He speaks of the outcasts. I think Superstar (the approach), Poison (the structure), Safe (the downbeat direction), Velvet Goldmine (the soundtrack) and I'm Not There (the spirit) all are creative and special to some point... But I don't know how many of them fare on a re-watch. For some reason, I don't feel many of these come together as a 'whole' in it's classic sense...many modern films do not. Still good times.
Post by urbanpatrician on Aug 2, 2020 11:52:59 GMT
I used to hate his guts, but I've come around a little. He has a good eye for drama... like in Mildred Pierce. He greatly updates a simplistic original classic by injecting Haynesian-like drama which gave me the first notions of where his true talents lie...... in Television. No idea why he doesn't write more television drama scripts because he understands the evolution of a drama. Winslet is a tremendous improvement from Crawford although Wood is not as good as Blyth.
Apart from that, Far From Heaven feels like his apex. It's simple yet effectively soulful. I don't like I'm Not There - just too cold although I guess intellectually I don't know what issues to talk about with it. While everyone thought Carol was his return to form, I personally think people confused soullessness for intentional coldness. Mara tremendously overrated and robotic. Blanchett gives one of her most unmemorable performances and she seems to lose inspiration anytime she steps foot onto his movies. She's either amazing (Blue Jasmine, The Man Who Cried, The Gift) or overrated. (Haynes movies, Elizabeth)
I guess I would say I'm interested whenever he has a promising movie coming out, but I'm not really a major fan of his. He's good though and deserves the credit for what he does well, yet he's also kind of a hit-and-miss.
I think he was better earlier - I love Safe and Superstar - there was a real subversive and contradictory approach in his films then......later I still maybe like the films but scoff at them more and his films are pre-designed - I mean he's pro-gay and anti-racism.......which is all fine but not particularly interesting and he lacks Fassbinder's lacerating self-analysis to make it interesting.
Carol is a good film but is a really, really dishonest movie imo, that depends on what you know about other movies like it (and how Haynes contradicts the history of gay-cinema in Carol in ways designed to fake out the audience so he can feel smugly superior)..........that's fine in a way and you can admire that but you didn't have to know the films of Fassbinder or be gay yourself to appreciate his earlier work.
It is no wonder that film critics - literal minded simpletons that they are - Swoon (no pun!) over his later work because it defines an insider's POV about outsiders, not a genuine outsiders POV as in his first 3 movies. In that way........he's like Chris Nolan in his first 3 movies - ie more in touch with the real world rather than his own world.
I think when he tries so desperately to be Douglas Sirk (Far From Heaven, Carol, Safe to a certain extent), he really comes off as a soulless carbon-copy rather than bringing his own spark and energy to the table. And there certainly is more than enough of that spark to go around; I can't reconcile the guy who made Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story with the one who made Wonderstruck.
With that said, his Mildred Pierce is very fine but a tad bloated, and I think I'm Not There. is a near-masterpiece, brought down by a rather lifeless Bale (who isn't in it enough to make that much of an impact) and an overly melodramatic Ledger (yeah, Heath, I haven't forgotten how much you sucked in this), but everything else about it was sublime.
EDIT: Oh, and this dude made Dark Waters as well, which automatically should disqualify him from the label "auteur" for 15 years at minimum.
He's a generally solid director who's capable of true greatness. Both Carol and Far From Heaven are personal favourites of mine, with Haynes beautifully meshing period aesthetic with intense, simmering character work. I'm Not There is one of the better film biopics I've seen largely because of the creativity and dynamic interpretation that Haynes brings to the project. I recently saw Dark Waters, which wasn't bad but was exceedingly bland from a director who's shown such passionate flair previously. Want to get to some of his other stuff, particularly Safe, sometime soon.
Post by stinkybritches on Aug 3, 2020 20:25:56 GMT
he's pretty hit-or-miss for me.
poison - miss safe - hit (might be my fave from him, close with far from heaven) far from heaven - hit i'm not there - overall a miss i guess (just really uneven - some elements worked for me, some didn't) carol - hit, but wasn't bowled over by it wonderstruck - same deal as carol dark waters - miss
His Karen Carpenter movie is one of those "you have to see it before you die" type things. One of the weirdest things I've ever seen and it has some really scary moments (the rapid cutting between the warning labels on the pills and real footage of people vomiting). If I had seen it at the time I would have been thinking "the next David Lynch". As another person alluded to it's hard to believe a relatively mainstream awards drama like Carol was by the same guy who did that.