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February 1996, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tony Williams <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 17:14:10 CST
note of 02/01/96 13:13
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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From: Tony Williams
 Really good points suggesting the variations in what is otherwise a highly
derivative film - plundering LA JETEE and not doing anything new with the
original except to highlight Gilliam's inferior "monkey business" tampering.
Is it coincidental that Chris Marker appears on the staircase near the
end,scowling like an aged David Bowie at the camera? (assuming a past
correspondent is right about Marker's cameo appearance). The scene resembles
Jack Nicholson's similar scowl towards Tom Cruise in A FEW GOOD MEN prior to
his taking the witness box - a signifer of a more experienced actor towards
the contemporary weak thespian nature of a superannuated member of the Brat
  Anyway, apart from Gilliam's irritating repetitions to the Marx Brothers and
the inadequate performance of Brad Pitt (who no longer has a more experienced
actor such as Morgan Freeman downplaying to compensate for his deficiencies
as in SEVEN), there are some intriguing aspects of 12 MONKEYS which  deserve
discussion. Is the Pitt character also a returnee from the future? Despite
his blood relationship to the Plummer character, does he not appear in one
of the irritatingly frequent "dream" sequences at the airport? Also, how
does he manage to obtain the key whereby Willis gets out of the room in
the mental hospital?
Although 12 MONKEYS suffers in comparison to BRAZIL, as a compromised
work revealing how the director may have been personally affected by the
debacle surrounding its American release, there are many issues worthy of
debate. The scientists resemble Jack as torturer in BRAZIL. Greenberg is
right. They don't give a damn about humanity. All they care about is getting
the formula back to their own time. On the other hand, if they intervened and
stopped the plague earlier, the altered past would change both their future and
Tony Williams
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