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REPO Man
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by REPO Man Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:35 pm

Carrie (1976 version), which I haven't seen since I saw it on TNT back in the early 2000s. Bittersweet.

The Rage: Carrie 2, a years-later sequel where 23 years after the events of the 1976 film, a young woman whose story mirrors Carrie's while Sue Snell, now a counselor, seeks to help this young woman as she deals with her growing powers that are fully unleashed at a high-school party. GOD, this film is so late-'90s it hurts! And while not nearly as good as the original, it's still not that bad. There's worse films out there, but many more better films.

Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X. What can I say that I haven't said already?

And last night I finally saw Death Becomes Her, which is brilliant! Is it me or do '90s films, particularly those from the early-to-mid-'90s have an old Hollywood vibe?
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by samsonlonghair Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:26 am

Just watched Brazil. This is my immediate stream of consciousness. Y’all might not like what I have to say about this one.

I had always heard how brilliant Brazil was. Sure, it’s got its moments of brilliance, but overall this film fails more often than it succeeds. I guess I should give credit where credit is due. There are a lot of provocative ideas here. The visuals are pretty darn interesting. It’s an art film for sure.

Here’s the thing though: I usually like art films. This one isn’t my cup of tea. If I was a sophomore psychology major, then I would say something about Freud here. If I was also an English minor I would say something lazy about George Orwell. I’m neither of those things, so I just found Brazil pretentious and weird. It’s kinda like Donnie Darko: it’s the kind of movie that seems “deep” to a teenager.

Also, this film is super misogynistic and gross. The protagonist hates his mother - who is shown as some kind of plastic surgery monster. Then he stalks the bejesus out of a woman. Then he takes a job in an intelligence agency just so that he can spy on her. Then he abducts her. Then he threatens her and coerces her. Then she falls in love with him because... movie logic. He brings her to his mother’s house. Then he runs off to “save her”. Then he comes back to have sex with her. Then she ties herself up in a bow and presents herself to him as a literal sex object. Then he gets tortured to death by the government. That’s really what happens. What a stupid plot! Why would the audience want to empathize with such a terrible protagonist?

There’s like ten minutes of really interesting stuff in this terrible movie. My verdict: skip Brazil. Watch anything by Ridley Scott instead.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by prfsnl_gmr Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:44 am

Counterpoint: Brazil is a brilliant and prescient film. Agree that the protagonist is a creep, though.

IMO, the film is about adherence to policies, procedures, protocol, etc. and the removal of judgment and culpability from society. In it, the sequence of events leading to the protagonist’s torture and death is set in motion by a typographical error. This error should have been easily remedied, but everyone is so bound by procedure that there is no room to correct it. Moreover, the (deeply flawed) protagonist is the only one who recognizes it and has the will to do anything about it. Once the series of events is set in motion, however, it flows to a conclusion like a computer program. Similarly, the protagonist’s attempts to rebel against the system, after initially trying to work through it, are ultimately futile and lead to his destruction. He is, in essence, a bug in the society’s code, and the society is programmed to eliminate him. Our own society is increasingly structured this way. Human judgment frequently leads to horrible outcomes (e.g., racist decisions, misogynistic decisions, graft, just plain bad decisions, etc.); so there’s a good reason for business and government to be structured around objective policies, procedure, protocol, etc. There is, undoubtedly, some danger to it, however, and when you attempt to structure society like a computer program or machine, you run the danger of it malfunctioning in a way the program cannot recognize or correct. Brazil is largely about this, and one of my favorite locations in the film is a shared office with a wall running over a file cabinet. This something obviously wrong, but it’s no one job to do anything about it. Accordingly, not only is it never fixed, no one even remarks upon its absurdity. (I also like the pipes running everywhere. They are like wires in giant machine, and they emphasize the society’s mechanical nature.) Anyone who has ever been frustrated or left feeling helpless by an official or private bureaucracy should be able to relate to the characters in this film, and the inability to navigate a bureaucracy in our society, as in Brazil, can have real and terrible consequences - e.g., loss of income, denial of benefits, denial of medical care, denial of financial assistance, etc. - consequences that could easily be remedied by the exercise of human judgment (or even some flexibility in procedures, policies, protocol, etc.). Moreover, a society so rigidly structured allows everyone in it to avoid culpability...or even thinking critically about their actions. As you may have noted, Brazil has a deeply flawed protagonist, but it doesn’t have a villain. People are sorry for the consequences of their actions, but they’re just following procedures. (It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I recall the protagonist’s friend apologizing before torturing him to death.) There’s nothing they can do. They’re just cogs in society’s machine or lines of code in its programming and, therefore, as blameless as the rope on a guillotine. The villain, if there is one, is a society largely indifferent to outcomes and unable to recognize or remedy structural or even inadvertent injustice. (Sound familiar?) Think about it when you read stories like:

https://www.propublica.org/article/oreg ... view-board

https://www.propublica.org/article/hud- ... nspections

(It’s not hard to find stories like this, and I picked the first two I found.) The observation in Brazil have really stuck with me, and I found it to be much more prescient than the dystopias depicted in books like 1984, Brave New World, or Fahrenheit 451.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by marurun Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:14 pm

That is a rather well-thought and well-crafted analysis of Brazil. I always enjoyed it for the surreal nonsense, and I think I picked up some of what you described, but I never followed those intellectual threads to their logical conclusions. Thank you for laying it out for me.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Arenegeth Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:39 pm

The first time I watched Brazil I was too young to make sense of it (shouldn't be watching it at all really, but what else is new) and just found it really weird.

Last time I got short glimpses on it while it was running on TV probably over a decade ago, didn't pay much attention really.

I have since added it in my long movie backlog, but after you guys started talking about it here I should expedite watching it, since as prfsnl_gmr said is a very prescient film, given our current trying times.

I'll get back to you when I do, hopefully in the next day or two.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:27 pm

Thanks, guys. That’s just my take on it! Could be way off and reading way more into the film than most other people. :lol: “Dystopia” is one of my favorite genres in films and literature, and It makes me reflect on our current society (and the sad fact that we currently live in a dystopia for many people).

Brave New World is also one of my favorites, but in an age of corporate “canceling” - https://www.polygon.com/tv/2019/3/8/182 ... raving-dad - Fahrenheit 451 has been on the upswing recently. While we’re on the topic...what are some of your favorite works of “dystopian” fiction (film, literature, or video games)?
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Ack Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:26 am

Sad news for us cult film fans. John Carl Buechler has passed away. His work tended to stay in the realm of direct-to-video horror, but he's known for things like directing the original Troll, Friday the 13th Part VII, and Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by REPO Man Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:33 pm

Ack wrote:Sad news for us cult film fans. John Carl Buechler has passed away. His work tended to stay in the realm of direct-to-video horror, but he's known for things like directing the original Troll, Friday the 13th Part VII, and Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go to College.


I'm watching Friday the 13th Part 7 again in his honor. Though TBH, it feels like a loose remake of Part 4. But Susan Blu, in what I believe is her final live-action role before focusing strictly on voice acting, was amazing. I genuinely believe she should play Pamela Voorhees in the next reboot.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by Arenegeth Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 pm

So I finally watched Brazil.

The parallels one can draw from this film, to certain things happening in our society today can be downright terrifying.

I don't think the film was trying to be as prescient in the late 2010's (or any time after its making) as it came to be, and though clearly inspired by work of Orwell's 1984 (to the point that one of the original names for the film was 1984 ½) the film's prescience is more due our societies failure to heed its, and its counterparts warnings.

Some of those prescient aspects is constant surveillance in the name of safety (and compliance), social conformity, 'deleting' people, numbness to horrible things happening all around us, and perhaps most important of all, the ease to dehumanizing someone like they are nothing but a registration number.

I don't think the film's ending was as pessimistic as it needed to be, the main character at least got to lose himself in his dream world as his real life was slipping away. Most of us will not be as fortunate, if even a part, of the film's totalitarian reality came to pass.

But then again, most of us will probably be part of the procedural, bureaucratic torture and murder we helped create, without realizing it.


I advise anyone to watch the film in 2019, and if you can't see the parallels I've drawn from our current time and this film, you may want to take another look at our current reality.
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Re: What was the last movie you've seen?

by marurun Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:01 pm

Glad you liked it. I am always happy to see more converts to the depressing but amused cult of Brazil.
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