacking alone in my quarantine kitchen during the breaks, keeping it feeling like a strict, live screening environment gave me the buzz of feeling connected to an audience. I had no one to bounce all of my reactions off of, so that usual lobby buzz during an epic screening (if this could be a usual experience), became an internal echo-chamber of thoughts, all of which kept me energized and even nervous about what was to come. I watched the three parts over three days, two of which were consecutive, over a week. Maybe the shorter runtimes in the 4-part version will make it feel less epic to go through Mubi's Part 2 (Episodio 3 in toto) or experience the back stretch with a clean, mesmerizing sweep, but I am glad to try a variation, especially if it's how it was generally experienced in screenings.

I may have missed this: has one presentation been confirmed as a preferred version? I was surprised that CC wasn't using exactly the same configuration as Mubi as there now have to be two versions for streaming floating around, with different title cards throughout (some intermissions are now 'to be continued' and so forth). I reckoned that the 4-part version is more palatable for live screenings and that it is a concession for that purpose, with the 3-part configuration, as seen over three days on Mubi, being the ideal. How is it presented on the German Blu?

I'll add another recommendation, for any version, to always stay with any of the runtime at the end of a streaming Part. What is basically exit music in a theatrical screening at home feels like the final drops of a fulfilling meal and I appreciated staying rapt in the material through the absolute end. I cried many times in this experience as I never wanted it (in parts or in whole) to ever end.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#116 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:10 pm

For my second viewing I watched the first four parts straight all in one day, and the aggregate effect as I reached the crescendo (especially having sat through it once before and able to parse out more in-jokes and powerful information from its experimental form) was what I can best describe as a spiritual experience. I highly suggest anyone seeing it for a second time clears their schedule on a weekend day and does the same. I also doubt I’d consider this right at the top- neck and neck- with my favorite films of all time if I watched it any differently.

kubelkind
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#117 Post by kubelkind » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:16 pm

A new El Pampero Cine production has popped up on backchannels in the last couple of days, "The Submarine Night", credited to Diego H. Flores, Alejo Moguillansky & Fermín Villanueva. Llinas is credited as a writer and, if I read the credits correctly, there seems to be some unused footage from La Flor mixed in there somewhere. It is an essayistic reworking of an unfinished film shot aboard the ill-fated ARA San Juan submarine in 2000 but unseen until now. I found it very moving and hope it'll be streaming somewhere soon (maybe it already is but I can't find it).

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ZHansen
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#118 Post by ZHansen » Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:19 pm

Does anyone have a listing of running time by episode, rather than the four 3.5 hour parts? I'm probably just not great at Internet research, but I can't seem to find this anywhere! I know I won't have 14 uninterrupted hours to take this all on at once, but I want to make sure I can allocate at least enough time to finish each episode in one sitting.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#119 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:46 pm

ZHansen wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:19 pm
Does anyone have a listing of running time by episode, rather than the four 3.5 hour parts? I'm probably just not great at Internet research, but I can't seem to find this anywhere! I know I won't have 14 uninterrupted hours to take this all on at once, but I want to make sure I can allocate at least enough time to finish each episode in one sitting.
I can't give you specifics at the moment but it's roughly (give or take maybe 30 min?):
SpoilerShow
Episode 1 (1:45), Episode 2 (1:40); Episode 3 (5.7 hours/342 minutes- this one is exact), Episode 4 (2.5 hours), Episode 5 (1 hour), Episode 6 (30 min), Credits (40 min).
Again, a few of those may be off by a margin of 30 minutes or less, but I feel reasonably confident on those mostly-round ballpark numbers from memory.
Last edited by therewillbeblus on Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ZHansen
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#120 Post by ZHansen » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:06 pm

That'll do, thank you! I knew #3 was by far the longest. Everything else seems manageable. Can't wait to put the rest of my PTO to good use this month!

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zedz
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#121 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:08 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:46 pm
ZHansen wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 5:19 pm
Does anyone have a listing of running time by episode, rather than the four 3.5 hour parts? I'm probably just not great at Internet research, but I can't seem to find this anywhere! I know I won't have 14 uninterrupted hours to take this all on at once, but I want to make sure I can allocate at least enough time to finish each episode in one sitting.
I can't give you specifics at the moment but it's roughly (give or take maybe 30 min?): [. . .]
You should really spoiler that information. The way Llinas runs down the clock is one of the film's meta-jokes, especially when you watch it over the intended three-day span.
SpoilerShow
On Day Three, you're acutely aware that there are still three episodes to go, and less that five hours to fit them in. So you're anticipating three regular feature length installments. But then Episode Four runs and runs. Intermission, And runs, and you start getting anxious about how the last two episodes are going to fit in. Then Episode 5 starts, and you soon realize that what Llinas had told you at the very beginning of the film about its structure was unreliable (as the women do not appear in the episode at all). Is there even going to be a sixth episode? And then he does a deft switcheroo for all the clock watchers by ending the "final" episode way before the screening is scheduled to end and going into the most gloriously drawn out credits sequence of all time (the pacing of which is itself comic: it's not consistently slow or sparse).

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therewillbeblus
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Re: La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

#122 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 14, 2020 6:54 pm

Good point, I've only watched it in digital files corresponding to the three-day plan, but even then multiple episodes would be fit into each sub-part (or expanded across several), so I had the same fun anxiety. I corrected my post to hide the estimated times.

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