Film Club - Morvern Callar

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Davey the Fat Boy
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 19 Nov 2008, 17:09

Samoan wrote:
The RightGraduate Profile wrote:
It's been a while since I last read the book, but one thing that struck me is how "glitchy" and "associative" narrative was-


I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about . My background is in science and social science . I love cinema but when I read this it is quite meaningless .

How do I know you're not re-hashing your uni lecture notes , or cherry-picking from every review ever written ? Perhaps there is truly original and inventive thought being expressed here ? I don't know .

I'm sorry I've alighted on this post and on this board member . Please don't take it personally . It is purely to illustrate a point . For my part , as a social sciences graduate , I feel increasingly divorced from partaking in Film Club . I know about montage and mise en scene , but I also know what really moves me both on paper and in cinematography .

No disrespect to Duck for launching Film Club .
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You pulled a sentence out of context that RGP expanded on in the next sentence. Read in context what he said was:

It's been a while since I last read the book, but one thing that struck me is how "glitchy" and "associative" narrative was- it seemed to flick from event to event without ever really getting a fair handle on what she actually felt.


That seems pretty clear to me.

Film Club is a work in progress. If you would like to see less film jargon and more of a focus on how a film effects you emotionally, push the conversation that way. I know I'd value that perspective.
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Snarfyguy
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Snarfyguy » 19 Nov 2008, 17:38

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Is it possible that the director simply wanted us to see Morvern as a girl who lacked the ability to figure out how to deal with loss?

Oh yeah, I think that interpretation is totally valid. But I also think the director left a lot of wiggle room in the character for us to muse on and that no single reading of her is necessarily the "right" one.

I saw her as kind of a cipher or blank slate.
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Samoan
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Samoan » 19 Nov 2008, 18:52

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:


You pulled a sentence out of context that RGP expanded on in the next sentence. Read in context what he said was:

It's been a while since I last read the book, but one thing that struck me is how "glitchy" and "associative" narrative was- it seemed to flick from event to event without ever really getting a fair handle on what she actually felt.


That seems pretty clear to me.

That was my point . It's not clear to me . For me a glitch is a sticky problem and the narrative is the story . I've no idea what the adjective 'associative' in describing a narrative is meant to demonstrate . (I do realise he made a typo by ommision ). Surely it means a connected story ?

Hence , I highlighted a sentence which didn't seem to have any link with the one which followed it . The second sentence was perfectly comprehensible , so to me , I wasn't taking it out of context at all.

I do note your comments about the early days of Film Club , however .

Nonetheless , as I've said to The Duck before , if you haven't studied Film at some level it is extremely challenging to convey your thoughts and opinions meaningfully in the written form . I told him about a Film Studies course I took when I was unable to even begin an essay as I hadn't written anything that wasn't scientific since O Levels (aged 16).
Last edited by Samoan on 19 Nov 2008, 19:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Snarfyguy
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Snarfyguy » 19 Nov 2008, 19:21

Samoan wrote:That was my point . It's not clear to me . For me a glitch is a sticky problem and the narrative is the story . I've no idea what the adjective 'associative' in describing a narrative is meant to demonstrate .

The word glitch can refer to weird blips or flukes that are not immediately recognized but are manifested only later. I take Profile to be commenting here on the elusive quality of the narrative.

And I believe he means associative rather than causative, i.e. not connected rationally, but by association.

The narrative doesn't turn on a series of escalating events, one triggering the next, as much as it does on juxtapositions or connections, so a bug walking under a door is followed by a person walking through a doorway.

Samoan wrote:I highlighted a sentence which didn't seem to have any connection with that which followed it . The second sentence was perfectly comprehensible . So to me I wasn't taking anything out of context at all .


Profile's one of the best writers on film here (and better than most published critics, to my mind). And even though he'll be the first one to apologize for not being more clear, I wish your tone didn't seem to insinuate that he's talking shit.
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby The Write Profile » 19 Nov 2008, 22:24

snarfyguy wrote:The word glitch can refer to weird blips or flukes that are not immediately recognized but are manifested only later. I take Profile to be commenting here on the elusive quality of the narrative.

And I believe he means associative rather than causative, i.e. not connected rationally, but by association.

The narrative doesn't turn on a series of escalating events, one triggering the next, as much as it does on juxtapositions or connections, so a bug walking under a door is followed by a person walking through a doorway.


Yes, and that's exactly the context I was using it in.

Sorry to Samoan if it wasn't exactly clear at first- I couldn't quite think of a better way to describe it. I admit my writing style on this board (and sometimes in published reviews) can get a bit erm, dense, I don't mean to put you off. I really enjoy your posts on film in the DVD thread, btw- you're certainly more direct than I am!
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Jeemo
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Jeemo » 28 Nov 2008, 22:04

Bought this today £3 in Fopp, it better be worth it. Will report back later.
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Jeff K » 01 Dec 2008, 14:37

Jeemo wrote:Bought this today £3 in Fopp, it better be worth it. Will report back later.


Either the film was so brilliant that you had to keep watching it over and over before forming an opinion or it was so bad that you couldn't bring yourself to write anything about it.

Still, your verdict would be most welcomed.
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Jeemo » 02 Dec 2008, 22:43

Jeff K wrote:
Jeemo wrote:Bought this today £3 in Fopp, it better be worth it. Will report back later.


Either the film was so brilliant that you had to keep watching it over and over before forming an opinion or it was so bad that you couldn't bring yourself to write anything about it.

Still, your verdict would be most welcomed.


Havent watched it yet, been studying for my SVQ.
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Ranking Ted
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Ranking Ted » 03 Dec 2008, 00:02

Jeemo wrote:Bought this today £3 in Fopp, it better be worth it. Will report back later.

Me too (only I bought it today). Haven't read the rest of the thread as I want to watch it 'cold'. Although finding time may be a problem...

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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby Jeemo » 04 Dec 2008, 10:07

I watched this last night. It is still running in my head, some great scences but by the finish it was that open ended that I wasnt sure what to think. Morton was very good as was the sound and cinematography but I just didnt buy the dead boyfriend. I have the feeling that bits of it will be running in my head for quite a while yet.
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby The Write Profile » 24 Jan 2009, 22:44

I've just been re-reading the book, and perhaps one of the more striking things about the film is what they left out. In the book, Morvern's foster father plays a very large role, and much of the middle section revolves around her somewhat uneasy section between his new partner and Morvern. I'm not sure whether it would made Morvern more sympathetic if this was a focus in the film, perhaps, in an odd way, it would've made her more unknowable- which is to say, how can she react so callously to the suicide of her boyfriend when she's clearly capable of warmth and intimacy with her foster dad? Also, the suicide note in the book is much longer, and essentially puts all the blame on himself and says she's a good person, whereas the note in the film is fundamentally patronising ("you wouldn't understand"). Again, it's hard to know whether this changes our relationship to Morvern or not, perhaps it would've made her even harder to relate to.

Also, you find out a lot about their backstory in the book- it turns out he's eight years older than her, and they got together when she was 16, after working at the supermarket after dropping out of school. Morvern, at the start of the book, is 22. Apparently, he largely had a good relationship with the foster dad, too. In the film you've got no idea how long they'd been together, and what the situation was that brought them there. Which again, has the effect of making the film more of a blank slate to draw on.

Finally, perhaps the most surprising divergence is in the respective conclusions of the novel and the film. In the very last line of the novel we discover that Morvern became pregnant after sleeping with someone after a rave, in the film, it's left out in the open as to what is going to happen next to her. Why did Ramsay decide to do away with this revelation altogether? Is it because this would seem like too big a deal after what has largely been a very stripped-back, minimalist narrative?

I think what the film captures of the book very well is its essentially unknowable quality, its "glitchy" prose and associative narrative, as I put it. What it does is complicate this even further by parsing back the narrative to its absolute bare bones, regarding even Morvern's backstory as an unnecessary complication. Above all, it captures the novel's sense of both drawing the reader right into the story (its prose is sometimes wincingly intimate) and pushing them far away (we can never quite figure out where Morvern stands, or what she's thinking). It's hell of an achievement.

Ironically, the area in which the film is most faithful is in its music selection-many of the songs played in the film were already in the book- Morvern's constantly making mixtapes in the novel, and so there are quite a few different tracklists throughout. The book, incidentally, is dedicated to Holger Czukay of Can.

I realise I'm concentrating on the differences between the source material and the film here, but I feel they're interesting, because it shows how Ramsay went even further than the novel in ommitting things. I liked snarfy's comparison to Antonioni's the Passenger- the film did remind me of Antonioni's own approach to filmmaking at times, not least the long, aloof takes which draw you into a particular moment and pull you away once you realise the director isn't going to give you any visual clues as to how to feel towards the scene, rather you're meant to just absorb the visuals. There's the same element in the performances, too, think of the closed-off nature of Morvern and her roleplaying throughout the film. (Similar to how Nicholson's character assumes the identity of a supposedly dead man in the Passenger)
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Re: Film Club - Morvern Callar

Postby The Modernist » 13 Aug 2010, 12:01

bump for moving