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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectSo okay, I read a lot of sci-fi in high school
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=240898&mesg_id=241839
241839, So okay, I read a lot of sci-fi in high school
Posted by celery77, Sat Dec-30-06 03:14 PM
>I recommend it. I really think rewatching movies at different
>points in your life make all the difference in the world,
>especially films that give you strong negative opinions.

Well, it was about exactly one year ago that I watched it (I spent Christmas last year in my friend's empty apartment finally laboring through it) so I don't think it's going to unfold too much more for me at this point. I mean, I own it (it was a gift, a very good one) so I'll definitely re-watch it at some point. I dunno, you really have to be in the right mood for this one.

>But see, there's a problem inherent in that argument, and it's
>the problem with every "there's no original messages anymore"
>argument. Those things don't seem unique because they continue
>to be relevant, and when issues continue to be relevant,
>satire will continue to base their stories on these problems.
>The originality comes in the vision, in the delivery of it,
>and it's my belief that what you call the "art direction" is
>including the story, the characters, the world of the film.
>Every little thing is an absolutely important detail, so you
>can watch this movie several times and still not get the
>ENTIRE vision of the future. It's not just a visual thing,
>it's the storytelling through the visuals as the plot

I know, I hate the "no idea is original" sentiment as well, but the elements I mentioned felt like reminders of other works I had enjoyed, and not really fully developed points like they were in the other work. 1984 FULLY explores Big Brother, to the extent that it's taken on a whole cultural baggage itself. Brave New World FULLY explores the social hierarchies, whereas it just comes up as a footnote in Brazil, just a quick detail that disappears rather completely.

The Fahrenheit 451 connection, yeah -- that's not that strong. I think mainly I don't like stories where it's romance or love that saves the protagonist. Like he'd be nothing if it wasn't for the girl. It's a sort of weird masculine desire for a female to fill in all their holes, and you see it time and time again. I guess I'd just rather have the character discover and explore himself, and not have this female icon for him to pour everything into.

Also the beauracracy satire thing just gets old. Waiting in lines and rubber-stamping lol. I mean, we've all been to the DMV and traded stories and bitched about it and etc. etc. etc. It's like pointing out that politicians sometimes fib, it's just not very insightful.

>What exactly do you feel this film "does"? For me, I think
>this Gilliamesque pessimism combined with the wicked sense of
>humor combined with the absurdist visuals...turning THAT into
>the "standard dystopian tale" is something no other film has
>achieved to the degree that this one has. No "Brave New World"
>style vision of the future used such absurdist imagery, or
>gets so much laughter. You might even argue that not many
>views of the future get too much darker than this one. I think
>this film does a number of things, many of which are better
>than any attempts by other directors, specifically the VERY
>difficult task of handling pessimistic humor and making it hit
>so consistently within the context of science-fiction social
>satire (nice alliteration).

Your point about the humor is a good one. Too many works that treat this dystopian kind of thing never break to smile ONCE. The scenes with his mother are funny, if not a little misplaced, but yeah, the humor is definitely one thing that makes this film stand out.

Otherwise like I said above, I think it alludes to elements more than it actually explores them. Overall it's almost just a romantic comedy. It's more about love and cheap satire than it is about any real exploration of these ideas which are alluded to in the film.

>>In the end, I'd rather watch Blade Runner again, then read a
>>Brave New World and call it a day.
>I think both of them achieve different things than Brazil

Right, I do too, but like I said, I think they achieve more, which is why I prefer them. (I know I threw Blade Runner in there tangentially, it's just my favorite film sci-fi of all time, that's the only connection.)

>The pace you could argue, especially when in the sections
>where he's merely "showing us the world," not moving along the
>plot. The plot is admittedly rather thin. BUT I think there is
>a story there, and the story allows us to see this vision that
>truly is a one-of-a-kind, hilarious, and potentially brilliant
>creation. It's hit-and-miss in terms of sheer moviemaking and
>storytelling, but I think that's a product of the ambition.

Right, I definitely like it for what it is -- a huge fight against the studio in the name of artistic freedom, a very very imaginative and creative piece to look at, and one of the FEW sci-fi films that is ANYTHING besides a space soap opera.

I just don't see it as this particularly great or enjoyable film experience, and as far as sci-fi's ability to show us an alternate future, a different version of our society, and really explore certain social theories or dynamics in a way that illuminates the present day, I think it fails. It's just a love story with some funny scenes. I swear, It's more RomCom than anything really insightful.

Having typed all this, I'll have to watch it again soon. Come on people, chime the fuck in! I know lots of folk have seen it.