Saturday, May 28, 2005

W. T. F.

Subject: Noir
Y'know, I should have just driven over to Lowe's, bought a chunk of 2x4, and spent my evening thwacking myself across the head with it.

Instead, that is, of trying to figure out "End of Evangelion".

(Big surprise, huh?)

Now, the end of the series itself probably required far more drugs than I want to bother with, but this... this...

Well, this one has the benefit of trying to make it's symbolism way more obvious and literal. I mean, it takes it to a whole different level than the series ever did. It makes for some rather stunning and twisted visuals, but it also leaves me with the impression that all the fans who claim that the series' symbolism is so profound really derive most of that from this movie, because, damn, the movie is jam-packed with it.

The series, in comparison, ends far more abstractly. And in a lot of ways, I prefer it.

So back to the movie. I really liked the "resurrection" of Asuka in a way (which started in the "Death & Rebirth" timewaster I watched last night) -- but that was pretty much purely "fanservice" -- Asuka kicking ass is what you want to see, not her totally melting down into a puddle of self-loathing.

And speaking of puddles of self-loathing, yeah, we get that Shinji doesn't have a grip on who he is or his relationships with other people. And so that seems to be the whole crux of the matter, doesn't it. Strip away everything else in this series and this movie, and what is being said here? Shinji can't figure out how to handle a relationship with someone like Asuka?? Is that what this whole thing was really about?

I mean, at least in the context of the movie, it's beating to death the notion of escaping from relationships, from the reality of individuals interacting with each other, and from the confusion and heartbreak and injury that usually result because of both. But was that really it? All this insanity because of that?

Well, come to think of it, that's not really so far-fetched. That's the crux of what we know and what we experience and what we're compelled to write about and portray over and over again throughout history. All the rest of the symbolism in and of itself is just a shell to cover up the raw and basic theme.

And, in a way, it's just more bullshit to try and make it more profound than it really needs to be. Yes, it spells out the problem and the issue. But the answer it proffers?...

I dunno. I obviously have mixed feelings, and am leaning to the more "ticked-off" ones at the moment. I'll let it ferment a bit and see what I come up with.

Oh, I watched a couple of other things before this, but since this one kind of trumps everything, I'll talk about those later, since they were pretty much fluff and there's not much to say. In the mean time, I'll fume over "EoE" a little longer.


KT Kore said...

The stuff that's "bullshit to try and make it more profound than it needs to be" isn't actually symbolism for the basic theme of the show, but is the general plot by which the main theme is told through. It's not there to confuse you or to sidetrack you into thinking the show is deeper than it is, it's there to stray the show away from typicality. That's what the creators had in mind when they picked the plot device for the show; to distinguish Evangelion from other "giant robot" shows.

It makes for nice gravy. And I don't think the show would taste as good without it. The people that say it's there to purposely confuse the viewer are mistaken. But maybe they like their food without gravy...

*gets away from the food theme*

You seem to understand the general ploy of things, so instead of getting mad about the sub-plot, just enjoy it as an extra -- and use it to try to understand the plot as a whole better, if you plan to watch the series over (it's one of those kind of shows).


Fellini 8.5 said...

I appreciate the counterpoint.

One of the joys of blogging reviews as opposed to trying to do any sort of "objective" reviewing is that I can instantly go online and rant to my heart's content about my initial impression and feelings about any particular thing.

And since I'm viewing the show through my own lens of experiences and predjudices, it was too easy for me to focus in on the writer's subtext, and I think the fact that it was a little to easy for me got on my nerves, and got in my way. And a side-effect of years of film school makes such things as "plot" easily discardable once you start deconstructing the pieces and drill into the experience.

But I've got to admit, the fact that it got me so riled up at it made the film a much more interesting and unique experience than the "fun" fluff that I've been slogging through otherwise. So as frustrated and irritiated as I felt last night, I'm pretty sure I didn't hate it. And with a little time to ferment and another (perhaps sober) rewatching, I might be able to start reconstructing those pieces back into a whole again.

But I'm not going to buy it until/unless the restored version is released -- this version wasn't anamorphic, but letterboxed, which looks like crap on a big screen, and that I do hate! Heh.