All Things Batman v Superman: An Open Discussion (TAG SPOILERS) - - - - - - Part 307

Discussion in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' started by Thread Manager, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Flint Marko

    Flint Marko Bring me Thanos

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    You can personally disagree with this interpretation all day, it refutes nothing. The simple fact that this Randian subtext has been independently noted by numerous people for quite some time now definitively proves that is absolutely a fair reading whether you like it or not. That's my point. The fact that he wants to make a Fountainhead movie is just the cherry on top.
     
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  2. misslane38

    misslane38 Well-Known Member

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    That's an ad populum fallacy, and when it's noted it's done in the same lazy and inaccurate way you noted it with the same out of context lines and nonexistent analysis. It's a reading that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Even you aren't able to explain or support it.
     
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  3. Flint Marko

    Flint Marko Bring me Thanos

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    Oh I certainly can, I just know better than to engage in a debate with you as you’ve long been noted for your tendency to assert your interpretation as the only valid one. This is a wonderful example of that.

    “Ad populum fallacy”, lol. I’m not arguing that it’s true because a lot of people say it is, I’m clearly saying that it’s a valid reading because it’s clearly something many people are seeing. I’m not sure how you missed that.
     
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  4. misslane38

    misslane38 Well-Known Member

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    More nonsense and grasping at straws. I can't see this going anywhere productive, so agree to disagree, I guess?
     
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  5. Flint Marko

    Flint Marko Bring me Thanos

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    Agree to disagree, then. Enjoy your fountainhead movie :)
     
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  6. Flemm

    Flemm Well-Known Member

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    Does that really make sense? Objectivism is a moral philosophy, primarily. It's explicitly anti-christian on the crucial topics of compassion and altruism. I don't think there's any way around that.

    We don't have to assume that the movies are philosophically coherent. They have never really come across to me as being all that coherent, and trying to reconcile two contradictory moral philosophies could be the cause of that.

    The article linked earlier suggests that a creative tension between the writers and the director (for BvS) is the root cause of certain aspects of the film being dissonant. I noticed that comment because I had a similar reaction to the film without considering the philosophical question. (We don't need to speculate about the filmmakers' philosophical views to pick up on some of the inconsistencies noted in the linked commentary, but it's one possible explanation.)
     
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  7. misslane38

    misslane38 Well-Known Member

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    If that were true, then Rand wouldn't have been able to express the philosophy metaphorically through a narrative about artistic creation. It can be possible to appreciate its application there without endorsing it's application in other ways.

    I read the articles, and they themselves aren't coherent and lack accuracy in key areas relevant to this discussion. You can still feel the films weren't coherent without embracing this particular explanation for why it might feel that way.
     
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  8. Flemm

    Flemm Well-Known Member

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    Well, anything can be expressed metaphorically.

    Now, can something like The Fountainhead be interpreted in such a way as to distinguish it from the moral and ethical views that were expressed more directly by the same author later?

    Maybe. That feels like an open question, though I am skeptical.

    Yes, that's true. I didn't embrace it, I just noticed it in passing.
     
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  9. Flint Marko

    Flint Marko Bring me Thanos

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    https://irrationalgames.ghoststorygames.com/insider/irrational-interviews-episode-5-zack-snyder/

    10:30

    That's so weird that the guy who grew up reading and liking Ayn Rand before superheroes and, in his own words, came to discover superheroes through that specific lens, then went on to make superhero movies that a bunch of people all independently observed some Randian influences in....

    But hey you're right, now tell us how that's all just one big coincidence!
     
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  10. misslane38

    misslane38 Well-Known Member

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    It is flimsy. You are continually relying on logical fallacies to make your argument. You have to cite the actual text of the actual film to support your reading of Snyder's work as Randian. The "independently observed Randian influences" are all based on a misreading and misquoting of two scenes featuring the words of the Kents. It takes dialogue out of context and completely ignores the choices made and celebrated by the protagonist. It's also wrong to suggest the observation was made independently. In this era of social media, a thought can be shared and it spreads. It's more of a bandwagon of conformity than independent thinking.

    Please do the analysis yourself. Research Rand, research The Fountainhead, research the canon of MoS and BvS. Provide the evidence. If the independent readings have merit, then you should be able to find ample support yourself. An interview with Zack Snyder from 2010 where he discusses a generic ubermensch does not tell me anything about the messages embedded in his DCEU films and his Superman. Find the places where Rand and Snyder intersect in his DCEU oeuvre and then report back whether or not you believe there is enough evidence to support such an interpretation.

    Be a critical thinker.
     
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  11. Flint Marko

    Flint Marko Bring me Thanos

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    Nah, I've already explained that I'm not interested in engaging the text with you for a variety of reasons (cue MBJ's meme of arguing with a brick wall), the main one being that it ultimately isn't even necessary to make my point work.

    My main point has only been that you are not the arbiter of what is and is not a valid interpretation of Snyder's films and widely observed Randian influences in the work of someone who is a huge fan of Rand is a valid reading of these movies whether or not you ultimately agree with them.
     
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  12. The Guard

    The Guard Well-Known Member

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    What's the bodybuilding connection to Rand?

    Is it because of the "Atlas" thing?
     
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  13. lordofthenerds

    lordofthenerds Not a Goddamn Side-Kick

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    I'm not sure whether I'd call MOS or BvS "Randian", though MOS did strike me as having some (subtle) right-libertarian themes in it. It doesn't surprise me that Snyder is an Ayn Rand fan.

    The clearest example of such a theme in MOS was the decision to make Krypton essentially function as a left-wing police state, leading to its collapse. Kryptonians were no longer biologically born, but were genetically engineered by the state to serve a specific function for the collective society. As we know, Jor-El took issue with messing around with the sanctity of biological birth (more of a conservative theme), and preached of the freedoms that this social engineering stripped of its citizens to choose their own paths. The film made this a fairly prevalent theme, and even tried to tie the planet's destruction to Krypton's genetic engineering project.

    In the Superman lore, Krypton has never had this type of left-wing autocratic society. This vision of Krypton, and the messages attached to it, was injected into the movie by (presumably) Snyder and Goyer. It didn't bother me, but it wasn't entirely necessary.

    I didn't pick up on any major socio-political themes in BvS, but maybe I missed something.
     
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  14. Aurakles

    Aurakles Well-Known Member

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    It's important to look at both of these in context.

    In the MOS scene, Jonathan starts out angry at Clark; slamming the door on his way out, the way he delivered "We talked about this, right?". He's annoyed that Clarks secret has been put at risk and scared that his son might now be in danger.

    When Clark says "What was I supposed to do, just let them die?", Jonathan pauses, he's speechless for a moment. He realises that he's made a mistake, and is ashamed.
    Consider the way Costner delivers that "Maybe", he's quiet now, and looking at the ground, he isn't saying yes, he's saying he doesn't know.
    Jonathan is considering a scenario where letting a small number of people die now, will save many in the future and he's struggling with that moral dilemma.
    He knows that Clark did a good thing by saving the kids, but he's also a parent scared for his child, and someone who feels the weight of history on his shoulders.
    Jonathan makes clear he knows Clark is going to radically change the world, so he's trying to make sure it doesn't go wrong. He's trying to impress upon Clark the importance of being very careful how he uses his powers.

    I think a lot of people have taken "Maybe" to mean yes, but it very much doesn't, it means I don't know. It's a very realistic, human response, he wants to do good, but isn't sure what the best way to do that is.



    For BVS, the full quote is:

    "Be their hero Clark, be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be.
    Or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing, you never did."

    Martha tells Clark he has a choice, she doesn't tell him what to do, she let's him make his own decision. She tells him he has two paths infront of him, without saying he should follow.

    Martha is saying that if he's going to wear the cape, he's going to need to accept that fact that people will idolise him, and he'll need to try to embody the highest ideals of humanity.
    And that if he can't do that, he needs to stop.

    Martha believes in Superman, that he does good and is helping people. But she's also a mother, who is seeing her son being publicly criticised just for trying to save lives, accused of murder, of being a threat to the human race. It's completely natural for her to feel angry, she loves her child and is protective of him, of course she's going to feel some resentment towards the way he's being treated.
    Martha is conflicted, isn't sure what the right thing is.

    Again, it seems a lot of people took this as Martha saying "be none of it ", which isn't the case she just reframes Clarks options for him.
    Martha isn't telling him to stop being Superman, she's letting him decide.

    Both of these are examples of a parent trying to help their child with a difficult decision that they are both struggling with.
    It's different from the super-hero norm, where there's a Jor-El or an Uncle Ben who tells the hero in no uncertain terms what the right thing is, where right and wrong and easily distinguished.
    Rather than the hero just being given their marching orders by a perfect role model, the Kents are good people but fallible, the don't have all the answers but are trying their best.
    MOS and BVS show that the right choice isn't always easy to determine, that real people with pure intentions have trouble finding the best way to help.
     
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  15. misslane38

    misslane38 Well-Known Member

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    I think the mistake you and others are making is assuming that seeming evidence of an individual thing is indicative of wholesale endorsement; it's more or less making a mountain out of a molehill. It's something explored in this article about The Incredibles, which was also subjected to accusations of Objectivism:

    Except that Brad Bird [the man behind The Incredibles] isn’t an Objectivist. He’s an avowed centrist, stating in multiple interviews that any Rand-sympathizing ideology in the film was completely incidental. In talking to IGN’s Andy Patrizio, Bird put it in no uncertain terms: “I think [the film] got misinterpreted a few times. Some people said it was Ayn Rand or something like that, which is ridiculous. Other people threw Nietzsche around, which I also find ridiculous.” In an interview with animation historian Michael Barrier, Bird said, “Sometimes I feel like people got silly with their analysis of [the film]."

    The factors compelling audiences to create unintended meaning in superhero movies vary, but a shared root cause unites them. Discerning what a film is “really about” gives analysts a comfortable feeling of simplicity and exactitude. Articles like Cracked’s list of “Mind-Blowing Hidden Meanings” approach films as questions that each have a single, fully formed answer. It fosters the mistaken idea that watching a movie is a matter of “figuring it out,” of seeing past the smoke and mirrors to art’s clear-cut intentions. When a film conceals its underlying significance like a riddle, it can be safely filed away once it’s solved. Viewers have successfully triumphed over the film’s trickery, and can walk away with the warm feeling of being smart enough to “get it.”

    The danger is clear and present: Politicized “decodings” of pop culture don’t leave enough room for diversity of opinion. When a viewer does a bit of research after watching The Incredibles and lands on the Objectivist theory, that squeezes out half a dozen other critiques. The film’s deliberate characterization of the faceless thugs as real, remorseless killers frames it as a loving deconstruction of the big-budget superhero movies it emulates. As moral content goes, no self-respecting children’s film would claim “mediocrity is evil” as its guiding theme. Brad’s final act underlines a message that life’s gravest danger is not being true to yourself. When the Parr family lets the realities of everyday life (office drudgery, childcare, high school) overshadow the exuberant, joyful parts of their identities, they live in existential agony. Returning to superheroics is a reclamation of the familial mojo; Dash ends up going for the track team, coming in second, and loving it. That’s why they’re called “readings” instead of “solutions.” Art will never hand down rulings on who is right or wrong. All active viewers can do is formulate an opinion and supply evidence that supports it.

    So the answer to the million-dollar question “Is The Incredibles an Objectivist film?” is a resounding “maybe.” Viewers are free to cook up whatever interpretations they like, which can be a wonderful thing. Room 237 illustrated the way a wealth of views on a film can invigorate the text and the people debating it. In any case, the text remains a thing of beauty to be looked upon and argued about. Appreciation of art lies in dialogue and dissent, not in wrestling entertainment into submission. When everyone’s assured of their own viewpoint, no one will be, and isn’t that just incredible?


    To that end, meaning the value of dialogue when discussing differing viewpoints on a text, I offer an alternative view of Goyer and Snyder's take on Krypton in MoS.

    While you may see Rand, others see reflections of ancient Greek philosophers like Plato, referenced in MoS, and Socrates. Still others might see in Krypton's fall either a warning about poor environmental stewardship and xenophobia or parallels to Hitler's fascist state where eugenics and military might were key.

    This isn't exactly true. In several versions of Krypton's past, the society is similar to what is portrayed in MoS. There are guilds present, for example, and artificial population manipulation involving clones and genesis chambers are also in use in MoS's antecedets. It's also inaccurate to say Krypton was autocratic. It was run by a ruling council; Zod was the autocrat who attempted a military coup only for the council to arrest him and sentence him to the Phantom Zone along with his conspirators. This isn't that different from Wakanda in Black Panther where a council of the tribes meets to make decisions and which was also challenged by a more militant leader: Killmonger.
     
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  16. lordofthenerds

    lordofthenerds Not a Goddamn Side-Kick

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    Fair enough, I suppose. Man of Steel's depiction of Krypton was admittedly subtle enough (thematically speaking) to draw multiple interpretations of it. The word "autocratic" wasn't really the word I was looking for - "authoritarian" would work better, seeing as it seemed to have no democracy, and nearly complete control over its citizens lives.
     
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  17. the last son

    the last son Well-Known Member

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    What made the Senator realize there was a jar of pee mid sentence? How did it get there without her noticing in three first place?
     
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  18. Aurakles

    Aurakles Well-Known Member

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    I think either Mercy put it there, or Luther payed someone who worked there to plant it.
    It was there the whole time but being caught up in the fact that she was chairing a massively important proceeding she didn't notice it until she was speaking.
    Upon seeing it she would have first been confused why it was there instead of her normal glass of water. The she slowly realised that the very powerful man who was responsible for many murders and she had challenged had put it there.

    The meaning of the jar comes from the conversation she had with Luthor earlier:
    "You can call me whatever you like. Take a bucket of piss and call it Granny's Peach Tea; take a weapon of assassination and call it deterrence. You won't fool a fly or me. I'm not gonna drink it."

    She linked piss with assassination, so him sending her the jar is a private joke, letting her know that he is going to assassinate her.
     
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  19. Assassin32

    Assassin32 Or: Rōnin Iscariot

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    It was the filmmakers who made her realize it was there mid-sentence. She didn't notice it was there in the first place because the filmmakers wanted her to deliver those lines of dialogue first.
     
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  20. Vaibow

    Vaibow Well-Known Member

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    So i rewatched BvS last night... in my mind it's definitely a Batman movie over Superman, Batfleck nails it too. It's also an intense movie, i can seen why kids/teens were turned off. Regarding objectism... i can see how it relates here, esp with the directors love of her work.

    I just wish we had a MOS2 before this, would have made it even more powerful. We are only told of the implications of a super man, we didn't get to enjoy him being super.
     
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  21. Aurakles

    Aurakles Well-Known Member

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    I think it's more of a Superman movie, it's a film that examines Superman from various points of view; Batman, Lois, Luthor and even Clarks view of himself. All the major characters have arcs about how Superman has affected their lives, and what they think his role in the world is.

    BVS uses Batman as an example of how Superman can inspire people to better themselves.
     
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  22. Vaibow

    Vaibow Well-Known Member

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    sure, i appreciate that statement, but i guess that lines up with what i said about this movie being about his implications - it's indirectly a superman film, but directly focuses on the people around him.
     
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  23. Travesty

    Travesty Well-Known Member

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    I see it way more as a Superman movie that features Batman. Batman going after Superman is all because of what he witnessed with the attacks on Metropolis, and the main villains in the movie are Lex Luthor and Doomsday. It also follows Lois closely, about the conspiracy of Lex/Superman. I mean, every plot point is about Superman. The main focus of the movie is Superman.

    I just don't see how it's more of a Batman movie? It would almost be like saying Ragnarok is a Hulk movie. I just don't see it.
     
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  24. Kane52630

    Kane52630 Just Some Nut

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    But Ragnarok wasn't called Hulk v Thor: Dawn of Ragnarok
     
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  25. The Joker

    The Joker The Clown Prince of Crime

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    :hehe:
     
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