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Alex

The Papers (2017) FILM Discussion

218 posts in this topic

Spielberg realising that he has to keep churning out historical dramas to keep in favour with the Academy

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44 minutes ago, Alex said:

Spielberg realising that he has to keep churning out historical dramas to keep in favour with the Academy

 

You don't think this is actually what's motivating him, do you?  If so, you have quite a low opinion of Spielberg.

 

I'm so tired of the idea that historical dramas are by definition boring and safe.  I think Lincoln and Bridge of Spies and Munich are anything but.

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

I'm so tired of the idea that historical dramas are by definition boring and safe.  I think Lincoln and Bridge of Spies and Munich are anything but.

 

Bridge of Spies is exactly that. Competent, but safe, and largely saved by the strong performances of its cast.

 

Lincoln and Munich are fine films though.

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Bridge of Spies is the best of all 3.  Extraordinary movie.  I've watched it for the 5th time recently.  It's a classic for me.

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10 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

 

You don't think this is actually what's motivating him, do you?  If so, you have quite a low opinion of Spielberg.

 

I'm so tired of the idea that historical dramas are by definition boring and safe.  I think Lincoln and Bridge of Spies and Munich are anything but.

 

Of course I don't ffs

 

Not normally my kind of film but I actually really enjoyed Bridge of Spies.

Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in Lincoln was enough to keep me engrossed.

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He really became Lincoln, didnt he?

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I decided to rewatch Lincoln last night.  It's truly great, but having now watched both recently I still hold that Bridge of Spies is the better film.  I do love the themes they both share about the people who use words to fight their battles to achieve political goals and how those battles exist both outside and within the public eye.  Fascinating how they're very different films but very much in conversation with one another.  I can't wait to see The Papers or whatever the final title ends up being.  This will tell the story of when the ugly behind-the-scenes stuff becomes very public, from the POV of journalists.

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

  I do love the themes they both share about the people who use words to fight their battles to achieve political goals and how those battles exist both outside and within the public eye.  

Well, words and thousands and thousands of human lives.

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Well yeah, that's part of what's so fascinating.  It's about the people who "battle" intellectually and whose words can have widespread effects on other lives.

 

The scope differs between the two films, but the thematic link is definitely there.  Lives hang in the balance

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Seems to me, like a sweepingly vanilla generalization of such men and their situations.

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It must be an American thing because Bridges Of Spies didn't feel special to me. I thought it was just an okay movie with Tom Hanks (America) being (once again) the angel of moral righteousness.

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It's eye-rollingly paternalistic - yesterday's ideals of AMERICA that weren't (really) true back then but are much less relevant or even feasable today: it's Spielberg's way of enclosing himself into a rosy 'enlightened' liberal view of the world that can only exist in the fantasy of a billionaire who can afford that (and a multi-million dollar security service).

 

I'm nothing against a well-adjusted moral compass but Spielberg makes it seem like he's watching us from outer space.

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Rylance makes it worth checking out. But it is largely unremarkable.

 

37 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

How do you mean?

 

It's just that the idea that "great men" have intellectual campaigns/battles to help fight the "good fight" is a very romantic one. It's the kind of image that films like Bridge of Spies and I'm sure, The Papers will reinforce. And while I'm fine with films preaching more "noble" ideals, certain films can be more annoyingly dishonest and misleading in that regard.

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Rylance was absolutely terrific!

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Rylance was the only one resembling a multi-faceted human being not from a postage stamp series 'great men of a great nation'.

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18 minutes ago, KK said:

It's just that the idea that "great men" have intellectual campaigns/battles to help fight the "good fight" is a very romantic one. It's the kind of image that films like Bridge of Spies and I'm sure, The Papers will reinforce. And while I'm fine with films preaching more "noble" ideals, certain films can be more annoyingly dishonest and misleading in that regard.

 

Hmm, I didn't find them dishonest at all.  In fact, I found both pretty realistic about how "the system" works, how demeaning that system can be on individuals.  The characters aren't portrayed as superhumanly noble or idealistic.  Just "decent" people who make a difference where they can, as their positions allow.  I find that inspiring, personally.

 

6 minutes ago, publicist said:

Rylance was the only one resembling a multi-faceted human being not from a postage stamp series 'great men of a great nation'.

 

What?  Not one single character in that movie could be described like that.  Most of the characters in that movie are just covering their asses.  And Hanks is just a lawyer who knows how to navigate men covering their asses to get the result he wants.  Hardly noble.

 

I think you guys are bringing your own baggage to these films and projecting what you think a Spielberg movie would be on to them.

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BRIDGE OF SPIES is brilliant. For me, it was a marvel to see how Spielberg (and Kaminski) staged the many and long dialogue sequences. The suspense is in the mise-en-scene, secure like that of a master and professor. I also love the channeling of Howard Hawks in many sequences (like the ending).

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1 minute ago, Thor said:

BRIDGE OF SPIES is brilliant. For me, it was a marvel to see how Spielberg (and Kaminski) staged the many and long dialogue sequences. The suspense is in the mise-en-scene, secure like that of a master and professor. I also love the channeling of Howard Hawks in many sequences (like the ending).

 

Yes!  It's all people in rooms talking to each other and how that can be just as fascinating as action sequences in a more subtle, satisfying way.

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And he did the same thing with lighting in LINCOLN. But BRIDGE OF SPIES was more exuberant in its staging (camera angles, editing).

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16 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

What?  Not one single character in that movie could be described like that.  Most of the characters in that movie are just covering their asses.  And Hanks is just a lawyer who knows how to navigate men covering their asses to get the result he wants.  Hardly noble.

 

I think you guys are bringing your own baggage to these films and projecting what you think a Spielberg movie would be on to them.

 

The Hanks character sure is and how the other characters play off him is designed to stear this lame, righteous worldview - you are supposed to feel with Hanks when the ignorant pighead of a policeman turns on him for defending a traitor. 

 

The problem is not 'the characters' which to me were the usual Spielberg cardboards 'de luxe' (not abysmal but not interesting or especially enlightening, either) but the writing as such, what it pushed to the front and how little it actually had to say.

 

Tell me, Stu, what do you get out of this last glance between Rylance and Hanks? It seems an awfully slim result after sitting though this fucker for 130 minutes. What is the reasonably informed viewer of 2016 to make of it?

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25 minutes ago, publicist said:

Tell me, Stu, what do you get out of this last glance between Rylance and Hanks? It seems an awfully slim result after sitting though this fucker for 130 minutes. What is the reasonably informed viewer of 2016 to make of it?

 

That life is filled with uncertainty?  That these two unlikely friends will never see each other again, but each had an enormous effect on the other?

 

That the Cold War was a complicated mess?

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While the first one is just a relativist crapshot the second one is more likely: how did the film illuminate that? It didn't. Spielberg's film neither understands Abel nor does it go any lengths to even frame his side of the story in any convincing historical context. It's all staffage - which goes to show what good actor Rylance is - to frame The Good (if a bit hapless) Citizen Hanks teaching us the virtues of never-wavering civil courage which would probably have been a more convincing early 60's movie by Stanley Kramer. What a mess the Cold War was you better get from Martin Ritt's 'Spy who came in from the Cold' and similar movies which we need more of instead of overblown lessons á la Spielberg.

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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold is one of my favorite movies (and novels).

 

Anyway yes the movie was told from an American perspective, with Abel presented as a mysterious foreigner, reflecting the paranoid xenophobia of the time (like anything's changed).  So Hanks and Rylance finding the shared humanity in each other is very affecting.

 

We should probably just leave it there.  I think it's a new classic, deeply humanist film and you hate it.

 

In the words of Emperor Joseph II, "there it is."

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Hehe, of course you are right. But i just can't allow having such dickless vanilla stuff declared a 'classic' without having at least a go at it.

 

There it is!

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'Classic' is taking it too far, but it's a damn fine piece of moviemaking.

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24 minutes ago, Thor said:

'Classic' is taking it too far

 

Prometheus on the other hand.... :sarcasm:

 

Eyes of the beholder!  When I ranked Spielberg films this year I put Bridge above Private Ryan, AI, Jurassic Park, Last Crusade, and Catch Me If You Can.  I think it's that great.

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I wish everyone could see what I see in that movie.  There's a small community of us Bridgeheads out there.  We are not alone! ;) 

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I ended up watching it on a plane because I was desperate for something to watch. I was pleasantly surprised.

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I thought it was pedestrian, didactic fare, lacking any sort of vitality or cinematic spark. Spielberg and Kushner at their worst.

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Kushner didn't write Bridge.  It was written by Matt Charman and the Coen Brothers.

 

Also, snobby dismissals of late-period Spielberg only make me stronger!

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Bridge of Spies is probably ranked 11th amongst Spielberg for me, Lincoln 10th. Which is actually saying something considering the man's incredibly impressive filmography. So yeah, I'm team Bridge (only seen it once though).

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3 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I wish everyone could see what I see in that movie.  There's a small community of us Bridgeheads out there.  We are not alone! ;) 

You like what you like. I think I'm still the only one that has a deep love of Michael Clayton, film and score. 

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19 minutes ago, Koray Savas said:

You like what you like. I think I'm still the only one that has a deep love of Michael Clayton, film and score. 

 

I remember seeing that movie and thinking "Hm that was interesting."  Then I couldn't stop thinking about it and by the time I watched a second time thought it was a masterpiece.  I hope Gilroy gets a chance at making a comeback as a director.  Maybe Disney will repay him for "rescuing" Rogue One by financing a film for him.

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What, is it trendy now on JWFan to be the only person who loves something?

Always_MCAD8036.jpg

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