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The Drowned Man - Spoiler Thread

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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 09:36 AM

As Cardinal pointed out on the other thread, there are two Woyzecks, but I really only saw one; Cardinal suggested the other was female and so it appeared from the finale, but then who was the dark skinned, dark haired man in the other story that seemed to be called Frankie (Franz Woyzeck, no?) Or perhaps he was calling to Frankie, I can't remember - I  only happened across fragments of that story. For the one I was following, I identified the main characters I think (very beautiful Anders - looked just like a young Jean-Louis Barrault  - and a Woyzeck with rather too noble a profile to believe fully in his subjugation, but I digress), and think I saw most of the main scenes for that story - loved Mary also. But then who was the man (who wasn't Woyzeck) who was plunged backwards naked into a bath of water in a small room - was that another victim of the doctors? And what happened in the finale, which I mostly missed until I climbed a lighting rig to be able to see?

#2 DrP

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:32 AM

A friend of mine ending up washing a sandy sweaty man in a tent - who was that?

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:38 AM

I saw that, Dr P. Don't know who he was though.

#4 DrP

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 11:39 AM

There was a lot of standing staring at people whirling around the sand dunes during that whole section

#5 Cardinal Pirelli

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:12 PM

For ease of reference I'll refer to them as 'Hollywood' and 'Western' Woyzeck's. I saw mostly the former but saw a loop of the latter later on and am eager to discover more about that next time.

There are moments which are parallelled in each version but they appear to be, essentially, different takes which makes it more interesting in that you don't see exactly the same story but in a different place. One clear parallel is the death of 'Marie' which is on the hill near the caravans for Hollywood version and on a sand dune for the western one.

For those following 'Hollywood' it becomes clear that this isn't just a version of the story set in Hollywood but they are also filming a version of Woyzeck and the actors play the appropriate character in reality and fiction. At times you hear a voiceover of an omniscient director who introduces scenes, cuts them and so on. The Doctor is still a doctor but there's a neat use of a gauze/screen in his office to make it look as though it's a film. The Officer/Sergeant appear to be the head honchos of the studio, they were involved in a particularly sleazy 'audition' for an actress to a song from a Warner Brothers musical, I think it might have been 'Shuffle Off to Buffalo' (which I believe was one of a few times when the stories crossed over, not totally sure but I'm going off costume and the actress).

'Andres' (and remember the genders are reversed in this version) is often seen with 'Woyzeck' and helping her to dress etc.There is a lot of dressing/undressing in this version and it is obviously a feature; the shedding of characters, the putting on of personas is a strand which is quite marked. There was a while where I followed a woman who was made to put on a haggard mask and, with which she became the Grandmother. The idea of humiliation through losing your looks was part of this.

At another point there was one of the film 'crew' who went into a sound studio and helped to recreate the sounds of Woyzeck's watery death, she did this with a white faced man (don't think he was the showman, maybe that was the magician character) and ended being possessed really trying to drown the guy. The story of the film appears to be possessing those making the film in some way.

The female Woyzeck's story is essentially the emotional contours of the character in the play, there is a moment when the opening with Andres is played out, for example, on the hill near the caravans when Woyxeck starts to hear things (which became a 'trailer park' in my mind, as well as being the actors' caravans for on set), The moment of his humiliation with the Drum Major is part of the 'film', a domestic scene goig wrong, the visit to the Doctor is there (and look out for props of peas), the killing on  the hill, the bar scene after the killing which gets out of control, the return to the pool (and there are ornamental ponds in this version) to get the knife and the watery end. It's all there and in a logical linear order.

Set-wise the use of windows in one of the film sets parallels Marie's house and, in that same filming section the female 'drum major' (a hussy in a red dress) and 'Marie' are cleary going to get jiggy-jiggy very soon! The chessboard floor in the studio reminded me of Hitchcock's 'Notorious', I'm sure that was a conscious reference.. the repeated nightmare section in there is very good with some rather creepy 'line dancing'.

There are moments of repose for each character, these are real people moving very physically for three hours remember and they do need the occasional breather.

For the 'Western' version I'm sure others could fill in more if they saw more of that one.

Finale appeared to be mostly a chaotic celebration until the moment when the two Woyzecks are brought together,

One question - I caught part of a big dance scene in an area which I only saw once, probably the largest open space. It took place in a house and lockerroom with leather jacketed guys and bobby soxer girls, was that a moment where both casts collided?

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:34 PM

I mostly saw the Western version though maybe the guy being plunged backwards by a woman into the bath came from your version then, it didn't seem to fit mine except in general thematic terms. I also saw what you describe as the big dance scene and the drum major character from the Western version was in it but in different clothes. I was looking out for peas but they didn't make much of an appearance in the scenes I saw, except that the doctor (very creepy and blond) gave Woyzeck a green pill to swallow. The infidelity scene and the scene where the drum major engineered a dance with Mary were very well done, and the relationship between the male Woyzeck and Andres rather beautiful (but then, as I've already said, so were the actors). Anyone know what was the significance of the big Red Moon sign above the murder scene? And I'm still interested to hear what happened in the finale before I got down there and managed to find a spot from which I could see; I only caught the very last bit where the two Woyzecks walked forward carrying their Maries.

#7 DrP

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

Feel rather stupid that I understood none of this!

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:57 PM

Not at all; I reminded myself of the plot of Woyzeck before going and, however much Punchdrunk want people to go in without knowing anything, I don't think this one is currently sufficiently immersive to get enough out of if you don't know anything. I would much rather have some knowledge of what to look for, but then break out. The problem is that the more people know, the more they will follow the main characters looking for the main scenes, and the more crowded and the less individual the experience will become. In which case, as I said on the other thread, they need to provide a strong one to one incentive to get away from the main scenes.

#9 Cardinal Pirelli

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:58 PM

"the moon is like a blood red knife' or some such translation I think. To Woyzeck it broadcasts his guilt.

On the story, I think people would be better off knowing the outline of it, it's not as culturally pervasive as Faust I think so you are less likely to have those moments of recognition (a pact! Mephistopheles!)

#10 Alexandra

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:35 AM

Thanks, I hadn't read about the blood-red moon but you're right.




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