Re: Guest Post: Mad Max

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This film sounds incredible. Do you have to have seen any of the first ones to know what is going on? Or will you have almost no idea what is going on even then?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:13 AM
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Also, your links are broken.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:13 AM
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They aren't broken. Just circular.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:15 AM
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You do not have to have seen any of the first ones, but it would probably not be a mistake to watch Road Warrior (which may have just been called Mad Max 2 in England's green and pleasant).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:16 AM
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Someone on twitter suggested, not totally implausibly, that Beyond Thunderdome is closer to the aesthetic of the new one, but I'd still say that if you're going to see one of the first three Road Warrior is the way to go.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:17 AM
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How does one watch Road Warrior legally? Netflix doesn't even appear to have the DVD (not "very long wait"; it went to "saved").


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:21 AM
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Oh, looks like Amazon rents it for $3 and up.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:21 AM
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Road Warrior is clearly the best of the original three (I haven't seen the new one, but I will because I love Mad Max), but "Bust a Deal, Face the Wheel" and "You know the law: two men enter, one man leaves" from Thunderdome make Thunderdome one of the great civil litigation movies of all time.*

*not a thought original to me, I was at an event where a very prominent federal judge, the lawyers will immediately guess which one, got a large group of lawyers and judges to *chant* "two men enter! one man leaves!"


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:22 AM
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How does one watch Road Warrior legally?

The Berkeley Public Library has a copy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:23 AM
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I was at an event where a very prominent federal judge, the lawyers will immediately guess which one

The one who got in trouble for hosting prurient material on his website?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:30 AM
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Us suffer bad! Want justice!


Posted by: OPINIONATED CITIZENS UNITED | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:31 AM
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Marsha Berzon?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:31 AM
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Sorry, the boycott link was supposed to be to here, and the SJW link was supposed to be to here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:31 AM
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Third time's the charm, Walt!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:32 AM
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I can't figure out what's wrong with the links. They aren't unfogged urls, in the html.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:32 AM
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10 -- you got it on one.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:32 AM
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Fuck you Unfogged markup. The second link is to here.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:32 AM
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8.2 had to be Posner.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:33 AM
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Unfortunately, I gotta run, so I'll try to re-do the links later.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:34 AM
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1: Everything you need to know about Max is explained in the first ten minutes.

I remember The Road Warrior fondly, but looking at clips I wonder if it hasn't dated very well.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:35 AM
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I just saw it last week; worked for me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:38 AM
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Isn't everything you need to know about him in the title?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:39 AM
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The Road Warrior holds up quite well, I think.

On the other hand, the original Mad Max, with its "there's no big apocalyptic event, society is just slowly decaying into barbarism" backdrop, feels very 70s somehow.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:46 AM
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8.2 had to be Posner.

Nope, but my 10.2 should make it clear who it is.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:49 AM
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10 -- you got it on one.

Finally, my years lurking around the edges of the vast libertarian legal conspiracy pay off.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:51 AM
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A good overview of the first three movies.

On paper, "Mad Max" may not sound like much more than an automotive riff on "Death Wish" with yet another normal man who is pushed too far and who goes gunning in violent fashion for those who have destroyed his life. However, what might have seemed to be utterly ordinary on the page proved to be utterly extraordinary when brought to life through Miller's eye. At the time of its making, films featuring elaborate car chases and crashes were nothing new--Hal Needham had pretty much carved a cottage industry out of them with things like "Smokey and the Bandit" and "Hooper"--but Miller approached them in such a unique manner, utilizing cameras mounted on fenders, rapid-fire editing and a stunt crew that was apparently willing to do anything in order to get a great shot (at one point, we even see a guy get hit in the head with a motorcycle) that it was as if he was presenting such things for the first time. Even the most jaded action buffs could not believe what they were seeing--this was that rare bird of an exploitation film that not only lived up to the promises of its trailer, it exceeded them--and they were equally impressed by the intensely charismatic unknown actor at its center, newcomer Mel Gibson (who, the story goes, only went to the audition to support a friend, Steve Bisley (who was cast as Goose), and was showing the results of a drunken brawl he had gotten into the night before).

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:53 AM
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Ortberg.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:14 AM
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I kinda disagree with the OP: Fury Road was feminist as hell. It was also absurdly amazing and intense enough that I had trouble sleeping the night I saw it because I had so much adrenalin after seeing it. But (in a deeply ironic way) the MRA losers were, well, right about it being feminist. They're just wrong about whether that's good or bad.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:14 AM
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26: I remember seeing the 1st Mad Max movie (also around 1982) and thinking "What's the fuss about? That was really stupid!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:16 AM
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I think there is deliberately no continuity between any of the Mad Max movies. In the first movie, there is still some civilization and in the second we are in a full blown post apocalypse world. Sure, you can rationalize change in setting between the first two movies by saying that society had decayed away in the intervening years, but mostly it just seems like a change premise.

Also, Bruce Spence plays a gyro captain in the second movie and the pilot of an Airtruk in the third. They aren't the same guy, but they are similar enough that you have the sense Miller just wanted that actor in some sort of flying device, and the rest is irrelevant detail.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:16 AM
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It's easier to reconcile the first two Mad Max movies if you remember that the ending of the first one has him zooming off into (what are called in the second movie - I can't remember what they call it in the first one) the wastelands. He's leaving behind the crumbling remnants of the society and heading straight for lawless-chaos-land. We don't really know what's going on near the coastlines, except that the fuel refinery people came from there and are planning to go back once they have the fuel.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:23 AM
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So I get that I don't need to see any of the other movies before seeing this one (hoping that it's still in theaters when I next have the opportunity to get out of the house in a few weeks).

The question is, should I?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:34 AM
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32.2: It's not like you're going to *regret* watching the first three. (Although I've still never seen the first one.)

And 28.1 gets it right. At one point there are 12 women on screen, talking about something other than a man! And the oldest of the women (who's now 78 years old) did her own stunts!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:37 AM
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The question is, should I?

I'm not planning on seeing it, but that's because I honestly don't have much interest in:

... 18 wheelers, guys getting shot, guys getting blown up, fist-fights on top of an 18 wheeler, guys with chainsaws, guys getting run over by 18 wheelers, guys with guitars that shoot fire, and cars crashing into 18 wheelers and blowing up.
.

But I admit that the many positive reviews have made me slightly tempted.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:39 AM
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No, no, I definitely want to see this one. The question is just about the first three.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:41 AM
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I did not know 33.2, but that is the most insane thing imaginable since the stunt work in that movie is already completely mind blowingly dangerous looking.

Also, no you really don't need to have watched the other ones to watch this one. But you need to watch the other ones. It doesn't really matter when you do it, though, because they're pretty self contained movies and because Miller takes really seriously the idea that he doesn't need to tell you things that aren't necessary for the movie, and even if they are necessary he doesn't need to explicitly stick in some exposition to let you know about it. It's enough to have a lot of people with visible tumors talking about dying young from cancer and previously fertile land turning useless to get the "this follows a nuclear war" point across.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:45 AM
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30 - I believe that the first movie was not originally written as set in a dystopia; Miller just wanted to strip away any objections to the fact that Australia was a civilized country and could deal with cop-killers by means other than Mel Gibson hunting them down personally (for instance, by deploying box jellyfish or drop-bears). In the second movie, he had more of a budget to play with.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:47 AM
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Back to the OP, isn't this the best-possible movie-watching situation for, specifically, me? I get to claim to be an internet feminist simply by going to a movie with cars and explosions and bikini-clad models.* It's a win-win. Thank you men's rights activists for lowering the bar.

*Fast and the Furious: Extreme Feminism


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:51 AM
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There's a competing film in the theaters, about a woman who has been mysteriously stuck at 29 years old for many decades, but who risks (or maybe loses, I haven't seen the movie) eternal youth for true love.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:52 AM
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They aren't the same guy, but they are similar enough that you have the sense Miller just wanted that actor in some sort of flying device, and the rest is irrelevant detail.

Actually, they originally had a different actor for the flying-device guy in Thunderdome, who left for some reason, and Spence came back.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:57 AM
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Man TRO, if you think that the women who are dressed up in the clothes you'd expect from people who just escaped from a harem are going to be sexed up a lot by the movie you're in for a serious disappointment. The camera does little to nothing in the way of leering at them.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:59 AM
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To the OP, isn't this sort of what Frowner was talking about in the weird-castle-dorm thread? That sort of vein of antifeminism that wants women not just in a traditional role, but pretty much entirely absent?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:01 AM
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Absent women and better ethics in video game journalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:07 AM
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To the OP, isn't this sort of what Frowner was talking about in the weird-castle-dorm thread? That sort of vein of antifeminism that wants women not just in a traditional role, but pretty much entirely absent?

I haven't seen the movie, but this (overwritten) grantland article makes the claim that the movie is more pointed than just passing the bechdel test.

The key moment comes in the calm after the storm. Max drags himself across the desert, still connected by a length of chain and a blood-transfusion tube to an unconscious War Boy and his car door. He spots the wives, ... You can read the movie's politics loud and clear in the fight scene that follows, in which Max's literal blood tie to a foot soldier of the phallocracy becomes both action beat and telling metaphor. ... But the "men's rights" crusaders now gnawing their fedora brims in righteous apoplexy over the thought of Mad Max's manly iconography being perverted to serve a misandrist agenda aren't actually imagining things. This is an unambiguously and unapologetically feminist, Bechdel test-passing sci-fi blockbuster that begins, I'll say again, with Charlize Theron commandeering an 18-wheeled battle-dong in order to free some sex slaves and ends by explicitly linking the liberation of humanity in general to the dismantling (and, in some cases, dismemberment) of the patriarchy. It asks, "Who killed the world?" and doesn't front like there's more than one answer. Its most romantic moment involves a woman using a man to steady her rifle. I only wish Miller had given each of the five wives story beats as amazing as their names; the mere fact that Zoe Kravitz's character is a person called "Toast the Knowing" is the first thing in the entire history of movies that's made me want to read a prequel in graphic-novel form.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:09 AM
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Reaction comic.

It makes sense that a near-octagenarian would do her own stunts. Think about it!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:10 AM
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Another question. If I see the latest movie before any of the others, will it detract from enjoyment of the others?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:12 AM
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To which all I can say is this: if you are a guy and you refuse to go on your rescuing-supermodels adventure because Charlize Theron is coming with you, you really need to reconsider your commitment to heterosexuality.

Prompts the question, are there any, or is there a significant number of, gay MRAs?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:12 AM
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42: Katha Pollitt had an interesting essay decades ago comparing the men you want you in a bikini and the men who want you in a burka. The former think you exist to gratify them sexually, but the latter are more dangerous because they wish you didn't exist at all.

It might be that MROs have more in common with the ultra-orthodox of various religions that don't want to sit next to women on planes, or want women to attend religious services in a different room, etc.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:15 AM
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Meals ready to eat, method resolution order, men's rights activists—it's all so confusing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:17 AM
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46: Doubtful. As others have said, each movie is pretty much self-contained.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:17 AM
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38.*: Fast and the Furious: Extreme Feminism

I love women who are fast and feminist, or even only just fast. However, "furious" is not quite to my taste.


Posted by: marcel | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:20 AM
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Take it to the Mojo Upgrade thread.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:21 AM
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38: You may be disappointed. (I haven't seen it, but I'm actually tempted to go to the theater for the first time in years.)

--- Pwned on preview, but what the heck.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:22 AM
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Prompts the question, are there any, or is there a significant number of, gay MRAs?

Seems like the next logical step from the puahate/incel crowd.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:22 AM
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51: Sorry, marcel. If they aren't furious, they aren't feminists.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:23 AM
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44: "Toast the Knowing." Wow. Not sure if I like it more with "toast" as a verb or as a noun.

49: Men Ready to Objectify.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:30 AM
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28: The movie is certain compatible with feminism, and lends itself to feminist readings, but it's not like it confronts us with hard truths about gender roles in the modern world. The idea that women should not be kept in a prison as breeding stock is not a controversial one in 21st century America or Europe.

If I were going to list the ingredients that made something a "guy movie", it would be something like: violent spectacle, a guy who's basically a superhero dealing out violence in the service of justice, and maybe some hotties. This is 95% of the content of the movie. I think it's no coincidence that the audience was majority male, and that it got killed at the opening weekend box office by a movie with broader interest like the Pitch Perfect sequel.

What I find striking about the MRA reaction is that it's not enough that the movie have car crashes and a guy who's a superhero. It has to explicitly have no elements that would draw women; it can't even take as non-controversial stands as "women are not property". It had a less explicit feminist message than Captain America. God knows what they would do if they accidentally rented Aliens.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:32 AM
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I bet the movie would be a lot better if they filmed it over the extended period from 2250 to 2262.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:33 AM
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Whoa, whoa, let's not go bananas and say the Pitch Perfect sequel appeals to more than one gender.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:34 AM
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58 is great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:35 AM
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I think it's no coincidence that the audience was majority male, and that it got killed at the opening weekend box office by a movie with broader interest like the Pitch Perfect sequel.

You should move to Hollywood and get a job because it's my understanding that people are getting fired (or, if they're at Universal, hired) for not anticipating that.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:36 AM
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a guy who's basically a superhero dealing out violence in the service of justice

Did you miss the part where Max is basically a sidekick for a bunch of the movie? (Also, remember the rifle scene?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:37 AM
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it got killed at the opening weekend box office by a movie with broader interest like the Pitch Perfect sequel.

Say what now?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:39 AM
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This is my rifle. This is my gun.
One is for fighting, the other for women's liberation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:39 AM
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59 is correct

According to Rentrak, the audience for Pitch Perfect 2 was 72% female, compared to 60% male for Mad Max. The musical comedy attracted mostly youngsters -- 57% under age 25 -- while the action film drew 64% of its audience from moviegoers 25 and up.

The important thing is that Pitch Perfect appealed to the young'uns who are much more likely to go in droves to see movies when they open.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:39 AM
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I used to go to more movies when I was young, but when I got older, the movies started to suck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:41 AM
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63: Everyone knows that foreign box office doesn't count.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:42 AM
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62 beat me to the punch but, yeah. If the movie didn't literally have "Mad Max" in the title people wouldn't think of him as anything more than a side character - like Nux but with more screen time and less character development. Furiosa is absolutely the protagonist of the movie in terms of action sequences, driving the plot of the movie, having the most fully realized character and the most extensive character development and so on.

The rifle scene is great partially because she's taking over because she can do better, but mostly because Max doesn't seem surprised or bothered by her stepping in to take over because she's more competent. (He does seem bothered by having an SKS go off inches from his ear though. For once an action movie demonstrates an awareness of how loud guns really are.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:45 AM
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67: Really? Their money spends, doesn't it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:46 AM
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69: No, not really.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:51 AM
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63: I meant in the US, where it was like 40 million to 70 million. It's surprising it didn't do even better internationally, since it has less words of dialogue than bullets fired. (Hardy claimed in an interview that there was literally no script -- they shot it entirely from storyboards.)

61: Really? I read predictions beforehand that said as much. Though this was only a week or two in advance. In fact, didn't the Mad Max movie have all the makings of a bomb? The original cut tested poorly, they had to do expensive reshoots, it came in rated R (which apparently means it won't play in China), it came out so close after the Avengers that it couldn't book many iMax screens. If it's a hit, it will be entirely because of the critical reaction and word-of-mouth.

34: You probably won't like it. Watch the trailer -- it's the most accurate trailer any movie has ever had. The whole movie is like that.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:53 AM
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If it's a hit, it will be entirely because of the critical reaction and word-of-mouth.

Is that bad?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:54 AM
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69 -- I know you don't actually care, but if you really want to know, there are huge differences w/r/t domestic and foreign (very often) in terms of who gets to keep the money. Without actually knowing I'd guess that Universal already sold all or most foreign rights to PP2 in advance for a flat fee so literally doesn't give a shit at all about foreign receipts, and will make money as a result, and that WB has retained some or all int'l rights to Mad Max. Domestic, foreign, and WW are very different things indeed from the studio's perspective. PP2 is a huge huge hit and no one thought for a second that it would beat MM by so much in the states.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:01 PM
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I'm not sure why you think I don't actually care!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:03 PM
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I believe you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:08 PM
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PP2 is a huge huge hit and no one thought for a second that it would beat MM by so much in the states.

But people did think it would beat MM by some margin, right? It's clearly a huge phenomenon, it has been promoted incessantly, and MM is a sequel to a movie from 30 years ago, with none of the same actors, and the entire selling point is "Nerds on the internet love our amazing trailer!", a.k.a. the Scott Pilgrim strategy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:08 PM
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62: And what happens after the rifle scene? Max does something so awesome that we mortals are not permitted to see it. (Though I love the rifle scene.)

Furiosa and Max are co-leads. I could imagine someone objecting to a guy movie if there's no actual guy to identify with. But this movie has that. The only way someone could complain is if they're unwilling to share with women at all.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:10 PM
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62, 68: Having males only as sidekicks didn't exactly make Tomb Raider a feminist film. Unless it did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:10 PM
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Having males only as sidekicks didn't exactly make Tomb Raider a feminist film.

Now you tell me.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:13 PM
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78: What about Hard Ticket To Hawaii? The male lead's inability to shoot straight is a running joke!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:14 PM
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Nobody saw that movie but you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:17 PM
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77 - So the fact that the most badass thing that Max does, and probably his biggest single contribution to the goals of the people involved, happens off screen, while the camera is focused on what Furiosa is doing - I think it's working on fixing the truck and planning what to do next but I could be wrong - counts against the idea that she's the protagonist instead of Max? I'm not sure that's the best support for the claim that the movie treats them as equally important.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:27 PM
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But people did think it would beat MM by some margin, right?

I don't think so, domestically, although this is all second or third hand.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:28 PM
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Also Moby 62, 68 -> 57, which argued that it was the sort of movie where the superhero protagonist was a guy.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:29 PM
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83: Again Hollywood underestimates grrrrl power!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:29 PM
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78: He's not really a side-kick. He's an action-movie god. He does far more spectacular stuff in this movie than Indiana Jones does in three. In the final action sequence, which is a deranged orgy of violence the likes of which we will probably never see again, he kills like 50 guys and doesn't even have a gun most of the of time. Hurricaines are less destructive.

Furiosa is an iconic action hero -- all dirt and clenched teeth, with a hook hand and an implacable will. But Max is also an iconic action hero. In this movie he's reduced to his purest essence.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:35 PM
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Does this mean that 30 years from now Charlize Theron is going to get pulled over by the cops and call one of them "Sugar Balls"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:37 PM
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I'm having trouble reconciling 61 and 65. People are getting fired because they didn't anticipate that PP2 would have broader appeal than MM:FR, while in fact MM:FR has broader appeal than PP2. "Broader" is ambiguous here, maybe, between "across genders" and "across age groups"? So PP2 has somewhat less cross-gender appeal, but MM:FR has much less cross-age appeal?

That isn't surprising in the least, though, as MM:FR is rated R and, I'm not looking this up but I assume, PP2 is PG-13. Maybe those fired just expected a more balanced audience than 60/40 for MM:FR. That makes me wonder what the average gender split is for audiences seeing movies at the theater in general (or, probably more helpfully, by genre). Either way, I'm going to see it tonight, after having re-watched the trilogy, and I'm 25+ and male, sorry fired execs.

(Perfunctory "PP2 has broad appeal, all right" joke, for anyone still calling women "broads".)


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:46 PM
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86 ->...and? Being really badass and good at fighting doesn't make someone the main character. Badass sidekick is a completely ordinary thing in movies. Also pretty much all the characters are action-movie-tough, though not all in the same way. (Being someone who survives living in Miller's imagined world makes it a necessity so it's not surprising.)

Also apparently there's already a sequel being planned so we may well see even more deranged action scenes in the future, though to be honest I'm not sure how. Then again I wasn't sure how the first half of the movie could be topped and then it was.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:47 PM
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It's enough to have a lot of people with visible tumors talking about dying young from cancer and previously fertile land turning useless to get the "this follows a nuclear war" point across.

So they're sequels to On the Beach?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 12:50 PM
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88 -- the PP2 marketing team did an awesome job marketing to their demographic, and beyond, which makes the MM domestic marketing team look like schnooks. Whatever your broad audience appeal, your huge tentpole action movie shouldn't be getting creamed by a musical with a bunch of singing chicks.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:09 PM
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||

OT question for the economists on the blog: Can this calculation possibly be correct?

A new study by Chang-Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago and Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley, calculates that the United States economy would be nearly 10 percent bigger if just three cities -- New York, San Jose, and San Francisco -- had loosened their constraints on the supply of housing and let more people in during the past few decades. Let that sink in: 10 percent bigger.

To get that number, the economists imagined a world in which those three cities had average land-use regulations, rather than the highly restrictive ones you see in practice. Over time, millions more workers would have flocked to those cities, becoming more productive and helping the whole economy grow. The average worker would be making $6,000 more a year than they are. Annual economic output would be more than $1 trillion higher as of 2009. We'd all be better off.

That seems completely implausible.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:10 PM
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But, getting fired is an exaggeration, though one I started. MM is doing fine. But it shouldn't be beaten by these chicks in a way no one was anticipating.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:11 PM
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89: If Furiosa was a guy, I don't think anyone would be disputing that they are co-leads. I don't want to get into spoilers, but I think if you literally counted importance to the plot, they would come out even. If he seems like a sidekick, it's only because we're not used to seeing mixed-gender action co-leads like that. Which is one point in favor of it being a feminist movie.

(I should also clarify that in terms of my enjoyment, I don't care whether or not they are co-leads. If it had just been Furiosa and the grandma motorcycle gang, I would have liked it about as much. But calling Max in the actual movie we have a sidekick is conceding too much to the MRAs.)


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:13 PM
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91: But civilization has clearly collapsed. We live in a world where action movies only appeal to over-25-year-olds, and musicals are for the young. We're five years away from a remake of Sound of Music beating Avengers 3 at the box office, followed by the kind of post-apocalyptic future George Miller has been preparing us for all these years.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:17 PM
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conceding too much to the MRAs

That seems like a weird way to put it. How's it a concession? Nothing untoward follows from it. (I guess it lessens the plausibility of your thesis that they can't stand to have anything at all in the way of female presence in a movie, but it doesn't make their complaint any more legitimate.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:17 PM
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Here is an article by the cinematographer. The movie has a boatload of special effects:

Yeah. And the thing is that if you go into statistics on the post in the movie, you'll find that something like 50 or 60 percent of the film is not running at 24 frames a second, which is the traditional frame rate. It'll be running below 24 frames because George, if he couldn't understand what was happening in the shot, he slowed it down until you could, or he lengthened it two or three frames. Or if it was too well understood, he'd shorten it or he'd speed it up back towards 24. His manipulation of every shot in that movie is intense. It was a real eye-opener to me after 45 films in 40 years or something, that George has had this boldness to do what he researched in his mind and thought about and analyzed what an action film should be. He went out and did it and I love that. There was no hesitation. I could hear him on the coms yelling at camera operators, "Put Charlize in the center of the frame! Put the red dot on their nose!"

Of course, it was alien to all of us. But he knew. Early he really knew what he was going to do with that image in post. It would end up something like 2.3 seconds long and he didn't want the eyes to shift. The color was corrected -- for eight months there was a colorist on the film, grading the picture as it was edited. As digital effects finished their imaging they'd send it down to [look development and supervising colorist] Eric Whipp and he would color that in and cut it in and check the contrast color and exposure on it. And he would roto[scope] in on the face. He did all the rotoscoping on faces and eyes and whatever George wanted there. And then George would look at that. I was off, you know, fishing or something! And there they were for eight months color grading the picture. So to me all of that is an amazingly modern way to make a film and I feel it's the way that we have to go in the future as well.

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/how-mad-max-fury-road-lured-oscar-winner-john-seale-back-behind-the-camera


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:18 PM
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96: I think Walt's point is sort of that if people are keeping track of female-centric versus male-centric movies, and you count a movie with female/male co-leads as female-centric, you're letting people who get pissy about the perceived over-representation of women in movies (MRAs and the like) misrepresent the actual extent to which women are dominating movies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:24 PM
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98, like how people perceive a group that's 25% female as being 50% female.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:26 PM
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That, exactly. I've had my current office referred to as a matriarchy because just about half of the supervisors are women. And it looks like a surprising number of women in charge to me too! But when you count, it's right about half.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:29 PM
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96: I concede it's a weird way to put it. Nothing untoward follows from it. It's just that MRAs are whiny babies who complain because they only get half the movie. They would be whiny babies if they complained about getting 2% of a movie, but it's especially galling when they complain about a movie where they get half.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:31 PM
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Pwned by both LB and Ned. A woman and her sidekick.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:33 PM
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Seconding 99-101. That's the reaction that makes the MRAs seem like they don't want women around at all.

97 is fascinating - Better than Life?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:34 PM
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97: Tony Zhou was talking about that on Twitter last week; he was geeking out about how difficult it must have been to edit.

(And speaking of the editing, another point showing just how feminist a move it is: it was edited by Margaret Sixel (George Miller's wife), who'd never done an action movie before. He brought her in because he wanted it to look different. And Eve Ensler was a consultant on the film.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:36 PM
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Better than Life

Is that a specific reference? (The capitalization made me think it was, but I'm not sure what it would be. My association is from the Shadowrun RPG. Googling for the phrase turns up a Red Dwarf novel, and a couple of musical references).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:50 PM
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There's a guy in Moline, IL, whose life is the reference.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 1:57 PM
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I thought it just meant "More fun than that board game with the pink and blue cribbage pegs in the little cars".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:01 PM
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For Moby: The guys at the BMFCast covered Hard Ticket to Hawaii a while ago. You're not alone.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:01 PM
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I'm waiting for Eve Ensler's review.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:08 PM
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She should write an action movie. The Vagina Dentata Monologues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:16 PM
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Just tossing this in here as another perspective on the film to fuel the conversational fire, have no particular views myself and no desire to see the movie, but here's one feminist review:

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17960/actually-mad-max-fury-road-isnt-that-feminist


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:19 PM
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104: Usually, it's pretty hard to sell "I brought in my wife, who has no experience in this" as feminist instead of nepotistic.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:22 PM
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That reminds me, Bill Clinton won twitter today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:23 PM
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"But she also brings with her the legacy of so many Dior perfume ads: the soft, tiny-nosed, blonde prettiness that her crew cut merely accentuates"

This seems like an odd criticism, tbh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:24 PM
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Also, I kind of love that Miller's filmography is so bimodal:

Kennedy Miller Mitchell (before 2009 known as Kennedy Miller) is an Australian film, TV and games production house in Potts Point, Sydney, that has been producing television and film since 1978. It is responsible for some of Australia's most well known and successful films, including the four Mad Max films, the two Babe films, and the two Happy Feet films.

Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:25 PM
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The criticisms (on that score—she's right that the movie's look as a whole is off) seem to be that the women are too pretty and that its version of feminism is outdated?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:26 PM
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115: Sort of a Russell Hoban kind of career.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:29 PM
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116: to be fair, she also goes after the hip-bad-ass-granny trope, but largely I think you've got it.

Her point re the look seems more interesting, but then she's much more invested in the whole action movie experience than I am.

For odd ball movie reviews, I enjoyed Angela Carter on Gone With The Wind recently resurrected in the Observer: http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/jan/04/observer-archive-1982-angela-carter-reappraises-gone-with-the-wind-film


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:30 PM
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I've heard that Babe: Pig In The City has a lot more in common with Mad Max than you'd necessarily expect.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:32 PM
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That piece says that Sigourney Weaver is, by contrast, weird looking! Are you shitting me?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:33 PM
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111's link feels to me like the kind of review you get when someone goes into a movie with a very strong view of what the movie will be ahead of time. Leaving aside the feminist arguments a lot of the analysis of the film is kind of off base. The tell, at least for me, is when the reviewer argues that the movie falls apart in some way by asking rhetorical questions that can be easily answered, like when she says "And it makes no sense, either. What does Furiosa need redemption for?" the answer is really obvious in the film. She feels like she needs redemption for her (massive) complicity in Joe's social scheme, because she's a big, fairly high up part of it and as a result has done a lot of things to strengthen it and maintain his overall power. (It immediately follows Max asking her how experienced she is with the whole fighting-and-driving-a-"war rig" thing - the answer being "very".)


I think the bit about bringing his wife in had less to do with feminism and more to do with (from what I remember him saying) not wanting the movie to be edited in the action movie style. I don't remember any strong connection between that and feminist themes generally, except perhaps the general action-movies-are-often-retrograde phenomenon.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:33 PM
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The criticisms ... seem to be that the women are too pretty and that its version of feminism is outdated?

That reminds me of Linda Holmes excellent response to the debates about how the Black Widow character was handled in The Avengers 2.

Well, yes ... and no. Against a landscape in which female superheroes are vanishingly rare - in other words, accounting for the context in which the character exists, within and beyond this film and franchise - it's disappointing that Natasha's conflict ultimately comes down to motherhood, and to the loneliness of the childless career woman. That is, to be sure, an overripe cliché as a cause of moping in the seemingly bad-ass woman with a heart full of pain.

But! But standing alone, this is (1) a story about a woman subjected to institutional interference with her fertility and (2) a story about a woman who was told they didn't trust her to take on an important job because they believed she secretly would always care about babies more. Neither one of those two things, historically, has happened only in fiction. Those themes are well worth exploring. They resonate at least as fully as Hawkeye's desire to get home to his family, Bruce Banner's isolation over becoming a giant green monster, and Tony Stark's daddy issues. There is heft in that story, and there's nothing shameful or diminishing about telling it just because it's a story that's specific to childbearing or not.

....

There's nothing wrong with stories about women who are housewives or stories about women who struggle because they were forcibly prevented from having kids as a condition of whatever mission they chose to undertake. The problem is that with so few women in superhero movies, each of these portrayals stands not only for the choices Whedon made, but for all the choices he and many others didn't and don't make. The portrayals of Natasha and Laura rankle at some level, for me, not because they are stories about a woman traumatized by not having children and a woman waiting for her husband to come home, but because it's another story about those two women rather than any of the other bazillion women who could exist in this universe and don't. If you had five butt-kicking women in this movie, it would seem perfectly logical that one of them might have a story related to getting pregnant or not. Why wouldn't she?

These, for me, are scarcity problems. They are problems because there are so few opportunities to show women in action blockbusters that I tend to crave something very much capable of moving discussions of what those portrayals can be like forward.

....

There's no answer to what to do about a specific portrait of the lone female Avenger that isn't more satisfying, more meaningful, more helpful alongside an argument for slowly, surely, gradually insisting upon having more female Avengers. More of everybody doing everything. A season with more games in it.

Scarcity will always drive us back to these same conversations about how every woman carries the obligation to represent What This Director Thinks Women Are For, and absolutely no answer to that question will ever be a good answer.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:36 PM
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I'm still kind of stunned that a line in a review arguing that a movie isn't feminist is, basically, "they don't exactly have child-bearing hips, do they?". (Which also, incidentally, reveals a bit of not-quite-getting-it as far as the plot itself goes; those characters weren't ""breeders" to keep his colony alive", they were his to bear him kids and be his special property. They don't need to have kids in quantity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:41 PM
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It is an odd piece! Doesn't like the vision of futuro groovy green paradiso, doesn't like the supermodels trying to break into movies, very restrictive vision of femininity.

Basically women police women as enthusiastically as men police women, in my experience.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:44 PM
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That's just what TSA requires.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:45 PM
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Personally, I just found it really interesting when Don Draper hugged that Leonard guy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:47 PM
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Angela Carter is more fun to read, unsurprisingly.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:48 PM
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...the soft, tiny-nosed, blonde prettiness that her crew cut merely accentuates

I also just flat out disagree with her contempt for the five actresses playing the "brides". Each one manages to convey distinct, different characters - even when they have so little dialogue that you have to wait for the credits to know what their names are. (This may just be me being distracted by other things, though.) The Splendid Angharad* is reckless but brave; Toast the Knowing* is more cautious but also reacts cleverly under pressure; Capable* is the gentlest and most empathic; The Dag* is inspired by the hope of building a new world to live in; and Cheedo the Fragile* initially cracks under the pressure of their escape but later exploits that experience for their advantage.)


*not making up this name.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:49 PM
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Obviously I loved PP and would rather see PP2 than MM.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:51 PM
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But you all already knew that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:52 PM
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Is there a continuity editor or make-up artists who gets just the right amount of dirt and blood on her for a given scene? I suppose there must be.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:53 PM
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I was going to link to the article on turtle penises, but
this one seemed more topical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 2:59 PM
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128: Theron looked like shit the whole movie, all dirty and hardened. Which fit the character.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:02 PM
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They showed the trailer for PP2 before Into The Woods, and I was utterly horrified by every moment, crowned by the discovery that it was a sequel; that, indeed, there had already been one of these freakishly awful things, and that there was demand for another.

Now that I think about it, I may have mentioned this here before.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:12 PM
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What made the first one so bad?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:16 PM
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I've heard good things about the first Pitch Perfect, but after I read 134 I looked up the trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 and ... wow. I have trouble believing that watching that movie wouldn't be a really painful experience.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:19 PM
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They showed a preview for the Ted when I saw Fury Road and it made me extremely angry.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:20 PM
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PP had its moments, and yet it was, at the same time, incredibly stupid. I think they just got some funny actors, and had them make up all of the dialogue in between singing set pieces. Hence, the fact that the fat character is named Fat Amy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:30 PM
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NickS, I was thinking of the UK TV Red Dwarf.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:32 PM
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134: Then why didn't they call it Into the Woods Against or Back to the Woods or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:38 PM
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Whatever your broad audience appeal, your huge tentpole action movie shouldn't be getting creamed by a musical with a bunch of singing chicks.

Really? I mean, I take your points about international distribution, but still a reboot of a franchise that was dead when most current moviegoers were born did better overall than a sequel to a recent huge hit. What's the big upset?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 3:53 PM
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Singing women creaming a tentpole?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 4:03 PM
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||

Talked me into it. No, I am not going to watch either movie, ever, but the dissing of Pitch Perfect2 has inspired to post my boring lengthy screed about the stuff I like that nobody cares about. I had written if for the thread below, and then deleted it, but suddenly it seems on topic. Here it is

Here I think. Somebody said they enjoy my anime reports, blame them.

Couldn't control myself, mainlined Hikaru no Go 50 episodes in five days. The show about go. The reviews can tell you why it's a masterpiece. Written by a female mangaka, there are female characters with lines in multiple episodes, but they are pretty irrelevant, either as players or as motivation. Definitely commenters, absolutely not worshipful.

Pretty typical shonen sports series, but in many ways very untypical. Core still remains the young novice who moves toward the championship, his growth in skill, character, emotional stability. Got the mentor, the rival, the teammates, the final confrontation. This one does it better. "Ping Pong" was artier, and shorter, and contained a concentrated message.

But this one clicked it for me, lightbulb went off. With 75 episodes and excellent direction and writing, they managed to fit at least 100 speaking characters in here to show the whole world of go. You have the people who run the go salons, places for amateurs to play. You have tournament organizers, and the management of the professional players. The pros, besides playing, studying, analyzing games apparently make much of their income by doing teaching sessions with amateurs. Several times, a player, amateur or pro, is told to lose to a boss, sponsor, or customer. Most of it is of course, about "how do I get better at go?"

And the massive support cast helping the hero by playing, organizing, and watching go is what created the "Aha" moment.

"Hikaru no Go" is about WORK. Almost every scene is about people working. Go is what our mains and supporting do for a living or an avocation. The competitive/cooperative passion, is what they do as a living.

A lot, most?, of the anime I watch is about work. "Shirobako" from last year is about a startup studio, almost all young women, making their first anime series.

But why did I go though a box of kleenex?

Well, what is work (oppose it to labour, strongly), anyway, what is work usually about when it is good? I could bring in Frederick Lordon on the self-structuring of desire, but let's keep it brief and simple.

Work is when two or more people love, as an activity, the same third thing. Like Go. Love as social relations of mutual desire.

This can be cooperative, over a bassinet or a student or a team game; it can be competitive and rivalrous, as in a love triangle or shounen sports anime. I think it is usually both, and many other things besides.

The Dardennes make movies about work.

(Lousy place to stop, but I won't write a fucking book.)

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 4:39 PM
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Guys I just watched the trailers for those singing movies and this is not good you are just making the list of movies I would pay to not have to see longer. You imaginary playground people are supposed to broaden my horizons, not make me feel even more of a fringe person.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 5:04 PM
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And George Miller, genius?

...scantily-clad supermodels, 18 wheelers, guys getting shot, guys getting blown up, fist-fights on top of an 18 wheeler, guys with chainsaws, guys getting run over by 18 wheelers, guys with guitars that shoot fire, and cars crashing into 18 wheelers and blowing up.

The directors of HnG, through art, music, directing, camera angles made a fucking incomprehensible board game as exciting, tense and violent as sword fights, gun showdowns, boxing matches, or high speed road shoot-em-ups. Lots of speed lines as the stones are dropped.

Tripled registered players in one year.

What can I say?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 5:06 PM
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||

Seems like a quintessential case of a police death that is narrowly justifiable in the moment as self-defense, but still a grave injustice in how avoidable it was.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 5:42 PM
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What made the first one so bad?

I have no idea if it was bad, but it spawned a sequel that, per 136 and 144, made for a trailer that was 3 minutes of cinematic hell. And it didn't seem like the problem was a big fall in quality from 1 to 2.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:29 PM
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118.last: Do I need to worry about spoilers in that GWTW review?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:31 PM
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I guess I've been sold on it, since I'm now heading out to the five-dollar showing.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:38 PM
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Man, the way you talk about this trailer, JRoth, I imagine the film to be just a bunch of women who can't sing doing scales at earsplitting volumes, with a lot of Von Trier-esque nausea-cam. Is that what it was like?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:41 PM
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I reviewed GWTW once. The screening was a pretty awful experience. AND HARD ON THE ASS!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:42 PM
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150: also there's the small matter of the cooties.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:43 PM
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You imaginary playground people are supposed to broaden my horizons, not make me feel even more of a fringe person.

I would not guess that you would like Pitch Perfect.

Recommendations? Have I recommended Every Little Step to you? I think you'd like it, and it's one of those movies that I look for opportunities to recommend.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:49 PM
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Speaking of which, I actually met the actor who played "Wez" in Road Warrior, back in my film reviewing days. He was pretty much what you'd expect. Grumpy old Australian guy who was not selling enough autographed pictures to justify his trip.

Also, a friend of mine just got tapped to write for a TV show about a female superhero. And then she found 5 pounds of kryptonite.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 6:58 PM
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I'm super confused by the claim that Max wasn't at least co-equal as a protagonist. The movie begins with him, allows him to shape its narrative arc, and ultimately makes his redemption one of the key points in the run-up to the (totally idiotic) conclusion. I'm also super confused by the claim that this was a great movie, any more than Gravity was a great movie. Both were very cool in their own ways, but neither made a ton of sense, and neither amounted to very much at all. Also, feminist? Sort of. Maybe if you squint, I guess. I mean, I get that Hollywood is viciously sexist and structurally patriarchal. So maybe against that backdrop this movie looks like the SCUM Manifesto or whatever. But in a world where people read books or watch independent films, this sure seemed an awful lot like what Walt describes in the OP.

In the end, I was whelmed by the movie. Not overwhelmed. Not underwhelmed. Just whelmed.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:00 PM
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Don't shoot Andy Warhol. He's a big deal, locally.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:03 PM
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Also, does anyone think it is a coincidence that the main stupid shooty antagonist in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a simulacrum of George Zimmerman?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:04 PM
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Maybe. I saw one where the protagonist looked like the head of the NRA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:20 PM
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Mad Max: Seneca Falls


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:30 PM
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Mad Max supports the 2nd amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:32 PM
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But in a world where people read books or watch independent films

There's your problem.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:33 PM
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You can do both, if you must.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 7:43 PM
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IN A WORLD in which people read books...


Posted by: Unemployed Voiceover Artist | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:03 PM
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I'm about halfway through the third Disc World book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:27 PM
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136 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:30 PM
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Mad Men: Revolutiofury Road


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:36 PM
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165 and 136 make good points, but I'm glad Flula is getting work.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:37 PM
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There's really nothing about that that doesn't look insulting, so I guess it makes a good pendant to the Ted sequel.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:40 PM
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the original Pitch Perfect was an enjoyable mess according to me when I used to write movie reviews at Kotsko's theology blog.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:40 PM
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Man, it's been years since I used "pendant" in that sense. How nostalgic!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:40 PM
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Back in the swing of things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:43 PM
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I'm also super confused by the claim that this was a great movie

Roger Ebert had the sanest take on this that I've ever seen:

If a director is clearly trying to make a particular kind of movie, and his audiences are looking for a particular kind of movie, part of my job is judging how close he came to achieving his purpose.

By that criterion, Mad Max was off the charts.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:45 PM
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I think that's kind of a sucky criterion, tbh.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:48 PM
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I think it's possible for a director to clearly be trying to make a particular kind of movie, which is crap.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:50 PM
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Also part of the reason people are responding to it so much have not a thing to do with plot or characterization; it's down to the fact that it looks fucking amazing. Yes, there's CGI, but most of the effects are practical, and it makes a huge difference. And can you think of another similar movie produced in the last 20 years that has anything like the long shot of the war rig approaching the dust storm?

(Incidentally, this is part of the reason John Wick was as outstanding as it was. Watch Tony Zhou's video on Jackie Chan and notice all of the points he makes about how Hollywood shoots action scenes; John Wick and Mad Max do the opposite of almost all of them.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:52 PM
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174: Hence the "part of". But seriously, you think Die Hard should be rated on the exact same criteria as The Lives Of Others?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:53 PM
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176L No, I'm not that much of a dick. But I am enough of a dick to think that the different things Die Hard and The Lives of Others are trying to do can themselves be subject to critical assessment, and those differences can enter into the assessment of the movies.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 8:57 PM
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s/L/:/

That Zhou video might be my favorite of his. I really hope he makes a video essay, or writes a verbal essay, that brings together what seems to be the predominant theme of his last several videos, which (put crudely) seems to be a condemnation of the abandonment of film as a medium in its own right. That's been the undercurrent (or not-so-undercurrent) of the Chan video, the Kurosawa videos, and the Edgar Wright visual comedy one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:00 PM
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177: Well sure. But I don't see how that makes Ebert's test, as part of a larger whole, a sucky criterion.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:01 PM
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Maybe you should review movies at a theology blog.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:02 PM
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179: I was overhasty, and overlooked the "in part" part.

This is a neat remark which you may have seen.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:07 PM
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DQ, have you not watched Les Temoins yet?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:07 PM
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181: You didn't scroll down on that page, did you?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:08 PM
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I did, which is why I said "which you may have seen".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:10 PM
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Done with the movie. Liked it. It's feminist in that it seriously takes women to be people, but not in that it's actively trying to propagate feminism. It recognizes in depth how well women suit the traditional underdog role, put differently.

This has probably been said, but it should be understood as primarily about the visuals.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:17 PM
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No, because a couple of people who know me well have told me they think I would find it too violent - I hasten to emphasize that I'm really ridiculously squeamish and also spend very little time watching video so it would be wayyyy down any conceivable list. I've heard great ringing endorsements of it from others.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:20 PM
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Have you seen … lessee … the wonderful Claustrophobia by Ivy Ho?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:24 PM
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NickS, Every Little Step looks like fun! Avoid First Position like the plague, horrifying movie.

BTW - first tap dance performance was AWESOME. :)


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:28 PM
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Let me know if you watch it, there's one bit I'd comment on, but I don't want to give anything away.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:46 PM
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Claustrophobia looks worth checking out too, thanks neb!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 9:51 PM
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I thought it was a very good movie. It's not surprising to me that it's so popular with critics, as it's very visual and couldn't exist in any other genre.

On the feminism front, I think it's also striking the way it has women working together rather than against each other. There aren't many films in which characters like the wives and characters like Furiosa are friends with no judgement or tension about their different ways of being women.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:02 PM
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The OP is really fun to read. Well done.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:06 PM
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I do think though that people would be talking about the movies feminism even in the absence of a MRA backlash. In part because feminism is an increasingly common topic in pop-culture criticism, but also because the bar for pop culture feminism is just set so so low that it's so easy for a film to be much more feminist than average.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 10:09 PM
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It's feminist where it counts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-19-15 11:46 PM
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I recall seeing the original Mad Max at the Playhouse here in P'burgh shortly after Road Warrior came out (so sometime in the early' 80s). The original release in the US was re-dubbed with American voices and slang --and according to Wikipedia the original was only released in the States after 2000--but IIRC, the Playhouse showed a print with the original Aussie soundtrack. Anyway, at some point I recall watching it and struggling with the Aussie slang and accents.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:20 AM
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James McCausland writing in 2006:

Yet there were further signs of the desperate measures individuals would take to ensure mobility. A couple of oil strikes that hit many pumps [during 1973 oil crisis--JPS] revealed the ferocity with which Australians would defend their right to fill a tank. Long queues formed at the stations with petrol--and anyone who tried to sneak ahead in the queue met raw violence. ... George and I wrote the [Mad Max] script based on the thesis that people would do almost anything to keep vehicles moving and the assumption that nations would not consider the huge costs of providing infrastructure for alternative energy until it was too late.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:29 AM
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it looks fucking amazing

I agree with this. And I'd add that it was among the more visceral movies I've seen. Much like Gravity, which I mentioned above, it looked and felt extraordinary. And yet, I don't believe Gravity was a good movie -- it was trite nonsense -- much less a great one. This one was good -- also nonsense but at least not trite -- though I don't think it was great. And I maintain that it wasn't feminist in any meaningful sense of that word, and that Max was one of the two protagonists.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:56 AM
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||
True Halfordismo possibly even vaguely relevant (it's Australian). I bet the feminists use male kittens.
|>


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:11 AM
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The original release in the US was re-dubbed with American voices and slang

!!!!

Does this still happen?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:39 AM
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They showed a preview for the Ted sequel when I saw Fury Road and it made me extremely angry.

TED (2012): Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane. Dir: Seth MacFarlane. A toy bear comes to life as a result of its owner's wish and spends the next twenty years delivering facile lectures about solving social problems with technology.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:44 AM
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The dubbed version of Trainspotting ? Nah. At least I can't think of any where a different dialect of English was dubbed.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:47 AM
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I think it's possible for a director to clearly be trying to make a particular kind of movie, which is crap.

See Michael Bay and James Cameron.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:16 AM
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164: I'm about halfway through the third Disc World book.

So, Charlize Theron as Granny Weatherwax?


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:36 AM
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||

Moving on from the ten-year old aeries about Go to a current series...about a high school concert brass band.

Again, written by a female mangaka (may be redundant), this appears to be at least at the beginning, a tragedy or drama with some comic elements.

Four young women as leads, all 1st years (3 year system. No significant male parts. Trumpeter takes lessons, is really fucking good, and really cares about music and competition. The drama comes from the facts of high school bands:people quit, won't work or practice, won't take it seriously. The trumpeter's three "friends" (and it is all about the relationships, and the relationships are complex) play contrabass, tuba and euphonium.

My rough guess is that we are gonna get a four person competitive band, and/or turn the larger ensemble around.

Kyoto Animation, so classy and eye-candy. No sex or fan service, more moe.

It amuses me that the "nice feminists" are into big trucks blowed up real good, and the asshole is into heart-warming shojo cartoon. But that isn't why I watch what I watch. Also: don't give a fuck about adult or mature. I get that from Godard and Haneke and Ceylan.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:38 AM
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147: Seems like a quintessential case of a police death that is narrowly justifiable in the moment as self-defense, but still a grave injustice in how avoidable it was.

Yeah. Super depressing.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:40 AM
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Speaking of "super depressing", the link in 17 starts out just laughing at the MRAs, which is fun, but then it starts quoting one particular patriarchalist, and it just gets horrifying (the author does warn us!):

The only way back is to begin punishing ambition in our daughters and in all female children. They need to be physically and psychologically disciplined to be servile and deferential and they unfortunately need to have it beaten into them that they should NEVER trust their own judgement and always seek guidance and permission of their male headships.
My daughter would be turned out with nothing but a shirt on her back if she so much as looked at a college website or played with her brother's educational toys. ... She would be belted to the point of being unable to sit if she exhibited confidence in decision making.
I don't want my wife to step foot out of the house unless her every dime and minute spent can be accounted for and executed in conjuncture with my approval. My daughter will exude obedience and timidity for whoever her future husband is and it's imperative that all Christian Men demand nothing less within their own homes. Playtime for feminazis and the left is over. This is our world and our heritage to protect. Let the cultural war begin!
I do in fact implement this in my own home and practice what I preach vehemently. I have a daughter and sons and they are being raised to know that they are unequivocally different and 100% not equal. My wife is from a highly devout family and she was cowed long ago into obedience by her powerful, alpha father. I kinda won the life lottery >:^)

Sweet christ. It's hard to imagine a CPS that had the authority to remove kids from homes based purely on the father's patriarchal worldview, but which somehow didn't misuse this authority to persecute unobjectionable-but-unpopular worldviews, but ... ugh. Just horrifying.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:47 AM
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||

Oh. I guess it is important or interesting to note that the (female) trumpeter is not the lead.

The lead is the euphonium, who is ambivalent about playing and really upset by strong passions and intense competition. The tubist and bassist also have bigger parts and more focus than the trumpeter.

It is to worry about putting women into supporting or sacrificing roles, which is not entirely mitigated with a female front person.

But Japan understands that most of us aren't gonna be the star, and as in Hikari no Go or Ping Pong, this isn't gendered.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:06 AM
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"It's all accounted for right here. I had him give me a receipt. 'Sex with man whore: 2 hours for $300.' And this receipt is $5 for parking."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:22 AM
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Fair enough.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:29 AM
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206: Instead of CPS, you should call in Furiosa to remove the daughters.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:40 AM
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Incidentally, am I the only one who spent the whole movie pretending that Immortan Joe was actually Proposition Joe?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:50 AM
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||

It is true that, though diminishing, traditionally the young men in Japanese male-oriented narratives have to go through the very painful adjustment of learning they won't be the star (whereas the young women accept it more easily...but not always). This is a very important, if not essential aspect of every story I have seen, if you like, to elevate the star. Patroclus dies so Achilles looks better. Everybody learns their place and role.

But the young men are portrayed as admirable fools, and though it is gendered, I am not so certain about which is wiser or smarter, or supposed to be. Should we really teach our kids that they should all aspire to be the lead guitarist?

"Can I play trombone this year?
We really need you on euphonium."

One of the best movies of 2014 was about an aging Kyoto stuntman training a young woman in the dying craft of fake sword fighting and choreography for movie production. Supporting.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:14 AM
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I refuse to believe any of the characters other than Max or Furiosa have names.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:20 AM
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202 - Those might not be the best examples since Fury Road has a lot of what they're trying (and failing, painfully) to do. There's nothing intrinsically bad with a big high energy spectacle of a movie, in fact that kind of ambition is probably one of the most essential things in film. Bay just does a terrible job of it, in a way that makes money.

I'm also super confused by the claim that this was a great movie

At the very least I think you have to grant that on a purely technical level the movie is a masterpiece. Miller has his own style of filming action sequences, especially car chases, like explained here, but one of the things that video (which really is interesting) leaves out is that filming them the way he does takes way, way more skill. Fury Road is packed with scenes that feel like pure chaos, except unlike in a Bay movie it's not just because there's a lot of loud sounds and flashing lights. The film actually keeps track of the places of each of the dozen or so vehicles involved, the people riding around and fighting on top of them, and so on in a way that really is impressive. You just don't know it's happening unless you look for it, because the whole point is that it keeps you in the action rather than making you think about what's supposed to be happening.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:31 AM
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a bunch of women who can't sing doing scales at earsplitting volumes, with a lot of Von Trier-esque nausea-cam.

I didn't even know it was going to be about singing until, I dunno, 1/3 of the way through? Before that, it's just stereotype people delivering obvious, tasteless jokes in a milieu that makes "Meatballs" seem like a sophisticated social critique.

It's possible I've magnified the awfulness in retrospect, but my reaction at the time was to want to hurl, among other things, invective at the screen.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:59 AM
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Seems like a quintessential case of a police death

Terrible example of a police death! And now you got trapnel all depressed.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:00 AM
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Well, 206 made my heart explode in my chest, so that's good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:18 AM
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206: holy. fucking. shit. just...fuck.
bob: I read hikari no go, because my younger daughter checks it out of the library. it is awesome. I don't know if we can watch it, though, right after some k-on. is it too old-looking? I feel I will hear complaints. you should watch barakamon. you know a show is going to be good if it starts "after punching a famous calligrapher..."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:16 AM
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The Apple Watch has a built-in reminder to make sure your heart explodes at least once a day.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:24 AM
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And I maintain that it wasn't feminist in any meaningful sense of that word

As usual, Erin Kissane gets it right:

Beyoncé is a pop star. Fury Road is a post-apocalyptic action movie. Both do feminist work. Feminism isn't a purity test.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:40 AM
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206: Yeeeeeesh. 99% probability of Internet Master Race keyboard-auto-frotting, but yeeeeeeeesh.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:49 AM
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@92: YES

Brad DeLong


Posted by: GnOlEd DaRb | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:58 AM
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Wait, yes to completely implausible or yes to correct? I stopped reading after "of the University of Chicago".


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:10 AM
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Brad, you know, you can just sign your name forwards. You don't need to sign it forwards and backwards.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:17 AM
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100:

And it looks like a surprising number of women in charge to me too! But when you count, it's right about half.

I suspect that there's a simple evopsych explanation (simple ==> good by EP standards) for this phenomenon: Something like, on the savanna, the males who successfully procreated were the overly confident, overly optimistic ones who over-estimated their opportunities and chances of mating success, and underestimated the degree of competition they faced; and the females who managed both to have offspring and successfully raise them to have their own offspring were the ones who were anxious and pessimistic, under-estimating their opportunities and overestimating the competition they faced.

Easy peasy


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:17 AM
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223: I'm pretty sure he meant "yes, the result is correct or at least plausible", since he linked it as a must-read awhile back, and has approvingly cited one of the authors' results before.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:27 AM
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Wait, yes to completely implausible or yes to correct?

I'm assuming "yes to correct" since I saw the link on DeLong's blog. But I'm still suspicious (I say without having read the paper). All of those cities have high average productivity (and wages and cost of living) but they also have high inequality. Looking at NYC, for example, according to wikipedia:

Overall, nominal household income in New York City is characterized by large variations. This phenomenon is especially true of Manhattan, which in 2005 was home to the highest incomes U.S. census tract, with a household income of $188,697, as well as the lowest, where household income was $9,320.[64] The disparity is driven in part by wage growth in high income brackets.

According to that chart the median income in NYC is lower than the median income in the USA as a whole. I worry that adding a bunch of people to San Francisco (while probably a good idea) would have much smaller economic gains than those calculations would suggest because of the effects of inequality.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:30 AM
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If only San Francisco could adopt the Chinese approach:

"China's ancient cities are now staging grounds for sparkling new shopping malls, bright neon lights, luxury housing complexes, KTV lounges, and large boulevards packed with expensive cars. The traditional, artistically decorated houses with intricately carved wooden latticework and ornate tile roofs have been replaced with rows of monotonous architectural cubes; winding, narrow residential streets full of character and life have been upgraded to wide, straight boulevards that come together in neat grids; buildings that once hugged the street, creating a lively public sphere, have now been set back dozens of metres from the roadside and tucked behind towering gates. The modern Chinese city looks as if it were formed by stamping the landscape with a giant ice cube tray, leaving evenly spaced, almost identical block-shaped buildings in its wake. Most have become what architects call "generic cities," places--like American strip malls--that lack stand-out features or architectural character that makes them uniquely recognizable."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:34 AM
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I'm guessing 206 was written by an 18-year-old Elliot Rodger fan.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:34 AM
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Ah.

Second, we use residual wages as a measure of the marginal product of labor. This requires that differences across cities in unobserved worker characteristics have not changed over time, or, if they have changed, they have changed in ways that are uncorrelated with nominal wages. While this might not be true, there is little we can do to relax this assumption, as detailed data on worker cognitive ability are not available at a scale large enough to allow for a city-level analysis. Failure of this assumption may lead us to overestimate potential benefits of geographical reallocation of labor. In particular, if workers in MSA's with high nominal wages have higher IQ than workers in MSA's with low nominal wages after conditioning on education and other characteristics, then the documented spatial dispersion in nominal wages overestimates the true degree of dispersion. If, in addition, the amount of unobserved ability has increased more in MSA's with high nominal wages than in MSA's with low nominal wages, then the estimated counterfactual output gains reported in the paper are too large.

Fourth, we have assumed that workers can reely move across industries. This assumption is useful because cities have distinct industry specialization. Thus, spatial reallocation of labor also implies industry reallocation. For example, scaling up employment in New York, San Francisco and San Jose implicitly requires increasing the number of workers in finance and high tech, since tradable sector employment in these three cities is heavily concentrated in finance and high tech.


I feel like I should mention that I've been enjoying a lot of s'gNoLeD posts lately.



Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:38 AM
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I think there's a much stronger argument that Fury Road is a feminist movie than just appealing to Furiosa, but it's going to take a bunch of words so this is a TL;DR warning.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:50 AM
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For example, scaling up employment in New York, San Francisco and San Jose implicitly requires increasing the number of workers in finance and high tech

There are several questionable assumptions in this statement. The first is that you can scale up indefinitely, the second is that all of those are value-added, and that the salaries reflect social benefit -- certainly that's something that people are already skeptical about with regard to finance, and that's before trying to scale up even more.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:51 AM
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I mean, look at the society they're escaping from. Yes, it's creepy and patriarchal and nasty towards women, but there's more there than just that. It displays a whole system built around scarcity, and a small group's dominance of essential resources,* which they reserve almost entirely for themselves and use in insanely wasteful ways.** Not only are women treated purely as property of Immortan Joe, owning them is an essential part of his sense of authority and dominance to the point where he's willing to sacrifice massive amounts of resources in order to get them back. He's got good reasons to care, to some extent, but everything he says comes across like someone who feels insulted by this challenge to his dominance rather than a more practical "no I need those women to get healthy children which I need to maintain control and establish some kind of dynasty".

And then there's the war boys which, I think, is one of the most telling bits. Everything about them looks like someone listed a set of male-gender-stuff and crammed the most extreme versions of it into a single death-and-glory-and-cars-and-weapons cult.*** The reason there are so many insane vehicles in the movie isn't because they're badass**** it's because there's a literal religion built around them. They're customized in insanely detailed way, like religious fetishes - they even store the steering wheels separately in what is clearly a shrine. Right before they engage in suicide bombing attacks they spray paint their mouths silver and scream about chrome. They make a sign that is supposed to look like a V8 as a religious devotion. They scarify engine diagrams onto their bodies and paint themselves to look like skeletons. Their leader wears a breastplate that tries to make what is clearly a fat old man look muscular, and is covered in military decorations. And the one we get to see closest (Nux) is shocked out of his society and into questioning his role in it, partially by compassion from one of the "brides" after his sense of failure to live up to it.

I think it's fair to say there's something feminist about a movie that presents a society that runs on extreme masculine tropes as something that aggressively exploits people of both genders, but in radically different (but, I think, pretty recognizable) ways. I mean, it's not a feminist movie in the sense that, I guess, a video taped bell hooks lecture would be. But if that's not enough to clear a reasonable bar I'm not sure what would be.


*The dark humor involved in Immortan Joe lecturing people on not becoming addicted to water because then they'll feel entitled to it is hard to miss.*****
**Even though they clearly have plenty of actual food Immortan Joe, his family, and the general ruling group consume vast quantities of harvest human breast milk. (To the point where one of the things that enormous tanker truck is delivering to one of the other outposts is just that.) Also, let's be honest, as mind blowingly awesome as the Doof Warrior is we'd think of it as ridiculously, pointlessly wasteful right now, and relatively few people in America are living in abject, starvation level poverty. And he's there purely to pump up his warriors when they go into battle.
***Worshiping Immortan Joe as a god and psychopomp. He displays exactly no genuine belief in this cult, and looks exactly like it's something he uses to exploit them and use them for his own purposes.
****I mean, yes, they are but look at the Vuvalini who are equally badass but use very obviously pragmatic motorcycles, or the guys who use dirt bikes among the rock formations, or the buzzards whose cars look cool but clearly aren't being treated as crazy fetishes.
*****And his allies, the other powerful groups in the region, have power based on their control over (1) oil and (2) weapons. I mean...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:52 AM
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(I'm also a fan of DeLong's blog, which is probably clear from the number of his posts that I link to here)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:52 AM
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Brad, you know, you can just sign your name forwards. You don't need to sign it forwards and backwards.

But Gnoled Darb is a much better name, though. Reminds me of
http://biblioklept.org/2015/04/16/how-nuth-would-have-practised-his-art-upon-the-gnoles-lord-dunsany/

Clearly this is what happens when the gnoles catch you - you get gnoled.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:53 AM
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Everything about them looks like someone listed a set of male-gender-stuff and crammed the most extreme versions of it into a single death-and-glory-and-cars-and-weapons cult.***

I was thinking about this, WRT to the question in the OP, about "why wouldn't you like this movie if you're a guy." The people calling for a boycott aren't* doing so because they think the movie will be boring and a waste of time. They're doing so because they believe that, even if the movie is incredibly fun and awesome, it sends a bad message because it portrays men in an unfairly bad way.

* (as far as I know, I haven't actually read them),


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:56 AM
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233: right, I mean, Nux's story is basically "the patriarchy hurts men too". Which, if that's not feminist...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:58 AM
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Everything about them looks like someone listed a set of male-gender-stuff and crammed the most extreme versions of it into a single death-and-glory-and-cars-and-weapons cult.

Basically it's the twisted, evil version of Halfordismo.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:01 AM
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Isn't Halfordismo the twisted, evil version of Halfordismo?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:04 AM
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I don't know if 238 is entirely right. I mean, do we know that Halford doesn't wear a giant skull mask, breathe through a machine, and drive a giant cadillac with another one welded on top of it?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:06 AM
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On that subject, you should all know that Frederic M. Halford (1844-1918) was a highly influential and dogmatic writer on fly fishing, regarded as the father of dry fly fishing. This is interesting because
a) it means that in Italian, "traditional dry fly fishing" is known as "halfordismo"
and
b) he wrote under the pseudonym "Detached Badger".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:07 AM
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230: So the explicit assumption is that, if only NYC relaxed its zoning laws, then everyone from Detroit would move there and earn Goldman salaries?

Or would only the perfectly spherical Detroiters move?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:08 AM
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Wiki informs me: "The Halfordian school claimed that upstream nymphing, although effective, was unethical and bad for the chalk streams".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:10 AM
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230.2 is a pretty absurd assumption --- especially if they're also assuming that switching industries is costless, and that a city's industrial mix will remain the same as its population grows.

(The way 230.1 slides in the space of two sentences from "unobserved worker characteristics" to "IQ" is also very special, but I am trying to train myself not to rise to such bait.)


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:12 AM
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Another of my Thoughts on the movie: complaints here and there about the wastage of water, gas, etc. mostly don't ring true, since when something is scarce, wasting it becomes prestige conspicuous consumption. But when Max met the brides, there was definitely too much water being used - they should have been gathered around one bucket or something.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:14 AM
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Hey, higher IQ has all sorts of unintuitive consequences. Like how people who are really intelligent are often misunderstood by dumber people who look smarter but aren't.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:15 AM
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I admit, I was torn between anonymizing that link to avoid it showing up as a track back, or linking directly in the hope that he would show up to be mocked.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:17 AM
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246, 247: I would pay good money to see a Warner Bros.-style cartoon featuring "V/ox D/ay, super-genius", but I am spoiled for choice as to who would take Road Runner role.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:22 AM
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241, 243 deliriously good.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:22 AM
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Didn't Labs used to make fun of him? I remember being vaguely aware he existed, because someone here linked to a picture of him wielding a flaming sword. But that was forever ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:25 AM
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248: For years now, Wile E. Coyote has been the image that jumps to mind when I encounter the writings of online libertarian IQ fetishists. I picture them all carrying around "John Doe, Super Genius" cards to introduce themselves.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:31 AM
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hikari no go looks pretty old, but i am partial to the 1995-2005 soft pastel look

watched barakamon, loved it. best little kid ever is internet consensus


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:36 AM
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@235: "Brad, you know, you can just sign your name forwards. You don't need to sign it forwards and backwards."

ERQHAQNAPL!

GnOlEd DaRb


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:39 AM
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ll
Did not know this a bout Nathanael West:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathanael_West

Nathanael West was born Nathan Weinstein in New York City...

West displayed little ambition in academics, dropping out of high school and only gaining admission into Tufts College by forging his high school transcript. After being expelled from Tufts, West got into Brown University by appropriating the transcript of a fellow Tufts student who was also named Nathan Weinstein.

>>


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:41 AM
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246/247: … "popoli"?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:44 AM
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Vox polypi vox Dei, as the Cthulhu cultists say.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:50 AM
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256 is fabulous (really, there have been several fabulous comments in this thread).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:54 AM
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246/250: alameida schooled him but good, way back when.
He still has a grudge against the Nielsen Haydens and John Scalzi for being shown up badly on Electrolite maybe 10 years ago.
Clearly, LB, you haven't heard (or heard much) about the current Hugo awards brouhaha - I recommend maintaining ignorance unless you want another giant can't-look-away timesuck, checking the daily round-ups from Mike Glyer for fresh nonsense.

Seriously, don't start looking into it.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:58 AM
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251: I would not be at all surprised.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:02 AM
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Oh, I've been aware of the Hugo thing -- I meant that I had been aware VD existed before that, from I think Labs' making fun of him.

The Hugo thing is right on the border of things that I might care about, but in fact don't much. But it sounds maddening to the people in that world.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:06 AM
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From 259:

Dr. Ware seemed disheartened by the Mensans' seeming inability to focus beyond self-gratifying pursuits and apply their collective brain-power to problems facing the world today. "I do get disappointed that so many members spend so much time solving puzzles," Ware said. "It's a form of mental masturbation. Nothing comes of it."

I dunno, maybe making puzzle-solving the chief criterion for admission was a mistake then, guy.

(I read recently, I think on twitter, that Mensa meetings were hotbeds of "cheap sex", per the reporter. Also unsurprising!)

259 also reveals that there was a high-but-not-that-high IQ society called "Near Mensa", which sounds exceptionally pathetic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:08 AM
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drive a giant cadillac

This part is actually true.


Posted by: TRO ex Halford | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:08 AM
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I mean, do we know that Halford doesn't wear a giant skull mask, breathe through a machine, and drive a giant cadillac with another one welded on top of it?

Well, no. Though some of us know he doesn't do so absolutely all the time.

("How many talking tortoises have you met?" Brother Nhumrod demanded.
"I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"Well, they might all talk," Brutha said conscientiously, demonstrating the very special grasp of logic that got him Extra Gardening. "They might just not say anything when I'm around.")


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:10 AM
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You could torture the tortoises to see if they don't talk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:12 AM
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I think my favorite from the link in 259 is the Psi Society:

"As of July, 2001, the society has 12 members. The journal is called Perfection, and articles may be submitted in any language."

I'm going to assume that "any language" includes Klingon.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:12 AM
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I was torn between anonymizing that link to avoid it showing up as a track back, or linking directly in the hope that he would show up to be mocked

Oh hey, speaking of trackback-watchers who show up to be mocked, remember never-seen-a-violin mom? It occurred to me to submit the muted video to my daughters for analysis, and little Mozart was playing "Perpetual Motion" from Suzuki Book I. Like, the whole time. I'm surprised they weren't all stoned to death somewhere along the way.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:12 AM
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Actually, when I first read the link in 259, I thought it sounded rather like some of the low moments of early SF fandom, only without the redeeming cultural value.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:14 AM
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So The Handmaid's Tale is a guys' film and book?

If the apocalyptic baddie wasn't a religious nut I'd expect his harem of brood mares to be scantily-clad supermodels.

What were you expecting? Fatties in burkas?


Posted by: Peter K. | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:16 AM
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262 - Then you're almost halfway there!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:18 AM
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267: Fans are Slans!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:18 AM
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little Mozart was playing "Perpetual Motion" from Suzuki Book I

Oh wow. That's the worst.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:25 AM
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218:Huh

Average manga chapter has roughly 100 "frames" which is about 30 seconds of an anime; yet usually one anime episode will correspond to one chapter of manga. So there are lots of methods and techniques to expand or fill the other twenty odd minutes. ok?

Not a manga person, but checked out "hikaru no go" manga online, and the anime is very faithful to the manga in the main scenes and art...except...

...apparently they go a lot of their filler by better, smarter and easier to see views of the games played. Lots and lots of top down perfectly clear shots of the go boards at various stages (though far from all, like 5-10+ snapshots) of the games, and the games appear to much more carefully thought out and represented. "Grabbing space on the upper left" in the manga is just a line;in the anime you will see 5-10 consecutive moves showing how it was done. This is still done very quickly, in a matter of a couple of seconds, then cutting to the faces and players and tension inducing stuff, so the boards don't bore, but you get a fuckton more go in the anime. Many shots of the board filling up.

There are also a lot of shots of the hand getting the stone from the container, positioning it in the fingers, the arm zooming across the board like a striking snake to drop the vibrating stone into position with a snap, as previous stones tremble to adjust to the new arrangement. Again, mere seconds, very fast, with early slow tension and late release. Kami no itte has fucking meaning here.

I mean, besides the great story, this is what made the anime popular. These go games are vicious brutal fights, very fast on screen if 90 minutes on the players clocks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:26 AM
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I mean, I read in the manga the first most critical encounter between Shindo and Toya-kun, and saw almost nothing. There were too many stones in the partial view.

With a little time, some high-dan consultants, and research in the archives I believe, although I may be wrong, that they found an excellent example of a champion-level player (Fujiwara no Sai) utterly humiliating a 1-dan early pro (which Toya Akira is), and they showed the final position onscreen for all go players to see and judge.

If you want the go, anime by all means.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:37 AM
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270: I was thinking more of the Cosmic Circle (no relation), but yeah.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:39 AM
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268: Handmaid's Tale has car chases with 18 wheelers? I clearly did not read that book with the care it deserved.

I love the whole "fans are slans" idea, just because it's so dorky it's almost self-refuting. Whatever the master race is reading, it's not A. E. van Vogt's Slan.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:41 AM
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266: I don't think I understood any part of that and yet it still made my blood run cold in sheer terror.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:47 AM
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276: This. The thread was pretty entertaining.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:50 AM
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"Euripedes pants, I menda dese pants." and the follow up joke from ajay made me laugh out loud. Thanks!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:10 AM
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But when Max met the brides, there was definitely too much water being used - they should have been gathered around one bucket or something.

That's what I thought at the time, but on reflection, they all thought they were going to the green place, where presumably they wouldn't need the water any more.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:17 AM
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I heard that once you don't have any almonds, you don't need much water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:20 AM
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I'm guessing none of them had had much experience with needing to preserve water, either, and it wouldn't necessarily have occurred to them or been something they knew how to do well. Even Furiosa probably hadn't been short of water in a long time given how high up she was in the hierarchy.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:22 AM
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I'm guessing none of them had had much experience with needing to preserve water,

Given that there were books and a piano in their cell …


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:29 AM
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282: Yeah, but they were only playing "Perpetual Motion" over and over and over...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:32 AM
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281: Furiosa might have had plenty of water at the Citadel, but she presumably worked her way up to that position. Even then, if she routinely went out into the wild, having to haul not just water but weapons, warboys, and all that cargo like the guitarist-and-drums truck, she should definitely know how to conserve, and should have stopped them the minute some water spilled onto the the sand.

I guess 279 could be true, but it doesn't square with my conception of her. Lots of things requiring more water could have happened before they made it to the green place.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 11:43 AM
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256 is wonderful.

I really should be all over this thread as a huge Mad Max fan, was Fury Road was the last film I saw before leaving NY and I was glad for it. But I'm exhausted so I'm just going to plotz now.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:04 PM
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Again, viewed as a feature of the blasted landscape that is popular culture, it's sort of feminist, I'll grant you. But outside of that context, what makes the film a meaningfully feminist text? The female lead is one of the most beautiful women in the world, a former supermodel. The other desirable women are all current supermodels. Way to strike a blow for different conceptions of female beauty! As for political economy, the female separatists are withered crones whose society has crumbled; they need Max, a man, to lead them to what might (and then only if you accept that the insane utterly incredible ending is even slightly happy) be salvation. So sure, it's feminist compared to, say, Age of Ultron.

Believe it or not, I'm not being as glib as I sound. I'm genuinely interested in hearing what makes a movie like this feminist in some way that might be recognizable to an actual feminist -- other than, as I said above and earlier, that its representations of women are significantly more interesting than most of the toxic shit that's out there.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:07 PM
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||

I liiked your piece in the Forward

|>


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:13 PM
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-i


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:15 PM
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286: I feel as if this exposes me as having low standards, but a movie where women exist in a proportion similar to their representation in the population, and drive the plot in a manner not, how to put this succinctly, entirely made up of their function as wives/girlfriends/rescue objects, gets me most of the way there to feeling as if it's feminist. Supermodels, schmupermodels -- at least they're human breathing women who get to exist on screen (and they are rescue objects, but not all the women in the movie are). (Haven't seen the movie yet, so I don't have a first-hand impression of its feministness).

I mean, varying conceptions of female beauty is great, but it's not a sine qua non for me to feel as if a movie's fairly feminist feeling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:15 PM
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I don't think the conceptions of beauty offered by a text are the only way to judge its feministness, but, based on what actual feminists have been saying for at least two waves now, that's one way that matters. Another, as I noted above, is political economy, and again, I'm not sure how this film qualifies as feminist in that regard either.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:18 PM
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I should be clear that I'm genuinely not ruling out the idea that the movie is feminist. I'm just pushing back against an argument that I don't yet find especially convincing -- except, for the umpteenth time, as measured using a very low bar.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:20 PM
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The car pictured in the link at 269 is what makes the film feminist.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:20 PM
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I should find the links, but I read a couple of movies and feminism things in the last couple of days -- one was Sady Doyle on Age of Ultron and the other wasn't -- that made similar points about scarcity. If most movies have Smurfette syndrome, where characters are by default male, and you drop in the occasional woman where she's absolutely necessary for plot reasons, whatever you do with your one female character is going to be wrong in an antifeminist kind of way. Doesn't matter what the one female character is like, if she's standing in for all women, she's going to be wrong, because all women aren't like that.

When you start getting multiple women with plot functions on screen, then it's suddenly much, much easier for the movie to feel feminist, just because it organically shows women as individual human beings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:21 PM
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287: thanks, but you're talking about the other guy.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:21 PM
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This is the Sady Doyle thing I was thinking about, and it doesn't say anything like I said it said. Must have been in whatever the other one was.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:24 PM
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294: You all look the same to him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:25 PM
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289: That is a low standard; I'm not sure how valuable it is to lower the standard that much. Sincerely: I'm not sure how valuable it is. Maybe it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:25 PM
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it organically shows women as individual human beings

I don't know if that's right, especially when the women in question are all super-duper models. Regardless, I think that's exactly the low bar I'm talking about. Yes, as I said in the first instance, Hollywood is a sewer of sexism. But that doesn't mean that "slightly more feminist than the usual patriarchal shit churned out by the major studies" is actually feminist in any meaningful way. It's just less toxic than usual, which, repeating myself, isn't nothing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:26 PM
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The other one is much taller.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:26 PM
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Here's the other thing I was thinking about, which turns out to have been by Linda Holmes, who I knew pretty well in high school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:27 PM
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Whoa, somehow I thought I'd refreshed the thread just a minute ago, but I guess not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:27 PM
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Ok, that is something I didn't know.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:28 PM
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299: that how we tell each other apart.

AK: "Wait, which one am I?"

AK: "The tall one."

AK: "Oh, thanks."


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:29 PM
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302: neither of us works for that institution at the moment, so it's a bit easier to tell us apart. Also: see 303.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:30 PM
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I don't think that 'clearing the bar' or meeting a 'standard' work for me as ways to think about this kind of thing. I find movies with significant numbers of women in them strongly preferable for the reasons I gave, which are feminist reasons. That doesn't necessarily make every such movie feminist itself, but it does mean there are feminist things to say about it, and feminist reasons to prefer it to movies where women are more absent.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:30 PM
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300: that was pretty interesting. Thanks. Still, I don't think it answers most of what I've said above (not that it needs to).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:32 PM
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305 is actually more helpful than the piece you linked. But now I find myself thinking maybe we're saying pretty much the same thing: this movie is more feminist than others, yes, but still not a meaningfully feminist text (at least not for me). Maybe the argument goes something like this: Fury Road is as feminist a text as one is likely to see from a system as structurally sexist as Hollywood. And so if you want to see Hollywood films, and I sometimes do, this is what major-studio-produced feminism is going to look like for the moment.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:35 PM
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The five brides had great names, but I couldn't make them out at all during the movie - shouted dialogue was usually a mystery to me, and that was 90% of the dialogue.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:39 PM
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305: Fair enough.

||

Meanwhile, if NickS is still around, I think he (you, Nick) commented on a recent This American Life piece on the power of sympathetic narratives to change people's minds on controversial topics -- I heard that segment myself and found it notable.

It turns out the data from that study were faked.

Oh my.

||>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:40 PM
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Huh. I didn't know first authors knew enough to fake data and get away with it that long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 12:43 PM
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There's probably a class in it now. Taught by the Sir Cyril Burt Professor of Psychology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:04 PM
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this movie is more feminist than others, yes, but still not a meaningfully feminist text (at least not for me)

You didn't actually read 237, did you?

Also, WTF does "meaningfully feminist" mean in this regard, anyway?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:05 PM
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307: One more thought. I can't really talk meaningfully about the movie, because I haven't seen it. But on the political economy point, are you sure you're being fair to the movie? What it sounds like you're saying is that Theron, the motorcycle grannies and supermodels are driving off to a possible better place, but that doesn't count as a feminist message (of women working with other women to improve their lives or whatever you want to call it) because there's a man involved in the process, which taints the whole thing.

And it really does depend on how it's set up -- if he's the fearless leader without which they would have been helpless, sure, that's not feminist at all. But if he's just one (possibly necessary) participant in the effort, than that argument comes close to sounding like a claim that the only truly feminist accomplishment is the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, because once a man is involved with a process anywhere, the efforts of the women involved don't count to make it truly a women's accomplishment.

I'd have to see the movie myself to have a meaningful opinion, but does what i'm saying make sense at all?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:06 PM
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Here's the other thing I was thinking about, which turns out to have been by Linda Holmes, who I knew pretty well in high school.

300: that was pretty interesting. Thanks.

I hate you both.

I liked to that article upthread, quoted extensively from it, correctly identified it as having been written by Linda Holmes, and still think it explains a significant part of why the In These Times writer was annoyed by the movie, even though the movie has multiple female characters.

I think he (you, Nick) commented on a recent This American Life piece on the power of sympathetic narratives to change people's minds on controversial topics

I don't remember if I commented on that here. I might have, but I do remember hearing about it, so I'm glad to know that it was faked.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:07 PM
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I think that's probably where I read it, come to think. Clicked through, but somehow missed her name both when you wrote it, and on the article. Which is weird -- it should have popped for me given that I knew her really quite well: not close friends, but next level out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:11 PM
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I think the movie lends itself to feminist readings, along the lines of MHPH's interpretation, so it does more than just fails to be as incredibly sexist as is normal for Hollywood. Immortan Joe really is not just a villain, but an explicitly patriarchal villain. If you want to read it as allegory, the feminist allegory is the one readiest to hand.

To really count as a feminist movie, though, it would have to unavoidably feminist, not just plausibly so. It would explicitly take a stand on some aspect of the role of men or women in modern society. Ottoman sultans would probably agree that Immortan Joe was the bad guy, not just misunderstood.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:11 PM
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As for political economy, the female separatists are withered crones whose society has crumbled; they need Max, a man, to lead them to what might (and then only if you accept that the insane utterly incredible ending is even slightly happy) be salvation.

This is wrong. They need Furiosa to lead them to salvation; she's the one who convinces them to try to find another green place. Max just points out that the particular way they're going about it is the wrong one.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:11 PM
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Max is a consultant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:13 PM
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I'm genuinely interested in hearing what makes a movie like this feminist in some way that might be recognizable to an actual feminist

Who counts as an actual feminist here?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:13 PM
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:15 PM
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On the question about what makes a movie feminist, I don't think it's binary, I think there are multiple thresholds.

There's the initial baseline of, does this movie appear to have been made by people who believe in "the radical idea that women are people"? (which the Bechdel test approximates).

Then there's the question of, "would watching this movie make somebody more likely to believe that women are people?" That's fairly similar, but I don't think there's perfect overlap between those two categories.

Then you have the question, "do the people who have made the movie appear to be sensitive to the ways in which pervasive sexism affects the lives of women* and is that reflected in the movie?"

I'm sure I could think of more ("does the movie suggest any mechanisms for change?") but my point is that a movie could be perfectly acceptable from a feminist standpoint in certain ways without being what (I belive) Von Wafer is thinking of when he talks about a "feminist movie."

* in particular contemporary women, because I do think there's something very tricky about making a movie which says, "look how badly women were treated back then/over there."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:16 PM
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On a motorcycle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:16 PM
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I mean there seem to be many reviews/notices/pieces by actual women praising the film for its feministitude but maybe they aren't actual feminsts? (I don't mean that question to be pulling rank by proxy; honest. I am aware that not all women are feminists. But I don't know what to make of the "actual feminist" part of VW's complaint.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:17 PM
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317: which is why, again, they're co-equals as protagonists, right?

319: I was thinking of someone who is a professional feminist, but I'm open to a different definition (that doesn't include "dudes who watched a movie featuring scantily-clad supermodels and lots of explosions backed by death metal and now want to tell themselves that their moviegoing was a some kind of feminist intervention").


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:18 PM
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I was thinking of someone who is a professional feminist

Like Eve Ensler?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:20 PM
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323: having seen this, I'd add that I was, now that you push me a bit more, thinking of second-wave feminists, at least mostly, including moderates like Betty Friedan and radicals like Shulamith Firestone, which, I guess, is why I kept focusing on the one hand on representations of women and on the other on political economy and separatism.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:21 PM
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backed by death metal

It wasn't death metal, so your entire argument is invalid.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:23 PM
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325: sure, yeah. But I don't really know what being "a consultant on the film" means in this case. I've been a consultant on a few PBS documentaries, and I had basically no power at all over the final shape of the films. I think Moby was kidding above, but I'd love to see what Ensler has to say about the movie.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:24 PM
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327: I figured. And that's fair enough.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:24 PM
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"does the movie suggest any mechanisms for change?"

I think that last one is too much to ask. What's the mechanism of change suggested by Jeanne Dielman...? (Which strikes me as something that people would universally accept as a feminist film -- although maybe I'm wrong! -- and would pass your earlier tests.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:25 PM
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328: Wonder no more!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:25 PM
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Here, I'll even pull something out for you, since I know no one clicks links:

"I think George Miller is a feminist, and he made a feminist action film."


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:26 PM
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As for political economy, the female separatists are withered crones..
I mean, maybe my standards are a lot lower, but "withered crone" seems a bit off base there.

As far as the supermodels bit goes, Charlize Theron is a beautiful woman, but I think the point here applies to that. And given the overall patriarchal thing going on in the movie supermodel-looking women are exactly what you'd want to see in the brides. It's something other people in the movie actually remark on.

Also short of the movie having a bit after the credits where George Miller explains the parallels to modern society I'm not sure what it could do to be really direct about its relation to current society. The bad guys are (or the big ones are) three older men who are exaggerated caricatures of patriarchal figures who get their power by virtue of their control over (1) water and food, (2) oil, and (3) weapons. Do they have to go around calling themselves things like Monsanton the Powerful and the Lockheedmartinian or something?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:27 PM
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(Cue the complaint of "well, she got paid to consult on the film, so what do you expect her to say?".)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:27 PM
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You can read Ensler's thoughts on the movie, although if she hated it and thought it was the most retrograde thing since Revenge of the Nerds she might still say nice things about it out of professional courtesy/desire for more piles of cocaine from Big Hollywood.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:28 PM
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Given 327, I should probably clarify a couple of points about 324: I wasn't talking about anyone here, and by dudes I probably meant dudes or dudettes. My point was that I'm not usually very impressed by after-the-fact appeals to righteousness as a justification for why one enjoyed a particular movie/sporting event/other kind of entertainment.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:28 PM
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Damn it, Josh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:28 PM
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I think that last one is too much to ask.

I structured my comment around the idea of an increasingly restrictive set of criteria which would make a film more feminist, and you're right to say that's a bad structure. It would be more accurate to say that there are many things that feminists could hope to see in pop culture and that any individual work is likely to do some but not all of them -- and that we can in fact have a debate about how much weight we put on the things that it does and how much we feel the absence of the things it doesn't do.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:29 PM
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I think what VW is actually getting at here is that he wants death metal listening suggestions but is too shy to ask for them. We're here for you, bud.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:30 PM
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328: 109 was a joke. 110 wasn't.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:31 PM
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Charlize Theron is a beautiful woman

Charlize Theron was a super model, full stop, wasn't she? (I'm reading the Ensler now.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:32 PM
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You don't get many partially stoppered super models.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:33 PM
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Charlize Theron was a super model

Just a super, super model.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:33 PM
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The Ensler is pretty convincing, actually. I might go see it again now.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:34 PM
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The theater closest to my house isn't showing it but is showing Pitch Perfect 2.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:36 PM
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Charlize Theron was a super model, full stop, wasn't she?

How exactly does that matter?

I mean, according to wikipedia, "[Rene] Russo was one of the top models of the 1970s and early 80s" but it would seem obnoxious (and dismissive) if someone constantly referred to her as, "former supermodel Rene Russo."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:37 PM
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Which Shulamith Firestone script-doctored.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:37 PM
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347 to 345.

346: as I said throughout the thread, casting super-models, including Charlize Theron (who still models, right?) in almost all of the female roles in the film struck me as a not-obviously-feminist move.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:41 PM
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336 - I justify loving it because it is absolutely bonkers in a way that a movie can only be when it's made really, really well. I can't think of another movie that's willing to just go all out on the action and have 90% of the non-action elements (characterization, plot, etc.) happen during those action scenes, let alone capable of doing it. And the fact that it doesn't just get boring twenty minutes into the first chase sequence alone is a testament to an incredibly well constructed movie.*

I mean, I also liked that it was feminist partially independently of the other merits of the movie and also because it meant there weren't really any points where it was objectionable enough that I got thrown out of the movie which, to be honest, happens a lot with action movies.

*I mean, for all his faults Michael Bay actually isn't half bad at coordinating and filming action scenes. But even so you get tired watching them if they go on too long and start looking for something else, which is bad because the other things he has tend to be truly awful. Miller manages to escalate the scenes at just the right rate that the movie is exhausting because it holds on to you through all those sequences.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:41 PM
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||

Huh, the wikipedia bio of Rene Russo contains one sentence which is false -- presumably because the writer felt that the equivalent true statement would have been too grammatically complicated.

In 1999 she starred alongside Pierce Brosnan in the heist film The Thomas Crown Affair directed by John McTiernan. ... Faye Dunaway played the role of Russo in the 1968 original film.

I don't think Rene Russo was one of the roles in the original movie.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:44 PM
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I'm still not seeing the "he cast good looking actresses" objection, honestly. The 'brides' had better look that way given their role in the movie (and especially if the feminist reading I gave is right). Charlize Theron was/maybe-is one too, but if you think that's why she was cast you're out of your mind given how incredible a job she did with the character.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:44 PM
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349: I WASN'T TALKING ABOUT ANYONE HERE. Also, your points above about Miller's technical skill were interesting and helpful. I didn't need to be convinced that it was a well-made film, but I still found what you said useful.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:46 PM
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346: as I said throughout the thread, casting super-models, including Charlize Theron (who still models, right?) . . . struck me as a not-obviously-feminist move.

I understood that position, I was just confused why you felt like you needed to push back on the statement, "Charlize Theron is a beautiful woman" because it didn't give sufficient weight to her status as a supermodel.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:47 PM
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I haven't seen it yet, so my assessment is worth nothing, but the part where it sounds like it avoids doing so many of the things that typically prevent me from fully enjoying movies for feminist reasons is big, and but also surely having a great big motivating part of the plot be some women declaring on their own initiative and acting on the point that "WOMEN ARE NOT THINGS" is at least a little bit feminist in theme, not just by omission, right?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:50 PM
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(Now I'm rather pleased with myself over the construction "feminist by omission.")


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:50 PM
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350: 'of' is said in many ways.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:52 PM
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351: if you think Charlize Theron wasn't cast at least in part because of her eyes and her ability to look insanely gorgeous despite having no right* arm below the elbow, I think you're out of your mind.** Much as you'd have to be out of your mind to believe that Tom Hardy was cast with no thought to his smoldering eyes and granite jawline.

* Or left. It was definitely one or the other.

** Yes, I think she was, independent of her looks, great. She's immensely talented.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:52 PM
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And the sheer prospect of a movie--a thrilling action movie!--being about sex-specific violence against women WHILE ALSO not having any rape or threats of rape depicted in the movie itself (which I read somewhere was the case) is so stunningly amazing that it makes me feel like flocks of beautiful birds are about to land in my front garden.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:53 PM
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Angela Carter time travelling to script doctor Gone With The Wind is an amusing thought.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:54 PM
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I'm still not seeing the "he cast good looking actresses" objection, honestly.

I have no idea whether that makes sense as an objection to Mad Max, but do think it's a fair complaint to make about pop culture in general. See, for example, Hugh Laurie's comment

[Laurie] discussed the differences between British and American TV. "I think good-looking people seldom make good television," he said. "And American television studios almost concede before they start: 'Well, it won't be good, but at least it'll be good-looking. We'll have nice-looking girls in tight shirts with F.B.I. badges and fit-looking guys with lots of hair gel vaulting over things. So at least we'll have achieved that base standard of entertainment.' " He shook his head. "I think that's hugely misguided. The glory of American television is Dennis Franz."

to which Alyssa Rosenberg adds

We often treat tropes like the Girl Who Takes Off Her Glasses and is Suddenly Miraculous as if they're the product of bad writing, which frequently, they are. But they're also a product of exceedingly lazy casting (and sometimes, bad wardrobing). A story about a woman who becomes more comfortable in her body and more sexually confident can be legitimately interesting and empowering if it's presented in a plausible way rather than a cheap one -- these kinds of stories are not inherently unengaging or irritating. And it's just true that casts that are ... filled with people who look different are more interesting to look at than those staffed with tiny variations on a single, established theme.

(I don't think this is particularly significant point to make, but having bothered to find the link, I'm going to post it anyway.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:54 PM
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353: because models are a particular kind of beautiful, no, a choice on the part of a filmmaker to represent feminine beauty in a way that a culture of consumption recognizes? Again, much of what I'm saying is pretty rudimentarily Steinemesque.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:55 PM
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Or maybe Friedanian would be more accurate.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:57 PM
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361: I think you mean rudimentarily former-Playboy-Bunny-Steinemesque.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:57 PM
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357: Well, exactly, to both of your first two sentences. A movie might be feminist through exploring the humanity of the not-superhumanly pretty of both sexes. This does not sound like that movie. But casting supermodels isn't particularly different from casting Hollywood actresses (and, in large part, actors) generally, in terms of superhuman prettiness -- it probably creates a more uniform, stylized look, but not one that's going to be significantly further from the average looking person than the casts of movies generally.

So, while the movie might not be actively feminist in the realism-level of what its characters look like, it doesn't sound as if even on that particular front it's meaningfully below the baseline.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:58 PM
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But for that to be bad, as opposed to a necessary part of setting up the conflict in the movie* you have to start by assuming they weren't making a feminist movie.

*Would sex/breeding slaves in that particular post apocalyptic movie look exactly like the type of feminine beauty that reflects a lot of the patriarchal parts of our society? I doubt it. So either it was picked because it reflects that (intentionally), or because no thought was put into it, and the rest of the movie really makes the latter option look unlikely to me.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 1:59 PM
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358: the threat of rape looms over the entire movie, I'm sorry to say. The women/breeding stock are liberated from cells in which they've been, I think it's understood, raped repeatedly. If they're returned to those cells, then, which is the movie's central animating tension, they'll be subject to more sexual violence. Still, I think a lot of what you're saying, which is a lot of what Ensler said in her piece, is right enough that I should probably see the movie again before saying more about it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:01 PM
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366 about has to be right. Not that I've seen the movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:02 PM
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I'm fairly certain, at least, that in general conditions of starvation and scarcity women selected in the hopes that they could be used to breed healthy children would probably look very different. But if you want the right parallel to how representations of women work right now you'd want exactly those women.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:03 PM
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(Now I'm rather pleased with myself over the construction "feminist by omission.")

Rightly so.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:03 PM
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it doesn't sound as if even on that particular front it's meaningfully below the baseline

Given how many times I've said that the movie clears the absurdly low bar of "feminist for a Hollywood blockbuster," I honestly don't understand your point.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:04 PM
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The threat [mass] of rape looms, but there are not threats [count] of rape, if that is at all relevant, which it may not be.

I feel like the persistent reference to the prettiness of Theron and the wives (& admittedly the standards of desirability could have been different in the Citadel and that wouldn't have been all that strange) is something that people who maintain that the movie is, on balance, feminist can acknowledge. I mean, it doesn't have to be feminist in every respect in which it could have been feminist to count as feminist, does it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:06 PM
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women selected in the hopes that they could be used to breed healthy children would probably look very different.

You know, people say stuff like this a lot, and I don't quite understand. Are tall thin women actually less fertile than anyone else? If you're actually starving, sure, that's a problem, but AFAIK, visible bodytype doesn't have a lot to do with anything, and someone picking women for a harem would probably do just about as well fertility-wise picking whoever he found attractive rather than looking for childbearing hips or whatever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:07 PM
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I'm fairly certain, at least, that in general conditions of starvation and scarcity women selected in the hopes that they could be used to breed healthy children would probably look very different.

This is what I was thinking of in the parenthesis in 371.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:07 PM
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372: I think it's in reference to the (folk? apocryphal? outright wrong?) belief that in times of scarcity and want, thinness isn't considered attractive. Or anyway that's what I was thinking of. Beats me!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:09 PM
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233 is great. I wonder if there could be a movie, ideally written & directed by feminist women, that starred only or nearly only men that was nevertheless meaningfully feminist in virtue of being a thoroughgoing takedown of patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Maybe the movie could be set in familiar male-dominated and sometimes exclusively male zones: the prison, the barracks, the monastery, the board room.

(If I recall correctly, Alien 3 was on a planet populated by prisoner quasi-monks. And Ripley. And the xenonorph.)

Simply, could a purely negative/critical feminist project still be meaningfully feminist, or must it also have some positive or speculative content to qualify?

(Not that MM:FR lacked any positive content, what with Furiosa and the biker women. And the escaping wives did exhibit agency, self-rescue, at many crucial points.)

Why would someone want a purely negative project? I don't know, maybe one is as much a pessimist as a feminist. Maybe one thinks it's more important, here and now, to take down bad patriarchal role models than it is to create good ones.


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:10 PM
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370: Well, what nosflow said in 371 last. The casting of supermodels seems like a facet of the movie that's no better or worse than the Hollywood norm, particularly given that the male star is cast for his pretty face as well. So, it gets no particular additional feminist credibility on that front, but it seems odd to count that as a strike against it, particularly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:10 PM
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I don't think anyone in the movie actually refers to, or talks about Theron's character as being pretty. The 'brides', sure, but not Furiosa. (She's charismatic as all hell, but the movie doesn't sexualize that to any serious degree.)

The threat of rape point, I thought, had a lot to do with the fact that we never actually see a female character without agency. By the time we meet the 'brides' (and Furiosa) they've already set themselves on the course of action and, mostly, freed themselves. So there's no sexualized violence in the movie, or portrayal of women being victims. (We know it happened but the movie doesn't think that's important - what's important is what they're doing about it.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:11 PM
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371.last is really the right answer to VW's complaint. But I do think VW is being unfair in treating Furiosa+Wives as more uniform than they are. When you say "represent feminine beauty in a way that a culture of consumption recognizes," I don't think that's a fair characterization of Furiosa. Yes, Theron is superhumanly beautiful, but in this movie she's not represented in a way that comes anywhere close to our cultural norm of feminine beauty.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:11 PM
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I wonder if there could be a movie, ideally written & directed by feminist women, that starred only or nearly only men that was nevertheless meaningfully feminist in virtue of being a thoroughgoing takedown of patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Maybe the movie could be set in familiar male-dominated and sometimes exclusively male zones: the prison, the barracks, the monastery, the board room.

Beau travail?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:12 PM
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the threat of rape looms over the entire movie, I'm sorry to say. The women/breeding stock are liberated from cells in which they've been, I think it's understood, raped repeatedly. If they're returned to those cells, then, which is the movie's central animating tension, they'll be subject to more sexual violence.

Yes, sure, that makes sense, but, yeah, I was thinking in my flock-of-birds excitement of like, a scene in which a dude is menacingly apparently about to rape someone. If I understand 371, these are in fact absent. It's exciting that the film doesn't feel the need to dramatize that big threat with the same old scenes of imminent threat.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:12 PM
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Beau travail is a beautiful, beautiful movie, by the way. This scene is way better in the actual film.

Dairy queen would probably like it!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:14 PM
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Are tall thin women actually less fertile than anyone else?

Googling, "does body fat percentage affect fertility" returns a whole bunch of results, most of which from sites which I wouldn't trust at all. But the abstract of this 1987 paper claims that "maintenance of female reproductive ability" requires "approximately 22% fat/body wt."

I'm glad there's an active thread on unfogged today. It's giving me an excuse to procrastinate on work, which I appreciate right now.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:14 PM
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Are tall thin women actually less fertile than anyone else?

I've never actually tried, so I can't say.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:14 PM
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Yes, Theron is superhumanly beautiful, but in this movie she's not represented in a way that comes anywhere close to our cultural norm of feminine beauty.

Flipping sides merrily, that actually does kind of suck -- that a character that there's no plot function to be stunning has to be cast as stunning-with-dirt-on-her-face because god forbid a normal person should be visible. To make a character non-beautiful, you cast a beautiful actress and pretend she isn't.

But, still, that's Hollywood baseline.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:15 PM
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Also, this society is a patriarchy not a purely rational efficient survival machine. Immortan Joe isn't really trying to maximize how many children he has or how well his society can survive. He's a patriarch who is in it for maximizing his own power and accumulating the property he wants. He kidnaps the women he wants to kidnap because they're the women he wants.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:16 PM
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I was thinking in my flock-of-birds excitement of like, a scene in which a dude is menacingly apparently about to rape someone.

It isn't just you. I think I also saw an article which contrasted Mad Max with Game of Thrones by pointing out that the former doesn't have to show any sexual violence on screen in order to make its point.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:16 PM
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I mean, it doesn't have to be feminist in every respect in which it could have been feminist to count as feminist, does it?

This is definitely right. And as I tried to say throughout the thread, I thought all along that it was feminist for Hollywood. But that didn't strike me as feminist enough to be feminist in a way that I recognize as important. The Ensler interview, though, suggested a variety of ways that it's more feminist than I noted while watching it -- distracted as I was by the masterfully staged explosions -- and so I'm persuaded that I should shut my yap until I see the film again.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:20 PM
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MHPH is really on target in this thread. 233 is indeed great and thanks to protplasm for bringing it to my attention.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:20 PM
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I don't disagree with 384 at all, and Laurie is 100% right about this being a huge advantage of British TV over American TV. But my point was that she's beautiful in a genuinely different way. This is different from Monster where she was a beautiful actor made to look ugly, instead she's beautiful, but not traditionally so.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:20 PM
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379: Thanks for the film rec, neb. I'll check it out.


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:23 PM
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357: Theron looked terrible in this movie, and anyone who thinks otherwise is deranged. Since she seems like someone who likes to push herself as an actor, I bet that was part of what attracted her to it. If you didn't know it was Theron, you wouldn't think there was a formal supermodel under all that dirt.

357: A little bit, but who objects to the idea that women are not property. Obviously, somebody, or otherwise there wouldn't be people calling for a boycott, but "women are not property" is not exactly a fringe or controversial opinion.

358: This is correct.



Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:25 PM
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I don't know if it really counts as a thoroughgoing takedown of toxic masculinity but it is a great movie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:25 PM
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she's not represented in a way that comes anywhere close to our cultural norm of feminine beauty

This seems obviously wrong to me. Again, she's got absolutely perfect features, accentuated (ironically) by a liberal application of motor oil, and is shapely in a way that any frat dudebro would recognize as hott. The only way that she sits outside of our culture's norms of beauty, I think, is her limp missing forearm. And on that front -- the way in which disability is represented -- I thought the movie was incredibly interesting.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:25 PM
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Theron looked terrible in this movie

I think you're wrong, I guess. See 393.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:27 PM
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A little bit, but who objects to the idea that women are not property. Obviously, somebody, or otherwise there wouldn't be people calling for a boycott, but "women are not property" is not exactly a fringe or controversial opinion.

And yet treating women as things is rather common, and that's why phrasing it that way in the film strikes me as a much more explicitly feminist move.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:28 PM
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The forearm was a significant part of what I was getting at, but also just how butch she is.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:29 PM
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391 - Most people wouldn't object to the idea that women aren't property when phrased that directly, sure. But there's still a very strong element of that running through current culture(s) to the point where a much larger group of people get uncomfortable when faced with women really, really acting like they aren't. "It doesn't express nasty retrograde gender politics like other movies tend to" isn't enough to call it directly feminist. But not just saying 'women aren't property' but filming the movie in a way that takes that seriously, and doesn't use it as a slogan but kinda sorta treat them as if they were is pretty much the entirety of that difference.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:31 PM
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On the "property" front, there's also an interesting undercurrent about fetuses as their father's property. In particular, the really striking scene where one of the "wives" stops an attack by throwing her pregnant body in front of the rest of them while Immortan Joe bellows about that being his child.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:40 PM
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382 But the abstract of this 1987 paper claims that "maintenance of female reproductive ability" requires "approximately 22% fat/body wt."

A paper by my undergrad advisor's mother!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:42 PM
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You overestimate the open-mindedness of frat dudebros.

395: But it's a safe feminist move. Maybe what I want to say is that saying the movie is feminist is not wrong, exactly, but that you have to be a deranged anti-feminist to object to the level of feminist content. For an ordinary guy looking for a guy movie, it wouldn't really register.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:42 PM
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There's medieval European and Tang Chinese art and poetry valuing very slender women as the most beautiful. The patrons might not have faced famine, but their culture surely did, so. (Big breasts are the WEIRD odd preference, IIRC.)

Haven't seen the movie, don't have time this week, really enjoying the thread!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:44 PM
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So ... I don't really get 400. How much feminism would be objectionable?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:47 PM
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Beau Geste totally on my list!

Also Windrow's book, Our Friends Beneath The Sands, on list for the library.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:48 PM
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Beau Geste seems to be very different from Beau travail.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:49 PM
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Like, I'm perfectly willing to believe that the people objecting to the movie are deranged. The apparent suggestion that the movie isn't all that feminist because if it were perfectly normal people would also be objecting to it strikes me as odd.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:51 PM
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How much feminism would be objectionable?

According to ogged, any movie in which Kathy Bates takes her clothes off . . .


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:53 PM
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405: If normal people don't object to it, then it doesn't have much political content.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:53 PM
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(and now I feel very old.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:54 PM
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400.1 is right. I mean, I think Furiosa's super hott now, but when I was 18 I wouldn't have thought so at all.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:56 PM
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233 is great. I wonder if there could be a movie, ideally written & directed by feminist women, that starred only or nearly only men that was nevertheless meaningfully feminist in virtue of being a thoroughgoing takedown of patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Maybe the movie could be set in familiar male-dominated and sometimes exclusively male zones: the prison, the barracks, the monastery, the board room.

In The Company Of Men?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:57 PM
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Beau Travail also, sorry neb my god am sooo tired! Hate federal filings on Mondays with not my regular people, ruins weekend and then up til midnight on Monday makes the whole week horrible.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 2:59 PM
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410: American Psycho?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:00 PM
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375.1 - Mary Harron's American Psycho has perhaps too many female characters but otherwise kind of fits the bill here.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:03 PM
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Goddammit, people.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:03 PM
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412: Come now, Walt. I'm sure Patrick Bateman doesn't post here.

410: Thanks, whomever you are, I'll add that to my queue as well.


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:05 PM
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407: I don't think that's true, and I also think there's likely a meaningful gap between what ordinary moviegoers would object to viewing and what people who fund movies would object to funding. Or between what people would object to seeing, and what it would occur to many people writing and directing movies to write/direct.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:08 PM
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416: The entertainment industry version of "the American electorate is more liberal than the politicians they elect".


Posted by: protoplasm | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:13 PM
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I mean, it seems plausible!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:16 PM
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386: On Game of Thrones: I don't understand why the scene of sexual violence (being elliptical to avoid spoilers) in the most recent episode is considered beyond the pale. Much worse has been done to the characters, both sexual and non-sexual, throughout the previous four and a half seasons, but the internet has reacted as if this is unprecedented. Sure, it's not what happens in the books, but only due to a character substitution. Maybe there's a subtle distinction, like that in 371 concerning explicitness of threat, that I'm missing, making this so much cruder and unacceptable?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:35 PM
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410: Boy howdy, it takes some twisting to view Neil LaBute's project as an essentially feminist one.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:37 PM
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419: I also think it's very odd. I think it must be because THIS IS GETTING SPOILERY IN TERMS OF MAKING THINGS GUESSABLE THOUGH NOT DIRECTLY SPOILERY SO IF YOU CARE LET YOUR EYES GLAZE OVER AT THIS POINT it's a character people care about, and frustration that a character arc that seemed to be arcing toward greater agency got derailed by sticking this character substitution plot element in her peanut butter.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:38 PM
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I suspect that if you described the movie as far as gender politics goes, even with as little as the female agency and strong characterization stuff goes, you'd see a lot of people turned off by the idea of going to see it. But if you didn't, or just said "holy shit it's a massive amount of the sickest action/chase scenes that have ever been filmed", the same people who were turned off by the first description would absolutely go see it and would think it was great, and they wouldn't change their view or disagree if you pointed out that earlier stuff to them. There's this standard "men will only identify with male main characters, women will identify with whoever" trope that, as far as I can tell, is the sort of thing that's mostly true inasmuch as (a lot of) men will have trouble if you remind them of it but almost none will have any trouble if you don't.

It's at least partially because studio heads really, really, really want to believe it for no obvious reason*, and as a result "movie where women are the main characters" tend to equate nicely to "movies that are only marketed to women and match the most stereotypical female-interest-gendered genres" so that men who aren't particularly interested in complicated gender politics and social analysis will get the very accurate sense that movies with women as the main characters really aren't their thing. But it has almost nothing to do with the fact that women are the main characters.

Of course there are always the super creepy MRA losers, but I think there really aren't that many of them, they're just surrounded by a bunch of enablers who think that being properly masculine requires affirming what those MRAs are saying but would never ever think to actually act like those things were true in their daily lives. (Or, basically, the same view I have of a lot of religious beliefs.)

*Is this just me? I read a lot of books as a kid where girls were the main characters, and it only ever occurred to me that something was odd about it when my eighth grade english teacher decided to explain, loudly in class, that I was reading girl's books which was a surprise to me. I honestly can't remember if I knew exactly why they were, but it was pretty obvious that science fiction novels didn't get that reaction so I mostly went with those for a while.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 3:39 PM
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I had to google to confirm that Charlize Theron still has both forearms IRL. It's a little disappointing, because having one amputated for the role would have shown real commitment to craft.

I guess I'm on board for this movie now, but do I have to be completist and watch Beyond Thunderdome? That one seemed a little silly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:01 PM
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421: I get that--said character has been defined by their lack of agency ever since the first book was published decades ago. That's horrible and frustrating, and if it doesn't build up to them soon becoming a tremendously powerful badass (presumably in a different way that the other characters taking their level ups in badassery right now) it's going to be a huge disappointment. (And yes, "woman is exploited, gets violent revenge" isn't the most liberating of tropes, but that's probably the best way out from the way it's been written for, again, decades.) But the response, from everyone and their senators, has been out of proportion and very high-horsey. You signed up for a show about violence, sex, and power, and are surprised you got (more) sexual violence?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:07 PM
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Jennifer crusie wrote a couple booms with a thriller author that meant to be both Girl and Boy books. They aren't bad, butvo don't think they quite jell and I can't figure out why. Anyone else read them?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:09 PM
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423 - Just watch the first half or so of Thunderdome. Stop watching when he leaves Bartertown, and you're probably stopping at the point where Miller stopped making the movie and where the other guy, whoever that is, started.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:20 PM
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426: is that how it happened? I thought Miller directed the action parts and the other guy directed the other parts.

Just remember, if you stop halfway, you're missing a Riddley Walker pastiche.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:26 PM
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419: my friend Sarah wrote this piece about why it made her so angry. It may not convince you, but it is very methodical at how it got to that anger.

The dangerous trick here goes like this: someone fantasizes about a world in which rape frequently occurs and consistently goes unpunished; to explore this emotional fantasy, they set it in a premodern narrative fantasy world where they can displace their own desire onto "history." The dark impulse or desire isn't theirs, then; it's the world's. It's history's. And once a dark personal fantasy becomes "realism," gazing upon this dark thought or idea isn't a kind of humiliating or dangerous self-reflection, it's laudable: it's an honest engagement with truth.
Here is why so many of us have been buying what Game of Thrones sells: Game of Thrones often excels at making titillation of various kinds feel like a kind of betterment, or seriousness. It excels at giving fantasy the weight of the real, at making some people's fantasies seem historical and universal, at making any objection to the graphic display of those fantasies seem small-minded and fearful.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:36 PM
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I like Beau Travail and American Psycho as starting down a kind of Misandry Canon, "no one gets men better than women," what else gets in there? (Beau Travail is more studied than misandrist, bien sur)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:39 PM
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427 - In literal terms? I don't know - I guess maybe not. But as far as the movie goes that seems to me to be the point at which something clearly similar to Road Warrior or Mad Max goes off into something that feels different. Also you get to watch all the iconic bits and then ignore the boring stuff that follows.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:42 PM
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I think a lot of it is just that it was the last scene and so we're all stuck with it in our heads for a week. I also think it verges on the kind of woman-torture-porn that so often defined Mad Men, where the text is that the world is awful to women but the subtext is that you're supposed to enjoy watching women suffer.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:42 PM
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FWIW Miller apparently had in mind a movie about a wandering group of kids and decided to make that into a further Mad Max movie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:45 PM
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I haven't seen Beyond Thunderdome in approximately forever, though, so it's not as if anyone should attend very closely to what I have to say about it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:47 PM
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Among the many things I failed to do at Burning Man (Dance Dance Immolation, enjoy hallucinogens) was swing around an actual Thunderdome.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:52 PM
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Theron looked terrible in this movie, and anyone who thinks otherwise is deranged.

No, you're deranged. Her beauty is not being traditionally accentuated, maybe, but it absolutely shines through, even in full paint.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 4:58 PM
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428: was very good, but close but wrong at the end. (I don't watch GoT, but read everything, and catch some scenes online.)

When analogizing Theon to the audience

"I imagine the show saying the same thing to all of us. You wanted it, didn't you?"

Theon did not want to watch, and did not want the rape.
Asking rather what the relationship between Ramsay and Theon actually is, and why Theon stayed is better.

Theon may be the victim of Stockholm syndrome that Sansa is not, that Sansa avoided, and this may be the point of the scene, and the way it was filmed.

And the message to Theon from Ramsay, and from the showrunners to the audience, and from GRRM to his readers:"You are not in charge here."

GoT is one of the reasons, along with Mad Men, I quit English media. It was just wallowing in offense to its audience.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:06 PM
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And I watched the 1st three movies, and didn't like them.

Like weekend hippies, Miller had a weekend punk aesthetic in the prime years of punk. Fashion and style without commitment, back to bourgeois come Monday.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 5:09 PM
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Jennifer crusie wrote a couple booms with a thriller author that meant to be both Girl and Boy books. They aren't bad, butvo don't think they quite jell and I can't figure out why. Anyone else read them?

I think they don't jell because she wasn't actually able to suspend her own disbelief in writing them. (Maybe her co-author wasn't either.) They felt forced to me -- that is, the one-and-a-half I read.

In contrast, her straight romances, especially the early ones, are like a perfect soufflé. They aren't trying to be anything other than what they are, and somehow the wish-fulfillment crossed with genuinely self-aware humor and whimsy works for me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:01 PM
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I also set aside an early Shinji Aoyama indie Sunday night to watch the last episode of MM, and the difference, the gap between decent cinema and the artistically best TVv was instantly obvious. It is about among other things the ability and willingness to use long shots and long takes. The effect of being 10-20 feet away from the characters is radical, and the difference between showing actions and showing feeling about actions.
...
428 is very interesting to me The first fan group that I know of that felt proprietary toward the imaginary of an ongoing fictional text was for Beauty and the Beast in the 80s. They not only felt disappointed and betrayed by plot developments but felt some kind of power or legitimacy in demanding changes in direction. This has gotten to the point where writers of slash fiction can demand that Cumberbatch or Shatner admit to their closeted sexual desires for their onscreen partners.

The writer on 428 wasn't passive or captured, she is invested in GoT, and demands fair return. There is a lot going on where the "text" of a production resides not only in the script or onscreen or in those who produce, but partially in the imagination of the audience, who are co-producers. And it is so.

A text is a political imaginary. She is a little wrong about Westeros being mere fiction, it isn't history, but it depicts a conventional social setting, "medieval" that has been consensual and contested for a long time.

Making a movie about the Crusades, can we have an equal number of female Templars? Why not, it's fiction? Is it sexism to have all male Templars? No tokenism, please.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:14 PM
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If you think I am being trollishly absurd in requesting that half the actors in scenes of Antietam or Iwo Jima be women, I can only inform that there are many anime portraying famous samurai like Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideoyoshi by women, not cross dressing, but as young women. And not entirely for comic effect. Oda-chan kawaii slaughters innocents in droves.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:27 PM
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'Mad Max' -- The Critics Are Lying for Political Reasons: Ideologically corrupt critics are going wild over Fury Road because it's feminist.

Mad Max: Fury Road is not a good movie and the ecstasy with which the critics received it was dishonest. Tastes differ, of course, but I think in this case the critics are just lying for political reasons.

"It's enough to renew your faith in the movies," said Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. Peter Travers at Rolling Stone urged us to overlook the fact the picture doesn't make sense and "Just go with it." He praised director George Miller (who also directed the terrific original Mad Max and its sequel) as an "indisputable visionary genius." A.O. Scott of the New York Times said this: "It's all great fun, and quite rousing as well -- a large-scale genre movie that is at once unpretentious and unafraid to bring home a message.... It's about revolution."

I believe they said these untrue things because this not-very-good movie is feminist.

Now, I'm not a feminist. I'm an individualist who believes each person should do what he or she wants to do and is able to do without fear or favor. I believe that, in such a free world, more men will choose to do manly things and more women womanly things but that strikes me as a feature not a bug, since gender differences seem to me among the great beauties of life. Identity politics, on the other hand, is a misery imposed on us by the powerful in order to divide us so they can consolidate their power.

But while I consider feminism a dishonest and oppressive philosophy, I believe good feminist stories can be told. This is because even a philosophy that is a lie in general may be the truth in a specific, individual case and stories are individual and specific. Dishonest outlooks can produce honest stories. The left has been living off this fact for decades.

So while ideologically corrupt critics are going wild over Fury Road because it's feminist, I'm not criticizing it because I'm anti-feminist. I'm criticizing it because it's not very good. Its title character is ill-defined. His mission is emotionally muddy. The non-stop car chase action becomes tiresome about 45 minutes in (though I did find myself wondering wistfully if there was a video game to go with it!). The finale is unbelievable even in context. The color palette, I admit, is beautiful but if you're watching an enormous action sequence and thinking about the color palette... well, you get the idea.


Posted by: Andrew Klavan for Pajamas Media | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:53 PM
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Skip Mad Max

I certainly have no desire to see it myself. In addition to all the Grrrl Power nonsense, the core plot obviously makes no sense:

>The truth is I'm angry about the extents Hollywood and the director of Fury Road went to trick me and other men into seeing this movie. Everything VISUALLY looks amazing. It looks like that action guy flick we've desperately been waiting for where it is one man with principles, standing against many with none.

>But let us be clear. This is the vehicle by which they are guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. This is the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things, including physique, strength, and logic. And this is the subterfuge they will use to blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, further ruining women for men, and men for women.

>So do yourself and all men across the world a favor. Not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible. Not all of them have the keen eye we do here at ROK. And most will be taken in by fire tornadoes and explosions. Because if they sheepishly attend and Fury Road is a blockbuster, then you, me, and all the other men (and real women) in the world will never be able to see a real action movie ever again that doesn't contain some damn political lecture or moray about feminism, SJW-ing, and socialism.

It's a post-apocalyptic setting, right? That means survival is the absolute priority, which means K/selection, which means that having your women behave in a manner consistent with perhaps the ultimate r/selection environment means that you'll be selected out of existence in short order no matter how awesome Charlize Theron pretends to be.


Posted by: Vox Day | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 6:55 PM
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If there are people who aren't taken in by fire tornadoes I don't want to know about it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:04 PM
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Am I better off not know what K/selection and r/selection are?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:05 PM
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Elephants or mice? Many offspring or a well-resourced few?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:09 PM
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Fire tornadoes are terribly deceptive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:14 PM
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Also, "moray"? Why are we talking about eels?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:14 PM
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I feel like taking a shower just from reading those.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:20 PM
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The last girls-with-guns anime I watched was a fine feminist comedy that somehow lost credibility because the female detectives did their street work in three bandaids connected by two rubber bands. I know, mystery to me too! I mean, it was hot there. Daphne in the Brilliant Blue. Zero romance.

Before that was Noir, two female leads, zero romance male body counts in three figures per episode, evil henchwoman, final confrontation in the desert against the big boss, female, and she was really really evil, and her twelve priestesses. All die.

If you can't easily reverse the genders of all the characters in MMRF, I can and think it would be a more, well, your club you get to decide what feminism is. More fun with male models and hordes of killer women.

But a comforting essentialism is flattering and feels good.

I have nothing in common with the VD's, MRA's, or rabids, but those not with us 150 percent are against us and evil, huh.

Gone to watch my school band, because I'm violent and eviiiil.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:21 PM
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I haven't watched the movie and won't but think calling Theron butch isn't quite the right vibe I get from any of the photos. I've been buzzing my hair all year and I don't think it makes me butch either, just draws attention to and away from certain forms of femininity. I do think she's playing with that as Furiosa but I don't know about "butch" proper.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:26 PM
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What's the point of origin for the phrase "Social Justice Warrior"? I feel like it didn't exist as recently as a few months ago, and now I can't step foot into the world wide web without tripping over it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:26 PM
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428: Thanks for the link. That does a much better job of explaining the mindset, although I disagree with most of her conclusions, almost to the point that I think I'm watching a different show. Or at least that I consume media very differently. There's this series of leaps from "it's genre fantasy" to "it's a fantasy" (in a psychological sense) to "it's expressing the latent desires of both viewer and creator" to "everything in it is our desire, and the creators are putting us in a bind when they show us something we don't desire [or do we?!]". And to be bothered by that only now makes me wonder: so that other character in the scene, the guy who for seasons was tortured and castrated and maybe slightly flayed, and just generally treated like an animal, was a desirable fantasy for you? Sure, he's a pretty resolutely nasty and evil guy, so maybe that fantasy and desire seems justifiable to you? Huh? Who are you even?

I felt similarly about the homophobia. The existence of something bad in history isn't justification for it existing in the entirely constructed world of Westeros, nor does it justify any particular display of it. But history does explain why people might be interested in exploring it, and even fantasizing about their reactions and ability to survival in such a world--even if the wider fantasy world itself isn't desirable. So in no way did I read any of the scenes surrounding Loras as saying that homophobia is natural and that to not be homophobic is unnatural elitism. Most straight characters have been pretty much indifferent to homosexuality unless they're conniving and it's politically useful for them to be homophobic; the fact that a fanatical sect took power is clearly a historical accident and not a necessary feature of the world (especially when we can compare it to its close cousin, the Westeros of the page--I don't think the Sparrows come to power there, but I might be misremembering.). There hasn't been any scene where they make clear that the common understanding is that homosexuality is an affront to the gods or whatever, just that some characters feel that way. I can't get behind the idea that the point of having religious zealots "is to reassert that, when we are not protected by social rules, what humans really do is go after the gays."

(And that bit about the evidence--I don't think even the show thinks that knowing the shape and color of a birthmark is incontrovertible evidence that they slept together. What damned Loras's was his reaction to the witness mentioning that, along with the fact that the High Sparrow is, despite his piety, a political player and not an embodiment of the world's morality. It's in his interest to make Cersei happy. And seriously, they go out of the way to show that it's just a preliminary hearing with a lower standard of evidence than a trial! Come on. Neither the characters, at either the level of the court proceeding or the political drama that is driving the action, nor would I think most viewers, think that's "conclusive proof of gayness." He's obviously being railroaded. Odd that she suggests the Salem witch trials as intertext when she's otherwise so opposed to comparing the fiction to history.)

That doesn't mean I think that the show handles it right. If anything, I think it's designed to let the viewer revel in their own moral superiority (an entirely different sort of negative fantasy--Mad Men does this a lot, too). Of course we're not savage like that; we would never be so barbaric as to prosecute homosexuality. Nevermind that we were doing just so the day before yesterday (and haven't even achieved legal equality yet). And I suppose a similar thing could be said about legal marital rape, for that matter.

Rereading this, these ramblings aren't particularly strong arguments against her, but I'm having a strong someone-on-the-internet-disagrees-with-me moment and want to get it out of my system.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:28 PM
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Furiosa is a pretty literal SJW, no wonder the trolls are mad.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:32 PM
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451 - I first saw it regularly when it came to discussions about ethics in gaming journalism, though I'd be surprised if it hadn't been around for a while before that. I'm guessing it has been floating around the MRA swamps for years.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:32 PM
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451: I think it might have been used unironically beforehand, but it's also been used, both ironically and unironcially, as a self descriptor since. The acronym SJW is only post gamergate, near as I can tell. Honestly, it's a useful phrase for both people who care about social justice and for shitheels, so it's no surprise it's had such a rapid uptake.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:37 PM
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455->454, but 451 too.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:38 PM
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I had convinced myself there was some news story behind the notion of a hovercraft full of eels, since most MP material has some factual basis, but I can't find any trace of it, so I must have imagined that.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:43 PM
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I still don't have any idea what gamergate was/is. I'm familiar with the meme "ethics in videogame journalism," but that's it. I guess I could look it up, but I worry that it will make me sad.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:43 PM
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It's sad, but less so than the Civil War.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:48 PM
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I still don't have any idea what gamergate was/is. I'm familiar with the meme "ethics in videogame journalism," but that's it. I guess I could look it up, but I worry that it will make me sad.

I was aware of gamergate at the time that it happened, but didn't really follow it. I did recently read this post by Zoe Quinn, reflecting on elements of her experience, and I thought it was very much worth reading and gave me a different sense of how personal everything was.

On a lighter note, this interview with Adam Savage (from Mythbusters) is both interesting for what they have to say about gamergate and for how different Adam is from his TV persona.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:49 PM
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458: a coordinated slut shaming that grew into a bunch of menchildren who had built their identity around a restrictive, misogynistic notion of a hobby losing their collective shit at the idea that all art is political.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:51 PM
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461: sorry, that's more than 140 characters. I can't hear you.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 7:58 PM
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but do I have to be completist and watch Beyond Thunderdome? That one seemed a little silly.

I remember when it came out thinking "Man, they made the sequel to something really awesome, but it was just really silly Hollywood crap."

I'm not sure I can return to a frame of mind where Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome are completely different kinds of things.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:03 PM
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My understanding is that "social justice warrior", like "politically correct", at its very beginning was an intra-left term, referring to people who had a tendency to dogpile for social justice causes but with very little discrimination - especially on Tumblr, maybe? Something involving mass abuse at an author who had said/written something offensive about Roma many years ago and been profusely apologetic since then? But of course then it got appropriated by gamerghazis and became all the things described above.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:21 PM
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Further on GoT, Katie Surrence at LGM is pretty close to my thoughts but more coherently stated, and as usual I find myself agreeing with Amanda Marcotte's take.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:23 PM
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Anyone who doesn't recognize Mad Max: Fury Road as a dual political allegory about Gallipoli and Pintupi is clearly deluding themselves.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:23 PM
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425: The one of them I read worked much less well for me than Crusie's solo efforts. I'm not sure if 438 really has the right diagnosis, but something was off, compared to (e.g.) _Faking It_ or _Welcome to Temptation_.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:51 PM
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Christ, I wish I had some sambusas right now.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 8:56 PM
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Might want to try a different deity for that one.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 9:08 PM
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Faking It is a perfect soufflé, like The More the Merrier . And the collaborators' blog on writing romance thrillers is interesting and cheerful. I might be thrown off by the combination of assassination, the romantic dyad, and light comedy. Light comedy plus killing is people who don't deserve a happy ever after, but dark comedy would make it hard to believe that happy ever afters existed.

Or maybe it was a collaboration that couldn't quite overcome writer's burnout.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-20-15 10:50 PM
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Also, "moray"? Why are we talking about eels?

If it just gets your goat
That now chicks get to vote,
That's a moray
(That's a moray)
If you're just left to whine
To your buddies online,
That's a moray...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:08 AM
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It's a post-apocalyptic setting, right? That means survival is the absolute priority, which means K/selection,

YOU FAIL BIOLOGY FOREVER


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:10 AM
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||

One thing I just realized, that may have helped me understand Hikaru no Go anime being about work, is the unusual attention paid to tertiary characters.

Let's call the 2-4 mains/leads primaries. For Mad Men, Don and Peggy.

Then 4-10 Secondaries Ken, Trudy.

Tertiary characters then are cabdrivers, waitresses, secretaries. Tertiary characters usually interact with mains, then maybe secondaries.

In HnG, there were a disproportionate number of scenes of tertiaries having dialogue with each other.

The Go journalists meet the tournament director at the door, ask if the match is over. The woman who handles admissions at the Go salon talks with a customer about the new kids. Lead's mother talks with school guidance counselor.

Next time you watch a long running series, watch how often this happens. It is a little cheaper in anime, because often the voice actors for the secondaries cover the tertiaries, but new and unique character designs are required for each active tertiary.

Because most of the tertiaries were adults fulfilling their responsibilities, this added a layer of gravitas to a kid's show, besides a depth and breadth of world.

|>


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:05 AM
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Regarding the Game of Thrones subthread, I haven't followed the TV series (read the first book waaaayyyy back in the 90s), but I've been reading reactions to the latest episode with interest.

I've generally considered the series (both books and TV show) to be one of the ultimate expressions of 90s era GrimDark. The show has been gleefully serving up pornographic violence for years while inviting the viewers to congratulate themselves on unflinchingly looking at a "realistic" depiction of pseudo-medieval life (with a heavily implied "as opposed to that childish Tolkien-esque stuff, which is for sissies") . I wonder if it's not that the latest rape is beyond the pale but that it's the straw that broke the camel's back. That would explain what seems to me like the excessively peevish reactions to it: people are actually annoyed with themselves for buying into the whole thing up to this point.

That's a very ungenerous reading of things, of course. But I've always thought that series was extremely adolescent in it's "all, like, dark and gritty and stuff" appeal.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:26 AM
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Since 474 must sound insufferably smug, I should note that I have no problem with entertainments that have an adolescent appeal, and enjoy my share of them.

I guess some of the reactions to the latest episode (nothing here, but elsewhere) strike a sanctimonious tone that seems to me to be completely unsupportable coming from someone who has enjoyed the series up to this point.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:40 AM
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I've never even seen a GrimDark.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 5:42 AM
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That's because it's too dark to see inside of one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:15 AM
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Further to 472: it's a nice question whether the quotation shows confusion about which one is r selection and which one is K selection, or is instead confused about which kind of environment supposedly favors which reproductive strategy. Obvious super-genius, of course.
(While it's pleasant to see madmen, fortunately not in authority, who are slaves to defunct ecologists for a change, I'm morbidly curious about the chain of transmission here - Philippe Rushton, maybe?)


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:15 AM
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243: but Wikipedia is wrong about FM Halford and upstream nymphing. Originally his followers claimed that it was not only immoral but ineffective as well. I stole one of his books from the library of a minor public school where I was at the time incarcerated. A trout stream flowed through the grounds where I could test this theory.


Posted by: nw | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:23 AM
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GrimDark

Mohiro Kitoh wrote Bokura no.

Bokura no starts when the masters of the multiverse decide there are too many humanoid species and decree a culling. The one of twenty species that survives will be decided in a round robin mecha fight. The pilots of the mecha will of course be teenagers, the mechas will be powered by the teen's lifeforce.

This isn't very spoilerific, 1st three chapters, the driving force of the manga is the teens reaction to a) committing genocide, killing billions of people in order to save Earth, and b) knowing they are going to die immediately afterwards, c) dealing with the injustice of being put in this position, d) dealing with their past histories (oh, rape, bullying, neglect) that might prevent them from being good pilots. The losing populations are shown in enough detail to ensure everybody feels bad about killing them.

So we have a manga with 19 (?, whatever) terminal troubled teenagers and 19 genocides. Can that be topped?

Mohiro Kitoh kept trying.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:30 AM
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478: chain of transmission: I believe that they're getting it through the racist community: white folk have small numbers of children and invest large amounts in each, while the swarthy breed like flies and most of their spawn starve and die.
It's ludicrous to say that "this is a survival situation therefore K-selection is evolutionarily preferred" - every evolutionary situation is a survival situation. And in fact humans in high-mortality environments, while still very K-strategy by the standards of much of the rest of the animal kingdom, tend to get slightly more r-selected; they have more children, in the expectation that few will survive to adulthood, rather than having fewer and investing more in each one.
Stereotypically r-selected is good for species in unstable environments where they expect to be able to colonise new habitats, and K-selected where the environment is stable and the only way to grow is dead men's boots (or dead trees' roots or whatever).
But human biology dictates we're always going to be far more K-strategist than almost every other animal anyway.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:32 AM
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I'm still refusing to watch anything from Japan because of an overdose of Pokemon and Beyblade. Beyblade is especially annoying. The writers are apparently required, on pain of death, to have each character explicitly narrate his or her internal thoughts no matter how obvious. And, when they dubbed into English, there was a blond kid and a dark haired kid. They gave the blond kid the Jersey-guido accent.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:35 AM
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Beyblade! I used to hear that every weekday morning one school year. My stepdaughter didn't actually like it , but I guess it was the only cartoon on at that time. It seemed to be about some kind of sports competition, but since I never actually watched it, I never figured out exactly what the sport was.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:46 AM
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It's a competition that turns into saving the world from Sauron or something. Because stars and fucked if I can remember what else. It's like The Power Rangers, but with slightly more realistic acting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:51 AM
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474: I think that's fair, actually. One of the series's conceits is that you can't rely on the genre convention that the characters you love won't be hurt, and so always need to be on your toes. (Never mind that the simple rule "viewpoint characters don't die" mostly applies). Reveling in breaking the rules is fairly juvenile, and I don't mind admitting that.

I do think that the "realism" question is interesting--obviously it's a fictional world, but it's worth considering how well motivated the characters ar in the internal logic of the world, and how reasonable their choices are. Guidance for that can be found by comparing them to historical actors. The Red Wedding (to which the internet reacted to, but non-sanctimoniously) was modeled after the massacre at Glencoe, and we can probably find other interesting historical antecedents if we look at them. (Can you tell I like Guy Gavriel Kay's books, too?) But any obsession with realism probably reflects some immaturity. But then again, I don't think the premise of starting with Tolkien fantasy and moving it in the direction of political drama informed by history is inherently silly. (Unsurprisingly, I also like the work of video game designer Yasumi Matsuno, who has constructed fantasy worlds modeled after the War of the Roses and the Yugoslav Wars.) It serves as a way to consider those historical events without whatever baggage we bring.

But then again, GoT certainly brings its own genre baggage, and even if it means to subvert it it takes such an inordinately long time of everything that it's safer to assume it's playing everything straight. So we get the gross old white-person-saves-a-nation-of-brown-people trope being one of the dominant stories.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:58 AM
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I like the Theon torture scenes. They're pointless, cruel, and difficult to watch, which makes them nearly unique in American popular entertainment, where the modal torture scene is performed by the hard good-guy, for good reasons, and has no lasting consequences.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:29 AM
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It's like you've never seen a Mel Gibson movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:31 AM
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Or you thought that the Romans/English/Gary Busey & company were the good guys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:34 AM
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Oooh, I just had an idea for something cool that will never happen.

So, you know how Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was created by taking the costumed/special effects sequences from the Japanese show Super Sentai, and then writing and shooting a whole new plot around them using American (mostly white) actors?

Someone should select a set of costumed/special effects sequences from Super Sentai and send that set out to a half dozen production companies all over the globe to make their own versions, using local actors and writers. There could be a South African one, an Italian one, etc. Get them all subtitled in all the different languages and box them together with the original Super Sentai episode, also subtitled.

Someone should give me an unlimited arts budged at huge amounts of social capital.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:35 AM
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Thanks to Netflix and the poor taste of children, I know that they certainly didn't limit the Power Rangers to America versions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:41 AM
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Helpy-Chalk, I hate to burst your bubble but Power Rangers are huge business and Saban controls them all, everywhere, so without full socialism or waiting a century your plan won't come to fruition.

Have you seen Turkish Star Wars?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:52 AM
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Here he come ... from the planet Kryptar


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 8:02 AM
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A trout stream flowed through the grounds where I could test this theory.
Not the Itchen?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 8:10 AM
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The Super Sentai series used to really really piss me off when my kids were small, as it is so crassly and cynically designed to sell merchandise to preschoolers. Every April, you get a new TV series with a very slightly different set of heroes under a different name, using a massive range of plastic belts, communicators, and vehicles all of which are sold by B/andai at seriously inflated prices so your pleading toddlers can use them to beat each other up, then discard them as soon as the next series comes along.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 8:13 AM
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Turkish Star Wars is one of the greatest movies ever made.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 8:17 AM
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491, 495: OMG, that looks so cool.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 8:45 AM
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Actually, it's terrible and looks as though it was made for about 15 dollars. If you were really stoned, it might be entertaining all the way through.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 9:24 AM
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493: Nah. How much better my life would have been if it were! The Kennett.

Years later I got to fish the Winchester Skool water on the Itchen and it is fucking wonderful. At one stage I slipped onto a piece of weir machinery and cracked a rib. I kept fishing.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 9:36 AM
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497 - No way! It has one of the greatest movie soundtracks in history! And the special effect sequences are really impressive ones as well.

Also it has what I assume is a meaningful message about something.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 9:41 AM
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495, 497, 499: Great, decent or awful -- who cares? What we need to know -- is it feminist?

While hiking across the desert, they speculate that the planet is inhabited only by women. Ali does his wolf whistle, which he uses on attractive women. However, he blows the wrong whistle and they are attacked by skeletons on horseback, which they defeat in hand-to-hand combat


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 9:54 AM
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Does he whistle klaatu barada nikto?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:24 AM
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For local reasons, this thread makes me want pepito hummus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:11 AM
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Semi-OT: Simon Pegg trolls geekdom.

I am generally sympathetic to argument even as I kind of hate the moralism of it. I do, however, think the dynamic in the last paragraph is pretty universal, rather than a late capitalist thing (e.g., socialist Cuba had escapist cartoon allegories in an age of austerity too):

"Before Star Wars, the big Hollywood studios were making art movies, with morally ambiguous characters, that were thematically troubling and often dark (Travis Bickle dark, as opposed to Bruce Wayne dark)*. This was probably due in large part to the Vietnam War and the fact that a large portion of America's young men were being forced to grow up very quickly. Images beamed back home from the conflict, were troubling and a growing protest movement forced the nation to question the action abroad. Elsewhere, feminism was still dismissed as a lunatic fringe by the patriarchal old guard, as mainstream culture actively perpetuated traditional gender roles. Star Wars was very much an antidote to the moral confusion of the war, solving the conundrum of who was good and who was evil. At the heart of the story was an ass kicking princess who must surely have empowered an entire generation of girls. It was a balm for a nation in crisis in a number of ways and such was that nation's influence, the film became a global phenomenon.

Recent developments in popular culture were arguably predicted by the French philosopher and cultural theorist, Jean Baudrillard in his book, 'America', in which he talks about the infantilzation of society. Put simply, this is the idea that as a society, we are kept in a state of arrested development by dominant forces in order to keep us more pliant. We are made passionate about the things that occupied us as children as a means of drawing our attentions away from the things we really should be invested in, inequality, corruption, economic injustice etc. It makes sense that when faced with the awfulness of the world, the harsh realities that surround us, our instinct is to seek comfort, and where else were the majority of us most comfortable than our youth? A time when we were shielded from painful truths by our recreational passions, the toys we played with, the games we played, the comics we read. There was probably more discussion on Twitter about the The Force Awakens and the Batman vs Superman trailers than there was about the Nepalese earthquake or the British general election."


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:12 AM
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Second link should go here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWptkSlIwtI


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:13 AM
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Regarding the cartoon subthread, yesterday I watched Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures with my girlfriend's 5yo, and I'm now trying to make "Aw, muffin crumbs!" my go-to exclamation of frustration/disappointment.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:19 AM
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505: The time is ripe for a darker, grittier re-imagining of Strawberry Shortcake.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:26 AM
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506 Say hello to Bitch Pudding

Not really a big fan of that show, it gets wears pretty thin very quickly.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:36 AM
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507 Not a big fan of editing either, apparently.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:38 AM
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506: As I may have mentioned here before, I remember reading, many years ago on Usenet, a fragment which either began or ended with the line

"We've got a green light on the launch codes... Turn the key, Piglet, turn the key!" snarled Pooh.

and thinking it had immense possibilities.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:48 AM
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509: You probably have seen the SpongeBob Squarepants episode in which SpongeBob and Patrick fly in Sandy's rocket.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 12:04 PM
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I do, however, think the dynamic in the last paragraph is pretty universal, rather than a late capitalist thing

Agreed. It's not like the serfs were thinking about only the war de jure or revolution, or that industrial workers in mid-19th century pubs were pondering the effects of the switch to Egyptian cotton. Framing it as a late capitalist innovation obscures more than it shows, and is impressively moralistic coming from a man whose career is based on such entertainments (but perhaps he feels guilty over that). In general I find it very frustrating when someone expresses disdain that not all entertainment speaks truth to power. Congratulations, you don't need any escapism. Your experience isn't universal.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 12:15 PM
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Has this great piece been linked in the thread?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 12:18 PM
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Congratulations, you don't need any escapism. Your experience isn't universal.

As Terry Pratchett wrote:

As for escapism, I'm quite happy about the word. There's nothing wrong with escapism. The key points of consideration, though, are what you're escaping from, and where you're escaping to.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 12:22 PM
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511: Come on, man. It's Simon Pegg, who's entire career has been making escapist entertainment. The fact that he feels conflicted about it is what makes it interesting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 12:29 PM
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"Feminism is in fact an example of hystericization of the masculine by women, a hysterical projection of their masculinity"


Posted by: opinionated (probably not a mad max fan) Jean Baudrillard | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:05 PM
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514, certainly more interesting than James Gunn, who's becoming the Jennifer Weiner of the film world by writing manifestos bemoaning the injustice that the world's most rich and successful filmmakers are not also receiving awards for artistic merit.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:32 PM
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Fuck Simon Pegg. White letters on black background goes up against the wall on the third day after the revolution. After, ya know, violet on red and the worse atrocities.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:35 PM
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Comic sans is day 1.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:39 PM
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No white letters in revolutionary propaganda after Labor Day, which is itself a capitalist appropriation of a real celebration of the working class.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 1:41 PM
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The revolution is bringing back the blink tag though, right?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 2:08 PM
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Has this great piece been linked in the thread?

No, and thank you for linking to it. That is great.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 2:53 PM
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513: CS Lewis says something much the sanr, and its good until we have escapism instead of escape.

512 is delightful.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 2:57 PM
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513: CS Lewis says something much the sanr, and its good until we have escapism instead of escape.

In that piece Pratchett offers another great comment, attributed to Chesterton:

One of the great popular novelists of the early part of this century was G.K. Chesterton. Writing at a time when fairy tales were under attack ... he said: "The objection to fairy stories is that they tell children there are dragons. But children have always known there are dragons. Fairy stories tell children that dragons can be killed."

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:01 PM
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<marquee>"Machines were, it may be said, the weapon employed by the capitalist to quell the revolt of specialized labor."</marquee>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:17 PM
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Appropriate for the other thread, too.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:17 PM
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And I agree with Pratchett about how we become dragon-killers (or how we summon dragons). But there's a lot of escapism that eggs us into Edmund-ism.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:20 PM
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Turkish Delight is really good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:23 PM
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I still don't fully agree (and I haven't read enough Discworld yet to know what Edmund-ism refers to); I think there's nothing wrong with completely unenlightening entertainment. In moderation, anyway. (Most useless phrase ever.) If that's what someone needs to get through the day, I'm not going to judge. But of course we all form our own characters with everything we do, and whenever we can we should strive to better. But that "whenever we can" qualifier is important.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:36 PM
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I think Edmund-ism is rather a Narnia than a Discworld thing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:51 PM
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Maybe a mountaineering thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:53 PM
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Bread and circuses fails the Pop slowly until it fails quickly. (Is mindless escapist entertainment actually a cultural universal? I distrust any outsiders' report of what entertainment Really Does, given that we've failed to reach consensus on MMFR. But I hope for anthropologists smarter than me.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 3:59 PM
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We haven't reached consensus on the mid maximum flow rate?


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:04 PM
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OH I GET IT.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:06 PM
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Monthly Motor Fuel Report?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 4:44 PM
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Is mindless escapist entertainment actually a cultural universal?

(Pulls Barthes out from behind poster. Being dead, RB is mute, so goes to Wiki instead)

"Barthes refers to the tendency of socially constructed notions, narratives, and assumptions to become "naturalised" in the process, that is, taken unquestioningly as given within a particular culture. Barthes finishes Mythologies by looking at how and why mythologies are built up by the bourgeoisie in its various manifestations. He returns to this theme in later works including The Fashion System."

From what I have read, and accepting that we are talking about a subculture of "feminists," the tropes and cliches (Nux's conversion, and redemption, and especially sacrifice because that is what right-thinking men must do, frex) are not questioned at all, but accepted as natural and logical and emotional truth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 5:02 PM
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Question for TRO-lford: I saw some kind of crazy car that looked like a Robocop Transformer today -- silvery, skeletonized body, two wheels in front, one in the back, canted forward severely. What kind of crazy car was that?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:02 PM
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Polaris Slingshot, probably. Not really a car. Popular with the olds.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:08 PM
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Nope, it had a roof. Closest I've been able to find on Google image search is the T-Rex, but it was more skeletal and jacked up in the back than one of those. Guess I'll have to stalk it.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:10 PM
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A Robin Reliant going in reverse?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:13 PM
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Is mindless escapist entertainment actually a cultural universal?

I feel like this is asking "is entertainment a cultural universal" to which the obvious answer is "yes", unless "mindless" is taken in a really substantive sense in which case the answer is "no because it doesn't exist". Telling stories for fun is about as human as anything I can imagine, at least.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 6:57 PM
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Telling stories and being able to keep your hand in the creepy old lady's box 'o pain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:04 PM
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But its just a box of pain
You're a human or you're dead
Such a long long time for your jihad
In a short time in your head...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:38 PM
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I wonder if the guards at Auschwitz got together to tell ghost stories late at night.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:47 PM
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I wonder how many people alive today have personally participated in a genocide?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 7:56 PM
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540: lots and lots of traditional stories are didactic, or moralizing, or otherwise doing normative or exhortatory work. I don't think those are what we mean by mindless. Some of the collected classical Chinese market tales might be nothing but sensationalism. Lots of the antique Greek novels are sensationalist wish fulfillment plus funny goat sex. But those two cultures had particularly well-developed literary markeys, beyond storytelling.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 9:44 PM
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There are plenty of examples of folktales with no apparent didactic or moralistic content in the traditional societies I'm most familiar with. Most trickster stories, for example. I suspect this sort of thing really is a human universal.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:11 PM
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*most* trickster stories? The Loki and Anansi ones are full of And The Horrible Blowback endings (not always on the trickster). In the versions I've read. Possibly normativized. (ow, sorry).

(moment's happiness over the devil with a bag of walnuts and the old woman who kept the pearl.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:23 PM
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I dunno, Navajo coyote stories don't necessarily end with coyote getting his comeuppance, or any other blowback with moral implications. I mean, sometimes they do, but not always.

But it's not just the trickster stories. There are lots of stories that don't have any obvious purpose other than entertainment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:26 PM
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RWM took a folklore class last semester, and it seemed that one of the main points that the professor spent a lot of effort on was exactly that folklore stories typically don't have a moral. (The class was on Russian stories in particular, but my 2nd hand understanding was that this was a key common point among all folklore.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:29 PM
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Distinguishing between morals and normativity (cannot adopt that into other words), or not?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:34 PM
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I think any storytelling is going to inevitably have some normative content, even if it's just the background assumptions about human behavior and motivations. I don't think this helps distinguish between "mindless" entertainment and other types the way explicit didacticism does, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 10:40 PM
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Mindless entertainment for all, then. (OP!) I have realized that I take 'mindless' as a euphemism for 'conscienceless' rather than 'stupid', which is on me.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-21-15 11:50 PM
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Comity!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 12:54 AM
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Boo!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 12:58 AM
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up with turkish delight! mobes, don't let bandai keep you away from all the awesome anime you can watch! tokyo ghoul ftw. it's GOT-esque in its willingness to torture and/or kill characters you thought were immortal because they are in the credits. those motherfuckers change the opening and closing montages! I'm still moping over kaneki-kun. how could they do that to me??!
ajay: you have been killing it lately.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 3:19 AM
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555: thanks ma'am. I am heading out to Narnia soon, by the way - end of July-ish - so let's do coffee or something.

Small god-daughter is now getting seriously into castles, knights, armour etc. Her parents and grandparents (who are awesome) built her a castle for her birthday out of packing boxes which was about eight feet square by six feet high, historically/architecturally impeccable (grandad's input) and aesthetically stunning (grandma).

So I presumably should bring her a sword. "Stick them with the pointy end."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 3:30 AM
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555: Even though you would think that an anime that has an 8-yr-old girl blushing when she is caught chowing down on a human arm would have me purring, I dropped Ghoul about 2/3 of the way through 1st cour. Somewhere during the fight between baddest girl and mean old cop, the tentaclish nature of the battles got a little too vertical and old man's eyes couldn't keep up. Or something. Cause I liked the tentaclish battles in Parasyte.

End Credits for Parasyte are in my all-time list


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 4:19 AM
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556: Has she got Castle yet? All the Macaulay architecture books are great, but that one sounds like the one she needs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 4:45 AM
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558: ooh, good idea. No, she hasn't. And that'd be a bit easier to get through airport security.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 4:59 AM
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re: 536

A quick google finds that it's probably a Campagna T-Rex.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 5:14 AM
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552: Yay, comity! That's why I went with "completely unenlightening entertainment", but "mindless" is a reasonable gloss. So, to be clear, I'm pro sports, and silly dramas, and adventure stories that barely say anything against the world, and video games both intelligent and not; I'm against making criminals fight to the death in the fighting pits on pay-per-view.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 6:29 AM
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552, 554: OK. I'll do it myself.

clew (or other 4-letter commenter whose handle starts with a hard "c" sound): Very well, no mindless entertainment for anyone.
JP Stormcrow: Boo!
clew (or other 4-letter commenter whose handle starts with a hard "c" sound):: Hmm... Mindless entertainment for some, miniature American flags for others.
JP Stormcrow: Yay!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:03 AM
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559: Not if you pair it with Mosque.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:06 AM
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The only time I ever got my bag searched at airport security in the US, it contained the following books:
"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" - Richard Rhodes
"The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War" - Ali Ahmad Jalali and Lester Grau

I thought that my number was finally up. Fortunately it also contained "Last Call" by Tim Powers, and the security guy was a fan, so he didn't search any deeper and we just had a nice chat about modern fantasy novels.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:10 AM
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"The Making of the Atomic Bomb" isn't as scary of a title as "The Making of an Atomic Bomb."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:12 AM
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Fortunately it also contained "Last Call" by Tim Powers, and the security guy was a fan

How pleasing!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:14 AM
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Especially since the reason I'd been pulled over is that they'd detected a load of explosives residue on my bag. (From an entirely legitimate and constitutionally-protected visit to a pistol range a few days earlier.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-22-15 7:17 AM
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Probablly a bad idea to rehash this, but I finally watched MM:FR today, trying to put myself into the MRA mindset.

1) Still unable to find any fault with the hero being Charlize Theron instead of Mad Max. The story isn't about him! I don't know how someone could see this as a problem.

2) However, it was a bit odd that the premise of the story seems to be that, in a society where life is cheap and most people are enslaved, the lives of these five enslaved beautiful women are way more important than all the other enslaved people. Of course Immortal Joe sees them as important, because of his warped value system, but why do our heroes?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 4:56 PM
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Max doesn't see them as particularly important, so your question is really why does Furiosa care so much about them.

I'm not clear what you mean by "other enslaved people." The warboys are brainwashed and the "peasants" have nothing, but they're not really slaves in the same sense that the wives are. I think Furiosa sees their situation as particularly horrible. But also she sees them as people who she would be accepted in her home community/paradise.

It's also a bit unclear whether Furiosa hatched this plan or whether The Splendid Angharad did, or whether they were somehow friends and hatched it together. In the last case it's clear why she would care more about her friends, and in the middle case it's not a question of her caring more it's a question of her doing good when the opportunity to do so came up.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 5:41 PM
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The red haired wife (I swear, none of their names actually appear in the dialogue, except "Cheedo") seems to have no trouble empathizing with Nux when they meet each other at the back of the car, and yet the warboys are nothing but the purest cannon fodder. How many are killed to bring these few women to safety? But I accept that it would have been hopeless to try to turn this plan into a large-scale revolt. Furiosa doesn't enlist a single one of her seemingly trusted lieutenants to help her divert the convoy. They just couldn't be trusted.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 6:02 PM
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The warboys are all going to die soon anyway, and as you say can't be trusted (it takes quite a lot before Nux is in the state he's in at the back of the car). At any rate, the warboys wouldn't be welcome in the Land of Many Mothers.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 6:07 PM
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Also, the warboys don't want to be rescued and the wives do. That's a huge difference.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 6:08 PM
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The Splendid Angharad is called both "Splendid" and "Angharad" in the course of conversation.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 6:22 PM
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Sigh. I really just need to go see it again.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 7:51 PM
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Didn't Civil War General Benjamin Butler look a lot like Dennis Franz?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 8:25 PM
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Really glad I got to see it before I left.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 8:26 PM
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575 It's uncanny. I hope there is a Netflix series in the works.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-25-15 8:28 PM
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569.3 is a good point. The movie never says whose plan it was in the first place (or how any of the 'brides' got from their heavily locked room to the war rig either), but it does drop hints that it wasn't Furiosa storming in and stealing them away.

As far as the hordes of war boys go I don't think their plan was to be chased by every single crazy person in the world, though. I'm guessing they thought they wouldn't be found out as quickly as they were, and that they'd be through those rocky cliffs before any serious pursuit. If that had happened the only people in danger would have been the war boys driving alongside them and/or on the rig itself. And there may have been a plan to dislodge/delay them so they were trapped on the other side of the passage.

Have people seen it in 3D? I'm considering going back to see it that way but I'm also stingy and not certain if it's worth the extra money.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 05-26-15 5:08 AM
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Still unable to find any fault with the hero being Charlize Theron instead of Mad Max. The story isn't about him!

That is the problem, as far as they're concerned. I mean, not the only one, but that infuriates them.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-26-15 8:09 AM
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Have people seen it in 3D? I'm considering going back to see it that way but I'm also stingy and not certain if it's worth the extra money.

Don't bother, unless it's the only way to see it in Imax. It really doesn't add anything (save for one really cheesy Jaws 3D style shot).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-26-15 8:34 AM
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ok we finally saw it. 580 comments here I come.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 8:58 PM
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shouted dialogue was usually a mystery to me, and that was 90% of the dialogue.

This was part of my experience, too, though I understood more of what was said than in the half hour we watched of the original, which I stopped watching both out of incomprehension and because of that queasy 70s film aesthetic I can't stand. Presumably this thread is dead though.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 10:28 PM
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Oh god that is a lot of comments. And I have no real opinions! I am amused by the idea of dark, edgy remixes of inappropriate things.

The three little kittens lost their mittens.

They're back.

And they're pissed.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 10:56 PM
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Presumably this thread is dead though.

Well, I'm here (of course), but I haven't seen the movie.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 10:58 PM
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Hm. I guess you're not going to run out and see it just for the sake of perpetuating the thread, right?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 10:59 PM
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That's not really how I roll.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:00 PM
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Maybe we could pursue the three little kittens thing, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:01 PM
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This, which I saw on FB and skimmed with mild interest, might be of interest to people who have seen the movie.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:03 PM
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Further to 587:

Little Bow Peep lost her sheep.

And now she's going to find them.

No matter what it takes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:08 PM
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This little piggy went to market.

This little piggy stayed home.

This little piggy had roast beef.

This little piggy had none.

But now the piggies must confront an evil force so immense and dangerous that they have to put aside their differences and join forces.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:20 PM
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This has almost certainly been done before, and better, I realize.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-30-15 11:20 PM
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No, I liked it!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 12:00 AM
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Thanks! I'll try some more:

The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea.

In a beautiful pea-green boat.

And now they're back.

For revenge.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 12:15 AM
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Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Now need to find and bring to justice whoever pushed Humpty and caused his gruesome demise.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 12:19 AM
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So what did you think of it, Smearcase?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 1:19 AM
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He used to be co-owner of an ad agency but when he was bought out by a larger firm he disappeared. Now he's back.

Mad Men 2: Draper's Way


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 4:48 AM
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Saw it last night. I have opinions but they seem to be relatively incoherent. In a dream last night I was in a car that drove down an impossibly steep slope.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 6:13 AM
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Yay teo!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 6:22 AM
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I thought it was very well done, as everyone said. I was never bored and might want to see it again sometime. It didn't quite pass that threshold of "movies I really like"; I don't know why. (It's not because it was an action movie. I actually adore and own Inception, for example.) I find I don't quite have an opinion on whether it was feminist. I lean to "yes, but not in an important way."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 8:33 AM
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Hmmm, yes, I think Smearcase more or less sums up my review. I enjoyed it well enough while watching, but it didn't really stick with me in any lasting kind of way. Underdeveloped maybe.


Posted by: dk | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 1:13 PM
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I saw an ultra-annoying article somewhere that proclaimed that Joss Whedon IS NOT A FEMINIST. I didn't mean to come across as saying that Fury Road IS NOT FEMINIST, as a kind of denunciation that it has FAILED FEMINISM. Just that the feminism is sufficiently uncontroversial that you'd have to be explicitly anti-feminist for it to bother you.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 1:14 PM
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601.last: yeah, but that seems like quite an accomplishment given how feminist the movie actually is. It's not Forcing People To Confront Difficult Realities or whatever; it's just sort of there. Which is good because who wants to be hectored?

Maybe there's a feminist/Feminist distinction to be made...


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 05-31-15 1:47 PM
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34: I don't have much interest in that sort of movie either. But Miller does it so *well* -- if you have any interest in directing-as-a-craft, it's worth watching the movie because it's an absolute tour de force, showing up how grossly incompetent other action movie directors are these days.

It's just eminently *watchable*, even if you're not really particularly into action movies.


Posted by: Nathanael | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:20 AM
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I note that ajay has achieve apokolokyntosis by having his 564 quoted by gnoleD on his blog.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:31 AM
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Why is it "hectored"? Hector doesn't hector people, particularly, if I remember the Iliad correctly.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:34 AM
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Hector hectors Paris, because Paris is an asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:37 AM
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606: I thought it was because he was jealous that no one had made a sex tape of him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:39 AM
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I just remembered that 607 is wrong. There was a sex tape of Hector, it's just that nobody wanted to watch it. It's been so long since I read the Iliad it's not surprising that I was a little confused.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:41 AM
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I don't like Achilles either, because of my ankle being fucked up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:41 AM
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604: FOLLOW THE GOURD.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:43 AM
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604 and 610 are great. But I'm afraid I'm ruined for rereads of Graves' Claudius books now without thinking about Life of Brian.

I note that Graves renders it as "pumpkinification".

In other not completely off topic news for this thread* I'm about to see my first film since seeing Mad Max: Fury Road. In the Gulf they do this Ides of Ramadan children's festival that's a bit like Halloween and the local film institute is going to be screening Miyazaki's Ponyo which I have never seen. Woohoo! I can't imagine that there will be many children in attendance as it screens at 21:00 local time. Unless kids really stay up late here for Ramadan, but I'm about to find out.

*Or maybe I should have dropped that bit in the Pixar thread? Pixar's fine and all but Miyazaki >> Pixar.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:13 AM
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Ponyo, hooray!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:17 AM
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I loved Ponyo too! One of the last movies I saw in a theatre, and the only Miyazaki film I've seen.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:25 AM
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I think kids do stay up late for Ramadan -- I believe from friends of Sally's that they start fasting pretty young, say, under ten or so? At which point you stay up late to get some food in you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:27 AM
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Not so late in an equatorial place like Barry's as it is up here, where Ramadan in late June and July is really hard. Even harder in Europe which is even farther north than we are.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:30 AM
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I don't remember them staying up that late in Morocco but then I never stayed that late at any iftars I went to that I would know for sure.
And yeah, kids like to imitate adults and older kids so they'll argue with their parents to be given permission to fast at a pretty young age, sometimes 5-7 as I recall. They don't always make it through the day though.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:35 AM
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People here are fasting from about 3:00 am to 9:40 pm. Today it was 30 degrees, and not a drop of water could they drink. Given the long list of exceptions that Islam allows I find it difficult to imagine that the Prophet intended to impose this on people. Why would he have known anything about conditions a thousand miles away?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:39 AM
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Spirited Away is better than all Pixar. Princess Mononoke is better than most Pixar. After that it's can't-lose grab bag.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:41 AM
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There are exceptions that can be made, including for health reasons. I think when you get pretty far north they go on Meccan time.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:42 AM
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Solid work by Teo upthread.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:43 AM
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There has to be some kind of latitudinal rule of reason -- Muslims above the Arctic Circle can't be expected to suicide or leave. I would guess that there are probably accepted exceptions where the nights are really short.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:44 AM
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Oh yes! 620.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:45 AM
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619. That's true. I think the Meccan time thing could do with being extended though, at least in years when Ramadan falls in mid-summer. I know a guy who has a health pass for diabetes. It must be really hard for the rest of his family when he goes off to stuff his face and drink something while they can't.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:48 AM
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623: Dunno, most women are doing that one week of the month and their families seem to get by okay.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:49 AM
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Yeah, they generally stuff their faces in private. And with that I'm off to see a movie!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:52 AM
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True.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:52 AM
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