I saw only one camera movement in this entire film. And it was a pan that lasted 3 seconds. First time seeing how brilliant a movie can be without the 'expressive camera' movements that I enjoy from directors such as Scorcese or Welles and many others.
Douglas' middle entry in the trilogy continues the bleak tale. Reminds one of the later Terence Davies' films but Davies' films always had an aura of hope, family and love amongst their trials whereas Douglas' simply revels in despair. Production values compared to the first entry as quite extraordinary. Well worth the time but a difficult watch.
I get (though question) aestheticism, as a philosophy. And I'm the last to insist that a normative (or any) emotional response is necessary to validate an experience. But, as with his 1st, I can't help but sense some pathology in what feels like an over-reliance on form & image. Unconvincing, even interpreted as representative of the view of a child; children have more nuanced analyses. Pretty. Exploitative. Lacking.
It's even more bleak and grungy than My Childhood was, and to this extent a bit less affecting. It's a great film, and Douglas' visual style is definitely maturing, but it suffers from being the middle part of the trilogy, and for treading over ground we've really already been through.
This second in the trilogy has a better image quality. The story around Jamie's family is a wee bit obscure at times and it keeps unfolding sadly. Visually speaking it can be striking – some great framing charged with poetry.
I sometimes felt a few scenes would be perfect used as music video-clips.
Entre l'absence de son frère aîné (envoyé de force en pension), sa grand-mère un peu folle, son grand-père affaibli et son père manquant d'affection, le pauvre Jamie continue à passer une enfance sinistre... La mise en scène de Bill Douglas reste également sans concession, tout en progressant dans son approche esthétique de la misère (noir et blanc splendide, cadrages très étudiés). Beau, aride et assez réfrigérant.