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November 28, 2014 10:12 am  #21


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Thanks, miriel and Boss, for your wise words. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
 

November 28, 2014 10:54 am  #22


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

SusiGo wrote:

Thanks, miriel and Boss, for your wise words. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

And it is true - the reviews in gay media I read usually did not mention this fact or did not criticise the director's and writer's choice. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

November 28, 2014 7:10 pm  #23


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Sherlock Holmes wrote:

It was fairly blatantly obvious that he was gay, seeing as he mentioned it several times and was arrested for it at the end. They really didn't NEED a scene of him kissing a guy or soliciting someone in a bar. What's the point?? It wouldn't have pushed the plot along in any way.

I think the point of showing something, would be to give it a positive slant, instead of just showing the negative aspects.  His sexuality was repeatedly shown as something that made him a security risk, that caused him to hurt someone, etc., never as a positive part of him.  (And also, I suppose, so that they didn't have to invent the relationship with Cairncross, which is the part that makes his sexuality the most explicit).  This isn't my feeling so much (I was quite happy with the film when I saw it, and even before going to see it, I didn't think it would be necessary), but my attempt to explain what I think has been a misunderstanding of some of those reviews.   The way I read them, it's not at all about wanting explicit sex scenes or nudity (and of course his sexuality could have been shown in a positive way without even as much as a kiss, I think). 

Often with straight characters it's easy to show their sexuality in a positive way (without sex scenes!  I don't understand the idea that the only way it can be shown is sex scenes!), if they've had wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc.  It can just be there in the background.  Or perhaps not even shown at all if it isn't an issue - the trouble is that for Turing it WAS an issue, but we only see the negatives.  Miriel, I think the point you make is important - that it feels as if he would be judged for the type of sexual relationships he had, and that that was why they were hidden.   And possibly that's the case - I really don't know. 

Pink News did have an article about the film focusing on the relationship with Joan (with quotes from Andrew Hodges, which I'm sure you've all come across), which is part of the same "issue". 

One thing the film showed was that not everybody was homophobic in those times.   Joan, in particular, was not at all disapproving.  Even the Detective did not seem at all keen for Turing to be convicted for gross indecency - he'd been investigating because he thought there was something more interesting going on.  I liked that they didn't take a too obvious route there (of making everybody apart from Turing homophobic).  Maybe Joan's role was overplayed, but I did appreciate seeing a female character in a very male world in the film.  (And it was a reminder that homophobia and misogyny so often go hand in hand). 
 

 

November 28, 2014 7:42 pm  #24


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I see what you mean, Liberty, but as far as I know the film concentrates on three periods in his life:
- the friendship with Christopher which was never of a sexual nature so no chance here
- the time in Bletchley Park during which he probably had hardly any chance of having sexual encounters
- the time of his arrest and punishment - which leaves us with Arnold Murray, the man who caused his downfall and with whom he never had a loving relationship, who stole from him and betrayed him to a friend who broke into Alan's house

So the writer would have been forced to either invent something (and then probably been accused of doing so) or they would have needed to include a period of Alan's life in which he was more freer to pursue relationships with men. They chose to highlight these crucial periods of his life. I think they would have needed a very different approach in order to show his sexuality in a moe active and positive light (there were holidays in Greece, for example) and it would have been a different film. 

Last edited by SusiGo (November 28, 2014 7:44 pm)


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

November 28, 2014 7:45 pm  #25


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I suspect that there were several reasons that Joan's role was enlarged for the film.

One, women are a very, very large section of the movie-going audience, and no studio can totally ignore demographics and have a successful film. (Plus, think of all the criticism Sherlock got for not having any strong female characters in season one, especially.)

Two, I think it's also a comment on the lack of a strong female presence today in Silicon Valley--historical films are never only about the past.

Three, from what I've read, she's a strong, likeable character who "gets" Turing, which gives the audience a route in to empathising with Turing. (Of course, this last one I'm only getting from what I've read; it could be completely wrong.)


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November 28, 2014 8:43 pm  #26


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I'd understood that Arnold Murray wasn't his only sexual liaison at the time (I really do need to reread the book and remind myself of the details!), so there wouldn't have been any need to completely invent (even in the film he does "admit" to other liaisons, if I remember correctly).  Here's a discussion on Slate which mentions this issue, whilst applauding the film.  Again, it's not about the lack of sex scenes!

I think your description of the Joan's character is accurate, REReader, and Keira Knightley is very good in the part. I don't know how true it was that Joan taught him how about the importance of teamwork, and how to do it, but it was a way of showing how Turing went from being a solitary worker to achieving more when working with others.  Yes, she does show us some of his more likeable qualities (like being completely non-sexist!).

I've been noticing that a lot of the reviewers praise Alex Lawther (who plays schoolboy Alan), and so does everybody I know who has seen him so far!   He's in a film called X plus Y which I've been looking forward to for other reasons (and which was shown at the BFI film festival this year).   I can't wait to see him in it! 

Last edited by Liberty (November 29, 2014 8:47 am)

 

November 28, 2014 10:55 pm  #27


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

But he did not have a relationship that could be shown in a comfortable, relaxed way like dancing together, walking down the street arm in arm, living together (he never lived with a man). He probably did not love anyone in this way and was not loved back by anyone like that. I think it would have been wrong to imply that he had a real loving relationship when this was not the case. He had sex, that is true. But then we are back to the question if there should have been a sex scene in the film. 

I watched "Breaking the code" with Derek Jacobi (who btw was too old to play Turing in my opinion). I think the scenes with Murray show Alan in a pitiable light and I am not sure if this what the creators of TIG wanted to show. 
 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

November 29, 2014 7:48 am  #28


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Yes, Derek Jacobi was much too old, but I imagine he was cast because of the stage play.  Both Breaking the Code and The Imitation Game show Turing's (adult) love as directed towards his work, maths and machines - that's his passion.   But Breaking the Code does manage to show his sexuality without showing sex scenes.  He's seen talking to a lover, touching him affectionately, etc.  (It can be done!  I don't know why it needs to be a sex scene?).  But, of course, they show the relationship he was arrested for, and where he was taken advantage of (because that's such a big part of his story).  But it maybe helps to give an idea of how it's possible to show sexuality without actual sex.  Or without love, come to that! It doesn't somehow invalidate his sexuality that he wasn't in love with the men he saw.   Or mean that he didn't enjoy those encounters. 

What did you think of Breaking the Code, and how it compares to what you know of The Imitation Game (I'd love to hear your opinion when you've seen both, too!)?  They have a very different focus (TIG is more of a thriller, I suppose?  And very much about the big picture, whereas BTC seems more of a character study, with lots of one-to-one scenes).  Much as I love Derek Jacobi, I prefer Benedict's version of Turing.  But I think BTC was great at communicating Turing's passion for his work.   There's some of that in TIG, but I'd happily have let the film stop for a while and listened to Turing talk on about maths in the way he does in BTC!  But I can see how it would affect the pace and feel of the film, and might even be boring for a general audience. 

 

November 29, 2014 8:03 am  #29


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Haven't seen IG yet, but saw and disliked BTC. I was very curious about it, because it is such a fascinating story and I like DJ as an actor, but for me he was miscast as AT: not only too old but his appearance nothing of an athlet Turing has been, rather a flaccid old man with "I like doing it with young boys" written all over his face. And in his dealing with Murrey and with the police he appears very naive and ever stupid and pathetic, pleading with the policeman not to take into account what he had confessed. I felt pity for him, but not so much admiration or sympathy.
And of course it is a cheap production, but the fact that we only learn about his brilliance thank to explanatory talk doesn't help.
And how it is possible that no one cried outrage that Joan Clarke's part was all altered and twisted in it? http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


I've read a couple of  reviews saying that BTC was great (and more true to T. than IG) but frankly I didn't see it.

Has anyone seen the "Codebreaker"?

 

November 29, 2014 8:44 am  #30


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I missed Codebreaker (I don't watch much TV at all.  I really should watch more as I miss so much good stuff!).  Was it good? 

Yes, Turing did seem naive in BTC, but I think that was one aspect that was fairly true from what I've read.  He didn't expect to be convicted (although I get the impression that he was more assertive than in BTC).  And the policeman is a more unpleasant character than in TIG. Jacobi would have been younger in the stage version (still a little old, but I don't think that matters so much on stage).  I'd love to have seen the stage version, which I imagine would be much better (it won awards) - I don't think it claimed to be a factual account (although it draws very strongly on facts), but partially fictionalised.  Names are changed and I'm sure long conversations are invented.  But the sequences where Turing talks about his work are great, I think.  I'd have loved to see Benedict doing that.  

I didn't get the impression from BTC that Turing liked young boys at all!  But I agree that Derek's physical appearance makes the age gap seem bigger.    That wouldn't be the case with Benedict.  And there would be no need to do exactly the same as was done in BTC - it's just an example of how it's possible to show sexuality without sex scenes, if the TIG team had wanted to.  (In fact there's a whole history of showing sexuality without sex scenes in films!). 

They were making a different kind of film - more plot and drama driven - so I think I can see why they left it out, but I also can see the reviewers are not complaining about lack of graphic sex!  One thing that I find very likeable and admirable about Turing is that (from what I've read) he seemed comfortable with his sexuality long before Gay Pride existed, and was relatively open and unapologetic about it (given the time and place) to Joan, etc.

Maybe all that would be better developed in something like a TV series, that wouldn't need to have the pace and suspense of a film.  Unlikely as it is to happen, I'd love to see Benedict showing us more of Turing.

Last edited by Liberty (November 29, 2014 10:51 am)

 

November 29, 2014 11:09 am  #31


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I really liked "Breaking the Code", my reservations are just about Jacobi being to old in order to play a convincing younger Turing and marathon runner. 

It is a fact that Turing felt drawn to young boys, even younger than 19-year-old Murray. Hodges discusses this very openly so I think there is no harm in mentioning it here. He probably did not have a sexual relationship with a boy but he felt very attracted to them. 

And it is true, these are different kinds of films and maybe one day there will be one that fully focusses on Turing's sexuality which would be fine. 

And, yes, he was comfortable with this sexuality and felt no shame because of it. He loved travelling to countries that were less restricted and dreamed of going to Norway because he had been told that there men could dance together in public. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

November 29, 2014 12:02 pm  #32


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I think there is a huge difference between young boys and someone over the (current) age of consent, though, and even if Turing felt drawn to them (I wasn't aware), I don't think he was known to have sex with anybody underage, was he?  I think it was hinted at in BTC that Turing liked younger men (late teens) because of Christopher, but it also suggests that Turing almost wanted to find Christopher again through computers, rather than through his sexuality (it wasn't a sexual relationship), so I think I may have been off course.   It was probably just more a case of availability and attraction.  I can't remember if they made a deal about Murray's age in TIG (he's only glimpsed briefly, at the police station).  But there were no hints of young boys in either TIG or BTC. 

(Or by "young boys" are you two meaning late teenagers rather than young children?   If so, then yes, BTC did make Murray's age clear.   I can't remember if TIG did, but Benedict is younger than Turing, so the age gap wouldn't have seemed to big). 

Last edited by Liberty (November 29, 2014 12:11 pm)

 

November 29, 2014 12:29 pm  #33


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

To make this very clear, I never read anywhere that he had sex with boys under the age of consent. I am quite sure this never happened. I was just referring to Hodges who states more than once that Alan Turing felt attraced to them. 

I just ordered "Codebreaker" as I have not seen it yet. 

To return to the beginning I wrote all this just to make clear why it would have been difficult to portray Alan in a positive sexual relationship in the film and why they probably chose not to include anything like this. 


------------------------------
"To fake the death of one sibling may be regarded as a misfortune; to fake the death of both looks like carelessness." Oscar Wilde about Mycroft Holmes

"It is what it is says love." (Erich Fried)

“Enjoy the journey of life and not just the endgame. I’m also a great believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Benedict Cumberbatch)

http://up.picr.de/28609194so.png

 
     Thread Starter
 

November 29, 2014 7:25 pm  #34


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Thank you so much for your clarification, Susigo!  I read the book a long time ago ( early '90s?) and not since, so I'm really, really hazy on the details.  I no longer have tne book, so I think it's time for me to buy it again and reread it.   To me, there is a world of difference between being attracted to underage boys, and actually acting on that attraction.  From what I understand, in practice, Turing had sexual relations with people who were over the current age of consent(16).   (Murray would have been under the age of consent at the time of BTC, but this was an anomaly which has later been corrected in English law.  In current English law, Murray would be over three years over the age of consent).

I do understand your point, Susigo.  It's a slightly grey area.   I think UK audiences are now delighted to celebrate gay marriage, etc., but may still balk at a non-love-orientated, casual relationship between a man in his 40s and a   male teenager.  Now just speaking personally, I feel it's not for me to judge, and I don't see anything wrong with Turing finding happiness and expressing his sexuality in a way that was do-able at the time.  But I do understand that at a time when Turing is being promoted as a national hero, hints of paedophilia (even if, as we know, it didn't happen!  But if people are seeing it in BTC, then it seems it only takes the tiniest of hints), or even just a focus on relationships with much younger men, would not promote his cause.   Maybe the reviewers are not quite seeing the risk that would be taken by making this explicit.   Thank you!

Last edited by Liberty (November 30, 2014 7:31 am)

 

December 2, 2014 10:23 pm  #35


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I've seen the film twice during my brief stay in London last week and I'm still processing what I saw... it is everything as brilliant as I expected from the reviews and trailers, not only Benedict's part. I was particularly inpressed by Alex Lawther's portrayal of young Alan. The scene where he learns about Christopher's death is one of the most intense moments I've ever seen in a film and it was exactly this moment that I felt tears in my eyes. I was able to hold them back until near the end of the film but finally ended up crying at the scene when Joan visits Alan and he isn't even able to do a crossword anymore... to see this brilliant mind crumbling and falling apart was so painful.
I thought I could handle my emotions better the second time because I knew what to expect but ended up in tears again. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cry.png


O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 23) 
 

December 3, 2014 7:03 am  #36


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

It's great that you got to see it twice.  I would love to see it again, as I'm sure there were things I missed.  I agree about Alex Lawther - I loved how he managed to capture Benedict's version of Turing.  The scene you are talking about was stunning.  My boyfriend thought it was one of the best bits of acting he'd ever seen! 

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/the-imitation-game-alex-lawther-benedict-104078334352.html

"We were actually quite keen for me to not imitate Benedict, because it was Alan that we were playing, not each other," Lawther, who began his career on stage at the age of 16, told Yahoo Movies last week. “We thought the time difference between young Alan and older Alan was great enough to allow for some artistic flexibility — people grow over time.”

The actors’ physical similarities are obvious: Cumberbatch and Lawther both have unruly brown hair and high cheekbones. One physical trait, however, came courtesy of the costuming department, which managed to recreate a 60-plus-year old set of Turing’s false teeth. “We were wearing the same pair of teeth, copies of Alan’s own dentures,” said Lawther. The actors also both worked with the same vocal coach to develop Turing’s nervous stutter.While the pair of Turings worked together to create a unified approach to the character, they also made sure their performances remained distinct. "We spent a little bit of time in rehearsing, coming up with an idea of Alan," Lawther explained. "We spent a bit of time reading through the script, but nothing so formal as organizing how to move." The young actor arrived at Sherborne, Turing’s actual boarding school, midway through the shoot to film his scenes, and avoided watching Cumberbatch’s dailies so as not to overly influence his own choices. 

This was interesting, because I thought Alex's interpretation was very similar to Benedict's - obviously Alan as a teenager, but they did seem like the same person.  They walked in the same way and their voices were similar.   I wondered how much Benedict and Alex had worked together so it's interesting to read that they actually tried to avoid being too close!  I suppose they were trying to avoid Alex doing an impersonation of Benedict impersonating Turing.  Whatever they did, it worked brilliantly.

Did Turing have dentures at school?  Or did they just use them for continuity?  A lot of people did get their teeth extracted at a young age in those days, so it's possible he really did lose teeth early on. 

Last edited by Liberty (December 3, 2014 7:22 am)

 

December 4, 2014 10:27 am  #37


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I finally got to see the film on Wednesday and I thought that it was extremely good. Benedict was faultless and I was also very impressed with the young actor playing Turing's younger self. Everything  about them was the embodiment of this brilliant man with all his Aspergers traits. The rest of the cast, on the whole were great. I especially liked Charles Dance's and Matthew Goode's performances. Rory Kinnear is an amazing actor and never disappoints.

My only reservation was Keira Knightley. Her performance was fine, don't get me wrong but, to my mind she was too glamorous (they could have done something about that I think) and not sufficiently like Turing in some respects. She ought also to have been somewhat other-wordly/eccentric (whatever label suits). I really feel that she was miscast and that, honestly, with the myriad of talent we have to draw on, another actor would have given it a special edge.

Cinematography was excellent, costuming perfect for the era (except perhaps Keira's clothes which were correct historically but rather too fashionable), makeup and hair perfect (ditto Keira). The writing and directing top notch.

As for the wartime original elements: I think they did jar a little but perhaps for an audience who are not 'in the know' they were important.

One aspect I thought was dealt with brilliantly was the actual technical code-breaking itself. Wonderful.

I thought Turing's character and life were dealt with respectfully. Personally, I think any explicit sexual encounters (bearing in mind that the poor man was forced into having to pay for illegal sex and we can all see what the repercussions were for being prosecuted) would have tipped the balance away from what this film needed to be. The whole point surely is that it is about Alan Turing the man. His genius. His tragedy. That his sexual orientation caused him to undergo 'treatment' that ruined both his body and his mind and lead to his eventual suicide should be seen for what it is: an outrage and a tragedy.

Finally, yes the film made me cry. His demise was pitiful, heartbreaking and unjust.


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Don't make people into heroes John. Heroes don't exist and if they did I wouldn't be one of them.
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December 5, 2014 1:36 pm  #38


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

I had the chance to see TIG today and what can I say... this really is a wonderful movie, a wonderful piece of story-telling. The screenplay is close to perfect, it's quite masterful how the main story in Bletchley Park, the flashbacks to Alan as a teenager and the scenes in the interrogation room are interwoven. The story has a beautiful and pleasant flow. And I'm quite glad about that, because often in movies when they are not told chronologically and you jump back and forth in the narrative, it feels as if each jump pulls you out of the story and disturbs the flow of the story. But not in this case, perfect editing, perfect arrangement of the different timelines.

It really is the movie I have been waiting for, it's the role for Benedict I've been waiting for. He is... amazing. There is next to nothing in his Alan that I've seen in any other role of his, it's such a unique performance that in more than only one scene brought me close to tears or actually made me cry. Nothing in his performance - or the whole movie, for that matter - is in any way showy or tries to get more attention than necessary. You can feel that there is a lot of respect and love for Alan Turing in the screenplay, and this shows in Benedict's performance (and the performances of everyone else, what a great ensemble...!). And there's also a lot of sadness... and humour... and almost absurde little moments that made me (and everyone else in the audience) laugh and giggle. And throughout it all there was not one moment that felt off or too much or wrong to me. 

Davina, I would agree to a certain degree with what you said about Keira. She isn't a bad actress, but somehow there are certain things about her performances you can see in almost every role she's played. I don't think though that her Joan came across as being too glamorous, and I suppose that most of which we see on screen was already there in the screenplay. 

Anyway... the end of the movie is quite hard to take, I couldn't stop crying. But then you have the whole credits to pull yourself together... http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/cry.png


___________________________________________________
"Am I the current King of England?

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"

 
 

December 17, 2014 9:31 pm  #39


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Interesting to learn that they originally planned to end the film with another scene:


Benedict Cumberbatch suicide scene cut from The Imitation Game
The scene ended was scrapped after it "fell really flat", the film's screenwriter has revealed

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-12-17/benedict-cumberbatch-suicide-scene-cut-from-the-imitation-game


O, learn to read what silent love hath writ:
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 23) 
 

December 17, 2014 9:35 pm  #40


Re: The Imitation Game (spoiler thread for those who have seen it)

Wow.


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