Saturday, August 05, 2006

Two Thirty 7: A Corrupted Chronology?

In which dubious editing thrusts into doubt claims of a standing ovation over 15 minutes long for Two Thirty 7 at Cannes.

An anonymous reader writes:
Finally checked out Murali's home video of the much-debated 17 minute standing ovation of "2:37" at Cannes and noticed something odd.

According to Murali's own narration, the Cannes' applause started after the third end credit appeared on the screen, around 12:49pm, according to the conveniently located on-screen timer.

Cut back some 16 minutes later into the standing ovation - now 1:05pm, according to our handy on-screen clock - and the camera briefly catches a glimpse of the bottom of the cinema screen above Teresa Palmer's head, and it would appear that the film's credits are still rolling, which would make "2:37" rival "Matrix: Reloaded" in terms of the length of its end credits.

A conspiracy of manipulated montage or did someone simply forget to wind the clock back for daylight savings? You be the judge.

Qui est Murali K. Thalluri?

The truth is out there...
Fast forwarding to 8:05 on the video, Murali recounts his experience immediately after Two Thirty 7 premiered at the Théâtre Claude Debussy.

In his own words:
The dedication at the end of the film came up, the first credit came up, the second credit, there was silence, we were waiting, the third credit comes and then all of a sudden as if planned one thousand people stood up and started clapping and clapping and cheering, and it was mind blowing. And we thought "oh great, thank god first of all we didn't get booed. But then we sort of looked around and they kept on clapping, and they kept on going on and on and then the credits ended. And we thought "OK, this is amazing, it's over now. It wasn't, because they kept on clapping and clapping. (Emphasis ours.)
Let's see if this holds up.

The clock overlay begins at '12:49'. We see the credits for the cast just beginnig to roll, applause is seen and heard:

While the clock reads '1:05', the applause continues, while the credits are clearly still rolling:

The last time inside the theater reads '1:06', a single minute after the credits were last seen, before cutting to Murali in the foyer at '1:12'.

As the anonymous reader points out, there are two possibilities here. The first assumes the video is accurate. This means the credits for the movie must be about 16 minutes long, dwarfing much larger, special-effects laden films like The Matrix Reloaded, which has credits that last a mammoth 9 minutes (we checked).

Alternatively, and far more likely, is that the 5 minutes of edited footage has had the clock overlay intentionally manipulated to misrepresent the amount of time elapsed. This would put the claimed duration of the standing ovation and the veracity of the video into serious doubt.

Murali goes on to say:
This is something we just didn't expect because I'd never heard about this or I'd never seen it.
Who's never heard of a standing ovation at Cannes*?

Kevin Smith, who was in the audience, went on to receive an 8 minute standing ovation for Clerks II.

Who could forget Fahrenheit 9/11 and its 15-25 minute standing ovation?

Even Somersault received one!

We've tried to find a reliable, independent verification of the 15+ minute standing ovation, but the evidence is meager. The only major press reporting it we could find was written by Stephanie Bunbury, but report that mentions the standing ovation for Two Thirty 7 was written two months after the premiere. While we know she was at Cannes this year, did she actually attend the Two Thirty 7 screening, or is she just relying on Murali's word?

On the IMDb, adsl87686, a familar name, reported:
I was also at both the 11am screening, and the 4pm screening [of Two Thirty 7 at Cannes].

At the 11am one there was about 12-15 minutes standing ovation at the 4pm one they had to usher everyone out quickly so it was about 5-8 minutes.

The film did remind me of elephant, but at the same time it was moving
Since adsl87686, aka 'Jean Pierre' is strongly suspected of being involved in the production of Two Thirty 7 if not Murali himself (who else but the film makers would see it twice at Cannes?), and is a known plagiarist, his account is far from reputable. Contrast this with the account from enjoy pacific:
well, I was there in the Debussy. There was a standing ovation but no longer than 3 minutes. I don't wanna argue about the minutes, but it wasn't like the greatest and the best film screened in Cannes. There were heaps of films that amazed people.

We have also found an independent review that claims the standing ovation was 5 minutes long. To be accepted into Cannes and receive a standing ovation of any length is impressive, but to exaggerate it so flagrantly is quite perplexing...

Special thanks to our anonymous contributor.

* But, then again, Murali's never shown himself to be particularly knowledgable about, or even that interested in cinema in and of itself (hell, he couldn't even be bothered buying the film books he's boasted ad nauseum about reading for free in Borders).

Case in point: Murali was questioned (he must be getting used to this by now) about the similarities between 2:37 and Gus van Sant's Elephant in a recent interview with the ABC's Julie Rigg. Murali claims that he had 'written the film entirely' before seeing Elephant. Rigg is, understandably, taken aback:

Rigg: ... formally, that's an amazing kind of coincidence. I guess there must be other films structured like that as well?

Murali: There's another film called Elephant, actually, which is set in a school, about a shoot-up, you know, that Gus took from as well.

Murali is referring to Alan Clarke's Elephant, which has absolutely nothing to do with school shootings (it's about separatist violence in Northern Ireland).

Either Murali doesn't know this, and is betraying his cinematic ignorance, or he does, and is trying to smear Van Sant with the same dishonest practices that he himself has perpetrated.

No comments: