Hard Candy Clips

Readers of this blog know I enjoy films that make us confront controversial issues in ways we’d rather not. Last year Todd Solondz’ abortion film Palindromes was a highlight, drawing critical engagement from bloggers Tyler Williams and Ken Ristau. That film skewered pro-choice and pro-life sides mercilessly. This year’s Hard Candy, about a pedophile who gets snared and tortured by a young teen, is just as morally ambiguous.

I’ll get a full review up later, but for now here are some tantalizing movie clips, about a minute long each, from iFilm (see more at the web-site).

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8 thoughts on “Hard Candy Clips

  1. I’ve seen this already, the clips are actually a pretty good selection.To make the obvious comparison (that everybody has/does/will), it was decidedly more overt than Lolita, where there are also two predators in the room (though in Lolita, being entirely from Humbert Humbert’s perspective, it’s hard to say whether she actually <>is<> at all predatorial, or if it’s just Humbert’s take–which is why the subtleties work so well).I haven’t quite decided whether this makes it a better or worse film. Since I found both versions of Lolita to be quite compelling (though it’s one of the rare instances that I think Kubrick dropped the ball a little), the simple fact that <>Hard Candy<> entires the running as a better film attests to how good it is.Deeply disturbing, it’s the sort of movie you feel dirty for having watched. But nonetheless, one gets the sense that something profound has been said.

  2. In light of your comment, I’d just like to add a bit to what I said above, because your sentiments captures <>exactly<> why the more overt presentation is effective (and why one feels dirty).To keep with the comparison to Lolita, I think we can all (probably more than we like to admit) identify with parts of Humbert Humbert’s struggle: With the feeling that things are spiralling out of control, with the fear that we won’t be able to reign it in again. If the movie successfully elicits brutally candid introspection, I think we can even identify with the hypocritical morality that fuels Humbert’s murder of his near mirror-image.Few of us, however, can feel sympathetic toward Humbert. He is, without question, the victimizer–things go badly for him, but he gets what he deserves. In Hard Candy, one *can* sympathize with Jeff, because Hayley’s predation is much clearer. And our ability to sympathize makes it all the more disturbing.

  3. <>Few of us, however, can feel sympathetic toward Humbert. He is, without question, the victimizer–things go badly for him, but he gets what he deserves. In Hard Candy, one *can* sympathize with Jeff, because Hayley’s predation is much clearer. And our ability to sympathize makes it all the more disturbing.<>Then <>Hard Candy<> might indeed be the better film, if it can succeed in eliciting sympathy for the predator.

  4. I haven’t seen the film but on the basis of what has been said it seems to require inconsistent responses from its intended audience. IE the audience is presumed in the 2nd half to be potentially prepared to sympathise and maybe even approve of Hayley’s decision to become Jeff’s Judge Jury and Executioner. However, the audience is presumed in the 1st half to be deeply unwilling to approve of Hayley’s potential decision to become Jeff’s lover. I’m doubtful whether both attitudes towards the same individual in the same film can rationally be held.

  5. Andrew wrote:<>The audience is presumed in the 2nd half to be potentially prepared to sympathise and maybe even approve of Hayley’s decision to become Jeff’s Judge Jury and Executioner.<>Sort of. My impression from the reviewers is that sympathies constantly shift in the second half of the film, and indeed, that neither character is entirely sympathetic.<>However, the audience is presumed in the 1st half to be deeply unwilling to approve of Hayley’s potential decision to become Jeff’s lover.<>What the audience doesn’t approve in the first half is a 32-year old man going after a 14-year old girl — regardless of how much the minor (appears to) consent to his intentions.

  6. My point is that if Hayley’s youth and inexperience makes it unacceptable in principle for her to be Jeff’s lover then her youth and inexperience surely make it unacceptable in principle for her to be Jeff’s self-appointed judge (I’m assuming here that Hayley is not claiming some special duty of vengeance eg that Jeff has wronged a family member or similar)

  7. just wondering if you’ve seen the campaign that started with this flick.http://www.wear-red.orgi like the concept but feel that too few people will actually see the film, and as you stated it kinda leaves you with some… disturbing feelings.. for a lot of reasons.

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