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Old 06-11-2005   #1
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The Machinist

THE MACHINIST (2004) Directed by Brad Anderson. Starring Christian Bale and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Trevor Reznik is wasting away. Afflicted with a strange case of insomnia, his life is lived in a confused world of waking nightmare, hallucination, and increasing paranoia. He is tormented by a person or persons unknown, who leave sinister puzzles for him to figure out. With what little strength he has to muster, he gropes his way through a shifting landscape of delusion and reality, towards the solution of a haunting mystery. The light at the end of the dark tunnel casts a somber illumination.

I think this is an outstanding psychological mystery/thriller. I am surprised that it never went into wider release; especially, with its two well-known stars. Admittedly, it is not a happy film, and some of the scenes are difficult to take.

Interestingly, Brad Anderson (SESSION 9) said that he was influenced by German Expressionism in the making of THE MACHINIST. He stated that he and some of his creative staff watched old silent horror movies like NOSFERATU and the CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI to help create the look for this film. Its limited color scheme does give the movie a half awake or nightmarish feel.

Scott Kosar, the scriptwriter, said he was influenced by Hitchcock, Polanski's THE TENANT, Dostoevsky, and Kafka.

I thought I was prepared for Christian Bale's appearance, but I was wrong; he looks dangerously emaciated in this film. The script called for a 'skeletal character' due to the effects of his prolonged insomnia. The director, Anderson, left it up to Bale to thin down. He stated that he was prepared to use CGI to slim down Bale's character towards the end of the film, but that obviously wasn't necessary. Christian Bale's performance isn't limited to his weight loss though. His portrayal of an anxiety-ridden, persecuted man spiralling downwards towards the abyss is compellingly believable.

The music is great too. Anderson opted to use the unique sound of the theremin. I haven't heard this instrument used in a while. (For all you musicians out there, the 1995 documentary THEREMIN: AN ELECTRONIC ODYSSEY is also an interesting flick.)
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Old 06-11-2005   #2
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I really wanted to see this when it came out, but I never got around to doing it. Christian Bale is, imo, a highly underrated actor.

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Old 06-12-2005   #3
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Re: The Machinist

I loved Session 9. It was the best horror movie I watched in a long while.The machinist was shown in São Paulo only for 2 or 3 weeks back in january this year... but I was visiting my mom in another part of the country at the time :evil:

Is the dvd already out?

Browsing IMDB Ive seen that the next Brad Anderson project is the remake of George Romeros "The Crazies".I am not a big fan of Romero, Ive only watched his zombie movies (the first two were great and the last, hummm...) and Creepshow, but I respect him very much.Is this movie (The crazies) any good?

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Old 09-18-2005   #4
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Having finally watched this movie all I can say is this:

WOW

what a fine piece of filmmaking. I definitely caught the influences of Kafka and Hitchcock. Everything reminded me of Hitchcock from the predicaments to the music. Christian Bale gave a stunning performance (as always).
This gave me hope that there are still quality horror/suspense movies being made out there. The plot is highly intriguing and ugh I just loved it.

go rent this now...everybody

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Old 09-18-2005   #5
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Re: The Machinist

I wanted to love this movie, but was disappointed. I'd rather not say why and risk a spoiler. Anyway, I think a lot of people would enjoy it.

On the plus-side, the soundtrack is fun. The Theremin seems like such a Ligottian instrument.

Cheers!

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