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American Psycho - Page 2

post #16 of 89
I dunno, seen newsies (I mean, I haven't, but...)? And wasn't he in that crap dragon fighting movie? I did like his Patrick Bateman, though.
post #17 of 89
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And wasn't he in that crap dragon fighting movie?
He may have needed the $$....working on independent movies like Laurel Canyon may be fulfilling creatively, but doesn't really bring in much income.
post #18 of 89
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(esquire. @ June 11 2005,05:31) Once you get the past the parts that are supposed to be funny, all you're left with is this pathetic, possibly gay, loser.
I don't see where you're getting that he's gay from the movie. He has a fiance, sleeps with his friend's girlfriend, has a threesome with some female prostitutes, etc... There's been too much of people being 'outed' who were not homosexual- abraham lincoln, jane austen, etc... Its getting ridiculous.
How about this? Everyone is gay. Happy now? Everyone is out. The fact that they have heterosexual relations is just a side note; they are in fact truly gay. Jon.
post #19 of 89
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(shoreman1782 @ June 15 2005,11:50) And wasn't he in that crap dragon fighting movie?
He may have needed the $$....working on independent movies like Laurel Canyon may be fulfilling creatively, but doesn't really bring in much income.
I liked Equilibrium. It's a good movie to pass the time. Jon.
post #20 of 89
I guess I'm a bit late to this party. Anyway... I liked the novel well enough to write a couple of articles on it, and I could go on for hours discussing the ins and outs of violence, consumption, sexuality, and fantasy. I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but a good measure of what I enjoy about the novel is its (dark) reflection of a certain subset of 1980s society. Some of the themes, particularly those dealing with consumer goods and identity formation, are valuable to this day. Esquire, I think your read of the film is very accurate, and you would find a lot in the novel that would support and develop your initial reaction to the film. You might find the lists of consumer items and minutae of Bateman's day boring, but I'd encourage you to keep at it. Approached with an open and questioning mind, there is definitely value in the novel.
post #21 of 89
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I liked Equilibrium. It's a good movie to pass the time.
Story was a bit weak and some accused it of being a Matrix rip-off but I rather liked Equilibrium as well.
post #22 of 89
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I guess I'm a bit late to this party. Anyway... I liked the novel well enough to write a couple of articles on it, and I could go on for hours discussing the ins and outs of violence, consumption, sexuality, and fantasy. I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but a good measure of what I enjoy about the novel is its (dark) reflection of a certain subset of 1980s society. Some of the themes, particularly those dealing with consumer goods and identity formation, are valuable to this day. Esquire, I think your read of the film is very accurate, and you would find a lot in the novel that would support and develop your initial reaction to the film. You might find the lists of consumer items and minutae of Bateman's day boring, but I'd encourage you to keep at it. Approached with an open and questioning mind, there is definitely value in the novel.
Would you please post articles you've written on novel? So is this desire to kill a desire for consumption?
post #23 of 89
Thread Starter 
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That their characters (esp. Bateman) have been held up as figures to envy or emulate or copy or applaud is a pretty sad (and to my mind disgusting) reflection of either those doing so, or their ability to really understand the art they experienced.  I suspect the latter.
H: Totally agree with you on this one, and why I even started this thread. I was curious what attracted members here to Bateman, where they'd name themselves after the character or use Bateman as their icon. Ernest used to have Bateman as his icon, and I wondered if he understood it was supposed to be a satire with his limited grasp of English.
post #24 of 89
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(Horace @ June 12 2005,04:25) That their characters (esp. Bateman) have been held up as figures to envy or emulate or copy or applaud is a pretty sad (and to my mind disgusting) reflection of either those doing so, or their ability to really understand the art they experienced.  I suspect the latter.
H: Totally agree with you on this one, and why I even started this thread. I was curious what attracted members here to Bateman, where they'd name themselves after the character or use Bateman as their icon. Ernest used to have Bateman as his icon, and I wondered if he understood it was supposed to be a satire with his limited grasp of English.
Esq: Don't want to develop the habit of patting each other on the back, but you're right again. AP is a satire -- it may be funny (I think it is); it may be memorable and have these lines that you can quote to your friends and that have some truth in them, but in the end, we're not supposed to want to be like these people. That a kid like Panzeraxe (no offense to him personally) seems to admire Gekko and Bateman shows a childish immaturity, perhaps an underdeveloped sense of understanding of art. Because I don't think he and some others are being ironic in their admiration for Bateman -- which is something that we can all be (I know I have) -- but this sentiment is ultimately unsatisfying in art, I think.
post #25 of 89
Thread Starter 
I watched Wall Street years ago, so I really don't remember too much about it. But, knowing Oliver Stone's views, its obvious he used Gordon Gecko as a personification of all that was wrong with big business in the 80s with the infamous 'greed is good' speech. To be fair, I can understand the appeal of Gecko since from what I remember, Michael Douglas was certainly very charismatic and dynamic in that role. He needs to be in order to be able to seduce and corrupt Charlie Sheen's character. There's the image of the lucifer as the most beautiful angel of them all. But, you can't even use those reasons as an excuse to want to became Patrick Bateman. Whereas Gecko was truly powerful and on the cover of business magazines, Bateman is a loser whom nobody respects or even recognizes. There are so many similarities between the characters, but also crucial differences between them as well. I'd also say that Alfie is another movie where you're not supposed to want to be that character. But judging the way some have held up bateman and gecko as icons, I suspect that some in the audience failed to grasp that. Instead, they're like 'cool. he gets to sleep with a lot of beautiful women and looks great in that gucci suit.' But, the whole point of the movie was how meaningless Alfie's life was. He destroys his best friend's life, blows his shot at a real relationship with a woman, etc..
post #26 of 89
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I dunno, seen newsies (I mean, I haven't, but...)? And wasn't he in that crap dragon fighting movie? I did like his Patrick Bateman, though.
Actually every film he's been in, he's done an excellent job; check out the Machinist, in particular. koji
post #27 of 89
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I watched Wall Street years ago, so I really don't remember too much about it. But, knowing Oliver Stone's views, its obvious he used Gordon Gecko as a personification of all that was wrong with big business in the 80s with the infamous 'greed is good' speech. To be fair, I can understand the appeal of Gecko since from what I remember, Michael Douglas was certainly very charismatic and dynamic in that role. He needs to be in order to be able to seduce and corrupt Charlie Sheen's character. There's the image of the lucifer as the most beautiful angel of them all. But, you can't even use those reasons as an excuse to want to became Patrick Bateman. Whereas Gecko was truly powerful and on the cover of business magazines, Bateman is a loser whom nobody respects or even recognizes. There are so many similarities between the characters, but also crucial differences between them as well. I'd also say that Alfie is another movie where you're not supposed to want to be that character. But judging the way some have held up bateman and gecko as icons, I suspect that some in the audience failed to grasp that. Instead, they're like 'cool. he gets to sleep with a lot of beautiful women and looks great in that gucci suit.' But, the whole point of the movie was how meaningless Alfie's life was. He destroys his best friend's life, blows his shot at a real relationship with a woman, etc..
i think perhaps you're not crediting some of these people with enough intelligence. everybody with half a brain knows you're not supposed to want to be gekko or bateman or alfie. that's the rather obvious intention of the writer or filmmaker. however, to force yourself to dislike such characters is to buy into the philosophy presented by the character's author. maybe some people don't agree with the whole sentiment portrayed in some of these movies. (not having seen alfie nor american psycho, i'm not prepared to explain how that logic applies, but i imagine it's possible.) i mean, why should i bow to an author's way of seeing things? what if i happen to think that greed actually is good? (with enough qualifiers in there, i do think it's true.) it could just be that admirers of bateman are people who dress well and like to pay attention to how they look. that's enough, for me. the rest of the character can be shrugged off in the same way that you might shrug off someone who disagrees with you. in other words, you appropriate the creation of someone else and subvert its meaning by using it in a way that was not intended, so that it becomes a commentary on the sentiment put forward by its creator. /andrew
post #28 of 89
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i think perhaps you're not crediting some of these people with enough intelligence. everybody with half a brain knows you're not supposed to want to be gekko or bateman or alfie. that's the rather obvious intention of the writer or filmmaker.   however, to force yourself to dislike such characters is to buy into the philosophy presented by the character's author. maybe some people don't agree with the whole sentiment portrayed in some of these movies. (not having seen alfie nor american psycho, i'm not prepared to explain how that logic applies, but i imagine it's possible.) i mean, why should i bow to an author's way of seeing things? what if i happen to think that greed actually is good? (with enough qualifiers in there, i do think it's true.)   it could just be that admirers of bateman are people who dress well and like to pay attention to how they look. that's enough, for me. the rest of the character can be shrugged off in the same way that you might shrug off someone who disagrees with you. in other words, you appropriate the creation of someone else and subvert its meaning by using it in a way that was not intended, so that it becomes a commentary on the sentiment put forward by its creator. /andrew
Sometimes a writer is too good at creating a character who is supposed to be bad, but is so well created that he/she becomes likeable to the audience. I once had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Paul Schrader, who wrote Taxi Driver. He said that he was amazed when it came out and he got letters from fans saying how much they loved Travis Bickle and could relate to him and thought of him as a hero. He said that he must have really done a good job at creating a lifelike character because he wrote him as an obviously crazy, racist, mixed up person that wasn't supposed to be a hero. The character trancended all of that and did become the hero to the audience.
post #29 of 89
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Would you please post articles you've written on novel? So is this desire to kill a desire for consumption?
Horace, thank you for your interest in my work. The articles are a bit long to post in a message, but shoot me a PM with your email address and I'll be happy to send you a PDF or two. I'd be happy to do the same for any other interested forum members as well. At a basic level it could be argued that Bateman's murderous fantasies are a twisted form of consumption, as in the "Tries to Cook and Eat Girl" chapter. If the story were set in a cultural epoch that were a bit more removed from "consumption is all" it could be argued very persuasively. The difficulty, however, is that Bateman's violence is primarily concerned with reaffirming his position as the alpha-male capitalist. The character is immediately concerned with protecting himself and the persona he has created, and not with a desire to consume ever more. Bateman's consumption is, by and large, the consumption of his peers.
post #30 of 89
This thread really struck a chord personally, as I watched the movie years ago and found it disturbing yet hilarious. The satire should be obvious enough, simply by listening to any of Bateman's monologues - from music to food to social responsibility. Anyhow, it never occurred for me to learn more about the story until I started reading SF and AAAC, so I picked up the book, which was overall more satisfying than the movie in my opinion. Anyhow, as to the attraction the film has for forum members, I think that at some materialistic level we all want what to be Bateman: nice suits, great body, high-paying job, etc. The forum itself is a breeding ground for materialistic, obsessive compulsive tendencies. I think only a few if any of us can justify NEEDING a bespoke suit, beautiful shoes, designer jeans etc., or a perfect body for that matter. Mind you that this is not some socialist tirade, but merely my stab at why Bateman is borrowed upon so often on these boards. BTW: Did anyone else compare Bale's physique from American Psycho to The Machinist to Batman Begins?.? It's incredible how much weight this guy can gain, lose, and regain.
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