840 The Executioner

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29021
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#26 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:34 pm

The Almodovar interview isn't even four minutes long...

User avatar
Ribs
Posts: 2917
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#27 Post by Ribs » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:04 pm

It's a bit disappointing, but the fact this whole release is happening at all still makes me so overjoyed. I believe I said back when Emigrants was announced it's hard to imagine anything beating it out for release of the year due to sheer scarcity/being so long overdue but Berlanga could really fit that bill for me once this releases. This is the only Berlanga I've seen, but I'm really looking forward to diving into the catalog on Filmstruck when it launches ahead of this release; the transfer looks fantastic and the other supplements sound great, though.

Tropical Kaiju
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:19 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#28 Post by Tropical Kaiju » Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:55 pm

Ribs wrote:It's a bit disappointing, but the fact this whole release is happening at all still makes me so overjoyed. I believe I said back when Emigrants was announced it's hard to imagine anything beating it out for release of the year due to sheer scarcity/being so long overdue but Berlanga could really fit that bill for me once this releases. This is the only Berlanga I've seen, but I'm really looking forward to diving into the catalog on Filmstruck when it launches ahead of this release; the transfer looks fantastic and the other supplements sound great, though.
Do try to get to "PLACIDO" (1961) first, although I guess it might be somewhat challenging when you take into account cultural differences and the social mores from late fifties Spain. It plays like a proto-Altman satire. I hope some film scholar tackles the similarities between them. I think they are very striking. Be on the look out for a scene where 20-plus characters (saw this a while ago, might be more or less) interact in a small apartment, in a single shot. Amazing stuff.

User avatar
Fred Holywell
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:45 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#29 Post by Fred Holywell » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:05 pm


User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29021
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#30 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:56 pm

I think rohmerin is dead-on in describing this film’s sense of comedy as being of a piece of the contemporary Italian directors of the 60s. That’s not a compliment. As with many of those films, I sat stone-faced throughout this picture and did not even smile once, much less laugh. I guess if endless scenes of a character being flustered or frustrated get your sides a achin', you'll be in for a real treat here. The film takes nearly an hour to even introduce the first of its scant two comic ideas, which are solid in theory, but the film does nothing with them
SpoilerShow
Those ideas being: One, a reluctant executioner goes around town intervening in potentially violent altercations to avoid anyone committing an offense he’d have to execute them for. Two, the executioner has to be dragged to the execution like a condemned man. Both could be really funny moments, especially the former, with all its potential for comic extrapolation. Neither is even remotely amusing here.
Almodovar is enthusiastic about the film in his brief extra, and I admit freely that Berlanga is a skillful filmmaker. While I didn’t appreciate what he did here, I would happily give him another chance on the strength of his ability. But if this truly is a touchstone film for Spaniards as Almodovar claims, clearly we have a culture gap I can’t even begin to comprehend.

User avatar
FrauBlucher
Posts: 3041
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: 840 The Executioner

#31 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:59 am


User avatar
Max von Mayerling
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:02 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

Re: 840 The Executioner

#32 Post by Max von Mayerling » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:13 pm

I watched this last night and think it is pretty amazing. As I was watching it, and even right after it ended, I wasn't sure what to make of it. But it has preoccupied me since. In my opinion, it is somewhat misleading to characterize it as black humor or as a comedy. As Cairns notes in the first sentence of his essay, you could say that it is "a one-joke comedy and that the joke isn't funny." It I think is more like some kind of black absurdity or a kind of horror of the everyday. (It doesn't really seem at all like a horror in the sense of genre because the horror is all so normalized.) It also made me think of Kafka - particularly "The Trial." My speculation is that the film does not venture very far into actual jokes or humor because they don't want to give you much relief from the nonchalantly oppressive momentum of the narrative. At times while I was watching it, I was wondering what the main character's problem was and why he couldn't just do what needed to be done - and then afterward it dawned on me that perhaps this very attitude of mine was part of the horror that the film was exploring.
SpoilerShow
I think that maybe another way to think about the film is as a crime narrative focusing on a murder where practically the only person who considers the murder a problem is the murderer - everybody else acts like this is just the normal way that society operates. (I guess the victim probably does not want to be murdered, although you never actually see or hear from the victim, and others imply that he wants the murder to take place (although they have obvious motivations for misrepresenting this).)

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29021
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#33 Post by domino harvey » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:30 pm

A noble defense, but I don't know how you can argue that the film isn't a comedy, when everything about it, from performance to narrative to tone to direction, points to it being one-- this just seems like an odd excuse for not finding it funny

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: 840 The Executioner

#34 Post by rohmerin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:46 am

Yes, Berlanga's humour is very dark.
Imagine that in 1985 he finally could make a comedy about Spanish Civil War, and it's hilarious (for Spaniards).

Some examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QERcWMVP5Rk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: 840 The Executioner

#35 Post by rohmerin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:05 am

Congrats: Oscar nominee Placido region free Blu Ray has got English subtitles.



https://www.amazon.es/Pl%C3%A1cido-Blu- ... s=berlanga

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14107
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: 840 The Executioner

#36 Post by knives » Sun Jul 16, 2017 4:30 pm

I'll join the chorus of people who find this mildly amusing, but are utterly puzzled by the love Spaniards give to it. Even at only 90 minutes the film seems at least thirty too long. Also while I love the Sicilian comedies this has so much in common with I found this to be rather a milquetoast example of that method with too soft an edge to be particularly biting (Max's defense is dead on in what the film is aiming for, but it is too down to earth for that to work).

User avatar
rohmerin
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: 840 The Executioner

#37 Post by rohmerin » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:06 pm

Too long? So, there's a cultural gap with English speaking people.
May be it's only for "Eurolatins" (French included).

Post Reply