For those who are looking to be inspired I highly recommend Good Will Hunting (1997). Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, the film saw the late Robin Williams winning an Oscar for his performance as the tough but caring doctor in the film.
I choose this scene because I felt that it not only gave Williams a wonderful monologue to play with but that it also allowed Damon’s character a moment of introspection.
The Bitch as Avenging Angel in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill (2003)
Kill Bill is an awesome movie. And The Bride in Kill Bill is an awesome character. Indeed, Quentin Tarantino himself is a filmmaker that frustrates inasmuch as he entertains his audiences and subverts the expectations of everyone. But most notably, Tarantino is not only recognised as someone who is a cinematic auteur but is also something of a cinephile who adapts shots or sequences from earlier films in his own works. Indeed, his innovation as a writer-director (and there are many; tense dialogue, unique action sequences and music choices) is largely based upon his hard work to subvert, overturn and, indeed, recombine discrete elements from different genres and films to surprise and jolt his viewers.
In Kill Bill (2003), Tarantino reconfigures the received conventions of the revenge film genre – most notably the Death Wish film series of the seventies – by replacing the man with the woman, the innocent with the guilty, and the victim with the perpetrator whilst drawing upon the the action aesthetics Japanese samurai and Chinese martial arts films. But most importantly, the director does not use the standard “normal everyday joe” as his protagonist. Instead, his avenging protagonist is a super female assassin who is determined to do whatever it takes to avenge her loss.
Indeed, Tarantino’s greatest achievement is to write, direct, and create a Film Role that is not only a Woman in a leading role but a fearless and awesome character in of herself. The director does not only reconfigure but decidedly highlights the potentiality of women as not only the equal of evil men but also the apex of them.
Indeed, the protagonist was never a victim or positioned as one. Rather, the character is typically ambushed, surprised, and/or taken advantage when she is either incapacitated or unconscious.
That is because she is a Superheroine and a Symbol of Women Power who is able to mother as well as kick ass. She is someone who does not suffer fools inasmuch as she does not try to let others stand in her way. She is also highly skilled, determined, and hardworking. And most of all, she is not simply a killing machine. But someone who cares and loves deeply.
The cinematic influence and legacy of Bruce Lee is immense. Not only is he simply a martial artist, but he has crafted a specific kind of action style, movement, and performance that continues to inspire latter-day filmmakers.
Blade Runner 2049 is a science fiction cum detective story about K (an android) who is tasked to hunt down the possible descendants of a previous generation of rebellious android. In his investigation, he discovers a dead body of an android who had died in childbirth. With the new knowledge, K is not only tasked to track down the child but is also required to erase all evidence that suggest that androids may have evolved from being mere life-like machines.
What I find fascinating about the movie; other than the atmosphere and cinematography; is the question not so much about “What happens when A.I evolves to become like Humans?” But rather “What is humanity?”
Once K discovers that he is not the A.I / Human child of Rachael and Deckard; he gets over his disappointment; not by moving on; but in rescuing Deckard.
Despite his obvious disappointment and acceptance that he is, at the end of the day, just another android, K rises above any feelings of resentment and anger to rescue both Deckard.
The humanity that is shown; rather the kind of “man” that is celebrated is not the obviously heroic figure or the designated anti-hero. But the film not only empathize but celebrate the “underclass” in the story.
K (the everyday man/worker bee) discovers not so much a world-changing secret but his own sense of self-worth; not by feeling sorry for himself; but in doing something about his own condition and sets about to determine his own ending and destiny.
That is what I think is awesome about the film.
The Shape of Water is a film that speaks not only to the outsiders and rebels, the freaks and the non-conformists. But to everyone who has felt out of place in an increasingly disruptive and disturbing world.
Guillermo del Toro‘s film – despite a love story between human and mutants (which may turn some people off) – provides a kind of cinematic comfort in a period of time and history circa.2018 where the order of things (nationalism, trade war and digital disruption etc) can be pretty scary and confusing at times.
For people confronting a world where the internet and new technologies are rendering jobs and skills useless.
For people who faces discrimination, assault and abuse.
For Everyday mom and dad who fear for a intolerant and in hospital future for their children.
For millennials and digital natives who can’t seem to grapple with the legacy of history to make the world a better place.
The Shape of Water is an ode to the bravely confronting our fears and to see love instead of hate, tolerance instead of discrimination, and hope instead of fear.
Have a great holiday ahead.
Well, just enjoy the verbal combat I suppose.