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Thread: Elysium

  1. #61
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It's hard to take Elysium that seriously. One of the villains of the piece actually said, "Don't let that dying irradiating guy ruin the bedsheets in the hospital ward, I don't want to pay for new ones."
    Well, welcome to the real world. Such scenes happen everyday and are commonplace outside the Western world.

    And sometimes it's even worst than that. But it's funny that you can't take it seriously or that you consider it lacks nuance. The real world lacks nuance, and nuance is a class privilege.


    Tell me: who did assemble your computer? Have you been into a Chinese factory?

    In 2013, the average fate of mankind is being a semi-slave living in a slum.
    It's already happening, it's already there. There's nothing really new within this movie.

    And I do not think it's a story about good vs evil (the real world is neither bad or good), but rather about people who have a kind of tunnel vision syndrome. And it affects the poor as well as the rich: each one tries to do what's best for their immediate surroundings first. Each one tries to survive in their own way.
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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    In 2013, the majority of mankind already lives in slums, and many of them are considerably worst than the one pictured in Mexico City.

    Though it would seem that there is a difference between the quality of lives of Mexicans and residents of Niger, that is between the citizens of a developing and a severely underdeveloped nation. The Elysium scenario seemingly overlooked that distinction, though I am unsure how important it is.
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  3. #63
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Well, welcome to the real world. Such scenes happen everyday and are commonplace outside the Western world.

    And sometimes it's even worst than that. But it's funny that you can't take it seriously or that you consider it lacks nuance. The real world lacks nuance, and nuance is a class privilege.


    Tell me: who did assemble your computer? Have you been into a Chinese factory?

    In 2013, the average fate of mankind is being a semi-slave living in a slum.
    It's already happening, it's already there. There's nothing really new within this movie.
    Again, I'm approaching this from a scriptwriting POV and as a constructed piece, not in the framework in which you are discussing it.

    Bottom line: This movie is not winning any awards for the writing, even if you believe it is somehow "authentic to some parts of the world." Movies are condensed/concentrated snapshots of life, and this kind of cliche didn't contribute anything new or memorable to the discussion.

    And I do not think it's a story about good vs evil (the real world is neither bad or good), but rather about people who have a kind of tunnel vision syndrome. And it affects the poor as well as the rich: each one tries to do what's best for their immediate surroundings first. Each one tries to survive in its own way.
    I do find that point to be a useful consideration. There was a lot of Western response assuming that the director was trying to label the rich as evil and the poor as good.

    So what makes you think that the director was being neutral, vs actually painting a pretty stark picture against the rich? I have trouble remembering a situation where the poor were seen as villains per se. In fact, they seemed to be highlighted as heroes (even including the "noble death" of Max's friend Julio (?)), and pretty much every time there was a rich person, they were treated at best as oblivious and self-absorbed, and at worst as pathetically selfish and oppressive.

    The psycho mercenaries were perhaps amoral in presentation. They just worked for whoever paid them but killed indiscriminately.
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  4. #64
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    There was a lot of Western response assuming that the director was trying to label the rich as evil and the poor as good.
    In that scenario, it seemed like an apt criticism. After all, the rich oppressed the poor who fought for a more humane politico-economic regime. There was an implicit argument that the poor were doing good and the rich were doing evil, but there was no argument that the two socio-economic classes could not have switched roles as that was simply outside of the purview of the plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So what makes you think that the director was being neutral,
    We could say that he was being neutral in the sense that he made a defensible judgment that in this given situation, the poor were fighting for justice. It would have been obvious that he was not neutral if the director clearly implied that the poor were by their nature incapable of doing evil and the rich were incapable of doing good. The producer also implied that scenarios similar to Elysium occurred in countless countries of the developing world and that again, can be interpreted as an objective observation of the politico-economic realities of the modern world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    actually painting a pretty stark picture against the rich?
    I don't think he was painting a picture of the characters of the rich as much as their actions in a specific situation that is quite pertinent to the plight of the enormous wealth disparities plaguing the modern world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I have trouble remembering a situation where the poor were seen as villains per se.
    Would it make any sense to portray them as villains when the rich were perpetrating the majority of the severest atrocities in the plot? I am going with Blackmail on this one, the theme had little to do with good vs evil and everything to do with two socio-economic classes acting in their political self-interest by attempting to undermine their nemesis class. This takes us back to my earlier analysis that the opposition between the prosperous and the indigent is immitigable and when given the opportunity, both classes will oppress their opponent. In the Elysium scenario and in most developing and the severely underdeveloped countries, that is also the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    In fact, they seemed to be highlighted as heroes (even including the "noble death" of Max's friend Julio (?)),
    Perhaps the rich would have been highlighted as heroes if a sequel to the Elysium was released. In such a scenario, we'd probably see the rich as the peaceful residents of a society dominated by populist rabblerousers and chaotic mobs of formerly penurious citizens who loot, pilfer and deprive the formerly privileged members of society of not only their legitimately acquired property, but also of their inalienable individual rights. You're making a fundamental attribution error by assuming that because the poor were acting virtuously and the rich behaved in a morally deplorable fashion, it must be because the former are by their "morally heroic" and the latter are are deserving of our most vigorous moral condemnations. In a lot of cases, people do things because of their circumstances and not because of the integrity of their character or a lack thereof.





    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    and pretty much every time there was a rich person, they were treated at best as oblivious and self-absorbed, and at worst as pathetically selfish and oppressive.
    Isn't that a fairly accurate picture of most members of today's ruling class, especially those of the severely underdeveloped countries? We have a ruling class in the U.S too, but their freedoms to oppress the underprivileged are much more limited than they are in the "Bottom Billion" countries, to borrow Paul Collier's term.



    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The psycho mercenaries were perhaps amoral in presentation.
    The role of the mercenaries in the plot should be interpreted literally, they represented themselves and not the elites. It is also rather typical for the ruling class to employ the services of mercenaries and such mercenaries often display distinctive psychopathic traits.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    They just worked for whoever paid them but killed indiscriminately.
    How is this element of the plot misleading about today's politico-economic realities? Do you expect the mercenaries to have a different attitude?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Have you ever studied in Harvard, Berkeley, Yale or Princeton?

    I think it's time to realize that it's almost impossible to reach the world where I live for ordinary guys like you. Be realistic, and guess why.
    We simply do not share the same cultural capital.
    No but I did go to the US Naval Academy and am the owner of a Gym.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    So basically....

    Rich people are EVIL THE MOVIE!!
    But you forgot also that we can all get something for nothing, apparently have an unlimited supply of resources, and


    I'm willing to suspend belief for a movie but come on, at least follow your own ****ing rules once you make them up. This movie seriously pissed me off. I don't want to pay my money to have some mindless political message force fed to me about how evil (misrepresented) rational egoism is by a bunch of extremely wealthy actors and producers/directors. If your socialist system is so damn good then why hasn't it worked in any time or place where it's been tried. For **** sake, get the hell out of the way and let us "selfish bastards" actually make this world a better place. **** it, who is John Galt?

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    But you forgot also that we can all get something for nothing, apparently have an unlimited supply of resources, and


    I'm willing to suspend belief for a movie but come on, at least follow your own ****ing rules once you make them up. This movie seriously pissed me off. I don't want to pay my money to have some mindless political message force fed to me about how evil (misrepresented) rational egoism is by a bunch of extremely wealthy actors and producers/directors. If your socialist system is so damn good then why hasn't it worked in any time or place where it's been tried. For **** sake, get the hell out of the way and let us "selfish bastards" actually make this world a better place. **** it, who is John Galt?
    Socialism is a complex phenomenon and one does not need to be a socialist to sympathize with the Elysium theme. Whether or not a political system fails or succeeds has a great deal to do with the setting where it was implemented. For example, Marxism led to social democracy in Sweden, but to totalitarianism in Russia. Some conceptions of socialism would portray Germany and Finland as socialist states, but they are not by any means failed states.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    Socialism is a complex phenomenon and one does not need to be a socialist to sympathize with the Elysium theme. Whether or not a political system fails or succeeds has a great deal to do with the setting where it was implemented. For example, Marxism led to social democracy in Sweden, but to totalitarianism in Russia. Some conceptions of socialism would portray Germany and Finland as socialist states, but they are not by any means failed states.
    They're not exactly world powers either. Why should America regress to something lesser than itself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Unfortunately, it's not a cliche.

    The real world is even worst than that, and I've witnessed similar scenes countless times in Asia or Africa, in countries or situations where indeed, you have no middle class. The ruling class is most of the time totally impervious to any human feeling, and they rule with an iron fist.
    This movie is disappointing somehow because this is isn't science fiction, and yet, it's not realistic enough (especially because you have a good ending and tons of fluffy feelings). This kind of segregation is already happening everywhere, and the Western world is Elysium. We live in a surreal bubble of prosperity and most of the American audience doesn't seem to be really aware of it, or of the huge price the rest of mankind pays to maintain the so-called "American way of life". We are aristocrats and dilletantes, compared to what happens everywhere else.

    In 2013, the majority of mankind already lives in slums, and many of them are considerably worst than the one pictured in Mexico City.
    The problem with those places is not fundementally that they are poor as poor is to some extent a relative term. In fact the poor around the world own trillions of dollars in assets. The problem is they live in countries with poor legal systems and corrupt governments so those assets are locked up and they are not able to make the best use of a market system. Thus only the rich in those countries and multinationals have the means to access the government so that they profit off of the property they own.
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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky13 View Post
    They're not exactly world powers either. Why should America regress to something lesser than itself?
    What makes us superior to them? That we have a stronger military? Does that make North Korea superior to these countries too?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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