Monday, March 11, 2013

Monsters University & Film News

In case you are just a bit confused as to the order of these films, Monsters Inc. was originally released in 2001; in December, they released that in 3D, and now they are releasing Monsters University, the prequel, in June. I was extremely pleased that Brave won the Oscar for Best Animated Picture, and I wrote about the importance of children watching animated films such as Paranorman, Ice Age 4, Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania and being taught tolerance for issues which parents might not approve of. Monsters University is probably not going to be a very pro-capitalist, pro-American film.
What do you think of when you see a disco ball? The 1970s, when disco was so popular? Well, like Dark Shadows, going back to the 1970s might prove a very tumultuous time according to Hollywood. This doesn't have to be the case, and it's possible this is actually taking place in, say, the 1980s and the bits of mirror glued onto Mike is more symbolic of how Mike is serious and "reflective" of his actions but Sully isn't. Well have to see.
It's not the monsters being educated, it's us.
The official story line is:  Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. "Monsters University" unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends. It's possible that what will "save" this film from being pro-socialist is one element: competition. If Monsters University is going to re-write history to make socialism and capitalism look compatible, and make it seem ridiculous that we haven't gotten along in the past for no well-founded reason, that's a re-writing of American history and a new education (generally called "indoctrination" by socialists, and something we might see as well in the new Hunger Games film); however, rather than advance socialism, the film makers might utilize competition at center stage, demonstrating how competition brings out the best in us and we shouldn't abandon it.
Without a doubt, monsters have always symbolized a material manifestation of our inner-fears, in other words, a monster realizes for us what is so horrible about a person being, for example, homosexual, as in Nosferatu from 1919 (a film somewhat mentioned in Oz: the Great and Powerful) or a communist as in the 1950s sci-fi classic Them!. So what is happening? The 2001 version of Monsters Inc made it clear that children were getting harder to scare, and part of that is due to world victories, that the power of the US--pre-9/11 attacks--had made the world such a safe place that there wasn't any cause for fear. But the point is, by humanizing the monsters--like Mike sleeping the same way college students sleep--we identify with them rather than see undesirable traits and qualities in them that we don't want to identify with so we are scared of becoming monsters ourselves; the new film coming out, Evil Dead, is still trying to present evil as truly evil rather than evil as something to which we should make ourselves tolerant  because, perhaps, the only real fears still existing in this country is the fear of not being seen as tolerant or the fear of being seen as a racist. In humanizing monsters, our sense of dignity has become dehumanized, because when everything has the special dignity of being human, we lose the sense of our specialness and our total identity, our individuality, and we basically become zombies, because, as many liberals would say, zombies are humans too, and we should be tolerant and attentive to their needs,, we should do everything we can to avoid becoming zombies, but that's not the direction society is trying to pull us in; will Monsters University do that, too?
Here is a clip about for the film mocking a university advertisement. It talks about standards of excellence, and that's important, but at 0:08, it says, "Those who embrace their history, become those who create it." The question is, in a world where so few are aware of history, especially on a global scale, which historical narrative is it they are talking about, the one written by Americans or the one written by those who hate America?
 In other news,...
They are making a follow-up to Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted with The Penguins Of Madagascar, due out in 2015 sometime; they have also all ready started Hotel Transylvania 2; likewise, the go-ahead has been given to Hancock 2 and a follow-up to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, but it's unclear at this time which of the possible paths that sequel will chose to take. I am working on Oz: The Great and Powerful, which has a $80 million opening weekend, and, that sequel is all ready in the works, as well.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner