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Messages - bcm

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BCM, your point about tolerance should probably be further explained if you're going to say that's what it takes to avoid war. Hitler wasn't a very tolerant man. War resulted because of this.
Sorry, but I don't see where this contradicts my statement ???
I've explained (as wkc did) why I see Josey as "cold-blooded" in another thread.

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My two pences in this subject  ;)

There are two reasons this movie, to me, is a movie with strong anti-war-themes.

Tolerance: Tolerance is a very important ingredient of peace (and intolerance a frequent ingredience of hate/war). We have several groupes of people who join against a common ennemy, despite their differences. The first group is Josey (white) with Lone Watie (Cherokee) and Moonlight (Navajo). These three different cultures join against their common ennemy, the union. The second group is grandma from Kansas who joins Josey from Missouri because of the common ennemy the comancheros. Without the common ennemies there are chances these people would never have talked to eachother. This is especially true for grandma, who says:
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He's from Missouri, where they're all known to be killers of innocent men, women and children
She also has a distorted perception of her own "side", shown when she says:
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He was killed in the border war by ruffians. He died a proud member of senator Jim Lane's Redlegs, fighting for the just cause
which to Josey must have sounded like an insult.
   But despite their predjudices and differences,  all the involved members become a unity. This is expressed when Lone Watie says:
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Grandma says it's our home. It is all of ours.
Later, to demonstrate that the tolerance and acceptance is lived, not only talked about is that nice little scene:
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Grandma to LW: You know, we're sure going to show them redskins something tomorrow. No offence meant.
LW: None taken
The tolerance even reaches outside that little community to the Comanches, to Ten Bear
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Governements don't live together, people live together...I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying men can live together without butchering one another
Short summary: if everyone were that tolerant, there would be no war!

The use of violence doesn't bring healing:
The second reason I think this is a film that should make us realize the futility of war is the story itself. After all, it's a peaceful farmer becoming a cold-blooded killer becoming (IMO) a peaceful farmer again. I know this can be understood in different ways, but I just want to try to explain what I see in this story.
To me there are a lot of reasons to believe Josey is not only becoming a killer for revenge, but because he's lost all reasons to live. And the violence he lives is nothing but a desperate attempt not to despair completely. Different scenes made me think that way. First, after he loses his family, he takes a pistol and trains, but even after that (obviously) rare outburst of violence, he doesn't feel any better (sits head down on the grave) . There never is a smile or a sign of relief in the scenes where they shoot and hang red-legs. Again, later, when Fletcher says:
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All that a fellow has to do is ride into that union camp... then he can take up his horse again and go home...
(later)
F: There's no way you're gonna get away
J: I reckon that's true
F: Good luck Josey
Josey (to me) looks desperate, lost, incredibly sad at the mention of "home", and then incredule at the "good luck" (good luck for what?). He's got no home anymore, afterall! Later:
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Kid: You can't get them all, Josey
J: That's a fact
K:Why are you doing this then?
J: Cause I've got nothing better to do
And, again, in the scene with Ten Bear
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TB: You may go in peace
J: I've got nowhere to go
And same scene, later the sentence that wraps it all up:
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...when all you have ever cared about has been butchered or raped.
The only time Josey shows a sign of relief after an act of violence is after he kills cpt Terrill. He looks like he's shaking off that nightmare he's been living. So, IMO, this shows that all the rest of the killing was not revenge, and didn't help Josey overcome the losing of his family either. The only death that mattered to him was this one. Josey became a killer of many, but this didn't solve his problem. Violence creates more violence, but doesn't bring peace on a tortured mind. Instead humanity and true honest feelings are lost:
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I guess we all died a little in that damn war

3
the white man: To me the whole image of the "white man" is summed up in the white dressed Mr. Carpetbagger. He sells something dubious for different prices depending the situation. He obviously knows he's cheating people, but he's feeling just fine about it. Just as long as he can earn money with doing that... One scene sums that up pretty nicely:
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Mr. C. to Lone Watie: You're an indian, aren't you? Can you speak any english?...It's the very best thing for those who can't handle their liquor (laughs)
Lone Watie: What's in it?
White man judging a person because of predjudices (he probably can't speak english, he drinks, and he'll be stupid enough to buy it...). The indian who has learned the hard way not to trust too lightly asks the only right question!
The same has happened to Fletcher before, when he forgot to ask what would be included (=in it) in decency. (the senator telling him that Fletcher's men had been decently treated and decently shot)

I don't know whether it's a symbol, but I find it particularly deceitful of the union soldiers to kill Fletcher's men while they were pledging allegiance...

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Some of the more humorous moments of the film are those that feature Josey's tobacco spitti

I disagree (as usual). Due to my different cultural background (people don't spit tobacco around where I live)  I never thought the spitting funny. I find it interesting, symbolic for his anger, but not funny. Actually, I find it pretty  gross (sp?). But bear in mind that I don't live in the US.

The scenes I smile while watching are the scenes with Lone Watie. How this old man who has seen so many injustices happen to his people and family can still smile! One scene I particularly like is when he says:
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I didn't surrender either. But they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas, I'll bet.
It does sound funny when you hear it, and it makes you smile. But he actually says something very sad, when you think about it.

5
Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Five movies you HIGHLY recommend
« on: November 17, 2004, 03:10:33 PM »
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French are not as simple as that !

That's an interesting take on Amélie's personality. I didn't think she is portrayed as a simple woman (you're anything but a simple woman, Amélie, eerr, where did that come from??? ;))
I'm not french, but almost. People around here never considered Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain to be a parody or simplification of the french way of life (if there is such a thing). It is a love-story told in a very beautiful and original way, and Amélie just warms your heart. It's the kind of movie you see and afterwards feel very very good, didn't you experience that too? Of course the story is un-conventional (is that an english word??), is that what you mean by "french"? Like the little story about the dwarf on travel. But to me (and the people I've talked to  about this film), this has got nothing to do with a nation, rather with a fresh/new vision of things around Amélie/us.
   I can perfectly understand and accept if you don't like this movie. It's just that in this case I don't really understand your reason for not liking it. Maybe I am just misinterpreting your post about it, so excuse me if this is the case.
  Oh, and Matt, if you get through all the movies already suggested, I could suggest you my favorites too :D

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Favorite: "we all died a little in this damn war"

least favorite: The boy calling out to Josey (I'm paraphrasing). let's get Fletcher, this is a trap (well, nice catch, boy, I thought it was a pick-nick :o. Or a diversion  ;D ;D)

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tobacco chewing and particularly spitting: Josey doesn't chew or spit in the beginning of the film, when he's ploughing with his son. He takes up this habit I guess as a way of showing us how, after loosing his family, he spits on everything/shows no respect towards anything anymore. He doesn't spit (although ready to) when first arriving to the farm. And he doesn't chew while branding the calf. He does take that habit up again when he wants to leave Laura Lee and the farm. It also shows with the dog. The first time he hits him on the forehead, and later he spits beside the animal.
music and music instruments: music symbolizes happiness and the feeling of being safe and being home. Laura Lee hides behind the piano and is only discovered when the piano is shattered. And the first time Josey allows himself any positive feeling towards the farm and Laura Lee, they are all dancing.
The Lost Lady: interesting name for a saloon... To me it symbolizes the point where he's gonna let go of the lady he's lost (his wife), and tackle a new life again (find the lost lady again - rebuild a new life)
There's plenty more, maybe I'll be back for some  ;)

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General Discussion / Re:European Eastwood gathering rides again!!!
« on: September 26, 2004, 09:55:05 AM »
Dane, you know you can count me in, don't you? I'd love to have an excuse to visit Copenhague!!

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: THE ENDLESS, POINTLESS thread
« on: July 26, 2004, 11:21:21 AM »
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Probably because it's in Switzerland  
Yep, true. Sorry, I hadn't even known. The last I knew was that it was in London. Maybe now I'll travel to Basel to go in that "Don't miss a second". Or, some say it has been called "Loo with a view"

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re: THE ENDLESS, POINTLESS thread
« on: July 26, 2004, 09:44:20 AM »
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It's a Swiss toilet.
Why is it called "Swiss"? Because noone can look in, but inside you can see the outside-world? Or because you need a Swiss bank-account to afford that much stainless steel? Or because it's clean?  ;D

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re:2003 Movie Discussions
« on: June 20, 2004, 02:11:08 PM »
Thanks Christopher for answering  :)
   After talking with my husband about it (he has never read the book), I begin to understand that there are too many characters to really relate to, if you haven't got to know them in the books (kind of "already know them", before watching the movies). I guess that's the main problem, which explains why the ending is too long for you, and much too short for me  ;)

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re:2003 Movie Discussions
« on: June 20, 2004, 02:54:59 AM »
I'm just curious, Christopher. I assume the film could have ended after the destruction of the ring.  Would you really not wanna know what happened after that? What happened to Frodo and Sam? Would it have been obvious for you that Aragorn becomes king? How about Arwen (last time we see her she's dying)? Eowyn? Faramir?
  The book wraps all the characters up, it goes on until we know what happened to each and every one of them (including, as Ally said, the important Saruman!). If the film would end after the destruction of the ring, we wouldn't know about any one. Would that really satisfy you? Or do you think that the ones who care that much for the characters to wanna know what happened should just read the book? And the movie-goers have all they need, once the ring is destroyed? Sorry to ask all of this, but when you have read the book first, it's difficult to go back and imagine how you would have felt if you wouldn't have known...

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re:2003 Movie Discussions
« on: June 19, 2004, 02:38:46 PM »
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  The movie technically ends, then there's more stuff tacked on and I don't see why the movie had to go on as long as it did.
That's the exact remark my husband made too. He hasn't read the book(s), and I guess you haven't either. The book firsters tend to view this differently. There is a whole chapter (the scouring of the Shire) that is missing, which makes the end too short  ;). And frankly, I really like the Grey havens scene being "real-time", not "movie-time". I can see why people not that fond of the hobbits and Gandalf could get bored. But believe me, I think that after 9 hours (12, if you watch the Extended editions), it's barely long enough to say good-bye  ;)

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Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Best death scene in a Movie ?
« on: June 01, 2004, 12:56:55 PM »
The death scene that impresses me most (except childhood memories like Winnetou and Sissi ;D) is the death of Boromir in The Fellowship of the Ring. Not only is it a magical scene to watch (sad and beautiful at the same time), but his death carries so many messages. With the manner of his death he influences the decisions of those that were there, which again will influence their choices later on. I think this is the only death scene (in a movie I've seen)  that I can watch over and over again, understanding new meanings everytime.

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Not  favorite or happiest but heaviest at least:

I'll make life takers and heartbreakers out of them sir..."
   
This is a guote from D'Amb in the Favorite quote thread. And I will try to explain you my difficulty with drama vs comedy with that quote. If you interpret the quote the way I do, it shows you a very frustrated, sad view of the army (as D'Amb points out, it's heavy). If you understand it that way, it has nothing to do with comedy, and then I agree that the movie is drama pure. As I pointed out somewhere else, I found most of that language sad. But, as Matt and mgk pointed out, it is meant as comedy, and I apparently understand it all wrong (not just this sentence, but most of them can be understood and interpreted both ways). So, the irony in this is, that I was the one seeing drama and sadness in the film, and I was explained that it is comedy. I agree that the death of  Profile isn't funny. But I don't think it's sad either. Did you feel sad because of his death? I didn't, and I assure you I'm the first one to cry at anything very, truly sad. But I don't think the audience feels any real sympathy to Profile, so the audience doesn't grief his death either.
  I also agree that the moments with Aggie aren't funny. They are sincere, honest. ImBD seems to view them as drama, since the film is also listed as drama there. But I really have trouble to accept that the true drama in my perception (the "becoming a life taker") is supposed to be funny, whereas a simple, honest, true discussion between two ex-married is drama. If I am supposed to understand the major party of the film as comedy, then I'm simply not able to give Highway enough character depth to really feel for him, hence my lack of sadness at the "drama-moments". This also partly explains why I have so much trouble understanding why Aggie would want such a man back. Sorry not to fit in with the rest of you, but maybe you can at least try to accept why I  see this movie from a different angle...

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I know I know, I don't get the point of the movie AT ALL. When I think it's serious, it's meant as comedy. But please Matt, can you explain me where the drama of the film is?
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 Heartbreak Ridge is trying to be both a drama and a comedy at the same time, but in the end, it seems that just about all of the comedy comes from the portrayal of the "pathetic" Marines.
 Honestly, it never occurred to me that a film coming out of the entertainment industry could be understood as a documentary! If I want to know how the US marines really are, I guess I need a mix between the "all-positive" publicity image and the "all-negative" news coverage. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.

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 continuous or PERIODIC impaired control over drinking
A grown up man who gets so drunk he ends up in prison, and continues to do that is, IMVHO, an alcoholic. The fact that he's surrounded by people who drink a lot too does not change that.  And the fact that he doesn't drink in Grenada does not proove he's not alcoholic either. It only prooves he has not PTSD, which I have understood before my last post too. I don't think Highway feels uncomfortable, or has a "problem" with war(the reason I thought he had PTSD was his social incompetence and coldness). So, there is actually no reason for him to drink during a military invasion, is there? But I guess the definition of alcoholism is debatable, so I won't discuss much more about this, since we'll never agree.
    Highway could have turned the Swede and Aponte in, and he didn't. I don't think he didn't do it because he especially cared for them as persons (and why would he care about the Swede, someone please explain?). I felt he wanted to show his boss that he was NOT a relic, that he would do a better job with his platoon than had ever been done before. So, the result is the same, but the motivation is not. Of course, it's a matter of interpretation, as most things...
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 Maybe all that means is that Little Mary and her husband had a great marriage in spite of the Marines.  Maybe Little Mary's husband was a good Marine but not a "gung-ho" Marine like Gunny.  Maybe Little Mary was a more patient woman than Aggie.  Maybe Little Mary is remembering only the good times because her  husband is dead. There are a lot of unknown factors here.
Yes, true. And maybe Highway volunteered too many times (volunteered!), maybe he fooled around with whores too much, maybe he didn't show his love to Aggie enough.... I fully agree with the unknown factors here!

  I think this whole debate is a bit difficult. Apparently, I'm completely missing the comedy and fun of this movie, since everytime I quote a line from the film that supports my view, I'm reminded that I missed the joke. Probably that is my main problem. I don't think this movie is funny at all. And if we are supposed to debate wether a true love relationship can happen, it's somewhat difficult if everything is but comedy. I'm saying that because the next line I'll quote will certainly be a missed joke again.
Highway says to Stitch, about his choice to stay in the marines:
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You are also a lot dumber than I thought
So, I interpreted this as Gunny realizing that the marines are not everything on earth, and that because of the marines he's missed a whole life. I suppose you (mgk and Matt) look at it as a proof that Gunny feels  indeed as a father figure to Stitch, and hides his pride behind this joke.  So, really, I guess we are just as in real life, here. Both of you like Gunny Highway, and interpret and understand him in a positive way. Whereas I think Gunny has a very low emotional competence, and thus see proof for this in a lot of lines. There is no use in trying to persuade anyone of ones point of view, because that's simply a matter of taste and interpretation. There are too many unknowns, and none of us knows if all these lines were really meant as jokes, or if they had some truth in them.
  But thank you for trying to show me the qualities of Highway  :D

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I see it as a military movie, with a side-story about emotions. This is one of the main reasons I don't like this movie (as you might have guessed :D). My husband likes it better than I do, because he knows what the soldiers are going through, but as a woman I find it more difficult to enjoy  boy-games such as fights in mud-holes and such.
   Personally, I always dislike seeing wars pictured like "games" in a movie (I know that we see people getting killed, but we never get to see their coffins, their mourning families).
   The third reason I don't enjoy watching this movie is that I don't particularly like the vulgar language. I know a lot of people think it's funny, but I think it's sad.

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 Alcoholism is a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by continuous or periodic: impaired control over drinking, preoccupation with the drug alcohol, use of alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial."
  http://www.ncadd.org/facts/defalc.html
I still think Highway has an alcohol problem, since he drinks whenever he encounters a problem, he then has severe adverse consequences (prison, fine). We also never see a non-alcoholic beverage appear on screen exept coffee in the morning...he doesn't bring Aggie flowers, he brings her a sixpack! He certainly doesn't get drunk every night, but it is hinted that he drinks one or more beers every day, and that he sometimes gets severly drunk. To me, this can be qualified as an alcohol problem.
  You are right about the PTSD. Gunny does volunteer for every war on this planet, and he doesn't seem to have flashbacks, as you rightly pointed out. But even if he doens't suffer PTSD, I would not call his emotional competences average.
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  And, he has a long-term relationship with Little Mary and even chose to stay in her back room.  He could have gotten a place somewhere else. He has a twenty year or more history of a good relationship with his friend, Sgt. Maj. Choozoo, that he is obviously planning to try and keep.  He acts as a father figure to this rowdy bunch of recons and even goes as far as loaning money to Aponte who is desperately trying to support his family with a second job because the Marines don't pay him enough.  Gunny understands that; he's sympathetic to that.  This man, Gunny, is a strong leader, a demanding commanding officer, but he cares about other people a great deal and goes out of his way to help them.
Your quote shows how you understand Highway. I understand him differently. I don't see him as a father figure, he just wants to do his job right. And this means, to get as least soldiers killed as possible. You don't need to have a relationship with them, you don't need to care, it could also be just his work, and the fact that the better they are, the greater are his own chances too. The same thing applies to him lending money to Aponte. He doesn't seemed very pleased holding a baby in his arms, does he? He lends the money so that Aponte can train, so that... (see above).
   He goes back to Mary because he doesn't know where else to go to, because he knows her, and feels comfortable there.  He does not have a "long-term relationship" with Mary though, since she greets him with the words:
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Don't you know how to write or call?
A relationship implies some kind of contact, otherwise it's closer to a memory than to a relationship.
This conversation with her BTW is very revealing, I feel. Later she tells him:
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Mary: If you want a lot from a woman, you have to give a lot
Gunny: Not this kid. Seemed like marriage and marinecorps weren't too compatible
Mary: Pantherpiss. The best years of my life were with a marine
This puts a doubt wether the main problem of Aggie and Tom  was  really  the marine. I think that he uses that as an excuse. Apparently, he didn't write Aggie either, during his wars (She had no way of knowing where he was and what he was doing, other than to watch the news!).
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  He knows the answer.  He knows that the answer to her question is a resounding "Yes" and THAT is why he is there to see her.
So you think that the fact he has nowhere else to go, noone else he knows well enough, will be a fertile beginning of a love relationship? I'm sorry, I cannot believe that such a feeling will ever ever be enough. For a friendship yes, for a love, no. In the movie 28 days the alcoholics are reminded to first take care of a plant for a year. Then take a dog. If both are still alive after two years, they are emotionally mature enough to think about love. Personally, I would offer Highway a nice little plant  :)

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General Discussion / Re:Climber Joe Simpson about "Eiger sanction"
« on: April 13, 2004, 11:46:22 AM »
ok Dannyman, here's my try at a translation. But I'm not very good at translating...
K2: sentimental crap full of clichés
vertical limit: such embarrassing, nationalistic rubbish that I left the theater
Cliffhanger: comical imbecility... (KC, how would you translate "zum Brüllen"? to roar ???)

Maybe you can see now why I wasn't too keen on translating, I didn't want to step on anybodies toes here

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