“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”
December 28, 2015 3:59 PM   Subscribe

The Revenant Official Trailer [YouTube]
The Revenant is a 2015 American epic western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota, which was inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass. The screenplay was written by Mark L. Smith and Iñárritu, based in part on Michael Punke's The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson.

Related:

- About That Bear: Alejandro G. Iñárritu Discusses Making ‘The Revenant’ [The New York Times]
Arguably, the most unnerving, gaze-averting scene is the bear attack, which could do for the woods what “Jaws” did for the ocean. The horrors of this sequence are so rattling that Fox, in response to a preposterous report by The Drudge Report, released a statement that said, essentially, No, Mr. DiCaprio was not raped by a bear in the course of the film. (Why anyone thought the assault was sexual is confounding; as the statement noted, the bear is a mother hoping to feed her cubs.)
- Fox responds to reports of bear rape in The Revenant [Entertainment Weekly]
“As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the bear in the film is a female who attacks Hugh Glass because she feels he might be threatening her cubs,” a Fox spokesperson told Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive statement. “There is clearly no rape scene with a bear.”
- Why The Revenant author is banned from discussing the film. [The Independent]
The 51-year-old wrote the novel over a decade ago, but his position as the deputy US trade representative and ambassador to the World Trade Organization prohibits him under federal ethics rules from doing any side work that might potentially enrich him and abuse his high-ranking office in the process. “Oh, he wishes he could talk about it,” said his brother and de facto spokesman Tim Punke, “Can you imagine having your book turned into a movie, having Leonardo DiCaprio in it?” It’s kind of bittersweet,” his wife Traci, who attended the premiere, added.
- The Revenant features some of Leonardo DiCaprio’s best work, not much else. [Vox]
Though I generally liked The Revenant, it definitely follows the same path as most of Iñárritu's other films. They're bold, stylistic experiments, exciting to watch and look at. But the second they're over, they evaporate, undone by thin themes and empty characterization. In this case, that might be okay. The story of The Revenant doesn't really need deeper themes; man (real-life figure Hugh Glass, played here by Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled by bear, then drags himself back to what passes for civilization on the frontier to exact revenge. It could be a mean and nasty pulp tale of blood, horror, and vengeance. But Iñárritu and company present this story as if it's saying something meaningful about, well, something — probably the human need to survive — and that's what ultimately does it in. The promising pulp tale becomes trapped inside of an overwrought, overstuffed prestige picture that ultimately doesn't have anything deeper to say than, "Life is pretty tough, and then you die."
- Bizarre attention surrounding The Revenant has gone beyond simple Oscar buzz. [The National Post]
With award season upon us, it’s not unusual for producers and studios of Oscar-bait films to be studiously building buzz for their last-season prestigious pictures. The Revenant is no exception. Here are the top 5 stories that have kept The Revenant top of mind.

1. Shooting was a “living hell.”
2. Tom Hardy ‘wrestled’ with Inarritu on set. [Collider]
3. Leo slept in animal carcasses. [Vanity Fair]
4. Leo was not, however, raped by a bear.
5.Climate Change vs. Chinook. [CBC.ca]
posted by Fizz (86 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
FWIW, I watched the film and I was entertained, though a bit too long for my tastes. During the so-called 'bear-rape' scene, at no point did I feel like that was something that was happening. It was just an intense and brutal scene. The cinematography of this film was astounding and worth the price of the ticket. Leo brings a strong performance. Maybe he'll finally get his Oscar. Probably not.
posted by Fizz at 4:05 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the posthumous biopic of Leo's life the actor playing him will win the oscar.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:07 PM on December 28, 2015 [114 favorites]


Saw this film last night, and I loved it... but I'm a sucker for "man against nature" films. This one is beautifully filmed and acted, and it's satisfying to see a movie set in cold weather, where it actually looks cold.
posted by newfers at 4:08 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


From the commercials, I had a feeling The Revenant was based on Hugh Glass' life. I'm a bit reluctant to see it, as I know it won't match up to Frederick Manfred's Lord Grizzly, which is simply amazing.
posted by neon meat dream of an octofish at 4:09 PM on December 28, 2015




“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

So, sounds like a not very fun job then?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:12 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


This one is beautifully filmed and acted, and it's satisfying to see a movie set in cold weather, where it actually looks cold.

‘Revenant’ Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Used Only Natural Light. [Variety]
Originally, Lubezki had planned to shoot the picture on film, but after some tests, he soon realized the format wasn’t up to the task. “It didn’t have the sensitivity to capture the scenes we were trying to shoot, especially the things we shot at dawn and dusk,” he says. Instead, the d.p. used the Arri Alexa 65 digital camera with lenses from 12mm to 21mm. “It also allowed us to (work) without any noise or grain between the audience and the actor,” Lubezki explains. “It’s a little like watching everything through a window; it’s clean, and there’s no texture between you and the character. I felt this was my divorce from film — finally.”
posted by Fizz at 4:13 PM on December 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Reverse Shot's take.
posted by kenko at 4:16 PM on December 28, 2015


Been looking forward to this but as usual it doesn't open here for another couple of weeks. I wasn't that big a fan of Birdman but I'm one of the few people who like Babel quite a bit.
posted by octothorpe at 4:18 PM on December 28, 2015


If you're looking for an amusing take on the actual Hugh Glass, you can do worse than The Dollop's take on his life
posted by hobgadling at 4:19 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

So, sounds like a not very fun job then?


This, combined with the Travers pull quote about The Revenant not being for "movie pussies", puts an unpalatable film-bro stink over what from the trailers looks like an otherwise enjoyable (if brutal) survival film.

I mean, I probably should be putting the weight of that juvenile remark on Travers and not the movie, but the connection has been made and is now difficult to unmake.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:22 PM on December 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


On the other hand, I guess I should thank that dumb Travers quote for inspiring this gem.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:24 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Though I generally liked The Revenant, it definitely follows the same path as most of Iñárritu's other films. They're bold, stylistic experiments, exciting to watch and look at. But the second they're over, they evaporate, undone by thin themes and empty characterization.

This so perfectly describes my response to the director's previous film Birdman that it's putting a bit of a damper on the excitement I felt after recently viewing the (amazing) trailer. It seems like cinematography porn more than a fully realized film. Maybe I'll give this one a pass until they release it on Oculus Rift, or something.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:25 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


an unpalatable film-bro stink

the Garage Band Enya soundtrack on the bear attack clip link may be enough to counter this
posted by thelonius at 4:25 PM on December 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the posthumous biopic of Leo's life the actor playing him will win the oscar.

But only in the posthumous biopic. Not in real life.
posted by The World Famous at 4:29 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Oh...that kind of bear."

-Matt Drudge
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:30 PM on December 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


The Next Picture Show podcast devoted two episodes to Revenant, comparing and contrasting it with Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:37 PM on December 28, 2015


NO, the actor playing him in the movie wins the oscar in real life, pay attention!
posted by poffin boffin at 4:37 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I quite liked Birdman. I thought it was not a sympathetic film for any of the characters involved, but really loved how it was created, and thought the filming style completely worked for the story it was trying to tell. I'm interested in The Revenant, but not enough to pay to see it in the theater. It will show up on my satellite service sooner or later, and I will watch it then.

I have enjoyed reading about the film, however. It sounds like it was harrowing to create, but often the films that are the most difficult to film are the ones that are spectacular to watch. If you only make movies that are easy to capture on video or film for everyone, you end up with green screen nightmares. It's not like Lawrence Of Arabia was easy on the cast or crew.
posted by hippybear at 4:40 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


The story of The Revenant doesn't really need deeper themes; man (real-life figure Hugh Glass, played here by Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled by bear, then drags himself back to what passes for civilization on the frontier to exact revenge.

What?! This makes it sound like he's exacting revenge against the bear. I have not seen the movie or read the book but that is not my understanding of what this story is about.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:45 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been waiting for someone to do a movie of the true story of John Colter's escape from the Blackfoot.

Maybe they are put off because historical accuracy would require the leading man to spend most of the film stark naked running over the great plains. Maybe they could add an inaccurate loincloth to the movie.

The old old west -- the pre-Mexican War, pre-railroad, trapper days -- was pretty damn intense.
posted by zipadee at 4:48 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a rah-rah native of the Dakotas, my real interests in this film are a) how realistic the settings seem (I'm hoping for the bleakest winter since Fargo), and b) the reaction from the Native community.
posted by wormwood23 at 4:49 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: There is clearly no rape scene with a bear.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:50 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


No way does Leo win an Oscar for this. The character is so flat.
posted by dogwalker at 4:56 PM on December 28, 2015


This, combined with the Travers pull quote about The Revenant not being for "movie pussies", puts an unpalatable film-bro stink over what from the trailers looks like an otherwise enjoyable (if brutal) survival film.

The unpalatable film-bro stink was already there for me from the first trailer I saw, before I knew anything about the movie. My first thoughts were, "oh, this is quite stunning" regarding the visuals, and then as soon as I saw that the plot relied on yet. another. dead wife and/or child, and the manly men who killed and/or avenged them, I lost all interest. I have a quota for media about manpain, and I have reached mine at the moment.

I am not, however, categorically opposed to this kind of man vs. nature movie, even when there's such a sneering, overwhelming "this isn't for you, ladies" miasma of obnoxious testosterone hanging about it. I watched The Grey, for god's sake, and actually ended up liking it. That movie had some surprisingly interesting things to say about masculinity, even if it did have implausible wolf villains.

I'm sure someone will let me know if The Revenant has a similar surprise, otherwise I'm gonna skip this one. If it gets a lot of award attention over far more deserving films like Creed, Spotlight, and Mad Max: Fury Road, I'll be pissed.
posted by yasaman at 5:07 PM on December 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

Pish, the Indian movie Mughal-e-Azam took fifteen years to make and ended with a totally different cast than it started filming with, in part because several cast members died.

Filmbros, get on Bollywood's level.
posted by Itaxpica at 5:16 PM on December 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


NO, the actor playing him in the movie wins the oscar in real life, pay attention!

No, the DiCaprio biopic has a dream sequence where DiCaprio dreams about the actor who plays him in the biopic winning an Oscar. I've seen it. In a dream.
posted by The World Famous at 5:18 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


so how does it do on the Bechdel Test? :P

I am looking forward to seeing it though!
posted by supermedusa at 5:24 PM on December 28, 2015


Pish, the Indian movie Mughal-e-Azam took fifteen years to make and ended with a totally different cast than it started filming with, in part because several cast members died.

Uh, Dangerous Men? Twenty years in the making, and as great as you’d expect?
posted by Going To Maine at 5:24 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


man (real-life figure Hugh Glass, played here by Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled by bear, then drags himself back to what passes for civilization on the frontier to exact revenge.

Because of the clumsy phrasing, this really does sound like the set-up to that ancient hunter/bear rape joke.

the Garage Band Enya soundtrack on the bear attack clip link

That's being entirely too generous to the soundtrack in that clip. It's like someone watched The Mission as a kid and remembered liking the music, but couldn't remember much about it and since it wasn't available to stream on Netflix they just winged it.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:26 PM on December 28, 2015


2. Tom Hardy ‘wrestled’ with Inarritu on set.

Going for that Kinski/Herzog vibe, I guess.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:34 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is being left for dead after being attacked by a bear not bad enough, such that they have to invent and then kill off a completely fictional Indian son to up the manpain factor? Grantland describes the son as a "stakes-raising solution." THE STAKES ARE ALREADY HIGH. A BEAR ATE HIM.

Also, I am now picturing the following boardroom conversation:

"Hm, what should we name the son?"

"C'mon, we're on deadline here! How about, uh, 'Hawk?' That sounds Indian."

"Fine by me."

[I will probably still see this movie, though, because of its exploration of the hitherto underutilized Man vs. Bear conflict theme.]
posted by ostro at 5:35 PM on December 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


MetaFilter: exploration of the hitherto underutilized Man vs. Bear conflict theme.
posted by Fizz at 5:38 PM on December 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


"man vs bear" has been a decades-long conflict theme of my gay bar experiences.
posted by hippybear at 5:40 PM on December 28, 2015 [31 favorites]


Also, I am now picturing the following boardroom conversation:

"Hm, what should we name the son?"

"C'mon, we're on deadline here! How about, uh, 'Hawk?' That sounds Indian."

"Fine by me."


They could have named him Falling Rock. That would explain all those road signs I see telling me to watch for him.
posted by hippybear at 5:41 PM on December 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Edge had a pretty brutal bear attack


Mercutio doesn't make it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:45 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Edge had a pretty brutal bear attack

Yeah the screaming seemed realistic to me
posted by thelonius at 5:49 PM on December 28, 2015


Arguably, the most unnerving, gaze-averting scene is the bear attack, which could do for the woods what “Jaws” did for the ocean. The horrors of this sequence are so rattling that Fox, in response to a preposterous report by The Drudge Report, released a statement that said, essentially, No, Mr. DiCaprio was not raped by a bear in the course of the film.

I heard this rumor was going around, so I was watching carefully. Only at one point did I think, eh, maybe? But it was so quick and fleeting, and in the end quite obviously a female bear, that it became apparent that the rumor train was just running through a number of media outlets without much first-hand confirmation.

It was a bit unnerving, but CGI, while getting really quite good, isn't quite there yet to completely fool you when it comes to real-life animals. It was hard to completely suspend disbelief, but it was enough to make you go, woah, if that was a bear, it would be kinda freaky.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:04 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


so how does it do on the Bechdel Test? :P

Two female bears have dialogue but it's about the man they mauled.
posted by atoxyl at 6:12 PM on December 28, 2015 [57 favorites]


[psa: talking about rape in this comment, like a lot]
So I've been thinking a lot about the bear mauling scene. I've not seen the movie, but have seen that scene, several times, and I think that it's really interesting. The studio and people associated with the film seem baffled that anyone could view it as a sexual attack, and I think that we're seeing what happens when movies are made without women.

The Revenant has, from a quick glance at IMDB, not many women on it. In fact, if you exclude the wardrobe/makeup/casting departments, there are about four women working on the film. Two of them are actors; the other two are producers. The novel was written by a man; the screenplay was written by a man. The director, the cinematographer, the film editor--all men. Of the eighteen producers or executive producers, sixteen are men. Which, I think, is why they're surprised that this is being read as a rape scene.

Because it's written and played and shot as a rape scene.

Smarter people than I have spoken at great length about the way in Mad Max, the scene in which Max is tattooed against his will is filmed as a rape scene showing us the violation of Max. The Revenant also has a male character's violation and pain filmed as a rape scene, but (seemingly) by mistake instead of by design.

So: A woman is walking through a park, the camera panning with his gaze as she nervously takes in her surroundings. It seems like she's worried about nothing, though, and the camera comes back to her--just before she jerks around to see her attacker running up behind her. We pull back to a wide shot as he plows into her, sending her backwards into the undergrowth, and then grabs her and pulls her towards him, covering her with his body as he paws at her chest. She struggles, rolling onto her stomach and trying to crawl away, and her attacker grabs her shirt and yanks her back, the fabric cutting into her throat as her torso is jerked off of the ground.

The camera pans around to her face as her attacher cuffs her in the back of the head, and the camera moves in, changing to a close-up on her face, filling the majority of the screen as her body is moved violently, and then as the attacker brackets her body with his. She goes limp, looking defeated, as the shadows behind her head move, and then the camera pans up to show her attacker looking triumphant, his mouth opens as he pants, as he drips bodily fluids onto her. Slowly we pan back to her face, pressed against the ground, looking brutalised, and the attacker finally moves away.

It sounds not unlike something out of a movie, right? Woman is raped, or is murdered in a sexualised way? Except that it's literally the first two minutes of the bear attack scene. I wrote it with the scene open in YouTube, pausing to type the description, and then changed 'the bear' to 'the attacker', 'DiCaprio' (or 'he') to 'her', and 'saliva' to 'bodily fluids'. That's literally it. The bear attack is filmed so much like a rape scene that if you change the nouns, that's what it reads as.

I would argue that most women, seeing this, would immediately recognize it as an explicitly sexualised style of attack. I would also argue that many men would express bafflement at the same, not because they haven't seen the same films, but because they've never been made to identify with the (female) victims of those scenes, so when presented with the same scene and a male protagonist, it reads as something completely different to them.
posted by MeghanC at 6:18 PM on December 28, 2015 [83 favorites]


Uh, Dangerous Men? Twenty years in the making, and as great as you’d expect?

The key difference is that Mughal-e-Azam is now widely recognized as one of the greatest Indian films ever made, while Dangerous Men is the single greatest piece of art ever created in any medium by any nation.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:18 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I loved this movie. By far the most visually stunning film of the year, plus it's a combination survival and revenge flick. I liked that it was sort of a B movie plot along with gorgeous visuals.
posted by chaz at 6:30 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw the movie; it's breathtakingly beautiful, dreamy and starkly brutal at the same time. Oscars? I dunno. It's just not quite there....but if you enjoy survival and/or revenge flicks, it's deeply satisfying on both those levels.

(But as for the most visually stunning film of the year, I will have to go with that Other Tom Hardy Film, Fury Road).
posted by Windigo at 7:09 PM on December 28, 2015


Ten people either quit or were fired during filming

When I worked at A&W at 16 years of age, we had a total of 11 employees on the day I started and 4, including me, on my second day.
posted by juiceCake at 7:18 PM on December 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


Root beer is a brutal business.
posted by hippybear at 7:21 PM on December 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


The Edge had a pretty brutal bear attack

Which U2 album was that on?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:28 PM on December 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Obviously Zooropa
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:32 PM on December 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Idly enough it was shot in the same location as The Edge: Kansnaskis country near Canmore, Alberta. Looking forward to seeing some friends cameo as extras.
posted by furtive at 7:33 PM on December 28, 2015


Kananaskis Country is no place for the idle.
posted by Flashman at 7:35 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ten people quit or were fired during filming...

That's a pretty meaningless metric. How many people were involved with the film? How many normally leave a film?

I mean if I was at a 500 person company and 10 people were fired or quit in a given year, that would seem like a pretty low number.
posted by el io at 7:53 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Arguably, the most unnerving, gaze-averting scene is the bear attack, which could do for the woods what “Jaws” did for the ocean.

You guys, please please please watch The Bear (dir. by Jean Jacques Annaud). A brilliant film that tells the story of being hunted from the bear's point of view. Viewed in context, the bear attack scene in The Revenant has nothing on the grizzly finally facing down his hunter at the end of Annaud's film.
posted by magstheaxe at 8:29 PM on December 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


You guys, please please please watch The Bear

Ah yes, my old nemesis. We meet again.

I was about 5 when my parents, not realizing what exactly they where doing, took me to see what looked like a harmless wildlife film. I suppose I should be thankful, since I've definitely been extremely focussed on maintaining a healthy distance from the few bears I've encountered in the real wilderness. I'm not sure my desire to help maintain the survival of a relatively blameless apex predator species has been served quite as well.
posted by figurant at 9:08 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Maybe they are put off because historical accuracy would require the leading man to spend most of the film stark naked running over the great plains.

They'd just give it the ol' "Eyes Wide Shut" treatment. Camera would lay in the grass every shot, with a convenient blade of grass, a leaf, or a sunflare that keeps the rating to a PG-13.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:11 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


10 people leaving a production is not any big deal. This production was a huge undertaking, shooting in sequence with only natural light.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:13 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two female bears have dialogue but it's about the man they mauled.

Hmm... are they named? A lot of Bechdel discussions I've been seeing recently leave that part out.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:13 PM on December 28, 2015


“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

I originally read that as "either quit or died" and I thought: wow, someone really ought to find out which it was.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:16 PM on December 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Great, now I have to decide between seeing this and The Hateful Eight, which a local theater is showing in 80mm.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:41 PM on December 28, 2015


Wow, you must have to sit really close!
posted by ODiV at 12:35 AM on December 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


So Domnhall Gleason has joined Tom Hardy in the Guys Who Are In All Films club. I'm ok with that. I think Joseph Gordon Levitt may have been kicked out to let him in, which I am even more ok with.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:47 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It seems like cinematography porn more than a fully realized film. Maybe I'll give this one a pass until they release it on Oculus Rift, or something.

Having watched the film, it could have certainly benefited from a bit more editing, for the sake of the pacing alone. But it's very much a fully realized film, warts and all.

Is being left for dead after being attacked by a bear not bad enough, such that they have to invent and then kill off a completely fictional Indian son to up the manpain factor?

I have mixed feelings about the son. The real Hugh Glass did live peacefully with Pawnee for a number of years, while a many of his fellow mountainmen in the fur trapping party, both historically and in the film, were either hostile towards or actively participated in the killing of native people. A man sympathetic to the indigenous people being forced to watch helplessly as his son, born of a native mother, is murdered by the one character in the film we see taking part in an earlier raiding and destruction of a native village is a not-so-subtle take on the position anyone not so keen on genociding native peoples was in at the time - there was no standing in the way of "Manifest Destiny" back then. This is a theme repeated throughout the film ... with mixed results.

And I'm puzzled at all the attention the bear non-rape is getting, when there is an actual rape in the film, committed by a French fur trapper on a native woman. Possible spoiler, but she is rescued (but not before the rape begins, rather luridly) by Glass, who then literally mounts a white horse (dappled, but the idea is still there) to make his escape and facilitate hers; an act for which he is later rewarded, in a sense, at the end of the film. Even though this scene was supposed to convey the same theme as Hawk's murder, I found it even more gratuitous and unnecessary.

It's ostensibly a film about one man's fight against a bear and his ultimate survival, but to me it was more a film about one people's fight against genocide and their ultimate destruction. It doesn't tell this story in any way that's particularly novel, but I think that's the story Iñárritu was trying to tell.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:14 AM on December 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Eh, this movie was better when it was called Cannibal: The Musical.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:47 AM on December 29, 2015


It's nice to watch with a bucket of popcorn, but, as has been said before, it's quickly forgotten, which is a good thing. Thinking about it makes it worse. Apart from Glass being obviously so much of a superhuman being that it becomes rather ludicrous. Even after surviving the bear attack he has ample opportunity to die, like drowning in the rapids, clad in fur, of hypothermia afterwards, or the fall from a 60 foot cliff... They should have dressed him in a blue shirt with an S on it.
Yes, I'm getting close to what Hitchcock called "moronic logic", but this is supposedly a true story, and lauded for realism. And even if I admit that a movie doesn't have to, or should, comply with real-life logic, it even disregards its inner logic.
It's worth noting, too, that it is utterly predictable, in every single scene. It's just trope after trope. And yes, the characters are all one-dimensional, at best.
And then there's the utterly unnecessary and graphic rape scene (no, not the bear), which is quite misogynistic, not at least because it reduces the abducted daughter of the chief to a mere McGuffin.
In conclusion, it's just another Big Star Vehicle with the depth and complexity of a rollercoaster ride. You might enjoy it as long as it lasts, but that's all of it.
posted by ojemine at 5:14 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Re: Peter Travers at Rolling Stone and the bizarre "movie pussies" stupidity, it's worth noting that Travers is a notorious quote whore for the studios; no one takes him seriously, and the folks at Rolling Stone are probably delighted anyone's talking about him at all.
posted by mediareport at 6:09 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


So "Bone Tomahawk" remains the best Western of the year. Somehow, this doesn't surprise me. As I was watching it, I was thinking "This is going to be a tough one to top."
posted by maxsparber at 6:18 AM on December 29, 2015


I did a serious double-take on misreading that the screenplay was co-written by Mark E. Smith.
posted by zoinks at 6:24 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


> Thinking about it makes it worse.

This is a perfect summary of my experience watching Birdman.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:28 AM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Don't know whether that designation is official yet, Jon Mitchell. I think he still has to arm-wrestle Benedict Cumberbatch for the spot.
posted by orrnyereg at 7:03 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


LotR : walking :: The Revenant : crawling
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:13 AM on December 29, 2015




Benny Crumbles' spot is in the "white man cast in a POC's role" club.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:12 AM on December 29, 2015


“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

One of whom will slowly navigate the terrible cold waters of the Hollywood production scene and eventually enact a terrible revenge on the person who mauled his career. Twenty years from now this movie will will be made about it thus completing the cycle.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 8:13 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'll just leave this here:
Man in the Wilderness
posted by evilDoug at 8:50 AM on December 29, 2015


My single favorite detail after watching this movie was in the bear attack. People tend to think of them as these all-out assaults, but the part that always creeps me out (also the part that will get someone through it alive) is the playing dead. I liked that the scene included the bear calmly standing on his chest to see if it was still rising.

Why am I not surprised it's already turned in to a super-serious 'Was Leo Raped!?' discussion.
posted by mannequito at 9:03 AM on December 29, 2015


Why am I not surprised it's already turned in to a super-serious 'Was Leo Raped!?' discussion.

While ignoring the unambiguous rape of a native woman? Oh I could venture a couple guesses.

(NB: I'm referring to the bear rape conspiracy being touted elsewhere; not the discussion happening in this thread.)
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:31 AM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


“Ten people either quit or were fired during filming,”

I originally read that as "either quit or died" and I thought: wow, someone really ought to find out which it was.
Yeah, they just kinda left them out there without knowing. I mean... it's dangerous out there. And then there's the obvious something about life imitating art imitating life.
posted by Blue_Villain at 11:09 AM on December 29, 2015


In the posthumous biopic of Leo's life the actor playing him will win the oscar.

Why wait? They should make a biopic of Leo NOW, so that the actor playing him can go against Real Leo in next year's Oscars.

(And win, of course.)

Better yet, it could be like I'm Not There (the Bob Dylan film) -- Four different actors can play Leo at different stages of his life, and at next year's Oscars, it would be Real Leo (in whatever Oscar Bait film he does next year) against four other actors playing Leo. WHO IS BEST LEO?
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 11:15 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


WHO IS BEST LEO?

“Bleo”
posted by Going To Maine at 11:46 AM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Because it's written and played and shot as a rape scene.

While I don't doubt this is the case, I suspect the original yarn had more to do with the way in which conservative media has been successfully hoaxing the public for the last few months through a combination of outrage, credulity, and most importantly, repetition and volume.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:52 AM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bear attack = Rape.

We may be at a cultural tipping point. I am always aware that we Americans are a twisted bunch. Violence is the entertainment of the day, the more graphic it is the better we like it. The point of our major blockbusters movies is violence, usually machine guns in the hallway and car crashes, but we also like swords and hammers. Our gaming subculture has little else but violence as its centerpiece. No link exists in the public eye between our national preoccupation with slash and bash and shootemups and RL goings on. Oh, but bears.

Watch the documentary "Grizzly Man," and try not to shut down when the last scenes, containing only some of the audio, are presented. Rewind a bit to the filming of the fight between the two bears, and get a grip on what 900 pounds of muscle under a bearskin looks like. Those bears are so powerful they could literally slap your head off your shoulders, and they don't mind nibbling on you while you are still alive. Most people agree that Treadwell made his own bed by fantasying his beloved bears as teddies instead of the noble and completely different creature they (the bears) believe themselves to be. I believe his last girlfriend was sort of ignorant, so she didn't really need to bear the fruits of Treadwell's goofy notions. Indeed it was sort of a fluke that they got caught in the Maze--wrong place, wrong time. So be it. Those elementary school kids that Treadwell lectured on bear cuddliness will sooner later get the word that the bear guy got eaten by bears. Anyhow, that's just one branch of the reality tree, not DeCapprio's limb by any stretch.

Where we lived, in central California, tales are told of the rancher (in the 1880's) who was riding his horse along a portion of the San Joaquin River in Fresno County, looking for camp meat, when he was attacked by a California Grizzly. The bear ran his horse down (yes, bears can outrun horses) and slapped it into unconsciousness. He was pinned under the horse, and lay quietly while the bear proceeded to dine on the easy to reach meat on the underside of the horse. After the bear had his lunch, the rancher managed to get free and drag himself up the riverbank to a wagon road, where he eventually was rescued.

A friend of mine was attacked by a black bear near the Silver Divide. He lived, but had to wear a cast on his upper body for weeks. We tracked the bear and killed it. I am happy to have not had to worry about browns or grizzlies during my days of roaming up and down the Sierras. Naturally I am sort of bummed that the California State emblem was hunted to extinction, but still....

Glass' story has fascinated me for years. When I was younger, his story impressed me because of his absolutely stunning endurance, ingenuity, and will to live. Revenge was a good master to him when the major issue was survival. Later in my life, I realized that Glass' story was also one of transformation. He changed, turned away from revenge. I have thought about how that might work, and came up with several versions of it that sort of rang my bell. His companions on the expedition were flawed, but if you take the context into account it's easy to realize that most of us would not be Glass, we'd be the people who abandoned him.

Naturally our positions in our 21st Century armchairs let us overlook those trifling details in favor of our current obsessions, sex and violence.

Now, for some people, Glass' story seems to have a rape subtext. If I were to have a dozen lifetimes I don't believe I could have equated a bear mauling with rape. I don't mean to sound precious. I can remember, long ago, when my unconsidered opinione somehow related rape to sex. I understand that many mammals use sex in ways that could be described as political--hyenas and (other) primates comes to mind. I still haven't made that trip yet, though. For me, sex is rolling in my sweet baby's arms, not having my skin ripped off by a bear.
posted by mule98J at 1:25 PM on December 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Having watched this last night, I have to agree that the scene is shot as a rape scene. Whilst clearly not actually being raped by a bear, the scene is shot such that the only thing missing is a phallus actually violating an orifice.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:07 PM on December 29, 2015


gottabefunky 70mm. Trust me.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2015


Usually, when everything I'd want to say in a thread has pretty much been said, I just let it go. But here, I just want to add the little weight my comment might have to the general consenus.

It's a beautifully shot film. It needs to be seen on the big screen to fully appreciate it.

For what it is, it's great. But there is nothing deeper here than what we see, really. Birdman, you can talk about scenes and motives and 'what happened here and what does it mean?', but not here.

Leonardo doesn't deserve an oscar for this movie. He deserves one for Hughes, for Django, for Wolf of Wallstreet ... but this was just pain from assault and anger for revenge. Well done, but, no, he played the part well, but it didn't show any large range of acting cred. I just saw Prisoners and the performance Hugh Jackman gave in that, well, now that was ACTING (like Leo has shown before, in other films, but not this one). As a side note, I wonder if one or two of Hugh's scenes hadn't been ... accentuated, like Bilbo in LoTR was. If not, well, wow!

And as for the bear scene? Yeah, it's a bit strange the whole conversation has turned into 'Leo was/n't raped by a (female) bear'. But, yeah, it did look strangely rape-y. The fact it even entered my mind means it was odd. And it could even have been entirely avoided if they positioned him slightly rotated, but it happened at least twice. The first one is easy to overlook, but after that ... you notice it. And they could have rotated him just a bit and it would have not been a thing at all.
As for the CG in that scene? Well, they had me. And I know CG: I've done work in it. I was convinced.

(Same for the horse over the edge scene ... well shot! And even if I wanted to think about how they did it during the film, I discarded that thought and enjoyed the shot)
posted by MacD at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I haven't seen the film and I feel like this whole thread is way more interesting.
posted by numaner at 8:11 AM on December 30, 2015


I saw the film but can only bearly tolerate the thread
posted by AGameOfMoans at 5:09 PM on December 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


so how does it do on the Bechdel Test? :P

Tongue-in-cheek, I know, but this is a movie with exactly two female characters. I saw this yesterday sitting one row ahead of a woman who was loudly explaining to herself everything going on ("Oh, he is going to jump in the river!" "An arrow just hit that guy!" "He shot a horse!" "They are on a mountain now!") and she could not tell the two characters apart, or possibly thought they were the same character, despite one being dead about a decade before the action and appearing only in flashbacks and visions.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:06 PM on January 13, 2016


if you want gorgeous behind the scenes photos, follow John Connor on instagram

technically it WAS a living hell, but no one cares about that anyway.

H
posted by silsurf at 1:11 PM on January 22, 2016


« Older Of Paris, of Love, of Art, of Cats and Poetry and...   |   It's Reality Show Clip Time! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments