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Thread: Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)

  1. #51
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    I don't think the message of the film is just "we all need to communicate with each other". It's that language has an enormous impact on the way we think and process the world. The film suggests that interacting with different cultures can initially be tense, jarring and raise the possibility of mistrust. But fully understanding a culture and the way it uses language can ultimately open up our brains to new possibilities. That's what is memorable about the film for me, much more so than the philosophical question about her daughter. Not to say one is right and one is wrong. Just saying that this layer of the film worked well for me.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  2. #52
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Lazlo (view post)
    [
    ]
    Yeah, I don't remember anything about that at all.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  3. #53
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    The film suggests that interacting with different cultures can initially be tense, jarring and raise the possibility of mistrust.
    This aspect was what struck the most with me, too. The scene where Louise explains that they don't just need to translate glyphs, they also need to ask basic questions to learn the syntax of their form of communications so they know how certain interactions would come across, and when she intuits that they need to figure out if weapon and gift mean the same thing to their culture. That seems like the film's chief allegory. I kept forgetting her character's name after the movie and was just calling her Space Margaret Mead.
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
    Movie Theater Diary

  4. #54
    Well that would make a lot more sense. Wow, though. I have no doubt you guys are correct; I'm just amazed that I could confabulate all that. I'm questioning my ability to mentally process data.

  5. #55
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting amberlita (view post)
    Well that would make a lot more sense. Wow, though. I have no doubt you guys are correct; I'm just amazed that I could confabulate all that. I'm questioning my ability to mentally process data.
    Don't worry, you're not alone. I pestered these guys for clarifications so long that it's amazing I haven't been banned for dumbness.
    MOVIES

    [+] closer to next rating / [-] closer to previous rating

    • Son of Saul (Nemes, 2015) ✦✦✦ [+]
    • Cast Away (Zemeckis, 2000) ✦✦✦✦ -- rewatch
    • Hudson Hawk (Lehmann, 1991) [+]
    • Extraction (Hargrave, 2020) ✦✦½ [-]
    • Underwater (Eubank, 2020) ✦✦✦ [-]
    • Leviathan (Cosmatos, 1989) ✦✦ [-] -- rewatch
    • The Remains of the Day (Ivory, 1993) ✦✦✦½ [-]
    • The Call of the Wild (Sanders, 2020) ✦✦ [+]
    • Saving Mr. Banks (Hancock, 2013) ✦✦½ [-]
    • The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987) ✦✦ [+]
    • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Waititi, 2016) ✦✦✦ [+]
    • The Invisible Man (Whannell, 2020) ✦✦✦✦

    TV

    • Ozark (S1) ✦✦✦½ [-] / Killing Eve (S3) ✦✦ [+] / Orange is the New Black (S7) ✦✦✦ [-]
    • Orange is the New Black (S6) ✦✦½ [+] / The Man in the High Castle (S4) ✦✦✦½ [+] / Orange is the New Black (S5) ✦½ [+]

    ====================
    LAST THINGS BOUGHT

    • Patriot Games / Clear and Present Danger (Noyce, 1992/1994) -- 4K Ultra HD / Paramount Pictures
    • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Spielberg, 1982) -- 4K Ultra HD / Universal Studios
    • Schindler's List (Spielberg, 1993) -- 4K Ultra HD / Universal Studios
    • Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg, 1998) -- 4K Ultra HD / Paramount Pictures
    • Spider-Man 2 (Raimi, 2004) -- 4K Ultra HD / Sony Pictures


  6. #56
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    That said, I still thought the movie was fantastic. Reminded me of a few of my favourite sci-fi novels.
    Winston, you mind offering up a few of those sci-fi titles? I read Chiang's story collection before seeing this and dug it a lot, and would be interested in anything that's self-contained...
    Ant-Man and the Wasp - 5
    Hereditary - 7
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? - 7.5
    The Tale - 8

  7. #57
    ............... Skitch's Avatar
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    For those that have seen Arrival, has your anticipation for Blade Runner 2049 altered pro or con after seeing this film?

  8. #58
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting dreamdead (view post)
    Winston, you mind offering up a few of those sci-fi titles? I read Chiang's story collection before seeing this and dug it a lot, and would be interested in anything that's self-contained...
    Embassytown and Babel-17 were the ones that came to mind.

  9. #59
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    For those that have seen Arrival, has your anticipation for Blade Runner 2049 altered pro or con after seeing this film?
    I've been a fan of the director's work for a while now, and so this movie didn't really alter my perception of his or any upcoming projects of his one way or the other. If it's got his name attached, I'm interested.

  10. #60
    ............... Skitch's Avatar
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    I haven't watched Arrival yet, but I'm right there with you TGM.

  11. #61
    I wish deeply that he wasn't going into franchises, but I'll see whatever he does next with great anticipation.
    letterboxd.

    A Star is Born (2018) **1/2
    Unforgiven (1992) ***1/2
    The Sisters Brothers (2018) **
    Crazy Rich Asians (2018) ***
    The Informant! (2009) ***1/2
    BlacKkKlansman (2018) ***1/2
    Sorry to Bother You (2018) **1/2
    Eighth Grade (2018) ***
    Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) ***
    Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018) **1/2

  12. #62
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    SPOILER for the whole paragraph:

    In desperate need of a second watch, as, rare for 'go-with-the-flow' me, I was able to guess too early (in the first half) what trick it has up its sleeve. What clicked for me is that I was wondering why Amy Adams' superb-in-retrospect performance doesn't have a layer that indicates the loss of a child, when a keyword was uttered and then everything fell into place. Thus, I am not sure if the emotional aspect falls flat for me because I was too distracted by my own thoughts during the film (I had that realization super-early in the film), or because the film really doesn't earn it. Otherwise though, apart from that and a few plot clumsiness (mostly the climatic phone call), very superb. Rarely have I been so engrossed and stimulated based purely on ideas, thoughts, and process minutiae this year. A second watch will clarify if it is able to reach my emotions as well, now that I will have no hesitating, distracted thoughts during it now.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  13. #63
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    I think I loved the first two-thirds of this movie and couldn't get over my own dislike of [
    ]* to appreciate the final third, although reading through this thread helped me better recognize and appreciate the flashback dynamic (there was a solid ten-minute chunk where I thought the daughter was psychic - d'oh!). The sequence with them unknowingly racing against a red digital readout was maybe the high point, and goddamn me for falling for that old classic. Why would the soldiers, after all, need a red digital readout for a bomb they had no intention of defusing or even watching? But even then, it works.

    The cinematography seemed too washed out for my taste. That could be the result of me watching on a DVD screener (my roommate is in a guild), but a lot of the color bled together and felt unnecessarily faded. Which is a shame, because Villeneuve's shot selection is mostly excellent (and I liked how we never travel to other countries beyond the occasional wide shot during montages).

    * [
    ]

    All that said, easily one of the better films of the year, largely because it assumes its viewers are intelligent and curious about alien life and the human response, and also because, as others have said, the film is equally (if not more) about our own struggle to communicate with and understand other humans.

    This is one that may play better and more consistent on a rewatch.

  14. #64
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    I see I never did post my thoughts about this. I appreciate a movie taking on the idea of language changing our experience of the world, but I kept thinking Borges did it better. And I liked all the emotional beats in principle, but their execution didn't really land for me, maybe because Renner's character felt undeveloped. But negatives aside, Villeneuve rocks the cool grey atmosphere, as always; he's really good at modulating that coolness, making it either soft or icy hard.

    So...mixed, but I liked it quite a bit overall.

    Quote Quoting Dead & Messed Up (view post)
    * [
    ]
    But there is no "first" or "second" time around: there's only the one time. I have the opposite opinion about the bootstrap paradox. It makes perfect sense according to classical physics, and if you were to make a story about time travel or precognition and skip over complications like it, you'd be skipping what makes these things interesting in the first place. I think that's especially true if the story's about humanity transcending its everyday conceptions.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

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  15. #65
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)

    None of that shit about soldiers setting a bomb, a global military crisis with China and "learning to work together" was in the original either. That was pure Hollywood crap. They turned a singular story into another overbearing message movie.
    Thank you. [
    ]

  16. #66
    Quote Quoting Rico (view post)
    Thank you. [
    ]
    Agreed! All those elements were boilerplate thriller material and crudely bolted onto the main story.

    [
    ]

  17. #67
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Haven't read anything in this thread yet, but this film annoyed the shit out of me. The flash-forwards at the beginning of the movie are intentionally there to confuse the audience in thinking they are flashbacks. For 3/4 of the movie I'm trying to figure out why Amy keeps thinking about her boring dead kid. This is the laziest way to structure a film with some kind of "see what we're doing now?" kind of reveal half way through the movie. Let's be clear though- This means that Amy Adams always has the ability to see the future correct? Otherwise there would be zero point in putting flash-forwards at the beginning of the movie. That ability wasn't given to her by the aliens. The only thing the aliens did was allow her to understand the language.

    I also really wish there was some sense of time passing. We hear days/months being said but it doesn't really feel like anyone was there longer than a week.

    Overall, I'm annoyed. I though the drama with the bomb was the best part of the film, except it was short lived and nothing came of it.

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  18. #68
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Watashi (view post)
    I mean, LOST was famous for doing it.
    Yeh and fuck lost.

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  19. #69
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Jeremy Renner's character was only there to impregnate Amy Adams. Why bother with that casting?

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  20. #70
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    The movie tries to approach some of those ideas, but does it such a ham handed, unimaginative fashion that I was flabbergasted. It practically screams [
    ]
    So this.

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  21. #71
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    I don't know if you can say the movie's exposition is obvious and ham handed when a couple of posts back you seem to misunderstood the movie by saying the ability wasn't given to her by the aliens...
    Quote Quoting Donald Glover
    I was actually just reading about Matt Damon and he’s like, ‘There’s a culture of outrage.’ I’m like, ‘Well, they have a reason to be outraged.’ I think it’s a lot of dudes just being scared. They’re like, ‘What if I did something and I didn’t realize it?’ I’m like, ‘Deal with it.’
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  22. #72
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    I don't know if you can say the movie's exposition is obvious and ham handed when a couple of posts back you seem to misunderstood the movie by saying the ability wasn't given to her by the aliens...
    It's ambiguous isn't it? You can't say I'm wrong when it's not clear. The first 3 minutes of the movie is evidence of this.

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  23. #73
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    It's ambiguous isn't it? You can't say I'm wrong when it's not clear. The first 3 minutes of the movie is evidence of this.
    [
    ]
    last four:
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  24. #74
    Quote Quoting Lazlo (view post)
    [
    ]
    Not sure about that. The script muddles this point.

    [
    ]

    Anyway, from a certain point of view, Duke is right.

    [
    ]

  25. #75
    Screenwriter Lazlo's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    Not sure about that. The script muddles this point.

    [
    ]

    Anyway, from a certain point of view, Duke is right.

    [
    ]
    I don't buy her as being special beyond her skills as a linguist allowing her to start to unlock the heptapods' gift. I don't think that's in there. She's then able to pass that knowledge and ability along through teaching and writing her book. The heptapods don't expect her to be alive in thousands of years to help them. They expect future humans to learn and grow in their language and ability. If she's special it's because they know she gives them the best chance of teaching humans, but that doesn't mean that she has some innate ability to visualize time before she learns the language.
    last four:
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    mountain - 8
    tigerland - 8
    geostorm - 2

    now reading:
    the wes anderson collection by matt zoller seitz
    every man a menace by patrick hoffman

    Letterboxd
    The Harrison Marathon - A Podcast About Harrison Ford

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