Everything has been undone, everything has been forgiven

<sobri> just went and saw battle royale at the film fest
<robyn Oh yeah, I saw the trailer for that on Thursday. How was it?
<sobri> good. fourth time i’ve seen it i think. but good to see it on the big screen
<sobri> actually i’m pretty sure they cut one bit. a bit which changed the story subtly too :-/
<robyn> I saw “Irreversible” today.
<sobri> what’s that one about?
<robyn> Anal sex.
<sobri> excellent
<robyn> The whole film is a metaphor for anal sex.
<robyn> And it’s told in reverse, a bit like “Memento”.
<sobri> might have to see that one then
<robyn> It was only on once
<sobri> arrr
<sobri> was it good?
<robyn> Very very very very very controversial.
<sobri> why, because it’s about anal sex??
<robyn> Mainly for two reasons:
<robyn> 1. A woman is brutally anally raped. It’s a 9 minute scene in which the camera remains still while she’s raped and then beaten. There are no cuts in that part, no diversions. It’s like actually watching a woman being raped.
<sobri> heavy
<robyn> 2. Later (earlier), her boyfriend finds the man who raped her (except he gets the wrong guy) and tries to give him the bash. The guy ends up beating him a bit, but the boyfriend’s friend comes along and repeatedly hits the guy in the face with a fire extinguisher.
<robyn> The guy’s face ends up looking like something from rotten.com
<sobri> christ
<sobri> very graphic then huh
<robyn> Oh yeah, it’s really intense. A few people walked out (but not as many as overseas reviews have reported)
<sobri> so what’s your opinion, was it justified? was it necessary to have the harsh scenes? did they add to the story?
<robyn> Ant Timpson got up on stage before the film and warned people what kind of film it was.
<sobri> were you shocked by them?
<robyn> It was really horrible to watch
<sobri> can imagine
<robyn> But the interesting thing was that as the film goes on and earlier stuff is shown, it’s happier, less troubled. It ends up with the guy and his girlfriend fooling around in bed, happy, in love. Then she discovers she’s pregnant.
<sobri> so these are flashbacks to before the rape?
<sobri> ?
<robyn> No, the story’s told in reverse.
<sobri> ah
<sobri> so .. but .. you see the rape before you see the guys beating the shit out of the supposed rapist?
<robyn> No, you don’t know exactly why they’re beating the guy up.
<sobri> ah.
<robyn> So it’s like “woah, what’s he done!”
<sobri> did the backwards story telling work?
<robyn> Yeah it was easy to follow. The happy scenes at the end of the film were almost sad because of the fact that the happy couple would end up only hours later with the woman raped and the guy being a killer.
<sobri> hm. interesting
<robyn> The last thing in the film was a blank screen that flashed like a strobe and pounding noise, like a helicopter that got louder and suddenly stopped. Then people were kind of staggering out of the Civic not really knowing what to think or feel.
<sobri> so what do you think about the graphicness of it though?
<robyn> You know how sometimes watching a violent movie can be exhilarating?
<robyn> Like “woo, yeah, smash him!!!”
<sobri> uh huh
<robyn> It wasn’t like that. It was almost like “Shit, stop him!”
<robyn> It also meant that it wasn’t really glamourised violence or rape.
<sobri> interesting that they had it on the same night as battle royale then. in that battle royale is the opposite sensation from graphic violence. you watch these kids brutally kill each other, and laugh
<robyn> That would have been fun.
<sobri> good point. deglamourising the violence is something that should be done so much more in movies
<robyn> There was a small moment of humour in the film: The nightclub where the beating took place was called “Rectum”
<sobri> so .. how does it all relate back to anal sex
<sobri> or were you just having me on
<robyn> No no, it’s a metaphor.
<sobri> how so
<robyn> There were lots of red tunnels in the film.
<robyn> Anal sex can be simultaneously painful and pleasurable.
<sobri> uh huh
<robyn> It was kind of about that.
<robyn> Like, if a man has anal sex with a woman, he’s getting something out of it and she’s getting very little out of it.
<sobri> but .. how does the plot fit with anal sex? i don’t see the connection
<sobri> well, depends how much she enjoys anal sex
<robyn> Ok, it keeps coming up. Like, there’s the Rectum club (a gay S&M club), the guy asks his girlfriend if she’ll have bumsex with him, and little things like someone describes a situation as being a “pain in the arse”.
<sobri> so .. it sounds as though anal sex was a theme of the movie. but i don’t see the metaphore
<robyn> Maybe I’m using the wrong word?
<robyn> Like, it was a literal theme, but also a metaphorical theme.
<sobri> did the rape and beating scenes have any message? was it like it was saying it’s a shit world, and we make it worse by reacting to it? or something else? or no message at all. just raw experience?
<robyn> Well it wasn’t “Rape is not kewl!!!”
<robyn> I think it was “This is what it’s really like.”
<sobri> heh
<robyn> This is how shit things can be.
<sobri> mm. kinda like kids, but more graphic
<robyn> Yeah, it is a bit like that.
<robyn> The Salon reviewer talks about how it ends on a happy note: “[The Director] Noé has fucked us up the ass and made us like it.”

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