#23 Top 10 Movies with a Message of Consciousness

Check out these Top 10 Movies that defy the perception of our own reality! I’ve only seen half of them, but I’m looking forward to see the rest, I love this kind of movies.

#19 Cypher

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Cypher

Year: 2002

Director: Vicenzo Natali

Screenplay: Brian King

“Cypher” is one of my favorite movies from a very cool Director, Vicenzo Natali. You probably know him from Cube (the first), Splice or Neuromancer. He’s one of my favorite Directors, I’l soon write something about another of his movies: “Nothing”, which I found very creative! I’ve seen “Cypher” a million times and this last time I though to myself: “Man, I wish I could feel the same sensation I felt the first time I saw this! I now know everything that’s going to happen, I need more movies that can give me that feeling of astonishment!” Yet, I watch the movie every now and then, it’s one of those movies that makes me feel good, don’t ask me why, I can’t explain it, but there are some movies I see quite often because I feel I need to. I even might see the same movie like 3 or 4 days in a row… It might sound crazy, but it’s true.

Anyway, another thing I wanted to try here was talking about the movies without spoiling them, but I find it very hard. On one hand, I want to comment the scenes, the concept, the characters, wtv. On the other hand, I want to make people see the movies I talk about and think about them, so how am I suppose to comment a movie without talking about its’ scenes?

Anyway, “Cypher” is a movie that will make you look at the screen with your eyes wide open. The story is relatively simple, if you pay attention – it’s one of those movies you just can’t miss 5 seconds or you won’t get what’s next. It’s a thing within a thing, within a thing! And you’ll be like: “AAAWWWW!! No WAY!! What The Hell!!”

Let’s spoil: it’s about a man, this guy Morgan Sullivan, who’s being hired by a company, Digicorp, to be a spy. But in reality, this company is brainwashing their “spies” so that they infiltrate another company, Sunway Systems and steal data from them. Morgan Sullivan is intercepted by a woman, Rita Foster, who helps him to stop the brainwashing and arrive to Sunway Systems as Morgan Sullivan, not as Jack Thursby, the identity Digicorp was trying to instill in him.  Sunway Systems’ boss asks Morgan to continue acting as Jack Thursby and give corrupted data to Digicorp. Both enterprises dispose their workers after they complete the tasks they were given. Rita Foster eventually tells Morgan he is, in reality, a man contracted by her own boss, Sebastian Rooks, to infiltrate the vault of Sunway Systems to retrieve an important piece of information. He manages to enter the Vault, steal the data, and escape with Rita, with the promise that Sebastian would not get rid of him like Digicorp or Sunway Systems. Once at Sebastian’s house, or at least one o them, since the man likes to move a lot, Morgan finds out he is not Morgan after all, neither is he Jack: he IS Sebastian Rooks!

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What amazes me is how his subconscious mind was telling him all along! As Morgan Sullivan, he was kind of dorky, his glasses, his hairstyle, his actions, his attitude, his passiveness… As the movie goes on and he makes his transformation into Jack Thursby – the name Digicorp gave him to use in the false conferences he was suppose to record – his appearance also changes. When he’s given that name, he immediately asks: “What’s he like? What’s his personality?”, to what Finster, the head of Digicorp, replies something like “Whatever you want him to be” (I don’t recall the exact words). So Morgan starts acting like a new man, the complete opposite of what he is: he starts smoking, although without any difficulty, any cough, starts drinking, scotch on the rocks, something he never did! He drops his glasses and stops using that hair, unbuttons the first buttons of his shirts… well, he starts being (so much) less stiff. And he doesn’t understand why, he just feels that’s who he REALLY is. In the end, when he finally finds out he’s Sebastian Rooks (a man never seen by anyone, a very, very secret man, who would be killed if anyone knew him, only one person knows his identity: his lover, Rita Foster) he realizes it by looking at the room he’s standing on: golf clubs, his favorite brand of cigarettes, scotch… and finally, a picture of him and Rita. That’s another think I love about the movie: his love and interest for her is never forgotten, even when he’s Morgan/Jack! When he meets the disguised Rita, he flirts with her and tries to approach her. It was all a plan created by him – Sebastian – to infiltrate that Vault!! Sebastian knew he was going to meet Rita in the process, who was going to help him get that important data! He knew he was going to forget who he was and become Morgan, he knew it all!! And in the end, there’s no exception: those who saw his face get killed! And what was the important data? Rita Foster’s file from Sunway Systems: she too was a pawn for that company, and Sebastian destroys it by throwing it into the ocean, making Sunway Systems free of Rita’s files, so that she won’t be “disposed”. So I guess, in the end, this is just an awesome love story!

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Another thing it made me think about is how easy it is for one to control another’s mind… It only takes some steps to be followed. And how are we certain we ourselves are not controlled? Are we the product of someone’s agenda? Are we certain of who we are?

I always recommend this film to everyone who asks me for new stuff to watch, for it isn’t a very known one and it’s totally  worth it! Just now I was able to see a flaw: some of the special effects can be seen as computer generated, but I only noticed it now, after watching it all those times before! I guess I was so absorbed by the whole story I didn’t even notice those details! I won’t describe more scenes here, you just have to see it, one in particular – my favorite – is very creepy, but I already told the story, so these are just (awesome) details, although important too.

I’m glad to know this movie, it was much easier for me to write about this one, I love it! How about you?

#14 Barton Fink

barton-fink_387866_24295Year: 1991

Directors and Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

I don’t even know how to classify Barton Fink. Is it a drama? A comedy? Sci-fi? Thriller? I don’t know. And I understood the story but there are some elements I thought were very important, but I just didn’t get them!

That guy up there is Barton Fink, a writer who aspires to make something different, something that relates to people, to the common man, as he says, a new kind of play that has nothing to do with the unrealistic dramas that are often displayed on theaters, but one that shows the real pain of the common man. I find this very cute and all, but I didn’t like his attitude towards the “common” people he found around him. He clearly thinks he’s a great thing, but he also seems frightened for people having great expectations of him. The way he says “people like you” irritates me, like he’s above “the common man” he so wants to reach. He thinks the common man wants to hear about pain and that without pain there’s no great work (writing), but he seems to forget that his pain is not the same as other people’s. He says he feels it, but I didn’t find anything that could have caused him the pain he so adores… He didn’t have any drama to tell, so I thought he was basically a hipster. Well, he says he’s often surrounded by many people but feels very lonely… isn’t this a cliché anyone can say?… But the poor guy also seems so dorky! He seems so silly, no one ever would give a rat’s butt for him, with his funny legs, groovy hair and round glasses! It had some funny scenes there! I guess in the end, we can say he really is just a common man, caught in the webs of Hollywood (?).

The story goes like this: Barton Fink just did a play that granted him great success in NY and so he gets called to go to Hollywood to write on a movie about wrestlers… They give him a “formula” to a successful wrestling movie, but he just does not like that kind of thing. Everyone expects great things of him, as I already said, so he starts to feel the pressure. He has problems starting the play and almost doesn’t get it ready on his deadline. But his boss, who was the most enthusiastic person about the great Barton Fink, ends up disliking the script.

When he arrives in Hollywood he decides to stay in a cheap hotel, you know, just in case he forgets his roots as a common man. That was his fear, btw, before accepting the job in Hollyood: go there for a while and make a big amount of cash, betraying his ideals of a simple but dramatic life (an artist is always dramatic, don’t be fooled), or stay in NY and stay close to his common audience as it should be? He chooses Hollywood, but is hesitating. Anyway, at that hotel he meets Charlie, his next door neighbor, to whom he becomes friends. We see from the moment Charlie appears that theres a little something going on there… The man is a bit odd, but friendly. He’s an odd friend, always very caring, smiling, and drinking whiskey.

When they first meet, we can see right away how Fink is self-centered: he realizes how “common” Charlie is, with his little job and his little “common frustrations” and gets really excited ’cause Charlie understands his concept, so talks non-stop, never giving an opportunity for his new friend to say something, always putting himself high above with his intellectual speech.

(I didn’t find a video that can play here, so you’ll have to click this link to see the only clip I found with the exact scene I want to show… sorry.)

“To put it in your language”?? Came on… Well, moving on. He is advised to get some inspiration from other writers to see if he can get started. Accidentally he meets one of his idols, W. P. Mayhew, vomiting in the bathroom. The two get together, along with Mayhew’s secretary (and lover), Audrey. Barton realizes the man’s a drunk who mistreats Audrey and also discovers she’s the one writing his most recent books. The two end up making love in Barton’s room and she shows up dead next to him the next morning.  He then asks Charlie’s help, who is ready to help getting rid of the body and believes Fink’s affirmation that he’s sure he didn’t do anything. Of course he didn’t, because Charlie is a mad man who’s wanted by the police for murdering several people and behead them. There’s an earlier scene where we see Barton trying on his shoes but they don’t fit ’cause they’re too large, so Charlie shows up with Barton’s shoes, saying the hotel must have swapped them (the hotel has a service where they polish the customers’ shoes, so they always leave them at the room’s doors, in the corridor). To me this was strange and gave me the impression Charlie’s been in Fink’s room. Eventually, two detectives come asking some questions to Fink and let him know Charlie is in fact called Karl Mundt, known for “Madman Mundt”, and he’s wanted for those reasons I stated, and that they found another body (Audrey’s) but the head’s missing. Charlie’s not at the hotel at this moment as he said he was going to leave for a few days to NY, leaving Fink a package, stating it’s his most beloved belongings. With the excitement of a new friendship, (moreover a common man lol), Fink gives Charlie his parents’ contact and tell him that if he needs anything, to just stop by. But when the detectives are questioning Fink, Charlie returns, literally out of the flames, and kills them. Then he says he lied to Barton, and the package isn’t his. We are also told Mayhew is dead too and Barton gets the feeling he shouldn’t have given his parent’s contact to Charlie, moreover when he says he paid them a visit.

Barton then goes talk with Mr. Lip Lipnick, his “boss”, and hears the guy doesn’t like his script. So he goes off to the beach and finds a beautiful woman there, who asks him what’s in his box, as he’s carrying the package with him. He says he doesn’t know and doesn’t even know if it’s his, so I assumed Audrey’s head was in it. The girl sits in front of him, staring at the ocean, and Barton realizes he’s staring at the image he saw in his room. Barton Fink, who thought he knew pain, got to really know it in Hollywood after all.

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This is one of the things I didn’t understand: there was a picture in his room with a girl on the beach, and Barton looks at it a lot. Another thing I didn’t get was, when he made love to Audrey, the camera led us to the sink and faded into an image of what looked like a sewer (???) and then it’s morning and Barton wakes up next to the corpse. He only realizes it’s already a corpse because he slaps her in the arm to kill a mosquito, and blood starts showing on the bed. This is yet another thing I didn’t get: he’s always bitten by mosquitos and always has to say to other people “it’s just a mosquito bite”, because they always seem to notice that. Why? And why is always so damn hot in his and Charlie’s rooms, to the point the wallpaper starts to fall off? And why is that heat associated with Charlie? And why does Charlie seems the Devil in the middle of the flames on the hotel’s corridor??? Is it a metaphor, to Hollywood’s tough reality maybe? Because no one seems to care if the goddamned place is on fire! I don’t get this! Also: a wave crashing into a rock? What’s that?!

barton-fire  Maybe I should do some research before coming here to tell what I think, but as I said before, I don’t want to say stuff coming out of other people’s mouth, I want to put my brain to work and try to figure it out myself, and then go see if I got it right! I guess in cases like this, I don’t have another option. I’m going to read more about this and when I got things figured out, I’ll write another post explaining. You are most welcome to help me out here! If you understand what those things mean, feel free to leave your comment!