MovieChat Forums > Possessor (2020) Discussion > Incredible, truly incredible. A delight ...

Incredible, truly incredible. A delight from start to finish


Best movie this year so far. 100%. Doubt anything will top this one.

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where did you see it?

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Is it really only at drive-ins?

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It's playing inside at the "Touchstar Cinemas Madison Square" in my city of Huntsville, AL. The listing says that it's the NR / Uncut version.

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Sincere question...what did you like about it? What makes it good enough that you doubt anything will be better this year?

I just saw it and...eh...I wanted to like it, but am still trying to figure out what was to like lol

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Maybe you can rewatch some transformers, yeah?

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I hate people who say this.

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Me too. I actually really liked this movie, but there have been others I didn’t like and got that response—even though the list of my favorite filmmakers is similar to those of many cinephiles: Coppola, Coens, Baumbach, PTA, etc. Just because someone doesn’t like a movie you love does not mean they are a philistine with popcorn tastes.

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Its kind of hard to take it seriously...its been around so long that it seems like it should be being said ironically. So for someone to say it seriously says more about them than anything else. Just such a silly retort that it didn't even register on my radar up there.

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Good point, it should be past that point where it’s snark! But sadly I think the people who say it still genuinely think they have just fired off a well-aimed, cutting remark, lol.

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I feel like the film tried to go for visual and didn't really care for the story. It was quite pretentious for a story that didn't really progress until the end.

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At it's core it's a film about identity and the conflict between radical freedom and other's expectations about how the individual "should" behave. The main character is an actor, while each identity she inhabits is freely chosen by her (although there is some conflict here too because her teacher influences her), each identity also suffers from the expectations of that identity's relationships. The act of killing the relationship is an act of emancipation and gaining radical freedom.

In the part where she visits her boyfriend, notice how she rehearses the lines she will mention, she also uses every line that she has rehearsed previously. This identity which is supposedly a "real" identity, has also become a fake role and the role is given some structure by relationships. It's the relationships that confines the role because the relationships impose expectations.

Baudrillard hated the movie The Matrix in spite of the fact that The Matrix is based on his book Simulation and Simulacra. This is because The Matrix drew too solid a line between the simulation and reality. Infact, Baudrillard is skeptical of the notion of a "reality" outside the simulation. Everything is a simulation, everything is a "role", but the role is bound by expectations of others which interacts with the self's expectations of oneself in complex ways and in the end limits ones capacity for freedom.

Possessor is much closer to hitting the themes of Simulation and Simulacra than The Matrix ever was.

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Just saw it. Identity's certainly a major theme but it wasn't fully formed imo. Found an interview with Cronenberg who said the following:

So I wanted to make a film initially about someone who may or may not be an imposter in their own life as a way to talk about how we create characters and narratives in order to operate as human beings....Both “Antiviral” and “Possessor” are interested in culture, but “Possessor” has more to do with personal identity rather than any sort of social identity.

https://www.rogerebert.com/interviews/psychological-infections-brandon-cronenberg-on-possessor

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What do you mean by "fully formed"? I don't know what that means.

Is Vos's identity more "fully formed" than Neo's identity? Certainly not, and that's the point. Neo is swept up in the narrative of his identity. The imposition of his identity is clear, but he never rejects it. Vos is nobody, and it is everybody.

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I meant what Cronenberg was trying to say didn't feel fully formed which is why I quoted him about his intent. Clearly, from the early scene where she's practicing lines for her husband we know he's interested in identity.

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The movie is not only about identity. If it were a movie only about identity it would have been good enough. But, it also explores the idea of radical freedom and its interaction with expectations of others. Neo is expected to be the one, he wears the robe.

Vos's family are like Morhius and the other people who expect Neo to be a certain kind of person. Most importantly, the expectation of the abstraction of the "good".

The issue of identity is also explored in American Psycho, Alpeis and Perfect Blue. Perfect Blue hyperfocuses on expectation, but the character is still internalizes the abstraction of the good.

American Psycho explores good, but doesn't explore the interaction with expectations to the same extent.

Alpeis explores the role.

Possessor seems to me to have a good mix of all of the themes of the aforementioned films.

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I didn't say the movie was only about identity, I said it was "a major theme".

As far as "radical freedom" I can't say I know what that definitively is, how you're using it, and whether that was a Cronenberg interest (at least intentionally) or you're reading into his work something that isn't there. What I did find interesting was that Cronenberg suggests the assassin has a desire to kill her husband. But again, this idea lacked exploration and form imo.

Vos's family are like Morhius and the other people who expect Neo to be a certain kind of person.

I don't see that he expects her be anyone really. Rather, he sees her as who he thinks she is, what she's obviously presented to him since they met. This would be of a piece with Cronenberg's notion of the imposter, "how we create characters and narratives in order to operate as human beings."

America Psycho was interested in the psychopathy of Wall St, corporate America and its inhabitants imo.

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What's a "psychopathy" I don't know what that is. Is a "psychopath" a kind of identity, like "American", or "man", or "Wall Street stock broker", etc?

It has come to my attention that in order to truly appreciate American Psycho, Alpeis and Possessor the audience must first engage with certain ideas and confront the notion of the "spook", or the abstraction.

Haneke's Funny Games comments on this idea. The impenetrability of the art and the audience's biases are part of the joke.

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Psychopathy would be what characterizes a psychopath. I was saying AP was commenting on how Wall St is of a psychopathic (and rapacious) nature inhabited by psychopaths.

Whether or not this spook notion or expectations vs freedom is what Cronenberg was up to--at least partially, even subconsciously--the problem, imo, and as I said before, is that his idea/s lacks clarity.

I liked Funny Games; like all of Heneke's stuff. If memory serves, he hates how violence is used for profit in movies and Funny Games is commenting on that.

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I thought it was very good, 8/10, but it could have been 9/10 if they dialed down the gore a bit. I’m not talking about changing the story or even reducing the violence, just not going so overboard with the blood and gore.

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I just saw this. Was very cheap and bland imo. 3/10

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Yes not seeing what the hype is about.

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not seeing what the hype for ur face is about

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