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Lobby Pass The Popcorn topic #739409

Subject: "I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Kaufman, Netflix, 2020)" Previous topic | Next topic
benny
Member since Jan 15th 2003
7806 posts
Sun Sep-06-20 06:55 PM

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"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

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
Hated the ending/reveal in the book, even worse in the movie
Sep 07th 2020
1
I did not enjoy this movie.
Sep 13th 2020
2
Its actually brilliant
Sep 13th 2020
3
if you want to feel like you've done something smart
Sep 14th 2020
4
As a big Kaufman fan, it's definitely my least favorite Kaufman.
Sep 14th 2020
5
Weirdly, I found it pretty straight forward.
Sep 15th 2020
6
      I don’t doubt that stuff is there.
Sep 16th 2020
7
           Interesting. Always thought 2nd/3rd watch was Charlie's Charm™
Sep 16th 2020
8
just too much random self-indulgence
Sep 17th 2020
9

Oak27
Member since Apr 17th 2005
12291 posts
Mon Sep-07-20 11:06 AM

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1. "Hated the ending/reveal in the book, even worse in the movie"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Jessie and Jesse were both great though. The scenes in the car were great, the dinner/house section was off the wall, but once they get to the school it turns to shit as it did in the book.

  

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SuiteLady
Member since Oct 19th 2004
14814 posts
Sun Sep-13-20 08:36 PM

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2. "I did not enjoy this movie."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

♥ Inescapably Me ♥

"Love is never any better than the lover" Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)

  

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rdhull
Charter member
31933 posts
Sun Sep-13-20 09:00 PM

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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.

  

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Rjcc
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92255 posts
Mon Sep-14-20 10:47 AM

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4. "if you want to feel like you've done something smart"
In response to Reply # 0


          

without actually using your brain at all

then man do I have a movie for you

www.engadgethd.com - the other stuff i'm looking at

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83324 posts
Mon Sep-14-20 11:44 AM

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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?

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14173 posts
Tue Sep-15-20 11:13 AM

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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.


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
83324 posts
Wed Sep-16-20 10:01 AM

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7. "I don’t doubt that stuff is there."
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

But if I have to watch a second time to really grasp any of that, then I wonder what that says about the movie.

Like. I got that we were in his head by the end. But I couldn’t tell precisely if she was imagined or if she was an amalgamation of many girls or what— I couldn’t really pin it down.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
14173 posts
Wed Sep-16-20 09:30 PM

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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).


~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz

  

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ternary_star
Charter member
15129 posts
Thu Sep-17-20 03:51 PM

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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.

  

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