Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just Looks Depressing


I can't decide about this film. I can't even force myself to watch the trailer. I just look at the poster from the film and I know it is going to be the most depressing thing ever. The film is The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. I don't even need to tell you what the story is about, I think you can tell by looking at the photo. Did someone say, "hey, I want to make sure everyone is as miserable as me, so I am going to make this depressing movie. Sure, I could make a comedy, but I want people to feel pain and to feel uncomfortable."

I do know that if I see this film I will have to watch it at a movie theatre because if I watch it on DVD, I will be stopping it every 15 minutes so I can get up and breathe. I know it is based on a book, but I really don't want to know what happens in the book just in case I do decide to see the film.

I just keep coming across publicity stills and posters from the film and have been wanting to write about it for a long time. Do you like going to films where you know you are just going to be depressed? If we avoid going to them does it say something about us? It has been a long time since I saw a poster that just told me immediately what the film was going to be about and also that it was going to be just utterly sad.



40 comments:

Rhianna said...

I don't think it would be utterly sad. Much like reading the Diary of Anne Frank could be viewed as depressing and sad, I see it as a view of what can be beautiful and powerful in the midst of human inflicted horror. There's a spirit of unity to me in them. This is the first I've seen of this new movie, but I'll keep an eye out to see it when it becomes available. I doubt our AAFES here in Italy will show it, but I'll definitely buy it when it comes out on DVD or see if the local Italian cinemas show it.

Molly said...

yea, you always get something out of films and books about things like this....even if it's just the message to stfu about the small stuff in your own life.

Lissa THEEE Pissa said...

Thanks for making me cry, Enty. I don't think I could watch it, either. I had the hardest time reading "Night" by Elie Wiesel, but I still keep it in my bookcase just in case I ever feel strong enough to get through it again. My grandfather made all of us read it; his father fled Russia in the very early stages of Hitler's assault on the Jews. He came to the US, fell in love with a Catholic, and was forced to change his last name by her family before they were allowed to marry. (He was an Applebaum and changed it to Appleton.)

SkittleKitty said...

I will say I've never watched "The Perfect Storm," since I know practically everyone dies at the end and it's a real story. I think that's partly because they died in my lifetime, as I have watched other movies where I was aware of the (depressing) outcome.

a nanny mouse said...

It's hard to say, I've watched Schindler's List many times knowing my heart will break again.

Rhianna makes an excellent point.

califblondy said...

I have to be in the mood for this type of thing and these days I'm not in that mood too often.

scumkid said...

Sometimes movies are about more than just entertainment. When you are enlightened (as most of us probably are) you think, how could the world forget? But the fact remains that there are still nations committing genocide and there are millions of people alive who don't believe that the holocaust actually happened. There are also generations alive who haven't seen Schindler's List or Life is Beautiful, etc. I think it's important to kick yourself in the ass every so often, so something that's not just for a ha ha, and think about the potential we all have for vileness. Hell, I've heard many, many people who hate muslims because of 9/11. It's important not to forget what that hatred can lead to.

Mooshki said...

Maybe it's about balance. If you're generally a happy person, you may like something that makes you feel sad. For those of us who tend towards depression, it's just dangerous - one of these movies can send me into a funk for days. It's good that they make them, because we have to remember our mistakes to keep from repeating them.

sandman said...

everyone relax, the kid eventually gets his ass into some nice plaid pj's & lives happily ever after.

oops on the spoiler...sue me

Punkimeowzer said...

I saw the trailer in the theatre last month and I admit at first it made me feel uneasy in my seat. Who wants to watch a movie and get depressed? Not me. But then I kept watching and thought whoa, this looks like a great film. I will probably ball my eyes out but I plan to see it.

I agree with Califblondy that a person has to be in the mood to watch this type of movie.

MontanaMarriott said...

I love all types of movies but because of the state of the world we live in, lately I find myself NOT watching anything depressing.

One of the most depressing films I can never watch again, is REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, UGH that movie was the worst for me, everyone suffered at the end.

Sylvia said...

Saw the trailer and thought it is a great movie to watch. Didn't think their was anything boring about it.

Bad Fish said...

I think watching things that will break your heart is good for you...but I admit I avoid it. I go towards comedies at almost every chance I get.

Gillybean said...

Wow, I didn't know anyone had ever even heard of this book besides me. Let alone decided to make a movie out it. I can tell you all, I did read the book and the subject matter is incredibly heart-wrenching. BUT the author made numerous historical errors in the writing, so much that I could barely get through it. And the only character you can sympathize with is the boy in the concentration camp, the narrator is a moron and you want to smack him.

Anyway, should be interesting to see how they made a short, poorly written book into a movie.

Ok, my 2 cents (really 30 cents) is over.

jax said...

i avoid this at all costs. is it not time to move on from this genre of movie? we all know the stories, the horrors that people faced but good christ in 70 years will we still be making 9/11 movies?

i swear some of these movie dudes try to find the most depressing shit ever just to get an Oscar.
why in thehell would i ruin a great mood with 2 hours of Debbie Downer?

Alpine Summer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alpine Summer said...

Visiting a concentration camp was one of the most haunting experiences of my life. I went to Dachau; I was there at the same time as a school was taking teenagers there for a field trip. They were really rude and irreverent. As irritating as they were, I think it helped to break up the air. Except when they crammed us into the barracks and shut the doors and windows. Or when I realized the second crematorium was built because the first one's four ovens couldn't keep up with the death rate.

I'm just not good with things like this, and I don't think anyone can ask another to be. I don't know if I'll be able to watch this film.

Sexecution said...

Okay, DO NOT go to the IMDB message board and read comments. They gave the ending away, which is just dreadful because it's getting really high ratings for a movie done very well. Like 9 out of 10 stars.

If I were TWC I would be pissed about the ending being offered. Be warned because it is a final plot twist.

Grace said...

jax, I love it: Debbie Downer. I saw Schindler's List once and that was enough! No need to see it again! And my sister happily yapped through the entire movie, obvlivious to the content.

Mooshki said...

Sexecution, because I am contrary, I had to go and do just that. Wow.

I loved "Life is Beautiful" and saw it twice in the theaters even though it made me cry my eyes out both times. Because it was Christmastime, all the holiday cheer balanced it out for me, and I am so glad I had the experience of watching it. These movies can make you feel like you're in touch with the human spirit. Again, I think it's all a matter of mood/timing.

slappywhyte said...

i grew up with a dad who is a film professor

but when i go to the movies i go to be entertained and have my mind taken away from mundane and annoying real life

if i want to be depressed i can just read the news or think about the state of the world or us government

of course there's a few thought-provoking movies i like ... but depressing ones i rarely will go see, especially in theaters

slappy whyte
megasizzle.com

Rebecca said...

I stopped watching Pirates of the Carribean, what, 3? 4? when they hanged the kid in the opening sequence, so no, won't be seeing it.

not a famous adrian said...

This may be depressing, but it is something that happened, & while there are still surivors around to pass on their stories, it is extremely important to document it.
Currently worldwide there are less than 300,000 survivors left, most of them 75 and above over.
It is not something for everyone to view, but no one is forcing anyone to see it.
Did you ever watch "Paperclips"? It was so uplifting because it showed how people who were so transformed as they learned more and more about the Holocaust. I cried throughout the whole film.
I also cried at Yad Vashem seeing piles of children's shoes & mounds of human hair. Again, not for everyone, but it is available for those who need to see it.
We don't have any family memebers who survived the Holocaust--they are all gone, so seeing these stories bring me that much closer to knowing what my family went through.

Mooshki said...

Ha, Slappy, my dad taught film as well as English lit, and your attitude towards movies is exactly the same as mine. Funny! Plus side: having someone who could explain a David Lynch movie so that it made sense. Down side: seeing "Leaving Las Vegas" in a theater with your dad - scarred for life.

not a famous adrian said...

Mooshki--I saw "Leaving Las Vegas" and a "Clockwork Orange" each one time, & don't think I could EVER sit through either one again!

Harriet Hellfire said...

Scumkid - I completely and utterly agree with you. Having said that, I'm not sure I could handle this movie. Like Mooshki, I tend I get really down after watching very sad or dark movies. Like Schindler's List, for example. I was just destroyed after seeing that in the theater. It't not that I am trying to deny or forget that these horrid things happened, it's that watching these movies makes me extremely upset because I KNOW it happened and that nothing can change it.

Montanamarriott - Requiem For A Dream KILLED me! I loved it but I walked out of that theater feeling completely hopeless.

Adrian, I saw "paperclips" in the video store the other day and considered renting it, but opted against it because my husband - bless his cotton socks - does not like "serious" movies.

not a famous adrian said...

Harriet--it is really a beautiful movie to watch. I saw it at a charity event, & my kids saw it in Hebrew School. To watch a community that had nothing to do with the Holocaust create such a meaningful memorial was really very touching. It is serious, but very fast moving, & shows the good in people, not the negativity. It is not your typical Halocaust film.

not a famous adrian said...

oops--I tped too fast--Holocaust film.

farmgirl said...

Personally, I don't need to see the gory details on a huge screen to understand the circumstances. If these movies are to teach the ignorant masses about how disgusting humans can be to each other, then we are in trouble. Shouldn't kids be learning this stuff in school?
Films are an escape for me - the heaviest I need to go is Crimes & Misdemeanors. I do not have to see wretched torture to be a thinking person.

I really don't understand why people love these things. Isn't their own life stressful enough? Is it necessary to be dragged into some fictional character's horror to feel alive?

Probably an unpopular opinion, but it is real.

Chokky said...

Hi Enty,
I recently read the book 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' and yes it is a very sad story. However it is also a beautiful and moving story about friendship.

The book is a Nominated book as part of the 2008/2009 YRCA (Young Readers Choice Awards) Intermediate Level: Grades 7-9.

My daughter who is nearly 12 also read the book and loved it too but I had to go through with her what the ending meant as a lot of the story is told through the naive eyes of the main character - an 8 year old boy.

Read the book...see the movie.
Chokky

Ernestine said...

I kind of appreciate movies that tell individual stories within the scope of a huge tragedy. Does that make any sense? I think that's what makes films like Life is Beautiful and The Pianist so effective; you get to know this child or this man and get a sense of empathy, as opposed to just, like, clinically reading about a large mass of slaughtered people. I'm not saying that movies are a better source of information, but they can enlighten us in other ways and visually remind us or jolt our awareness in ways that textbooks can't.

Oh, sidenote on Holocaust Lit: have any of you ever read The Painted Bird, by Jerzy Kozinski? MOST. DISTURBING. BOOK. EVER. It makes The Diary of Anne Frank look like Jonathan Livingston Seagull or some shit.

Anyway, Life is Beautiful made me cry about ten minutes into it, and I didn't stop until about forty-five minutes after I got home. It destroyed me. I can't handle shit with sick/sad children or sick/sad animals.

Finding Neverland? Ruined me.
Babe? Ruined me.

At any rate, I might see this Pyjamas movie, but I know what sort of emotional reaction I can expect from myself.

Molly said...

i think most people are forgetting that while some viewers want an escape, others appreciate the retelling of historical events. and if it's time to 'get over it', then i guess we won't see any more movies about the civil war, romans, jesus, indians, the depression, etc.

i like all kinds of films, so i'll see this one, too.

mooshki mentioned "life is beautiful". it's one of my favorite films and i couldn't wait to buy it. it is less about what happened in italy during the holocaust and more about your state of mind and how you approach everything - good and bad. it's about parenting and how you are the windows to the world when it comes to your kids. it's about how to enjoy your world even when there is ugliness surrounding you. it's a great film. if you haven't seen it, i highly recommend it. you'll laugh as much as you cry, and that's what film is supposed to do - touch a nerve.

not a famous adrian said...

Ernestine--I still cry every time I watch E.T. I just can't help it.

blankprincess said...

Watch out, Ernestine--

If "Babe" ruined you, don't EVER watch "Babe 2: Pig in the City." Scary, horrible, awful movie.

On another note, I think the reason we still need movies about the Holocaust etc. (yes, even 70 years later) is this:

While watching "Schindler's List" during its theater run in college, the former friend/current idiot with whom I was watching the film asked me quite loudly during the scene where the human ashes are blowing out of the crematorium and onto the streets: "Why is it snowing?"

I just had no words.

Jasmine said...

i just wanted to say i read all your entrys and appreciated what all of you had to say. Since i was a little girl watching freddie kruger at age 4(bad babysitter) movies have always influenced me long after they end. With funny or uplifting movies i feel lighter or thoughtful and with scary or heartwrentching movies it effects my mood for days after. i still havent seen that notebook movie because it looks so sad at the end. But i have seen Schindlers list, a beautiful life, and others because as someone who learned it in school , i knew about it but it wasnt personal to me. This gave me a look into lives touched by travesties. I am so glad some of you feel the same way about seeing sad films, i felt like such a baby when i saw this trailer and immediatly knew i could not see it. Also, blankprincess, you answered all those people who asked why we continue showing such things. School books and pictures arent the same as big screen adaptations that can really sink in, and we cannot forget what happened, its not like it isnt still happening in some contries now.
Anyway, thanks again for everyones comments, it helped me gain a little more perspective.

gillian said...

My issue with the movie is that from the stills and promo, it is a film designed to tug on the heartstrings. Idk, but the story seems weak.

Plus, if you're going to tackle this subject matter, having your central characters speaking in crisp english accents is NOT good. Even a german accent on that would help, better still in german with subtitles- it just seems like an old '80's english tv series set in war time germany...

Mim said...

I saw this film about 6 weeks ago...we all sobbed uncontrollably & just kind of sat around stunned in the theatre afterwards...needless to say, it's a very affecting film.

muneca.encantada said...

I don't think there is anything wrong with making a movie about something "70 years" ago. Yes, we know about it, but our children need to know about it, our children's children will need to know about it. Whether we like it or not, movies sometimes have more impact than what the schools teach. I read the book and although it may not have been completely accurate, it transports you to that time, to how an 8 year old would have interpreted it. It was wonderful, and I plan on seeing the movie when it comes out.

Mooshki said...

I challenge anyone to find a more thoughtful discussion than the one above on any single other gossip site on the web. CDAN is the best.

shakey said...

I would much rather see this movie and have people talk about its significance than Valkryie and have a pompous midget talk about the significance of that movie.

If you don't like sad things, don't ever read the books Long Way Gone and Shake Hands with the Devil. Important books both but some parts ...