Let's Anticipate Alfonso Cuaron's ROMA

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https://www.blouinartinfo.com/sites/default/files/roman-e1534431609359.jpg

A terrible disappointment, an example of nostalgia porn. No reason to be black and white, no reason to make the maid a poor, wronged creature. Yet it's going to clean up year end.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 13:35 (two months ago) Permalink

Interesting. I still wanna see it, and I suspect I'll like it, but I'm also remembering back to last year when you were the only one who saw through The Florida Project.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 13:40 (two months ago) Permalink

oooh interesting, my most trusted cinematic confidante loved it

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:31 (two months ago) Permalink

Stilted, affected, with so many damn shots calling attention to themselves. A demonstration late in the picture conjures his magic for crowd choreography (a la Children of Men).

Here's what most offended me: it used children twice for suspense.

I like queer. You like queer, senator? (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:33 (two months ago) Permalink

The Night of the Hunter did so throughout.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Sunday, 25 November 2018 22:39 (one month ago) Permalink

The children were the protagonists in Hunter. I felt no squeamishness.

Anyway, as promised.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 8 December 2018 18:31 (one month ago) Permalink

This was occasionally remarkable, but the overall feeling I was left with was...exhaustion. Calm the fuck down, man.

resident hack (Simon H.), Monday, 10 December 2018 05:53 (one month ago) Permalink

Felt like it was cooking in Cuaron's head too long and he felt the need to cram in way too much into each one of his precious long takes (with a couple notable exceptions)

resident hack (Simon H.), Monday, 10 December 2018 05:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Didn't like this at all. Overlong, humourless and, as Alfred has suggested, manipulative (I'd add a third scene of children used for suspense if we count the earthquake in the hospital) . I have to wonder if anyone calling it "Fellini-esque" has ever seen a Fellini film.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Friday, 14 December 2018 17:43 (one month ago) Permalink

Hm. As I said in the original thread (still not sure why this one exists) I really liked it! You guys are making me doubt myself, I need to rewatch - is it on Netflix yet?

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 18:30 (one month ago) Permalink

xp probably doesn't hurt that Fellini directed a movie called Roma that they also undoubtedly haven't seen

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 18:37 (one month ago) Permalink

On Netflix as of today.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Friday, 14 December 2018 18:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Hmmmm, should I watch this on Netflix today or wait two weeks to see it in a theatre

jmm, Friday, 14 December 2018 18:50 (one month ago) Permalink

most of his films are exhausting, even the good ones (CoM, A Little Princess)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 December 2018 18:53 (one month ago) Permalink

I’m not sure how much the theatrical experience would enhance the film, honestly. I wasn’t even a fan of the cinematography; it looked, to me, like High Def TV with the picture settings changed to B&W.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:14 (one month ago) Permalink

i was super into the cinematography or at least there are several incredibly beautiful shots that are what have stuck with me more than anything else about it. i was glad i saw it on a huge screen in a packed house... was a lot of the experience for me.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

How much of that cinematography was earned, dependent on the characters instead of calling attention to itself?

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Earned cinematography feels like a daft concept to me

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:33 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah idk, wasn't really thinking in those terms, just "i'm into looking at this frame right now."

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:33 (one month ago) Permalink

alfred don't read this

everyone else

is this good or bad

||||||||, Friday, 14 December 2018 19:39 (one month ago) Permalink

Earned cinematography feels like a daft concept to me

― Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins),

a film has to justify its choices, and many of Cuaron's choices were animated by, "I have a camera, and I intend to use it."

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:45 (one month ago) Permalink

Compare this farrago to Shoplifters, for example.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:46 (one month ago) Permalink

multi-xp to wins - not sure, maybe my earlier thread was too keen, by the feel of ilx's take on the film so far. I've not seen it yet, so am still anticipating.

brain (krakow), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:46 (one month ago) Permalink

i thought it was good. the only thing i wanted was more scenes with the protag away from her employers, where she could be more expressive of her interior life. but of course that's what her exterior life doesn't really allow her.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:52 (one month ago) Permalink

within the dubious genre of "privileged author/filmmaker realizes they grew up having servants and they feel weird about it," i think this does a nice job recognizing some of the unsolvable pitfalls, and that they are unsolvable, and wanting earnestly to do some kind of justice by these second parents. maybe it helped that we'd just watched A Little Princess the week before, idk.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 December 2018 19:55 (one month ago) Permalink

"I have a camera, and I intend to use it."

I mean, it IS a movie.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:10 (one month ago) Permalink

I liked it but I feel like I saw a different film to the more cinema savvy ppl here - I never got the sense I was watching an ~ambitious~ movie at all, it felt like a change of pace from the recent cuarón I’ve seen in that respect, but with a few really striking sequences/shots (& I’m afraid I didn’t question why anybody felt they had the right to put those in)

nb tho I saw it the other month having basically no idea it existed, it was the “surprise film” that closed our film festival so I came to it super fresh, not even knowing what it was until the title came up (& then I just had the vaguest memory of maybe seeing the title somewhere but no actual discussion). Because it was the last night there was a really good atmosphere, a lot of good feeling in the room so that helped. Maybe on a rewatch I’ll see what’s annoying everyone tho idk

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:10 (one month ago) Permalink

/"I have a camera, and I intend to use it."/

I mean, it IS a movie.


Right?

I did like shoplifters slightly more fwiw

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:11 (one month ago) Permalink

Y'all know what I mean -- it unfoled like Sodebergh's Kafka, every shot an homage to another movie, and after the first ten minutes it's clear the film isn't about anything except the director's cinephilia.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:14 (one month ago) Permalink

I never got the sense I was watching an ~ambitious~ movie at all,

Watching on Netflix might help attenuate this; on the big screen, the endless slow pans of meticulously blocked vistas with dozens to hundreds of extras just became too much for me after about an hour

resident hack (Simon H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:15 (one month ago) Permalink

it's clear the film isn't about anything except the director's cinephilia

OK even I think that's a bit mean/uncalled for

resident hack (Simon H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:16 (one month ago) Permalink

i like kafka

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:17 (one month ago) Permalink

OK even I think that's a bit mean/uncalled for

― resident hack (Simon H.)

Maybe so if his other films didn't position themselves as Serious Personal Filmmaking. Y Tu Mama Tambien isn't much liked on ILX, but it handles Mexican politics, the tensions between the patrician class and their less secure minders, and cinephilia in a fresher, more generous manner than this stilted thing.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:21 (one month ago) Permalink

if = but

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Is it even worse an offender, in that regard, than Del Toro's latest?

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:22 (one month ago) Permalink

I mean in the "the film isn't about anything except the director's cinephilia" derby.

I Never Promised You A Hose Harden (Eric H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:22 (one month ago) Permalink

Would also like to register my disappointment in its detractors for not saying “this film is dogshit”

Pierrot with a thousand farces (wins), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:27 (one month ago) Permalink

i didn't catch any of the homages so i guess i'm not *enough* of a cinephile to hate the movie? i was absorbed by the images and, in parallel, absorbed by the story and its unhurried unfolding.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Very prominently, yes.

resident hack (Simon H.), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:45 (one month ago) Permalink

i think i've mentioned i was taken to the premiere engagement as a child, and Gene Hackman's breakdown scene scared the shit out of me

(not literally)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 December 2018 20:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Y Tu Mama Tambien isn't much liked on ILX, but it handles Mexican politics, the tensions between the patrician class and their less secure minders, and cinephilia in a fresher, more generous manner than this stilted thing.

Absolutely. I think its instructive to compare his direction and camerawork in this film vs. YTMT and Children of Men--the earlier films also call attention to their style, but in such a way that the style is a natural extension of the narrative. Here, the slow pans and the close-ups of dog shit contribute nothing to the film's overall attempts to convince me why I should care about the story or the characters, and probably even distract from that aim.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Friday, 14 December 2018 22:55 (one month ago) Permalink

unhurried is a very polite way of putting it...

||||||||, Sunday, 16 December 2018 19:28 (one month ago) Permalink

A terrible disappointment

Oof, yeah. I didn't know it was autobiographical beforehand, and might have soured harder and faster on it if I had. It feels so condescending towards the protagonist, such that it came as a massive relief when she finally says "I didn't want her," but there's no lessening of Cleo's situation afterward. She's going to continue to live with no agency or ability to develop / express any, while the family have had their own pressure lifted, embracing the rearrangement of their lives and their "new adventures."

I normally reject on instinct any huffing that a film would be better shorter, or a double album would have made a great single LP. But this could have cut through better if Cuaron were required to aim for a 90-minute runtime: allow the various tensions within the narrative to actually entwine, build and enhance each other.

That said, I did love many of the long-ass sustained single-shot scenes, and on the Cinerama screen the digital photography looked starkly crisp. He just could have gotten to those setpieces with less dawdling in between.

sans lep (sic), Monday, 17 December 2018 04:39 (one month ago) Permalink

https://believermag.com/logger/the-spoils-of-love/

This critique has been making the rounds

resident hack (Simon H.), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 17:14 (one month ago) Permalink

In line with the extractive process that connects the West with the non-Western world, the sourcing of Roma’s raw material is based on an extractive matrix: the resignification of these memories, and the imposition of a new form—a new narrative—of a different order back onto the original source. This added value process can never be neutral, even when reduced to pure economics. Values added are always symbolically and culturally determined.

In a cinematic equivalent of live action role playing (LARP), Cleo is Cuarón’s appropriation of both Libo’s exterior attributes—her language, her looks, her clothing—and her story. But ultimately what we see is Cuaron gazing at himself—his family narrative as he would like it resolved and immortalized—in her exquisitely wrought reflection.

The hollowing out of Rodríguez’s point of view, and the refilling of that shell with a westernized gaze—Cuarón’s own—remains at the foundation of the narrative that carries the movie and indemnifies Cuarón’s family from any improper mistreatment of Rodríguez.

Cleo looks exactly like Rodríguez, her emotions burst off the screen. But aside from appearances, Cleo and Rodríguez are nothing alike.

resident hack (Simon H.), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 17:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Loved this - the slow panning from left to right and back again actually reminded me of Straub/Huillet's Sicilia!

Visual pleasure isn't everything, but it can be something, and its own justification - style in the service of character seems like a literary rather than cinematic necessity.

Ward Fowler, Friday, 21 December 2018 10:20 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm mystified by multiple people telling me this was "overwhelming." I made a point to see the last showing in a theater today, knowing almost nothing about the movie except the setting and the shot inside the movie theater. caveat: it was playing at a movie palace, but in one of their smaller side theaters (demoted by Mary Poppins). a movie theater still, but it was letterboxed. I wish I saw it in true widescreen but I don't think it would've overwhelmed me. the movie just doesn't look good. it has such a pedestrian digital b&w look and there are maybe 3 shots at most I perked up for: the movie theater, cleo looking out the window at the riot, and cleo saving the kids in the ocean. and that last one was really the only moment in the whole movie that moved me.

we don't know cleo. i feel such a distance from her, this movie is without a protagonist. miscarriage telegraphed with cu of the broken egg an hour before. actual miscarriage scene is horrible, ghoulish, graceless, and, exploitative - no wonder so many critics loved it.

I don't buy the concept of 'earned cinematography' but I have to say I didn't find the cinematography obtrusive or obnoxious or even apparent - this was a thoroughly boring movie in every way, *especially* the cinematography. didn't feel like the same director as YTMT or CoM at all, where I agree the cinematography is a) stunning and b) serving the narrative, part of the narrative. long takes and long pans are not automatically audacious. besides the 3 shots I mentioned I'm having a hard time recalling anything else other than the dog shit.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 05:12 (three weeks ago) Permalink

the slow panning from left to right and back again actually reminded me of Straub/Huillet's Sicilia!

I wanted to avoid this :-(

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 25 December 2018 13:08 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This was evocative and moving. Y'all some coooold customers, ILX Film Nerds.

So, This Leaked (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 26 December 2018 01:44 (three weeks ago) Permalink

hi!

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 December 2018 13:23 (three weeks ago) Permalink

there's nothing wrong with this that isn't also wrong with Children of Men

ryan, Wednesday, 26 December 2018 18:51 (three weeks ago) Permalink

With mood pieces where the dramatic events are few and far between, I can go both ways: sometimes I love them, sometimes, like here, it just feels like I'm waiting around for something to happen. (Stop reading if you haven't seen this.) Best thing the film does: not drown those two kids, which sets up the nice ending. (Great last shot that would have resonated more if I'd liked the film more.) Worst thing the film does: promises a Beatles/CCR showdown and doesn't deliver. Forbidding licensing, I suppose. So instead you get Jesus Christ Superstar--which actually feels very authentic in context.

clemenza, Wednesday, 2 January 2019 02:14 (two weeks ago) Permalink

For me the best and worst thing the film does occur within the same sequence: the whole murder in the shop sequence has the same dizziness and tension of the director’s work on Children of Men, but then he lingers on a shot of a woman crying while cradling the corpse of her dead husband/boyfriend for so long that it just feels pornographic.

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 2 January 2019 02:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

there's nothing wrong with this that isn't also wrong with Children of Men

must have missed how CoM milked Cuaron's housekeeper's experiences but kept her at an unknowable remove

resident hack (Simon H.), Wednesday, 2 January 2019 03:01 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It really bothered me that he lingered long enough on the beach sequence such that it's obvious he's using it for kicks.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 2 January 2019 13:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

At the risk of sounding like Armond White, I really think that Hurray For The Riff Raff's 2018 video for the song "Pa'lante" is, in several ways, the better version of Roma.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LilVDjLaZSE

Timothée Charalambides (cryptosicko), Wednesday, 2 January 2019 17:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Don't worry, a lot of people sound like Armond White in this thread.

Dan I., Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:41 (two weeks ago) Permalink

cmon, an Armond White take would be like "Roma could never hope to approach the unforced pathos and cultural import of Nacho Libre"

resident hack (Simon H.), Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:44 (two weeks ago) Permalink

tbf nacho libre > roma

flappy bird, Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:48 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I still think about that line in his Get Out review about how Eddie Murphy's 00s comedies "are so personal and brilliant that they transcend racial categorization" and Ned posting "Still taking this in." lmfao

flappy bird, Thursday, 3 January 2019 18:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Watched this last night and loved it. Loved the cinematography especially. Very surprised at all the negative reactions in this thread.

silverfish, Friday, 4 January 2019 14:26 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Watched about half of this on Nefflix - I'm just gonna go with not as bad or as good as ppl in either camp think it is.

The B&W was fine tbh - quite agnostic about it, most films that get to the stage of any kind of release are 'well shot' and neither was there a nostalgia for it - just muddling through this story set a few decades ago in Mexico. Got bored about and switched off. Might pick it up later, maybe not.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 6 January 2019 15:50 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I didn't like this at all. I found it mostly just boring but I do agree with alfred re the use of children in certain scenes, which felt cheap and exploitative. I've surprised myself here because when I noted his objection before seeing the film it seemed like a reach but, no, he's absolutely right - *SPOILERS* The camera not-capturing the possibly-drowning children and, in fact, panning away from them was a gross attempt to create anxiety in the viewer, especially coming after the still-birth of the child minutes before - and what a horribly over-extended and gratuitous scene that was, in itself. It was quite a remarkable achievement to make a film so completely devoid of actual characters but make you shit yourself that some more kids might have died. manipulative crap, frankly but also boring manipulative crap?

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 01:42 (one week ago) Permalink

I don't mean any offence to alfred, by the way, it's just when i saw it written down pre-viewing i thought it sounded like a reach. it's not.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 01:46 (one week ago) Permalink

fwiw, I actually had to text the male half of a couple i know not to make sure him and his partner didn't watch it because of that premature birth scene. i'm not saying that that shouldn't be in a film but it was just so gratuitous, imo.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 01:57 (one week ago) Permalink

*SPOILERS* The camera not-capturing the possibly-drowning children and, in fact, panning away from them was a gross attempt to create anxiety in the viewer, especially coming after the still-birth of the child minutes before

otm -- film technique to burn

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 01:59 (one week ago) Permalink

that made me angry.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 02:25 (one week ago) Permalink

but also boring manipulative crap

Sensation without substance.

I Feel Bad About My Butt (j.lu), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 02:27 (one week ago) Permalink

why is this called Roma?

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 02:30 (one week ago) Permalink

Neighbourhood of Mexico City it's set in

( ͡☉ ͜ʖ ͡☉) (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 02:31 (one week ago) Permalink

ah cool, ta.

Acting Crazy (Instrumental) (jed_), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 02:32 (one week ago) Permalink

it made me like Fellini's own dog Roma a little more

flappy bird, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 04:51 (one week ago) Permalink

I haven't read this thread yet, but I thought this was great.

jaymc, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 05:09 (one week ago) Permalink

Don't read this thread

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 9 January 2019 09:08 (one week ago) Permalink

this thread is best viewed on the big screen

Jeff Bathos (symsymsym), Wednesday, 9 January 2019 09:19 (one week ago) Permalink

Ugh, I'm with jed, Alfred, et al -- this just pissed me off. I remember long ago reading a critique of Frank Zappa -- "a gratuitous display of advanced technique" -- it applies here.

If Your Site Mod Vomits (Do This Every Day) (WmC), Thursday, 10 January 2019 03:08 (one week ago) Permalink

it wasn't really that advanced or impressive cinematographically imo

flappy bird, Thursday, 10 January 2019 05:33 (one week ago) Permalink

I was very impressed that they had built such a stable dolly track on sand

sans lep (sic), Thursday, 10 January 2019 07:19 (one week ago) Permalink


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