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 PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:21 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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The Moral Lesson defense has always been used to justify Exploitation. In fact, it goes back to the very beginning. De Sade claimed that he was a Good Christian and that his novels were moral lessons, and that of course he was totally not into torturing people. Do you believe him?

See also the Synder/ Tarantino defense.

]I think it's funny that you bring up Lawrence's real life experiences. Remember that was the viewpoint in which I defended Passengers? I don't think that is the case here because the Mother character doesn't learn any lesson about it. Also I liked that movie because it was plainly Sadistic and subverted the narrative by unintentionally ironically giving that view to the protagonist.]

Even if it's true, the problem of irony is that it cuts both ways. We're talked about this in the case of Starship Troopers. Verhoeven is actually against violence and he showed it gratuitously because he thought that we would feel the same way and understand it's excess. It failed because most people did not feel that way and they approved of it.

mother! reminded me a lot of Visitor Q, which I think was successfully at it's ironic intentions. It's gratuitousness was so over the top that we become desensitized towards it and it becomes comical. It may have failed as a moral lesson if we don't think that is a bad thing, but it did succeed at subversion because it did change the dialogue of violence.

The problem with mother! is that violence against women is normalized in media. Simply showing it is not subversive. We covered the problem of excess. If the effect was to merely provide cheap shock, then it could be successful, but I don't think that is artistically defensible and is a worse criticism toward the director than I am providing.

Denouncing it doesn't work either because denouncing violence toward women is also normalized. If the intention is to show this hypocrisy in the audience it fails because the director himself is equally as guilty of it, and I don't think the movie even tried to make that point. If it did, I didn't notice it and it failed even moreso.

If it doesn't subvert it, then it can't make a moral lesson because it reinforces at least as much, if not more, than it takes away.

A feminist critic paralleled the film simply with Fury Road. Fury Road is also about violence and exploitation of women, but it succeeds at subversion because it's not gratuitous in that regard and it empowers the women. Even if Aronofksy did try to empower his feminine/ nature/ yin / whatever role, I wouldn't think it was enough, but he didn't even care to. Yeah, that's his point, but it's not a good one because you could argue that his biblical analogy itself goes against it textually.

A possible reading is that the ending does give a leeway to an alternative path or some kind of synthesis, but I don't think that is very strongly supported.

He could've provided subversion by simply gender swapping, or just not gender aligning the tropes of his metaphors, and thus avoided the analysis all together. It's kind of insulting that his audience is probably too dumb to have got the idea if wasn't shown that way, though. I don't even think Aronofksy is trying to make a parallel between environmentalism and abuse of women. That would be a pretty stupid idea.

mother! is just a dumb and offensive movie, for not really a good reason.
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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:46 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Well I was in the mood to watch some movies this weekend so I saw three. On Friday I really wanted to see It, but my dad expressed interest in seeing it, so I held off and decided to watch mother! instead. From the trailers, I thought this was going to be a horror movie with a cult angle to it. However, I heard on a podcast someone mention that none of the characters had names and there were some ties to the bible. So that gave me a tiny hint that this movie would be a little odd.

I have to admit, it was one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. But I kinda liked it. The whole story within a story aspect was interesting. Once I figured out what was going on, it became a jigsaw puzzle of trying to figure out what events in the movie were representing what events from the bible. With all of that, it would have been a bit of a novelty, and definitely a conversation piece, but I really resonated with the idea of Him having to create. His line about having to create was interesting because it's a stab at the meaning of life. Everything exists because the creator has to create, and the overall story is the creator trying to get the creation correct, and trying over and over again to get it to work. I don't know. It was odd, bizzare, and thought provoking. I'd see it again.

Then I was jonsing to see another movie. I tried to get my dad to go see It on Saturday but he didn't want to go. So Sunday I went with my mom and stepdad to see Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It was their pick, and I was okay with it as I enjoyed the first one, and this one was enjoyable too. It wasn't great by any means, but I had fun. Worth noting that Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges are barely in the movie.

So then, late Sunday night, I told myself enough is enough, and I went to go see It. It did not disappoint. It captured the essence of the book. It was spooky, and the child actors were great. The guy who did Pennywise was excellent. I read he actually could make his eyes move in different directions, so that was him doing those scenes. Creepy, excellent dialog, and overall well done. I'm hoping they can pull off the next one equally as well, as that would make one of the best film adaptations of a Stephen King novel ever. Highly recommend seeing it.
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 PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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For those who have seen mother!...spoilers...

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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:36 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Darth Skuldren wrote:
For those who have seen mother!...spoilers...

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Who cares? Did you consider that the director was trolling you with nonsense just to get people talking, because people wouldn't shut up about all the subtext and theological implications that they imagined in his last movie?

Tell me why it's OK to show graphic violence against women as entertaining, and I'll tell you about the important symbolism of a frog in a toilet.
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 PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:08 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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@DPW: You're really up in arms about a metaphor. It was never meant to be entertaining, it was meant to be horrifically uncomfortable. I'd argue it's doing what he set out to do.
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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:10 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I don't like that categorization. Yeah, I had a problem with it, that's why I went to lengths to give reason and support my argument.

What I really have a problem with is thinking, "I don't care about subtext or responsibility. This movie is good because I thought it was entertaining and I don't need to make an argument for why it's valid or address any criticism."

I know that it's not justified as entertainment, I don't really think that. I said that because I wanted DS to THINK about why that is or isn't justified.

I know that it's supposed to make you feel bad, that was my entire problem with it! That's what my first post was all about. But again, the real problem is in Caedus_16's response, and anyone who justifies that.

Why is it OK to make people feel bad and triggered, to be offensive just because you can? Why is succeeding at something that is objectively bad worthy of being praised as a success? That attitude is what I find to be morally and ethically wrong, and why I had such a problem with it, beyond just the content of a film.

Edit: I just found out that the film was based on the work of a well known Radical Feminist, Susan Griffin. Griffin believes that pornography should be illegal and is against consensual BDSM; Ironically, she is frequently cited in feminist texts opposing violence against women on film.

So she must hate this movie, right? Nope, she was happy to see a movie get made because it was based on her ideas.

FYI; the idea of woman being Feminine Moon Goddesses is not considered a progressive one in contemporary feminism. Neither is the Oedipus Complex.

She also wrote an influential work ascribing to Freudian theory that people suppress their desires and are motivated to do the opposite of what they really believe.

Makes a lot of sense why she would approve of this film that praises her, and also not think that there is anything wrong with a male feminist making movies about sexual and physical violence against women, and that same man dating a woman 30 years younger than him who he has a relationship of power and control over.
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Spread out all around us is a petrified world, a world of Things, where we ourselves, our gestures, and even our feelings figure in as Things. Nothing can belong to us as truly our own in such a landscape of death. Under commodity occupation the most concrete truth about everything is the truth of it's infinite replaceablity.


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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:09 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Quote:
Tell me why it's OK to show graphic violence against women as entertaining, and I'll tell you about the important symbolism of a frog in a toilet.


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Now if we were talking about a Saw movie, that's a franchise that glorifies violence to the level of torture porn and expects people to like it. But in neither case are women the only victims.

Now as for all of that background information about the director, I didn't know about any of that. I typically don't read about the real lives of the people who make films. So far all I know, maybe the guy does enjoy brutalizing women, and that's one of the reasons he put it in the movie. But that's conjecture unless he's made a public statement saying so.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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@DPW: If it's not ok to be triggered just because you can be (and I don't see that as Aronofsky's goal, I think he was aiming for a response to specific statements) then why make film at all? Why make anything disturbing, provoking, interesting, or indecent? I don't like Elizabethtown or Notting Hill for a reason - they're boring, safe, and uninteresting.

The reason I stick by Aronofsky is that he's provoking discussions such as these. You see my response as a problem, I see yours as similar. People are so incredibly sensitive, but that's why a film like this works. It's not meant to make the director a hit, it's meant to make the statements that he's not holding back on. They're statements he's made before (Noah, Black Swan, to a lesser degree Pi) but he's forgone subtext.

And why not? Maximalism is a thing, and Aronofsky's trying it. This isn't a display of a lack of filmmaking ability, it's simply a different skew.
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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 2:27 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Caedus_16 wrote:
why make film at all?


reductio ad absurdum? come on.

My arguments weren't really about content, but context.

I read what you wrote Darth, I'm not neglecting you. I have some thoughts that tie into those ideas, but I'm ready to move on from this film review.

I want to say once last thing going in a different direction that I think will be illustrative.

A little while ago I talked about the film Under The Skin, but I didn't say if I liked it or not. I actually love the movie, but it's the reason that I asked about being embarrassed to own a film.

Pretty much all the criticism and defense we had over mother! was also made for this film, so I do feel a bit hypocritical. I'm going to discuss that contrast without saying for every point the same arguments over again for mother!, so I hope that reads.

The main distinction, to me, is that I don't feel this film was intentionally making a feminist statement. That is part of the context that defines the analysis and why I don't judge Saw for not being a feminist film.

It is incidentally a feminist film because of the content of it, and so it does lend to that analysis, but the film can be read without any subtext and that is how it is presented narratively and that is perhaps the intention of it.

The other big point is that the violence and misogyny are not gratuitous. Obviously reactions are subjective, but for this film there really is only one scene of it and it's brief and not graphic. That's really only the ending, and I think you could omit or change that one scene and it wouldn't really effect the rest of the movie as a plot.

The problem with the movie is the Male Gaze, which I previously covered. For it's credit the film does try to subvert that, even though it fails. A female reviewer said that she empathized with the woman and felt like she was in danger (at the beginning of the film), even though that is the opposite of what is shown to us. I find that really interesting, and I hadn't thought of that. She also said that the male audience would feel the same way because they found her attractive, like the men in the movie do. I did figure that, and also I might add because she is the Protagonist. So the film does do some subversion of narrative conventions.

I think I've explained why it's necessary for a film, especially with social subtext, to be subversive. It's just better at showing creative vision than being cliche.

In the scene where she meets the disfigured man, people felt that because of his face and his kindness that she felt pity for him. I didn't get that at all. I thought that his face made her realize that people have different faces and that our face informs our identity. After that she looks at her face in the mirror and that marks the awakening of her sense of self identity.

The theme of the movie is what I really liked; it pretty apparently deals with expression of Existential identity. I do have to point it out to be clear here, that is a major difference between mother!, which is about power/gender dynamics by showcasing historical sexist/cliche archetypes. Unintentionally, I think the film can be read through De Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Now I can't think of any other movie about feminist existentialism, and that is really exciting. That gives a much deeper subtext.

Now that I've put you to sleep, I had a few thoughts of IT. Not a lot to say, I am happy that it was so successful, but not that great of a film.

One thing that I noticed that I haven't seen talked about is that I think the movie tried to be R rated while staying as close a possible to PG-13, as opposed to a recent horror film like Wish Upon that tried to stay PG13 and push as far as possible toward R. I don't just mean in terms of "adult" content, but in structure as well. Does that make sense?
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Spread out all around us is a petrified world, a world of Things, where we ourselves, our gestures, and even our feelings figure in as Things. Nothing can belong to us as truly our own in such a landscape of death. Under commodity occupation the most concrete truth about everything is the truth of it's infinite replaceablity.


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 PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:01 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I know we have a few more months, but this has been a sucky year for movies!

I'm trying to think of best movie, and the only two that I really positively reviewed this year were Get Out and Edge of Seventeen, and I think the later might've been pushed over from last year. Both were fairly early in the year.

This summer we just got a lot of OK and forgettable movies. I think this year had a record for movies that I violently hated. It's gonna be hard to pick the worst.

It's probably Transformers 5, but like I'd actually watch that.
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Spread out all around us is a petrified world, a world of Things, where we ourselves, our gestures, and even our feelings figure in as Things. Nothing can belong to us as truly our own in such a landscape of death. Under commodity occupation the most concrete truth about everything is the truth of it's infinite replaceablity.


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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:20 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Growing up we were not allowed to watch horror movies or celebrate Halloween, for religious reasons. As an adult, I'm spending each October catching up on the classic horror films. This year so far I've watched The Exorcist. I really enjoyed it! My only criticism would be how long it took the priest to be convinced there was a possession. Ha! She's only spinning her head around in circles, looks like a corpse, and sounds like a demon. But it's all in her head. Wink
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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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My family was kind of off and on when it came to Halloween. I wouldn't say we weren't allowed to watch horror movies, but it wasn't something we ever did. I've never been a huge fan of the genre, but there are exceptions. I have a thing for zombie films and I really liked It. I'm not sure what I'll be doing this year yet...
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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:55 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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Blade Runner 2: Drive with robots or Lars is the Real Girl.

I actually liked this one. Although Jared Leto almost ruins the movie. There’s a line where he says something like, “ I will show you what pain is.” and I said, “He’s going to make him watch Suicide Squad on an endless loop.”

I think if you like Blade Runner, or cyberpunk in general, you will probably like this movie.

There’s a lot of low key CGI and tricky shots that I liked. If you don’t like Hans Zimmer fog horns you might be annoyed, but being constantly bombarded with electronic droning was something that I’m into.

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I loved the hologram girl, they did some really cool stuff with her and subverted audience expectations. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie.

I don’t really have a deep analysis, the movie is pretty straight forward. I mean there is definitely subtext, and obviously existentialism is part of the central plot. The film lends itself easily to a Girardian interpretation, but I won’t bother.

I’ve been really into Rene Girard lately, and I only mention him because I was amused to see that Wisecrack recently did a video using his theories for analysis of Nolan’s Batman trilogy that I think you would like. Here’s the link to that:

http://www.wisecrack.co/shows/wisecrackedition/philosophy-christopher-nolan-part-2-wisecrack-edition/
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Spread out all around us is a petrified world, a world of Things, where we ourselves, our gestures, and even our feelings figure in as Things. Nothing can belong to us as truly our own in such a landscape of death. Under commodity occupation the most concrete truth about everything is the truth of it's infinite replaceablity.


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 PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Dog-Poop_Walker wrote:
I actually liked this one. Although Jared Leto almost ruins the movie. There’s a line where he says something like, “ I will show you what pain is.” and I said, “He’s going to make him watch Suicide Squad on an endless loop.”


Hahahahahaha. Laughing
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 PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:31 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I liked Blade Runner 2049 also. I was really impressed at how much the world felt like the original film. I always thought making a sequel was a bad idea, but I'm happy to be proven wrong. I thought it was just a little too long though.
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