Archive for the ‘Disturbing’ Category

Fortunately, this is not one film. Moreover, this time the annoying is not even a film, but a director and at least two of his films. I am talking about Ken Loach‘s Family Life and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Wow, it must be so nice to be this clear on complex issues, to know exactly who’s right and who’s wrong… So, things are quite simple: Loach seems to possess some sort of magic device that renders him The Truth, but – darnest thing – there are other people who claim another or the opposite view, but these latter people are idiots anyway, so the audience should not worry about them, as long as they (we) pay attention to Loach explain it over and over again, in as many clichés as possible (for, obviously, the audience in just as incapable of thinking and deciding as a bunch of two-year-old children). Consequently, in The Wind that Shakes the Barley the bad guys wear uniforms and scream all the time, nothing intelligible, just utter violent noises… The good guys are sensitive, reflective, eloquent (though a bit maybe too repetitive), and attacked by the bad guys. But, oh, lord, then the good guys turn on each other! Nobody panick, Loach has a clear-cut opinion on this dispute too, and immediately dresses the guys he doesn’t agree with in uniforms, and they also seem to forget to speak for themselves or have arguments (earlier in the film, when they were still with the good guys, they could speak in full sentences…) and just scream and kill the good guys for no reason whatsoever. Top this all with the biggest cliché of brother killing brother, and you have a memorable guide into how to treat complex matters as simplistically as possible.

The other film, Family Life, basically follows the same pattern, but shares with the eager to learn audience Loach’s views on psychological treatments. While I happen to agree with his stance, it just seems ridiculous to me how the “other opinion” is portrait: those doctors, specialists or parents have no arguments at all, they are just mean and stupid, and out to hurt the main character, for some unknown reason.

To be clear, I don’t think I have seen any other Loach films, and I know he has lots. So I admit the possibility that all of his other films are wonderfully balanced and/or posing some questions rather than showing down some answers on the throats of the audience. It might be.

And, to come to the most disturbing film I have seen lately…Oh, my, A Serbian Film! So it’s supposed to be a political allegory? Might be, but it also features some of the most extreme forms of violence ever to attempt at our retinas. I would strongly suggest everybody to stay away from it. I was actually wondering who the target audience of this film might be…There’s  not much to gain intellectually or aesthetically by watching it (although the cinematography is good), so people looking for a political allegory and just a good film, will be disappointed and definitely disgusted. Then again, if someone just wants gore-snuff-porn-violence, then it might be too much story for them to pay attention.

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Ex-Drummer, 2007, Koen Mortier

Three completely messed-up, handicapped outsiders decide to form a band and to ask famous sociologist/writer to join them as their drummer. He agrees and starts to manipulate them deeper and deeper into depravation and madness. So who’s more disturbed, a bunch of degenerated maniacs or the cynical intellectual who plays them like bugs?

Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, 1975, Pier Paolo Pasolini

The queen of all disturbing movies, it’s supposed to be about fascism, but it’s really hard to concentrate on the more intellectual, political or critical aspects when you feel nauseous. Inspired by de Sade, of course.

Taxidermia, 2006, Pálfi György

This is a brilliant attempt to combine the most grotesque and unusual stories into a family epic. It features a speed eater, lots of cats and an amazing self-enbalming that will be stuck with and haunt you for as long as you live.

13 Tzameti, 2005, Géla Babluani

This is the only Georgian film I’ve seen but if there are more like these, I would go for them anytime. Although I doubt that there are more films like this. It’s not just the story that is unusual (a twisted game of serial Russian roulette for the fun and enjoyment of the rich) but also the unbelievable tension and nightmarish atmosphere created.

Der freie Wille (The Free Will), 2006, Matthias Glasner

The story of a serial rapist desperately trying to be control his urges and get on with his life. He even falls in love, he even gets you to keep your fingers crossed for him.

Funny Games, 1997, 2007, Michael Haneke

Either version you will watch (they are identical, Haneke remade the German version in the States frame by frame) it will throw you off not only by the amount and degree of violence but most of all for the complete lack of a “logic” or “reason” behind it. And when you realize this, it will disturb you more that you would think violence has some logic and reason at all. The story is simple, as almost always with Haneke: a family goes to their cabin and then they just can’t seem to get rid of two young men who enter their house.

Suicide Club, 2001, Sion Sono

I know that Eastern standards for disturbance and violence and somewhat different, but this is not only that, but also an outrageous satire of consumerism and popular culture. The police are investigating random acts of suicide with a smile: entire classes of adolescent girls throw themselves under trains; happy housewives cut their fingers into the family salad, and it all seems to be connected with a silly pop tune.

Cargo 200, 2007, Aleksey Balabanov

A young girl is taken hostage and tortured by a deranged policeman, to such extent that there was a point when I actually wished he would kill her already.