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 Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17) 
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Post Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

Corrie Class Trip is a project where we rotate the selection of a title for group watches on an appointed day/date to then discuss [previous iterations linked below]. We welcome all to participate and share their thoughts and feelings! The sixth viewing for Round 3 is scheduled for Saturday February 17th. Please post about the film itself and your experience with it in this thread, and any off-topic posts about the series itself in the Class Trip Discussion Thread.

Thanks and enjoy!!!

xoxo,
your classmates

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Saturday, February 17th 2017


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Schizopolis (Steven Soderbergh, 1996)



Wikipedia wrote:
Schizopolis (also known as Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis) is a 1996 experimental comedy film with a non-linear narrative directed by Steven Soderbergh. Although the film does not have a linear plot, a skeletal structure exists, telling the same story from three different perspectives divided into three acts. At the beginning of the film, Soderbergh speaks to the audience in a style meant to evoke Cecil B. DeMille's introduction to The Ten Commandments.[2] He states, "In the event that you find certain sequences or ideas confusing, please bear in mind that this is your fault, not ours. You will need to see the picture again and again until you understand everything."


Past Trips, Junior Year:

#1 - La maternelle (1933, Jean Benoît-Lévy & Marie Epstein, France) | wigwam
#2 - Time and Winds (2006, Reha Erdem, Turkey) | Oxnard Montalvo
#3 - Clean, Shaven (1993, Lodge Kerrigan, USA) | Popcorn Reviews
#4 - Diabeł (1972, Andrzej Żuławski, Poland) | Oxnard Montalvo
#5 - Black Friday (2004, Anurag Kashyap, India) | Rock

Past Trips, Sophomore Year:

#1 - The Worthless (1982, Mika Kaurismäki, Finland) | snapper
#2 - Shopping for Fangs (1997, Quentin Lee and Justin Lin, USA) | takeshi
#3 - The Heart of the Wise Lives in the House of Sorrow (2009, Marin Malešević, Serbia) | Shieldmaiden
#4 - The Forbidden Quest (1993, Peter Delpeut, Netherlands) | kopello
#5 - São Bernardo (1972, Leon Hirszman, Brazil) | Bandy Greensacks
#6 - Evdokia (1971, Alexis Damianos, Greece) | Epistemophobia
#7 - The Ball at the Anjō House (1947, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, Japan) | snapper
#8 - Sérail (1976, Eduardo de Gregorio, France) | takeshi
#9 - Passport for a Corpse (1962, Mario Gariazzo, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#10 - Aksuat (1997, Serik Aprimov, Kazakhstan) | Shieldmaiden
#11 - Dangerously Excited (2011, Koo, South Korea) | wigwam
#12 - Himala (1982, Ishmael Bernal, Philippines) | snapper

Past Trips, Freshman Year:

#1 - Distant Journey (1949, Alfréd Radok, Czechoslovakia) | snapper
#2 - Nanami: The Inferno of First Love (1968, Susumu Hani, Japan) | Das
#3 - The Policewoman (2003, Joaquim Sapinho, Portugal) | charulata
#4 - Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (1989, Vitali Kanevsky, USSR) | Bandy Greensacks
#5 - The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974, Francesco Barilli, Italy) | Trip
#6 - Weddings and Babies (1958, Morris Engel, USA) | snapper
#7 - The Man with Three Coffins (1987, Lee Jang-ho, South Korea) | Notes from Underground
#8 - Malina (1991, Werner Schroeter, Germany) | Shieldmaiden
#9 - Bad Luck (1960, Andrzej Munk, Poland) | B-Side
#10 - The Girl with the Suitcase (1961, Valerio Zurlini, Italy) | JediMoonShyne
#11 - The Engagement of Anna (1972, Pantelis Voulgaris, Greece) | BandyGreensacks
#12 - Our Neighbor, Miss Yae (1934. Yasujirō Shimazu, Japan) | snapper[/quote]


Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

sounds good, see you next week!


Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I'll see if I can dig out my VHS. Or, you know, finally upgrade.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I should be good to join in.

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Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I'll make sure to join in as well.

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Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

no offense to Slentert (or Steven Soderbergh if you're reading this) but I'm not so sure I was picking up what this movie was putting down.

not that me and this movie didn't have our moments. who knows, I might change my mind down the road.


Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:45 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I'm kind of on the same page as Oxnard. I was able to formulate a couple loose thoughts for what a few of the events may mean, but I can't think of a major idea or concept which holds the film together. Although, I think that may have been the point. Maybe it's supposed to be devoid from interpretation. Or, maybe I'm wrong about this. I'd have to revisit it in the future a couple more times.

If this was Soderbergh's intention though, this led to many great aspects such as the dialogue as it embraced this idea. Some of the most notable sequences included the first funeral monologue, the "Generic Greeting" conversation, the conversation Fletcher has with his neighbor about cheating on his wife, and the news reports. And, of course, the film clearly has a lot of creativity. While, at times, this film can be a blast to watch due to its absurd humor, I can't say I was all that compelled by it.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:45 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I agree as well. There were some funny sequences, but overall I thought it was being weird only for the sake of being weird and lost interest halfway through.

The only "main theme" I could come up with is that Soderbergh is fascinated with language and how it is used, like how the main character needs to write this speech, and especially how he constantly deconstructs the way people interact with each other. The dialogue is definitely the funniest aspect of the entire film.
Than again, there is also a lot of stuff in Schizopolis that has nothing to do with all that.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:06 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

I think I liked this a bit more than you guys did, although I did find it feeling less fresh with each act, which almost seems guaranteed when it's revisiting the sane material even if from different angles (which I think provide more opportunities for jokes but don't necessarily enrich the material otherwise).

I think slentert is right one the money when he points out language and communication being the closest thing three movie has to a theme, although like you guys point out, it feels like a scattershot assemblage of running gags (some of which feel like they're from different films) rather than a coherent message. I think Soderbergh is more concerned with creating a unifying tone and worldview than in developing themes.

Some of the reviews I've read cite Richard Lester as an influence, and I definitely see some of the anarchic absurdism of The Knack and A Hard Day's Night in this, but I think those movies grounded their gags a bit better in their characters and had more forward momentum. Also, while I found a lot of the humour clever, I responded best to the broadest gags (Soderbergh making faces, the exterminator beating people up).

Also, Soderbergh looks like a lankier Woody Harrelson.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:45 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

maybe Soderbergh just needed an outlet to exercise all the ideas about 'society' that had been roiling around in his head. and frankly, I'm shocked as hell that a movie like this was ever released in any capacity.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:23 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

It's been years since watching it, but it seems that the feelings of others here mirrors my own. I liked it as a curiosity, but I'm not sure I got much out of it. Soderbergh is generally a real hit or miss director for me, but I at least usually appreciate even his misses (well, not so much Contagion, ugh)


Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:44 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

Question for our older posters: what was Scientology's public profile like in the mid-'90s?

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:15 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

Rock wrote:
Question for our older posters: what was Scientology's public profile like in the mid-'90s?
Are you too young to remember the daytime TV commercials with the erupting volcano? Am I that old? To be clear, Dianetics was the public face of the religion at that time and was billing itself completely as a self-help program.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:11 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

doesn't sound like something they would have shown on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network.

I think I just assumed Schizopolis was satirizing the self-help industry in general. or: that and Scientology, doesn't make much difference to me.


Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:50 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

BL wrote:
Are you too young to remember the daytime TV commercials with the erupting volcano? Am I that old? To be clear, Dianetics was the public face of the religion at that time and was billing itself completely as a self-help program.

Ah, ok. I was a wee lad in the third world during the mid-'90s so I'd never seen any such commercials. I was mostly curious because the jokes about the Scientology-like organization here are mostly about the vagueness of self-help slogans and general corporate humour, while in Bowfinger a few years later there are more references to its celebrity involvement and cult-like aspects.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:41 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

Rock wrote:
Ah, ok. I was a wee lad in the third world during the mid-'90s so I'd never seen any such commercials. I was mostly curious because the jokes about the Scientology-like organization here are mostly about the vagueness of self-help slogans and general corporate humour, while in Bowfinger a few years later there are more references to its celebrity involvement and cult-like aspects.
This is the commercial I remember best, though the erupting volcano was a recurring theme in several of them (pretty funny to know now that they were openly alluding to the whole wacko atom-bombs-dropped-into volcanos Xenu story when that was still a closely guarded secret at the time).

Scientology didn't get tax-exempt church status in the U.S. until 1993, and once it got that status, it pretty much dropped the whole "self-help" marketing of Dianetics and became very litigious against critics who accused the organization of not being a valid religion. Also, while OT III (the Xenu story) had been summarized before in books and in court cases critical of the organization, the actual internal Scientology documents about it didn't become public until 1994, when the alt.religion.scientology Usenet group published them. So Scientology was now more vocal from its comfortable tax-exempt status at the very same time its batshit crazy theology had become publicly available to anyone who could navigate the Wild West of the mid-90s Internet.

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Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

You people are fools. This movie is goddamn great.

I always thought that the joke was that all corporations are brainwashing bullshit engines, not Scientology in particular.


Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:22 am
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Post Re: Corrie Class Trip 3.0 #6: Schizopolis (Sat 02/17)

Rock wrote:
Ah, ok. I was a wee lad in the third world during the mid-'90s so I'd never seen any such commercials. I was mostly curious because the jokes about the Scientology-like organization here are mostly about the vagueness of self-help slogans and general corporate humour, while in Bowfinger a few years later there are more references to its celebrity involvement and cult-like aspects.
Well, in addition to Bowfinger, on 1996's Ænima, Tool included the lyric "Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones" on the title track, and their drummer said that the acidic, anti-religious leader lyrics of "Eulogy" were actually also about Hubbard too, and that record went triple platinum, so plenty of people would've been exposed to some anti-Scientology pop culture at that time. It all kind of stemmed from Tool being scheduled to play at the Garden Pavilion, but after they learned at the last minute that the venue belonged to the Church, and their frontman ended up spending most of the show baa-ing like a sheep at the audience, ha.

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Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:07 pm
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