|Why is Luis (Michael Pena) telling a story in the film so funny? Behold, dear reader, this, too, is evidence of deconstruction and Jacques Derrida, or, in other words, the screenwriters (including Paul Rudd himself) once again showing off how smart they are. Luis describing the "tip" to Scott in which he first heard about the old man and his safe in the basement, is a speech act: Luis attempts to persuade Scott of the legitimacy of the tip, so he's putting his words into the mouths of other people,... or have these other people put their words into Luis' mouth (in the video clips below, it starts at 2:45)? As Luis starts telling the story, he mentions he was at a wine tasting; we might write that off as being "marginal," and unimportant, but it is important: Luis is trying to prove that he has "discriminating taste" and knows how to discern between good wine and bad wine (please note how, in the image above, Luis has his top button buttoned on his shirt, which isn't the typical way they are worn without a tie; why? We know the neck symbolizes what leads or guides us in life, so buttoning the top button demonstrates that he doesn't get "hooked" (or leashed) by just anything). Then Luis also mentions that Emily, the Pym's housekeeper, was the first pair of boobs he ever touched. Now, we see Scott taking the information and censoring it, saying, "That was a rotten detail," and wanting Luis to move on; the truth is, just as with everything "marginal," this too is important: had Scott been paying better attention, he would realize that Emily is "loose" and being loose, she's not the "airtight source" that Scott wanted for the tip. The reason Luis talking through this story is so funny is because Scott is asking for legitimacy for the tip, and Luis is trying to declare that the tip is "super-legit," but in mis-aligning the words of who is speaking, Luis makes himself look bad, and everyone else, too.|
|Jacques Derrida, the "father" of deconstruction. He himself was a controversial figure, many in philosophy not even wanting to hear him be called a philosopher. When Cambridge awarded him an honorary doctorate, half a dozen internationally-known philosophers wrote in objecting to the award; when the issue was put to a vote, he barely won, and those voting for him were scholars outside the philosophy department. Why bother talking about all this? For at least two reasons. First, Marvel has become synonymous with "margins": how many films can you name before Captain America the First Avenger that gave us a post-credits scene? (I could only think of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but there might be something else). Some of the most important bits of information for future films, Marvel has tucked "away" into the credits; why? Because they are making use of the "margins," the areas where additional information can be stored and communicated. Doing so emphasizes the "information" aspect of the films and raises them from "fan boy comic fare" to works of art. When we know the degree of intellect which went into the production of the films, it increases the validity of our own interaction and enjoyment of the film and its characters. In other words, you don't have to feel guilty for enjoying a super hero film called Ant-Man because you know the screenwriters are all highly educated because they know about theories like deconstruction and how to apply them in such a sway that you don't even realize it. The second reason for us to spend our time on margins is because you encounter it everyday whether you have realized it or not. Consider this blog: the captions of illustrations is where I tend to put a ton of information, and those captions would definitely be considered the "margins" of the body text where, traditionally, the most important thesis statements are placed. Becoming aware of the margins of a text, art work or (any) narrative (including the news) helps you to start looking for the margins you may be missing and, when there aren't any, ask why not? For example, in the sequence of Scott's trial by water, when we discussed him being sucked up and treated like a rodent, there was the end of that when he goes through the window and lands on top of the car of a black man who is parked on the street below. Why does this happen? Again, we might push it to the margins of our own thought processes, but if we stop to ask why this is included, we might piece together the rest of the narrative to go something like this: Scott has been through a lot the last several years, like being fired for doing the right thing, going to prison, getting stomped on by women and being thrown out like a rodent; if we stop to think about what is happening (the window Scott goes through) then we know we have shared at least some of Scott's trials because of the Obama socialist program "Cash For Clunkers" when a person could trade in their old car for a new car because the car industry was facing bankruptcy and, rather than let the free market take care of the problem, like a good communist, Obama bailed them out with tax payer money. The older black man sitting in the clunker car (and trust me, this car is a clunker: look at how ripped up the passenger seat is) reminds us of all the socialist stunts Obama has pulled and, like Darren Cross (who brags about transcending the laws of nature), Obama is attempting to transcend the laws of economics.|
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
P.S.--here is a compilation of funny moments from the film.