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February 1996, Week 1


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Jeanette Marie Foreman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Feb 1996 14:45:50 -0800
text/plain (42 lines)
> Finally, the redhaired scientist with the virus is last scene in conversation
> on the airplane with his seatmate, the woman who is clearly one of the
> scientists from the future. She says she is "Jones -- I'm in insurance." Has
> she been sent back from the future to somehow retrieve the virus from the
> redhead? Or is this is her l996 self, there by happenstance? (An intriguing
> note re this "tyrannous future": the scientists might very well have the
> power to "get there ahead of time" and stop the virus from ever being spread
> in the first place. Yet they do not. Are they only interested in improving
> their own present, lest they end that present by preventing the epidemic from
> ever taking place in the first place?)
Well, to offer my humble interpretation ... yes, the doctor has been sent
back from the future solely to retrieve the virus, if by no other means that
simply infecting herself (by sitting next to the red-haired man). And I
agree with you that the scientists' insistance upon not attempting to
change the past is motivated by self-preservation. Of course they could
intercept the virus (themselves, or through Bruce Willis' character).
They choose not to try to stop the epedemic because they do not want to
threaten their tyrranical hold over the world of the "present."
In "La Jettee," the scientists themselves kill the protagonist on the
pier. While at first, "12 Monkeys" would seems to diverge from this, upon
further consideration it is clear that the scientists are directly
responsible for his death in this film as well. Think about the
gun. The scientists tell Bruce Willis he cannot attempt to alter the
past. Then they send somebody back to give him a gun -- a ridiculously
big gun -- with which to stop the red haired man. Do the scientists want
Bruce Willis to stop the red-haired man? No, they want him to run
through the airport waving a big gun in his hand so he will be shot by
security and will be out of their hair. He is so caught up in the matter
that he will actually try to stop the epidemic, threatening the
scientists' position of absolute power, in the process.
I notice you're an MD, what sort of an angle does your piece take re: "12
:^) jeanie foreman (have BA, will travel)
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