Too Old to Die Young

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Persona
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#51 Post by Persona » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:25 pm

I don't know, right now it reminds me the most of Only God Forgives (which, like you, I didn't like) but I haven't gotten too far into it yet. Its greater variety of characters and narrative threads will probably prove a boon but then on the flip-side it is much longer than Only God Forgives so...

I do appreciate Refn's aesthetic having this much room to breathe because it does lead to some pretty immersive moments that kind of just stretch out all around you and you're just there with these characters--but then other aspects of the writing and characterizations kind of actively work against that immersion. It's very Refn but the indulgence of this being 13 hours with a plot that seems like it would have been 3 hours for most shows definitely imbues it with a singular sort of vibe (and I think that's where some of the Twin Peaks: The Return comparisons come in, even as ultimately different as Refn and Lynch are).

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#52 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:05 am

dda1996a wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:24 pm
If I love Drive, didn't like Only God Forgives, and really liked Neon Demon until the last third (the first part was especially great), should I spent 13 hours on this?
I felt pretty much the same across the board on those three Refns, though I liked the end of Neon Demon more the second time. While I also consider this to be his “magnum opus,” like others, for me this started off feeling too slow and indulgent, but once it started grooving none of these stylistic methods felt like handicaps and instead created a trance-like state where I was able to access all offerings in ways I hadn’t before- which makes me wonder whether all of his work would have benefited from this long format to let the style settle. I do believe that it helps that by this point one knows what to expect with Refn, and can’t help but wonder if Neon Demon came out before Only God Forgives after the liberally-balanced style and pace of Drive, would more people still like former rather than the latter? Part of me wonders if, despite Refn having established his preferred style pre-Drive, a lot of hate (mine included) to Only God Forgives is a product of timing, and I look forward to a rewatch soon post-TOTDY to re-evaluate my thoughts.
John Cope wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:02 am
It's also one of the very finest portraits of America (by anyone) that I can think of, even as it has broader social and even cosmological implications; it is rich and horrifically resonant as a mirror back to us of our own abiding obsessions, even poisonous cultural lineage, of violence as a virtually inescapable paradigm for both action and perception. In that regard the monologue at the end by Jena Malone (always sooo great) is kin to the TLJ speech at the end of No Country for Old Men. And the indictment is to all for sinking into a mass of power hungry rage (even as it may be justified, substantiated, argued away), a conflagration finally of epic proportions. That's also why we get the police department scenes. At first I simply took these as welcome comic relief but they become so clearly and progressively isolated that their absurdity becomes paramount. The idea of "police" becomes either an obscenity or an absurdity.
This is a strong reading that hits on many of the larger macro-systemic reasons for this film’s intelligence in that Refn uses these 13 hours to paint a clear vision of the world (America included) and meditate on life itself as an extra dimension trying to coexist with that world, exploiting both tangible structures and systems (i.e. police, societies, culture) and philosophical ideas (loyalty, morality). The demonstration of police as absurd also fits with Martin’s breakout from the state of apathy in his socially-constructed occupation with acute elation when he gets the opportunity to kill for Jena’s cult, committing a self-perceived authentic and purposeful act to momentarily escape that paradigm of artificial ‘order,’ ironically by forfeiting to violence and subscribing to the culturally-conditioned perspective of this act as the only expression of personal justice, thus bound to the normative consumption pattern of values - or lack thereof, when falsely believing himself to be freely executing his will for the first time (though there’s always the further reading that all value is subjectivity and so regardless of the objective facade of authenticity, if Martin gets his only emotional fix from this subjective sense of purpose, perhaps that’s as authentic as one can get; a perspective Refn doesn’t indicate sharing but keeps himself maturely reserved enough to leave on the table).

The obsession with characters drawn to exaggerated stylistic fantasy narratives born from media is something Refn has been playing with this complexly at least since Drive, but here he has the time to generously explore these ideas. I also agree that this went to interesting new places unexpectedly, even for Refn who as an already unpredictable director with some predictable routes forfeits many of these. This flexibility in perspective only helped to flesh out a meditation on greater systemic forces that are always present in his work, but never before have they felt like they had enough time to explore adequately beyond the people struggling within them.
John Cope wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:02 am
As to the question above about episode 7:
SpoilerShow
I didn't take the scene literally but rather as another heightened expressionistic manifestation, this time one that serves to indicate the range and extent of the Baldwin character's reach, his power; that it is, like so many other powerful figures, almost but significantly not quite godlike.
.
I like this take a lot and it helps to explain and expand on what I was trying to grasp at in my initial interpretation. However, I can’t think of many other scenes in the film that match it on a level nearly as esoteric.. I’m curious are there other examples of these “heightened expressionistic manifestations” that defy our logic yet belong to the logic of this universe in the same way as this scene plays?
Last edited by therewillbeblus on Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

ianungstad
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 9:20 pm

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#53 Post by ianungstad » Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:23 am

How is Brubaker's contribution? He's really been one of the key writers of modern film noir.

His work is so plot and character driven that I'm perplexed at how well he'd work out with Refn directing his scripts. I love the high concept of Westworld but the HBO series has been a mixed bag. The episode Brubaker wrote was probably the best of that series.

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Feiereisel
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:41 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#54 Post by Feiereisel » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:38 am

ianungstad wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:23 am
How is Brubaker's contribution? He's really been one of the key writers of modern film noir.

His work is so plot and character driven that I'm perplexed at how well he'd work out with Refn directing his scripts. I love the high concept of Westworld but the HBO series has been a mixed bag. The episode Brubaker wrote was probably the best of that series.
Brubaker is credited with Refn as the co-creator and co-writer for I believe all but one of the episodes of the series. He also has a producer credit. Even so, the unique tone, pace, and aesthetic of the show makes it feel more like Refn's baby.

That said, longtime readers of Brubaker's creator owned comics work--especially Criminal, Fatale, and Kill or be Killed--will find recognizable elements of his work in the show. His presence is largely felt in the conceits/archetypal aspects of the characters and the looming sense of noir-ish "inevitability" that suffuses the narrative, but there are also some aesthetic pieces that feel like they originate with Brubaker. In a couple cases--Yaritza and Diana--it's almost as if his frequent comics collaborator Sean Phillips' art has walked right off the page and into frame.

Brubaker wrote about the show in the back pages of the most recent issue of Criminal, saying:
TOO OLD TO DIE YOUNG - As I've mentioned several dozen times, I'm sure, this is the TV show I co-created with Nicolas Winding Refn. It's out on June 14th on Amazon Prime Video, and if you're a fan of what I do, but especially if you're a fan of what Nicolas Refn does, you're going to want to check this show out. It is unlike anything out there, by a wide margin, so expect weird and shocking and hypnotic and gorgeous, all at the same time. Do not expect anything resembling a traditional TV series. Refn directed every episode, and I have been describing it to friends as a series of interlinked movies, that get more surreal as they go along. This is a one-time event, and I doubt even in this crazy era of streaming, that we'll ever see anything quite like it again.

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lzx
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#55 Post by lzx » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:16 am

Cancelled, in order for Amazon to focus on "blockbuster content"

black&huge
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:35 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#56 Post by black&huge » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:45 am

Good. I mean I overall enjoyed it but it really did feel like a one and done sorta thing.

dda1996a
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:14 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#57 Post by dda1996a » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:09 am

Did this have any plans for more seasons? Haven't seen it yet, but I though it was a limited series (not that that stopped anyone before)

Noiradelic
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#58 Post by Noiradelic » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:08 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:08 am
There are Netflix shows which get physical releases, mostly shows which are not produced entirely by them. Amazon's movies get physical releases, but not sure if a series of theirs ever did.
Looks like none of their more popular series have gotten a physical release... but the first season of Alpha House did!

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Too Old to Die Young

#59 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:34 pm

This is just me but I really just prefer to either have shows digitally or not buy them at all and wait until they come on any of their platforms. I do make exceptions, but as it is I have not really watched my Breaking Bad Blu-ray set much.

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#60 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:47 pm

black&huge wrote:
Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:45 am
Good. I mean I overall enjoyed it but it really did feel like a one and done sorta thing.
My thoughts exactly. This is one of the best films I’ve seen this year so far, and I say that (obviously) in interpreting it as one long film. It works much better that way and had a pretty perfect ending, but dragging it on any longer probably would have been a mistake. I do wonder if Refn has any plans for a second season or these characters and what he would have done with them, but if he feels passionately enough maybe we’ll see that vision in a different form.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Too Old to Die Young

#61 Post by tenia » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:31 am

I'll probably never get accustomed to series being called films (yes, even the new Twin Peaks season).

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