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 Cannibal Holocaust has NO social commentary

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Join date : 2008-09-04

PostSubject: Cannibal Holocaust has NO social commentary   Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:00 am

This is a GREAT film, but it is just an exploitative piece of shit...no more, no less.

People who claim that it has social commentary (while I can understand where you are coming from and how derived this notion) are wrong.

The social commentary you find in this film is just a way of justifying watching such a terrible film. "Oh, it's a terrible film, but Deodato had a message for us." BULLSHIT!

Its a terrible trashy film, yet extremely fun to watch!

That is all, have a good day
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibal Holocaust has NO social commentary   Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:31 am

Yea,a lot got read into this. About the deepest meaning I can attribute to it was that Deodato was commenting on the violence he saw on the news every night- according to him. Some kind of fight fire with fire strategy I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Cannibal Holocaust has NO social commentary   Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:18 am


I firmly believe - and decades of film theory seems to prove - much of whatever meaning we assign to a film is not created through the raw text of the film itself but rather is composed unconsciously by the viewer through a great number of circumstances including social turbulence, economic conditions, history, and psychology. Whether or not a director conceived of this deeper meaning during the films creation matters very little as viewing a film is a personal experience and not necessarily communal. In other words, popular concensus as to what a film is ABOUT matters less than what a film means to YOU. A director or writer may have a purpose when they set out but that purpose might not be known to it's audience at the time of screening rendering that a moot point.

Imagine if George Romero had spent the past 30 years saying "there is no social or political commentary in DAWN OF THE DEAD". Would we suddenly fail to see the rather obvious and vicious tirade against consumerism and greed? Do we give greater weight to the director or writer's intentions than we do to their ultimate outcome?

What I'm getting at is that every piece of film you see has two meanings. The first belongs to the filmmakers themselves. Granted, many films we see have no meaning behind them at all on this level. There are plenty of filmmakers who create for profit or create for entertainment and nothing else. The second belongs to YOU, the spectator, and the meaning you place behind the images. This is, in many ways, the only viewpoint that matters. Especially when it comes to film criticism/theory - something we are all practicing here whenever we start a new thread or type a new response.

Depending on the decade, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST has a different meaning according to it's creators. In numerous interviews through the years, Deodato has claimed various meanings behind CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST but one point has usually remained the same. The film was inspired by the vicious, irresponsible and thoroughly unethical filmmaking tactics of the Mondo filmmakers - Prosperi and Jacopetti particularly. That is not only obvious but completely undebatable. There are simply too many similarities between the real life tactics of Prosperi and Jacopetti and the tactics of the fictional filmmakers of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST for that to be merely coincidental.

But, on a much larger scale, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST roundly throws punches at everyone involved in the making, marketing, and consumption of those films as well. The fictional filmmakers are, in a way, cannibals themselves as are the executives who want to package and sell the atrocities they recorded. Both are feeding off the flesh of their fellow human beings, pocketing money off the destruction of all life, all in the name of ticket sales and ratings numbers. That the media is an all-consuming void of tragedy and exploitation is an a priori truth if there ever was one. How many periodicals, newspapers, books, television shows and films have profitted off of real life tragedies? Too many to count. It's a truth of the business. And we, the audience, eat it all up with smiles on our faces.

I don't need a reason to justify watching a film nor do I need to search for one to somehow make myself feel better. Your denial of any meaning whatsoever isn't wrong, per se, but rather illustrates my above points. I saw something that you did not. Neither of us are wrong and neither of us are right. But I didn't have to look hard or think at all to see the above meaning either. For me, it was plain as day. It all depends on how many points of reference you have.

Hope that ends this, but I don't think it will.
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