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Re: [terrencemalick] malick and huck finn again

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  • Angela Havel
    ... Ha ha...never made that connection before. I don t think Bart s quite as hip to hypocrisy as Huck is, though. (Even though Huck often doesn t realize he s
    Message 1 of 193 , Mar 1, 2002
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      --- Christina Lui <toates@...> wrote:
      > Hi all,
      >
      > Recently I finished Huckleberry Finn, which Malick
      > says subconsciously
      > influenced him when making Badlands. There are a few
      > similar phrases
      > between Huck Finn and Days of Heaven, but Huck Finn
      > is closer to Bart
      > Simpson than Terrence Malick. Like Bart, Huck has
      > many adventures, breaks
      > the rules, witnesses crime and corruption without
      > fully comprehending
      > them. And of course, they're both cross-dressers.

      Ha ha...never made that connection before. I don't
      think Bart's quite as hip to hypocrisy as Huck is,
      though. (Even though Huck often doesn't realize he's
      pointing it out).
      >
      > The most fascinating figure is Huck's companion on
      > his odyssey, the
      > runaway slave Jim. I'm interested to see if anyone's
      > considered the
      > representation of the slave's voice in response to
      > Gayatri Spivak's
      > question, can the subaltern speak?

      Sounds fascinating. I haven't read Spivak. Must say
      I'd probably only come across the word "subaltern"
      once before. But that's why I love this board, and
      will always remain loyal...I learn a lot here!

      I read HF once in h.s., and then again in grad school
      (required in one of my classes). I wrote a paper on
      the various film versions of HF for that class.

      I recall an African-American friend of mind in grad
      not being very enamored of the novel, because of its
      representation of her race. The part where Jim
      patiently endures his "imprisonment" by the boy Huck
      set me on edge as I read it, I remember. Twain wanted
      to be more open-minded than he actually was, I think.
      But then again, we get the feeling Twain was giving an
      honest depiction of the situation of African-Americans
      as it existed then--or as he observed it, at least.
      And a white author giving an African-American a
      compelling voice was a giant step in the history of
      literature. Although I must say I prefer reading
      African-American authors for depictions of their
      lives.


      And that question
      > of voice brings me
      > back to the question raised here earlier, why does
      > Train narrate TTRL?
      > Malick favours the voice of the young, like Holly in
      > Badlands and Linda in
      > Days of Heaven. And unlike Bead, Train is the very
      > young soldier who
      > survives. He also provides the outsider voice.
      > Killer Kit kuts kross
      > kountry in Badlands while accomplice Holly narrates.
      > In Days, narration
      > isn't given to the double-crossing lovers but to the
      > outsider in the love
      > triangle, Linda. As the poor Southerner, is Train
      > the subaltern who
      > speaks? I'm not sure, but his voice is privileged.
      > And I think that's a
      > change from how voice is treated in the earlier
      > films. Voice is used to
      > disrupt image in the earlier films (how noir!), used
      > to unify in TTRL.

      Your last point there is very intriguing. I hadn't
      thought of it that way before. I usually think of VO
      as unifying image no matter what (unless the VOs are
      uninspired (and many films are guilty of
      this)--especially when the VO is just echoing what we
      can already see on the screen.

      You have the thesis of a great essay on VO in Malick's
      films here, Christina. Would you care to write it?
      I'll transcribe all the narration for you from all
      three films, if you want!
      >
      > Anyone else read Huck Finn? Red Badge of Courage
      > (hopeful)?

      I believe I read RBoC in h.s. but have forgotten it,
      alas. Will read it again sometime, though.

      Bye for now,
      Angela


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    • Jos Linn
      And you all thought I was too busy to write something. Well... The list has been very silent as of late so I am going to break the silence, for now. Of
      Message 193 of 193 , May 19, 2003
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        And you all thought I was too busy to write something. Well...

        The list has been very silent as of late so I am going to break the silence,
        for now.

        Of course, as anyone who remembers my first few months of postings, would
        there be any place I would have been other than at the local cinema last
        Thursday for the opening of "The Matrix Reloaded"? Uh... no. And, after
        all the hype, all the anticipation, all the expectations, I have to say...
        plug me in, baby! I really liked Reloaded. It is not as surprisingly good
        as the original but that's the thing about expectations. But it surpasses
        the original in many ways. It continues the spiritual undertones in the
        story, and even to a place I did not expect, and makes me hungry for the
        conclusion in November. Plus, it has just about the best F/X this side of
        Skywalker Ranch. In fact, it makes George Lucas look childish in
        comparison. The Burly Brawl, the car chase, and the final showdown scenes
        are top notch and have you mesmerized from roundhouse kick one. A lot of
        critics have disliked the whole rave-in-a-cave Zion sequence but I liked it.
        C'mon guys, the world has been destroyed and overrun by machines, people
        are going to be a bit retro in their look. But the ingenious thing about
        this film is that they made it just vague enough that you have to see it
        several times to catch all that's going on and just clear enough to make you
        HAVE to see the sequel. Marketing 101--give 'em a taste and they'll demand
        more. Anyway, "Reloaded" is great all around and well worth full movie
        price. Note: for anyone who has not seen "The Matrix", you must see it
        before you see "Reloaded" or you will have very little clue as to what is
        going on.

        OK, what else have I seen... I saw "A Mighty Wind" last week. I liked this
        movie as well. Not as edgy as 'Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show", but
        the music is great and the performances are spot on. Catherine O'Hara even
        has an outside shot at a supporting actress nomination (if anyone remembers
        by then). It's a toe-tappin' good time. Worth full price.

        After getting caught up in the Matrix phenomenon last week, I rented the
        Japanese anime films "Ghost in the Shell" and "Akira" this weekend. I
        really need to see more of these fillms. Every time I see one, I am so
        impressed by what I see ("Metropolis" is STILL the most visually stunning
        movie I have ever seen). These two have been cited as inspirations for "The
        Matrix" and you can definitely see the influence. Especially in "Ghost in
        the Shell", where exact scenes have been lifted. I liked both of these
        films, although they never fully give an explanation as to what is going on
        (which is always my favorite part of the story--the "why and how"). I
        recommend these two if you have not seen them. Impressive shows. Well
        worth the rental price.

        Well, that's it for now. I have rented quite a few things over the past few
        months but nothing worth mentioning at this point. Until next time...

        Take care, friends,
        Jos

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