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Mr. Anonymous
09-07-2010, 09:35 AM
So who else is psyched for this movie?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kymQcM4ej3w

I liked the trailer so much that I went out and bought the book the movie's based on. Quite enjoyed it, and I'm really excited to see if they can do the book justice. I just hope our local theater will have it, but unfortunately, I think it might not, since it's a limited release. :(

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/never_let_me_go_2010/

scarletpeaches
09-07-2010, 03:16 PM
I adore Ishiguro and can't. Fucking. Stand Keira Knightley, so I'm conflicted. I'll probably see it because I worship the ground Ishiguro walks on. He's my absolute model for a writer (along with Wally Lamb).

But man. Knightley. Knightley?

ChaosTitan
09-07-2010, 06:21 PM
I'll probably see it. I read the novel last summer after a rec from a friend, and I simply adored it. I really hope they can do it justice, too, although the trailer gives me hope.

But I'm with sp - I can't stand Keira Knightley. Ugh.

schadenfreude
09-08-2010, 03:27 AM
I'll see it. Hate Knightley, but I liked Andrew Garfield in Boy A and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

I've got the book sitting on my shelf, but I've never really gotten around to reading it.

childeroland
09-08-2010, 04:08 AM
Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley starring in an adaptation of an Ishiguro sci fi book. Yes, please.

scarletpeaches
09-08-2010, 04:12 AM
I'll see it. Hate Knightley, but I liked Andrew Garfield in Boy A and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

I've got the book sitting on my shelf, but I've never really gotten around to reading it.Oh, you need to. It's superb. Like everything the man's ever written.

I'll just have to see this film and pretend Knightley's a...twig...or something.

JoNightshade
09-08-2010, 04:18 AM
Oh holy crap, how is it that I haven't read this yet?

Goodbye internets, see you when I'm done with this book.

scarletpeaches
09-08-2010, 04:21 AM
Yes, madam - begone!

(The Remains of the Day is a damn fine NLMG chaser, if you're interested).

JoNightshade
09-08-2010, 04:25 AM
Yes, madam - begone!

Okay, I'm back. Until my copy arrives in the mail. Amazon 2 day shipping has been invoked. :)


(The Remains of the Day is a damn fine NLMG chaser, if you're interested).

Did that one a long time ago, along with When We Were Orphans. I heart Ishiguro with fangirl adoration.

scarletpeaches
09-08-2010, 04:26 AM
Oh I love you - let's SQUEE together. :D

*cuddles her copy of The Unconsoled like it's a teddy bear*

Mr. Anonymous
09-08-2010, 10:16 AM
Heh, I don't mind Knightley but I COULDN'T STAND Ruth. lol. Oh God, I hated her pretty consistently for most of the book.

As for Ishiguro, what would you guys recommend as my next novel of his?


Spoilers-ish





EDIT- The one thing I really regret about the trailer leading me to the book is seeing that line, "We didn't have to look into your souls. We had to see if you had souls at all," because I was waiting for it to crop up the whole time, and I feel like it would have been much more powerful if I hadn't been expecting it. Ah well. That's the line that sold me on the book and that's the line that's stayed with me most after reading it.

Mr. Anonymous
12-29-2010, 10:48 PM
Bumping, because I saw this movie just last night and I loved it! To be completely honest (and at the risk of being ripped apart by Ishiguro fans), I think I liked the movie more than the book, simply because Ruth was less of a presence in the movie. I'm really kind of surprised that reviews were somewhat mixed, and sad the movie had such a limited release...

mario_c
01-01-2011, 11:19 AM
Yeah, it was too dark and dreary for mass audiences but what the hell, it was very solidly done. I know Keira Knightely has no love in here but she was effective as hell in her role, as was Charlotte Rampling as the creepy headmistress. The line quoted before (yeah, the spoiler) stuck with me long after the movie ended, just one of several.

Manuel Royal
01-01-2011, 07:29 PM
Knightly's a good actress; don't get the "hatred". (And it's sad to see a wonderful concept like hatred cheapened by applying the term to one's taste in entertainers.)

The concept sounds silly and hackneyed. But, Ishiguro got a good novel out of it? I'll have to check him out. Hm, I see he wrote the screenplay for The Saddest Music in the World, which I liked a lot.

mario_c
01-02-2011, 09:40 AM
I saw the trailer for Saddest Music In The World; I love Guy Maddin's work, and it's interesting that and this both have the same author, essentially. Time to give my queue another bump. :D

The_Ink_Goddess
01-03-2011, 04:09 PM
I adore Ishiguro and can't. Fucking. Stand Keira Knightley, so I'm conflicted. I'll probably see it because I worship the ground Ishiguro walks on. He's my absolute model for a writer (along with Wally Lamb).

But man. Knightley. Knightley?

I love you, scarletpeaches. And I cannot stand Knightley. Absurdly beautiful, but a terrible actress. (IMO)

Still haven't read the book. Have to -- I've got it.

Carey Mulligan - I really liked in her An Education, but her constant overexposure since has dimmed her star a little for me. Loved Andrew Garfield in Boy A and The Social Network.

scarletpeaches
01-03-2011, 04:11 PM
It's that damn pout. Or is it a duck's bill?

Eat a fucking sammich and go live in a cave, FFS.

maestrowork
01-03-2011, 09:02 PM
Keira is fine in the film, plus she doesn't have that many scenes. I don't get the hatred either. I think she was great in the movies I saw her in (she was bad in Pirates, however). She's fine in NLMG.

I'd hate for this thread to turn into one giant Keira Knightley hatefest pile-on. (yes, my adoration is showing, but I'm also trying to be reasonable. :) ) Let's just discuss the movie for what it is, instead of a personal vendetta against someone you've never even met.

What I don't like about the movie is the passivity of the characters. They all just sit there and wait for the shoe to drop. I suppose that's the theme, that there's nothing anyone can do. They need to accept and make peace. It's the way it is. They're damaged. "Do they even have souls"? But that kind of story and characters depresses me. Personally I just don't like passive characters, and Ruth, despite she's a manipulative bitch, is the most proactive character! The others just sit around, mope, cry, hold hands, and stare into the sunset. It works better in the book because of Ishiguro's brilliant writing. As a film, it doesn't work for me. I find the central theme actually rather pathetic and implausible. How can a whole world look at these children and think of them as just "things"? Again, I think it works better in the book than as a movie for a reason.

Mr. Anonymous
01-04-2011, 03:11 AM
maestro- They've been raised their entire lives to think this is what they're made to do. They have no real knowledge of the outside world. In a lot of ways, they're like children. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that they ARE children.

SPOILERS





I mean, how ridiculous is the idea that the art will be used to look into their souls and find out if they're "worthy" of getting a deferral? It's completely childish. And I think that's the point. I think that's why Tommy relapses into one of his tantrums from childhood. Because he IS still a child.

you say that "The others just sit around, mope, cry, hold hands, and stare into the sunset,"

but don't we do that a lot in real life? For me, the magical thing about this movie is that it's not your typical sci fi fare. It's completely and utterly realistic and down to earth, with characters who are real human beings who happen to be in a sci fi world. None of this character has a problem, what does he do to solve the problem, he blows shit up a la The Island etc etc generic formulaic nonsense. I mean, granted, I suppose to an extent it's still there, any story has some conflict, problems that people try to sole, but it's so much more subtle here, and so much more real, I think.

If you want examples of characters showing initiative, being proactive, what about Tommy's years and years of drawings out of hope that someday they'll be put to use? Is that not proactive? What about Ruth, at the end of it all, trying to right wrongs and bring these two together? What about Kathy, who requests to be Ruth's carer in the first place? What about Kathy taking an interest in Tommy? Worrying about his polo? Sitting with him at lunch? What about Tommy, standing in the doorway while she's reading pornos, going for walks with her, or just walking up with this puppy-dog look on his face and saying, "Hey." I think the characters are all proactive in their own ways.

How can a whole world look at these children and think of them as just "things"?

Surely we're not talking about the same world where the holocaust and many more genocides besides have happened?

And I KNOW this is going to be somewhat controversial, and to be 100% perfectly clear, I'm not trying to start a debate about this here, and obviously, there is a big difference between what I'm about to say and what's going on in the movie. However, as someone who leans pro-life, I can't help but think of the debate about stem cells here.

You may agree or disagree with my stance, but you cannot deny that to someone who believes embryos are a human life, there is a chilling parallel between what happens in the movie and using human embryos (and in the process, destroying them) that would have grown into fully matured human beings to treat illnesses.

So no, I don't think it's far fetched at all.

maestrowork
01-04-2011, 08:36 AM
Stem-cell embryos are very different than living, talking, feeling, thinking children and adults, who actually have names, finger prints, etc. I understand the allegory, but to me, it's stretching it, only to pose such philosophical question like "Do they have souls?" That's just bull. But even if you must compare these clones, who are created for organ donations -- or else they have no right to life -- to stem-cells embryos, or to a world where genocides and holocaust did happen, it still doesn't compare because at least in our world, people do speak out against them. There are organizations. People break the laws to fight the government on these "atrocities." Even in Nazi Germany, there were people like Schindler. The point is, in THAT world, no one cares if these "children" get killed for their "purposes." No outcry. No advocacy groups. Doctors just leave them there to die and then toss the bodies away like used condoms. No where for them to turn to. No sympathizers. No underground groups. No activists. They're like chicken and pigs, raised to be slaughtered and not one person gives a fuck.

I like the book, which is more fully developed than the film, and I think the premise is fascinating and I fully understand why they are the way they are. But as a movie, it is just flat for me. The characters are way too passive for a movie. Yes, Ruth is proactive to try to right her wrongs. Tommy tried to find a solution. I understand why and they're raised that way, but it makes for a very boring 2 hours of watching these people cry, mope, and stare into the sunset. Yes, real people do that, but do I want to pay $10 to see them cry, mope and stare into the sunset? No.

Also, the movie doesn't do nearly enough to establish that alternate world (the era is 80s, but clearly it's not our world). We don't get to know what really happened, except for a short prologue about how these clones came to be. We didn't get the reasons behind the dystopia and dispassion. So the movie just feels cold, dispassionate, detached, and dull. No one cares. No one does anything. And the only sympathetic character got sacked -- and that's supposed to be reason why no one speaks out, I suppose? But as a movie, it just didn't work for me. I try to root for these characters, but at the end they just lie there and take it. If the whole point is to prove that they do have souls and can love, it's like "duh" to me.

Like I said, I like the book but mostly because of the writing and how Ishiguro developed that world, but I just didn't think it translates well into film. I was so excited to see the movie, and I couldn't help but feel disappointed when I left the theater.

That's my opinion of course. That's why these things are subjective. You're very welcome to disagree.

Mr. Anonymous
01-04-2011, 10:34 PM
People do speak out against them. There are organizations. People break the laws to fight the government on these "atrocities." Even in Nazi Germany, there were people like Schindler. The point is, in THAT world, no one cares if these "children" get killed for their "purposes." No outcry. No advocacy groups. Doctors just leave them there to die and then toss the bodies away like used condoms. No where for them to turn to. No sympathizers. No underground groups. No activists. They're like chicken and pigs, raised to be slaughtered and not one person gives a fuck.

That's an interesting point, but I have three things to point out about it.

1. Hailsham itself was an example of speaking out, of resisting, albeit lawfully, of asking a question most people preferred not to ask.

2. We don't actually know that there aren't some kind of resistance groups or whatnot. It's just that they're not mentioned. They're not part of the story. That's not to say that they don't exist at all, in Ishiguro's alternate world.

3. I think maybe it functions similarly to the way the holocaust functioned in Nazi germany. The average german had a sense of what was going on, but didn't ask, because he didn't want to know.

Mostly though, I'm really curious as to why you buy this set-up in Ishiguro's novel and not the movie? I am reading the novel over again actually, and I agree, he's a great writer... But, to me at least, it seems that if you have a problem with this aspect of the movie, you should also have a problem with the book.

Stem-cell embryos are very different than living, talking, feeling, thinking children and adults, who actually have names, finger prints, etc. I understand the allegory, but to me, it's stretching it, only to pose such philosophical question like "Do they have souls?"

I'm not trying to argue with you, just want to show you something. A scenario, if you will.

Let's say Bob is a christian. (his actual religion makes little difference.)

Bob has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. He can be treated, but only via stem cells.

Being a christian, Bob believes in the soul, believes all human beings have souls.

But Bob desperately wants to be treated. He feels people like him, deserve to be treated, if there exists a means of treatment.

Now, the embryo that will be destroyed to treat Bob is a human life in its very earliest stages. This is incontrovertible. It is not rational. Not sentient, not able to exist on its own, etc etc etc. All that, I grant you. But it is still a human life. Otherwise, you are in a position where you have to draw a rather arbitrary line that seperates the embryo's/fetus's non-human existence from its human existence, which is just kind of silly.

So Bob admits that the embryo is a human life. Yet, he believes this human life should be expended to save himself.

As a christian then, Bob must believe that the embryo does not, in fact, have a soul. And because the embryo, like lesser animals, does not have a soul, the life of a human being with a soul takes precedence over it.

Bob is now in a position where he denies that a particular human life has a soul.

Two questions, then.

1. At what point, then, does the embryo "get" or "develop" a soul? Is it really such a stretch to move from "the embryo does not have a soul" to "and it will never have a soul, because you can't just "get" a soul, you either have it, or you don't.."

2. Bob denies the embryo a soul, I think (and again, many will disagree, but I would be fascinated to hear Ishiguro's take) because he wants to live. He does not want to get Alzheimers. He is selfishly motivated (understandably so, we're all afraid of death + illness, but still). If he is selfishly motivated to deny the embryo a soul, why can't he overlook a child's soul? Another human being's soul? A child he will never see? A human being he will never know.

Obviously, this is not to say that everyone would overlook the soul, which goes back to what we said above.

We don't get to know what really happened, except for a short prologue about how these clones came to be. We didn't get the reasons behind the dystopia and dispassion. So the movie just feels cold, dispassionate, detached, and dull. No one cares. No one does anything. And the only sympathetic character got sacked -- and that's supposed to be reason why no one speaks out, I suppose? But as a movie, it just didn't work for me. I try to root for these characters, but at the end they just lie there and take it.

I see what you're saying (obviously, I don't agree about the dull part, lol)but I don't see how it's different from the book. I didn't have a problem with the book doing very little worldbuilding. So I don't have a problem with the lack of world building in the movie.

Your comments keep making me think of the holocaust. A lot of jews are very ashamed of the holocaust, because of this conception of the Jewish people, unresistingly marching to their deaths, children and lovers in hand. Of course, some people did resist violently. But not every story is one of violent resistance, and as a whole, there was relatiely little violent resistance at all (again, a source of shame.) However, I do not think this is a peculiarity of the Jewish people. I think there is something truthful about humanity to be found in 11 million people marching to their deaths, largely without resisting.

If the whole point is to prove that they do have souls and can love, it's like "duh" to me.

What I take away from the movie is the same as the book, in that there's no one "point."

That's my opinion of course. That's why these things are subjective. You're very welcome to disagree.

Yes, it just goes to show you how this whole business is so damned subjective. I hope you don't feel I was trying to argue with you, just wanted to have a conversation, is all. It seems like so few people have seen this movie, I have nobody to talk to. lol

maestrowork
01-04-2011, 10:52 PM
I agree that the movie and the book are not that different, but to me, the writing makes the difference to me and I was able to suspend my disbelief or overlook certain aspect of the premise, world, and plot. I read for language, too. With films, however, I guess my criteria are somewhat different. Also, in the book we get to read Kathy's mind and we get attached to her since it's in 1st person. In the movies, it's more objective view point and Kathy, while sympathetic, just comes across as passive. Yes, we're supposed to think that's how they're raised, but compared to Ruth, Kathy comes across as too passive -- she didn't even fight for Tommy. Ruth was raised that way, too, but she's much more proactive and resourceful. Again, that's the difference between the movie version and the book. When you're in the head of Kathy all the time, you start to feel and see more. In the movie, it becomes clear that there's no resolution, revelation, or a point. It's a handsome production, but it's not the same as reading Ishiguro's writing.

gothicangel
01-04-2011, 11:12 PM
I read this at University last semester in a module on Modern Gothic. I believe the function isn't to show cloning as the site of monstrocity, but a society that permits cloning for the sole objective of organ transplantation.

Nothing can be more bone chilling as the concept of 'completion.'

Ishiguro's brilliance for me was in the last paragraph. The moment of revelation not acknowledged or taken. Definitely on a par with Remains of the Day.

mario_c
01-05-2011, 07:19 AM
This really speaks as to why certain literary works don't translate well onto the big screen. Or stage - it's all about a character's action, their mission and heroic journey. So you have characters who are left without a mission, heroism or even dignity, left basically to die, and that is scary to audiences (and producers :D). We're confronted with our own mortality and epic existential angst through these people. That's scary.
But specifically in this movie, Tommy and Kathy have a mission: get release from the program through his art. Ruth has a mission (unrealized): know her mother. Kathy's mission is to bring dignity to the final days of her fellow clones. And the usual bullsh!t about love for the handsome Tommy...we love a love story.