At the top of Episode 221 John brought up three films, all of which fall into the category of "DON'T READ ANYTHING ABOUT THESE FILMS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THEM"
Fight Club is a fascinating film on several levels, the first one being: "How did this film get made?" The idea at the center of the climax is destroying the record of American debt so that everyone gets to start back at zero. Other themes include what it means to live an actual, meaningful life when you are stuck in the deep end of a consumer culture that only wants your money. This film has also inspired pages and pages of writing about the underlying philosophical ideas within the film. A good starting place for reading on this topic is here.
The Manchurian Candidate is an unquestionable classic! The 2004 remake is quite respectable as well and even works Gulf War Syndrome into the plot in a very organic way. The original has plenty of conspiracy rumors attached to it, especially since the film was released in October of 1962. In the following few years there were several assassinations of major political and social activists (Medgar Evers, JFK, MLK, RFK) by "crazed, lone assassins", or possible Manchurian Candidates.
The above three films are also tied together in that they make you wonder what kinds of subtle ideas the directors (and screenwriter, producer, actor, etc.) included in the films. Nothing on a film set is going to happen by accident (save for a bit of spontaneous dialogue). Especially with a film like Fight Club that has so many digital effects and complicated camera setups. These films were also all financed by major Hollywood studios, which further begs the question of: "Why was anyone allowed to make a film that has brainwashed assassins killing political figures or anarchist organizations blowing up multiple buildings?".
Richard Fleischer (director of Soylent Green) was and "old studio" director, which means he showed up to work at a studio and directed whatever was assigned to him. John Frankenheimer started as a director in the days of live TV and then moved into feature filmmaking in the late 1950's. His films do vary in quality, the best of them are mainly the ones that were adapted from novels (like The Manchurian Candidate). David Fincher (director of Fight Club) is certainly on board with the themes of No Agenda, which is obvious with just a cursory glance of his music video turned feature film list of credits so far...especially when you put his upcoming film into the mix: The Social Network (the story of Facebook).
At the end of the show, Adam and John also mentioned the fiction film Chinatown (another classic American film from the glorious 70's) and the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired.
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