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Messages - bcm

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Geeze, my mistake, I'm sorry!! I have written "stoned", because I was translating literally "versteinert". This means something like "became like stone". I should have noticed, since I know what "stoned" means, but I only noticed when you pointed it out, mgk. Sorry again, I didn't mean to say that Highway was on drugs!
I'll be back later with a further explanation of why I see Highway the way I see him, I don't have the time right now. Interesting debate coming up, I think  :D

After watching the movie several times I really feel that Gunny Highway has a severe problem he tries to solve with alcohol. He seems to me like the prototype of anyone having severe post-traumatic-stress-disorder. He is introduced in the movie as a drinking, swearing man not caring about other peoples feelings. He talks about whores, sex, violence... not really the type of man I'd fall in love with. He seems to me like a person who has learned to forget emotions, in order to survive. He must have seen some pretty horrible things, and who knows what horrible things he's done himself....
   So it's really difficult for me to see how he might have been "before", and what good character traits he had once had. He's certainly loyal to his friends and soldiers, but other than that... maybe someone else can show me the good charactertraits I missed  ;)

I was very surprised to see Aggie waiting for Tom, I have to admit. The film never really convinced me that Highway was worth it (sorry to say that, but this is how I feel). Highway is cold, stoned, problably (I just assume so) has PTSD, and is in no way ready for a true, real, honest relationship. Even if he has nothing to do all day, that will not give him any social competence back. He tries, I fully agree with that, but he cannot. The scene I would like to quote to explain why I think the way I do is, when Highway and Aggie are dancing together:
Aggie: What do they say about ex-wives?
Gunny: Not too much. Just that sex is great because you don't have to establish a relationship or be meaningful.
Aggie: You really are trying to understand us
Gunny: The best I can, yes
I think that is basically it. He would like to be "normal" again, but he can't. He prefers sex without a relationship because it's about the best he can do, in his actual psychological state. The reason why he tries to get into contact with Aggie might be the one she asks him:
Is that because you can't be a marine anymore and you have no place to go?
He's hurt, but he knows no answer to that.
  Soon afterwards he is waiting for her to tell him wether she will marry Jay (was that his name, sorry if wrong). He does not wait until she answers, he doesn't give her three seconds of time for a "yes" or a "no".  As soon as his job calls, he's gone. He didn't have to rush that fast, several seconds don't ever matter! He rushed because he feared the answer, because he was not sure he could emotionally handle it either way.
  So, basically I think it's great that Aggie waits for him, because he desperately needs someone, or he'll drown in alcohol soon. But he is, IMO, not capable of a love relationship at all at that point

General Discussion / Re:Climber Joe Simpson about "Eiger sanction"
« on: April 12, 2004, 08:33:47 AM »
Yes KC, it is the Zürich Sonntagszeitung (we only have two in Switzerland, the other being named Sonntagsblick, that's why I didn't specify further. Thanks for the link, actually thanks for both links.
   I hadn't remembered that you had posted an article about this already. Sorry  :(

Highway: not a concrete object, but I take it as a symbol nonetheless. Highways are made out of dead material, there is no room for  living things (such as grass), and they serve the purpose to go from point A to point B as straight as possible. In a way, Gunny Highway is or has become like that too. He's made of stone, nothing moves him, not even death of his own soldiers. There is no room for living things such as emotions, otherwise he wouldn't survive as a marine in war. The only thing he knows how to do is get his job done, there's no room for private life, compassion, such things (would be the detours of the highway, in my understanding)

Aggie's dresses: everytime Aggie is letting Highway close, she wears white clothes. When she picks him up after Grenada, her dress strongly reminds me of a wedding dress. So white may stand for wedding, love and such things, but white is also the color of the page where nothing is yet written, the color of a new start.

cigars: the cigar, by itself, symbolizes power, wealth, success, and smoking a cigar is supposed to show relaxation as well (as a non-smoker, I can't really understand this  ;)). In the movie the cigar is also introduced with the words:
suck on one of these, smooth as a prom queen's thighs, only not quite so risky
which is a very very bold sexual statement.
First, in the scene mentioned above, the cigar is meant to bribe Gunny. He refuses.
Later, Stitch Jones smokes a cigar as a sign of power, a sign of being cool, master of the situation, when the platoon introduces the Swede to Gunny. The cigar is not to be seen when they all rush outdoors  :D
Only interest Gunny shows in dead ennemy is the search for the cigar. When he takes it, it's like saying: "see, I am the stronger, I won over you, so the cigar is mine now". And, when he finally smokes it, on the top of the hill, there couldn't be any image more macho than that. The sexual phallic symbol is allied with the one of power.
(BTW, doesn't the canon over which they secure their rope to climb up the wall resemble a lying, thus useless and already defeated cigar?   ;))

General Discussion / Climber Joe Simpson about "Eiger sanction"
« on: April 12, 2004, 02:46:20 AM »
In the Sonntagszeitung of yesterday, Joe Simpson comments on mountain films from Hollywood. Simpson is a climber, who's book Touching the void has been put into a film by Kevin Macdonald. In the interview Simpson was asked to comment on four films about climbing, here are the german quotes:
The Eiger sanction: Der einzige Mainstream-Kletterfilm, der auf seine Art gut ist (the only main-stream movie about climbing that is good in his way)
Cliffhanger: zum Brüllen komischer Schwachsinn
K2: Klischeehafter, sentimentaler Schund
Vertical Limit: So peinlicher, nationalistischer Kitsch, dass ich das Kino verliess.

Simpsons words about the other 3 movies aren't flattering, so I haven't translated


    be careful what you wish for...
.... you might just get it                      

General Discussion / Re:Clint's greatest strength as an entertainer
« on: December 07, 2003, 09:32:11 AM »
Sure, I'll throw my arms around him  ;) (although I haven't seen Honkytonk man yet :))

I vote for director. It's not that I don't think he's a great actor, but...
               ... a director has got much more influence on a movie than an actor (as far as I know, at least).  And the films I prefer of Eastwood are all films he directed.

Clint Eastwood Westerns / Re:Unforgiven (Doug's thread)
« on: December 05, 2003, 01:07:49 AM »
If you guys and gals continue with such interesting and thought-provoking posts about Unforgiven, I'll have to rank that film higher on my list than it is actually  :)
Is this a threat or a fact???

General Discussion / Re:Other Actors that bring out the best in Clint ?
« on: December 04, 2003, 12:42:38 PM »
Second runner up:  Inger Stevens in Hang 'em High

Hey, I only read that today, but thank you for the laughter it caused  :D (If I knew how, I would add that smilie that laughs out loud, you know the one ;))

General Discussion / Re:eastwood gathering???
« on: December 01, 2003, 05:10:36 AM »
How about Eiger sanction? I've always imagined that the scenerie in that film must be just breathtaking on a full large screen...

General Discussion / Re:eastwood gathering???
« on: November 18, 2003, 03:55:18 AM »
me too  :D

General Discussion / Re:Mystic River: Best film by a director over 70?
« on: November 16, 2003, 08:46:35 AM »
A result of his humble demeanor?

I think that without being humble, you can't progress anymore. You have to be aware, constantly, and throughout your whole life, that improvement is possible. And my guess is, that if you really believe in this, you'll stay humble automatically. The ones that are not humble either have complexes, or think they achieved everything, thus no improvement is possible anymore. To me, Eastwood seems like a man who is sure of himself, but nonetheless aware that one has to keep progressing.
   The second reason I think he continues to amaze us is the fact that he becomes much more complete, whole, seing both sides of the coin. I guess this is what we usually call wisdom, and what most humans seek in life, I guess. The themes of his films show this development to me, and so do the characters he portrays. With time, he shows them more and more tri-dimensional. Unlike most boardmembers, I don't like his earlier films all that much (don't hit me ;D). I prefer the more thought-provoking films like Bridges, Unforgiven, Perfect world, and Mystic River. And this is due, I believe, to that wisdom he gained with age.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re:Cats or Dogs?
« on: November 09, 2003, 02:09:49 AM »
Dogs tend to me more aggressive
. An aggressive dog has got nothing but a mouth to bite, an aggressive cat has got 4 paws with claws on top of the mouth. I prefer an aggressive dog over an aggressive cat anytime :) (in a room that is, not in open countryside)  ;)

 And, to help choose between dog and cat, remember

A dog has his master, a cat has his servants  :D

« on: November 04, 2003, 11:39:16 AM »
thank you for the translation, KC. As I knew, it's far better than I would ever have been able to :)

Eastwood News / Re:Clint Eastwood on Michael Savage's radio show
« on: November 03, 2003, 02:39:56 PM »
Savage said the point he was making before Eastwood called was "maybe the people are finally waking up, and they are not going to the movies of these anti-American, anti-war actors who shoot their mouths off and then think people are too stupid to remember when their movies come out

And this is a country with liberty of speech ??? :o

« on: November 03, 2003, 02:16:42 PM »
This is part of an article in Weltwoche, a swiss weekly newspaper, and it's written by Wolfram Knorr. I will rewrite a part of it in german, and someone with better english than I can translate (hi KC  :D). I only put the article (part of it) here, because I think it answers the question about the women in the film:
...Das verdrängte Jugenderlebnis bricht wie eine schlecht verheilte Wunde wieder auf.
   Mystic River, nach dem gleichnamigen Roman von Dennis Lehane, ist eine Unglücksgeschichte über die inneren Panzer falsch verstandener Männlichkeit, die sich gegen jede Aufsprengung wehrt und das Verhängnis erst auslöst. Eastwood weiss, wovon er erzählt, war er doch selbst einmal der Dirty Harry. Mit psychologischem Furor konzerntriert er sich auf die heillose Figurenkonstellation und seziert die abgelagerten seelischen Verwüstungen. Jimmy, bräsig und gespreizt in seinem runden Glück zwischen Frau und Tochter, gibt den Quartier-Paten, um sich im Augenblick des Verlustes seiner Tochter wieder zum Rabulisten zu wandeln. Penn spielt ihn nicht als Tragödienfigur, aber als einen, der Tragödien anrichtet.
   Dave, weich, ungelenk und verhuscht, von Tim Robbins eindrücklich verkörpert, schützt sich mit Lügen und Ausflüchten; selbst seiner Frau kann er sich nicht offenbaren. So wendet sie sich, von seiner dunklen Haltung irritiert, gegen ihn, bereut dies aber später; und Sean schliesslich ist der distanzierte  Bulle, der sich gehemmt den Seelen-Katakomben seiner Ex-Kumpels nähert, weil er seine eigenen fürchtet.  ...

In short the writer says that the film is about wounds, that were never healed because they where sealed in carcasses of misunderstood manliness. This is were the women come in, in my understanding of the story. They represent the different ways a woman can behave with such men. One loves the masculine part and doesn't care about feelings (wife of Jimmy), one doesn't understand that her husband has a deep, never-healed wound that he needs to talk about (Celeste), and the third does the thing most men do: listen, without revealing their feelings (wife of Sean). She only answers him when he finally went to the bottom of the problem and tried to understand why she had left him in the first place. Before that, in keeping quiet, she did what he had problably done with her before. She inversed the traditional roles, and with doing this forced Sean to learn, to progress in his healing of different wounds.  
   I've only seen the film once, so far. It usually takes me more viewings to understand better, but this is my rough draft of the meaning of the women. I'd like to hear more opinions about this, since it's a very interesting question. I mean, what are women needed for anyways ;) ;D

Eastwood News / Re:Who saw MYSTIC RIVER? (NO SPOILERS)
« on: November 01, 2003, 01:35:08 PM »
I saw the movie last night and I really liked it. The cinema was pretty full.  A friend of mine with a whole different taste of movies went to see it too, in a different theater (dubbed), and that one was full, no seat left. She liked the film too, and seems as if some others do to  :D.

« on: November 01, 2003, 01:30:13 PM »
Ah, I can finally join in too :)

I have to say that this is my kind of movie, and I really liked it. (enjoy is not the word here...). There was no bloodbath visible, and I am very thankful for that  ;). Eastwood managed to show us all the horror, without showing it for real. Or, as the woman sitting beside me, put it: "I'm gonna puke in a second", and all there was to see on the screen was a boy getting in a car... Great great psychological work!

  Also I don't mind films with less suspense. I have weak nerves  ;D. Back when I had a TV my favorite police-series was one, where at the beginning of the movie you saw the crime. The rest of the hour was only interesting because of the "why was the crime done?" and "how is the police gonna find out?" So I don't mind films where "who dunnit" is not most important. And, in that case, there was so much going on in the heads and souls of the protagonists that there was plenty for me!  What I liked most was: an open ending (thank you Hollywood for a non-Hollywood end :D), and the fact that I did, and still do, have plenty of things to ponder on after the film.

At this point, I had two words in mind: circles and silence.

In my perception of the whole film, the story itself is a circle. It starts with the three kids, one of them abducted, and the other two just watching. I guess the feeling of: "what should I have done to save Dave? Am I guilty of something?" stays with them. As Jimmy says, all three of them lost something that day. In Mystic River I got the feeling that Jimmy was angry at Dave, angry to have lost something. He killed Just Ray because that man had stolen him two precious years of time with his wife. Did he really only kill Dave because of the suspicion? Or did Jimmy resent Dave to have gone into that car, making all three of them loose their childhood innocence? Before he kills him Jimmy says to Dave: "we bury our sins. We wash them clean". Dave, just by existing, not disappearing out of sight, constantly reminds Jimmy of that sin. I'm sure he feels as if he, as the toughest of all three, should have had some reaction in order to avoid that situation. I'm not saying that he is guilty in an objective way, after all they were kids when it happened. But I get the feeling he feels guilty anyway. So, by "burying" Dave, pushing his body into the river, Jimmy hopes to have his conciense washed clean.
   And now the story makes the circle full. Celeste knows what happened, I'm almost certain of that. Now she's the one left with guilt, with the knowledge that she had the power to avoid her husbands death. And Sean knows he was too slow, too late to save Dave. So, the film finishes with a similar situation it began with...

The more I think about what I posted above, the more I feel the need to disagree with myself  ;)
  In my imagination, Bärlach has always been not too tall (physically), and not too cool. Very courageous, but not really cool. The author describes the horror Bärlach goes through with such intensity, that I'm having more and more trouble imagining a character that never panicks. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea of me to imagine Eastwood play Bärlach...

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