Author Topic: The Trial of the Chicago 7  (Read 2599 times)

touchingcloth

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The Trial of the Chicago 7
« on: October 22, 2020, 06:41:45 PM »
New Aaron Sorkin (written and directed) film on Netflix about the eponymous trial from the seventies.

Amazingly good screenplay and cast, and having read about the events subsequently it sounds like if anything if was under rather than over dramaticised.

Frank Langella from off of Frost/Nixon has a great turn in a similar role as the judge.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2020, 06:48:25 PM »
Not seen it yet (it's in the list), but yeah I think just like Hacksaw Ridge they had to tone down some things otherwise people just wouldn't believe it.

touchingcloth

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 07:01:48 PM »
Not seen it yet (it's in the list), but yeah I think just like Hacksaw Ridge they had to tone down some things otherwise people just wouldn't believe it.

There are bits I could have sworn must have been made up like one of the defendants being bound and gagged in the courtroom on the judge’s orders and others I’ve learned about I’m surprised they left out like after the defendants had been jailed (and their lawyers, for contempt of court, that the judge in “a final gesture of contempt towards those on trial, Judge Hoffman ordered that the barbers of the Cook County Jail cut the long hair of the defendants and defense lawyers that he found so offensive. At a press conference, Sheriff Joseph Woods of Cook County proudly displayed Abbie Hoffman's shorn hair.“

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 05:41:20 PM »
Sasha Baron Cohen's half arsed accent didn't help it any.

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2020, 12:33:08 AM »
This review makes it sound really good[1]
 1. If you're a munted Sorkin fan

Sin Agog

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2020, 04:22:52 AM »
I just can't stomach anything Sorkin does anymore after exposing myself to Chapo's gory post-mortems.  It sounds like he's wiped out every trace of bohemian splendour from the original participants and turned this  into an exercise in establishment bootlickery when the material calls for anything but.

touchingcloth

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 09:43:21 AM »
I just can't stomach anything Sorkin does anymore after exposing myself to Chapo's gory post-mortems.  It sounds like he's wiped out every trace of bohemian splendour from the original participants and turned this  into an exercise in establishment bootlickery when the material calls for anything but.

As in the El Chapo series? Was he involved?

I don’t think the film is particularly bootlicky, but it is quite politically on the fence and doesn’t get as furious as it should do. That might partly be inspired by the lives of some of the accused diverging from “bohemian splendour” after the trial. Hayden went on to become a senator, but when I read the wiki page about arch stoner Rubin after watching the film this bit jumped out that after he left activism and became a multimillionaire that his view was that:

Quote
activism was hard work and that the abuse of drugs, sex, and private property had made the counterculture "a scary society in itself." He maintained that "wealth creation is the real American revolution.

Right on, brother.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 02:46:20 PM »
Well, taking it purely as a film, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Would make a good double bill with Medium Cool.

kidsick5000

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 08:31:21 PM »
The ending of the film did make me want to find out more.
But only because it was so ridiculous and just a step away from being a musical that none of it rang true.
As a piece of drama, great stuff.
As a historical document, Sorkin just does not care enough. The tragedy of Bobby Seale (which apparently went on for days!) is lessened to make Joseph Gordon Levitt have a heart - when the guy he's playing was just as hard-edged as the judge.

touchingcloth

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 11:01:35 PM »
The ending of the film did make me want to find out more.
But only because it was so ridiculous and just a step away from being a musical that none of it rang true.
As a piece of drama, great stuff.
As a historical document, Sorkin just does not care enough. The tragedy of Bobby Seale (which apparently went on for days!) is lessened to make Joseph Gordon Levitt have a heart - when the guy he's playing was just as hard-edged as the judge.

Pretty much my thoughts. There was a lot in the film which prompted me to read up about it, because it seemed just too screenwritery - as well as the Cool Running ending there were bits like the scout leader throwing a punch in court. And Michael Keaton being way too cool.

So definitely not a documentary, but I kind of like that it was told in a way which would make you realise that and take the story presented with many pinches of salt and not like a Ken Burns.

touchingcloth

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 11:04:08 PM »
Sasha Baron Cohen's half arsed accent didn't help it any.

It took me a good few scenes to realise it was SBC playing Abbie. The accent stood out immediately like Daniel Craig’s in Knives Out, but SBC usually has a tell in in his voice which makes me realise it’s him whenever he does an accent, but he’d largely managed to mask that in the earlier scenes, seemingly by trading it off against having an accent that was the slightest bit believable.

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2020, 11:50:56 PM »
As in the El Chapo series? Was he involved?

Chapo Trap House i presume, who are less than kind to Mr Sorkin

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2020, 08:50:43 AM »
Saw this last night and got quite into it.

I wish however that people would record a band playing live with a shitty PA when re-creating live music played on a makeshift stage in 1968 rather than just have some long hair types mime to an obviously studio recorded song. Would it have killed them to get an MC5 lookalike band and then played something off "Kick Out The Jams"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmnM-EBWZBM

the science eel

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2020, 09:17:01 AM »
Saw this last night and got quite into it.

I wish however that people would record a band playing live with a shitty PA when re-creating live music played on a makeshift stage in 1968 rather than just have some long hair types mime to an obviously studio recorded song. Would it have killed them to get an MC5 lookalike band and then played something off "Kick Out The Jams"?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmnM-EBWZBM

Happens all the time, doesn't it? Fucks me off.

It's as if filmmakers are only interested in the visual* and recreating anything else from the era is very much secondary.


*they tend to fuck that up sometimes too, but at least you usually get a sense that they've made an effort

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2020, 09:20:33 AM »
"THERE WILL BE ORDER IN THIS COURT! ORDER! ORDER!"

Absolute cringe, Sorkin must think absolutely nothing of his audience

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2020, 09:30:50 AM »
Well, taking it purely as a film, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Would make a good double bill with Medium Cool.

I only saw Medium Cool earlier this year and was amazed by it. Not only the riot scenes but the hand-held wide-angle lens bits where Robert Forster's chasing his girlfriend around the apartment.

touchingcloth

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Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2020, 11:58:01 AM »
Chapo Trap House i presume, who are less than kind to Mr Sorkin


Words

Re: The Trial of the Chicago 7
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2021, 01:44:45 AM »
*Buuuump*

Loved this, completely deserves the attention and I hope it wins a few gongs. I can understand being well versed in the story already and finding everything a bit schlocky and reductive but from my blank, blind perspective it grabbed me early.

Why do people hate Sorkin so much? I've just been through his filmography and found I've enjoyed much of what he's written without realising.

As noted, great cast. And all spliced together with enough humour to paste over the dry legalise and inevitable shortcut trial movie tropes and sentimentality. More people should watch it because I'm going to spend the next few days educating myself a la cloth and I think that's about the best recommendation a film like this can get. Currently on the Netflix.

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