Which films have you turned off before the end?

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Dan Warburton
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Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

I felt inspired by the post from Lutz -
Wombatz wrote:this thread made me watch yellow sky. well as far as i got. i'm sure it's great and everybody is impressively despicable, but after a good half hour i had run out of reasons to keep on watching. do i have to know who shoots whom first and if the girl is properly raped at some point? it's all just somebody's idea of a story. so i killed all them bastards with a flick of the thumb, a most satisfactory ending ...
- to start a thread to find out which movies folks here completely gave up on before the end. I'm curious to find out, because I can think of a few (the last one that comes to mind was De Palma's Femme Fatale) where, had I done so, I would have missed out on something worthwhile. Of course, there are many many more - the last two Gaspar Noës for example, and Natural Born Killers - where I ended up repeating that oft-trotted out line from IMDb user columns "Two hours of my life I'll never get back" :D
(Re: Yellow Sky, Lutz - I don't think you missed out on much)
Might be useful also to specify whether you were watching the film for the first time or not - I should have pulled the plug on Eyes Wide Shut, Amores Perros and Django Unchained
Git out yr poison pens, people!
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Wombatz
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Wombatz »

i guess this question is more interesting if one approaches the watching of movies with your very germanic conscientiousness :roll: i do it too often ... but here are some that in my mind are more or less defined by their turnoffability ...

i've no idea how anybody can get over the first 10 minutes of last year in marienbad. same with werckmeister harmonies, not because it's slow but because it's arthouse kitsch. i've never watched the whole of citizen kane, not because i couldn't but because i want to be able to say that (plus it's a crap film, of course). every time i start solaris i am sure that this time i will make it through, the atmosphere the colors the music everything is so right, but oh it keeps wearing you down ... i also gave up quickly on natural born killers last time we tried, but had seen it and liked it some decades before ... i twice tried inglourious basterds and failed, that belongs in the same category for me. also i tend to give up quickly if a historical setting just exploits the past for some pretend depth and not engage with anything at all, such as, relatively recently, white ribbon.

i can't right now think of any film where i was glad i kept with it, though the feeling sounds vaguely familiar. more often it's the other way around e.g. (to stay with haneke) i wish i hadn't watched caché to the end, i should have switched off at the suicide, it was totally clear that from there on out only insult could be added to injury ... so i'm really not good enough at this yet ...

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walto
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by walto »

I can't even remember the movies I've SEEN!

But Lutz reminds me that I've never gotten through Marienbad. However, I hasten to add that I've really (kind of) LIKED some movies I can't get through. I put Eraserhead and Pink Flamingos in that category. Maybe Scenes From a Marriage is another one.

As mentioned recently, I used to like Hiroshima Mon Amour, but can't see more than about five minutes anymore. I once liked The Birds and Wild Strawberries. But it's a bit unfair, I think, to expect a film to be enjoyable many times through. Once is generally enough for me--even for the good ones.

Some movies that I love and have recommended highly here will doubtless be a little hard to get through for some: The Tenant; Synecdoche, NY; My Dinner with Andre; and Margaret.
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Matt Wuethrich
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Matt Wuethrich »

Good question, Dan, and one I sometimes struggle with because it seems like I don’t often have the visceral negative reactions that some have, particularly with films. For example, the films Lutz mentions – Last Year in Marienbad, Werckmeister Harmonies, Solaris, and Citizen Kane – are all films I’ve seen multiple times and enjoyed. No problem with the first 10 minutes of any of them. ;)

Lutz, I wonder what you intend with a phrase like “arthouse kitsch”? If you mean that there’s a kind of superficial attempt to engage with identifiable human emotions/relations, I can see that perspective, but in Marienbad, Harmonies and Solaris I do think the biggest barrier for most is those films relation to time, the so-called slowness that viewers find either disturbing or tiresome (or perhaps both)? If I feel a film is challenging my sense of time or how it passes, I’m apt to see it through. However, I did take a break from Theo Angelopoulos’ Voyage to Cythera because the pace was so lugubrious it smothered out any connection with the narrative. The intention was to return to it, but I have yet to do so.

I can only think of one film I turned off out of disgust, and that was I’m Not There, the Dylan thing with Cate Blanchett et al. I get the whole “Dylan wore many masks” idea, but its execution in this film just seemed sloppy and forced. I was close with Malick’s The New World as well yet stuck it out.

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

Great! Disagreements! Just what I wanted! I made it to the end of Marienbad last time we tried, but on further reflection I'm not sure I'd really like to try it again. Probably the same for Hiroshima. Both of those have had serious airplay here over the years, so I can put them to bed without a twinge of guilt. However, later Resnais continues to fascinate: I think I could watch Je t'aime je t'aime at least another half a dozen times and not tire of it. I'm with Lutz on Tarr, fwiw: the only film of his I can say I really enjoyed, if that's the word, was Damnation. I've never understood the fascination for Satantango - it seems to be one of those films you "have to" see if you want any avant garde streetcred (as was the case with Marienbad and Eraserhead when they came out). Said it before, length isn't depth. Nor does long mean slow - Rivette's films are long, but I never find them slow. Re Tarkovsky.. I haven't returned to The Sacrifice and Stalker for a while now, and wonder how they'll be next time round. But by and large I find myself moved. Angelopoulos, good call: I have three more lined up to watch - mixed feelings so far, loved the one with Ganz (Eternity and a Day) but disliked the one with Keitel (Ulysses' Gaze). And I enjoyed the Haynes Dylan film very much - I guess one's reaction that depends on how much one worships the man and his music (personally, I can survive without it), but I disagree with you Matt about the film itself: forced, arguable, sloppy, no. Well not for me, anyway. Raising Kane :) , I just suffered through the TV series Around The World With Orson Welles, and found the man's monstrous ego utterly unbearable. I'm almost afraid to return to Touch of Evil, which has always been a favourite.
Sometimes it's a case of severe allergic reaction to particular actors - Jeff Goldblum brings me out in hives. Or if the story is so distressing - I nearly gave up with Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer. Anyway, keep the reaction coming, all you arthouse kitsch lovers
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Matt Wuethrich
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Matt Wuethrich »

Dan Warburton wrote:I've never understood the fascination for Satantango - it seems to be one of those films you "have to" see if you want any avant garde streetcred (as was the case with Marienbad and Eraserhead when they came out).


I guess this makes me a non-member, because I haven't seen Eraserhead or Satantango (though I have read the novel and found it hypnotic...not a leap to see how one gets to an extended film version of it).
Dan Warburton wrote:Said it before, length isn't depth. Nor does long mean slow - Rivette's films are long, but I never find them slow.


Fully agreed (especially on Rivette). I've found what I like are long takes, not necessarily long films, which is maybe why Werckmeister Harmonies appeals more than, say, Satantango. It's enough for me if time feels it's dilating, or in the case of Marienbad, being fragmented, nor do I necessarily need to put the pieces together to find it satisfying. Quite the opposite, actually: I was fascinated by Memento when it came out but I'm sure it would irritate me if I watched it again. If there's a solution it gets tiresome. On a sidenote, Primer and Upstream Color are two extreme examples of this tendency, but they work precisely because they are so extreme.
Dan Warburton wrote:Re Tarkovsky.. I haven't returned to The Sacrifice and Stalker for a while now, and wonder how they'll be next time round. But by and large I find myself moved.


I will admit to having multiple gos at Solaris before I finished it. Certainly demands a certain mood and energy level going in. Side question: I wonder how much where we see these movies affects our response? It's very unlikely, for example, that I would ever walk out of a film, no matter how bad.
Dan Warburton wrote:And I enjoyed the Haynes Dylan film very much - I guess one's reaction that depends on how much one worships the man and his music (personally, I can survive without it), but I disagree with you Matt about the film itself: forced, arguable, sloppy, no. Well not for me, anyway.


Well, this is the problem of critiquing movies one turns off, isn't it? Very little memory of it and no sense of the whole, which might help one get past initial aesthetic irritations.
Dan Warburton wrote:I just suffered through the TV series Around The World With Orson Welles, and found the man's monstrous ego utterly unbearable. I'm almost afraid to return to Touch of Evil, which has always been a favourite.


But what would he be without that ego?! Certainly not as interesting!
Dan Warburton wrote:Anyway, keep the reaction coming, all you arthouse kitsch lovers
Guilty as charged ;)
Last edited by Matt Wuethrich on Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

Matt Wuethrich
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Matt Wuethrich »

Another one my wife and I turned off after about five minutes was Jacques Demy's Une chambre en ville. I enjoy musicals, but when every line of dialogue is sung...I just can't do it. Anyone else seen this?

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by kuzine »

Matt Wuethrich wrote:Another one my wife and I turned off after about five minutes was Jacques Demy's Une chambre en ville. I enjoy musicals, but when every line of dialogue is sung...I just can't do it. Anyone else seen this?
Happened to watch that one yesterday. While I adore Les demoiselles de Rochefort and (to a lesser extent) Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, this one rubbed me the wrong way, esp. during its opening 5 minutes. I have to say I thought it improved quite a bit after that :D , but still wouldn't recommend this one as an entry for Demy. Maybe it's the casting (thought Piccoli looked ridiculous) or the music (Colombier < Legrand?), camerawork also seemed a bit plainer compared to the earlier ones...

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

kuzine wrote:
Matt Wuethrich wrote:Another one my wife and I turned off after about five minutes was Jacques Demy's Une chambre en ville. I enjoy musicals, but when every line of dialogue is sung...I just can't do it. Anyone else seen this?
Happened to watch that one yesterday. While I adore Les demoiselles de Rochefort and (to a lesser extent) Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, this one rubbed me the wrong way, esp. during its opening 5 minutes. I have to say I thought it improved quite a bit after that :D , but still wouldn't recommend this one as an entry for Demy. Maybe it's the casting (thought Piccoli looked ridiculous) or the music (Colombier < Legrand?), camerawork also seemed a bit plainer compared to the earlier ones...
Yeah, I scribbled about this one last year. I enjoyed the wallpaper best. Like Kuzine, I do like the first two though.
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Wombatz »

Matt Wuethrich wrote:Lutz, I wonder what you intend with a phrase like “arthouse kitsch”?
parable! circus! all the universe's a stage! every man a holy fool! fellinesque faces! how can it get any more arthouse kitsch than werckmeister?

the problem with leaving the cinema during a film is mostly negotiations with the one you're with. usually it's easier to just silently suffer. (i always say that since the arrival of my two boys, cinema has become the last refuge of boredom ... )

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walto
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by walto »

I'm guessing I couldn't sit through 2001 A Space Odyssey anymore.
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Alastair »

Scorsese's "New York, New York". Couldn't get past that first long ballroom scene. Horrible.

Noe's "Irréversible". The endless beating with the fire extinguisher(?) finished me off. I couldn't justify carrying on with it.

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

Alastair wrote:Scorsese's "New York, New York". Couldn't get past that first long ballroom scene. Horrible.
That's funny, I like that film a lot. I think the Minnelli / De Niro chemistry works well. What sent you racing for the off switch, specifically? The story itself? The dialogue? The acting?
Alastair wrote:Noe's "Irréversible". The endless beating with the fire extinguisher(?) finished me off. I couldn't justify carrying on with it.
An interesting turn of phrase, there - justify to yourself, I presume? As if there was some kind of (moral?) duty to see the thing through to the bitter end. Anyway, Noë (self-styled "provocative fucker", to quote Peter Cook) obviously intended it to be something of an endurance test, true. But you gave up quite early - most people throw in the sponge with the scene in the underpass later.
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Wombatz »

Dan Warburton wrote:
Alastair wrote:Scorsese's "New York, New York". Couldn't get past that first long ballroom scene. Horrible.
That's funny, I like that film a lot. I think the Minnelli / De Niro chemistry works well. What sent you racing for the off switch, specifically?
deniro's embouchure

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

Wombatz wrote:
Dan Warburton wrote:
Alastair wrote:Scorsese's "New York, New York". Couldn't get past that first long ballroom scene. Horrible.
That's funny, I like that film a lot. I think the Minnelli / De Niro chemistry works well. What sent you racing for the off switch, specifically?
deniro's embouchure
"You win the white carnation" :lol:
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by walto »

deniro's embouchure
Hahaha!
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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by dialectics of shit »

natural born killers—think i watched like ten minutes.

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Wombatz »

Image

Pierrot Le Fou by one Jean-Luc Godard. oh my has this aged badly. also everybody in it has aged much more badly than they will have aged even in later films. the antics are tired, the talk is tired (yes, many of the unbearable clichés are on purpose but what for). actually the first 20 minutes or so are very good, but once the couple are underway and officially do not know what to do, the not knowing what to do just wears you down (maybe it would work if the pace was slower and there were no song and dance interludes etc.). anyway, we heroically made it about an hour into the thing, supposedly there is some piece of action towards the end, but we just couldn't take another word. the landscape looks very pretty, though.

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Mo Noyz »

Only two movies I’ve ever turned off before finishing were Flatliners, because it was so outrageously fucking stupid, and The Messenger: The Story Of Joan Of Arc due to horrendous writing and worse acting. I think I made it over an hour into Flatliners, but The Messenger was popped out of the VCR within the first 15 minutes.

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Re: Which films have you turned off before the end?

Post by Dan Warburton »

Wombatz wrote:Image

Pierrot Le Fou by one Jean-Luc Godard. oh my has this aged badly. also everybody in it has aged much more badly than they will have aged even in later films. the antics are tired, the talk is tired (yes, many of the unbearable clichés are on purpose but what for). actually the first 20 minutes or so are very good, but once the couple are underway and officially do not know what to do, the not knowing what to do just wears you down (maybe it would work if the pace was slower and there were no song and dance interludes etc.). anyway, we heroically made it about an hour into the thing, supposedly there is some piece of action towards the end, but we just couldn't take another word. the landscape looks very pretty, though.
Knowing (a little, admittedly) your tastes in cinema from what I've read here, I'm surprised you wanted to give it another go at all, Lutz! Well, fwiw, the wyf and I enjoyed this one more than we though we would last time we returned to it, in a mini-Godard fest at the beginning of the year. The ones I really can't stomach - and would probably turn off before the end - are the 70s Dziga Vertovs. But, anyway, à chacun ses gouts. The parrot's the star of the scene above, btw (or is a macaw or something?)
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