Sunday, July 13, 2003
Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean

Disney’s Pirates of the so on and so forth

Nietzsche’s Abyss is staring back at you and grinning with real gold teeth, implanted on actors for the sacred end of Authenticity.



That made as much sense as he claimed the movie was. At least the film was cohesive.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 15 Jul 03 at 05:57 PM


Nothing is original. Not that this was your point. It’s my point.

Only combinations are original. Why? because there are an infinite number of them.

This movie is one of the most original ways I have ever seen this story told. You fail to realize that its not a movie based on a ride. Its just one of the many ways in which ingredients are combined in a certain style in the hopes of conveying the same story. It just so happens that this time it has been done gracefully, without plunder, and without a stupid infactuation for glossy beauty. The creativity of a great actor has been allowed without filter. This not only makes it unique but a remarkable peice of film.

p.s. Special affects are tools. Sometimes they are abused. Not in this case.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 25 Jul 03 at 03:07 PM


thanks for the thoughtful response.

“Nothing is original.”

this i can’t agree with more. 

“Only combinations are original. Why? because there are an infinite number of them.”

well, sort of.  but combinations are not oritinal BY DEFAULT.

the rest of what you said we could discuss at length, but then we’d be reviewing the movie, which, as far as i can tell, is not what this place is about.  it seems silly to argue about whether or not you and i percieved the film to be well made or overtly gaudy, too, since you and i are obviously different people we’re going to, i hope, have seen it through a different set of perceptions.  i will say that depp was, as usual, unique and amazing.  i love him, as an actor.  i think he’s fab.  the first homosexual crossdressing pirate in history shows up in a disney movie.  bravo indeed.

Posted by bibble on 26 Jul 03 at 09:32 PM

had to split this - too long!  hah!

as for the movie itself, how’d i REALLY feel?  eh, i could take or leave.  it was competent.  some lovely vistas.  some funny jokes.  it’s not as good the second time around, i thought.  the music was abominable (from the musician/film score buff’s perepctive), but then, it’s a jerry bruckheimer movie, so that’s more or less to be expected.  a friend of mine remarked that he couldn’t tell if he was watching the rock or gladiator, until he realized he wasn’t watching either.  made me laugh.

anyway, i liked the movie.  i recommended it to people.  something for some reason a lot of people here in the phorums don’t seem to understand is that metaphilm isn’t a review site where everyone argues over who’s perspective on a movie is more correct.  this place, at least i think so, is about injecting interpretations and extracting interpretations.  yes, this little diddy is a sort of joke, a riff on more than just a blockbuster disney movie, but the state of the kind of movie that pirates IS.  it’s for fun, mostly, to make people laugh.  it’s not an academic treatise; it’s a rap. 

but even if it were serious (and i guess you could argue that it could be taken that way) it would still be an interpretation, however poorly written and hung together.  as an interpretation it is not trying to convince you of anything, not to go see the movie or not go see it or that it deserves an oscar or that johnny depp’s teeth were too distracting.  no real interpretation is trying to do that.  read some of the best ones on this site like Palaniuk’s rap about Memento, or the Calvin and Hobbes interpretation of Fight Club - neither of them are really ABOUT their respective movies.  they’re interpretations, insights, evocations.  more art than science, but a mingling, perhaps, of both. 

i dunno, people in the replies ive been reading seem to think that the works on this site are to be taken literally, and they’re reviewing interpretations as though it can be said if they’re “good” or “bad” interpretations.  “right” or “wrong”.  how “true” they are.  like your feelings, your opinions, can be false.

Posted by bibble on 26 Jul 03 at 09:33 PM


Recall that famous painting of Socrates and Plato in the Roman Forum? We see the greatest thinkers of their time (arguably, all time) not standing on pulpits and simply laying out their philosophies, but discussing them. Point and counter-point.

I agree that this movie was a philosophical regression, but not a regression into ‘The Abyss’ but rather into Victorian romanticism. Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp, is not a homosexual, he’s a gentleman rogue. The gentleman mannerisms of the day were highly afeminant, but that does not neccesarily denote homosexuality. I think Jack Sparrow is an almost Jungian portrait of balance between the warrior (who is admired by men in one way or another) and the sensitive gentleman (who is loved by women everywhere). He’s a character that everybody loves.

To interpret the plot, I think back to J.M. Barrie’s family stage-play ‘Peter Pan’. At one point, the audience is told that the fairy Tinkerbelle will die unless they reaffirm their belief in fairies. There is no record of an audience not doing this, but what if they were silent? Would Tinkerbelle die? In the last thirty years, the visceral 70s, the materialiastic 80s, and the nostalgic 90s, a certain cynicism towards fairy-tales and myths has set in as historical sciences have revealed that ‘the good old-days’ actually were pretty crappy, in one way or another.  Romanticism, in every form, has been on a dawonward spiral since the sixties. ‘Pirates of the Carribean’, in my mind, is saying that heroes still exist and love conquers all.

Johnny Depp is the skillful, though viced, kind of intelligent hero that we haven’t seen in a movie for a very long time. Even James Bond, once the portrait of suave and capability, has become little more than a vulgar pretty-boy with some expensive toys. The driving story, as Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley fight to be reunited, is the kind of pro-active love story that has been missing from popular cinema, really since ‘Casablanca’. The simple, yet talented, blacksmith and the street-wise lady of means use every ounce of brawn, brains, and bravado they have to come together, though hell bars the way.

It’s a return to romance, and in the words of Enigma, a return to innocence, unjaded by the full light of reality.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 26 Jul 03 at 10:50 PM
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