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Yeah, my main memory of this film is being super confused. I think I watched it years ago when I was home sick? Anyway, around 40 minutes in I think I just gave up and kept waiting for characters to summarize it for me.

A second watch to understand who's who may be needed, but a great film. I think quite a few noir films are similar. Plots move so fast it's sometimes hard to keep track.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I probably need to revisit Hold the Dark, but I was kind of underwhelmed. Maybe a case of expectations being too high.

Of the three I've seen from him, I'd put Blue Ruin high at the top, then a step down and you'd find Murder Party and Hold the Dark about tied (they are VERY different films with VERY different tones). I sometimes accidentally drag I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore into that group because it was directed by Macon Blair who starred in Blue Ruin and it has some of the vibe of that film.



Trashy? Absolutely. But I still enjoyed it. I thought it had some moments of genuinely enjoyable suspense (like the scene with the mailman). I thought the acting was fine. The writing was weak at points, but in such an outlandish film I didn't mind it too much.

Not the kind of film I'd watch at 8pm, but a perfect movie for a Saturday night when I'd stayed up too late and just needed the kind of movie where a girl realizes that
WARNING: spoilers below
her mother has been dosing her with dog muscle relaxants.
RE: Run, it has a pretty good Tomato score. I'll check it out.
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Oh, yeah. They definitely have a lot of overlap. It's just funny to me that I repeatedly roll I Don't Feel at Home . . . into Saulnier's filmography despite having realized and corrected the error many times in my own posting.
They just made it too easy.

Also, I am all for everyone rewatching or watching Hold the Dark until they realize itís brilliant.



A second watch to understand who's who may be needed, but a great film. I think quite a few noir films are similar. Plots move so fast it's sometimes hard to keep track.
I liked it, despite only grasping like 70% of the plot.

RE: Run, it has a pretty good Tomato score. I'll check it out.
It is junk food, but fun junk food. It's also really short and moves at a very quick pace. For me it pretty much flew by.

They just made it too easy.

Also, I am all for everyone rewatching or watching Hold the Dark until they realize itís brilliant.
I will concede that I am very drawn to mysteries, and so when presented with a film like Hold the Dark, my instinct is to focus on the literal aspect of the plot. And that is . . . not what Hold the Dark seemed to be after.



I liked it, despite only grasping like 70% of the plot.



It is junk food, but fun junk food. It's also really short and moves at a very quick pace. For me it pretty much flew by.



I will concede that I am very drawn to mysteries, and so when presented with a film like Hold the Dark, my instinct is to focus on the literal aspect of the plot. And that is . . . not what Hold the Dark seemed to be after.
Indeed. HTD is beholden to the Coen Brothers MO of using a crime story to explore the epistemological nightmare of human existence. No Country and A Serious Man being the most obvious in its DNA, the film is more about observing and accepting the chaos of certain people and events than the understanding of them that a mystery usually tantalizes as its payoff.

And Iím not just naval gazing. I made a similar tweet and it was liked by Saulnier himself. VALIDATION!





The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957

This nearly three-hour long epic follows a group of WW2 prisoners of war who are forced to help construct a bridge while being held in a Japanese POW camp. For one of the officers in the camp (played by Alec Guiness), building the bridge becomes a point of pride and leads to a tragic clash with an Allied plan to destroy the bridge.

This film was great, really well acted, and the final 20 minutes made me incredibly anxious!

Guinness does a wonderful job portraying Colonel Nicholson, a man for whom military duty overlaps dangerously with personal ego. The film centers the humanity of the story through the use of several observer type characters: a doctor (James Donald) who cares for the sick and injured at the POW camp and an unnamed group of women who accompany the Allied soldiers on their mission. The heart of the film is a man named Shears, a pessimistic American soldier whose cynicism both helps and hinders him.

The film contains several breathtaking sequences, including a night-time parachute landing and a final sweeping shot that speaks volumes.




the film is more about observing and accepting the chaos of certain people and events than the understanding of them that a mystery usually tantalizes as its payoff.
Exactly. And this is something I realized around halfway through the film. But by that time, it was a little late to mentally shift gears.

The film it makes me think of the most is
WARNING: spoilers below
actually Antichrist--that sense of the unknowable reasons that people do harm, and about the confusing bonds that can exist between people during or after violence and trauma
.





The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957
Such a good movie. Alec Guinness was so amazing in this.
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Exactly. And this is something I realized around halfway through the film. But by that time, it was a little late to mentally shift gears.

The film it makes me think of the most is
WARNING: spoilers below
actually Antichrist--that sense of the unknowable reasons that people do harm, and about the confusing bonds that can exist between people during or after violence and trauma
.
I can definitely see the connection there thematically. The two are so stylistically far apart that it hadnít crossed my mind but I like the comparison. In particular with...

WARNING: spoilers below
mythology creating a self fulfilling prophecy for the morbid behavior of the characters. Theyíre groomed to behave destructively, unknown to those around them, so their behavior seems beyond comprehension


Though Trier uses this element for a more pointed critique of misogyny and Saulnier uses it for a more broad assessment of violence.

I suppose Iíll have to rewatch both.

Dunno why my spoiler format isnít working. Iíll just keep that vague as well and hope people avoid it.



Such a good movie. Alec Guinness was so amazing in this.
It's an amazing portrayal of the power and danger of ego.

I can definitely see the connection there thematically. The two are so stylistically far apart that it hadnít crossed my mind but I like the comparison. In particular with...

WARNING: spoilers below
mythology acting as a self fulfilling prophecy for the morbid behavior of the characters. Theyíre groomed to behave destructively, unknown to those around them, so their behavior seems beyond comprehension


Though Trier uses this element for a more pointed critique of misogyny and Saulnier uses it for a more broad assessment of violence.

I suppose Iíll have to rewatch both.
I mean, on an even more literal level, I was thinking of
WARNING: spoilers below
mothers harming their own children, the imagery of animals consuming/harming their own young, the idea of harmful "forces"/evil that may be influencing character choices, etc
.



It's an amazing portrayal of the power and danger of ego.



I mean, on an even more literal level, I was thinking of
WARNING: spoilers below
mothers harming their own children, the imagery of animals consuming/harming their own young, the idea of harmful "forces"/evil that may be influencing character choices, etc
.
Itís certainly operating with similar content and themes. It reminds me of the much more overt connection between Sunset Blvd and Mulholland Dr.

Parallels in plot and theme but the style and structure is so different, it can be hard to see. But once seen... Very intriguing.

I think both Antichrist and Hold The Dark deserve better reputations, with the former getting lost in the discussion of ďelevated horrorĒ and the latter getting lost almost entirely (damn you, Netflix! I doubt a Criterion release is on the way for this one...).





The Bridge on the River Kwai, 1957

This nearly three-hour long epic follows a group of WW2 prisoners of war who are forced to help construct a bridge while being held in a Japanese POW camp. For one of the officers in the camp (played by Alec Guiness), building the bridge becomes a point of pride and leads to a tragic clash with an Allied plan to destroy the bridge.

This film was great, really well acted, and the final 20 minutes made me incredibly anxious!

Guinness does a wonderful job portraying Colonel Nicholson, a man for whom military duty overlaps dangerously with personal ego. The film centers the humanity of the story through the use of several observer type characters: a doctor (James Donald) who cares for the sick and injured at the POW camp and an unnamed group of women who accompany the Allied soldiers on their mission. The heart of the film is a man named Shears, a pessimistic American soldier whose cynicism both helps and hinders him.

The film contains several breathtaking sequences, including a night-time parachute landing and a final sweeping shot that speaks volumes.

That's one of my all-time favorites. Glad you also loved it. I'm a huge fan of Lean, overall.
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That's one of my all-time favorites. Glad you also loved it. I'm a huge fan of Lean, overall.
I like Lean too though I would have to think carefully which movies of his I have seen.



I like Lean too though I would have to think carefully which movies of his I have seen.
In addition to this one, I've seen Lawrence of Arabia, Brief Encounter, and Great Expectations. I consider all of these films to be great and among my favorite films of their respective decades.



That's one of my all-time favorites. Glad you also loved it. I'm a huge fan of Lean, overall.
Same. He has a talent for the epic and a talent for the intimate. I think that Lawrence of Arabia is the best example of him combining the two, but Bridge on the River Kwai certainly had its moments.



Same. He has a talent for the epic and a talent for the intimate. I think that Lawrence of Arabia is the best example of him combining the two, but Bridge on the River Kwai certainly had its moments.
In terms of his intimate films, I recommend Great Expectations. It's not quite as strong as Brief Encounter, but it comes pretty close, in my opinion.



Dunno why my spoiler format isnít working. Iíll just keep that vague as well and hope people avoid it.
You need to put an "s" at the end. Right now your front tag says "Spoilers" but your end tag says /spoiler. I fixed it when I quoted you, which is why it's working in my post.

In terms of his intimate films, I recommend Great Expectations. It's not quite as strong as Brief Encounter, but it comes pretty close, in my opinion.
I've seen it and quite liked it!



You need to put an "s" at the end. Right now your front tag says "Spoilers" but your end tag says /spoiler. I fixed it when I quoted you, which is why it's working in my post.



I've seen it and quite liked it!
Thanks! One of those brain autocorrects that makes self editing so difficult.

Have you seen his Oliver Twist? It's as good as it is (unintentionally?) anti-Semitic... Very!



Fun fact: David O. Selznick assaulted David Lean at a party due to how Anti-Semetic Guinness' portrayal of Fagin is in Oliver Twist.