Topic: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

No clickbait; no 'easy' hot-takes — the floor for this thread is set at 'particularly insightful.'

If you think it meets that criteria, share it. Let's get a 'lil archive going.

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These are in no particular order; I've watched all of 'em more than once. I'm limiting myself to one video per creator [for now, at least]; that said, I'm pretty sure literally every account below has at least two or three other videos I think belong in this thread, so go exploring if you find something you like.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Lindsay Ellis' Hobbit Retrospective
I'm only posting part 1 of 3, but you HAVE to watch the whole thing. It gradually shifts from an analysis of where the films went wrong to a full-on investigative journalism piece covering how their production actively wrecked the New Zealand film industry.

The Great Recession: American Movie Acting Today

Analysis of how the Method gradually fell by the wayside for today's current style of understated millennial performances.

Christopher Nolan and the Cruelty of Time
It's a bit of a crapshoot whether FilmCritHulk will write a great piece or something lazy and overwritten these days. This is the former, a perfect encapsulation of Nolan's obsessions as an artist.

Aleph Null's review of The Master
Completely changed how I view one of my favorite films, and doubles as a damning critique of the search for universal themes in art.

Will post some more once I'm not limited to typing forum code on my phone keyboard :p

Last edited by Abbie (2018-12-02 01:09:34)

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Northern Star: On Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, and Laura Palmer

A survivor of incest and abuse shares what the character of Laura Palmer represents for her and others, especially in light of Twin Peaks: The Return.

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Solid Dick
Don't let the inflammatory opening paragraph, which states that Iron Man is the most evil movie ever made, turn you off. Jack Graham goes on to rigorously explicate his thesis, eviscerating the MCU's uneasy relationship with war profiteering and capitalism.

Hbomberguy's Sherlock Rant
Again, ignore his inflammatory title. Very thorough analysis of Sherlock specifically and Steve Moffat's worst tendencies as a filmmaker in general, one that made me feel a bit better about my relative distaste for the show post-pilot.

Fake Friends: Parasocial Relationships
Shannon usually talks about film and TV, and while this series is more broad in scope it's firmly rooted in media and celebrity culture so I think it fits. As someone who constantly has to remind myself to rein in my parasocial affections, this one is an uncomfortable but necessary watch.

J. K. Rowling and the Cauldron of Discourse

Again, this one applies a bit more broadly than just film, but since the Fantastic Beasts movies are ramping up all Rowling's worst writerly/political tendencies as discussed in this essay, I hope you'll allow it.

Sustaining Stupidity: Why CinemaSins Is Terrible
Plothole criticism is a cancer.

Stop Laughing at Old Movies, You Fucking Hipsters
I once left a 70mm screening of Vertigo unsettled and irritated after the entire audience decided that Jimmy Stewart's gaslighting of Kim Novak in the final act was hilarious, so this speaks to me on a deep, deep level.

Last edited by Abbie (2018-12-02 01:05:30)

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

I've been waiting for a free night to go through all of the videos linked that I hadn't already seen(I'm a sucker for this corner of Youtube), so tonight I started with the one right up top, 'The Gateway to Coco's Memories'. Well, let's just say no other video in this thread ended up getting a look in and I instead just ended up binging that channel.

Thanks for the new channel in my sub box!

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Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

I love Sideways.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Canon Is an Abyss, Mike Rugnetta

Film/lit crossover. Uses Shitgate and Rowling's increasing degeneration as a launching point to discuss the nature of canon and authorship. Selected excerpts spoilered below.

SPOILER Show
Looking “long into the Abyss” is to succumb to the the depths of the things you wish to navigate beyond. It is the bottomless pit of failing to move past, in which one might search fruitlessly for answers neither provided nor possible. In so doing, one gives something of the self to the abyss. Or perhaps the abyss simply takes it. We may argue, of course, that this exact sacrifice is the very responsibility of the thinker and philosopher.

We can assemble these perspectives into a kind of cubist portrait of the Abyss of Canon: an endless swirling void of all – even mutually exclusive – possibility; a gap between what is Real and what is Actual presided over by a Creator; a depth of creation and contradiction in which we may search for unknowable answers and lose something of ourselves in the process... or perhaps willingly give it away.

All fictional canon is abyssal. The difference between canons is how deep we are encouraged to look, and by what method that encouragement is delivered. Pottermore tweets are one kind of encouragement to stare into the abyss of Harry Potter; but some works are designed as deeply abyssal. Doctor Who, soap operas, Star Wars, many long running comic series and the Dark Souls games allow their audience to become like Crowley’s magician: to sacrifice themselves to the depths of canon, become lost in the infinite void of often paradoxical possibility. These works do not unknowingly or only occasionally beckon their audience into the abyss of canon but take it as their ongoing structural mandate.

[. . .]

Like a zombie, The Undead Author is likely unaware of (or unconcerned with) their actions. They come-to with an insatiable hunger for engagement, continued relevance, social and economic capital. The Undead Author hungers for the brains of their audience, and their quarry is likewise turned undead. Audiences seemingly hunger ravenously for a thing they cannot describe or anticipate. When shown what was missing all along – when appraised of These Bricks, when gestured at and into the Abyss of Canon – a sense of need spikes. Wizard feces is the brain-chum, and we are the zombie-sharks. Audiences churn the depthless waters of creation in a shitty, social media feeding frenzy.

This is the labor performed for an Undead Author and their media-complex: flailing wildly, and catching bystanders in the spray, demonstrating the diabolic merriment of The Abyss of Canon. To say those who engage in this paroxysm don't truly enjoy what inspires it would be a difficult claim. As Fisher points out, we are inserted “at the level of desire” to the “remorseless meat-grinder of Capitalism.” (Capitalist Realism, 15)

What we want, and what is wanted from us are unrecognizably fused into a horrible, social-emotional-economic cryptid. Though some may bemoan the abyss of canon in sundry tweets, and think piece dourly upon it, others (and often the very same) nonetheless celebrate, cherish and yearn for it.

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

The Centr of Controversy, Kivan Bay

Spoilering the specific aspect of Avengers: Endgame that's addressed in this article:

SPOILER Show
Analysis of the cruelty of "fat Thor" and how it not only stigmatizes fat people yet again but kind of appears to be something created by Chris Hemsworth to sell a fitness app. Broadens into a critique of fat suits/fat imagery in movies in general.

Later in the movie through time travel, Thor is reunited with his dead mother for a brief moment. She tells him that if he can’t be who he is supposed to be and that he should be who he is. Then, the last words she will ever say to him on the day she dies, are “eat a salad.” The audience laughs. I stare in the dark and think about the fat wage gap while the audience howls around me.

People tell me Thor’s storyline is about trauma but I don’t think that’s it at all. I think Hemsworth may answer what Thor’s theme is about best when talking about the ideology behind Centr in this Men’s Health interview:

“The whole thing was about not becoming stagnant. That’s when your emotional and physical problems occur, I think. I wanted to create some-thing that embodied the three main elements of healthy living—the movement, the nutrition, and the mindfulness—and present it in a way that’s entertaining, functional, and also accessible.”

Consider Thor’s storyline from this angle. Consider how he starts in the stagnant spot of “King of Asgard” and consider how he breaks out of that as “new member of the Guardians of the Galaxy” by the end. Consider how Rocket, when we first see Thor says that he’s failed and that’s why he’s upset. Consider Thor’s mother saying he can’t be who he is supposed to be, he should be who he is instead. (Then remember her telling him to eat a salad again because GOD I HATE THIS FUCKING MOVIE.)

Thor’s storyline is about failure and stagnation manifesting on the body and Thor’s fat suit exists to remind us of Chris Hemsworth’s body beneath it.

Let me explain the anatomy of a fat suit to you.

The fat suit operates in different ways on different bodies. On an already fat unknown extra, it exists to push the body further into the carnivalesque grotesquerie, a marginalization of the “superfat” over the fat, but one that many audience members may view without prior knowledge of the extra’s actual body size beneath the padding. On a known celebrity’s body, the fat suited body comes tethered to its thin counterpart in the “real” world. In an age of instant media, it is impossible for us to not know that Chris Hemsworth is not fat, not really. We know the “real” body is the thin one, and we hold that body in our mind, helpless to do anything but privilege it because we know the fat body we see is only temporary on screen. To paraphrase Thanos, the thin body is inevitable.

Before we go further in this conversation, a warning: I am assuming you already know that fat hate is bad in ways that don’t involve just the personal feelings of fat people. I am assuming you already know that there’s a wage gap and I am assuming you already know about the medical malpractice. I am assuming you already know many, many things right now. So when I talk to you about the systemic fat hate that fat suits reinforce, I am assuming you understand how that hate is systemic, how it works to oppress, marginalize, and even kill. I am assuming you have learned all of that already. I am assuming you know already what you would have learned in the beginner’s course.

There has been some argument as to the disruptive potential of fat suits in the past, the idea that they may denaturalize fatness the same way drag denaturalizes gender (K LeBesco, Situating fat suits: Blackface, drag, and the politics of performance, 2005, Women and Performance), but I disagree with this strongly. A material analysis of fat suits reveals plainly on their face that they do not benefit fat people as actors or as audience members. In those cases where a fat actor is made fatter by padding, those with similar bodies are denied place and agency on the stage, and made othered often by the narratives that employ these. In the cases of thin actors donning fat suits, as in the case with Eddie Murphy (The Nutty Professor, 1996), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shallow Hal, 2001), and, in this case, Chris Hemsworth in Endgame, a fat actor is denied a role while a fat narrative is embodied by a thin actor the audience simultaneously beholds as they view the fat suited body (KR Mendoza, Seeing Through the Layers: Fat suits and thin bodies in The Nutty Professor and Shallow Hal, The Fat Studies Reader, 2009, New York University Press, New York). In the context of ever-present news, Hemsworth’s fat-suited Thor is juxtaposed with the “hot promo photos” in the release of the Centr app. This creates a distance from the “real” for Thor’s fat body that allows the audience to both laugh at it even as they identify with it. Within Thor’s fat body, chiseled Chris Hemsworth awaits to emerge, just as many fat fans want to believe that within their own bodies rests the aspirational hyperreal beauty of a comic character just waiting to be unlocked and unleashed. Thor’s fat body is inextricably linked to his failure and stagnation within the narrative, but the promise of Hemsworth’s thin body waits, lurking within (and perhaps, it tells the viewer, in you too). This is not a story about trauma. This is a story about a guy in a rut with a gut. The hopeful ending is that Thor will return to his old body in GotG 3. Marvel movies do not function as discrete entities but as a franchise narrative and pretending that the lack of a weight loss montage in Endgame will mean anything going forward is, I hate to say it, laughable.

“The stakes were sort of as high as they could be but I think we found a great way to kind of have another version of- more growth (laughs) in the character,” said Chris Hemsworth punchably in an interview with The Cutaway. Then he goes on about how he thinks Thanos’s ecofascism is “a valid point”. Cool.

In a film focused on the transformation of the body, either from dead to alive or alive to dead, or short blonde hair to long red hair with blonde tips, or to a half Hulk and half Banner merged into one, fat Thor stands alone as condemnation, a parable of failure and stagnation readable on the body, to be laughed at, a pathologizing of fat as the consequence of ‘giving up’. Why anyone would want to defend this to me is beyond me.

The audience has extraordinary power to create meaning in a film and is often the arbiter of what a movie ‘says’ in the end. But the context of Hemsworth’s app and the apparent parallel development of it and the fat Thor storyline is troubling and throws into question for me any nobility read on the screen. The body on screen is a symbol for the audience to fill with meaning, but the intentionality of its placement shouldn’t be elided. The fat suit creates the sensation of a before and after image, and behind it waits Chris Hemsworth with the fantasy of that transformation acting as a brand foundation for his app.

Last edited by Abbie (2019-05-02 16:01:20)

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Counter-article I just stumbled on. I do get how different people would see this in different ways.

https://www.polygon.com/2019/4/28/18518 … jPLeTglnNs

Witness me!

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Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

SPOILER Show
I can understand either reading, and as I'm not fat myself I'm going to refrain from saying which is the "right" one. That said, re: the point of fat suits in general rather than fat Thor specifically, I'm absolutely with Kivan—I think it's comparable to the problem of cis actors playing trans characters, where not only does it have the psychological effect of making the audience members see a cis man in a dress rather than a woman, it has the material effect of shutting trans performers out of jobs. Something else the author has touched on elsewhere is that stuff like this also encourages the increasingly unhealthy yo-yoing of weight gain and weight loss among thin actors—to be more "authentic" than a fat suit they're endangering their own health to an insane degree (Christian Bale is the uber-example of this) and still shutting fat performers out of roles.

Last edited by Abbie (2019-05-02 17:39:27)

Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

The overall point I agree with, then

Witness me!

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Re: Thread for posting random better-than-average film analysis stuff.

Not sure if this counts but I found it interesting (apologies if everyone knows this and I'm late to the party):

Last edited by fireproof78 (2019-05-11 15:42:11)

God loves you!

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