Author Topic: Palm Springs  (Read 236 times)

pixote

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Re: Palm Springs
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 09:20:52 AM »
Anyone who’s ever been to Palm Springs knows that time loops are real.

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etdoesgood

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Re: Palm Springs
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 06:44:42 PM »
Bondo & Sam - Bondo, pretty much right on. To both - I'd likely be more forgiving if this didn't play like a fairly regular romcom with an extra interesting time-space concept involved. Eternal Sunshine, this is not. (And yes, before someone gets pedantic, I know the science issue is not the same, but both deal with sci-fi in a way that is outside practical human understanding, that is the comparison.) Also got me thinking of Donnie Darko, which is superior because it played in ambiguity at the end and didn't need to explicitly solve its time-space issue with science that no one could possibly know or use. When dealing with the theoretical, err on the side of no-normal-person-is-figuring-this-out. All this for a film I still rate in the Good range.

Pixote - Dropping vacation spoilers! I want to go to the short film festival over their. I wonder how many days of repeated shorts I will be able to stand. Probably a lot.

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Will

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Re: Palm Springs
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2020, 06:59:32 PM »
Thank you for rephrasing what I said in a way that would then make it sound preposterous in comparison to your interpretation.

Now, my sensible response: The time loop is imposed by a mysterious force, some sort of time space anomaly, or, you know, by the writer and director. We are mysteriously on the third planet from the sun somehow surviving and evolving from single-cell organisms, I mean, just to be alive you have to suspend disbelief. But when a particular individual discovers the secret to the externally imposed conundrum by watching videos and talking to other mortal beings who have no practical experience with the substance with which they're working, yes, that is the unbelievable part. The time loop is a mystery, a person taking on that mystery and solving it with our current information is not going to happen, especially on the first try (although I guess they might've died otherwise? Which might have been a more believable ending.)

I mean, is it not preposterous? Time loops are allegorical devices so once the allegory isn't revealed to have an ethical purpose for its main characters, the natural inclination is to reject the premise wholesale since allegories are frequently used for didacticism. This isn't dissimilar to Tolkien's anger towards people interpreting Lord of the Rings as an allegory for any number of real life situations. It's different because PALM SPRINGS explicitly shoots the idea down, forcing us towards another route of what the time loop means.

Personally, I see the time loop as an allegory for the trap millennials find themselves in - Trump has revealed that you can be totally unethical and still win the election. In this way, he is truly the first postmodern president. Once Sarah realizes that the universe is indifferent to her commitment to an ethical code, she resorts to real world fixes to real world problems. She studies the sciences. She studies STEM.

STEM continually reveals itself to be the only real solution for so many millennials and now the Zoomer students you raise - as automation rises, jobs disappear. And so the allegory goes. Screw being a moral person because you can be immoral and still win. Embrace the sciences because that is the only way out. Since morality has become largely subjective, our last bastion of objectivity and truth is within the sciences. It requires a leap of faith, but desperate times, right?

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Palm Springs
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2020, 08:42:49 PM »
Eh, I don't think just because the film is a romcom it has to follow the conventions of one. In part it's because of how it breaks out of those conventions that makes it so interesting and different.

Also, the farther away I get out from the film, the more I think there is to glean here from the core relationship. Nyles plays up the typical dude who doesn't care but he's also the one who falls in love first when they have sex for the "first time." Sarah just sees it as having fun and thinks she can get on without a relationship because her doomed marriage means she's already been down the road to commitment and failed. So why not just be independent?

The film, to me, really speaks about how we can all get into these places where we fill stuck, both in a relationship (Nyles) and as a single person (Sarah). Even as their relationship progresses through the time loop, both are still stuck because there's something from their past they won't let go that lets them move on. Nyles has to admit he does truly care and Sarah has to realize that it's okay for relationships to be mundane and boring.

Sure, the quantum physics also gets them out which I think is more clever and less trite than a they fall in love and break the time loop moment. But it's also clear from the final scene that they've now reached a place where both are ready to move forward with a new relationship, hence it finally becomes tomorrow instead of today, because today is not about the present, today is about living in a past that you can never move beyond.
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etdoesgood

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Re: Palm Springs
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2020, 11:10:36 PM »
I mean, is it not preposterous?

No, it is not, and this makes me think you didn't read what I wrote. You do make a fine analysis, though I think some of it is a reach, but your communication skills are wanting, and you pick on small specific points without seeing the totality of what a person is expressing. I'm not claiming perfection whatsoever, only that I wish you might consider what another says without feeding into the impulse toward mockery. Considering the high quality of your analytical abilities, leading with mockery at minimum reduces the value of what you're going to say to the person to whom you are going to say it. There is no reason I should want to take you seriously or engage with you if you do that, even if you're right and I'm wrong.

Disclaimer: I am not perfect at this, either. I bungle, I make things overly personal when they should not be and I should be focusing on the film. I'm just getting a little irritated at you starting with an insulting tone, and then trying to engage. Even if someone calls you out on it, you deflect, which is why I'm being so direct about it here.


Eh, I don't think just because the film is a romcom it has to follow the conventions of one. In part it's because of how it breaks out of those conventions that makes it so interesting and different.

Also, the farther away I get out from the film, the more I think there is to glean here from the core relationship. Nyles plays up the typical dude who doesn't care but he's also the one who falls in love first when they have sex for the "first time." Sarah just sees it as having fun and thinks she can get on without a relationship because her doomed marriage means she's already been down the road to commitment and failed. So why not just be independent?

The film, to me, really speaks about how we can all get into these places where we fill stuck, both in a relationship (Nyles) and as a single person (Sarah). Even as their relationship progresses through the time loop, both are still stuck because there's something from their past they won't let go that lets them move on. Nyles has to admit he does truly care and Sarah has to realize that it's okay for relationships to be mundane and boring.

Sure, the quantum physics also gets them out which I think is more clever and less trite than a they fall in love and break the time loop moment. But it's also clear from the final scene that they've now reached a place where both are ready to move forward with a new relationship, hence it finally becomes tomorrow instead of today, because today is not about the present, today is about living in a past that you can never move beyond.

I don't think it has to follow the conventions of one, either, but this one does far too much for my liking. There is the Meet-Lose-Get Back with all the requisite humor and euphoria up top, sorrow and reflection after, and then the predictable reunion and end of time loop. And there are sticking points for me in logic and reason that ambiguity often helps me move beyond, which is why the "solving it with science" even though it's impossible thing sticks with me. Now that I'm thinking about different possible endings to this film, it's the only one I can come up with that seems completely unacceptable.

I prefer they don't break the time loop. That to me would've been the most interesting way to end it. I agree falling in love to break the time loop would've been the worst way from an emotional/manipulative standpoint, even though it would give me one less thing upon which to fixate. I'm more reacting to the film than wanting to rewrite it, though. But if we're going to, another way to break the time loop might be they ride out on the dinosaurs. Or a black monolith comes and saves them or something.

The character arcs I think do more for you than they do for me, which is all good. I see your point about what makes Nyles and Sarah unique and the insights into personal growth the film is making. Romcoms, however fractured or experimented with, are often a hard sell for me as a whole. Eternal Sunshine is a top ten all-time film for me. Lost In Translation had me 'til the kiss at the end (truly don't think that's a spoiler for anyone here, but I don't want to assume). And theeeeennnnn, it's tough. Does Her fit? Jules and Jim?

I haven't even talked about how aesthetically meh this film is to me outside of my beloved dinosaurs. Even the CGI fissures in the rock from the recurring earthquake looked a bit preposterous, but that's not stuff for a spoilers thread.

I think you all are going to make me hate this film.  ;D
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