In the story, Charles Underhill is a widower who will do anything to protect his young son Jim from the horrors of the playground a playground which he and the boy pass by daily and the tumult of which, the activity, brings back to Charles the anguish The Playground is a thrilling adaptation of ancient folklore depicted through a modern fable of five vastly separate inner-city lives. 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 Playground is a 2017 American thriller film directed by Edreace Purmul. I thought of Ulrich Seidl because the Gabrysia sequence reminded me of the Austrian filmmaker’s acidic satirical stance in his fictions. 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. But her beloved has Czarek in tow, and the boys abuse and humiliate the girl—with the aid of their camera phones, of course—before seemingly getting bored and leaving. 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. We’re watching something strictly inadmissible: true horror, and horror directly relating to real events. Of mice and men: Ruben Östlund continues his exploration of our most basic instincts. There is never a notion that these two are going to kill a kid, but Kowalski seemed to have thought there was—somewhere in his script. If Playground fails to convince, it’s partly because it largely seems such a textbook emulation of the Haneke approach. But Kowalski is misleading us. Actually the journey of most of the characters to this place in Bray is never fully explained. A certain scene, at the end of Bartosz M. Kowalski’s drama, caused a sudden horrified mass surge as people leapt from their seats and made for the doors. 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. This could be said for anyone who had to endure such an atrocious on-screen exploitation of a parents’ nightmare. The facts of the Bulger murder pretty much correspond to what we see in Playground, and Kowalski’s occasional use of CCTV footage seems to underline the allusion. The … 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. 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. 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. 1,155 likes. The store is closed, so the boys move on; and the film’s most cold-blooded touch, for anyone who knows the Bulger case, is the way that this fifth section abruptly ends with a glimpse of a small boy in a play area. Unless, that is, we protest by getting up and leaving, refusing to be complicit. Directed by William Fruet. 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. 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. One boy starts walking around the kid, poking him with a stick—then the full horror of the scene erupts, as they beat him to death at great length, every moment of the atrocity captured in a lengthy take that presumably depends on CGI for its verisimilitude (the end credits list special-effects technicians). Playground starts off strongly, introducing three characters as they ready for their last day of school before Summer Vacation starts. There’s a decided touch of “living dead” to this sequence, although it’s a moot point who’s dead inside, the boys or the adults around them. How YouTube has become the Pedophile’s Playground. 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. In its numb way, Playground finally feels somewhat hysterical: look at the terrible times we’re living in. By Katherine Harrington, Contributing Writer. 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. But I’ve never quite seen a reaction like the one that greeted the Polish film Playground, which showed in competition this week at the San Sebastian Film Festival. 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. Kowalski asks a lot of his young nonprofessional actors, and you have to hand it to them—they rise to the occasion intrepidly. Furthermore, nor is there any real reason to show what happened in the brutal matter in which Playground so un-humbly exploits. 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). The following section shows the kids at school, and we see what’s been making Gabrysia so tense: she has a crush on Szymek. The boys—inevitably, it seems, in a film about troubled youth—then visit a shopping mall, the same one that we’ve glimpsed briefly in CCTV shots at the start. 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. Math video teaches students how to find the area of a trapezoid. Then, as they walk through the woods, filmed from a distance in wide shot, the child is clearly not so happy. A fable of five vastly separate inner-city lives who struggle against their limitations in an interlocking tale assembled by a dark orchestrator. 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. Her first novel, With My Lazy Eye, won her the Sunday Independent Best Irish Newcomer of the Year Award. 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. It’s an excess of rationalization that feels like overkill but that tells us little. 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. 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 … Learn more about your ad choices. The penultimate shot is a slow burner. Now the film gets impressionistic, Kowalski dropping the cold, detached observational style largely used till now. The intimate talk quickly spins out of control, leading to an unexpected ending. What Kowalski is displaying, ultimately, is nothing more than his own cold audacity. Their performances are what keeps the viewer glued to the screen. Playground has its moments of greatness—wonderful cinematography; amazing set-designs; awesome actors, throughout—but as the movie progresses, it makes one to wonder what the point ever was of the first 70 minutes. 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. 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 the lead-up to the final killing, Kowalski lays on some ominous atmospheric music, presaging the distant train sounds in the climactic sequence; this feels superfluous and deeply manipulative. &amp;lt;span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/span&amp;gt; © Copyright Cryptic Rock 2020 – All Rights Reserved – User Login Website Design by Anthony Idi. 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. Although, this is not the case; for as the story keeps going, Gabrysia announces to her crush—Szymek!—how she feels, doing so in a dilapidated building known as The Ruins. 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. 5 VIDEOS | 145 IMAGES. 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. But what troubles me most about the final scene is the very fact that it’s done with the absolute distanciation we think of as Haneke-esque. The detachment ostensibly asks us to bear witness; but what we end up witnessing is only the sophistication of the filmmaking. 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. However, the demons return as well. On this episode of the Decoder podcast, host Nilay Patel speaks with Shelli Taylor, the CEO of Alamo Drafthouse. 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. In the next section (“Ruins”), Szymek accordingly shows up for the assignation on a secluded piece of wasteland; Gabrysia has come armed with a condom. Ronald McDonald Playground Slaughter Turned The Mascot Into A Slasher. The West Side playground, bounded by Ninth and 10th Avenues and 45th and 46th Streets, will be named Curtis Park in honor of members of the family of Mrs. Cary's late husband, Melbert. 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. There are plenty of troubling issues in Playground that will no doubt fuel further discussions of the film. 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 … 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 reason why Eve has arrived here with Addie (and the dog Alfie) is never really completely explained. 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. There’s also the question of whether it’s appropriate, from the point of view of ethics or just of taste, to depict particular types of horror. 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. 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. From here on, if you remember the facts, you dread what’s coming. Cinépolis revealed plans to put a children’s playground in movie theaters. 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. Point made—and none too subtly. Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Playground is much more clear-cut: we can only recoil in horror. 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