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October 12 2015

Deconstructing Age of Ultron: Good and Bad Language. An interesting read about the Avengers sequel.

The F word? Fahrvergnügen?
Fascinating, and almost believable. If I could believe such layered meaning and intention from any blockbuster film maker it would be Joss.

If such layered signification was really going on in this movie, I will really need to up my game when it comes to watching Joss's work.
@StephenP: Most of the time these things are never "intended" by the author of the work. They're just what people are able to "read into" them. That's how you end up with essays arguing the polar opposite of each other based on the same source text.

So it's safer to never assume any readings you might stumble across are actually intended that way. Just look at them as interesting possible analyses.
I'd actually say that a lot of the time layered meanings, motifs and patterns of language are intentional, though of course it depends on the writer. It's a fair guess to say the writer spends far more time thinking about their work than the reader/viewer. Anyone who's tried writing something will know how much time you spend on each word. And we know that Joss is unusually particular about his words.
I don't know about this essay in particular, but it draws some interesting connections. Interpretation, however, that's a different thing. It's fair to say that wildly different readings are an indication of the writer putting many intentional ideas into their work, not too few.
Awesome. I love stuff like this.
An interesting reading. But I would like to see someone develop an alternative reading that focuses on the 'are we monsters'-theme that is so obviously strung through the movie. Maybe this seems so obvious to people that they feel it isn't interesting enough to comment on--But I admit I had to see the film about 3 times before I began to notice how many times and all the different ways the word 'monster' gets used in the film. But just because that theme is smacking us over the head, that doesn't mean that there would not be interesting ways to unpack it that might unlock some less-than-obvious layers of the movie. I almost feel inspired to write something on this theme myself, but my life is thronging with other business right now. But I just think it is interesting that Cap brings up the 'monster' theme first with reference to himself and the twins, Widow brings it up with reference to her and Banner, Stark brings it up with reference to himself and Banner, the Vision brings up the monster question with reference to himself, and before the final fight Cap says that Ultron sees them as monsters, and that the question is whether or not he's right. Those are just the places I noticed where the word is actually used; the theme of course is in play wordlessly with Banner's worries at the beginning about the Hulk after the first mission at the opening of the movie (and perhaps other places?). It would be interesting to explore all the reasons why this theme made so much sense in this movie-- the film's use of Ultron (a kind of Frankenstein monster) as the big bad, the aftermath of the kinds of questions about power featured in the Winter Soldier movie with the fall of SHIELD, the need to foreshadow Cap 3 Civil War, and other reasons.
Okay, - to the extent that authorial intention is revealed by such analysis - I guess I've seriously under-estimated Joss; something I thought I didn't do.
In any case, intended or not, for such analysis to gain any traction the product (text?) needs to layered and complex.


One question that occurs to me, however, is how much more clear and coherent these themes would have been if Joss had been able to have had his three hour movie ... the desire for a director's cut is growing in this corner!

[ edited by StephenP on 2015-10-13 07:05 ]

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