We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

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charulata
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We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:11 pm

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char
In many ways, I think my (our?) entire fixation with fiction is about voyeurism. A means of escape, yes but also a means to instead immerse myself in other peoples' experiences that seem much more interesting than my own without having to bear any of the consequences. And of all forms of fiction, cinema appeals to me the most perhaps because it's the most easily immersive of the lot. Also, I noticed a pattern where several of my favorite filmmakers (De Palma, Hitchcock, Lang, Polanski) all seem to be obsessed with the idea of the camera or the eye observing people often hidden away from view. So given our mutual love of De Palma's films and our joint propensity to post Watching Watchers Watching screen caps in the Visual Compendium thread, this seemed like a natural extension.

We will basically be watching and discussing a bunch of films where surveillance and voyeurism play a prominent role. Some of these are likely to be films either one or both of us have already watched but will be re-watching with this particular focus. Peeping is fun and you should all join us :).

dreiser
Charulata took inspiration from the "Watching Watchers Watch" category of Eleven's thread and suggested that we do a collaboration on voyeurism in cinema. I agreed most enthusiastically. When people clandestinely observe others in film without their knowledge, the audience is implicated as well. This circumstance has always fascinated me. Motion pictures give you free reign to engage in this deviant behavior which would otherwise get you pinched. One of the reasons Brian De Palma is among my favorite filmmakers is his penchant for including such scenes in his projects. However, voyeurism in movies is as ubiquitous as the number of entries in the "WWW" category would suggest. We will cover our favorites here, initiating discourse between ourselves and hopefully our fellow Corrierinos. So be sure you have access to binoculars, a telescope, one-way mirror, or a video camera. This will be an interactive exercise.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Kayden Kross » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:15 pm

I see Romy.
yours truly,
kayden kross.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:17 pm

Kayden Kross wrote:I see Romy.
You must eat a lot of carrots, kovich.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:18 pm

:D
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Kayden Kross » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:21 pm

dreiser wrote:
You must eat a lot of carrots, kovich.
If that banner wasn't your idea, then my world must be collapsing.
yours truly,
kayden kross.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:26 pm

Well, drei picked the specific image but I introduced the film into the mix!
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Colonel Kurz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:26 pm

charulata wrote:We will cover our favorites here, initiating discourse between ourselves and hopefully our fellow Corrierinos. So be sure you have access to binoculars, a telescope, one-way mirror, or a video camera. This will be an interactive exercise.
Shouldn't we lurk in the shadows instead and watch you two go at it, in the spirit of the thread?
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Wolfy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:30 pm

:!:
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Kayden Kross wrote:
If that banner wasn't your idea, then my world must be collapsing.
Char is a member of the Romy Fan Club as well.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Willow » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:35 pm

am reading
recently seen
Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950)
Sansho the Baliff (Mizoguchi, 1954)
Outer Space (Tscherkassky, 1999)
Seven Chances (Keaton, 1925)
Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)


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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:36 pm

Colonel Kurz wrote:Shouldn't we lurk in the shadows instead and watch you two go at it, in the spirit of the thread?
:) <3.
No but nah, this thread celebrates stalkers.. so pls participate actively.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Hank » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:36 pm

I'll lurk
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Colonel Kurz » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:42 pm

charulata wrote:
:) <3.
No but nah, this thread celebrates stalkers.. so pls participate actively.
I'll get my trenchcoat and oversized sunglasses!
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Eminence Grise » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:03 am

I dig Voyeurism. Plus, A Short Film about Love could offer some interesting discourse on the topic... I might even chime in.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:09 am

Eminence Grise wrote:I dig Voyeurism. Plus, A Short Film about Love could offer some interesting discourse on the topic... I might even chime in.
How long has it been since you watched it?
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Eminence Grise » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:10 am

dreiser wrote:
How long has it been since you watched it?
June 27th '12

Not too long....
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:23 am

Eminence Grise wrote: June 27th '12

Not too long....
Ah, I watched it last night. I had seen Episode 6 of the Decalogue
before. What surprised me is that Kieslowski completely changed the ending from what ran on television originally.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Philosophe rouge » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:30 am

really cool my friends
Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Trip » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:08 am

I'll be...watching.
Please TRIP and Die
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Gort » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:55 am

*Gets out binoculars and 400mm camera lens*
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by ADD » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:25 am

hella down for this
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by JediMoonShyne » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:46 am

Trip wrote:I'll be...watching.
:D

Great idea for a thread.

Hitchcock's Vertigo and Akerman's La Captive should probably be mentioned.

Truffaut's Stolen Kisses, too!
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by B-Side » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:53 am

I'll be peering from behind a tree in the distance.
no longer on hiatus from movies(!)

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by snapper » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:57 am

Coincidentally I am watching Peeping Tom
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by JediMoonShyne » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:25 am

B-Side wrote:I'll be peering from behind a tree in the distance.
Image
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Eminence Grise » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:23 pm

dreiser wrote:
Ah, I watched it last night. I had seen Episode 6 of the Decalogue
before. What surprised me is that Kieslowski completely changed the ending from what ran on television originally.
Yes, and I've never been able to decide which I enjoy the most, however, I do feel that the film was equally effective in both versions, whereas A Short Film About Killing is a much closer examination compared to Decalogue V.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:21 am

JediMoonShyne wrote: :D

Great idea for a thread.

Hitchcock's Vertigo and Akerman's La Captive should probably be mentioned.

Truffaut's Stolen Kisses, too!
Thanks for the suggestions!
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:25 am

A Short Film About Love (Kieslowski, 1988)

This is a simple yet elegant story between [Peeping Tom]ek and Magda, two Polish neighbors living in a rather gruesome concrete compound. Tomek is a shy 19 year-old orphan who lives with his godmother. The beautiful Magda is an older woman spending her time doing artwork and entertaining several lovers. The protagonist spies on his gorgeous neighbor every night from the time she returns home at 8:30. Tomek missteps in a couple of attempts to be physically close to Magda, and this results in an admission to his neighbor of all of his misdeeds. What makes this film so interesting is what takes place after he comes clean.

I find it interesting that Tomek enjoys watching his object of desire while she does routine things like drying her hair after a shower, preparing tea, or spreading sheets on her bed. When he sees her in sexual situations with other men, he averts his gaze from the telescope or calls the gas company to report a fake leak in Magda's flat. Anything to break up her tryst. Szapolowska's character is a complex one. She is a cynic who believes there is no love, just sex. One gathers she has not had much success with men. We even see her breaking up with one of her lovers late one evening. While she is shocked and angry at first to learn she has been under observation, Magda becomes more intrigued than repulsed at the thought of being an object of this young man's idolatry. The artist even begins to get turned on as she listens to Tomek confess in detail. Instead of desisting, the two escalate the deviant practice into a game of phone calls, exhibitionism, and premature ejaculation.

The most prominent theme for me is Kieslowski's focus on hands. When the two leads are out on a date, Magda talks about how soft and kind his are, showing Tomek how to use them to caress a lover. She takes hold of his hands again back at the apartment, slowly inching them up her naked thighs while describing how she feels sexually. The director's camera is pointed on Magda's hand as she swirls it in the spilled milk. Tomek's suicide attempt plays out with the camera focused on his hands in the water. And finally, the picture is bookended with the same scene involving a shot on his bandaged hand as he sleeps and someone reaching out to hold it in the dark. This is a really good movie that differs from the original television episode. While I think both endings work, I like the darker version where Tomek tells Magda at the post office he's no longer watching her. Szapolowska asked Kieslowski to change the film into a much more romanticized outcome than I would prefer.

Note: Look for a Kieslowski cameo when Magda goes into the post office and it is closed. He is standing with his back to the camera at the counter.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Wolfy » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:02 am

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:07 am

I'm trying to post some images from the movie, but Photobucket is going all spastic on me. The Kino dvd version Netflix sent me is beautiful, btw.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:15 am

Image
A Short Film About Love | Kieślowski | 1988
When dreiser and I picked this film to begin our thread, I certainly didn't realize just how apt a beginning it would be. In that, Kieślowski already upturns some of the preconceptions I came into this thread with. I mostly came into this thread thinking of films that actively reference and comment upon and depict the pleasures associated with watching. But Kieślowski here inverts a few of those tropes at least. For one, he doesn't really automatically assign guilt to the person watching. Tomek's ritualistic obsession with watching Magda is presented to us mostly without judgment. Secondly, midway through the film, Kieślowski shifts his focus to the pleasures of being watched instead. What is perhaps most interesting to me about what Kieślowski does here is how he deals with both watching and being watched not as perversions but as a manifestation of a very human need for connection.

What is also really fascinating to me is how this connects to Episode VI of the Dekalog. dreiser already mentioned that the film significantly changes the ending of the film (for the better imo but I'll wait to see what dreiser has to say about that). But I'm curious to hear from dreiser and others about Magda's portrayal in the film. Initially it's easy to dismiss her as a provocative wanton woman. She walks around her house dressed in a open-buttoned shirt and having sex with anonymous men. But Kieślowski's far too much of a humanist not to go further with that.

Which brings me to one of my two favorite scenes in the film. The first is the scene where i believe Tomek truly falls in love with Magda and that retrospectively forces Magda to reconsider Tomek as more than just a stalker. What we see is a woman wracked in sobs. It's an intimate moment and we (along with Tomas) are voyeuristically watching her go through this moment of despair. It's an intrusion and while it's perhaps not what we or Tomek were anticipating when we signed up for this, it's what we get regardless.

The second is really the replay of this scene at the end. Whereas the TV episode didn't allow Magda any redemption imo, here Kieślowski really allows Magda to understand and relate to Tomek watching her. One of the key differences in Kieślowski's film to me is the way that everyone ends up taking up the binoculars - Tomek, his caretaker and Magda. And this is best seen in the ending sequence where Magda not only picks up the telescope to look at Tomek but also manages to evoke the sensation of him looking at her and replaying the moment where his gaze went from mere perversion and voyeurism to empathy and maybe even love.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:21 am

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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:22 am

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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:40 am

dreiser wrote: And finally, the picture is bookended with the same scene involving a shot on his bandaged hand as he sleeps and someone reaching out to hold it in the dark. This is a really good movie that differs from the original television episode. While I think both endings work, I like the darker version where Tomek tells Magda at the post office he's no longer watching her. Szapolowska asked Kieslowski to change the film into a much more romanticized outcome than I would prefer.
Ha! I am pretty sure I prefer the ending in the longer film. The TV episode more or less condemns Magda to a life of loneliness and disappointment .. maybe empty sexual encounters at best. Whereas the film is a lot more sympathetic to her. I also wondered about her name, Magda, having any connection at all to Mary Magdalene. Mostly because we initially see her as a wanton woman that has sex with strangers but she becomes increasingly sympathetic as the film goes on. That connection just made me like this ending even more and I guess I prefer the lack of moral judgment.
Note: Look for a Kieslowski cameo when Magda goes into the post office and it is closed. He is standing with his back to the camera at the counter.
Whoa! Did not know this. But I see it now :).
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:48 am

charulata wrote:But Kieślowski here inverts a few of those tropes at least. For one, he doesn't really automatically assign guilt to the person watching. Tomek's ritualistic obsession with watching Magda is presented to us mostly without judgment.
That's why I think he shows Tomek turning away or creating a diversion whenever the film is sexualizing Magda. This kid genuinely loves her, at least as much as that is possible for a person of 19.
charulata wrote: Secondly, midway through the film, Kieślowski shifts his focus to the pleasures of being watched instead. What is perhaps most interesting to me about what Kieślowski does here is how he deals with both watching and being watched not as perversions but as a manifestation of a very human need for connection.
Yes, Tomek's character cries out for this contact in his desperate attempts to be near her. Fake money orders, doubling as her milkman, etc. For Magda, the realization of this need might have come too late.
charulata wrote: What is also really fascinating to me is how this connects to Episode VI of the Dekalog. dreiser already mentioned that the film significantly changes the ending of the film (for the better imo but I'll wait to see what dreiser has to say about that). But I'm curious to hear from dreiser and others about Magda's portrayal in the film. Initially it's easy to dismiss her as a provocative wanton woman. She walks around her house dressed in a open-buttoned shirt and having sex with anonymous men. But Kieślowski's far too much of a humanist not to go further with that.


Although the ending of the film is poignant in that Magda puts herself in the role of voyeur and realizes a comforting outcome in her head, I prefer the resoluton of Episode VI. In that version, each character has found something satisfying in the voyeurism until Magda takes the role playing too far. When the beautiful woman realizes she has alienated her admirer, she experiences a real sense of loss.
charulata wrote: One of the key differences in Kieślowski's film to me is the way that everyone ends up taking up the binoculars - Tomek, his caretaker and Magda.
An improvement for sure.

Also, I don't see Magda as some promiscuous harlot at all. When she says openly that there is no love, only sex. All the gentlemen callers are just means to fill the void of emptiness within her emotional being. Magda knows she's hot, why not use your physical gifts?
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:54 am

charulata wrote: Whoa! Did not know this. But I see it now :).
His ears are a dead giveaway. :P

Nice catch on the Magda/Mary Magdalene connection.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:56 am

dreiser wrote: That's why I think he shows Tomek turning away or creating a diversion whenever the film is sexualizing Magda. This kid genuinely loves her, at least as much as that is possible for a person of 19.
Yep, agree absolutely.
charulata wrote: Although the ending of the film is poignant in that Magda puts herself in the role of voyeur and realizes a comforting outcome in her head, I prefer the resoluton of Episode VI. In that version, each character has found something satisfying in the voyeurism until Magda takes the role playing too far. When the beautiful woman realizes she has alienated her admirer, she experiences a real sense of loss.
I didn't watch the TV episode in preparation for this thread. So am relying on memory and my recollection of the TV episode could well be skewed. But I am not really on board with Magda suffering for her beauty. That sense of loss is kind of a punishment for her vanity it seems. Whereas here, Kieslowski raises the stakes and yet makes her more sympathetic to us.
charulata wrote: An improvement for sure.

Also, I don't see Magda as some promiscuous harlot at all. When she says openly that there is no love, only sex. All the gentlemen callers are just means to fill the void of emptiness within her emotional being. Magda knows she's hot, why not use your physical gifts?
Yeah, exactly :).
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:05 am

charulata wrote:I didn't watch the TV episode in preparation for this thread. So am relying on memory and my recollection of the TV episode could well be skewed. But I am not really on board with Magda suffering for her beauty. That sense of loss is kind of a punishment for her vanity it seems. Whereas here, Kieslowski raises the stakes and yet makes her more sympathetic to us.
I'm relying on my viewing of a VHS tape during 1999 or 2000, and the ending seemed to fit as a whole for Decalogue. I see your point about punishing Magda; I'm not a brute. :P

Of course, 12-13 years ago my film/television taste was somewhat different.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:08 am

I think it's funny that we only picked one image that's the same from this film. :P
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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
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The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:09 am

you hardly seem like a brute and I've watched it more recently than you :). But I'll try and see it again tomorrow so i can make sure I remember it right etc. !
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:28 pm

dreiser wrote: Although the ending of the film is poignant in that Magda puts herself in the role of voyeur and realizes a comforting outcome in her head, I prefer the resoluton of Episode VI. In that version, each character has found something satisfying in the voyeurism until Magda takes the role playing too far. When the beautiful woman realizes she has alienated her admirer, she experiences a real sense of loss.
I just re-watched the TV version and well, I still prefer the ending from the film version - both in terms of the resolution but also what a stunningly beautiful visual sequence with the overlapping images from when Tomek was watching her crying with her looking through the eyeglass. But, I do think that the TV ending fits as well especially when considered along with the other episodes of the Dekalog.
I wasn't really contemplating the Commandments aspect of the series so much while watching the film but given how all or most of the episodes in the TV series consider the consequences of flouting one or more of the commandments, the less redemptive ending fits right in. Also, I didn't remember this from my original viewing but there's a rather lovely visual symmetry to the ending of the TV series as well with Magda visiting Tomek at the post office and looking at him through a little hole in the glass that mirrors one of the shots of him watching her from very early on in the film. The sadness in her eyes bringing back the loneliness in his at the start.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by Shieldmaiden » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:02 pm

Beautiful idea for a thread, you two, and a great start. Embarrassing confession: I've never seen Dekalog.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by charulata » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks so much, Maiden <3. But srsly! Dekalog NOW!
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by elixir » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:58 pm

Dekalog was pretty formative or something. Still haven't watched the "short films about" yet...good shit tho
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:18 am

charulata wrote: I just re-watched the TV version and well, I still prefer the ending from the film version - both in terms of the resolution but also what a stunningly beautiful visual sequence with the overlapping images from when Tomek was watching her crying with her looking through the eyeglass. But, I do think that the TV ending fits as well especially when considered along with the other episodes of the Dekalog.
I wasn't really contemplating the Commandments aspect of the series so much while watching the film but given how all or most of the episodes in the TV series consider the consequences of flouting one or more of the commandments, the less redemptive ending fits right in. Also, I didn't remember this from my original viewing but there's a rather lovely visual symmetry to the ending of the TV series as well with Magda visiting Tomek at the post office and looking at him through a little hole in the glass that mirrors one of the shots of him watching her from very early on in the film. The sadness in her eyes bringing back the loneliness in his at the start.
Ah, yes... the commandment aspect of the television series. It's what I meant about being a good fit for the Decalogue without being as articulate as you. Forgot about the role reversal shot of Magda at the end. Good stuff.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:54 am

Shieldmaiden wrote:Embarrassing confession: I've never seen Dekalog.
charulata wrote:But srsly! Dekalog NOW!
Especially I and VI! The series is mandatory viewing for Kieslowski nuts.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:09 am

Just a heads up that char and I will be jump starting this thread by viewing Vertigo Thursday night (1/17), with discussion to follow the next day. Maybe those Corrierinos who have yet to see the movie can do so now and join us.
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:37 am

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Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
I've already said a great deal about Hitchcock's masterpiece in my own thread. For this exercise, I just wanted to let the film wash over me without commentary or other distractions. The theme for this thread is voyeurism in cinema. How appropriate then when the Saul Bass title sequence to this story starts on a woman's face watching, and then takes the audience into the iris of her right eye. We're presented with a number of spinning spirals both organic and inorganic in nature. What does this flurry of activity portend? The title of the picture would indicate that one of the main characters is afflicted with dizziness and/or a confused state of mind. We find this to be true in the first act when Scottie is introduced. As the narrative progresses, however, it becomes clear that obsession is the primary thematic element of Vertigo. The retired police detective falls in love with the ghost of a dead woman.

During this screening, I was struck by just how elaborate and insidious Gavin Elster's scam is. Once his old college chum is taken in by the tale of Carlotta and the gorgeous package of Madelaine that embodies the legend, he needs to be led methodically to San Juan Bautista for the plan to succeed. Also, it isn't easy for me to tell at what point Madelaine switches from being a great actress to a woman with true feelings for the Jimmy Stewart character. There are a couple of moments where she and Scottie are in the midst of emotional turmoil when Mrs. Elster starts apologizing/confessing and the protagonist blindly waves it off as part of her mental state. But I'd say when Judy starts packing to leave, reflects on what has happened, breaks down crying, and then decides to face the music, the viewer becomes confident that her feelings are genuine. Who else would put up with that creepy makeover the protagonist puts her through?

I always marvel at the film's beauty. It is a feast for the eyes. My favorite scene in the movie is at Judy's apartment when Scottie insists on the hair swirl as the final touch for his masterpiece. The room is bathed in that glorious green coming from the Empire Hotel sign just outside the window. And the music swells as Madelaine Part Deux emerges from her bathroom, perfectly realized. Edith Head's costuming for Kim Novak in this picture is almost a character in itself. Besides the platinum blonde, perfectly coiffed hair, there is the iconic gray suit, that magnificent emerald/blue gown Madelaine wears at Ernie's when Scottie first sees her, and that white on white number she sports outside his apartment. As for the voyeuristic aspects of Vertigo, they begin from the moment the anti-hero starts tailing his friend's wife. During the sequoia forest sequence it's almost as if Mrs. Elster is a phantom. Scottie's (our?) gaze follows the object of his obsession as she seemingly disappears into the woods. It's a mesmerizing effect.
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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: We Like to Watch: Voyeurism in Cinema with char & dreiser

Post by dreiser » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:56 am

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"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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