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Anti-life Movies

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Which movies do you feel are philosophically disgusting to an Objectivist? A movie that denies reality, that up holds the notion that we should trust in faith or feelings as our methods of cognition. Movies that advocate selflessness and collectivism. Or movies that uses an arsenal to have an all out war with Capitalism.

My list would include

American Beauty

Fight Club

The Matrix trilogy

Bowling for Columbine

The Passion

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  • 2 weeks later...

I actually find this topic of value. Knowing what's bad can save you the trouble of unwittingly watching it yourself.

I've always wondered about the meaning behind "American Beauty". Is is purely nihilistic or is there an attempt at the end to show that there are values in the world?

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It could be of value.

How many times does a movie get four or five star reviews so you go and see it and it's a load of rubbish?

And, if you aren't an objectivist, you can't articulate why it's rubbish.

So if a movie comes out and it gets great reviews but you shouldn't see it, it will save us movie buffs (I have a cinema 2 minutes on foot from where I live) some money.

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  • 1 year later...
Which movies do you feel are philosophically disgusting to an Objectivist? A movie that denies reality, that up holds the notion that we should trust in faith or feelings as our methods of cognition. Movies that advocate selflessness and collectivism. Or movies that uses an arsenal to have an all out war with Capitalism.

My list would include

American Beauty

Fight Club

The Matrix trilogy

Bowling for Columbine

The Passion

Old threads still post. ;)

I disagree that the movie Fight Club is an "anti-life" movie. In fact, I think that that movie is a warning against anti-life philosophies. Consider that Tyler Durden is essentially preaching a very convoluted message of "male liberation" that seems to be a grunge mix of Nietzsche, Marx, and Rousseau, and the end result of his "philosophy" is an army of moronic cultists that engage in mindless acts of "terrorism."

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If you are going to persist with this thread Areactor, might I make a perhaps obvious suggestion...

Try telling us why you think the movies you are suggesting are so terrible. Telling us that they are so is not necceasarily very useful. We may or may not know for ourselves what is wrong with the movies. It would probably be wise to give your reasons so that we arent left wondering what is wrong with these movies and/or why you dislike them so much.

Perhaps then if you give reaasons you might actually provide someone with a clear reason not to like the the flim instead of a mere statement that you do not like it.

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If you are going to persist with this thread Areactor, might I make a perhaps obvious suggestion...

Try telling us why you think the movies you are suggesting are so terrible.

Not important, but it was not AReactor who breathed new life into this thread. Fenriz, simply quoted AReactor.

Otherwise, I agree with your suggestion. As GreedyCapitalist said (above) there are tonnes of bad movies out there. Making a list, without giving reasons, serves no purpose.

So, I'll second Prometheus's suggestion that to have any value, one should explain a little more about why a movie is bad.

Take "King Kong" for example. I have not seen it. An Objectivist whom I respect saw it and told me it was good. Now, Tommy Edison mentions that it is "primitivist". That gives me a hint, but definitely not enough to go on. One could, for instance, dismiss some Hugo work by labelling it ("altruistic"). A movie can have wrong explicit philosophy and still be great; to me, it can still be enjoyable -- and more enjoyable than a less-well-done movie with a right philosophy. So, simply giving it a one-word label does not tell me enough.

Here are some things I'd like to know about any movie I have not seen:

  • Was it interesting? Did you wonder what was coming next? Even if you knew that the good guy would win in the end, were you wondering how, and did the author show how in a convincing way? (Convincing means that the resolution was not the result of some major coincidence and luck, but something that was "naturally" caused by people acting toward certain ends.)
  • Did the movie make you think about something important, even if you did not agree with the producer's conclusions on the topic?

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Take "King Kong" for example. I have not seen it. An Objectivist whom I respect saw it and told me it was good. Now, Tommy Edison mentions that it is "primitivist". That gives me a hint, but definitely not enough to go on.

I called it primitivist because it glorified the savage (the ape) and potrayed wealthy New Yorkers as evil. Consider the essential story. We have the stereotypical "evil" rich capitalist who in his "evil" way wants to make money of the ape. We have a "good" poor blonde sympathetic to the ape. The ape gets mad and climbs the Empire State Building. In the end the ape dies and somehow the "evil capitalists" are to blame.

It glorified barbarity at the expense of civilization.

A movie can have wrong explicit philosophy and still be great; to me, it can still be enjoyable -- and more enjoyable than a less-well-done movie with a right philosophy.

For me, a movie which does not devote itself to the wrong philosophy and has a good "sense of life", is good. But when the entire point of the movie is condemnation of the human mind, it gets very tiring.

[Mod's note: I split the discussion on King Kong into a separate thread. - SN]

Edited by softwareNerd
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I haven't seen King Kong or Titanic, so I can't comment on those. I have seen "Lawrence of Arabia", but don't remember much about it except that it was a war-movie. I don't remember it being particularly great but nor do I remember anything particularly objectionable. I'm curious what you disliked about it.

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I thought the Matrix was actually pretty pro-life. Whatever the philosophy of the Wachowski brothers really is, the movie itself is about the struggle for freedom against a powerful oppressor.

And here I go defending American Beauty again...

This movie is not as bad as so many make it out to be. Yes, the leading character is largely immoral until about the last 10 minutes. That last 10 minutes, however, is what I think makes it a worthwhile movie. He realizes what a fool he's been the whole time, rediscovers his values, and starts down the path of redemption.

The whole movie is about him rediscovering what "happiness" means, after years of living for people other than himself. Early in the movie, he decides to start living for himself again. At the end, he realizes that he has been going about it the wrong way and he stops himself from making a huge mistake. The most telling line of the movie is when that girl asks him how he is and he thinks for a second before answering "I'm great," clearly surprised that he is able to truthfully say that. Yeah, I think his untimely death was probably not necessary, but that doesn't take away the value from the rest of the movie.

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  • 3 weeks later...
We have the stereotypical "evil" rich capitalist who in his "evil" way wants to make money of the ape.

Please excuse me while I use my first post to ask a Newbie question:

Isn't the essence of the Prime Mover to be the person who CREATES his own means of wealth?

Wouldn't the "evil rich capitalist" (whom you seem to be trying to defend in this particular case) actually be a Second Hander due to the fact that he is trying to make his money off of an object that has an existence completely independent of him?

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Very true GreedyCapitalist

I was merely making a thread where we (boardmembers) could share opinions and converse. Sorry if I did anything wrong.

:(

You didn't do anything wrong, Areactor. This is supposed to be a site of FREE inoffensive expression. GreedyCapitalist is entitled to his opinion as well--but he also has the obligation of ignoring this thread if he finds it "USELESS".

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I disagree with fight club being considered as an anti life movie. Tyler Durden and his "army" are trying to yes, I should say, destroy the word. they do this to create a new one. This very act is somewhat similar with John Galt's indifference to the world so in turn, when the world has realized Galt is correct he (Galt) shall rise to "teach" or start moving the motor of the world.

(Fixed Caps -sNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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I disagree with fight club being considered as an anti life movie. Tyler Durden and his "army" are trying to yes, I should say, destroy the word. they do this to create a new one. This very act is somewhat similar with John Galt's indifference to the world so in turn, when the world has realized Galt is correct he (Galt) shall rise to "teach" or start moving the motor of the world.

(Fixed Caps -sNerd)

Tyler Durden does not seek to create a new order, he only seeks to obliterate one and thus create anarchy.

The impasse, is this: One cannot create something from nothing. To destroy something is to obliterate it completely. There will be nothing from which to fashion a "new world."

Mind you, I love Fight Club. I think David Fincher adds something to the vocabulary of movies every time he makes one. Chuck Palahniuk's books, while not Objectivist in nature, do display a capable use of language to create his characters and often actually point out why collectivism is so destructive.

But the character of Tyler Durden is not what one would call a proper hero. He is, in many ways, the anti-thesis of the proper Objectivist hero.

Galt had no "indifference" to the world around him. The world around him was indifferent to him and was destroying itself. Galt did nothing to the world around him to facilitate this destruction other than to recruit prime movers to join his strike.

But his strike was also tacitly mandated by the world around him. By trying to strangle the minds of the prime movers, the world in Atlas Shrugged basically told them "we don't need you." Galt, seeing this, simply pointed it out to the others, reminded them of the difference between why they were producing and why they SHOULD be producing and showed that it's not at all inappropriate to remove one's presence when one's presence isn't valued.

Tyler Durden isn't "indifferent" to the world around him. On the contrary, he is quite malevolent towards it. He seeks to change the world by forcing change upon it. His expectations of his army are blind obedience and unquestioning loyalty.

Galt never asked the other prime movers to surrender their minds to him. He knew that to be anti-life and against everything he represented.

And, in the end it seems to me that the ultimate difference between the two is this:

Durden sought to change the world by actively destroying the old one to build his vision.

Galt simply started building his own and when the present one collapsed, he was ready to replace it.

Edited by mosespa
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  • 1 month later...
This movie is not as bad as so many make it out to be. Yes, the leading character is largely immoral until about the last 10 minutes. That last 10 minutes, however, is what I think makes it a worthwhile movie. He realizes what a fool he's been the whole time, rediscovers his values, and starts down the path of redemption.

The whole movie is about him rediscovering what "happiness" means, after years of living for people other than himself. Early in the movie, he decides to start living for himself again. At the end, he realizes that he has been going about it the wrong way and he stops himself from making a huge mistake. The most telling line of the movie is when that girl asks him how he is and he thinks for a second before answering "I'm great," clearly surprised that he is able to truthfully say that. Yeah, I think his untimely death was probably not necessary, but that doesn't take away the value from the rest of the movie.

Brilliant defense of one of my favourite movies. I couldn't have done it any better. :)

Nice to see that someone sees the same things in the movie I did.

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