Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Follow us on   
Search   
Forum Home Register for Free! Log In Moderator Tickets FAQ Users Online

Reading too much into things...

 
Logged in as: Guest
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Movie Musings >> Reading too much into things... Page: [1] 2 3   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 1:00:51 PM   
rich


Posts: 4927
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....
Post #: 1
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 1:39:34 PM   
OPEN YOUR EYES

 

Posts: 4376
Joined: 5/2/2012
I read a similar type of review a few years back on the film:Predator.
At first it was abit odd in its write-up but gradually it was becoming a (somewhat) entertaining read.

(in reply to rich)
Post #: 2
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 2:40:18 PM   
giggity

 

Posts: 288
Joined: 4/3/2012
Not as huge into detail as that but a friend of mine was convinced in The Dark Knight Rises that



SPOILER




Bane was a paedophile and raped Talia as a child which then led to their twisted romance. I thought, I know you like your films gritty mate but no. Just...no.

(in reply to rich)
Post #: 3
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 2:43:02 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Well that at least keeps Bane scary to the end, instead of being undone by that twist so you think "aww Bane you big softie, awwww give me a hug"

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to giggity)
Post #: 4
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 3:14:47 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....


For some people the shark is a vagina with teeth - yes, a vagina with teeth (vagina d'entarte) - symbolising the male fear of female sexuality; this kind of "monstrous feminine" theory has also been applied to Aliens. Yes, really.

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to rich)
Post #: 5
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 4:16:49 PM   
giggity

 

Posts: 288
Joined: 4/3/2012

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

Well that at least keeps Bane scary to the end, instead of being undone by that twist so you think "aww Bane you big softie, awwww give me a hug"


I still think he's scary after the twist. Just because he loves someone and you see him feel for someone doesn't change every thing he's done beforehand.

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 6
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 4:23:30 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23695
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41°N 93°W

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....


For some people the shark is a vagina with teeth - yes, a vagina with teeth (vagina d'entarte) - symbolising the male fear of female sexuality; this kind of "monstrous feminine" theory has also been applied to Aliens. Yes, really.


If you honestly think that it's a stretch to find that subtext in Aliens, I don't know what to say really.

_____________________________

I tried to groan, Help! Help! But the tone that came out was that of polite conversation.

Empire Top 100 Albums Poll 2013: CLICK HERE

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 7
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 6:06:36 PM   
rich


Posts: 4927
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Neo Kobe
The imagery in Alien is basically overt though, it doesn't really count as subtext...

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 8
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 6:23:55 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf


quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....


For some people the shark is a vagina with teeth - yes, a vagina with teeth (vagina d'entarte) - symbolising the male fear of female sexuality; this kind of "monstrous feminine" theory has also been applied to Aliens. Yes, really.


If you honestly think that it's a stretch to find that subtext in Aliens, I don't know what to say really.


I don't think it's a stretch, I just don't necessarily buy it.

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 9
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 8:53:17 PM   
adambatman82

 

Posts: 11156
Joined: 15/12/2005
Interesting that this thread has popped up on the eve of the release of Room 237, a documentary which explores some of the more outlandish theories concerned with The Shining. I actually buy in to one of the theories completely, and was surprised to find (upon viewing Room 237) that it wasn't the accepted reading of the film. It revolves around this idea that the film is an analogy for the way in which the Native American's were treated by the Europeans that "discovered" the continent.

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 10
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 9:28:19 PM   
Charles B. Potatoes


Posts: 116
Joined: 6/8/2006
From: Surrey

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf


quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....


For some people the shark is a vagina with teeth - yes, a vagina with teeth (vagina d'entarte) - symbolising the male fear of female sexuality; this kind of "monstrous feminine" theory has also been applied to Aliens. Yes, really.


If you honestly think that it's a stretch to find that subtext in Aliens, I don't know what to say really.


I don't think it's a stretch, I just don't necessarily buy it.


It's overt. It's not a question of you buying it, it's the point of the Alien.

_____________________________

If you ask me Skywalker was bloody lucky to turn off his guidance system.

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 11
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 9:39:39 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23695
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41°N 93°W
quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

I don't think it's a stretch, I just don't necessarily buy it.


Dan O'Bannon on Alien: "One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex... I said 'That's how I'm going to attack the audience; I'm going to attack them sexually. And I'm not going to go after the women in the audience, I'm going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.'"

We're not even talking about an audience interpretation in this case - the whole series revolves around sexual imagery (there's a fairly overt sexual disease/AIDS allegory running through Alien3 as well) and as the quote above shows, that was explicitly what the creators set out to make. If anything, it's more of a wilful misreading of the text to suggest there *isn't* that subtext.

though more general point for the thread - I don't think there are definitively 'good' and 'bad' readings of any film/book/etc. There are however plenty of readings that don't have much textual content to back them up, or readings that take an element of the text out of context to support a pre-existing thesis (the TDKR one mentioned above being an example).

< Message edited by Olaf -- 13/10/2012 9:41:35 PM >


_____________________________

I tried to groan, Help! Help! But the tone that came out was that of polite conversation.

Empire Top 100 Albums Poll 2013: CLICK HERE

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 12
RE: Reading too much into things... - 13/10/2012 11:35:28 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: Charles B. Potatoes

It's overt. It's not a question of you buying it, it's the point of the Alien.


Whether it's overt or not one of the joys of subjectivity is choosing what one does or does not read into something, despite the intentions of the creator.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

Dan O'Bannon on Alien: "One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex... I said 'That's how I'm going to attack the audience; I'm going to attack them sexually. And I'm not going to go after the women in the audience, I'm going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.'"


Yes, I know, that stuff in the original is all there to be seen, I'm not denying that. Male rape, fear of childbirth, fear of Mother, the threat to the Patriarchal Order, and so forth. And while some of those themes will obviously carry over to Aliens, they are much more subsumed, at least until the Queen shows up. But they have never been at the forefront of my mind while watching Aliens. I can't comment on Aliens 3 and 4 as I don't like them and haven't seen them in years.

quote:

We're not even talking about an audience interpretation in this case - the whole series revolves around sexual imagery (there's a fairly overt sexual disease/AIDS allegory running through Alien3 as well) and as the quote above shows, that was explicitly what the creators set out to make. If anything, it's more of a wilful misreading of the text to suggest there *isn't* that subtext.


Like I said I'm not willfully misreading anything and I never suggested that there isn't that subtext. I was specifically talking about Aliens, and while my original post may have seemed a tad dismissive it was more about my incredulity regarding various sexual interpretations of Jaws and while the theories of the Monstrous Feminine are quite demonstrative in Scott's Alien I just don't think that was the case in the sequel. And when I was at uni I heard a lot of stuff I didn't agree with. Of course, incredulous or not, people are free to read what they want - whilst others are free to scratch their heads in bafflement.

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to Charles B. Potatoes)
Post #: 13
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 3:03:45 AM   
Hood_Man


Posts: 12151
Joined: 30/9/2005
I don't personally think reading too much into something is a bad thing. The filmmaker goes on a personal journey when they make the film, and the viewer does the same when they view it, whatever they make of it or read into it is a personal experience for them.

I'm slightly suspicious of anyone who claims to be an absolute authority on someone else's work, it seems more like a case of trying to be the loudest voice in the room sometimes.

Granted, I do have my limits sometimes If someone claims to be seeing the most batshit insane of ideas within a film then great, as long as they can point out what they're seeing and when it's justified, but if they start making up fanfiction to justify themselves then I think they're a snowball short of an avalanche.

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 14
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 10:05:01 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: giggity

Not as huge into detail as that but a friend of mine was convinced in The Dark Knight Rises that



SPOILER




Bane was a paedophile and raped Talia as a child which then led to their twisted romance. I thought, I know you like your films gritty mate but no. Just...no.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

Well that at least keeps Bane scary to the end, instead of being undone by that twist so you think "aww Bane you big softie, awwww give me a hug"


Now then, now then...

(Bane'll Fix It!*)














* Sorry.

(in reply to giggity)
Post #: 15
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 10:17:31 AM   
chewbacasnapsak


Posts: 740
Joined: 6/7/2006
From: westbound on olympic
I'm not really into reading subtext into movies, i just watch em and enjoy em.
However I remember years ago someone going on about the white supremecist take on Back to the Future.
Now I get the 88 reference (88 being alphanumeric for HH Heil Hitle and is an Aryan prison tattoo)
but this was going into it much more, anyone else know this one, I remember thinking it was balls at the time.

_____________________________

"who'd pay a million dollars to have me killed"
"jealous husbands, outraged chefs, humiliated tailors...the list is endless"

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 16
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 10:32:04 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

I don't personally think reading too much into something is a bad thing. The filmmaker goes on a personal journey when they make the film, and the viewer does the same when they view it, whatever they make of it or read into it is a personal experience for them.

I'm slightly suspicious of anyone who claims to be an absolute authority on someone else's work, it seems more like a case of trying to be the loudest voice in the room sometimes.

Granted, I do have my limits sometimes If someone claims to be seeing the most batshit insane of ideas within a film then great, as long as they can point out what they're seeing and when it's justified, but if they start making up fanfiction to justify themselves then I think they're a snowball short of an avalanche.


I have to agree with this. It's all a matter of interpretation. You've got the writer's original intention when they write the script. You've got the director's and the actors' individual interpretation of that script and its characters (which may not be in total agreement - Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow was definitely NOT what the writers intended or wrote, much to Disney's reported horror that he was "gay"!) while shooting. Then there's the editing process which can change everything - compare and contrast Terry Gilliam's Brazil with the studio-sanctioned "Love Conquers All" travesty which tries to make Sam Lowery more heroic and assertive by using different takes.

But ultimately it's the individual members of the audience who decide what it all means and that can vary from punter to punter. I've got this mate who's always watching a different film from the rest of us - we all think it's a horror movie while he thinks it's a comedy. Right wing Italian critics thought Star Wars was "communist" cos it was about overthrowing established order, while left-wing French critics thought it was "fascist" cos the ending homaged Triumph of the Will. Go figure.

I love reading shit into stuff all the time - I think The Dark Knight Trilogy is "about" post 9/11 America and its paranoia in the face of The War on Terror and the post-Credit Crunch economic meltdown. Some of that stuff might actually be in there. (I also caused a minor stooshie among Doctor Who fans recently when I dared to suggest that Asylum of the Daleks was about them - the asylum was the internet and the Daleks were us! "How do you make a Dalek? Remove love and replace it with anger." Sounds like a lot of online fanboys to me...)

William Goldman says that subtext is what separates art from, well, shit. But obviously this sort of thing can get out of hand. Like the OP I've read some deeply pretentious, negative dialectic/semiotic filmwank-spouting Jaws reviews which have claimed the shark represents everything from Vietnam to Watergate, Nixon to feminism and the crisis of the phallocentric hierarchy in the post-industrial malaise that really put the bollocks in symbolic!

But there are no right and wrong answers. If you don't want to admit the obvious and acknowledge that Alien is "about" the fear of male rape (or that Arnie's none-more-macho men in Predator should just cut the crap and get a room - the Predator's mouth even looks like a lady's... you know... with teeth!) then that's entirely up to you. It's all subjective opinion. And we all know what opinions are like...


< Message edited by chris kilby -- 15/10/2012 7:29:14 PM >

(in reply to Hood_Man)
Post #: 17
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 10:37:18 AM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown


quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

So I came across this


quote:



Fredric Jameson's Marxist analysis highlights the polysemy of the shark and the multiple ways in which it can be and has been read—from representing alien menaces such as communism or the Third World to more intimate dreads concerning the unreality of contemporary American life and the vain efforts to sanitize and suppress the knowledge of death. He asserts that its symbolic function is to be found in this very "polysemousness which is profoundly ideological, insofar as it allows essentially social and historical anxieties to be folded back into apparently 'natural' ones ... to be recontained in what looks like a conflict with other forms of biological existence." He views Quint's demise as the symbolic overthrow of an old, populist, New Deal America and Brody and Hooper's partnership as an "allegory of an alliance between the forces of law-and-order and the new technocracy of the multinational corporations ... in which the viewer rejoices without understanding that he or she is excluded from it."



I mean.... really? What? Anyone ever seen anything else quite this straight up crazy? Anyone actually have weird movie theories or think any of that adds up, I mean at all.....


For some people the shark is a vagina with teeth - yes, a vagina with teeth (vagina d'entarte) - symbolising the male fear of female sexuality; this kind of "monstrous feminine" theory has also been applied to Aliens. Yes, really.


This is true! HR Giger's work is obsessed with vagina dentata - he talks about it all the time. Not least on the Alien boxset extras.

(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 18
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 12:35:38 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
The thing about overinterpretation is that they are often funny - you can watch it and wryly laugh at the faux-subtext and move on, it doesn't really break up your enjoyment of the film (at least for me). I was watching the original King Kong the other day, and the racist subtext (big black savage comes to the west, steals the white woman which he can't resist, reeks havoc etc) is obvious, but its entertaining to take it further - for example when he's climbling the Empire State Building, this is clearly a metaphor for the black working class trying to climb up the social ladder only to be gunned down by the white elite.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 19
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:09:17 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1261
Joined: 31/3/2010
Sometimes The Empire State Building is just The Empire State Building...

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 20
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:10:15 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

The thing about overinterpretation is that they are often funny - you can watch it and wryly laugh at the faux-subtext and move on, it doesn't really break up your enjoyment of the film (at least for me). I was watching the original King Kong the other day, and the racist subtext (big black savage comes to the west, steals the white woman which he can't resist, reeks havoc etc) is obvious, but its entertaining to take it further - for example when he's climbling the Empire State Building, this is clearly a metaphor for the black working class trying to climb up the social ladder only to be gunned down by the white elite.


According to some Die Hard is also racist in this regard, suggesting that the black man (Al) can only cure his impotence by saving the great white Bwana's life.

_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 21
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:21:49 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
Films with tall buildings, all racist you heard it here first

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 22
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:37:37 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5059
Joined: 12/6/2009
From: The North

quote:

ORIGINAL: adambatman82

Interesting that this thread has popped up on the eve of the release of Room 237, a documentary which explores some of the more outlandish theories concerned with The Shining. I actually buy in to one of the theories completely, and was surprised to find (upon viewing Room 237) that it wasn't the accepted reading of the film. It revolves around this idea that the film is an analogy for the way in which the Native American's were treated by the Europeans that "discovered" the continent.



No love for the faked moon landing theory then?

_____________________________

www.hollywoodunbound.co.uk - some nonsense about alien film directors and musclebound man-children.

(in reply to adambatman82)
Post #: 23
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:39:18 PM   
Cool Breeze


Posts: 2344
Joined: 9/11/2011
From: The Internet
I once heard about someone say that The Fast And The Furious was a thinly veiled allegory for the fall of the soviet union.

_____________________________

'' Iv played Oskar Schindler, Michael Collins, Rob Roy Mcgregor, even ZEUS for gods sake! No one is going to believe me to be a green grocer! ''

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 24
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:49:25 PM   
Scruffybobby

 

Posts: 4306
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: My House
quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

I don't think it's a stretch, I just don't necessarily buy it.


Dan O'Bannon on Alien: "One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex... I said 'That's how I'm going to attack the audience; I'm going to attack them sexually. And I'm not going to go after the women in the audience, I'm going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.'"

We're not even talking about an audience interpretation in this case - the whole series revolves around sexual imagery (there's a fairly overt sexual disease/AIDS allegory running through Alien3 as well) and as the quote above shows, that was explicitly what the creators set out to make. If anything, it's more of a wilful misreading of the text to suggest there *isn't* that subtext.

though more general point for the thread - I don't think there are definitively 'good' and 'bad' readings of any film/book/etc. There are however plenty of readings that don't have much textual content to back them up, or readings that take an element of the text out of context to support a pre-existing thesis (the TDKR one mentioned above being an example).


Then again there's this from Ridley Scott (from an Alien retrospective in Neon magazine scanned HERE)

"There's nothing very intellectual about Alien. That's the point of the film. It has absolutely no message. It works on a visceral level - and its only point is terror"

If one of - if not the - key contributors to the film says there's nothing much to the film it seems quite valid to me that someone watching it might consider the whole "male fear of female sexuality" thing to be so much bunkum.

It really is about your own interpretation. Mark Kermode is very big on this  saying something like "trust the tale not the teller". As much as the film makers may be trying to convey one thing the viewer can see something totally different and they're both right - or both wrong.




< Message edited by Scruffybobby -- 14/10/2012 1:50:42 PM >


_____________________________

I want to taste you like yogurt.

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 25
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 1:50:26 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14549
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
I think it's very reductive to say that a film can only be viewed as the way a director sees it. Where's the fun in that?

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Scruffybobby)
Post #: 26
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 3:04:53 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23695
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41°N 93°W
quote:

ORIGINAL: Scruffybobby

quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

quote:

ORIGINAL: DancingClown

I don't think it's a stretch, I just don't necessarily buy it.


Dan O'Bannon on Alien: "One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex... I said 'That's how I'm going to attack the audience; I'm going to attack them sexually. And I'm not going to go after the women in the audience, I'm going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.'"

We're not even talking about an audience interpretation in this case - the whole series revolves around sexual imagery (there's a fairly overt sexual disease/AIDS allegory running through Alien3 as well) and as the quote above shows, that was explicitly what the creators set out to make. If anything, it's more of a wilful misreading of the text to suggest there *isn't* that subtext.

though more general point for the thread - I don't think there are definitively 'good' and 'bad' readings of any film/book/etc. There are however plenty of readings that don't have much textual content to back them up, or readings that take an element of the text out of context to support a pre-existing thesis (the TDKR one mentioned above being an example).


Then again there's this from Ridley Scott (from an Alien retrospective in Neon magazine scanned HERE)

"There's nothing very intellectual about Alien. That's the point of the film. It has absolutely no message. It works on a visceral level - and its only point is terror"

If one of - if not the - key contributors to the film says there's nothing much to the film it seems quite valid to me that someone watching it might consider the whole "male fear of female sexuality" thing to be so much bunkum.

It really is about your own interpretation. Mark Kermode is very big on this  saying something like "trust the tale not the teller". As much as the film makers may be trying to convey one thing the viewer can see something totally different and they're both right - or both wrong.





firstly, I'm not sure how Ridley can be considered the key contributor to the film (other than on a technical level) when O'Bannon wrote the screenplay, O'Bannon and Ron Shusett came up with the story, and H.R. Giger was responsible for the art design. His reading certainly has validity (the same way any reading has validity) as he was the key figure in putting it on screen, but he's certainly not a central authority on what themes the writers wanted to pursue.

Either way, that quote doesn't actually contradict the previous quotation - there is nothing 'intellectual' about the themes we're discussing. We're talking about very basic and primal fears of a sexual unknown, so Ridley saying that it works on a visceral level is not contradicting this.

Finally, even if he was saying 'THIS IMAGERY IS NOT SYMBOLIC OF ANYTHING IN ALIEN' etc, I'd say he's completely wrong because it goes against the whole point of rewatching and analysing films with the thematic content to sustain such a reading. I'm not fascistic about authorial intention or anything - anyone who offers an interpretation of a film that intelligently uses the material to support it is fine with me. The post I initially responded to wasn't doing that though, it's doing the opposite (dismissing a valid reading of a text does not constitute a valid interpretation in and of itself).

< Message edited by Olaf -- 14/10/2012 3:06:22 PM >


_____________________________

I tried to groan, Help! Help! But the tone that came out was that of polite conversation.

Empire Top 100 Albums Poll 2013: CLICK HERE

(in reply to Scruffybobby)
Post #: 27
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 3:48:29 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot

quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf
I'm not fascistic about authorial intention or anything - anyone who offers an interpretation of a film that intelligently uses the material to support it is fine with me. The post I initially responded to wasn't doing that though, it's doing the opposite (dismissing a valid reading of a text does not constitute a valid interpretation in and of itself).


Have you actually read any of the other posts I made or are you going to persist with suggesting me to be some kind of anti-intellectual film pleb which is both insulting and patronising. I wasn't dismissing anything, nor was I attempting to offer any interpretation of my own. I'm not saying it isn't a valid reading. I agree that the first Alien film is rich with overt sexual symbolism, anyone can see that. I was talking about ALIENS in which I personally didn't find those themes as relevant - for me anyway. Now I think I've offered a fair explanation as to what I was originally attempting to convey so if you can rein in the thinly-veiled insults I'd appreciate it.


_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 28
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 4:02:32 PM   
Rhubarb


Posts: 24508
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: No Direction Home
I think you are reading a bit too much subtext into Olaf's post there, to be honest.

_____________________________

Team Ginge
WWLD?


quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

You organisational skills sicken me, Rhubarb.



(in reply to DancingClown)
Post #: 29
RE: Reading too much into things... - 14/10/2012 4:09:29 PM   
DancingClown


Posts: 4204
Joined: 8/1/2006
From: The Lot
He's accusing me of being wilfully dismissive and anti-intellectual - while he himself has ignored my other posts in which I thought I gave a fair explanation as to what I was talking about - and that causes me umbrage. I am not presenting my dismissal of any 'text' as an interpretation in itself, and certainly not one that is more 'valid' than others. That is bollocks.

< Message edited by DancingClown -- 14/10/2012 4:11:11 PM >


_____________________________

Astronomic Tune Boy

'The town knew darkness, and darkness was enough.'

"Storm just bleeewwww me away..."

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 30
Page:   [1] 2 3   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Movie Musings >> Reading too much into things... Page: [1] 2 3   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


 
Movie News  |  Empire Blog  |  Movie Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Video Interviews  |  Image Gallery  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Magazine  |  Resources
 
Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.063