Kino Diary
#1
A continuation of the thread on the original Amarna. Share and discuss the movies you've recently seen.

I just watched Starship Troopers at the recommendation of @anthony and @BillyONare. While I enjoyed the film immensely, there are a few aspects I don't know what to make of. The film seems to be both a celebration of militarism and a critique of it's brute simplicity, leaving the ultimate conclusion to be drawn by the viewer. Jean Rasczak (the teacher turned Lieutenant) is one of the few characters who are not portrayed in the semi-cartoonish over the top style of film. While he is given little screen time in general, he's allowed to make serious arguments about the nature of man, politics and the community that go unchallenged. There is also a genuine of comradery and purpose that one sees emerge out of the troops in part due to the war that is not in anyway mocked or satirized, with Rico's barrack buddies being much more intimate and trustworthy friends than those he had gotten in school. The movie also actively embraces and celebrates the fascist aesthetic, but this shouldn't need much commenting on.

Where it starts getting murky is when the federation's attitude towards the bugs and the war become a highlight of the film for a very short period. It is hinted at that the bugs only attack invasive species and that the war was unnecessary only for the notion to be swept under the rug in one of the interlude short clips that play throughout the film. The idea that the bugs may be intelligent is also immediately dismissed, which leads to the massacre of hundreds of thousands of infantry. I cannot help but think this is supposed to be some critique of America's attitude towards it's enemies a la Return of the Empire. The multiple death scenes in the movie are also all cartoonishly violent and mostly pointless, which could feed into the critique hypothesis.
#2
The film is quite obviously a critique, intended to be a parody of militarism and in-group preference as concepts ridiculous in themselves. 

The film only makes sense when suffused with the assumption that war and racism are inherently silly and stupid. If you try too hard to see coherence, you'll get mixed results. 

The humans are portrayed as the "secret aggressors," a la Vietnam War.

The battle scenes are displays of jingoistic incompetence, which to libtards is all that war is.
#3
I agree with what's been said, the film was intended as 'critique', but it came out interestingly because it was made by an honest man who thought he could portray the strengths of what he finds disagreeable more or less in a fashion its believers themselves would consider straight and true, with only a little embellishment here and there for fun and kinomantic reasons. Paul Verhoeven is a Dutch Christian who grew up during WW2 and its aftermath. He has an intelligent fascination with violence and adventure, but they ultimately aren't in his lived character.

Being a sensitive and gifted man Verhoeven can't escape fascinations and desires of a higher soul, including the darker ones. He has them tamed and sublimated through his religion and art, and has for so long that it seems to have led to an underestimation of how powerful these forces are. He read Heinlein's novel and found it "depressing". I don't think he's lying.

Again, as already said Verhoeven finds these things sad and ridiculous in themselves. So he can present them straight and we'll get it. It's not an anti-war movie. It's just a war movie, and we're supposed to bring the 'anti' part in ourselves. For this I consider it the most admirable attempt at an 'anti' something movie in modern film. It's not maudlin, judgmental, moralising, or dishonest. He's saying "look, here is the thing in its extreme." He shows us the particulars of truth falling to the wayside, massacres that probably could have been averted, seeing your friends die horribly, risk of extreme maiming or death at any given moment, sacrifice of the 'human' for things bigger than any individuals welfare, but he also shows us adventure, excitement, intimacy, comradeship, heroism, on some level the *human* is undeniably sacrificed, but this is proven necessary to achieve greater things, the *superhuman*. It's a relatively honest portrayal of both sides. Rather than sperging out over people reading the movie 'wrong', we should instead view the movie as a test. Verhoeven brings the war, we bring a response. Some people see absurd hubris and cruelty, some people see a better possible world. Starship Troopers is about *you*.

The best leftist or pro-peace argument against Starship Troopers is that Verhoeven actually avoided one of the harshest costs of war, which is having to brutalise your fellow man. The bugs are ugly and alien and mean-looking (for the most part), they just look like they *need* to be blown to hell. This vision of militarism and heroism might be cheating, it might be sanitised by avoiding the ugly realities of man's potential cruelty to man.

This argument *would* have maybe had some legs, had the next generation's most popular piece of media on the whole planet addressed this exact issue and not suffered at all for it.

[Image: https://i.ibb.co/vJfrQtf/image.png]

Attack on Titan is a where a hypothetical Starship Troopers sequel could have gone if Verhoeven really wanted to shock the world. We think aggressive sacrifice and expansion for the sake of our shared survival and glory is awesome? How about when the enemies are no longer brutal monsters, what if your existential threat is now your fellow man who fears and bleeds just like you? Quite a shocking rugpull right? Still want to put on a uniform and kill and die for the cause?

[Image: https://i.ibb.co/0mg7c9P/image.png]

113 million tankobon-sales and counting I think we have our answer.

I feel like I repeated myself too much in this post. Hopefully the graph speaks for itself on this subject.
#4
Satire is an in-depth, often but not necessarily comical, exploration of something from a position of superiority. Something being satirical is not, as it seems to be accepted by faggot criticism, that you believe that the "correct" opinion to have about one work is to disagree with it. Satirizing something properly, in fact, entails both a great understanding and the necessary appreciation that follows. After a series of historical circumstances (the book I mentioned in another thread, The Great War and Modern Memory, goes into these a bit, so I won't go here), the best form "western culture" had to represent his view of war in the 20th Century was through satire, specially once the dust from WW2 settled and western countries saw leaving war behind as an immediate necessity. Heart of Darkness is hardly a satirical novel, while Apocalypse Now is a clear example of one.

Starship Troopers is yet another satire, but it's hardly attacking it's subject with no compromise. It has the look of someone fascinated by the past war and violence living in a world where it would be unwise to give these another try.
#5
Saw Lucifer Rising 2 or 3 days ago. I went into it without knowing anything about the director besides his interest in occultism but was intrigued by the admiration he had won from quite a few members of this forum. I don't think I've ever seen a film like it (though admittedly, I am not an avid viewer of movies) in both aesthetics and soundtrack. Not only does it sound good, it sets the mood of the film perfectly, with developments in the story being somewhat predictable based off of changes in the music alone. The visuals are great as well; there's a unique dream like quality to the occult imagery and colors you see in the film, particularly in the scenes which involve the magus. I'll definitely be watching some of his other films later.
#6
(03-26-2022, 05:14 AM)Sharmat Wrote: Saw Lucifer Rising 2 or 3 days ago. I went into it without knowing anything about the director besides his interest in occultism but was intrigued by the admiration he had won from quite a few members of this forum. I don't think I've ever seen a film like it (though admittedly, I am not an avid viewer of movies) in both aesthetics and soundtrack. Not only does it sound good, it sets the mood of the film perfectly, with developments in the story being somewhat predictable based off of changes in the music alone. The visuals are great as well; there's a unique dream like quality to the occult imagery and colors you see in the film, particularly in the scenes which involve the magus. I'll definitely be watching some of his other films later.

If you haven't seen Scorpio Rising that one's essential viewing. Incredible piece of work.
#7
Yes, you should watch Scorpio Rising, but if what you liked is the oniric feeling to it, I think that is at his best in Rabbit's Moon, which is probably the most beautiful of all his movies. It's a dreamlike commedia dell arte pantomime, more tender than what you could expect from Anger but also very sinister. David Lynch said it was one of his favorite movies, and if you watch it you can clearly see why: a huge part of his aesthetic is explicitedly taken from that short film. I agree with Lynch: it's one of the best movies ever made.
#8
Watched the new Batman last night, because I was invited to do so - I already posted this on Twitter, but Batman is the ultimate "elite's good boi" superhero and the most paradoxical when you think about it. Doesn't trust the police to do shit, but when it comes to the judiciary he trusts The Plan more than a Q boomer, hence "no killing" but no private prison either.

The character of the Riddler just betrays who the elite really fear - not the rural "deplorables" but a traitor from within the city itself, a white-collar errand boy who figures out their tricks and decides to actually do something about it...
#9
(03-15-2022, 09:37 PM)anthony Wrote: The best leftist or pro-peace argument against Starship Troopers is that Verhoeven actually avoided one of the harshest costs of war, which is having to brutalise your fellow man. The bugs are ugly and alien and mean-looking (for the most part), they just look like they *need* to be blown to hell. This vision of militarism and heroism might be cheating, it might be sanitised by avoiding the ugly realities of man's potential cruelty to man.

Good point worth reiterating. It's basically impossible to side with the bugs in Starship Troopers. We learn very little of their society and there's nothing to make you as the viewer like them, nothing like what Togashi does in the Chimera Ant arc. I think the satire is strong during the beginning of the movie, especially when they're first enlisting and beginning training. This scene is probably the most heavy-handed/effective in that regard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41rOirEd6p8

But you can only satirize the militarism of the original ST novel so much when you're fighting against an inhuman enemy bent on total destruction. Ultimately the viewer is going to be cheering the main characters on to 'squash those fucking bugs' no matter how much they were laughing at how over-the-top everything was during the first half of the movie.
#10
Just watched Lamb (2021), very stereotypical A24 movie. Vaguely interesting and definitely novel, but there's not much to walk away with, at least as a guy. Why does in seem like, in the last decade or so, all the horror movies (if this even counts, which not really) are about the pathologies of aging women, especially concerning maternity? When did female-centered psychoanalysis take over the film industry?

Scary movies can never just be "oOoOo there's a spooky scary", there's always gotta be some background family tragedy, the recent loss of a child or cheating or something, that the supernatural events can be taken as a Silent Hill-style dream-manifestation of. Everything must be about women and their problems.

On the other hand you have actually Jewish movies like Hereditary that go a step further and are pretty much just trying to convince the audience that all families are broken and hate each other and you shouldn't try to get married or have kids.
#11
(04-08-2022, 09:41 AM)Opossum Wrote: Just watched Lamb (2021), very stereotypical A24 movie. Vaguely interesting and definitely novel, but there's not much to walk away with, at least as a guy. Why does in seem like, in the last decade or so, all the horror movies (if this even counts, which not really) are about the pathologies of aging women, especially concerning maternity? When did female-centered psychoanalysis take over the film industry?

Scary movies can never just be "oOoOo there's a spooky scary", there's always gotta be some background family tragedy, the recent loss of a child or cheating or something, that the supernatural events can be taken as a Silent Hill-style dream-manifestation of. Everything must be about women and their problems.

On the other hand you have actually Jewish movies like Hereditary that go a step further and are pretty much just trying to convince the audience that all families are broken and hate each other and you shouldn't try to get married or have kids.

[Image: https://i.ibb.co/LPGVSrC/Ram-Man-Lamb.webp]

"What was his tax policy..?"

More seriously, these "horror" movies have just been turned into a platform for women and other fail people to seek affirmation of their gay neurosis. And maybe some people watching them are so slow that they still believe that ensymbolising things is inherently smart and cool and worth paying attention to when all that this movie really amounts to is an eggless shrew screaming and crying for 120 minutes.

These people wouldn't have to do this if they could entertain me or if they were confident about their place in the world. Horror and horror adjacent stuff was still pretty good 20 years ago. As I've said elsewhere The Ring has a world of subtext riding underneath the surface narrative if you care to look, but it also executes its exoteric elements so well that it became a worldwide sensation just on the strength of those alone. And of course nobody is going to remember 'Ram' for anything.

And I don't even hate the idea of using horror-like premises for indulgent non horror purposes. 'Spiral' (sequel to Ring) and 'Ganja & Hess' are both incredible movies that do that. Might post at length about Ganja & Hess tomorrow. Excellent film.
#12
Recently I watched Roman Polanski's BITTER MOON (1992) and FRANTIC (1988). BM is kind of an absurdist take on a Hitchcock or De Palma film - extremely raunchy, surreal, even campy at times. It's interesting to see how Polanski takes tropes he knows so well and pushes them beyond the breaking point. Reminiscent of what Cronenberg did in CRASH.  

FRANTIC is not as sophisticated, but just as neatly executed. Straightforward, great entertainment. As an homage to old suspense films from both the US golden age and France, it's as good as fanboying gets.
#13
I watched Equilibrium (2002) a week or two ago - good film. In my eyes, portrays a "100% soyed" society that tries to be "rationalist" too much while at it's core, automatically being irrational due to this, and also ontologically hypocritical - while the decision to suppress feelings is considered a logical one, it's clear from just how outrageously vindictive Tetragrammaton is that the main driving force of the society and this decision is fear and paranoia. This is proven in the final parts, when everyone becomes terrified upon realizing the protagonist has total mastery of his feelings, where he in a way becomes an overman.

We're probably heading to something similar but everyone wearing ugly clothes and everything being just mediocre instead of somewhat cool looking
#14
(04-25-2022, 12:44 PM)Heil Wrote: I watched the Northman this weekend with the family. It's a great film, very appealing to my sensibilities, one of the few films I've gone to see recently that really stuck out to me, please give Eggers your money to save the white race. I intend to watch the lighthouse and witch now because of how much the movie impressed me. He accurately reproduces the time and takes great effort in it. There are only 1-2 scenes that raise questions about how accurate the portrayal is but he keeps the spirit in tact and that is more important in my mind. The most white film in 5 years.
I remember going to see The Witch in theaters, was a really great movie experience. The Lighthouse is great as well, a bit more abstract and open-ended, but Pattinson and Willem DeFoe both give great performances. I think you'll enjoy both of them. I still need to watch The Northman and will try to get in theaters this weekend. Eggers seems like one of the better filmmakers of our era, and it's great how interested he is in historical pieces, which I think ZOGwood is deeply lacking. Somewhat reminds me of Mel in that regard, but less controversial. He wants to do a remake of Nosferatu next which could be pure kino, and his Rasputin miniseries might manage to not be incredibly pozzed like every other media piece on the guy. Eggers is definitely one of the few directors whose work/career I'm excited about.
#15
I highly recommend the movie Kelly's Heroes. One of the few WW2 films I can confidently say accomplishes what it needs/wants to without denigrating the Germans, and it's overall an enjoyable watch.
#16
Recently watched The Last Samurai again.

I love this movie. Credits say the director is Edward Zwick, but it's really John Logan's movie. He's credited as one of three writers (along with Zwick and another jew), but the story is his and if you're familiar with their work his influence is the most obvious and prominent. Logan is the man who also gave us Any Given Sunday (the only good sportsball movie) and Gladiator. Zwick, on the other hand, gave us 'Defiance' (maudlin grey "serious" movie about the dignity and superiority of victims).

I mention this because it's fascinating to see how these two opposing worldviews contributed to the creation of this film. It has enough of the DNA of both to be recognised as either. The movie was a kind of Rorschach Test, even to the people who were making it. Zwick thought that he was making Dances With Wolves, while Logan was making 300 before 300.

It's funny, it was mostly made by the kind of people who wouldn't be down for the latter, but because the samurai ultimately "lose" they were able to mentally smooth out that they were making a lionising affirmation of an elitist warrior-culture.

This movie's great as a sociological study subject, a 2000s time-capsule, and it's just really cool. I recommend giving it a look if you've passed over it.


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