Monday, September 24, 2012

TRAILERS: Ingenious, Mama

Two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) plays Sam, a salesman in the Indie release Ingenious. It appears the film was made two years ago and was delayed for release intentionally (?); regardless, just from the trailer, it appears to be an intimate, emotional roller-coaster many will be able to identify with, or see someone they know. Big studio pictures are great, like The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games, because they target large audiences and so intentionally heighten everything that can possibly appeal to the greatest number of people; that means, however, that messages tend to be more heavily encoded  and less accessible than in smaller projects intended for an implied audience where there is less money to lose due to an unpopular viewpoint or means of expressing/encoding it (I still wish I could get a copy of Blood Car!). In a way, the simplicity of Ingenious is what's so explosive about it: "A rags-to-riches story of two friends, a small-time inventor and a sharky salesman, who hit rock bottom before coming up with a gizmo that becomes a worldwide phenomenon," and for those who have so patiently been awaiting the climax to the socialist-capitalist debates waging in our cinemas, Ingenius' delayed release might be a Godsend for it and us because in 2009/2010, it wouldn't have been as important socially, culturally and politically--heck, even historically--because we didn't have the terrible verdict passed by The Descendants (Shark Feeding & The Descendants), or the eloquent counter-arguments stated in The Artist (BANG! The Artist & the New Agenda In Film); the slow but certain Socialist Revolution going on in the American government wasn't as certain then (2009-10) as now, but now Ingenious can weigh in on the side with The Avengers (The Avengers @ War), Men In Black III (Men In Black III & the Victory Of the Cold War), The Chernobyl Diaries (Extreme Tourism Through History: The Chernobyl Diaries & the Pulling Back Of the Iron Curtain), The Bourne Legacy (All Points Of Convergence: The Bourne Legacy & Programmable Behavior) and Madagascar 3 (Trapeze Americano: the Capitalist Circus and Madagascar 3), to name just a few and to intentionally and pettily ignore naming any of the socialist films which have been released, such as Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, The Vow, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and Dark Shadows. What sets Ingenious apart, however, and this is important, is that it's about the "little guy," the average American, you and me, not the 1% billionaires like Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Bruce Wayne (Batman)--who I TOTALLY support!--but Ingenious' now-radical political statement that we not only matter, we not only make a difference that can count, but we can do it on our own, our own way and that's what is best for us, in spite of the difficulties and dues we have to pay (rather like Rock Of Ages, please see Tongues: Rock Of Ages); in short, the capitalist system isn't broke as Lawless and Arbitrage insist it is. Yes, this is an extremely important film, so please, slip a note to the usher at your local theater, and therein write to the owner about this ingenious little film that supports the American Dream, like their own dream of running a theater, and instead of making a little splash as it would have a couple of years ago, it can make a giant wave and crush the weakness of the liberal press and the American Communist Party.
It's always nice to have validation and the endearing Indie flick Ingenious, made in 2009 and just now starting a fund raising to spread nationwide, validates everything I wrote about Moneyball (Moneyball & the Great American Economy) and The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games: Hitler & America's Anti-Socialism): whereas Moneyball reminded Americans the difference between "play" (the absence of rules which benefits the underdog) and "game" (rules meant to give an advantage to a particular group) and why capitalism brings out the very best in America for the greatest number of people, The Hunger Games contends that, had the socialist-Nazi Adolf Hitler not started events that led to World War II 74 years ago, Americans would not have become so anti-socialist, instead, we instituted a "violent" form of economy where we kill each other (the "Hunger Games" is Moneyball's baseball game turned upside-down) because we all "hunger" for that gizmo that will make our lives easier (my analysis is far more complete in the links above):
It's not just the story line of whether or not the American Dream is still viable, and whether one can only be "born into" riches in America or only the all ready privileged can climb still higher upon the social ladder, but the very marketing strategy and appeal of the producer to unite and help them distribute their film (which I am going to do) because they still have faith in the capitalist system and the Indie spirit necessary for all films to exist and ever improve their vocabulary and challenge of engagement with audiences.
Having said all that, let's consider this new trailer for Mama because this is surely going to be anti-capitalist:
What do the initial images of the first few seconds invoke?
The abandoned cabin reminds me of the cabin towards the end of Denzel Washington's Fallen, the primary location for The Cabin In the Woods and, less directly, the "houses out in the middle of nowhere" in The Apparition and The Possession.
If you stop the trailer above at :47, and look on Annabel's T-shirt, she's wearing a portrait of the science fiction author, Jules Verne; where have we encountered Verne in the last year? The anti-socialist film Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (The Socialist Utopia: Journey 2 The Mysterious Island) and, less directly, the pro-socialist film, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift at the end when Scrat goes to Atlantis (Drifting Waaaaay Left: Ice Age 4 Continental Drift). So what's the significance of Annabel's T-Shirt?
Science fiction author Jules Verne. I interpreted Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to definitely be a anti-socialist, pro-capitalist film so, since it apparently contradicts Verne's own political beliefs,... can I do that? Yes and yes. Yes in that, I actually am not the one who interpreted and appropriated the material of his stories for the movies, the film makers did that, so they are the one's taking the liberties and they have every right to: all art is influenced by other art, whether art chooses or not to recognize its sources. Secondly, the liberals/socialists have made it perfectly clear that this is fair game when they appropriated Republican President Abraham Lincoln to their side in Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (the book),  Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (the movie) and Steven Spielberg's upcoming Lincoln. One reader commented that Lincoln and Republicans of the time held a great number of socialist beliefs; I requested that she specify those beliefs and cite her sources and she has done neither, so I think traditional history stands regardless of what liberals/socialists would like the public to think.
Judging by works he wrote later in life, Verne was not optimistic about human progress and was probably a socialist; since he actively served in politics for 15 years (not that it really matters) we can definitely say that his views structured his stories. So Annabel wearing a T-shirt with Verne's picture on it is meant to identify her with him. How? The relationship centers around the word "Mama." Traditionally, women symbolize the "mother land," the land that gave birth to us and our identities; in Dredd, socialists see the government wanting the people to think of it as their "Mama" (Lena Headey; please see 96% Unemployment: Dredd & the Socialist State) who does everything for them, whereas the socialists in Mama focus on the "wicked presence" haunting Victoria and Lilly as the American motherland of capitalism, preventing the girls from making "a new start" in life with a woman who wears a T-shirt with a French socialist on it, i.e., the Obama administration's second term in office. What's important, again, as I have pointed out numerous times this year, is that both sides use the same images and symbols, yet, depending on the context, turn it upside-down.
Jessica Chastain as Annabel in Mama. Please note the position of the legs, Annabel's atop Victoria's (or maybe that's Lilly?) body trying to hold her down and the little girl's legs, one lying down and the other still up, her face contorted as if crying. The legs symbolize the will and will power because they take us in the direction we will/want to go, so the "oppressing" will of Annabel atop the little girl, and the little girl with half her will (one leg) submissive in the flat position and the other half of her will rebelling (in the upright position) demonstrates the "taking over" of the girl's identity by Annabel. The same "stains" or "opening up of the walls" happens in The Apparition (anti-capitalist) while the moths are prevalent in The Possession (anti-socialist) so, yes, all these elements of vocabulary together will be a very interesting statement.
How can we understand the angles of this film?
"Victoria and Lilly were all alone," the opening monologue tells us, which reminds us of the upcoming Brad Pitt film, Killing Them Softly; please listen specifically to 2:12:
"Only in America, in America, you're on your own," just like Victoria and Lilly out in the wilderness; first, socialists blame capitalism for making people struggle and the government not helping them (Ice Age 4, Django Unchained) and Mama seems to be presenting this same idea; director Christopher Nolan, however, counters the benefits of becoming strong and being in charge of your own destiny in The Dark Knight Rises and even Resident Evil counters forcibly. The "wilderness" in which Lilly and Victoria were living invokes both Oliver Stone's Savages, where the threesome end up  in some third world country, and Wes Anderson's Moonlight Kingdom when Sam and Suzy run off into "the wilderness" following the harvest trail of the Indians and the larger idea of the "Mountain Man" genre of the early 1970s.
There is an interesting twist in that this is a Canadian film, probably taking place in Canada, and the two little girls are the nieces which might be a nice way of putting the United States in relationship to our "brother" up north, Canada and how they view our political struggles down here. Another interesting tidbit I have discovered about the film is that Annabel and Lucas are not married and Annabel uses Lilly and Victoria to try and communicate to her dead children,... If Mama makes the case that Annabel is socialism trying to "transit" America away from the "savage wilderness" of capitalism (the way it's presented in The Hunger Games) then Annabel's dead children could be the "dead" Soviet Union, former communist Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, etc. because we see a dead child, Carrie Ann in The House At the End Of the Street, which is anti-socialist.  Always, this is according to information presented and the film may or may not take a different turn to alter these things, however, this is the structure of the film's architecture it's laying at this time.
"The ghost is an emotion bent out of shape, condemned to repeat itself," we hear at 1:52 in the trailer, and that's the summary thesis (for what we get from the trailer) of yet another view on how socialists see the "ghost of capitalism" haunting future generations (the two girls) trying to make a new start with Annabel (the socialist under the Obama Administration).
 In an update, January 18, here is the clip released of the search party finding the two girls in the house:
The two girls are seen first atop the fridge, implying the appetites. The pile of cherry pits suggests eating of the "forbidden fruit" that socialists typically accuse capitalist consumers of because the appetites for material goods drives consumers and the free market. This is all speculation, I have NOT seen the film, but these are POSSIBLE interpretations.  Here is another clip:
"In order to survive, they created an imaginary guardian," which implies two concepts. First, the word "guardian" links up with the pro-capitalist film Rise Of the Guardians and "imaginary" invokes the capitalist idea of the "invisible hand" guiding the markets and production (as opposed to socialist systems which have government committees dictating what will be made in what quantities). IF Mama as a ghostly character in the film somehow ties in with these concepts, then the two little girls--Victoria and Lilly--symbolize the future and the battle for the two girls is the battle over which "motherland" will protect and raise the future "in her own image" (Annabel the socialist or Mama the capitalist). But, as in the case of Schrodinger's cat, we just won't know until we actually see the film!
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The Fine Art Diner