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dondigitalia has strange tastes for someone in an Objectivist Forum... he picks four of the strangest movies I have ever seen in:

Being John Malkovich

Edward Scissorhands

Fight Club

Best in Show

I direct you all to his post in the favorite music thread.  He picks Erik Satie (Ogives, is possibly the worst serious music peice I have ever heard) as one of his favorite classical composers, and also makes reference to Bjork.

I don't feel it's necessary to agree with art to appreciate it. Had the topic of this forum been "Movies that promote Objectivism," my list would have been quite different. I liked the four movies you mentioned precisely because they are strange and go a little against the grain of what we normally see; because they stimulated thought. There are precious few movies that do that for me these days.

Being a graphic artist, I especially enjoy any movie that has a strong visual element (which is why so many Tim Burton movies rank as my top picks).

I regard to my reference to Bjork in the music thread: She is a woman who consistently comes up with ways of manipulating sound to create interesting, beautiful music that were never dreamed of by more mainstream musicians. She is unquestionably a musical genious and deserves respect as such regardless of the values she conveys through all of her art.

Incedentally, one film that has strong pro-capitalist themes, but is a terrible movie (by my standards) is "Jerry McGuire." Good values, bad art.

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I liked 'Fight Club' because it is a great portrayal to what I am not. It is a great example to shy away from. The recent release of the movie' Thirteen' is also great. It shows the danger of peer pressure, and what it can do to an unaware individual.

I don't usually analyze movies. I watch them for entertainment VALUE.

If I had a favorite, it would be a tie between

'Rain Man' and 'As Good as it Gets'.

Another favorite, as far as uplifting and aspiring goes, is the movie 'BraveHeart.'

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Right, I have values. My lowest form is entertainment. When I get a break, and I can't improve my life in some way, because time dictates as such ( 9:00P.M.) I invest my time in entertainment. I watch movies. I don't care what kind. They are all entertainment. I watch them for that sake, and that is all. I don't analyze movies. To do so would be an insult of the screen writer or the director. If you don't like the movie, oh well. If one doesn't appeal to you, and you haven't watched it yet, don't watch it.

I plan on seeing The Passion of the Christ. I'm an atheist, and I'm going to see this movie. Is there something wrong with that? I don't think so, and if so, why?

I'm going to see what this director has directed despite all the controversy has directed. Mel Gibson directed and made this move regardless of what anyone said. Just as Bill Gates developed Microsoft, by ignoring everyones judgement but his own.

Already long story short, movies are entertainment. Why analyze them? It doesn't change what they were intended to be and are about.

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Although I'm certain this this is in contradiciton to the filmaker's intended message, my private interpretation of the Pitt/Norton character's (I haven't seen it in several years, so the character's name escapes me) self-destruction at the end as symbolic of the destruction any society will undergo that rejects capitalism.

Dondigitalia--I'm conflicted on this. I'd like to interpret it as you do--the narrator (Norton) destroyed Tyler Durden (Pitt) at the end. Durden was basically a psychotic character that the narrator created. The narrator tried to stop the destruction of the credit card companies. But so many people interpret the movie as anti-consumerism--this is confusing. In fact, the volitional destruction of Durden would seem to say otherwise.

Maybe that conflict is presented more clearly in the book? I should probably read it and find out what the author's intent actually was.

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I too enjoy movies for the entertainment value. However, when it comes to listing my favorites, or even those that are "enjoyable," I would not include those that have disgusted me with their poor sense of life--unless there is some other truly redeeming aspect of the movie, like a superb performance by a particular actor. The reason for this is that I view art or entertainment as primarily a source of "fuel" for my own outlook on life (similar to what Rand suggested in The Romantic Manifesto). That is, if I'm going to spend my time on it, it had better give me something that I want or crave: some belly laughs, inspiration, or just a benevolent outlook on life. My tastes tend toward the "lighter" side when it comes to movies, but the more dramatic movies I enjoy usually have a particularly inspiring character or two.

That being said, AutoJC, why did you like Mystic River? I haven't seen it, but the previews I saw made it seem like an excruciating movie to watch. But I would like to hear what about it appealed to you.

On to some of my favorites:

Amelie (full French title: Le Fabul Destin d'Amelie Poulain)--some of it's a little silly or mystical, but the important aspects are: despite her parents' fearful outlooks, a young woman takes a few chances, acts benevolently towards others, and finds love. It just leaves me feeling happy.

Elizabeth--Cate Blanchett's performance is wonderful.

Seabiscuit

Chocolat

High Fidelity--clever and some great music.

Shakespeare in Love

Some Like it Hot--for the laughs and Marilyn Monroe.

Charlotte Gray--another Cate Blanchett film, I don't believe this one was in wide release, but it was very, very good--about a Scottish woman who joins the French resistance during WWII.

Cold Mountain--although the very end soured it for me.

Big Fish

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Dondigitalia--I'm conflicted on this. I'd like to interpret it as you do--the narrator (Norton) destroyed Tyler Durden (Pitt) at the end. Durden was basically a psychotic character that the narrator created. The narrator tried to stop the destruction of the credit card companies. But so many people interpret the movie as anti-consumerism--this is confusing. In fact, the volitional destruction of Durden would seem to say otherwise.

Maybe that conflict is presented more clearly in the book? I should probably read it and find out what the author's intent actually was.

I don't think my interpretation was what the author or filmaker intended at all. I haven't read the book either, so for all I know, it had a different ending entirely. By and large, the theme of the movie is emphatically anti-Capitalism/Commercialism/Consumerism.

My interpretation of the ending was merely an afterthought; my own private rebellion against the movie's true theme. My point on that movie was that I enjoyed the acting, which was EXCELLENT, and my disagreement with the anti-Commercialist tone the film had no relevance to it's entertainment value for me.

The acting was excellent, the direction was good. The revelation that Durden was a figment of the narrator's imagination caught me COMPLETELY by surprise, and that's not something movies typically do for me, even others that claim to have a *twist* ending (for example, "The Others" and "Sixth Sense," both of which I predicted within the first 20 minutes of the movie).

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When one values something, one should do so for a reason. Anylization is necessary for valuation. This said, visual elements, acting, etc... are perfectly good reasons to value a movie (as a movie, not as a story). Now that you mention it Pitt and Norton are very good in just about everything I have seen them in.

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Amelie (full French title: Le Fabul Destin d'Amelie Poulain)--some of it's a little silly or mystical, but the important aspects are: despite her parents' fearful outlooks, a young woman takes a few chances, acts benevolently towards others, and finds love. It just leaves me feeling happy.

I rather liked Amelie too, Carla :nerd: It was sort of whimsical but interesting.

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That being said, AutoJC, why did you like Mystic River? I haven't seen it, but the previews I saw made it seem like an excruciating movie to watch. But I would like to hear what about it appealed to you.

I'm glad you raised that question.

I'll first start off by saying that I've extensively read Dostoevsky. Now my like of Dostoevsky has little to do with happy endings. It has a lot to do with the moral fiber and sense of life that went into the crafting of such books.

Now we fast forward to "Mystic river"

Three men's lives are traced to a working class neighborhood in Boston where they grew up together as children. But this movie is not about Boston. It's about how, through a horrific crime committed against one of them's daughter, these three men are brought back together and how they deal with each other. One becomes a successful detective (Kevin Bacon's character), he represents what I perceive to be the "good." Another becomes a low-life (Tim Robbins' character), a character whose personality is shaped by his being kidnapped and raped as a child, and he never overcomes this calamity, being fraught with guilt and suffering. The third (Sean Penn's character) becomes a shop owner who frequently deals with street hoodlums and seeks solutions within the rule of gangs.

The movie has a morally solid and dynamic plot, unusual in the heavily-influenced "naturalist" books and movies of today. There are decisions made by emotion that result in overt tragedy, just like what I found in Dostoevsky. Emotion and guilt rather than reason begets tragedy, again in the realm of Dostoevsky. I won't give away too much more, except that this movie fascinated me unlike any other I've seen in recent years.

Sure it seems grim. But the moral core is rock solid. Those who live by reason like Bacon's character ultimately triumph in the realm that crimes can be solved through reason and diligence. Those, like Penn's character and Robbins' character, continue to suffer because of their emotionally driven mistakes.

Direction, cinematography, and the acting are all first-rate. See this movie if you dare. it's worth it.

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Now THAT is the kind of post I would like to see more of in this thread. People have generally just been listing films they liked. But so many of the films listed are what I would call TRASH that such lists don't help me figure out which movies to be interested in. That last post told me exactly WHY the film is worth watching. I am now intrigued, and interested in seeing Mystic River. Can we change the name of this thread to "Movies Worth Watching - and WHY" ?

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Now THAT is the kind of post I would like to see more of in this thread.  People have generally just been listing films they liked.  But so many of the films listed are what I would call TRASH that such lists don't help me figure out which movies to be interested in.  That last post told me exactly WHY the film is worth watching.  I am now intrigued, and interested in seeing Mystic River.  Can we change the name of this thread to "Movies Worth Watching - and WHY" ?

Is there anything else you would like with that? A massage maybe? Or how about parade in your honour? :rolleyes:

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AutoJC,

I agree with much of what you said about Mystic River. I enjoyed the movie, although it was a bit too grim at times (the ending :o ).

However, you forgot to mention one of the best traits! It's a thriller/mystery and it keeps you guessing until the very end. It was very suspenseful, which made it pretty enjoyable.

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However, you forgot to mention one of the best traits!  It's a thriller/mystery and it keeps you guessing until the very end.  It was very suspenseful, which made it pretty enjoyable.

It most certainly was a first-rate thriller and mystery. As in your case, it kept me guessing to the end.

I thought the ending was quite cleverly crafted. It related more to tragedy than sadness.

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The movie Black Sunday is well worth watching accompanied with a 350 ml bottle of Whyte and Mackay whisky. (That's what I was drinking the last time I saw it)

It stars Robert Shaw as a ruthless Israeli Agent tracking a gang of Palestinian terrorists led by a woman of Arab-German extraction with agrudge against the Israelis.

The woman escapes from a raid by Shaw and gets to America where she proceeds to carry out her plan to attack the Superbowl with the aid of Vietnam Vet Bruce Dern (John Kerry?). Dern had been captured some years before by the commies and forced to make a propaganda film.

What is great about the movie is that it presents the villains, not as demons, as people who could have been said to have had a legitimate grievance but what they choose to do is quite monstrous.

The characters are well fleshed out and Bruce Dern is always great as a villain and Robert Shaw is good as either a goodie or a baddie.

The movie from 1977 is well ahead of it's time, especially in light of the Sept 11 attack.

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I don't think my interpretation was what the author or filmaker intended at all. I haven't read the book either, so for all I know, it had a different ending entirely. By and large, the theme of the movie is emphatically anti-Capitalism/Commercialism/Consumerism.

My interpretation of the ending was merely an afterthought; my own private rebellion against the movie's true theme.

Dondigitalia--

I think I've figured out the source of my confusion regarding Fight Club. I may have misinterpreted the ending completely. Whereas, I thought Jack destroyed Tyler (which to me meant destroying the anticonsumer and anticapitalistic wishes), it has been suggested to me that he simply destroyed the need to create an alter-ego to carry out those wishes (because he could carry out such things on his own). That makes more sense, considering he stayed with Marla, didn't seem terribly regretful about leveling the credit card companies, etc... I'm less confused given that explanation :lol:

(Note--It's not that I think Dondigitalia will necessarily care that I'm now less confused, it's more of a matter of coming back to this thread to correct my mistake ;) )

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(Note--It's not that I think Dondigitalia will necessarily care that I'm now less confused, it's more of a matter of coming back to this thread to correct my mistake :lol:  )

You're right. Your confusion is of no concern to me. ;)

I do, however, respect your initiative in alleviating the confusion. Big ups. :D

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The Flight of the Phoenix

During a violent sandstorm an uncharted cargo plane crashlands in the Libyan desert hundreds of miles off its intended flight path. As a result, 12 men are stranded. One is severely injured. Help will not be on the way. The pilot, a grizzled veteran, feels responsible for the crash and the impending doom of his passengers.

In the midst of understandable despair and personality conflict, one of the passengers -- an arrogant young German airplane designer -- proposes a plan to canniblize the original plane and, using salvaged parts, build another plane to fly the survivors to safety. The epic struggle for authority which follows pits the guilt-ridden pilot against the German designer.

The movie is a thrilling drama in its own right, but it is also mankind's struggle for survival in microcosm. Will genius triumph over stupidity? Can tolerance, common sense and the fiesty survivalist human spirit foil petty jealousies, emotionalism and nationalist bigotry (the movie is set in the aftermath of WWII).

I watched this movie again this morning for the nth time and thought again that they're not making them now the way they used to. Admittedly, I'm an old guy and possibly prejudiced. But, young people, watch it and tell me if I'm wrong.

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