Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [terrencemalick] OT: A.I. spoilers

Expand Messages
  • Christina Lui
    Hi everyone, First of all, I watched A.I. on opening night pretty much unspoiled. And it was a better moviegoing experience for it. If you plan to see this
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi everyone,

      First of all, I watched A.I. on opening night pretty much unspoiled. And
      it was a better moviegoing experience for it. If you plan to see this
      film, I suggest you delete this post now.

      B
      A
      A

      R
      A
      M

      E
      W
      E

      On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Jos Linn wrote:

      > Spielberg really pours on the emotion and tugs on your heart strings
      > throughout the movie and I must admit that by the end, I had tears welling
      > in my eyes. But as I left the theater, I found myself wondering why it
      > affected me so much. It was nothing I haven't seen before. I could go
      > through the psychoanalysis of dealing with the fear of abandonment and
      > parental relationship issues but that doesn't cover it all. It's more basic
      > than that. Looking back on the journey this boy undertakes simply to feel
      > the love back he so effortlessly gives away. To feel that "something"
      > inside that will validate him... show him that he is "real." That he is
      > worth something. And I began to think, isn't that what motivates me (and
      > maybe us all)? That search for something beyond myself that tells me that I
      > am OK and that I am loved more than I know or understand. I don't know.

      Jos, you really hit the nail on the head. For a film about artificial
      intelligence set in the future, A.I. is about maybe the most common and
      basic desire of all, our desire to be loved.

      Like you, I had tears in my eyes. At the end of the film, people were
      jumping up and muttering about how much they didn't like it. But I sat
      through the end of the credits like always. And I couldn't speak.

      > The more questions I ask, the more I have. I guess what I am learning from
      > it is that I can watch TTRL or the Matrix and American Beauty until I am
      > blue in the face and analyze them until I have exhausted every single
      > spiritual, psychological, and philosophical interpretation I possibly can,
      > but "thinking about it" won't give me that feeling I had at the end of
      > "A.I.". That feeling came from me opening up my heart just a crack and
      > letting some of that "something" seep out.

      That's exactly how I felt! This film evoked something deep inside me in a
      way that only few films have done. And the names of those films both begin
      with Babe. It's because the Babe films and A.I. evoke childhood for me,
      and all its disappointments and hopes and desires and ultimately my desire
      to find a place for myself and to find love.

      I know we don't have a lot of
      > Spielberg fans on this list, and I certainly can find flaws in many of his
      > films (as with any other filmmaker), but I am thankful that he made this one
      > simply for the experience it gave me. For it gave me, if only for a brief
      > moment, the feeling that the "David" in me is still there somewhere and the
      > love I search for in life is not resting in some other person or lofty
      > spiritual concept but is buried somewhere deep inside the recesses of my own
      > heart. Thank you, Mr. Spielberg, and all the other filmmakers out there who
      > do the same, for reminding me it was there.

      Since I saw A.I. I've wrestled with the question of artistry and emotions.
      A.I. deeply affected me, pitching me into a state of melancholy all
      weekend. The film critic in me wanted David's quest to end on a darker
      note because I feel it's more truthful. But the human part of me
      desperately needed the ending.

      I seem to have divided art from kitsch, truth from love. Since watching
      A.I. I've wondered, what makes art? Truth? But not love? Can something
      that deals with a common and early, early emotion like the desire to be
      loved not be art? What do you think, Jos?

      Babe also deals with a young pig's desire to be loved (and spared becoming
      Christmas dinner) but I've always thought of its artistry in theoretical
      terms, in its richness to sustain a multiplicity of readings from Plato to
      Nietzsche to Levinas and beyond. So I don't the core of Babe's artistry
      rests on the desire for love as A.I.'s might.

      > And thank you Christine for having the courage to share your inmost thoughts
      > and feelings about "Babe" because had you not done that, I certainly would
      > not have had the courage to share this.

      Thank you for your sentiments. You definitely showed a lot of courage
      speaking from your heart about A.I. and I'm glad that you got something
      out of my earlier post that helped you feel you could share this with us.

      Haley Joel Osment, brilliant. Jude Law, love god: oh yeah, baby! Teddy:
      better be in A.I. 2: The Return of the Teddy! or else!
    • Angela Havel
      I ve wondered, what makes art? Truth? But not ... Now that Jos has added his comment, I ll add mine. I think great art must come from some kind of deep well of
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        I've wondered, what makes art? Truth? But not
        > love? Can something
        > that deals with a common and early, early emotion
        > like the desire to be
        > loved not be art? What do you think, Jos?

        Now that Jos has added his comment, I'll add mine. I
        think great art must come from some kind of deep well
        of love--for humanity, for animals, for nature, and
        all that nature contains. Artists are able to tap into
        that well, despite huge odds against them--the stress
        of everyday life, self-doubt, societal pressures to do
        something "normal". Artists have to be risk takers,
        but more than that, they have to feel compelled to
        create, otherwise there's just too much detritus that
        gets in the way of a piece of work getting finished
        (which of course may or may not be deemed art). Most
        of us don't have that true compulsion to create art,
        which is why we admire art/artists. (Most people end
        up creating babies instead--another kind of art, I
        suppose!)

        When I think of great art, I think of Baroque
        architecture, Bach organ music, Proust's writing--that
        rarified level of genius. Spielberg's movies never
        come to mind, that's for sure (except maybe
        Schindler's List). I don't think a genius level in art
        exists as much anymore (Malick excepted!).

        Our whole point of reference in the world of art has
        changed. It used to be art was just paintings and
        sculpture and architecture. Then photography came in.
        Then film. Films can be pieces of art, but there's a
        whole different context to viewing a film as opposed
        to looking at a painting or experiencing a structure.
        I guess sometimes I privilege the past and tend to
        give more artistic weight to a painting by, say,
        Raphael or Leonardo da Vinci than a film by Kurosawa
        or Bergman.

        Can subject matter dealing with the desire to be loved
        be called "art"? That's more tricky. I'd say sometimes
        it is and sometimes it isn't. Having just mentioned
        some pieces of high art, this will seem incongruent,
        but I think her song "Sara" by Stevie Nicks (from the
        1979 "Tusk" album) is a piece of art, and it contains
        a line that directly addresses the human need for
        love: "Drowning, in the sea of love, where everyone
        would love to drown." I remember when I first heard
        that line--I *felt* it, if that makes sense. I
        classify anything that makes me feel deeply as art. Of
        course, not everyone is going to feel deeply about the
        same things--hence the debates about what is art and
        what isn't.

        I tend not to like Spielberg because he manipulates
        us, but then there's great art that is manipulative
        and it doesn't annoy me (for example, the painting
        "The Scream" by Munch asks us to react with the same
        horrific angst the subject in the painting appears to
        be feeling, which I do whenever I see that picture). I
        don't feel manipulated, probably because there's
        nothing "precious" about that picture, whereas
        Spielberg treads a lot on "precious" ground--you know,
        like he's reveling in his ability to put "aw shucks"
        moments on screen--E.T. comes to mind (I had no
        feeling for that film!).

        Maybe it's my post-modern, jaded view of life; I tend
        to think most modern directors, and especially
        Spielberg, are motivated to create primarily for their
        own ego gratification (i.e., they're junkies for
        attention, as most famous people in the entertainment
        business seem to be...Malick is obviously a big
        exception here!). Spielberg started out pure (Duel,
        Sugarland Express) but somewhere along the way I think
        he got a little too full of himself. For instance, I
        was put off by the major advance notices about A.I.
        (what was it--something like three months before A.I.
        was released, they start the ad campaign? That's
        pretentious in my book, like we're all Spielberg's
        subjects and just waiting with bated breath for his
        next film).

        But then if I was given a camera and told to make a
        film that expresses my own deep feelings about life
        and love, I wouldn't quite know where to start (except
        I know it would contain a lot of shots of nature), so
        I have to hand it to people who actually get out there
        and create a film.
        >
        I guess I should mention I haven't seen A.I. and
        probably won't until it comes on cable (big surprise,
        huh?). Just curious, did Spielberg have anything to do
        with the creation of the story?

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
        http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
      • Christina Lui
        ... Jos is right! B E A T I F U L S T R A N G E is the new tasty treat from Digweed that I m listening to right now. ... And that desire to find a place for
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Jos Linn wrote:

          > THIS E-MAIL HAS BIG TIME "A.I." SPOILERS SO DELETE IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN
          > IT!!!!

          Jos is right!

          B
          E
          A
          T
          I
          F
          U
          L

          S
          T
          R
          A
          N
          G
          E

          is the new tasty treat from Digweed that I'm listening to right now.

          > Exactly! "To find a place for myself" is perfectly stated, Christine.
          > Feeling lost in an unknowable place and so wanting to feel that peace and
          > belonging that we know deep down is there but is often difficult to feel.

          And that desire to find a place for yourself chronicled in A.I. is such
          an early and formative desire. Even when you're a child, or more
          accurately, especially then, you can feel unhomed at home by sibling
          rivalry, by the feeling that mum always loved your brother/sister/father
          best, or by physical or emotional abuse. Finding a home goes on all your
          life and what impresses me about A.I. is that it taps into the starting
          point of that quest.

          Isn't it funny that a film about a robot says so much about human
          emotions?

          I did feel that the ethical issues raised in A.I. about robots are very
          similar to those about animals, thus linking A.I. and Babe in my mind. Do
          animals really love us or do they just seem like they are? What do we do
          if they threaten our family members? Is it okay to to cut them up for
          medical research/human organs that we can grow in them because we're
          humans and they're animals?

          > That's how I felt too but it was more than melancholy. It was like an inner
          > happiness that David finally got watch he searched 2000 years for but a
          > sadness that it wasn't me instead of him. (Pssst... Jos. That's
          > melancholy)

          Yes, mum said she always loved him. But what happened after that? Did he
          die? Live? Shut down?

          > I agree with you. In the scene where Teddy pulls out the locks of hair,
          > people were laughing at the hokiness of it and I admit my intellectual self
          > was a bit annoyed but inside my heart was cheering "YES!" I initially
          > thought that had the movie ended with him sitting in the helicopter waiting
          > for the Blue Fairy to answer him, that would have been really cool. But
          > once I saw the actual ending, I would not have wanted it any other way. I
          > would not have been moved so deeply had he not had the day with his mom.

          The film critic in me wanted the film to end on that dark and truthful
          note, with David waiting an eternity at the bottom of the sea. But if it
          had, I would have been devastated. I'm talking Last of the Curlews
          devastated.

          We
          > can mask it under whatever name we can call it but underneath, I still think
          > it's all love. Isn't that what we learned about the structure of the
          > Universe from "Contact"? ;-) We see many horrible things in the world and
          > they can be reflected in art but do we create that art because we revel in
          > destruction or do we do it because we want it to be exposed so that change
          > can come about. Change for something better. A "better" that has more
          > love, IMO. I don't know. This is an excellent question, Chirstine, and I
          > don't have the answer.

          I think you can deal with love and the desire to be loved in both a
          kitschy way and an artistic way. The question is in what way A.I. deals
          with love.

          After watching A.I. I went home and hugged my talking Babe doll. You're
          not surprised I have one, are you? Babe said, "Mum, I love you." I
          flinched.

          I still want Teddy for Christmas. Screw Christmas, I want Teddy now!

          > Question for you, Christine, and maybe this is obvious and I missed the boat
          > BUT... do you think that David did actually become a real boy? I ask
          > because at the end he had tears (I didn't know if he could produce tears)
          > and he went to sleep. I just assumed that his mother just accepted the fact
          > that she loved him regardless of who he was and so I dropped it after that.
          > But now, I am wondering that if in addition to that, he did become a boy. I
          > dunno. What do you think?

          It's not obvious at all. David is real because he is loved and love makes
          him real. Love forms us. Biologically, psychoanalytically, mentally. And
          David is real in that he has transcended what his creators meant him to
          be. I don't think David's become a flesh and bone boy, I doubt the
          aliens/mechas had that ability. (BTW, did you think those were aliens or
          highly evolved mechas?)

          Your question about whether David's a real boy provokes me to rethink of
          what really is in the context of A.I. And rethinking the shape of reality
          has always been what you've worked on, Jos. So what do you think?

          > As always, my friend, you have provided a wonderful perspective. And I am
          > glad that you had a similar experience seeing this movie as I did. I could
          > not think of better company in which to share it.

          Thanks for speaking up. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who had the
          same experience at A.I.
        • Christina Lui
          On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote: I don t think a genius level in art ... I m lucky to live in a town which has the longest-running film festival in the
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote:

            I don't think a genius level in art
            > exists as much anymore (Malick excepted!).

            I'm lucky to live in a town which has the longest-running film festival in
            the US, an awesome video store that stocks everything from Robert Aldrich
            to D.W. Griffith to F.W. Murnau to William Wyler, three rep moviehouses
            and several more places that show alternative films. There is SO MUCH
            great stuff going on!

            A lot of brilliant films are being made outside the U.S. like in
            Australia, Japan and Iran. Or they're financed independently. When I
            watch films like Sunset Boulevard and The Big Sleep and My Darling
            Clementine and Stagecoach and Grapes of Wrath that were made during the
            golden age of Hollywood, I just want to cry. We're definitely
            living in the crap age of Hollywood. Good films like A.I. and Traffic are
            coming out of the studio system but they're rare in comparison.

            > but I think her song "Sara" by Stevie Nicks (from the
            > 1979 "Tusk" album) is a piece of art, and it contains
            > a line that directly addresses the human need for
            > love: "Drowning, in the sea of love, where everyone
            > would love to drown." I remember when I first heard
            > that line--I *felt* it, if that makes sense. I
            > classify anything that makes me feel deeply as art.

            That's the question for me. If a film, say My Darling Clementine or TTRL
            or Babe, makes me think theoretically, then it's an artistic achievement.
            But if it makes me feel, how do I know whether it's art or kitsch? If I
            can't think through it, is it art? Now I've never seen Bambi because I
            might never recover, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that it's
            kitsch, not art. But it would definitely move me and make me cry and
            be devastated for days. Weeks. All my life. But I don't think just because
            it makes me feel, that it's art.

            > I guess I should mention I haven't seen A.I. and
            > probably won't until it comes on cable (big surprise,
            > huh?).

            That'll be a while. Do you live very far away from any cinemas?

            Just curious, did Spielberg have anything to do
            > with the creation of the story?

            He wrote the screenplay.
          • Jos Linn
            Dear Friends, Guess what? I went to the movies again last night. The object of my $5 was the largely-anticipated newest Speilberg product A.I. And I must
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Friends,

              Guess what? I went to the movies again last night. The object of my
              $5 was the largely-anticipated newest Speilberg product "A.I." And I must
              say, I liked this a lot. It is not Speilberg's best, nor is it the best
              movie I have ever seen (not by any stretch) but I am finding that I cannot
              shake the after-effects from it.

              So, let me first get the logistics out of the way. The visuals, as
              ususal, are excellent and the story is pretty engaging, although I need to
              go back and read Pinnochio again to see all the parallels. Haley Joel
              Osment is very good--he's the real deal in this one. I could watch it and
              not think "hey, that's the kid from 'The Sixth Sense'." He IS David and
              does a great job with it. It's a shame he has to grow up. Jude Law is also
              good but he is not in it as much as I thought he would be. But he IS each
              scene he is in. But I think my favorite character is Teddy the SuperToy
              Bear, David's own Jiminy Cricket. His voice is the coolest and his calm
              delivery of lines in harrowing situations is great. The voice of reason
              speaking through the chaos.

              More importantly, however, is what this movie did for me or maybe to
              me. When I was watching this, I couldn't help but think of Christine and
              her wonderful explanation of why "Babe" means so much to her. As usual,
              Spielberg really pours on the emotion and tugs on your heart strings
              throughout the movie and I must admit that by the end, I had tears welling
              in my eyes. But as I left the theater, I found myself wondering why it
              affected me so much. It was nothing I haven't seen before. I could go
              through the psychoanalysis of dealing with the fear of abandonment and
              parental relationship issues but that doesn't cover it all. It's more basic
              than that. Looking back on the journey this boy undertakes simply to feel
              the love back he so effortlessly gives away. To feel that "something"
              inside that will validate him... show him that he is "real." That he is
              worth something. And I began to think, isn't that what motivates me (and
              maybe us all)? That search for something beyond myself that tells me that I
              am OK and that I am loved more than I know or understand. I don't know.
              The more questions I ask, the more I have. I guess what I am learning from
              it is that I can watch TTRL or the Matrix and American Beauty until I am
              blue in the face and analyze them until I have exhausted every single
              spiritual, psychological, and philosophical interpretation I possibly can,
              but "thinking about it" won't give me that feeling I had at the end of
              "A.I.". That feeling came from me opening up my heart just a crack and
              letting some of that "something" seep out. I know we don't have a lot of
              Spielberg fans on this list, and I certainly can find flaws in many of his
              films (as with any other filmmaker), but I am thankful that he made this one
              simply for the experience it gave me. For it gave me, if only for a brief
              moment, the feeling that the "David" in me is still there somewhere and the
              love I search for in life is not resting in some other person or lofty
              spiritual concept but is buried somewhere deep inside the recesses of my own
              heart. Thank you, Mr. Spielberg, and all the other filmmakers out there who
              do the same, for reminding me it was there.

              And thank you Christine for having the courage to share your inmost thoughts
              and feelings about "Babe" because had you not done that, I certainly would
              not have had the courage to share this.

              Take care my friends and see this movie. I would have paid full price for
              this and been satisfied but you all know now that this was a personal
              experience for me so I may be a bit biased.


              Take care,
              Jos


              _________________________________________________________________
              Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
            • Jos Linn
              THIS E-MAIL HAS BIG TIME A.I. SPOILERS SO DELETE IF YOU HAVEN T SEEN IT!!!! Christine wrote: It s because the Babe films and A.I. evoke childhood for me, ...
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                THIS E-MAIL HAS BIG TIME "A.I." SPOILERS SO DELETE IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN
                IT!!!!

                Christine wrote:
                It's because the Babe films and A.I. evoke childhood for me,
                >and all its disappointments and hopes and desires and ultimately my desire
                >to find a place for myself and to find love.

                Exactly! "To find a place for myself" is perfectly stated, Christine.
                Feeling lost in an unknowable place and so wanting to feel that peace and
                belonging that we know deep down is there but is often difficult to feel.

                >Since I saw A.I. I've wrestled with the question of artistry and emotions.
                >A.I. deeply affected me, pitching me into a state of melancholy all
                >weekend.

                That's how I felt too but it was more than melancholy. It was like an inner
                happiness that David finally got watch he searched 2000 years for but a
                sadness that it wasn't me instead of him. (Pssst... Jos. That's
                melancholy)

                The film critic in me wanted David's quest to end on a darker
                >note because I feel it's more truthful. But the human part of me
                >desperately needed the ending.

                I agree with you. In the scene where Teddy pulls out the locks of hair,
                people were laughing at the hokiness of it and I admit my intellectual self
                was a bit annoyed but inside my heart was cheering "YES!" I initially
                thought that had the movie ended with him sitting in the helicopter waiting
                for the Blue Fairy to answer him, that would have been really cool. But
                once I saw the actual ending, I would not have wanted it any other way. I
                would not have been moved so deeply had he not had the day with his mom.
                >
                >I seem to have divided art from kitsch, truth from love. Since watching
                >A.I. I've wondered, what makes art? Truth? But not love? Can something that
                >deals with a common and early, early emotion like the desire to be loved
                >not be art? What do you think, Jos?

                I think love and the desire to be loved are the motivations for everything.
                Of course, you need an expanded definition of "love" (not just romantic or
                familial love) into which I would include acceptance, understanding,
                freedom, grace, Truth, safety, etc. I just think all of these are different
                definitions of the same thing that we call "love." And I think that "love"
                is the motivation behind expression--in art, in work, in life. It flows
                outward and sometimes we act on it and other times we don't. I try not to
                look at the end result to find the answer but instead the Source behind it
                all. I think when we start saying that this was motivated by truth and it
                is art but this was motivated by love and so it's not (and I have done it
                too), we are simply trying to create new ideas out of the same stuff. We
                can mask it under whatever name we can call it but underneath, I still think
                it's all love. Isn't that what we learned about the structure of the
                Universe from "Contact"? ;-) We see many horrible things in the world and
                they can be reflected in art but do we create that art because we revel in
                destruction or do we do it because we want it to be exposed so that change
                can come about. Change for something better. A "better" that has more
                love, IMO. I don't know. This is an excellent question, Chirstine, and I
                don't have the answer. I think the only time anything (like art) can be
                "devoid of love" is if we believe it. It doesn't mean that it's true but we
                can sure believe it's true and then act on it (look at what Leonard's BELIEF
                that Teddy was untrustworthy turned into in "Memento"). I do "believe" that
                love is underneath it all but believing and experiencing it are two
                different things. I forget most of the time and it takes movies like "A.I."
                to remind me.

                >Teddy:
                >better be in A.I. 2: The Return of the Teddy! or else!

                Absolutely. His simple calm statement while being held from 50 feet up "But
                David, I'll break" was perfect. No fear, no desperation. Simple
                acceptance.

                Question for you, Christine, and maybe this is obvious and I missed the boat
                BUT... do you think that David did actually become a real boy? I ask
                because at the end he had tears (I didn't know if he could produce tears)
                and he went to sleep. I just assumed that his mother just accepted the fact
                that she loved him regardless of who he was and so I dropped it after that.
                But now, I am wondering that if in addition to that, he did become a boy. I
                dunno. What do you think?

                As always, my friend, you have provided a wonderful perspective. And I am
                glad that you had a similar experience seeing this movie as I did. I could
                not think of better company in which to share it.

                Thanks, Christine. You're the best.

                Jos
                >

                _________________________________________________________________
                Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
              • Angela Havel
                ... A lot of brilliant films are being made outside the ... Yes, I agree...I had a part about the stuff besides Hollywood crap in my post but I took it out
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 2, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- Christina Lui <toates@...> wrote:
                  > On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote:
                  >
                  > I don't think a genius level in art
                  > > exists as much anymore (Malick excepted!).
                  >
                  > I'm lucky to live in a town which has the
                  > longest-running film festival in
                  > the US, an awesome video store that stocks
                  > everything from Robert Aldrich
                  > to D.W. Griffith to F.W. Murnau to William Wyler,
                  > three rep moviehouses
                  > and several more places that show alternative films.
                  > There is SO MUCH
                  > great stuff going on!

                  A lot of brilliant films are being made outside the
                  > U.S. like in
                  > Australia, Japan and Iran. Or they're financed
                  > independently. When I
                  > watch films like Sunset Boulevard and The Big Sleep
                  > and My Darling
                  > Clementine and Stagecoach and Grapes of Wrath that
                  > were made during the
                  > golden age of Hollywood, I just want to cry. We're
                  > definitely
                  > living in the crap age of Hollywood. Good films like
                  > A.I. and Traffic are
                  > coming out of the studio system but they're rare in
                  > comparison.


                  Yes, I agree...I had a part about the stuff besides
                  Hollywood crap in my post but I took it out (didn't
                  want to get too wordy--ha ha!). I know there's so many
                  great alternative films and films from other countries
                  that I've never seen...I've lost touch with the art
                  world, I suppose, living out here in the Great Plains
                  (and it IS pretty plain). But even so, when I go to
                  films these days--and I usually go just to ones that
                  I've heard good things about--very often I'm
                  disappointed. They're just not as great as I hoped
                  they'd be. I guess that's what I meant by not seeing a
                  high level of genius as much in the last, say, 25
                  years or so. I think someone else out there has to
                  understand what I'm saying...yes?

                  > >
                  > > but I think her song "Sara" by Stevie Nicks (from
                  > the
                  > > 1979 "Tusk" album) is a piece of art, and it
                  > contains
                  > > a line that directly addresses the human need for
                  > > love: "Drowning, in the sea of love, where
                  > everyone
                  > > would love to drown." I remember when I first
                  > heard
                  > > that line--I *felt* it, if that makes sense. I
                  > > classify anything that makes me feel deeply as
                  > art.
                  >
                  > That's the question for me. If a film, say My
                  > Darling Clementine or TTRL
                  > or Babe, makes me think theoretically, then it's an
                  > artistic achievement.
                  > But if it makes me feel, how do I know whether it's
                  > art or kitsch? If I
                  > can't think through it, is it art? Now I've never
                  > seen Bambi because I
                  > might never recover, but I'm gonna go out on a limb
                  > and say that it's
                  > kitsch, not art.

                  Not to sound like a big Disney fan, because I'm not,
                  but I remember *Bambi* as having a beautiful,
                  painterly look to it, especially the forest scenes. I
                  remember as a kid thinking it looked like a painting
                  instead of a "cartoon". So maybe in that aspect we
                  could say it achieves a certain high level of art in
                  film animation, which is something, after all. I know
                  what you're getting at about the work as a whole,
                  though...a bit too precious to be art. *Fantasia* is
                  often on film historians list as a work of art in
                  film, though, and it's from Disney....

                  But it would definitely move me and
                  > make me cry and
                  > be devastated for days. Weeks. All my life. But I
                  > don't think just because
                  > it makes me feel, that it's art.

                  Well, yeah, let me rephrase my sentiment above...I
                  classify work that has a certain level of
                  intelligence, integrity, depth AND makes me feel as
                  art. I mean, if I'm in a down mood sometimes I cry at
                  the sentiments expressed in TV commercials or
                  movies-of-the-week, or even B-grade films, but I don't
                  consider them art! I like to think I can sniff out
                  what has some thought behind it, though. Stevie Nicks
                  may be a controversial example, because a lot of
                  people think her work is sophomoric fluff, but I think
                  she has something to say about life and love from a
                  woman's perspective, and often achieves a high level
                  of artistry. Although she certainly isn't striving for
                  theoretical tenets in her lyrics, the best of them do
                  have a poetic, metaphysical quality. Her latest album
                  is really good, too. (Rochelle, where are you to add
                  your two cents? Rochelle is a Stevie fan
                  extraordinaire!)

                  The example of rock music kind of goes along with my
                  idea in my previous post about how art has changed
                  over the centuries--it used to be great paintings,
                  sculpture, and architecture was the only art, and now
                  we talk about the "art" of Snoop Doggy Dog or Eminem,
                  for God's sake. (The worst is when someone like Sean
                  Puffy Combs or Madonna call themselves artists--and
                  I've heard both do so)...yeah, they have a few okay
                  songs, and Madonna at least knows how to hang in there
                  in the music business, but I don't put her in the same
                  category with, say, Joni Mitchell or Marianne
                  Faithful, or even Kate Bush or Tori Amos. So that's
                  another question: where do we draw the line in the
                  modern world of what is art and what isn't?
                  >
                  > > I guess I should mention I haven't seen A.I. and
                  > > probably won't until it comes on cable (big
                  > surprise,
                  > > huh?).
                  >
                  > That'll be a while. Do you live very far away from
                  > any cinemas?

                  Oh, it's playing around here...I'm just too cheap to
                  pay for a ticket (plus I didn't really want to add to
                  Steven Speilberg's coffers). It's not important to me
                  to see new films as they come out, I guess. Call me a
                  not-very-dedicated film buff!
                  >
                  > >
                  > Community email addresses:
                  > Post message: terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subscribe:
                  > terrencemalick-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > Unsubscribe:
                  > terrencemalick-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > List owner: terrencemalick-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > Shortcut URL to this page:
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/terrencemalick
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                  > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >


                  __________________________________________________
                  Do You Yahoo!?
                  Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
                  http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                • Christina Lui
                  On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote: I know there s so many ... That depends on what kinds of films get distributed in your area. It sounds like indie
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 3, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote:

                    I know there's so many
                    > great alternative films and films from other countries
                    > that I've never seen...I've lost touch with the art
                    > world, I suppose, living out here in the Great Plains
                    > (and it IS pretty plain). But even so, when I go to
                    > films these days--and I usually go just to ones that
                    > I've heard good things about--very often I'm
                    > disappointed. They're just not as great as I hoped
                    > they'd be. I guess that's what I meant by not seeing a
                    > high level of genius as much in the last, say, 25
                    > years or so.

                    That depends on what kinds of films get distributed in your area. It
                    sounds like indie American and foreign films don't get played near you,
                    and that's where greatness in film is these days. So I'm guessing that you
                    see Hollywood films. Correct? Good films are coming out of Hollywood but
                    fewer and less bright than in the past.

                    For example, I was impressed by the consistency in which Joel Schumacher's
                    recent Tigerland repudiates the glorification of war and near-inevitable
                    glamorization of the hero in a war film. This is done through the
                    distancing use of self-conscious irony. But then I saw My Darling
                    Clementine by John Ford, whom we lovingly refer to as God in my house.
                    Ford uses ironic self-referentiality to distance the viewer from being
                    seduced into Ford's simultaneous mythologization of Wyatt Earp. And
                    Clementine predates Tigerland by over 50 years! I still think Tigerland's
                    a very good film but it's not as radical as I first thought.

                    I'm still wrestling over whether A.I. is art or kitsch. What I came away
                    with, after watching A.I., is a feeling. Like Jos felt. A.I. evoked
                    feelings deep inside, feelings about the desire to be loved and my
                    childhood and my desire to find a place for myself. And you can't think
                    through those feelings. You can think about why you're feeling those
                    things after watching a film. You can think about early childhood
                    experiences like psychologists and sociologists and psychoanalysts do. But
                    you can't think through the feeling and change it through thinking.

                    So if a film takes you to that place, evokes those emotions that can't be
                    thought through, feelings about how you need to be loved, about things you
                    don't talk about in garden party conversations, is that art? By the way
                    Jos, I never told you how much courage I know it took you to talk about
                    these things here that are not part of everyday conversation and I admire
                    you for your bravery.
                  • Christina Lui
                    ... P A U L O A K E N F O L D is my new god. ... That makes A.I. consistent with Spielberg s other films that deal with American history. Spielberg s
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 3, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On Tue, 3 Jul 2001, Jos Linn wrote:

                      > ONCE AGAIN, "A.I." SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN:

                      P
                      A
                      U
                      L

                      O
                      A
                      K
                      E
                      N
                      F
                      O
                      L
                      D

                      is my new god.

                      > Not in my book. Of course, animals and humans get killed and die all the
                      > time and I cannot say in every instance one is better than the other. But I
                      > do believe that it IS wrong to kill ANYTHING acting from the belief that
                      > humans (or anything for that matter) are better or more worthy of living
                      > than something else. Just because we can think the way we do does not give
                      > us favor with God. It's all equal, IMO. We are part of the same nature and
                      > life they are and us believing we are separate and apart from it does not
                      > make it so. I thought while watching A.I. that it was pretty arrogant of
                      > the humans in the film to think that these apparently sentient beings could
                      > be used and destroyed as humans see fit. What makes organic more worthy
                      > than mechanical if they can think and feel the same way? This opens up a
                      > lifetime of discussion.

                      That makes A.I. consistent with Spielberg's other films that deal with
                      American history. Spielberg's previously dealt with the arbitrary lines
                      that divide human from non-human. Most sensible people would agree that
                      you can't declare people with a different religion (Schindler's List) or
                      race (Amistad) non-human. But what if they're not flesh and bone people at
                      all? By arguing that robots deserve ethical treatment, Spielberg's
                      extending the line of anti-essentialist thinking we've seen in his earlier
                      films.

                      > >I think you can deal with love and the desire to be loved in both a
                      > >kitschy way and an artistic way. The question is in what way A.I. deals
                      > >with love.
                      >
                      > Good question. One thing I think it says is that love does not lie
                      > exclusively in the human domain (and yes, I do think animals "love"--just
                      > ask my mom's dog--he loves everyone he meets). Yes, humans gave David the
                      > capacity for love but once activated, he exressed as only he saw fit. Going
                      > beyond what his creators made, as you said, Christine.

                      But does David's transcendence of his original limitations make A.I. art
                      or kitsch? Even Bambi transcends himself--he grows up. You can have
                      transcendence in kitsch.

                      I like films that make me think. It's not surprising that that's one of my
                      criteria for artistic achievement, along with creativity and truthfulness.
                      But since A.I. evokes feelings that can't be thought through, how can I
                      think about its artistry? See why I'm stuck? Maybe it's me.

                      > I think you're right, Christine. I think that is the basic question of the
                      > movie. What makes us real? Blood, flesh, bone? Or the capacity to love
                      > and give to others? If it's the latter, I think David is more "real" than
                      > many people I know.

                      IMO, Spielberg is saying reality and ethics can't be based on biological
                      essence like ethnicity or skin colour. Or flesh and bone.

                      > I got the impression that they were highly evolved mechas. And again, their
                      > only concern was for David's happiness.

                      That and their great interest in humans made me think they were mechas.
                      But they did look like elongated version of the aliens in CE3K. And their
                      transport looked like a Borg cube from Star Trek.

                      Question, was the narrator and the
                      > alien/mecha that talked to David Ben Kingsley's voice? I could tell that
                      > Dr. Know was Robin Williams and the Blue Fairy was Meryl Streep but I wasn't
                      > sure about him (I didn't check the credits).

                      Ben Kingsley was listed as a voice actor. Since the narrator was an
                      English dude, Kingsley must have been him.

                      > Why, thank you, Christine. Today the shape of reality is... a rhombus.

                      You're so Swift!

                      Like Gulliver, David's travels take him to four different realities.
                      That's one of the things I liked about A.I. Like Eureka, I wasn't sure
                      where it was going.

                      > But what I took away from the movie is that when it is all said and done and
                      > all the questions have been asked and answered, the only thing left is love.

                      Yes.

                      And Teddy!

                      > Thank you for your questions, Christine. Keep 'em coming. And if you find
                      > a Famke Jannsen toy (life size, please) that says "I love you, Jos" when you
                      > squeeze it, pick me up one. ;-)

                      Noooo! Famke's mine! All mine!
                    • Jos Linn
                      ONCE AGAIN, A.I. SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN: ... I think that was the point. In fact, now that I think about it, that may be the point of every movie.
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 3, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        ONCE AGAIN, "A.I." SPOILERS ARE CONTAINED WITHIN:

                        Christine said:
                        >Isn't it funny that a film about a robot says so much about human
                        >emotions?

                        I think that was the point. In fact, now that I think about it, that may be
                        the point of every movie. To find some connection between what is presented
                        on the screen to what is going on with us. The mirror of ourselves.

                        >I did feel that the ethical issues raised in A.I. about robots are very
                        >similar to those about animals, thus linking A.I. and Babe in my mind. Do
                        >animals really love us or do they just seem like they are? What do we do
                        >if they threaten our family members? Is it okay to to cut them up for
                        >medical research/human organs that we can grow in them because we're
                        >humans and they're animals?

                        Not in my book. Of course, animals and humans get killed and die all the
                        time and I cannot say in every instance one is better than the other. But I
                        do believe that it IS wrong to kill ANYTHING acting from the belief that
                        humans (or anything for that matter) are better or more worthy of living
                        than something else. Just because we can think the way we do does not give
                        us favor with God. It's all equal, IMO. We are part of the same nature and
                        life they are and us believing we are separate and apart from it does not
                        make it so. I thought while watching A.I. that it was pretty arrogant of
                        the humans in the film to think that these apparently sentient beings could
                        be used and destroyed as humans see fit. What makes organic more worthy
                        than mechanical if they can think and feel the same way? This opens up a
                        lifetime of discussion.

                        >I think you can deal with love and the desire to be loved in both a
                        >kitschy way and an artistic way. The question is in what way A.I. deals
                        >with love.

                        Good question. One thing I think it says is that love does not lie
                        exclusively in the human domain (and yes, I do think animals "love"--just
                        ask my mom's dog--he loves everyone he meets). Yes, humans gave David the
                        capacity for love but once activated, he exressed as only he saw fit. Going
                        beyond what his creators made, as you said, Christine. It was his love.
                        Programmed, yes, but aren't we programmed as well? By our experiences, our
                        parents, our pasts?

                        David is real because he is loved and love makes
                        >him real. Love forms us. Biologically, psychoanalytically, mentally. And
                        >David is real in that he has transcended what his creators meant him to
                        >be.

                        I think you're right, Christine. I think that is the basic question of the
                        movie. What makes us real? Blood, flesh, bone? Or the capacity to love
                        and give to others? If it's the latter, I think David is more "real" than
                        many people I know.

                        (BTW, did you think those were aliens or
                        >highly evolved mechas?)

                        I got the impression that they were highly evolved mechas. And again, their
                        only concern was for David's happiness. Then I could say that they "loved"
                        him which, IMO, would make them as real as anything we experience. It is
                        only human egocentrism that would say we are the only ones who can have
                        these experiences, IMO. How do we know? Question, was the narrator and the
                        alien/mecha that talked to David Ben Kingsley's voice? I could tell that
                        Dr. Know was Robin Williams and the Blue Fairy was Meryl Streep but I wasn't
                        sure about him (I didn't check the credits).
                        >
                        >Your question about whether David's a real boy provokes me to rethink of
                        >what really is in the context of A.I. And rethinking the shape of reality
                        >has always been what you've worked on, Jos. So what do you think?

                        Why, thank you, Christine. Today the shape of reality is... a rhombus.
                        It's hard to say all that is in the context of this movie. The one thing
                        consistent with the critics of "A.I." is that each one I have read or heard
                        has said that it will cause many questions to be asked long after leaving
                        the theater. I don't want to delve too deeply into the intellectual side of
                        this movie because I will start to take away the "experience" of it from
                        myself. With that said, however, I think the crux of the movie is basically
                        about reality itself. What is it? Who makes/made it? Is it something that
                        is created for us or is it defined within ourselves? I don't know. Both
                        probably. And I think that was David's journey? Did his mother not loving
                        him (I think she always did) make him less of a "person", less real? Is who
                        we are defined by how others react to us or is it defined by what we give to
                        others or is it something else entirely?
                        But what I took away from the movie is that when it is all said and done and
                        all the questions have been asked and answered, the only thing left is love.
                        In fact, it makes all the other stuff seem unimportant. Interesting, yes,
                        but not important. The only important thing, in fact, the only thing, is
                        love. And reconecting with that, with our birthright, is what life is all
                        about. Part of me doesn't want to believe that becasue it seems to simple
                        but I cannot come up with anything else (and although the concept is simple,
                        it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do). What wonderful
                        questions and thoughts this movie has produced, and in just 2 days. I need
                        to see it again. And when I do, I know my answers to these questions today
                        will be different tomorrow.

                        Thank you for your questions, Christine. Keep 'em coming. And if you find
                        a Famke Jannsen toy (life size, please) that says "I love you, Jos" when you
                        squeeze it, pick me up one. ;-)

                        Jos




                        _________________________________________________________________
                        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                      • Angela Havel
                        ... Actually, I was referring to some independent films I ve seen in the last five years or so that didn t resonate as much as I thought they would. I don t
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 3, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- Christina Lui <toates@...> wrote:
                          > On Mon, 2 Jul 2001, Angela Havel wrote:
                          >
                          > I know there's so many
                          > > great alternative films and films from other
                          > countries
                          > > that I've never seen...I've lost touch with the
                          > art
                          > > world, I suppose, living out here in the Great
                          > Plains
                          > > (and it IS pretty plain). But even so, when I go
                          > to
                          > > films these days--and I usually go just to ones
                          > that
                          > > I've heard good things about--very often I'm
                          > > disappointed. They're just not as great as I hoped
                          > > they'd be. I guess that's what I meant by not
                          > seeing a
                          > > high level of genius as much in the last, say, 25
                          > > years or so.
                          >
                          > That depends on what kinds of films get distributed
                          > in your area. It
                          > sounds like indie American and foreign films don't
                          > get played near you,
                          > and that's where greatness in film is these days. So
                          > I'm guessing that you
                          > see Hollywood films. Correct?

                          Actually, I was referring to some independent films
                          I've seen in the last five years or so that didn't
                          resonate as much as I thought they would. I don't even
                          mess much with Hollywood films...TTRL is the last
                          "big" film I rented (but I really don't consider it a
                          "Hollywood" film...that would be kind of sacreligious
                          to Malick, don't you think?). Some recent examples of
                          indies I've seen and wasn't overwhelmed by: *Crumb*
                          (although I thought it was very interesting--and yes I
                          know it wasn't a drama, but more a documentary),
                          *Welcome to the Dollhouse* (although I really liked
                          it!), *The Virgin Suicides* (it lacked some vital
                          dimension for me, I wanted to see more deeply into
                          those girl's psyches....). Maybe I'm just too hard to
                          please...and I know I sound overly devoted to Malick,
                          but I swear his films are the only ones I can think of
                          that I truly feel satisfied by every time I watch
                          them. As I've said before, I can't wait for the day
                          when any film can be downloaded on demand; I'll be
                          having a field day, catching up on indies I've heard
                          about but never saw (and searching for that one that
                          lives up Malick's level!). I just don't have the
                          budget right now to even pay to rent indies. I do see
                          quite a few of them on cable, but only so many of them
                          get shown on cable, of course.

                          > So if a film takes you to that place, evokes those
                          > emotions that can't be
                          > thought through, feelings about how you need to be
                          > loved, about things you
                          > don't talk about in garden party conversations, is
                          > that art?

                          Maybe one could invent a category of art called
                          "sympathetic art" or something like that? In other
                          words, some films have a genius for touching you (and
                          we could say that there is some art involved in that,
                          given a definition of art as the deliberate and
                          selective arranging of elements to produce a response
                          in the viewer). The "sympathetic" type art may not
                          necessarily have those onion-like metaphysical layers
                          that makes a Malick film resonate with genius for me,
                          but isn't there room for lots of categories of art?

                          Isn't there also a word "sympatico" that means a
                          connection in regards to feeling? I couldn't find this
                          word in my dictionary, maybe it's Latin? I guess
                          that's the word I'd use rather than "sympathetic",
                          because it sounds more, uh, artistic....


                          Actually, my dictionary defines art as "the
                          arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or
                          other element in a manner that affects the sense of
                          beauty." But I kind of balk at that definition because
                          there's lots of work out there I'd call art that isn't
                          conventionally beautiful. Some of David Lynch's
                          plastic art (rotten meat and insect collages!) isn't
                          beautiful (has anyone seen the documentary "Pretty as
                          a Picture" about Lynch?) but I'd still call it art.
                          Likewise a lot of his (and lots of other
                          directors)film images aren't beautiful but I'd call
                          them art.

                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Community email addresses:
                          > Post message: terrencemalick@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subscribe:
                          > terrencemalick-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          > Unsubscribe:
                          > terrencemalick-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                          > List owner: terrencemalick-owner@yahoogroups.com
                          >
                          > Shortcut URL to this page:
                          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/terrencemalick
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >


                          __________________________________________________
                          Do You Yahoo!?
                          Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail
                          http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
                        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.