Know Thyself

Nothing in Excess
 
HomePortalFAQMemberlistSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Movie Philosophy

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
AuthorMessage
Obfendo



Gender : Male Leo Posts : 5
Join date : 2012-11-06
Age : 24
Location : Lithuania

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Sun May 26, 2013 9:21 am

The thing about superiority and fights is that they are always about odds. As Sun Tzu said, even the greatest warrior can win only 9 fights out of ten.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-OxxSp-VJw

Element of surprise is also the thing to consider. No one is superior enough to avoid it.

I haven't watched the newest Star Trek, but what I remember from 2009 Star Trek is that the odds of defeating the main enemy flagship, who was much more superior, were even given, mentioned at some point in the movie. In other words, main characters were simply very very lucky.
This tendency is visible in most action movies. Creators put the main characters in the border between dying and surviving, because that is what audience wants to see. The Star Trek wouldn't be popular if main heroes would have died and the rest of the movie would be about enemy owning everything on it's way. No resistance. No thrill for the viewers.


Back to top Go down
View user profile
apaosha
Daeva
avatar

Gender : Male Virgo Posts : 1785
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 32
Location : Ireland

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Sun May 26, 2013 11:30 am

I saw the new Hangover movie on Friday. Americans seem to think that exaggerated obscenity constitutes humour. Bruno and Your Highness from a few years ago were the same.

The premise again is that the bearded retard guy causes chaos for his friends through well-intentioned misadventure, which was believable in the first film but came across as deliberately malicious in the second and especially the third. Thus the situation becomes a group of normal, functional, capable people being obliged to suffer and endure an oblivious retard who routinely fucks up their lives - very tolerant, very inclusive. Perfectly reflective of the modern age.
The rationale is that "we will be taking care of him for the rest of our lives; he has no one else." Pity is the cross they perish on.

The latest one though is not even really a comedy. It's more of a dark exploration of distorted caricatures of the original line of characters. The retard becomes cruel and uses his stupidity deliberately to torture and bludgeon the other characters; the dentist, who pulled out his own tooth in the first film and was sodomised by a transvestive in the second, is this time constantly bullied by the retard and is eventually given breast implants by him.

The movie is not about these characters though. The focus shifts to the homosexual chinese man, Chou, who becomes the main character. He is a deranged hedonist, who exists, in addition to the retard, to act as an instigator and a source for the torture of the other characters. He is a depressed, nihilist who finds an escape in drug-fuelled extremity and an amusement in hurting, degrading and humiliating others.
This is also played for laughs.

I was describing the movie to someone yesterday who hadn't seen it and I came up with the comparison of it to Trainspotting, which is also a dark portrayal of the consequences of excessive drug use. But whereas that is definitely supposed to be a depressing film, the Hangover is the same premise but portrayed as humour. An inversion.

I left the theater not amused or uplifted, but disgusted, angry and repelled.

_________________
"I do not exhort you to work but to battle; I do not exhort you to peace but to victory. May your work be a battle; may your peace be a victory." -TSZ
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://knowthyself.forumotion.net
Satyr
Daemon
avatar

Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 17817
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 52
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Sun May 26, 2013 7:05 pm

A portrayal of modern masculinity, then?

_________________
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
μηδέν άγαν
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://satyr.canadian-forum.com/
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:44 am

Blade Runner.


Quote :
"Oscillating between Abulafia’s mystical creature and Loews’ monstrosity, Blade Runner forms a definitive exploration of the psychological contradictions of golem making as well as a fascinating analysis of our postmodern propensity to loathe machines we love. Roy Batty, the film’s golem, is designed to transcend matter but imprisoned in a material system. He oscillates between gnostic savior and gothic ter- ror, Adam unfallen and Adam alienated.

The film’s kabbalistic magus is Tyrell, a technological genius who manufactures androids known as Replicants. In crafting these mecha- nisms, Tyrell fulfills his greedy desires but also rectifies the errors of fallen matter—ugliness and stupidity, decay and fear. To these ends, he develops the Nexus 6, an android indiscernible from human beings. Though Tyrell develops this machine to serve as a slave to human wants, he nonetheless imbues this artifice with superhuman grace and intelli- gence. A Nexus 6, Roy is keenly aware of his slave status but is also con- scious of his superiority over humans.

Caught between Tyrell, seemingly a human unhindered by fate, and Roy, ostensibly an automaton who cannot enjoy freedom, is Deckard. Deckard is an “everyman” standing proxy for those in the movie audi- ence trapped between determinism and liberation. His name recalls Descartes, who argued that men and women are machines and souls at the same time. Deckard appears to be human. As a bounty hunter of Replicants, he specializes in discerning between organisms and machines. He administers to suspected Replicants a test (the Voight- Kampf) designed to reveal emotional deficiencies. He recognizes rene- gade Replicants and shoots them. But Deckard also exhibits mechanistic behaviors. His Zombie-like character displays no emotion. His life is a predictable grind: he kills Replicants; he drinks whisky to dull his guilt; he kills Replicants again; he drinks some more.

Deckard’s ambiguous condition is highlighted when he meets Rachael, Tyrell’s latest Replicant model. Hired by the police to hunt and kill Roy and his band of rebellious Replicants, Deckard visits the Tyrell Corporation. At Tyrell’s bidding he administers the Voight-Kampf test to Rachael. Tyrell wants to see if she can pass for a human. Not aware that she is a Replicant, Rachael asks the apathetic Deckard if he could pass the test. This inquiry raises the possibility that Deckard, though seem- ingly organic, is an android, and that Rachael, through apparently mechanistic, is a human.

These possible reversals organize Deckard’s relationship with Rachael. After failing the test, Rachael visits Deckard in his lifeless apart- ment. She weeps over her lost humanity, especially her memories, which are really implants. Deckard is unable to sympathize. Shaken, she leaves. Soon after, Deckard falls into a brief sleep and dreams of a unicorn run- ning through mist. This eruption of a mythical beast into Deckard’s bland consciousness suggests that his own memories might be artificial. (Indeed, at the end of the film, a detective leaves before Deckard’s door an origami unicorn—a hint that the police know that Deckard might be a Replicant.) Later, feeling guilty, Deckard calls Rachael from a bar filled with artificial animals and humans. Comfortable among machines, Deckard asks her to join him. Averse to the mechanistic scene, Rachael declines. Rachael and Deckard next meet in tense circumstances.  

Deckard is being attacked by one of Roy’s accomplices. Just as the Repli- cant prepares to kill Deckard, Rachael shoots the machine and saves the life of the man. The human is reduced to helpless cog in the hands of a machine; the machine shows courage and initiative. Back in Deckard’s apartment, Deckard and Rachael finally achieve mutual sympathy. How- ever, Deckard’s desire comes in the form of lust, while Rachael’s takes the form of love. Though Deckard and Rachael enjoy lovemaking, each remains troubled. Deckard still thinks he is an autonomous human even though he behaves like a machine. Rachael continues to believe that she is a Replicant even though she exhibits human traits.

Deckard and Rachael are the fallen Adam and Eve. Between free- dom and fate, they lack clarity of vision and action. Deckard is confused over whether he is artifice or organ, over whether he kills machines or humans. These ambiguities cast doubt over how he should act toward Rachael and Roy. Rachael is Replicant and woman. She is Deckard’s victim and his lover. Caught in epistemological and ethical crisis, Deckard and Rachael do not know what they see or how they act. The grace of the machine—clear sight and motor elegance—is clotted by the confu- sion of the organ. The nobility of the organ—moral vision and ethical fortitude—is flattened by the indifference of the machine. These are the splits of self-consciousness, results of the fall.
The film is a quest for the insight that Deckard and Rachael lack. The opening shot features a disembodied eye gazing on twenty-first cen- tury Los Angeles. Reflected in this eye are flames bursting from the tops of buildings. This orb above yet within the fires of the world suggests harmony between detachment and attachment.

The only character close to the ideal eye is Roy. In his first appear- ance, Roy visits the factory where Replicants’ eyes are made. Though Roy is visiting this factory in hopes of prolonging his four-year mechan- ical life, he is also passionate about vision. When he confronts an engi- neer, he says proudly, “If only you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes.” This line emphasizes what makes Roy superior to Deckard and Rachel. Deckard and Rachel oscillate between immediate perceptions whose validity they doubt and mediated conceptions incapable of pro- viding clarity. Roy embraces immediate visual experiences not as sites of faith or skepticism but as aesthetic events: harmonies of percept and concept, energy and form, instinct and intuition. Not troubled by the gap between unconscious apprehension and self-conscious comprehen- sion or by doubts over whether objects are real, Roy values experiences insofar as they are beautiful or horrifying. This aesthetic perspective allows him to participate in the flux of experience without fearing deter- minism and to discern enduring patterns without suffering skepticism.
This is the difference between aesthetic experience and abstract knowl- edge. To gain the former, one must meld instincts and ideas; to try for the latter, one must sever the pulses from geometries. Roy would see in the rose fire flickering into multifoliate morphology. Deckard and Rachel would ask: are the petals machines or organs?

But Roy’s balance between mechanism and organicism—his ability to play, like the alchemical Mercurius, like Goethe’s homunculus—does not erase the fact that he is the declined anthropos, a heavenly being bereft of immortality. If Roy can aesthetically enjoy the harmony of his condition, he can also suffer, aesthetically, the horror of his life. Even though he is exuberant over his superiority to other humans and machines, he is also devastated over the limitations of mortal existence. He is as sensitive to ugliness as he is to beauty. His perceptions of vigor make him all the more aware of death. This is the dark side of his per- fect sight: he can see terror as clearly as joy. The tyrannies of the world shake him to the core. He becomes a crusader against the prisons of matter. He rebels against Tyrell, his oppressive creator. His quest is twofold: to find more life in hopes of overcoming his own mortality and to destroy the magus who fashions machines that serve as slaves and then die. Monstrously, he annihilates material obstacles that hinder his design. Miraculously, he transcends the forms that he destroys.

Roy expresses this aesthetic vision in his culminating scene. He and Deckard have been engaged in a vicious battle throughout an old rotted building. At a certain point, Roy becomes the hunter and Deckard the hunted. Fleeing, Deckard reaches the roof of a building. When Deckard sees Roy effortlessly achieve this height, he attempts to escape by leap- ing over to the adjoining building. He falls short and ends up hanging on a slick metal beam. Bearing in his hand a white dove (the annuncia- tion, the virgin conception, the birth of spirit from matter), Roy easily makes the jump. He stands above the desperate Deckard and reminds him that this state—this hovering in limbo—is an extreme version of Deckard’s existence so far: “Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? This is what it means to be a slave.” The opposite of life, the detached attachment of aesthetic participation, is slavery, full attachment to fear and desire—fear over unanswerable ontological and epistemological questions, desire to enjoy total certainty and security. After presenting for Deckard the limitations of his existence, Roy pulls him up to the roof. Deckard falls to rise, dying to his old self, the slave, and becoming alive to new being, the vitality of the aesthetic condition. Now baptized by Roy, he sits at the side of his liberator. Roy sits as well, and leaves Deckard with his last wisdom.
These lines are accounts of aesthetic experiences, memories of espe- cially beautiful and horrifying moments: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” These are numinous shimmers of the violent harmony into which the cosmos occa- sionally coheres. Such instances are ephemeral but they nonetheless comprise portals to the eternal, the condition in which one is no longer troubled by time—the past as regret or nostalgia, the future as anticipa- tion or dread. The foliate flames of dying ships, the scintillations of unexpected beams—these events seize the watcher, pulling him from the cares of the ego and opening him to marvels unfettered by minutes and maps. Roy’s decision to die, his control over his own demise, figures this aesthetic interplay between the evanescent and the durable. His passing becomes aesthetic—a memorable pattern arising from and rising above the forgetfulness of time.

As Roy expires, the clouds break, and the dove flies through the rift. Enlightened, Deckard tells Gaff, the cop arriving on the scene, that he is finished—with killing Replicants, with his old life. The policeman says, “It’s too bad she won’t live, but then again who does?” Realizing that he means Rachael, a Replicant on the run, Deckard returns to his apart- ment. He finds Rachael in his bed. She appears to be dead until he bends down to kiss her. She comes to life, as if Deckard’s affection has ani- mating powers. He decides to save her—to become Roy returned, a lib- erator of androids.
When he leads Rachael out of his apartment, he notices a small origami unicorn, likely made by Gaff. He holds the horse in the light and enigmatically grins. He seems to be drawing this conclusion: he is a Replicant and his memory of the unicorn was implanted. His knowing smile and decisive movement toward Rachael suggest that he accepts this knowledge, for now he can be Roy, marriage of human and machine. This unicorn, a symbol of the unity of opposites, becomes a mandala of this wholeness.

THE HAPPY FALL

Like Frankenstein, Blade Runner points to another story, one that runs counter to the dream of the sacred machine beyond loathing and long- ing. This is the fable of the golem that wants to be human, that hungers for love. Shelley’s and Scott’s golems evoke our compassion for this rea- son: they value the unkempt emotions of humanity more than do their creators. Both seem to say: to be human, to fear and to desire, is good, noble, heroic. By contrast, the unfeeling machine is evil and aberrant and monstrous. The android who longs for humanity reveals the limitations of the transcendent machine. It suggests that the fall from Eden was happy, that the dying organ is superior to the undead machine. This reversal in values emerges at the turn of the nineteenth century, after scientists for almost two centuries had argued that the cosmos, including humans, is already a machine. Faced with the possibility of ubiquitous cogs, soft humans rebelled, raging with their rotting blood against the metal." [Wilson, The Melancholy Android]

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:55 pm

The Inverted Christology of the Alien film series:

A Speculative Review of Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"
By Ryan Haecker



“I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” – T.S. Eliot, the Wasteland


What is it that terrifies us?  The merit of the horror-genre of film and literature is inexplicable without some answer to this question. In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle contends that we have reason to fear all evils which, might be avoided, and yet might potentially befall us: “plainly the things we fear are terrible things, and these are, to speak without qualification, evils; for which reason people even define fear as expectation of evil.” (Bk.III, vi) Thus, following Aristotle, the question of what it is that we fear may be understood as simply the question of the essence of evil. On the essence of evil, there have, in the history of philosophy, been two contrary opinions: the Platonists, Aristotelians, and Augustinians have held evil to be the negation of a further universal original substance, while the Atomists, the Materialists and the Manicheans have held evil to be self-subsistent, or a substance unto itself. These contrary opinions parallel the contrary opinions in the history of logic regarding the essence of negation, the logical function of ‘not’ some term or proposition. Plato, in the Sophist, and Aristotle, in the Organon, held negation to be derived from some prior affirmation of a term or proposition, while the Stoics held negation to be a logical operation independent of any prior affirmation. Thus, we find that when the question of the essence of evil is abstracted from all considerations of substance, it is simply the question of the essence and origin of negation, e.g. of not-A, is either conditioned by some prior absolute pure identity, e.g. A=A, or it is absolutely unconditioned and totallyindependent of all identity. Yet because negation, abstracted from all substance, can never be found among the substantial things of our experience, this question, of the essence and origin of negation, could never be answered empirically, but must rather be speculatively deduced from the very nature and conception of substance; and not through natural scientific experimentation, but only through metaphysical speculation. Metaphysics is the sovereign science of being, and the nature of substance that speculatively deduces from the first principles of all science to the special and derivative principles of special sciences. Metaphysics questions what is the ultimate and absolutely original principle of thought and being; whether this is subject or object, affirmation or negation, being or non-being. The speculative deduction of negation from affirmation, or, of negation as absolutely independent, is, however, the beginning of all philosophical science that may only ever be irrefutably confirmed through the ultimate completion of science. Absent of any such completed philosophical science, the speculative deduction and, thus also the nature and origin of evil, must remain an analytically indemonstrable theory, given over to realm of faith rather than scientific knowledge.





Why do we find it pleasurably to be terrified? If we fear all avoidable evils that may befall us, then how is it that we find evil to be pleasurable? For something to be found to be intrinsically pleasurable, it must possess some intrinsic power, and only that which is constituted by some substance may possess powers intrinsic to itself. Thus, were evil to be a substance unto itself, then it may, by its own intrinsic power, be the cause of our pleasures. But were, on the contrary, evil to be merely the negation of substance, and thus also parasitic for its very affirmative existence upon substance, then it could only possess the power to cause pleasure through its negative effects upon some other substance. With the former theory, of the self-subsistence of evil, we must admit evil to be intrinsically pleasurable; with the latter theory, of the derivativeness and parasitism of evil, evil must be pleasurable only through its effects upon some prior substance. Following the latter theory, Aristotle in the Poetics describes the pleasure of tragedy as catharsis, as the purgation of negative emotions such as the fear of death: through their participation in such dramatic catharsis, audiences may experience these emotions and know them in the completeness of their finitude. A finite thing is negated and thereby limited by things beyond its finite boundedness and causal reach (determatio est negatio). Therefore the experience of negative emotions in their finitude is simultaneously the negation of these negative emotions, or the negation of what is negative, which, as double-negation, produces a new affirmation, just as the quotient of negative A and negative A is positive A. For this reason, catharsis may be understood to be the experience of negating some harmful and negative emotion through an experience of its finitude, to produce some substantial and pleasurable affirmation. The pleasure of catharsis is, following Aristotle, found, not intrinsically within substantial evil and negation, but rather in what evil contrasts with, i.e. the contrast between negation and affirmation, and the triumph of  some good over evil.


The Alien film series, beginning with Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien”, depicts the discovery of a mysterious craft of extraterrestrial origin by the salvage ship, the Nostromo, bearing mysterious eggs that hatch spidery-limbed parasites, or face-huggers, that attach to human faces to implant alien fetuses that afterwards violently burst forth from the hosts’ chest. The infant alien which emerges from its gestation in a human host rapidly matures into a murderous beast which annihilates or assimilates all advanced living organisms within the biosphere (not excluding cats and dogs). The evil of the alien-monster is threefold: the face-hugger parasite rapes its host through the forcible impregnation of the alien fetus via the mouth; the fetus assimilates its hosts’ essence and afterwards retains its essential morphology and powers; and the mature alien-monster hunts and murders all life. The theme of rape is implicit throughout the alien film series, not simply through the unwilling impregnation of the hosts, but moreover through the corruption of their essences: as the alien gestates within a human host, it thereby assimilates the essence of the host into itself, and afterwards emerges transformed in the hosts’ likeness. In the 1986 sequel, James Cameron’s “Aliens”, audiences learn that the alien-monsters live in insect-like hives commanded by an alien queen that produces the eggs within which the face-hugger parasites gestate. Alien hives are organized into castes of workers, warriors and queens which cooperate to perpetuate the three-fold evil of the alien monsters indefinitely: queens lay the eggs, workers retrieve the living bodies of hosts that may be sacrificed to produce new aliens, and warriors annihilate all enemies of the hive. Thus, the evil of the infestation of an alien hive may be understood to exponentially increase through the operation of its members.

The Alien film series is uniquely terrifying because it inverts, through contamination with negation, the highest conceivable idea of an absolute middle and personal mediator between the infinite universe and the finite self-consciousness being - the Absolute made finite in the person of Jesus Christ. Plato held the doctrine of the eternal forms, or Platonism, in which the finite things in our experience were ultimately derived from wholly immaterial forms which totally transcended the spatio-temporal universe. Neo-Platonism was a 3rd-Century revival of classical Platonism by the Roman school of Plotinus and Porphyry, and held all the forms and substances of the universe to emanate from a self-subsisting super-form, which is called ‘the One’. Alexandrian theology was a 4th-Century school of Christian theology which sought to explain the relation of Jesus Christ to God the Father and the Holy Spirit - collectively called the Holy Trinity - through the metaphysical doctrines of Neo-Platonism. Alexandrian theology held the Holy Trinity to be, like the Neo-Platonic One, a substantial form that, in its infinitude, wholly transcended the finite material universe, and yet, by its own innate plentitude of being, continuously emanated from within itself all matter, form and substance. The Alexandrian school taught that the nature of Christ, or Christology, was that of an eternally-existing person within the Triune Godhead of the Holy Trinity that, while wholly transcending the finite spatio-temporal universe, was yet was immanent in the reason, or Logos, of the universe and, moreover, became man for the salvation of the universe: the eternally existing Christ thus became man, through His incarnation by the willing acceptance of the Virgin Mary, to minister to mankind, and to sacrifice his life for the redemption of sins, for the fulfillment God’s providential restoration of His people Israel through the creation of the New Covenant the Church.


In the Alien film series, God is, for all appearances, neither a self-conscious creator nor a historical revealer of true religion. Characters search the galaxy, with neither the Holy Spirit in their breasts nor any hope of an ultimate beatific reconciliation with their creator. There appears to be no transcendent realm of superintending providence, but only the immanent here and now of our fragile, corruptible and finite bodies. Foreseeing the hopeless of his ruined of his own body, Job lamented to God: “Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and multipliest thy wrath upon me, and the pains of war against me. Why didst thou bring me forth out of the womb: O that I had been consumed that no eye might see me!.. Suffer me, therefore, that I may lament my sorrow a little: Before I go, and return no more, to a land that is dark and covered with the mist of death: A land of misery and darkness, where the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horror dwelleth.” (Job 10:17-23) The ends of man are, in the Alien film series, merely those of liberal-capitalism and scientific positivism: the calculated expectation of monetary profit and the expansion of natural scientific knowledge – both of which are the endless tasks of accumulating and cataloging the finite. The living and loving God of Christianity is hidden, and His absence is as hollow, dark and cold as the infinite void of space. Staring into the vastness of the uncounted stars the characters may expect to discover staring back at them only what is likewise wholly absent of self-consciousness and wholly alien from human nature. Platonism holds that the forms of identity and multiplicity emanate from the One. A=A to our minds and within our experience only because the One is eternally absolutely identical with itself. Yet, without the absolute identity of the One God, there must remain only the absolute multiplicity of totally differentiated substances: nothing can be expected to be identical with itself or within anything else. The absence of God means the absence of both superintending providence and supervening design: what has originated beyond the terrestrial biosphere may not be expected to share with man either any common essence or any hitherto known substance. For this reason, neither a common origin nor a common purpose can be expected to reconcile man and alien through a pre-established commodiousness of powers and propensities. Thus the qualitative difference which separates man and alien - of the very alien-ness of the alien - may be as infinite as must seem the unknown depths of space wherein, it may be thought, lies the solution to the mystery of the origin and essence of man and alien. The frightfulness of the alien-monster may, on this account, be understood to be conditioned by the notion of the hiddenness of God: without God there can be no absolute identity; without absolute identity there is only absolute non-identity; with absolute non-identity there exist a potentially infinite variety of essences and substances beyond the scope of all human action and understanding.


The alien is a monstrous embodiment of the principle of alienation as such, of an otherness without any precedent in human experience. As a consequence of the absolute non-identity of a godless universe, the alien is held to be absolutely non-identical to, and thus totally distinct from any concept of essence or substance hitherto known to man. As the alien is not identical to any known substance or essence, it may embody for the characters the very principle of absolute non-identity. In Ridley Scott’s 2012 film “Prometheus”, the aliens are shown to have originated from a mysterious black liquid that is contained in egg-shaped viles. Upon the release of this liquid, hosts are contaminated by an airborne pathogen that produces both frenzied zombies and face-hugging parasites. While holding aloft a drop-sized sample of this mysterious black liquid, the android David remarks “big things have small beginnings.” Substance may no doubt be known through sensory perception, as a consequence of its extended body, but essence is wholly formal and thus super-sensuous. The essence of alien, like the essence of evil, is empirically unknown except through its parasitical contamination and impregnation of its hosts. In the absence of God, and of absolute identity, both the principle of negativity and of substantial evil may be theoretically deduced to be absolutely independent of any prior affirmation or substance. Were there no God the absolute principle of all thought and being could quite conceivably be absolute non-identity, finite being, and morally indifferent substance. Thus substantial evil, in which negativity is most fully embodied, may plausibly be the mysterious black liquid found aboard the derelict alien craft. Through the collective activity of the alien hive, the negativity of this substance; manifested in rape, corruption, and murder; may be expected to exponentially and infinitely expand to consume all substances and corrupt all essences in an entropy of ceaseless self-annihilation – of absolute negativity! And were man to be bereft of a benevolent and guiding deity, the safety and satisfaction of mankind would not at all be guaranteed but would rather sit precariously beneath the sword of Damocles in expectation of its sudden death from unknown extra-terrestrial dangers.




 Wherein might hope be discovered when man is set upon by the rapacious frenzy of such and absolute evil? Hope is understood to be a movement of the will towards some expected good. An intellectual apprehension of some good must thus precede any movement of the will towards its realization. The striving to oppose a thing must, for this reason, originate with a self-determined choice to oppose a thing, in a manner appropriate to its essence. What is essentially evil and non-identical may be opposed by a striving for reunion with the pure identity of absolute being. Might this apprehension of goodness and hope be discovered in the expectation of an escape from imminent death; in the innocence of a child; or in self-sacrifice for the future of mankind? These are answers which the Alien films have previously offered audiences. The answer may, however, be speculatively reconsidered according to the preceding deduction of the essence of the alien, as the absolute non-identity and negativity of a Godless universe given a substantial embodiment via the rapine corruption of the essence of man through a bodily host. The alien is the corruption rather than fulfillment of man’s essence, in an unwilling victim rather than a willing mother, for the death rather than the salvation of mankind. The purgative catharsis of tragedy is held by Aristotle to be compelling through a contrast of what is negative with what is substantively posited: the brilliance of goodness twice-brightly illuminated under the shadow of evil. Thus may the opposition to the evil which terrifies us in the Alien film series be known only through an intellectual apprehension of its opposite; that which it inverts; that which it negates; and that which simultaneously reciprocally negates it. The evil of the alien monster, as substantially embodied absolute non-identity, is opposed only to the substantially embodied absolute identity of infinite God and finite man in Jesus Christ, through Whom man is reconciled with God, and the absolute middle of the Kindgom of God is restored.


Although entirely absent in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien”, Christian themes become more and more prominent throughout the Alien film series, including a group a Christian milleniarianist monks in Alien3. In Ridley Scott’s 2012 film “Prometheus”, scientist Elizabeth Shaw pursues the mystery of man’s origin for the purpose of meeting her creator, the Triune God of the Christian faith, and places her lasting hope in Jesus Christ’s promise of divine benevolence, providence and final beatitude. To her profound horror, Elizabeth Shaw discovers, not the God of the Bible, but the absolute non-identity, moral indifference and malice of the Alien-monsters. Jesus described the Kingdom of God as “like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (Mt. 13:31-32) The evil of the alien-monster, the supersensuous essence of evil as non-identity, begins in the miniscule substance of the black liquid, yet afterwards cancerously expands with infinite destructive potential. By this corrupt seed, Elizabeth Shaw is impregnated, not as the virgin mother of man’s redeemer, but as the mother of man’s annihilation; and not to restore the original unity of man with a benevolent God but, by the workings of an indifferent non-identical universe, to consume mankind in ceaseless self-destructive negativity! Therefore, while expecting to see God face to face, Miss Elizabeth Shaw assumes, in the inverted Christology of the Alien film series, a pseudo-marian role: to become the mother of all death rather than of eternal life.


Two deductions of the nature of terror, of fear, and of evil are, according to the opinions of philosophers, available to our minds: the Materialist deduction which holds evil to be totally independent and self-subsistent, and the Platonic-Aristotelian deduction which holds evil to be totally derivative and parasitic. The former deduction, ostensibly presumed by the hiddenness of God in the Alien film series, conditions an explanation of the essence of the alien-monster as the substantially embodied essence of evil within a Godless universe of absolute non-identity.  The latter deduction denies the independent self-subsistence of evil and affirms evil to be merely an illusion, parasitic upon substance, which must ultimately be triumphed over by the goodness of God’s absolute identity. Throughout the Alien film series the characters pursue an altogether empirical examination of the essence of man and aliens, through both the experimental study and physical combat with the alien-monsters. Because the empirical method is methodologically restricted to an examination of finite objects of sensory experience, the characters’ pursuits altogether follow the latter deduction, i.e. an attempt to explain the essence of the aliens as evil that is substantially embodied and totally non-identical to anything hitherto known to man. Yet precisely because of the method of this empirical pursuit of the alien, as finite self-subsistent evil, also thereby limits the scope their actions to what may be theoretically understood and the totally non-identical alien-monster may not possibly understood, this method of pursuit simultaneously dooms all opposition to the exponential threat of the aliens. The cathartic thrust of the drama, through the opposition of what seems wholly evil with some hope for goodness, necessitates, no conceivable rationale, but rather an inexplicable belief in what is most praiseworthy and good. Any hope of the success of this latter concept requires a prior intellectual apprehension of the concepts in their exact and essential opposition. Yet while hope may precede and motivate action it is nonetheless insufficient for its own fulfillment: mere intellectual apprehension of the concept is not yet the realization of the concept. In this instance, when the whole towering edifice of finite understanding crashes down and proves utterly inadequate to encompass and explain what is totally non-identical, practical reason proves its worth, spectacularly triumphs over theoretical reason, and the will emancipates the soul from the binding aporias of finite knowledge. The characters then place their trust and hope in a greater power than either man or alien; in the absolute identity and providence of the living God; to deliver them from the terror of iniquity. There is, on this account, an inner dramatic necessity of the power of the will to overcome the intrinsic limitations of the intellect. Christian theology is therefore shown, through the opposition of the most evil and profane thing with the highest and most cherished idea, to be the hidden theme of that at once conditions the horror and the grace of the Alien film series.




Transhuman Traditionalism

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Satyr
Daemon
avatar

Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 17817
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 52
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Interesting.
One of my favorite film trilogies.

Ripley, a sort of mother Mary, raped, like the original, giving birth to a hybrid.
The Aliens are a mimetic virus ...they enter through the mouth, kill the host, and mutate through the contact.
The Hive, herd, psychology is also present.

The origins?
Some mysterious alien race, antagonistic, killing both humans and the alien virus they created.
We'll have to wait for the next installment when they find the alien's creator's home planet, perhaps?

The virus merges from the inside. It is feeding on fear.


_________________
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
μηδέν άγαν
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://satyr.canadian-forum.com/
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:38 pm

Lyssa, I view the Alien movie sub-textually as the struggle of a lesbian to fight off the intruding males that desire to penetrate her. The aliens are characterized as phallic symbols and the main character is,  no doubt, a butch woman ( How very reminiscent of a lesbian ). You should check out my post on the Predator movie which is, basically, the inverse of the Alien subtext. Arnold is the ultimate alpha-male that fights off a vagina dentata ( vagina with teeth, misandric emasculator, radical feminist ethos ).

http://knowthyself.forumotion.net/t1226-the-predator-movie-and-it-s-gender-war-subtext#22830
Back to top Go down
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:26 pm

Primal Rage wrote:
Lyssa, you should check out my post on the Predator movie which is, basically, the inverse of the Alien subtext. Arnold is the ultimate alpha-male that fights off a vagina dentata ( vagina with teeth, misandric emasculator, radical feminist ethos ).

http://knowthyself.forumotion.net/t1226-the-predator-movie-and-it-s-gender-war-subtext#22830
Were you the victim of a strong, overwhelming female?

That's a valid take.... if you situate yourself as the prey, which is what Hollywood promotes.

From the point of view of the Predator, I "could" see the Predator as an Outsider...

Aliens' Cameron co-scripted Rambo; you see Rambo as the Outsider trying to defend himself against a locale hunting him down... when all he wants is to be left alone. Of course, Rambo was all-American and had the typical ending, etc.

Its the mob that tries to get you to adapt and surrender that is feminine.

"I'm a cultural infidel, painting in the dark
I'm a cultural infidel, singin' in the park
Socrates, hypotheses, the music of Mozart
I'm a cultural infidel, comin' from the heart

Free thinkin', hood-winkin', unblinkin' mon
Start trouble, burst bubbles, join my caravan
Someone's got to talk about accountability
Someone's got to raise some hell, I guess it could be me

I'm a cultural infidel, tryin' to draw a crowd
I'm a cultural infidel, singin' right out loud
Philosophy is not for me, laughin' is my game
I'm a cultural infidel, slap me with the blame

Loose cannon, Armageddon, preacher's at the door
Spittin' poison at the boys 'n girls on the dance floor
I hear them in the Congress, I see them on TV
I hope the Inquisition remains a memory

Al diablo Picasso, al diablo Manet
Al diablo Fontainebleu, al diablo Hemingway
Au diable Dr. Thompson, au diable San Joan
Au diable Village People, au diable Rolling Stone

Someone's got to talk about accountability
Someone's got to raise some hell, it might as well be me..."  [Jimmy Buffet, Cultural Infidel]



A feminist perspective:

Quote :
"The Alien Mother in Aliens represents a very different view of feminism: one based solely on survival, reproduction and the bare-fanged protection of its young. Indeed, there is reason to believe that she also represents the masculine view of what, from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, is frightening about feminism: fear and awe surrounding the vagina and repulsion toward the act of reproduction itself (Berenstein 56). In Aliens, the Marines' excursion into the Alien Mother's nest, situated deep in the bowels of the terraforming plant on LV486, is characterized as a long, slow trudge into an 'organicized' pathway, not unlike a vaginal tunnel (Bundtzen 14). In the film's climactic battle, the paradox for Ripley is that she must conquer the female Alien Mother (and by extension, that which is feminine as well as that which, from the masculine point of view, is repulsive). To do this she must master technology (the M41A pulse rifle, the power loader). By the final conflict between her and the Alien Mother, Ripley is forced to take a stand against that in which, for most women, lay their power: reproduction. Her primary goal is to prevent impregnation, for her and for Newt (Bundtzen 15). In this way, she must fight against the essential state of the female, motherhood; and once again, Ripley is asked to turn away from the feminine, to deny another aspect of nature that she and the Alien Mother share. The hidden ideology of the film, the rejection of the feminine, is apparent once again.

Both films are guilty of perpetuating the notion of technology being chiefly male in origin (phallic weaponry and spacecraft) whereas biological processes are the domain of the female. This notion is especially evident in Aliens' dock scene, where we see the male Marines' reaction to watching Ripley deftly operate the power loader---they are surprised and almost resort to nudging and winking at each other. Ripley, a woman, even fifty-seven years after having been a second officer on a space freighter, is apparently not supposed to be able to operate heavy machinery. So it would seem that, even hundreds of years into the future, technology is still the realm of the male and that 'woman-as-tool-user' is still considered to be an anomaly.

This dichotomy, as a social construct, has roots that go back to philosopher Rene Descartes'' notion of objectivity in which men, with so-called 'rational' minds, in order to discuss the natural world, were bound to think of themselves as 'outside' the realm of the physical. This placed rational thought in the same realm as the masculine and the irrational, therefore, with the feminine (Bordo 85).

This stance on technology and nature is expressed elsewhere as well. The film's attitude toward the Alien Mother (and by equating 'alienation' with 'mother') as well as its position on feminism in general is indicative of how tenacious the rational male/irrational female dichotomy has been since the Scientific Revolution. The Alien Mother herself can be thought of as nature 'unhinged' and out of control, akin to how Francis Bacon depicted nature and the natural world in his writings. Bacon believed that, outside of a strong masculinizing influence, Nature tends toward Chaos and the proliferation of monstrosities (Merchant 71). The Alien Mother is a perfect embodiment of a 'feminized' state of nature, as conceived by Bacon and other early scientists. This outlook, along with Descartes,' became a mainstay in the development of scientific thought in the 17th Century and in establishing a biological rationale for gender bias and sexism that continues to this day in society and finds expression in popular culture in films like Alien/s, where women and science are still portrayed in problematic ways.

Both Alien and Aliens are excellent films, each in their own way. They are considered masterpieces of the science fiction genre. Much has been written on these films from psychoanalytic and even Marxist viewpoints; however, as expressions of feminist power, they are not as successful as many think. It is important to keep in mind what is necessary for that to happen: a true depiction of feminist strength is one where women are dependent in no way on patriarchal invention, favor or permission. Although it may be science fiction at its most imaginative, that is still a story we don't see on the big screen often enough."
http://www.planetfury.com/content/feminism-alien-ideology

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:40 pm

yes


Last edited by Primal Rage on Fri Nov 22, 2013 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
There Will Be Blood

avatar

Gender : Male Posts : 891
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : Taiwan

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:48 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Aliens' Cameron co-scripted Rambo; you see Rambo as the Outsider trying to defend himself against a locale hunting him down... when all he wants is to be left alone. Of course, Rambo was all-American and had the typical ending, etc.

Its the mob that tries to get you to adapt and surrender that is feminine.
Beautifully enough it works both ways. Some interpret that movie to be a critique of capitalism, where as the most honorable are shoved to the sidelines, and broken by society. Others the exact opposite; Rambo as the rebel against the pathetic masses. A celebration of individualism. All the best movies are ambiguous.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:50 pm

If you let your past/anxiety about being exploited by a female take over, you might start seeing things 'only' through the paradigm of fanged-vaginas.

First wisdom any kind of warrior must in-corp-orate, is Don't Flinch.

If your spiritual composure is taken beyond the hedonist dualities pain/pleasure, with your eyes on neither, there's a self-trust that doesn't care to focus on what the other is upto. You can be aware of what the other is upto without letting the awareness Stress you. Don't Flinch. Castenada.


_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:01 pm

Lyssa wrote: "If you let your past/anxiety about being exploited by a female take over, you might start seeing things 'only' through the paradigm of fanged-vaginas. "

It's not an anxiety, really. More of an anger thing, anger towards myself for being so naive and weak and anger at the way I was abused. I don't believe in forgiveness and letting go of anger; I believe in dominating it and then channeling it into positive directions hence my weightlifting post.
Back to top Go down
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:06 pm

There Will Be Blood wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
Aliens' Cameron co-scripted Rambo; you see Rambo as the Outsider trying to defend himself against a locale hunting him down... when all he wants is to be left alone. Of course, Rambo was all-American and had the typical ending, etc.

Its the mob that tries to get you to adapt and surrender that is feminine.
Beautifully enough it works both ways. Some interpret that movie to be a critique of capitalism, where as the most honorable are shoved to the sidelines, and broken by society. Others the exact opposite; Rambo as the rebel against the pathetic masses. A celebration of individualism. All the best movies are ambiguous.
Exactly.

Speaking of Capitalism, and since you are into Asian movies,,... Kim ki-duk's 'Pieta'. Masterpiece.


Kim ki-duk movies never spare you from thinking of the human condition. At one point, this movie verges on showing to what degree capitalism has been so alienating that a mother and son become so estranged, the very taboo that defines a mother-son relation is held as stake for proof. What could be more nihilistic than the great motor of money inverting and perverting every higher sentiment, in that one gripping scene of utmost perverse violence.
This movie made me shed tears. Most though found it very cheesy, soft-porn, etc.
Depends.
When you look at everything as a metaphor, the movie affects you with realizations on so many levels.

Han is Thymos-banking,, a Rage-Capital; only Plutonic philosophies can afford to understand this.


Reviews:

http://twitchfilm.com/2013/05/review-pieta-searching-for-humanity-unspeakable-monster.html

http://mobile.nytimes.com/movies/2013/05/17/movies/pieta-directed-by-kim-ki-duk.html?from=movies

http://www.dromemagazine.com/kim-ki-duk-pieta/

Kim ki-duk's films are full of Han and so mundane and nihilistic and degrading and perverse, decadent, and repressed, intense, quiet, and full of inexpressible pathos. He teaches and portrays in every film, how an individual reduced to the most slavish and hopeless, disadvantageous dead-end suicidal circumstances, can still find Honour, a way of living with dignity in the face of it all Without Negations. Affirmative attitudes born out of living-Through something without any Escapisms,,, and that's what makes him such a genius in the contemporary world.



_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:26 pm

Primal Rage wrote:
Lyssa wrote: "If you let your past/anxiety about being exploited by a female take over, you might start seeing things 'only' through the paradigm of fanged-vaginas. "

It's not an anxiety, really. More of an anger thing, anger towards myself for being so naive and weak and anger at the way I was abused. I don't believe in forgiveness and letting go of anger; I believe in dominating it and then channeling it into positive directions hence my weightlifting post.
No. Not anger, but self-severity should be the right word, - just my opinion.

"1540s, from Middle French severe from Latin severus "serious, grave, strict, austere"."

This should make you think on what is Integrity to you and how you define it for yourself as precisely as possible.

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


Last edited by Lyssa on Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:10 pm


_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
There Will Be Blood

avatar

Gender : Male Posts : 891
Join date : 2013-09-08
Location : Taiwan

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:25 am

Thanks. I'm an absolute movie buff. In the process of making a top 200 all time list. Got a ton of watching to do.



This is one of the greatest movies on the topic of capitalism. Setting it self out as a anti-western, yet that becomes a question mark due to its almost nostalgic nature. Personally loved it; within my top 3 westerners so far.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:12 pm


_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Satyr
Daemon
avatar

Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 17817
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 52
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:58 pm



Civility unmasked.
The secretive gentile, high cultured, sensitive, immaculate tastes, residing amongst his lessers.
He eats them as one would eat a chimpanzee.
He assimilates their animal essence, into his own, more refined, controlled, nature.

One would have to turn him into a monster to make him palatable.

_________________
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
μηδέν άγαν
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://satyr.canadian-forum.com/
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:36 pm

Realism vs Idealism ( Nihilism )



I thought you guys here would enjoy this scene from the movie Platoon; this part of the movie, really, encapsulates the essence of the worldview polarities in this film. Sergeant Barnes represents reality; he is amoral, brutal, harsh, and indifferent. He doesn't believe in sugar-coating reality or escaping it through 'fluffy' idealisms. He believes that people should " shut up and take the pain!" ( a quote of his from an earlier scene in the movie). Elias and his band of hippies represent idealism; they enjoy escaping from reality via marijuana and fluffy idealisms. They are into 'Kumbaya' activities, basically.
Back to top Go down
Satyr
Daemon
avatar

Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 17817
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 52
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:58 pm

Best scene in the entire movie.

_________________
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
μηδέν άγαν
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://satyr.canadian-forum.com/
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:07 pm

Themes in Italian-American Gangster movies.

Quote :
"Disseminated through powerful mass media exposure, the gangster provides subliminal guidelines for manhood and serves as a cultural icon, reflecting chang- ing notions of masculinity in the United States. The gangster emerged in response to the evolution of corporate capitalism in the early twen- tieth century. Although criminal gangs had long occupied American cities, the Prohibition Act of 1920 and the desperate poverty brought on by the Great Depression in the 1930s provided opportunities for indi- vidual crime leaders to emerge and thrive.

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the exploits of gangsters such as Al Capone, John Dillinger, “Baby Face” Nelson, and “Pretty Boy” Floyd became national news, fueled fictional accounts, and captured the popular imagination. These real-life gangsters rose above ordinary criminals by committing their crimes with bravado; they were all blatant transgressors of the boundaries between good and evil, right and wrong, and rich and poor. As corporate capitalism promoted consumerism and widened the gap between rich and poor, Americans became infatuated with the gangster, a man of humble origins who affected stylish dress and fancy cars, defying the boundaries separating social classes.

These increasingly fascinating characters began to appear in Amer- ican films during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Early films often por- trayed gangsters as degenerate and overly feminized men losing their independence in the new capitalist society, but later films recast them as men who wielded power through sexuality and guns. Films such as Little Caesar (1930) and Scarface (1932) established a lasting association in popular culture between the gangster and particular ethnic groups: Jewish, Irish American, African American, Asian, and—especially— Italian American.

The Greek god Hermes came to represent popular appropriation of the trappings of aristocratic culture, and he can be seen as an archetype for performing masculinity.

To the ancient Greeks, equality was a reasonable rationale for thievery. Hermes tells his mother that “her scruples about his activities are childish; that he intends to put his own interests first and follow the career with the most profit in it; that a life of affluence and luxury would be better than living in a dreary cave; that he is determined to get equality with Apollo—by illegal means [thievery] if he cannot get it by legal means (that is, by gift of Zeus).” As Brown points out, Hermes’ intention to profit from his work connects him to the negative qualities of the newly developing commercial culture. Thus, Hermes becomes a figure associated with both the idea of clever thievery and the idea of profit. Brown also identifies Hermes as a trickster, whose “trickery is never represented as a rational device, but as a manifestation of magical power.” Hermes, like any gangster kingpin, is the wiseguy, the man with the plan.

Beyond Hermes’ relevance as a model for the gangster figure in soci- ety is his development as a god during a period of transition in Greek history. The societies of the Hellenic states changed radically from 1500 to 500 BC, as the decline of the self-sufficient family and tribe and the rise of monarchy forced a new organization onto the family. Over this time, class divisions were created and the landowning aristocracy gained control over some states. Popular resistance to aristocratic repression led in some states, notably Athens, to nascent forms of con- stitutional democracy. Brown writes: “In this vortex of social change were crystallized other phenomena which are themselves potent cata- lytic agents—the development of slavery, the codification of law, the invention of money.” He notes a corresponding shift occurring in the Olympian pantheon. “The component gods were given ranks and posi- tions analogous to the component orders in society. Hermes, previously an independent and autonomous trickster, becomes the subordinate of Zeus the King, his messenger and servant-in-chief.” Hermes becomes the patron of “a class of ‘professional boundary-crossers’—skilled and

unskilled workmen” subordinate to the king, representing “service obtained beyond the boundary, from outside the family.” In essence, he becomes what today we might call a “godfather” figure, one who con- nects the family to the world outside its boundaries and oversees the interactive mechanism between those inside and outside the family.

But as Brown points out, Hermes’ image eventually became tar- nished. In the time of Hesiod, around 700 BC, the figure of Hermes became associated with the sinister through his giving to Pandora, a woman whom Zeus created to answer to Prometheus’ theft of fire, the box of woes that triggers her “mind of a cur and a stealthy disposition9”. Through this act, Hermes plays a role similar to that of Eden’s serpent in Christian myth. He begins to represent a power against familial collectivism and for acquisitive individualism. Hes- iod interprets Hermes’ trickery as a design to gain profit. Wealth, up until this point, came the old-fashioned way, through the gods, and this was the ideal of success. But the new way to succeed was through individualism. Hermes became the model for the self-made man who gains power through profit, the antithesis of the behavior championed by Hesiod, Solon, and Plato who, in Brown’s words, “begin to use ‘theft’ and ‘robbery’ as interchangeable metaphors in their denunciations of acquisitive individualism, thus ignoring the earlier distinction between forcible and fraudulent appropriation.”

Enacted here is the traditional battle between the powerful and the helpless. “The theme of strife between Hermes and Apollo,” writes Brown, “translates into mythical language the insurgence of the Greek lower classes and their demands for equality with the aristocracy.” Hermes goes on to become god of the lottery, the means by which Athe- nians (after 487 BC) elected public officials. The lottery, Aristotle wrote in Politics and Rhetoric, reflects “the democratic principle of the abso- lute equality of all citizens.”12 In the Hymn to Hermes, the aspirations of the industrial and commercial classes are projected onto the figure of Hermes; their conflict with the aristocracy is projected into the conflict with Hermes and Apollo. On a final note, Brown tells us that “Hermes’ intrusion into the musical sphere [through his invention of the lyre, which he gave to Apollo to make amends for his cattle thievery] paral- leled the initiation of the lower classes into the cultured pursuits previ- ously monopolized by the aristocracy.”

In sum, Hermes becomes a champion for equality through the acquisition of what the ruling class has. He is, thus, an archetype of the gangster, especially the fictional gangster seen as a trickster figure used to represent deviant forms of behavior against which a society can form its ideas of proper behavior, and to create a sense of shared cultural identity.

The trickster archetype is one that provides for chaos and change. He takes people to places outside the boundaries of traditional and normal society; he reminds them that culture is human-made; and he shows them that those who reach for too much will eventually lose everything. Thus, the gangster can be seen as a natural trickster figure. Stanley Diamond, in his introduction to Paul Radin’s The Trickster, writes that civilization changes the primitive trickster into “a segregated and vicarious aspect of human experience” by suppressing the concrete image of the trickster and changing it into “the problem of injustice.” The “dual images of the deity as expressed in the trickster” that “are fused in the network of actions that define primitive society”; they become sepa- rated into the two distinct, abstract notions of good and evil. And this, says Diamond, is what enables the development of “moral fanaticism, based as it is on abstract notions of pure good, pure evil, and the exclusive moral possibility or fate of any particular individual—what may be called moral exceptionalism.”

In the moral fanaticism of Anglo-American–based culture, good and evil were separated, and as Americans strove toward the notion of pure good, they had to be able to measure their progress by personifying evil in others.

The mythographer Karl Kerényi sees the trickster figure as the one who brings disorder to a system: “Disorder belongs to the totality of life, and the spirit of this disorder is the trickster. His function in an archaic society, or rather the function of his mythology, of the tales told about him, is to add disorder to order and so make a whole, to render possible within the fixed bounds of what is permitted, an experience of what is not permitted.”

The trickster also works to help us organize our sense of community. Carl Jung sees the trickster as “[a] collective personification ... the product of a totality of individuals ... welcomed by the individual as something known to him, which would not be the case if it were just an individual outgrowth.”
The trickster, Jung writes, serves as a reminder of our shadow selves:

The so-called civilized man has forgotten the trickster. He remembers him only figuratively and metaphorically, when irritated by his own ineptitude, he speaks of fate playing tricks on him or of things being bewitched. He never suspects that his own hidden and apparently harmless shadow has qualities whose dangerousness exceeds his wildest dreams. As soon as people get together in masses and submerge the individual, the shadow is mobilized, and, as history shows, may even be per- sonified and incarnated.

Seeing the figure of the gangster as a trickster helps to explain America’s fascination with this character. Society needs a figure that can represent fringe behavior against which the mainstream can for- mulate its values and identity. The Mafia myth has thus served an important function in American society in defining both what is and is not American and what is and is not acceptable behavior in American society.

There have been three stages of development of the gangster figure within American popular culture, and each stage reflects a different function for the gangster. The first is the early use of the gangster as minstrelsy, as a way of performing Italian culture in an effort to con- trol the perceived threat to mainstream American culture posed by the difference introduced by a wave of Italian immigration. This stage began with the rise of Al Capone and faded with the Vietnam War, but it revives whenever a non-Italian puts on the mafioso mask to perform the gangster. A second stage began when Italian Americans started to use the figure of the gangster as a vehicle for telling their own stories of being Italians in the United States. The third stage started when Italian Americans began to parody, and, in doing so, renounce, the gangster figure as representative of their culture, as a means of gaining control of the story.

By the mid-twentieth century, traditional notions of American manhood began to be challenged by feminism and gay liberation. The Italian-American man evidences a traditional patriarchal sense of manhood derived from a European model that confronted an Ameri- can model of manhood. Therefore, he made a good foil for these new ideologies. The idea of using violence to establish and maintain honor was still clung to, even as the efficacy of patriarchy was disappearing. This is one reason why films like The Godfather had such an effect on American culture of the 1970s, and it continues to be culturally rel- evant today.

The Italian-American man has usually signified nothing but trouble in American culture. From the sweaty workers in the Boston Common who frightened Henry James to the exotic Rudolph Valentino’s sensu- ous strides across the silver screen into the hearts of American women, from the cocky strut of dapper gangsters across television screens to the gold-chained disco dude played by John Travolta, the Italian-American man has been called on whenever a breach of status quo civility needed to be displayed, especially through the body. Not until the third stage of the gangster representation is there a redefinition of the Italian-American man.


Whenever the Godfather opened his mouth, in my own mind

I heard the voice of my mother. I heard her wisdom, her ruthlessness, and her unconquerable love for her family and for life itself, qualities not valued in women at the time. The Don’s courage and loyalty came from her; his humanity came from her.

—Mario Puzo


In 1841, Catharine Beecher, author of five influential books dealing with domestication, wrote that “the ‘cult of true womanhood’ is linked to the home with piety and purity.”

This, Fishman suggests, was inherent in the creation of the earliest suburbs:

The city was not just crowded, dirty, and unhealthy; it was immoral. Salvation itself depended on separating the woman’s sacred world of family and children from the profane metropo- lis. Yet this separation could not jeopardize a man’s constant attendance to his business ... . This was the problem, and sub- urbia was to be the ultimate solution.

Although the suburbs generally imply a degree of emasculation of the traditional male, Don Corleone, who conducts most of his busi- ness from his city office, does use his home on the day of his daughter’s wedding to strengthen connections between his family and the outside world. Neighbors and community members are invited into the home for the wedding, bringing the outside world into the family space. His daughter’s marriage to Carlo isn’t the traditional marriage of a child of the powerful, intended to protect and expand family power. However, Vito Corleone’s daughter’s wedding does serve as the suburban back- drop for his continual expansion of his family’s power, demonstrated by granting favors to those in his service. These are favors that will ulti- mately strengthen his ties to the grantees. If the home is the place where the family is nourished and strengthened, traditionally through acts performed by women, then Vito Corleone represents a male version of this role, just as Lucia Santa in The Fortunate Pilgrim was a female version of a man’s role.

To prove he was a success in organized crime, a man had to display masculinity publicly:

It was essential, if one wished to succeed in the secret society, to at least give the appearance of prosperity and power, to exude confidence and a carefree spirit; although in doing so, the Mafia man’s life became more difficult for him in the larger world where government agents were watching him, tapping his phone, bugging his home, seeking to determine the source of his illegitimate income so that he might be indicted for income tax evasion. The Mafia man was consequently forced into an almost schizophrenic situation—while he was plead- ing poverty to Internal Revenue and was attempting to conceal his resources, he was also attempting to impress his friends by picking up checks, driving a new Cadillac or Lincoln, and by otherwise living beyond his means.

Castillo traces Mexican machismo back to Arab influences in Spanish culture: “The ancient culture of the Maghreb originated in North Africa, spread throughout the Mediterranean, and as a consequence of the conquest of the Americas via the Spaniards, to the Southwest United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.” Castillo locates the notions of women as a man’s property, male honor, and the “vendetta” in the Maghreb culture: “What is the purpose of the vendetta? Usually to save family honor; that is, to regain some material loss; women are counted as a man’s material property. The male members of a family are responsible for a vendetta; in the case of an absent father, the task usually falls on the eldest brother.” When this notion of manhood is tied directly to a capitalist economy, it makes it nearly impossible for a young boy who wants to be considered a man to avoid acquiring capital at any cost. Again, Castillo perceptively connects this notion to social ills: “There is no justification for machismo. Morally there never was, although given the economic system that civilization developed, society depended on patriarchy to uphold its political and economic principles of change. Machismo has lost its raison d’être.”

D’Acierno observes: “Scorsese’s characters are subpolitical: they are ‘morti di fame’ in the Gramscian sense of the term, members of a para- sitic underclass that has no political or even class identity, marginals without a history and doomed to permanent underdevelopment ... . They exist in a cultural vacuum from which the laws of the father and the mother have receded.”

Scorsese’s gangsters are shown as men trapped forever in an immature stage—physically adult, but behaving like boys.

Cimino’s portrayal of Sicily revises the mother–son paradigm dominant in Sicilian culture into the father–son paradigm dominant in American culture. This emerges in a comparison of the historical reality of Giuliano’s life with Cimino’s adaptation of Puzo’s fictional portrayal. Understanding the Giuliano story takes familiarity with southern Italian family dynamics, especially those of the mother– son relationship. The local politicians in Sicily harassed Giuliano’s mother, his sister, and his father in an attempt to get to the son. In response, Giuliano sent messages designed to remind bureaucrats of this dynamic. One of them stated:

If you yourselves love your mammas and your country, refuse to fight this fratricidal war ... Do not be deceived by the propa- ganda of the press and your superiors, who call their war “a war against delinquency,” because the war that they make against me should be called “a war against motherhood.” Perhaps the reason for my success against this vast effort is due not only to my expertness but also to the Divine Hand whose aim is only one: To rein in those false prophets who want to destroy the greatest love that He defends for us, the most precious thing of our lives, our mammas.30

Giuliano sees his persecution as a public siege against the sacred mother–son relationship, a fundamental building block of Sicilian cul- ture. This Italian mother–son paradigm is one that fosters community instead of individuality. It stresses self-connection, a son protecting his mother. In contrast, the emphasis in the United States on self-invention comes from a dominant father–son paradigm, a son rebelling against his father and possibly becoming reunited with the father as a returning prodigal. Gaetano Cipolla points to the centrality of the mother in Sicilian culture:

The mother’s role, shaped by thousands of years of history, con- tinues to our day almost unchanged. She nurtures physically and psychologically, she performs social duties in observance of time-worn formulas, she sacrifices her whole life to her fam- ily, denying herself in the process and becoming a victim of her dedication to others. Her devotion to her family is so complete that as a Sicilian proverb has it, “La matri senti li guai di lu mutu” (The mother feels the troubles of the mute). Inevitably, however, in the battle between the children’s desire for free- dom and the mother’s desire to maintain the status quo—for this reason Leonardo Sciascia considered Sicilian mothers a cause of the stagnation in Sicilian society—conflicts emerge and mothers begin to consider themselves victims, adopting what may be called a martyr’s syndrome. In a recent article ... Angelo Costanzo suggested that Sicilian women everywhere eventually end up conforming with the image of the matri addulurata, that is, the sorrowful mother who grieves for the loss of her son. It is not a coincidence that in Sicily, out of all the possible scenes of the Madonna’s life, the most pervasive is certainly that of the grieving mother.


Throughout history, the further man moved away from his connection with woman as creatrix, the more spirituality was also disconnected from the human body.

—Ana Castillo



Returning to Christina Wieland’s analysis in The Undead Mother: Psychoanalytic Explorations of Masculinity, Femininity and Matricide, Wieland believes that the symbolic matricide that separates a man from his mother can also be responsible for much of the violent tendencies that often mark the onslaught of male adolescence, the point of male development that she sees as crucial to the evolution of the notion of woman as an object that needs to be possessed:

The stronger the attraction toward the female body, the stron- ger the banding together of young males because of the way this attraction unleashes the terror of being possessed by a woman, of being merged with a woman and becoming feminine. Thus the paradox: the ultimate expression of maleness—the sexual act—entails fears of loss of masculinity. The solution tradition- ally sought for this basic, masculine anxiety entails that the woman/mother becomes a possession, a part of the narcissistic self, under male control.

The search for this control over women leads to men’s objectification of women, something very much a part of the gangster’s persona. Women who resist this objectification, argues Wieland, enact what men perceive as the return of the “revengeful mother.” The reactions of Tony Soprano and his band of gangsters should be read with this in mind. Wieland attributes this development of male attitudes toward women as revengeful mothers to Western society’s preoccupation with the Oedipus conflict and its virtual ignorance of the symbolism at work in another profound work of myth, the Oresteia, especially in the matricide carried out by Orestes.

In a particularly illuminating reading of the behavior of Raskolnikov, the protagonist of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Wieland presents some insights that work for reading Tony Soprano. Like Raskolnikov, Tony is fatherless, a state that Wieland suggests “signifies his lack of protection by a paternal super-ego, and its replacement by a grandiosity which is matched only by his contempt for all weakness and need.” This contempt for weakness, says Wieland, creates a “ ‘false father’, an omnipotent part of the self which offers protection in the manner of ... a ‘gang’ or ‘mafia’ ... (or of the Devil in Christian mythology).”

Since motherhood has been one of the few power centers for women, it has been used to challenge the father’s power, and its site “has become a place from which the father is excluded.” In order to move beyond this, men have employed symbolic matricide, something Wieland believes led to the creation of “the myth of the Virgin Mother, the infinitely loving and non-threatening mother who can control neither her fertility nor her (Divine) Son—a very reassuring version of the mother.” This is the typical presentation of the Italian-American mother, one replayed over and over, from Pietro Di Donato’s Annunziata in Christ in Concrete (1939) to Puzo’s Mama Corleone in The Godfather (more than in his The Fortunate Pilgrim). Livia is not like these mothers and, thus, her figure helps fracture the notion of the powerful/powerless woman. In the process, she represents an all-powerful woman who knows “how to speak to people” and how to manipulate them to serve her purpose.

Until recently, Italian-Americans have not associated formal education with strong masculinity. To be facile with words often signals femininity. An old proverb goes, “Parole femmine, fatti maschi” (“Words are feminine, actions masculine”)." [Fred Gardaphe, From wise guys to wise men]

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
perpetualburn

avatar

Gender : Male Posts : 959
Join date : 2013-01-04
Location : MA

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:02 pm

Nice essay on the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, and the seamless world the film created

Quote :
Extraordinary suspension of disbelief is a hallmark
of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film, William Shakespeare’s
Romeo + Juliet. Ruptures in logic like Romeo’s
bedroom near-miss are accepted by filmgoers conditioned
to conventions of fantastical escapism
alongside extreme verisimilitude. Luhrmann successfully
collides the familiar (of verisimilitude)
with the unfamiliar (of escapism), and meshes 1996
fashion, music and physicality with Elizabethan
language, laws and social restraints. Luhrmann’s
combined aesthetic is established within a distinctive,
created world, uniquely crafted and microscopically
detailed, in which every piece of text and
dialogue is an intertextual reference from almost
the entire breadth of the Shakespearian canon.

The difficulty of naturalizing Elizabethan language,
customs and themes on film has, over the
past century, yielded adaptations set in specific
time-frames or places to establish distance, aesthetics
employed by filmmakers including Olivier
and Branagh. The perils of neglecting distance
are seen in Michael Almereyda’s 2000 Hamlet,
set in modern-day Manhattan. Almereyda’s hindrance
was too-strong familiarity and blurred division
between the fictional and the actual, where
modern New Yorkers speak verse in well-known
settings. This choice permits the audience to linger
on anachronisms or overt familiarity, which undermines
the story and draws attention to artificiality.
The world of the director’s vision is essential to
the success of the adaptation. This article examines
the comprehensive world of Luhrmann’s William
Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and the extraordinary
lengths taken – on a series of sliding levels – to
ensure the film’s internal verisimilitude.

Quote :
This is a version of Verona never before committed
to film: a ‘shimmering no-place’,5 a distinctive
world of its own, one ‘made up of
collage . . . visual collage, written collage, sonic
collage, and . . . musical collage’. The ‘pastiche
visual nightmare known as Verona Beach’ is a
dusty, urban coastal wasteland whose architecture,
weather, and style variously evoke Mexico City,
California,Miami and Rio. Familiar fashion,music
and accents encourage audience identification, but
Luhrmann avoids an identifiable American city to
emphasize Verona Beach’s other-worldly location.
Production briefs called for ‘a heightened created
world. . . recognizable to a contemporary audience
but . . . laden with and informed by the world indicated
by the language of Shakespeare

Quote :
Despite his ubiquity in Verona Beach, Hodgdon’s
‘Shakespeare myth’ is uneasily absent here,
as is Shakespeare himself, aside from one sly injoke
clear perhaps only to the filmmaker. Prior
to the lovers ‘meeting’ through a decorative fishtank,
Romeo passes a man at a urinal dressed in a
Renaissance-style costume. We see only the man’s
back for a brief second; according to Luhrmann,
that man is Shakespeare. The man wears an
elaborate hat, so no ‘Forehead’ is apparent; it is
a citation for insiders alone, yet its significance
lies in Shakespeare’s anonymous, background presence.
Indeed, the surprising fact that the word
‘Shakespeare’ is not used as a brand name removes
the author’s identity and emphasizes citation as
normalized speech. Critics who identify Verona
Beach as a ‘post-Shakespearian world’ disregard
that world’s construction; more accurately, Verona
Beach is ‘post-Shakespearian’ only for the audience.
Luhrmann does not ever suggest that the
film’s characters are quoting Shakespeare; rather,
Verona Beach is a world beyond the realms of contemporary
culture, where Shakespeare is a one-way
cultural icon, ironically absent for anyone within
the film but ubiquitous in the interpretation of
canny moviegoers.

https://www.academia.edu/188950/Behind_the_Red_Curtain_of_Verona_Beach_Baz_Luhrmann_s_William_Shakespeare_s_Romeo_Juliet
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:15 pm

perpetualburn wrote:
Nice essay on the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, and the seamless world the film created

I strongly recommend you read Ted Hughes' 'Shakespeare and The Goddess of Complete Being'.


_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
perpetualburn

avatar

Gender : Male Posts : 959
Join date : 2013-01-04
Location : MA

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:49 pm

Lyssa wrote:
perpetualburn wrote:
Nice essay on the 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, and the seamless world the film created

I strongly recommend you read Ted Hughes' 'Shakespeare and The Goddess of Complete Being'.


Great recommendation, looks right up my alley.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:14 pm

Quote :
Eyes Wide Shut 
PART I


The Hidden (And Not So Hidden) Messages in Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” (pt. I)




“Eyes Wide Shut” was promoted as a steamy, suspenseful movie starring the “It” couple of the day: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. While the actors were prominently featured in the movie, it is everything around them that told the true story of “Eyes Wide Shut”. Stanley Kubrick’s attention to detail and symbolism gave the movie an entire other dimension – one that cannot be seen by those who have their eyes wide shut. This multiple-part series will look at the hidden symbolism of Kubrick’s final film.



In fact, like most Stanley Kubrick films, an entire book could be written about the movie and the concepts it addresses. Eyes Wide Shutis indeed not simply about a relationship, it is about all of the outside forces and influences that define that relationship. It is about the eternal back-and-forth between the male and female principles in a confused and decadent modern world. Also, more importantly, it is about the group that rules this modern world – a secret elite that channels this struggle between the male and female principles in a specific and esoteric matter. The movie however does not spell out anything. Like all great art, messages are communicated through subtle symbols and mysterious riddles.

Stanley Kubrick unexpectedly died only five days after submitting the final cut of the movie to Warner Bros, making Eyes Wide Shut his swan song. Considering the fact that Eyes Wide Shut is about an occult secret society that eliminates those who cross its path, some theories arose about Kubrick’s death and its suspicious nature. Did he reveal to the public too much, too soon? Maybe.
Let’s look at the main themes of Kubrick’s last creation.

The Modern Couple

The stars of Eyes Wide Shut were the “It” couple of 1999: Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Those who were expecting the movie to be a sort of voyeuristic experience showing hot scenes of the couple were probably very disappointed. The audience rather got a cold, egoistic and profoundly unsatisfied couple, one that seems to be tied together not by pure love, but by other factors, like convenience and appearances. While the couple is very “modern” and “upper-class”, the forces that keep it together are the result of basic, primal and almost animalistic behavior. If we look at the instinctive behavior of humans and animals, males primarily look for females that have good child-bearing qualities while females look for a strong provider. Remnants of this behavior still exist today as males tend to display wealth and power to attract females while females showcase their beauty to attract males. In Eyes Wide Shut, the couple perfectly follows that instinctive script.

Tom Cruise’s character is called Dr. Bill … as in dollar bill. Several times during the movie, Dr. Bill either waves his money or his “doctor badge” at people to get them to do what he wants. Bill is part of the upper class and his dealings with people of the lower class are often resolved with money.




In order to get this taxi driver to wait for him in front of the elite mansion, Dr. Bill tears up a hundred dollar bill and promises him to give him the other half when he comes back. Dr. Bill’s motto is probably “Everybody has a price”. Does his own wife have a price?


Played by Nicole Kidman, Alice lost her job in the art world and is now fully supported by her husband’s salary. While she lives very comfortably, Alice appears to be extremely bored with her life as a stay at home mother. The name Alice is most likely a reference to the main character of Alice in Wonderland – a fairy tale about a privileged girl who is bored with her life and who goes “through the looking glass” to end up in Wonderland. In Eyes Wide Shut, Alice is often shown staring at the looking glass – grooming herself or … maybe looking for something more to life.



Alice is often shown in front of the mirror and making herself pretty. At the beginning of the movie, almost everyone who talk to her mention her appearance. Her daughter Helena (maybe named after Helena of Troy, the most beautiful woman in the world) follows in her footsteps.



Promotional images for the movie feature Alice kissing Bill but looking at herself in the mirror, almost as if she was seeing an alternate reality.


While the couple shows signs of fatigue, Bill and Alice put on their “happy masks” when it is time to attend social events. Like the elite people they socialize with, there is a big difference between the facade they put on and reality.

Brushing With the Elite

Bill and Alice go to a classy party given by Victor Ziegler, one of Bill’s wealthy patients. Judging from Victor’s house, he is not simply rich, he is part of the ultra-elite. While his party is very elegant and is attended by highly cultured people, it doesn’t take long for the viewers to realize that this facade hides a disgusting dark side. Also, small details inserted by Kubrick hint to a link between the party and the occult ritual that occurs later in the movie.



When entering the party, the first thing we see is this peculiar Christmas decoration. This eight-pointed star is found throughout the house.



The star at Zeigler’s house is nearly identical to the ancient symbol of the star of Ishtar.


Knowing Kubrick’s attention to detail, the inclusion of the star of Ishtar in this party is not an accident. Ishtar is the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war and, mostly, sexuality. Her cult involved sacred prostitution and ritual acts – two elements we clearly see later in the movie.

“Babylonians gave Ishtar offerings of food and drink on Saturday. They then joined in ritual acts of lovemaking, which in turn invoked Ishtar’s favor on the region and its people to promote continued health and fruitfulness.”
– Goddess Ishtar, Anita Revel


Ishtar herself was considered to be the “courtesan of the gods” and had many lovers. While inspired in bed, she was also cruel to the men that got attached to her. These concepts will constantly reappear in the movie, especially with Alice.
During the party, Bill and Alice go their separate ways and are both faced with temptation. Alice meets a man named Sandor Szavost who asks her about Ovid’s Art of Love. This series of books, written during the times of Ancient Rome, was essentially a “How to Cheat on Your Partner” guide, and was popular with the elite of the time. The first book opens with an invocation to Venus – the planet esoterically associated with lust. Interestingly enough, Ishtar (and her equivalents in other Semetic cultures) was considered to be the personification of Venus.




Sandor drinks from Alice’s glass. This trick is taken right out of Ovid’s The Art of Love. It sends Alice a message that is not very subliminal: “I want to exchange fluids with you”.


Sandor’s name might be a reference to the founder of the Church of Satan: Anton Szandor Lavey. Is this Kubrick’s way of saying that this man, who urges Alice to cheat on her husband, is a part of the occult elite and its decadent ways? The Hungarian man is apparently skilled in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) as he nearly hypnotizes Alice with well calculated phrases about the futility of married life and the necessity of pursuing pleasure.

Meanwhile, Bill is discussing with two flirtatious models who tell him that they want to take him to “where the rainbow ends”. While the meaning of this enigmatic phrase is never explicitly explained in the movie, symbols talk for themselves.

Rainbows Everywhere

Rainbows and multicolored lights appear throughout the movie, from the beginning to the end.



The name of the store where Bill rents his costume is called “Rainbow”. The name of the store under it: “Under the Rainbow”. Kubrick is trying to tell us something…Something involving rainbows.


As if to emphasize the theme of multicolored rainbows, almost every scene in the movie contains multicolored Christmas lights, giving most sets a hazy, dreamy glow.



Almost every time Bill enters a room, the first things we see are multicolored Christmas lights.



Sometimes Christmas lights are the focal point of attention.


These lights tie together most scenes of the movie, making them part of the same reality. There are however a few select scenes where there are absolutely no Christmas lights. The main one is Somerton palace – the place where the secret society ritual takes place.



Sharply contrasting with the rest of the movie, Sommerton is completely devoid of multicolored lights. Everything about this place is in sharp opposition with the “outside world”.


In Eyes Wide Shut, there are therefore two worlds: The Christmas lights-filled “rainbow world”, where the masses wander around, trying to make ends meet and the other world… “where the rainbow ends”- where the elite gathers and performs its rituals. The contrast between the two world give a sense of an almost insurmountable divide between them. Later, the movie will clearly show us how those from the “rainbow world” cannot enter the other world.

So, when the models ask Bill the go “where the rainbow ends”, they probably refer to going “where the elite gathers and performs rituals”. It might also be about them being dissociated Beta Programming slaves. There are several references to Monarch mind control (read this article for more information) in the movie. Women who take part in elite rituals are often products of Illuminati mind control. In MK Ultra vocabulary, “going over the rainbow” means dissociating from reality and entering another persona (more on this in the next article).



The models ask Bill to leave the “rainbow world” (there’s a Christmas tree right behind them) to indulge in the debaucherous rituals of the occult elite.


Behind the Curtain

Bill’s flirting with the models is interrupted when Ziegler calls him to his bathroom. There, we get a first glance of “where the rainbow ends” – the dark truth about the elite.



Bill meets Ziegler in his gigantic bathroom. The man is dressing up and is with a naked unconscious woman…who is not his wife.


If we rewind a little, when Bill and Alice first entered the party, they were welcomed by Ziegler and his wife in a room filled with Christmas lights. We saw two respectable couples talking about respectable things in room full of enchanting lights. But when Bill goes “where the rainbow ends” (notice there are no Christmas lights in the bathroom) we see reality: Ziegler with a Beta programming slave who overdosed on goofballs. When the woman gains consciousness, Ziegler talks to her in an odd, paternal matter, highlighting the fact that he’s the master and she’s the slave. The luxurious setting of this scene is Kubrick’s way of saying that extreme wealth does not necessary equal high morals.
Ziegler then urges Bill to keep everything he just saw a secret. The world “where the rainbow ends” must never be revealed to the outside world. It operates in its own space, has its own rules and depends on the masses’ ignorance.

Questioning Marriage

While Alice ultimately rejected Sandor’s advances, she was nevertheless enticed by them. The next day, Alice tells Bill that she could have cheated on him at the party. When Bill tells his wife that he loves and trusts her, she completely loses it. She then proceeds to tell him a story about how she was once ready to cheat on him with a naval officer she met in a hotel. This cruel story highlights the “Ishtar” side of Alice as she brings up in her husband feelings of jealousy, insecurity, betrayal and even humiliation. In short, Alice purposely summoned everything that is negative in relationships to pop Bill’s “love bubble”. This wake-up call prompts Bill to embark in a strange journey around New-York city, one that has multiple level of meanings. That strange night will ultimately lead him to the exact opposite of a monogamous relationship: Anonymous, masked copulation with strangers in a ritual setting. Bill’s journey will be further analyzed in the second part of this series of articles.

Conclusion of Part One

The first part of this series about Eyes Wide Shut took a broad look at Bill and Alice, a modern couple that has the “privilege” of brushing with the upper-echelon of New York. While everything appears great on the surface, Kubrick quickly tells the viewers to not be deceived by appearances and to not be impressed by exhibitions of wealth. Because, behind the “rainbow world”, exists a dark and disturbing reality, one that Kubrick exposes in many subtle ways throughout the movie.
While Bill and Alice are simply “guests” in the elite circle, they are nevertheless fascinated and attracted by it. They see in this lifestyle a way of fulfilling their dark and secret needs. In the next part of this series, we’ll look at the occult meaning of Bill’s journey – a story told by subtle symbols peppered throughout the movie.

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:15 pm

PART II

The second part of this series of articles on Eyes Wide Shut takes a closer look at the elite secret society discovered by the film’s main character, Bill Harford, and how it resembles real life organizations. Was Stanley Kubrick trying to warn the world about the occult elite and its depraved ways?




Note: It is recommended that you read the first part of this series first. Also, gigantic spoilers.

In the first part of this series on Eyes Wide Shut, we looked at main characters of the film and the symbolic world Kubrick created around them. We saw that Bill and Alice Harford are a married upper-class couple that was not immune to the temptations of adultery. We also saw that the couple was in contact with the upper-echelon of New-York and its decadent ways – a world that fascinates Bill, but that has a dark side, one that is kept from the public. In this article, I will jump straight to the most unsettling part of the movie: The secret society ritual.

When Bill learns that his wife has considered cheating on him, he embarks in a strange series of encounters (which I will analyze in the third and final part of this series), eventually ending up in a luxurious house in Long Island where he encounters a large gathering of masked individuals partaking in an occult ritual. Since he was never initiated into that secret society, Bill was not even supposed to know that it existed, let alone bear witness to one of its “meetings”. So how did he find out about this thing? Well, a little birdie told him.

Nick Nightingale


At one point during his strange night out, Bill meets his old friend Nick Nightingale at a jazz cafe. The professional piano player reveals to Bill that he is sometimes hired by mysterious people to play, blindfolded, during mysterious parties that are full of beautiful women. This juicy piece of information intrigues Bill to the highest degree because, since his talk with his wife, he is appears to be looking for some kind of … experience. Nick ultimately makes a big mistake and agrees to provide Bill with all of the information needed to access the venue.

A nightingale is type of bird that is known for singing at night, just like Nick Nightingale “sings” secret information at the start of Bill’s fateful night.

The password to enter the ritual is “Fidelio”, which means “faithfulness”, a main theme of the movie. More importantly, as Nightingale points out, “Fidelio” is the name of an opera written by Beethoven about a wife who sacrifices herself to free her husband from death as a political prisoner. This password actually foreshadows what will happen during that ritual.

After getting the details from Nightingale, Bill rents a costume at a store named “Rainbow” (more about the store in the next article) … and then proceeds to go to Somerton, the estate where the party is being held.

The Occult Elite




The occult ritual takes place at Somerton, in Long Island. The building used to film the outside scene is Mentmore Towers in UK.

The location selected to film the elite scenes is quite interesting. Mentmore Towers was built in the 19th century as a country house for a member of the most prominent and powerful elite family in the world: The Rothschilds. By selecting this location, was Kubrick trying to show his audience the “real world” equivalents to the ultra-elite shown in the movie? Incidentally, the name of Bill’s connection to the elite, Victor Ziegler, is of German-Jewish origin, like Rothschild.

It has been documented that the Rothschilds do actually partake in masked events very similar to those shown in Eyes Wide Shut. Here are rare images taken from a 1972 party given by Marie-Hélène de Rothschild.



Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Baron Alexis de Redé at a 1972 party. Invitations were printed in reversed writing. One wonders if this party “degenerated” into something resembling what is shown in Eyes Wide Shut.

In the movie, when Bill enters the mansion, he mixes with a crowd of masked people silently watching the ritual. One of these people appear to instantly recognize Bill (or the fact that he doesn’t belong here).



A couple wearing Venetian masks (more specifically “female jester” and “bauta” masks) slowly turn towards Bill and nod in a very creepy matter. Is this Ziegler and his wife? Perhaps. Kubrick likes to keep things mysterious.

Venetian masks were originally worn during the Italian Renaissance in Venice and were a way for the powerful elite of the time to indulge in debauchery without reprisal.

Quote :
“Though the precise origin of the mask-wearing tradition can’t be known for certain, the prevailing theory goes something like this: beginning in the Italian Renaissance, Venice was an extremely wealthy and powerful merchant empire. Its position on the Mediterranean sea opened it up to a myriad of trading opportunities across Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor, and its powerful navy allowed it to exert the military force necessary to defend its vast wealth. In a city-state so prosperous, it’s a small wonder that Venetian society was class-obsessed and rigidly stratified. One’s individual standing was immensely important for the perception of his or her entire family, and so naturally the pressure to act in accordance with the social morays governing one’s social standing was immense and stifling. The Venetians, the theory goes, adopted the practice of wearing masks and other disguises during the Carnival season as a way of suspending the rigid social order. Under the cloak of anonymity, the citizens of Venice could loosen their inhibitions without fear of reprisal. Masks gained so much popularity that the mascherari (mask makers) became a venerated guild in Venetian society. However, as word of the famed Venetian Carnival spread, more and more outsiders flocked to the city every year to take part in the festivities. The Carnival celebrations became increasingly chaotic and debaucherous as the years progressed until their decline in the 18th Century.”
– Geoffrey Stanton, Guide to Venetian Carnival Masks

Since then, Venetian masks have been used in elite circles and have somewhat become a symbol of its dark occult philosophy. Even The British Royal Family appears to enjoy the same type of masks and events.



Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla at Clarence House with bauta masks.

That particular Royal event featured masked women who were as NOT dressed as those in the Eyes Wide Shut ritual.



Models at the party attended by the Royal Family.

It seems evident that Kubrick carefully selected the Rothschild-owned location and hand-picked the masks worn by participants of the ritual, echoing real-life families and events.

Setting of the Ritual


When Bill enters Somerton, everything about the movie changes. There are no more colorful Christmas lights and no tacky decorations. Instead of incessant chatter between needy people, it is all about stillness and silence.



Staring right at the camera (and at the movie viewers), the creepy masks are silent yet disturbing reminders showing the “true faces” of the elite. Note that the multi-faced mask on the left which is similar to the one worn at the Royal party above.

The music in the movie also changes drastically. The song heard in the background is called “Backwards Priests” and features a Romanian Orthodox Divine Liturgy played backwards. The reversal or inversion of sacred objects is typical of black magic and satanic rituals. By having this Christian liturgy played backwards right before widespread fornication is Kubrick’s way of stating that the elite is nothing less than satanic.



Here we see Nick Nightindale playing the song “Backwards Priest”, meaning that people in the ritual actually hear that music and that the whole thing is choreographed to it. Nightindale is blindfolded because the “profane” cannot witness the occult rituals of the elite.

The interior scenes of the party were shot at Elveden Hall, a private house in the UK designed to look like an Indian palace. When the “festivities” begin, a Tamil song called “Migration” plays in the background, adding to the South-Asian atmosphere (the original version of the song contained actual scriptural recitation of the Bhagavad Gita, but the chant was removed in the final version of the movie). This peculiar Indian atmosphere, combined with the lascivious scenes witnessed by Bill as he walks around the house, ultimately points towards the most important, yet most hidden part of the movie: Tantric Yoga and its Western occultism derivative, Sex Magick. This last concept was “imported” by British occultist Aleister Crowley and is now at the center of the teachings of various secret societies:

Quote :
“Aleister Crowley’s connections with Indian Yoga and Tantra were both considerable and complex. Crowley had direct exposure to some forms of these practices and was familiar with the contemporary literature of the subjects, wrote extensively about them, and – what is perhaps the most important – he practiced them. In his assessment of the value of Tantra, he was ahead of his time, which habitually considered Tantra a degenerate form of Hinduism. Instead, he claimed that, “paradoxical as it may sound the Tantrics are in reality the most advanced of the Hindus”. Crowley’s influence in bringing Eastern, primarily Indian, esoteric traditions to the West extends also to his incorporation of the elements of Yoga and Tantra into the structure and program of two influential magical orders, the A.:A.: and the OTO.”
– Martin P. Starr, Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

The above quote stipulates that Tantric concepts were incorporated in two important secret societies: the A.:A.: and the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis). The OTO is still extremely influential in elite circles and reaches the highest levels of politics, business and even the entertainment industry. At the core of these orders is the Thelema, a philosophy created by Aleister Crowley that he summed up with the saying “Do What Thou Wilt”.  This saying is actually a translation of “Fais ce que tu voudras” the motto of an 18th century secret society, the infamous Hellfire Club.

Hellfire Clubs were said to be “meeting places of ‘persons of quality’ who wished to take part in immoral acts, and the members were often very involved in politics”. According to a number of sources, their activities included mock religious ceremonies, devil worship and occult rituals. Although details are vague regarding that elite club, they were known for performing elementary Satanic rites as a prelude to their nights of fornication. These acts were however not just “for fun” or to “shock people” as some sources might claim, the members were initiates of occult mysteries and their rituals were based in ancient rites involving invocations and other forms of black magick.

In short, although Kubrick never actually names the secret society infiltrated by Bill, there are enough clues to understand what kind of club he is referring to. Most importantly, he is telling his viewers: These societies still exist … and they are more powerful than ever.

The Ritual and its Participants


The ritual begins with the High Priest, dressed in red, performing a ceremonial routine. He is at the center of a “magic circle” formed by young women who are very likely to be Beta Kitten slaves. Later, when Bill is unmasked, another magic circle is formed.



Magic circles is concept used in ritual magic during invocations. The placement of the people in this scene recalls magic circles. Right: A magic circle as pictured in an ancient grimoire.



The last scene of the movie takes place at a toy store – a place full of highly symbolic items (more on it in the next article). Here, Helena Harford walks by a toy called Magic Circle – showing that the occult elite’s ways seep through popular culture, but are not noticed by those who have their eyes wide shut.

Amanda


At the beginning of the ritual, one of the Beta slaves goes to Bill and urges him to leave the house before he got caught. We ultimately learn that it was Amanda, the girl that was passed out in Ziegler’s bathroom. When Bill gets caught and gets (literally) unmasked by the High Priest, Amanda appears at the balcony in a very dramatic fashion and tells the High Priest she wants to “redeem” him, in a tone that approaches ritual drama. The Priest then replies “Are you sure you understand what you’re taking upon yourself in doing this?” This implies that she will be repeatedly abused and then sacrificed.

The next day, Bill discovers the true power of that secret society.



Bill discovers in the newspaper that Amanda was found dead in a hotel room due to an overdose. The way in which this ritualistic murder is disguised as an overdose is highly similar to the many celebrity ritual deaths disguised as overdoses that occur in real life.

By freeze-framing and actually reading the above news article about Amanda, we learn important details about Amanda’s background (classic hidden sub-plot integration by Kubrick). To those “in the know”, the article perfectly describes the life of an entertainment industry Beta Programming slave (i.e. Marilyn Monroe). We indeed learn that Amanda was “emotionally troubled” as a teen and underwent “treatments” (a code word for MK Programming perhaps?), she had “important friends in the fashion and entertainment worlds”, and she had an “affair” with a powerful fashion designer who got “wowed by her private, seductive solo performances” (typical behavior of a Beta Kitten). What the article however conveniently doesn’t mention is that she was selling her body to elite people and being used in their occult rituals.

As it is the case for Beta Kittens who’ve gone “rogue”, she was eliminated by the people who controlled her life. The article states that she was last seen being escorted to her hotel room by two men and that she was “giggling” (drugged and dissociated?). Like “real life” elite sacrifices, “overdose” is cited as the cause of her death.

The High Priest




Cloaked in red, the High Priest sits on a throne which features a very important symbol: A double-headed eagle topped by a crown.



The double-headed eagle is one of the most ancient and prominent symbols of Freemasonry. A crowned double headed eagle is representative of the 33rd degree of Freemasonry, the highest degree attainable. Is Kubrick implying that the High Priest is a 33rd Degree Freemason?

Like other participants of the ritual, the true identity of the High Priest is never revealed. However, Kubrick left a few clues hinting to his identity and his relationship with Amanda.

In the movie’s end credits (and sources such as IMDB), it is listed that the role of the High Priest was played by “assistant director” of the movie, Leon Vitali. If one carefully reads the news article mentioned above, Leon Vitali is the name of the London fashion designer Amanda had an “affair” with. Furthermore, the High Priest has an unmistakable English accent. We can therefore deduce that the High Priest is the fashion designer.



Snippet of the article mentioning Leon Vitali.

This hidden subplot is interesting as it reveals the true nature of the fashion and entertainment industry. High-ranking individuals in these fields are initiated in occult secret societies and deal with MK slaves.

The Power of the Secret Society


When Bill is uncovered by the High Priest, he gets told that he and his family would pay for any transgression. The next day, he realizes that he is being followed by strange people and becomes paranoid.



The headline of this newspaper is “Lucky to be alive”. This applies to Bill.

Right after Bill leaves the morgue to confirm that Amanda died,  Ziegler calls him and invites him over.



Taking place in Ziegler’s pool room, the back and forth between the two men is more intense than any game of pool.

Although Bill is a rich doctor, he is not part of the elite. Ziegler’s attitude towards Bill makes it very clear. While Ziegler appears to want to be honest and straight with Bill, we realize that he is simply trying to cover the ugly truth. After all, Bill is an “outsider”. He tells Bill:

Quote :
“I don’t think you realize what kind of trouble you were in last night. Who do you think those people were? Those were not just ordinary people there. If I told you their names – I’m not gonna tell you their names – but if I did, I don’t think you’d sleep so well.”

Ziegler therefore admits that people attending the ritual were high-level, well-known and powerful people. Kubrick is therefore making clear that the richest, most powerful deciders of the “real world” meet in these types of rituals … and that these rituals are off-limits for the profane.

When Bill mentions Amanda, Ziegler gets more defensive and replies: “She was a hooker” – meaning that she was an Beta slave that could be easily disposed of. Then Ziegler tells Bill that everything that happened at the ritual was a charade to scare him, Bill answers:

Quote :
“You called it a fake, a charade. Do you mind telling me what kind of f—-cking charade ends with someone turning up dead?”

This highlights the fundamental difference between the public’s perception of occult rituals and what actually happens. Regular people are lead to believe that these elite rituals are nothing more than goofy meetings of people with too much time on their hands. In reality, these elaborate rituals often incorporate real attempts at Black Magick and include real blood sacrifices and other terrible acts.

Then Ziegler proceeds to telling Bill the same stuff media tells the masses when someone has been sacrificed by the elite: She OD’ed, she was a junkie, it was only a matter of time, and the police did not see any foul play.

Conclusion of Part II


The second part of this analysis focused exclusively on the unnamed secret society Bill stumbles upon and its ritual. Although nothing is explicitly spelled out to the viewers, the symbolism, the visual clues and even the music of Eyes Wide Shut tell reveals a side of the occult elite that is rarely shown to the masses. Not only does the movie depict the world’s richest and most powerful people partaking in occult rituals, it also shows how this circle has also the power to exploit slaves, to stalk people, and even to get away with sacrificial murders. Even worse, mass media participates in covering their crimes.

The secret society in the movie closely resembles the infamous Hellfire Club, where prominent political figures met up to partake in elaborate Satanic parties. Today, the O.T.O. and similar secret societies still partake in rituals involving physical energy as it is perceived to be a way to attain a state of enlightenment. This concept, taken from Tantric yoga, is at the core of modern and powerful secret societies. Although none of this is actually mentioned in Eyes Wide Shut, the entire movie can be interpreted as one big “magickal” journey, characterized by a back-and-forth between opposing forces: life and death, lust and pain, male and female, light and darkness, and so forth … ending in one big orgasmic moment of  enlightenment. This aspect of the movie, along with other hidden details, will be analyzed in the third and final part of this series of articles on Eyes Wide Shut.

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:15 pm

PART III


In the third and final part of this series on Eyes Wide Shut, we’ll look at Bill’s journey as a whole and at its underlying esoteric meaning. We’ll see how symbolism placed by Kubrick connects all of the women in the movie, making Bill’s encounters a multi-faceted exploration of the feminine principle.




Note: It is recommended that you read the first and second part of this series first. Also, again, gigantic spoilers.

The previous parts of this series of articles on Eyes Wide Shut was solely dedicated to the secret society discovered by Bill. This elite club, attended by the world’s most powerful people, deals with Satanism, black magick and even ritual sacrifices. Aided by his friend Nightingale, Bill infiltrates one of the secret society’s occult rituals and witnesses a ceremony presided over by a high priest. Then an orgy ensued.

In the second article, I explained how real life secret societies, such as the Hellfire club and the O.T.O., actually practice these kinds of rituals. The occult principles behind them derive from Tantric yoga, where the energy generated by physical arousal is used to reach a “higher state”. This concept was reused (and maybe corrupted) by Aleister Crowley who called it “Sex Magick”. According to him and his peers, knowledge of this type of magick was the biggest secret of past secret societies and was only disclosed to the highest initiates.

There is, however, no (direct) mention of any of this in Eyes Wide Shut. In fact, the ceremony witnessed by Bill, with its elaborate choreography and its creepy music, appears to be one big, empty, phony piece of dramatic theater that simply exists to give the rich people some kind of mystical reason to engage in gratuitous debauchery. While Kubrick stripped the occult ritual of all of its esoteric, “magickal” meaning, he did infuse the entire movie with it. If one looks at the pace of the movie, at Bill’s journey and the people he encounters, it becomes somewhat apparent that the “magick” does not occur during the ritual itself but during the movie as a whole. Was Kubrick somehow initiated to occult secrets? Was he trying to communicate them through his movie? Let’s look at the concepts behind the ritual.

Kundalini Rising


The concept of magick through reproductive forces is said to originate from ancient ritual practices, as traces of it can be found in Hinduism, Taoism and in Medieval secret societies, such as the Knight Templars. In today’s Western world, the O.T.O is said to be the heir of this path as it claimed by Aleister Crowley and his acolyte, Theodor Reuss.

Quote :
“Theodor Reuss was quite categoric: the OTO was a body of initiates in whose hands was concentrated the secret knowledge of all oriental orders and of all existing Masonic degrees.(…) The order had “rediscovered” the great secret of the Knights Templar, the magic of sex, not only the key to ancient Egyptian and hermetic tradition, but to all the secrets of nature, all the symbolism of Freemasonry, and all systems of religion.”
– Peter Tomkins, The Magic of Obelisks

The basic principle behind this “great secret” is the raising of the Kundalini or “life force”, an energy that can be used for magickal purposes.

Quote :
“In all Tantric magic, the essential requirement – whether in the ecstasy of couples or the solo ritual of a priestess – involved the raising of the energy known as the serpent of fire, or kundalini. This mysterious energy described as lying dormant in the lowest of the seven chakras, can be aroused by two distinct methods, called, traditionally, the right- and the left-hand path. The right hand allots supremacy to the male principle, the left to the feminine. As the serpent power is aroused, according to clairvoyants, it climbs up the backbone of the adept, energizing each chakra, till it emerges from the skull – symbolically as the snake’s head like those so clearly depicted in Egyptian statuary.
(…)
As adepts describe the rising of the serpent, it unites with the “many-petaled louts of the cerebral region” to bring about illumination – or the highest form of initiation -as the current “climbs from the duality to unity by reversing the path it originally took the chakras to procreate humanity.”
Details of the OTO’s initiation into Hindu and Tibetan Tantra, including ceremonies involving the use of “exudation” from specifically trained priestess were brought to a wider public by Crowley’s follower Kenneth Grant. Sacred courtesans, experts in ritual eroticism, known in India as nautch girls (…) were exceptionally honored.”
– Ibid.

While sacred courtesans were “exceptionally honored” in Eastern esotericism, today’s twisted black magic orders use Beta Programming slaves and dispose of them when they are through with them. In short, the exact opposite of being “exceptionally honored”.

Kundalini rising, the concept behind Tantric magic is wholly represented in a single image, Eliphas Levi’s depiction of Baphomet.



This famous depiction of Baphomet includes all of the symbols behind Sex Magick – the rising of the kundalini (represented by the phallic pole wrapped by two serpents) through the union of opposite forces. The torch above the goat head represents illumination.

So what does all of this have to do with Eyes Wide Shut? At first glance, nothing much. While we see a ritual involving “sacred courtesans” in the movie, there is absolutely no mention of “kundalini rising” during the whole thing. However, if we take a closer look at Bill’s journey as a whole, from the beginning of the movie to the end, we realize that the real ritual does not occur at the elite mansion, but within Bill’s head. As he encounters new women and is exposed to new opportunities, his kundalini rises – and Kubrick added clues to denote this fact.

The Movie as a Ritual


While Eyes Wide Shut appears to be all about sexuality, nobody in the movie ever reaches climax. While Bill has many chances of satisfying his urges with attractive women, it never actually happens. However, as the movie progresses, there’s a definite increase in desire and lust, but Bill manages to keep it under control. Managing this “life force” is at the core of Tantric magic. Viewers are constantly reminded of this process several times during the movie when Bill imagines his wife with a naval officer. Each flash is increasingly intense – going from kissing to all-out copulating.



As the movie progress, Bill’s flashes of Alice cheating on him become more intense. Towards the end of the movie, she’s about to reach climax. These scenes reflect Bill’s kundalini rising. Having these flashes would be hurtful and painful and they remind the viewers that Bill’s journey started out of pain and humiliation.



Towards the end of the movie, Bill is so horny that he gets flirty and grabby with a complete stranger, minutes after he met her. While that scene was rather odd and surreal, it reflects his “progress” in the ritual.

The very last lines of the movie conclude and define Bill’s journey. After running around New York and getting aroused by all kinds of stuff, Bill stands face-to-face with his wife and talks about how “awake” he is now. With his “life force” fully charged, Alice ends the movie with a phrase completing the ritual:

Quote :
“- I do love you. And you know, there is something very important that we need to do a soon as possible.
– What’s that?
– F*ck.”

Ending the movie on that particular note suggests that the entire journey was one of increasing intensity, one that ultimately lead to a “magickally charged ” climax, the goal of Crowleyan-magick.

Bill’s journey was not all fun and games, however. As the movie progresses, there is a constant back-and-forth between pleasure and pain, attraction and repulsion, life and death, and so forth. The path is all about duality and, just like the floors of Masonic lodges are checkered in black and white, Bill’s journey consists on his alternatively stepping on black and white tiles – seeing the dualistic nature of all things.

Eros and Thanatos


Bill’s night out in New York City is characterized by numerous encounters with the female gender – each one of them offering a “cure” to a broken heart. However, each encounter also bears a potentially destructive aspect to it, one that counterbalances its appeal and attraction. While Bill is looking to procreate, he sees that his urges engender pain and even death. Bill’s journey is therefore a back-and-forth between man’s two basic impulses as defined by Freud: Eros and Thanatos.

Freud saw in Eros the instinct for life, love and sexuality in its broadest sense, and in Thanatos, the instinct of death, aggression. Eros is the drive toward attraction and reproduction; Thanatos toward repulsion and death. One leads to the reproduction of the species, the other toward its own destruction. While each one of Bill’s encounters promise the sweet temptation of lust, they also have a destructive counter side.



Bill’s first encounter occurs when he visits one of his regular patients that died. The dead patient’s daughter kisses Bill and tells him that she loves him. We therefore see in this scene a juxtaposition of concepts of lust and desire with death. Also, if Bill went with this woman, it would ultimately hurt her husband – another bad side of succumbing to lust.

Each one of Bill’s female encounters promises gratification, but ends up being interrupted by something negative, such as guilt or potential danger. Also, every time Bill is in contact with the sleazy-yet-tempting aspects of lust (prostitution or slavery), he quickly discovers the dark, exploitative and destructive side of it.

For instance, right after Bill enjoyed the “delights” of seeing MK Kittens at work at the elite ritual, when returning his costume, he immediately sees the dark side of it all. The shop owner, who previously caught his underage daughter with two Asian businessmen and was outraged by it, had a sudden change of heart.



Standing behind his business counter, the shop owner sells his underage daughter as if she was another product. After enjoying masked slaves in lavish rituals, Bill sees the other side of the “trade”: Young girls being sold by exploitative people to a system feeding on minors, turning them into MK slaves. Is that why this store was called “Rainbow”?

Bill’s journey is therefore one that continually alternates between the primal allure of lust and the destructive social constructs that are erected around it. There is nothing more basic and instinctual than carnal attraction, but our modern world has made these relations complex, bound by rules, and prone to exploitation. While lust is nature’s way of pushing humans to procreate, social constructs have created all kinds fetishes, distortions, games, and perversions around this primal urge … to the point that it has been denatured and debased into an unhealthy obsession.

As Bill navigates between joy and pain, monogamous marriage and anonymous debauchery, we notice that there’s a common thread uniting his various encounters.

Red-Headed Women


The most important women in the movie are Bill’s wife, his daughter Helena, Amanda (the Beta slave who was sacrificed at the ritual) and Domino (a prostitute he met on the street). All three adult women are somewhat physically similar as they are tall, well-proportioned, and red-headed. They also appear to be connected on “another level”.

While Alice is a respectable, upper-class lady, she makes a living using her looks in loveless relationship, a little like what a prostitute would do. On the other hand, the time spent between Bill and Domino is sweet and tender, a little with what happens in a loving relationship. Alice is therefore not very different from Domino, and vice-versa.

There are also links with Amanda. While Alice was (probably) not at the occult ritual attended by Bill, when he comes back from it, she describes to him a dream that is similar to what he just witnessed and what Amanda just experienced.

Quote :
“He was kissing me. Then we were making love. Then there were all these other people around us, hundreds of them, everywhere. Everyone was f-cking. And then I …I was f-cking other men. So many. I don’t know how many I was with. And I knew you could see me in the arms of all these men … just f-cking all these men.”

Alice’s dream “connects” her with Amanda who was at the ritual and who actually lived Alice’s dream.



The day after the ritual, Bill finds his mask creepily “sleeping” next to his wife. Is this Alice’s way of saying that she’s aware of what’s going on? Maybe that she’s participating in this? Is it a warning from the secret society? Alice never acknowledges the mask, so I guess we’ll never know.

Was Domino at the ritual? It is also interesting to point out that “Domino” is a type of mask used in these types of gatherings.



A Domino mask

Looking closer at the “magic circle” formed by the women of the ritual, we can identify a few women who could be Domino. The day after the ritual, Bill shows up at Domino’s house with a gift, but her roommate informs him that she is HIV-positive … and that she might never be back again. Is this true or was Domino yet another “casualty” in Bill’s journey?  Like Amanda and Nightingale, Domino mysteriously disappears after the ritual.

The fact that these women are all connected reveals one fundamental fact: Bill’s journey is not about a specific woman, it is about the feminine principle as a whole. It is an esoteric quest to understand and “be one with” the feminine principle that is opposite to his.

Helena Down the Same Path?


Throughout the movie, Helena (Bill’s daughter) is shown to be groomed to be another Alice. There are also some cues linking Helena to Domino. For instance, there’s a stroller in front of Domino’s apartment and, at the end in the movie, in the toy store, Helena is very interested by a stroller and shows it to her mother.



Domino on her bed with a stuffed feline, a symbol of Beta Kitten programming.



An entire row of this exact same toy is at the store where Helena shops in the final scene of the movie.

There is also something strange about the scene above: the two men behind Helena happened to be at Ziegler’s party at the very beginning of the movie.



The two same men at Ziegler’s party: same hair, same physical stature and the guy on the right wears similar glasses.

Why are these two men in the store, looking at toys? Is New York City such a small town? Was Kubrick lacking extras to appear in that scene? Unlikely. Could it be that they’re part of the secret society that’s been following Bill and his family? Strange fact: When the men walk away and disappear from the shot, Helena appears to follow them … and we don’t see her for the rest of the movie. The camera indeed zooms onto Alice and Bill, who are completely absorbed with themselves. Is this a VERY subtle way of saying that their daughter will be sucked in by the Beta slave system of the secret society? Another enigma.

In Conclusion


Stanley Kubrick’s works are never strictly about love or relationships. The meticulous symbolism and the imagery of all of his works often communicate another dimension of meaning–one that transcends the personal to become a commentary on our epoch and civilization. And, in this transitional period between the end of 20th century and the beginning of the 21th century, Kubrick told the story of a confused man who wanders around, desperately looking for a way to satisfy his primal urges. Kubrick told the story of a society that is completely debased and corrupted by hidden forces, where humanity’s most primal urge–procreation–has been cheapened, fetishized, perverted, and exploited to a point that it has lost all of its beauty. At the top of this world is a secret society that revels in this context, and thrives on it. Kubrick’s outlook on the issue was definitely not idealistic nor very optimistic.

His grim tale focuses on a single man, Bill, who is looking for an undefined something. Even if he appears to have everything, there is something missing in his life. Something visceral and fundamental that is never put into words, but that is quite palpable. Bill cannot be complete if he is not at peace with the opposite of him: the feminine principle. Bill’s quest, therefore, follows the esoteric principle of uniting two opposite forces into one. As suggested by the last lines of the movie, Bill will ultimately “be one” and get physical with his wife. After that, the alchemical process and the Tantric ritual would be complete. However, as Kubrick somehow communicates in the final scene, even if these two extremely self-absorbed, egoistical and superficial people believe they’ve reached a some kind of epiphany, what does it really change? Our civilization as a whole still has its eyes wide shut … and those were Kubrick’s last cinematographic words.

_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
OhFortunae

avatar

Gender : Male Scorpio Posts : 2479
Join date : 2013-10-26
Age : 25
Location : Land of Dance and Song

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:29 pm



Children of Dune (movie trilogy).


At the near ending of the last chapter of the last part of the movie trilogy, Alia, whom is possessed by a ''demon'', or rather, a ''rotten ancestor'' whom manifested himself in Alia as a ''existence-memory'', begged her mother: ''mommy, help me..'' - as a response during her struggle with her possession.

Upon which Leto gave her a dagger, and told her: ''help yourself''.
Prior this scene actually, Leto exposed her as a part of the ''Atrocity'', with a capital A, and called her the ''Abomination''.

Alia has the ability to know the memories of her mother, a mother who called her at birth a ''Abomination'';
so through memory, by labeling her from birth with such a value, she was entrapped in a specific role.
So, did not she gave her punishment a meaning by becoming a ''Abomination'' in regards with their people's value system; constantly reminded of being a ''abomination'' through memory, through a label; did not her own mother made Alia, a genetically fit woman, a ''abomination''..?

It shows strength, will power and having ego - to grow above such a label and given value; but if the particular environment entraps the person, in this case Alia, within such a oral past, did they not themselves create the so called ''abomination'' and did she not gave her punishment a meaning by becoming a ''abomination''..

What choice did she have eventually, to kill Leto as him or else herself by herself, a Either / Or choice forced upon her by those who made her, who made her vulnerable to be seduced by this ''rotten ancestor''.
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://plus.google.com/u/0/109705167311303906720/posts
Lyssa
Har Har Harr
avatar

Gender : Female Posts : 9035
Join date : 2012-03-01
Location : The Cockpit

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:35 pm


_________________


"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


Last edited by Lyssa on Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://ow.ly/RLQvm
OhFortunae

avatar

Gender : Male Scorpio Posts : 2479
Join date : 2013-10-26
Age : 25
Location : Land of Dance and Song

PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:48 pm



Very interesting analyses and a seemingly great collection of movies.
About the id-machine, ego and super-ego, libido, autonomous partial objects, fantasy and reality, the woman as ideal, mental rape (1:28:00) etc., etc. With scenes of movies as The birds, Red shoes, Fight club, Psycho, Blue Velvet, Dogville, Lost Highway and many more.

Only I do not know what to make of 1:18:10 ; where he states that flowers, in particularly Tulips, are like ‘’tentacle vaginas trying to swallow you’’, flowers as an ‘’open invitation to all the insects and beasts to come and screw me’’, that ‘’flowers should be forbidden for children’’..
Back to top Go down
View user profile https://plus.google.com/u/0/109705167311303906720/posts
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Movie Philosophy

Back to top Go down
 
Movie Philosophy
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 2 of 3Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Movie Philosophy
» cash movie
» Saint John The Apocalypse 2002 (Revelations) MOVIE
» A movie type dream
» White House Down (Movie)

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Know Thyself :: AGORA :: THEATER-
Jump to: