Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Don't put me in this position, Vincent! Pulp Fiction & Redemption Accountability

Having discussed the primary Winfield/Ringo pair in the 1st installment of Pulp Fiction's redemption treatment, we now focus on the anomaly, Vincent Vega.

Vega is the only main character to die, and Tarantino is sending a message - failing to recognize the multiple opportunities for redemption, the guiding hand that made escape possible for everyone steps aside and crazy events unfold towards his demise.

The Avatar Review: Part 1: "Iconic Impact" (Intro)

Every generation or so there comes a movie so unique, so groundbreaking that it becomes iconic in its own time, for that era. Some are without question simply that, while others can be and have been debated for its status as one of these iconic films. Some samples of those that can be without question in regards to it uniqueness and its effect in society for its time in my opinion include: the original Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones movies (well not so much the last one),The Godfather, The Ten Commandments, Jaws, The Shawshank Redemption, Casablanca, Roots, The Matrix, Dark City, E.T., The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Saving Private Ryan, to name a few. 

Others which I think were decent movies for their time but not nearly as ground breaking (but which I'll mention because if I didn't I could possibly get heat lol) might include: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Green Mile, Fantasia, Titanic, The Blair Witch Project, etc. Each of these ones did have a impact for its time. Big enough to be considered iconic? Well, that’s debatable.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Redemption & saviour types: Hollywood’s go-to sources

Hollywood is awash in studies on redemption

Some of the greatest movies of all time are explorations and treatments of this redemption theme, including the following popular titles which occupy high spots on the IMDb Top 250:
  • The Godfather 
  •  the Star Wars original trilogy (we're not going to even begin to discuss episodes 1-3 here)
  •  Pulp Fiction  and, of course (wait for it…)
  •  The Shawshank Redemption (and the word is baked-on into the title itself, isn't it? Nothing subtle or mysterious here at all).
Christianity is one of the primary forces that has shaped our Western society and culture, and this world religion holds redemption as a central theme. 

As such, we continue to return to its study as it is part of the foundation of our world view, even if we today are, as a society, more secular and more scientifically atheistic.

Contact: Palmer Joss is one of my heroes

Contact is the story of a scientist who, through an unexplainable experience, opens up to previously dismissed possibilities about the nature and mysteries of our existence.

Ellie Arroway is your garden variety young scientist, pure and noble in her utter trust in science as the path to discovering truth. 

Along the way towards her higher awareness, she meets an assortment of characters who sit at various stations in the spectrum between religion and atheism, and who all are motivated by differing concerns.

Trying hard to be the shepherd: Pulp Fiction and Redemption

I find Pulp Fiction to be a remarkable treatment of the redemption theme, using several layers to accomplish the message. We’ll explore this fascinating treatment in installments.

One of the first tools Tarantino employs is a non-chronological order to the telling of the story which I believe to be a masterful stroke.

Film Limitations or Limiting Imagination?

When I was a young boy, I always had a very vivid imagination. As such, my fascination tended to be geared towards the science fiction fantasy genre. Whether it was in books, television, or in films, there was always something about it that has always piqued my interest and much of my free time. Of course as you get older you do have to “put away childish things”, but I don’t think you should ever abandon that part of your childhood. The neat little ideas that got your imagination going as a kid tend to help you with your creative thought process, as you become an adult. It’s a part of you regardless on how old you are, and luckily for me I had the rare opportunity at that age to experience going to the theatre to see “Return of the Jedi” with my father, on opening day, back in ’83. To this day it was one of the most memorable events of my life.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Star Wars, Complexity and Judgment

For the first Generation X people who saw Star Wars in theatres as a kid in 1977 (like myself), our minds were simple - the bad guy was bad, the good guy was good, and "story" was basically about how the good guy would eventually beat the bad guy. In Star Wars, Darth Vader was the bad guy and wore black, pretty simple. At the end, his TIE fighter spiraled out of control and the theatres erupted with cheers - the bad guy was vanquished, victory won.

Enter The Empire Strikes Back and - hold the phone - the bad guy ain't so bad...is he? When he said those words "I am your father!", although we in the theatres gasped in unison with Luke "Noooo!", by the end of the movie - Luke outfitted with a new mechanical hand, Han Solo frozen in carbonite - it was clear there must needs be at least one more installment to complete the story even though we had indeed "searched our feelings, and knew it to be true."