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Rollerball


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#1 Darrel Manson

Darrel Manson

    Detached Existential INFP Dreamer-Minstrel Redux

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Posted 09 April 2004 - 06:37 PM

Elsewhere

I know I'm not voting (or not for a long time yet), but would Darrel be willing to post a brief (or lengthy) explication of why Rollerball is a "spiritual" film? 'Cause, you know, maybe then more people would go, "Ah! Of course! Why didn't we see that?"

First, we need to be clear that I have in mind the 1975 Norman Jewison film (which he did following Fiddler and Superstar). The 2001 or whatever remake should be ample evidence that the people involved should have their guild cards revoked, tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood on a rail.

The real Rollerball is a wonderful film that has pretty much taken on cult film status at this point. Much as I'd like Jonathan E to be a Christ-figure, he isn't. (The thing that attracted me to the abomination remake was that it looked like they wanted to develop it that way. Name changed to Jonathan Cross. Alas, he was anything but a Christ, letting everyone give up their lives for him.) What the film does is celebrate the power of the human spirit. In the midst of a corporatocracy, the game of Rollerball is designed to prove to all the world that no one can ever rise to the top. Everyone has their place. There is no room for heroism or for ambition. Eventually everyone will be beaten down.

But Jonathan E keeps winning. The powers of the world entice him to retire, then start changing the rules to ensure his defeat, but he still manages to conquer. He will not submit. And in his victory, he is beginning the downfall of the powers of the world. They cannot survive if someone can rise above the rest, because that means others can as well.

It plays at least as well today as it did 30 years ago.

How's that for a start?

#2 BethR

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Posted 13 April 2004 - 12:39 PM

But Jonathan E keeps winning. The powers of the world entice him to retire, then start changing the rules to ensure his defeat, but he still manages to conquer. He will not submit. And in his victory, he is beginning the downfall of the powers of the world. They cannot survive if someone can rise above the rest, because that means others can as well.



:?
I don't know, Darrel. I admit, I've never seen the movie myself, but it sounds more like an Ayn Rand fiction/manifesto than the gospel. I could be wrong, of course, and very likely am, not having actually seen it.

Anyone else?