Thursday, November 15, 2007

Napoleon Dynamite

A couple of days ago, I watched Napoleon Dyanmite. This is a movie about a teenager named Napoleon, who is sort of an outcast at school. People do not like him because of his strange behavior and interests. Everyone makes fun of him and he has no friends. However, he meets aboy named Pedro, another social outcast, and befriends him.
In this movie, Napoleon and Pedro are ridiculed very much by other people. This reminded very much of Catullus' "Amici et Inimici" poems. In these poems, Catullus made fun of those he disliked. He thought that this would cause more hurt than actual physical harm, because it affect them emotionally and would ruin their reputation. In carmen 69, Catullus makes fun of Rufus for his horrible smell: qua tibi fertur valle sub alarum trux habitare caper (which claims that a hideous goat lives in the valley of your armpit). He wishes to make Rufus' life miserable by publicly humiliating him.The same is true of Napoleon. All the guys at school pick on him because of his weirdness. The want to make him seem like even more of a social outcast.
In Catullus, poems, however, he makes fun of people with high respect in society, such as Suffenus, who is labeled as witty and sophisticated. Napoleon, on the other hand, is not at all like Suffenus. He is in fact almost the complete opposite, someone who does not have any social standing to begin with.
Catullus wrote his poems to his inimici in order to hurt them internally. He wished to destroy their reputations and humiliate them, mostly by ridiculing them. Napoleon is made fun of a lot in this movie. However, instead of hurting him, it seems to motivate him. He decides to go and prove that he is not a nobody by performing a dance for Pedro's campaign. This movie made me wonder if humiliation is actually something hurtful or something that can be used as motivation to a certain extent.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spiderman 3

This weekend I watched Spiderman 3. The movie had a lot of fighting between characters and many great action scenes. Throughout the movie Peter Parker, Harry Osborn, and Flint Marko and constantly fighting and trying to kill each other. However, not all of the movie has physical violence. Many parts of the movie have the characters using other motives to hurt their enemies, mentally and emotionally. This reminded me of how Catullus uses his poems to hurt others like Suffenus and Arrius by ridiculing them.
In the movie, Harry recovers from his amnesia at one point and his father's ghost tells him to get rid of Peter. Instead of meeting Peter in a physical confrontation, Harry decides to hurt him emotionally, which which will be even more painful. He forces Mary Jane to break up with Peter and tell him that she likes someone else. Later, Harry goes to Peter and says that he is the other guy. This crushes Peter and makes him lose all control. This scene reminds me of Catullus, in that after his breakup with Lesbia, his poems seem to show more anger. For example, in carmen 36 he calls Lesbia "pessima puella." This shows how a broken heart can cause anger to build.
Later on near the end of the movie, Venom and the Sandman kidnap M.J. and put her in a giant spiderweb and are about to drop her to her death. They want to hurt Spiderman by putting his girlfriend in danger. They know that he will not be able to stand this and therefore use it as a trap to lure him in.
Spiderman 3 is full of instances where enemies injure each other without the use of physical force. This is similar to how Catullus hurts other in his poems. However, there is one major difference. In his poems, Catullus hurts other people by ridiculing them. In carmen 84 he makes fun of Arrius for using extraneous "h" sounds. In carmen 69 he laughs at Rufus because he smells bad. All of Catullus' poems attempt to hurt his enemies making fun of the them. However, this is not the case in the movie, where the characters try to make each other feel helpless and useless. Nonetheless, both Catullus and the people in Spiderman understand that emotional pain can be stronger than physical pain.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Go me!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blog Theme

This blog will focus on the relationships and struggles between enemies in current movies.
Catullus wrote many poems which are intended to hurt and humiliate his enemies. In watching the movies, I will focus on how the characters injure each other without actual physical confrontation, just like Catullus does through his poems.
I hope that makes sense...