Atheist Cinema

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Atheist Cinema

A place to talk about your favorite movies, genres, actors and directors. Please try to keep one discussion per genre, actor or director.

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Discussion Forum

Predictions in Science Fiction movies

Started by Idaho Spud. Last reply by Idaho Spud Sep 1, 2016. 9 Replies

The Unbelievers

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Nov 12, 2013. 2 Replies

The Ledge (2011)

Started by Micah Johnson. Last reply by Craigart14 Sep 1, 2013. 6 Replies

Prometheus?

Started by Marc Draco. Last reply by Eric A Flynn Feb 10, 2013. 6 Replies

Ten Favorite Atheist Films

Started by James M. Martin. Last reply by Eric A Flynn Feb 10, 2013. 39 Replies

Cloud Atlas

Started by Loren Miller Sep 7, 2012. 0 Replies

Documentary: "8: The Mormon Proposition"

Started by James M. Martin. Last reply by James M. Martin Jul 29, 2012. 3 Replies

Moneyball

Started by Loren Miller Apr 21, 2012. 0 Replies

Real Steel

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 21, 2012. 2 Replies

How an Iranian film unites us all (CNN)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by TNT666 Feb 21, 2012. 3 Replies

agora best atheist movie?

Started by vondutch. Last reply by Craigart14 Sep 24, 2011. 13 Replies

Most Disappointing Movie Ever

Started by Edward Teach. Last reply by Gabriel Garcia May 29, 2011. 23 Replies

The Cove

Started by TNT666. Last reply by TNT666 Mar 12, 2011. 7 Replies

John Barry is gone

Started by Loren Miller Jan 31, 2011. 0 Replies

A Serious Man

Started by S.A. Alenthony. Last reply by A Former Member Sep 16, 2010. 3 Replies

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Comment by Marc Draco on September 19, 2011 at 4:55am
You're wrong about something vital here: context.
"if this were set on another planet, and the book was a fictional scripture from a fictional religion, would your view of it be the same? of course not."
Egan, please don't assume to know my mind - you do not; but please do us all the courtesy of using capital letters where grammar dictates as lack of them makes your remarks difficult to read.
If Eli had been set on a far distant planet, the ya-de-ya, given the context I would most certainly have found it just as ridiculous if there had been sufficient context and expository dialogue to show that the book he was protecting had been directly responsible for millennia of bloody warfare.
The whole plot is flawed demonstrably by the twist. Not sufficient that he's a terrific shot but he's also virtually indestructible. In scriptwriting this comes under the "As you know John..." heading of stuff you just don't do.
Take Sixth Sense. I don't like much of Shyamalan's work (in fact, since SS, his career has been in free-fall) but when you look at the "reveal" in act three, all the clues to Bruce Willis being a ghost were right under our noses. A similar plot device is used in The Usual Suspects to mask (and later, unmask) Kaiser Soze.

Neither film actively lie to the audience although both throw us a number of misdirections.

Throughout BoE we are shown Eli as being an ordinary guy with and fabulous aim - and extraordinary luck particularly when being shot at by a number of well-armed thugs.

In the act three reveal, we're shown that Eli is blind with no explanation how he managed these wondrous feats.

To your point about non-US films, this is also one of context. The US film industry tries to sneak these "messages" past us occasionally. Narnia is the best example I can think of, as a franchise which is entirely based on religious metaphor. Book of Eli just rubs our nose in it.

Asian cinema doesn't have the same axe to grind - and has its own rich cultural history to draw on and this is a matter of context again.

Evidence of appalling direction is clear in this clip.

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1894581273/

Where Washington's eyes - clearly visible - follow the POV of the people watching over him. There is some expository dialogue here, about the sign, but that's hardly a clear clue. A clearer one is probably Washington "kicking" for the step but there's nothing to suggest how he knew to start kicking. There's a hint - with the shotgun - measuring the distance to the door, but this is overridden later in the scene.

In this clip, Washington looks directly at distant objects - later looking through a window and at some stuff in a holdall...

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi1106052121/

It could be a 2nd unit that screwed this up, but since Washington is present, I would have expected it to be 1st unit and that's not excusable in any event.

These errors appears to be largely directorial, as the dialogue clues are more defined. We can't be 100% sure without Gary Whitta's original script, of course.

For comparison, you might try looking at the reveal scenes in Sixth Sense - note how no one (except Cole) relates to Dr. Malcolm (Willis)? They don't even look at or acknowledge him - because, being a ghost, he's not really there.

A widely known goof in Sixth Sense is that Malcolm's body always casts a shadow (a ghost would not, being ethereal in nature) but this is minor in comparison.

The lesson for filmmakers is simple - if you're going to lie to your audience, be consistent.

Comment by Marc Draco on September 18, 2011 at 7:33pm
Craig, if the machine was deigned for Vista it should run 7 without too many issues. If it was designed for XP, the 7 might given problems. Laptops are particularly troublesome in this regard.

If it's just watching AVIs etc., you might be better off with a low-cost upscaling DVD player. The ones we get here play many formats without so much as a hiccup. Many Bluray machines do the same and also upscale (often better than the cheaper red-ray). Most bluray machines will also play off a USB stick which is very economical. Then there are dedicated players and (if you have an Xbox 360) you can play dirt over the home network.

So many choices. Pm me if you need more, I'm way off topic here.
Comment by Craigart14 on September 18, 2011 at 12:28pm

Thanks, Marc Draco.  I am looking for a cheap upgrade to Win 7 or a way to wipe the laptop drive and go with a clean XP install.

 

Egan, incomplete education is not a euphemism; it's a judgment made by a college professor with a doctorate in literature reading some rather sophomoric comments.  Certainty and rudeness are not exactly signs of maturity.  You have told us in your last few posts that the vast majority of atheists are irrational and that people are stupid.  You have also stated that people hold unpopular opinions only so they can feel good about themselves, so in a society full of Christians, those childish malcontents attack Christianity.  Discounting someone's opinion by blasting his or her motives is a cheap trick, otherwise known as an argument ad hominem.  It's also an attempt to poison the well.  And, since you have no knowledge of why people on this board are atheists, it simply isn't true.  The atheists I know have come to their lack of belief through study and thinking.  So leave the petulant sweeping generalizations out of the discussion.

 

The viewer does have a role in determining meaning in a film.  I'm still puzzled by the ending of Apocalypto.  Knowing Mel Gibson's religious views, I wonder how he sees the arrival of the Spanish Catholics on the beach.  I see it as the beginning of the end for millions of Native Americans.  What the filmmaker intends is unknowable and irrelevant. 

Comment by Marc Draco on September 18, 2011 at 8:35am
Hollywood produces 450 odd movies per year - that's 4500 over the last decade and you cite just one? The other two were not US based; Blind Fury was a remake of "zatoichi", I gather.

Daredevil explains to a point where his power comes from - Eli's is not explained. Close combat fighting is entirely different to firing a gun at someone hundreds of feet away - particularly when they are, fully sighted and firing back at you.

Eli seems impenetrable and untouchable.

Words might give people strength, but that suggests you don't know the bible that well and could learn a lot from other works of wisdom and history. This is, I suspect, what Craig was alluding to in the remark you view as ageism.

Allow me to put it another way, you can be born with great intelligence, but wisdom takes a lifetime.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 18, 2011 at 8:01am

"in the movie, it's rumoured to be the cause of the collapse of society..."

 

I missed that - but I think that's because I was just sitting there agog at all the plot silliness.

The message in Book of Eli is clear - the Bible is a hugely important book and is defended by some supernatural force which allows Eli to shoot with the accuracy of a sniper, at blinding speed while being unable to see; not to mention his superhuman memory.

I read a lot of screenplays - and that takes suspension of disbelief into uncharted territories beyond the ones explored in "The Last Airbender".

Comment by TNT666 on September 18, 2011 at 12:44am
As long as there are millions of books, they all exist in some degree of equality, each book's importance diluted by the vastness of the literary scene. However, in an apocalyptic end of the world scenario where 99.999% percent of books have disappeared, I would certainly place a premium on useful books, and the bible would not make the cut. It is the least useful book ever written. So preserving it would be extremely low on my list of priorities. Now if someone wanted to make a movie about preserving books high school science books, hey, I'd take that long journey.
Comment by Marc Draco on September 17, 2011 at 8:58pm
Vista machines don't do xp well, Craig. Vista is awful. I expect someone should be able to find you a cheap upgrade. Sorry, I'm too tired to comment in more detail
Comment by Craigart14 on September 17, 2011 at 8:46pm

Hey, egan, it's not ageism; it's being aware of an as yet incomplete education.  Besides, we're not judging your comments by your age; we're judging your maturity by your comments.  And the other bit isn't censorship; it's a joke about the often vague and sometimes invisible line between reality and fiction.  Of course, as an atheist, I doubt that there's anything in the KJV worth preserving--except for the Shakespeare reference in Psalm 46, the Book of Job (which believers always seem to muddle), and Ecclesiastes, which Herman Melville once called "the fine, hammered steel of woe."

 

Rakesh Kanuri:  Thanks for the suggestion, but I doubt that there's a loose connection; other disks work fine, and other programs work fine.  About halfway through an attempt to install Win XP Home, the laptop freezes.  Could there be a conflict between XP and Vista?  (There seem to be conflicts between Vista and everything else.)  Microsoft sure missed the boat on that one; they should give all Vista owners a free copy of Win 7.

Comment by rakesh kanuri on September 17, 2011 at 12:58am
Craigart14-if your getting blue screen, it is due to loose connections
Comment by Craigart14 on September 16, 2011 at 10:07pm

Regarding the whole Book of Eli thing.  If the filmmakers think that delivering the KJV to a small surviving community of intellectual guardians of knowledge is a good thing, they are wrong.  If I had known Eli was carrying the last surviving copy of the KJV, I would have invaded the movie set and burned it myself.  I don't remember the ending exactly, but is he not speaking from memory when dictating the book?  If he is blind, wouldn't he be reading the Braille?

 

Films, like books, don't always say what the director thinks they say.  In literary studies, we discarded authorial intention with the New Criticism of the 1930s.  Meaning is a collaboration between writer and reader or between filmmaker and viewer.  No author or director can totally control the meaning of a work, so interviews with directors or actors are not the final word on the meaning.  But then, there is no final word save in the minds of unsophisticated critics.

 

It was fun reading this, um, stream.  I've learned that disagreement constitutes an ad hominem attack, and that the vast majority of atheists are irrational trend followers.  It's amazing what we can learn from the younger generation. 

 

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