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Thread: Favorites Of 1999

  1. #16
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    double post :(
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
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  2. #17
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    Clearly Fight Club touches nerves for men of the younger generation especially, more than I guess I realized. It can be read several different ways.... I thought it was about a Walter Mitty character , an office-nerd fantasy of a man who wanted to bring out his inner cool macho risk-taker. The pairing of the rakish, sexy, muscular Pitt with the relatively bland Edward Norton is brilliant, and archetypal. Howevder much he can b uilk up and wear fake tattoos and do American History X's., Norton exudes suburban whiteness, whereas Pitt is able to seem wild and potentially violent and quite often funny in his best roles. Isn't the book about overcoming a sense of being emasculated -- isn't that what you meant by talking about a generation of men "raised by women"? This is a cultural issue, and varies from society to society. The men in any oppressed society feel emasculated, but white Americans are cock of the walk but they feel, maybe, emasculated. Straight white American guys seem to be afraid of seeming gay, but there are societies where the men are not at all afraid of being thought gay. What is that about? Fight Club seems to deal with issues like that.

    The easy trick exaplanation at the end of the movie makes it seem hokey to me, but the movie is interesting for what it represents as a phenomenon.

  3. #18
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    Anarchy is an appealing concept to a lot of people, at least young ones. This film takes that concept and works with it, and ultimately betrays it. Anarchy doesn't work, but I wouldn't call it plain anarchy here because there is a rigid structure to their organization. The goal of the book was more about erasing history (the target was a museum not credit card companies). At its base level however I do think the film says a lot about finding ourselves, and the film is a clear illustration of this, and we're left to feel that Tyler/Cornellius/whoever has emerged from this knowing more about his real self and finding some sort of voice. I honestly didn't catch any references in the book or movie towards homosexuality or homophobia, but I realize Chris looks at things from a different point of view than I do. Perhaps the best representation of the film's "positive" message is the scene where they take the convenience store clerk out back and put a gun to his head. He takes his driver's license and explains that he'll be dead if he isn't en route to living his dream. When Tyler says that tomorrow's cup of coffee will taste better than anything you and I will ever have, you realize he does have a point, and I think that this film is trying in some way to encourage some sense of direction and purpose in a generation that's well fed, over stimulated, and desensitized.

  4. #19
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    I wan't alluding to homosexuality or homophobia per se, but to straight males' concern about issues of masculinity, which my theory is maybe white American males may have more than some other cultures and countries.
    The Wikipedia entry on Fight Club is an indication of all the interest in the ideas and there it says
    Several individuals in various locations of the United States (and possibly in other countries), ranging from teenagers to people in technical careers, have set up their own fight clubs based on the one mentioned in the novel
    but is it in other countries? I'm curious if it is restricted to Anglo-Saxon countries, or whatever. This is my theory, that it's a cultural thing, not universal. But I'm just curious.

    Anarcny is always betrayed, isn't it, and has to be as long as the social contract survives? How can you be true to anarchy for long and still exist in the world and in society? Yet playing with anarchy is a way of getting in touch with the primitive parts of you and the frontier experience, gettting closer to the edge.

  5. #20
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    Originally posted by Chris Knipp


    Anarcny is always betrayed, isn't it, and has to be as long as the social contract survives? How can you be true to anarchy for long and still exist in the world and in society? Yet playing with anarchy is a way of getting in touch with the primitive parts of you and the frontier experience, gettting closer to the edge.
    Essentially, what you always end up with is a conservative government. Anarchy simply isn't in the veins of humanity's current direction. The only way anarchy can be achieved is by a complete lack of care for anyone else in anyone. If one person starts compromising his goals in order to fit someone else into the picture, there's an established society right there.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  6. #21
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    Indeed. But sometimes you end up with a liberal government.

  7. #22
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    See, this is the type of stuff that becomes circular.

    An ideal liberal goverment has no rules whatsoever because everyone feels inclined to help one another anyway.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  8. #23
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    The way you're using "liberal government," then, it's an oxymoron.

    "A government is a body that has the authority to make and the power to enforce laws."

  9. #24
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    I'm sorry. I'm confusing even myself now.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  10. #25
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    It happens. These abstract ideas are confusing. But interesting topics.

  11. #26
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    RE: eyes wide shut

    I highly recommend Chion's BFI classics book on Eyes Wide Shut.

    That guy has insights that I never even considered in that book.

    He goes in depth about things like Doppelgangers (how many sentences and words are said twice), about how this is one of the most perfectly acted films in the history of cinema (the right, perfect nuance at any given moment), about how Kubrick is driving home the idea that our eyes are WIDE and SHUT- not just the characters: remember Nicole's line at the beginning of the film? You're not even looking at it.

    When you watch Eyes Wide Shut are you LOOKING at it?

    Kubrick has full frontal nudity- are you looking at it? or are you diverting your eyes? Are your eyes shut?

    Are you a spectator? a voyeur? Conscious?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #27
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    Coming from the Stanley Kubrick expert on site, it's a major recommendation. I know Eyes Wide Shut has yet to reveal all its glories to me after two viewings (enough to realize it's the best movie of 1999 though). My library doesn't carry Chion's book so I bought a used copy today at Amazon. I thank you very much for sharing.

  13. #28
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    You're very very welcome.

    We can't ever forget the Master.

    Your eyes will be widened with Chion's book.
    He's thinks Eyes Wide Shut & Barry Lyndon are Kubrick's best films. Can't argue with that...

    It's a small book, but it's jammed from cover to cover with intellectual (illuminating) & relevant info.

    It's the best book I've read on the movie.

    He also tells us why Tom Cruise's performance is remarkable.
    That role goes against his whole "persona".
    He's homogenic, he speaks and acts slowly, etc..
    I can see why Tom got an ulcer making the film.


    There's a line in Barry Lyndon that corresponds with Nicole's in EWS:

    Nora Brady to Redmond:
    You haven't looked properly
    Last edited by Johann; 07-25-2006 at 03:24 PM.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  14. #29
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    It's a small book. . .
    I'm starting to get interested too. And I agree on Cruise.

  15. #30
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    I plan on eventually revisiting Eyes Wide Shut, as well as all of Kubrick's films, but it might take awhile. If I find that book I'll most likely check it out.

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