re: understanding the plot ...
I'm sorry, and I don't mean to be rude ... but are you people serious ????
The Usual Suspects, Fight Club and Sixth Sense involve explanations that
C'mon: That's just ... wrong.
I'd be fascinated to hear what exactly are the "cheats" involved.
If you're talking about deferred knowledge ... fine.
Or: unreliable narrator devices ... fine.
But "cheating" suggests these films employ total contrivances, inconsistent
with the whole filmic structure (when understood in their entirety), or
inventions out of left field, to resolve themselves.
This is patently not the case.
If you think it is the case ... then I would suggest you've obviously missed
something, or just haven't understood the narrative.
Good Lord: It's only the formal structure of these texts that complicates
them (and they're not even THAT complicated !!!) - by defering conclusive
readings, or complicating their chronology etc.
Told in another way, or from another perspective, but with all the narrative
and formal properties exactly intact - absolutely nothing added or
subtracted - and these narrative would be as straightforward as anything
else on the screen. No one would have any trouble following every nuance.
But such linearity, logical causality, or chronological conventions would
make these films ... passť.
The more I read here about what are considered "incomprehensible" (or now:
"cheating") narratives, the more AMAZED I become.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Laura Jean Carroll" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2002 9:31 AM
Subject: Re: Understanding the plot
> Wojciech Has's 'Manuscript Found in Saragossa', from a novel by Jan
> might be worth looking at. It's not that any individual thing that
> is hard to understand, or that cause-effect is obscure, but the plot is an
> overwhelming nesting of stories - a person tells a tale, then someone in
> that tale begins another..so on. As far as I'm concerned it's a classic
> example of 'losing the plot' very much enhancing the fun factor.
> Slightly OT, Charlie Kauffman's script for the not-yet-released
> (dir. Spike Jonze) contains what I *think* is a broadside against films
> The Usual Suspects, Fight Club, The Sixth Sense - e.g. films that finally
> extricate themselves from their own complexities with 'cheating'
> explanations. In the script, the scriptwriter character has a pathetic
> who's blithely writing a serial killer picture with some help from Robert
> McKee: the twist is that cop, killer, and girl victim turn out in the end
> all be the same person.
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