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Episode 219 - Drop Dead Fred: LIVE! (w/ Casey Wilson)

Drop Dead Fred  

79 members have voted

  1. 1. Which side do you agree with?

    • Team Fred đŸ€Ą
      31
    • Team Sanity đŸ€”
      48


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Team sanity all the way! 

I watched this movie as a child and loved. I must have seen it 10-15 times on cable tv growing up. But, at some point I forgot about the movie. A few years ago I dated this girl that brought it up as one of her favorite movies, and I agreed, and decided to watch it for the first time in many years. Well less than halfway through I was like, “why did I like this?” I looked at her and could see a look of disappointment. We decided to pause the movie and get some food.

When we got back home we didn’t restart the movie. I remember this night because it was when I realized revisiting some past movies that were loved should just not happen. I will add Batman returns to this list of movies not to go back to. You go digging up the past, all you’ll get is dirty. 

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I do remember seeing this movie as a child, but here's the thing: it made absolutely no impression on me. Like, I remembered seeing it. I remembered the basic premise, that it's about an adult woman's imaginary friend from childhood coming back to her. But that's it, I had no good or bad memories of it. It was just a movie that happened.

Rewatching as an adult, I have to go with Team Sanity. I can see that the movie is TRYING to go for a metaphor about Fred representing childhood, mischief, playfulness, etc., and how the adult Lizzie needs to get that back, but the movie is so consistently confusing about what Fred is and what he can do that I don't think it lands. The other movies this has been compared to -- Monsters Inc., Beetlejuice -- are much clearer about how and when the supernatural creatures can interact with the humans, and also about what they want.

One thing that may complicate everyone's reading: did anyone else notice that the child Lizzie has blue eyes, but grown-up Phoebe Cates has brown eyes?

Drop-Dead-Fred-drop-dead-fred-1262254_63dM4RKIG1n06uZbL7GasLaTqO8vo.jpg

 

I suppose colored contact lenses are a possibility here, but it's very unusual for anyone to permanently wear contacts to make their eyes DARKER, unless it's for a costume or something. Are we even sure it's the same kid? What if the movie has pulled yet another fast one on us, and the whole thing is from Fred's perspective, and he is remembering Lizzie's older sister who died or ran away or something, the sister she never knew? Boy is that a dark story: Fred mourning for his previous friend, pushing Lizzie to act out, Lizzie's parents hiding the true source of their family strife. Yikes.

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The one reaction I really didn’t understand was Carrie Fisher’s excitement over the insurance check. She acts like it’s a financial windfall, but isn’t it just covering the cost of her home and possessions? If your home burns down, your insurance covers the repairs or whatever, but it’s not like you’re suddenly wealthy - you’re still homeless. Even weirder is she says that she had no idea her riverboat was “worth so much,” but wouldn’t she have to be paying the premiums in order to be compensated? Certainly she must have had some idea how much it was all worth. She acts like she was saddled with the property or something. Technically, she could have just sold it at any time and everything would have worked out exactly the same for her.

Which leads me to wonder, is it possible that this was all an elaborate plan by Fisher to commit insurance fraud? After she’s collected her insurance check, we learn is that her home wasn’t listed as a riverboat but as a “river condominium.” There also doesn’t appear to be any other houseboats in the area - let alone house riverboats . Perhaps she tried to sell it only to find out that there just wasn’t much of a market for quirky homesteads in the early 90’s. Noticing that her friend was acting erratically and clearly on the brink of a nervous breakdown, maybe she gently encouraged Liz’s delusions of Drop Dead Fred, subtlety enabling and manipulating her behavior for her own nefarious purposes. Because, honestly, if a friend came to your house in the middle of the night talking a lot of jibber-jabber about imaginary people and then cut off half of their hair while you slept, would you really just leave them alone in your maritime manse with the keys in the ignition? Taking it a step further, who’s to say that she didn’t just hire someone who looked vaguely Charlie-like to speedboat past at just the right time, knowing full well that Crazy Liz and her hyperactive hallucinations would be unable to resist the temptation of chasing him down? In one fell swoop, Fisher rids herself of her ridiculous home and gets a sweet insurance payout all while maintaining a perfect alibi and avoiding any culpability in the “accident.” In my mind, it’s the only logical way to explain her behavior and why she would thank “Fred” for destroying her home.

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6 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

100% 😃

I like how our sides now have official bands. We need to draw up official other things as well and just fully commit to this very odd version of the Jets and the Sharks we got going on here. 

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SEVEN pages of comments!?!Â Â đŸ˜±

And I still have no idea what Team Sanity and Team Fred really are 

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This is a wild and fun conversation.

My sense of the fundamental divide is: Team Fred says the film more or less succeeds on its own terms, Team Sanity says it fails on any terms.

You can agree that a film succeeds on its own terms while disliking it, and you can agree that a film fails on any terms and still like it. 

As a Team Fredster, I’d love for Team Sanity folks to see that the film may, in fact, succeed on its own terms without at all expecting that to mean they’ll come to like it. Hence the debates about Fred’s status and whether the film is a zany comedy or an exploration of trauma, etc. We’re trying to work out what the film’s terms are.

I’m happy to accept that some films I love don’t really work unto themselves, but just work for me. Like Hackers. I think DDF actually works for the most part and I like it. But it is very clearly not for everybody—and that’s okay!

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On 8/3/2019 at 3:50 PM, PollyDarton said:

But see...  You have to build an entire event to happen off screen to explain away things that are implicitly shown in the movie.

When the little girl talks about Drop Dead Fred, we as the audience SEE Drop Dead Fred. He is there abiding by the few rules the movie gave him, that the child he is attached to is the only one who can see him. That coupled with the information that the other IFs have moved on to new kids (those kids in the waiting room weren't all 30 years old) it is laid out plain and simple. Fred got a new kid because he exists.

Yes, I am aware that imaginary friends don't actually exist, but in the universe of this movie they do. If those two scenes did not exist then I might be able to agree with you, but they do. We of Team Sanity did not conjure them up... the shitty shitty filmmakers put them in.

Totes, it’s a flaw in the writing one way or the other. My biggest problem with the movie is that it was written and directed by men. We fuck everything up.

I’m acknowledging that this is an interpretive leap that speaks poorly for the writing. (One small scene would’ve done.) I’m not aware of any Team Fredster, starting with June and Jason, saying, “This movie works perfectly.” The debate can’t amount to whether it all comes together, because we’re not, I don’t think, arguing that it does. We’re arguing that it more or less works on its own terms, that it resonates powerfully for us, and that both of those things entail regarding Fred as imaginary—as insane and complicated as that makes things (welcome to our world) and even though the writing doesn’t always work. 

It’s a great point about the implication that the other IFs have moved onto other kids. Nevertheless, if you don’t take that scene literally, it just speaks to the internal logic of Fred’s imaginary existence. He speaks about the metaphysical reality of IFs, ergo such a reality must exist within Fred’s world, but that doesn’t mean it all isn’t still imaginary. My own imaginary friend implied similar things. A good representation of my encounter with him would include the seeming reality of his imaginary life outside of me as if outside my imagining of it.

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On this episode, every time someone referred to Rik mayall as "the actor" it hurt me. He was a comedy icon in the UK starring in shows like:

The Comic Strip, The Young Ones, Bottom and  Blackadder

It was a day of national mourning here when he died.

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Fred categorically does not exist. 

He only manifest when Phoebe Cates is going through tough times. First when her parents are fighting and splitting up and again when her own marriage is falling apart.

He is the manifestation of her having a mental breakdown. 

Similar to Fight Club, sometime she SEES Fred doing things (like looking up the skirt) but sometimes she is the one actually doing the things (the physical things)

She does sink the boat and do all the other terrible things, but not consciously, she is basically schizophrenic. 

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8 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

The one reaction I really didn’t understand is Carrie Fisher’s excitement to the insurance check. She asks like it’s a financial windfall, but isn’t it just covering the cost of her home and possessions? Like, if your home burns down, your insurance covers the repairs or whatever, but it’s not like you’re suddenly wealthy - you’re still homeless. Even weirder is she says she had no idea her riverboat was “worth so much,”

Maybe she was... (pinkie to mouth) underwater on her houseboat payments?

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19 minutes ago, joel_rosenbaum said:

Maybe she was... (pinkie to mouth) underwater on her houseboat payments?

giphy.gif

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When it comes to liking the movie I'm Team Fred, but I can't agree with everything Jason and June were arguing. Yes, obviously, a child's imaginary friend is going to be an extension of their subconscious. But that's what an adult would say. A child *knows* their friend is imaginary but *believes* they are real, and being a children's movie (yes, it is) we're just expected to think in that way. Fred is absolutely a projection of Elizabeth's own mind - the green pills are killing him because they "neutralise that part of the brain" - but he is simultaneously a physical being capable of exerting force on the real world. As a child, I never doubted for a second that it was really Fred that soiled the carpet, sank the boat and made Elizabeth pour water on herself.

Here's how I've got everything together in my head:

An imaginary friend's job is to make unhappy children happy. They act like children, have a child's understanding of the world, and help kids do what they're supposed to do - laugh at farts and boogers, make messes, generally have fun being naughty. In a normal situation, the imaginary friend would be there for the child as they grew up and learned to be happy on their own, at which point they would no longer needed and would move on. By moving on, I mean they fade from the first child's memory and are re-imagined by a new child. Same personality, same bag of tricks, but born again in a new subconscious, possibly with no memory of their previous child (Fred doesn't acknowledge Elizabeth in any way, despite their emotional parting moments earlier). It's not like they're assigned by an agency. They just become part of a new child.

Elizabeth's situation was not normal, though. Fred was there to help her be happy and grow into a happy adult, but her mother got in the way. By threatening to kill Fred, she forced Elizabeth to immediately begin *acting* like a grown-up, but denied her the learning and self-understanding that would have come from her growing into adulthood normally. As an adult she is emotionally stunted, and only understands happiness in the context of her abusive relationships with her mother and then husband.

When Fred reappears he still acts and thinks like a child, because he is Elizabeth's childhood that was taken from her. She thinks she will only be happy if Charles takes her back. Fred thinks he can make her happy the same way he used to - be silly, make her laugh, and push back against her oppressors. His way doesn't work, but neither does hers. Together they hit rock bottom. He nearly dies, and she realises she can't leave her cheating husband.

When they enter Elizabeth's subconscious, she runs to Fred for help, but while he guides and encourages her he never actually solves her problems for her. She banishes her own demons, and sets herself free. When Fred tells her he has to go, his demeanor has changed. He is speaking and acting like an adult.

They both finally grew up. Together.

He disappears because Elizabeth doesn't need him anymore. Natalie, living with a single dad and an oppressive nanny, needs help being happy. She imagines Fred, and they start having the same fun Elizabeth used to have. He doesn't remember or doesn't care about Elizabeth anymore because to him, that never happened. He's always been Natalie's friend and always will be.

It's not perfect, but it's great. Team Fred!

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Posted (edited)

I haven't gone through all seven pages of t his thread yet so I may be hitting on something that has already been discussed, but is it possible that, like others have pointed out, Fred is both real and imaginary. 

My supposition is this, that Fred is a tulpa, albeit (like the other imaginary friends) an accidental one. for those not in the know, a "tulpa is a concept in mysticism and the paranormal of a being or object which is created through spiritual or mental powers...Modern practitioners use the term to refer to a type of willed imaginary friend which practitioners consider to be sentient and relatively autonomous." Source Link from Wikipedia

Now, tulpas, seem to be done on purpose according to modern practitioners, but I think that Elizabeth (and others) have created Fred (and other imaginary friends) as a way of dealing with emotional and mental issues that they can't deal with in other ways. Their belief in these friends has given them life and Elizabeth's belief that her mother has trapped Fred, trapped him. thus Fred serves as both an extension of her emotional and mental health, her dealing with the problems her parents are going through, etc and as a real, autonomous being. 

The imaginary friend coming to life is a concept that has been explored in the good (from my AV choice you can see I'm a fan of probably the best version of this, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends) and the bad (worse than Drop Dead Fred, check out Imaginary Mary which has this exact same concept but stars Jenna Elfman and ran for one season.) to the weird (I'm looking at you Happy). And that ultimately lead me to go with "Team Sanity", because while I agree the themes are great and are there, they are handled in a way that just doesn't work. I think this is handled much better in Foster's  and Happy.

Edited by EvRobert
additional thoughs
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On 8/3/2019 at 7:17 AM, questionmarks said:

I’m currently on a vacation in a tiny town on the coast of Morocco, and I’ve created a forum account so I can post about this movie because this episode got me all riled up. (I assume I’m breaching some forum etiquette, for which I’m sorry—I’ll learn for the future.) I have a lot to say. And, to put my cards on the table right off the bat: Team Fred. I have a few relatively small corrections to June and Jason’s comments—I agree with them implicitly, but in the heat of the moment I think they missed a few things that help explain why Team Fred is the right interpretation—and then a few more serious comments about the deeper dynamics of the discussion. It’s obviously insane that I’m writing this whole big long thing, and I’ll of course understand if it slips everyone’s notice or folks choose not to read this diatribe, but I hope you have a look. It’s not a lark. If anything, skip to the last two paragraphs.

 

First, I want to say the entirety of questionmarks post is amazing and is 99% of what I wanted to say in defense of Team Fred before I even got to the boards. Thank you, and thanks to all of the other posters here who have been candid about their personal relationships to the super deep themes of mental illness, misogyny and abuse that are all over this zany(?) kids(?) movie.

I think the overarching elements of magical realism and imaginative mental spaces more-or-less paper over the logistical question of whether Fred is his own entity or an aspect of Lizzie's psyche.  The fact that Fred was revealed to be a storybook character in the original ending, explaining why Mickey's daughter also knows his name and what he looks like, would have answered this pretty neatly, but I don't think it needs to be engaged on that level to resolve the main issue I think Team Sanity has with him.      

My sense is that the fear and distrust of mental illness is at the heart of Team Sanity's instinct that Fred must be his own entity. An on-its-face reading of the movie where Fred is an aspect of Lizzie's personality would inarguably lead to the conclusion that Lizzie isn't merely working out the gender-based repression she's experienced as child, but that she is literally psychotic and a danger to herself and others. Fred cannot be an agent of liberation and self-actualization if he's actively destroying Lizzie's life and her relationships. 

Despite (or maybe because) being on Team Fred, I think one of the flaws of the movie is that it treats mental illness pretty flippantly. But I don't think Fred being an avatar of Lizzie's mental illness, rather than simply being her id, invalidates any of the points June or Jason were making. Just the opposite, really — the Fred parts of Lizzie's psyche can indeed be very problematic, even life-threateningly dangerous, but they are still a valuable part of her that she needs to learn to control. Polly, by forcing her daughter to fully repress and ignore those symptoms, is doing real, lasting, traumatic harm, rather than getting her daughter the mental help she needs.

I think the way to resolve this for Team Sanity is not to just say "it's a movie" but to say "it's an allegory." Lizzie is explicitly an unreliable narrator, and I think that gives us license to say some of the havoc "Fred" causes is also exaggerated.

For example, her dad may have called the police when she was playing "burglars" but they didn't really almost shoot him or have him arrested — that's just what it felt like to her as a child. Or as an adult, she may not have literally sank her friend's houseboat, but accidentally caused some major damage that insurance eventually covered.

Lizzie has been told from an early age that her mental illness ruins everything, including her parents' marriage and her mother's love for her. It's totally believable to me that she sees everything through that catastrophic lens.

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17 minutes ago, E.Lerner said:

 

My sense is that the fear and distrust of mental illness is at the heart of Team Sanity's instinct that Fred must be his own entity.

I'm more cynical about why the movie is the way it is.  I don't have an "instinct" that Fred must be his own entity, I think the movie sends mixed signals about that, as others have given examples.  And, I think the reason for those mixed signals is that the filmmakers wanted the movie to be more broadly marketable than a sensitive, thoughtful examination of mental illness and traumatic childhood would be.  I suspect they were hoping Fred would become a Beetlejuice-type character, spawning sequels and merchandise and an animated series.  But, that only works if you leave room to believe Fred has his own backstory, his own agency, his own existence.  So there are two things going on in the movie that are at odds with one another, both logically and tonally, and for me that made for a strange and unpleasant movie.

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47 minutes ago, E.Lerner said:

My sense is that the fear and distrust of mental illness is at the heart of Team Sanity's instinct that Fred must be his own entity.

I'm #TeamSanity and also a psychiatrist.

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1 hour ago, TurnerArrington said:

I'm #TeamSanity and also a psychiatrist.

I suppose I specifically had Paul and Casey's arguments and definitions in mind, but especially I'd love to know what being on Team Sanity means to you.

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4 minutes ago, E.Lerner said:

I suppose I specifically had Paul and Casey's arguments and definitionsï»żï»żï»żÂ in mind, but especially I'd love to know what being on Team Sanity means to you.

Fred is a Beetlejuice-like character going around causing mayhem in Phoebe's life.  Because otherwise, she's mentally ill, and we as an audience are supposed to be sad when the manifestation of that illness goes away.

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13 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

The one reaction I really didn’t understand is Carrie Fisher’s excitement to the insurance check. She asks like it’s a financial windfall, but isn’t it just covering the cost of her home and possessions? Like, if your home burns down, your insurance covers the repairs or whatever, but it’s not like you’re suddenly wealthy - you’re still homeless. Even weirder is she says she had no idea her riverboat was “worth so much,” but isn’t she paying the premium? Certainly she must have had some idea how much it was worth. She acts like she was saddled with the property or something. Technically, she could have just sold it at any time and everything would have worked out exactly the same for her.

Which leads me to wonder, is it possible that this was all an elaborate plan by Fisher to commit insurance fraud? After she’s collected her insurance check, one of the things we learn is that her home wasn’t listed as a river boat but as a “river condominium.” There also don’t appear to be any other houseboats in the area - let alone house river boats . Perhaps she tried to sell it only to find there wasn’t a much of a market for quirky homesteads in the early 90’s. Seeing that her friend is acting erratically and clearly on the brink of a nervous breakdown, maybe she gently encourages Liz’s delusions of Drop Dead Fred, subtlety enabling and manipulating her behavior for her own nefarious purposes. Because, honestly, if a friend came to your house in the middle of the night talking a lot of jibber-jabber about imaginary people and then cut off half of their hair while you slept, would you really just leave them alone in your maritime manse with the keys in the ignition? Taking this a step further, who’s to say she didn’t just hire someone who looked vaguely Charlie-like to speedboat past at just the right time, knowing full well that crazy, Liz and her hyperactive hallucinations would be unable to resist the temptation of chasing him down? In one fell swoop, Fisher rids herself of her ridiculous home and gets a sweet insurance payout all while maintaining a perfect alibi and avoiding any culpability in the “accident.” In my mind, it’s the only logical way to explain her behavior and why she thanks “Fred” for destroying her home.

I was kind of bummed none of the hosts picked up on this. Theres a definite case to be made that Carrie Fisher intentionally left a known wild card alone on her boat in an effort to commit insurance fraud.

Boats have all sorts of residual/maintenance costs and I cant even imagine what sort of rent she was paying to dock that thing where she was. So whatever the insurance payment was, it also came with allowing her to not live on a fucking boat which is a windfall in its own right.

I think this scene also fights against the argument that Drop Dead Fred was doing nothing but causing chaos in Lizzies life. She made the choice to amateur captain her friends boat to chase after someone who vaguely resembled her husband from like 200 yards off. What was her plan if she did manage to close the gap, wave at him and say hi? This is what driving me nuts about all the people saying that Fred was a terrible friend. Honestly what is the the less embarrassing outcome in this scenario Fred sinking the houseboat, or her catching up to the stranger in the houseboat and realizing how much of a lunatic she actually is?

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25 minutes ago, Ofcoursemyhorse said:

I think this scene also fights against the argument that Drop Dead Fred was doing nothing but causing chaos in Lizzies life.

I totally agree. Let's face it, Liz's life was already a mess, but what made it worse is she never developed the tools in childhood to deal with life's unexpected disasters. That's part of why getting into trouble as a child is so important. Getting into trouble teaches us how to get out of trouble.

I feel like it's also important to note that Fred doesn't just cause chaos indiscriminately. Whenever he creates a scene in public, it isn't to cause her harm but to take the piss out of the stuffed shirts. He's rebelling against the notion that adulthood means fancy restaurants, board meetings, clean carpets, string quartets, and pretentious wine tastings. He's saying, "You've been raised to believe that when you're an adult these are the things that should matter, but they're not. This is all artifice, and in their own way, just as ridiculous as anything I'm doing." Once she's able to come to terms with that, she is able to free her inner child. Not so that she can be an adult-child forever, but so that she can finally be a complete person.     

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3 hours ago, E.Lerner said:

Despite (or maybe because) being on Team Fred, I think one of the flaws of the movie is that it treats mental illness pretty flippantly. But I don't think Fred being an avatar of Lizzie's mental illness, rather than simply being her id, invalidates any of the points June or Jason were making. Just the opposite, really — the Fred parts of Lizzie's psyche can indeed be very problematic, even life-threateningly dangerous, but they are still a valuable part of her that she needs to learn to control. Polly, by forcing her daughter to fully repress and ignore those symptoms, is doing real, lasting, traumatic harm, rather than getting her daughter the mental help she needs.

[...]

Lizzie has been told from an early age that her mental illness ruins everything, including her parents' marriage and her mother's love for her. It's totally believable to me that she sees everything through that catastrophic lens.

Thanks for the kind words, but also—wow, this! I couldn’t agree more with this critique. This gets at the heart of why I love the movie and why I think it doesn’t completely get where it needs to go. 

1 hour ago, TurnerArrington said:

Fred is a Beetlejuice-like character going around causing mayhem in Phoebe's life.  Because otherwise, she's mentally ill, and we as an audience are supposed to be sad when the manifestation of that illness goes away.

You mean when she’s a child? But then you’re again taking Fred as something literal, a one-to-one correspondent to a specific mental illness, when her illness may not have appeared until adulthood, and/or may have been created or exacerbated by the trauma of her childhood, no? 

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On 8/4/2019 at 9:21 AM, Cameron H. said:

Team Sanity is definitely taking a more analytical approach to the film, and Team Fred is absolutely more emotional. Logically, we should be separating the debate from quality and content. If we did that, I’m sure we would all agree that the movie isn’t particularly well made. We would also probably (mostly) all agree on the writer’s intention. The problem is that these two things have become inextricably linked in the debate, because for Team Fred, the message is more important than the quality and vice versa for Team Sanity. No one is really going to give up their position one way or the other because it all comes down to what’s more important to the individual.

Yes – we’re having parallel debates which can never meet. The minute someone says, “This film means a great deal to me” regardless of its actual artistic merit, or defends the film's (ostensible) flaws as integral to that meaning, there is no response, and the critical discussion is over (You can't say, "No, the film doesn't mean that for you")  If we want to meet on common ground, we need to agree: what kind of discussion is this?

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2 hours ago, doxrus said:

Yes – we’re having parallel debates which can never meet. The minute someone says, “This film means a great deal to me” regardless of its actual artistic merit, or defends the film's (ostensible) flaws as integral to that meaning, there is no response, and the critical discussion is over (You can't say, "No, the film doesn't mean that for you")  If we want to meet on common ground, we need to agree: what kind of discussion is this?

This is a noble goal, but I’m not sure it’s as neutral as you suggest.

I think this movie is strange and ambiguous enough to simply warrant differences of opinion. It would, then, only be natural for the discussion to be a bit all over the place. You, on the other hand, seem to imply that if I can’t see that this movie is garbage, I’m being blinded by emotion. Funnily enough, I think the concept of a neat divide between emotion and rationality is often a fallacy and a marker of patriarchal thinking rather than a sign of greater objectivity ;)

In any case, I’ll restate my earlier suggestion of what I think is a fair and neutral description of the basic divide: “Teaï»żmï»żÂ Fred says the film more or less succeeds on its own tï»żerms, Team Sanity says it fails on any terms.ï»żâ€ Yes? No?

The next question is what its terms are. Absent any clear genre conventions, the debate would seem destined to be irresolvable. But—more mutual understanding seems possible. Actually, I think a little has already come about! The film is sufficiently ambiguous to cause problems no matter the interpretation, and it seems to go out of its way to cause discomfort. Do the problems undermine the film’s success? Is such discomfort relevant and worthwhile, or grating and needless? We’re not going to agree about such things! It’s okay. 

But if you think there’s no such thing as a movie that cannot be conclusively said to be “good” or “bad,” then we’re back where we started: with me, from Team Fred, questioning the range of your imagination! 😛

Damn, I’m spending all my internet time on the forum. First time posting and I’m already obsessed! I get why the guys are always talking about y’all. This is great stuff. Thanks, everyone!

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1 hour ago, questionmarks said:

You, on the other hand, seem to imply that if I can’t see that this movie is garbage, I’m being blinded by emotion. Funnily enough, I think the concept of a neat divide between emotion and rationality is often a fallacy and a marker of patriarchal thinking rather than a sign of greater objectivity ;)

In any case, I’ll restate my earlier suggestion of what I think is a fair and neutral description of the basic divide: “Teaï»żmï»żÂ Fred says the film more or less succeeds on its own tï»żerms, Team Sanity says it fails on any terms.ï»żâ€ Yes? No?

To be fair to doxrus, they were responding to my claim that Team Sanity seemed to have a more analytical approach to their criticism and Team Fred having a more emotional approach. In that post, I didn't mean to imply any negative connotations with the use of the word "emotional" - especially considering I'm Team Fred myself :) I just didn't want too much to be laid on doxrus when I was the one who brought it up. I didn't mean for it to sound like one interpretation is better than the other, or that there was an insurmountable divide between the two. I think doxrus' point, and the point I was trying to make, is that ultimately, when you are having a two-sided debate, and one side is affected emotionally by a piece of art and the other side isn't, it's difficult (but not necessarily impossible) to rectify that. And, as played out (hilariously) in the episode, it often just leads to a circular argument. They aren't suggesting that we are "blinded by emotion" anymore than we believe them to be "cold, emotionless robots." :P But you can't make someone feel something if they just don't. I can go on and on about how something affected me on an emotional level, but if you don't feel that same feeling at all (not to suggest that you're incapable of feelings period), then I'm never going to change your mind. By the same token, if it didn't affect you emotionally, you can point out every single flaw and logical inconsistency in the movie until you're blue in the face, but it's not going to change the fact that it did work on some level.

That being said, I think your description is better. You're saying the same thing I was trying to, but worded it far better.

P.S. Glad to have you both on the boards :)  

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