Little Joe

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Calvin
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Little Joe

#1 Post by Calvin » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:34 pm

Image

Jessica Hausner's Little Joe has been announced as a 2020 home video release from the BFI with a theatrical release on February 21st.

Trailer here

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#2 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:42 pm

LQ and I watched this and both outright hated it. It's much too understated for what it's trying to accomplish, somehow a more bloodless and morose version of a Yorgos Lanthimos film - and some of the set design and color palate choices are ill advised to the point of absurdity. I'd go as far as to just call it a bad movie from a comically inept filmmaker, but I'd have to see more of her work to be certain. Also, totally puzzled as to how this won Best Actress at Cannes, absolutely bizarre decision

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Little Joe

#3 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:47 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:42 pm
LQ and I watched this and both outright hated it. It's much too understated for what it's trying to accomplish, somehow a more bloodless and morose version of a Yorgos Lanthimos film - and some of the set design and color palate choices are ill advised to the point of absurdity. I'd go as far as to just call it a bad movie from a comically inept filmmaker, but I'd have to see more of her work to be certain. Also, totally puzzled as to how this won Best Actress at Cannes, absolutely bizarre decision
Did you find it to be as offensive toward people struggling with mental health issues (particularly the medication piece) as some of the Cannes reviews suggested? Or am I thinking of the wrong movie?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:56 pm

It was too inert to be offensive, but it was definitely playing around in the same sneeringly contemptuous place as something like The Lobster was, if that helps you picture how the film treats the idea of people being medicated for mental illness via the heavy handed metaphor of its botanical Invasion of the Body Snatchers premise. All the characters in the film save the lead are props, but amusingly in my view, the approach taken with the changes in said characters is so subtle that at times you can't even tell whether they've changed yet/at all. It's like a zombie film where becoming a zombie means you walk with an imperceptible limp that you as the viewer have to regularly look closely for. Considering that the film acknowledges how insignificant the personality changes that psychologically medicated people undergo are, it seems odd to think it has a particularly vicious agenda, but i can absolutely see why people got angry at this.

I could get into more with plot spoilers and such but I really think I've said enough about one of the worst films of this year.

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swo17
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Re: Little Joe

#5 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:04 pm

You're the only person that didn't like The Lobster though

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:13 pm

I'm certainly not in the majority, but there are plenty of people who didn't like The Lobster

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tenia
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Re: Little Joe

#7 Post by tenia » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:17 pm

What if someone's mixed about The Lobster ?

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domino harvey
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Re: Little Joe

#8 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:17 pm

We have a thread for that film, inquire there if you must

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:21 pm

Whenever I bring a Lanthimos film up it's as though I'm playing a game of Mike Tyson's Punch Out with the same sequence of users on this forum. Domino is Tyson himself, of course

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swo17
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Re: Little Joe

#10 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:23 pm

I'm just saying, you comparing this to The Lobster makes me want to see it now

Also, Lourdes and Amour fou are both worth seeking out

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#11 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:24 pm

And it should! Definitely a YMMV situation, but don't expect the production value and filmmaking chops

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Re: Little Joe

#12 Post by yoshimori » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:28 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:24 pm
don't expect the production value and filmmaking chops
Not sure what you may have in mind, specifically, re production value. There are no explosions or big crowd-scenes, of course; and there are, to be sure, a limited number of locations and a small cast, but, for a relatively low-budget film, the production design and cinematography are most striking and deliberate.

For those on the fence, the trailer gives a reasonable sense of what one might expect from the film. [Though the color in that trailer feels more saturated in general and especially wrt the magenta scenes than did that of the DCP I saw.]

Most problematic for me, perhaps, are several performances. I couldn't help wondering whether Hausner's command of English was strong enough to shape the dialogue-delivery of some of the actors. Still ...

A bizarre and creepy film.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Little Joe

#13 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:09 pm

The plants look great, but outside of that, the choices around having wardrobes match the color schemes in rooms, etc went from clever to cloying in about 10 minutes

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Re: Little Joe

#14 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:58 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:09 pm
The plants look great
Say no more, temptress!

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Re: Little Joe

#15 Post by Aunt Peg » Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:05 am

When I saw the thread I got all excited thinking it was Nicole Haeusser's 2009 documentary on Joe Dallesandro also called Little Joe which I have never been able to track down ](*,)

I do love Jessica Hausner's earlier work (Amour Fou is a near masterpiece) but this doesn't appeal to me one bit. I'll blind-buy nevertheless if I don't get to see it before the BFI release.

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Re: Little Joe

#16 Post by MichaelB » Thu May 21, 2020 7:11 am

Full specs announced:
LITTLE JOE
Directed by Jessica Hausner

Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox


See the trailer here

Blu-ray/DVD release on 15 June 2020 and simultaneously streaming on BFI Player (Subscription service), iTunes, Amazon Prime and Curzon Home Cinema

Following its theatrical release by the BFI on 21 February, Jessica Hausner’s first English language feature, Little Joe, will be released for home entertainment on 15 June 2020. Emily Beecham won Best Actress at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for her lead performance and the film had its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival last year. The Blu-ray/DVD set includes filmed interviews with cast and crew.

Single mother Alice (Emily Beecham) is a dedicated plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a very special flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, it makes its owner happy. Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They name it ‘Little Joe’ but as it grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their nickname suggests. Jessica Hausner’s (Lovely Rita, Lourdes) fifth feature also stars Ben Whishaw and Kerry Fox in a tense, paranoid sci-fi thriller that pinpoints the uncanny within the familiar to unnerving effect.

Special features
• Presented in Standard Definition and High Definition
Jessica Hausner in Conversation (2020, 37 mins): the director and co-writer of Little Joe talks to Geoff Andrew about the film and her career to date, recorded at BFI Southbank
Emily Beecham on Little Joe (2020, 2 mins): the Little Joe star talks about her character and what influenced both the film and her own performance
Cast and crew Q&A (2019, 17 mins): Jessica Hausner, co-screenwriter Géraldine Bajard and costume designer Tanja Hausner are joined by actors Emily Beecham and Kerry Fox for a post-screening talk hosted by Geoff Andrew at the 2019 London Film Festival
The Birth of a Flower (1910, 8 mins): Percy Smith’s mesmerising early time-lapse film captures the poetry of flowers as they open their petals to the light
• Trailer (2019)
• *** First pressing only *** Illustrated booklet with an extensive directors’ statement; a review by Catherine Wheatley and a feature by Kate Muir that were originally published in Sight & Sound March 2020, notes on the special features and full credits

Product details
RRP: £19.99 / Cat. no. BFIB1386 / 12
Austria, UK, Germany / 2019 / colour / 105 mins / English, with optional hard-of-hearing subtitles / original aspect ratio 1.85:1 // BD50: 1080p, 24fps, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit), PCM 2.0 stereo audio (48kHz/24-bit)/ DVD9: 25fps, 5.1 Dolby Surround (448kbps), 2.0 stereo audio (320kbps)

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zedz
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Re: Little Joe

#17 Post by zedz » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:51 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:56 pm
All the characters in the film save the lead are props, but amusingly in my view, the approach taken with the changes in said characters is so subtle that at times you can't even tell whether they've changed yet/at all. It's like a zombie film where becoming a zombie means you walk with an imperceptible limp that you as the viewer have to regularly look closely for. Considering that the film acknowledges how insignificant the personality changes that psychologically medicated people undergo are, it seems odd to think it has a particularly vicious agenda, but i can absolutely see why people got angry at this.
But surely that's the entire point of the film. The body-snatched are essentially the same as they were before (they even retain a sense of humour), and the "but they're different!" anxiety is absolutely not their problem, but that of the uninitiated. I found the film much more interesting as a wry Invasion of the Body Snatchers riff / thought experiment, taking the essential concept of that film and rendering it as docile as possible, than as a piece of cinema in its own right. While I can see that the 'off' performances were a deliberate choice (with the pre-transformed characters about as stilted as the post-transformed ones, and possible more so), it didn't strike me as that well executed. Parsing the nuances of deliberately bad acting and common or garden bad acting isn't one of my favourite filmgoing activities.

Hausner's an accomplished visual stylist and the film manages to maintain a low-level creepiness despite the lack of engagement with the characters / actors, and I liked the weird score. I still haven't absolutely loved any of her films (Hotel might be her most derivative, but I think it's also her most effective - like this one, it's a horror movie powered at 40W), but I'm interested enough to keep looking.

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Re: Little Joe

#18 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:00 pm

I don't want to speak too confidently about this since Little Joe is still in my 'to watch' pile but in terms of the 'body snatcher' comments I wonder whether it might be just as worthwhile to compare it with Lourdes, in the sense that that film is about people who embark on a quest for external fulfillment of their troubles that kind of makes them seem strange and alien (or alienating) to everyone outside of that bubble.

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zedz
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Re: Little Joe

#19 Post by zedz » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:34 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 12:00 pm
I don't want to speak too confidently about this since Little Joe is still in my 'to watch' pile but in terms of the 'body snatcher' comments I wonder whether it might be just as worthwhile to compare it with Lourdes, in the sense that that film is about people who embark on a quest for external fulfillment of their troubles that kind of makes them seem strange and alien (or alienating) to everyone outside of that bubble.
I'll be interested to read your comments when you watch the film, but i don't think it plays in this way at all. Those same plot elements are in play throughout the film, but not connected in the same way.

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