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Print Page - Night's approach to graphic movies

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Films => The Happening => Topic started by: moonflower843 on June 11, 2008, 12:54:00 AM

Title: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: moonflower843 on June 11, 2008, 12:54:00 AM
This is my first post here, so hello to everyone.
I am a big fan of Night's movies because they make me think. I like thinking movies (and tv shows) and thus tend to steer towards this genre when choosing what to watch. At first I was excited to find out that Night was doing a new movie, but now I'm not so sure. After seeing the trailers (the normal tv one and the red band ones), I'm heavily disappointed by the graphic nature of The Happening. I'm disappointed cos I'm a dedicated fan of Night's work and don't want to miss a movie of his. I hate graphic anything - movies, tv shows etc (and yes I have of course seen movies of all ratings). I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

The trailers for the Happening alone disturbed me. I know I can't assume the entire content of the movie will be like the trailers, but I don't want to see those violent things. I don't want to scar my mind with that stuff. That stuff really scares me (purely because of the way it's shown and not the concept behind it). The Happening is apparently not a gore movie. I'm hoping that's true. At the risk of sounding like a sour old codger - in my opinion, gore is just senseless violence and I don't know why people see it. Surely there's enough violence in society already. I want to watch something that has a deep meaning behind it - a puzzle to unravel or something that makes me say "I never thought about that before". I want to be introduced to a new concept or way of seeing the world. I want to think about this movie for weeks afterwards, in the way I did particularly for The Sixth Sense and The Village. I don't expect a twist in every Shyamalan film, just some substance. Is watching people getting eaten by lions entertainment? I think not.     

The film comes out tomorrow here in Australia (12 June) with a rating of MA15+. I'm going to wait for reviews to find out just how accurate the trailer is in relation to the film overall (after all, we know what happened with the Lady in the Water trailer saga!). If it has a clever, thought-out plot like Night's other movies then I will consider seeing it. I want to go away thinking about the natural world turning on us and it's implications, not how sick I feel because of the violence. I don't want to sound like a wuss, but if it's more leaning towards Sixth Sense-type scenes, fine. If it's totally juiced up to horror violence level then I wouldn't be interested. As they say, this film is not for everyone. Many Night fans will stay on, but there will be some who are disappointed by the R-17 rating.

This is just my personal opinion. I write it because I'm wondering what to do about seeing the movie or not. Anyone else in the same boat?   

Jen
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Kable on June 11, 2008, 02:02:55 AM
I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

That?s exactly why I?m so curious about The Happening. Shyamalan always stood against graphic violence. He showed us the sound insted of showing us the actually thing, or he showed us a Shadow passing through. When I Saw the R-Rated think it confuses me. But I suddenly realise. If he wrote a movie that needs to show so much, then he?s trying to say something. It must have a meaning.

I understand why one critic compare it with Frank Darabont?s The Mist. When you?re watching The Mist you think it?s just another sci-fi horror movie, with cruel aliens and stuff. But in the end of it, you understand why the Aliens had to be depicted that way. I?m not going to tell much, but I think you?ll love The Mist. If you have the oportunity, watch it! It?s a movie that shakes your head with the mensage their trying to say.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 11, 2008, 10:05:52 AM
I know there will be a message because it is an M. Night Shyamalan film, but I completely understand what you are saying moonflower843, and waiting's not such a bad thing.  Also, after the film comes out you can check out these websites- www.pluggedinonline.com and www.kids-in-mind.com.  They have reviews of the film but focus on the content in the film such and sexual content, violence, and language.   They might be a help.  Also, I'm seeing it Friday, so I'll PM about what's in it, maybe that will help you with your decision.  I was in the same boat, but decided to watch, give Night that chance, that it wouldn't focus on the gore, but be a superb story like the rest of his films.

***Also, anybody else joining this thread, watch what you post, there was a similar thread on this board that got locked down because people were getting mad, please don't do that here.***
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: moonflower843 on June 11, 2008, 10:09:27 AM
Thank you both for your recommendations. I'll investigate both avenues!
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Rulm on June 11, 2008, 01:26:21 PM
This is my first post here, so hello to everyone.
I am a big fan of Night's movies because they make me think. I like thinking movies (and tv shows) and thus tend to steer towards this genre when choosing what to watch. At first I was excited to find out that Night was doing a new movie, but now I'm not so sure. After seeing the trailers (the normal tv one and the red band ones), I'm heavily disappointed by the graphic nature of The Happening. I'm disappointed cos I'm a dedicated fan of Night's work and don't want to miss a movie of his. I hate graphic anything - movies, tv shows etc (and yes I have of course seen movies of all ratings). I don't think it's necessary to tell a good story by including such graphic images and violence at that level. I think it's far more effective to tell a thrilling story by what you DON'T see (think movies like The Mothman Prophecies or White Noise - nothing was actually shown, it was all conceptual and therefore more thought-provoking). Why not leave it up to the audience to decide what they might see around the next corner?

The trailers for the Happening alone disturbed me. I know I can't assume the entire content of the movie will be like the trailers, but I don't want to see those violent things. I don't want to scar my mind with that stuff. That stuff really scares me (purely because of the way it's shown and not the concept behind it). The Happening is apparently not a gore movie. I'm hoping that's true. At the risk of sounding like a sour old codger - in my opinion, gore is just senseless violence and I don't know why people see it. Surely there's enough violence in society already. I want to watch something that has a deep meaning behind it - a puzzle to unravel or something that makes me say "I never thought about that before". I want to be introduced to a new concept or way of seeing the world. I want to think about this movie for weeks afterwards, in the way I did particularly for The Sixth Sense and The Village. I don't expect a twist in every Shyamalan film, just some substance. Is watching people getting eaten by lions entertainment? I think not.     

The film comes out tomorrow here in Australia (12 June) with a rating of M15+. I'm going to wait for reviews to find out just how accurate the trailer is in relation to the film overall (after all, we know what happened with the Lady in the Water trailer saga!). If it has a clever, thought-out plot like Night's other movies then I will consider seeing it. I want to go away thinking about the natural world turning on us and it's implications, not how sick I feel because of the violence. I don't want to sound like a wuss, but if it's more leaning towards Sixth Sense-type scenes, fine. If it's totally juiced up to horror violence level then I wouldn't be interested. As they say, this film is not for everyone. Many Night fans will stay on, but there will be some who are disappointed by the R-17 rating.

This is just my personal opinion. I write it because I'm wondering what to do about seeing the movie or not. Anyone else in the same boat?   

Jen
Welcome!
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: JWMMakerofMusic on June 11, 2008, 08:17:35 PM
Moonflower, you aren't alone in being a dedicated M. Night fan who is turned off by the idea of the gore.  I heard somewhere that the gore is like that which you see in The Birds, but do visit the sites Mr. Glass gave you for a more detailed account.  I sure will be. ;D
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Rohan on June 11, 2008, 09:33:32 PM
Moonflower, first welcome to our forum and I hope you enjoy yourself here. I totally understand your point of view, but if you think the movie has an important message. Personally, I never thought M.Night will make a gory movie, but he is a writer and can write whatever he wants to write or how he wants to end it. There is nothing we can do about it. We as fans love his work and his dedication for the work he does. I have seen all his films and I have no complains about them. I was super surprised when they didn't M.Night the academy award for directing and also the movie "The Sixth Sense".

I don't know if you really going to watch it or not, but the movie has an important message. I am going to watch it because he is one of my all time favorite directors/writers and plus the script he wrote for this movie is unique. I love his work. And speaking of gore and stuff, I sometimes enjoy them and sometimes I really don't.

I think you will love the movie, and I also recommend check out the sites Mr.Glass recommended earlier or you can wait for our reviews on this site without spoiler or we can message you personally what we saw. I know where you coming from, you love his work, but you don't like gore.

Rohan
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Khepri on June 12, 2008, 05:56:43 AM
yes there will be graphic violence guys and not just once...but not in the gore style,we're talking about Shyamalan...
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 12, 2008, 10:04:59 AM
Woo, where did that come from.  Did you see an advance screening.  If so sweet.  That is encouragin that it's not in the gore style.  By the way moonflower843, welcome to the site, glad to have you aboard.  Also, I am seeing The Happening Friday night, so check out those sites, but I will also PM you and JWMMakerofMusic, with what is in the film.  If anybody else want's that, just let me know.  I'll try to avoid spoilers.  One warning, www.pluggedinonline.com gives a summary of what happens in the movie, though they do post spoiler warnings, you might want to be careful on that site if you don't want anything given away.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: moonflower843 on June 14, 2008, 10:22:15 AM
So I caved and went to see The Happening tonight. You know what, it was shocking in 2 ways - 1. Night still hasn't lost his ability to shock or scare the pants off people. 2. Unfortunately he has lost his ability to write a decent plot!

*possible minor spoilers*
So how did I deal with the graphic violence? I shut my eyes in most graphic scenes (except the tradies jumping like lemmings off building sites - that was freaky just by how the scene was shot with the sound, mark wahlberg with the binoculars, mrs jones) All were shocking, especially the jeep as it happened so suddenly before I had time to think. I only heard the other graphic scenes though. Wussy I know to close my eyes, but I didn't need to see that. I don't do well with that kind of thing at all and couldn't handle it. I went with a friend who had only seen the sixth sense years ago, and she said she didn't like the movie afterwards. *SPOILER* She also wanted the ending to be different. Rather than cut to France only a few months later, sthey hould have left us with a warning message (so one "happening" was enough of a warning to take care of the environment). 

Ok please don't shoot me. I like Night's other movies, but I'm sorry to say, it was 2 wasted hours of my life that I can't get back. If I can describe the movie in three words they would be: flimsy (in terms of the plot), predictable and shocking (the horror). Wait, I'm adding a 4th word - insidious (the whole mood of the film).
The whole thing was one big fat cliche. The fact that there was no depth to any of the characters (with the exception of John Leguizamo's character) didn't make me care for them much at all. I mean evil plants/wind/trees? hot dogs? crazy grannies and blatantly obvious lines like "what's happening?" or "If we're going to die then...blah blah blah". What's ironic is the characters that we meet along the way are crazier than the people affected by the plants.

I don't mean to sound like a sour movie reviewer, but the film was highly predictable, highly unoriginal and just plain grizly violent. Yes I knew I was coming to see a violent movie, I don't deny that, but come on! A little plot wouldn't go astray! It seems that it was just "oh no, there's a virus in plants. Run away! (to the most leafy part of new england, no less - stupid!)" That's it. Was this movie designed to be a joke? If so, it would make more sense.
  
My overall thought was "Night had a semi-interesting idea and there was a plot just TRYING to burst out, but bad acting and bad writing made it fall apart".
The only redeeming part of the movie was the more scientific take on things. Just the mindlessness of it. The human brain's neurotransmitters being overridden, similar to the way a computer virus infiltrates a computer's system by breaking down its safety mechanisms (firewalls etc). At uni I have studied advanced motor control and learning (which looks at the functions of the human brain in relation to sensation and movement, including how neurotransmitters work) so I understand what they are getting at, therefore I was interested in the science of it. One thing was freaky - people topping themselves in such a thoughtless way with no pain, no fear, as if it were no different from say, eating or writing your name. You could really see this bigger picture of how a virus takes hold of a life form. The unexplained nature of it was interesting too. No-one knew what the hell was going on initially, people just started to react violently to it without explanation. It's humans acting contrary to what is normal that scares people I think, and that goes for other things in society today.   

Sorry for anyone who liked this movie *shudders*. I respect your views. Feel free to comment whatever they are. Just my 2 cents worth...
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: DILinator on June 14, 2008, 01:10:23 PM
Re: moonflower843

Everybody's entitled to their own opinion, as are you.  However, I think there's a part of the movie reviewing segment that expects movies to be more artsy, and less grounded in real-life behavior.  I think what many call cliche is simply an honest take on what real people would say and do, and how they'd react.  Arthouse films rarely portray how real people think, act and talk in real life.  While not every line was perfect, I do feel the overall tone of how actual human beings would speak was captured pretty well here.  As for being predictable, maybe it was.  But at least it was predictably good.  Nothings worse than a movie which is unpredictably bad, like No Country for Old Men. 
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 14, 2008, 03:54:59 PM
I agree with DILinator.  Also, moonflower843-you are not a wuss.  There were many people who covered their eyes in the theater I went to.  Some people almost left in the opening scene.  I disagree with your opinion about the movie, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.  :)
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: melsteamer on June 16, 2008, 08:47:35 PM
I'm new to the forum as well.  After seeing the movie, I had to go online and talk to my friends to see if people were "getting" the movie or not.  Some people seem to absolutely get the movie, some don't.  

In some of the articles I've read, the man himself described the movie as a "B-movie."  The acting, the dialogue, the plot, even the gore is very reminiscent of classic B-movies like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."  Betty Buckley's performance in particular was completely over the top!  

It's like he's poking fun at the thought that the environment can attack us.  Remember at the beginning of the movie how the one kid answered "global warming?"  In that kind of joking voice, because (of course) global warming is the pc way of explaining everything that happens nowadays.  The first guy to suggest that it was the plants causing this was kind of a freaky, granola-type that was obsessed with hot dogs - seems like he's kinding of poking fun at environmentalists.

Like all of his movies, this movie has religious undertones as well.  We don't know why things happen.  Many things are unexplainable because God controls it, not man.  If you notice, the last two words of the film are "My God" (but in French).  And, the only man standing in the French park (after everyone else had become disoriented and lost power of speech) spoke those words.  Also notice there are no churches throughout the movie (at least not that I noticed).  Why?  Maybe the people who believed in God and fled to churches to pray survived the "attacks."  Also notice where the attacks happened - in the northeast and then France.  The northeast is more secular than the midwest, and France is more secular than the entire United States.  I think there was also mention of the attacks occuring in California.  These regions are the least religious, coinscidence?

Also the suicide factor - no person who truly believes in God commits suicide because it condemns your soul.  Near the beginning of the movie, there was some statement saying that the toxins reversed a person's self-preservation instinct.  But, it was so much more than that!  Suicide is not lack of self-preservation, but lack of belief in God.  So, say God were to make this happen, would God-fearing people kill themselves?  Or, only people who didn't have faith?  

My friend thought the color theme of the movie was yellow - the mood ring, the flowers in the field, numerous backgrounds.  I think I'd have to see the movie again to get that.  I haven't seen any comments on that, I'm hoping to as more and more people so the movie.

Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: steven120566 on June 19, 2008, 08:54:51 PM
OK 4 of my 5 favorite movies of all time are Signs, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and The Village. I didn't like LITW at all, except for Giamatti's work. At any rate I am a huge fan of most of Night's work. Signs is an incredible film in so many ways. I am not a fan of violence, but am a fan of the "what you don't see can scare you" when done as well as Night has done so many times :) He's a master of the camera angle itself being integral to the story.

So I am afraid to see this one, it seems from what I can tell to be contrary to what he has done so well. Not that he shouldn't make the movie however he wishes, but the emotions and situations of his charachters, in addition to his mastery of the film medium, have made these others so great.

I have never seen Wahlberg in a very good performance, doesn't seem close Phoenix, Willis, Gibson, Jackson, Giamatti, etc. I don't know if I will like this one...

Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Namaste on June 19, 2008, 11:06:44 PM
there wasnt any attack mentioned in california..It was confined to only the one area.

Also, Samuel L Jackson should be in another Shyamalan movie sometime.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: GenPion on June 20, 2008, 01:46:26 AM
I'm new to the forum as well.  After seeing the movie, I had to go online and talk to my friends to see if people were "getting" the movie or not.  Some people seem to absolutely get the movie, some don't. 

In some of the articles I've read, the man himself described the movie as a "B-movie."  The acting, the dialogue, the plot, even the gore is very reminiscent of classic B-movies like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes."  Betty Buckley's performance in particular was completely over the top! 

It's like he's poking fun at the thought that the environment can attack us.  Remember at the beginning of the movie how the one kid answered "global warming?"  In that kind of joking voice, because (of course) global warming is the pc way of explaining everything that happens nowadays.  The first guy to suggest that it was the plants causing this was kind of a freaky, granola-type that was obsessed with hot dogs - seems like he's kinding of poking fun at environmentalists.

Like all of his movies, this movie has religious undertones as well.  We don't know why things happen.  Many things are unexplainable because God controls it, not man.  If you notice, the last two words of the film are "My God" (but in French).  And, the only man standing in the French park (after everyone else had become disoriented and lost power of speech) spoke those words.  Also notice there are no churches throughout the movie (at least not that I noticed).  Why?  Maybe the people who believed in God and fled to churches to pray survived the "attacks."  Also notice where the attacks happened - in the northeast and then France.  The northeast is more secular than the midwest, and France is more secular than the entire United States.  I think there was also mention of the attacks occuring in California.  These regions are the least religious, coinscidence?

Also the suicide factor - no person who truly believes in God commits suicide because it condemns your soul.  Near the beginning of the movie, there was some statement saying that the toxins reversed a person's self-preservation instinct.  But, it was so much more than that!  Suicide is not lack of self-preservation, but lack of belief in God.  So, say God were to make this happen, would God-fearing people kill themselves?  Or, only people who didn't have faith? 

My friend thought the color theme of the movie was yellow - the mood ring, the flowers in the field, numerous backgrounds.  I think I'd have to see the movie again to get that.  I haven't seen any comments on that, I'm hoping to as more and more people so the movie.



I think (and hope) that your opinion/interpretation is pushing it a bit. To think that Night is suggesting that people are killing themselves in the movie out of lack of faith - well, I just don't buy it.

The movie has a strong focus, like all of his films, on faith. But that doesn't mean he thinks people should be killing themselves or that every individual in the movie that died deserved to die or something like that. That is not how I believe M. Night to be as a person and I completely disagree with that sentiment.

However, I strongly believe the main message we were meant to get from the film is that Faith is Important. Faith in humanity and faith in our environment. If we do not love our planet, or ourselves, then we are esentially killing ourselves and heading on a path of self destruction. That is a very different message for this movie to be sending and ultimately I consider it a positive one that is meant to be hidden, even if only just below the surface it starts to unlayer, under a movie that is classic B-Movie fun with good scares and laughs.

As for Night's approach to graphic movies - I've seen MUCH worse. MUCH, MUCH worse. Which, honestly, is very sad.

Though I don't think I have ever seen a movie where the main focus of the horror/killing is from people visibly being show committing suicide (even if it is triggered by toxins released by the plants). It's this graphic sense of direction and story that will make it hard for a lot of people to even watch this movie.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: DILinator on June 24, 2008, 11:50:40 AM
Also the suicide factor - no person who truly believes in God commits suicide because it condemns your soul.  Near the beginning of the movie, there was some statement saying that the toxins reversed a person's self-preservation instinct.  But, it was so much more than that!  Suicide is not lack of self-preservation, but lack of belief in God.  So, say God were to make this happen, would God-fearing people kill themselves?  Or, only people who didn't have faith?

I agree with a lot of your post, but not this part here.  While suicide in real life is certainly not good, I do not believe that it "condemns your soul".  Christians can and at times do commit suicide.  I think that it shows that they have lost their faith, at least momentarily, but that doesn't mean their soul is condemned.  I know some denominations and sects teach that, but I haven't found anything biblically to support that argument.  Suicide is ultimately an act of supreme selfishness, but not a definitive sign of a lack of belief in God. 

Like I said, I agree with most of what you said, but not that bit there about suicide.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Namaste on June 24, 2008, 11:55:54 AM
Well-put, DILinator.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 24, 2008, 01:55:40 PM
Suicide is ultimately an act of supreme selfishness,  ...

I would have to disagree with you here, DIlinator. I think suicide is an act caused by pain and suffering, not selfishness. Generally, suicide stems from an illness (depression), so to pass judgement on a person who commits suicide is to pass judgement on every person who dies from an illness. Were the people in The Happening who committed suicide supremely selfish? No, they were sick. They were affected by something they had no control over and did not understand. The film shows that scientists and experts did what they could to help people protect themselves, but there was only so much they could do. I don't recall any of the medical experts ever intimating that the victims were selfish. Perhaps, among the other themes of the movie, MNS is suggesting a more scientific and compassionate approach to treating mental illness.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Namaste on June 24, 2008, 02:53:37 PM
Suicide is not caused by anything other than a desire to escape an unpleasant circumstance. It is an act focused only on immediate self-gratification. It is not logical. It screams to the world "I will offer you nothing more. If I can't have things the way I want them, then I won't live at all. I will let every piece of knowledge and experience in me, every future opportunity, every precious second I could have lived go to waste." I've been there, believe me. The moment I realized how illogical it all was..how uneconomical..how selfish..from one minute to the next my perspective turned 180 degrees.

"When one has a breath left, a minute of time, one kind word to say to someone who needs it, a mind with which to solve problems and hands with which to work, he is invaluable." - me

"To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence." -Friedrich Nietzsche
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 24, 2008, 03:19:05 PM
Suicide is not caused by anything other than a desire to escape an unpleasant circumstance. It is an act focused only on immediate self-gratification. It is not logical. It screams to the world "I will offer you nothing more. If I can't have things the way I want them, then I won't live at all. I will let every piece of knowledge and experience in me, every future opportunity, every precious second I could have lived go to waste." I've been there, believe me. The moment I realized how illogical it all was..how uneconomical..how selfish..from one minute to the next my perspective turned 180 degrees.

"When one has a breath left, a minute of time, one kind word to say to someone who needs it, a mind with which to solve problems and hands with which to work, he is invaluable." - me

"To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence." -Friedrich Nietzsche

Lol! If suicide were caused only by the desire to escape an unpleasant circumstance, then women would commit suicide in droves every bikini season.  :D

Seriously, though, I believe suicide generally is an escape from pain, usually caused by depression, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc.-- i.e., an illness.  So I disagree with you. When you touch something that is fiery hot, your instinct is to remove your hand and end the pain as quickly as possible with no thought whatsoever as to the logic. I'm not saying I think suicide is justifiable or to be glorified; I'm simply saying people who attempt or commit suicide should not be demonized. They are sick and need help. Pretty straightforward. No passing of judgement required.

If you've been there and were able to see the illogic, the waste, etc., then you fortunately were not as sick, or were not sick in the same way as someone who followed through. Or you obtained the health care you needed, which is great. If only everyone in that situation were so fortunate ...
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Namaste on June 24, 2008, 03:27:11 PM
well pain and depression are unpleasant circumstances, so if people commit suicide to escape those, then what i said was right.

and just because suicide is A WAY to escape unpleasant circumstances doesnt mean everyone will do it every time they feel uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: DILinator on June 24, 2008, 03:32:59 PM
Suicide is ultimately an act of supreme selfishness,  ...

I would have to disagree with you here, DIlinator. I think suicide is an act caused by pain and suffering, not selfishness. Generally, suicide stems from an illness (depression), so to pass judgement on a person who commits suicide is to pass judgement on every person who dies from an illness. Were the people in The Happening who committed suicide supremely selfish? No, they were sick. They were affected by something they had no control over and did not understand. The film shows that scientists and experts did what they could to help people protect themselves, but there was only so much they could do. I don't recall any of the medical experts ever intimating that the victims were selfish. Perhaps, among the other themes of the movie, MNS is suggesting a more scientific and compassionate approach to treating mental illness.

Given that my profession is a Mental Health Worker, and I work everyday with people with mental illness, and those who are dealing with suicidality, I think I understand a bit about them.  However, whether it's clinically "politically correct" or not to think this way, the fact remains that a person, regardless of the surrounding circumstances, is thinking only of himself when committing suicide, and it is therefore a selfish act.  I understand that there are a lot of things that bring a person to that point, I understand more than most people from working intensely with people with mental illness every day.  But in the end, it boils down to being a selfish act.  I understand if you dont view it that way, as I know many others in my profession do not, and like to eliminate all self-responsibility from the person for their actions.  However, that's not how I see it, and I think a real analysis of the thought process behind it, and the motives for doing it, would back that up.  

As for suicide in the movie, obviously the reasoning behind it was the chemical imbalance brought about by the toxin in the brain.  However, a) no such toxin has ever been found to exist, so basically it's creating something not present in the real world we live in, and b) this all assumes that all mental illness is simply caused by a chemical imbalance, and there's nothing the people battling with it can do about it.  I do not believe that, and while there may be some chemical imbalances, people still are responsible for their actions.  It's not a popular belief amongst the Mental Health Community, but I've certainly found it to be the case, and I'm no less compassionate towards those I work with than any of my co-workers who believe as you are espousing.  I believe we can all can struggle with things like depression and suicidality, and it's not limited to those with a "chemical imbalance".  
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 24, 2008, 03:34:03 PM
well pain and depression are unpleasant circumstances, so if people commit suicide to escape those, then what i said was right.

and just because suicide is A WAY to escape unpleasant circumstances doesnt mean everyone will do it every time they feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps we're simply using different language. But your comment "It is an act focused only on immediate self-gratification" struck me as judgmental, because self-gratification involves pleasure, and I don't think ending pain is the same as experiencing pleasure. I tend to think of self-gratification as something fun, you know, like eating ice cream, going on roller coasters and, er, other things.
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 24, 2008, 03:57:29 PM

As for suicide in the movie, obviously the reasoning behind it was the chemical imbalance brought about by the toxin in the brain.  However, a) no such toxin has ever been found to exist, so basically it's creating something not present in the real world we live in, and b) this all assumes that all mental illness is simply caused by a chemical imbalance, and there's nothing the people battling with it can do about it.  I do not believe that, and while there may be some chemical imbalances, people still are responsible for their actions.  It's not a popular belief amongst the Mental Health Community, but I've certainly found it to be the case, and I'm no less compassionate towards those I work with than any of my co-workers who believe as you are espousing.  I believe we can all can struggle with things like depression and suicidality, and it's not limited to those with a "chemical imbalance".  

Boy, you're not kidding when you say your views are not popular in the Mental Health Community! (And political correctness has nothing to do with it, so please, I beg you, don't fly that flag or take that cop out.) Chemical imbalance and altered brain chemistry are incredibly important when dealing with mental health in the real world. (I realize there isn't a toxin that causes suicide. Doy! ;)) Trauma, for instance, has clearly been shown to cause changes in brain structure and function.

I think it does a tremendous disservice to the mentally ill, the ones who are genuinely suicidal, to ignore the science that has developed with regard to studying brain chemistry. Perhaps if you made a distinction between patients who are clinically depressed and suicidal, and those who suffer 'only' from suicide ideation or a glum world view, your view wouldn't sound so harsh. Wanting to commit suicide and thinking about it, are vastly different from actually doing it. Brain function has been found to be very different in people who attempt suicide than in those who don't. Surely you owe it to your patients to stay current with this type of information?

It makes me so frustrated that because of the stigma of mental illness--the fact that the mentally ill are judged as being somehow irresponsible or weak-minded--health care for mental illness and the study of the brain and mental illness lags so far behind everything else. I sometimes think the U.S. is in the dark ages with regard to the study of mental illness. Having 'the blues' and having clinical depression are vastly different.

But, oh well; relatively few people commit suicide outside of MNS films, so no biggie, eh? [Tone intended to reflect mild sarcasm and good-natured disagreement, not malice! ;)]

And now back to our film!  :D

Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: DILinator on June 24, 2008, 04:06:18 PM
It makes me so frustrated that because of the stigma of mental illness--the fact that the mentally ill are judged as being somehow irresponsible or weak-minded--health care for mental illness and the study of the brain and mental illness lags so far behind everything else. I sometimes think the U.S. is in the dark ages with regard to the study of mental illness. Having 'the blues' and having clinical depression are vastly different.

Believe me, I am not one for stigma, and being somebody "in the trenches" of the Mental Health field, I've seen it all.  However, I just don't believe that we can write off behaviors that people make in their lives strictly to chemical imbalances, and throw a ton of medicine at them.  Honestly, the Mental Health industry is really set up to keep people "prisoner" to the system (and keep the money flowing in), and not really give people freedom from their illness.  I see far too much of this, and as somebody who is trying to help people, that is frustrating to run up against.  I think if we are to teach people to have more accountability for their actions, and not always say "it's an illness and a chemical imbalance and there's nothing you can do about it", I think people would be far better off. 

Like I said before though, I know I'm a maverick in the field as far as my views are concerned, and I accept that.  However, the people I work with know I care about them, and I don't think anybody who has seen me in action can question my compassion. 
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 24, 2008, 04:22:25 PM
It makes me so frustrated that because of the stigma of mental illness--the fact that the mentally ill are judged as being somehow irresponsible or weak-minded--health care for mental illness and the study of the brain and mental illness lags so far behind everything else. I sometimes think the U.S. is in the dark ages with regard to the study of mental illness. Having 'the blues' and having clinical depression are vastly different.

Believe me, I am not one for stigma, and being somebody "in the trenches" of the Mental Health field, I've seen it all.  However, I just don't believe that we can write off behaviors that people make in their lives strictly to chemical imbalances, and throw a ton of medicine at them.  Honestly, the Mental Health industry is really set up to keep people "prisoner" to the system (and keep the money flowing in), and not really give people freedom from their illness.  I see far too much of this, and as somebody who is trying to help people, that is frustrating to run up against.  I think if we are to teach people to have more accountability for their actions, and not always say "it's an illness and a chemical imbalance and there's nothing you can do about it", I think people would be far better off. 

Like I said before though, I know I'm a maverick in the field as far as my views are concerned, and I accept that.  However, the people I work with know I care about them, and I don't think anybody who has seen me in action can question my compassion. 

I'm not a big fan of the whole lifelong dependence on medication thing, either, unless, of course, it helps keep a person alive and functioning. I simply don't know how you can teach a person who is ravaged by schizophrenia, psychosis, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder to be more accountable for their actions and, viola, they are cured. These people very often are struggling to survive one minute at a time. I think a mixture of therapy and medication often is necessary for these types of severe cases--not personal accountability, which I think would fall into the therapy-alone category, if I'm interpreting your comments correctly. And I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you would not blow off medication for patients who are borderline when it comes to possibly harming themselves or others.

Now, can we talk about the hot dog guy? I am very intrigued that the actor's name is "Frank."  :D ;D
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: DILinator on June 26, 2008, 08:23:16 AM
And I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you would not blow off medication for patients who are borderline when it comes to possibly harming themselves or others.

Obviously not, and I do think medication can be helpful at times.  However, there is too much overdependance on it, and on the system, and not enough looking at what a person can do themselves to overcome their problems.  That's how I see it at least. 

As for the hot dog guy, it is a rather funny coincidence, if that's all it is.  But if there's something Night has taught us through Signs, it's that he believes there are no coincidences, so that tells me his movies are very intentional.  Hmmm....  ;)
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 26, 2008, 02:50:33 PM
I liked the hot dog guy, I also think him and his wife survived.  Do you like hot dogs?
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 26, 2008, 05:33:57 PM
I liked the hot dog guy, I also think him and his wife survived.  Do you like hot dogs?

I'm a vegetarian.  :D   But I loved the hot dog guy! He was freaky, and so are a lot of normal people, so he seemed like 'just folks,' you know what I mean?
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 27, 2008, 03:56:13 PM
Shyamalan is the master of character.  His characters seem so real, because you meet people like that.  May I ask why you're a vegetarian?
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: mamasan on June 27, 2008, 06:48:58 PM
Shyamalan is the master of character.  His characters seem so real, because you meet people like that.  May I ask why you're a vegetarian?

Well, it's not as much a virtuous "I-love-animals' thing as it is a 'When-my-daughter-was-two-years-old-numerous-kid-friendly-fast-food-places-started-serving-e-coli-burgers' thing. Also, I lived in England during the mad cow scare--before it surfaced, and we were all merrily eating our burgers. Now, none of us can ever give blood in the U.S., and we'll never know if we ate the 'mad' beef. I've stopped trusting the quality of food available in the marketplace, I guess. So cutting out meat is the best I can do. Everything else I clean as well as I can. (Ironic that tomatoes are the suspected salmonella source now, I know!) I'm sort of an animal rights person, but not nutso, you know. Mostly, it's that I think animals should be treated with more care and respect, even if we're gonna serve 'em up on a plate with mint jelly!  :D  ;D (P.S. Everyone else in my family is a carnivore.)
Title: Re: Night's approach to graphic movies
Post by: Mr_Glass.1 on June 30, 2008, 10:26:49 AM
That's cool, and definately makes sense.  I respect what you're saying and completely understand.  Over here in the U.S. there were people who refused to eat meat when the mad cow disease surfaced.