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Which films Did You See Last Week? 27/01/19 - 02/02/19

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Perception de Ambiguity
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Re: Which films Did You See Last Week? 27/01/19 - 02/02/19

#41

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 6th, 2019, 4:52 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 7:21 am
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 4:22 pm
(...)

What you wrote there reminds me of how the Roeg film suggests that Marlow is very much like Kurtz when he was young and started going into the Congo. It's never spelled out but this connection is implied throughout the film. And, well, Marlow in the film never has any interests in the ivory business and is very much a doubter from the start, but there is a progression on his journey that makes him align more with Kurtz line of thinking, and with meeting Kurtz he embraces the "darkness" fully. With 'Apocolypse Now' I never quite got the sense that Willard's journey to the end of the river changed him much or at all, as he apparently already went through so much in the war and got fucked up by it when the film starts, all the progression occurs only once he reaches Kurtz' area and listens to the man. In Roeg's film Marlow rubs the blood of his Congo friend over his face after he gets arrowed to death on the boat, and he "goes a little mad"/is more hardened from then on, I guess this would be the equivalent to the 'Apocalypse Now' gif you linked to.
My "adopting the darkness" line was taken from 'The Dark Knight Rises' btw. Bane:
Theatricality and deception; powerful agents for the uninitiated... but we are initiated, aren't we Bruce? Members of the League of Shadows. And you betrayed us. (...) Ah, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me.

k, I don't really have anything to add (maybe later, as I said). I could spam some out-of-context 'Paradise Lost' scraps now.

'War hath determin'd us, and foil'd with loss / Irreparable'

'With reason hath deep silence and demur
Seiz'd us, though undismay'd. Long is the way
And hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light,
Our prison strong, this huge convex of Fire,
Outrageous to devour, immures us round
Ninefold, and gates of burning Adamant
Barr'd over us prohibit all egress.
These past, if any pass, the void profound
Of unessential Night receives him next
Wide gaping, and with utter loss of being
Threatens him, plung'd in that abortive gulf.
If thence he 'scape into whatever world,
Or unknown region, what remains him less
Than unknown dangers and as hard escape?'

'Thus roving on
In confus'd march forlorn, th' advent'rous Bands,
With shudd'ring horror pale, and eyes aghast,
View'd first their lamentable lot, and found
No rest: through many a dark and dreary vale
They pass'd, and many a region dolorous,
O'er many a Frozen, many a Fiery Alp,
Rocks, Caves, Lakes, Fens, Bogs, Dens, and shades of death,
A universe of Death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good,
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds,
Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, inutterable, and worse
Than fables yet have feign'd or fear conceived,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.'


...



But interestingly Marlow is in a sufficiently fit state to survive, continue living. (Obviously otherwise the story would never possibly have been told.) He can return to England, to some extent feign normality, and lie to Kurtz's wife his final words were her name, despite being (for a lack of better word) traumatised [apparently Conrad's 'Lord Jim' I have yet to read is in part about trauma] by everything that happened, with the traces of the darkness still encroaching upon him wherever he sails. He doesn't become or replace Kurtz (iirc in AO there is a shot suggestive of this idea, where Willard, after having slain Kurtz, stands above the "brutes") or pursue the voyage to the end of the river to its conclusion (like Kurtz has), which is utter annihilation. I suppose this is some form of consolation -- with Marlow also being the stand-in for the reader to some degree -- as he's able to uphold a conscience, not become a madman, in an all-so-civilised manner lie to Kurtz's wife, etc. And without hearing those words Marlow wouldn't have felt an urge to meet the wife, hearing them gave him her name in a poetic sense, the woman representing the other/missing half of Kurtz that Marlow wasn't able to meet in the Congo.
Didn't pick up on your 'The Dark Knight Rises' reference yesterday but I remember the line and Bane's monologue very well. Makes me think of "UniSol: Day of Reckoning" even more than of "A Now" and 'Heart of Darkness' since like in "TDKR" in "UniSol" the two are more proper adversaries...not to mention the fist fights and such.

In the film Kurtz has more final words for Marlow than just "The Horror"², I assumed it's in the book or at least that it quotes a poem, but it seems to be an original, at least I couldn't trace it back to any source online:

SpoilerShow
“Come here... Close to me... All that you are now, have been and hold dear is not really you. Remember, there is no more empty and detestable creature in nature than a man who… runs…away…from his demon. No…faith…. No…fear. The horror. The horror.”

I reckon encountering his possible future self might have prevented him from becoming the "mad Kurtz" as an older man. And if you take this quote into account Kurtz could be seen as Marlow's demon, whom he got to know in a way that people usually aren't able to get to know their demon. Not that Kurtz when he was young really was all that much like Marlow, younger Kurtz seemed more ambitious, educated, with multi-faceted talents,... I guess it's more about Marlow following Kurtz' footsteps up the river, die Wiederkehrung des Ewig gleichen, holding many of the same ideas and ideals, but not necessarily about the threat of him befalling the same fate. The film at least has the story framed as Marlow telling the story as an older man, so we already know from the beginning anyway that he doesn't end up like Kurtz, but yet he clearly took a lot of lessons from the experience and it shaped him as a person.

As for what he tells the wife, it could be seen as a lie, but in some way I found that it could also be seen as a poetic interpretation of Kurtz' dying words in the film. That what Marlow read into the words is that they were about Kurtz' wife, since the film makes a big point about Kurtz longing for her all along up until the end (painting portraits of her, most of all). The horror could be the unwaning longing for her and yet the impossibility of returning to her because of all the other reasons, ambitions (and the need to earn money), with this unsolvable inner and social conflict being a big part of the reason that drove him into the madness, a metaphor for what applies to everyone in life in one way or another. Without hearing those last words Marlow maybe wouldn't have felt an urge to go to the wife, Kurtz gave him her name in a poetic sense, meeting her he got to know the half of Kurtz that he couldn't get to know in the Congo, now he gets to have a more complete picture and a bit of inner peace, resolving some of those inner conflicts that Kurtz struggled with so much.
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Carmel1379
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#42

Post by Carmel1379 » February 7th, 2019, 9:43 am

I don't really have anything concrete to say (my sleep deprivation makes me feel like I'm living underwater), but I looked in the novel to make up for that, read the key scenes we mentioned earlier which might highlight some differences to the film adaptation you've seen.


On the boat back Kurtz was obviously sick and delirious, so Marlow intermittently comes in his room to check up on him, where he picks up on a few words or fragments of sentences. Like ‘Live rightly, die, die...’ or 'I am lying here in the dark waiting for death', and finally
He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath:
‘The horror! The horror!’
I blew the candle out and left the cabin.
And briefly later Marlow continues:
I went no more near the remarkable man who had pronounced a judgment upon the adventures of his soul on this earth. The voice was gone. What else had been there? But I am of course aware that next day the pilgrims buried something in a muddy hole.
‘And then they very nearly buried me.
'I did not go to join Kurtz there and then. I did not. I remained to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more. Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is— that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair’s breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. This is the reason why I affirm that Kurtz was a remarkable man. He had something to say. He said it. Since I had peeped over the edge myself, I understand better the meaning of his stare, that could not see the flame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness. He had summed up—he had judged. ‘The horror!’ He was a remarkable man. After all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candour, it had conviction, it had a vibrating note of revolt in its whisper, it had the appalling face of a glimpsed truth—the strange commingling of desire and hate. And it is not my own extremity I remember best— a vision of greyness without form filled with physical pain, and a careless contempt for the evanescence of all things—even of this pain itself. No! It is his extremity that I seem to have lived through. True, he had made that last stride, he had stepped over the edge, while I had been permitted to draw back my hesitating foot. And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible. Perhaps! I like to think my summing-up would not have been a word of careless contempt. Better his cry—much better. It was an affirmation, a moral victory paid for by innumerable defeats, by abominable terrors, by abominable satisfactions. But it was a victory! That is why I have remained loyal to Kurtz to the last, and even beyond, when a long time after I heard once more, not his own voice, but the echo of his magnificent eloquence thrown to me from a soul as translucently pure as a cliff of crystal.
And sho on. I suppose that sums it up pretty well from Marlow's perspective, there's quite a bit in there how Kurtz was to some degree Marlow's demon he couldn't quite follow to the end: Marlow peeped over the edge (of the abyss, of death), but didn't quite step there, and Marlow can knock himself back up with some strength.

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 4:52 pm
As for what he tells the wife, it could be seen as a lie, but in some way I found that it could also be seen as a poetic interpretation of Kurtz' dying words in the film. That what Marlow read into the words is that they were about Kurtz' wife, since the film makes a big point about Kurtz longing for her all along up until the end (painting portraits of her, most of all). The horror could be the unwaning longing for her and yet the impossibility of returning to her because of all the other reasons, ambitions (and the need to earn money), with this unsolvable inner and social conflict being a big part of the reason that drove him into the madness, a metaphor for what applies to everyone in life in one way or another. Without hearing those last words Marlow maybe wouldn't have felt an urge to go to the wife, Kurtz gave him her name in a poetic sense, meeting her he got to know the half of Kurtz that he couldn't get to know in the Congo, now he gets to have a more complete picture and a bit of inner peace, resolving some of those inner conflicts that Kurtz struggled with so much.
That's a fascinating interpretation, you might be the first person to come up with that. I always pictured Kurtz as the limit of transgression and a human losing all 'humanity', as becoming the shaman of the dark unknown, of the infernal jungle, of war, such that his fiancée (not wife yet, sorry, "his Intended", which I guess gives this more poignancy given she was waiting for him all this time) barely meant anything at all anymore, who even might've been lost in the deranged cyclone his mind has become. Perhaps that's too extreme, more-so the 'Apocalypse Now' version I guess. Obviously in 'Heart of Darkness' he is taken back on the boat (though I don't know if there's a mention of him painting on the boat in the book) and as you said, Marlow does intend to learn more about Kurtz, see to his memory. Marlow is also internally conflicted, teetering on the brink of the abyss and humanity. For me his lie is meant to conserve the naive safety of civilisation, not letting it get devastated by the ontological horror of the jungle. Kurtz's fiancée makes the tragically preposterous claim that "[she] knew him best", ...
... And perhaps she did. But with every word spoken the room was growing darker, and only her forehead, smooth and white, remained illumined by the inextinguishable light of belief and love.
‘You were his friend,’ she went on.
(...)
‘I listened. The darkness deepened. I was not even sure whether he had given me the right bundle. I rather suspect he wanted me to take care of another batch of his papers which, after his death, I saw the manager examining under the lamp. And the girl talked, easing her pain in the certitude of my sympathy; she talked as thirsty men drink. I had heard that her engagement with Kurtz had been disapproved by her people. He wasn’t rich enough or something. And indeed I don’t know whether he had not been a pauper all his life. He had given me some reason to infer that it was his impatience of comparative poverty that drove him out there.
‘‘... Who was not his friend who had heard him speak once?’ she was saying. ‘He drew men towards him by what was best in them.’ She looked at me with intensity. ‘It is the gift of the great,’ she went on, and the sound of her low voice seemed to have the accompaniment of all the other sounds, full of mystery, desolation, and sorrow, I had ever heard—the ripple of the river, the soughing of the trees swayed by the wind, the murmurs of the crowds, the faint ring of incomprehensible words cried from afar, the whisper of a voice speaking from beyond the threshold of an eternal darkness. ‘But you have heard him! You know!’ she cried.
(...)
‘‘I cannot—I cannot believe—not yet. I cannot believe that I shall never see him again, that nobody will see him again, never, never, never.’
‘She put out her arms as if after a retreating figure, stretching them back and with clasped pale hands across the fading and narrow sheen of the window. Never see him! I saw him clearly enough then. I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her, too, a tragic and familiar Shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness.
(...)
‘‘I—I have mourned so long in silence—in silence.... You were with him—to the last? I think of his loneliness. Nobody near to understand him as I would have understood. Perhaps no one to hear. ...’
‘‘To the very end,’ I said, shakily. ‘I heard his very last words....’ I stopped in a fright.
‘‘Repeat them,’ she murmured in a heart-broken tone. ‘I want—I want—something—something—to—to live with.’
‘I was on the point of crying at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’ The dusk was repeating them in a persistent whisper all around us, in a whisper that seemed to swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind. ‘The horror! The horror!’
‘‘His last word—to live with,’ she insisted. ‘Don’t you understand I loved him—I loved him—I loved him!’
‘I pulled myself together and spoke slowly.
‘‘The last word he pronounced was—your name.’
‘I heard a light sigh and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. ‘I knew it—I was sure!’ ... She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle. Would they have fallen, I wonder, if I had rendered Kurtz that justice which was his due? Hadn’t he said he wanted only justice? But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark altogether....’
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. ‘We have lost the first of the ebb,’ said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky— seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

[The End (beautiful friend, the end, ...)]

A lot of the character drives are still obviously left very ambiguous... which in general I think is a remarkable achievement of the novel, because despite it being a record of a story given from one perspective (and Marlow often summing up whole things with philosophical reflections as well as using intelligible motifs (light vs. darkness, etc.)), the whole thing is just complex beyond measure, like the jungle itself.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#43

Post by mightysparks » February 7th, 2019, 12:24 pm

Finally got all these done... Still been on a horror kick - this tends to happen after I go through a period of 'I'm going to watch anything and everything' and then I inevitably get frustrated and need to watch non-stop horror for like a month. Trying to get a few Oscar pics in this year too, I’ve skipped it for a while because it’s pretty pointless but I feel really old being out of date with this. How the hell was Black Panther nominated for Best Pic?? Yuck.

The Predator (2018) 4/10
An alien dubbed 'The Predator' falls to Earth with a precious cargo that the other 'Predators' are looking for, whilst a group of ex-soldiers and a young boy fight to find the cargo and stop the aliens destroying their planet. Initially I was going to give this a miss, but then I read a review that made it sound like it might be at least just some dumb fun. It was not any kind of fun. The human characters are all pretty awful and make you root for the aliens instead just to shut them all up. The action scenes are boring and it just feels like all the other sequels to this and movies like 2012 where it's a bit of boring drama and then some running and then some action and then repeat but it's all so pointless and everyone's so unlikable that you just want the Earth to suck them all up and stop the pain.

Searching (2018) 7/10
After his teenage daughter suddenly goes missing, a father uses her laptop to search for clues to help find her. Was it sol (?) that recommended this a few months ago? I really like the idea of these films that all take place on a desktop but Cybernatural was the only one that worked for me, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this one but it was a pleasant surprise. It's not perfect and some of the acting and dialogue is off-putting, and some of the computer use and behaviours is questionable (who uses Facetime that much?? I've never used Facetime in my life) but the 'mystery' and story is genuinely intriguing and tense and it's easy to get sucked in. I didn't realise until
SpoilerShow
they announced her as dead
that I realised I cared about the characters quite a bit and felt really frustrated at this development
SpoilerShow
so I was actually really happy when she turned out to be alive after all.


Berlin Syndrome (2017) 7/10
An Australian backpacker in Berlin has a brief romance with a German man and finds herself trapped in his apartment. Though I really enjoyed this, my biggest problem with this film was Teresa Palmer's acting and her character. As the protagonist and in a pretty awful position, you know there's a problem when you're rooting for her captor. I found her really unlikable and boring and there didn't seem to be any reason why she was the focus of this story and
SpoilerShow
why she's the one to escape and stop Andi. It seems like he's maybe only done this once before, but she was just not special enough in any way to be the one to end his reign of terror.
Andi's character was much more intriguing, intense and strange (and a more convincing performance from Max Riemalt), but his 'subplots' outside of the apartment are somewhat lacking and it could've been nicer to have more focus on Andi than Clare. There are some strange things that happen in the middle of the film that disrupt the pacing a bit and it feels like it goes on for a bit long without any real development, but it also interestingly delves into Clare's boredom and slight Stockholm Syndrome that goes on from being trapped there, although it was hard to tell how long it had been.

Thoroughbreds (2017) 6/10
Two childhood friends, Amanda and Lily, reconnect after an incident with a horse and hatch a plan to dispose of Lily's stepfather. Amanda announces to Lily that she's a sociopath with no emotion and has no shame in admitting this or anything else. Lily is more composed and restrained until Amanda coaxes her out of her socially trained behaviour and she admits to hating her stepfather who Amanda suggests they kill. Anya Taylor-Joy has not been very impressive in anything since The Witch, but she is pretty good here. Even moreso is Olivia Cooke who is completely convincing and yet still likable and a curiosity. The film has a quirky sense of humour which mostly works, but is fairly plotless and more about the interactions between the characters and it never quite reaches levels of greatness though it's enjoyable enough.

Creep 2 (2017) 5/10
A failing Youtuber trying to get famous for her encounters with weird people off Craigslist agrees to spend the day filming a man claiming to be a serial killer. Despite having high hopes for the first Creep, it was somewhat disappointing but ok. While Mark Duplass still does a great job at the unpredictable and strangely sympathetic and likable Aaron, the entire character of Sara fails at being likable or interesting and does not have the same chemistry that the two in the first film had; his friend in the first scene worked much better in his brief appearance. Because of this lack of chemistry and disinterest in her character, it felt like it went on much longer than its runtime and it felt like it never really went anywhere.

Les affamés (2017) 6/10
After an apocalypse has turned most of the population into zombies, a small group of survivors join forces to make it into the city. The zombies are somewhat unique and kind of creepy; though they still eat people and run fast, they also have a mysterious agenda of their own that adds an extra eeriness about them which only begged more questions. There is not much to the main group of characters, but they are fairly likable and resourceful so they make sense in their roles. One thing that really bothers me though,
SpoilerShow
is when these films put child characters on a weird pedestal where they have to live and all the characters sacrifice themselves for a kid because somehow leaving a kid to fend for itself in a post-apocalyptic world is the best option? The ending was awful.

Pyewacket (2017) 5/10
A teenage girl performs a ritual to summon a witch to kill her mother after she is forced to move to the woods. This had some interesting – and unoriginal – ideas but doesn’t do a lot with them. Leah and her mother did not have a convincing relationship, and though Leah was a somewhat realistically and not totally hate-able rash and stupid teen she could’ve been developed a little more. Pyewacket, and Leah’s interest in the occult, could also have been dealt with in a less lame way. Towards the end,
SpoilerShow
Leah’s assumption that her mother was the witch was stupid because it was pretty obvious to the audience that it wasn’t, and though the ending was cool it would’ve been more effective with a bit more confusion and ambiguity.

As Boas Maneiras (2017) 6/10
A wealthy pregnant woman forms a close bond with a nurse she hires to look after the house throughout her pregnancy, but the child's birth takes an unusual turn. Seemed like there was some cultural stuff here that I didn’t get, but it was weirdly enjoyable. Ana is likable and mysterious, defies ‘pregnant woman’ stereotypes and though Clara is less of an open book their friendship feels right. Whilst the first half focuses on their relationship, the baby’s birth takes the film in a whole other direction, but as it skips a few years it was frustrating to not get to see more about her raising and learning about the child. It’s hard to say which half is better but it felt like two different films that could’ve worked better as a mini-series to explore more of both worlds.

Green Book (2018) 6/10
In the 1960s, a working class white Italian-American is hired by a black classical pianist to drive him around the deep South for a series of performances. Offers nothing new in the whole culture clash genre, but never feels smug or too morally forceful and instead is more of a feel-good, ‘nice’ film. Mortensen feels genuine and is pretty likable, though I kept thinking ‘fat Aragorn’, though I felt Ali – or at least his character – was too forced and his ‘transformation’ did not feel as authentic as Mortensen’s. The story is simple and it’s mostly enjoyable for Mortensen and his interactions with Ali. It could’ve been a bit more subtle but it never really felt like it was rubbing your face in it either.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 5/10
A dramatization of Queen's rise to prominence, mostly focusing on the life and personality of Freddie Mercury leading up to their Live Aid concert. Extremely disappointing and shallow representation of this band, of whom I’m not really a big fan but felt this film did them a great injustice. Malek’s performance is awkward and he does not have the charisma to capture the coolness that Freddie exuded. Rewatching the actual Live Aid performance right after shows there is just no comparison. The teeth are distracting and he comes across as a really creepy weirdo that it made no sense that everyone was fawning over him. Maybe Freddie really was an unlikable creepy guy, but it does not feel like that’s what this film is trying to say. It is mostly an episodic bunch of performances and popular songs, adds too much fiction and feels manipulative.

A Star is Born (2018) 5/10
As a country musician's career is beginning to dwindle due his alcoholism, he helps a young up-and-comer find fame. Having only seen, and barely recalling, the Judy Garland version of this story I have no particular attachment to this. The story is modernised and works fairly well in that context. The main issue is the unlikable stock lead characters, the aging depressed drunk and the naïve and gullible young girl with talent but who have no real personality. Cooper and Gaga also have no chemistry whatsoever, he seems like a creepy old man and she doesn’t seem to care about him at all. I am not very familiar with Gaga, I only know Poker Face by name and I hated that song, and whatever she’s made since has been worse. I didn’t know she could actually sing until this film, so I don’t know why she’s wasting her talent with her crappy music and attention-seeking. Also I fan-girled a little when I recognised Greg Grunberg’s voice as Cooper’s driver as I had major crushes on both of them when I watched Alias when I was 13… Then Ron Rifkin shows up later and well, I’m rewatching Alias now.

BlacKkKlansman (2018) 5/10
The first African American police officer joins the local Ku Klux Klan branch by using a fellow white Jewish officer to take his place in person. The story was interesting, though it was disappointing to learn how much was taken out of context and was made up because the extreme fake stuff were the least interesting parts. The main actor was good and the best performance of the best picture nominees so far and of course is the only one not nominated. The characters of Patrice was unbearable, and some of the KKK loonies were just too over the top, though some of the KKK guys were amusing and played their parts well. The biggest problem with the film is its sense of humour, which is just not funny and dipping its toes into Coen brother’s territory and this could’ve been a really interesting drama film played straight.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#44

Post by peeptoad » February 7th, 2019, 2:59 pm

mightysparks wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 12:24 pm
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 5/10
...The teeth are distracting ...
Spot on. I saw about 35% of this film last weekend since I was at a friend's house and they put it on. We never finished it I ended up falling asleep anyway, but the teeth were the first major thing I noticed.... and they seemed really unnatural, lol.

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#45

Post by OldAle1 » February 7th, 2019, 5:10 pm

morrison-dylan-fan wrote:
February 5th, 2019, 8:38 pm

Hi Ale, whilst directors usually get the blame,I'd say in the case of DD that Richard Fleischer was just a cog in the studio machine-which was single-minded on who would star. A few years ago Empire mag did a detailed piece on the production of DD being an utter nightmare,which IMDb trivia captures some of the flavour of.

Just before the trivia, your comment " by the usual method - thrown enormous amounts of money at it. " brings Mortal Engines (2018) and the $300 million budget of Alita: Battle Angel (2019) (aka Alita:Uncanny Valley) to mind.

In his 1993 autobiography, "Just Tell Me When to Cry", Director Richard Fleischer devoted an entire chapter to his horrible experiences trying to get this movie cast, made, and edited. He lays much of the blame at the feet of Twentieth Century Fox executives, who insisted on casting Rex Harrison in the title role, and on Rex Harrison, who dithered back-and-forth for a year about accepting the part and then, in Fleischer's estimation, failed to fully commit once he signed for the movie.

Rex Harrison behaved so badly on-set that he was nicknamed "Tyrannosaurus Rex".
The younger cast members grew to loathe Rex Harrison for his abuse. They retaliated by antagonizing him.
Rex Harrison was under contract to play the title character. After the original scriptwriter and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner left, Harrison tried to back out. Christopher Plummer (me:Plummer,always the second choice!) was hired as a replacement. When the studio successfully lured Harrison back, it paid Plummer his entire agreed-upon fee of three hundred thousand dollars to sit out the production. Harrison was wary of Leslie Bricusse writing the score, since he was an unknown quantity to him. On his own, he had English songwriters Donald Swann and Michael Flanders try their hand at songs for the movie. Swann and Flanders signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox in February 1966, and completed at least four songs ("Animalitarians", "I Won't Be King", "A Total Vegetarian", and "Goodbye to Sophie"), which Harrison recorded as demos before he heard and approved the Bricusse score.

Peter Bull was considered for the role of circus owner Albert Blossom. Sir Richard Attenborough was cast after concerns arose about Bull's drinking.

Angered by the filmmakers' attempts to enlarge a pond in Castle Combe, Wiltshire, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a member of 22nd Regiment, the S.A.S., tried to blow up the dam, using the Army's explosives. He was arrested, dismissed from the regiment, and served out the rest of his military career in the Royal Scots Greys.
There was a huge outcry when the movie was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar despite having received almost universally terrible reviews. According to the 1994 book "Behind the Oscar" by Anthony Holden, this is because Twentieth Century Fox mounted an unparalleled nomination campaign in which Academy members were wined and dined. As a result, this movie was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture.

With Moon Zero Two,I really don't get the hate Hammer fans dish out to it, I found the flick a fun watch, with regular Sit-Com co-stars, a swiftly moving plot,and the sets/costumes having a retro charm.
Some of that stuff about Dolittle and Fleischer looks familiar, maybe I read it before; it's clear in any case that he could handle a big budget, FX-heavy film at this point - 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Vikings are ample evidence. And Kirk Douglas wasn't always an easy guy to work with either, probably much like Rex Harrison at times, so I think, yeah, this was just a case of too many people trying too hard to make this something that would be a sure-fire box-office hit, and Fleischer and some others who might really have been able to make something out of it were unfortunately among the last to be listened to.

I didn't even know MZ2 was a Hammer film until the credits came up; I suspect that some purists just don't like seeing the company do straightforward SF rather than horror or period fantasy/adventure. Certainly there are plenty of narrow cults or fan groups that don't like anything new - witness the hatred of many Star Wars fans for the new films. At any rate I thought the film was probably above-average for the studio and certainly not a failure, and I wish they'd done more in this vein, as I said in my review I'm really attracted to a lot of the late 60s and early 70s lesser-known SF and the colorful pop aesthetic of this one is a huge part of it's appeal. I really have to dig up more of this stuff.

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#46

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 7th, 2019, 5:36 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 9:43 am
I don't really have anything concrete to say (my sleep deprivation makes me feel like I'm living underwater), but I looked in the novel to make up for that, read the key scenes we mentioned earlier which might highlight some differences to the film adaptation you've seen.


On the boat back Kurtz was obviously sick and delirious, so Marlow intermittently comes in his room to check up on him, where he picks up on a few words or fragments of sentences. Like ‘Live rightly, die, die...’ or 'I am lying here in the dark waiting for death', and finally
He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath:
‘The horror! The horror!’
I blew the candle out and left the cabin.
And briefly later Marlow continues:
I went no more near the remarkable man who had pronounced a judgment upon the adventures of his soul on this earth. The voice was gone. What else had been there? But I am of course aware that next day the pilgrims buried something in a muddy hole.
‘And then they very nearly buried me.
'I did not go to join Kurtz there and then. I did not. I remained to dream the nightmare out to the end, and to show my loyalty to Kurtz once more. Destiny. My destiny! Droll thing life is— that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is some knowledge of yourself—that comes too late—a crop of unextinguishable regrets. I have wrestled with death. It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine. It takes place in an impalpable greyness, with nothing underfoot, with nothing around, without spectators, without clamour, without glory, without the great desire of victory, without the great fear of defeat, in a sickly atmosphere of tepid scepticism, without much belief in your own right, and still less in that of your adversary. If such is the form of ultimate wisdom, then life is a greater riddle than some of us think it to be. I was within a hair’s breadth of the last opportunity for pronouncement, and I found with humiliation that probably I would have nothing to say. This is the reason why I affirm that Kurtz was a remarkable man. He had something to say. He said it. Since I had peeped over the edge myself, I understand better the meaning of his stare, that could not see the flame of the candle, but was wide enough to embrace the whole universe, piercing enough to penetrate all the hearts that beat in the darkness. He had summed up—he had judged. ‘The horror!’ He was a remarkable man. After all, this was the expression of some sort of belief; it had candour, it had conviction, it had a vibrating note of revolt in its whisper, it had the appalling face of a glimpsed truth—the strange commingling of desire and hate. And it is not my own extremity I remember best— a vision of greyness without form filled with physical pain, and a careless contempt for the evanescence of all things—even of this pain itself. No! It is his extremity that I seem to have lived through. True, he had made that last stride, he had stepped over the edge, while I had been permitted to draw back my hesitating foot. And perhaps in this is the whole difference; perhaps all the wisdom, and all truth, and all sincerity, are just compressed into that inappreciable moment of time in which we step over the threshold of the invisible. Perhaps! I like to think my summing-up would not have been a word of careless contempt. Better his cry—much better. It was an affirmation, a moral victory paid for by innumerable defeats, by abominable terrors, by abominable satisfactions. But it was a victory! That is why I have remained loyal to Kurtz to the last, and even beyond, when a long time after I heard once more, not his own voice, but the echo of his magnificent eloquence thrown to me from a soul as translucently pure as a cliff of crystal.
And sho on. I suppose that sums it up pretty well from Marlow's perspective, there's quite a bit in there how Kurtz was to some degree Marlow's demon he couldn't quite follow to the end: Marlow peeped over the edge (of the abyss, of death), but didn't quite step there, and Marlow can knock himself back up with some strength.

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 4:52 pm
As for what he tells the wife, it could be seen as a lie, but in some way I found that it could also be seen as a poetic interpretation of Kurtz' dying words in the film. That what Marlow read into the words is that they were about Kurtz' wife, since the film makes a big point about Kurtz longing for her all along up until the end (painting portraits of her, most of all). The horror could be the unwaning longing for her and yet the impossibility of returning to her because of all the other reasons, ambitions (and the need to earn money), with this unsolvable inner and social conflict being a big part of the reason that drove him into the madness, a metaphor for what applies to everyone in life in one way or another. Without hearing those last words Marlow maybe wouldn't have felt an urge to go to the wife, Kurtz gave him her name in a poetic sense, meeting her he got to know the half of Kurtz that he couldn't get to know in the Congo, now he gets to have a more complete picture and a bit of inner peace, resolving some of those inner conflicts that Kurtz struggled with so much.
That's a fascinating interpretation, you might be the first person to come up with that. I always pictured Kurtz as the limit of transgression and a human losing all 'humanity', as becoming the shaman of the dark unknown, of the infernal jungle, of war, such that his fiancée (not wife yet, sorry, "his Intended", which I guess gives this more poignancy given she was waiting for him all this time) barely meant anything at all anymore, who even might've been lost in the deranged cyclone his mind has become. Perhaps that's too extreme, more-so the 'Apocalypse Now' version I guess. Obviously in 'Heart of Darkness' he is taken back on the boat (though I don't know if there's a mention of him painting on the boat in the book) and as you said, Marlow does intend to learn more about Kurtz, see to his memory. Marlow is also internally conflicted, teetering on the brink of the abyss and humanity. For me his lie is meant to conserve the naive safety of civilisation, not letting it get devastated by the ontological horror of the jungle. Kurtz's fiancée makes the tragically preposterous claim that "[she] knew him best", ...
... And perhaps she did. But with every word spoken the room was growing darker, and only her forehead, smooth and white, remained illumined by the inextinguishable light of belief and love.
‘You were his friend,’ she went on.
(...)
‘I listened. The darkness deepened. I was not even sure whether he had given me the right bundle. I rather suspect he wanted me to take care of another batch of his papers which, after his death, I saw the manager examining under the lamp. And the girl talked, easing her pain in the certitude of my sympathy; she talked as thirsty men drink. I had heard that her engagement with Kurtz had been disapproved by her people. He wasn’t rich enough or something. And indeed I don’t know whether he had not been a pauper all his life. He had given me some reason to infer that it was his impatience of comparative poverty that drove him out there.
‘‘... Who was not his friend who had heard him speak once?’ she was saying. ‘He drew men towards him by what was best in them.’ She looked at me with intensity. ‘It is the gift of the great,’ she went on, and the sound of her low voice seemed to have the accompaniment of all the other sounds, full of mystery, desolation, and sorrow, I had ever heard—the ripple of the river, the soughing of the trees swayed by the wind, the murmurs of the crowds, the faint ring of incomprehensible words cried from afar, the whisper of a voice speaking from beyond the threshold of an eternal darkness. ‘But you have heard him! You know!’ she cried.
(...)
‘‘I cannot—I cannot believe—not yet. I cannot believe that I shall never see him again, that nobody will see him again, never, never, never.’
‘She put out her arms as if after a retreating figure, stretching them back and with clasped pale hands across the fading and narrow sheen of the window. Never see him! I saw him clearly enough then. I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her, too, a tragic and familiar Shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness.
(...)
‘‘I—I have mourned so long in silence—in silence.... You were with him—to the last? I think of his loneliness. Nobody near to understand him as I would have understood. Perhaps no one to hear. ...’
‘‘To the very end,’ I said, shakily. ‘I heard his very last words....’ I stopped in a fright.
‘‘Repeat them,’ she murmured in a heart-broken tone. ‘I want—I want—something—something—to—to live with.’
‘I was on the point of crying at her, ‘Don’t you hear them?’ The dusk was repeating them in a persistent whisper all around us, in a whisper that seemed to swell menacingly like the first whisper of a rising wind. ‘The horror! The horror!’
‘‘His last word—to live with,’ she insisted. ‘Don’t you understand I loved him—I loved him—I loved him!’
‘I pulled myself together and spoke slowly.
‘‘The last word he pronounced was—your name.’
‘I heard a light sigh and then my heart stood still, stopped dead short by an exulting and terrible cry, by the cry of inconceivable triumph and of unspeakable pain. ‘I knew it—I was sure!’ ... She knew. She was sure. I heard her weeping; she had hidden her face in her hands. It seemed to me that the house would collapse before I could escape, that the heavens would fall upon my head. But nothing happened. The heavens do not fall for such a trifle. Would they have fallen, I wonder, if I had rendered Kurtz that justice which was his due? Hadn’t he said he wanted only justice? But I couldn’t. I could not tell her. It would have been too dark—too dark altogether....’
Marlow ceased, and sat apart, indistinct and silent, in the pose of a meditating Buddha. Nobody moved for a time. ‘We have lost the first of the ebb,’ said the Director suddenly. I raised my head. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky— seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.

[The End (beautiful friend, the end, ...)]

A lot of the character drives are still obviously left very ambiguous... which in general I think is a remarkable achievement of the novel, because despite it being a record of a story given from one perspective (and Marlow often summing up whole things with philosophical reflections as well as using intelligible motifs (light vs. darkness, etc.)), the whole thing is just complex beyond measure, like the jungle itself.
Yeah, in the adaptation it's Kurtz' fiancée as well, I think, if even that much. Certainly not the wife. I got the impression in the film that he gets caught up in the "jungle life" so much that he can't imagine returning to the "civilized" world, the longing for his fiancée persists, though, and the native beauty he takes for a wife (or whatever) is something of a replacement for her but isn't the real deal that satisfies this desire. He isn't even on the boat in the film when he dies, he dies in his house/hut in the Congo. Kurtz being the maximum of transgression, sure, at least within the context of the society that bred him, less a Buddha, rejecting all society, more taking on the "primitive", tribal culture of that place and people, paired with the wisdom he brought from the civilized world he's like the chief (or shaman, as you called him) at this place, running things according to his own whims. So in this context "it's better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven" could be one apt allegory to sum up Kurtz' conundrum of whether to stay in the jungle or return to England to reunite with his beloved.

The way he words it certainly was a big part of the evocative ambiguity for me. Saying "your name" instead of repeating the actual words he said. Reading the passage you quoted I get pretty much the same sense, with it being directly preceded by a repeat of Kurtz' actual final words and the fiancee asking for his "last word", prompting an answer by Marlow that is inconclusive.

So-called civilization requires wearing a lot of masks, sure. She seemed fairly hardened herself, though, and not only by grief. By implication, being Kurtz' great beloved it suggests that she isn't just some dumb broad but shares some attributes with him. She knew him best...seemed like a somewhat preposterous claim within that context, but is it? Who knows. What does it mean to know someone? The context of where and how this conversation takes place makes a lot of difference, well-illustrated in this story that shows two very different worlds. Like, even though Marlow may have a lot of the "jungle" "in him" at that point, he more or less behaves like a good Englishman, as does the English lady - and who knows what's bubbling under her chest during this dialogue.
On the other hand she might be seen as less of a person in this story but rather represent civilized society/Old England itself for Kurtz and by extension to Marlow, a world that offers a certain safety, comfort, luxuries, etc., and on the other hand is a world of hypocrisy, exploitation, a perpetual feeling of alienation, etc.
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#47

Post by Carmel1379 » February 7th, 2019, 7:42 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 5:36 pm
Yeah, in the adaptation it's Kurtz' fiancée as well, I think, if even that much. Certainly not the wife. I got the impression in the film that he gets caught up in the "jungle life" so much that he can't imagine returning to the "civilized" world, the longing for his fiancée persists, though, and the native beauty he takes for a wife (or whatever) is something of a replacement for her but isn't the real deal that satisfies this desire. He isn't even on the boat in the film when he dies, he dies in his house/hut in the Congo. Kurtz being the maximum of transgression, sure, at least within the context of the society that bred him, less a Buddha, rejecting all society, more taking on the "primitive", tribal culture of that place and people, paired with the wisdom he brought from the civilized world he's like the chief (or shaman, as you called him) at this place, running things according to his own whims. So in this context "it's better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven" could be one apt allegory to sum up Kurtz' conundrum of whether to stay in the jungle or return to England to reunite with his beloved.

The way he words it certainly was a big part of the evocative ambiguity for me. Saying "your name" instead of repeating the actual words he said. Reading the passage you quoted I get pretty much the same sense, with it being directly preceded by a repeat of Kurtz' actual final words and the fiancee asking for his "last word", prompting an answer by Marlow that is inconclusive.

So-called civilization requires wearing a lot of masks, sure. She seemed fairly hardened herself, though, and not only by grief. By implication, being Kurtz' great beloved it suggests that she isn't just some dumb broad but shares some attributes with him. She knew him best...seemed like a somewhat preposterous claim within that context, but is it? Who knows. What does it mean to know someone? The context of where and how this conversation takes place makes a lot of difference, well-illustrated in this story that shows two very different worlds. Like, even though Marlow may have a lot of the "jungle" "in him" at that point, he more or less behaves like a good Englishman, as does the English lady - and who knows what's bubbling under her chest during this dialogue.
On the other hand she might be seen as less of a person in this story but rather represent civilized society/Old England itself for Kurtz and by extension to Marlow, a world that offers a certain safety, comfort, luxuries, etc., and on the other hand is a world of hypocrisy, exploitation, a perpetual feeling of alienation, etc.
Sure, I didn't want to belittle Kurtz's fiancée or anything, we certainly don't know too much about her other than that she's upper class and "intended" for him. Her feelings and sorrows are genuine. It's just that to say "[she] knew him best" is in my impression incredibly naive, because it assumes constant identity nurtured by the welfare of Occidental civilisation and stubborn belief that all demons will be kept at bay (provided those demons are believed to exist in the first place). Moreover, what's (& how can one achieve) "knowing", and who's "him", anyway? What's "Kurtz" but a cypher for pestilence, a bundle of confused forces, ...?

Interesting is her (and Marlow's) recurrent mention of Kurtz' voice, what an alluringly powerful voice he had. And I do seem to remember specific mentions earlier in the book about how melodious and commanding it was. Voice as perspective, as power. It's clearly a talent he has had before travelling to Congo. Which poses the more general question of how the jungle stimulates and inhibits sets of particular drives in people, how it might potentially raise certain latent talents and dispositions. I think I mentioned earlier how industrious Westerners would break down under the heat, project their own laziness on the natives and sadistically force those to do all the labour. The jungle can teach too, though: in 'Apocalypse Now' Kurtz is especially impressed by the natives' will to cut off their child's inoculated arm because it was touched by an unknown American. Anyway, this all is again generalised by questions of difference, chance, and becoming, the transitions between two very different ecologies, with one brimming with war, sprawling complexity, ivory, heat, and insects.

Kurtz's acceptance of return certainly remains ambiguous (or at least unknown at this point to me, I'd have to go back even earlier in the book). His health was definitely rather weak*, maybe he was sick of his outpost ("Exterminate all the brutes!" / "Drop the bomb, Kill them all" in 'Apocalypse Now', which has a nice connection to the title (also graffitied on a mural) and the overall streams of self-annihilation and human-annihilation that run through it), or indeed wanted to return to his wife, or as Marlow also conjectures, write, publish, and promote some ideas boiling in his bald ivory head. Myself I'm most inclined to how it is in 'Apocalypse Now': Kurtz has no real desire to leave, and if anything just hails imminent death.

*1 Kurtz obviously means "small" in German
*2 which is an interesting paradox, power need not always be demonstrated somatically (again, his voice was an enormous talent), although his resemblance to an ivory anorexic cadaver is also in some sense a captivating icon, modelled after the personifications of death
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#48

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 8th, 2019, 1:21 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 7:42 pm
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 7th, 2019, 5:36 pm
Yeah, in the adaptation it's Kurtz' fiancée as well, I think, if even that much. Certainly not the wife. I got the impression in the film that he gets caught up in the "jungle life" so much that he can't imagine returning to the "civilized" world, the longing for his fiancée persists, though, and the native beauty he takes for a wife (or whatever) is something of a replacement for her but isn't the real deal that satisfies this desire. He isn't even on the boat in the film when he dies, he dies in his house/hut in the Congo. Kurtz being the maximum of transgression, sure, at least within the context of the society that bred him, less a Buddha, rejecting all society, more taking on the "primitive", tribal culture of that place and people, paired with the wisdom he brought from the civilized world he's like the chief (or shaman, as you called him) at this place, running things according to his own whims. So in this context "it's better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven" could be one apt allegory to sum up Kurtz' conundrum of whether to stay in the jungle or return to England to reunite with his beloved.

The way he words it certainly was a big part of the evocative ambiguity for me. Saying "your name" instead of repeating the actual words he said. Reading the passage you quoted I get pretty much the same sense, with it being directly preceded by a repeat of Kurtz' actual final words and the fiancee asking for his "last word", prompting an answer by Marlow that is inconclusive.

So-called civilization requires wearing a lot of masks, sure. She seemed fairly hardened herself, though, and not only by grief. By implication, being Kurtz' great beloved it suggests that she isn't just some dumb broad but shares some attributes with him. She knew him best...seemed like a somewhat preposterous claim within that context, but is it? Who knows. What does it mean to know someone? The context of where and how this conversation takes place makes a lot of difference, well-illustrated in this story that shows two very different worlds. Like, even though Marlow may have a lot of the "jungle" "in him" at that point, he more or less behaves like a good Englishman, as does the English lady - and who knows what's bubbling under her chest during this dialogue.
On the other hand she might be seen as less of a person in this story but rather represent civilized society/Old England itself for Kurtz and by extension to Marlow, a world that offers a certain safety, comfort, luxuries, etc., and on the other hand is a world of hypocrisy, exploitation, a perpetual feeling of alienation, etc.
Sure, I didn't want to belittle Kurtz's fiancée or anything, we certainly don't know too much about her other than that she's upper class and "intended" for him. Her feelings and sorrows are genuine. It's just that to say "[she] knew him best" is in my impression incredibly naive, because it assumes constant identity nurtured by the welfare of Occidental civilisation and stubborn belief that all demons will be kept at bay (provided those demons are believed to exist in the first place). Moreover, what's (& how can one achieve) "knowing", and who's "him", anyway? What's "Kurtz" but a cypher for pestilence, a bundle of confused forces, ...?

Interesting is her (and Marlow's) recurrent mention of Kurtz' voice, what an alluringly powerful voice he had. And I do seem to remember specific mentions earlier in the book about how melodious and commanding it was. Voice as perspective, as power. It's clearly a talent he has had before travelling to Congo. Which poses the more general question of how the jungle stimulates and inhibits sets of particular drives in people, how it might potentially raise certain latent talents and dispositions. I think I mentioned earlier how industrious Westerners would break down under the heat, project their own laziness on the natives and sadistically force those to do all the labour. The jungle can teach too, though: in 'Apocalypse Now' Kurtz is especially impressed by the natives' will to cut off their child's inoculated arm because it was touched by an unknown American. Anyway, this all is again generalised by questions of difference, chance, and becoming, the transitions between two very different ecologies, with one brimming with war, sprawling complexity, ivory, heat, and insects.

Kurtz's acceptance of return certainly remains ambiguous (or at least unknown at this point to me, I'd have to go back even earlier in the book). His health was definitely rather weak*, maybe he was sick of his outpost ("Exterminate all the brutes!" / "Drop the bomb, Kill them all" in 'Apocalypse Now', which has a nice connection to the title (also graffitied on a mural) and the overall streams of self-annihilation and human-annihilation that run through it), or indeed wanted to return to his wife, or as Marlow also conjectures, write, publish, and promote some ideas boiling in his bald ivory head. Myself I'm most inclined to how it is in 'Apocalypse Now': Kurtz has no real desire to leave, and if anything just hails imminent death.

*1 Kurtz obviously means "small" in German
*2 which is an interesting paradox, power need not always be demonstrated somatically (again, his voice was an enormous talent), although his resemblance to an ivory anorexic cadaver is also in some sense a captivating icon, modelled after the personifications of death
Well, if you take on the issue of identity with as big of a picture in mind as you do then "I knew him best" would be naive to say by anyone about anyone. Not having known the Kurtz of the final 18 months of his life, or however long it might have been, doesn't necessarily devalue her statement at all for me. Though identity - whatever that means - of course builds upon past identities continuously, it's much like software updates, but even more like bad ones. Good example: IMDb updates; they don't necessarily mean improvements, it just means changes, with things getting lost while other things get added which may or may not be useful or more practical than the things before. Some of those things that get updated can be changed back in needed, sometimes the previous incarnations are gone for good and the change is irrevocable.
As for the "Occidental" part, we don't know how much Kurtz revealed of himself to his fiancée during their time alone together, for example. Though behaving civilized and Western enough publicly he may have let out his jungle tiger (or demon anaconda) openly without any false apprehensions for all her senses to witness when in private...

In the film in the scene directly before Kurtz' final words that I quoted he remarks that all that remains of a human body (while looking at some skeletons hanging on a noose) how ironic or apt it is that all that remains of our life after death are those parts that look just like ivory, after he just quoted Goethe in German and noting that this guy is long dead too.
I don't see much of a paradox in great power coming with physical weakness. Even less so when it comes to the "civilized" world. Nietzsche, for example, wrote more than enough about the decadence of his age, I'm sure I don't need to say any more about that. But even in many old/"primitive" cultures the ones with the most power are the eldest and/or wisest. Physical power is one element of survival out of many, and among organic life absolute anarchy doesn't exist, there's culture everywhere, among tribes in the jungle and among animals.

Never gave much thought to the name. I guess because in 'Apocalypse Now' I think he isn't German, and not much of a point is made of it in the Roeg adaptation either. "Kurz" (without the "t") means "short", to be exact. Close enough, I guess.
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#49

Post by Carmel1379 » February 8th, 2019, 5:55 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 1:21 pm
... Not having known the Kurtz of the final 18 months of his life, or however long it might have been, doesn't necessarily devalue her statement at all for me. ...
No? I mean, he did have the ultimate bad trip, within a Boschian hell made partially of his own exploratory will (jenseits gut und böse. Imo if Marlow told her even a shred of the things that went down at his outpost, she would've recoiled in disbelief and thrown him out of her house, shocked irreparably. Which is why he says he pities her, her face irradiating with light and goodness, one which cannot be corrupted by the horror lying at the heart of darkness. Although in many ways one could also go for the opposite interpretation: part of her does suspect Kurtz could've gone mad, but on the spoken / interactive level of experience both she and Marlow uphold his righteousness and qualities. In any case, I just can't get around seeing that exaltation "I knew him best!", as an almost tragically ironic line. Especially given the overall philosophically pessimistic tone of the book.

Anyway, we can continue chatting about this elsewhere. Gunna spiral down in Kurtz levels of intoxicated delirium now. CLIMAX (I knew we'd get there) of course depicts the breaking down of inhibitions, the revelation of latent desires, and so on. One also could suppose a matrix of 'how well the characters know each other' and consider its evolution over time. What things do people increasingly reveal about themselves and each other? Already after a few minutes when everyone separates into different conversing groups shows this, for example how someone starts criticising Sofia Boutella's 'Dieu est avec nous!', even though none didn't cheer at that. And so on. Gossip carries on. Noé gets these little life complexions, interrelationships, mutual annoyances, etc. so well, and then especially how they escalate into sexual dynamics and violence (or in 'Irréversible' it's the opposite direction). It's difficult to articulate.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#50

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 5:55 pm
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 8th, 2019, 1:21 pm
... Not having known the Kurtz of the final 18 months of his life, or however long it might have been, doesn't necessarily devalue her statement at all for me. ...
No? I mean, he did have the ultimate bad trip, within a Boschian hell made partially of his own exploratory will (jenseits gut und böse. Imo if Marlow told her even a shred of the things that went down at his outpost, she would've recoiled in disbelief and thrown him out of her house, shocked irreparably. Which is why he says he pities her, her face irradiating with light and goodness, one which cannot be corrupted by the horror lying at the heart of darkness. Although in many ways one could also go for the opposite interpretation: part of her does suspect Kurtz could've gone mad, but on the spoken / interactive level of experience both she and Marlow uphold his righteousness and qualities. In any case, I just can't get around seeing that exaltation "I knew him best!", as an almost tragically ironic line. Especially given the overall philosophically pessimistic tone of the book.
No, I don't see identity very much as something coming from within, like different circumstances revealing more of a person, shedding the layers, or bringing things to light that have always been within you. Rather like with software updates the input comes from the outside.
Version 7.0 has always existed in the world but not in the person in as far as having lied in wait. Kurtz obviously couldn't have been the Kurtz at the end had he been born and bred in the jungle, his occidental upbringing and education were incremental for what he became. But the update comes from the surroundings, though ones "hardware" and "basic code" has to support the change, and who you can be is relatively limited by it...you can always bend the rules and within the range the possibilities are practically endless.

But each new reincarnation of a person remains to be a layer, a renewed one, if you will. I don't think of it as an additional layer nor a layer having been peeled off, thinking of identity in terms of layers it's more akin to an onion or garlic for me, peel off and discard all the layers and you are left with nothing. Person = persona = mask. Identity will always be a layer with a hollow core, but a hollowness that holds the whole world within. So in the case of Kurtz I also would say that it's less that the jungle brings things out of him or makes him shed his occidental layers but that who he becomes towards the end of his life is a reflection of the jungle.
But you could see it either way, depending how you turn it, in the end it's just mincing words; as I said myself, the core is hollow and yet the whole world is inside it, the input comes from the outside and yet it's determined by what's on the inside, so I'm contradicting myself, except I'm not, because nothing is everything and everything is nothing. *wink*

What Kurtz became may have been somebody that the fiancée never got to know much of, but the final versions of a person don't supersede the previous ones for me in terms of "true self", even more so when it comes to talking about a person who is dead by now, the current version being nothing by ivory.

"...she would've recoiled in disbelief and thrown him out of her house, shocked irreparably."
Dunno, maybe, I haven't read the book. Maybe she does represent civilized society/the occidental world itself in the story, as I hypothesized earlier, and Kurtz, as I said, comes to impersonate the jungle in the eyes of Marlow. This dichotomy certainly would make sense, thematically. I didn't come to this conclusive decision about her in the film, but then she was a far greater enigma than Kurtz, she was in the film for, like, two minutes.

And whatever great means, to me Kurtz was probably at his greatest in the Congo, apparent madness and irrational behavior and all. This IS quality Kurtz to me, and I think Marlow also wouldn't have been all that impressed by him or at least taken away much from meeting him if the encounter had still happened back in England.
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#51

Post by Carmel1379 » February 9th, 2019, 5:48 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm
No, I don't see identity very much as something coming from within, like different circumstances revealing more of a person, shedding the layers, or bringing things to light that have always been within you. Rather like with software updates the input comes from the outside.
Version 7.0 has always existed in the world but not in the person in as far as having lied in wait. Kurtz obviously couldn't have been the Kurtz at the end had he been born and bred in the jungle, his occidental upbringing and education were incremental for what he became. But the update comes from the surroundings, though ones "hardware" and "basic code" has to support the change, and who you can be is relatively limited by it...you can always bend the rules and within the range the possibilities are practically endless.

But each new reincarnation of a person remains to be a layer, a renewed one, if you will. I don't think of it as an additional layer nor a layer having been peeled off, thinking of identity in terms of layers it's more akin to an onion or garlic for me, peel off and discard all the layers and you are left with nothing. Person = persona = mask. Identity will always be a layer with a hollow core, but a hollowness that holds the whole world within. So in the case of Kurtz I also would say that it's less that the jungle brings things out of him or makes him shed his occidental layers but that who he becomes towards the end of his life is a reflection of the jungle.
But you could see it either way, depending how you turn it, in the end it's just mincing words, as I said myself, the core is hollow, with the whole world being inside it, so I'm contradicting myself, except I'm not, because nothing is everything and everything is nothing. *wink*

What Kurtz became may have been somebody that the fiancée never got to know much of, but the final versions of a person don't supersede the previous ones for me in terms of "true self", even more so when comes to talking about a person who is dead by now, the current version being nothing by ivory.

"...she would've recoiled in disbelief and thrown him out of her house, shocked irreparably."
Dunno, maybe, I haven't read the book. Maybe she does represent civilized society/the occidental world itself in the story, as I hypothesized earlier, and Kurtz, as I said, comes to impersonate the jungle in the eyes of Marlow. It certainly would make sense. I didn't come to this conclusive decision about her in the film, but then she was a far greater enigma than Kurtz, she was in the film for, like, two minutes.

...



Or as I remember it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDiK2tpVgtA

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm
And whatever great means, to me Kurtz was probably at his greatest in the Congo, apparent madness and irrational behavior and all. This IS quality Kurtz, and I think Marlow also wouldn't have been all that impressed by him or at least taken away much from meeting him if it had still happened back in England.
Oh yeah, a 100%.



I'm not gunna do much more word mincing myself, it's not like we really disagree on anything. At least the more we go into 'everything and nothing', obviously. The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc. (which are constantly evolving themselves). It has semi-retentive faculties after all. At least it does feel like that, like wrestling with inner demons which aren't you but obviously are. The mind as battlefield. Multiple personality disorder.
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#52

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 10th, 2019, 12:39 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 5:48 pm
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm
No, I don't see identity very much as something coming from within, like different circumstances revealing more of a person, shedding the layers, or bringing things to light that have always been within you. Rather like with software updates the input comes from the outside.
Version 7.0 has always existed in the world but not in the person in as far as having lied in wait. Kurtz obviously couldn't have been the Kurtz at the end had he been born and bred in the jungle, his occidental upbringing and education were incremental for what he became. But the update comes from the surroundings, though ones "hardware" and "basic code" has to support the change, and who you can be is relatively limited by it...you can always bend the rules and within the range the possibilities are practically endless.

But each new reincarnation of a person remains to be a layer, a renewed one, if you will. I don't think of it as an additional layer nor a layer having been peeled off, thinking of identity in terms of layers it's more akin to an onion or garlic for me, peel off and discard all the layers and you are left with nothing. Person = persona = mask. Identity will always be a layer with a hollow core, but a hollowness that holds the whole world within. So in the case of Kurtz I also would say that it's less that the jungle brings things out of him or makes him shed his occidental layers but that who he becomes towards the end of his life is a reflection of the jungle.
But you could see it either way, depending how you turn it, in the end it's just mincing words, as I said myself, the core is hollow, with the whole world being inside it, so I'm contradicting myself, except I'm not, because nothing is everything and everything is nothing. *wink*

What Kurtz became may have been somebody that the fiancée never got to know much of, but the final versions of a person don't supersede the previous ones for me in terms of "true self", even more so when comes to talking about a person who is dead by now, the current version being nothing by ivory.

"...she would've recoiled in disbelief and thrown him out of her house, shocked irreparably."
Dunno, maybe, I haven't read the book. Maybe she does represent civilized society/the occidental world itself in the story, as I hypothesized earlier, and Kurtz, as I said, comes to impersonate the jungle in the eyes of Marlow. It certainly would make sense. I didn't come to this conclusive decision about her in the film, but then she was a far greater enigma than Kurtz, she was in the film for, like, two minutes.

...



Or as I remember it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDiK2tpVgtA

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 9th, 2019, 4:48 pm
And whatever great means, to me Kurtz was probably at his greatest in the Congo, apparent madness and irrational behavior and all. This IS quality Kurtz, and I think Marlow also wouldn't have been all that impressed by him or at least taken away much from meeting him if it had still happened back in England.
Oh yeah, a 100%.



I'm not gunna do much more word mincing myself, it's not like we really disagree on anything. At least the more we go into 'everything and nothing', obviously. The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc. (which are constantly evolving themselves). It has semi-retentive faculties after all. At least it does feel like that, like wrestling with inner demons which aren't you but obviously are. The mind as battlefield. Multiple personality disorder.
"The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc."
Way to take my comments on identity out of context.... No, I don't think that. I knew software updates weren't the best comparison, thinking of IMDb updated the analogy just felt too apt... Of course I think so. There are copious amounts of untapped potential in anyone and anything. The world couldn't work on you if the elements weren't already within you, at the very least in the form of receptors. But I don't glorify it. No body and no thing in the world can be all of its inherent potential in its one lifetime, not even close. So no point in fretting over it and crying about it in self-pity.

Nor do I see a truer self residing there in the deep, at least not the way I think you are thinking of it. It's still just drivel caught up in the ego, just different one, albeit highly pragmatic for our everyday functionality. Though I do believe there are also the parts that aren't drivel for they are independent from the ego, in other words the deeper you go inside the more everyone becomes the same, hence I don't think of them in the conventional psycho-analytical sense and they have nothing to do anymore with identity in the narrower sense, and this is already where we get into the spiritual.

Do you find the statement ironic because you think that Marlow or maybe as well several other people who got to know him well enough during his final stage (e.g. "Dennis Hopper") must have known Kurtz better than her? Granted, Marlow also heard a lot of second-hand stories about the Kurtz that she still had a chance to know in addition to getting to know the "final Kurtz", but he overall probably spent a hell of a lot less time with the man than she had. I reckon Kurtz and Marlow never had sex with each other, not that this would make all the difference, but it's one level of intimacy for example that they shared that Marlow didn't share with him. Among other things this would be an experience of ecstasy that easily leads to a proclamation of love for the other person, which opens doors and brings people closer together, possibly making them be more honest to each other...
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#53

Post by Carmel1379 » February 10th, 2019, 2:19 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:39 pm
"The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc."
Way to take my comments on identity out of context.... No, I don't think that. I knew software updates weren't the best comparison, thinking of IMDb updated the analogy just felt too apt... Of course I think so. There are copious amounts of untapped potential in anyone and anything. The world couldn't work on you if the elements weren't already within you, at the very least in the form of receptors. But I don't glorify it. No body and no thing in the world can be all of its inherent potential in its one lifetime, not even close. So no point in fretting over it and crying about it in self-pity.

Nor do I see a truer self residing there in the deep, at least not the way I think you are thinking of it. It's still just drivel caught up in the ego, just different one, albeit highly pragmatic for our everyday functionality. Though I do believe there are also the parts that aren't drivel for they are independent from the ego, in other words the deeper you go inside the more everyone becomes the same, hence I don't think of them in the conventional psycho-analytical sense and they have nothing to do anymore with identity in the narrower sense, and this is already where we get into the spiritual.

Do you find the statement ironic because you think that Marlow or maybe as well several other people who got to know him well enough during his final stage (e.g. "Dennis Hopper") must have known Kurtz better than her? Granted, Marlow also heard a lot of second-hand stories about the Kurtz that she still had a chance to know in addition to getting to know the "final Kurtz", but he overall probably spent a hell of a lot less time with the man than she had. I reckon Kurtz and Marlow never had sex with each other, not that this would make all the difference, but it's one level of intimacy for example that they shared that Marlow didn't share with him. Among other things this would be an experience of ecstasy that easily leads to a proclamation of love for the other person, which opens doors and brings people closer together, possibly making them be more honest to each other...
:lol:

I don't really mean untapped potential or a truer self, I mean like, e.g. someone having a fucked up dream and then wondering "Oh the hell could 'I' have possibly made that association?", something which now becomes a conscious long-term memory and a burden to live with. And this is only a minor strife between the self-identifying self hopelessly clutching at the idea of "Me!" and the deeper blackbox complex brain activities that produce thinking, dreams, feelings, desires, behaviour. Anterograde amnesia, anosognosia, sexual repression, gender dysphoria, DID, ... there are greater sources of conflict than a mere bad dream. The 'subject' as transitory multiplicity.

I'm not too well read on philosophy of mind yet, but if there's anyone who I've read and always thought "This is spot-on.", then there's R. Scott Bakker and his brand of eliminative materialism. I know you won't follow-up and would probably prefer me trying to make some sort of summary, but it's really good.

I just can't but see Kurtz's infernal outpost at the end of the river as a dissolution of all identity and knowledge, the things he did as a becoming-demon, -alien, -inhuman, all apt for an exploration of pure horror. Any sort of attempt to encapsulate a person who went through this, especially if one doesn't know what has happened at all, is a rather manky (sorry, just learnt this word) effort. Kurtz, now, defies narrative, words, all human mental representation. Little room for intimacy here. (Coppola's) Kurtz: It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Pre-Congo Kurtz and the person under that name his wife could remember held enlightenment humanist ideals with a commercial interest, Post-Congo Kurtz only contains traces of those things to as much a degree as an Alzheimer's patient blurts out something which happened decades ago. Basically
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
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whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#54

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 11th, 2019, 6:47 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 2:19 pm
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 10th, 2019, 12:39 pm
"The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc."
Way to take my comments on identity out of context.... No, I don't think that. I knew software updates weren't the best comparison, thinking of IMDb updated the analogy just felt too apt... Of course I think so. There are copious amounts of untapped potential in anyone and anything. The world couldn't work on you if the elements weren't already within you, at the very least in the form of receptors. But I don't glorify it. No body and no thing in the world can be all of its inherent potential in its one lifetime, not even close. So no point in fretting over it and crying about it in self-pity.

Nor do I see a truer self residing there in the deep, at least not the way I think you are thinking of it. It's still just drivel caught up in the ego, just different one, albeit highly pragmatic for our everyday functionality. Though I do believe there are also the parts that aren't drivel for they are independent from the ego, in other words the deeper you go inside the more everyone becomes the same, hence I don't think of them in the conventional psycho-analytical sense and they have nothing to do anymore with identity in the narrower sense, and this is already where we get into the spiritual.

Do you find the statement ironic because you think that Marlow or maybe as well several other people who got to know him well enough during his final stage (e.g. "Dennis Hopper") must have known Kurtz better than her? Granted, Marlow also heard a lot of second-hand stories about the Kurtz that she still had a chance to know in addition to getting to know the "final Kurtz", but he overall probably spent a hell of a lot less time with the man than she had. I reckon Kurtz and Marlow never had sex with each other, not that this would make all the difference, but it's one level of intimacy for example that they shared that Marlow didn't share with him. Among other things this would be an experience of ecstasy that easily leads to a proclamation of love for the other person, which opens doors and brings people closer together, possibly making them be more honest to each other...
:lol:

I don't really mean untapped potential or a truer self, I mean like, e.g. someone having a fucked up dream and then wondering "Oh the hell could 'I' have possibly made that association?", something which now becomes a conscious long-term memory and a burden to live with. And this is only a minor strife between the self-identifying self hopelessly clutching at the idea of "Me!" and the deeper blackbox complex brain activities that produce thinking, dreams, feelings, desires, behaviour. Anterograde amnesia, anosognosia, sexual repression, gender dysphoria, DID, ... there are greater sources of conflict than a mere bad dream. The 'subject' as transitory multiplicity.

I'm not too well read on philosophy of mind yet, but if there's anyone who I've read and always thought "This is spot-on.", then there's R. Scott Bakker and his brand of eliminative materialism. I know you won't follow-up and would probably prefer me trying to make some sort of summary, but it's really good.

I just can't but see Kurtz's infernal outpost at the end of the river as a dissolution of all identity and knowledge, the things he did as a becoming-demon, -alien, -inhuman, all apt for an exploration of pure horror. Any sort of attempt to encapsulate a person who went through this, especially if one doesn't know what has happened at all, is a rather manky (sorry, just learnt this word) effort. Kurtz, now, defies narrative, words, all human mental representation. Little room for intimacy here. (Coppola's) Kurtz: It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Pre-Congo Kurtz and the person under that name his wife could remember held enlightenment humanist ideals with a commercial interest, Post-Congo Kurtz only contains traces of those things to as much a degree as an Alzheimer's patient blurts out something which happened decades ago. Basically
Those fucked up dreams, that's the world speaking through you, mate. There ain't no you , yo.

I guess I see now why you asked me that question before. Yeah, I indeed don't believe in psychoanalysis anymore, not with much conviction anyway. Less so for myself than for many others (the stronger you believe in it the better it tends to work for you, of course, that's how things work). It's a science and I don't believe in any sciences, but psychoanalysis is a particularly crudely developed one at this point. I'm reminded of one of the hallucinogenic drug docs I watched last year (might have been 'Other Worlds', dunno, there were a bunch), in which one guy said that one trip on LSD did more for his mental well-being than 15 years of psycho-therapy.
Psycho-therapy I essentially see as a band-aid for an increasingly unnatural society that breeds evermore ridiculous hang-ups in people, and instead of changing their lifestyles, which does also become increasingly more difficult, people try to decrease the discrepancy between their self-image and their role in society by making especially their public-image-infested part of their unconscious conscious, so they can identify as e.g. a copper through and through and they aren't very likely to fall into an existential crisis unless their round world one day suddenly turns cubist, but that's not likely to happen, so instead they will be exemplary cops who at home beat their undisciplined children and their unobedient wife and feel very much at peace with themselves.

Nah, man, Kurtz just needed a few psycho-therapy sessions with one of the leading experts in the field, I'm sure he would have been fine... Your description of Kurtz' evolution and final stage sounds about right to me. Let's see how well-equipped a psycho-therapist who usually treats business managers, stock brokers and celebrities living in a metropolis is to "heal" a man who incorporated the jungle in his being.


"Pre-Congo Kurtz and the person under that name his wife could remember held enlightenment humanist ideals with a commercial interest, Post-Congo Kurtz only contains traces of those things to as much a degree as an Alzheimer's patient blurts out something which happened decades ago."
I think I see what you mean. I saw traces of those traits and ideals in pre-Congo Kurtz (in the stories told about him) but didn't want to pin him down to this only. It makes some sense for why you would want to hold on to your interpretation in some ways with this understanding of Kurtz' personal evolution in mind, and with it the presumingly comparable traits and ideals of the fiancée, a matter which would maybe only have a vague effect on Kurtz' love for her over his many months in the jungle, especially given that he had no contact with her in all this time during his evolution and she can remain this idealized being in his mind even if by now they realistically possibly would be a total mismatch as a couple, beating her and their children and being in peace with the horror of the jungle...


PS: Found this by chance, it might be interesting to you: "The Fogginess of Heart of Darkness". Seems to reference Nietzsche a lot.
https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu ... ad/417/387
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#55

Post by Carmel1379 » February 12th, 2019, 10:26 am

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 6:47 pm
...
I guess I see now why you asked me that question before. Yeah, I indeed don't believe in psychoanalysis anymore, not with much conviction anyway. Less so for myself than for many others (the stronger you believe in it the better it tends to work for you, of course, that's how things work). It's a science and I don't believe in any sciences, but psychoanalysis is a particularly crudely developed one at this point. I'm reminded of one of the hallucinogenic drug docs I watched last year (might have been 'Other Worlds', dunno, there were a bunch), in which one guy said that one trip on LSD did more for his mental well-being than 15 years of psycho-therapy.

Psycho-therapy I essentially see as a band-aid for an increasingly unnatural society that breeds evermore ridiculous hang-ups in people, and instead of changing their lifestyles, which does also become increasingly more difficult, people try to decrease the discrepancy between their self-image and their role in society by making especially their public-image-infested part of their unconscious conscious, so they can identify as e.g. a copper through and through and they aren't very likely to fall into an existential crisis unless their round world one day suddenly turns cubist, but that's not likely to happen, so instead they will be exemplary cops who at home beat their undisciplined children and their unobedient wife and feel very much at peace with themselves.

...
The short- and long-term (anti-depressive) benefits of psychedelics, entactogens, and some stimulants have been studied (yes, even by scientists), it's just that they'll never become a thing given how those drugs have been ostracised over the decades and just aren't suited for pharmaceutical companies to make a profit from, as they can't be patented and since for some they can actually work^^.

Which question of mine are you referring to?

The "beating your children" line is in the film, so now I wonder if you've actually rewatched it. But the wife (and children) actually left the cop, so it's not like there aren't unintended consequences to ones actions. Not that therefore he'd necessarily doubt himself (that's his repressed -- the possibility he might actually be guilty), if anything his behaviour and ideology are in retrospect rationalised with increasingly greater ferocity and self-righteousness. A bit like in 'The Shining'. It's a man's burden, Lloyd..
IMDb, letterboxd, tumblr
Image
whom shall we find
Sufficient? who shall tempt with wand’ring feet
The dark unbottom’d infinite Abyss,
And through the palpable obscure find out
His uncouth way, or spread his aerie flight,
Upborn with indefatigable wings,
Over the vast abrupt, ere he arrive
The happy Ile?

Nur dein Auge – ungeheuer / Blickt michs an, Unendlichkeit!
Close the world. ʇxǝu ǝɥʇ uǝdO.
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#56

Post by Perception de Ambiguity » February 12th, 2019, 5:27 pm

Carmel1379 wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 10:26 am
Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 11th, 2019, 6:47 pm
...
I guess I see now why you asked me that question before. Yeah, I indeed don't believe in psychoanalysis anymore, not with much conviction anyway. Less so for myself than for many others (the stronger you believe in it the better it tends to work for you, of course, that's how things work). It's a science and I don't believe in any sciences, but psychoanalysis is a particularly crudely developed one at this point. I'm reminded of one of the hallucinogenic drug docs I watched last year (might have been 'Other Worlds', dunno, there were a bunch), in which one guy said that one trip on LSD did more for his mental well-being than 15 years of psycho-therapy.

Psycho-therapy I essentially see as a band-aid for an increasingly unnatural society that breeds evermore ridiculous hang-ups in people, and instead of changing their lifestyles, which does also become increasingly more difficult, people try to decrease the discrepancy between their self-image and their role in society by making especially their public-image-infested part of their unconscious conscious, so they can identify as e.g. a copper through and through and they aren't very likely to fall into an existential crisis unless their round world one day suddenly turns cubist, but that's not likely to happen, so instead they will be exemplary cops who at home beat their undisciplined children and their unobedient wife and feel very much at peace with themselves.

...
The short- and long-term (anti-depressive) benefits of psychedelics, entactogens, and some stimulants have been studied (yes, even by scientists), it's just that they'll never become a thing given how those drugs have been ostracised over the decades and just aren't suited for pharmaceutical companies to make a profit from, as they can't be patented and since for some they can actually work^^.

Which question of mine are you referring to?

The "beating your children" line is in the film, so now I wonder if you've actually rewatched it. But the wife (and children) actually left the cop, so it's not like there aren't unintended consequences to ones actions. Not that therefore he'd necessarily doubt himself (that's his repressed -- the possibility he might actually be guilty), if anything his behaviour and ideology are in retrospect rationalised with increasingly greater ferocity and self-righteousness. A bit like in 'The Shining'. It's a man's burden, Lloyd..
No need to tell me, I saw 'The Substance: Albert Hofmann's LSD' and 'Neurons to Nirvana' (one from which it is likely that the "LSD > 15 years of psycho-therapy" quote comes from, whichever it was, it goes into some detail about how the substance was studied and tested during the 50's, 60's and into the 70's in psycho-therapeutic circles with government support, like for example on soldiers returning from Vietnam with SHELL-SHOCK. Problem was in a way that it worked too well, relieving people of their anxiety, but also made them question government bullshit as a side effect; turned out that it's a drug where the effects on the recipients would be difficult to control and socially/commercially undesirable, it doesn't necessarily turn people into more functional beings for contemporary society, hence it's difficult to commercialize, so fuck it and let's outlaw it.
Timothy Leary, for example, was a famous psychologist who embraced LSD as a therapeutic drug, and even was the person who popularized the phrase "turn on, tune in, drop out" (also "think for yourself and question authority" according to Wikipedia). He keeps popping up in those 60's counter-culture and psychedlic drug docs (including 'The Source Family', I think).

Pharmaceuticals aren't for healing, they are for treating the symptoms. There is no real money in a drug that will fix your problem with one use, you gotta be dependent on it for a long time. 'The Man in the White Suit' (1951) is a decent sci-fi comedy on that subject, certainly as far as the basic idea goes, a great scientific innovation being suppressed commercially because it would put too many people and industries out of business (also see: Nikola Tesla, electric cars, etc.), not to mention the built-in limited life-span of products nowadays with particular components made to break after a certain time; a microphone cable that is built to hold for use for a life-time, how would that keep the economy going, which needs constant growth to be sustained, eh?


"Which question of mine are you referring to?"
This, because I initially couldn't really tell what in my reply prompted this implicit question:
"The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc."

I vaguely remembered some conversations about the copper being a violent husband and/or father and he clearly also got a tiny bit aggressive in the cube. I also remember the divorce part now that you mention it, which could have only added to his frustration. Haven't rewatched the film, though, since 2015, but I've seen it four times overall, so. Your referencing of 'The Dark Knight' immediately made me rewatch it on Sunday, though. The previous viewing already was back in '16, already almost too much time between reviewings of a top NOLAN film.
Sure, the cop is right and everyone else and the world is wrong, going ballistic at this point is easier than becoming a pacifist or whatever, when his Weltanschauung becomes to feel too contradictory to his ideology given the situation that he is presented with currently.
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Carmel1379
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#57

Post by Carmel1379 » February 12th, 2019, 8:00 pm

Perception de Ambiguity wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 5:27 pm
...

"Which question of mine are you referring to?"
This, because I initially couldn't really tell what in my reply prompted this implicit question:
"The part I don't get is why you don't think the mind has an interlocked system of half-known and hidden bundles of information, drives, feelings, etc."

I vaguely remembered some conversations about the copper being a violent husband and/or father and he clearly also got a tiny bit aggressive in the cube. I also remember the divorce part now that you mention it, which could have only added to his frustration. Haven't rewatched the film, though, since 2015, but I've seen it four times overall, so. Your referencing of 'The Dark Knight' immediately made me rewatch it on Sunday, though. The previous viewing already was back in '16, already almost too much time between reviewings of a top NOLAN film.
Sure, the cop is right and everyone else and the world is wrong, going ballistic at this point is easier than becoming a pacifist or whatever, when his Weltanschauung becomes to feel too contradictory to his ideology given the situation that he is presented with currently.
That was prompted by your "I don't see identity very much as something coming from within, like different circumstances revealing more of a person, shedding the layers, or bringing things to light that have always been within you", which I just sort-of rephrased with some examples, although now I do better understand what you meant. In any case my implicit assumption always was that there's no such thing as personal human identity, while Kurtz's character only demonstrates its obsolescence as a concept. :turned:

I believe it was the doctor who posed the snide question about the cop beating his children, probably around the same time she called him a fascist. (This is beside the point, but there's an interesting implication here how the patriarch/cop/fascist's paranoid order-insistence turns against his own domain and offspring (which he had obviously sworn to protect and rear), how it's a self-deleterious disposition (again 'The Shining' comes to mind).) To which he at some point retorts (or maybe that was before, idk, I haven't rewatched it since 2017) that she is alone and hasn't been fucked in ages, again a form of self-projection into other people's lives, assuming what they want and need (a man, a dick-ah), premises further confirmed in their simplisticity when the cop barks to the student about the essentiality/elementariness of "man and woman", how they're "two halves of the equation". Okay, bashing the cop is probably becoming a bit boring and just too easy at this point, perhaps it would be a bit more refreshing to criticise the other characters in a worthwhile manner.

Oh dear, but 'The Dark Knight' complicates everything by a relatively small amount (68 million). Who the hell is Batman anyway? What's his idea of maintaining order, peace of mind, philosophy of cube? What about the White Knight? Let's not even go there. Unless you wanna say sommin.

Oi, 'The Favourite' is online - get in there.
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