Author Topic: The Lobster  (Read 5585 times)

oldkid

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The Lobster
« on: May 29, 2016, 08:05:20 PM »
I found that the danger of watching the Lobster is laughing too hard at it.  Unless I am willing to laugh equally hard at myself.

The director/writer of a trilogy of film said of his first two films that Dogtooth was about a created fiction to protect their children from reality.  That Alps was about a self-imposed fiction in order to protect oneself from grief, for our own good.

In taking that idea to the next stage, what if all of society was a fabrication?  What if we needed to hide reality from our own eyes in order to keep us all conformed to an artificial structure?

It might be easy to look at The Lobster and see it as a ridiculous comedy, full of insane situations.  But we see situations like these daily.  Do we not feel the threat of sexual nonconformity, the ostracism, even physical threat?  Are not many willing to accept idiocy and clear fiction for the sake of conformity? 

Are many not willing to go through gross and disgusting physical deformities (which might be called “augmentation”  in order to maintain the façade of love that has nothing to do with those deformities? 

Does not our society create a series of verbal and physical facades in order to perpetuate a false pretense of romance and marital bliss?   Of course society’s restrictions are not just about sexual mores but also class and culture and security and on and on.  When we look at society’s fictions they pile ever higher.

Our fictions go ever deeper.  As if presidential elections change anything, as if our jobs our meaningful, as if our enemies were really enemies and no fellow human beings, as if making changes in our lives do anything else but establish our placement in a different level of the self-appointed façade.

The Lobster invites us to laugh at ourselves.  To see the facades for what they really are. And also to see the dangers of the fictions we blindly accept.

I am tempted to ask the question, "Was it good?".  But I'm not sure a vision of a subversive, existential prophetic vision should be limited to such words as "good" or "entertaining."  That kind of misses the point, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 08:09:24 PM by oldkid »
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verbALs

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 03:09:50 AM »
I like the question of being prepared to laugh at yourself. I think if you aren't, firstly, willing to do that then one has a cheek laughing at anyone else. Recognising the humour in most things one does and why one does it is essential to one's mental health. Expecting to be taken seriously is again a bit cheeky.  ;D Or maybe you get used to the idea that if you can't take a joke at your own expense then that's considered quite rude. Maybe a cultural thing.

I particularly liked the Heartless Woman choking to death, which called back to the lesson in "why having a partner is a good thing". The solution the Heartless Woman had found to the entire process. I think she was on 150 days or something like that. She had found a way to be an individual where everyone else had been scared into conformity. She could be herself however disgusting that self was. No need to compromise because her number of days left was only going to increase. It made me wonder if this society would have to find a solution to this loophole. In fact Seydoux's character was equally as heartless. Maybe she had won the hunt so many times she was allowed to live in the forest unhindered. Just as long as she stopped spooling the hunt process.

The central idea that to show any individuality might cause your partner to reject you; forcing an inhuman level of conformity is beautifully realised not least by the actors. The strange compunction to find something in common that no one else shares seems strangely sensical. Otherwise nobody could pick anyone with any confidence. But reducing the choice of partner to a simple physical trait reduces humanity to the animal level. So the Heartless Woman is about the only person showing any human intelligence through her solution. Everyone else accepts that intelligent communication is impossible to fit this partnership model. As such it takes the idea that one needs to compromise to have a successful relationship to a horrible logical conclusion and to a place where one can consider how you compromise successfully without losing your individuality. You compromise because you want to but you don't want your partner to have to compromise too much because then they stop being the person you love and want to be with. You might as well be an animal if you expect or are forced to compromise completely.

« Last Edit: May 30, 2016, 03:11:30 AM by verbALs »
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

Bondo

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 08:00:50 PM »
There are three main worlds depicted in The Lobster...there is the world of the coupled, the world of the actively seeking, and the world of the ideologically single. Each of these worlds is absurd. The premise of the film is based around the world of dating, the notion that if you aren't coupled, you will be turned into an animal after a final attempt. My animal is apparently an ant. But the film also hits out against the world of the paired and the people who make being unpaired a political statement. As someone who is seeking but single, the film had plenty of satire that hit very close to home. And I'm sad to say, like him I could see myself drawn to the youngest/prettiest women in this hotel for single people, and I could see them choosing the endgame (being turned into an animal) over the prospect of a relationship with me. So there is kind of a hard truth about this film. Maybe I'd even be heartless enough (or attracted enough to short-haired women) to follow in David's (Colin Farrell) path.

The satire of this film is biting, but feels accurate. There is an overwhelming pressure to become coupled, especially as you age. There is a dogmatism to those who, wether by actual nature or by protective cynicism, opt against the idea of romantic bonding. There is a whole world of people who have found lasting romantic pairing, and it all feels foreign to those who haven't found it.

My big complaint about The Lobster is how early it switches over to David being in the world of the committed singles, because that world I found so much less vibrant than the hotel of the dating. Sure, I know some people for whom falling into a relationship would be met with disdain, but that isn't as interesting a place as the seekers, and it slows down significantly in the effort.

But so much is relatable. I see the people who feel that having the same hobbies makes them perfect, even as there are so many warning signs. Opposites attract may be a simple concept, but being alike may be equally overrated.

don s.

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 09:25:27 PM »
My animal is apparently an ant.

I followed the link, completed the survey, and was presented with three choices. Was ant your only choice, or did you choose it from among others?
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1SO

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 10:14:01 PM »
Took the test. I will be a dolphin, my wife (not knowing what I selected) a penguin.

Bondo

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 10:17:36 PM »
I had choice of Dove, Ant and Duck and of those went with Ant.

oldkid

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 10:23:42 PM »
I had Lion, Rhino or Lobster.  I chose Lion.  I might be lazy, but at least I'm not grumpy or slimy.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

don s.

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 10:31:11 PM »
Rhino
Spider
Rabbit
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philip918

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 10:54:07 PM »
Penguin
Swan
Lobster
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: The Lobster
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2016, 12:43:52 AM »
Saw this again today for the second time, the first since at the festival in October, so there was some distance. Over time it has risen in my estimation, and a second viewing only further cemented that. It was my number one film from last year, and is likely at the top again this year. I believe this is probably the best film I have seen since Spring Breakers.