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Showing posts with label The Trial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Trial. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 September 2017

You never loved me. (Slight pause) You just loved how much I loved you.

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

21 September

This is less a review than an angry dismissal of mother ! (2017), by Darren Aronofsky, the person responsible for the direness that is Black Swan (2010)

Welcome to Aronofsky World - the Parade of Plaster-Saints !

[Accreting list of] Film-references and other references :

* Alien (1979)

* August : Osage County (2013)

* Biedermann und die Brandstifter [The Fire-Raisers] ~ Max Frisch

* Das Schloß [The Castle] ~ Franz Kafka

* Der Prozeß [The Trial] ~ Kafka

* Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

* Hysteria ~ Terry Johnson

* Melancholia (2011)

* On the Road (2012)

* Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

* The Baby of Mâcon (1993)

* ‘The Circular Ruins’ ~ Jorge Luis Borges

One suspects that one would, again, benefit more by watching Hepburn and Tracy in Adam's Rib (1949) rather than doing any more than groan at Aronofsky's levering the topos into his Weltanschauung... (Yes, there was clearly - from the start - more to the relationship between Bardem and Harris than presented : it did not make for dramatic irony, but for the effect of an inept screenwriter, playing with 'big ideas'.)

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)

Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2017 (19 to 26 October)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

Some Tweets about London Korean Film Festival Teaser Bluebeard (2017)

Photo credits : Dae-myung Kim (and Jin-woong Jo) (upper image) ;
Actor not credited (by IMDb), and Jin-woong Jo (lower image)

Photo credits : Jin-woong Jo (upper image) ;
Goo Shin and Dae-myung Kim (centre image)
Jin-woong Jo and Yoon Se-ah (lower image)

Film-references :

* A Girl at my Door (Dohee-ya) (2014)

* Delicatessen (1991)

* El virus de la por (The Virus of Fear) (2015)

* It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

* The Handmaiden (2016)

* The Trial (1962)

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

For World Mental Health Day 2015 : Where, in me, is Kafka’s Josef K. ?

More views of or before Cambridge Film Festival 2015 (3 to 13 September)
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

10 October, World Mental Health Day

A personal vision of trying to relate to the experience of breakdown / psychiatric challenge in the form of ongoing existential / spiritual self-examination

This is not [meant to be], on #WMHD2015, @THEAGENTAPSLEY talking about others as if about the self (or vice versa)*.

Rather, it is more in the nature of a confession, of trying to be honest and open about what breakdown, and admission under section (circa 21 April 1996), deep down meant and felt like, and still does, just now when the feeling of how I act, and have acted, hypocritically can be keen, as here :

If needed, here is a paragraph from Wikipedia®'s summary of the plot of The Trial**, by way of partial context for those Tweets :

K. is visited by his uncle, who was K.'s guardian. The uncle seems distressed by K.'s predicament. At first sympathetic, he becomes concerned that K. is underestimating the seriousness of the case. The uncle introduces K. to a lawyer, who is attended by Leni, a nurse, who K.'s uncle suspects is the advocate's mistress. During the discussion it becomes clear how different this process is from regular legal proceedings: guilt is assumed, the bureaucracy running it is vast with many levels, and everything is secret, from the charge, to the rules of the court, to the authority behind the courts – even the identity of the judges at the higher levels. The attorney tells him that he can prepare a brief for K., but since the charge is unknown and the rules are unknown, it is difficult work. It also never may be read, but is still very important. The lawyer says that his most important task is to deal with powerful court officials behind the scenes. As they talk, the lawyer reveals that the Chief Clerk of the Court has been sitting hidden in the darkness of a corner. The Chief Clerk emerges to join the conversation, but K. is called away by Leni, who takes him to the next room, where she offers to help him and seduces him. They have a sexual encounter. Afterwards K. meets his uncle outside, who is angry, claiming that K.'s lack of respect has hurt K.'s case.

NB Looking back, in that way, to sectioning in 1996 (and again in January 1997), there is no intention to suggest that anyone else does feel, or ought to feel, twinges of conscience that are tied up with their experience of mental-health issues or services.

However, for me, conscience / awareness of feeling a fraud seem in the midst of what happened then, now, and everywhere in between.

If I see a spiritual or existential dimension in my own issues of mental health, it is for me to see or, more likely, pretend to myself that I am aware of it, when largely I keep it well hidden (at least from myself) : it is all in relation to wanting to work out my paranoia, and why I can, so easily, find accusation in comments, words and texts (mainly from memory, though also in recollected things that people said or wrote, and what they meant / whether they really meant xyz)…

Coda :

And remembering may be, for some, to do with learning not to forget... ? :


* As one of Beckettt’s authorial voices says somewhere (in The Unnamable, or is it Company ?), When I say ‘I’, and having addressed the question whatever / whoever ‘I’ is (and he digresses, as I do, in the fashion of Laurence Sterne’s principal narrator, Tristram Shandy) he goes on to say just that : when saying ‘I’, he does not intend to talk about someone else (as if it were he).

(Molloy, too, certainly mentions that he may lapse into talking of himself as if of another.)

** Kafka wrote the (incomplete) novel in German, entitled Der Prozeß.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Damien and The Castle

More views of - or before - Cambridge Film Festival 2013
(Click here to go directly to the Festival web-site)

30 August

* Contains spoilers *

When I watched Looking for Hortense (2012) again, I wanted to see the film more freely than when tied to the sub-titles first time around, to catch the French more (the translation is quite free - even the original title really means Find Hortense !), and do my variously named Does it work the second time ? test.

In reverse order, yes, everything dovetails beautifully with the Aurore / Zorica identity, I could hear more idiom, and the film's arc affected me wonderfully now that I could see how we got to Antoine and Eva in the car. But, amongst all of that, ironies, subtleties and confluences of Franz Kafka's Das Schloß*, The Castle, which visibly owes much to the time when he lived in Prague's Golden Lane, very near (almost part of ?) that city's castle complex.

The mapping works thus :

* Damien is the hen-pecked ambassador to his father (Sébastien) on behalf of Zorica, whom he does not know (he has already neglected his task once, partly because he does not wish to have to have contact with Sébastien)

* Zorica and her plight are known to him via the partner (Véra) of the brother (Marco) of his partner (Iva)

* At Time A, Damien's trip to see Sébastien proves to be a waste of time, because judicial matters have overrun, and then Sébastien looks at his diary and writes off the next fortnight as offering no replacement time

* He has just met Aurore (not knowing that she is Zorica, too), and Sébastien has to tap Damien firmly on the shoulder to distract him from watching her have an altercation in the square below : the irony is that Damien breaks off watching to talk about the case of the person whom he was watching

* When he leaves, something on his phone causes Damien to miss speaking to Aurore when she is sitting on a bench

* So, not through his own fault, Damien has not managed to articulate anything to his father when Véra and Marco turn up with oysters (Time B) to celebrate what they think that he has done

* It is, though, Damien's fault, both that they are under this impression (as he lied to Iva about having lunch with Sébastien), and that he does not disabuse them (so guilt attaches, and the stickiness of the task results, because he has been treated as having done what he failed to do, which has something of a paralysing rather than spurring effect)

* At Time B, however, Damien is stirred to exchange text-messages with Sébastien, trying (and failing) to find a time to have lunch that does not clash with his class tuition - none is forthcoming, but they fix Time C

* On account of this renewed activity, he is not free when they have Zorica on the phone, wishing to thank him (so Aurore and he miss again)

* In the unbridled sort of way highly reminiscent of K. having sex with Frieda on the floor of the inn and amidst the slops**, early on in the Kafka novel, Marco and Vera copulate noisily in the bathroom (their celebration ?)

* With the task in his sights in a K.-like determination, Damien finishes his lecture early for Time C, but cannot hail a taxi quickly, and then the cab-driver does not know anywhere by means of which he tries to specify his desired destination (a driver as useless in that role as K.'s 'assistants' are to him)

* He arrives late, to Sébastien's consternation, who will not allow him longer than scheduled

* However, what time they have is wasted, because Sébastien's sybaritic behaviour towards the androgynous waiter Satoshi causes Damien to enquire into his father's sexuality, and he then becomes flustered and cannot dismiss his curiosity

* This sort of distraction happens all the time in Kafka, e.g. Josef K. seducing Leni (in Der Prozeß, The Trial) when he is supposed to be having a consultation with the advocate, or K. (in Das Schloß) missing his appointment in The Herrenhof since, as I recall, he is more interested in finding out what Frieda is now doing

* As in both novels, the matter is an administrative matter with judicial / bureaucratic machinery in the way : here, both getting to see Sébastien, and the meeting being meaningful

* However, Damien would not be side-tracked by Sébastien, if the latter did not flirt with Satoshi and, ignoring what Damien had started saying, concern himself with the gastronomic excesses of his ice-cream dessert, but, once he sees his father's infatuation, he loses sight of the whole purpose of seeing Sébastien until he insists on going

* The task was given to Damien by Iva in the first place, but it has made him less available to her obviously self-inflated ego, which is partly the attraction of Antoine from the latest play that, with whatever skill, she is directing - a form of castration, to which Josef K. and K. are prone (e.g. Frieda decides that one of the assistants is a better bet than staying with K., after K. evict them from the schoolroom)

* The boy, Noé, refers to Iva, and without obvious correction, as 'the airhead' at one point, and Kristin Scott Thomas cleverly and gradually brings her self-obsession out - she cannot cope without purely physical things such as her cigarettes, coffee, her watch

* When Iva admits the affair, but tries to buy more time, Damien insists that she leave

* It is at this time that Aurore and Zorica collapse into one person, and Damien is confronted with having failed someone whom he likes under another name - at least, though, he is honest with her, not least since he has demanded Iva tell him the truth

* That might be where some takes on what Kafka is like would have the story end, and not resolve, but other strands come together, also in a Kafka-like way :

* Damien barges into a meeting at the court and insists that Sébastien listen - he agrees, but a pause covers whatever he says, and we hear Sébastien saying why it is not possible to help by speaking to the Hortense of the title, because Hortense will refuse, and Sébastien does not want that

* Reading between the lines, when we see Damien blag Hortense's number from his mother and first speak to and then meet Hortense (after some suitably poised being made to wait in a Japanese-style conservatory), the sybaritic manners of this man suggest that Damien's father and he probably are (or have been) lovers

* The reason for being unable to contact Hortense is, at the level of bodies and persons, the sort of force that makes K. associating with Barnabas and his family, when he thinks that it will help, damaging to his cause, or Josef K. always deciding that he knows better about his case than people whose time with him is secured to try to assist

* Much as one of Kafka's officials might do, Hortense claims to have an excellent memory and not to need Aurore's paperwork

* Whatever Damien may think or know, he is no longer impressed by getting to see Hortense, and cannot conceal what he feels from Aurore, who has come to wait his exit

From here, how things resolve is Damien getting himself arrested so that Aurore, who has no papers, can escape, but then falling very ill from the drenching rain - in his deepening fever, he reaches out to her with his words, his strong memory of what made him the academic that he became.

After the illness, he narrates greater separation from, and flightiness of, Iva, and one cannot help thinking that the luxury to be a director has been at the vampiric cost of living off Damien, his care for the house and for Noé, and the roof over their heads.

He thinks that Aurore has gone to India with the man who excessively to his embarrassment thanks Damien for saving his life, and tries to threaten Sébastien with the gun by whose removal he did it. Sébastien is not to be threatened, but does despair of love in the future after being rejected (by Hortense ? the final resolution of a quarrel ?)

Realizing that Aurore did not go away, he speaks to her, finds her, sees her. She did not go, because of what he said on the verge of collapse. Things have finally had their consequence and brought them, at least for now, together, a battle, a struggle through the labyrinth of missed meetings, mistakes, lies and confessions...

For Der Verschollene, the third of Kafka's novels, translated as The Man Who Disappeared, such a resolution does not seem impossible - Max Brod claims so, some other material suggests as much, and The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma*** seems of a positive kind


* It, as with Kafka's other two novels, is incomplete, in that we have the hint of how it might end (courtesy of his literary executor and first editor, Max Brod), but episodes to get us there are wanting.

** Haneke's 1997 film of the novel brings out well that K. is seeking advantage in seducing Frieda, as well as satisfying lust.

*** Which inspired a huge installation by Martin Kippenberger.

Unless stated otherwise, all films reviewed were screened at Festival Central (Arts Picturehouse, Cambridge)