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  • “A shirtless Slavoj Žižek explains the purpose of philosophy, adding to other notable definitions of the intellectual art, from the comfort of his bed.”

Slavoj Žižek (b. 1949) - Slovenian philosopher...

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Recently I watched Sexy Beast for the zillionth time and got to thinking:

Creepy Rabbit People are effective tropes.

I won’t speculate as to what the Creepy Rabbit Man in Sexy Beast (seen above) represents, although I have my suspicions.

Donnie Darko brought Creepy Rabbit People into focus for a lot of people, and although I was largely indifferent to that film, I appreciated its contribution to the anthropomorphic rabbit trope.

David Lynch used Creepy Rabbit People in a 2002 film and later in Inland Empire.

This blog post celebrates some creepy rabbits of cinema.

Of equal interest is the Down the Rabbit Hole meme in movies and TV. Writes TV Tropes:

The symbolism involved is typically suggestive of the birth canal (i.e. the “womb of the earth” metaphor). Several of the genre’s defining works then continue to put their protagonists back underground on the fantasy side. The presence of so many long, narrow tunnels in what are usually coming of age stories may therefore leave you wondering if Freud Was Right.

Sexy Beast‘s effective end sequence features a nightmarish descent down a rabbit hole.

Rabbit-hole themes persist even in non-fiction. In the book The Men Who Stare at Goats, former Gitmo prisoner Jamal Al-Harith describes the strange horrors of indefinite detention, telling author Jon Ronson, “You don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes, do you? But you know it is deep. You know it is deep.”

(more…)

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Sometimes it’s hard to say no

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Christian Bale as Batman.

From the Wall Street Journal. (Emphasis mine.)

No family retainer has ever been more faithful than Alfred, the butler played by Michael Caine in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, or more frustrated in his efforts to protect his beloved master from harm. Not once but several times in the course of “The Dark Knight Rises,” Alfred implores the angst-ridden Bruce Wayne to move on, get a life and find happiness. His appeals are genuinely moving, inevitably unavailing and beside the point. Gotham City needs Batman. Time Warner needs Batman. The world has waited four years to find out how the Batman saga resolves. And feeling good about life is not what Christian Bale’s Batman wants. This third—and, the director insists, final—installment of Mr. Nolan’s series makes you feel thoroughly miserable about life. It’s spectacular, to be sure, but also remarkable for its all-encompassing gloom. No movie has ever administered more punishment, to its hero or its audience, in the name of mainstream entertainment.

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