Brows Held High, Ep. 50 - Commentary and Outtakes

(43 votes, average 4.72 out of 5)

Commentary Part 1

Commentary Part 2

Outtakes

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Comments (89)
  • Olaf Smacktard
    At about 15:45 in Part 1 Kyle seems to be mushing two quotes together. There's the one quote that I think he was going for that was "One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." I think it was Joseph Stalin who said that. That seemed to get smushed together with Jean Rostasd's "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god."
  • MichaelGrey
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    I'm going to repeat what I said before. I wanted to slap Kristen's character in the face. As you said, she has a beautiful castle, a fairy tale wedding, a loving husband and caring family, she's at the start of her life, but BOOO HOOOO!!!! Everything sucks! Waaaaa! Waaaaaaaah!

    Has this woman not heard of antidepressant medication? Couldn't she just tell her family she's feeling sick and get some time away to herself? I'm aware the world is not totally equitable all the time and not always sunshine and daisies. But YOU DON'T CHUCK MORALITY OR JOY OR LOVE IN THE GARBAGE JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE FEELING F-----G BLUE!

    I have NO respect for people who are so down and depressed they want to bring the whole world with them. Which is exactly what the director DID in this stupid flick! You barely criticized it at all except for the PHYSICS and the last two minutes of the review! I wanted you to tear into that whining emo so BAD.
  • banditoxreborn
    You have a pretty clear lack of understanding for what depression really is, or what it can do to a person. It's not 'feeling blue' and medication can only do so much. It doesn't matter how nice or horrible your life is, it's about biology. The same as any other genetic diseases, at most it can only be exacerbated by a person's situation. A better situation won't fix something biological.

    I honestly suggest doing a little research. It might give you a little better understanding of the biology behind depression.
  • MichaelGrey
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    A character that does nothing but whine, mope and be pissy and unlikable isn't a good character. It is why people hate Shinji from Evangelion. It is why people mocked Shadow the Hedgehog for his endless whining and angst over Maria. It is why Holden Caulfield is seen as a spoiled, whiny brat. We just want to yell at them to get over themselves because there's more to life than endless gloom and doom. Just because a viewpoint is HONEST that does not make it truthful. I'm sure the people who thought the world was flat and that evolution wasn't real honestly thought those things. But they were still wrong. The same goes for this movie. Even if the message is sincere, the message is still WRONG.
  • The Dubya
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    You fail to grasp basic human chemistry 101, basic HUMANITY 101, sooooooooo I think that kinda renders your argument moot.
  • MichaelGrey
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    But here is the issue. We never learn WHY the main character is depressed. If they had SAID why, I might have been more merciful. Shinji at least had a great responsibility on his shoulder and Shadow loved Maria like she was family. But I cannot sympathize with Justine. We never get an explanation for why she is the way she is. As such, we can't EMPATHIZE with her, we cannot get into her shoe, unless we're as clinically depressed as SHE is. And most people aren't. The goal of a film like this should be to try and get the audience to understand how somebody who is clinically depressed feels. But though it tries to do that as a metaphor, the main character of the entire film screws that up by not being identifiable. We can't relate to someone like her. She is without any sense of hope, any real emotion, any joy or love. She's flat and one note in how she comes across. I can't identify with her. I just feel annoyed with another director who thinks its okay to present another film where the earth is destroyed. I'm getting freakin sick of dystopian and post-apocalyptic stuff. Reeeeeaaally sick. I've seen it all before. OVER AND OVER.

    I no longer have sympathy for their worldview. They might think it is honest. But it is still not valid. Truth means some exclusion. And the truth is, this movie's message is wrong. I wish Kyle had done more to critique it and get that point across.
  • JRodd
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    Depression is often irrational. Sometimes you can't put your finger down on what's motivating it. You can be surrounded by reasons to be happy yet your emotions won't let you appreciate them.

    And a character does not need a rational motivation to be relatable. The reason an audience feels for this character is because they can identify with that inexplicable sorrow that so many people have felt at one time or another.

    Might there be some people who can't relate to that feeling? Yes... but no one character can be relatable to all audiences.

    Also, I find it funny that you question Kyles critique when you so ignorantly call the film WRONG and INVALID. Critique is about being open to ideas and weighing their impact, not proclaiming them right or wrong.

    I'm sorry that Kyles critique did not meet up to your standards. His analysis through a parallel personal crisis said all he needed to say.
  • ohe
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    "I might have been more merciful. Shinji at least had a great responsibility on his shoulder and Shadow loved Maria like she was family."

    You just used those two as examples of how none of those characters deserve any "mercy" as you put it. It's pretty clear that you're just using this community as an outlet for your unreasonable venting.

    Maybe Kirsten Dunst's character hasn't figured out the relieving qualities of being a total douchenozzle on the internet. On a related note, I'm kinda hoping YOU would get too depressed to use a keyboard.
  • MichaelGrey
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    It s pretty clear you didn't bother to read everything I wrote. So I guess we're even. At least I haven't invoked Godwin's Law.
  • ohe
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    Godwin's Law comes into this somehow? Do you have any sense of rhyme or reason or are you just throwing shit around to see how much of it sticks? Obviously you did understand MY point from my courteusly short post as you didn't ask me to clarify anything, but to be frank you're spouting such amounts of nonsense that I simply can't decide what inconsistency to tackle, even though I really did wade through it all. That enthusiasm must come from somewhere so I'm just drawing the most probable conclusion.
  • MichaelGrey
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    How are ANY of my points unreasonable? Dunst's character isn't likable, we can't relate or empathize with her because she feels nothing. The logic of the film is ridiculous, there's NO attention whatsoever given to anybody outside the family, the only relatable character, Claire, is told in no uncertain terms that everything she thinks she knows is wrong solely to squash her spirit, the whole film seems to be made entirely to make us, the audience, suffer, and with no payoff. At least with Shinji and Shadow's stories, there were some kind of reasonable story arcs and payoffs and endings that had meaning. None of that can be found here.

    If the story had been from Claire's perspective as equally as it was with Justine, with her trying to understand Justine and how she feels the way she feels, THAT would have been a story worth telling. But that isn't what the movie is about.
  • Gethenian
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    "We never learn WHY the main character is depressed. If they had SAID why, I might have been more merciful. [...] But I cannot sympathize with Justine. We never get an explanation for why she is the way she is. As such, we can't EMPATHIZE with her, we cannot get into her shoe, unless we're as clinically depressed as SHE is. And most people aren't."

    I really hope this is just phrased badly and not the blatant stupidity it reads as.

    Clinical depression is a chemical imbalance. That is the only "why" that exists for the condition. Yes, there is such a thing as depression that is caused by some external element of a person's life, but that is not the same thing as the disease being addressed in this movie or the commentary.



    "The goal of a film like this should be to try and get the audience to understand how somebody who is clinically depressed feels. "
    IT DID. That is EXACTLY what this movie does! That is what the review did, too!


    "But though it tries to do that as a metaphor, the main character of the entire film screws that up by not being identifiable. We can't relate to someone like her. She is without any sense of hope, any real emotion, any joy or love."

    It does not do that as a metaphor. That is literally a very raw and truthful portrayal of how someone with clinical depression may think or behave. Of course she is without hope, emotionally detached, and lacks any genuine joy or love. *THAT'S WHAT DEPRESSION IS.* Depression is not just "boo hoo poor me I feel sad!" Depression manifests largely through symptoms that much more closely resemble a kind of resigned apathy. People who have depression are often taken to be self-centered and lazy. Depression can feel like sadness, yes, but it can just as often feel like NOTHING. A lack of feeling. A lack of ability to feel.

    That is why the main character is portrayed as behaving in an incredibly irrational and compulsive manner -- sometimes people with depression do things that break social taboos, openly defy the expectations of people around them, or are high-risk activities because they are trying to make themselves feel SOMETHING. Shame, excitement, triumphance, it doesn't matter... the kind of apathy that is associated with depression does not feel GOOD. It doesn't seem freeing to cease to care about anything -- it creates a void that you know instinctively MUST be filled, and the longer a person remains depressed, the more desperate they are likely to become to try to fill that void by increasingly destructive behavior.

    And back to your first comment --


    "Has this woman not heard of antidepressant medication? Couldn't she just tell her family she's feeling sick and get some time away to herself? I'm aware the world is not totally equitable all the time and not always sunshine and daisies. But YOU ...
  • Gethenian
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    DON'T CHUCK MORALITY OR JOY OR LOVE IN THE GARBAGE JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE FEELING F-----G BLUE!"

    She may have heard of it, but people who are depressed don't always realize it. She wasn't "feeling sick." She just WASN'T FEELING. She wasn't chucking anything in the garbage because she was "feeling blue." She was suffering from an inability to comprehend and go through with expected social rituals because she could not empathize. Just like you couldn't empathize with her.

    I wasn't diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (a form of clinical depression) until about 5 months ago. I'm 28 years old. Now that I have a doctor who I can communicate with and figured out there was something wrong, I can recognize retrospectively signs I have been exhibiting as regularly as clockwork for YEARS. But life is so big, full of so much one is expected to do and want and feel, of course I didn't think of myself as having depression, of course I didn't recognize symptoms of it in myself even when I could see them in other people, and of course other people -- even my parents and siblings -- didn't recognize my eccentricities as SYMPTOMS. It was all just shit I was doing because I'm a weird person, because I'm lazy, because I'm a loser, because I'm selfish, because I'm an asshole.

    It was actually Kyle who was the first person in my life to notice a pattern in my behavior and associate it with depression. My diagnosis was a direct result of him JOKINGLY suggesting that I might have "reverse seasonal affective disorder" I mentioned that joke to my doctor, who proceeded to get that "EUREKA" look on her face and explained to me that that actually exists, then ran me through the gauntlet of questioning and gave me an official diagnosis.

    So... actually, yeah, this movie IS honest and valid. And guess what. It was TOTALLY effective on you. You're clearly smart enough to see all the symptoms the director gave that character. You've just listed them. Your only problem is that you are being an asshole about it by assuming that there is nothing to be gained by what you saw because you couldn't EMPATHIZE with it.

    You are now demonstrating one of the biggest reasons why people with depression often don't get treatment. People who aren't depressed can't relate to their perspective and write them off in exactly the way you're doing. You are tethered to the entire world through your emotions to some degree. Your emotions inform the majority of every decision you make on a day to day basis, and are probably often the deciding factor. You expect, you even DEMAND that another person's illness MUST be something you can empathize with. You could empathize with this character if she gave reasons for why she was suffering. You could empathize with this character if she was a weeping, whining, martyred mess. But like most people who have never experienced the full extent of wha...
  • Gethenian
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    "We never learn WHY the main character is depressed. If they had SAID why, I might have been more merciful. [...] But I cannot sympathize with Justine. We never get an explanation for why she is the way she is. As such, we can't EMPATHIZE with her, we cannot get into her shoe, unless we're as clinically depressed as SHE is. And most people aren't."

    I really hope this is just phrased badly and not the blatant stupidity it reads as.

    Clinical depression is a chemical imbalance. That is the only "why" that exists for the condition. Yes, there is such a thing as depression that is caused by some external element of a person's life, but that is not the same thing as the disease being addressed in this movie or the commentary.



    "The goal of a film like this should be to try and get the audience to understand how somebody who is clinically depressed feels. "
    IT DID. That is EXACTLY what this movie does! That is what the review did, too!


    "But though it tries to do that as a metaphor, the main character of the entire film screws that up by not being identifiable. We can't relate to someone like her. She is without any sense of hope, any real emotion, any joy or love."

    It does not do that as a metaphor. That is literally a very raw and truthful portrayal of how someone with clinical depression may think or behave. Of course she is without hope, emotionally detached, and lacks any genuine joy or love. *THAT'S WHAT DEPRESSION IS.* Depression is not just "boo hoo poor me I feel sad!" Depression manifests largely through symptoms that much more closely resemble a kind of resigned apathy. People who have depression are often taken to be self-centered and lazy. Depression can feel like sadness, yes, but it can just as often feel like NOTHING. A lack of feeling. A lack of ability to feel.

    That is why the main character is portrayed as behaving in an incredibly irrational and compulsive manner -- sometimes people with depression do things that break social taboos, openly defy the expectations of people around them, or are high-risk activities because they are trying to make themselves feel SOMETHING. Shame, excitement, triumphance, it doesn't matter... the kind of apathy that is associated with depression does not feel GOOD. It doesn't seem freeing to cease to care about anything -- it creates a void that you know instinctively MUST be filled, and the longer a person remains depressed, the more desperate they are likely to become to try to fill that void by increasingly destructive behavior.

    And back to your first comment --


    "Has this woman not heard of antidepressant medication? Couldn't she just tell her family she's feeling sick and get some time away to herself? I'm aware the world is not totally equitable all the time and not always sunshine and daisies. But YOU ...
  • Gethenian
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    t real clinical depression can do to you, even when you are shown every aspect of the manifestation of this person's illness to a degree that is so brutally accurate as to be uncomfortable to watch, you call her dishonest, untruthful, and a whiny bitch who just needs to get over herself.

    The movie showed you what depression can be. Now use that brain you've demonstrated you DO have and extrapolate from that. You're upset because you can't FEEL with the character. Understand that people with depression who go through that same sense of detachment and apathy are JUST as frustrated by it as you are. That's why our heroine would randomly decide to go piss on a golf course, cheat on her husband on their wedding night, defy expectations of her involvement in rituals, generally seem to behave in ways that make he seem anything from self-centered to straight-up batfuck cuckoopants crazy. Empathize with THAT aspect. Her emotional isolation is simultaneously intolerable and insurmountable to her just as it is to you. The only difference is that while you view her actions from the outside with an emotional investment in her behavior, she views her emotional investment in her world as something that has been severed and is riding a pendulum back and forth between fighting against the entropy disease and trying to force herself to feel through her actions, and giving in to it when she has no more energy or mental capacity to defy it anymore, or has been forced to behave and put on a show of having "gotten over herself" by the people around her who cannot understand what she is going through or how to help her.

    Empathize with the stark reality of her isolation. Empathize with her fucked-up behavior by realizing that she WOULD communicate with the people around her and ask for help if she could. But she can't. They need emotional communication and sincerity to be able to understand. She doesn't have that, Empathize with how devastating and exhausting that must be. Towed of Babel, baby. And just to top it off... because her mind has been effectively put into solitary confinement by cutting off her ability to feel or express or communicate through emotions she KNOWS should be there, her brain has started to do what brains to best -- compensate. That's what the "psychic superpowers" shit was about. When your brain gets cut off from something you psychologically NEED, you begin to compensate and escape through fantasy. She may or may not be aware that she isn't really psychic and doesn't really have superpowers or some kind of Gaia-connection to Melancholia. It doesn't matter whether she is aware of it or not. She is still going to either treat it as reality or EXPERIENCE it as reality, because that's just something that fills the holes where her ability to feel or communicate emotionally should be. If she can't empathize with other people, maybe she can with a planet. And in some strange placebo-effect way, maybe ...
  • Gethenian
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    her investment in that delusion actually DOES make her more calculating and aware in certain ways. Maybe she really CAN "just know" the number of beans in the jar... that number is something that can be condensed into a formula using measurements of volume and the size of the beans and the amount of space physics demands must remain between them... they did it on Mythbusters, it's how you calculate how many ping-pong balls can fit into a fish tank. The human mind figured out how to express that formula in writing. She has a human mind. She could just be either applying the formula she learned in school to the bean jar, or allowing her "intuition" to access her deep subconscious where that level of logic lives and "know" the number because she calculated it using a formula she wasn't consciously aware of knowing or using.

    Most people with depression don't develop superpowers or become mathematical geniuses. THAT part of the movie was a bit hyperbolic and metaphorical. But still only a bit.
  • MichaelGrey
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    Interesting that you use the term delusion. The whole film is deluded to think that the average person can identify with a worldview where everything is meaningless and pointless. No. We can't. I want to, TRY to put myself in her shoes, but because the view on life she has is so VILE, I can't. It isn't valid. I'm sure the people who thought the world was flat were honest in their beliefs. But they were still wrong. Kyle even says at the end of the video that life isn't completely dark, that it is much like the weather. Sunny one day or cloudy the next. In failing to offer up any kind of counter argument or showing more than one side of the story, the film fails. I can't identify with an invalid worldview. I don't sympathize with something so MISANTHROPIC.
  • ohe
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    And now you're even taking delusion to inanimate objects. I can only assume you're from a foreign culture, like a Martian or something, and wildly overconfident about your understanding of the English language.

    Either your thoughts are completely disconnected from what you're actually saying, or what you're trying to say is completely disconnected from reality as convenient science knows it.

    Most of the smart person words you're using simply don't mean what you must think they mean for you to put your words like that.
  • MichaelGrey
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    Your plan of attack is to, rather than actually offer up a direct rebuttal of my points...is to attack grammatical missteps or how I am phrasing my points. That's what people do in an argument when they are totally SCREWED and they know they have no argument!
  • The Dubya
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    You just seem to have a problem with bleak material in general. Material that doesn't have such a kind viewpoint on humanity at large and that just rubs you the wrong way. I mean you DID already explain that that is an issue with you.

    I mean I don't know what else can explain you ignoring damn near everything Ven just said just so you can justify holding your vindictive grudge just because you shouting "Smile, woman!" at the screen for 2 hours didn't work.

    Which...just brings its own set of implications that I'm not even going to get into.

    Once again, continue to be the supporting characters surrounding Justine and hold on to your barely rational grudge for something you've shown you don't understand.
  • MichaelGrey
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    I AGREE with Ven's commentary on humanity for the most part. But this wasn't her review, nor her story. It's Justine's. And, as I said before, she is not a very good protagonist. At all. Nor is this a very good story. It exists solely as a metaphorical art piece. That is IT.

    As I said to the others, if I want a film with good visuals and imagery that has likable, more dynamic characters and fewer issues with logic and physics and plot holes, I'd watch a Pixar movie.
  • Moomoof
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    Ok now you insulted pixar you went too far!!

    -ish joking mostly-.....mostly
  • MichaelGrey
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    I am tethered to my world through my MORALITY. My thoughts can be selfish. M emotions fickle. My moral compass is not. Justine is unidentifiable because her depression has made her amoral. That kind of protagonist reaaaaaaaally is the wrong type of person you want as the main character. If this has been from th perspective of Claire observing and being close to Justine as she is the way she is, THAT would have been a much better film. Showing one character absolutely drowning in sadness, a loss of all that makes her human, with her friend desperately trying, trying SO damn hard just to UNDERSTAND what Justine is going through and trying so hard to help. But that's not what this movie is about.
  • cheshire
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    Ven, as someone who lives with clinical depression and dated someone with RSAD you have my sympathies. I also appreciate you dealing with idiots who think that depression needs a reason, I wonder if they would also ask people with migraines to explain they where hit in the head and thats why they are in pain.
  • MichaelGrey
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    The movie never SAYS she is clinically depressed or how it happened or anything. If it can't get basic astrophysics right, can it at least offer up some explanation for why Justine has the condition she has? How about that?

    Also, a person who doesn't feel anything at all isn't identifiable. This is why doctor Manhattan from Watchmen is the least liked of all the characters. It is why people say they cannot relate to Superman. Because we can't identify with him, he's too far beyond the norm. You need to show why we should care about the character, but if all she is is UNCARING, then all the audience can feel is a lack of emotion. Which should NOT be how you do good films.
  • Gethenian
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    The film isn't asking you to identify with or accept an existentialist point of view. Which, incidentally, I agree with you about -- FUCK existentialism. Camus can suck my dick.

    But there's sort of the problem... countless artists -- especially authors and playwrights -- have shown that although the average person may not be able to identify with that worldview, the average person these days in this country is at the very least expected to learn from it. If you've gotten through 10th or 11th grade in a first-world country school, you have studied at least one existentialist novel or play or film, even if you weren't told that's what it was.

    You don't have to identify with a character to be able to comprehend and get something out of the film. The film does not want you to like Justine. The film wants to examine and portray an accurate and detailed reflection of the experience of depression in both literal and metaphorical ways.

    The film doesn't NEED to say, to your face, in words, that Justine is clinically depressed. It says it in every other way. It says that through her actions and by the name of the planet and the film's own title. Melancholia. That's level 1 interpretation. That's the kind of subtlety people use in books aimed at 3rd graders. "The title of this story is a word that means depression. The main character shows symptoms of depression. Do you think Justine has depression?" (Teacher's guide: "DUH.")

    I don't know where you're getting your definition of how a "good" film "should" be made. Movies are not just about giving the audience a self-insert character starring in a fairy tale. I don't know if you'd noticed, but the point of Brows Held High is to review mostly films that don't meet your arbitrary criteria of being about a main character who audiences (which, I notice, you seem to assume are all always composed primarily of people exactly like you) can care about and relate to.

    A person who doesn't feel anything at all (or seems not to) is VERY identifiable to the right audience. Example: Daria. You know, Doug Walker's favourite TV show of all time? Example 2: Gibbs from NCIS. Example 3 & 4: Data and Spock from Star Trek. Example 5: Sherlock Holmes. Example 6: I'm done giving examples now because you must get the point. Many beloved characters are stoics or depressed or sociopathically detached from the rest of the world. And your example of Superman is a really weird one, given I've never heard anyone complain about not being able to relate to Superman, and also he's one of the oldest and most popular super heroes of all time. People relate to him because he is a person with unusual qualities or talents he must hide from the world during his normal life, who fights for others yet feels estranged and alien (which he is). Lots of people feel that way.
  • Gethenian
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    Lots of people have also felt like Justine, and like Kyle and me. Go look at the places the video was posted. Between TGWTG, Blip, Tumblr, Livejournal, and Facebook there are WELL over 300 comments, almost all of which are from people who identify deeply with this film's apparently VERY SUCCESSFUL attempt to portray the experience of having depression. Note that just about none of these comments say anything about LIKING Justine. This movie is not about Justine. This movie is about depression. Justine is only the vehicle... the embodiment... the example.
  • MichaelGrey
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    "You don't have to identify with a character to be able to comprehend and get something out of the film. The film does not want you to like Justine."

    But if we don't LIKE the protagonist, we cannot get invested in the film the way we should. And I'm sure not gonna watch it for the film's amazingly upbeat and cheery message! If I want a film with beautiful imagery and visuals, I'll watch a Pixar movie. Even THEY'VE got more rounded out and dynamic characters than this film did. As for your list of characters...

    1. Daria was FUNNY. Her antipathy was played for laughs. 2. Never seen NCIS, don't get the reference. Sorry. 3 and 4: The point behind Data and Spock was how much more "human" and more rounded out as characters they became over the series. But Justine doesn't get that big character arc. Also, those guys could be pretty funny too. 5. Sherlock Holmes, again, was funny, he could be positively brilliant and was dedicated to solving crimes and injustices. And he also had several people he showed great care and love for in the many mediums he was in. Take Watson. Or Irene Adler. Justine is just a depressed woman. Who for SOME reason has psychic powers just BECAUSE.

    By the way. I liked how Kyle came off in this and empathized with him and liked HIS performance eighteen times more than I liked the movie he was reviewing. Why? Because I've seen him being something other than depressed! And being HONEST about those emotions and not faking it the way Justine did. I know more than one side to Kyle. We never see any other sides to Justine. Because she's so flat, because the message is so bleak, one-note and hammered into me as "ACCEPT THIS AND SUFFER AS YOU DO", I not only lose my ability to put myself into the character or director's shoes, I'm angry with him for refusing to meet me halfway. If he expects us to even remotely agree with anything the movie has to say, we need to identify with the characters or the message. But the only character that MIGHT be identifiable...all the air goes out of her balloon. The main protagonist isn't gonna fill the void. There's no focus on anybody else outside of the family, meaning we cannot feel the scale of how this affects the globe, another thing that was annoying, and the plot holes and logic of this film are ridiculous.

    You need to put a human face on suffering and depression to make us understand it. But the face the director put forth was this: -_-

    I didn't want to be so down on Kristen Dunst. I LIKE her. A lot. But...this film, it...ugh.
  • MichaelGrey
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    Also...well...

    How am I gonna put this...

    I may recognize that a story like 1984 or Lord of the Flies is "important" to modern fiction and the like. But I'd never want to read them. They're like the kind of medicine you take ONLY because there's just no other choice and you wish you could avoid them like the plague because of how they taste. They might be important to read, but you'd never wanna read them more than once. The same could be said for this movie. Only even then, it's a "this movie is important, and you might not like it, but you should at least see it once" thing is a stretch because of how the film is presented, how the metaphor comes across, of how the message is conveyed.
  • Kumi
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    "But if we don't LIKE the protagonist, we cannot get invested in the film the way we should."

    Seriously? The silliness of this statement in general aside, what's your reality like that you can't understand why the clinically depressed woman wasn't coming off as a particularly likable character?

    I think it's extremely clear to the majority of the people viewing this comment section that you have a very shallow understanding of both depression and what this film was supposed to be. Which of course isn't to say you should have liked it, just that the reasons your giving for why you didn't are absurd.
  • MichaelGrey
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    If the protagonist cannot be related to, sympathized with, empathized with or even admired...then they're not a good protagonist. Period. That's like "Creative Writing 101". This is my issue with the film. I could have been invested in it if we saw Justine being ANYTHING other than depressed. But even when she's trying to fake being happy, she's still depressed, and we don't even get an explanation for why she's depressed! No heart-to-heart with Claire about why she feels the way she feels, nothing. The director couldn't devote a few minutes to maybe explaining why Justine ended up the way she did? Or maybe do the film from the perspective of Claire so more, trying to understand Justine's perspective? I never got that from the movie. Hence, it fails, to me, as a good story. And it's a dishonest piece because depression isn't all there is to life any more than sunshine and rainbows are.

    And before you tell me that there's plenty of adult or artsy movies that are the exact opposite of this movie, let me stop you there. As Kyle himself said, apocalyptic, dystopian and "dark" works are now a very big trend in current culture. I've HEARD this kind of story before. I wanted to be interested in it because the character...I was hoping she'd be interesting. But she's simply too flat, not dynamic or gripping in the slightest. The film's visuals and imagery is beautiful. But that is all it has going for it.
  • Vismutti
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    Aww, Ven... I liked The Stranger... although I was admittedly in a pretty weird mental space when I read it...
  • Falconfly
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    Hey now, existentialism is valid.

    It doesn't equal misanthropic stupidity. At it's core, it's basically questioning the why of your existence without relying on dogma.

    Don't bash an entire umbrella of philosophies just because some fuckwits don't see it in a useful way.
  • DanG25  - The problem here...
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    You want a reason for her depression, not all cases of depression have reasons and the ones that don't are often the worst. I get what your saying but you are so one sided-ly talking about this at the expense of those who can empathize with the character. In short, you want reason where it cannot exist and a person to feel what they cannot, understandable but still just as wrong.
  • cheshire
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    @MichaelGray I don't know why I am depressed, my doctor has some guesses, but other researchers think those guesses are probably wrong(http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/20691744). What I know is that I have a collection of symptoms which thankfully for me are treated with medication. Not ever person with depressions responds to medication.
  • Vismutti
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    I think the problem here might be that you aren't the target audience for the film. (To be fair, I haven't seen it so I'm reserving judgment of the film itself. But I still think you should consider that it just wasn't for you. Not that you aren't allowed to hate it, just try to acknowledge that other people might get more out of it than you.)

    Basically think of it like this: the character isn't relatable to you but she is to people who are like her. And to those people, characters that you find relatable might not be relatable at all. So there are movies for you and there are movies for those people and everybody gets what they want. (I mean, I often find it incredibly hard to relate to main characters who are supposedly "relatable" but who think nothing like me and who I just can't... well, relate to.)
  • Vismutti
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    (Warning: I'm going to indulge in talking about myself here. Feel free to skip if you don't want to read it. I just felt like with all these other people opening up like this here...)

    As a bit of a sidetrack: I think I would be able to relate to Justine (if I dared to watch the movie), or I would have when I was in a worse place than I am now...

    For a long time I was confused because I didn't have a REASON to be depressed. So I figured that I wasn't really, I was just being a lazy, pathetic emo asshole. It's weird, btw, how it creeps up on you, or at least for me it did. First it's pretty mild, just feeling tired and sad a bit too often, then it gets worse, moments of happiness or joy decreasing and then you find yourself in a state where you aren't capable to feel any kind of pleasure anymore. You still try, of course. But nothing works. Sex isn't fun anymore, your favourite TV show, movie and book feel bland and boring, eating is just a compulsion, being in the company of other people is a tiring duty you just do because that's what you're supposed to do. And then you find that the only way to feel any kind of satisfaction is when you physically hurt yourself. So the only mildly positive feeling you have is that. So you start craving worse and worse punishment to fill the void and then you wonder what it would feel like to get hit by a car and how nice it would be to have your bones broken and then you find yourself by the highway, ready to run in front of a truck... And then if you're me, you momentarily regain your survival instinct and run back home and get an appointment to the psychologist because you finally realize that you might be kinda messed up for real.

    ... So, anyway, apparently it's basically that my brain had an abnormally low level of serotonin, which is this little substance that apparently literally is what creates feelings of happiness. So, my brain's happiness-mechanism was broken: it's not just that I wasn't happy, it was that my brain was physically incapable of producing the feeling of happiness. Then I got medication, vacation and therapy. Yay! Now I just need to learn how to function like a normal adult human being. And not let the depression repeat itself.
  • MichaelGrey
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    That, um...kinda undercuts people's point that medication doesn't usually work on people who are so incredibly depressed. You just proved tht in fact, it can.

    But I do sympathize with you because you have put more effort into trying to make your case. This movie didnt feel the need to explain...well, anything, really. Explain, movie! Explain!
  • Vismutti
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    Well... it worked for me. But unfortunately it doesn't work for everybody... I've met people who have wasted years and years trying different medications, none of which seem to have any positive effect. The problem is that we don't really understand the brain yet as well as we'd like. Basically all we've been doing so far is "let's see if this helps". That's part of why mental hospitals used to be so horrifying, because people just tried practically everything, from lobotomy to insulin shock therapy and any chemicals they could come up with, until they finally found something that actually kinda worked for some people. But it still doesn't always work even after all these years.

    Oh, and the nasty part is that for many people, the antidepressants might actually make the depression worse. So it's kind of a gamble...

    Thanks anyway... x) I suppose that's a compliment. Oh and I hope you read my first comment too, though. (Even though, again, I haven't seen the movie myself.)
  • Mav
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    There isn't a reason why she's depressed. That's the point, she has a loving family, she has money out the fucking ass an amazing house and she's STILL ill, that's why people say depression is a disease, they dont just need a slap, the minds are effectively broken and most often need to take pills, just to feel normal.

    There is one thing you have got right though, someone who is mentally sound cannot possibly comprehend what depression feels like but jeez you could at least try! I mean it bares repeating, Justine has EVERYTHING, but she still whines like a child when she gets into a bath and cries because she's not enjoying her meatloaf...doesn't that sound serious to you? Doesn't that sound like something that cannot be solved by a slap?

    "And the truth is, this movie's message is wrong."

    No sir it is not, this is what depression feels like, it is a horrible feeling. At your absolute worst you could have everyone of your loved ones telling you you are the most important person in the world and they will never ever leave you because they want you to be well, and in a depressed persons mind...the sentiment means NOTHING. Because that's the curse of depression, you cannot fill joy when joy is around you. This was clear in the film! Almost hammered in in fact, it's Justine's wedding day, the happiest day in almost anyones life, and just look at her! She's fucking miserable. Because depression wont let her!

    Like i said, the fact that you dont get the character, is understandable, as you are blessed to have never suffered from it. But for the sake of anyone you meet in the future who would not be so lucky, you need to at least try! Because, the idea of someone like your mother, or maybe a sibling or a spouse hearing what you said in your first comment...is frankly frightening to me...
  • DanG25
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    While I respect your right to share your opinion I cannot stand this mocking of people who suffer from depression. It may be easy to say from over there, but those of us who have suffered from depression can tell you it isn't that easy.
  • MichaelGrey
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    I was on Zoloft for months after my parents broke up. And I have autism. But even I grappled with the idea that the deep sorrow and isolation I felt was all there was to life.

    The director does not want us to identify with the characters. He only wishes us to suffer as much as they are. That is beyond disgustingly manipulative. It's offensive. The only character that has any hope is bluntly told by the one she loves most to basically get...well...

    And of course there is the fact the blatantly lie to a child. Who dies horribly along with them. And everyone on earth. All in the name of creating a metaphor for depression whilst making the audience suffer as the director has. As such, I don't have much empathy or sympathy for him either.

    And by the way? To the person above? YEAH! You DO! You DO need a rational reason to relate to a character unless you're watching a cartoon or a deliberate SATIRE. Which the movie wasn't. But because we only see Justine depressed, there is no way for most of us to connect to her. You wouldn't like Spider-man if he was ONLY saving people, the thing that connects him to us is how he is also Peter Parker, an average joe. People don't like Bella because there is no logical reason we would identify with her. The same can be said here.

    Look. I liked Kyle's personal connection to the video and how he related it to his own issues with depression. I find it and the movie it reviewed BEAUTIFULLY shot. The unique scenes of both the bathing in the light of the planet and Kyle in the closet are amazing. For that, I compliment the movie.

    But the whole film is just so...unbelievably frustrating. I can't empathize with Justine because we don't even know why she's so depressed, why she is the way she is. A character that is nothing but down, dark and dreary and whiny through the whole film, bringing down all around her is flat. Unlikable. Unsympathetic. Like Shinji from Evangelion. Or Holden Caulfield. They wouldn't stop complaining about how awful their lives were. At least Shinji had a big responsibility to shoulder. But we get no idea as to why Justine is so doom and gloom.

    As such, I was left angry with the film. It wants everyone watching it to suffer as much as the director. Not to FEEL for the people in the film. Just to suffer as much as they are. That disgusts me. The director could have made me genuinely care about the characters. I WANTED so BADLY to feel for Justine. But I can't. He blew it by having her be so utterly impossible to relate to. All I feel is angry that he wasted my time with a truly mean spirited, "make you hurt but not FEEL" movie like this.
  • The Dubya
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    I see you're still ignoring the "she LITERALLY CAN'T FEEL SAID 'happy' EMOTIONS" definition of depression...

    Justine isn't even "complaining about her life." Not even close. If anything, she's devastated about the fact that she is mentally incapable of processing any of the pleasures that are apart of her life. That she literally can't enjoy the bigger picture things like getting married and having this lavish celebration thrown for her and her might-as-well-be-a- stranger groom, to the simple pleasures of taking a nice warm bath anymore. For WHATEVER reason, whether it be something major that happened that triggered it one day or something relatively minor or whether it's just BEEN there for a long period of time is beside the point, and beside the point of the movie. We're In Medias Res and this is what the film is depicting about someone with depression and the people around them; The point is that she WANTS to feel, she WANTS to feel the "joy and love and emotion" (as superficial as it may be) to the point where she puts a typical Faking It Until You Make It show for everyone and pretends that Everything's Alright, in hopes that it WILL turn into genuine happiness, but thanks to her mental illness she LITERALLY CAN'T. No matter what she does, no matter what family and friends try to do, this depression has her in a deathly vice grip and won't be letting go anytime soon. And that thought alone just exacerbates the emotional draining in itself...

    And it's people like YOU that make shit worse because you fail to grasp what's even going on. The way you're reacting right now, that's also part of the point of the way this film depicts depression. You are on the outside looking in, and you're wanting her to spell out all these logical reasons and motivations for why the way she feels, why she has the outlook she does. Something that she is INCAPABLE of expressing, or at least feels like she is incapable of doing (which again, very well may be the case. Sometimes, it just creeps up on you and takes over). So because she can't give you a list as to why she's depressed, you yourself get frustrated with your OWN lack of understanding and just write her off as "mopey and unlikable" because you don't want to bother with it anymore.

    [and just to throw it out there, like I was mentioning earlier there IS a ton of superficial crap going down around her. Her mom's a bitch, her dad's an unreliable dolt, the husband doesn't seem to know the first thing about his own wife, only her sister seems to be on even remotely good terms with her yet even she seems like the Golden Child compared to her, but yeah, this family screams WhiteBred Uppercrust Douchebags that want everything to just be "normal" and not have Little Miss I Have Mental Problems ruin their perfect little world of perfectness.]
  • The Dubya  - got cut off
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    In all honesty, you're kinda reacting the way someone like you is SUPPOSED to react. The way the characters surrounding Justine reacted. As someone who flat out doesn't know the first fucking thing about honest-to-God depression and has no idea how to approach it other than having easy hand-holding quick fix answers given to you.

    Context WAS given, you just don't see it.
  • MichaelGrey
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    It is a two way street. Understanding how a person feels...half of the effort should one from Justine. Instead we got PSYCHIC POWERS. She can't even TRY to explain why she feels the way she does? The director couldn't devote a few minutes to making a heart-to-heart?
  • ohe
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    Nobody is explaining why, say, a wedding should be a happy occasion, either. Don't talk about "two way streets" so one-sidedly.
  • MichaelGrey
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    That makes no sense! If we don't know why she feels the way she feels, how are we supposed to put ourselves in her shoes and get invested in the story? The more we know and see of a character, the more dynamic and interesting she becomes. Justine fails to meet that very basic storytelling criteria.
  • Mav
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    But depression often has no meaning! I personally come from a wealthy family, my parents never split up, i had great friends, i was never bullied, i was okay at school but i still ended up depressed. Why? There isn't a why! I have depression, it just happens, just like there is no reason why someone has cancer, it just happens.

    Look, i get why you desire a reason i really do, but if they were to give a reason, this would not be an accurate portrayal of the condition and would just pander to standard story writing instead of showing what depression is really like.

    So in that aspect, it makes total sense that this movie is so damn poignant with the likes of Kyle, and myself, and presumably some of the people above, but not to a person who has never had depression. We are seeing our issues reflected on the screen, where you see Justine's selfishness, we see our condition, where you see her disrespecting people who have given her so much, we see our condition.

    So i guess in that respect "If we don't know why she feels the way she feels, how are we supposed to put ourselves in her shoes and get invested in the story?" This film is not for "normal" people...because only we can sympathise. So this is why you wont get Kyle slamming the character for being "emo", because he CAN relate and he CAN put himself in her shoes.

    But as i said above, you could at least try, the fact that she has no reason for being depressed is kind of the point, because depression doesn't have a reason...
  • kurokotetsu
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    I understand what you say. THey don't explain it. BUt your argument that what a movie has to do is debatable (it is the point of a lot of cinematic theory, what is the point of films). This movie doesn't want you to relate to the characters, or at least necesarilly. It blows the "introduction" because it doesn't matter. It just seems to want to show what depression feels like, with a very accurate depiction of depression and the visual metaphor that it is. You don't need to relate to Justine. Not everybody will. But it is a scaruly accurate representation of what it feels to be depressed, clinnically depressed, let me say you. A reason, as a matter of fact, would probably diminish that, because depression is an accumulation of so many things, a lot of times so little and insignificant things, that trying to give a reason is to oversimplify the condition and diminish such a strong and accurate reason for depression. Medication doesn't always wor. Therapy neither. And that is not the point. It is almost a "documentary" in that it is mostly to show depression.

    If it doesn't speak to you, it doesn't work, well, it is perfect. But Kyle seems to ahve his own opinion and it doesn't have to match with yours. You wnated (or needed) to relate to the characters. But for other people that isn't a necessity to find a movie beautiful or good.
  • MichaelGrey
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    In a documentary, you need to put a human or relatable face on an issue of import. But the most "developed" character comes off as INHUMAN. You don't DO that! If he wanted to make a documentary, fine. But in trying to use the film as a metaphor for depression, he fails to make the film stand up in terms of basic logic and how normal people and protagonists would act. Avatar and Prometheus had beautiful imagery and visuals too...but the plots were still STINKERS and I was still aggravated by the protagonist's stupidity.
  • Mav
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    "he fails to make the film stand up in terms of basic logic and how normal people and protagonists would act."

    But Justine DOES act exactly liked a depressed person
  • BaltoStephenWinter  - Whose Line Is It Anway?
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    I love outtakes!

    Have you seen DOG TOOTH!!!!
    (sounds kind of like)
    CARDGAMES ON MOTORCYCLES!!!
  • Hagard
    You are in inspiration and I would gladly have your babies if it was not for the fact that "I AM A MAN"
  • ShalomDove
    Responding to the, "(that argument) reduces humanity to a parasite," comment in the first video: I understand your point, but I don't think that a concern about our population density necessitates a negative view of human beings. From what I've heard, concerns about population often boil down to, "oh my gosh, we can't feed/shelter/care for everyone!" It is absolutely true that all human beings have the potential to create and innovate and move us all forward, but they will not be able to do any of those things if they are dying of malnutrition, and that, I think, is the specter that haunts many people concerned about resources. I know that that’s the source of my concern about population. I care about the idea that we might not have what we need to support everyone precisely because I value human life enough to care whether or not it thrives. If the people bringing this up had a low view of humanity, then they wouldn't care that Earth might not have enough resources to support the human race. Who cares if parasites have sufficent resources? The concern about the need for resources implies a value of and concern for the well-being of humanity, not a distain for it.
  • DanG25  - Back on topic
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    Sorry for that, anyway... great review, happy 50th, and have another happy 50.
  • DanG25
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    As to the comment on this site connecting broken people, I think it does. Mind you it is not only broken people bu it helps bring people who need an outlet to a site where they suddenly have an outlet. And if that isn't a beautiful thing I don't know what is.
  • MichaelGrey
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    It would be nice to see more focus on the positives of life. Which this movie doesn't do. One of the many reasons I dislike it.

    My point is this. I have heard it all before. And I know better. And I am tired of hearing these stories. I've seen almost every permutation of the "humanity sucks" or "end of the world" or post-apocalyptic scenario get played out. It had become as tiring and annoying to me as hearing people talk about how awful we were to the Native Americans. But UNFORTUNATELY, because I'm evidently stupid, I keep getting drawn to investigating them out of the hope that just ONE of them will have something truly good to offer.

    I'm just so tired of this acceptance of the bad side of things. This ignoring of the good. That's all. This movie ignores ALL the good in life. ALL the good that you can find on Earth. And in no uncertain terms tells us that that kind of hopeful attitude is wrong. That is why I so angrily tell it "Fuck ME?! No, fuck YOU!" Even I can at least appreciate the beautiful visuals this movie has. but the film doesn't appreciate and has no love or concern for anything remotely good.
  • samoht05
    That is the whole point of this movie! It is supposed to show that in a depressed persons view of the world, that nothing is positive. It's not that the person refuses to see the positive, but that they simply cannot, because the way their brain chemistry works, they are not able to see it . I understand that you might not be able to comprehend this world view, but other people do have this view and they are not able to control it. If you are so disgusted by this everything is negative attitude, then I suggest you stop viewing this type of material that is obviously negative in nature.

    I sympathize with you in the fact that certain subjects are negative all the time when positives can be found, but that doesn't mean that we should start ignoring these negatives, especially when they overwhelmingly outweigh the positive aspect as in the conquering of the New World. In addition to this, I don't see how this has much to do with the movie or its critique as that is objectively negative, whereas this movie is subjective and is meant as a metaphor for a single persons depression.
  • MichaelGrey
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    But in trying to be a metaphor and being all negative it fails to give us a good story,plot, likable/relatable characters, etc...this is my other issue with it.
  • Fan_the_Flames
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    Here's the thing. Most of us can not relate to Justine in the sense that many haven't felt the real clinical depression portrayed in this movie. And trust me, it is a very correct form of clinical depression, you literally feel no form of happiness, if you feel emotion at all. A depressed person can not physically focus on anything positive. In its worst cases, what was once positive becomes negative, just as Justine with the bath and her favorite foods.

    There wasn't really supposed to be a focus on the plot in this case. The plot is contrived yes, and has made up movie science, but it was never supposed to be the focus. I would almost call this more a character study than anything else, looking at the personality of Justine with her depression in two distinct situations; a event of great joy for the rest, and an event of great sorrow and pain. The plot was just a foil to propel this idea forward, and I think it worked pretty well.

    And as for likable/relatable characters...I really don't think we're supposed to like them. Relate maybe, depending on your past, but really, liking these characters is difficult to do. I mean, I can sympathize for Justine, but I really can not like the way that her family acts. It's realistic though unfortunately, the idea that a family doesn't get that someone just can't be happy no matter how hard they try.

    As Kyle said, movies can be seen differently by different people. This is just my view of it, there is no wrong answer to a movie. If you didn't like it, you're entitled to it, but it works both ways, and those that see some merit in it are allowed to say as such.
  • MichaelGrey
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    I don't mind character studies, really. I dislike it when something that ought to be a big deal...like, y'know, the world coming to an end...takes a backseat to a character study of a depressed woman. Seems like the movie should have focused a bit more on the former than the latter. It might have made me feel like the director was less of a manipulative jerk.

    The film "Lincoln" is a character study of Lincoln. But the horrors of war, the petty squabbles of the senate and the house, his own struggles with his family are interwoven in. They form a background, a deep environment. I never got that feeling from the movie. This is a film that places no importance of the Earth because it shows it as being empty and as devoid of life as the main character is.
  • DarkenedWolfEye
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    See ... I don't think you can say the movie failed at giving us a likable main character, or failed at a scientifically accurate plot, because it wasn't trying to do these things. The aim was to make a movie that showed us a depressed person's worldview - not necessarily to force us to understand it, just to let us see it. So saying it failed in the things sacrificed to accomplish that is a fallacy; you can't fail at what you didn't try for.
    It'd be like saying Stanley Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange' failed to make the audience feel comfortable and make it easy to sympathize with the main character Alex. There was no failure; it was a feature, not a bug. The point of that movie was that there was no easy, morally right answer in dealing with criminals, and there's awful suffering for the criminal and the victim all around. So, you're not supposed to feel comfortable with the picture painted.
    Same deal here. You aren't supposed to be comfortable, and it's not supposed to be scientifically accurate, and there isn't supposed to be a logical reason for Justine's depression because that is the motherfucking POINT. Clinical depression doesn't have a origin, and even the people with the happiest living situations can get it. It's not their fault, and there is no rhyme or reason. In a way, that's the worst part: with no cause, there can be no solution, making the depressed person not only incapable of feeling happy, but incapable of understanding their own feelings. That's what Kyle meant when he said 'But it's not of your mind. It's an alien thought'.
    I may be a bit late responding to you, but you needed responding to.
  • takineko  - Ok I'll be rediculously open for a second
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    Thank you for sharing the darker stuff you've been through. I... am currently very depressed. Feels pathetic even admitting it. My husband left me a year ago and I have trouble recognizing any sort of worth in my life at all. Dumb I know, but it's hard to talk logic to an emotional state that you can't always escape from. Thanks for making the review in such a way that it can speak to people who are stuck in that state-- as well as inform people who often misunderstand it. An insane amount of thanks.
  • soulalcatraz
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    I think I'm gonna listen to the outtakes approximately 2,741 more times because I was literally crying and doubled over from laughing so hard, especially at the various takes of "I wanna put cigarettes in your butt," a line which had me laughing hard enough in the review itself that I had to pause the video.
  • kurokotetsu
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    I intend to see this. BUt I'm really afraid. Your review hit me real hard. I'm still really depressed. And seeing both the movie cuts (which I haven't seen because it scares me to death) and your review it was too much. It is a beatiful review, but you should post a warning. You know what you are talking Kyle, and it was really moving. I don't know if to thank you for sharing and showing this, or to damn you for making me feel really depressed again, but it was a wonderful job. I had to say it.

    You are a great reviewer and an inteligent man, and it is great to see you here. Thank you for being a member of the site.
  • Fyrom
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    Kyle and Ven quoting "Sex With Ducks" at the end of the outtakes was freakin' perfect. Also, thanks for doing a commentary. Great work as always!
  • Larie
    It almost seems as if EVERYONE is depressed on this site! ;)
    I have never been. But I like to think I sort of understand the feeling the movie tried to get across! It makes me feel gloomy, too, but also fascinated because of the enigmatic quality of depression as a mental state I have never been in. And of course the amazing visuals. I would love to watch the whole film because of your perfect review.
  • jadkni  - This is a major tangent but...
    I do want to indirectly thank Ven for voicing opposition to something that hits a personal nerve with me - reducing human accomplishments to a continual drain on resources and "destroying the planet" makes me viscerally (and honestly probably irrationally) angry. I know this is a point of contention with Kyle and I'll respect that viewpoint (by not being targeted with my statements) but the attitude that we should, collectively, cease existing is a nihilistic and ultimately fruitless viewpoint. If the entirety of our accomplishments as a species, and as individuals are pointless, then so what? Decry progress as a "waste of resources", wallow in misery and make cynical remarks directed towards optimists? That doesn't accomplish anything. If you believe that the world is, excuse me for being crass, going to shit, do something to change it. Do anything to change it. Just have an impact, don't be part of the problem, live for tomorrow, and corny as it sounds, keep a stiff upper lip.

    I'm sorry if this comes off as contentious because I do have a lot of respect for Kyle, so I don't want this to seem like an attack, it wasn't intended as such. Bringing it full-circle and tying it into the theme of depression, though, that statement did hit me on a personal level and not in a positive way.
    ---
    ANYWAY. Enjoyed the commentary and the review. It was thought-provoking and enjoyable, and here's to another fifty.
  • DarkenedWolfEye
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    May I respond?
    I hold that viewpoint of 'humanity as parasites'. It has always made a lot of sense to me ever since I was a little kid and I heard the bad guy in 'The Matrix' classify humanity. So maybe it is holdover from a pessimistic upbringing, I don't know. But it makes sense.
    Because in my mind, the idea that humanity is a drain on the world and all our accomplishments do not validate us or excuse the damage we've done to our own homeworld is based one this notion: the world around us is more important than us ourselves. Humans are but a single species on a whole planet teeming with diversity and natural beauty, and we are the ones who decided that the life of an animal wasn't enough for us. In that worldview, humans are the selfish, entitled little shits who began destroying the planet out of a need to feel superior.
    I'm rambling ... I'll sum up. The point is, the idea that we should cease existing comes from the idea that we cannot undo what we've done and we're only going to get worse. That's probably why most of the people you've met who think this way were so cynical and inactive: we 'know' that nothing can be done to make humanity as a whole not be horrible, and people like you who try seem deluded, and your efforts seem futile.
    Not a healthy viewpoint, I know. I'm well aware of how unhealthy it is. I can't stop thinking this way, no matter how much happier I know I'd be if I could. It isn't out of some maliciousness on my part, it's just that I literally can't think any differently.
  • Mulletmanalive  - Picture in picture commentary
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    You know you want to...
  • Vismutti
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    I hope you don't mind if I copy my comment from Blip here:

    Sadly, I agree way more with Kyle on the future thing... there is a looming catastrophe in front of us. I'm not saying it's definitely going to happen, but it's there and we need a miracle to get out of it with minor damages. I do think we'll survive as a species but... how well? No idea. Could be that we'll just learn to live more within our resources. That wouldn't be a bad thing.

    I do agree with Ven on the art quote. In fact, sometimes I just find it incredibly refreshing when I can watch you guys making your stuff with small means. Sure, pretty pictures are nice to look at but prettiness is not all I crave in art. And it's not all I crave in entertainment either. You internet reviewers have made videos that I've enjoyed and that have touched me more than many movies with infinitely better production values. I recognize all the work that went into those movies, sure, and I respect that. But often I feel like that work is wasted on something that doesn't reach people. Meanwhile, you can make very effective art without all that.

    Btw, I've done book reviews on a local newspaper. Nothing major or anything, I'm not trying to brag here. I got the jobs because my mom works at that newspaper and they were looking for a fantasy fan to write reviews of fantasy books. I failed miserably in the end, I couldn't get the reviews done in time etc. BUT ANYWAY, I can appreciate the internet for the control you get here over your work. Because "real" publications will cut and mangle your text in editing. Sometimes enough to change the whole meaning of your words.

    Oh and I'm not sure if you got the definition of clinical depression right. I mean, yes, there are many types of depression, some of which are situational and some more clearly biological. But I think they're all called "clinical depression". My friend who studies psychology just said to me yesterday that the more she's studied it, the more she feels like depression isn't actually "a thing" rather than many things that have similar symptoms. The cause is not actually relevant. It's a description of the symptoms.

    I've gone through depression which I'm pretty sure was mostly biological because I really didn't have much of a "reason" to have it. Which of course creates a weird situation where you're incredibly sad and depressed but you don't know why and you feel like a total pathetic wimp who has no right to be unhappy. On the other hand it luckily means that you are outwardly lucky, which helps you deal with it. But yeah, for me it explained a lot when I found out it was literally a disease in my brain, and not just a weakness of character or anything like that. (Although I sometimes do doubt it still...)
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    Another interesting point is that you literally get stupider and more delusional the longer it goes on. It's not even just that you don't feel like doing stuff or that depression is clouding your judgment: your brain actually works worse when you're depressed. Your memory starts to get worse too. So it's like a cycle where you feel like you suck at everything and that actually makes you suck at everything which then makes you feel even worse and so on. Thankfully that's mostly temporal.

    (And btw, I find it silly how people complain that antidepressants change your personality. Because so does depression.)

    Okay, I don't even know where I'm going with this so imma stop here.
  • Sylveria  - Feral art sobs?
    avatar
    I don't know what prompted me to actually read through comments here before writing anything of substance.. but damn I'll never make that mistake again. Is it like this for all BHH episodes? One person has a different interpretation or opinion on a character, motivations, etc. in an ART FILM and people immediately launch in to personal attacks?

    Geeze
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    That's just all comment sections in general.

    But I think people got upset because they got the impression the person in question was criticizing a character with a mental illness as being selfish and immoral because she supposedly hasn't earned a right to be depressed. Which is a pretty common reaction depressed people get in real life.

    I try not to do personal attacks but I got pretty upset too when I first read that first comment.
  • Mav
    avatar
    Hmmm, i think the issue in this case is the complete lack of understanding of what depression is. He's not saying that "i can't relate to the character so i cant enjoy this movie", which would be understandable to someone who hasnt suffered. He's saying "the character is unlikable and needs a slap" That offends me unfortunately, mainly because the idea of someone close to them developing the condition and having to listen to that frankly terrifies me.

    Maybe i could have commented better yes, but education on what depression actually is i believe to be very important because it is such an alien concept to anyone who hasn't suffered from it.

    So i guess the disagreement isn't coming from the movie it's coming from science!
  • darkgryphon42
    avatar
    "Lots of people have also felt like Justine, and like Kyle and me. Go look at the places the video was posted. Between TGWTG, Blip, Tumblr, Livejournal, and Facebook there are WELL over 300 comments, almost all of which are from people who identify deeply with this film's apparently VERY SUCCESSFUL attempt to portray the experience of having depression. Note that just about none of these comments say anything about LIKING Justine. This movie is not about Justine. This movie is about depression. Justine is only the vehicle... the embodiment... the example"

    I don't want to hash over the same things that others have already stated so well. (And thanks for those who put the time and heart into doing so.)

    I did want to say, though, that I was one of those comments on Blip. To me, the movie was sucessful at portatying depression in part because Justine was clearly not always likeable. I watched even the clips of her and it made me uncomfortable - as it should have. In my smaller depressive episodes I have been able to have some form of perspective; able to follow great advice like "remember it's not all about you!" "get some meds!" "other obvious solutions!"

    The scary part of a serious depressive episode is that none of that makes any sense in your brain. None of it. And I don't know about anyone else but yes, I know I've acted selfishly and foolishly at my really bad times precisely because I was *not* thinking or feeling rationally. I remember some awful conversations with friends and loved ones telling me I was being selfish and me trying and failing to find the words to explain that it wasn't selfish in a good way, not thekind of selfish where you're doing something that makes you happy; just a void where I couldn't do any better no matter how hard I tried.

    Anyway, back to my point. I'm not saying I *like* being able to identify with Justine. I don't want to have to admit I can see parts of how I've acted in the past in her. Who would?! thinking rationally now, her actions make no sense. But being able to remember all too well how my brain was working a few times; I can't deny the accuracy there. I know I keep saying this but this movie would not have made me so uncomfortable if it didn't make its point well enough to even affect me through a review of it.
  • Vismutti
    avatar
    This.

    Yeah, I've done some things that make noooo goddamn sense too. I've done things that I've seriously regretted, like hurt my friends. It's just... it messes up your brain. You don't even think clearly. And in your mind everybody hates you and it doesn't matter what you say because "they're not going to care about what I think anyway". Or sometimes a slightly milder version of that. And of course "nobody understands me".
  • Captain Siberia
    Lost episodes: "Boys, don't never, but never, make fun of no cripples."

    Interesting that you would characterize Von Trier as not a very visual director. While this may be true now, I'm most familiar with his first few films, particularly Element of Crime and Europa, which are two of the most sumptuous films I have ever seen. I'd place them right alongside Mishima and Kwaidan.

    "...a lot like the Marquis de Sade did, which I explained, um..." Which you explained in the upcoming Marquis review? Did I guess right? What do I win?

    I think it goes something like, "One death is a tragedy. 100 deaths is a statistic." Ok, looked it up. One million is a statistic. Commonly misattributed to Stalin.

    Oh, you haven't seen the Von Trier's Europa trilogy? You must! You must! Such visual beauty in the first and third films! And the middle film, Epidemic: such a tragic waste of potential!

    I always knew there was some depression there. Watching the way you take the hat in the Tideland review as something to be embarrassed by rather than something to have fun with, or the way you talk about being starved for sex in the Shortbus or W.R. reviews, or the way you've talked about the people who called you a ripoff of The Cinema Snob, has the ring of Joking, But Not Really: making light of something that really was troubling you.

    I relate to all this. I sure do. I was in bad shape. I did really poorly at two universities. I was all but shutting down for a few years. For me, a lot of it was self-esteem. I got into Dr. Nathaniel Branden, and that helped a lot. I started doing photography at a local music and art venue, and that helped, too. And I grew a whole lot. And I've come a long way. I've got a lot, a lot, that I still need to get through. I need to learn to stand on my own feet better. I need to take some damn responsibility and get a video review of my own shot. I do a lot of thinking about reviews, but damn it, I need to do it.

    I'm starting to think that if Doug can continue with Sibling Rivalry what he was doing with Nostalgia Critic, this could be the new direction. It could be the John Lydon to Nostalgia Critic's Johnny Rotten. He and Rob already have great chemistry. I still say he absolutely needs to include clips, with audio, when he's talking about a film that's easily available on DVD. But I think this whole thing may turn out well. After all.

    It's pronounced more like "hero," or "hyeero." You can get a "hyeero" from the Greek truck.
  • Captain Siberia
    "There's the stillness of death on a deathly unliving sea,
    And the motorcar magical world long since ceased to be,
    When the eve bitten apple returned to destroy the tree.
    Incestuous ancestry's charabanc ride,
    Spawning new millions throws the world on its side.
    Supporting their far-flung illusion, the national curse.
    And those with no sandwiches, please get off the bus.

    The excrement bubbles. The century's slime decays.
    And the brainwashing government lackeys would have us say
    It's under control and we'll soon be on our way
    To a grand year for babies and quiz panel games.
    Of the hot, hungry millions, you'll be sure to remain.
    The natural resources are dwindling, and no one grows old.
    And those with no homes to go to, please dig yourself holes."
    Little Jethro Tull for you.

    But all this talk about the end of the world has gotten me thinking. And thinking about what I was going to say got me thinking some more. There are parts of the world where such terrible calamities as overpopulation are a reality. But thinking about it, I think humanity shall find a way to fend off its own doom. The global famines and floods will not happen, because we will take control and stop them. We need to take these problems seriously, but we will overcome them. We'll look back as a species a hundred years from now and see that the calamities did not come to pass. So maybe the thing to do, instead of meditating on our inescapable doom, is to create a life-affirming time capsule to the future: a future we can confidently say will be there. If you can't confidently say it, let someone who has that faith. Let's make something that says, "Hello, humanity. We are here today in our time, and so are you in yours. We made it through, didn't we? How small our fears must seem to you in your time. Congratulations. Now let us introduce ourselves."

    Oh, you want depressing? Watch Professor Brian Cox in Wonders of the Universe. Listen to him talking about the heat death of the universe: all stars dead, all black holes evaporated, just darkness and entropy everywhere, forever and ever. Really, I think some of you guys should do a parody with Film Brain. Call it The Depressing Lime— I hesitate to finish the word, but call it that. And then he talks about how the earth will grow cold, and the sun will die, and the universe will die, and we'll all die. "Of course, nobody really knows what happens when you die. But I know. Death is an empty void. There is nothing within it for your senses to perceive. But you're conscious. And you spend eternity with one single thought: you are alone. Hopelessly, irrevocably, agonizingly alone. Forever. Have a nice day!!!"
  • Captain Siberia
    I don't agree with all of what Ven says. I think there will come a time when the sheer population is a liability and nothing but, planetary exodus to lunar colonies won't be quick enough to keep up with the birth rate, and we'll need to face the problem and take very careful steps to get it under control. It's not going to be mass starvation or throwing babies off cliffs. But we'll find a solution. It may be a system of incentives. It may be taxes. It may be public spankings. But it will be worked out.

    Ok, Ven, when you say "positive force on the planet," how do you define "planet"? If you mean "all the humans on the planet," then yes, our existence does benefit us. But if you mean "all life on the planet," not so much. Because all life on the planet, taken as a whole, does not benefit from our presence. In fact, it tends to suffer from our presence. We can minimize our environmental impact, yes, but even if we eliminate it altogether, we will only be a neutral force on the planet. If we ever successfully prevent an extinction-level event, like a supervolcanic eruption or an asteroid impact, then I will concede.

    Um, for this interplanetary migration to work, we either must assume that we can perfect cryogenic freezing AND thawing, that a ship can successfully operate and maintain itself with only a robot crew for centuries or millennia, and that we can build enough spaceships for eleven zillion people, or we must assume that we can travel faster than light without centuries passing during what seems to us like only a short trip (remember, relativity.) Ok, I'm giving you one Erector set to start. I'll give you a set of Legos as well if you make real progress. After that, you're on your own.

    On this point (of JesuOtaku): I still maintain, first of all, that the belittling of anime at the beginning of the Utena review wasn't funny. I'm coming from a place of loving anime and hating when people belittle it, and knowing that you, yes, you, are just better than that; you're more open-minded. Rejecting anime out of hand as children's stuff is totally out of character for you, so I can't find any comedy in it. (Besides, how would you feel if I rejected the comic books you read, out of hand, as children's stuff?) Second, though, I do take issue with people who complain when others refer to anime as cartoons or manga as comic books. Anime is a form of cartoon, and manga is a form of comic book; this is a fact. Japanese people aren't insecure about loving cartoons and comic books, so why should we Americans be? It's ridiculous.

    She has awesome boobs.

    Oh, by the way, thanks for going where you went in this video. Thanks for going right into the heart of it. I can tell by the comments I'm not the only one who got a lot out of it. Thanks for bearing your soul to us, and helping us bear a little bit of ours.
  • Captain Siberia
    I think the sound was actually worse in the closet. A more saturated reverb, things going on with phase, yadda yadda. If reverb ever bothers you, boom mic, boom pole, C-stand.

    "Writin' all he can,
    He's just a man!
    A warrior of words takin; a stand!
    He is Franz Kafka!"
    No meat touching, ma'am.

    As for the statement about movies and criticism, I stand by what I said. It's very important to me, so I'm just going to restate it here. Don't put down the medium of film criticism. It's a worthwhile medium. Movies can inspire big emotions, and those emotions are absolutely valid. What's the point of art in the first place? Passion is the point. Someone was passionate enough to pour himself into a work of art. His passion gave rise to a devotion to his craft, which gave rise to a mastery of his craft. And people who see his art can share in his passion. It's not a thing to be belittled. But when an artist who lacks passion, or lacks devotion, or lacks mastery of craft makes a bad piece of art, it inspires passion of a different kind. Either kind of passion, sympathetic to the artist or not, can be the root of criticism, and either kind is absolutely valid. And if someone has passion, has devotion, has mastery of craft in making a critical review, that review is a work of art as well, and not a thing to be belittled. And yes, you and a lot of the other critics here are making art, whether you choose to believe it or not.

    50 more!!!
  • Captain Siberia
    When sex with ducks and gay marriage are one and the same!
  • Moomoof
    avatar
    These comments depress me xD

    Anyway great outtakes awesome 50th you are great don't be so hard on yourself =D
  • DarkenedWolfEye
    avatar
    Kyle, you're wrong.
    Your job isn't insignificant in the grand scheme compared to 'legitimate' movies. Productions with more money and more people are not more important than you and your work.
    I, at this point in my life, have no friends. I have this impulse not to put myself out there, to avoid getting involved in the lives of others; in essence, to avoid making friends. I don't understand this impulse and I can't seem to overcome it. Your work, as well as the work of your colleagues, is the closest thing to intimate human interaction I have with almost anyone in the world. Maybe that is sad and pathetic; I don't know. I'm too close to my situation to judge it.
    But let me tell you: the loneliness would kill me without you. You are important. You're saving me from ... well, from whatever harmful extremes I would go to if I didn't have this to turn to. I don't mean to put pressure on you to do emotionally intimate, exhausting work like this all the time, because you're doing just fine as you are. I only meant to reassure you that you are making a difference in the world.
    Huh. The very lonely person who deliberately isolates herself is thinking to reassure someone much more accomplished of their significance. Would that be irony? I have trouble with the definition of irony.
  • KaylaKaze
    I've gotta point our something. In the commentary, you talk about how they had investors, a castle, and professional crew while you just shot something in your apartment and you seemed that that meant you should be doing more. I completely disagree. They had all the support and money, yet you created a far more digestible, personal, and, from the reviews I've read of Melancholia, watchable treatise on the same subject. Basically, your final product was superior to theirs.
  • nowhere
    avatar
    I've been a bit puzzled by the notion that it's somehow silly and ridiculous to make a bit of a spectacle out of oneself raging about a piece of art one really hates. Surely if it's worthwhile raving about the art one really loves and admires the flip side of that must be worthwhile too?

    Although I do find much in the work of the reviewers here to be just straight out amusing, I've also found much that is insightful and enlightening. I've managed to appreciate some works I was already familiar with on more levels and been introduced to other works I had not heard of before.

    On the other hand, you did convince me to go watch Melancholia... It was a memorable experience, but so was the time I sustained severe internal hemorrhaging in a motorcycle accident and had to undergo emergency surgery :)
  • Drahauk
    I am actually tearing up because of how beautifully closed that was and how effectively you convey your excitement over realising the love that your fans have for you.

    I also love how initially you pick apart this film but then, through Film Brain's cameo, come to the realisation that the metaphors inherent within the film are far more relevant than the actual literal understanding of the real world.

    I've recently started watching your videos (in fact over the past week I've watched 90% of your videos out of curiosity) and they've helped give me ideas for how to do both positive and negative and, in this case, somewhat neutral pieces, which is what
    I wish to do.

    I could sing the praises of this two-parter till the cows come home, but that would seem somewhat self-defeating, effectively writing a review of a review. I will simply say this much: I had to just sit and watch this review, not doing anything else until it was finished.
  • cattz
    avatar
    I missed boobs because I was looking at Ven's costume?!?!

    Oh man, I'm getting old or something...
  • Enejaner  - Thank you
    I don't always watch your videos, but this one spoke to me. I always enjoy anything I have seen you put out and this being about depression i could relate to. This video brought me to tears and cause goosebumps from how serious I thought you were. Bravo Sir, Bravo.
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