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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things (Read 6,726 times)
cal-Q-L8
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The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
20. Jun 2004 at 11:56
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Sprouse Twins getting controversial.
« Last Edit: 12. Sep 2004 at 01:22 by cal-Q-L8 »  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #1 - 20. Jun 2004 at 19:10
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Wow, it sounds like this one might be more controversial than 'Bad Education', even.  Shocked

These quotes are from some of the reviews that are highlighted at that site you linked, Cal:

<i>From the Independent UK
The Ten Best Films At Cannes 2004
By Geoffrey MacNab, film writer

7. THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS
Asia Argento, 2004

Subtle it isn't, but in its own strident and uninhibited way, Asia Argento's adaptation of JT LeRoy's autobiographical novel about the son of a truck-stop prostitute in America's Deep South is strangely effective. Imagine Oliver Twist re-made as a horror pic and you'll come close to its essence.</i>

And this one:

<i>Also from the Independent (different article)

Asked about Argento's JT Leroy adaptation, 'The Heart is Deceitful!', 'Irreversible' director-about-town Gaspar Noe raved about 'the most incredible scenes of paedophilia I've ever seen'. Is that good? 'It's real,' he shrugged.</i>

Also, this was in part of the review by Empire Online:

<i>The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, a Gothic adaptation of J.T. Leroy’s novel about a young boy’s traumatic, cross-dressing adolescence. The movie’s attracted a lot of critical flak already, with some dubbing it the worst film at the festival; this year’s Brown Bunny, a 90-minute wallow in depravity. Asia wasn’t amused... "What you see as depravity is to me just another aspect of the human condition. I’m interested in how certain conditions form a human being," said Argento, who knows a thing or two about colourful childhoods herself. "But it’s not all depravity in life."</i>

And finally, here's part of one that mentioned the Sprouse twins, from Eye Weekly in Toronto:

<i>Above All Things is an adaptation of the novel by J.T. Leroy about a kid (played by twins Cole and Dylan Sprouse) who has the extreme misfortune of having Argento's whacked-out junkie hooker for his mother. She drags him through a somewhat surreal version of the American South that is defined entirely in terms of sex, drugs, violence and old-time religion. Uneven but exciting, it's a kissing cousin to Harmony Korine's Gummo and possibly even more crappity smacked in the head.</i>

Love,
Sir J

  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #2 - 21. Jun 2004 at 20:28
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This sounds like a film festival film. :censored:

is in this as well.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #3 - 30. Jun 2004 at 01:54
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A poster with the nick 'Kent' provided this review on B.O.Y.S. Forum.

THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS
Starring Jimmy Bennett, Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse, Asia Argento
Directed by Asia Argento

Hi, I¡¦ve just come back from the cinema where I watched THIDAAT, and here are some thoughts I have:

The story (from amazon¡¦s book description):

Jeremiah is a child nobody wants, and he passes swiftly from foster parents to his angry and vindictive teenaged mother, Sarah, to his fanatically Evangelical grandparents. Sarah, herself badly wounded by her punishing, Bible-obsessed parents, gave birth to the boy when she was only 14; she returns at 18 to claim him. "Nobody takes what's mine," spouts the foul-mouthed, pill-popping, paranoid young woman. It's soon clear that Sarah cares nothing for her son, who becomes an unwelcome tagalong on her transient cross-country misadventures in hooking louche sugar daddies, stripping, turning tricks for truckers and cooking up explosive "crystal" in one boyfriend's cellar. The boy, who begins to crave Sarah's punishment as a way of keeping his life in balance, is frequently whipped for bed-wetting and is raped by her unsavory boyfriends; his denial of his sexuality becomes a pathetic attempt to identify with his tormentor.

The film:

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised with the adaptation to the big screen: It has been toned down in a way that makes the movie watchable without giving up too much of the horror and tormenting of little Jeremiah (although the part where he had to live with his fanatically religious grandparents was way too short in my opinion). Argento actually managed to produce a film version that might be screened in the U. S. After all. I would have never guessed this possibility existed, given the source material.

The acting (superb!):

I cannot point out enough how excited I was about Jimmy Bennett¡¦s (Jeremiah aged 7) acting and appearance. His portrayal of an innocent but tormented soul (physical violence, humiliation, sexual abuse) was spot on and will put the faint of heart out of sleep for weeks! This little fella with his sad eyes has an enormous presence on screen. He owns the screen, the whole universe! I expect him to become huge as an actor some day. So watch out for Jimmy Bennett (upcoming: Anchorman, Amityville Horror).

Dylan and Cole Sprouse were stunningly great, too. Their fragile, angelic appearance combined with highly professional and very talented acting made them absolutely perfect to portray the tormented Jeremiah on the verge of losing it. Honestly, NOBODY in the world would fit in this part better. Their acting is so natural and therefore so sad, it will break your heart, I promise!
BTW, for all those Dylan bashers of the forum who think Cole is cute and Dylan¡¦s not (because he¡¦s become fat!): Dylan looks absolutely stunning when he takes his shirt off. In a long shirtless shot he reveals the posture of a Michelangelo statue. Or like an average Greek god! (Dylan has two distinguished moles on his right chest which makes it very easy to tell them apart. In case you wondered. Check out some Apple Jack caps soon, if you want).
The bottom line: Dylan and Cole need to get serious roles in A-movies or first class independent flicks in which they could show some of their acting skills (hopefully a film that centers around skinny-dipping or a sculptor they model for ƒº ). They really did not have the chance to show their talents in earlier efforts, did they? Well, I understand they are Italian citizens and speak Italian fluently. So maybe Europe¡¦s filmmakers will welcome them with open arms (like Argento did. Maybe Bernardo Bertolucci would... well, that¡¦s just speculation...)

The nudity:

There was no actual nudity, only implied one (except for a brief scene of Asia herself). But you know what? For the first time I¡¦m not disappointed over this fact but quite relieved, because I feel it would have violated the style of the storytelling of this particular film too much. The film did better this way and maybe gives it a chance to reach a wider audience than it could otherwise.
However, the imdb names some characters from the book that didn¡¦t make it into the film version. Apparently the film had been trimmed down. So let¡¦s see what the deleted scenes on the upcoming DVD will look like. Or probably a director¡¦s cut will emerge some day...

Bottom line:

Highly, highly recommended!
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #4 - 30. Jun 2004 at 09:35
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That's an excellent review by Kent, and I appreciate your reposting of it, Cal.

This is a DVD that I'll look for, when it's available!

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #5 - 14. Nov 2005 at 22:49
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For those who have seen this film or read the novel, or who are interested in either, the following article is a must-read:

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In a nutshell...

The whole thing is a hoax. The author of this book, who claimed that it was all a true story based on his own experiences of abuse as a child, does not exist. None of it is true. The author is in fact a middle-aged woman, or something.

As you might expect, people are outraged.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #6 - 16. Nov 2005 at 18:53
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Having seen the movie, I can't say that I'm shocked that it's all the product of someone's imagination.

Thanks for that link, joseph! It made for interesting reading.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #7 - 16. Nov 2005 at 23:28
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I'm not shocked that it's the product of someone's imagination either. But I am somewhat shocked (surprised is more like it) that the character does not even exist!

I mean, it's one thing to lie about your own life and pretend to have experienced things you didn't experience, but this is different. The person we thought was the author of the books doesn't even exist!
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #8 - 19. Nov 2005 at 22:54
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I'm surprised no one else has reacted to this. It seemed like a big deal to me, but maybe not.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #9 - 20. Nov 2005 at 05:42
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Maybe people in the US will react when (or if?) it plays in cinemas there.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #10 - 20. Nov 2005 at 10:06
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Well, I didn't mean people in general, I meant people here, at BA.

But if it didn't have a lot of chances of playing in cinemas before, I'd say it's even more unlikely now that it ever will. The fact that it was based on a true story was the excuse everyone was using to justify the portrayal of abuse in the film. Now that it's all an elaborate fantasy, I have a feeling people will be even less sympathetic to it.

(In my opinion, it doesn't make much of a difference.)
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #11 - 21. Nov 2005 at 05:34
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I never judge a film like this on whether it is 'real' or not. I haven't read the book so when I watched the film I watched it like I'd watch a fictional drama. I'll certainly watch it with a different perspective next time, perhaps wondering what the 'motive' for the story is or was.
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #12 - 21. Jan 2006 at 07:29
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This movie has finally made it to DVD

released on monday, you can get it from (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

I got my copy today Cheesy TWO DAYS EARLY!!! Cheesy
  
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Re: The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things
Reply #13 - 21. Jan 2006 at 13:51
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Quote:
In a nutshell...

The whole thing is a hoax. The author of this book, who claimed that it was all a true story based on his own experiences of abuse as a child, does not exist. None of it is true. The author is in fact a middle-aged woman, or something.

As you might expect, people are outraged.


The writer is interviewed in a DVD extra, and is a bit weird, but not middle aged, and strange as it may seem is actually a man
  
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J. T. LeRoy ??
Reply #14 - 21. Jan 2006 at 17:13
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There is even a piece in Time magazine about J. T. LeRoy being an invented person.

  
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