Nerds in Love

Jun 4, 02:41 by IROSF
Comment below!
Jun 4, 14:08 by Scott Lawson
Nicely written and well argued. I have never thought about that movie that way.
Jun 4, 14:25 by Daniel M. Kimmel
Thank you. That to me is the job of film criticism (as opposed to simply reviewing). It's to get you to see a film in a new way and then make you want to go back and see the film again.
Jun 4, 16:48 by Mark Leeper
Dan usually writes a provocative article with a lot of thought. Frequently I disagree with his conclusions, but I think we agree that reviewing is all very subjective. As we have discussed in the past I prefer the 1958 version and apparently I am not alone. The B-movie podcast recently ran a survey of which FLY film people prefer. The results are at [A=URL]http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1346831/?view=results[/A]. Voting for the best fly movie 63% thought the 1958 was the best and 29% voted for the 1986.

From my interpretation the 1958 version draws on Oedipus Rex. Here is a man who has everything that would make a man happy. He is a genius. He loves his world-bending work. He loves his family. They have more money than they know what to do with. This man really has everything anyone could really want in this life. Then with one moment of carelessness, more innocent than Oedipus's moment, he lost everything. And it all comes home in one small move when he lays Helene down and naturally goes to kiss her and realizes he has lost even the capability of doing that. It is worse than losing his fortune, he has lost his human-ness without losing his humanity. To me that is a very powerful moment. I cannot think of any other film that does anything like that. Visually this version is lushly filmed drawing on the production design style of A-film melodramas like those directed by Douglas Sirk. I think that is intentional. It adds a richness to the feel of the film.

In the 1986 version I do not see Seth as the vulnerable character that Dan sees him. Nerdy he is, but nerdy he is proud of being. He lives in his own world. He strikes me as having a very strong ego. I am not sure Dan's description fits this story any better than any film in which one lover is jealous of another. If anything Seth has a stronger self-esteem than most jealous lovers in similar stories.

The earlier film sort of hand-waves over how matter transmission works, which is probably the right way to go. The 1986 version specifically tells the viewer that the computer has found a different DNA in the transmitter and got confused. Any idea how many organisms we carry around with us wherever we go? There are easily thousands (or maybe much more) of different organisms, each with their own DNA patterns. And I think some are symbiotic and necessary. The transmitter would have to properly send at least the beneficial ones. The visiting fly is really redundant with all the other beasties that humans carry around with them.
Jun 10, 13:45 by JM Cornwell
I'm not a big fan of goo and gore but when it comes packaged like Cronenberg's The Fly I was mesmerized. What got me the first time I saw it were the relationships between the main characters. You're exactly right.
   

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