• Ramsay, in her last three efforts (I’ve seen Ratcatcher and plan to again soon but it’s been forever) here now has a dedication to an aesthetic I truly appreciate. In this, Morvern Callar, We Need To Talk About Kevin she has these walking zombies (Phoenix, Tilda, and Samantha Morton) who are basically in post-traumatic stress. They are like fever-dreams of reality and alienation (I think the Antonioni comparison is so appropriate). It’s montage that matches their temperament and experience. On their own their impressive but together they show the work of a true unique voice/artist
  • Phoenix third time doing work with Jonny Greenwood (this two PT Anderson films) and I think you could definitely say Ramsay is influenced by PT by borrowing both his composer and his male muse here in Phoenix
  • It’s Taxi Driver on paper—military vet, unstable and complex, saying a captured young girl who is the victim—but it’s edited way differently than Scorsese- they’re complete different films
  • Jigsaw puzzle of narrative—not just piecing together the time line- I think it’s pretty straight there actually but we have segments from his mind, flashbacks to his youth, claustrophobia, the military, avant-garde sequences with mirrors and lights from the window in a car that mirror his unstable (drugs, sleep deprivation) mind
  • Certainly I feel the influence of Resnais as well – Hiroshima, mon amour and last year at Marienbad
  • A great performance by Phoenix- he’s clearly a shell of a man- the scenes with his mother open him up and humanize him. He sings. It’s a raw performance clearly giving everything he has. Admirable
  • Phoenix suffocating himself with plastic harkens back to Ramsay’s debut Ratcatcher in 1999 where the film opens on the central boy figure doing the same
  • Again from Ramsay we have odd choices with the diegetic music. There’s an almost ironic tone that I hate—the rest of the film doesn’t have irony—but I do love the non-diegetic work.
  • The vast majority of the film is without dialogue- it’s great
  • Kaleidoscope montage
  • R/HR border- need another viewing and time.