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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:29 am 
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Prince Judah
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'Soylent Green' happened to be the third Chuck-movie I saw. And that was after I watched 'Ben-Hur' and 'The ten Commandments'. Just think of the contrast! I was already overwhelmed by Chuck's greatness in portraying iconic and epic heroes, but 'Soylent Green' came as a surprising yet rewarding anti-climax. Here is an anti-hero, a low-paid police-officer, a not-so-honest yet efficient worker in the Detective Department of new York, a common man with common faults and basic desires in a corrupted ultra-modern world where science has become a curse. Yet I could not condemn poor Thorn when he was stealing food and soap-- things of daily life which have become so rare by the 2022-- from the rich murder-victim's flat. I rather pitied him, and the idea that you can 'pity' Charlton Heston' was something new to me at that time! Not awe, not reverence, but simple, human feelings... so natural yet so unnatural in a character like Thorn. He is shown quite petty at the beginning, but when he is pressured to drop the investigation, he won't relent. And I 'll never forget the look he gives to the assassin who came to shoot him but himself gets killed. Just remember the sequence: he misses the shot, Thorn spots him and catches him, throws him down and takes out his own revolver, the man cannot raise himself but desperately injures Thorn, who gives an immediate expression of pain, the next moment the assassin is crushed under a bulldozer. Then Thorn looks at his enemy's blood-- with an expression of a rare glimpse of his inner nobility. He no longer thinks of his own pain, he does not even feel relieved that his enemy is gone, he seems to express a deep consciousness of the human predicament, of the corruption that brings one's own death, in this distopic world .

The character of Thorn fascinates me when I think who in the movie is ever able to get at his true heart. Shirl? no. The Police-Boss who acts like a good friend at the end? That's a matter of duty, and of course he cannot let an efficient cop, from his own department, die without treatment. The only person who has a place in Thorn's heart, is old Sol... it a wonderful, touching and assuring human relationship in such a world of lost values.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
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Awards and Normation for Soylent Green (1973) :soylent:

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
1975 Golden Scroll: Best Science Fiction Film (Won) :soylent:

Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival
1974 Grand Prize (Richard Fleischer; won) :soylent:

Hugo Awards
1974 Best Dramatic Presentation (Normated) :soylent:

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
1974 Nebula Award:Best Dramatic Presentation
(Stanley R. Greenberg (screenplay),Harry Harrison (novel); Won) :soylent:

:cheers: :applause:


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Thank you. I think people(in general, not here in the forum) should stop conjecturing that it was a 'not-so-important' movie.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I don't know whether some of the members have visited this site on 'SOYLENT GREEN', but I feel that I should post the link here--

http://frommidnight.blogspot.com/2011/1 ... ylent.html

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Loved the first couple of words:

Go ahead. Just say it. I know you want to.

Feel better? Good.


:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:58 am 
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Prince Judah
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I am glad that you liked it , Thorn.

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I just watched this film again on the TCM Channel last night and noticed something which I thought I'd just throw out here to see if anyone has an insight into this...
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What is it with people sleeping on stairs in this film? :soylent:
It's a somewhat famous visual from the film. It's best known from the scenes at Detective Thorn's own apartment building: every time he leaves his apartment or returns, he has to climb over these annoying people sleeping on the stairs. But, there is at least one other scene, when Thorn is spying on the bodyguard Tab's apartment building from across the street; when Tab exits, Thorn has to make his way down a long flight of exterior stairs that are filled to the brim with sleeping people (this is the scene where one sleeper complains at Thorn to watch where he's stepping).

It's this last scene that made think about this: there's room under the stairs in this shot (it's outside) and all around for people to sleep on the ground; why choose the stairs which, I think, are way more uncomfortable. Ever try to sleep on stairs? Why would you? Why not a flat piece of ground?

So, I'm thinking there is some rule about sleeping on the ground or sidewalk or streets... and that leaves the stairs... but it comes across as downright silly to me now. I mean, the sleepers block anyone trying to make his way up or down stairs, which is what stairs are for; it makes more sense to sleep under stairs or anywhere else, for that matter. As an example, when Sol and Thorn are shown going towards the euthanasia center, there's plenty of empty ground space all around - it's not like all areas are filled with sleeping people and that's why they use stairs to sleep on.

Maybe this is explained in the Harrison story, Make Room, Make Room, but I don't remember it. Anyone have any theories, answers..? :soylent:


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Prince Judah
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I have a 'theory'-- if you can call it so. What is Thorn's character at its core but a common, ordinary man in the uniform of a tough policeman's uniform? Whenever he comes out from his 'private' world with Sol-- a world of really touching mutual love and care , almost 'strange' in such a dehumanising, destructively commercialising and madly scientific , and ironically mechanised, ultra-modern world( damn my annoying adjectives)-- he has to mould himself into the public image of shrewdness, cunning and rudeness. This change or 'cultivation, from inner to outer self, from private to public realm, is a hard way- the passage is symbolically suggested by the scene where Thorn has to try his best not to trample on humanity... humanity blocking his way when goes to duty. It is the reverse when he makes a return-journey.

Another 'theory'-- I think of it in terms of the subtle Christian imagery(when Thorn urges the priest to tell him about the confession, and he can only reply, "Sweet Jesus") used in the movie. This scene suggests a painful awareness that even Jesus is helpless, for all his pity to mankind, he can no longer cure this ultra modern disease of evil technology. The transformation of human flesh into food can fairly be seen as a deconstruction of the Sacramental service. So, can we say that the staircase is also a parody/ ironic recreation of Jacob's ladder-- there was holy dream and hope for salvation, but here it is the contrary, anticipating the apocalyptic end, with Thorn as the anti-hero of a futue modernity trying to make his 'quest' through a bizzare path blocked by sleeping humanity.

This may be too much...

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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:52 am 
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Prince Judah
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I was waiting to see if anyone else would chime in but I guess it's a topic that no one else here wants to bother with. Judah's theories involve the metaphysical and symbolism, and these are expectedly notions I hadn't considered. I do find the idea of Thorn climbing over sprawled humanity - a somewhat surrealistic image and a reason I brought this up - representing some larger or primal metaphysical struggle to be pretty interesting.

A much more practical theory was brought up by someone at a sci-fi board where I also posed this question. In this theory, the lack of sanitation due to the over-population problem meant that the ground level is probably not a place people would want to sleep on (outside or in). For example, that ground floor, the lower level, is where people tend to relieve themselves and who knows what else. Hence, for sleep, people choose an 'upper' level, somewhere on stairs, which is more likely to be clean. Or, somewhat clean, at least.


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 Post subject: Re: Soylent Green
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:16 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Oh, the practical theory is good enough. The person who has thought of it must have a clear head.

You know, people at my workplace call me a preternatural being! That do not bother me, for whenever there is some unusual and tough work and the normal people are shaky about taking responsibility, it has to fall on the 'preternatural' man. And someone who is very very dear to me( who first called me 'Judah'), has another name for me- 'Monster'(affectionately though). So you understand-- where all these metaphysics come from.

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