I wasn’t expecting to like this even half as much as I did. I’d heard from a lot of people that it was provocative, but empty. However, I found a lot of substance to it.
I saw the film as a statement on the constant objectification of women in our culture and how this has resulted in many women complying to masochistic behavior. It struck me as a polished Haneke film. So little is shown and as a viewer it almost becomes frustrating. Every time she offers sex to someone the film then immediately cuts away. Maybe I’m perverse but it always left me feeling unsatisfied as awful as that is to say. Then when we eventually do see a bit of something it’s so depraved that we want it to stop as soon as possible. In the end, we are the disgusting old men who cannot penetrate.
While the main character is certainly left undeveloped I think the film presents enough layers that we can at least feel compassion for her. I especially like the scenes between her and her sick friend. It shows true compassion from her and how deeply she desires to be cared for in a relationship that lacks sex.
It’s important to not forget the title is that of a fairy tale and that’s kind of how I saw the film. It’s a surreal and extreme expression of two very common occurrences: men objectifying women and women taking control of this objectification by making it worse.
So what did you all think? Do you think this film was empty or did you find the substance that I did?
I agree that there is indeed substance to it, and I was as well positively surprised after reading some reviews and comments. As far as the “objectification of women in our culture” goes, I don’t quite think that’s the main point, at least if one considers the story by Kawabata it’s based on that highlights the attributes of youthfulness and life which those old men want to sabor, so it could as well be young boys they’re lying next to. In any case I regard “House of the Sleeping Beauties” an interesting companion piece for viewers who aren’t yet entirely satisfied and like to have some more depths to the images of the film.
Very interesting. I’ll check that film out.
How do you connect her drug use and careless promiscuity outside of the sleeping chamber to the old men’s desire for youth?
There are also some adaptations of it, but I actually meant to refer to the original story. The drug use I think is an action that brings her close to death since the narcotic drug she’s taking would make it a mortal combination. In that sense I see the last sequence in which the old man gets to sleep himself by taking the drug as a kind of metaphorical body switch in which he takes the life out of her, it would also explain her reaction when she gets back to life in the dream sequence.
Gotcha. I’ll read the story.
Fascinating. I’m going to have to think about that. It hadn’t even crossed my mind, but it all makes a lot of sense.
“men objectifying women and women taking control of this objectification by making it worse.”
I didn’t really see the film as being solely about that. I thought it was a lot more than just stereotypic objectification dynamics.
What seemed to carry more weight in the film was the interplay of death, lust, and regret.
Men objectify women in a film, my gods I need to watch this.
I’m mildly obsessed with this film.
I don’t see that as all the film is about. After talking to Apursansar I saw a whole new angle to it. What I wrote was just what I initially got out of the film. Probably has to do with the themes I’m exposed to in my life and the things I care about. And that’s the beauty of art and storytelling!
And I think it’s a testament to this film how layered and open to discussion it is.
One of the most interesting movies of 2011!