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mathiasa

The magnificent thriller draws you in right from the start. The first ca 45 min. are a tour de force but then it starts to sack through a little. Still great is the picture of the „capitalist-critic“ terrorist gang enjoying the luxury products of capitalist production.
A lot of interesting things happen but you wonder why they just don’t leave. The film awakes from it sleep when the terrorist kids learn that they have been spoiler. The end asks if not everybody should be an enemy of the state. This can happen only in a primitive state.
2 years 4 months ago
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mathiasa

1.) Outdated science

What at first stroke me the most, was that it was oftentimes unclear, whether Koko was really talking or simply imitating. To me, it often looked liked imitating, except in those cases where he wanted something like food.
Also I saw few instances of "proposition making" which is at the the heart of human language. Instead, Koko was mostly sending "food cues", he was rarely playing with the "words" or combining and recombining them to make phrases or sentences, or even paragraphs.
Also, in human language, a word meaning ( https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/word-meaning/ ) is actually quite complex. A name has for example both a sense and a reference (Spider-Man's sense is true as we can talk about him, but his reference is false because he doesn't exist in the real world).

On the other side, my pug understands maybe 30 "words" (an average dog can be made to understand 165 "words" and the top 20% even 250).
Why do I put the word word in "cramps" here? Because they aren't really words. When uttered by the human, and in his brain, the are words. But as the they enter the animals body, they become more or less simple cues, still having reference but lacking sense. Maybe the term proto-word could be applied).

That's a little bit about what nagged me on the scientific side. But we should not forget that this documentary is 42 years old. We should also not forget that for millenia the Christian Religion, as well as the agricultural state demanded that animals be dumb creatures who don't have any feelings and are far below us. It's only natural that with the scientific breakthrough of the 18th and 19th centuries the pendulum swings in the other direction. Since 1979 ever new attempts have been made to bring chimpanzees (though [yet] not Gorillas) to combine "words" to create new meanings. Apparently (I didn't read the papers myself), some experiments, in this millenia have succeeded, which is incredibly interesting, although the combinations were rather easy.


2) Unethical
But then I became aware of a more troublesome aspect of the experiment. When I read about Koko and others on paper years ago, I was noticed about ethical issues, but I didn't take it seriously.
This is different if you actually see the animal and the sometimes total lack of empathy of Penny Patterson it is treated with.
It's good that the movie shows that, so everybody can get his own impression and is not dependent on a literal description.
She talks of Koko as it were a human but treats it like a worm. Maybe she gets psychologically frustrated as she realizes that there are substantial differences between the two species or maybe the experiment didn't yield as much as expected.

3) Conclusion

There should be more movies like this that document scientific projects. The documentary would have won much if it shortly explained some of the theories that underlie the experiment. For this one, it would have been good to explain basic semantic theories (Frege, Pierce, Saussure) and theories that underlie this experiment. And it should have focused more on the criticism.
This might have turned some viewers off and it would be about half an hour longer, making it still run over less than 2h. And it would be a masterpiece.

That said, it's still a good documentary about a fascinating topic that was going on in academia in the middle of the last century, which I can recommend to everybody . 7.6/10
2 years 4 months ago
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mathiasa

A very important documentary showing that Idi Ami was indeed a vulgar socialist. Of course he didn‘t seem to have any understanding of socialist theory but he saw himself as a „revolutionary leader“ and he claimed he took from communism the policies for Uganda (only to say in the next sentence that they didn‘t follow any policies). He told his ministery to remove all capitalistic minded people.
His measures were also in tune with socialism. And by that I mean socialism as it exists in the real world. I‘m aware that intellectually there are many different theories of socialism most of which on the surface would not resemble Idi Amin‘s regime.
2 years 5 months ago
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mathiasa

A heart -warming movie that equates handicapped people with old dogs.
2 years 6 months ago
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mathiasa

Great movie about an old man finally learning to take responsibility. What irked me was the unnecessary vilification of the landlord. This cliché is in a lot of movies, mostly to please the no-so-smart-movie-watchers. The portrayal of the landlady is so bad, that one commenter here maintains that Umberto was mistreated by her. But in what way? He didn‘t pay the rent, so she lawfully evicted him. There‘s no mistreatment, at least not on her part. One could make a point that he mistreated her by not paying the rent. But the take-home point is that he always makes other people responsible for his situation and the movie shows that this kind of behavior doesn‘t lead to no good. The movie watcher is asked to take pity in Umberto D. but it would be a gross misunderstanding to see him as a victim (fe we’re told that he worked for several decades in an above average paying job and he never saved anything substantial for his pension). Also, in the beginning, we see him talk to two comparable fellows, telling him that they have no debt. A scene like that is important, it tells us that it wasn‘t simply „circumstances“ that defined what Umberto is, but that the goals that Umberto seeked throughout his life had an impact who, and in what circumstances he now is.
The great thing in De Sica‘s directing lies in that he doesn‘t preach or look down on Umberto and instead shows the empathy that every human deserves toward him.
If you think he‘s a victim or portrayed as one, you will not understand the symbolism of the ending.
Italian Neorealism movies are usually not as one-dimensional and superficial as some social romantics tend to believe.
2 years 6 months ago
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mathiasa

Corrupt (Confine a witness against his will, beating him up, which leads to his death) and somewhat sloppy law enforcers try to jail a mob boss. Good, but the ethics are off sometimes (policeman saying that what‘s wrong with the law is that they had to prove a man was guilty, even when they knew he was). 7.4/10
2 years 6 months ago
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mathiasa

In the bar where they have a fistfight is a 1951 pinball machine „The Thing“. I think it‘s based on the 1951 movie „The Thing from another World“. I found that to be an interesting reference for a 1956 movie

And I would be interested in a list/book of movies that were made into a pinball machine.
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

In the end, spoiler
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

Horrible movie but the cinematography towards the end, the scene in the street during the rain for example. Which also explains what this turd is making in Rosenbaum‘s list: He simply added every movie he saw that included a rain scene. Now rain in a movie (and in in reality also) is a beautiful thing, but he really overemphasized it.
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

Great movie about a closet narcissist woman.
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

What a lovely movie starring the utterly lovely Margaret Sullavan. Herbert Marshall was also very good. Well, everybody was good in this very good movie.
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

Ridiculously bad. An director with no knowledge in human sciences tries once again to make an „important“ movie. It‘s a waste of time.
2 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

The amount of commenters defending these horrendous war crimes on youtube is astonishing.
2 years 11 months ago
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mathiasa

What‘s wrong about acting according to your principles? I wished I was always strong enough to do that.
I feel a lot of envy behind all of this vitriol. But envy of what? People being different?

@Thorkell: You watched now close to 10k of movies. Obviously, you watched them out of your own interest and not for the betterment of society. Which is perfectly fine. But maybe then you should not throw stones at people doing the same.

@elced: Propaganda is the systematic endeavor to change the public‘s view. A single movie, unconnected to any other endeavor cannot be part of a propaganda plot. And if it were propaganda, it would be rather good propaganda. Entirely contrary to the educational leftish ‘noir‘ propaganda of the 50s.

Overall, it‘s a rather interesting and challenging movie. Some parts were a bit uneven due to the script.
I wonder how it is resolved in the novel. I have read most of Rand‘s non-fictional work (So I can tell she‘s a talented writer) but not her two most successful novels. All in, I think the movie deserves an 8/10 (rounded up). Maybe it should have been much longer and an epic. They probably had to butcher the novel for the 2h script.

My political stance is far removed from that of a Randian or an Objectivist. I just watch things with an open eye and heart. And I don‘t fear people that are different from me, be it sex, skin-color, status or religion. As the 20th century has shown, I belong to a minority.

According to the downvotes, the hatred of Ayn Rand is as alive as it is imbecile and indecent. It shows the cruelty and inhumanity of a part of the non-educated left.
2 years 11 months ago
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mathiasa

Could have been a great documentary if it had incorporated historic and scientific research.
3 years ago
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mathiasa

Bonus points for Harald Schmidt 3/10.
3 years 1 month ago
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mathiasa

Great „Spaghetti Noir“ movie.
3 years 5 months ago
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mathiasa

The truth is somewhere between the other two comments.
3 years 8 months ago
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mathiasa

@mrjeels: well, it's neither lang's nor herzog's nosferatu.
3 years 9 months ago
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mathiasa

Great movie, strong third act.
3 years 11 months ago
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mathiasa

Where's the golden shower scene from?
3 years 11 months ago
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mathiasa

I re-checked this short for now based on viewing the allegedly wrong version. Drop me a note if you have conclusive evidence (e.g. a screenshot) that it is the wrong version.
3 years 11 months ago
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mathiasa

It would be great if there was a page somewhere (icm itself or on one of the forums) that would lay out the general rules for mods in regard to list adoption and, more importantly, list removal and list replacement.

Right now there seems to be substantial confusion about
the guidelines involved, even amongst the mods themselves.

This could maybe help avoiding frustrating and alienating some of us more dedicated users.
4 years ago
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mathiasa

The list is missing is American Cinema: https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/american+cinema/
4 years 2 months ago
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mathiasa

This world of palaces, of thrones,
of crowns
This world of division,
enemy of man
This world of blind custom
hungry for wealth
Would I care if such a world
were mine?
Bodies wounded,
souls thirsty
Confusion in eyes,
despondency in hearts
Is this a world or
a place of bewilderment?
Would I care if such a world
were mine?
Here a man's life is a plaything
Here live worshippers of the dead
Here life has no value,
death comes cheaper
Would I care if such a world
were mine?
Youth strays into crime
Young bodies are adorned
for the marketplace
Here love is another name for trade
Would I care if such a world
were mine?
This world where man
counts for nothing
Loyality and friendship
count for nothing
Where love has no importance
Would I care if such a world
were mine?
Burn it, blow this world away
Take this world away from my sight
Take charge of this world,
you can keep it
4 years 2 months ago

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