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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008) « previous next »
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Author Topic: WALTZ WITH BASHIR (2008)  (Read 740 times)
Rev. Powell
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« on: March 17, 2009, 10:12:36 PM »

This is a strange time to post about this movie, as it's out of most theaters but hasn't shown up on DVD yet.  I'll bump it if I remember when the DVD comes out.  But I've been meaning to recommend it for a while and I want to write something while it's still slightly fresh in my mind.

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The simple plot: A filmmaker finds he has forgotten details of his Israeli military service, and seeks to reconstruct his memory by interviewing other former soldiers.  Most of the beginning and middle of the movie consist of vignettes told by the other soldiers.  some of them are quite surreal and memorable.  I especially like the one where one soldier imagines himself as lying on the belly of a giant naked woman doing the backstroke and swimming away from his boat as it's being shelled.  Other segments are montages set to music videos of war songs in styles that would have been popular at the time.  These sequences are some of the best I've seen at evoking the absurdity of war from the footsoldier's perspective since APOCALYPSE NOW.

There's also hardcore cartoon porn in it.  Buggedout

As the film goes on and the director delves into his own memory, it becomes a documentary on the Sabra and Shabila massacre.  Knowing a little bit of history is helpful to keep the characters straight, but that Wikipedia article tells you all you need to know to follow the story.

It's very powerful, and the best movie I saw made in 2008.  It was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars but lost to Japan's DEPARTURES.  Worth seeking out.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
Neville
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 07:33:14 AM »

I loved the visuals, but had many problems with the script. Like the gimmick of the main character not being able to remember a single damned thing about his entire tour. Just preposteorus. Or the fact that the whole thing then changes its emphasis from characters to a documentary about the Shabra and Shatila massacres, that felt unbalanced.
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Due to the horrifying nature of this film, no one will be admitted to the theatre.
Rev. Powell
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 09:32:20 PM »

I loved the visuals, but had many problems with the script. Like the gimmick of the main character not being able to remember a single damned thing about his entire tour. Just preposteorus. Or the fact that the whole thing then changes its emphasis from characters to a documentary about the Shabra and Shatila massacres, that felt unbalanced.

I agree that the shift from the vignettes to the documentary style may have felt unbalanced, but it didn't damage the film for me.  As for the loss of memory, I thought it was a good conceit.  In the thematic sense, the psyche being analyzed isn't the protagonist, it's the nation of Israel, and I got the idea that the point was that Israelis didn't really talk about the massacre--as if they'd forgotten it.
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"The best parts are watching Sly go through the full range of emotions: deadpan, deadpan with raised eyebrow, deadpan with quivering lip. There's also a great sequence where Sly drives his VW Beetle down the interstate for about 20 minutes, staring dramatically through the windshield.."-Joe Bob on A MAN CALLED RAMBO
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