On Following :
John wrote..."You guys are right that he plays with noir "formulas," but I submit that he doesn't quite capture the spirit of noir. There's the twists and the Gotcha, but there's no heart. Nolan doesn't do anything to get us to care about our sad sack protagonist or really join us into his depraved snooping ways, so the reversal at the end doesn't pack the punch it should."
Adrienne wrote..."Following seems to want to be in that antidepressant category, but it failed to upset me because it didn’t generate enough empathy for the main character. He was sketchily drawn, and I never got emotionally invested in his fate."
Even though I'm a big Chris Nolan fan, I completely agree with this criticism. At no point did I ever care about the main character, and it absolutely hurts the film. And so, I just wanted to acknowledge that Nolan should be rebuked in this instance. I do feel that he's improved with character development over the years (a criticism I still hear about his movies that seems unwarranted to me).
On Funny Games and "douchebags" :
Brandon, I guess it might seem like I'm getting a little carried away with my disdain. Although, there is a huge difference between "poking fun at something to counter the shitty reality of it" and "being stoked by violence and sexual assault." We all know how immature some guys can be, so when you used those words in setting the scene of Jesse and Becca's viewing, my mind had nowhere to go but to that judgmental/slightly offended place.
Also, just to be clear, I wasn't distancing myself from those dudes as if to say that they aren't worthy of being my friends. In truth, I really don't know a ton of people from Binghamton. Jeff has always been the cooler, more renowned Howard brother.
I know it sounds like I'm applying a hierarchy to those who watch Funny Games, but it's really a simple hierarchy that you might be more accepting of...assuming I can explain it clearly. At the bottom are those who mindlessly cheer for the violence and sexual assault (the Human Centipede/Saw fans of the world); at the top is everyone else, whether they like or dislike the film. All I'm asking for is that people give some thought to what Haneke is saying. I'm not writing off the people who watch it and criticize it. I'm writing off those who view it only as a source for cheap thrills.
Funny Games is NOT an example of film that you either "get" or you don't. It isn't La Dolce Vita or Blow-up ;)
I hope you were serious when you told Graham that you'd come and play soccer with us in Bainbridge. That would be a lot of fun...and we could continue some of these discussions on the pitch. Maybe instead of a spanking I can receive a nice kick to the shins for all of these elitist thoughts of mine.
If Jeff watches Julian Donkey-Boy, so will I. If I hate it, I'll hold nothing back. If I like it, I'll give John a nice pat on the back.