Metaphors (especially in speculative films)

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I guess it sort of comes down to the notion of "necessity."

When you say that a certain level of analysis is unnecessary, I assume you mean that you think it's unnecessary to the understanding of the story and you see this reading as a stretch.

But the question about any metaphorical/allegorical/subtextual reading shouldn't be if we find it necessary. It should be if we find the reviewer's reasoning and evidence sound enough to support such an interpretation.

I don't actually think that Brain Damage was meant to be about the dynamics of an abusive relationship. But I think that I could make a decent case for how it could be read that way. This isn't a necessary reading. And, as I've said, I don't even think it's the intent of the film. I could see someone rolling their eyes at this interpretation. But it adds value and meaning to my experience of watching the film.

That said, I think that sometimes in an attempt to appear intelligent in reviewing art or speaking about it, there can be a tendency to focus on "deep reading". I mean, who doesn't feel smart when they figure something out or see something that others haven't? When reviewers hit this same note over and over, it's probably best just to tune them out. Reviewing art shouldn't be seen as a "who's the most perceptive?" competition.
Youíre probably right. Thereís definitely a certain snobbishness to it, and yes, by ďunnecessaryĒ I meant that it doesnít add much. To me, even if you can argue for something with a degree of persuasiveness, the question of whether you should/that it a good use of, well, time and your faculties, remains. But that is, of course, subjective. I think your example with Brain Damage makes more sense than what happened with Malignant, which just goes to show.



Is ďWalter WhiteĒ a metaphor because heís the opposite of ďwhiteĒ/innocent, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
And donít forget Jesse Pinkman.

Going off-track, I read or saw an exposť of how much color mattered in Breaking Bad. It was fascinating. Anyone involved with money wore a lot of green, Skyler wore a lot of blue (but canít remember why) & it went on & on. Canít say I noticed any of this in my two or three times viewing this show, but it was very interesting. I donít really notice symbols as such unless Iím bashed over the head with them. Iím like Tony Soprano who said a duck is just a duck.
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And donít forget Jesse Pinkman.

Going off-track, I read or saw an exposť of how much color mattered in Breaking Bad. It was fascinating. Anyone involved with money wore a lot of green, Skyler wore a lot of blue (but canít remember why) & it went on & on. Canít say I noticed any of this in my two or three times viewing this show, but it was very interesting. I donít really notice symbols as such unless Iím bashed over the head with them. Iím like Tony Soprano who said a duck is just a duck.
Sometimes, it's just a rock.



And donít forget Jesse Pinkman.

Going off-track, I read or saw an exposť of how much color mattered in Breaking Bad. It was fascinating. Anyone involved with money wore a lot of green, Skyler wore a lot of blue (but canít remember why) & it went on & on. Canít say I noticed any of this in my two or three times viewing this show, but it was very interesting. I donít really notice symbols as such unless Iím bashed over the head with them. Iím like Tony Soprano who said a duck is just a duck.
Ha, right you are - I remember how Saul was trying to teach him money laundering holding up pink nail varnish. That was priceless.

Yes, I am the same - though I do remember the things that stood out to me, such as how differently Skyler begins to dress once sheís ďMrs. HeisenbergĒ, all those beiges and whites (the hair is far more in-your-face), but thatís more of an aberration for me. Your colour example is broader - next time I rewatch (and Iím sure that will happen), I will keep an eye out.

Iím not saying thatís the way to go for everyone, but sometimes itís so liberating to just take things as they appear.



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sometimes itís so liberating to just take things as they appear.
Amen. Enjoy the effect. Let it wash over you. Just take it all in.



Sometimes, it's just a rock.



Finding a blue stone statue of a duck whose image wouldn't break when linked to this in thread was more challenging than expected.

I have a few more thoughts on this thread, but don't have time at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow. For the most it seems to be winding down (from my perspective).



Finding a blue stone statue of a duck whose image wouldn't break when linked to this in thread was more challenging than expected.

I have a few more thoughts on this thread, but don't have time at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow. For the most it seems to be winding down (from my perspective).
Still would be good to hear your thoughts, but up to you. And yes, Iíve mostly got over it for now.



Still would be good to hear your thoughts, but up to you. And yes, Iíve mostly got over it for now.
Well, it's quite late here, so I need to keep it as concise as possible.

Well mostly to clarify that the initial post, maybe because it was vague on the initial prompting of the thread, made it seem like a more general problem you were having for any metaphors in any films, hence my replies. I think Tak also read it the same way given what her replies were.

The subsequent thoughts - I haven't seen the movie in question (I'm not a James Wan fan and don't have HBO Max, so I don't foresee it in my immediate future), so the actual spoiler wasn't a big deal for me. But extrapolating from other things, and without context of the entire review, that spoiler doesn't sound like an uncommon jump to in wondering if there's a metaphor going on in that particular type of movie (much like rape/sex or drug addiction comes up for vampires, hubris and inventions going out of control for Frankenstein, base instincts for werewolves, some type of conformity with bodysnatchers, that type of stuff). And like those other examples, that metaphor isn't always there, but don't be surprised because of past renditions that it causes some viewers' brains to go there.

WARNING: spoilers below
Though the terminology might be more jarring there because it sounds really formal, which might have also contributed to your negative response. I think a good chunk of what I was going to go over was the possible reasons why people use formal language in situations like this. e.g. They're trying too hard. They developed the lexicon when discussing works where such terms don't feel as out of place (for some reason a Joseph Conrad short story is coming to mind), so that's just how they now express that idea.
Maybe they're actively engaging in that metaphor (as either a project or they've been on a recent kick) as it appears in various other films and stories, and want to apply it to movies that a lot of people shut off their brains for. Or maybe they're just looking for patterns that really aren't there and the terminology isn't the real issue. Either way, as stated, you don't have to engage with these readings when watching a movie if you don't want to. And a reasonable percent of these readings may be formed post-viewing as the viewer replays the movie in their mind; not necessarily when they're first watching it.

Stuff along those lines. That's what I was going to expand upon. Though in what further detail other than possibly trying to do concrete examples, I can no longer remember.



Well, it's quite late here, so I need to keep it as concise as possible.

Well mostly to clarify that the initial post, maybe because it was vague on the initial prompting of the thread, made it seem like a more general problem you were having for any metaphors in any films, hence my replies. I think Tak also read it the same way given what her replies were.

The subsequent thoughts - I haven't seen the movie in question (I'm not a James Wan fan and don't have HBO Max, so I don't foresee it in my immediate future), so the actual spoiler wasn't a big deal for me. But extrapolating from other things, and without context of the entire review, that spoiler doesn't sound like an uncommon jump to in wondering if there's a metaphor going on in that particular type of movie (much like rape/sex or drug addiction comes up for vampires, hubris and inventions going out of control for Frankenstein, base instincts for werewolves, some type of conformity with bodysnatchers, that type of stuff). And like those other examples, that metaphor isn't always there, but don't be surprised because of past renditions that it causes some viewers' brains to go there.

WARNING: spoilers below
Though the terminology might be more jarring there because it sounds really formal, which might have also contributed to your negative response. I think a good chunk of what I was going to go over was the possible reasons why people use formal language in situations like this. e.g. They're trying too hard. They developed the lexicon when discussing works where such terms don't feel as out of place (for some reason a Joseph Conrad short story is coming to mind), so that's just how they now express that idea.
Maybe they're actively engaging in that metaphor (as either a project or they've been on a recent kick) as it appears in various other films and stories, and want to apply it to movies that a lot of people shut off their brains for. Or maybe they're just looking for patterns that really aren't there and the terminology isn't the real issue. Either way, as stated, you don't have to engage with these readings when watching a movie if you don't want to. And a reasonable percent of these readings may be formed post-viewing as the viewer replays the movie in their mind; not necessarily when they're first watching it.

Stuff along those lines. That's what I was going to expand upon. Though in what further detail other than possibly trying to do concrete examples, I can no longer remember.
Fair enough, thanks for that. A very reasonable take.