1/25/12 Recitation Notes

After introductions we discussed The Manchurian Candidate and watched specific scenes from the film that were relevant to the themes of mental helth and depicting the past.

Opinion of the film varied from incredible to hard to understand. There was mention of the comedic elements in this film still working, which is usually rare for an audience of our time to think about for a film this old. The cheesy, non-sensical, dialogue was brought up, and it seemed everyone agreed that the story held up pretty well but the romantic relationships didn’t make sense because of the stereotypical female portrayals. Besides Ray’s mother, the women were really there to just make the men feel better about themselves, making them jsut pretty figures.

The idea that Abe Lincoln imagery was everywhere to foreshadow the assassination and it’s purpose as a mask for Iselin and Ray’s mother’s evil plot was mentioned. We watched clisp relevant to that theme. Themes of anxiety toward communism and hwo we treat war heroes were also mentioned.

The concept of this film working to tell people that they are being brainwashed by the media was furthered by clips of the media frenzy during Ray’s arrival and during the hearing which Iselin interrupts. There’s an interplaty between how politics maniupulate the media and how the media manipulates politics, which goes back to the Kennedy Nixon debates which many believe are the reason why Kennedy won the presidency: he had a better image. We discussed how the film may be anti- anticommunism, that is the belief that the anxiety and worry about communist infiltration should not be an issue.

We also discussed how Allures and The Manchurian Candidate have a connection; the dream-like state in both films produce an almost surreal feeling. When watchign allures we’re not sure what we’re seeing or if it’s even real, same goes for The Manchurian Candidate. Best example in the latter is the scene where the older women and the communist leaders are constantly changing. It all goes back to perception and brainwash and the idea of mental health being so intricately intertwined.

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