REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

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Mistresslexy
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REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby Mistresslexy » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:49 am

LAST YEAR WE WATCHED ROCKY HORRER ON THURSDAY THIS TIME WE NEEEEEED TI WATCH REPO!!!! :twisted: because repo rocks serious socks. and us a good companion to rocky horror

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:27 am

Why is this considered so 'awesome'? I've watched it, I've seen better, and it starred people I've been watching for literally decades. Female lead was sub-par, lyrics on half of the songs left a lot to be desired, and it seemed like Anthony Head and the narrator were the only actors putting any effort in (which the narrator wrote/directed the whole thing, so I would hope he was happy). So it doesn't seem like it would be hailed as awesome in a serious manner... Are there callbacks that I do not know of to make a mockery of it? Is that why it is so popular? Honest question here.

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby obnoxiousm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:11 pm

I wish I could explain to you what's so awesome about Repo. I can't. I think it's something to do with the way the music is composed, the absurdity and spectacle combined with dystopian overtones, the subtle feminism. Maybe it's the costumes. Honestly, the movie, and its absurdity and weird but powerful culture insights, reminds me a lot of Orgy's Vapor Transmission, a dystopian sci-fi concept album I like a lot. Even the music. And the idea of fashion as something used to enslave the masses; that's an idea used with much more subtlety in VT.

What I can tell you is that I really liked repo, and the only acting that really struck me as that off were the Graverobber's actor, Luigi's actor, and Sarah Brightman. With something that camp and so throughly symbolic the standard is different; you have to overact a bit because your characters aren't people, they're ideas.

And I mean, graphic dismemberment and Mr. Head's smooth voice. How can you go wrong with that?
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:20 pm

Well, I cannot fault anyone for an opinion, it's more of a question as to why it has gained a cult following.

I decided to check it out a few months ago because I have been a fan of Skinny Puppy since Too Dark Park, have always had a soft spot for Anthony Head's campy acting style, and with a degree in Theatre I always like to keep up with the inevitable evolution of the art. So in theory, this production was aimed directly at me. It was met with the worst reaction any piece of art can be received with...utter indifference. It brought nothing new to the table, and was performed with complete uninterest by half of the actors. When you, as a fan, can name 3 performances that are subpar out of a cast of 8 principals...that does not speak well. Especially when I personally think you can add Paris Hilton and Alexa Vega to that list as well. ESPECIALLY Alexa Vega.

I love dark. I adore camp. But I am also a fan of competant acting. I'm not looking for amazing, just competant. I mean really, in spirit this was the modern version of Little Shop of Horrors done with bad acting. 'Look at how delightfully dark and absurd we are! Now we will sing on top of this odd background to invoke a dichotomy of strangeness! Wheee!' Exact same spirit as its predecessor, except the elder was done well.

As for the social commentary, it has been done before. No really. It has...quite a bit. I can think of 20 films off the top of my head with the same message that are universally agreed to have done it better. Want to watch some true dystopian masterpieces? Watch Brazil, Metropolis, or Sleeper. The latest of those three was made in 85 (with Sleeper in the 70's and Metropolis made in the 1920's), and you can see the EXACT same social commentary that Repo brought. Perhaps it is where you first get introduced to the concept that holds a special place, but the above three are just a sliver of better movies. And that is completely disregarding every other medium.

I'm just perplexed because it seems like the current younglings just desperately want their own Rocky Horror to rally around, so they are just forcing this one to take that role. Hence my question as to why! :) Pardon my diatribe.

-That Guy (Sean)

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby obnoxiousm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:14 pm

Please don't think Repo is the first place I encountered Marxist ideas. As I said, I'm a fan of Vapor Transmission, which came out like ten years ago, I watched the Smurfs, and on top of it all I'm an unemployed English teacher with an extremely strong literary background at a college level. I did my senior University Foundation Scholars project at Saginaw Valley on bringing the traditional schools of literary criticism usually reserved for college teaching into high schools. I only saw Repo for the first time on Friday, believe it or not. There wasn't an idea in Repo that I haven't encountered before and it has no special place for me for that reason. I like it for other reasons.

To say that something is unimportant because someone else did it first invalidates pretty much all contemporary media. I've watched parts of Metropolis, and it's at the top of my Netflix instant queue to finish. I generally have a soft spot for dystopian fiction with Marxist undertones, ranging from classics like 1984 to weird modern crap like Pokemon Colosseum. Repo is not the first piece of media in this decade to attack fashion on Marxist grounds; Vapor Transmission, Lady Gaga, countless examples of that fashion teen girl crap I only read when students make me, and tons of other things have done it. In addition to tackling the elective surgery trend and linking it with fashion as a tool of oppression, Repo uses organs as a symbol for the fundamental requirements of life in a capitalist economy. It can easily be seen as a science-fiction take on the economic depression whose sci-fi elements emphasize the tragedy of market collapse. Maybe it wasn't written during the recession, but we aren't the first generation of world citizens to grow up in a screwed up economy. I thought on that front that the theme was well-presented and made interesting again, and that is enough for me. Add in music I like, so-bad-it's-good sociopathic comedy relief from the Largo siblings, Anthony Stewart Head angsting, a female lead in a musical who doesn't sound like Jigglypuff, and fairly surprising feminist underpinnings at the end, and I'm sold.

Most fans have less sophisticated tastes than me in what they're looking for (though perhaps I am the base one in what I ultimately watch), and the music and Anthony Stewart Head are probably enough for them. Then there's the spectacle, the crazy fashion, Paris Hilton in lingerie, graphic dismemberment... Honestly, the only difference I see between Repo and Rocky Horror in terms of youth appeal is that Repo has actual moral high ground for a handful of characters and an ending that kind of makes sense, both points toward Repo. The blatant, fun, and deviant sexuality, the music, the morally ambiguous casts in general, they all have that in common.

Just because you find it derivative and dry doesn't mean other people will. And for that matter, just because it is derivative doesn't mean other people will care. The formulation in my toothpaste was invented by another company than the one I bought it from years ago, but I like the way that particular mint toothpaste tastes better.

Something tells me you're a cinnamon kind of guy. :)

Edited for mis-clicking fun!
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:29 pm

Touche. I will admit after re-reading my post I do sound as if I am applying my opinion in a blanket fashion. I assure you, it was not my intention, but perception is 90% and all that rot. The price we pay for quickly throwing something up when we do not actually have the time to give it proper words. Whoops. :)

Please do not think my comments were aimed at you specifically. Let's be frank, the cult following this film has picked up is skewing very low in the average age department. The vast majority of this market could not even tell you who Karl Marx was, let alone his shifting philosophies. So if you are able to pull symbolism of that magnitude from this film (though personally I feel you give the writer too much credit), this does not apply to the majority of its current fanbase. [Sidenote: I can see exactly where you are coming from, and even went down that rabbit hole myself to see if that was the reason for its popularity after first viewing. I just personally believe it was a happy coincidence for the writer. I watched this film 3 times because I did not see what all the fuss was about. There have been plenty of fads I did not get, but I am generally fairly talented enough to at least see 'WHY' they are gaining a following. I just could not see the reason with this film. So I watched it again. I watched interviews with the author and fans. I listened to commentary. I read up on the history of the writing process. (Why do I do these things? Because I am a dork.) Everything I have personally witnessed points to it being a dark camp to cash in on the steampunk/dystopian phase that the current alienated youth are identifying with. So I, as a faux-intellectual myself, see this as being a faux-intellectual project. This production started in the same place as Batboy The Musical and Evil Dead: The Musical. I do not give it the intellectual credit that would be necessary to take it for much more than the base symbolism that was present. This is not to say you are wrong, as the first rule of literature is to respect what every individual gets out of a tale, just that I cannot agree based on the reasonings I have gathered.]

As for the importance of creative input, it is paramount in my eyes. This opinion does not invalidate contemporary media (contemporary media has invalidated itself by taking Movie A and making Movie A II, III, IV, etc). All I was looking for was a personal touch upon the story. Something that marked it as different from what I had seen/read/heard prior, but all I received was a reaffirmation of general concensus. A general concensus that is not only repeated incessantly of late, but one that is also inherantly flawed. [Sidenote 2: There are no requirements for life in a capitalist economy. There will always be the Haves, and the Have Nots. There will always be more Have Nots than Haves. The Haves will always get by fine without the current crop of Have Nots because there is always a caste BELOW the Have Nots waiting to take their place. Should a day ever occur where even that resource is exhausted, the weakest Haves will be pushed into Have Not status by default, starting the cycle anew again. It is a self perpetuating machine that cannot be stopped until there are less than 2 people. Therefore, both the Haves and the Have Nots are consistently expendable...which negates any requirements from society to sustain life within the socio-political ecosystem. That's reality. Now that is dark.]

Please do not read this post as an attack against your opinion. I'm just very easily...squirrel...distracted, and tend to ramble about 50 side topics when my mind wanders. All I intended to say was this:

Your points, while EXTREMELY valid in defending your opinion, do not apply to the majority of fans this film has kneeling at its altar. So I guess to refine my question, why do younglings find this flick so snazzy? Is it just a matter of, 'This ain't yo grandmama's opera!'...or has my elderly status finally pushed me to a point of disconnect with the youth of today?

-That Guy (Sean)

PS: Nice tie-out at the end! Your writing style reminds me of some really good folks!

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby obnoxiousm » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:32 pm

By the basics of life, I mean the things that aren't provided to you--food, shelter, the basics for work. I felt like Repo was using organs to stand in for those things, and I was kind of impressed.

And you don't need to be familiar with Marxist ideas, or any other big concept, on an academic level to have them resonate with you. To give you an example, I went to the first Pokemon movie expecting it to be really bad. Within a few minutes of the start I was in tears because something about the main villain, Mewtwo's, plight moved me. I was 12 years old at the time, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't explain why I liked Mewtwo, why I felt so sad for him: All I could come up with is that he felt the same way I did. After a few years I got a copy of the novelization of the movie, in which mention was made of treating him like an object. That got me going in the right direction. Objectification lead me to dehumanization which lead me into a more solid understanding of Marxist, Feminist, and Deconstruction concepts, and now I can explain that I identified with Mewtwo because I felt similarly objectified and burdened by identification with my creators.

Actually, there's another concept that explains why I'm so Repo-crazy all of a sudden.

We live in a recession--in Michigan, a depression. I'm sure quite a few of these kids who are catching this movie on some level could connect Nathan's horrible acts to protect his daughter to the disgraceful things their parents have to do to keep them under a non-cardboard roof. Maybe not consciously, but they know that desperation because they see it on mom and dad's faces every time they pay the bills or apply for another job. Some day, maybe 20% of those kids will make the same connection I did, but most of them won't. Do you think everyone who read The Jungle and pushed for food reform started talking about Marxism or Communism? The human mind connects narrative to narrative; the literary mind explains those connections. The reason we study narrative is because it's how we think and it has almost magical power over the masses.

And I mean, we can debate whether these sort of cheap pieces of the masses have literary value or not until we're blue in the face, but they aren't going away. People partake in them because of the ideas, no matter how simple or derivative. Even if Repo has no real merit, people wouldn't like it if that story of repossession and escape and inheritance weren't there. You throw a movie with no plot and just a bunch of spectacle up there and people bash it, avoid it. The story holds it together, even if the neo-noir trappings and music are the main attraction.

Of course, I make a literary hobby out of studying pieces that aren't fit for study, at least according to most academics. In my literature classes we always talked about the social significance of the novel, but television, film, and music rule the people right now, so that's where my interest lies. The more accessible to everyone, the more widely viewed, the better, though I typically stay within my particular interests (*coughSF/fantasycough*). So my view on this is very... non-standard. I think there's something in Repo that resonates and there are a lot of pieces the youngins like. I see a lot of connections to what made Rocky Horror popular with my parents' generation. I see why people think it isn't very good and I'm not even sure I disagree. But I see why people like it.

Also, thanks for the complement. As a viewer of Star Trek: TNG since I was in diapers, I find comparing abstract concepts to mundane realistic phenomenon as a means of explaining the former to be as natural as walking. :D
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:26 pm

Ah, I believe I see where our disconnect is. We are of diametrically opposed philosophies.

Please feel free to correct me, as I am not trying to put words in your mouth, but from what I read of the last post you believe that we all have knowledge of everything within ourselves before we even understand it. So, education is merely a tool for understanding that which we already know...on a philosophical level that is.

Personally, I believe that the act of learning is the philosophical justification for itself. We know nothing, and slowly fill that nothing with something. Therefore our existence is for that very purpose, to fill nothing with something. You can apply that to a cosmic, cellular, and emotional situation equally. Honestly, it is one of the few philosophical absolutes that can be applied everywhere and fit.

Hence why I personally cannot agree with the concept that children just 'know' these things. I did not in my youth, and that is the only case I know for a fact. But, we are all cut from the same general bolt of cloth, and I see MANY similarities between my mental state and the state of everyone else...past and present. I was (and still am in most situations) so embroiled in my tiny cosmos of inconsequential tragedies, that I even have trouble seeing the issues those closest to me face when I try now. So to me, the concept of children 'magically' knowing (disregarding a mental link being made between this leap of faith and a movie) the hardships their parents may face is far-fetched to me. They know, "Mom is mad today," and "Dad isn't too pleased of late" and can possibly make a link between that and work...but there is no emotional empathy there. Only, how does this affect me? There cannot be empathy, because they do not have the experience to comprehend what it is their parents are going through. With no comprehension, or even something to compare it to, there can be no empathy...because you do not know what it is to feel what they feel. This is why the cycle rolls on. Your children will not understand you until they are older and have experienced similar situations, just as you did not understand your parents until put into the same 'world' that they resided in.

This is why I have major issues with the current train of thought that children all have these amazingly complex thought patterns. They do not. Our perceptions of the past are always colored by our current state of mind. We can all go back and whitewash reasons on top of the actions we made in our respective pasts, but they are automatically corrupted by our current psyche. Your child mind had no concept of Marxism, was not making wild leaps of connect the dots between Mewtwo and the plight of the proletariat, nor was it even attempting to do those things. For all you know, you could have dropped an ice cream cone that put you in a sad mood that particular afternoon. It is nigh impossible to know your emotional state from a period that far back. I could easily tell you my state of mind was 'Desperately Seeking Reason' or 'Testing Boundaries to Apply Againt Nihilistic Applications' when I threw a book through a tv screen at age 7. No academic reason can be given, even though I can explain away all of them with either. Truth is, I did it because I wanted to see what was on the other side...and that seemed the best way to do it. Occam's Razor strikes again. Simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.

As I stated earlier, I cannot fault an opinion on a movie. But there is a world of difference between liking a movie, and revering a movie. I have seen hundreds of movies I liked...but nobody made a cult following for them. I have also seen plenty of movies that I did not like, but a cult following defended with fervor. This one seems different than both. It just seems very...forced...for a movie that is critically met, both personally as well as professionally, with an overwhelming feeling of 'Eh, it was okay.' The movie is becoming in and of itself a fashion symbol of "Look how different I am, just like everyone else."

*Shrug* I guess we will have to just agree to disagree. :)

-That Guy (Sean)

PS: No time to proofread, so sorry for grammatical/spelling errors!

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby obnoxiousm » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:30 am

Please don't think I believe you can get the secrets of the universe out of a four year old with just the right words. I didn't explain myself well, but I'm talking about recognition versus comprehension.

Before I knew the word tall, I knew I stood head and shoulder above other children. I recognized that I was bigger than them. I would sit at home and watch Big Bird, who was my favorite. I knew he was like me, because he was head and shoulder above everyone, even the adults. We can recognize elements of ourselves, or elements we wish were part of ourselves, or things in our lives, without necessarily understanding what they are. A child doesn't know the word for it is red, but he knows that an apple and a wagon look the same. And recognition is not understanding: I have had so many students who can flawlessly read a passage, but if asked afterward what it said, can only quote it directly (and this I've seen at every age level, including adults). A child doesn't know what it means to be human, but she knows that face is like hers. I think there are common elements of repo that youths recognize, even if they lack the words to identify, and enjoy seeing packaged in an attractive musical format, sprinkled with things they can never touch and never be for added appeal.

And truth be told, if this is disagreeing I need to argue more often. No drama in a fairly serious literary debate! It's like college without the bored jerks.
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:34 pm

*Chuckle* Civilized discussions ftw! Trying to button up all of my projects at work before Youma so I am not interrupted, so I will type up a response a little later! :D

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby Chibi Siren » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:03 am

I don't really have a problem with civilized discussion. I skipped over most of it, because I don't have the time to waste to read it all. What I want to know is what does this have to do with people wanting to watch Repo, other than your personal opinions of it?

I like the movie, but that's irrelevant. I guess I should ask the creator of this thread: Are you planning on watching this personally or did you want the con t show it? Because I'm pretty sure that my DH has already planned most of what is going on by now and there may not be room for it.
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby ThatGuyAtTheCon » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:07 pm

Chibi Siren wrote:I don't really have a problem with civilized discussion. I skipped over most of it, because I don't have the time to waste to read it all. What I want to know is what does this have to do with people wanting to watch Repo, other than your personal opinions of it?


Seemed like a good place to ask since it was being requested and I was honestly curious. It expounded to a decent conversation that continued. Sorry about that!

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby Chibi Siren » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:27 am

It's alright. It's easy to get lost in a subject. i just wanted to know what the author of the thread wanted exactly and to keep it bit on track with the subject of the thread; which is apparently getting together and watching Repo and all of it's thought provoking gothic goodness.
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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby NightSurgeon » Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:13 pm

I think I should just take the time to come here and brag about having cosplayed as the Repo Man at the convention. So yes. :]

And lol at the person who doesn't like Repo coming to talk about Repo. Way to be.

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Re: REPO THE GENETIC OPERA

Postby akisame » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:37 am

I haven't seen the genetic opera in probaly about three years so I'm wondering, why all the hype now? It's certainly entertaining but really nothing amazing. Any way. I feel about this the same as I felt about rocky horror, This is youmacon. Wrong con folks.


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