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While these are interesting questions, the novel does not provide answers. The only thing that is really known is that Wells was a Vietnam war veteran and worked either alongside, or adjacent to, Chigurh. There is a telling moment when Chigurh sits down and drinks milk, staring at the television. This scene is later contrasted with Bell doing the same. This reifies the notion that while the characters seemingly exist in the same world, their different symbolic representations run parallel to one another, never intersecting. Of course there is a valid counter-argument to the film's message of spiritual invincibility. While the film makes strong claims about genetic limitations and, in fact mentions that Vincent is even aware of the exact time of his death, there is no deeper understanding or explanation behind Vincent's motivations. How will the main character, in spite of all these shortcomings and acknowledgements, overcome the very obstacles that make him him? The <i>Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film</i> questions Vincent's very motivations, stating that his crowning achievement is no more than an act of recklessness and selfishness, and its realization no more than an outcome of luck: <blockquote>When asked by Jerome how he intends to pull this off, he responds, “I don’t know exactly.” It seems, to invert the well-known proverb, that there’s a will but there’s no way. What is at work here is an uncontrollable and self-destructive will that is not accompanied by a vision of any minimally recognizable path to the goal. We are witnessing the phenomenon that Heinrich Heine in another context called “fanaticism of will, restrained neither by fear nor by self-interest (Heine 1986: 159).</blockquote> The overtly physical ambience present in <i>Gattaca</i> highlights the very notion of spiritual vacuity, where the concentration on aesthetic perfection (architecture, appearance, attire) is an attempt at overcompensating for the lack of human understanding and compassion—or, spirit. Notions of spiritual triumph and transcendence are rich in the film. Eugene struggling up the DNA stairs is indicative of this latter concept, while Vincent's launch into space, the former. Consider the ending sequence where Vincent is shown flying into space juxtaposed with Eugene preparing to incinerate himself. While earlier in the film we see that Vincent's use of the incinerator was precisely and perhaps symbolically demonstrative of his pursuit to rid the physical body and leave only his individual self, Eugene's use is directly counter to this; for Jerome, who throughout the film is shown merely as a physical casing lacking any discernible identity, the incinerator is there to discard not only his body, but his self. To tie it with St. Augustinian thought, we see the relationship between Vincent and Jerome as that of the body and soul. Vincent (soul) utilizes Jerome (body) to transcend Earth (the temporal) and enter space (the spiritual). The film has many layers and can certainly be interpreted differently depending on the individual. I will give my thoughts, and while you may not agree with them, perhaps they will open more doors for you to explore and discover. The three main characters in the film represent three different paradigms—Bell represents the past, Moss the present, and Chigurh the future. Moss and Chigurh never see one another, and while they stand off, they are never shown in the same frame. This extends to all of the main trio of characters. With Bell, we see him entering the apartment where Chigurh is shown, yet upon entry, does not see him. The reason is because the characters, symbolically, exist in different timelines; they each represent a shibboleth or different era. Keeping in line with this thought, it makes sense why Anton's motivations are not entirely certain. He is the character of the future—hyperrational and maximally efficient. In a Nietzschean sense, he is the ubermensch, driven not by emotion or morality, but by something unknown. He is above the current iteration of man, and so for the modern (Moss) and premodern (Bell) individual, is an enigma (unseen). It would be difficult to dismiss the father's abusive tendencies, misguided as they were. It is important to understand the film's context, set twelve years after the fall of the Soviet Union, which was, despite its virtues, authoritative. The father is a product of that environment, and his mannerisms and masculine tendencies reflect a society that views patriarchal values as vital in shaping man the creator. The film can be viewed as both a critique and affirmation of the director's own biases and upbringing, where such an authoritative approach to masculine cultivation can be viewed as an insufficient or unhealthy mode of transforming boys into men. The film functions extremely well as both as a metaphor for Post-Soviet malaise and religious parable. There is an interesting, albeit subtle, moment of clarity towards the climactic argument in the film, where perhaps the father realizes that his approach to discipline may be too stern. This epiphany culminates in his sacrifice, as he metaphorically falls for Ivan in a depiction highly symbolic of Christ on the cross. It is highly suggestive that the feminine has made the boys weak throughout the film, as the boys are raised by their mother and grandmother. The valid criticism, however, is where the father has been. The father is as much at fault for who his sons are today as much as their mother is, if at all. The film leaves this open to interpretation, however, and arguably this lack of information is not important to <i>The Return</i>'s overarching themes. One of the issues of IMDB shutting down was the community splintering. It is my understanding that a good portion of the posters on there were older, and perhaps did not spend as much time on the internet. When the site shut down, it seems a lot of them just disappeared, taking their voices with them. While this site is a decent alternative, there is a lacking concentration of context that was so apparent on IMDB. As someone above mentioned, you could create a thread on an obscure film and, within a month or two, often get at least one reply. Here, if you make a post on an obscure film sub-section that only has a few posts from eight months ago, it's unlikely anyone will respond. I remember seeing a post on IMDB in the A.I. Artificial Intelligence sub-section where someone had written an incredible analysis of the film. While this exists on MovieChat, it's rarer in my opinion, and not because the average member here is uninterested or obtuse, but because the format is designed around a specific niche that appears to build on itself. A lot of members on this site are very intelligent and have interesting insight on an array of topics. It is just that the feedback provided here is more fast-paced and designed around the latest trends, so it functions more like a Facebook or Twitter where information is just churned out with little digestion. Perhaps my biggest qualm is that very little film discussions really occurs for film, unless it's for the latest trend. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but anything beyond discussing politics or comic book adaptations get lost in the ether. It could be a function of the times. The internet has shifted in just ten years, but that's the nature of information in general—it changes rapidly, making it impossible to keep up once brain plasticity drops to a certain threshold. Stay safe. Although it's not entirely explained, given the few moments of exposition regarding Tommy's inability to swim, I believe the assumption that he drowned is entirely sound. Geoffrey O'brien's essay on <i>Purple Noon</i> (1960 adaptation to Highsmith's novel) remarks on the discrepancy between the two films, stating that the original is, in essence, a postwar American <i>Count of Monte Cristo</i>. What we see with <i>The Talented Mr. Ripley</i> is a character (Tom Ripley) with whom we can not easily relate, not only because of his apparent homosexuality, but because his motives are not quite as certain. Certainly, Tom is driven by a desire to fit into the "cultured, wealthy, and socially accepted" class, but his yearnings are not quite as vividly depicted. Highsmith's novel works well because of her characterization of Italy and the detail given to the magnificence and splendor of the setting. What Clément's adaptation succeeds in doing is transcribing this imagery into film. With <i>Purple Noon</i>, the audience (particularly "postwar Americans identifying with notions of infinite yearning and primal dispossession") not only understands Tom Ripley, but <i>wants</i> what he wants. We see a film that is open and bright, eliminating even a hint of murk, as if inviting the audience into the same self-indulgence that Ripley basks in. Furthermore, the film's aesthetic is only second to the perfection of a prime Delon. The audience's complicit desires are not exclusive to the surrounding pristine opulence, but extend to the protagonist himself. We not only want to feel the Mediterranean sunlight, but we want to <i>be</i> Alain Delon, as he accentuates every frame. Clément's film works best as a true American adaptation of Patricia's novel, whereas Minghella's film—while deserving of its own merits—removes itself from key elements of the novel and works better as a journey into the descent of madness more so than a morality tale highlighting the dangers of material jubilation. Love it or hate it, <i>Pulp Fiction</i> came at a time when film-making was nearing its centennial. What <i>Pulp Fiction</i> did, inadvertently or not, was mark a new trajectory in cinematography, taking it into the 21st century. It is the postmodern manifest realized in its purest form. In postmodernism old elements are taken and formed into something new. If we look at <i>Pulp Fiction</i> as a whole, we see that it is a collage of all of these older elements in film. From the typified characters, represented as symbols (Bruce Willis is not just a random man with a sword, he is Bruce Willis from Die Hard; Travolta is not just dancing to Chuck Berry at the club, he is Travolta from Saturday Night Fever), to the soundtrack that does not contain a single new or original piece of music. Furthermore, while the film's colorized and superficial message is violent, cynical, and amoral, the film contains within it the culmination of American film-making, as it sews Christian ethics into a seamless composition. <i>Pulp Fiction</i>'s message is that of forgiveness, the most Christian message of them all. Samuel L. Jackson, forgiving the couple at the restaurant, and then walking outside with a white shirt on highlights resurrection and being born a new man. Bruce Willis, forgiving the person who wishes him ill-will and giving him a lending hand, also reifies this notion. John Travolta, on the other hand, dismissing Jackson's message as a form of shock, is killed. In the end, Tarantino managed to synthesize the defining elements of the passing era in film (morality, love, wit, humor, style, action) and form it into something original. First displayed in 1964, the <i>Panorama of the City of New York</i> was built by a team of over 100 people, spanning a construction period of three years. It has an area of around 9,300 square feet and is built to a scale of 1:1200 where one inch equals 100 feet. The exhibition is located at the Queens Museum. View all replies >