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Thread: Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas)

  1. #1

  2. #2
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    This is coming to Pittsburgh on the 31st. I'll be down there April 1st. Can't wait.

  3. #3
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    I love that so much of this was just Kristen Stewart texting. Assayas even builds a horror scene around delayed text notifications. I was cackling like a madman. Great genre stuff, surprisingly, from that atmospheric haunted house opening to [
    ]. Not sure what to make of the last 20 minutes or so, though. None of it really landed for me, and I felt the resolution offered for some of the plot threads was hurried and unsatisfactory. The very last scene is great, though [
    ].

    It's a slippery and beguiling film. Genuinely surprising twists and turns. Will need to reasses with clearer focus. Also, nice to see Anders Danielsen Lie again.
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    Samui Song (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) ***
    Kings (Deniz Gamze Ergüven) *½
    Dark River (Clio Barnard) **½
    Thelma (Joachim Trier) ***
    Zama (Lucrecia Martel) **½

  4. #4
    I SEE DEMONS!!! Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Stay Puft (view post)
    I love that so much of this was just Kristen Stewart texting. Assayas even builds a horror scene around delayed text notifications. I was cackling like a madman.
    In an unintentionally hilarious way? I ask because the tone from the trailer is very unsettling, so something like that sounds out-of-place.

    Then again, it's pretty clever to modernize horror in that way...so it might work depending on the context.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) 9.5
    Suspiria (Argento, 1977) 9.5
    Beach Rats (Hittman, 2017) 7.5
    It (Muschietti, 2017) 8.5
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) 9
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) 9


  5. #5
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    No, not at all. It totally works. It was pure Assayas and I loved it. There's more conventional spooky stuff (i.e. the haunted house stuff at the beginning) and Assayas executes on that rather well. The film is certainly tense and unsettling throughout. I had a really good time with it.
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    Samui Song (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) ***
    Kings (Deniz Gamze Ergüven) *½
    Dark River (Clio Barnard) **½
    Thelma (Joachim Trier) ***
    Zama (Lucrecia Martel) **½

  6. #6
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    I literally gasped upon seeing that this was opening in my town this weekend.

  7. #7
    All animals can scream number8's Avatar
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    Heh, it occurred to me that I never wrote down my thoughts. But this has clawed an impression into my mind for days after same way Get Out did. I love that it's a horror film of multitudes. It offers like five different ways that Stewart's character is experiencing horror: the horror of grief, the horror of a shitty job, the horror of a literal fucking ghost, the horror of a murder mystery, and the one I expected to show up the least, the horror of a woman being phone-stalked by a cyber-creep. It's incredible how Assayas weaved all of these assaults into one narrative (even if it's not the most fluid of transitions), and even more incredible that Stewart amalgamizes all of those disparate terrors into one consistently fraught character. I just love that instead of just using the ghosts as metaphors for her troubles, Assayas really did have a full-on creepy haunted house sequence, as well. I really, really, really want to see this again. I can't believe I'm saying that about a movie where almost the entire second act is just us watching Kristen Stewart texting.

  8. #8
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Well this was certainly weeeeeeeeird, lol. o.O

    So I normally find myself going into these Kristen Stewart movies relatively blind, but I think this is one that woulda definitely benefited from a bit of actual foresight beforehand. I still thought it was good, and Stewart was again incredible, but I think it's gonna take a second viewing to truly be able to appreciate it.

    My one gripe is a similar one that I shared with Clouds of Sils Maria (which I otherwise loved), that being this director's particular tendency to close scenes with a fade to black. I dunno, but I just find that jarring, and it's so often unnecessary in this film, even happening at one point while a character is in the middle of dialogue. Doesn't ruin the film by any means, but I'm just not a fan of that particular directorial quirk.

  9. #9
    I SEE DEMONS!!! Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    This movie was terrifying and atmospheric and hypnotic all throughout and I can't wait to see it again.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) 9.5
    Suspiria (Argento, 1977) 9.5
    Beach Rats (Hittman, 2017) 7.5
    It (Muschietti, 2017) 8.5
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) 9
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) 9


  10. #10
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Could easily be labeled as a millennial horror movie, but as number8 mentions, there's a whole lot going on here, and I like how it's weaved together. I, as the viewer, felt as confused as Kristen Stewart, unsure what to make of the random text messenger, the signs, the job.

    Well done. I think the final fifteen minutes could be analyzed to each image, especially in the hotel.

    Funny that a good twenty minutes of dialog in the movie is just texting, yet it never felt tiresome or boring.

    LATEST SEEN
    Big Sick - *** 1/2
    mother! - ***
    It - **


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  11. #11
    I SEE DEMONS!!! Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Saw it again over the weekend. It holds up really well.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) 9.5
    Suspiria (Argento, 1977) 9.5
    Beach Rats (Hittman, 2017) 7.5
    It (Muschietti, 2017) 8.5
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977) 9
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) 9


  12. #12
    I am not your foot. Spinal's Avatar
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    Super torn on this one because there's at least two movies here. There's a tense thriller that I really enjoyed. And then there's a hackneyed ghost story that I really did not.

    Eh, I guess I liked it enough to give it a yay.
    Last edited by Spinal; 04-18-2017 at 04:43 AM.
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) ****
    The Little Hours (Baena, 2017) **1/2
    Good Time (Safdie/Safdie, 2017) **
    Atomic Blonde (Leitch, 2017) ***
    Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ****
    Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017) **1/2
    It Comes at Night (Shults, 2017) **
    Rough Night (Aniello, 2017) ***
    The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017) ****
    Baby Driver (Wright, 2017) ***

  13. #13
    For a while now I've been trying to "figure out" Kristen Stewart. I should probably just give up and admit to myself I don't like her. The same probably goes for Assayas, though I did enjoy Boarding Gate.

    Everything in that incredible, creaky house was a highlight, as was the "forbidden" dress-up scene. But Stewart herself is not nearly enough of a pull for me to enjoy watching her drive, shop, sit around, etc. And because of that, this movie did not do a good job of maintaining tension for me.

  14. #14
    I am not your foot. Spinal's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily mind Stewart, but I do occasionally have difficulty understanding her. It's like she's trying to be the female Brando with the mumbles.
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) ****
    The Little Hours (Baena, 2017) **1/2
    Good Time (Safdie/Safdie, 2017) **
    Atomic Blonde (Leitch, 2017) ***
    Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ****
    Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017) **1/2
    It Comes at Night (Shults, 2017) **
    Rough Night (Aniello, 2017) ***
    The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017) ****
    Baby Driver (Wright, 2017) ***

  15. #15
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Like others here, there are sequences here that I'm going to love coming back to throughout the year. The shots of hotel elevators and entrances opening and closing for "nothing," the forbidden dress business, the general meandering that Assayas does so well.

    But the ending, to me, seems to undercut the energy and style of much of the rest of the film. It doesn't make narrative sense to suggest that Stewart is ghostly as anything other than a metaphor--to subvert the idea from metaphor to actual ghost seems odd and an overreach. That said, the whole ability to sustain narrative tension over texts back and forth suggests that Assayas could likely take the horror route further...
    Beatriz at Dinner - 6.5
    It - 6
    Bad Boy Bubby - 6
    Dunkirk - 6.5

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    Wait what? Hold on, what did you think the ending is suggesting?
    I thought the final line was something along the lines of Stewart asking if she's a/the ghost, but this assessment doesn't back up that reading. If it's less about her being an unambiguous ghost and more how she remains in constant harm, I'm more enthused by the ending. When we walked out of the theatre, though, we'd totally thought that Assayas was implicating Stewart as ghostly, not still a potential victim.

    This new realization of the film's intent aids the film's structure, to be sure.
    Beatriz at Dinner - 6.5
    It - 6
    Bad Boy Bubby - 6
    Dunkirk - 6.5

  18. #18
    I am not your foot. Spinal's Avatar
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    I read it as 'or is it all in my head?'
    Wind River (Sheridan, 2017) ****
    The Little Hours (Baena, 2017) **1/2
    Good Time (Safdie/Safdie, 2017) **
    Atomic Blonde (Leitch, 2017) ***
    Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ****
    Dunkirk (Nolan, 2017) **1/2
    It Comes at Night (Shults, 2017) **
    Rough Night (Aniello, 2017) ***
    The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017) ****
    Baby Driver (Wright, 2017) ***

  19. #19
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I read it as 'or is it all in my head?'
    Same.

  20. #20
    All animals can scream number8's Avatar
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    I didn't have any form of twist reading at all. I just took it as the ghost being worried about her well-being, considering her myriad of issues throughout the film.

  21. #21
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal
    Super torn on this one because there's at least two movies here. There's a tense thriller that I really enjoyed. And then there's a hackneyed ghost story that I really did not.
    Exact opposite for me, but I'm equally ambivalent. The haunted house stuff worked for me. The thriller part had two great scenes which were suspense highlights (the finding of the corpse and the delayed text reception) but didn't make sense as a story for me. I knew from the first texting scene that the most likely suspect was the one who ended up being the culprit. And the resolution is bollocks - Maureen goes to the hotel having previously contacted the police, and I assume... she goes to another room? And the worst gun-wielding stalker in the world just walks into the trap.

    I wouldn't say the ending to the entire movie is bollocks, but I do think it walks a fine line between ambiguity and stupidity. I'm not even sure what it's implying, but I found the double-dipping on the dead twin manifestation a bit too much to swallow. And the French séance film, while beautifully shot and edited, is just incredibly didactic for a genre viewer. It just reeks of Assayas assuming the people who watch his films have never seen a Horror movie before. Come to think of it, he's probably right.

    Quote Quoting TGM
    My one gripe is a similar one that I shared with Clouds of Sils Maria (which I otherwise loved), that being this director's particular tendency to close scenes with a fade to black. I dunno, but I just find that jarring, and it's so often unnecessary in this film, even happening at one point while a character is in the middle of dialogue. Doesn't ruin the film by any means, but I'm just not a fan of that particular directorial quirk.
    Heh. I watched this with my girlfriend and she was infuriated by this, specially in the hotel example you mention.

    Overall, I found the film very engaging and, in some scenes, very well directed, but I also suspect Assayas thinks it's a lot smarter than it really is and leaves too many plot threads hanging in the air for no reason. What was up with the abstract painter? I kept expecting that to play some sort of role.
    Last edited by Grouchy; 05-04-2017 at 07:28 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Quoting number8 (view post)
    I didn't have any form of twist reading at all. I just took it as the ghost being worried about her well-being, considering her myriad of issues throughout the film.
    I didn't see it as a twist either, but my reading was slightly more cynical. You'd expect straightforward communication with the ghost to clarify some of her recent experiences and help process her grief, but it seemed to only further obfuscate the truth.

  23. #23

  24. #24
    You're right. I need to see outside my own corporealcentrism.

  25. #25
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    That aspect of the film was underdeveloped but I found it very interesting. Both brothers were mediums so they would expect their communication to be easy, but neither of them had been dead before so they don't really know how to proceed.
    Last edited by Grouchy; 05-04-2017 at 07:27 PM.

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