Friday, August 29, 2003
Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

The Sign of the Empty Symbol

The death of God and the Royale with Cheese.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Masked and Anonymous

Masked and Anonymous

The Valley of the Shadow of Fame

Why Bob Dylan won’t lend a hand and is still standing in the middle of the road (and how Ozzy Osbourne is the future).

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Saturday, August 23, 2003
Terminator 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Must be an Austrian Thing

John Connor marries his mother, Ahnold grows impotent, the T-X as dominatrix, and other Freudian themes.

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Thursday, August 21, 2003
The Animatrix

The Animatrix

How to conquer the world in eight easy steps

The Animatrix is The Prince for the electronic age.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Cat People

Cat People

That Elusive Frisson

This horror classic drifts between the darkness of irrational instinct and the light of common sense, whether 1940s Europe vs. America or the girl next door vs. the femme fatale.

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Saturday, August 16, 2003
Neo in the Spoon

The Matrix: Reloaded

Jesus, Buddha, and Gödel: Unraveling the Matrix Mythos

The Brothers Wachowski are attempting the reunification of the mythologies of East and West. And other reasons the One is an anomaly.

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Monday, August 11, 2003
Klaatu (Michael Rennie) in The Day the Earth Stood Still

Save Us!

Recognizing Christ-Figures in the Movies

Jesus is alive and well and living in popular film. Here are a few pointers to help you recognize his cinematic incarnations.

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Other Recent Long Stuff

A Serious Man
Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Watchmen
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers

Books to Phlog

Understanding Jaques EllulUnderstanding Jacques Ellul, by Greenman, Schuchardt, and Toly, will be of special interest to Metaphilm readers as Jacques Ellul understood cinema as one of the chief tools of propaganda used by the state to distract the masses from that which matters.

Metaphlog

Monday, August 25, 2003

Here and Hereafter

Explores recent trends toward the “spiritual” in TV and the movies. Producer Barbara “Hall thinks the new shows also reflect a waning faith in science’s ability to solve all our problems—and a culture-wide admission that life is built on mysteries that might never be solved. ‘Science was gonna cure cancer, it was gonna give us perfect children,’ Hall says. ‘Information and science and reason and reductionist theory were going to show us how to live. Well, none of that has come to pass.’” (Matt Zoller Seitz, “Here and Hereafter,” The New Jersey Star-Ledger, August 17, 2003). (Our cynical read: “baby boomers try to face mortality” or, “are baby boomers finally growing up?”). Thanks to relapsed catholic for the link.

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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Christ Figures in the Movies

Apropos of our recent feature on Christ-figures in film, we found an article by Barbara Nicolosi that covers similar ground with a bit more theological detail, dividing the images into priests, prophets, and kings. Section one:  “Other films that offer compelling portrayals of characters that offer themselves for others in a Christlike priesthood include: The Miracle Worker (both versions), Metropolis, The Iron Giant, Glory, Open City, The Mission and The Country Girl.” (Catholic Exchange, February 2003)

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Monday, August 18, 2003

Movies That Trick Us

A short exploration of the recent spate of tricky films with unreliable narrators, such as The Crying Game, “The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, The Others, The Game, Fight Club, and memento.” “While every film has its own objectives, I think it is fair to say that the movement on the whole is focusing on our own perceptions of reality. They are all pointing to the idea that we create our own truth.” (Dan Buck, “Movies that Trick Us,” Relevant Magazine, July 2003).

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Fight Club’s Hidden Conflict

Now here’s a reading we hadn’t seen before, and one we really like. The struggle in Fight Club is the struggle to exercise free will in a spiritually tone-deaf culture. “This ending makes the real conflict in the film perfectly clear: Fight Club is about the reality of spiritual warfare. As the late Fr. Malachi Martin noted in his book Hostage to the Devil, the world portrayed in Fight Club—violent, hedonistic, cruel, ugly, filthy, degraded, and passionate but bereft of genuine love—is what prevails when demonic forces possess human subjects who open themselves up to such influences.” (Peter Alig and S. T. Karnick, “Fight Club’s Hidden Conflict,” American Outlook, Summer 2000.) Thanks to Mr. Karnick for the tip.

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Thursday, August 07, 2003

Fight Club

An unusual reading of a movie that’s usually seen as a call to masculinity. Here the author focuses on the subversive role of the always hard-to-place Marla Singer. Marla “becomes Jack’s new power animal replacing the proletarian penguin that riddled his thoughts before. She has become the source of his power, the reserve from which he draws his healing energy, the eventual solution to his problems.” (Alex Bernhardt, “Fight Club’s Femininity,” 24 Frames Per Second, August 2003). Compelling argument, but a friendly note to Mr. Bernhardt: skip the disclaimer at the end.

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Martin Scorsese’s parents were aliterate
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It may actually be long After Midnight
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