The film comes in six numbered, titled sequences. Well, how far would someone go to make a movie about a real-life incident that was as horrific then as it is today? The penultimate shot is a slow burner. Still, it makes us understand their actions, and it’s only afterward that the full horror of what they’ve done fully dawns on us—just as it dawns on the film’s antihero in a bleak comedown. It was officially released on Friday, October 13, 2017 on iTunes. YouTube is quickly becoming the most unsafe place for your children to be. An Art film? The detachment ostensibly asks us to bear witness; but what we end up witnessing is only the sophistication of the filmmaking. Learn more about your ad choices. Taylor argues the government has failed to manage the pandemic effectively for business owners and explains what the future of theaters could look like in the streaming age. We’re watching something strictly inadmissible: true horror, and horror directly relating to real events. Section three introduces Czarek (Przemek Balinski), a handsome blond lad first seen staring blandly at a crying baby in a cot; we then see him put upon by his mother and older brother. Inspired by Leo Fitz's work on Phil Coulson's Prosthetic Hand, Holden Radcliffe reactivated the Life-Model Decoy Program and created Aida, his android assistant. What Kowalski is displaying, ultimately, is nothing more than his own cold audacity. For shame. Judging from what I’ve gleaned from the film’s Spanish press kit, and comments elsewhere, the story appears to be based on the case of James Bulger, the 2-year-old from Merseyside, England, who was killed by two older boys in February 1993. Of mice and men: Ruben Östlund continues his exploration of our most basic instincts. 5 VIDEOS | 145 IMAGES. If Playground fails to convince, it’s partly because it largely seems such a textbook emulation of the Haneke approach. Although, to be fair, with a great cast, some wonderful camerawork, and strong direction from Kowalski, CrypticRock gives Playground 2 out of 5 stars. When the boys terrorise Gabrysia, the handheld camera used throughout the film gets hyper-animated; there are fast cuts, drawing us into the horror of the event, as experienced by the girl, or perhaps the thrill of it, as felt by the boys. It asks us to watch, or to shut our eyes; it doesn’t make us ask questions, at least not in the culminating sequence itself. As Szymek and Czarek go about their day, they arrive at a mall, where they walk away with an unattended three-year-old child, taking this kid to a railroad track where they brutally kill him. Another question arises!—what was the point of this? The problem is not that Playground doesn’t explain—it’s not obliged to—but that it over-explains, offers too many possible causes for the boys’ violence, most of them of a highly conventional kind. There’s a gradual trickle of exits, sometimes speeding up as a film goes on, because one departure encourages the waverers until, there being safety in numbers, it’s only the truly courageous, committed, or simply inert who choose to stick around. Maybe this reaction of ire is what Kowalski begged from his audience. Playground is about children’s cruelty to children, and specifically about the violence witnessed in the long penultimate shot, in which two teenagers batter a young boy to death. By Katherine Harrington, Contributing Writer. An older girl gives her a brisk lesson on how to chat up a boy; she’s not Gabrysia’s friend, however, but has been paid for her help. Though she may not always seem it at first glance because she spends much of the film in a state of dread or outright terror, Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) is … <span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span> © Copyright Cryptic Rock 2020 – All Rights Reserved – User Login Website Design by Anthony Idi. Haneke arguably took this technique as far as it could go—adding several layers of Brechtian distanciation—in Funny Games (1997), a polemic against the notion of cathartically pleasurable screen violence. NBA star Malik Beasley's estranged wife Montana Yao hit the playground with their son Makai Joseph at South Pointe Park in Miami Beach on Saturday. What starts as rigorous detachment becomes a different sort of cruelty: in a way that’s not intended cynically, but that finally feels cynical, detachment becomes merely an effect, just as the CGI that went into making this scene realistic is a hyper-sophisticated effect, a display of expertise applied to the abject. What’s more, we feel we’re captive witnesses watching it all from at a distance, placed in the position of forensic observers of an atrocity we have no power to stop. Later in the same scene—shot in a single extended take—a further intensification of the already horrific action caused a second wave to jump up and go. Perhaps because it feels so derivative of Play—although we can’t know if Kowalski has seen that film—Playground doesn’t, for me, have anything of the same bite. In my view, it’s not a goal that he persuasively achieves. Unless, that is, we protest by getting up and leaving, refusing to be complicit. Enter now a movie titled Playground, aka Plac Zabaw, that comes from the mind of Polish Writer/Director Bartosz M. Kowalski (The Red Spider 2006, A Dream in the Making 2012). From here on, if you remember the facts, you dread what’s coming. Tag (Also called it, tig, tiggy, tips, tick, or chasey) is a playground game involving two or more players' chasing other players in an attempt to "tag" and mark them out of play, usually by touching with a hand. Ronald McDonald Playground Slaughter turned McDonald's innocent clown mascot into a horrifying serial killer for a gory short film. Then, the following two chapters are dedicated to the murdering pieces of trash: Szymek (Nicolas Przygoda: Panic Attack 2017) and Czarek (Przemyslaw Balinski: debut). Released on VOD on December 8, 2017 through Uncork’d Entertainment, Playground re-tells, and reminds many who have suffered, the real-life death of a three-year-old child at the hands of two young school boys back … Point made—and none too subtly. Jonathan Romney is a contributing editor to Film Comment and writes its Film of the Week column. The Playground. Their performances are what keeps the viewer glued to the screen. Enter now a movie titled Playground, aka Plac Zabaw, that comes from the mind of Polish Writer/Director Bartosz M. Kowalski (The Red Spider 2006, A Dream in the Making 2012). One thing which “Playground” has in common with a considerable number of other films at San Sebastian is a portrait of a huge chasm between authority and the young. A fable of five vastly separate inner-city lives who struggle against their limitations in an interlocking tale assembled by a dark orchestrator. She now lives in Bray, County Wicklow with her partner and their little girl. With Ray Bradbury, William Shatner, Keith Dutson, Kate Trotter. Apparently, during a screening of Playground, people in the audience removed themselves from the theatre after watching the long-winded ending. 1,155 likes. It is hard to be objective here without the feeling of morality overcoming the senses of the body, or feeling the pain of loss for the family who had suffered at the hands of two kids. Not only did the Bulger case spark a sort of collective trauma in the UK media and elsewhere, because of its stark exposure of the extremes of juvenile disturbance, but also the revelation that the boy and his killers had been glimpsed on security footage made the UK aware as never before of the ubiquity of video surveillance as a benign or troubling guardian presence. "The Playground" was part of the first hardcover edition of Ray Bradbury's legendary work Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. It is the theme for the film A League of Their Own, which starred Madonna, and portrayed a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.Madonna was asked to record a song for the film… For whatever reason—so much in Playground is left tantalizingly unstated—Czarek shaves his hair off with electric clippers, in a long single take done for real. Glaring intently at the camera, Gabrysia has a hard, serious face, and an intensity that initially comes across as menacing; together with her tightly buttoned white school garb, this makes us fear the worst about her nature. The intimate talk quickly spins out of control, leading to an unexpected ending. Actually the journey of most of the characters to this place in Bray is never fully explained. As far as reconstructing or evoking an actual child murder goes, Playground does not, I think, have such boldness, just a cold sophistication that finally feels cynical, despite Kowalski’s honorable investigative intentions. Kowalski is a great Director; this is a fact, and it shows as Playground runs through its minutes from the atmosphere in which he evokes, utilizing gorgeous scenery and lush backdrops to help tell a dark and dreary story. According to Hootsuite, 70% of YouTube’s views come from the recommended videos that pop up as a … However, the feeling of being stuck in this mucilage-state will make one wish to rip out his or her own eyes from the sockets at how insensitively gruesome and stupidly-long Kowalski decided to end the film. Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? A fixed playground, featuring a ramp, several slides, swings with rubber seats, and soft mulch on the ground, is what the elementary-aged children use … The reason why Eve has arrived here with Addie (and the dog Alfie) is never really completely explained. September 26, 2016. Jesús may be more direct in its commentary on a generation’s vacancy, but the violence involved somehow feels more human, insofar as the energetic handheld style actually takes us into the minds of the aggressors: we actually feel their excitement at what they’re doing, even if we don’t identify with it. It officially premiered on October 12, 2017 at the Reading Cinemas Town Square in Clairemont, California. He is a member of the London Film Critics Circle. Jonathan Romney The film offers some determining causes that are timeless constants—parental distance, uncomprehending adult disapproval, poverty, excessive responsibility at a young age—but it also throws in elements that are effectively new, as if in a deliberate updating of the Bulger story. All of her memories are intact, but with no physical evidence that contradicts the claims of her husband and her psychiatrist, and she sets out in search for solid evidence of her son's existence. The organizers did not want a neighborhood playground; rather they wanted a community playground for people throughout the town. Kowalski’s film may or may not be directly based on the Bulger story; in his director’s statement, he simply refers to a case he had read about, although the press notes include clippings relating to an episode in Norway and a later case in the UK. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Seemingly pumped up on their bullying of Gabrysia, Szymek and Czarek walk cold-eyed in slow motion, like movie gangsters, as various adults stand motionless watching them in impotent horror, seen from the boys’ POV; the sequence’s final shot shows the boys from above, walking through a field of frozen adults, as if the film’s realism has suddenly taken on an edge of nightmare. This may have been Kowalski’s idea of being “sensitive” to a true-life crime as the audience waits and waits and watches. The fragmented overlapping episodes and the abrupt cuts, nudging us to make connections between disparate parts, all echo the approach Haneke developed in 71 Fragments for a Chronology of Chance (1994) and Code Unknown (2000). This may be for the sheer pleasure of the director—in this case: Kowalski, who thinks that showing the audience this on-screen brutality is actually a form of art while getting a nasty reaction from the audience. There is a plus-side: Playground is beautifully shot, and the actors are exquisitely trained, especially being this as a first movie for all three actors. Kowalski’s film, however, is not entirely “objective,” if you can call Haneke’s approach that; at times, he brings something more impressionistic to bear. And we hear him crying, in a very subtly designed sound mix, his voice lost among the ambient sounds of nature and, later, of an ominously approaching train. This could be said for anyone who had to endure such an atrocious on-screen exploitation of a parents’ nightmare. Playground’s coldness made a striking contrast with another detailed depiction of violence in a movie showing at San Sebastián—Chilean film Jesús, by Fernando Guzzoni. Yet it’s hard not to see Playground’s final sequence as specifically relating to Bulger’s death, so closely does it resemble the facts. The action depicted in the final section feels inexorable, and makes for intensely unpleasant watching. Released on VOD on December 8, 2017 through Uncork’d Entertainment, Playground re-tells, and reminds many who have suffered, the real-life death of a three-year-old child at the hands of two young school boys back in 1993. They look at a video-game store, advertising something called Flames of War (there is in fact a board game of that name, but presumably that’s not what’s represented here). As the boys stop near a railway line, we see the child struggle to get away, and we hear his whimpers, deep in the mix; the subtlety of the sound design itself makes it all more painful, so acutely unsettling is the distant sound of the boy’s suffering, and the detachment it enforces on us as observers. For some strange reason, Kowalski has the audacity to make it seem there may be a school shooting of some sort, or that something of horror is about to occur during a school assembly. To that end, after kidnapping Melinda May and connected her to the Framework, he and Aida successfully used a LMD of May, which was late… There are many variations; most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment. Not Rated | 2h 31min | Thriller | 13 October 2017 (USA) 1:01 | Trailer. The film’s final image is a two-shot of the boy murderers sitting side by side, blank-faced, numbed, looking not so much shattered by what they’ve done as just vaguely wiped out. Julia Kelly was born in 1969, studied English, Sociology and Journalism in Dublin, and escaped to London for the mad, bad years of life. It was just a time-waster, pushing the running-time longer than it had to be, and possibly scarring Actress Swistun for life. But Kowalski is misleading us. The Playground ( 2017) The Playground. We know that Kowalski is not glamorizing, or even dramatizing, which he seems to do in the scene of Gabrysia’s ordeal; in the murder scene, he’s de-dramatizing, simply insisting that we look. The playground element, of course, is a clear reference to the infamous playground scene in T2 when Sarah Connor watches families get incinerated by the Skynet-caused nuclear holocaust. Playground is about children’s cruelty to children, and specifically about the violence witnessed in the long penultimate shot, in which two teenagers batter a young boy to death. Her first novel, With My Lazy Eye, won her the Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer of the Year Award. But I’ve never witnessed such an abrupt collective exit as happened during Playground—and it seemed very much as if this was not just a panicked gut response but, consciously or unconsciously, a mass protest. The rest of the film, however, deals with different material, and one suspects that Kowalski is trying to explain, or at least make us understand, how two young boys—Playground’s killers are at least 12, two years older than the culprits in the Bulger case—could be driven to murder. Plenty of people, however, stayed for what little remained of the film—including a very angry woman who kept shouting “¡Lamentable!” after the lights came up. ''It's a tremendous undertaking,'' explained Linda … A caring father, deeply traumatized by the constant bullying he suffered as a child at the local playground, is forced by his sister to face his demons and take his little boy to the same playground. Yet this very detachment that in theory should make the final scene so rigorously demystificatory makes it all the more unpalatable: Kowalski shows at a distance, seemingly without dramatic rhetoric, and yet the dramatic rhetoric is there, only subtly hidden. In its numb way, Playground finally feels somewhat hysterical: look at the terrible times we’re living in. The Devil's Playground looks at life in an Australian Catholic seminary college in the early nineteen fifties, of the kind writer-director Fred Schepisi had once attended as a student. The … The … There are plenty of troubling issues in Playground that will no doubt fuel further discussions of the film. “You Become Hostage to Their Worldview”: The Murky World of Moderation on Clubhouse, a Playground for the Elite The invite-only app, which has … Released on March 25, 1991, the song reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, #4 on the R&B chart, and #36 on the Dance chart. On this episode of the Decoder podcast, host Nilay Patel speaks with Shelli Taylor, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse. While trying to save Fitz and Phil Coulson from Hell, Radcliffe had a glimpse of the infinite knowledge contained in the Darkhold and became obsessed with the idea of getting the book for himself since that moment. At the risk of spoiling the film, should you ever get to see it—and it’s absolutely not a question of spoiling anyone’s pleasure, because Playground is in no way intended to be pleasurable—I’ll explain why. Jesús allows us to understand young male violence; Playground, conversely, coldly presents violence to us in a way that doesn’t get us very far. The interesting thing is Playground would have been better had it been a Documentary—a genre for which Kowalski is better known, such as 2015’s Unstoppables, and 2012’s A Dream In The Making. ". Whether or not we can always say exactly why, it can feel grossly intrusive or otherwise improper to reconstruct real episodes of sexual violence or of genocide; in the case of depictions of the Holocaust, it takes a pitilessly audacious film such as Son of Saul to rethink the question. The scene made me wince more than any recent screen violence I can remember; it’s not because we see anything in precise detail, since we’re so far off, but we know what’s being done—and worse, we know whom it’s being done to, and by whom. Then, as they walk through the woods, filmed from a distance in wide shot, the child is clearly not so happy. The first, “Gabrysia,” shows a 12-year-old girl (Michalina Swistun) in her parents’ glacially marbled, coldly luxurious upper-middle-class home, getting ready for school and experimentally putting on lipstick with solemn determination. CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Refreshers and Flying Saucers, Opal Fruits, Space Dust and Toffos - the shelves of my school's tuck shop were heaped with sweets, all at a penny each. Prior to its premiere, the film won 'Best Narrative Feature Film' at the San Diego Film Awards. Look what we have to deal with now, it seems to say: increasingly brutal video games, social media, revenge porn, the rise of the profit motive, the oversexualization of children. It is fair to say that they are on a journey together to a better place. Cinépolis revealed plans to put a children’s playground in movie theaters. I’ve seen walkouts at festivals before, for all kinds of different reasons—boredom, bemusement, incomprehension—and they’re usually pretty much the same. 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