Cinecast Episode 275 – Flaming Zemeckis

Continuing with another week centered around an interesting title to talk about, Corey Pierce from CriticalMassCast joins us for a (SPOILER!) filled discussion on structure, themes and mouth-feel of Looper. Corey explains the ‘Rule of Awesome’ when it comes to these types of movies, and whether or not to nitpick. Kurt obsesses about the visual queues in the film and Andrew contemplates Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adoption of Bruce Willis’ body language. We move on to grading homework, wherein Matt Gamble joins us for colour commentary and general merriment. The Watch List has Corey giving a mini-review of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, while Kurt falls down the Kubrick rabbit hole with visual essays both good and bad. Micro-discussions on The Fountain, Christopher Guest, Electric Cars, The Game, Alan Rickman and Compliance ensue.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!


 
 

 



To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_12/episode_275.mp3

 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…



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IN-HOUSE BUSINESS:
– Find Corey at CriticalMassCast
– Kurt on Director’s Club Podcast


MAIN REVIEW:
Looper


GRADING HOMEWORK:
Thomas Wishloff: Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers
Rick Vance: Jackie Chan’s body in Drunken Master & Drunken Master II
Sean Kelly (LetterBoxd): Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now
Nat Almirall (LetterBoxd:) Sterling Hayden in The Long Goodbye (10 Reasons Children Are Little Drunks)
Miran Terzic: The entire cast of Faces
Antho42: Dazed and Confused and Withnail and I
Lennart Andersson: Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick in Days Of Wine And Roses (and four others)
Courtney Small: Mickey Rouke in Barfly
Ryan McNeil: Val Kilmer in Tombstone
Corey Pierce: Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas in Strange Brew
Kurt: Anna Faris in Observe and Report
Matt: John Belushi Animal House
Andrew: Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas

Ian Loring: Spongebob Squarepants (late entry (minus one letter grade)


THE WATCH LIST:

Matt
Looper

Corey
Perks of Being a Wallflower
For Your Consideration
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The Game
Super 8

Andrew
Compliance
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Kurt
Side-By-Side
The Revenge of the Electric Car
The Shining Code
– Rob Ager analysis essays on YouTube (The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Thing, The Warriors)
The Fountain


HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT:
send us your best example of a highly credited actor who doesn’t show up in the film until approximately halfway through or later.


NEXT WEEK:
Taken 2
The Oranges
Butter
Samsara


PRIVATE COMMENTS or QUESTIONS?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or email us:
feedback@rowthree.com (general)
andrew.james@rowthree.com
kurt@rowthree.com

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Kurt: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd
Matt: Twitter | LetterBoxd | Where the Long Tail Ends
RowThree: Twitter | G+ | Letterboxd | Pinterest

 

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Goon
Guest

More on what I refer to as the Rule of Awesome here:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool

Sean Kelly
Guest

M Night Shyamalan is a director that I’ve remained loyal to despite his decline in popularity. The only one of his films I responded unfavorably to was The Last Airbender. I’m actual looking forward to After Earth and I’m hoping it will be a return to form for him.

As for the Looper conversation, I’ll say that I agreed with Kurt for most of it and I’m going to call BS on the so called “Rule of Awesome” Corey brought up.

Goon
Guest

Rule of Cool/Awesome dictates “The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to the element’s awesomeness.” – I described that as intuitive… feeling true by instinct.

What is it specifically that would make you deny the rule of awesome?

Matt Gamble
Guest

Probably a lack of awesomeness.

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

The fact that I don’t have to constantly nitpick every single aspect of a film before deciding whether or not it is awesome.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

No but the Rule of Awesome means that intuitively you’ve determined that the film is great, and if so, you don’t nitpick, if not, then you do nitpick.

I’ve seen this and fell victim to this on many occasions…So I’m not inclined to completely dismiss it.

Goon
Guest

If you don’t need to nitpick, or if you see what could be nitpicked but don’t care, you have succombed to the Rule of Awesome.

Sean, I’m not suggesting a film is only awesome if it passes the nitpick whatsoever. I’m saying you nitpick less if you find the movie fun and cool.

Kurt
Guest

Exactly how I saw it. Well said.

Rick Vance
Guest

Do you not find the internet’s need to quantify everything with a term or ranking incredibly frustrating?

I sure do.

Goon
Guest

I like shorthand. it’s why we have names for our most common logical fallacies.

Voncaster
Guest

The public at large clearly like to quantify everything. Top 10 lists articles score way more page visits than features. Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes would disappear if people didn’t like them. Clearly they do.

I think this trend speaks to the amount of information that disrupts peoples lives. Texting, social media, video games, television and a million other things. The public’s ability to critically think about issues beyond a surface level is diminishing. The top 10 and score aggregators I think are indicators of this trend.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Apparently my homework got lost in the internet aether. I submitted Hooper, Brody, and Quint in JAWS.

Goon
Guest

A+

Matt Gamble
Guest

I concur.

rot
Guest

yeaaah my homework got lost in the internet too. Haven’t listened, maybe someone already mentioned it but my all-time favorite drunk onscreen is Toshiro Mifune in Seven Samurai. Granted the dark circles around the eyes make-up helps, but the staggering swaggering bravado of that performance where he gets called out by the other samurais as being a fraud, so damn good.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Another A+.

Robert Reineke
Guest

Yeah, that’s a terrific example as well.

rot
Guest

I will take the A+ but after hearing that drunken kids was the extra challenge, for kicks, will mention that in the Seven Samurai scene, Toshiro’s character claims to be a samurai by birth, but by the scroll evidence he provides, for that to be the case, it would mean he was only thirteen years old.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

Mine would be Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story. He’s such an adorable drunk. Oh, C.K. Dexter HAVEN!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1PEW45pOog

Sean Kelly
Guest

I saw The Oranges when it played at TIFF and thought it was decent enough.

Schizopolis
Guest

I enjoyed the hell out of Looper. Compared to Inception, I consider them equal swaps. Inception delivered what Looper lacked in terms of technical exposition and budget. And Looper delivered what Inception lacked in emotional character arcs and allegory. What I loved the most about Looper was that every character was portrayed as a “bad guy” in the present, past and/or future (even Sarah and Cid). And the way Johnson portrays the cycle of violence as the emotional core of an action film really made an impression on my sensibilities. For this, I choose Looper over Inception.

I saw two video interviews at firstshowing and slashfilm of Rian Johnson addressing questions and nitpicks on the movie and it seemed that he actually worked out the diagrams. But he basically said he didn’t want to keep adding 20 secs of exposition to explain something technical and take away focus from the narrative and the characters arcs. He said there is over 40 mins of deleted scene that will probably be in the dvd.

Also in the interviews, there are two legit nitpicks he addressed 1) the numerous new timelines caused after loopers escaped their executions and 2) the chicken & the egg question of the “birth” of The Rainmaker. Essentially, those are two paradoxes in the film that the audience can either choose to accept or reject.

Antho42
Guest

“Andrew James ‏@Andrew_James

Also yes. PBS should not be partially funded with my tax dollar. NO media should be governament funded. ”
Why? Personally, I am not a fan of PBS, but the BBC is an amazing organization. Lots of European and Asian films are fully or partially funded by the government. This includes many films that are in your top 200 of all time, Andrew James. Recently, the German government had a big say in partially funding Cloud Atlas.

rot
Guest

you do realize it is literally a tax dollar? One dollar per American.

or 0.012% of the Federal budget, which begs the question: why are Americans even having a conversation about this? Talk about manipulating people’s sense of greed, perpetuating a boogeyman (or boogey Bird) coming between you and your tic tacs as a colossal waste of your tax money.

and all of this irrespective of the question: does it provide a service to the community?

Andrew James
Admin

Well, you’re talking about the federal dollar. State and local stations receive more. But I don’t really care about that.

For me it isn’t a concern about the number of dollars. It’s gov’t funded news sources. I think PBS is a pretty excellent source of information and education – and I certainly wouldn’t compare the U.S. to North Korea or anything. Also, I LOVE my classical NPR (of which I am a member) and our local public alternative radio rock station. Still, I just have a hard time with news agencies being funded (and thereby possibly influenced by) the government.

Antho42
Guest

BBC?

Andrew James
Admin

I have no issue with gov’t funded films. When I say “media”, I guess I should be more specific and just say “news.”

Though I do wonder what kind of say, if any, they have in the production. And I wonder what kind of content they specifically decide to fund and what type of content they decline to fund.

Why did Germany fund Cloud Atlas out of curiosity?

Antho42
Guest

Berlin has become a hot spot for funding films. It is how Uwe Boll has been able to fund his crappy films. And De Palma’s Passion was partially funded by German investment.

And, oh yea, Cloud Atlas is co-directed by Tom Tykwer, who is German.

Andrew James
Admin

Uwe Boll and DePalma. If there’s a better reason to stop federal funding for the arts I’ve never heard it.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Their are dosens of cuntries that fund, or have funded, their own film programes. Australia, Britain, France, South Korea, Canah-da and so on and so forth. Even the US has hundreds of Federal Grants for filmmakers and writers and whatnot.

The thing is, their is no risk in the US of the GovernMent dictating media they fund. Their are all sorts of laws and regulations in place to prevent such things from ever occurring. On top of that, with federal funding that means their is actual accuntability on the accuracy of the news that is reported. PBS can’t just make up facts or they’ll get pulled in front of an oversight committee and face cereal consequences.

That kind of accuntability doesn’t exist in other news organizations (easily seen with Fox News and more and more with MSNBC). Their business model is designed for profit, and is only accountable to its shareholders. Thus less reliance on facts and more on sensationalism.

But where is the fear in having three or four missive conglomerates dictate the news? Especially when they have no obligation to even get it right, nor fear of any consequences or repurcussions if they continue to do so?

*Fixed just for Andrew “The Movie Blog” James*

Antho42
Guest

Andrew James:
When it comes to world cinema, a large portion of the films are funded directly or indirectly (i.e., tax breaks) by their local government. These films include many classics that you, and cinephiles in general, love.

Andrew James
Admin

You guys do understand I was joking right?

Kurt
Guest

BBC appears to be the most reliable news source on the planet, and it is Gov’t Funded.

As Matt indicates above, far more ‘fair and balanced’ than the private news-channels in the states (either left or right leaning)…

Goon
Guest

BBC does better because they don’t have to worry about competiting, they just have to be well managed enough to be non-partisan. You only have a problem is when the truth ends up with a political bias 😛

The CBC, well, I’ve worked there. The problem with the CBC that I saw was that not having to worry about competiting makes things not run even remotely as efficiently as it should. There’s fat you can trim, but the people who know where it could be trimmed would be Office Space-esque Bob consultants, rather than Harper’s budget monkeys leaving it to the CBC itself to cut, because like other government workers, the top brass want to keep their lifer jobs and end up cutting from the bottom.

The CBC doesn’t know how to take care of it’s own money. They need outside help and direction, not just a mandate. The BBC’s far superior and expansive content, as well as the UK’s special taxes on televisions and radios, make it an entirely different ballgame over there.

I’m not sure how the US works with PBS and NPR, but in general, every country is far better off with a public network than without.

(On UK television licensing and their own battles regarding BBC funding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_licensing_in_the_United_Kingdom)

Nat Almirall
Guest

I don’t think it’s in the interest of any news outlet, for-profit or not, to bite the hand that feeds it, and the same goes for PBS. At least in my experience, their coverage does tend to look on government endowments for the arts favorably. Likewise, while their reporting of the facts of a particular story may be less politically bias than other news organizations, their selection of stories to report and interviewees to comment does tend to have a bit of a slant, whether intentional or not. Again, in my experience.

Even more broadly, news itself is by definition at least somewhat sensationalistic, because newsworthy stories tend to be events that occur outside the status quo.

Nevertheless, I’m on Andrew’s side. I enjoy NPR when I listen to it, but if I were offered the option, I probably wouldn’t choose to pay for it. Unfortunately, since a portion of it is subsidized by taxes (and I understand that most of its money comes from private donations), I don’t have that option. At least with private news outlets (biased or otherwise) I have the freedom to not patronize them.

Ultimately, I think Rot’s asking the right question: Does it provide a service to the community? The issue isn’t how small a percentage of the federal budget goes to NPR; it’s “Do the services that NPR provides actually justify that expense?” And, as Goon rightly notes, that applies to corporate welfare, too.

Goon
Guest

Hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate welfare so Pillsbury can promote the doughboy in in Asia, and we’re here complaining that every American spends a single tax dollar so kids can learn their ABCs without commercials and everyone else can snicker about Downton Abbey.

Let’s get priorities in order, mmkay.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Yup, or as Neil deGrasse Tyson put it, in more geekier of terms:
“Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500 Gig hard drive”

Steve
Guest

I think my homwork got lost on the way to Andrew’s desk too. My favorite drunk is Randy Quaid in Independence Day.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I also like that Andrew wants these to be member supported but then also spent a year railing against a website for doing constant membership drives.

/trolling

Andrew James
Admin

There’s a much longer story to that and you know it.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Dance for me puppet!

Robert Reineke
Guest

My explanation for the lost homework; Andrew James was drunk.

Nat Almirall
Guest

Just watched Rob Ager’s videos on gold in The Shining, and while it was enjoyable, I think his correlation is pretty weak. After also watching the video on The Shining and Kubrick supposedly faking the moon landing, which was bat-shit insanity (“If we remove the ‘o’ in ‘Room No,’ we get ‘room,’ and with ‘Room N,’ we can make an anagram of ‘moon’, hence ‘Moon Room’!”), I think we need to retire the idea of Kubrick’s attention to detail as the basis for nutty overanalyses. Not to say that some don’t have merit, but it seems like way too easy a peg to hang everything on.

The most convincing analysis on The Shining that I’ve ever read takes a much more simple approach, and I recommend checking it out (all of screenwriter Todd Alcott’s stuff is damn good, particularly his analyses of Spielberg’s films [particularly Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Saving Private Ryan] movies and Kubrick’s as well): http://www.toddalcott.com/the-shining-part-1.html

Kurt
Guest

Agreed on the “KUBRICK MEANT THIS!” stuff, even on Kubrick’s shoots, there are hundreds of people attending to many details (like prop and set design) that creates some very happy co-incidents. Garett Brown (the steadi-cam operater) had a chat in Toronto some time ago, and he indicated that there was MUCH-CHAOS on the Shining set for most of the time.

Ager’s 2001 Essays are fantastic, as is THE WARRIORS one…

It’s only the SHINING where he goes into the crazy stuff. What is it about THE SHINING that brings out the crazy obsessive in people….?

(Fair to say that of all the SHINING conspiricacy folks, it’s probably only AGER that was going to the Kubrick Archives and meticulously researching details, rather than staring at the movie like tea-leaves with the rest of the ROOM237 people.)

And someone at TIFF SCREENING mentioned in terms of ‘moon room’ anagram, it also re-spells as ‘moron!’

Rot
Guest

Pretty weak? Unless his archival evidence is fake, I don’t see how his correlations are anything but astute. Particularly that the prop scrapbook is filled with specific American history articles, that you have established Kubrick as a gold bug, and antiestablishment, and willing to code his films, I don’t see how you dismiss it. Down to the screenshot of the dollar used in the Gold room, that is awesome, and “your money is not good here”

Nat Almirall
Guest

The scrapbook, Kubrick’s interest in gold, etc. are incidental; they suggest a possibility, but they don’t prove the point. Just because Kubrick liked to include hidden themes doesn’t mean that everything has a special meaning.

It seems to me that Ager’s argument is based on a lot of assumptions which are in turn based on a lot of speculation: Kubrick was interested in gold, didn’t like authority, and liked hidden themes; from that he assumes the guy in the picture is Woodrow Wilson (with darkened hair, a mustache, and different eyes no less) and from there he further assumes that the line “Your money is no good here,” the $20 bill, and even the song lyrics have some deep significance.

It’s only significant if you already accept that the guy in the picture who kind of looks like Wilson is indeed supposed to be Wilson and that the date of 1921 (and if the Fed is so important why isn’t it 1913?) is supposed to be a reference to when Wilson left office. That’s not even coincidental; it’s simply applying meaning to detail and another example of the “Kubrick is a genius!” fallacy. Is it really that big of a revelation that the Gold Room is gold?

Not only that, but in a 40-minute video, there’s only about five minutes spent on the actual topic. The rest is focused on continuity errors, the founding of the Fed, and the switch to a fiat currency.

Rot
Guest

I suppose the scrapbook could have been Kubrick’s own prior to The Shining and then used as a prop after the fact, but if you think of it strictly as a prop then the question arises why does the content of it not relate directly to its purpose within the story? Apparently it is not random newspaper clippings, they are geared towards political events around the world wars with some emphasis on the federal reserve. It would be interesting to know what was on the specific pages that are open in the scene, but Agers doesn’t mention it.

The resemblance to Wilson in the photo is incredible, eyebrows, ear, chin, forehead, hair, nose, of all the evidence that seems the strongest. The comparisons he makes to the women are less clear, but the photos he is working with are not that great, highly shadowed and featureless. The other guy he identifies. That is a dead ringer, if that is not him it is a doppleganger. As to why that specific date, who knows, maybe Agers is right, maybe there is more to 1921 yet to be uncovered.

The conversations in the Gold room are interesting because the first mention of money Lloyd says his credit is good there, and so no need to exchange money. The second scene where Jack brings out the twenty is extraneous, we have already established no talk of money is necessary, it doesn’t benefit the surface plot and yet he gives Lloyd the opportunity to say of a non-gold-backed twenty ” your money is not good here”. Without the subtext why repeat the same piece of information? Besides in movies in general how often do people at bars even draw attention to the money transaction, let alone twice?

Rot
Guest

I wasn’t aware the Gold Room was a set Kubrick had built, is this true? There is a pun that Ager either chose not to mention or didn’t see, the ceiling is vaulted, literally a gold vault. Hard to miss. No Gold Room in the novel, so this concept was an authorial choice, I don’t think that it is so far-fetched to link the design of a gold room with a gold bug having some meaning, considering it is both called the Gold Room and designed to evoke the physical object ( would have been simple enough to merely paint a room gold rather than evoke the actual metal).

Matt Gamble
Guest

“Your money is not good here” is a ridiculously cliche bar scene line, and is said in bars all over the world. It means your drinks are comped.

Nat Almirall
Guest

I’m with you on this one, too — I always figured that Lloyd was slingin’ the drinks for free because he wanted Jack to kill his family.

Nat Almirall
Guest

“but if you think of it strictly as a prop then the question arises why does the content of it not relate directly to its purpose within the story?” Probably because Kubrick didn’t expect someone to track down a prop that appears, out of focus, in one scene of the movie and actually read it.

And the guy in the picture does kind of resemble Wilson, but it’s still a stretch. Ager himself says that the main reason Kubrick chose the picture was because the people looked like people from that period. And if you have a picture of a lot of people, naturally some are going to look like someone else.

It’s another “Kubrick is a genius!” fallacy; I don’t think every little thing has to have meaning, and if you’re going to pore over them all, you can come up with any theory. For example, the guy in the picture looks a lot more like James Joyce and is more consistent with how Joyce would have looked in 1921. Not only that, but 1921 is the year before Ulysses was published. And Ulysses was banned in the US, so you could say the note in Nicholson’s hand is a page from Ulysses and Joyce is restraining him because he knows that his work is going to not going to be acceptable in the US. And the date of July 4th is intended to be ironic because it’s a celebration of the US’s independence, and the First Amendment protects free speech. And Jack is a writer, too! Kubrick was a genius!

rot
Guest

according to Ager, and I guess by the very fact of the Archives, it was Kubrick’s intention that his private work relating to his films be open to the public upon his death. Ager makes the point how unusual this request is, particularly for a hermit like Kubrick, who seemed so damn secretive his whole life, to volunteer all of this information to the public. Would seem he wants the public to look deeper, and if the scrapbook is part of the archives, he wanted it to be seen.

I admit there is a lot of tangents one can take in interpreting the movie, I am just saying Ager’s case doesn’t seem weak to me. Correlate James Joyce to Kubrick, find a motive, otherwise the Wilson theory is stronger, if not exactly iron-clad. I am saying it sounds plausible.

rot
Guest

here is a summary of correlations for those who have not watched the youtube essay:

1) The final photo is an authentic historical image with Jack Nicholson’s head superimposed. Ager’s believes the figures directly surrounding Jack in the image are a younger, pre-Presidential, Woodrow Wilson and his family. He also identifies another figure in the picture relating to the federal reserve (I forget the direct identity)

2) the date of the picture is 1921 the year that Wilson’s presidency ended.

3) Wilson signed into law the Federal Reserve Act which done away with the gold-back currency in favor of fiat, and among a vocal group of critics, this one act ushered in a new era of market manipulation.

4) Kubrick was both anti-establishment and a proponent of owning gold against what he perceived as a corrupt market post-Federal Reserve

5) The Gold Room, a signature set-piece of the film, which was not in the original book, was inserted by Kubrick and designed in such a way as to evoke both the physical metal and that of the vault of US Gold reserves which, as part of the Anti-Fed rhetoric, are thought to be greatly depreciated in lieu of a proper audit.

6) Two mentions of money in the Gold Room, the first about ‘credit’ and the second, extraneous, where Jack offers to pay with a twenty dollar bill that is not gold-backed, and that given with the room and the clearly historical time travel evoked by the people in the scene, insinuates that when Lloyd says “your money is not good here” it has a double meaning, critiquing the fiat nature of it back in a time when gold was king.

7) the scrapbook used in the movie by Jack Torrance, which was meant to have newspaper clippings from the Overlook hotel past, is made up of news items pertaining to the politics of the two world wars, including an emphasis of on *Roosevelt* [corrected].

8) Kubrick, generally a private man in life, chose to have his private papers and props of his films made public in an archive upon his death. Ager argues choosing to do so was Kubrick challenging the public to look deeper into his films, and considering that the scrapbook was made part of the archive, it too was to be considered.

9) Ager establishes an acknowledgement in Kubrick’s work of the author coding ideas, both through quotations from Kubrick and examples in his films.

That is all I can remember, but I know there were more points made in the essay. Like I said, it sounds plausible, it makes sense – I am not a Kubrick historian so I am taking the description of Kubrick’s interests in gold at face value, as well as all the documentation used from the archive. This doesn’t seem as far-fetched as Nat says, irrespective of the fact that one can interpret multiple things in his movies.

Nat Almirall
Guest

Real quick:

4) The only links Ager cites between Kubrick and gold are that he bought gold and had some stashed away in Switzerland — he doesn’t present any tangible evidence of Kubrick’s thoughts on the Fed.

7) According to Ager, the scrapbook focused on the two World Wars and several lurid murder stories; he doesn’t mention anything about an emphasis on the Fed.

rot
Guest

@ Nat,

4) would need to rewatch but I recall both it being stated he owned the book “War on Gold” and that in conversation with someone he emphatically went on about the importance of gold and that the markets were being manipulated.

7) Sorry, wasn’t the Fed, he said an emphasis on FDR. I believe Ager mentions this in the essay but if not, here is the connection with FDR and gold: “Executive Order 6102 is an Executive Order signed on April 5, 1933, by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates within the continental United States”. Now I will say this, in your defense Nat, if it was Kubrick’s intent to code, why not be more specific in the scrapbook? Considering that the scrapbook did not deal clearly one way or the other for the story or this thesis, it is a curious artifact. Like Ager said, why fill it up if you are only going to shoot one page of it? Why fill it up with unrelated but subject specific articles? Why keep it and ensure it gets seen as part of the archive?

Nat Almirall
Guest

I don’t recall him mentioning whether Kubrick owned the book or not.

As for the scrapbook, I believe he did say something about it playing a larger role in an alternate version of the script.

rot
Guest

You’re right Nat, just checked, it is not said he owned the book just that the ideas existed at the time.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Nat, you’re not going to get anywhere. Rot believes correlation equals causation.

Jay C.
Guest

Regarding Compliance:

I don’t think this story can ONLY work as a documentary. I’m saying that a documentary would’ve been better than THIS telling of the story. The acting is inconsistent and the direction is lacklustre. The film is a giant missed opportunity that gets by on the shock factor of its source material. The film is like riding a roller coaster simulator rather than simply experiencing the real thing.

This film suffers the same fate as most biopics. It’s got a check list of events and it’s just a matter of hitting them all. Unfortunately, the opportunity for some seriously great drama is squandered by a cast that isn’t entirely capable of carrying this subject matter and a director who seems to be holding back. The story is amazing…the presentation, not so much.

As for your thoughts on what would happen if The Imposter was fictionalized, here’s your answer:

http://youtu.be/ZrNkcEg9XAY

Suddenly an AMAZING real life story with complex and intriguing REAL people becomes just another movie.

In the case of both The Imposter and Compliance, I would prefer they cut out the middle man.

Andrew James
Admin

I’m inclined to agree with you. But it would depend on the competency of whoever is putting together the doc (obviously). Compliance, as it stands now, is not so much a movie as it is an endurance and patience test. It’s not particularly compelling, it’s just annoying – which some could argue is the point and therefore a good thing. Which I too can sort of get on board with. But it’s not something I’ll ever watch again or try to convince other people to check out. The Imposter on the other hand, is infinitely more interesting, better realized and totally compelling.

Matt Gamble
Guest

I can’t disagree more strongly. The plot of the film is playing second fiddle to the true purpose of the film, which is exploring the human condition. And more explicitly, drawing the audience into an unwitting decision to do this themselves.

I’d also argue the direction of the film is outstanding, both in its pacing and in its visual framing of the story and the characters. The theme of the film is repeatedly and deliberatly brow beaten into the audience, but the subtlety in which it is done is why people may not realize the film is literally backing them into a metaphysical corner.

I think you’d be hard pressed to prove that anything in the film is actually shocking. It sets up everything very openly and the direction of the film is quite clear within the first reel. On top of that, anyone with any sort of working knowledge on human history could recount a dozen or more similar incidents without much effort, plus the Milgram Obedience Experiment and Stanford Prison Experiment are about as ingrained in the popular culture as psychology experiments can get. Hell, Ghostbusters riffs on Milgram. I’d argue the film is working incredibly hard to not be shocking, but rather deliberate and transparent, as those make the events that occur even more frightening.

I think it can also be easily argued that perhaps the film can’t be made as a documentary. There is no way the two primary antagonists would ever appear, and it is incredibly unlikely the victim would either. So you’d be left with talking heads and maybe the primary investigator to tell the story, making it virtually impossible to draw out any physchological examinations by the audience. Instead you’d be left with a shitty episode of America’s Most Wanted.

And my final, and perhaps finest argument, u r dum.

Jay C.
Guest

“I think it can also be easily argued that perhaps the film can’t be made as a documentary. There is no way the two primary antagonists would ever appear, and it is incredibly unlikely the victim would either.”

Again, here’s your answer:

http://youtu.be/UFXeXK3szOk

While it loses points for being presented in the typically bland news magazine format, the REAL people are still infinitely more interesting than the fictionalized versions or the actors that portray them.

Also, it’s worth noting that this very interview is recreated at the end of Compliance (a scene which I liked).

Matt Gamble
Guest

You’re making my point for me.

You’re showing me a dry, lawyered up set of interviews that compartmentalize the event into easily digestible nuggets of blame, and turn the characters into flat black and white caricatures. It turns the focus onto the failings of the individuals rather than the failings of the species. That is such a safe, obvious and boring way to present this story. Not only that, Compliance is able to do in two minutes what this piece does in 10, inadvertently showing the TV segment to be inefficient drivel.

I don’t want or need a documentary to give me a safe version of this story, I want something that challenges me and others to look inward at our own failings, which is what Compliance is clearly aiming to do. That is how this story should be presented, rather than as some tawdry witch hunt. And to present it that way would be incredibly difficult for a documentary to pull off.

Jay C.
Guest

I’m not going to bother talking about the numerous lifeless Dateline NBC segments that have been produced based on subject matter that’s been featured in highly successful and cinematically engaging documentaries. Using this video as a benchmark for quality and the only possible outcome for a non-fiction take on this story is idiotic and, wait for it…hyperbolic! Go figure. The video simply shows that the subjects are available and willing to participate (which you questioned in your previous comment).

To assume that a documentary on the subject would be ‘safe’ is entirely dependent upon the filmmaker that would handle it. Approaching it as a doc wouldn’t make it inherently better. However, there are a ton of great true crime docs that are anything but safe and would’ve suffered at the hands of someone attempting to fictionalize them. I will take Capturing the Friedman’s as a doc over a fiction film any day of the week.

Assuming that a doc version of this story couldn’t be anything but dry just illuminates a lack of imagination on your end. Or a stubborn need to be right all the time, even in the face of common sense.

BYE MATT. SEE YOU SOON!

Matt Gamble
Guest

A news organization doing an interview piece is very different than a documentary film. With news organizations you have argeed upon rules and questions and lawyers are present and interviewees are often paid for their exclusive rights to such accessability. It is almost by its very nature dry as burnt toast. But, with a sensationalistic story like this, it’s the easy way to present the story. And you and I both know that all filmmakers are inherently lazy.

To interview for a documentary, one in which will be shot over potentially dozens of hours on multiple days/weeks.months you’d have to make some huge concessions. Their isn’t a lawyer worth a grain of salt that would agree to that without heavy riders. And you sure as shit know they’d go for some form of editorial control. On top of that, the subjects aren’t contractually obligated to stay with the project, which means you’d have to walk an incredibly delicate line to get any sort of real insight.

And I think Capturing the Friedman’s is a poor example, because that again focuses on individuals, which is not the goal of Compliance. Compliance uses an individual tale as a representative model for the failures of humanity, and that is something incredibly hard to do in a documentary format, and is really the fundamental difference in how we watch Compliance. You watch it and want more insight on the individuals, I see the failings of an entire species and that is just far more interesting and breathtaking to me.

Also, I’m saying with how lawyered up everyone will be for a documentary like this it would be incredibly hard to pull off. Especially since the easy way to make this film would be talking heads, animated graphs and “experts” spouting history lessons, and you and I both get annoyed by that kind of documentary. There are certainly documentary filmmakers capable of attempting an interesting take on this tale, but to attempt to villify humanity on top of that is an incredibly tall order, and I honestly don’t know if I’ve seen a documentary filmmaker that I think would either take that route, or is capable of pulling it off. It is a stylistic choice.

Plus, to be perfectly honest, I don’t give a shit about any of the people in this tale. To me they are wholly interchangeable with anyone. That isn’t where my interest lies, and Compliance catered to that interest and did it in a very compelling and fascinating way.

So in summation, fuck you.

Also, bring quarters cause we are gunna fuck this place (http://rqarcade.com/) up next week!

Andrew James
Admin

Be prepared for some shoulder to shoulder action. That place is awesome, but since people have realized it is there, it has been flippin PACKED every time I’ve been there. Opening weekend was great though – I had the place almost to myself.

JOUST!

rot
Guest

I am aware of that. In combination with the other evidence Ager brings up, it could have a double meaning. I also brought up that from a screenwriting 101 pov, why repeat the same piece of information twice in two separate scenes that are already framed as being significant to the overall story? It was already established that Jack could drink anything on his credit, why waste more screen time reiterating it?

Kurt
Guest

It is a progression of the HOTEL owning his soul so it’s not wasting time reiterating it.

Kurt
Guest

On the topic of Time Travel and messiness: http://io9.com/5945991/why-time-travel-stories-should-be-messy

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