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life of pi
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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 12:59pm

Post #1 of 27 (292 views)
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life of pi Can't Post

 
started watching it (had not seen it), but then paused because i suspected the zoo animals would be transported on the ship (which i knew was supposed to sink -- though i did not know all the details).

then i researched the movie through reviews, and found some references to a hyena eating a zebra in the lifeboat while it is still alive, and the tiger eating the hyena.

i was already disturbed by the scene with the tiger and the goat, so at this point, i stopped watching.

i know this is a widely acclaimed film, and many people loved it. did anyone else have a problem with this film, as i did?


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Rosie-with-the-ribbons
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 14 2013, 2:19pm

Post #2 of 27 (202 views)
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I first read the book [In reply to] Can't Post

because I also heard stories about it being about believes, and I wasn't sure I was up to something like that. So I had read about that scene. But I'm very good at not reading bloody stuff (I love reading Stephen King, can't watch a movie from his books). So I was prepared in the movie to hide away and not watch it.
But I have to say that I can't remember it being really nasty. The idea is of course terrible, but I don't think they really showed it. If it had been too bloody I would have remembered, but it doesn't really come to mind anymore.



Magpie
Immortal


Oct 14 2013, 4:38pm

Post #3 of 27 (200 views)
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I didn't have a problem with it [In reply to] Can't Post

at the risk of being a little bit spoilerish...

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The animals attacking each other is a crucial part of the entire story. You have to get to the pay off to appreciate why it's included. It's not just a gratuitous inclusion.

There are all genres and levels and contexts for harsh plot points and/or visuals. Some thing might bother some people and not others, while those unmoved by the first will be torn up by another.

I think Grave of the Fireflies was one of the harshest movies I've ever experienced and I would never presume to recommend any parent of a small child watch it. But I can watch Game of Thrones and Deadwood and only have to close my eyes at the worst.

Animals eat other animals. It's not unnatural. But if it's upsetting enough that you can't bear it, the movie may not be for you. But I think the movie is worth it and the story includes the scene with the animals. It can't be deleted without loosing a crucial part of the framework.

However, I think it could work for someone to provide you with a synopsis that tells you what happens in those scenes without you having to watch it and then have you watch the rest of the movie and *get* the rest of the movie. The entire movie isn't about animals eating other animals. **SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THE NEXT FEW SENTENCES** It is essentially two scenes (that I remember... I don't fish getting eaten because that doesn't usually upset people). The tiger is fed a goat. A few animals stuck in a lifeboat act on their natural instincts. And then, of course, animals are lost in the shipwreck although people were too. If you can bear people being lost in a shipwreck then it's not that much different than the animals.

My only regret is that finances kept me from seeing this movie in 3D. It was, visually, a stunning film.


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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 4:57pm

Post #4 of 27 (186 views)
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thanks for [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks for all the elaboration, magpie.

and you are correct. different people are affected by different things in films. an added layer might be the mood or current experiences one is dealing with at the time.

for example, sure i'm bothered and affected by people being drowned in real life. i wouldn't enjoy it on film, but it's easy for me to see that the people are actors, and it's not real.

for the animals in the life of pi (and other films), it can bother me a lot more. not because i place the lives of non-human animals above the lives of human animals, but because animals are so at our mercy in this world. it really is a horror show. so seeing it on screen calls to mind very strongly that non-human animals are more often cruelly treated than they are well-treated by humans. (e.g., the animals were kept in captivity in the zoo, and if that wasn't bad enough, the only reason they were on that boat is because humans wanted them to be -- they had no say-so).

also, i'm very familiar with biology and zoology. it's one of my interests. i well know that animals killing other animals is what they do. however, all the intellectualism in the world cannot inure me to the sight of an animal being eaten alive, or terrorized, or dying a horrible death.

i've heard of "grave of the fireflies," and how piercingly sad many people have found it. i still would like to see it, not for the grief, but because it is supposed to be well-done, moving, and profound.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 14 2013, 5:24pm

Post #5 of 27 (175 views)
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Agree with Magpie here [In reply to] Can't Post

Maciliel, I really hope you watch Life of Pi. I think I am very similar to you when it comes to depictions of animals on screen, especially when it comes to any suffering, real or perceived. There are still some scenes in ROTK I have never seen to this day, because my 'horse-protection-automatic-shut-off' comes into play every time - shutting my eyes! And these are cgi horses.

Yes, there is suffering in this Life of Pi, both human and animal. One one level, it is a story about suffering.
But there is also beauty, hope, and amazing spirit. It is one of those multi-layered stories, and I found it to be profoundly moving. As Magpie said, the scenes with the animals are essential and part of this multi-layering.

Life of Pi still rates for me as one of my best film-going experiences ever. I haven't watched it on DVD yet, even though I bought it ages ago, because I haven't been in the ready for it, if that makes sense. I still have vivid and detailed memories of seeing in on the big screen, and these memories are not just of the story and the visual aspects, but of how it made me feel, and what it made me think about for a long time afterward. I read the book after I saw the movie, and I am really impressed at how the book was brought to life on screen.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 5:39pm

Post #6 of 27 (166 views)
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thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks for the feedback, rosie. it certainly would be better not to see it.

i'm ok with watching most movies from stephen king's works, 'tho since a family member of mine died two years ago, i am increasingly uncomfortable with seeing violence on screen, and i have been been increasingly bothered by the scene in "the shining" in which jack torrance attacks the scatman crothers character with an axe.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 14 2013, 5:40pm

Post #7 of 27 (172 views)
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I happened to catch a few moments of an interview [In reply to] Can't Post

with David Magee who wrote the screenplay for Life of Pi and Finding Neverland (as the subject matter was those two films).

They showed a brief part of the scene just before the goat is being fed to the tiger and a comment he made caused another level of understanding to *click* for me in terms of the entire story. I didn't understand, before that, how that scene leads into the scene on the boat.

http://video.klru.tv/video/2365037254/

Stories that make me think are my favorite kind... although it's not unusual that I can't really classify some of them as a movie I *liked*. Appreciated, maybe is a better word.


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(This post was edited by Magpie on Oct 14 2013, 5:41pm)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 5:43pm

Post #8 of 27 (166 views)
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thanks also [In reply to] Can't Post

 
thanks also for your feedback, starling.

i'm not sure if i will watch it at this point. perhaps some time in the future. i think my current mood is also a factor here. i'm dealing with a bunch of "real life" issues that i think makes me more intolerant of violence and suffering.

maybe i'll fast forward.

there are other types of "hard" films with which i don't have this issue -- they still can affect me, but they don't disturb me.

i know what you mean about the horses in rotk. it helps a lot in places that they are obviously cgi.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 5:44pm

Post #9 of 27 (162 views)
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thanks, magpie [In reply to] Can't Post

 
... i'll check out that link.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


elaen32
Gondor


Oct 14 2013, 6:10pm

Post #10 of 27 (156 views)
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Thanks for posting this link Magpie [In reply to] Can't Post

A very interesting talkSmile


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!



Magpie
Immortal


Oct 14 2013, 7:11pm

Post #11 of 27 (152 views)
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I love discussions about storytelling in general [In reply to] Can't Post

You might be interested in this site: http://www.onstory.tv/

I didn't link to their video because you couldn't advance manually on their video player. You had to let the whole thing run. But this is the site where the video originated.


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Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 14 2013, 8:20pm

Post #12 of 27 (165 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I was uneasy during the scenes. I had some warning in spoilers, so I knew what was going to happen going in. Wifey wanted to see it. It was a beautifully shot film.

I do understand your unease. While it may seem like misplaced priorities being affected by the cinematic deaths of animals moreso than that of human actors, there is that tragic sense of a failure of stewardship. Yes, I've seen real deaths of real people. That's horrible, terrible, and I pray never to see such again. But the death of an animal, especially one supposedly under the care of a human being, is also affecting.

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Oct 14 2013, 8:29pm)


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 9:00pm

Post #13 of 27 (157 views)
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hard emotions [In reply to] Can't Post

 
hard emotions and experiences to describe, but stated in a compelling (and even lovely) way. thank you, darkstone.

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Ethel Duath
Valinor


Oct 14 2013, 10:15pm

Post #14 of 27 (150 views)
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Thanks to you and Darkstone for articulating [In reply to] Can't Post

what I've been trying to put into words--even just inside my head--for years.

I've been hesitating over seeing "Pi" for awhile; and at this poont I know I'd never make it through.

But I certainly understand the other points of view here.


Starling
Half-elven


Oct 15 2013, 4:57am

Post #15 of 27 (123 views)
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The thing is, [In reply to] Can't Post

it's only a film, and I wouldn't suggest for a moment that you *must* see it. Maybe sometime down the track you will feel like watching it, in which case I would urge you to give it a try. For me, the beauty and hope in this film outweighed the suffering. But if you don't want to watch it, don't watch it. You may never feel like it.

I totally understand what you are saying about not being in a good place to watch that kind of film right now.

Since a very early age, I have been fascinated by survival stories. I have always enjoyed watching programmes about people overcoming terrible odds, for example in programmes such as 'I Shouldn't be Alive'. When the earthquakes started here, I completely lost any appetite for that kind of thing. It was happening, for real, all around me. Three years later, I am interested in those stories again, but I didn't need to see it during that particular time. The same thing happened with my interest in World War 2. I just happened to be watching 'The World at War' box set when he earthquakes started. I haven't watched it since then, as I had enough suffering and smashed up buildings in real life right in my face.

So that's a long winded way of saying that I understand how a person's current situation, or life experiences, may affect what they can tolerate, or wish to see, on screen.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 15 2013, 5:42am

Post #16 of 27 (130 views)
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re survival stories [In reply to] Can't Post

 
then you and i have something in common (finding survival stories extremely compelling). i have always found them, so -- not for any entertainment value, but because i felt they were somehow critical. i was both learning something and also opening myself up to the knowledge of the ordeal -- meaning that it was important that people not involved in the ordeal know about it, and validate that it happened.

my father loved to watch "the world at war" when i was a kid. it was very informative and well-done, but i found it extremely oppressive.

i think right now i am extremely open to(perhaps even looking for) inspiring themes of hope and endurance. but perhaps now is not the right time for "the life of pi." i'm not sure. i will have to mull it over some more.

thanks for sharing your (great) thoughts, starling.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 15 2013, 1:49pm

Post #17 of 27 (106 views)
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another one who reads survival stories [In reply to] Can't Post

As a kid, my favorite part of Reader's Digest was 'Drama in Real Life.'


To be honest, Life of Pi didn't leave me feeling inspired, warm and fuzzy. It's more challenging than nuturing, if you sense the difference. If you're feeling vulnerable (in some way) then I'd suggest you wait.

I also swing to different kinds of movies, music, etc. as my mood swings. When I was in the throes of my Tolkien passion in the summer of 2002, I could not watch any contemporary visual media nor listen to any music other than the FOTR soundtrack.

It wasn't that I was so in love with FOTR and Tolkien that I wouldn't do anything else. I was using Tolkien as a means of working through a lot of things from the previous years and my head could not endure either the silliness of tv/movies or the contemporary fascination with violence and harshness. I needed the distance that 'myth' provides to work through things.

This is also the reason I never suggest foisting or pushing LOTR (or anything else, for that matter) on people who seem reluctant or resistant to it. I think things come to us when they're meant to and if we push people to see/read things they aren't in the head space for it, we're robbing them of some potential moment when their headspace is right and their heart is telling them 'it's time'. Because when things come to us at just the right time, they're magical.

Sometimes, when I am reluctant, I will take in that people I respect found value in something but listen to my heart that I'm not ready for it. If my heart becomes more ready... and my attention drifts back to that thing, I'll remember that X thought it was good. Sometimes I'll watch (read, listen, do)... sometimes I won't. Sometimes I'm glad I did watch (et. al). Sometimes I'm not glad I watched it but then I usually understand my own limits and tastes a little better so it wasn't a wasted experience.


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Ethel Duath
Valinor


Oct 15 2013, 7:48pm

Post #18 of 27 (88 views)
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Me too. And you and Macliel keep reading my mind! [In reply to] Can't Post

I still have trouble seeing movies at all since LOTR, even though I haven't watched them in at least 3 years. Every time I walk in the theater door, the whole LOTR experince comes back to me, and whatever I've come to see, no matter how good, is almost jarring because apparently my movie-brain-pathways were permanently set to Middle earth! I'm sure I'll get over it in time.Evil It doesn't affect me with books at all, luckily.

I always loved those Readers Digest stories too, and I really like travel-adventure types of things too, like A Walk Across America, and National Geographic stuff.

I often speculate that peoplel who try the books, if not the movies, and don't like them because of all the traveling, simply don't get anything out of long treks. To me, that's one of the best aspects of the book--the treks. But then I'd make my living hiking if there would be a way to do that.Crazy

.


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 15 2013, 9:08pm

Post #19 of 27 (86 views)
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I think Bill Bryson kind of has... [In reply to] Can't Post

... made a living out of walking.

although, I'm not sure his living has been made only by walking. :-)


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Kelly of Water's Edge
Lorien

Oct 15 2013, 11:39pm

Post #20 of 27 (88 views)
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I agree with Magpie. [In reply to] Can't Post

The scenes with the animals are critical to understanding the punchline (might not be the right word) of the whole film in the last 15 or so minutes. I wish I could say more to you, but I'm really struggling to find a way to say it without ruining the film, because this is one of those situations where even a small hint could trip off a huge spoiler.

I thought it was a beautiful film which was incredibly sad and uplifting in equal measure, and I think I better stop there.


Tintallė
Gondor


Oct 16 2013, 3:12am

Post #21 of 27 (80 views)
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The animals are CGI [In reply to] Can't Post

except for a few shots of the tiger by himself that were integrated into the film. The problem is that they don't LOOK like CGI animals because they were so very well done - far, far better than anything I've ever seen.

If you can tell that the people in a movie are actors and the horrific events they portray aren't real, then you can probably tell that the animals in this movie are CGI and they are most definitely NOT real. Having said that, the CGI is pretty realistic and definitely evoked a reaction from me. I'd rather not have had to see those scenes, but I honestly would hate to have missed seeing this movie because it was incredibly thought-provoking, stunningly beautiful, and - unexpectedly for me, at least - deeply spiritual.

Maybe you'll be in a better place to watch it sometime in the future. I'd definitely keep it in mind.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 17 2013, 8:35pm

Post #22 of 27 (61 views)
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so... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
here's what i did....

i already knew that there was an element of "which story is true?" to the life of pi. plus i knew about all the animal issues as well.

i had first watched up to the point at which they were on the boat. then i came to the board and made the original post. then i read the wikipedia entry. then i went back to the film, put it on mute, and fast forwarded through some (but not all) bits.

so i saw the animals. which looked cgi to me. and i didn't see a zebra carcass after the tiger ate the hyena, in subsequent shots. this is at the point at which pi is not living on the lifeboat, but on his makeshift raft. so that seemed unreal and untrue to me. then there was the whole visit to the island (with the meerkats).

i have no wish to denigrate anyone's experience of the film, but it seemed to lack a core "reality" / in-universe reality that would allow me to think that there was a true tale in there somewhere. all of it seemed made up to me, just a fantasy (including belief in the protagonist -- i wound up not believing +in+ pi, not just what he might have said). i found certain elements visually stunning, but i was not moved. the film has no staying power with me.

but movies that do are great to experience, so i'm glad that others have had a wonderful, positive experience with this film.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo

(This post was edited by Maciliel on Oct 17 2013, 8:36pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 17 2013, 9:31pm

Post #23 of 27 (53 views)
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I'm not sure it was mean to be realistic or seem realistic [In reply to] Can't Post

I think of movies like this and Beasts of the Southern Realm as Magical Realism. And I think the visual style and the presentation of the story are deliberately chosen as a style of storytelling.

That said, there's no reason you should like the film so I'm not trying to defend it or convince you. I find, with movies of this sort, that I have to kind of give myself over to the storyteller and follow their lead. It's counter to what I'm like most of the time. I want to be in control and driving! But I can do it for films. At the end of the ride, I may decide I like or dislike either the story or the style of storytelling (and sometimes I'll like one and not the other).


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Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Oct 17 2013, 10:09pm

Post #24 of 27 (50 views)
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absolutely understood [In reply to] Can't Post

 
absolutely understood, magpie.

i actually like magical realism (films like chocolat, and to a lesser extent, films like finding neverwhere and lemony snicket).

and i agree that the visual style in pi was deliberately chosen (i didn't have a problem with the visual style, except that the cgi animals looked fake-y to me, and it seemed that the goal of the cgi was to present them as realistic).

i do, as you say, give myself over to the storyteller. but whether in magical realism or realism, i have to believe in the storyteller's world. there were a lot of things that, cumulatively, did not draw me into the world of this particular film.


and i appreciate (sincerely) everyone's thoughts on this thread.


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 18 2013, 3:20am

Post #25 of 27 (43 views)
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And lest it seems like all my talking points.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...means I loved this film, I don't know that I did. It didn't click 100% for me although I think the parts that got in the way were probably different than yours.

I did find it interesting. But not completely satisfying.

Lemony Snicket is one where I didn't love the story (although I enjoy listening to Tim Curry read the book, I'm not much of a fan of Jim Carey and just didn't fall in love with the movie)... but I loved the design of it and I bought the DVD just for that reason.

I also liked Big Fish quite a lot. I don't remember that much about Finding Neverwhere. Was it you who clicked on my link for the interview with the writer, David Magee... who also wrote the screenplay for Life of Pi?

I liked Chocolat and I adored Beasts of the Southern Wild. :-)


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