UPDATE: Here's a run-down of these posts to keep everyone on the same page
elorianne had a post about her problems with the film, Across the Universe - Prudence, Lucy, and several other things - here.
I attempted to explain some of these issues - no constancy, no explanations, etc. - here (that's this post).
her response to my post, with a focus on Prudence, here.
my hypotheses on Prudence's role in the film, or lack thereof really, here.
It's quite fun, really =)

Eloriane over at Gender Goggles has a post up about one of my favorite movies, Across the Universe. I started to comment there, but by the time I got to my third paragraph, I figured it made more sense to move my commentary over here. I tried to be specific about the points I'm countering so as to avoid confusion, but probably failed miserably in all my excitement.

(Oh, and if you've never seen Across the Universe -- shame on you! Go rent it!)

I love Across the Universe!!! I definitely agree with you that I was far more interested in some of the more minor characters and it's a bummer that we weren't given much to go on. Sadie was awesome, and I could not get enough of Jojo or Prudence.

Anyhoodles, I have a lot to say, so here goes...

I think as far as Prudence constantly disappearing without much explanation, wasn't this done on purpose? The same thing happens with all the characters at some point. I always thought that was sort of the point, no? That there's no constancy in a war-torn, civil-rights-focused, drug-experimenting, Beatles-music-loving 60s movie. Max goes off to war and then is suddenly back w/o any pomp & circumstance. Sadie marches off the stage only to reappear scenes later, and everything is hunky dory. Everyone moves out of the apartment without warning, it's suddenly just empty. Same with Lucy after Jude leaves -- I almost thought the ending was going to be Jude coming back to find a dead Lucy. Our only constant is Jude, and even he is a little all over the place and doesn't seem to know his right from left half the time.

I guess Prudence has a way of coming and going more than the rest, but I thought this was to show how unstable/indecisive she is. The same can be said for her sexuality. She seems to go back and forth between men and women, and I think this is just meant to highlight that not everything is easily explained or completely black and white. Prudence is supposed to be flighty, for lack of a better word.

As for not liking Lucy so much... yeah, I didn't either! HAHA! I'm not really sure why she's so flip-floppy about her revolutionary ways. Her naivete about working for such a douchebag is probably just because she's so excited to be part of the movement now. No time for asking questions when you've got a war to stop, perhaps?? I don't know, jury's still out on Lucy, I guess.

I couldn't agree with you more about wanting more diversity in the main characters. A film with so much going on should at the very least spend more time on how the people of color are represented and what they deal with. I think it's hard to do this though because there IS so much going on. Between your post and mine, we've covered the following points: sexuality, abuse, race, gender, war, psychology, nationality/citizenship, etc. How much depth can you really give anybody?

Ultimately, I think a lot of the problems you have with the movie are just Julie Taymor's style. For example, there is a similar lack of explanation for sexuality in Frida (have you seen that? you TOTALLY should!). There is no explanation about the same-sex interactions; it's just accepted. There are also a lot of scenes that leave you wondering where/when the characters are. There are a lot of interesting characters introduced and then suddenly gone. Characters you think are significant are not, and ones you don't pay attention to suddenly come back. You never know what the hell is going on with Diego or if he and Frida are on good terms. Yet, it's so freaking brilliant!

I fully admit that I am biased because I love this movie, and Julie Taymor. I might be making excuses for some points, but overall, I think I'm right. hehe =)


At Tue Feb 10, 08:15:00 PM Anonymous said...

Hi, it's eloriane!

OK, so I finally got my thoughts together and it was, like, ten paragraphs, so I posted it here.

Short version: I don't think you were just "making excuses"! There was a lot going on in my reaction.

Also, Max was totally hot, and if I was a lesbian surrounded by straight people in decidedly unsupportive times (like I am!) I'd probably sleep with him, too.

At Wed Feb 11, 02:31:00 PM Cara said...

I definitely agree on Lucy . . . she was boring, wishy-washy, naive and I don't know. Just unengaging. I also thought that she had by far the worst voice of all of the actors in the casts. Everyone else's singing is so amazing, and hers is just . . . blah. Though her If I Fell is great.

Though I did like that she left Jude without doing some whole melodrama thing, even if she did go back to him in the end. Because even if he was right about the Jerry Rubin-esque revolutionary guy (Pablo? Paolo? Can't remember.), he also totally deserved to get his ass dumped after acting all violent and then trashing the apartment.

I think it's hard to defend a lot of ATU on non-musical and visual artistic grounds. I mean, frankly, you take all of that away and it's a pretty shitty movie. Is there really any debating that? I love the film, but it's because I'm a Beatles dork, it's cute, it's super pretty, it's funny, the music is amazing, and Jude is super cute :) But as soon as you take the Beatles element out of it, for me at least, there's really not much left. I think that kind of has to be taken into account when evaluating the movie.

As for Max being hot . . . uh, this lady would totally do both Jude and Jojo, but Max? Not.

Oh, one last thing in this epic comment! I think it was Eloraine who said in her other post about Lucy not getting to declare her own love at the end, with Max doing it for her by singing "She loves you yeah yeah yeah." But that's just a total Beatles joke! (There are so many in there if you know what to look for!) At the end of All You Need Is Love, which the Beatles recorded live, John starts singing that as a joke, Paul joins in, and it's really cute and funny. One of the things I love about the music for the movie is how true they stayed to the originals while changing them so much at the same time, and it's really considered such a part of the song for us Beatles dorks that the couldn't take it out . . . and I thought they used it to great effect.

Maybe she totally knew that already and still thinks that it sucks. Which is fair enough. But I thought I'd point it out regardless. :)

At Wed Feb 11, 02:59:00 PM frau sally benz said...

Poor Lucy, I wanted to like her, I really did.

I don't think the movie itself was so bad. It certainly wouldn't be my favorite without the music and visual artistry, but I think there is something to the disjointedness in Julie Tamblyn's work in general that I really like. It's different and it keeps you on your toes. Or, me, anyway. Apparently it keeps people like eloriane at home and not in the theater lol.

Also, omg, Cara just posted on my blog. If we can get BFP and a couple of others up in here, my life would be perfect.

At Wed Feb 11, 03:09:00 PM Cara said...

Well I think that it would just be a silly little rom-com, honestly. Which is fine for some people, but not what I'm into. The movie just doesn't have much of a plot, you know? Which works fine for what it is, but not so fine if you try to make it into something else. If that makes sense.

Also, omg, Cara just posted on my blog. If we can get BFP and a couple of others up in here, my life would be perfect.

Haha, that's uh, pretty lofty company you're placing me alongside!

At Wed Feb 11, 03:16:00 PM frau sally benz said...

You're right, of course. But I think w/o the Beatles focus, then there probably would have been a plot. And then I wouldn't mind the disjointedness in rom-coms, I think they need to be revamped anyway. I dunno, I try to be optimistic. =)

Haha, that's uh, pretty lofty company you're placing me alongside!

Dude, whatever, BFP comments on your blog, no fair! And *ahem* Yoko Ono LINKED TO YOU! WTF, have you forgotten? There's no modesty allowed on this blog. YOU ARE AWESOME. Own it.

At Wed Feb 11, 03:42:00 PM Cara said...

Hahahaha. Okay, I'll try my best :)


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