Sonic Youth wrote:
Johnny Guitar wrote:I'd say the film is definitely a satire and a very dark, dry comedy.
'Farce' is the word I'd use.
Hope you're doing well, Zach.
I'm doing well, thanks! Happy to poke my nose in here again.
I guess I can see Gone Girl
as a farce, too, but I think the element of social criticism about whitebread, mainstream masculinity/feminity is central to what the film, and maybe the book as well, is attempting. It's all about how "things will look." The movie traffics in the playful threat of any departure from suburban norms & mores as a potential circumstantial evidence against one's well-being -- both for Affleck as a henpecked husband, and Pike as the woman driven mad much earlier in life.
Again, you can argue that whatever it aims for, it's a failure. Certainly, intelligent people have drawn different conclusions from it. A lot of people say the film is clearly misogynist, but others think it's a feminist joke of some kind.
ITALIANO wrote:First of all, welcome back!
If it's a satire, an intentional one I mean, it's certainly more interesting, I can't deny that. But too many reviewers - even in this thread - take it literally, as a first-rate thriller (just think of all the discussions on the supposedly "big" twist! - even after watching it I didn't realize there had been a twist), and I think the movie wants this, too - let's face it, it is commercially successful because of this, not because of its satirical aspect. So yes, MY point of view is - if it's a satire (and I think you may be right) it's too safe, too cautious, which still makes the movie definitely more intelligent than I thought at first, but not courageous enough. In a way, I consider operations of this kind as compromises between the rules of commercial Hollywood filmmaking and the individual talent of a filmmaker who, while following them and becoming very rich, also "plays footsie" with the most demanding critics. But I admit that mine is a very European point of view, and it's possible that, in the context of American cinema, such attitude is a reasonably brave one.
Could be. I think it's an interesting thing about David Fincher, too ... it can be difficult to know how much distance he really
wants to take from his subject matter. Unlike some potentially "subversive" commercial filmmakers, he doesn't necessarily create a great deal of tension, in his style, with the material. So when he adapts potboiler literature or popular stories, like Gone Girl
or The Social Network
, it sometimes just plays as a flat adaptation shot with impeccable lighting. (The uncertainty is compounded when you consider that the Gone Girl
novel is supposed to have this same ambiguity about how much it's pulp and how much it's social criticism.)
The American/European distinction may be important in reading tone, too. To me, and I think a lot of Americans, Affleck & Pike and all the characters exist as people in quotation marks. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it feels
more like a sustained satirical distance than a 100% earnest portrait of suburban people. It may also be true that people pick up on that, but don't think it's the most interesting aspect of the film, and then instead discuss the "twists."
An example from Europe that does something somewhat similar to Gone Girl
, I will throw out a guess, is Alain Corneau's Crime d'amour
: dark, cold, dry, both a film that we can enjoy for its suspense and twists, but also something that says something about its society and values. Although ... I would say that Gone Girl
is a little crazier (which is why Sonic Youth has suggested that it's a farce), and that Crime d'amour
is a much better film.