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Postmodern Antihero: Capitalism and Heroism in Taxi …
Although a film well within the bounds of the genre, grapples with the question of whether fantasy, fantasies, and the fantastic may lead only to escapism and a denial of reality. Of course, del Toro provides a much more sensitive and intelligent treatment of the issue than the detractors of speculative fiction, who rarely read widely in it. The film cautions against the dangers of fantasy as escapism even as it finally illustrates that a "denial of reality" can be a political or moral denial of what is merely an accepted reality. The desire to escape from such a reality is not inherently escapist in the critical sense of the term. Del Toro invites us to consider the role of fantasy in the broader category of idealism, and his justification for the value of fantasy rests, much like Tolkien's, in its ability to provide alternative worlds or paradigms that humans may pursue within reality: fantasy may liberate, not simply isolate. Moreover, this kind of justification of fantasy can extend to a justification of narrative more generally: when all fiction is really just a fantasy after all, what then is the use of fiction? The elevation of realism in contemporary fiction cannot disguise the fictionality common to all mimetic works, not simply those with fairies or happy endings. Ultimately, how we choose to interpret the ending of does not revolve around a question of whether we think Ofelia "really dies," or how we suppose del Toro intended us to take the "truth" of her fantasies. Rather, it is a question of whether we have faith in the constructive, even salvific power of human imagination and creativity. And substitute for "creativity" here "fantasy film and literature" or "narrative fiction" or simply "art."
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Does your man tell you you're crazy and irrational
Thank you for the thought provoking article, and I am impressed also by the comments it has evoked. There is such a broad diversity of responses to the main message of the article–that Jews must practice and publish the principle “Love your friend as yourself!” It occurs to me that the one common denominator in all the reactions, among the various respondents, whether written outright or implied, is a longing for the implementation of love in the world between all the various religions, nations, ethnicities. In the sense that this now world-famous principle of loving one another did certainly spring from the ideological tradition outlined in this article, the Jews have been a light to the nations. We all feel the sublime beauty contained in the principle. If only we could find a way to sit as equals and focus on how to manifest this state between us, what problems could not be solved? Who cares about dogmas, customs, rules, blame, etc.; it is the state of love between us that we need because it can make a place for everyone. We would do well to study the ancient texts of the ideological tradition to brought this concept to the world and discover the method of how to make it real among us in our ordinary lives. If there is a leader(s) in the science of how to make love real in the world, I would call such a messiah. One thing is certainly clear, it is only through unity that true wisdom and peace will be established, through somehow learning how to sit together and unite above all that divides us in a way that all feel heard and respected. Anyone who knows how to lead us to this, please step forward! If we Jews have the know-how in our tradition, let us unearth it and use it to heal our fractured world. It does feel as if we are “living on a powder keg and giving off sparks.”
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Ofelia does experience a temporary "death of fantasy" as a result of her brush with the Pale Man, after the faun, furious at her disobedience, emphatically tells her, "You will never see us again." If we suspend judgment for now on the meaning of the film's final scene and the faun's beneficent place in it, his motivations throughout the film bear examining; in addition to asking Ofelia to risk her life several times, the faun demands blood and yet more blood of her. We see the faun at his most dubious in his enigmatic gift of the mandrake, a poisonous variety of nightshade that is, as D.H. Lawrence memorably describes it, a "vegetable of ill omen." () That the mandrake feeds on blood underscores the potentially ominous nature of the root, and its appearances in folklore and literature most often emphasize not its curative properties, but the power of its scream to bring death. It is perhaps worth noting that all of the characters in close enough proximity to hear the cries of the burning mandrake—Captain Vidal, Ofelia, and her mother—do die in the film. The film's sequence of events even causally attributes Ofelia's mother's death to the last mandrake scene, though we could account for the deterioration in her health alternately as an effect of the evil curse of the mandrake, or of her physical and emotional exertion in the scene, or of the destruction of the magic root that was sustaining her. Let us posit this latter possibility: we could then square the mandrake with a conception of the faun's ultimately benevolent motivations; perhaps he behaves cruelly or callously towards Ofelia only in order to ensure that she passes all the necessary tests to enter the Underground Realm. Even so, we could not call the faun unequivocally "good": could he perhaps have wanted her mother to die in order to persuade her more easily to abandon her mortal life? After all, according to the faun, her real mother was the moon. It is also possible to interpret the faun as some Protean manifestation of Ofelia's own mind, a being that behaves according to her changing circumstances or the changing ways she herself projects her fantasies. But it is not my object here to untangle the extent to which the details of Ofelia's fantasy world touch on her reality, her own subconscious, or her active imagination. To do so could yield interesting results, but it does not bear on our inquiry into escapism.
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With Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns
In fact, the film never reveals what happens to Mercedes and her brother, never hints that perhaps they live happily ever after in a villa in the south of France. What it does tell us—albeit not uncontroversially—is what happens to Ofelia. We must now address the question we have put off again and again: does Ofelia "really die" at the end? There are numerous ways to answer this question in the affirmative without necessarily turning the vision of eucatastrophe del Toro offers us into a mundane tragedy. One way is theological or metaphysical, and another more moral or political. For instance, the possible symbolism of the Underground Realm as a Hades or some form of the afterlife is obvious, but the relationship between the possible Christian readings of Ofelia's transcendent death and del Toro's Catholic background must remain a topic for another study. On a less strictly theological level, however, the beauty of the fantasy world Ofelia inhabits in the film's final moments invites comparison with the culminating moment in , in which Tolstoy writes, "In place of death there was light."() Ofelia's last thoughts contain just such a moment of eternal resolution and beauty: the deaths of her parents finally make sense, the motivations of the Faun finally make sense, her own choices in life finally all make sense, all were right, and all is right. Is such an eternal moment the way to achieve blissful immortality in death?
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Rather than having the film meander in my mind, re-reading previous scenes with the new information of later scenes, Song leaves nothing to chance, telling me what to think, causing the film to finish rather than float with me in the future.