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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:03 am 
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this trailer for spielberg's lincoln looks like complete oscar bait. hope the movie is actually better


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:41 am 
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ClashWho wrote:
Dreww wrote:
Wrong. Driver is a psychopath. Watch the movie again.


You think he didn't really want to give the million dollars to the thugs so they'd just leave everyone alone?

No, he did. But he's still a psychopath. The only criteria for psychopathy that Driver does not fit are nonplanfulness and, arguably, lack of guilt and lack of empathy (but even those are complicated). He does have "shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, [...] coldheartedness, [...] egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, [...] impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality". So he's a psychopath who did an effectively good thing, but he's still a psychopath. That's a big part of the the point of the movie (as it is of Taxi Driver, although Taxi Driver is more politically critical of Bickle). Taxi Driver just makes it easier to tell Bickle is a psychopath because it shows him trying to assassinate a candidate and gives you access to his own internal monologue. In Driver you have to parse out weird things between the lines. Like when Driver sees Irene in the grocery store and, after she calls her son "monkey", he goes outside, stops for a weird beat, and sees that her car is broken. He was "monkeying" with her car as a way to get into their life, rather than just saying hi. There are similar implications throughout the whole movie that something is wrong with Driver--not least of which are the helpless, animalistic looks on his face after his explosions of violence. Driver has a psychopathic violent drive which he is utterly captive to. The point of the movie is similar to Shane. The point of Shane is that it's not the gun that's good or bad, it's the man that uses it. The point of Drive is that it's not the car (psychopathic violent tendencies/extreme instrumental skill) or the man that's good or bad, it's the story or pattern you've placed those things in. At the beginning of the story Driver is using his psychopathic violent tendencies for bad. By the end of the movie he has transitioned into using them for good. Part of that transition involves reenacting narrative tropes from old movies, such as being the real hero who leaves the money behind, even though Irene will never see that. He's leaving the money behind for himself, for his own self-image as a hero. He is parasitically using Irene's family as material for a story which will turn him from a criminal into a hero. The movie is taking a non-essentialist view of goodness or badness. Basically, even if you are a scorpion or a shark, if you place yourself in the hero position in a hero narrative, you are a "real human being and a real hero" as the song ironically underscores. The movie is basically an explanation of how being a "sacrificial hero" is also a win-win if you are a psychopath.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:44 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
ClashWho wrote:
Dreww wrote:
Wrong. Driver is a psychopath. Watch the movie again.


You think he didn't really want to give the million dollars to the thugs so they'd just leave everyone alone?

No, he did. But he's still a psychopath. The only criteria for psychopathy that Driver does not fit are nonplanfulness and, arguably, lack of guilt and lack of empathy (but even those are complicated). He does have "shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, [...] coldheartedness, [...] egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, [...] impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality". So he's a psychopath who did an effectively good thing, but he's still a psychopath. That's a big part of the the point of the movie (as it is of Taxi Driver, although Taxi Driver is more politically critical of Bickle). Taxi Driver just makes it easier to tell Bickle is a psychopath because it shows him trying to assassinate a candidate and gives you access to his own internal monologue. In Driver you have to parse out weird things between the lines. Like when Driver sees Irene in the grocery store and, after she calls her son "monkey", he goes outside, stops for a weird beat, and sees that her car is broken. He was "monkeying" with her car as a way to get into their life, rather than just saying hi. There are similar implications throughout the whole movie that something is wrong with Driver--not least of which are the helpless, animalistic looks on his face after his explosions of violence. Driver has a psychopathic violent drive which he is utterly captive to. The point of the movie is similar to Shane. The point of Shane is that it's not the gun that's good or bad, it's the man that uses it. The point of Drive is that it's not the car (psychopathic violent tendencies/extreme instrumental skill) or the man that's good or bad, it's the story or pattern you've placed those things in. At the beginning of the story Driver is using his psychopathic violent tendencies for bad. By the end of the movie he has transitioned into using them for good. Part of that transition involves reenacting narrative tropes from old movies, such as being the real hero who leaves the money behind, even though Irene will never see that. He's leaving the money behind for himself, for his own self-image as a hero. He is parasitically using Irene's family as material for a story which will turn him from a criminal into a hero. The movie is taking a non-essentialist view of goodness or badness. Basically, even if you are a scorpion or a shark, if you place yourself in the hero position in a hero narrative, you are a "real human being and a real hero" as the song ironically underscores. The movie is basically an explanation of how being a "sacrificial hero" is also a win-win if you are a psychopath.


This further emphasizes and explains why I thought this was the best film last year. Some of this stuff I had not thought of at least consciously. Good read.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
ClashWho wrote:
Dreww wrote:
Wrong. Driver is a psychopath. Watch the movie again.


You think he didn't really want to give the million dollars to the thugs so they'd just leave everyone alone?

No, he did. But he's still a psychopath. The only criteria for psychopathy that Driver does not fit are nonplanfulness and, arguably, lack of guilt and lack of empathy (but even those are complicated). He does have "shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, [...] coldheartedness, [...] egocentricity, superficial charm, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, [...] impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality". So he's a psychopath who did an effectively good thing, but he's still a psychopath. That's a big part of the the point of the movie (as it is of Taxi Driver, although Taxi Driver is more politically critical of Bickle). Taxi Driver just makes it easier to tell Bickle is a psychopath because it shows him trying to assassinate a candidate and gives you access to his own internal monologue. In Driver you have to parse out weird things between the lines. Like when Driver sees Irene in the grocery store and, after she calls her son "monkey", he goes outside, stops for a weird beat, and sees that her car is broken. He was "monkeying" with her car as a way to get into their life, rather than just saying hi. There are similar implications throughout the whole movie that something is wrong with Driver--not least of which are the helpless, animalistic looks on his face after his explosions of violence. Driver has a psychopathic violent drive which he is utterly captive to. The point of the movie is similar to Shane. The point of Shane is that it's not the gun that's good or bad, it's the man that uses it. The point of Drive is that it's not the car (psychopathic violent tendencies/extreme instrumental skill) or the man that's good or bad, it's the story or pattern you've placed those things in. At the beginning of the story Driver is using his psychopathic violent tendencies for bad. By the end of the movie he has transitioned into using them for good. Part of that transition involves reenacting narrative tropes from old movies, such as being the real hero who leaves the money behind, even though Irene will never see that. He's leaving the money behind for himself, for his own self-image as a hero. He is parasitically using Irene's family as material for a story which will turn him from a criminal into a hero. The movie is taking a non-essentialist view of goodness or badness. Basically, even if you are a scorpion or a shark, if you place yourself in the hero position in a hero narrative, you are a "real human being and a real hero" as the song ironically underscores. The movie is basically an explanation of how being a "sacrificial hero" is also a win-win if you are a psychopath.


I wasn't disagreeing with the psychopath part. He seemed very off to me from the beginning. I actually thought he was going to destroy that family through his own actions. What I was disagreeing with was the notion that Driver constructed that situation himself as an excuse to indulge in his violent tendencies. I don't think he's parasitically using that family as material for a heroic story, because he expressed interest in them long before he knew about their underworld entanglement. As for leaving the money behind, maybe he just recognized it as the blood money it is. Or maybe he doesn't care about the money because he knows his wound is fatal.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:06 pm 
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dreamcoil wrote:
this trailer for spielberg's lincoln looks like complete oscar bait. hope the movie is actually better


It looks like classic Spielberg.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:09 pm 
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ClashWho wrote:
I don't think he's parasitically using that family as material for a heroic story, because he expressed interest in them long before he knew about their underworld entanglement.

This is a good point and I think this pushes me to a middle reading somewhere between "using them parasitically for his story" and your reading of "he is genuinely sympathetic to them and just fell into the situation". Whatever the case, a key theme of the movie is wearing different masks and taking on different roles and how this relates to or challenges an essentialist conception of good/bad. Like that shot of him in uniform before we know he's on a movie set, which we see right after him engaging in criminal activity, throwing the status of his public appearance into question. As well as wearing that movie mask before he kills Nino. Maybe he fell into the situation because he wanted to sleep with that girl, and then once he was in it realized it would be the perfect opportunity to put his psychopathy to good self-transformative use?

Edit: Also I should point out that imo the "constructing the story" thing is not so much a conscious premeditated mental action on his part so much as an unconscious force in him.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Also Wanta I will back off from my saying Samsara is as good as Koyaanisqati. There are isolated things I like about Samsara more than anything in Koyaanisqati, and I think I appreciate the potential of its themes more, but Koyaanisqati is so much more thematically focused and unified and powerful as a total artistic experience and structure. Not to mention the Philip Glass score really just puts it on another level. After Samsara I went through the whole Qatsi trilogy again in HD rips and here is how I would rank the films directed by Fricke and Reggio:

1. Koyaanisqatsi
2. Powaqqatsi/Samsara
3. Chronos/Baraka
4. Naqoyqatsi


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:33 pm 
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Dreww wrote:
ClashWho wrote:
I don't think he's parasitically using that family as material for a heroic story, because he expressed interest in them long before he knew about their underworld entanglement.

This is a good point and I think this pushes me to a middle reading somewhere between "using them parasitically for his story" and your reading of "he is genuinely sympathetic to them and just fell into the situation".

i think your middle reading is right. he seriously looks like an emotionally repressed individual who wants but is mystified by personal connections, and experiences catharsis from feeling functional and significant in their lives. but he is so absorbed in his world from being so self- (or just developmentally) repressed his genuine sympathy and heroic self-narrative merge into one because he is attached to both, which is when everything else follows. violence is an example of him getting lost in his narrative. when the elevator closes with them looking at each other he has a moment when he sees sympathy and narrative aren't compatible. one is real and one is selfish enactment of internal desire.

i don't think he has a moment when he consciously decides to indulge psychopathic fantasies. he just can't separate fantasy from reality--perfect parallel: his job as a stunt driver and his job as a get away driver. it all appears to be the same to him because he lacks emotional depth and perspective. he has to be aware and calculating to be a psychopath right? i don't think he was that nefarious.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:59 pm 
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No, nonplanfulness is an aspect of psychopathy. Above I was thinking it was one of the only psychopathic characteristics he didn't have, but after what Clash and you say I think I'd say it's just another symptom he has.

I'm so glad that almost a full year later we all still have new things to say and think about this film. Really speaks to its richness.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:49 pm 
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it's absolutely in my all-time top 10


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:39 am 
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this also makes me realize how awesome 2011 was overall. it seems that every level (blockbuster, hollywood melodrama, hollywood comedy, heightened indie, realism indie, arthouse, ironic indie blockbuster-ish Attack the Block type stuff, hollywood artsy, etc*) had at least one great or nearly-great movie.*


*"great" being a relative term to those particular levels, as obviously a great hollywood melodrama/comedy is very different than a great arthouse, blah blah disclaimer you understand what i'm saying. don't accuse me of saying Bridesmaids is as good as Meek's Cutoff, just that both excel within their levels imo.


*those respective movies being MI4 (blockbuster), Bridesmaids (hollywood comedy; weakest of this group), Drive (heightened indie), Weekend/Meek's Cutoff (realism indie), Tree of Life (arthouse; going by the opinions of those i trust because i still havent seen it), Attack the Block (ironic indie blockbuster)... the hollywood melodrama and hollywood artsy movies (oscar bait) weren't as strong, except Moneyball was a guilty pleasure of mine and The Artist was pleasurable in a sugary, not-lasting way. but the depth of some of those other levels makes up for it: Melancholia (arthouse; as much as i dislike it, its great), The Muppets (hollywood comedy), Shame (heightened indie), X-Men/Rise of the Planet of the Apes (blockbuster)... and that's not even counting the tons of shit i haven't seen, including everything that wasn't english-language


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:12 am 
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yeah great being hella relative since I thought 2011 blockbusters were stinkers


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:40 am 
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wantabodylikeme wrote:
yeah great being hella relative since I thought 2011 blockbusters were stinkers


even the three i mentioned? all three were fun, well-crafted, charismatic actors (Fassbender as Magneto <3), scripts that weren't disrespectful to the audiences intelligence etc. i guess X-Men and Rise both had some issues with being a bit too weighty at times, but not even close to this year's ultra-weighty blockbusters like Dark Knight Rises and even a surprisingly heavy-handed Avengers. just my opinion of course.


i guess it helps that it followed one of the worst years in history for blockbusters: Clash of the Titans, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, A-Team, Expendables, Predators and absolutely no winter blockbusters of note (except HP DH 1, which was the anti-blockbuster of blockbusters). so maybe it was lowered expectations. but i have a feeling i would have loved MI4 regardless.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Location: Matthew McConaughey has won the Oscar for Best Actor in-- "You think you know me..." Shit.
Also got Tinker Tailor for heightened indie and Hugo as kind of an artsy hollywood. And on the animted front there was Rango, Kung Fu Panda 2 (just saw it recently, it was stellar), Winnie the Pooh, and Puss in Boots.
X-Men and Apes were awesome foo', haters gone hate.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Film You Saw And Rate It
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:38 pm 
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yeah guess we're on different plane levels, 2010 was the last decent blockbuster year I thought. Inception and Toy Story 3 alone I would call solid blockbusters.


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