Thursday, September 18, 2003
Irreversible

Irréversible

Skip the Movie. Read the Interpretation.

Gaspard Noé has produced an unwatchable film about how we watch films.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003
The Lion King

The Lion King

Hamlet and the Myth of Happy Vengeance

Disney does a knockoff of Shakespeare and gives Hamlet a happy ending.

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Friday, September 05, 2003
Identity Poster

Identity

The Psycho-Therapist Is In

John Cusack is the front-man for an unsettling primer on the
          dos and don’ts of postmodern psychology. Jacques Lacan
          is ba-ack—and he has an important message about looking
          for certainty where it doesn’t exist.

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Other Recent Long Stuff

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
Reading Inland Empire

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

Thursday, September 18, 2003

A Festival for the Rest of Us

Wired News is covering Mania Fest, a genre-movie film festival that runs September 18-21. “Mania Fest won’t elevate slasher films into the realm of art cinema. But the idea that genre movies—once relegated to drive-in theaters—now deserve serious consideration is something of a new idea.” Maybe new to them; we’ve been interpreting movies of all sorts from the beginning. “According to the Internet Movie Database, 20 of the top 25 highest-grossing films of all time come from the sci-fi, fantasy or horror genres. Still, these films seem to suffer from something of an inferiority complex.” It’s probably more of a reaction to the snobbery against the subgenres—just like in book publishing. Still, good that people are addressing it more now (Jason Silverman, Wired News, 18 Sep 2003)

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Friday, September 05, 2003

Bruce Almighty

A lucky e-mail bounce introduced us to the interesting Images Journal. One item that caught our attention is a review with a good interpretive element: “Bruce Almighty works like a thinly veiled attempt at self-psychoanalysis, where Jim Carrey tries to work through his own disappointment about the lack of acclaim he has earned for his serious acting roles. The screenplay might not carry Jim Carrey’s name (it was written by Steve Koren, Mark O’Keefe, and Steve Oedekerk), but it seems custom made for him.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Why Buffy Kicked Ass

In an article on “the deep meaning of TV’s favorite vampire slayer,” Virginia Postrel gives an interesting interpretation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a riff on the real morality of modern America. Whether you think this morality is good or not (and there’s something here to discomfit all comers), it does seem to have a certain ring of truth. Explains 9/11 responses, too. “Buffy assumes and enacts the consensus moral understanding of contemporary American culture, the moral understanding that the wise men ignored or forgot. This understanding depends on no particular religious tradition. It’s informed not by revelation but by experience. It is inclusive and humane, without denying distinctions or the tough facts of life. There are lots of jokes in Buffy—humor itself is a moral imperative—but no psychobabble and no excuses” (Reason Magazine, Aug/Sep 2003). And yes, it’s serial TV, an arguably different genre than film, but it’s still filmed media, so I’m posting it.

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Monday, September 01, 2003

Movie Therapy

An August 2003 AP story featured psychiatrist Dr. Fuat Ulus of Erie, PA, who is practicing group “film therapy.” “[T]herapists might use a movie or segment that illustrates a situation or condition that a patient is experiencing—whether the patient realizes it or not. The patient might find it easier to confront his own issue after seeing how someone in a movie handles a similar situation.” Dr. Ulus has a book on the subject, and there are also a few others on this theme (serious or perhaps not), as well as websites with therapeutic interpretations of movies like Groundhog Day and About Schmidt. Interesting connection made with “bibliotherapy”—it is indeed easier to get a patient to watch a movie than read a book.

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