Martyrs

The 2008 offerings once more walk among us.
steve806
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Most important film of the weekend?

Post by steve806 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:48 am

I thought I would wait a couple of days before posting to see if martyrs did generate the expected divided opinions.

I think it was the most important film of the weekend because it did what all truly great cinema does, it provokes discussion and divides opinion. If you check the forum you will see this thread has by far the most entries of all the weekends films.

No point in going through my opinions about what it meant as many have already said it all. For me Voor got it pretty spot on.

For me I know it was the best/most important film of the weekend because it is the only one that still enters my thoughts few days later. Like many I felt dissappointed at the end of the movie because I didnt feel it was as extreme as it was hyped. But it came to me later, I found my thoughts returning to it 2 days later and many times since. Has anyone else found this?

I am uncomfortable that some have considered it torture porn. I believe it has an clear distinction from that sub genre in that in martyrs nobody takes any pleasure from the torture, the torture is a function of an experiment and the torturers give no hint of emotion, positive or negative.

Martyrs did remind me of another film in regard of how it made me feel and how the audience reacted to it. I recall seeing Nacho Creda's Aftermath at Eurofest many years ago and it was the fact that the violence was so matter of fact, so normal, without any sense of pleasure from the perpeutator (look closely and you will see that the autopsy doctor does not appear to be enjopying himself). Much as with Martyrs I left the screen thinking it was just gore but later it came back to me and I realised it was about more than that, the gore was just a vehicle taking you to a destination. Martyrs made me feel the same way.

Also, I think the clinicality is part of the effect. I believe most of the torture porn movies (feel free to correct me if I am wrong) take place in dirty, grimy surroundings whereas Martyrs (and Aftermath) take place in clinical, clean surroundings (the torture room is pristine unlike say the booths in Hostel). I think this heightens the effect of the violence and gore. Actually I am sure there were films with a much higher gore count over the weekend but Martyrs was clinical and not leery or voyeuristic which made it all the more powerful. It was real violence, no beheadings, intestine spilling, eye popping - instead we got shotgun wounds, self mutilation (razors/knives), beatings and degredation - more real and as a consequence I believe more affecting. Granted the flaying couldnt be described as real but by that point in the film we could have believed it possible.

Anyway, thats my thoughts. Feel free to agree/disagree present another view - I suspect the martyrs conversation will go on for some time.

Thanks to the team for another great weekend of movies and I look forward to the big 10.

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Post by SnrDouche » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:11 pm

Absolutely amazed by these opinions about it being challenging and clever. It was pretentious, complete garbage, badly acted with utterly weak twists and a bizzarely pointless "shocking" finale. Suprised so many saw it in a positive light. Ah well I guess that's the great thing about opinions...

As for people running out sick :roll: Pull the other one :lol:

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Re: Most important film of the weekend?

Post by BabyJaneHudson » Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:59 pm

[quote="steve806"]
I am uncomfortable that some have considered it torture Prawn. I believe it has an clear distinction from that sub genre in that in martyrs nobody takes any pleasure from the torture, the torture is a function of an experiment and the torturers give no hint of emotion, positive or negative.

I agree. Im pretty surprised about the connection between this and torture porn as well. I don't see the connection at all. Why was it pornographic? Because she eventually had her clothes removed? I didn't for a second feel that the director was trying to encourage us to get off on the brutality.

This film is like a good piece of art or Marmite. You either love it or you hate it. Whatever your feelings are, you feel them strongly. I haven't seen many if any in-between or half-hearted reactions so far and that is a good thing. If this was genuine crap, we wouldn't be talking about it as much as we are and with such passion.

Excellent Film.
BLANCHE: You wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if I weren't still in this chair!

BABYJANE: BUT YOU ARE BLANCHE! YOU ARE IN THAT CHAIR!

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Post by Grindhouse » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:06 pm

4 days later and martyrs is still whizzing round my head incredible film with so much power.
but it raises questions,how much protracted punishment can the physical body take without killing the physical body and the soul remains intact before it leaves the body,even though her spirit is broken her soul isnt and it bares witness to the other side making her a martyr.
i dont think it was unreal in its portrayal of such things and its certainly not close to being like hostel.
martyrs is a thing of beauty as well as ugliness.
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Post by MaxRenn » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:22 pm

What do we think to the chances of Martyrs getting through the BBFC with an uncut 18?

I actually think it should do okay, due in part to the obvious seriousness of the film. I think Inside would be more likely to hit snags. Optimum were listed as the distributor in the FrightFest programme, anyone have any idea of thier release plans?

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Post by sherbetbizarre » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:28 pm

In France they appealed the 18 rating and won.

It's out next week there as a 16.

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Post by MaxRenn » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:48 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:In France they appealed the 18 rating and won.

It's out next week there as a 16.
I heard that had happened, getting an 18 rating in the first place in France is pretty amazing though, if you look at the list of French 18 certificated films they are 90% pRon

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Post by steve806 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:50 pm

Wholeheartedly agree with baby jane, it is a brave and important film and thats why it provokes such extreme responses.

And Grindhouse, you made a point that should have been obvious to me but didnt click until I read your post. It is a beautiful film.

I hope it does get a UK release uncut. People should see this film and I am sure it will cause further debate and disgust/admiration.

Cant wait for the Daily Mail to go off on one.

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Post by lupogirl » Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:54 pm

This was very much a highly anticipated film which came with warnings that it would very disturbing.

Certainly been thinking about this film.

I already braced myself to be appalled of what I was about to see. From the beginning to the family being shot and then a woman systematically tortured to be totally submissive was disturbing. The overall ending of her to be used as vessel to see if there was a afterlife. Did leave me quizzical.

Her overall appearance at the end did remind me Frank of Hellraiser. I was more disturbed by last years Girl Next Door.

I did enjoy this film. Nicely acted and paced but does seem disjointed from the subject matter at the start to the head scratch at the end.
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Post by scrobble » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:36 pm

sherbetbizarre wrote:I had more of a problem with the writer of "Let The Right One In" saying you were "evil" if you didn't like the movie. I know he did not mean that literally... but are you a bad person for having an opinion? :)
It just came across as a humorous comment to me, I don't think he was serious...

I wasn't disgusted by Martyrs, it didn't feel like the most extreme or shocking thing I've seen in a film.

I'm not sure what the most brutal/hard to watch thing I've seen is, but definitely up there are parts of Ichi the Killer and the scene early on in 'Wild at Heart' when Nicolas Cage smashes that guy's head against the wall - that really shocks me every time I see it.
If you cut off my head, what would I say... Me and my head, or me and my body? What right has my head to call itself me?

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Post by steve806 » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:06 pm

for me the most shocking scene ever in a film is the kerb scene in American History X and you dont even see it.

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Post by AndyJWS » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:29 pm

Well, I have to say that I'm not a fan of the usual Hostel subgenre, but with Martyrs I was gripped from start to finish. I wasn't that surprised that ultimately it wasn't as stomach churning as expected (feared?) but the gripping story and theme left a far more pertinent psychological impression (much more so thn Girl Next Door which I hated last year)...

Do think that it could have done with trimming to the beatings in the second half, whilst I can see that they are intended to go on just far enough to make you disturbed at the repetivity, surely the film's audience will be familiar enough with Pavov's Dogs to have got the point early enough that it will be erring towards boredom rather than discomfort...

Oh, and bad taste TShirt design for next year:

"Dude, I could have eaten during Martyrs!" :D
"There is no Good, there is no Evil... There is only flesh..."

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Re: Most important film of the weekend?

Post by DavieT » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:45 pm

steve806 wrote:I am uncomfortable that some have considered it torture Prawn. I believe it has an clear distinction from that sub genre in that in martyrs nobody takes any pleasure from the torture
The sheer clinical, detached and emotion-free way that Anna is tortured is for me is much worse than torture where someone takes pleasure from the act. From my perspective taking pleasure from the act recognises that its a living, breathing human being tortured wheras the clinical approach reduces Anna to the status of a worthless piece of meat and this the thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth - ie the de-humanising. I have no tolerance for brutality in the dubious name of "entertainment/pleasure" as in Hostel and equally no tolerance for the clinical variety as portrayed in Martyrs - this is why I personally put it in the same pot as torture porn.

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TORTURE PORN LABEL UNJUSTIFIED

Post by BabyJaneHudson » Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:16 am

DavieT wrote:
The sheer clinical, detached and emotion-free way that Anna is tortured is for me is much worse than torture where someone takes pleasure from the act. From my perspective taking pleasure from the act recognises that its a living, breathing human being tortured wheras the clinical approach reduces Anna to the status of a worthless piece of meat and this the thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth - ie the de-humanising. I have no tolerance for brutality in the dubious name of "entertainment/pleasure" as in Hostel and equally no tolerance for the clinical variety as portrayed in Martyrs - this is why I personally put it in the same pot as torture Prawn.
I don't really think that you could give someone more credit for obviously enjoying torturing someone as opposed to someone who commits the same act, but in a more clinical and less emotional way. Just because you are openly enjoying hurting someone, doesn't mean that you recognise or respect their humanity more than the person who does the same, but with cold detachment.

I don't see how Anna is viewed as a piece of meat other than by her abusers. The point isn't to entertain. The point couldn't be further from that. The film is in your face, because it needs to be. Looking at something bleak doesn't mean that you become part of that thing. If it was a snuff movie, then you would definitely be correct in what you say, but it isn't snuff. When you start licking your lips and getting sexually excited by watching brutal scenes, then thats when you are indeed viewing something as porn.

If you are saying you have no tolerance for brutality in the name of entertainment, then you could pretty much accuse most of the films at FrightFest as being torture porn as they had brutality, gore and violence in abundance and people laughed when it came on screen. I didn't hear anyone laughing during martyrs or more to the point having an orgasm.
BLANCHE: You wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if I weren't still in this chair!

BABYJANE: BUT YOU ARE BLANCHE! YOU ARE IN THAT CHAIR!

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Re: TORTURE Prawn LABEL UNJUSTIFIED

Post by DavieT » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:14 am

BabyJaneHudson wrote:
DavieT wrote:
The sheer clinical, detached and emotion-free way that Anna is tortured is for me is much worse than torture where someone takes pleasure from the act. From my perspective taking pleasure from the act recognises that its a living, breathing human being tortured wheras the clinical approach reduces Anna to the status of a worthless piece of meat and this the thing leaves a nasty taste in my mouth - ie the de-humanising. I have no tolerance for brutality in the dubious name of "entertainment/pleasure" as in Hostel and equally no tolerance for the clinical variety as portrayed in Martyrs - this is why I personally put it in the same pot as torture Prawn.
I don't really think that you could give someone more credit for obviously enjoying torturing someone as opposed to someone who commits the same act, but in a more clinical and less emotional way. Just because you are openly enjoying hurting someone, doesn't mean that you recognise or respect their humanity more than the person who does the same, but with cold detachment.

I don't see how Anna is viewed as a piece of meat other than by her abusers. The point isn't to entertain. The point couldn't be further from that. The film is in your face, because it needs to be. Looking at something bleak doesn't mean that you become part of that thing. If it was a snuff movie, then you would definitely be correct in what you say, but it isn't snuff. When you start licking your lips and getting s*x excited by watching brutal scenes, then thats when you are indeed viewing something as Prawn.

If you are saying you have no tolerance for brutality in the name of entertainment, then you could pretty much accuse most of the films at FrightFest as being torture Prawn as they had brutality, gore and violence in abundance and people laughed when it came on screen. I didn't hear anyone laughing during martyrs or more to the point having an orgasm.
BabyJane the point I was making was this is how I personally saw it which is not the same as commenting on what genre classification this fits into. Youre interpreting my comment of "no tolerance for brutality" in a literal and absolute way - I'm referring to my personal boundaries of what I classify as acceptable and not acceptable - the brutality in movies like Martyrs and Hostel and also last years Girl Next Door and Seed (hammer scene) crosses over that boundary, the majority of the movies shown at FF this year and in the previous 5 I've been to dont come anywhere close to that. The Daily Mail and the Mary Whitehouses of this world would dismiss the whole of FF as torture porn but I'm certainly not one of those.

My viewpoint remains the same. I dont view Martyrs as "important", definitely not "something than needed to be made", or "profound" - I save those words for real-life events. At the same time I appreciate that we all see things in very different ways and I'm not saying I'm "right" in my views and personal interpretations and you or anyone else is "wrong" -just different.

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