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Posts posted by digitalmountain

  1. The recreation-as-therapy approach was what made the film so interesting for me.


    It starts out intended as a boastful celebration of the massacres, which is pretty much in tune with the official view of the events (as evidenced by the tied-in interviews of government officials) - complete with John Wayne-references and all. For most of the protagonists, the performative, movie-star-wannabe aspects are what draws them to participate in both the documentary and the film-in-film project. Compared to many other documentaries, the film openly addresses his protagonists' eagerness to perform for the camera, to create an on-screen persona according to their self-image. 


    Through rehearsing and shooting the scenarios, Anwar Congo seems to slowly empathize with the victims 40 years after the fact. Even to him as the perpetrator, the events represent a repressed trauma that has to be confronted indirectly, through the mediated role-playing of shooting a movie. In this sense, the film is about the consequences of the act the title refers to on the those who commit it.   

    In stark contrast to this is the guy with the  mustache, who seems completely at ease behind his rationalizations and sociopath's lack of empathy. For me, the shots in which you hear him describe all their ways of killing while you see him shopping with his family are some of the most haunting in the whole film.  


    So while the film hints at the possibility of individual redemption (I guess this is what Jack means by archetypical trajectory), it mainly portrays the psychological mechanisms behind a collective repression that enables people to proudly brag about taking more than a thousand lives. That this repression seems to be firmly in place today is what makes the film's outlook so dark.

  2. I finally got around to watching The Act of Killing. A documentary that has members of Indonesian death squads re-enact their deeds in a movie they are shooting, it's really intense and full of really bizarre and surreal shit that makes you almost constantly wish it was all fake. I highly recommend it, even if it's a pretty big downer. 






    I've seen this movie over 20 times now and I still find myself wishing it was longer.


    Really? I'm sorry but that was one of the worst Woody Allen films I've ever seen. Terrible dialogue and performances and all the smugness of a tourist who just came out of a guided tour of the Louvre and is trying to impress his friends. 


    What did you like so much about it?