Quarter To Three Movie Club - February 2019- The Man Who Wasn’t There-Spoilers Allowed!


#27

It’s pretty low on the Miike scale, for the most part, though it is very violent. More 13 Assassins than Ichi the Killer. I’d vote for it, but I watched it about 6 months ago, so too recently to want to watch again but long ago enough I don’t really have much to say about it.


#28

Ouch.


#29

Not saying it’s bad. Just that it’s not particularly extreme by his standards.


#30

Btw, technically Blade of the Immortal breaks rule number 2 until April 29th, but I’m sure we can slide on that rule a bit since the purpose was to prevent overlap with Qt3 movie podcasts, and this movie ain’t gonna be seen by the movie podcast gang.


#31

Unless we make them watch it.


#32

The Run-off is now Open!

The Navaronegun News Network has called the first round poll for the two winners, The Man Who Wasn’t There and Blade of the Immortal.

Run-Off Voting for Qt3 Movie Club Film 005, February 2019 will now commence.

First Round Voting is now closed (the poll cannot be modified at this time). The below Poll will be closed SUN FEB 10 at 2359 EST. At that time, if no film has secured a the most votes, the winner will be chosen at random from among those tied for first place.

Click here to see a selection of links for all films in the below poll.

  • Blade of the Immortal
  • The Man Who Wasn’t There

0 voters


#33

Your Movie Club Voter Information Sheet

February 2019 Movie Club Run-Off Candidates:

Blade of the Immortal ( 2017 ) – Malkav11


The Man Who Wasn’t There ( 2001 ) – Ginger_Yellow



#34

The Polls have closed. Navaronegun News Network was delayed by reports of Russian Interference in the election and claims of Voter Fraud, all which proved spurious. The Man Who Wasn’t There is the winner with 75% of the vote in a landslide that has swept Qt3 Nation.

The Winner!

The Man Who Wasn’t There ( 2001 ) – Ginger_Yellow


https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/details/The-Man-Who-Wasnt-There/5205

The Thread will now stay spoiler-free until Wednesday 20 February, 2019 at 2359 EST. This gives everyone 9 days to watch the film. After that time discussion to include spoilers will begin. As well, the Stooges will submit impressions/comments/reviews after that date.


#35

Made it Ma, top of the world!


#36

I feel like you guys aren’t willing to give Chupacabra Terror a chance.

-Tom


#37

You didn’t nominate it this month, Thomas Rhys Chick.


#38

Reminder: You should change the thread title to have the name of the movie.


#39

Probably a good move, yes.


#40

Spoilers ahead.

There’s a scene in The Man Who Wasn’t There where Ed Crane (Billy Bob Thornton) is sitting opposite his social acquaintance Big Dave (James Gandolfini). Big Dave has just asked Ed what kind of man he is. Ed has been secretly blackmailing Dave since he knows Dave has been sleeping with his wife. He’s not malicious about it, he doesn’t really mind the affair, he just needs the money so he can get out of being stuck as a barber all his life. So when a customer told him about an opportunity to setup dry-cleaning stores, he really wants in. And blackmailing his wife’s lover is the only way he knows how to get that money fast.

Only now Dave has called him in the middle of the night to his office, and just asked him what kind of man he is. The camera now rotates around Dave, as a stray ray of light falls just so across his eyes and makes him look evil as fuck and scares the bejeezes out of me. That’s when I know that Dave knows. He knows Ed has been the one blackmailing him, and he’s asking what kind of a man would do that.

I have to confess that I recently saw an Indian movie with a similar plot that came out in 2018, called Blackmail. Only that movie is a comedy. The husband finds out his wife is cheating on him and he blackmails the person who is sleeping with his wife. But the thought that Blackmail is a copy of The Man Who Wasn’t There dies in the next scene, and weirdly the second half of the movie doesn’t really go anywhere interesting. Instead, it’s a series of events that happen, and I guess we get to watch those events play out. And then we get to see Ed call them a series of things that happened to him. Which is kind of meta, I guess. Or an indication that the writers are trying to be too clever. Or that they’re throwing their hands up and saying “well, we don’t know, maybe you can make sense of it”.

Now, with all that said, I can’t deny that I enjoyed the first half of the movie quite a bit. And despite the second half being some stuff that happens, it’s never boring or not told in an interesting way. So I enjoyed being along for the ride.


#41

I love this club.

I must confess that while I enjoy the Coen brothers’ movies (who wouldn’t?), I can’t find in them the genius most seem to spot.
Well this totally changed with this movie. Unlike our favourite Monkey, the more the film progressed, the more I got infatuated with it. The more absurd and disjointed the story grew, the more deeply and precisely human Ed Crane became to my eyes.
In that way it reminded me of Barry Lyndon. Cold period (or even genre?) pieces about unremarkable individuals, yet incredibly moving experiences about the condition of man at large in the end.
The strangely poetic conclusion was absolutely perfect.

I loved this movie.


#42

I woke up, thinking about the movie.
I did some reading online and was surprised to see it compared to, or even labelled as an adaptation of, Camus’ Stranger.
While the main characters of both that book and this movie share an inadequacy (to say the least) to human society, that relation sounded wrong to me, for a reason which made me wanting to write about.

The Stranger’s story is, to me, an allegory of the Philosopher worshipping his truth, and how absurd that pursuit is in a nihilist world. The Man Who Wasn’t There is a much broader nihilistic tale, I thought, and certainly not a tale about a man living and dying for his own truth.
The opinions I read about both works seemed to often imply the characters were doing it for their own ego (which can be argued), but very peculiar aspects of said ego: Mersault would thus be a “poser”; and Crane supposed to be trying to reach the light and ultimately succeeding by being seen on the chair.
To me, that is the exact opposite of both stories’ point but it is also telling how ironic, from my point of view, it is that their writers’ statement itself, in a meta way, is as misunderstood as the characters they depict. That (relatively) so many people voicing their opinion online wish to infuse those characters with egocentric petty concerns or a pursuit of those “15 minutes of fame” might be quite telling, thanks to the mirror handed by both works.
But the irony could be as well on me, as I am probably infusing the aforementioned characters with ideas of my own, desperate for glimpses of other people feeling and writing about the desperate loneliness of loss.

Just getting stuff out of my chest.


#43

How did you feel about Francis McDormand’s character killing herself off-screen? That was a large part of the reason this movie kind of lost me. After Tony Shalhoub’s lawyer character expertly setup the courtroom trial, having Ed’s wife kill herself was just so disappointing. Then later Tony Shalhoub was back in the picture! This time we’d get to see him do an excellent defense! But no, a mistrial.

I feel like the flashback scene late in the movie should have provided some kind of insight into why she killed herself, but it was instead a scene that strengthened why they were a good match for each other, but it also kind of illuminated that Ed never really got through, she didn’t confide to him why she was upset. Though I felt like the scene implied that there were maybe times when she would. I didn’t feel any unhappiness in their unorthodox relationship, just a convenience and comfort.


#44

This might be a very awkward way to write it, but it was the “best” suicide on screen, if I may say so? Especially considering we don’t see any corpse.
Its brutal unexpectedness felt so real, making the event both absurd and horrible at the same time, as the incredible news can be in real life.
I also liked how it was introduced at the tribunal: us guessing from the entry of the judge what may have happened, then procedurally, with all the actors of society not giving a damn about the human aspect of the tragic event, and Ed and his brother-in-law left wondering.

That, too, was kind of awesome: the lawyer feeling duty, but then, when he sees no hope and a potential black dot in his career, grasping firmly the occasion to jump ship. Grandiosity, then pettiness.

Being comfortable not saying a word, being fine with people only being there.
That scene resonated especially strongly as an echo of the earlier depiction, in the exact same setting, of the now even emptier life of Crane after the suicide. Ed wandering into his apartment as haphazardly as before, yet that scene felt so real, so crushing to me.
I think the movie is a very moving love story (the last line is just so beautiful).


#45

I’m sorry I am late on this one, I had a lot of last-minute unexpected personal stuff come up. I hope to re-view it tonight and get some thoughts written. I do remember this: it absolutely gets 40s noir nailed.


#46

As I said before, this is my second favourite Coen after Lebowski, and in many ways they are companion pieces as kind of anti-noirs with almost absurdly laconic, passive protagonists. Lebowski goes down an overtly comic route, while TMWWT is much darker, but in both cases we’re dealing with people who have always let things happen to them, who find that taking active steps only makes things worse. In Lebowski, the only bit of active, Bogart-style detective work that the Dude does gets him a vulgar doodle and a sore head. In TMWWT, Ed’s one attempt to expand his horizons ends in murder, suicide and general calamity. He’s a man so passive that his wife’s adultery is just something that happens in a free country, until he needs the money that can be had from blackmail.

There are so many great things about the movie. Deakins’s cinematography is spectacular. Thornton’s performance, the incessant voiceover contrasting with his near muteness in person, is his best ever. McDormand, Gandolfini,Polito, and Shalhoub all turning in great supporting roles. The many little callbacks and structural mirroring.