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post #15061 of 15515

The GF and I put together an interesting double feature this past weekend: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) and American Psycho (2000). At a cursory glance the two have nothing in common, but it doesn't take much grasping for the similarities to settle into place. And by similarities I mean not only thematic similarities (male-dominated professions, rampant sexism, shallow pretensions of intelligence) but even similarities in events/plot points (kicked dogs, emotional and difficult to understand public pay phone outbursts, violent fantasies that may actually be real, etc.) The more you think about it the more the two align--it made for a pretty weird night of movie-watching. Anyways, I'd rate Anchorman at a 6/10 and American Psycho at 7/10. I also watched

 

Synecdoche, New York (2008): 7/10

 

As frustrating and annoying and horrifying as it is funny and poignant and intelligent. I want to like it more than I do (actually, I really do sort of love it, but I also really do sort of hate it), but I feel that Kaufman is at times straining the surreal and post-modern aspects of the production past their breaking point, which reduces some sequences of the film into fascinating and brief meditations on depressing topics that unfortunately don't connect back to the characters or the plot in any meaningful way. There's a lot of mind-bending and neat connections to be made here even if some of them are a little too obvious (Caden Cotard? Are you even trying, Kaufman?), but many of them ultimately just feel like they're tricky for tricky's sake. Luckily, a fantastic score, great production values, and top-notch acting all serve to rescue the film from its own ponderous weight, though its occasionally grotesque presentation and ultimate bleakness don't do much to make the film endearing. Indeed, it's crushingly depressing, and all the absurd black comedy and playful plot manipulations in the world don't prevent it from being one hell of a downer. Surreal psychological drama/black comedy my butt. This is a straight-up horror film, where the all-consuming immortal monsters chasing you through the black halls are Time, Miscommunication, and Psychosis. 


Edited by metalsonata - 2/10/14 at 11:42am
post #15062 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalsonata View Post
 

Synecdoche, New York (2008): 7/10

 

 This is a straight-up horror film, where the all-consuming immortal monsters chasing you through the black halls are Time, Miscommunication, and Psychosis. 

 

I suspect that Kaufman was making an illuminating film. Prescribing to us "find your inner Buddha" formula. LOL. 

 

Buddha = sorrow and self-contempt

 

Find your inner self-contempt and you will get free from illusory and manipulative reality.

 

I'm not kidding. Listen to his lectures - it IS what he preaches.


Edited by mutabor - 2/10/14 at 2:31pm
post #15063 of 15515
Quote:

Originally Posted by metalsonata View Post
 

Synecdoche, New York (2008): 7/10

 

As frustrating and annoying and horrifying as it is funny and poignant and intelligent. I want to like it more than I do (actually, I really do sort of love it, but I also really do sort of hate it), but I feel that Kaufman is at times straining the surreal and post-modern aspects of the production past their breaking point, which reduces some sequences of the film into fascinating and brief meditations on depressing topics that unfortunately don't connect back to the characters or the plot in any meaningful way. There's a lot of mind-bending and neat connections to be made here even if some of them are a little too obvious (Caden Cotard? Are you even trying, Kaufman?), but many of them ultimately just feel like they're tricky for tricky's sake. Luckily, a fantastic score, great production values, and top-notch acting all serve to rescue the film from its own ponderous weight, though its occasionally grotesque presentation and ultimate bleakness don't do much to make the film endearing. Indeed, it's crushingly depressing, and all the absurd black comedy and playful plot manipulations in the world don't prevent it from being one hell of a downer. Surreal psychological drama/black comedy my butt. This is a straight-up horror film, where the all-consuming immortal monsters chasing you through the black halls are Time, Miscommunication, and Psychosis. 

 

We ought to have some creative writing lecture from you.

Your competence humbles me. I read your texts just for the pleasure of it.

I never quite manage the same fluidity in my writing, no matter how many half hours I spend on my scarce paragraphs lines.


Edited by kkl10 - 2/10/14 at 3:18pm
post #15064 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post
 

 

I suspect that Kaufman was making an illuminating film. Prescribing to us "find your inner Buddha" formula. LOL. 

 

Buddha = sorrow and self-contempt

 

Find your inner self-contempt and you will get free from illusory and manipulative reality.

 

I'm not kidding. Listen to his lectures - it IS what he preaches.

Buddha equaling sorrow and self-contempt--you might have to explain that one to me, lol. I think the ultimate take-away is that it's a condemnation of artists who want to take a merely observational role in life. By strictly observing and not exploring, they can only repeat what they have direct experience with and cannot add anything new to it--and they miss the details. (See Cotard's shock at his second wife's unmissable tattoo and his confused relationships with 'real' people, the people who play them in his play, and the people who play the people in his play.)

 

One of the (many) intriguing things about the film for me is its title: someone correct me if I'm wrong, but a synechdoche is similar to a metaphor: it's when you reduce something to one of its parts (or perceived parts) and label it (the whole something) as such (the part). Examples that would be relevant to head-fiers would be calling headphones 'cans,' or records 'wax.' So what is the film's title referring to? It's obviously partly a play on words (Synechdoche vs. Schenectady), but what else? Is it just referring to the fact that the play-within-the-play-within the film takes place in New York, and that each is a part of a greater whole that somehow can encompass that whole? Does that even work, or make sense? Is the title merely supposed to draw our attention to how meta the film is? Anyone who has seen it have a different interpretation?

post #15065 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post
 

 

We ought to have some creative writing lecture from you.

Your competence humbles me. I read your texts just for the pleasure of it.

I never quite manage the same fluidity in my writing, no matter how many half hours I spend on my scarce paragraphs lines.

Thank you for the kind words, though I think you are being unfair to your own abilities (I always read your reviews in full!), in addition to potentially underestimating how long it can take me to write a few lines. ^^

post #15066 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post
 

 

 

That film certainly gives us a lot to think about. 

 

Welcome to head-fi, by the way...glad to have you in our movie thread

thanks, I figure since I got into headphone might as well join the thread to figure out a thing or two.

 

I heard the same producer coming out with another movie call "Him"

post #15067 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin vegas View Post


Just watched this on tv..it's worth watching 8/10

Truly an epic event of acting talent. Situations where the performers seemed real and convincing. I need to see it again. A favorite and surprise the year it came out.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 2/11/14 at 7:21am
post #15068 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalsonata View Post
 

Buddha equaling sorrow and self-contempt--you might have to explain that one to me, lol. I think the ultimate take-away is that it's a condemnation of artists who want to take a merely observational role in life. By strictly observing and not exploring, they can only repeat what they have direct experience with and cannot add anything new to it--and they miss the details. (See Cotard's shock at his second wife's unmissable tattoo and his confused relationships with 'real' people, the people who play them in his play, and the people who play the people in his play.)

 

One of the (many) intriguing things about the film for me is its title: someone correct me if I'm wrong, but a synechdoche is similar to a metaphor: it's when you reduce something to one of its parts (or perceived parts) and label it (the whole something) as such (the part). Examples that would be relevant to head-fiers would be calling headphones 'cans,' or records 'wax.' So what is the film's title referring to? It's obviously partly a play on words (Synechdoche vs. Schenectady), but what else? Is it just referring to the fact that the play-within-the-play-within the film takes place in New York, and that each is a part of a greater whole that somehow can encompass that whole? Does that even work, or make sense? Is the title merely supposed to draw our attention to how meta the film is? Anyone who has seen it have a different interpretation?

 

I think that your mistake is that you analyse the film according to your perceptions ( you can totally miss the point of the movie). For example, you confine Kaufman film in the realm of art. It's an existential film which is based on philosophy. 

 

Some people noticed that the last name of the protagonist Cotard is a hint at a French post-modern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. 

 

Quote:
 Lyotard's work is characterised by a persistent opposition to universals, meta-narratives, and generality. He is fiercely critical of many of the 'universalist' claims of the Enlightenment, and several of his works serve to undermine the fundamental principles that generate these broad claims.

 

If you listen to Kaufman lectures ( I just listened several minute passage from his lecture from which I got his general ideas) you will understand that he proposes the same opposition to universals and generality as Lyotard did.

 

The solution to understanding of the film's logic is really easy. Don't make your own ideas, just listen to what this guy was talking in his lectures. He is really clear about his intentions. To judge Kaufman you have to have your own picture on what post-modernist philosophy is. If you think that post-modernism is a crap then Synecdoche is a crap. If you fancy post-modernism then you will find Kaufman film insightful. Because I evaluated his film as 0/10, then you can guess what I think about post-modernism. 

 

For the second time I post the passage from Kaufman's speech where he describes his philosophy which helps to understand what Synecdoche was about.

 

 

 

Kaufman says that the essence of our being is the wound. Our essence is what make us weak and pathetic. Our essence is "a thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving us impossible".

 

So in Synecdoche movie we watch Cotard being  weak and pathetic and also we watch that he ruins his relationships ( "exposing our wound makes loving us impossible").

 

Here is the second part of his philosophy: we have to expose our wound to change the evil pattern of our life. Here he furiously criticizes the profane structure of our world.

 

In Synecdoche he destroys the reality by parodying it. He creates parallel realities where protagonist watches himself from aside.

 

So according to his philosophy the protagonist changes evil pattern of profane being by exposing his wound getting pathetic and unlovable. Do we see this in the Synecdoche movie? Yes we do. Amen.

 

By the way his philosophy suspiciously reminds me esoteric Eastern teachings. 1. Life is a suffering ( our essence is the wound). 2. To cope with suffering we have to disconnect ourselves from the profane reality.


Edited by mutabor - 2/11/14 at 12:55am
post #15069 of 15515

Rush Hour 3 - 5/10

 

Curse of Chucky - 5/10

 

Everything has to happen at night in horror movies.

post #15070 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post
 

 

I think that your mistake is that you analyse the film according to your perceptions ( you can totally miss the point of the movie). For example, you confine Kaufman film in the realm of art. It's an existential film which is based on philosophy. 

 

Some people noticed that the last name of the protagonist Cotard is a hint at a French post-modern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. 

 

If you listen to Kaufman lectures ( I just listened several minute passage from his lecture from which I got his general ideas) you will understand that he proposes the same opposition to universals and generality as Lyotard did.

 

The solution to understanding of the film's logic is really easy. Don't make your own ideas, just listen to what this guy was talking in his lectures. He is really clear about his intentions. To judge Kaufman you have to have your own picture on what post-modernist philosophy is. If you think that post-modernism is a crap then Synecdoche is a crap. If you fancy post-modernism then you will find Kaufman film insightful. Because I evaluated his film as 0/10, then you can guess what I think about post-modernism. 

 

For the second time I post the passage from Kaufman's speech where he describes his philosophy which helps to understand what Synecdoche was about. 

 

Kaufman says that the essence of our being is the wound. Our essence is what make us weak and pathetic. Our essence is "a thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving us impossible".

 

So in Synecdoche movie we watch Cotard being  weak and pathetic and also we watch that he ruins his relationships ( "exposing our wound makes loving us impossible").

 

Here is the second part of his philosophy: we have to expose our wound to change the evil pattern of our life. Here he furiously criticizes the profane structure of our world.

 

In Synecdoche he destroys the reality by parodying it. He creates parallel realities where protagonist watches himself from aside.

 

So according to his philosophy the protagonist changes evil pattern of profane being by exposing his wound getting pathetic and unlovable. Do we see this in the Synecdoche movie? Yes we do. Amen.

 

By the way his philosophy suspiciously reminds me esoteric Eastern teachings. 1. Life is a suffering ( our essence is the wound). 2. To cope with suffering we have to disconnect ourselves from the profane reality.

Some points:

 

1. Art can be existential and philosophical--I don't see why you think that it's either got to be art or it's got to be a philosophical treatise. This carries over into the world of actual, written philosophical treatises, as well, especially among post-modern thinkers. Have you read any Derrida or Ronell? Both are post-modernists, and both have produced philosophical books that function as treatise and as art. Another fine example (outside of post-modernism) would be Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Hofstadter, a (somewhat) philosophical book whose structure I find to be absolutely sublime. In any case, art (theatre, painting, performance art, body art) plays a major role in the film.

 

2. I think Cotard as a last name has less to do with Lyotard and more to do with the Cotard Syndrome: aka, Walking Corpse Syndrome. I alluded to this in my review, and I think keeping the symptoms of this disorder in mind help to unravel many of the film's secrets right off the bat.

 

3. Post-modernism is, at least in part, about applying severe skepticism to its subjects. If I were to only take someone's word for what something meant and leave it at that, I would be an awfully lazy post-modernist/post-structuralist. I also don't see how anything you wrote contradicts my take-away from the film--which is all about applying *severe skepticism* to art. I realize you're a big fan of treating the author's word as gospel, but myself and many others find that we prefer greater subjectivity (in the realm of reviewing, at least), and I'm of the opinion that authors are far from infallible with regards to their own works. Subjectivity vs. objectivity is a major theme in post-modernist thought, with most thinkers ultimately embracing subjectivity. 

 

4. Not everyone finds Eastern spirituality to be nihilistic--freed of its religious trappings (I'll admit that I find religion to generally be inherently nihilistic), I think Buddhism in particular is quite the opposite of nihilistic, and find its adaptability to be immensely refreshing when compared against Western spiritual traditions. 

 

Anyways, that's all I'll say on the matter. I suspect you and I could spar for eternity and never get anywhere, though I enjoy said sparring nonetheless. However, I strongly suspect our thread-mates might enjoy it rather less. ^^ My apologies to them! I would say that it won't happen again, but that'd probably prove to be a statement built on sand foundations. :-D

post #15071 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio-Omega View Post
 

Rush Hour 3 - 5/10

 

Curse of Chucky - 5/10

 

Everything has to happen at night in horror movies.

Have you seen Picnic at Hanging Rock? Not everyone is going to agree with me that it's a horror film, but it's certainly a spooky film at the very least, and it's primary moments of spookiness all take place in broad daylight. 

post #15072 of 15515

If you haven't seen "The Room" - Don't! - Especially if you are over 50 years of age - you don't have enough remaining brain cells to waste.

post #15073 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by metalsonata View Post
 

 I realize you're a big fan of treating the author's word as gospel, but myself and many others find that we prefer greater subjectivity (in the realm of reviewing, at least), and I'm of the opinion that authors are far from infallible with regards to their own works. Subjectivity vs. objectivity is a major theme in post-modernist thought, with most thinkers ultimately embracing subjectivity. 

 

So you are a fan of post-modernism? Oh, that is why I had a feeling that we are speaking in different languages.

post #15074 of 15515
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post
 

 

So you are a fan of post-modernism? Oh, that is why I had a feeling that we are speaking in different languages.

 

I don't know that I'm a fan of post-modernism as a complete package, but I certainly appreciate aspects of it (literature and music especially, including direct influences that predate the 'official' emergence of the movement), and I enjoy the works of several of its most prominent philosophers (Foucault), though I enjoy them more for enjoyment's sake than out of agreement with them. 

post #15075 of 15515

Up Periscope - 6/10

 

This is an old James Garner WWII movie from 1959. I've been getting desperate for WWII movies lately so I watched this. $2 on Amazon..

Probably one of the worst i've seen. James Garner basically does nothing for 75% of the movie but stands around.

He's given a secret mission to go onto a submarine and sneak into a Japanese controlled island to steal secret codes for the war.

 

The submarine can't surface due to some destroyers being in the area so he has only has 18 hours to do his job or they're leaving.

Of course since they can't surface they'll run out of air.

 

The only good parts are some somewhat suspenseful scenes on the island. Kind of reminded me of a video game like Uncharted etc.

 

BTW I want to see "Monuments Men" but the reviews are really making me avoid it.

 

Sometimes I think I do like 90% of WWII movies and very few are really bad.

 

The movie "The Train" which sounds similar to the above was one of the worst i've seen.

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