Friday, November 16, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Twilight - aamunkoi: osa 2 / The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [Swedish title on the Kino City website] / [Om jag kunde drömma: Så länge vi båda andas (Swedish title of the source novel)]. US © 2012 Summit Entertainment LLC. P: Wyck Godfrey, Stephenie Meyer, Karen Rosenfelt. D: Bill Condon. SC: Melissa Rosenberg - based on the novel (2008) by Stephenie Meyer. (In Finland the Twilight book series is called Houkutus, and the title of this novel is Aamunkoi. The first two novels are translated by Tiina Ohinmaa, and the second two by Pirkko Biström.) DP: Guillermo Navarro - Camera: Arricam ST, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses; Arriflex 435, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses; Moviecam Compact, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses - Laboratory: EFILM Digital Laboratories, Hollywood (CA), USA (digital intermediate) - Film negative format: 35 mm (Kodak Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219) - Cinematographic process: Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (source format) - Printed film format: 35 mm (anamorphic) (Fuji Eterna-CP 3514DI), D-Cinema - Aspect ratio: 2.35:1. PD: Richard Sherman. AD: Jeremy Stanbridge. Set dec: David Schlesinger. Cost: Michael Wilkinson. Makeup: Jean Anna Black. Hair: Rita Parillo. SFX: Alex Burdett - Legacy Effects. VFX: Hydraulx, HALON, Rodeo FX, Zoic Studios, Tippett Studios, Method Studios Vancouver, Spin VFX, Lola Visual Effects, Pixomondo, Prologue, Soho vfx. Stunt team: huge. AN: Tippett Studio. M: Carter Burwell. "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. S: Dane A. Davis. ED: Virginia Katz. Casting: Debra Zane. Loc: Baton Rouge (Louisiana), Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada). 116 min. Released by Nordisk with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. 2K DCP viewed at Tennispalatsi 1, Helsinki, 16 Nov 2012 (week of global premiere).

The cast as edited in Wikipedia:

Kristen Stewart as Bella Cullen
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black
Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee Cullen
Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen
Maggie Grace as Irina
Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius
Michael Sheen as Aro
Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale
Kellan Lutz as Emmett Cullen
Dakota Fanning as Jane
Jackson Rathbone as Jasper Hale
Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus
Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen
Billy Burke as Charlie Swan
Lee Pace as Garrett
Christian Serratos as Angela Weber
Elizabeth Reaser as Esme Cullen
MyAnna Buring as Tanya
Noel Fisher as Vladimir
Joe Anderson as Alistair
Cameron Bright as Alec
Angela Sarafyan as Tia
Aldo Quintino as Amazon Vampire
Rami Malek as Benjamin
Booboo Stewart as Seth Clearwater
Daniel Cudmore as Felix
Christian Camargo as Eleazar
Mía Maestro as Carmen
Ty Olsson as Phil
Alex Meraz as Paul
Judith Shekoni as Zafrina
Charlie Bewley as Demetri
JD Pardo as Nahuel
Julia Jones as Leah Clearwater
Lateef Crowder as Santiago
Andrea Powell as Sasha
Toni Trucks as Mary
MyAnna Buring as Tanya
Casey LaBow as Kate
Andrea Gabriel as Kebi
Austin Naulty as Werewolf
Kiowa Gordon as Embry Call
Chaske Spencer as Sam Uley
Bronson Pelletier as Jared
Marisa Quinn as Huilen
Omar Metwally as Amun
Valorie Curry as Charlotte
Tracey Heggins as Senna
Marlane Barnes as Maggie
Guri Weinberg as Stefan
Erik Odom as Peter
Lisa Howard as Siobhan
Bill Tangradi as Randall
Patrick Brennan as Liam
Amadou Ly as Henri
Janelle Froehlich as Yvette
Masami Kosaka as Toshiro

In my remarks on Breaking Dawn - Part 1 I discussed the remarkable change in vampire fiction, the most astounding volte-face in the history of horror fiction: vampires now are our love objects, and no counterforce exists anymore.

Cinema for me has been an affirmation of the life force. Even traditional vampire movies, with Dracula and Carmilla as incarnations of the death drive, have belonged to that great continuum by negation.

I am puzzled at the fact that no critic seems to find the change even worth mentioning. Perhaps they find this kind of fiction generally meaningless.

Or perhaps I have misunderstood everything. At least judging by the radiant faces of the target audience, teenage girls, crowding the biggest cinema in Finland almost to capacity. They had a good time, and I smiled at the jokes that I kept hearing from the row behind. Apparently Bella Swan is an identification figure - although in the previous movie Bella ceased to be a human being.

The Gothic tradition is old, and traditionally horror had a tragic dimension. The elements of dignity in the vampire made his / her fate tragic, but his / her fate was something worse than death, the worst possible. Now the status of the vampire is portrayed as most desirable.

"Forever" is the catchword.

The PG-13 requirement means that there is practically no blood in the movie, although almost all the characters are bloodsuckers. There is a lot of violence, but gory detail has been cut.

The film I happened to see before this was La Guerre est déclarée, a film about a fight against malignant cancer in a child, with excerpts from Cristaux liquides by Jean Painlevé.

Also in Breaking Dawn Part 2 the child is the central figure, the unique offspring of a human and a vampire, half mortal and half immortal, and saving its life is the mission of the story. Also in Breaking Dawn Part 2 there are elements and inserts that are experimental cinema, expressing fundamental mutations in the cell structure.

Memorable aspects: - Elegant credit sequences - The black and white turning into a red, climaxing in an extreme close-up of Bella's red vampire eyes. - "We have the same temperature now". - The world of supernatural instincts. - The hunter's instincts, "forever". - Bella is now stronger than Edward; she is the strongest of all. - It is now impossible to watch the chronically fixed blasé look of Robert Pattinson without thinking about his character in Cosmopolis. - The pervasive decadence in almost each character. - The werewolf friend is marked with Renesmee, "it's a wolf thing". - "You named my daughter after the Loch Ness monster": Ness. - Wooden, monotonous, somnambulistic performances reminiscent of daily tv soap operas; going through the dialogue and the gestures without insight. Pancake makeup prevents subtle facial expression. - "I stopped aging three days ago". - There is a bed, but vampires don't sleep. The sex drive is now also on a supernatural level, inexhaustible. "You really were holding back before". "How can we stop". - Bella to his father: "My time as a human is over. I never felt more alive. I was born to be a vampire". - "There is only one enemy left: time. Renesmee is growing too fast." - The fantastic creatures assembled for the final ice battle. But the epic battle is largely seen as a fantasy vision of what would happen, and when the Volturi realize they are going to be destroyed, they withdraw. "We will not fight today" [A girl's glad voice from the row behind me in the cinema: "Then we'll have to do it tomorrow".] - The last words: "We have time". "Forever".  

Like in Breaking Dawn Part 1, Bill Condon keeps directing with a sense of solemn gravity. The special effects are not very well made, and somehow it does not seem to harm. There is generally a bloodless, pale look in the movie, the climax of which takes place when the snow has fallen.

Although Breaking Dawn has been shot on 35 mm film, the vibrant film look has disappeared in the digital intermediate. Especially nature footage looks fuzzy. The lifeless quality of digital cinema has been used as a means of expression in this work.

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