Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby Project Willow » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:33 pm

^ Well, Jack, we all have our unique experiences in life which draw us into more intense identification with some works, or to some interpretations of works above others.

Dogtooth was a surprising, lovely, subtle little film that explored a nearly absolute system of control. Among its strengths is that it is possible to read the film literally, that such a family exists or has existed, and it is also possible to interpret the story as a metaphorical exploration of broader and more familiar systems of control.

I liked that its ending was indeterminate, I'd rather not know whether Bruce got out of the trunk, that's where I get to let my imagination wander or my experience play over what the filmmaker might have had in mind. The climax of the film... spoiler warning here... when she removes her dogtooth, to my mind, was quite perfect, in terms of the story arch and what I interpreted to be the act's most obvious motivation. It comes after she has been assigned the task of sexually servicing her brother. Despite all the control in place, there is some central part of her being that then rebels. What's even more powerful is that while she rebels it is evident that she probably couldn't identify or articulate why. This is a profound testament to the human spirit, that there exists at some non-verbal, base level an instinct to be inviolate.

But here I am only attempting, and rather weakly, to put voice to essential plot nodes or generalities, as I see them.

I can imagine how the film might be a potent metaphor for the types of control many people experience as part of living in this age and in this culture. I would enjoy a discussion of those parallels, but I couldn't contribute very much to it. Since I have experienced more direct and overt forms of control in my life, it was more natural and satisfying to me to interpret the film in a literal sense, as if I were watching a documentary about an abusive family.

Anyway, I would wager one major commonality we share here is the waste of our intellectual and creative gifts during the hours, days, months, and years we're forced to perform various unrelated, tedious, and unsatisfying labors in pursuit of economic subsistence. On that note, I wish you a very tolerable Wednesday.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby brekin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:51 am

SPOILER WARNING
.
Thought of another key tactic used by totalitarian systems that
was evident in the Dogtooth family I'm adding to the list.
An over seriousness in all things
preventing any humor. I think it was
Koestler who said "Dictators fear laughter more then bombs." Many
proclamations by the parents in the film would be greeted by
howls of laughter by less isolated children.

(I've also noticed a similar thing in most profession shows
on network television. The Cop, Lawyer, Doctor shows. Everything is so
serious, and any of the jokes are of the unfunny trench humor
or snarky I'm smarter then you type. In comparison I think of good Cop shows like
The Wire where people tell jokes, have nicknames, make fun of themselves
and each other.)

EDIT: Shit, just thought of another one which may be fundamental. Fostering the belief
that one is working towards a better life and greater freedom that only the authority figure can deliver.


1. Constant competitions, tests and evaluations on trivialities for basic needs and wants.
2. Isolation from all outside influences, media, people, books, radio, t.v.
3. Fostering constant rivalry for attention and status.
4. Fostering constant spying and tattling.
5. Control of language including the power to (re)define words.
6. Control of sexual relations and partners through ignorance.
7. Creating impassible borders based on fear and exaggerating minor threats.
8. Demonizing harmless people, places and things.
9. Creating a routine of boredom and reward.
10. Idolizing those who are complicit in your confinement and ignorance. The captor as helper.
11. Limiting options and exaggerating the importance of the few allowed.
12. Fostering great concern and anticipation over trivial matters: dinner, entertainment
13. Orchestrating sporadic events of excitement and novelty, (falling airplanes, fish in the swimming pool, etc)
14. Authority figures appear to have complete mastery of the immediate realm and outside realm.
15. A over preoccupation with games and fitness that are joyless.
16. A over preoccupation and constant reporting of trivial matters; hours slept, hygeine, etc
17. Subject to continuous casual interrogation on all matters
18. Orchestrating sporadic events of horror and fear in which authority figures rescue and protect from etc)
19. Continuous training and preparation for events of horror
19. Continuous drill and inspection on mundane tasks
20. Authority figures only source and authors of history
21. Known history stresses dependence on, generosity of, and the need of authority figures
22. All media & entertainment reinforces known history
23. Examples of nonconformists are negative
24. No roles other than those provided by authority figures
25. Limited means and modes of expression
26. Authority figures determine what forms of expression and content are appropriate.
27. Total dependence on authority figures for all basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, medical, transportation, etc
28. All outside visitors are vetted by and in collusion with authority figures
29. Authority figures punish severely, often and with no recourse available.
30. Fictional hardships and disasters are continuously alluded to and continuously barely avoided.
31. No spiritual or religious expression not associated with authority figures
32. Authority figures sole providers and authors of education
33. Everything must be earned, and then dispensed by authority figures
34. An over seriousness in all things preventing any humor.
35. Fostering the belief that one is working towards a better life and greater freedom that only the authority figure can deliver.
Last edited by brekin on Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
If I knew all mysteries and all knowledge, and have not charity, I am nothing. St. Paul
I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind. Eric Hoffer
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby hava1 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:57 am

beg to differ on humor. It can perfectly coexist with the worst totalitarian systems, and most abusives ones as well. humor can serve as ventilation or survival tools, but they dont alleviate or off set abuse/control, IMO, from personal experience. Hmor can also serve as "manipulation of language" and assigning false meanings to situations. It can also assist maintaining dissociation and so forth. It took me many years to avoid this shelter and minimization, through developed humor. I can write a lot more, but it could be triggering for some, definitely to myself.

brekin wrote:SPOILER WARNING
.
Thought of another key tactic used by totalitarian systems that
was evident in the Dogtooth family I'm adding to the list.
An over seriousness in all things
preventing any humor. I think it was
Koestler who said "Dictators fear laughter more then bombs." Many
proclamations by the parents in the film would be greeted by
howls of laughter by less isolated children.

(I've also noticed a similar thing in most profession shows
on network television. The Cop, Lawyer, Doctor shows. Everything is so
serious, and any of the jokes are of the unfunny trench humor
or snarky I'm smarter then you type. In comparison I think of good Cop shows like
The Wire where people tell jokes, have nicknames, make fun of themselves
and each other.)

1. Constant competitions, tests and evaluations on trivialities for basic needs and wants.
2. Isolation from all outside influences, media, people, books, radio, t.v.
3. Fostering constant rivalry for attention and status.
4. Fostering constant spying and tattling.
5. Control of language including the power to (re)define words.
6. Control of sexual relations and partners through ignorance.
7. Creating impassible borders based on fear and exaggerating minor threats.
8. Demonizing harmless people, places and things.
9. Creating a routine of boredom and reward.
10. Idolizing those who are complicit in your confinement and ignorance. The captor as helper.
11. Limiting options and exaggerating the importance of the few allowed.
12. Fostering great concern and anticipation over trivial matters: dinner, entertainment
13. Orchestrating sporadic events of excitement and novelty, (falling airplanes, fish in the swimming pool, etc)
14. Authority figures appear to have complete mastery of the immediate realm and outside realm.
15. A over preoccupation with games and fitness that are joyless.
16. A over preoccupation and constant reporting of trivial matters; hours slept, hygeine, etc
17. Subject to continuous casual interrogation on all matters
18. Orchestrating sporadic events of horror and fear in which authority figures rescue and protect from etc)
19. Continuous training and preparation for events of horror
19. Continuous drill and inspection on mundane tasks
20. Authority figures only source and authors of history
21. Known history stresses dependence on, generosity of, and the need of authority figures
22. All media & entertainment reinforces known history
23. Examples of nonconformists are negative
24. No roles other than those provided by authority figures
25. Limited means and modes of expression
26. Authority figures determine what forms of expression and content are appropriate.
27. Total dependence on authority figures for all basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, medical, transportation, etc
28. All outside visitors are vetted by and in collusion with authority figures
29. Authority figures punish severely, often and with no recourse available.
30. Fictional hardships and disasters are continuously alluded to and continuously barely avoided.
31. No spiritual or religious expression not associated with authority figures
32. Authority figures sole providers and authors of education
33. Everything must be earned, and then dispensed by authority figures
34. An over seriousness in all things preventing any humor.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby brekin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:05 am

hava1 wrote:

beg to differ on humor. It can perfectly coexist with the worst totalitarian systems, and most abusives ones as well. humor can serve as ventilation or survival tools, but they dont alleviate or off set abuse/control, IMO, from personal experience.


I think you are talking about gulag humor? I think that it exists and is vital to survival but I'm talking more
about humor not being officially sanctioned and/or controlled by authority figures. Humor is a subversive activity and those living in a totalitarian system I'm sure make use of it, but I would guess they would do discreetly and
not in open defiance of the authority figures. But these are guesses....
If I knew all mysteries and all knowledge, and have not charity, I am nothing. St. Paul
I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind. Eric Hoffer
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby hava1 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:39 am

Brekin, you know, now that this is coming up, I think it merits a bit of MK-MC digging, re programming involving humor. For this perhaps we should do some defining, and look up some recent "psycho social" and neuro-psychiatric research.

I agree the people in that movie were "flat", and had no humor, or for that matter any other emotions. Also they didnt get drunk or hi on substance etc. The were Zombified, but I submit that to create for instance "programmed sex slave" you'd want to develop a certain joviality and even develop high sense of humor, social one, but also other types. Its the first time I treat this as a separate issue, so my thoughts a sketchy, but definitely, for political analysis, humor does not rule out the worst tyrrany, sadism and what not.

Coincidently, or not (LOL), I happened to run into american project on humor research from the bio-psychological aspect, in partnership with some Israeli questionable researchers. So, perhaps humor is being now weaponized :)))
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hum ... fect-smile
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby bardobailey » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:55 am

Bruce was discovered several days later, when the stench became obvious. Dad set her beyond the fence with brother so the distant scent of death could mingle with his stern but loving lecture about the continuing and escalating danger of cats. They threw little zombies over the fence. Shortly after Mom had a dog, the eldest began to show. Dad speared some lobsters in the pool. Life went on.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby charlie meadows » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:05 pm

hava1 wrote:So, perhaps humor is being now weaponized.


It's already been done.

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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby brekin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:54 pm

hava1 wrote:

Brekin, you know, now that this is coming up, I think it merits a bit of MK-MC digging, re programming involving humor. For this perhaps we should do some defining, and look up some recent "psycho social" and neuro-psychiatric research.

I agree the people in that movie were "flat", and had no humor, or for that matter any other emotions. Also they didnt get drunk or hi on substance etc. The were Zombified, but I submit that to create for instance "programmed sex slave" you'd want to develop a certain joviality and even develop high sense of humor, social one, but also other types. Its the first time I treat this as a separate issue, so my thoughts a sketchy, but definitely, for political analysis, humor does not rule out the worst tyrrany, sadism and what not.

Coincidently, or not (LOL), I happened to run into american project on humor research from the bio-psychological aspect, in partnership with some Israeli questionable researchers. So, perhaps humor is being now weaponized :)))
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hum ... fect-smile


Yeah, I could see that for more advanced castes or higher ranking people in a totalitarian system or process you would want that higher sense of humor. The type and topics of humor would still probably have to be controlled or monitored somehow though. Determining what and who is worthy of being laughed at is a huge power I imagine (as anyone who has told a bad joke to a authoritarian power probably discovers)

The masses I guess would be allowed a open humor that mocked marginalized out groups and enemies of the
totalitarian system, as well as cruder physical humor. Pretty weighty topic when you think about it...

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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby Project Willow » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:00 pm

brekin wrote:.
Thought of another key tactic used by totalitarian systems that
was evident in the Dogtooth family I'm adding to the list.
An over seriousness in all things
preventing any humor. I think it was
Koestler who said "Dictators fear laughter more then bombs." Many
proclamations by the parents in the film would be greeted by
howls of laughter by less isolated children.


We've had enough discussions of Jon Stewart around here to suggest otherwise. I think it would depend upon the strength of the system in place, its rulers' confidence, and their personal neuroses.

The children might laugh, or cry, or get angry in response to the parents, but if these eruptions are met with ambivalent silence, or perhaps mocking or teasing then you have an exchange that reinforces rather than challenges the authority of the parents, even though they might involve humor.

brekin wrote:(I've also noticed a similar thing in most profession shows
on network television. The Cop, Lawyer, Doctor shows. Everything is so
serious, and any of the jokes are of the unfunny trench humor
or snarky I'm smarter then you type. In comparison I think of good Cop shows like
The Wire where people tell jokes, have nicknames, make fun of themselves
and each other.)


Yes, what I can't tolerate about most of those shows is the uber-confident inflection, the exaggerated swagger of the authority figures. It's as if they are robotically free and clean from any form of genuine vulnerability or self reflection. I mean, who acts that, ever?

hava1 wrote:The were Zombified, but I submit that to create for instance "programmed sex slave" you'd want to develop a certain joviality and even develop high sense of humor, social one, but also other types. Its the first time I treat this as a separate issue, so my thoughts a sketchy, but definitely, for political analysis, humor does not rule out the worst tyrrany, sadism and what not.


Self betrayal for survival purposes, it can be a complicated art.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby brekin » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:32 pm

Project Willow wrote:

brekin wrote:
.
Thought of another key tactic used by totalitarian systems that
was evident in the Dogtooth family I'm adding to the list.
An over seriousness in all things
preventing any humor. I think it was
Koestler who said "Dictators fear laughter more then bombs." Many
proclamations by the parents in the film would be greeted by
howls of laughter by less isolated children.



We've had enough discussions of Jon Stewart around here to suggest otherwise. I think it would depend upon the strength of the system in place, its rulers' confidence, and their personal neuroses.


I guess totalitarian would presume total strength and reach of the system. Whereas authoritarian or semi-authoritarian would not have total strength or reach in all matters. I would consider the family structure
in Dogtooth to be totalitarian.



brekin wrote:
(I've also noticed a similar thing in most profession shows
on network television. The Cop, Lawyer, Doctor shows. Everything is so
serious, and any of the jokes are of the unfunny trench humor
or snarky I'm smarter then you type. In comparison I think of good Cop shows like
The Wire where people tell jokes, have nicknames, make fun of themselves
and each other.)



Yes, what I can't tolerate about most of those shows is the uber-confident inflection, the exaggerated swagger of the authority figures. It's as if they are robotically free and clean from any form of genuine vulnerability or self reflection. I mean, who acts that, ever?


Yes, its funny I don't know if its the environment I work in, but I think I've seen an increase in people who seem to aspire to that.
If I knew all mysteries and all knowledge, and have not charity, I am nothing. St. Paul
I hang onto my prejudices, they are the testicles of my mind. Eric Hoffer
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby hava1 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:21 am

Watched "eye wide shut"....oooh, quite a long one...and indeed a good movie. The ethics though is very conservative, in terms of "the loving proper couple falling into the crack and coming out alive and stronger in their matrimonial love", but yes, the "Crack" is described quite realistically, though sparingly (no dead children etc.). I also thought there was a "jewish angle" there, with the heroes being "american" (christian wasps, probably), and the "middle man" (sort of social climber mid level guy), a Jew (ziegler), but also trying not to be the worse, explaining that he is much lower on the ladder , compared to the "big shots". I would say that's a fair description, in terms of social realities. He also explains his policy, sort of, to "fit with the big wigs", where he finds his justification.

and ofcourse lots of symbolism with "Alice" "helena" and so forth. *domino, and the servants called Roz, Rosa etc.
but i'm sure you all chewed on this before.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby justdrew » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:24 am

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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby Project Willow » Sun May 01, 2011 4:16 am

OK, could someone explain to me what part of this thread represents a cliquish process, or a call to play a game, because it's all quite over my head. You know, sometimes I'm just not that savvy.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby bardobailey » Sun May 01, 2011 6:38 am

nevermind.
Last edited by bardobailey on Sun May 01, 2011 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greatest RI Movie Ever: The Rules.

Postby justdrew » Sun May 01, 2011 7:28 am

Project Willow wrote:OK, could someone explain to me what part of this thread represents a cliquish process, or a call to play a game, because it's all quite over my head. You know, sometimes I'm just not that savvy.


well, maybe... jack's lighthearted call to 'not start the thread' until x# of people have seen the movie was like "play" in that it could only be hoped that 'we' would play along. so there's pretending, consensual involvement and agreement to abide by arbitrarily stated rules, a sense of 'fun' playfulness in constructing this fiction to tide things along with a placeholder thread until a critical mass of other posters have seen the movie, so as to foster discussion. so it's was playful, could be called a game, or gambit perhaps I suppose. a sense of cliquishness I suppose may come in due to the 'playing along with the rules' -edness of it all. Playing along, kinda like pretending a thread is a saloon? :wink: So I can see all that, but I don't see why any of that should be off-putting, I'm guessing b.h. simply took the declarations of rules a bit too seriously? and/or isn't aware of how he might even find the movie, much less see it, if he's not a netflix user or otherwise watching movies online, it might seem a bit obscure. I guess it was probably just a minor misunderstanding, heck, I wasn't entirely sure what jack was going on about at first either (this time, usually he makes perfect sense 8) )




so we've got some nominations for 'greatest RI movie ever' now.

so, I hereby nominate this as a possible chief mascot poem for r.i. :D
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