Zack Rynhold

In another life, writing about film full time. Wrote a thesis on Christ Figures in film being used to critique religious institutions. 2001 and Star Wars fanatic.

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    The Marxist reading of Jaws

    The climax of Jaws focuses on the endeavor of three men to save the town. Each comes from a different economic background: Hooper (wealthy), Brody (middle class), and Quint (working class). Quint’s ultimate demise and the use of his gun to destroy the shark could certainly be read as the working class man sacrificing himself for the security of the upper classes. I am curious if someone better versed in Marxism could dig deeper into Jaws as Marxist tale, or more generally as a tale of class and consumerism.

    • Fidel Castro used to argue that “Jaws” was a Marxist tale. Slavoj Žižek summarized this in his documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” where he also gives his own reading of the story. As a matter of fact, “Jaws” has been interpreted in so many ways, such as being about patriarchy, immigration or fascism. This is a nice topic that could become a great article, as long as it acknowledges all the discussions and interpretations that the Spielberg’s film provoked in the last forty years (not an easy task), offering a new and original angle of analysis. – T. Palomino 2 months ago
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    • A Marxist reading of Jaws could definitely work though it sounds a bit abstracted. If you read Jaws, the shark as the fascistic "Other" it works. Because the unity of the in-group classes they're able to destroy the "Other" but importantly the working class is destroyed in the process. – SunnyAgo 2 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Excellent point about Rey and Ben being foils for each other in terms of their divergent lineages and about Rey mirroring Luke in overcoming her family revelation. I would have loved to have seen Rey actually be from nowhere. Her attempts to place herself within the Star Wars hierarchy would have been in vain, much like Ben’s attempts to stray from his family legacy. In the end, it would make for a more perfect union between the two of them, finding their respective purposes through their unity in the force. That being said, most of the Rise of Skywalker’s flaws took time to dawn on me. My initial reaction was one of fondness due to the nostalgia, and so I find myself thinking of it much as in the same way as I do the prequels.

    The Rise of Skywalker Succeeds As A Legacy Film But Illustrates The Flaws Of Disney Era Star Wars

    This is a fascinating reading of the Star Wars saga, particularly the prequels. I think that the paternalism argument can even be extended beyond the Empire to the Jedi themselves, who in many ways straddle the fine line between paternalism and human rights intervention as “peacekeepers.” This is a central issue throughout The Clone Wars series, where it becomes clear that Sidious’ plot to defeat the Jedi was grounded in turning the people against them for continuing a war across the galaxy. The Jedi are essentially the US in this analogy, defending freedom and democracy across the world but spreading violence and sowing dissent all the while. The Clone Wars arguably stands for the idea that the Jedi’s downfall stems from their paternalism, which clouded their perception with arrogance and pushed away the likes of Ahsoka and Anakin from the Jedi Order.

    Star Wars: a Criticism of Paternalism as Stepping Stone to Empire

    This is a very thoughtful article that perhaps accurately portrays why JoJo Rabbit garnered so much popular appeal.

    I would note, however, that the article presumes that flagrant racism is no longer the primary form of racism currently in existence. On the contrary, anti-Semitic violence and hate crimes have increased in recent years, much of which arguably stems from a phenomenon mentioned in this article: political leaders, such as Donald Trump, providing a platform for neo-Nazis.

    Of course, cinema is only enriched by promoting more nuanced approaches to racism. For example, it was outrageous, yet fully expected, that Green Book in all its simplicity would win the Oscar for Best Picture, while If Beale Street Could Talk did not get nearly as much recognition as it deserved for its rich portrayal of racism. A similar article to this one could explain why that happened. But I think JoJo Rabbit reminds us that flagrant racism does still exist and needs to be denounced for what it is, rather than allowing neo-Nazism to insert itself into the conversation of nuanced racism.

    Jojo Rabbit – The Nazi Comedy That Struck A Chord by Sidestepping Modern Racism