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February 1996, Week 1


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Chris Carlsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 23:24:57 +0000
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I don't think Jeffrey Goines had anything to do with spreading
the virus.  For me, this was one of the more thought-provoking
twists of the movie:  how wrong historical inter-
pretation can be, how throroughly history can actually be
misunderstood and lost.  Goines was  a loony whiz kid
with a penchant for liberating things (people from the
insane asylum and animals from the zoo), and a keen understanding
of the "society of the spectacle".  His comrades were
relatively innocent people trying to do the right thing.
The liberation of the animals was very powerful imagery, almost like
a fairy-tale, and in the end the group of terrorists are rather
child-like, which is refreshing compared with the rest of the
cast of characters.
The representation of radical political activism was not
entirely favorable, though.  In the scene where Goines is
plotting the outbreak from the zoo (which we are led to
believe is the nefarious virus plot) the process is anything
but democratic.  Goines is the leader that everyone follows
without  questioning. (Another infantile aspect).  And then of
course ultimately their games are completely impotent in
the fact of the catastrophe that follows.
        I don't think the incursions into the past actually
changed anything substantial about history (didn't Bruce Willis
repeatedly tell people that he was on a mission to gather
information about the past that would help the future, even
though he could do nothing to change the catastrophe that
occurred/was about to occur?)
        The incidents which were caused by the time-travelling
were the very incidents that had led to misinterpretation by
the scientists of the future. The writing on the wall and the
phone call were misleading cues. Somehow this feels quite dif-
ferent than the premises of the "Back to the Future"or "Terminator"
type of film. Here, the moral is more like you CAN'T change
history,though you can create a house of mirrors and thereby
confuse historical interpetations.
        Any more thoughts on the comparison between this film and
La Jetee?  The basic plot is remarkably similar.  I think
the main plot difference, aside from the animal liberationists which
gives the film a contemporary twist, is that in La Jetee the
scientists are seeking answers and help from the future, and
it is the future (the future of the future?) who try vainly
to rescue the portagonist from the murderous designs of his
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