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April 06 2012

(SPOILER) Joss Whedon interview at The Guardian. Video interview covering The Cabin in the Woods and recent developments in the Buffy comic.

great interview, in regards to both subjects.

I definitely feel after seeing Cabin in the Woods Joss and Drew totally accomplished what they set out to do with the film. Most enjoyable "horror" film ive seen in many many years.
How much spoilerage? Should I wait to watch the interview till after I see Cabin?
urmm..... there really isnt alot, just clips from the first trailer, and joss talking kind of vaguely about the film. Nothing hugely spoilerific.

But if it were me id still wait till after i saw the film. Its best to go into Cabin as fresh as possible Plus You'll probably appreciate/understand the interview alot more post viewing.

The more (spoiler-tag) worth part would be the Buffy segment.

[ edited by Fuelreaver on 2012-04-06 14:05 ]
And the Buffy stuff is about stuff from already released issues but I think it adds some insight on Joss's head space in regards to the end of Buffy # 7.
That's helpful, thanks!
Yeah, certainly interesting to hear him say "it's about the decision." Nice interview from what seemed to be a very long press day for Joss.
Yeah, I spoiler-tagged it for The Cabin in the Woods. You really should go into it knowing nothing at all. That's how I saw it and I'd highly recommend that approach.
Since this thread is spoiler-tagged, could someone please spoil me as to what he said about the Buffy comics?
In discussing the Buffy storyline, Joss says, "It's not about the act, it's about the articulation of the decision."

And here's my two cents of constructive criticism:

I still feel let down by how this story was handled. Since when has "the articulation of the decision" been the heart of BtVS storytelling? Buffy didn't articulate she was going to kill Faith, she attempted to kill Faith and put her in a robot coma. Buffy didn't articulate she was going to keep Dawn safe no matter what, then the danger to Dawn's life just evaporated because Glory turned out to be a robot.

I understand how the power to decide is important to the issue of a woman's right to choose, but if one's going to tell a story about a woman seeking an abortion, the story doesn't find a satisfying resolution in her simply deciding this is what she wants, as doing so ignores the practical limitations and even coercive forces that keep women from being able to have abortions. And there's certainly no sense of catharsis in the pregnancy issue flittering into nothing because it turns out Buffy's a robot. o_O

This storyline became little more than flirtation with a story about abortion which failed to truly explore the intricacies and potential depths therein. What's more, the abrupt and absurd way the abortion storyline was jettisoned feels incredibly anticlimactic and distracts from the emotional resonance that came before.

"The articulation of the decision" to have an abortion barely skates the surface of this experience. I've loved BtVS for the way it delves into the heart of serious issues, but this storyline feels like "all hat, no cattle," especially when I consider how much press attention was directed to it. Buffy sleeps with Satsu, but she's not gay; Buffy decides to have an abortion, but she's not pregnant. The story's begun to jerk me around, building my emotional investment only to instantly deflate it.

How does one tell a story about abortion by merely telling about articulating the decision? If other movies get demerits for failing to even say the word "abortion," then saying it somehow makes it a satisfying story in its own right? No, the act of having an abortion is more than merely saying it outloud. Storytelling is more than articulating a decision. The drama comes from acting upon decisions and witnessing the consequences -- and in this regard, Season 9's failing to deliver.

[ edited by Emmie on 2012-04-06 20:08 ]
I have to say that I totally agree with Emmie on this.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2012-04-07 00:07 ]
He actually explained all that upfront, a month before 9.07 came out.

And, no, it didn't have to be a real event for Buffy's choice to be an emotional and ethical reality. I could come up with dozens of examples, but "there are four lights" comes to mind -- Picard was faced with a choice that he thought was real and was ultimately completely illusory, with the outcome turning on his choice to admit to seeing four or five lights; the choice was real, even though the consequences were not. Milgram's obedience study -- the choice to inflict shocks upon Milgram's confederate was real, the consequences were not.

Buffy's choice was completely genuine.
Must admit, judging from the previews of the show, "Cabin in the Woods" is a much more complex movie than I was expecting. Then again, coming from Drew and Joss, should have known better!

Really looking forward in giving this movie a watch. Have a feeling it will be a classic horror. Dang those creative minds determined to scare us out of our wits!
I agree with Emmie and Menomegirl. To say I think this storyline has been handled badly is a gross understatement.
Add my voice to those agreeing with Emmie et al. I think that so far this has been handled ham-handedly. Maybe there will be more to this than currently meets the eye, but I am not seeing that right now.
I beat the rush to ham-handed; I'm hardly Joss' great defender on this subject at all, but the man did exactly what he set out to do and clearly articulated his reasons for doing it. It's not hard to find example (I pulled one from fiction and one from Real Life even out of dozens I could have) to prove that a choice can have emotional reality and consequences without having material consequences.
Did he succeed in what he was trying to do? I haven't seen Juno in ages, but I'm pretty sure it includes a trip to an abortion clinic. I'd have thought that the stories that Joss objects to always have the woman start off "deciding" for an abortion, and then changing her mind. So how is Buffy "deciding" for an abortion all that different? We know, because Joss told us, that in this story the woman wasn't going to change her mind, if, you know, she hadn't inconveniently discovered she was a robot before she got to the clinic?

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not in the camp that thinks it would be a good thing if Buffy got an abortion. I think Juno does a much better job of showing a heroic response to an unplanned pregnancy than anything Joss would have come up with if he were serious about it. But on his own terms, I don't think his choices here were nearly as brave as he makes out.
I thought it was handled great, personally. I mean, it actually has the line "I'm going to have an abortion", which almost every other piece of entertainment apparently can't say, even though a good percentage of women go through.
I suppose. But for me, the number of times I don't do what I say I'm going to do is pretty high. I'm going to grade 20 papers today, for example. Maybe I will today. But yesterday morning when I said that, it turned out to not be true.

In terms of experience, I also think there's a difference between actually having an abortion and deciding to have one only to learn that the pregnancy was a false alarm. What actually happens matters to how things play out. Faith "only" ended up in a coma -- but on Whedon's own account -- that makes all the difference in the world. Buffy may have intended to become a murderer, but Faith survived and so Buffy didn't become a murderer. If the decision was all that mattered, then we need to declare that Buffy is a murderer and wonder why the story has never taken that seriously.

[ edited by Maggie on 2012-04-07 20:19 ]
In November 1972, the CBS sitcom Maude had a two-part episode where the title character, who was 47 years-old and married, made the decision to have an abortion. This was two months before the Roe v. Wade decision made abortion legal nationwide.

There is also the 1996 HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk. The end of its opening segment is one of the most powerful and dramatic scenes that I have ever watched.

In comparison, I don't think what they did with the Buffy comic was all that brave or that great. It feels like lip-service to me. I'm sorry but it does. And having Buffy's decision side-lined or hand-waved away by the discovery that she's a robot is worse.
You're talking about 2 things over 40 years, though.

It's really all down to personal perception. It felt right to me for both the character and the story.

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