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Sofia Coppola's 'The Beguiled'


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#1 joshua gallegos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 02:21 PM

I love Sofia Coppola's films, I've seen them all except for 'Marie Antoinette'; I went into this film not expecting what to see, since I make it a mission to not ever read log lines or movie reviews to have a more unpredictable experience, and I wasn't disappointed at all. I've only seen the film once, a couple of hours ago, but my first impression was the repressed emotional experience of the characters. The film takes place three years into the civil war, somewhere in the Antebellum south which was beautifully captured in 35mm film. The story begins with a young girl walking in a forest, who's picking up mushrooms for dinner, and along the way she finds a wounded Union soldier, who is taken back to a plantation house and nurtured back to health. I found this film to be a complete character study, as are all of Sofia's film, people who go in there looking for a plot won't find one that's intriguing enough to hold their attention. Sofia is more about painting discontentment, and the illusion of finding happiness. Her films, now that I think about it, are portraits of the human condition. But what I found more engaging was the repressed primal desire of women to remain civil in the presence of an alpha male like Colin Farrell. I was laughing at some of the scenes, because the story contains a comical aspect that isn't really funny as you watch it, but when I think back, some of those scenes were absolutely hysterical. 

 

Women certainly are mysterious in their thought process, human behavior is absolutely unpredictable and chaotic, especially in women. All this chaos in the film evolved through the visual stimuli that the women experienced based on this one man and his amazing good looks. And likewise, Colin Farrell felt the same experience, knowing that all the women who took him in were alone and vulnerable. Hence, sexual selection. The women are in competition with one another to reproduce with the Colin Farrell character, even if it is only due to their promiscuity, and the results are quite humorous. I absolutely loved the films, I think it's Sofia's best work!

 

 


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#2 John Holland

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 04:49 PM

Have you seen the original film with Clint Eastwood ? Not seen this remake as not opened here in the UK yet .


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#3 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 05:04 PM

Do you feel as if there is a true tangible progression in this one? I liked The Virgin Suicides however Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette felt like non-conflicts because there were no real issues or consequences being faced.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 01 July 2017 - 05:04 PM.

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#4 joshua gallegos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:23 PM

I haven't seen the one with Clint Eastwood, but I wouldn't call it a remake, because I believe it's based on a novel? Plus I find Sofia's work to be very original, so I doubt it's a remake of the Clint Eastwood version.

 

As for Sofia's body of work, I find most of the conflict arises internally, and that is very difficult to do when the writer doesn't resort to using a voice over as a form of stream of consciousness that let's the audience know what the character is thinking. I think there were real conflicts being faced in 'Lost In Translation', both characters were disillusioned with their lives, and they know they fell in love with the wrong people, but they're too afraid to get out, because they're already committed to those relationships, and I think that's the bond that the Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson characters connected with in the very beginning. Sofia Coppola captures the consequences of a person's decisions very realistically, when 'Lost In Translation' ends those characters will remember that moment when they part, because had they had chosen to stay together, their lives would have changed drastically. Even the smallest choices we make has a profound impact in the future, and both of those characters will possibly live with the regret of not knowing what might have been, and they'll go back to living unhappy lives, and faking every moment of it. That's why I think her central themes always deal with the illusion of happiness, and characters finding out that there is no such thing, because we're all too intrinsically complicated to be content with what we have. Or at least that's what I've absorbed from that film. 


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#5 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 06:59 PM

I think there were real conflicts being faced in 'Lost In Translation', both characters were disillusioned with their lives, and they know they fell in love with the wrong people, but they're too afraid to get out, because they're already committed to those relationships, and I think that's the bond that the Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson characters connected with in the very beginning.

 

I mean... that's a sub-conflict at best. It's hard to get invested with characters when you know their lives will be absolutely fine no matter what happens.


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#6 joshua gallegos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:20 PM

That's not true at all, they aren't fine, because they're unhappy. There are some people who commit suicide, because they see no way out of their unhappiness, they have no hope and give up living. It reminds me of what Andy Dufrense said in Shawshank Redemption; "get busy living or get busy dying", there's no in between. Many people suffer from depression, which Is an internal conflict that ultimately affects the external relationships of an individual. So I find internal conflict as depicted in Sofia's films to be inherently real in every person that has ever lived, but she captures this in a way that's poetic with a movie camera. I mean wasn't that how the Virgin Suicides ended? The title kind of gives it away.
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#7 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:40 PM

You gotta be kidding me. I'll take being unhappy over being broke, in danger, dead, any day of the week. The latter 3 things I mention will actually prevent you from life goals, unhappiness is really just an illusion by comparison.

 

Not to say that EVERY film NEEDS to have dire consequences for the characters, but it's going to need to be pulling a lot more weight if the premise lacks importance. Sofia Coppola's movies aren't "bad", but usually don't pull that extra weight.


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#8 joshua gallegos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 08:26 PM

Well, if you don't like her films, then no one else will convince you to like them. And there are people who seem to have it all, but are terribly unhappy. Just look at some of Hollywood's stars who have committed suicide, Marilyn Monroe had beauty, fame, wealth, yet it wasn't enough. You just can't classify people and expect them to behave a certain way, every person is different, every person inherits a different mixture of genomes, so every person you see is very different from one another. In fact DNA has the ability to come up with trillions of different combinations, so no person that is born is ever the same. I stay open minded and accept a character for he or she is. People are unpredictable, there's no set of rules as to how people should feel. 


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#9 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 08:57 PM

It's not that I don't like S. Coppola's films specifically, it's just the path they take speak as a symptom to a larger problem of the average raised rich filmmaker.

 

At what point did I say I expect people to behave a certain way? What I'm getting at is it's boring to viewers who concern themselves with more important/interesting subject matters.

 

What would you rather see; A match dropped on the ground or an entire house up in flames? Because that's the difference between Lost In Translation and Marilyn Monroe ODing on molly percocet.


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#10 joshua gallegos

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 09:50 PM

But who's to say what's interesting and what isn't, that's all purely subjective. Some viewers will pick out Transformers over Citizen Kane, simply because Citizen Kane is in black and white. And what does it matter if Sofia had a rich upbringing it doesn't make her any less of an artist, her films are personal and they're not intended for everyone's viewing pleasure. I'd watch any of her films over any of Steven Spielberg's films. I like filmmakers that make personal films, not just to entertain the masses. If I were making films, I wouldn't give a damn about what everyone likes, I'd be in it to please myself first and foremost.
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#11 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 11:18 PM

If I were making films,

 

Well that's just the key phrase, now isn't it? As someone who is concerned with producing to entertain, subjectivities teeter towards objectivities. To stop at "some people like some things, others like other things" and go no further, that leads to creative laziness.

 

As for the born rich thing, adversity is what makes artists improve. If you're born on Ms you won't raise Ws.


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#12 joshua gallegos

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 12:11 AM

What films have you produced?, I've never even heard of you before, just because you're producing some straight to video knockoff it doesn't make you more of an authority on the subject of filmmaking. Anyone with 100k can make "50 Shades of Black", cast some of the lesser known Wayans and call it entertainment. It's what the people want right, second rate bullshit.

If I were you, I'd use the word "artist" sparingly. David Lynch is an artist. Sofia Coppola is an artist. Paul Thomas Anderson is an artist. Money is irrelevant. David Lynch turned down a multi-million dollar deal to make a Star Wars film. So, you do your thing and entertain, I'll be watching real artists do what they do best.
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#13 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 01:07 AM

Dude you're saying "Money is irrelevant" on a forum discussing a craft where money is virtually the only way things get produced.

 

I thought I might be pushing the boundary talking about Coppola not facing adversity but to sit there and brush off Marlon Wayans as a nobody is another 3 levels of disrespect. He's put in many reps in comedy film and television, if he wasn't good he wouldn't continue to get work/budgets.

 

Have you ever garnered an audience in your life? I have, not many maybe a few thousand, but I'll tell you doing it on any level without a lucky break gives someone more insight than someone who's never done it at all. I hold no contempt for any artist/entertainer who started from the ground up, you clearly do.


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#14 joshua gallegos

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:06 AM

Arguing with you is absolutely pointless, which is why I'll ignore anything that you post from now on. Sofia's rich upbringing is irrelevant, because she could've decided to be another Paris Hilton and spend all her dad's money, but instead she started just like any other filmmaker by making a short film called 'Lick the Star'. Money is irrelevant to a real artist, because they still manage to create amazing work, even without a budget. Consider Chris Nolan's first feature 'Following' or David Lynch's 'EraserHead'; you can't tell me they had an audience in mind when they made those films, I mean to some degree they think about what effect a certain scene will have on the audience, but filmmakers are storytellers, they tell stories, whether moviegoers want to jump on board and watch the movies they make is another thing. You on the other hand are attempting to breakl into the movie business, because you want to become some millionaire big shot, and I assume you don't have any original ideas to begin with, and to me that's the lowest form of parasite in the filmmaking business. Someone like the Wayans who produce embarrassing content, because they want to make a quick buck.
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#15 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 02:08 PM

Sofia's rich upbringing is irrelevant, because she could've decided to be another Paris Hilton and spend all her dad's money,

 

Last I checked Paris Hilton did the exact same thing Coppola did, monetize her generational fame. Funny enough Hilton actually assisted Coppola in her film "The Bling Ring". Why do you feel the need to fully disregard individuals to make the case for others?


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#16 joshua gallegos

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:57 PM

Back to the film, which I saw again yesterday. I spotted subliminal imagery in the very end, which is very noticeable if you're paying attention. The film ends with the shot of a steel gate that has metal bars, with triangular pointed edges. In the end you will see that one of the metal bars is meant to represent an erect penis that pierces through one of the women's mid-section. I knew there was more to the film that meets the eye. 

 

Macks, I don't know what point you're attempting to make, but if you don't like Sofia's films, then so be it. I find her to be different, I love how her films have a silence to them, they're not overly loud with boisterous soundtracks, you have moments to think and observe, there is always an excellent deliberate pace; she's never in a hurry to tell a story, even though her films are pretty short. And I love that there's that kind of variety. And, I do love ENTERTAINING films like Wonder Woman; only in Wonder Woman you can tell the producers trusted the very talented Patty Jenkins to tell the story the way she wanted, and the end result was a layered, humorous film with charming moments where the characters just sit and share their thoughts. I think women directors add a different layer to cinema that most men cannot. 


Edited by joshua gallegos, 03 July 2017 - 04:00 PM.

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#17 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:02 PM

which is why I'll ignore anything that you post from now on

That didn't last long :)


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