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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Nightcrawler (Read 24,730 times)
josephk
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #15 - 05. Jun 2005 at 00:01
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Thanks for the update, Wildeboy.

If you've seen L'enfant sage, I'd really like to have your feedback on it. I've read the novel and it is very good. Can't find the movie anywhere, but I really want to see it.
  
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cal-Q-L8
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #16 - 05. Jun 2005 at 01:05
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Glad to see things diversifying from the bloody and gory side  Grin

L'enfant Sage is one I've been wanting to see for years.
  
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Wildeboy
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #17 - 05. Jun 2005 at 05:59
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I've defined the Darkside so broadly as to include just about anything I want.  It can be emotional as well as blood and guts.  L'Enfant Sage was my first feature at the original DSOB and I've always had a special liking for it.  I purchased it on video tape from the late Brandon at CVMC several years ago and recently a generous person made a DVD-R copy for me and thats the source of the caps I used.

I've only seen the movie in unsubtitled French so I can only guess at some of the nuances.  For example, what was the relationship between Julien and Eric?  It seemed very homoerotic but I don't think they were doing anything but wrestling.  I had an impression that one of them (probably Julien) wanted to carry it further and that was the reason for their breakup.  I also believe that Julien's suicide was something he had been planning all along if his parents didn't reconcile.  He seemed to be making a statement by doing it at the place were they met.

If you've read the novel (I didn't know there was one), Joseph K, perhaps you could explain this stuff to me?

Here are some caps I didn't use at DSOB with the beautiful Erwan Baynaud and the hunky Jan Vancollie:

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Sorry about the poor quality, but the caps are from a DVD-R copied from NTSC tape converted from Seacam.  It would be nice if they could release the film in DVD, but that doesn't seem likely.



 





 





« Last Edit: 13. Jan 2009 at 20:51 by Quantum »  
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josephk
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #18 - 05. Jun 2005 at 10:31
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I don't know how different the movie is. In the novel, Eric does not have a big part, but it is a very significant one.

The novel is written in a very elliptical style, a series of very short chapters (the longest ones are about 10 pages, the shortest one are not even a full page), each describing a certain aspect of Julien's very monotonous and repetitive existence.

One of these chapters is devoted to Eric and their secret weekly meetings to wrestle. These are very important, because they are among the very few, privileged moments when Julien allows himself to be free and alive. The only other times he does this is when he is writing poems at night, again secretly, and when he sneaks out of the house to roam the streets at night. The rest of the time, Julien concentrates all his efforts on pleasing the adults around him, being an "enfant sage" (i.e., well-behaved child), and maintaining the delicate order and stability that has been established around him by his emotionally distant parents.

It's interesting that, without understanding the dialogue, you imagined that he wants his parents to return together. Again, this may be different in the film, but if so it would have very little to do with the novel. For his parents to return together is the last thing on Earth that Julien desires. He does not remember them ever actually being together, and though he is curious about their life before the separation, he cannot even imagine them living together. He finds the image of them having sex repulsive, and seeing couples walking around, holding hands or kissing is disturbing to him. He claims that he will never get married and cannot understand that kind of loving relationship.

What drives him to suicide is that he feels the delicate balance of his life being disrupted. His mother wants to have custody of him and that throws everything into turmoil. He sees the order of his life about to shift into chaos and the unknown. Throughout the novel, he dreads the approaching month of June, which he sees as "dangerous," because it contains so many unpredictable events, like his birthday and the end of school. When he goes on his last holiday with his father, on the beach, he knows that his life will never return to the predictable and safe order that he once knew. Unable to face that, he prefers to plunge deep into the ocean and "swallow the sea."
  
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Wildeboy
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #19 - 05. Jun 2005 at 13:24
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It appears I understood even less about this movie than I thought.  However, I'm not sure the screenplay followed the book that faithfully.  I would have thought Julien preferred to be with his mother.  When he was with her, he seemed happy and they obviously had a very loving relationship.  On the other hand, his father was depicted as rather a cold, dominating person, always trying to stiffle the boy's attempts at independence.

Also, I don't understand the relationship between Julien and Eric (which was probably only about 10 percent of the film).  My take was Eric, the schoolyard ruffian, and Julien, the repressed preteen, used the wrestling sessions to work out their hostilities.  This whole section was depicted in a very homoerotic way: their stares when they laid eyes on one another, rubbing their bodies with oil, taking nearly naked photos of each other.  When Eric slaps Julien (several times), hands him his book bag and apparently tells him to get out and not come back, it really looked like one or the other was being rejected.

Are these things in the book or did the writers vear from the original story?
it really looked like one or the other was
  
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josephk
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #20 - 05. Jun 2005 at 21:26
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Your description of the father's characters sounds spot on and very faithful to the book. In the novel, the mother is certainly characterized as a more pleasant person to be around, always cheerful and singing and playing piano. But Julien's relationship to her, though different,  is as troubled as his relationship to his father. And in spite of all her cheerfulness, she doesn't seem genuinely interested in Julien. She asks him questions about his life without really expecting answers. Julien ends up trying to conform to her image of him in the same way that he tries to conform to his father's image of him when they are together. Neither of them really give him a chance to be himself.

Also, I wouldn't want to imply that he killed himself because he didn't want to go live with his mother. I think what drives him to suicide is simply the change that's coming. I think because he has never been able to express his individuality and just live freely, this change is too much for him to handle. He has been carefully preserving the delicate balance that has enabled him to deal with all that pressure from his parents for years, and now that it's falling apart he knows he'll have to readjust. It's not a change that brings about liberation, but just more complications and probably new, unfamiliar forms of oppression. Faced with that threat, the ocean seems like a more inviting option for him.

As for the relationship with Eric, there are definitely tones of homoeroticism in the novel as well, but it's clear that there is no emotional bond between them. Julien has no friends and doesn't want any. It's the pure physical nature of their encounters that offers a kind of liberation to him. They don't talk about their lives and don't expect anything from each other beyond that half-hour of wrestling every week.

In the novel, there is no "break up scene" between them. The chapter ends by saying that they've been seeing each other less often since December, that they're becoming less interested in the wrestling. But it doesn't say that they stop seeing each other or that there is any kind of rejection from one or the other.

Perhaps the filmmakers felt that their story lacked closure and decided to make their last scene together more dramatic.
« Last Edit: 06. Jun 2005 at 07:26 by josephk »  
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josephk
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #21 - 05. Jun 2005 at 21:31
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By the way, here's the cover of the novel I have. It doesn't look like this is available in English.

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« Last Edit: 13. Jan 2009 at 20:52 by Quantum »  
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cal-Q-L8
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #22 - 05. Jun 2005 at 23:43
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Thank you for this discussion ...  it was interesting to read. I've got an mpg of several scenes from the movie...  10 minutes of 'highlights' that someone kindly posted to usenet some years ago.

There seems to be much in this story that I can actually relate to very well... I remember when I was about 14 or 15 looking very much like Eric, wrestling with a classmate on a regular basis. My parents were also divorced and I lived with my mother but our relationship was aloof.

It's very frustrating that there is not an English translation or even an English subbed version of the movie.
  
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Wildeboy
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #23 - 07. Jun 2005 at 09:17
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This is a movie I'd really like to see in a Region 1 or Region 0 DVD with English subtitles.  Of course, that's not likely to ever happen.  It appears I was well off base in my impressions of the film (including my translation of the title).  I'm going to have to rewrite my description at DSOB.  I'll rename it "The Polite Boy."

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MikeZ
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #24 - 07. Jun 2005 at 14:10
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Would a series like this fit in with your theme?

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Wildeboy
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #25 - 07. Jun 2005 at 14:37
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Did you see my caps from Judge John Deed and The Royal?  Medical stuff, particularly if it's very gruesome or a boy dies, fits in nicely.  What's this from?  It looks promising.
  
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MikeZ
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #26 - 07. Jun 2005 at 15:35
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That is from "ER"...the episode is called "hell and High Water"....the patient it Erik Von Detten.

I'll post more here if you want, and you are welcome to use them.
  
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Wildeboy
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #27 - 07. Jun 2005 at 16:59
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Is that the one where he's trapped in a drain during a rainstorm and George Clooney comes to the rescue?  There's another well-known boy actor in it as well.  That's certainly an "intense situation" and would work at DSOB quite well.  Yes, I'd appreciate some caps, thanks.
  
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MikeZ
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #28 - 08. Jun 2005 at 14:09
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Re: Nightcrawler
Reply #29 - 08. Jun 2005 at 14:17
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