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Men, Alex Garland film


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  • 2 months later...
On 24/03/2022 at 11:06, englishbob said:

Hopefully contains better acting than "Devs"

Oh yes, Buckley is superb in this as usual and Rory Kinneer plays all his roles so well, especially the creepy Priest.

 

I'm still processing a lot of it but for me I'm glad it wasn't just about how bad men are but how somebody has to deal with grief and guilt. It really will be a film to have some discussion about that's for sure. I also never expected to enjoy an Elton John song so much and it's use twice in the film really fits the whole folk-horror vibe that Garland nailed so well.

 

Definitely one to re-watch.

 

 

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Just got back from seeing this. It's very much like Annihilation in that it starts off with a fairly concrete, grounded story and then slowly drifts away into very surreal, dreamlike imagery and metaphors that are certainly striking but might leave some feeling frustrated. 

 

It definitely had its fair share of tense, well directed sequences but in the end I don't really think there's an awful lot more to it than you could have surmised from just watching the second trailer. That really does kind of give most of it away and there's not much more meat on the bones beyond that.

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I also watched this last night and quite enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of Ex Machina and Annihilation in particular, so was quite looking forward to this despite the middling reviews.

 

Firstly, it's absolutely beautiful to look at, especially in the first half. It's a film very rich in imagery and I can imagine some of them staying with me for a long time. The score was great too, subtle for the most part but occasionally foregrounded itself, really elevating a few moments by intertwining with the non-musical sounds of a scene to surreal and awesome effect. It goes without saying Buckley and Kinnear are absolutely great throughout.

 

I did find that there was something lacking in the end though, it felt like the film never quite coalesced. Enjoyable enough though, with plenty of food for thought to chew on throughout. 

 

 

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Yeah. It's a film I either have to spend some time thinking about, or spend no time thinking about... if that makes sense. I liked it very much, but I do suspect it's exactly what you think it is in a blunt instrument sort of way. I always hope films from smart people are going to be smarter and more layered than they first appear, and I spend my time waiting for the depth to come in that I can unpack later. 

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I found it easy to admire but difficult to love. Jesse Buckley is brilliant in it, and you obviously get your money’s worth out of Rory Kinnear, but it’s certainly abstract and difficult to connect with emotionally. 

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I was entertained but not much more than that. Seemed to be two different films trying to do two different things that didn't really connect. I think it's an easy recommendation still, but only for the right sort of person (and it's hard to get into exactly why that is without getting into spoilers). It's a risky series of choices Garland has made, as a man, making a film about male toxicity. The ironic thing is he's probably made a film that will largely be enjoyed and discussed by men.

 

re: ending

 

Spoiler

I found it sort of funny, because it went so far off the deep end. I guess a film you could compare it to is Hereditary, which starts with lots of talky bits and scenes which exist mainly to build a sense of dread, and then it goes completely bananas. But I feel the more fantastical / absurd elements aren't really tied in nearly as well here.

 

The way the creature recreated her husband's broken physical state in death was sort of clever I suppose? Which made it feel more like a ritual, like it was just going through the motions and was never actually threatening her. But the film doesn't lean into this idea particularly heavily. When they showed his body initially it felt gratuitous, but in retrospect as the film descends (or ascends?) into kind of more schlocky body horror elements, it starts to make perfect sense. As does Rory Kinnear's face being slapped onto the body of a teenager. When the tone of the film felt more serious it was harder to forgive these things.

 

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Glad I saw it. Unlikely to ever watch again. 

 

Some of the 'quiet visuals' were great and the use of sounds/music was effective throughout. Main two actors were pretty decent but in regards to Kinnear, I'm not sure 

Spoiler

whether the occasional uncanny valley effect (of the student etc)

was deliberately done to unsettle or was a byproduct. 

 

I think the ending suffers in the same way that

Spoiler

Mother! did. Get what Garland is trying to do but felt that the ending was too out-there. Thought the various strands lacked any real cohesion. 

I'd rather by disappointed by quirky stuff like this than vaguely entertained by most of the dross that makes it to the multiplex. 

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  • 1 month later...

I liked this a lot. Been about three week since I saw it, and it's really stayed with me. One of those films where the more I think about it the more I like it. Will definitely give it another watch soon.

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Yeah, me too. I totally understand why it's got middling review scores, especially audience scores (as opposed to critic ones), but I thought it was really good. Not as good as it's trying to be, or as good as it thinks it is, but still pretty damned interesting.

 

I do think it handled the symbolism and allegory more clumsily than I'd have liked and it was a bit hamfisted at times, but some of the scenes were just beautiful and creepy in exactly the way I love.

 

I even liked the end sequence, although I think I'd have liked a bit more exploration of what was happening rather than the more conventional horror action that Garland went for. I thought the very very end was pretty underwhelming at the time, but having thought about it since I have what I think is a satisfactory head-canon explanation of it, though I don't know that I think it's what Garland was going for.

 

But overall, I thought it was a great folk horror. Not as good as the best folk horror like The Wicker Man (original, obviously) or The Witch, and not as entertaining as Annihilation, which is my favourite Garland film. But if you're looking for something that's not as straightforwardly quiet-quiet-loud as most mainstream horror, and you're willing to enter its weird dreamlike reality, I can highly recommend it.

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Fair enough. What didn't you like about it? Too vague? Too obvious? Not enough happened? Didn't like what happened? Didn't like the acting? What do you think of other folk horror films?

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24 minutes ago, Scribblor said:

Fair enough. What didn't you like about it? Too vague? Too obvious? Not enough happened? Didn't like what happened? Didn't like the acting? What do you think of other folk horror films?

I got called away for dinner. To be fair, the first thirty minutes or so are excellent. The sequence in the tunnel is excellent, with a genuine sense of terror. Similarly, the part with the guy wandering naked around the house as she was on to her friend was also very good. After that, it just all falls to pieces and there is not enough there to explain or even piece together what is supposed to be happening. It all becomes a mess of filmic non-sequitors that does not stand up to even the barest of scrutiny. All that good work in the first half just completely undone by the latter half. 

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It reminded me of that recent Ben Wheatley film, was it In The Ground or something. As for folk horror, I don't really mind what the genre is, as long as the film is good. And this was not.

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I'm sure this won't surprise you, but I disagree. I thought it was good, though not as clever as it thought it was. I followed what was happening fine, didn't find it at all non-sequitory and while I totally agree the first half hour and the section in the woods and the tunnel were the best part, I found it interesting and thought provoking both in what it seemed to be saying and what was happening on-screen.

 

It's pretty obtuse, but I think there's absolutely enough to follow what was happening.

 

I asked about folk horror because that seeming illogicality and sense of inscrutable, impossible hostility are fairly common aspects. And I love that stuff.

 

Not saying you should too - you're obviously completely entitled to your opinions on what is good or not - but I'd take this sort of film over just about anything else being made.

 

For me, this is a hundred times better than anything from the MCU or Stranger Things or the latest Tom Cruise or any of the other painfully straightforward mass market entertainment properties that get made. (Not that I'm saying you're a fan of those things either, just using them as examples of very popular films/shows that audiences prefer to Men).

 

Also, I haven't seen In The Earth, but I have enjoyed all the Been Wheatley films I've seen, though A Field In England is my favourite.

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Yeah I liked it. It had an ari aster (Hereditary and Midsommar) vibe to it, what I like to call 'Satanic folklore' genre. This is closer to Annihilation than any other Garland film. That said, it is just a tad-ever so slightly eggy. I think it's the 'flashback' moments that are the source of it, as well as the parts with the face-timing with the friend. Not sure what it is but THOSE parts don't work so well in how they play out.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Saw this last night and am on the fence as to whether I liked it or not.

Very on the nose I thought and some of the effects work cheapened the experience, but it was creepy, had something to say at least and a special shout out to the sound design which was incredible.

Would have been better had Alex Garland handed his vision to a better screenwriter, but otherwise yeah worth a watch.

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On 23/09/2022 at 07:06, Triple A said:

Would have been better had Alex Garland handed his vision to a better screenwriter, but otherwise yeah worth a watch.

 

This is quite funny considering the only reason Alex Garland even got into directing films is because of his bad experiences with other directors implementing his scripts in ways he personally didn't agree with so to say he should be directing somebody else's words is a highly amusing reaction to this latest work of his. It sounds like he's planning to do the opposite after his next film and retire from directing.

 

Quote

 

AG: That would definitely be fair to say. I find myself interested in less and less things, but the things I’m interested in, I might go deeper and deeper into. And also, I’m not really a film director, I’m a writer who directs out of convenience.

 

NYT: You didn’t expect to have this career as a director?

 

AG: It wasn’t that I had any great urge to direct, it was more born out of anxiety based on writing: I’d find it very agitating if something [in the film] felt totally wrong to me, or something that I felt was important was absent. But I have been thinking that after the film I’m directing at the moment, I should stop and go back to just writing. That might be part of the reversing away from the world — it’s time to get away from it, I think. I’m not temperamentally suited to being a film director.

 

NYT: Why is that?

 

AG: It would be more honest, probably, to say I don’t particularly enjoy it. It’s something I have to force myself to do. It’s incredibly sociable, because you are with a large group of people the whole time — and, in my case, having to do a lot of role play. At the end of the day, you feel a bit fraudulent and exhausted.

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/16/movies/alex-garland-men.html

 

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39 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

This is quite funny considering the only reason Alex Garland even got into directing films is because of his bad experiences with other directors implementing his scripts in ways he personally didn't agree with so to say he should be directing somebody else's words is a highly amusing reaction to this latest work of his. It sounds like he's planning to do the opposite after his next film and retire from directing.

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/16/movies/alex-garland-men.html

 

Yeah but why is what I said funny/amusing? #CasinoJoePesci

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