matthewscott8 wrote: ↑April 30th, 2020, 7:59 pm
mathiasa wrote: ↑April 30th, 2020, 3:19 pm
matthewscott8 wrote: ↑April 30th, 2020, 2:53 pm
It's been a long time since I watched the film but my understanding is that they couldn't walk away afterwards, there was a fifth character keeping them there.
It's fine to talk about promises and such, but I think one of the things the Merchant of Venice teaches us is that it's inhuman to enforce all contracts.
Absolutely, it‘s inhuman to enforce contracts, and some are especially malicious. That‘s why Libertarians apply a non-mainstream theory of contracts, the Title Transfer theory of contracts, which intellectually allegedly goes back to Kant. Though the earliest work on it that I‘ve read was by the great individual anarchist Lysander Spooner (Poverty: Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure
). Then a few decades ago, Williamson Evers and Murray Rothbard rediscovered the theory and applied it to Libertarianism. What the theory exactly means is still in debate, with Kinsella correcting some of Rothbards mistakes (In A Libertarian Theory of Contract
, it‘s very short and freely available on the internet).
Anyway, according to this thoery, the contract would not be enforceable, as there was no title transfer. It‘s only Libertarianism and Individual Anarchism that appropriately deal with the inhumanity you mention, in that they reject the current contract theory which is a mish mash of expectation and promise based theories of contract.
In that way yes, the movie in a way exposes what can happen in a non-Libertarian society. But I‘m not sure if it was that which you meant.
Yes I think we are much more on the same wavelength now, and I could have used anarchism instead of libertarianism as a touchstone. I looked it up and it's the M. Emmet Walsh character Murks who is responsible for keeping them there. Of course there is much room for interpretation in the movie, is the game rigged, is Murks a warden, did the characters succumb to fate or chance. The barfly review on IMDb is good:
Paul Auster writes marvelous contemporary fiction, and this is a wonderful film adaptation of perhaps his finest work.
THE MUSIC OF CHANCE revolves around two very different protagonists. Jim Nash (Mandy Patinkin) is an ex-fireman, driving across America, and searching for meaning to his life. Jack Pozzi (James Spader) is a professional poker player, out of money, out of luck, and given a ride to New York by Nash. It emerges Jack has a game scheduled with two eccentric millionaires (Joel Grey and Charles Durning), so Jim puts up the capital with the last of his own money. But the poker game doesn't go quite according to plan...
Some people have described this film as "pretentious" - pretending to what exactly? Jack Pozzi and Jim Nash are two unusually clearly defined characters - one shallow, over-confident, tetchy; the other calm, reasonable, tolerant. Their eventual predicament is also disarmingly simple. That air of mystery to the film does not spring from narrative or character but from the viewer's own philosophies towards life. Does one choose one's own path or is it chosen for you? Chance or fate? Freedom or incarceration? Meaning or, in Nash's words, "just bullshit". So in fact even if you think the events onscreen have no deeper meaning, well then that *is* the meaning. For you anyway.
The acting is universally excellent, with Grey, Durning, M Emmet Walsh, and Chris Penn illuminating supporting roles. But Patinkin and Spader dominate the film, with two absolutely captivating performances. Philip Haas's direction is suitably under-stated, and there is also excellent use of music, from jazz to classical.
THE MUSIC OF CHANCE is an absorbing and intelligent piece of film-making. If only there were more films like it.
Yes, there‘s plenty of room for interpretation. Sometimes, this is a good thing, but I feel like in this movie it would have been better to narrow down the number of explanation. They partly stem from the fact that the writers didn‘t understand poker. Their misunderstanding was so bad, they even got some of the basic rules of it wrong (ie table stakes), let alone poker strategy, table etiquette, bankroll management etc.
Now this is something you experience almost always in a movie where poker is played. Just this week I watched „The man with the golden arm“ and they got it ridiculously wrong too.
It‘s just that in a movie like „Music of Chance“ where the game itself is so pivotal to the subsequent happenings and the movies metapher(s), its basic meaning etc. It’s of crucial importance that the writers would have gotten at least a small introduction towards how the game works. But it appears to me they consulted some card game addicts who maybe played a lot, but had no idea what they were doing (Just like addicts in general). In fact, the game was much portrayed like a gambling junkie would see it (good cards you win, bad cards, you lose, that‘s all there’s to it).
If your movie mostly about one particular game, and making
this movie means a lot to you, then why for godsake are
you not researching this properly. It blows my mind how this can happen. Maybe they had some preconceived notions about poker and didn‘t see the need to ask an expert.
And it‘s now extremely difficult do decipher the meaning, what was intentional, what stems from a lack of the games understanding. For me, this is a bad form „openness“ in a movie.
That being said, I gave it a 3.8, so there‘s still far worse stuff out there and it does have some qualities (or else I‘d given it a 1.0/10).