May 27, 2012, 12:17 PM - Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
I watch a LOT of movies in Netflix and every now and again I happen upon an older movie that I have heard a lot about but never watched.
Slaughterhouse 5 is one of those movies. Actually, I have probably heard about the book more than the movie, but I assume the story is pretty much the same in both.
As with a number of other "great" movies, help me understand what I missed in this because for me, this wasn't a great movie/story... nor was it even a good one. It jumped all over (yes, I know, that was part of the point) with some very real world events coupled with what almost felt like a comedy at points and then a very strange sci-fi type ending.
I never really got a central theme or point to the story and the most interesting character was Billy nut of a wife.
I read on wikipedia that the central theme of the story is about free will and fatalism. I guess I got a little of that, but only in the sections having to do with the aliens.
I dunno.. yet another supposedly great movie that I didn't find so great. If you liked it or thought it had a lot to say, I'd love to hear about it.
On a fine note, the actor who played Billy was really odd in that he smiled during some pretty horrific events during the war. I don't know if he couldn't act of if that was supposed to be part of his character, but either way, it was off-putting.
May 27, 2012, 12:52 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Have you read much Vonneguut, Art? That really will inform on whether his perspective and style is something which will ever gel with you or not. Vonneguut was there in Dresden during the firebombing, and his experience during war had a great deal to do with shaping his view of human history. Essentially his view is that we're pretty much absurd, bordering on insane (particularly the military and capitalists), but still loveable in our way. If I recall some of your comments in the thread about Act of Valor, this just may never gel for you.
Now, regarding the film. Who told you it was a classic? I've always felt that the film did very little (nor could it, due to the structure) justice to the novel. I've never been under the impression that anyone really held it in any kind of critical regard, much like the few attempts at filming any of Vonneguut's other works. He simply writes in too abstract and internal a way for film, and generally plot is secondary importance (the most interesting plots are usually throw-away comments and attributed to Kilgore Trout). In this case plot is not story, the story is the internal life of the characters.
For a similar take on things, you might try Catch 22, which I think actually did make a reasonable transition to film as it's a much more literal, plot-driven story.
May 27, 2012, 12:55 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
It was a pretty terrible book too.
May 27, 2012, 7:53 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
I have not. Honestly, I haven't read a lot of what is considered "great" literature due to some really crappy experiences with literature in college. I think most literature is what it is and every writer doesn't write with 20 layers of subtext and different meaning. I think we as human beings long for additional meaning and read into many things meaning that was never intended. I had a literature teacher on college who constantly did this to the point of absurdity and it really turned me off. I think sometimes people do that to make themselves sound smarter than they are or to make their favorite authors seem larger than life. I dunno. I certainly tainted me towards such things.
Don't want to get too offtrack here, but just to give you a bit of background on my take on things like this... I HATE interpreting things for myself. Now, that may initially sound lazy and against everything that is popular among the "enlightened" crowd, but let me explain. I know my own mind. I have been living in that playground for 36 years. I know what I think and how I think and I believe for most of us, it is pretty hard to think "outside the box" of our own minds. I am not so arrogant to believe that I know all the answers or that I can perceive every angle of a particular issue. With that in mind, I am extremely interested in what others think and how other perceive things. If their thoughts don't match up with mine, I have little interest in changing their opinion, only in looking at how they think, seeing how it compares or contrasts with my own views, modifying my views in the areas where their views make more sense and discarding the views they hold that don't make sense. I believe I have gained more and grown more by absorbing the useful thoughts and perspectives of others than anything I have come up with on my own.
Having said all that, I believe that when anyone creates something, whether it be a book, a song, a movie, or even a painting, they do it with SOME purpose in mind (Seinfeld being the exception). I want to know that purpose. Showing me some piece of art and telling me to come up with my own meaning is completely frustrating and pointless for me because that is just me doing another mental lap around the same old rut that is my own mind. I want to know YOUR meaning and why YOU created it because that is introducing something new and something I most likely would have never thought of on my own! I crave that newness and fresh approach. Asking me to apply my own meaning is the most boring and mundane thing in the world to do and degrades your efforts as an artist. I want to hear YOUR voice, not my own.
Let me give you an example. I friend of mine collects artwork and his favorite artist does these Jackson Pollock type pieces that just have no meaning to me and therefore very little value to me. The other day he got a new piece he is VERY proud of and was showing it off to me. As usual, looks like a bunch of blobs to me. Then he says "this is a painting of the artists family, see the people here, here and here." And suddenly I saw them, and saw what the artists was doing. It was interesting, cool and different. His approach to painting people is unlike anything I have seen and if I had been given 100 years I wouldn't have seen people in it, but now that I was told about his purpose, I got it and could appreciate it so much more.
When it comes to movie, I like mind-benders, but at the end of the day, I want to know what the message was and I want the voice of the writer/director to be clear to me, again, so I can take their message and apply it to my own thinking to see if there are gems to be retained. If that message is unclear of muddled or there is no message at all... well, you usually get one of these threads. The purpose of such a thread is not to bash the film, but a last hope for you, the other members of this community to shed light on the message that the director failed to clearly speak to me. In a couple of the threads, this has been done and I have gained greater appreciation of a film, whether I ultimately agreed with the message or not.
Hahaha... don't misunderstand. My appreciation for Act of Valor was not due to it being an amazing film but due to 1) me agreeing and sympathizing with the message that movie preached and 2) I like that they didn't beat around the bush and their message/advertisement was very clear.
I honestly don't know. I just know I have been told multiple times that I should watch it.
I have never heard of this, but will give it a try!
May 28, 2012, 8:57 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Kerr Avon said:
Hey, hey, wait a minute, them's fighting words...let's not besmirch Vonneguut now or I'll have to be laying the smack down. Whatever that means.
May 28, 2012, 9:14 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
It really doesn't help that the movie doesn't have the prologue the book does and that Kilgore Trout and Vonnegut are not in the movie.
May 28, 2012, 10:33 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Catch 22 is one of my favorite books. In my opinion, the movie, despite its pedigree (same writer/director team that made The Graduate) isn't very good. Read the book instead. It's really funny and smart and silly.
May 28, 2012, 10:52 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Fantastic book...horrible film adaptation.
May 28, 2012, 11:29 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
I beg to differ. Catch-22 is a terrific film.
May 28, 2012, 11:43 PM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but def gonna watch Catch-22.
May 29, 2012, 12:46 AM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
My take on it to.
May 29, 2012, 2:11 AM - Re: Here we go again... Slaughterhouse 5
Well, I`ll be a bridge and say I was first an enormous fan of the book (C22) first and then saw the film and loved that too. The sequel novel was appallingly awful though, can we at least agree on thatÉ I mean, Yossarrian as a douchey capatalist jackassÉ That just pissed me off right away.