Babel

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ThomasC, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Babel is directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros and 21 Grams) and stars Brad Bitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries), Koji Yakusho (Shall We Dance?, Memoirs of a Geisha).

    http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount_classics/babel/

    It looks very interesting, and I hope it lives up to its potential.
     
  2. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Interesting indeed.
     
  3. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Looks like the trailer's been pulled off the net for the time being. The link no longer works.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  4. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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    i'm pretty pumped about this one...i was absolutely floored by 21 grams, and it looks like this one is fixing to kick me right in the cojones, too.
     
  5. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Interesting. I guess Apple released it too early for once, I've never seen that happen with them before.
     
  6. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Whoops, looks like the trailer is back online, in HD. As expected, it looks incredible. I'll be catching this opening night.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  7. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    It does look incredible. It's a great trailer, giving a sense of the film and the interconnections and themes rather effortlessly.

    I'll be all over this.
     
  8. ChrisBEA

    ChrisBEA Screenwriter

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    Trailer looked pretty good. 21 Grams was a surprise, as I hated it for the first 30-40 minutes, and it ended up as one of my favorites of the year.
     
  9. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    One of my most anticipated films of the year. Innaritu and a great cast equals a must-see for me.
     
  10. Mike.P

    Mike.P Second Unit

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    Just watched this - wow, looks quite awesome. Good cast, and a potentially powerful story. Will be there opening day for this.

    The fall just keeps getting better and better.
     
  11. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    I just finally got around to watching the trailer. I wasn't sure what to expect from it, I figured the title of "Babel" probably had to do a little with the Tower of Babel. I like that the verse from the Bible is stated as the voice over, the trailer looks great, I will definitely see this movie. Inarritu is a great director, just from the few minutes I've seen of his BMW Film and 21 Grams (I haven't finished the movie but I saw the first few minutes, makes me want to go back and finish it.)

    So many good movies coming out this fall.
     
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Inarritu? Bernal? Pitt?

    *drool*

    --
    H
     
  13. nickGreenwood

    nickGreenwood Second Unit

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    I'm also fairly fond of Blanchett also. [​IMG]
     
  14. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I like her, but she isn't a deal-maker for me. The Inarritu/Bernal combo is (Amores Perros). Pitt is icing on the cake, Blanchett is the cherry on top.

    --
    H
     
  15. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I thought the tangential subplots held together by a friendly material exchange in a foreign land was a somewhat interesting way to look into how the sense of helplessness and isolation can be derived from stressful situations arising from the lack of effective communication or cultural/political red tape. The main problem is that out of the 4 main subplots, it's the Japanese one that hits home, while the remainder lag behind, and the film as a whole is less than the sum of its parts. Even so, the direction by Inarritu is very good, and the performances are good, some are heartbreaking. The screenplay is where the film falters.

    I give it 3 stars or a grade of B.
     
  16. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    This one really worked for me. I consider this, The Departed, United 93, Borat, INLAND EMPIRE, and Running Scared as the best of the year so far. Here's my review, from movie-source-

    Babel

    ****

    Two peasant boys in the Moroccan desert take turns firing a newly acquired rifle into the distance. The gun doesn’t seem to have much range, and they test it out by firing down the hill on which they are standing. It is purely by accident that one of the bullets slams into an American civilian (Cate Blanchett) in a tour bus far down below. Her husband (Brad Pitt) tries frantically to communicate with those around him, but has little success. On the other side of the globe, a young Japanese girl (Rinko Kikuchi) struggles hopelessly for acceptance- she is deaf, and shunned by all around her. Meanwhile, a well-meaning Mexican nanny takes the American couple’s children across the border, but things do not turn out well.

    Babel is a film that defies description. The above synopsis does the film a terrible injustice, in that it does not at all convey its immense, raw emotional power. This is the final film in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s “parents and children” trilogy (the other two films being Amores Perros and 21 Grams), and if you’ve seen those films, you know the heartache that Iñárritu is capable of depicting. Babel manages to go even further. It deals on a significantly larger physical scale, exploring such themes as globalization and terrorism, while maintaining the focused emotional intimacy of his previous work.

    This is not a film for the faint of heart. Iñárritu and his writer, Guillermo Arriaga, create situations and scenarios that overflow with tension and emotional pain. The film is structured in such a way that we know that the Cate Blanchett character will be shot before she actually is, and the moments immediately prior to the shooting are as tragic as the moment itself. Iñárritu gradually pulls out the sound, as Gustavo Santaolalla’s minimalist score takes over, and the inevitability of the event, combined with the characters’ obliviousness to the impending gunshot, is so painful, and yet so beautiful to experience. Iñárritu’s ability, in all his films, to communicate stark, immediate emotion is staggering. The final few scenes, which I will save for you to discover, could hardly have stronger impact.

    Another bravura sequence takes place at a Japanese nightclub, where Kikuchi, playing the Chieko, deaf girl, is taken by some questionable friends. As everyone grooves to the loud, danceable music (Earth, Wind and Fire’s September), we realize that Chieko can’t hear a thing. As Iñárritu cuts between blasting music and dead silence, we realize how alienated she must feel. Interestingly, Iñárritu was once a disc jockey, and his command over music is evident here. Kikuchi’s performance is a revelation, and unquestionably the best female acting of the year. She has a very watchable face, and conveys her character’s feelings with great clarity. The role is not simply difficult because it involves playing a mute (although I still have difficulty believing that she’s not deaf in real life), but because it requires her to convey a wide range of emotions more complex than most speaking roles.

    The three story threads, all related in some way to the shot fired by the Moroccan boy, are equally compelling. The “interlocking storyline” structure, pioneered by Robert Altman and refined by Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Soderbergh, is an approach that is too often used by amateur filmmakers and television directors. Iñárritu is separate from this crowd; his always-interesting structural explorations elevate him above his less skillful colleagues. His key to success seems to be in putting a unique twist on the interlocking format with each new film- Amores Perros told its stories separately, even as they occurred at the same time, and 21 Grams completely ignored a chronological arc, in favor of an emotional one. Here, Iñárritu weaves the stories together almost as if they were one big story, and in a sense they are. The title, of course, refers to the biblical tale of the tower that was never completed because the people could not communicate and were thrown in disarray by language barriers. Babel transposes this theme onto the contemporary world, emphasizing the universality of humanity’s frequent failure to communicate to each other with any sort of clarity. I would argue that this is Iñárritu’s strongest and most ambitious film yet, and certainly the most affecting release of the year. This is one of the great ones, folks. You won’t regret seeing it.

    Regards,
    Nathan
     
  17. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    I thought the Morroco family storyline was of most interest, though the Japanese nightclub sequence was most cinematically arresting. I really wished Iñárritu and Arriaga gave more time to the father and sons relationship after the father finds out about the incident.

    Any ideas on how the last shot was executed? My instinct would say that it was a CG composite shot, but it looked so good that I didn't notice when watching. The camera pullback seemed too far for a "I Am Cuba" style shot.
     
  18. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I found this to be disappointing. Its impressively done for the reasons Nathan describes - the acting is top notch.But it didnt work for me.

    On a side note, why does this film have "graphic nudity" in the rating description? My G/F almost didnt go because of it.
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Well, it's mainly for Chierko's nudity at the end of the film.
     
  20. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, "graphic" seems to basically mean full frontal in MPAA-speak, a la Borat (which, amazingly, is only rated 15 in the UK!).
     

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