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  •  READER COMMENTS

    Reader comments on

    Subject: Re: continued explanation
    Date: Apr 11, 2001
    Sender: CrystalPrevious | Next

    I watched it again and realized something that I didn't see before. I saw that all of the pieces were there, just that all of the players didn't have them. The boys had the youngest girl's diary and they made comments about alot of poems she had written about the dying trees. That goes directly to her environment. The father didn't have a backbone. He couldn't even handle the tree-cutters, had to call the wife. When the priest came over, the husband didn't want him to bother the wife. He started to stop him and then backed down. Something which had been instilled in him as a child. Both parents had issues with the girls going out in cars. Like the cars themselves would get the girls in trouble somehow. The mother obviously didn't want the same life for her daughters that she had, but she could only convey that by being overbearing and uptight. She probably didn't get any love from her mother. The girls themselves didn't really talk amongst each other because they didn't have to, they all lived virtually the same life. The boys had this preconceived notion of the girls. The thought that because the girls were beautiful and popular that their lives were perfect. No one is perfect, no matter how much money they have, how cute they are, how smart they are, etc. This movie is a real representation of society as a whole and no one wants to admit it. We can't change our parents or their parents or anyone other than ourselves. When we see someone hurting, we help them. The only problem is we don't always show our pain so people think that you have your stuff together. We are all lost but there are those of us that are trying to find survivors like ourselves. This is a great film.
    This movie scratched through the surface of society and for those of us that appreciate it, we see the cancer that's underneath.

    Previous: Re: continued explanation | Next: Grand

    Respond to this message | Return to original article:



    Response to this comment:
    Re: continued explanation

    I'm supposed to be writing an essay right now -- this is creative procrastination. Is a conventional reading of this film possible? Straight-forward analysis of the characters, their motives, and even S. Coppela's idea seems particularly slippery here. The viewer consensus looks to be: "Huh?" So either Coppela's a complete hack -- which seems unlikely considering the technical beauty of the piece -- or, just maybe, she's submitted this as one of the many recent morally aloof but practically entangled critiques of contemporary Life-After-God Americana. ("Magnolia" & "American Beauty" are the two big ones in this recent genre, "Girl, Interupted" is another. But the derivatives are now being churned out fast and furious -- witness "American Pie", "High Fidelity"...) If that's the case, this one might take the idiological cake. No closure, no moral, no overt social concern, no criticism, no transcendence. Compare another of this genre but from a decade ago, Robert Altman's "Shortcuts". The production placed itself squarely in the muck with its subjects, ambiguously celebrating the self-destruction of late American culture -- but it was intensely critical. From ten year's distance that stance looks slightly hypocritical. Here we have what looks like a purer form -- total absence of critical stance. Coppela's in the muck, just like Altman, and her father before her (remember his self-abasing photo-journalist scene in "Apocalpse"); but she goes further by NOT telling us what's wrong. "All we have is pieces" -- isn't that what the neighborhood boy-voyers say? So they don't speculate, and nor does Coppela. If there's a take-home message at all, maybe its that the subject is just too sensitive to take a critical, superior, "outsider" stand on. As the reviewer above commented, the film reads like its made by some one who's been a teen-age girl -- some one who feels its all wrong, but can't get out of the shit. So Copella leaves the moral conjecture to the audience. Mine's the same as most of the other commentors here: the girls can't get out of the shit because no one seems to care enough to acknowledge the problem. To everyone in the girls' town, they were merely a spectacle. The film is rife with scenes of ubiquitous neighborly insanity that everyone in town chooses to ignore. And the ones who were supposed to be taking responsibility chose to "meek" out. (This description seems uncomfortably familiar somehow...) My question to Coppela would be whether the "leave the moralizing to the audience" tact is effective -- but maybe THAT begs the question altogether; why should we look to artists for our moral analysis of reality in the first place -- isn't that part of the same mistake that the TV & pop-music submersed culture was making in the story? The tact certainly is postmodern, for whatever that's worth. And in any case, boy does Sophia work better on this side of the lens!






    Comment index:

  • Virgin Suicides   from ZANNOAH, Jan 25, 2001
  • Re: Virgin Suicides   from Lux, Mar 24, 2001
  • intersting but extremely non explanatory   from Kirsten, Mar 24, 2001
  • nope, nope, nope   from Deena, Nov 20, 2002
  • Somewhat of an explanation   from Crystal, Apr 8, 2001
  • continued explanation   from Crystal, Apr 8, 2001
  • Re: continued explanation   from Holden Caulfield, Apr 10, 2001
  • » Re: continued explanation «   from Crystal, Apr 11, 2001
  • Grand   from Tricia, Feb 6, 2004
  • Mix Comments   from Jaan, Jul 4, 2006
  • huh??   from pv, Dec 13, 2006
  • Virgin Suicides   from ZANNOAH, Jan 25, 2001
  • Re: Virgin Suicides   from Lux, Mar 24, 2001
  • intersting but extremely non explanatory   from Kirsten, Mar 24, 2001
  • nope, nope, nope   from Deena, Nov 20, 2002
  • Somewhat of an explanation   from Crystal, Apr 8, 2001
  • continued explanation   from Crystal, Apr 8, 2001
  • Re: continued explanation   from Holden Caulfield, Apr 10, 2001
  • » Re: continued explanation «   from Crystal, Apr 11, 2001
  • Grand   from Tricia, Feb 6, 2004
  • Mix Comments   from Jaan, Jul 4, 2006
  • huh??   from pv, Dec 13, 2006