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|Index||30 reviews in total|
Working class Clay travels into the city to meet his wealthy half-brother
Vincent for the first time. Their shared father has just been killed.
Shortly after Gus arrives, Vincent announces that he must fly out of town
overnight and Gus drives him to the airport. On the drive back Vincent sets
off a car bomb to kill Gus, however Gus survives despite being badly
disfigured. Believing him to be Vincent the surgeons rebuild his face and
try to bring his memories back. However Gus finds he is now accused of
murder (as Vincent) and that he has only strange dreams about a possible
I have seen this twice in an attempt to try and break into the deeper issues that it alludes to. I have not been totally successful but this not to say that I think this is a bad film. The plot involves the complexity of personality. I first watching it thinking it sounded like a good set-up for a thriller if you think the same then you may be let down. The plot is more about how our personalities are formed are we an ID picture, are we who we chose to be? The split personalities and the dual aspects of the plot are best seen in the casting of the two main roles. At first I thought it was a lazy art-house trick to cast a black and a white actor as `similar brothers' but the metaphor is used quite well.
The problem with the film is that the inner themes are not fully explained (pr at least I found them hard to reach fully). I know roughly what it was saying but I would find it very hard to explain. This means that if you can't get inside the plot you are left with what's on the surface and this isn't enough. It moves slowly and appears to go nowhere in particular. But focus on the bigger picture and this will give you something to think about even if it fails to grip you for the whole running time.
Haysbert is pretty good if fact all the cast are OK bu they all seem to know they're in an arty movie. The result is that they talk slowly, say big meaningful sentences and stare into the distance regularly. What saves this film is the direction. The use of black and white is superb, the framing of every shot is interesting and I was honestly transfixed by the bleak beauty of every shot. Things that would have been ordinary in colour are fascinating in this bleak frame. On top of this the music is good too lots of classic music gives a cold, unsure feel to the film but the use of `ring of fire' is brave and, happily, comes off.
Overall is this for everyone? No. Is it worth a try? Yes. On my second viewing I feel that it has layers I'm yet to understand and fully appreciate. The visual aspect of the film alone is worth a watch. Although I suspect that the plot is not as deep or as clever as it thinks it is, I know that there is plenty ot be discovered about this. Give it a shot I did and now am about to go and give it a 3rd watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is just one long anti racism campaign. Not that that's a bad
thing, in fact it's laudable but it detracts from to film and at times
it's unbearably laughable the lengths they go to not to distinguish
between race. It's possible to be absorbed by the philosophical
questions that the film raises but only if you really want to. What is
identity is great, you can run with that theme and make a decent film,
but when you are laughing your way through because nobody notices he is
African American and a little old lady can't distinguish him in a line
up where he is the only African American, I'm sorry, but this is
This film is a mockery and affront to people with half a brain. I've seen plenty of movie gimmicks but this has got to be flat out the worst one I've ever seen. In fact, I'd be happy to make a wager that they wrote this film with the intention of putting a white character in the lead role and changed at the last second though of course I could be wrong. I think what most people forget watching this is that you cannot simply brush race under the carpet, because this inherently detracts from who we are, it's part of our identity, the most recognizable part in fact. And for a film which was trying to be a study in identity I'm sorry but it falls down on the most basic level and for that I give it four.
Also, stylish? This film is not stylish at all. Why does a slow jangly plucked stringed instrument in the background with a slow cymbals beat backing it up result in style? People talked, that's about all the style I saw in this film. If anything it was a bit dull.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since some of the reviews compared "Suture" to a Hitchcock, we watched it waiting for a rationale for why nobody seemed to grasp the lack of resemblance between the presumably half-brothers (one has distinct Afro-American features, the other does not). Could everyone here who pretended not to notice be in a conspiracy to cash in on the white brother's fortune? Didn't seem likely, since nobody was shown even suspecting, but we endured this bore to the bitter end just to find out. No MacGuffin. No relationship to Hitchcock. A complete waste of time, not only for the viewers, but for those involved in making the film.
I had seen this movie about 10 years ago, liked it at the time, and was
waiting for an HD version to appear to make my own copy. Lo and behold
it came on today! Moreover, I just noticed Amazon carries a DVD that I
simply have to include in my collection.
Had it not been for the obvious twist, this would simply have passed as a predictable crime drama involving one brother trying to pass off the responsibility and consequence of one of his own crimes on to the other.
The twist is that one of the brothers cast is black. However, his race, ANY racial overtones OR stereotypes, are EVER mentioned. EVERYONE plays it TOTALLY as if Dennis Haysbert were white. Or, more importantly, as if this has absolutely NOTHING to do with ANYTHING. The cinematography was crisp black and white which perfectly complemented the very unique question the film has posed to me ever since I first viewed it: Could we ever get to this? Haysbert and Dina Merrill (who for me were the biggest names here) give excellent performances driving a very interesting film that uses a simple crime format and elevates it into a thought-provoking and hidden gem that constantly forces the viewer throughout to take the chain offya brain! Seeing it again today reminded me of not so much the story but simply the possibilities it suggests.
I hiiiiiiiiiiiiighly recommend as a very worthy addition to any film library.
There is a lot more in this movie than it seems. The actual philosophical dilemma between 'having' and 'being' is developed wonderfully here. One character wants to change his 'being' (Vincent), and Clay wants to change his 'having' (Clay). the intrigue brings them both into reconsidering their whole understanding of life. The name of the Doctor (Renee Descartes) is self explanatory... The desires of both characters are evolving and their need for something else arises slowly. watch it ones, twice and this amazing life lessons will arise by itself. I am teaching philosophy and i used this movie as a tool to make my students search all existing personality challenges in this film. 20 years later, we still speak about it. Enjoy...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Excellent modern noir, though could've had a better ending as I will
explain later. Elements of Hitchcock and David Lynch could be
seen/felt, but definitely had it's own style. Acting was great, though
not in a completely realistic way, more like the other worldly,
slightly dreamlike delivery found in a Lynch film, but it didn't get as
bizarre or unfathomable as Lynch often does (don't get me wrong, I love
David Lynch!). Direction, Cinematography and Editing, again, excellent.
So many interesting shots and sequences.
A lot has been said about the choice of actor for Clay and the fact that everyone in the film sees the brothers as identical. My interpretation is that they ARE identical twins and that there just happens to be a black actor playing Clay and a white one playing Vincent. If the director decides they are identical twins in the film and that everyone in the film will see them as that, then they are. If a director has a prop of the Grand Canyon made for a film that doesn't look like the Grand Canyon, but he decides it is and has all the characters in the film treat it as the Grand Canyon, then in that film, it is the Grand Canyon. Obviously this was done on purpose to give more weight to the theme of identity. I don't think race had anything to do with the story of the film except in the mind of the viewer, which is valid, as it is such an issue in our society and why i think the director chose a black actor (rather than another white actor) so that the viewer will think even more about identity.
I believe the twins were born to Mrs. Lucerne and separated at birth. There is a sequence where she describes this. I think this is when he received the St Christopher. Why Vincent was kept by Mrs Towers we don't know. Why Clay didn't stay with Mrs Lucerne, we don't know. Mrs Towers must have known there was another twin because he was at the funeral. Where did the St Christopher appear from after going missing? Was it put there by Vincent or Mrs Towers?
I would have given this 10 stars, but for the ending, which was OK, but could've had a choice of twists.
1. He assumes the identity of Vincent, but then some new evidence comes to light and he ends up being charged with the murder of his father.
2. Even better, the Clay we see at the beginning of the film before the explosion is a facade and he actually killed the father after finding out about the details of his birth. this is why he also shot Mrs Lucerne because she gave him away to a poor life in a poor town. He was then planning to kill Vincent and assume his identity, but Vincent got to him first. I think this is borne out by the fact that, once he realises who he is, he's not as nice a guy as at the beginning of the film. I think he decides to remain as Vincent because that was his plan all along. And then the new evidence comes to light and he ends up being charged with the murder of his father.
I think Mrs Lucerne, Mrs Towers and the St Christopher could've been woven into a much better ending, but even so, one of the best films I've seen for a while
While I have some stylistic qualms about Suture, and several complaints about the acting, the film is an intriguing study of how we view films and identity. In some sense, it echoes Godard and the Brecht alienation effect by using the fact that Clay and Vincent are different races--something that we as an audience immediately see, but no other characters ever recognize-- to establish that we are watching a performance. In a film called Suture, we are never "sutured" into the narrative structure.
When I first started viewing Suture, I said to myself "yeah, right what
a premise." Mid way through the movie I realized that they really made
it work. By the end of the movie even I believed.
You've got to let yourself go and truly get into the fantastic acting, great dialog and wonderful use of black and white cinematography. I my humble opinion this movie should be considered a classic in the turnaround genre.
Dennis Haysbert does a fine job as the main character. He makes you believe that his ailment of amnesia has truly overcome him. This was one of the first movies I saw him in and his performance made him stand out as a fine character actor.
there are a lot of things going on in this movie, but i think the most fascinating is the way in which you must try and respond to the images before you. "oh yeah, i am supposed to be seeing a white man and woman in bed," you remind yourself. you have to lie to your eyes. what you see you should not perceive. simply amazing. blackness is not an after thought, it is a before and during thought. it is an indelible marker in all realms of consciousness.
The cinematography (Greg Gardiner) is obviously the most outstanding in this
b/w psychological thriller, that I found reminiscent of 'Seconds'
(Frankenheimer, 1966), due to the identity problem and the unconventional
progression of the story. BE sure to see this in widescreen, for it will
lose its appealing character in full-frame. The performances from the cast
aren't really convincing enough for that matter. I guess they have a hard
time keeping up with the off-beat vision of the directors. That vision
crystallizes into an almost expressionist and sometimes minimalist worldview
without turning into imagery. Visually, this film could only have been made
after or before the eighties, because in the eighties the cinematic style
and art direction would probably have been taken for granted (without
actually being something Michael Mann would have made) while it is actually
subtle and intentionally pregnant, as is the music. Recommendations are
most films by John Frankenheimer, 'The Limey' (Soderbergh, 1999), and
visually maybe 'Das Kabinett des doktor Caligari' (Wiene,
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