Just imagine: you spend years working on a movie, you make it thin enough, you more or less hide some messages, and in the end no one understands it. Everyone crashes and takes your film totally the wrong way. Everyone misses the real meaning you wanted to give it. It happens very often, even for cinema monuments, cult feature films, which for years remain poorly interpreted. It must still be very infuriating.
1. American Psycho
Criticized when it was released, and still today, as a misogynistic film advocating violence against women, American Psycho is in fact quite the opposite. And you would have to be a little stubborn to believe that we are going to praise a guy who kills women and dismembers them. We know that the world is sometimes strange, but there we still have to stop messing around.
2. (500) days together
When we watch the film without any explanation, we see the character played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a nice and charming guy, quite sure of himself, and suddenly we want to like him. But the actor revealed another meaning of the film that we had completely missed: in fact, his character is a loser who projects his obsessions on a girl. He wants her to be the perfect girl he imagines when she isn’t. As a result, we spend the whole film taking the character played by Zooey Deschanel for a bitch when this is not necessarily the case.
3. The Shining
We tend to think that The Shining is a “simple” story of ghosts and madness, but in reality the film is more about Jack Torrance’s alcoholism and domestic violence. Stephen King had written the original book during a period when he was battling his own alcoholism. But to be a little more fair all the same, we must admit that the film does not deal well enough with this question of alcohol addiction, and this is one of the reasons why Stephen King did not like the film. adaptation of his book by Kubrick. A small failure, then.
4. Fahrenheit 451
The adaptation of the excellent book by the very excellent Ray Bradbury (yes I like it a lot) can easily pass for a criticism of censorship. And it’s completely normal since the guys come to burn books, exactly as we would do if we wanted to censor. Yet good old Bradbury has revealed that his story isn’t so much about censorship, but rather about television feeding people irrelevant information and turning them away from books. It’s a bit like the TV coming to burn our books. It’s an image, what. I’m not going to draw you a picture. Besides, I can’t draw.
And especially the end of Inception. Absolutely EVERYONE wondered whether or not the spinning top was going to stop and whether Cobb, played by Dicaprio, was in reality or in a dream. But in fact we do not care at all. The thing is, when the camera focuses on the spinning top, Cobb gets closer to his children: he doesn’t care if he’s in the real world or not. What matters is his own subjectivity. Besides, is there a “real” world? No, the world always implies a subjectivity. Come on, let’s stop the philosophy for today, but the most important thing is to remember that we have to stop worrying about this fucking top.
6. Tomb of the Fireflies
One of the saddest animated films in the world. A girl and her brother who survive as best they can in times of war, in Kobe. An anti-war work, clearly. Well no, actually, not that much. Isao Takahata, the director, revealed that the film did not carry a message against war, but rather wanted to show that young people must learn to live by enduring difficult times. Ah OK. All very warm.
7. The Godfather
Even if we recognize the masterpiece that is The Godfather, we can remain limited to a fairly simple interpretation of the film which would be just a story of gangsters with a brilliant script (and that’s already a lot). But to really understand Coppola’s intentions, we must not miss another dimension of the film: it is a story about the determinism of the characters who inherit their lives from their parents and are obliged to reproduce their journey. Not very happy, all that, but at the same time it’s not Welcome to Chez les Ch’tis either.
Ah, Scarface, the favorite film of all rappers who see in Tony Montana a true symbol of strength and ambition, a figure of success. When in fact no, Tony Montana is a loser doubled as a junkie and his fall is the opposite of heroism. This is the height of pathos. But that doesn’t stop people from proudly wearing t-shirts with Scarface’s face.
9. Starship Troopers
Young Americans who bravely fight arachnids from elsewhere, it immediately made everyone believe that the film was propaganda bordering on fascism. As if Paul Verhoeven had wanted to highlight all his patriotism through his feature film. As you can imagine now, the real meaning of the film is quite the opposite. It is an anti-militarist satire that aims to make fun of an almost fascist patriotism. You had to think a little bit.
10. The movie of my life (mine, really)
People think I’m a bit dumb, lacking in charisma and not funny, when in my head that’s not the case at all. Maybe I need to give them the real explanation of the movie of my life, so they’ll realize they were wrong. They are idiots, all the same, people.