Yes, I’m inconsistent and I’m sticking to it, or not ;)
But the distinction between the two wasn’t the focus of my post
“you could use that to justify any film of that nature though. Hell even the worst drug films could be justified on those grounds.”
Let’s not confuse an explanation of what the film is doing with an “it’s a masterpiece” endorsement.
OK, I suppose you could justify it on that basis, but so far this thread has been struggling with questions of style/content being appropriate to each other without really attempting much of any description of either, so in that sense the justification for style not being justified by the content even flimsier. What would be an appropriate “justification” for the style of the film, in your opinion? Would one experience one’s own slow death by dehydration and the sawing off of one’s own arm in neat, cinematic real time? I’m guessing not.
“@ Bobby We don’t really know who Aron is and we don’t really care about him, therefore we don’t really give a fuck what happens to him.
Yeah – why the fuck do we bother looking at a woman holding a balance !?!?!!!
We don’t know who she is or who Vermeer is – fuck em both ! /s”
Apologies for going literary on you all again, but Russell Banks ends his novel Continental Drift with an envoi that concludes:
“Knowledge of the facts of Bob’s life and death changes nothing in the world. Our celebrating his life and grieving over his death, however, will. Good cheer and mournfulness over lives other than our own, even wholly invented lives—no, especially wholly invented lives—deprive the world as it is of some of the greed it needs to continue to be itself. Sabotage and subversion, then, are this book’s objectives. Go, my book, and help destroy the world as it is.”
It’s not the what happens that matters, it’s the giving a fuck.
I guess you can critique a choice of style by placing it against the film’s intentions.
If 127 Hours’ basic intention was to show a man’s struggle to live, then it occasionally loses its focus.
//If 127 Hours’ basic intention was to show a man’s struggle to live, then it occasionally loses its focus.//
It’s not just that….it’s the realization that he has a chance at redemption. It’s the realization that he has a future….that he has something to fight for…it’s the realization that he loves and needs others….just calling it a man’s struggle to live is a great misunderstanding and misreading of the film.
The boulder that pins Aron’s arm can be a metaphor for anything in our lives that keeps us from being who we were meant to be.
I’ll say it again…it’s a great film.
‘If 127 Hours’ basic intention’
everything else is important stuff but still secondary.
plus, the struggle to live is no petty focus
Grimes I know you said religion and redemptive stories are of interest to you.
I met a preacher once who told me the most spritual movie he could name was was Hustle and Flow, how did u feel about that film?
I have not seen Hustle and Flow…I’ll have to check it out.
never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead.
Danny Boyle’s had a long (and far eclectic) enough career to establish a name for himself, a collection I through which I still have a long ways to go. He could make a movie about anything, but he’s grown this really intense sense of style to everything he does. Whether it’s justified will come later.
(For anyone keeping score, he is also the director of “Trainspotting,” “28 Days Later,” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” the latter of which I wasn’t blown away by.)
I don’t believe Boyle could have kept himself back from injecting his signature slickness into “127 Hours” if he tried; that’s just who he is. I’ll try not to be much of a fan-boy, but the way I see the film is as follows: “127” is a movie about isolation, both physically and socially. Not to spoil, but in this sort of character situation, the style is more of a contrasting element than anything else. Whereas an urban Bollywood film like “Slumdog” relies on a catchy hook we can dance to, Aron is forced to mull over his predicament He spends over five days alone, and the hum of society continues without him. It’s taunting him, and he taunts himself (one of the best scenes in the film results from this).
Otherwise, I guess it’s just a subjective preference for me. I’ve subjected myself to countless survival stories with dark visual tones, lots of screaming, and some character’s escape from some unknown horror. Many of them fall really flat with their attempts, but all the dark dinginess was only one way to go about portraying a survival story. I wanted to see it done the other way, from a director I could trust. I was led to buy the DVD from a combination of Oscar hype and Boyle’s work with “28 Days Later.” It’s now my favorite of his works, and I think a lot of it is the novelity of A.R. Rahman’s stylish score, which hasn’t shown any signs of aging with multiple viewings.
“and the hum of society continues without him. It’s taunting him, and he taunts himself.”
That struck a cord with me. Well said.
“If 127 Hours’ basic intention was to show a man’s struggle to live, then it occasionally loses its focus.”
Is the intent to show a physical struggle (what’s happening to the body) or a psychological struggle (what’s happening to the mind), though?
How ’bout a physiognomic struggle, where what happens to the body affects what happens to the mind?
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the style in this film, but for me it worked – for the reasons already mentioned and because of the fact that the style gets you in the character’s mindset. Many filmmakers stylize a film as a means of getting you in a character’s head. This movie’s doing that. Not to mention it made me feel anxious when I was supposed to, it got my heart pumping when it was supposed to, etc. Brilliant use of Sigur Ros, too.
So yeah, I quite enjoyed this film. My main complaint would be with the heavy-handedness of the hallucination/fantasy sequences. Other than that though, great film.