Something to ponder in light of Vandover and the Brute. Gustav Hasford’s The Short-Timers formed the basis of this film, and it’s actually a much darker comedy than Kubrick’s adaptation, Full Metal Jacket. In any case the dualism Sgt. Joker invokes lies at the heart of Frank Norris’s novel.
Over break let’s all read Han Kang’s very short novel and watch this film adaptation. Remember, the latter is no substitute for the former.
This is a very basic definition:
The Book of Nahum, chapter 3 (New International Version)
1Woe to the city of blood,
full of lies,
full of plunder,
never without victims!
2The crack of whips,
the clatter of wheels,
and jolting chariots!
and glittering spears!
piles of dead,
bodies without number,
people stumbling over the corpses—
4all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
alluring, the mistress of sorceries,
who enslaved nations by her prostitution
and peoples by her witchcraft.
Consider the premise of Dark City. A species of “Strangers” who inhabit the bodies of dead humans have created a massive laboratory somewhere in outer space to perform experiments in search of that x factor the human soul. The lab itself resembles a weird amalgam of different periods and styles, though it is most notably an extreme version of Noir. Every midnight– a meaningless distinction because there is no sun and thus the city-laboratory inhabits a permanent midnight– the Strangers busily produce a plethora of objects– personal effects, papers, keepsakes, etc.– intended to support the new memories implanted in experimental subjects such as John Murdoch. They revise the city by “Tuning”– essentially harmonizing their psychic power, which is then amplified by some unspecified machinery. As if in a fairy tale, each night spirits fiddle with the world while mortals sleep, unaware.