Waiting for the Barbarians - Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Waiting for the Barbarians by ‎J.M. Coetzee

Moderators: Liz, fireflydances

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3307
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Status: Offline

Waiting for the Barbarians - Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by fireflydances » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:20 pm

I wanted to begin where we are right now. Waiting for the Barbarians premieres next Friday. What are you thinking, or worrying or hoping about in terms of this premiere? Any and all comments are welcome. It could be you have questions or that you honestly aren't interested in the movie. Again, all and any thoughts.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29365
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha
Status: Offline

Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by nebraska » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:44 pm

I always want to see Johnny's work. He creates something unique and wonderful every time he appears in a film. With that said, I have watched numerous movies I didn't like because I wanted to watch him perform. I expect Waiting for the Barbarians to fall into that category. There are too many ways for this film to be unappealing -- it may depend on how closely the movie follows the book -- too violent, too much raw ugliness, too much gratuitous sex, too dark, too heavy, and too political among them. If I were to guess at a similarity with a previous film of Johnny's the tone of Before Night Falls would be my prediction.

But maybe a dark, heavy, political film will do well in competition. :perplexed: That might be good for Johnny. What matters is that he has done work he can be proud of.

My biggest hope is that we will get a chance to see the movie and judge for ourselves. It probably will not be seen in the mainstream.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3307
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Status: Offline

Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by fireflydances » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:05 pm

Thank you nebraska! Wonderful response, so thought-provoking! And thank you for referencing Before Night Falls. That's a useful comparison.

My own 'take' on Guerra is that he doesn't do gratuitous violence. There were dead bodies in Birds of Passage, but not gruesome stuff. The other thing I picked up from the two movies I saw was a vibe that is closer to European movies rather than American. He has a different sensibility that he insists on. The one director that came to mind when I saw both Embrace of the Serpent and Birds of Passage was Fellini. But, we will see how it goes. (And if you have already seen both, sorry for the inaccurate assumption on my part.)

There was an article in the papers several days ago. Of course I don't know which (I have this alert thing for Waiting and Guerra but I immediately delete after reading them) In any case the writer suggested that there were only 10 films likely to win at Venice, and Waiting for the Barbarians was one of them. But, we will see.

Found it: Barbarians is #10

"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3307
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Status: Offline

Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by fireflydances » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:16 pm

So what am I thinking about in terms of the upcoming premiere?

As a fan of Johnny, and someone who believes in his unique talent I have been frustrated by the critical appraisal of his work over the past five years. I know it's all a function of the industry and the 'flavor of the month' thinking that tells us who's up, who's out etc. So I am hoping that this film with its deeply compelling story and excellently draw characters will give him a win.

I am also a very big fan of Coetzee and I think this story is pitch-perfect for our world at this moment.

Finally, I am impressed by Guerra's work as a director. He is not likely to go the Hollywood route, so what we see in Waiting for the Barbarians will be informed by a non-Western vision. A way of looking at the world that comes from another place.

I don't want this film passed over. I want it to make people sit up and really take the story in.

Will that happen? Who knows. Venice is now a stepping stone on the road to the Oscar, so that values are different, the films currying favor are different.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
SnoopyDances
Posts: 50897
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:12 pm
Location: Tashmore Lake
Status: Offline

Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by SnoopyDances » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:39 pm

Other than photo ops, I don't really care about premiers and film festivals. I do hope the film does well. It's a good sign the it will be at other festivals.

I think from a business standpoint, producers hope to market films to distributors at the festivals. The more festivals, the bigger the chance of wider distribution.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3307
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Status: Offline

Question 1: Thoughts on next week's premiere

Unread post by fireflydances » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:33 pm

SnoopyDances wrote:Other than photo ops, I don't really care about premiers and film festivals. I do hope the film does well. It's a good sign the it will be at other festivals.

I think from a business standpoint, producers hope to market films to distributors at the festivals. The more festivals, the bigger the chance of wider distribution.
I agree snoopy! Just the other day Guerra became a member of the Zurich Film Festival jury that will be headed by Oliver Stone. This festival is end of September. If nothing else it demonstrates the high regard that the international community has for Guerra. No mention of the film however.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies