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Thread: 28 Film Discussion Threads Later

  1. #34351
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    I don't think it's critical of drug use in general. That would make it one of the most hypocritical films of all time.
    Why would it be hypocritical? I don't think there's anything in the film that actually condones the use of drugs.

  2. #34352
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    You should go back to being sarcastic all the time, to avoid awkward moments like that.
    Nah, from now on I'm going to start being awkwardly sincere so iosos will like me.

  3. #34353
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    Why would it be hypocritical? I don't think there's anything in the film that actually condones the use of drugs.
    Meaning that because the film works so well while under the influence (and whether or not you think this is praiseworthy, the film has undeniably gained this reputation of being a "drug film"), to be critical of the very thing that makes it tick would seem to me to be pretty hypocritical, or at the very least ironic.
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  4. #34354
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    Meaning that because the film works so well while under the influence (and whether or not you think this is praiseworthy, the film has undeniably gained this reputation of being a "drug film"), to be critical of the very thing that makes it tick would seem to me to be pretty hypocritical, or at the very least ironic.
    A lot of things, a good many things, work well under the influence. Many, many things. Most things, I would even venture to say. Gilliam has gone on record as never having taken acid, so I don't think he was crafting the film with the idea of drugs in mind as the necessary key to its "ticking."

  5. #34355
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    Nah, from now on I'm going to start being awkwardly sincere so iosos will like me.
    It's the only way...

  6. #34356
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    A lot of things, a good many things, work well under the influence. Many, many things. Most things, I would even venture to say.
    Not true at all. Things that are bad just have their badness accentuated, mediocre things their mediocre-ness, etc. Altered states do not take away one's powers of discernment, unless you had no such powers to begin with.

    Gilliam has gone on record as never having taken acid, so I don't think he was crafting the film with the idea of drugs in mind as the necessary key to its "ticking."
    I find that very, very hard to believe. Of course he's going to deny having taken acid. He isn't the first celebrity to do this. He doesn't want to turn himself into a walking stereotype like Oliver Stone did. Imagine if David Lynch admitted to taking lots of acid? He'd never live it down. Gilliam is just smart.
    ‎The severed arm perfectly acquitted itself, because of the simplicity of its wishes and its total lack of doubt.

  7. #34357
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    Fear and Loathing is loved by every stoner I know.

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  8. #34358
    Fear and Loathing was one of the best films of 1998. Still, it would have been interesting if they'd made it back in the eighties with Bill Murray and Tom Sellack like they'd planned, instead of Where the Buffalo Roam.
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  9. #34359
    Also, I don't really think it condemns or condones drug use. I mean, hell - would any of you really like to enjoy a trip through "pure adrenochrome?"
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  10. #34360
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    I would not think it would be a revelation because the film itself is critical of such perspectives.
    WHAAAT?! HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Have you read the book, Sven? Oh, man, I am laughing so hard right now ... phew!
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  11. #34361
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    I find that very, very hard to believe. Of course he's going to deny having taken acid. He isn't the first celebrity to do this. He doesn't want to turn himself into a walking stereotype like Oliver Stone did. Imagine if David Lynch admitted to taking lots of acid? He'd never live it down. Gilliam is just smart.
    I don't know, man... I think a lot of my problems with the film is that it is too sober. I saw the film before I had taken any drug and it looked to me like the kind of perspective that I would a sober person would have of a drug trip. Your assertiveness to the necessity of inebriation about this film is only indicative of its lack of reasonable, rational operation. In other words, if you need drugs, which it sounds like you're saying is the case, I'm certainly not going to praise it and, from the content of the film itself, as well as what I know about Gilliam, it appears that the film is not trying to be that at all.

  12. #34362
    Well, the book - like the film - doesn't really comment on whether or not it's a good or bad thing, one way or another.

    Interestingly, I'm trying to work out a short based around Thompson's prelude to this, "Strange Rumblings In Aztlan," which took place around the same time-frame -although, it'd be a less heightened story by design.
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  13. #34363
    Quote Quoting Boner M (view post)
    Three Monkeys
    I just might like Ceylan's Climates better, but Three Monkeys is quite good. Amazing, moody visuals.

  14. #34364
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    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    WHAAAT?! HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Have you read the book, Sven? Oh, man, I am laughing so hard right now ... phew!
    I don't think that's laughable. The book and the film have very different perspectives.
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  15. #34365
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    WHAAAT?! HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!! Have you read the book, Sven? Oh, man, I am laughing so hard right now ... phew!
    "That was the fatal flaw in Tim Leary's trip. He crashed around America, selling "consciousness expansion"... without ever giving a thought to the grim meat-hook realities that were lying in wait... for all those people
    who took him seriously. All those pathetically eager acid freaks... who thought they could buy peace and understanding for three bucks a hit.

    But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole lifestyle that he helped create. A generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential
    old-mystic fallacy of the acid culture: the desperate assumption that somebody, or at least some force, is tending the light at the end of the tunnel."

    While that speaks mostly of the acid culture that Milky Joe mentioned, I believe that the film's (not the book, I have not read it) applicability, as well as the central schema of deglamourizing use through horrific means (lizard blood orgies, etc), falls on the more critical side of drug use in general. What kind of work would conclude like that but still condone things like marijuana? I don't get it.

  16. #34366
    U ZU MA KI Spun Lepton's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    Acid culture ≠ psychedelics specifically. It's a blanket term. The film is, like the book, deeply critical of drug culture in the 60s (whilst also being deeply nostalgic towards it), but I don't think it's critical of drug use in general. That would make it one of the most hypocritical films of all time.
    This is pretty much right. Thompson was extremely critical of hippy culture, but also loved indulging in ridiculous amounts of drugs. He was in a class all by himself.
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  17. #34367
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    I don't think that's laughable. The book and the film have very different perspectives.
    I've watched the movie several times, also read the book. I noticed no disparity between the attitudes presented in either.
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  18. #34368
    Quote Quoting Spun Lepton (view post)
    This is pretty much right. Thompson was extremely critical of hippy culture, but also loved indulging in ridiculous amounts of drugs. He was in a class all by himself.
    He was a unibigot, don't you know.
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  19. #34369
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    What kind of work would conclude like that but still condone things like marijuana? I don't get it.
    You do realize there is a major difference between acid and marijuana, yes? And that there is a major difference between being twisted on acid for days/weeks at a time and smoking pot a couple times a day? That famous passage you quote (practically verbatim from the book) is talking about the former: the grim, meat-hook realities of thinking you can just "turn on, tune in, drop out" every day and still have some semblance of a life remaining afterwards. It was a narrow-minded, deeply naïve way of looking at things, and that is what the film/book is critical of, not smoking pot. Isn't Depp smoking pot as he's writing in that scene, anyway?
    ‎The severed arm perfectly acquitted itself, because of the simplicity of its wishes and its total lack of doubt.

  20. #34370
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    You do realize there is a major difference between acid and marijuana, yes? And that there is a major difference between being twisted on acid for days/weeks at a time and smoking pot a couple times a day? That famous passage you quote (practically verbatim from the book) is talking about the former: the grim, meat-hook realities of thinking you can just "turn on, tune in, drop out" every day and still have some semblance of a life remaining afterwards. It was a narrow-minded, deeply naïve way of looking at things, and that is what the film/book is critical of, not smoking pot. Isn't Depp smoking pot as he's writing in that scene, anyway?
    Well, the self-loathing of the protagonist to me is clear in the film. Depp's Duke is not a man that is necessarily a champion for that in which he indulges.

    And of course I do know the difference. But the language used at the end there I think adequately describes a lot of the mentalities of those around me that promote reality enhancers, of which I would include marijuana. It is psychotropic, so it does distort reality. It seems like Thompson is onto something bigger than just a specific culture surrounding a specific drug (in the movie, he doesn't even interact with anyone from inside that culture, save Gonzo, who, from my understanding, is largely fabricated anyway).

    It all seems like so much a side issue anyway, given that the movie doesn't even seem concerned with the acid culture of the 70s. It waxes heavy-handed about "the American dream" more than anything else, and of which I cannot discern what it has to say.

  21. #34371
    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    (in the movie, he doesn't even interact with anyone from inside that culture, save Gonzo, who, from my understanding, is largely fabricated anyway).
    Not at all, actually. "Gonzo" was the pseudonym that Thompson used for Oscar Zeta Acosta, the Chicano lawyer/civil rights advocate - the book being based on their trip to Vegas to get out of L.A. and discuss the Ruben Salazar murder case that Thompson was working on, at the time. Depending on who you talk to, the book is either "all true -- and more!" or it's a kind-of halfway point between fiction and the kind of gonzo journalism that Thompson was attempting.

    Interestingly, this almost kept the book from being published. Acosta called Thompson up about a week before the book was set to print, and he was angry -- not because of the book's content, but because by god he felt he deserved co-authorship credit. But, he realized it would've been a dick thing to do, holding the book up as it would've done, so he settled for having his photo on the backflap.
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  22. #34372
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    I saw the Gonzo documentary of Thompson last night. They focused surprisingly little on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Worth seeing IMO.

  23. #34373
    I've been debating myself on watching that for a while.
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  24. #34374
    Scott of the Antarctic Milky Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sven (view post)
    It all seems like so much a side issue anyway, given that the movie doesn't even seem concerned with the acid culture of the 70s. It waxes heavy-handed about "the American dream" more than anything else, and of which I cannot discern what it has to say.
    Huh? First of all, what's known as the "acid culture" was purely a 60s thing. It was gone by the 70s, which is when the film takes place. The whole thing is simultaneously a love letter to that bygone era and a scathing indictment of it. When it is waxing on the American dream, it is waxing on it through the lens of the acid culture, by a particularly astute observer of/participant in said culture, about what the one had to do with the other. Hardly a side issue.
    ‎The severed arm perfectly acquitted itself, because of the simplicity of its wishes and its total lack of doubt.

  25. #34375
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Milky Joe (view post)
    Huh? First of all, what's known as the "acid culture" was purely a 60s thing. It was gone by the 70s, which is when the film takes place. The whole thing is simultaneously a love letter to that bygone era and a scathing indictment of it. When it is waxing on the American dream, it is waxing on it through the lens of the acid culture, by a particularly astute observer of/participant in said culture, about what the one had to do with the other. Hardly a side issue.
    Well, the book came out in the early 70s, so I said 70s. Secondly, I reiterate: who else in the film is a part of this culture? How can it be an exploration of the culture when the culture is largely unrepresented? It seems like a relic of the culture, attempting to respond to something OUTSIDE of the culture. Which is fine. But it complicates things in a way that I don't feel the film reconciles well. At all.

    Anyway, I'm uncomfortable talking about this, because I know next to nothing about Thompson's work and personal life. All I know is that the film is a clusterfuck that is sometimes engaging but largely doesn't work (I know, I know, unless you're doped up).

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