Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Another Avengers 2 Trailer: Lounging

This is the official poster for Avengers 2; notice anything about it? Of course, it's all mechanical and metal and not living. One of the themes we might be seeing in the second installment is the difference between flesh and machine; for all the faults that people have, we do have the ability to be converted, to learn a lesson, to change our values and moral structures, to sacrifice. What's strange about us humans is, these are often the themes which lead us away from evil and greed, even self-destruction (note the story of Black Widow, for example). 
I can't believe I missed this. In the film Dracula Untold, the Master Vampire says at two different times in the film, "Let the games begin," including the last line of the film. I had forgotten that is what Bane (Tom Hardy) says in The Dark Knight Rises, so the MV is being directly related to a figure of violent socialism by the film makers and we will need to remember that. Moving on,....
After a slew of new comic book films for several years to come, the second trailer for The Avengers Age Of Ultron has been released and provides the scene which we have heard of, but now get to see for ourselves. Before moving on, let's discuss a word that has been overlooked. "Age," as in The Age Of Ultron.  "Age" can refer to the biological/physical amount of time which Ultron has existed (he "came to be" at a certain moment that can be determined) or, another way of understanding "Age" is as a time period or epoch characterized from others by certain definable traits. There is, therefore, something about Ultron the film makers want communicated that defines the time in which we are living, what Ultron is is what each of us has to battle on a daily basis, and it's that elusive trait of Ultron's that is, basically, the point of the whole film.
Is Thor being arrogant?
No, he is, literally, the very definition of humility. At 0:30-2 we get a good look at Thor in the background as Steve Rogers attempts to budge the great hammer and succeeds in budging it ever-so slightly and there is a spark of panic on Thor's face. Notice the colors Thor wears: there is a purple jacket and a gray shirt underneath that; his hair is pulled back, but there are a few strands loose. As we know, purple is the color of royalty (only the members of the royal family in Rome were wealthy enough to be able to afford to wear purple) and purple is also the color of suffering (those who suffer have the right to rule because they have suffered) and, due to events in Thor, The Avengers and Thor 2, we know Thor has proven himself, suffered, lifted himself up from being un-worthy, to being worthy and the very model of leaderships; the purple jacket he wears reflects what we can see about Thor, the "outside" of him, whereas the gray shirt shows that part of him we don't see (it's underneath the jacket) and symbolizes that Thor is still doing penance and a pilgrim, living as if he were a novice (those are the themes of the color gray). His hair being pulled back symbolizes his thoughts: he is disciplined, so he doesn't let himself think things he shouldn't (unless he does, because there are some "loose ends" and that is why he wears the gray shirt, he isn't perfect, but closer to perfection than any of the others).
We have all ready touched on why Steve is able to "budge" the hammer ever-so-slightly, because he comes closest to Thor's level of self-sacrifice, but there is still a dark mark on Steve's heart: he is bitter at having lost sixty years of his life and feeling lost in the world as it is today. 
Thor announcing then that none of them are worthy to carry the hammer is a reflection of the truth, they aren't. It's not just a sign of how unworthy they are, but how worthy Thor is. This is a definition of "humility" because humility is recognizing the truth: "false humility" is when, for example, you did make an excellent dinner and everyone compliments you on it but, instead of saying thank you, you denigrate the dinner and say, "Oh, it wasn't that good," or "You're just hungry."  When prompted to try lifting the hammer, Black Widow declines, and that's a sign of her own humility. "That's not a question I need answered," because she knows she has done bad things in her past, and she is truthful about that; likewise, Thor is truthful about the heroic things he has done that has made him worthy to carry the hammer. Thor exercising true humility though is the intro of Ultron.
Tony can't pick up Mjilnor, but Thor can pick up Tony. By the way, Thor 3: Ragnarok due out July 2017 (that's way too long to have to wait, ugh!). An important note about the trailer we see above: there are probably bits edited out, so we aren't getting the whole scene, but the gist of the scene and narrative. 
What happens at 0:54?
Noise.
A very loud noise. Those of you who are long-time readers know that noise is a legitimate art form, designating that information has been interpreted, or interrupted, there is a mask quality to noise, and wherever it is, its presence suggests we haven't fully understood the message, or part of the message is hidden and we need to dig to get to it (remind you of the villain Bane--who had that mouthpiece in The Dark Knight Rises?). When Ultron emerges, he asks, "How could you be worthy?" and that means we have a profound conversation on our hands. Humans often have to "rise to the occasion," what would Tony Stark be today had it not been for the events in some cave half way around the world? Ultron asking them, "How" suggests he doesn't grasp the fundamentals of humanity (again, the Pinocchio theme) but,the real question is, do the Avengers?
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner