Catalogus

Experimenter

Drama
Beschikbaar voor VOD: 22 augustus 2016
Regie: Michael Almereyda
Cast: Peter Sarsgaard (Black Mass, The Killing, Blue Jasmine, Jarhead), Winona Ryder (Black Swan, Homefront, The Iceman, Edward Scissorhands), John Leguizamo (The Lincoln Lawyer, John Wick, Kick-Ass 2, Ride Along), Kellan Lutz (Twilight Saga, The Expendables 3, Immortals), Anthony Edwards (ER, Top Gun, Zodiac)

IN DE BIOSCOOP VANAF 31 MAART!

Zou ù gehoorzamen? Letterlijk en figuurlijk de knop omdraaien?

Yale University, 1961. Vanuit zijn eigen drang om de Holocaust te verwerken, bedenkt Dr. Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard, Black Mass, Blue Jasmine) een controversieel psychologisch experiment waarbij mensen geloven dat ze elektroschokken toedienen aan een proefpersoon in een andere kamer. Alleen zijn zij zélf de proefpersoon en gaat het niet om de werking van andermans geheugen, maar om hun eigen gehoorzaamheid, geweten en vrije wil.

Het resultaat van de experimenten is schokkend: 65 procent van Dr. Milgrams proefpersonen dienen hun ondervraagde een potentieel dodelijke dosis toe, omdat een gezagsdrager in een labojas hen daar beleefd om verzoekt. Maar zijn onderzoek keert zich tegen hem en in de media en een tv-film met William Shatner wordt hij afgeschilderd als een manipulatief monster. In 1974 slaat hij terug met een nieuw boek, Obedience to Authority.

Experimenter is een fascinerende gedragsstudie, gebaseerd op het leven en onderzoek van Dr. Stanley Milgram. Winona Ryder (Black Swan, Edward Scissorhands) speelt de vrouw die hem door dik en dun steunt.

Meer informatie over Dr. Stanley Milgram vind je hier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Milgram

Reviews
  • De Volkskrant (vier sterren): Het is knap dat de film ondanks de opzettelijke kunstgrepen evenwichtig blijft en nooit in pretenties ontspoort. Prikkelend eerbetoon. Milgram-biopic is ongewoon en intrigerend. Lees het hier.
  • Trouw (vier sterren): Experimenter is het fascinerende portret van Stanley Milgram, sterk gespeeld door Peter Sarsgaard.
  • Vier sterren in de NRC: Originele biopic. Lees de review hier.
  • Biosagenda: Intelligente en speelse film, vier sterren! Lees de hele review hier.
  • De Filmkrant heeft Michael Almereyda geinterviewd, lees het hier. En geeft de film maar liefst 4.5 sterren!
  • De Filmkrant: Films over wetenschappers drukken de wetenschap meestal naar de zijlijn, en zoeken het drama in het persoonlijke. Michael Almereyda bewijst met Experimenter, een eigenzinnige biografie van socioloog Stanley Milgram, hoe zonde dat is.
    Lees de hele recensie hier.
  • Filmkijker.com: Sarsgaard is goed in zijn rol, maar ook Winona Ryder die zijn vrouw Sasha speelt is een plezier om naar te kijken. De manier waarop Experimenter het verhaal uit de doeken doet is opvallend en dan met name de vorm waarin. Milgram praat regelmatig direct tegen het publiek en achtergronden zijn soms simpele zwart wit foto's in plaats van echte sets, waardoor de film een kunstmatige uitstraling krijgt die goed bij het onderwerp past. Als kijker ben je daardoor meer betrokken en vraag je jezelf ook af wat jij bij zo'n experiment zou doen. Ben je sterk genoeg om nee te zeggen of ga je gehoorzaam verder? Welke factoren spelen bij die keuze een rol? Verlies je jezelf in zo'n situatie of kan je het relativeren? Experimenter weet een belangrijk onderzoek op fascinerende wijze tot leven te brengen. Lees de hele recensie hier.
  • Variety.com: Experimenter offers a heady brew of theories about the essence of human nature, and a Peter Sarsgaard performance that catches Milgram in all his seductive, megalomaniacal brilliance.
  • TheHollywoodReporter.com: Technically puckish where appropriate but grounded by strong performances from Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder, the film is not awards bait but makes some Big Thinker biographies that are look staid. It seems certain to be the deliberately fringe-dwelling auteur's most commercially successful film, and may be his most aesthetically satisfying one as well.
  • New York Times: Among the most original selections (Sundance) this year are Michael Almereyda's "Experimenter," a conceptually exciting, intellectually searching portrait of the social psychologist Stanley Milgram (a superb Peter Sarsgaard), whose famous 1960s obedience experiments. Mr. Sarsgaard, occasionally addressing the camera and sometimes accompanied by an elephant that materializes in the room, delivers a forceful yet intimate performance that expresses his character's sincerity and the sinister undertow of his methods. Sundance could use more movies, like "Experimenter," that are adventurous in form and thought, not just in subject.
  • New York Magazine: Experimenter is uncannily beautiful. Milgram talks to us, shows us things. He puts his work in historical context. He expounds on the role of obedience in turning individuals into instruments of the state — as in Nazi Germany. The word reflective suggests a slowdown or cessation of action proper, but Experimenter is busily, thrillingly reflective. Its artificiality makes it seem even more alive, more in the present tense.
  • TheGuardian.com: Sarsgaard stars in this smart and unsettling exploration of Stanley Milgram's questionable experiment testing people's allegiance to malevolent authority, and potentially exposing the dark heart of mankind.
  • Villagevoice.com: The movie is itself a rat-maze of one-sided mirrors, windows upon windows, anonymous hallways, compartmentalized instances of watching, being watched, seeing and not-seeing.
  • Screendaily.com: Almereyda has created an experiment of his own: a kind of cinematic Rorschach test, prodding viewers to consider what they would do if sitting in the same seat as Milgram's subjects. Ultimately, Almereyda's smartly written script attempts to make up for its lack of traditional dramatic elements with continuous questions about Milgram's - and everyone's - ability to make a choice in society. These queries, about choice, will and morality, form the backbone of Experimenter, a film that, like the best of science, asks questions it can't always answer.
  • Sean Axmaker, Parallax View: The committed work of Anthony Edwards, John Leguizamo, Anton Yelchin, Taryn Manning and others as the test subjects provides some of the most gripping and discomforting profiles in human anxiety and willing resignation to authority. And the contrast with the odd, almost forced joviality of Milgram's team (Jim Gaffigan, Edoardo Ballerini, Winona Ryder) makes it all the more lacerating. And that doesn't even begin to address the Twilight Zone debate over test morality with Dennis Haysbert and Kellan Lutz as alternate universe versions of Ossie Davis and William Shatner. I put this ensemble up against all that have been awarded by critics groups or nominated by the Screen Actors Guild.

Marjorie Prime

Drama
Beschikbaar voor VOD: TBA Q2 2018
Regie: Michael Almereyda
Cast: Jon Hamm (Mad Men, Baby Driver, Keeping Up with the Joneses), Geena Davis (Grey's Anatomy, Stuart Little, Thelma & Louise), Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Thanks for Sharing, War of the Worlds), Lois Smith (Dead Man Walking, The Nice Guys, Falling Down)

In een tijd waarin kunstmatige intelligentie heel gewoon is geworden, krijgt de 86-jarige Marjorie gezelschap van een leergierig hologram. Deze ‘prime’ is een jongere versie van haar overleden man Walter, die herinneringen met Marjorie ophaalt om haar verslechterende geheugen te trainen. Maar de prime kent alleen de feiten en herinneringen die hem verteld zijn, die dus ook te manipuleren zijn – door Marjorie of bijvoorbeeld haar schoonzoon Jon.

Zo gaat de holografische – en in veel opzichten verbeterde – versie van Walter deel uitmaken van een geïdealiseerd verleden. Wie Walter echt was, lijkt er steeds minder toe te doen. “Niemand is wie hij was, noch zal hij zijn wie hij nu is”, stelt de prime vast in één van de tot nadenken stemmende dialogen in deze ingetogen verfilming van het gelijknamige toneelstuk van Jordan Harrison. Lois Smith herhaalt als Marjorie haar toneelrol, naast onder anderen Jon ‘Mad Men’ Hamm, Geena Davis en Tim Robbins.

Download hier de Press Notes.

Reviews
  • VPROCinema.nl: Lois Smith, die ooit in 1955 debuteerde naast James Dean in East of Eden, speelt in Marjorie Prime één van de mooiste rollen uit haar roemrijke carrière. En regisseur Almereyda schetst, zonder op het sentiment te spelen, een prachtig en ontroerend verhaal over de dood, en hoe technologie ons kan helpen met het verlies van een dierbare om te gaan.
  • RogerEbert.com: "Marjorie Prime" is so beautifully and consistently focused on the human. Chief among the film’s pleasures is watching the exemplary work of the actors who embody those people. Almereyda's script is very sharp, belongs to a category that also includes "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," "Her," "Ex Machina" and "A.I. Artificial Intelligence".
  • Vulture.com: The sci-fi chamber drama Marjorie Prime is exquisite — beautiful, intense, shivering with empathy.
  • Variety.com: Davis, in particular, is stoically heartbreaking as a woman who feels increasingly alone in processing and preserving the least pleasant chapters of her past, as well as her mother’s, while Smith captures dementia’s rapidly alternating moods of panic, placidity, and fleeting, absolute presence with a wry precision that should resonate with viewers who have had to live beside it.
  • Empireonline.com: Michael Almereyda’s film shares some of the brainy, out-there qualities of his earlier work (Nadja, Hamlet) but finds a warmth rare in his filmography. It's a restrained, artful look at memory, loss (and memory loss) and the way we use machines to feel more human. It’s a bit like Spike Jonze's Her, or an episode of Black Mirror if Charlie Brooker traded in empathy, but Marjorie Prime occupies a unique space all of its own. A high-concept idea with a low concept approach, Marjorie Prime is cerebral, talk-driven sci-fi lit up by a compelling exploration of big ideas and across-the-board strong performances from the small cast (especially Smith). A treat for the brain and soul.
  • Efilmcitic.com: There are clear act breaks that in some ways reset the story when they occur, and the multiple iterations without clear progress could make it a drag, but in this case it pushes the audience to ponder rather than guiding them in a particular direction. It leads to a pair of final scenes that are mesmerizing in contrast, one thoroughly human and sad but emotionally loaded, the other featuring AI and, though it revisits references and themes from throughout the film, it is utterly alien and seeming to push in opposite directions, at least from human perspective.
  • Slantmagazine.com: Mapping the intersection between history and emotion, Michael Almereyda finds himself in Alain Resnais terrain.
  • TheHollywoodReporter.com: Even at its most sorrowful, Marjorie Prime is suffused with warmth, the core of it emanating from Smith in two complementary iterations of the same character.
  • TheVerge.com: Marjorie Prime is superbly acted, and it’s certainly interesting. Hamm strikes a wonderful balance as a talking re-creation that feels almost human, and the rest of the cast is equally nuanced.
  • TheGuardian.com: Programming a prime begins to resemble the heartrending business that many carers of dementia sufferers have to go through: having to teach their elderly loved ones who they were and are – having to reconstruct their identities. A potent, and well-developed feat of imagination.
  • NYTimes.com: Mr. Almereyda (whose 2015 film, “Experimenter,” was an underseen beauty) is a seasoned cinematic spellbinder. He doesn’t do much to open up Mr. Harrison’s theatrical work, confining it for the most part to an elegant, mysterious beach house, one that, paradoxically enough, contains no visible high-tech devices. When you try to break down how he achieves his seductive magic with respect to this narrative, it all looks, initially, like nothing more than good cinematic common sense. The key is what he does on the sly: the way his subtle shifts of focus within a shot don’t just change the emphasis of the scene, but mirror quirks of consciousness. There’s more going on in this movie’s 90-plus minutes than in many summer blockbusters nearly twice its length.
  • RottenTomatoes.com: Critics Consensus: Intimate in setting yet ambitious in scope, the beautifully acted Marjorie Prime poses thought-provoking questions about memory, humanity, and love.
Awards
  • Sundance Film Festival 2017 - Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
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