I went to see the movie Repo Men with some friends tonight. All in all it was an overtly graphic, action movie with lots and lots of gore, blood, and synthetic organs getting forcefully ripped from peoples bodies. As I drove home from the theater a few thoughts came into my head about the film. Now, neither of these thoughts came directly from the film, but I feel the film inspired me to think of them. The first came from sitting around after the movie. We were talking about what we thought of the film and I said “honestly, I thought it was a good movie.” to which my friend responded “ummm….not good, but enjoyable.” Now, I had to sit there for a second and think.
What is the purpose of a movie?
If movies are created for entertainment, then would an enjoyed movie successfully have filled its role as entertainment, and therefore be deemed as good entertainment? Now, I am one for enjoying bad movies, so I feel as though there is a point where art comes into the equation, but I was left asking:
What makes a movie good?
The second thought I had was during the film. Slight Spoiler Alert, I think (if introducing a character is a spoiler to you, then don’t read this. It does not divulge any major details about the plot.) One of the main characters is a female who has had most of her body replaced by Artiforgs (artificial body parts created by “The Union”). Now, even though the movie never once touched on it, this made me immediately jump to philosophy. It reminded me of a story of a boat. A boat that over time, needs a few boards replaced. As time passes, more and more of the boat is slowly replaced until finally, every part on the boat is replaced. Is that boat, which is made of entirely new parts, still the same old boat? What of humans then? If we were to replace every part of a human with a synthetic copy, would that still be the same person? Or, for a more realistic idea, our cells die and regenerate constantly. It is said that once every seven years we are made of completely new cells. Are we still the same person, after seven years pass?
A key concept of the film (this one expressed quite a bit) was whether or not your job defines who you are. Is a job just a job, or does a job make you who you are. This made me think of Peter Rollins’ story of the business man who lost faith. To summarize, there was a wealthy business man who was a christian. He did horrible things at his job and was ruthless to his employees but he could always justify it by saying “this is only my job, who i am is a christian.” One day he meets a man who has the gift of making people lose all religious conviction. He loses said conviction and realizes without the crutch of “being a christian” he can no longer justify the things that he has done. He quits his job, and gives his riches to helping those in need. In the movie, the main character deals with whether his job does make him who he is, or if it is just a job. Beyond what you call yourself, who are you? Does your job, your actions, change who you are?
For these thoughts, I don’t want to start off by giving my answers, I want to hear yours. So with that i ask these questions:
1. What makes a movie a good movie?
2. What makes a human, human?
3. Where is identity stored/found?
3. Who are you? (who who…who who)
I really wanna know.