Martyrs

The 2008 offerings once more walk among us.
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The Soapmaker
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Post by The Soapmaker » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:09 pm

giles edwards wrote:Which is of course where Dreyer and Moore's more sensitively drawn, exquisitely centred and ultimately genuinely profound and moving works excel.
I assume you're not including the film of V for Vendetta there, Giles? :wink:

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Post by giles edwards » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:18 pm

In no way shape or form! Yeah, I'm specifically referring to Moore's V and *not* the Warshowski's.
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Post by Jekyll » Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:50 pm

Little bit over-hyped for me but was still an interesting watch.

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Post by Stark » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:39 pm

I think the hype killed this one for me...

It wasn't a bad film, in fact it was pretty entertaining in places... it just wasn't anything special. Bit dissapointed really.

Me and the other half talked a lot about it's similarity to V for Vendetta actually. It was the second half that killed it for me though, whereas that scene in the comic moves me everytime I read it. Just felt a little hollow...
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Post by odishon » Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:56 pm

I don't think this is one of the most extreme or shocking films ever made but I liked the way I just couldn't guess where it was going.

Original and in your face.

Delivered for me but don't think it needed the warnings etc.

***spolier***

I had made the mistake of watching the long trailer so I knew what was going to happen to the family but as it happened fairly early on I was intrigued as to what lay ahead.

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martyrs

Post by kaiju » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:09 pm

Just noticed i wrote torture prawn(very very tired when i wrote it)
ha ha

I liked the first half of the movie up until she freed that girl from the basement vault.I liked the revenge aspect and the hallucinations of the girl lucie couldnt rescue..but i just found the rest kind of dull.
I have no kind of religous belief.so the one conversation in the movie that explained the whole motivation for the people doing this held no relevence for me.
And why would people want to find out what awaits beyond life when clearly their actions would condemn them to whatever hell they believe in.
The director just seemed like an angry man.
I thought that the first half did a good job of showing the disturbing effects this kind of abuse has on a persons mind something you dont normally get a glimpse of,as the credits normally roll after the victim escapes.
But the martyr thing for me just seemed tacked on half way through(take out that one piece of exposition tuban lady has when they first capture the girl and most of the rest of the film doesnt even hint at it)
The fact that i'm questioning these things now probably means my opinion of the film has improved,but in the end the hype was for the violence not the questions it asks.

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Post by AdeBrown » Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:30 pm

And do you know what ?
Wouldn't any sekrit orgnizashun looking at martyrs these days have some sort of reference to terrorists in their manifesto as delivered by fat lady ?

They're the most active people in the martyr business.
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Post by The Aylmer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:00 pm

I didn't think the religious aspect of the film was that important to be honest, although the final few minutes certainly did make sense of everything that had gone before and raised the whole thing up to another level, for me. What you get at the end is a load of old people turning up to find out if there's anything after death. These coffin dodgers are just scared witless their time is nearly up and are prepared to fund any sort of 'research' to ease their fear and give them new hope. Even if that means beating young women almost to death until one of them sees what lies on the other side. I didn't see it as being about religion as such or even that the old codgers at the end were religious. They were just desperate for some proof their lives weren't nearly over. And the words of one suffering possibly delusional half dead woman was enough to convince the old biddy running the show that there was something else. What does she do? Take the 'proof' with her leaving everyone else with the same doubts they had at the start. Which is surely the point... if people genuinely believed in an afterlife they'd be topping themselves left right and centre to be someplace better. When you're young it's not as important. It's when those later years in life are reached that, no matter what your beliefs (or lack of), people start hoping there is something else, whatever it might be. The way I saw it, the film's central theme was 'fear of death' and it's main message was for younger people to start appreciating the life they've got now because, no matter how far off it seems, it ain't going to last and you might just end up like the people at the end of the film, pinning your hopes on another state of existence that might very well not exist. The final minutes justified the whole movie for me. Otherwise it would indeed have been an unpleasant and unnecessary 100 minutes of torture prawn.

Still, what do I know? My favourite film of the festival was Bad Biology :P

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Re: Martyrs

Post by Satans Puppy » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:08 pm

lone star wrote:
DavieT wrote:Controversial - yes, hard hitting - yes, vile subject matter - yes, most horrific movie I've ever seen - no, for me that was last years The Girl Next Door.
.
Have to completely agree with this, found Girl next door much more affecting to watch.

In Martyrs torture sequence found that as she gets continually beaten up in the same manner, it felt like we were being beaten over the head with a blunt instrument to make a point although there didn't seem to be a point.

Martyrs was an interesting movie and will divide opinion as I know some that really enjoyed it (although enjoy would be the wronmg word to use)
I said the same thing... The Girl Next Door had more impact then Martyrs... and folks saying it was worse then INSIDE are just plain wrong, I can't watch INSIDE without turning away or getting an uneasy feeling, yet I watched Martyrs without a jump or a squirm which is just wrong.

This Really didn't live up to the hype... but it was still enjoyable... Zappa and I had a nifty little discussion about it :)

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Re: Martyrs

Post by The Aylmer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:26 pm

Satans Puppy wrote:
lone star wrote:
DavieT wrote:Controversial - yes, hard hitting - yes, vile subject matter - yes, most horrific movie I've ever seen - no, for me that was last years The Girl Next Door.
.
Have to completely agree with this, found Girl next door much more affecting to watch.

In Martyrs torture sequence found that as she gets continually beaten up in the same manner, it felt like we were being beaten over the head with a blunt instrument to make a point although there didn't seem to be a point.

Martyrs was an interesting movie and will divide opinion as I know some that really enjoyed it (although enjoy would be the wronmg word to use)
I said the same thing... The Girl Next Door had more impact then Martyrs... and folks saying it was worse then INSIDE are just plain wrong, I can't watch INSIDE without turning away or getting an uneasy feeling, yet I watched Martyrs without a jump or a squirm which is just wrong.

This Really didn't live up to the hype... but it was still enjoyable... Zappa and I had a nifty little discussion about it :)
I'd agree with that last bit. The Girl Next Door packed an emotional whallop, leaving me in tears at the end. Martyrs didn't provoke the same level of disgust or sympathy in me, despite the high level of violence. But it did produce a lot more debate afterwards, which I assume was the point. The Girl Next Door's 'based on true events' tag more or less demanded the reaction it got however, whereas Martyrs fictional status allowed it to go elsewhere and look for a different reaction. How succesful it was depends on the individual viewer. I rate The Girl Next Door higher at present, although I suspect a second viewing of Martyr's might well improve my 8/10 score, now the hype is past and I know where the film ends up.

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Post by streetrw » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:47 pm

I'm in two minds about this one. On the one hand I can see that as far as the drama is concerned there is a good rationale behind the organisation's actions - a better one than money or revenge or insanity. But I'm not sure whether it justifies the film's focus on the suffering they're inflicting. Martyrs isn't about profound philosophical questions that have haunted mankind since the dawn of time. It's about people who are trying to answer those questions by means of extreme cruelty, but I think the focus of the movie lies too much with the lipsmacking violence and not with the philosophy. Put it this way - if the movie had included the exact same final 40 minutes of torture and brutality, but The Organisation was streaming it across the web at $40 a day, or just sitting there watching and pleasuring themselves, would that still be okay as a plot device? Flipside, would Hostel and Captivity be acceptable films if their Organisations and maniacs were trying to uncover the secrets of life?

I guess we're supposed to assume the answer is yes, there is something, because the victim wouldn't have talked for two hours or more if there was nothing....

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Post by BabyJaneHudson » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:07 pm

Martyrs for me along with The Chaser were the two best films at FrightFest this year for me.

Although Martyrs is difficult to watch, I didn't feel that the violence and brutality wasn't necessary to instill in the viewer the repulsion that you feel for the people who are guilty of these terrible acts. My interpretation of it is - and it will be different for everyone - that this film is about a lot of things and has a lot of levels to it.

If you just look at the obvious, then you might think it is only about a religious idea and the contradiction - which is very relevant today with fundamentalism etc - that people who are inherently evil, still believe that despite their own behaviour they are somehow connected to God. That despite their rejection of good, they somehow need to still believe and want to be part of this 'state' which they can never be, because they have not endured as their victims have. Its dellusional to the point of insanity. Why do they want to see into the very thing in which they reject, which is a higher state linked to God ?

I think the film goes a long way beyond this. I personally started thinking about the difference and interconnection between a physical and mental state which go up to make a whole person. How the two are linked, but how they can be totally and utterly detached from each other as a way of keeping your soul intact. I thought this was very interesting. I'm not religious, but just because Im not, doesn't mean I'm going to have a knee jerk reaction to the film because there are elements of Christianity in it, which to be honest are virtually non-existent as you only know this later on in the film when the old lady starts talking to the girl they find in the house alive and no one harps on about this at all after this point.

Then it made me think about consumerism, which is what Hostel does. How nothing is sacred, money can buy everything and people are prepared to do anything for it, without a second thought. Death and torture are commodities, but still the soul is untouchable which is kind of what these freaks are trying to tap into. The consumerist idea is the only similarity to Hostel. The two films are totally different and Martyrs has a lot more depth and levels to it than Hostel does.

This film may not mean that much to you if you've had a life without depression or severe trauma, but for people who have experienced such things, I have a feeling they may get this film a lot more.

Thanks for making such a brilliant film which touches many emotions and depths.
Last edited by BabyJaneHudson on Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by glider » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:03 pm

For me there were several moments that packed a huge emotional punch - Lucie asking her personal demon for forgiveness / her survivor's guilt; Anna also seeking forgiveness for her doubts; Anna's frustrated attempts to offer relief to the woman she discovers; Anna talking to herself during her ordeal. These moments were intrinsically linked to very fine performances, careful scoring and a precise structure.

Thank you Frightfest, it has been quite a while since a film has affected me in this way, which is probably for the best.
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Post by The Aylmer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:27 pm

streetrw wrote: But I'm not sure whether it justifies the film's focus on the suffering they're inflicting. Martyrs isn't about profound philosophical questions that have haunted mankind since the dawn of time. It's about people who are trying to answer those questions by means of extreme cruelty, but I think the focus of the movie lies too much with the lipsmacking violence and not with the philosophy.
I'd half agree with that. The Organisation are certainly using the most extreme methods possible to look for answers, making their actions unacceptable regardless of their motivation. But so far as the film and it's excessive, possibly unwarranted, depiction of that violence goes a case could be argued for its inclusion. It 'could' be argued Anna's torture is meant to be seen from a more abstract viewpoint i.e. she's a Christ-like figure (which is possible given the slight religious overtones of the film) who represents not one person but all the people the Organisation have tortured and killed over the years. And further to that you 'could' argue with all the pain and suffering in the world this one person represents all of that, hence the extremes she's put through. A bit like Christ taking all the suffering of the world on his shoulders. And you 'could' argue putting that much pain across in 100 minutes requires some excessive visuals and lengthy sequences of suffering. Which is what we get. I'm not necessarily saying that's what I believe was intended, or (if it was) it was the only way director Pascal Laugier could get the idea across. Mainly because the 'abstract' approach only just struck me a few minutes ago! But it's not implausible, especially when you consider we almost got a 2001 lightshow inside Anna's eyeball at the end there. In other words, I'm not sure either...

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Post by Khouri » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:40 pm

I must admit that I did like this film, but I can’t understand why it has previously had such a controversial reaction. It was well shot and I enjoyed the story. Elements of it I found original and pretty creepy such as the dead girl running about at the beginning of the film (I have to admit that I had some messed up dreams about dead girls in my room in HH that night!). I did think that the imprisonment and the physical violence reminded me a bit of V for Vendetta but overall I enjoyed the film

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