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Discuss movies, films, TV shows, music, celebrities and entertainment.
4 posts • Page 1 of 1
I remember seeing this movie when it first came out...thought it was good.
Just watched it again last night after being gone from the states for a year. Seeing it now years later, and with international perspective, it really seems ahead of its time. The film makers snuck in all sorts of little gems; the word "fascism" is mentioned in regards to corporate amercia, that song "Amercian woman stay away from me" comes on the stereo.
All the classic characters are there.
* The emotionally screwed up freakshow of a woman.
* The nice guy dad who receives disrespect from his wife, child, and coworkers.
* The super deuche-bag real estate guy who represents the image of success.
* The kid next door, selling drugs, alienated, all screwed up.
* The daughter is halfway normal despite being surrounded by freaks.
* The daughter's friend; the future corporate ladder-climbing divorcee super-slut...blonde dumb chunky hip cheer leader.
* The gun hoarding neighbor who is disgusted with all the gays and wussies! LOL
The guy finally grows balls and reclaims his life, but of course dies. Personally I see that as a weak decision by the film makers so that the film could still be viewable in the USA. We all know how it should really end...the crazy wife shoots the guy, and gets away with it. But that's too dark, so they make the gun-guy neighbor turn out to be secretly gay, and he shoots him...and then we feel sympathy at the end for the crazy mom. Also any guy who rebels against his cultural programming always dies at the end of these movies, if you've noticed.
The other flaw is that the woman is off banging everybody but the guy bangs nobody, and when he gets the chance is still to super deuche to do anything. It's okay that the woman cheats, but if they guy cheats then the audience feels no sympathy.
So that was weak IMO, if you're going to make a film revealing the retardation of a society you can't simultaneously cater to that society...but shit they need to sell tickets. Hence also calling it "American Beauty" to cast it in a positive light, ease the blow a bit...but meh otherwise pretty good stuff.
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I agree with EVERYTHING you said there. Especially the part of how the neighbor should NOT have been gay, and that the wife should have killed the guy instead, and got away with it because she's a woman.
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"I used to be one of those men who believed that men are better than women at everything. Then I stood corrected!
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I just saw the movie Network (1976) which contains a lot of truth uttered by a TV newscaster character (Howard Beale) gone mad, and noticed the same thing. At the end of the movie, he gets killed by assassins sent by conspirators in the Network. I wonder why they gave it such an awful ending. Why should someone who tells the truth have to die in the end?
Here are some eloquent clips from the film. I can't believe such truth was known back in 1976 that still applies today.
Eloquent dialogue spoken by Ned Beatty above about the truth about this world:
"You have meddled with the primary forces of nature, Mr Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear?
You think you merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tide and gravity. It is ecological balance.
You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no Third Worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems. One vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-varied, multi-national dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rands, rubles, pounds and shekels.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and sub-atomic and galactic structure of things today.
And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And you will atone.
Am I getting through to you, Mr Beale?
You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.
What do you think the Russians talk about in their Councils of State? Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, mini-max solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bye-laws of of business. The world is a business, Mr Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime.
And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that ... perfect ... world in which there is no war nor famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. In which all men will hold a share of stock.
All necessities provided. All anxieties tranquilized. All boredom amused."
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
I consider American Beauty one of the best portraits of modern American society ever made. It's fiercely satirical take on everything that rots in the cupboards of apparently normal middle class families of American suburbia. Did you notice that its director, Sam Mendes, is British? Had it been directed by an American, Alan Ball's original screenplay would have lost much of its sharpness. Why? Because it takes an external observer to give a more objective, impartial view of a society and its ways of (dys)functioning.