What have you watched recently?

Seen any good movies or TV shows lately? Or anything so bad you just have to vent?
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Re: What have you watched recently?

Postby Ikoma » Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:16 pm

I cannot recommend The Last Duel highly enough. Seriously impressive filmmaking top to bottom.

So let's start with the story. Based on an extensively researched account of the last legal trial by combat in medieval France which occurred in the late 14th century. It's got echoes of Rashamon. To crib from wikipedia... In 1386, Marguerite de Carrouges claims to have been raped by her husband's friend Jacques Le Gris. Her husband, Jean de Carrouges, challenges him to trial by combat, the last legally sanctioned duel in France's history. The events leading up to the duel are divided into three chapters, reflecting the perspectives of Carrouges, Le Gris, and Marguerite, respectively. It is super topical. While it let's you know what the film and the filmmakers think really happened (the pivotal event is a 'he said, she said' situation) but Marguerite perspective is labeled 'the Truth', it leaves room for every character (primary & secondary) to be fleshed out and nuanced. You'll have an opinion on the mother-in-law, the best friend, the count, the king, but you'll also understand where every single one of them is coming from.

The film does require you to pay attention to detail. Little things that happen in the three main stories are shown with complex different shading depending on whose point of view we are seeing at any given moment. And the film doesn't hold your hand with a lot of the whys. You need to pay attention or you won't understand why Carrouges felt compelled to take his case to the already archaic at that time trial by combat method.

Now let's talk production... the film is directed by Ridley Scott off a screenplay by Damon/Affleck working with Nicole Holofcener. It is gorgeous. You can tell the cast and crew worked HARD to recreate 14th century France down to the smallest detail. Because those details are important. How a woman dressed is important. How feudal France was structurally organized is important (specifically to address what Carrouges and Le Gris offer their political superiors and also how the legal system works). How weapons and armor works are important. This is a visual treatise on medieval life. The duel itself is grueling and brutal. Again, based on detailed historical court records of what actually happened.

I won't spoil the conclusion of the duel. Though if you want to know, you can look it up. The case was decided over 630 years ago... I knew the conclusion. My buddy did not know the result. While we both loved the film, he expressed how tense the final duel was for him while I experienced it on a different level. I think I would have liked to experience it blind first and then again knowing.

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Re: What have you watched recently?

Postby tombombodil » Tue Nov 02, 2021 12:30 pm

It's really excellent, one of the best movies Ridley Scott has made in ages. Super sad it didn't get much love in the box office.
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Re: What have you watched recently?

Postby mindtakerr » Sat Jan 13, 2024 6:58 pm

I am coming here more than 2 years after the last post to say how useful this thread was to me today. I am trying (for some reason) to categorize all the media I've watched and have tried to at least estimate when I did it. I was able to make notes of so many tv shows and movies due to things that we talked about on this thread.

Thanks, everyone!

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