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Strange, yet feels good
Let me start by pointing out that I am very far from being a die-hard fan of David Cronenberg's previous works, which in my opinion range from average (a history of violence) to awful (crash) ...
Thus, I was skeptical about Cosmopolis at first, and the beginning of the movie did nothing to reassure me : "in medias res" long, intense, fast, and complex dialogs , characters appearing one after the other according to no apparent logic , etc ... However, I believe this constant overflow of information is deliberately used to make the viewer feel how overly fast, complicated and abstract is the world in which characters such as Packer live in ; moreover, the dialogs are exactly the same as in the Cosmopolis book, so it's definitely not another attempt from our friend David to drown the viewer in useless pseudo- philosophical sentences ...
Besides, as the film goes on, even if the details of the dialogs or the relationships between the characters remain elusive, it becomes gradually more immersive and, while not understanding, one can feel the oppressive atmosphere Eric Packer lives in , the climax being the marvelous face -to-face final scene !
Such an atmosphere could not have been created without the terrific job of Robert Pattinson : miles away from his former teen vampire performance, he was perfectly fit for this role : a young, handsome and bored golden boy, about to let go of the artificial world surrounding him. (the other actors do a great job as well, especially the man Eric Packer confronts in the end)
Short version : If you are ready to not understand everything, and to rather let yourself enter a very particular atmosphere, watch Cosmopolis. This movie is, to my mind, about feelings rather than logic .
Funny Games (1997)
A crude depiction of the occidental society's blood lust
Did you enjoy watching Kill Bill (or any other Tarantino&co movie)? Watch Funny Games.
Or, on the contrary, are you frightened by the banalisation of violence in nowadays' films ? Watch Funny Games.
Do you think you are not easily influentiable and manipulable ? Watch Funny Games.
Do you want to realise how defenseless our society is without its numerous social codes ? Watch Funny Games.
The list could keep gaining in length endlessly ... !
Funny Games is a brilliant and shocking movie, because it reveals to us relentlessly the bestial, primitive, uncontrollable and therefore disturbing side of humanity we'd (consciously) rather not see.
Whereas the vast majority of films show violence in a heroic, almost sublime, and deeply hypocritical way, Funny Games makes us fully conscious of what we really applaud in theatres everyday : the two handsome and polite young slaughterers blinking at the spectators (which become involved actors), constantly laying the blame on the family and its deeds, remind us that violence is neither about glory, nor justice, nor joy : it is about pain, humiliation and despair.
Funny Games' message is clear : enjoying violence (and therefore becoming its complicit, just as the dreadful tandem makes us feel) is about pure and simple dehumanisation ("emotional glaciation" as M. Haneke names it).
Moreover, another side of Funny Games is the way it depicts the deep weakness of the occidental human : easily intimidated in the presence of predators, which break all kind of social barrier and codes (notice the almost non-existent distance between the two young men and the father during their first "chat"), it becomes quickly helpless, "drowned" in the absence of these social codes, which are its only true "marks" when facing other people.
Being forced to see what we don't want to see is all but a delightful experience : thus is Funny Games ! This can explain the violent reactions to this movie : as Haneke says, a punch in the face often triggers analogous reactions ! Therefore, do not expect to experience any real fun with Funny Games (ironically) :)
Let rather yourself get imprisoned in the two killer's vortex of inhumanity for the time of the film, and admire the disturbing human bestiality in full scale !