"I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Kaufman, Netflix, 2020)"
Something about this felt very Kubrickian to me, but I might need another viewing because there’s a lot going on, with constant subtle changes you notice on the late. Acting is top-notch though I didn’t think the two leads completely sold some of the (very) talky scenes in the car.
Also I’m not sure why so many are calling this a horror movie, but I guess “existential dread” might not quite have the same ring to it
------------------------------ For the record, my teams: MLB: Mets / Soccer: PSG NCAA BB: Arizona / NCAA FB: Michigan NBA: Spurs / NFL: Jets === "Si la meuf est bien physiquement, je ne refuserai pas grand chose"
3. "Its actually brilliant " In response to Reply # 0
The concept. Its weird, it takes some after discussion to get to the point of realizing what you just watched, and then realize the brilliance of it all. Its a flick for movie/artistic nerds. Pauline Kael for gods sake.
5. "As a big Kaufman fan, it's definitely my least favorite Kaufman. " In response to Reply # 0
(Well, outside of Human Nature, but that doesn't even feel remotely Kaufman-y, so I don't consider it.)
I loved individual scenes/moments/lines, but it's, even by Kaufman standards, really reveling in its inscrutability. Like, Kaufman being up his own ass has created some brilliant fucking movies, but he might be so far up his own ass here that he's starting to see daylight.
Plemons and Buckley are great, and the dialogue is, per usual, very sharp. And frankly, I admire that Kaufman can grab Netflix money and say "fuck it, I'm gonna go full Kaufman to the point of alienating people." It's certainly more interesting to watch this sort of movie than something more phoned in and boring-- so I still enjoyed it on the whole for those sorts of reasons.
That said, if I feel like I can't wrap my head around your movie without reading essays or books outside of the film? Then either I'm an idiot (very possible!) or the movie is not achieving its goal. Unless inscrutability *is* the goal, in which case... on one hand, do your thing, but on the other hand, *jerkoff hand motion*, y'know?
6. "Weirdly, I found it pretty straight forward." In response to Reply # 5
Man imagines a trip to his parents' house with an idealized woman he never actually dated or could have possibly measured up to during the last day of his life, and that imaginary trip winds up meandering through a variety of things he feels embarrassed, ashamed and guilty about, whether that be his lack of ambition relevant to his interests, the way his overbearing and abusive parents manipulated him into that lack of creative ambition and the guilt he feels over the abusive relationships he had with the women he actually did know.
And I think this is why, like I said in the Tenet thread, watching movies at home kind of sucks. The first time I watched this I completely missed the moments when Kaufman shows us the Janitor, or I forgot about him as I got wrapped up in the dialogue. But when I watched it a second time while seeing it with my mother on our first hang since Mother's Day, I realized this movie isn't all that different from Synechdoche, New York other than it's obviously smaller budget and apparently smaller stakes.
In other words, I feel like it was Kaufman retreating from his own ass and circling around a lot of familiar themes on the smallest scale he's yet weighed them on. Maybe it's the smallness of its stakes and its structure that bugs you as well?
But then, sometimes I find myself wanting to put this in my three favorite Kaufman films so maybe I'm just at the point where I'm wanting people I like to like it more than they have.
8. "Interesting. Always thought 2nd/3rd watch was Charlie's Charm™" In response to Reply # 7 Wed Sep-16-20 09:31 PM by Nodima
For what it's worth (not much), I think she was an amalgamation of the manic pixie dream girls he saw on film / Charlie has put on film in the past (Jesse Buckley's inherent, twee cuteness) and the women he aspired to meet as an accomplished man of the arts (when she delivers her long monologues, they are both lifted from women on Jake's bookshelf). To me, it's clear she is the ideal woman who could only exist in a movie (or a memory made of other memories).
9. "just too much random self-indulgence" In response to Reply # 0
this isn't really a movie. it's an art piece. and there's no worse art than video art (i.e. Cremaster Cycle). this just reminded me of all the interminable, excessively-long "art" I had to sit through in school.
it definitely achieves a mood. there are moments that have stuck with me. but it's ultimately a sloppy, lazily-constructed 2-hour dream sequence.