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"You need time to think."
March 29, 2014 4:13 PM   Subscribe

MAGNESIUM is the graduation film of Dutch filmmaker Sam de Jong about a young gymnast in the days before a major competition.
posted by Wemmick (11 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I watched this without reading the tags first, so I had no idea what twist was in store. Seriously good short film.
posted by sldownard at 7:18 PM on March 29


I watched this without reading the tags first, but I figured it at the first lines of dialogue. The ending was the twist against what I thought was a pretty easily predicted plot. That's not to poo-poo the film at all. It's beautifully shot and very well acted.
posted by onehalfjunco at 7:39 PM on March 29


I don't really agree that the ending was a twist. How was that a twist? You know from the first seconds of this film that she has already failed her gymnastic competition. So we have a twenty minute stress film with shaky camera work which made my stomach want to have its own abortion. Were we supposed to think she would nail her competition after 5 days of stress/anxiety topped off with an emotionally and physically traumatic medical procedure? The film has a smoldering sense of pace and tension, yes, and beautiful 16mm imagery. But I heavily disagree that there was any twist in this film. And the camerawork was puke-tastic.
posted by ReeMonster at 11:33 PM on March 29


which made my stomach want to have its own abortion.

oh come on
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 12:20 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


I was expecting a film about the pressures that girls face in sports and competition, not a misleading, uneducated morality play on the unrealities of pregnancy and abortion. Perhaps it was the filmmaker who needed time to think, and maybe do some research, too.

Women and girls train and compete to elite levels in all sports to varying stages of pregnancy. In gymnastics, for example, a woman won five gold medals at the world championships while four months pregnant -- in 1958. An equestrian won the European Championship in the very dangerous sport of eventing in 1996 when just under six months pregnant. The US beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh was 11 weeks pregnant at the 2012 Olympics, and there was also a very pregnant rifle competitor -- 7 or 8 months -- on the line at the London games. Some athletes are public about their pregnancies, some aren't, but whatever the case, pregnancy doesn't instantly render you a non-entity as an athlete.

Nor does abortion. You recover quickly and I've known people who are back to normal competing in some very tough sports within days. Not one of them ended up in a face plant within minutes of resuming activity.

Meanwhile, this filmmaker asks us to buy that this girl is very early in her pregnancy, and is desperate to get an abortion just days before the big competition, rather than waiting until, say, the day after. A responsible doctor would have advised her to do it this way, and this film doesn't take place in the American South, it's in the Netherlands.

I do agree that the film is well shot, with a lovely look, but that just makes its 70s Afterschool Special simple-minded message all the worse.
posted by grounded at 12:23 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


I don't really agree that the ending was a twist. How was that a twist? You know from the first seconds of this film that she has already failed her gymnastic competition


??? How do you know she failed the competition ?
posted by Pendragon at 4:53 AM on March 30


??? How do you know she failed the competition ?

Well she will need to nail every other event after that epic face plant off the parallel bars!
posted by ReeMonster at 5:38 AM on March 30


Wow, I am very pleasantly surprised; this was terrific, thank you for sharing.
posted by Mister_A at 6:10 AM on March 30


The acting was great, especially considering that it appears that the main actress is a top-level gymnast who doesn't have significant professional acting experience. But yeah, I thought it was a little overwrought. Maybe it would read differently in a place where access to abortion wasn't controversial, though.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:29 AM on March 30


But the face plant was at the end, not in the first seconds...
posted by Pendragon at 7:17 AM on March 30


OK then call it predictable that I had the immediate feeling thigs wouldn't turn out so well.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:08 AM on March 30


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