Understand underlying concepts, character portrayals and different interpretations within a film/tv show.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

14
votes
5answers
6k views

How does Clarice know “Jack Gordon” was actually the real Buffalo Bill?

In The Silence of the Lambs, Mr. Crawford told Agent Starling the subject's name is Jamie Gumb, also known as John Grant and traced out the place of the subject. But she went to Jack Gordon's house. ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the meaning of Teddy's last dialogue in Shutter Island?

In Shutter Island, at the end of the movie Teddy had a chat with Chuck, in that scene Teddy told to Chuck as, Which would be worse: To live as a monster, or to die as a good man? What's the ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the meaning of Rorschach's mask and name?

In Watchmen, Rorschach wears a mask that shows continuously changing symmetrical patterns of black "ink" on white cloth, resembling those of, well, a Rorschach test. In fact, in some scenes he is very ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

What does the pink teddy bear represent in Breaking Bad?

After the plane crash in season 2 of breaking bad a pink teddy bear falls into Walts pool. We see the bear in several scenes before the plane crash in previous episodes of the season. In these ...
14
votes
2answers
351 views

What was the alternative world in Sucker Punch?

In the movie Sucker Punch, while the girl Baby Doll dances the movie cuts over to scenes of her and the other girls in a different world. Is this world supposed to be Baby Doll's imagination, or what ...
14
votes
1answer
924 views

Why is Walt special?

In Lost, there are countless mysteries, but one that started in the beginning of the series has struck my mind recently and my research cannot bring anything up. Walt Lloyd, Michael's son who he ...
14
votes
1answer
339 views

Which film was the first to show us the face of God?

There have been a lot of greek myth Gods depicted in film. Which film was the first to show us the face of the Christian God Jehovah?
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the significance of the hat in Miller's crossing?

Miller's crossing pays a lot of attention to Gabriel Byrne's hat. Does it symbolize anything in the movie or have any significance to the plot or is this a bit of a red herring?
13
votes
3answers
6k views

What does 'How you doing?' by Joey mean?

The 'How you doing?' line of Joey in Friends is very famous. English is my third language. I seem it's general conversation dialogue. What's so special about it?
13
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the deal with Walt's hat?

Walt seems to always put on his hat when he gets into the Heisenberg mind set/character. Is this the hat's sole purpose or is there a deeper meaning/connection to something else?
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did the prisoners help Bruce?

When Bruce is left broken and suffering in the Prison Pit, Bane explains that this is where he suffered and where Bruce will fully realize his failure with Gotham, and then be killed. During his time ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Why was Anton Chigurh being arrested at the beginning of the film?

In No Country for Old Men, why was Anton Chigurh being arrested at the beginning of the film?
13
votes
5answers
10k views

Did Karen almost die in Goodfellas?

Let's go over exactly what happens in this scene again: Karen brings something to Jimmy and Jimmy asks how Henry's doing. He gives kind of a flippant response to her answer, then looks down and is ...
13
votes
1answer
207 views

What is the significance of Walt Whitman to a broader understanding of Breaking Bad?

Beware: spoilers for season 5 below. These are the facts as I understand them: Leaves of Grass is a compendium of poems by Walt Whitman, an American influenced by Transcendentalism and ...
13
votes
1answer
434 views

Why did Terry Gilliam include Jeffrey as a character in Twelve Monkeys?

The movie La jetée has already the story of 12 Monkeys, including also key-settings like the airport and the mall. But there is one big difference in 12 Monkeys to the older movie: Terry Gilliams ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Was the Wheel of Pain actual or allegorical?

My contention (once I got past my teenage years) was that the Wheel of Pain, in the original Conan the Barbarian movie, was supposed to be alegorical...a symbol of Conan's difficult upbringing as a ...
13
votes
2answers
191 views

How does the title fit in the context of story?

Like many others I am a big fan of The Departed (2006). But the title of the movie makes me curious. What is the justification for use of this title? I mean how does this title fit in the context of ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How did the package save his life?

In the climax of Cast Away, Chuck (Tom Hanks) writes a note on the Fedex box which states that this package has saved his life. How exactly did that package save his life? If I am correct, he never ...
13
votes
1answer
313 views

In 'Synecdoche, New York' , what is the significance of choosing the play 'Death of a Salesman'?

The protagonist, Philip Hoffman, is directing the play 'Death of a Salesman' with a twist. He is casting young actors as the characters of Willy and his wife. From my understanding, he is doing this ...
13
votes
1answer
342 views

Is there a good resource which analyzes many parody movies for “what is being lampooned”?

Good parody movies (e.g. Airplain, Hot Shots) lampoon a whole bunch of things, in nearly every scene. Is there a good resource which analyses some of the main ones scene by scene and notes a full ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why did Roy let Deckard live?

Near the end of Blade Runner, Deckard enters Sebastian’s apartment, gets ambushed and kills the girl. He then gets chased around the apartment by Roy, who leads Deckard to believe that he is going to ...
12
votes
6answers
11k views

What is the significance of the appearance of the wolf?

Near the end of Fantastic Mr. Fox, and just after the film's climax, Mr. Fox, Ash, Kristofferson and Kylie encounter a wolf. Like the scene, the wolf seemingly came randomly and out of nowhere (with ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

Significance of the Owl in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

There's a scene in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" where Prideaux (Mark Strong) is in the class room teaching, then suddenly an owl pops out of the fireplace. Prideaux quickly dispatches it. Later on, in ...
12
votes
2answers
863 views

Why the title 'Unforgiven' in the movie Unforgiven?

I just watched the 1992 film Unforgiven and I liked it a lot. But how does the title of this movie relate to its story?
12
votes
2answers
311 views

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Allegory?

Is the hypothesis of Who Framed Roger Rabbit really being about Eddie's alcoholism (or some kind of psychological dissociation - perhaps via trauma from the death of his brother) tenable? I tried, ...
12
votes
1answer
169 views

Significance of the many unusual names?

I might go the risk of a slightly opinionated question here, but it seems to me that Pacific Rim employs quite some unusual forenames for many of its major characters, e.g. Raleigh, Yancy, Stacker, ...
12
votes
1answer
203 views

Is Lt. Hicox correct in his comparison of Joseph Goebbels with David O. Selznick?

In Inglourious Basterds when Lt. Archie Hicox is briefed by Gen. Fenech and Winston Churchill, his qualities as movie expert are put to a little test when he is asked by Churchill about Joseph ...
12
votes
2answers
429 views

Why is “Based on a True Story” used?

I have had little to no interest in a movie that claims it is "Based On a True Story" since Fargo. It's well known that it was a lie that Fargo was based on a true story. There are many movies though ...
12
votes
3answers
374 views

Why did Blade Runner deviate from the source novel so significantly?

In Philip K. Dick's novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' there are key aspects of the plot of the novel that are completely excluded from Blade Runner, including: That animals have almost ...
12
votes
1answer
534 views

Significance of the painting in Mallory's office

In the movie Skyfall while Bond first meets Q in a museum they are watching the painting of a ship dragged by another ship and Q remarks: Always makes me feel a little melancholy. A grand old ...
12
votes
1answer
235 views

Did Rutledge lie about the “Source Code”?

Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) explains that the Source Code is not actually time travel, but merely a computer "construct" or "simulation", using the last 8 minutes of memory a person has (in this case: ...
12
votes
1answer
448 views

Are Teletubbies prisoners?

Even though they seem happy during the show, at many times they are following commands from the voice-over ("show Tinky Winky the bowl"). They also seem to obey the wind mill when it starts spinning, ...
12
votes
2answers
513 views

Is Ferris Bueller's Day Off intentionally inspired by Blues Brothers?

I saw Blues Brothers (1980) for the first time last night and I couldn't help but see many parallels between it and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). Both plots feature an adventure in the city of ...
11
votes
2answers
652 views

Why didn't Cobb talk to any of his team members at the airport in the ending of Inception?

In Inception, it always makes me wonder why Cobb didn't say a hello to his team members. He does not even smile at any of his team members at the airport. What is the reason he acts like he does now ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Were parts of The Dark Knight Rises a commentary on the Occupy movement?

A fair amount of the second act of The Dark Knight Rises has a class warfare plotline. This is foreshadowed in the trailers with Selina Kyle's "there's a storm coming" monologue. Some of the ...
11
votes
6answers
10k views

What is the meaning of the line at the end of Chinatown?

At the end of the amazing film Chinatown, Jake Gittes is told, 'Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown'. What are supposed to deduce from this? Is it that Jake is powerless to prevent or challenge what had ...
11
votes
3answers
642 views

Why is the name of the main spacecraft “Axiom”?

In Wall-E the name of the main spacecraft which is the new home of humanity is rather questionable. "Axiom"! The main problem here is that "Axiom" and "Axiomatic Systems" are abstract ...
11
votes
3answers
323 views

Evolution/existence of television police proceduals in non-English speaking countries?

I'm interested in the evolution and/or existence of the police procedural genre on television. Wikipedia outlines the time-line and summarizes representative shows through history for a few ...
11
votes
2answers
301 views

What's the significance of the roses on Oskar Schindler's grave?

Jews have a tradition of placing stones on the grave. In the Film Schindler's List, in the ending scene everybody places stones on the grave of Oskar Schindler. But Liam Neeson places a pair of roses ...
11
votes
2answers
536 views

What is Belgravia in 'a Scandal in Belgravia'?

The title of the 1st episode on Season 2 of Sherlock, the TV-series is A scandal in Belgravia. What is Belgravia?
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Was Alfred in on Bruce's plan in The Dark Knight Rises?

Near the end of The Dark Knight Rises, Alfred is fed up with Bruce's inability to let go of Batman and quit despite Alfred saying to him "I've buried enough members of the Wayne family" so ...
11
votes
5answers
24k views

What is the symbolism of the uncrossable bridge in Melancholia?

In Lars von Trier's Melancholia (2011) there are two scenes of the sisters riding their horses. Both end with Justine's (Kirsten Dunst) horse Abraham refusing to cross a small bridge. In the second ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the “fear of death” the most powerful impulse of the spirit for Batman?

Movie super-heroes are commonly shown to be fearless. In Dark Knight Rises, fearlessness is discussed directly: Blind Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you ...
11
votes
1answer
467 views

What's with the “one-sided” dialogue scenes in Midnight in Paris?

I re-watched Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris last night. I noticed that during a lot of dialogue scenes with only two or three people, there will often only be one of the characters in the shot. It ...
11
votes
4answers
354 views

What is the relationship between the three intertwined stories of The Fountain?

In The Fountain (2006) there are three separate but related stories told in parallel--Imperial Spain, present day, and .. um, space bubble. Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz play the leading lad & ...
11
votes
1answer
447 views

Why does Frank peel off the labels from bottles and things?

Catch Me If You Can's fictionalized version of Frank W. Abagnale Jr. uses to peel off labels from things. While in certain cases this is part of his check frauds (especially the Pan Am labels), he ...
11
votes
1answer
319 views

Diction in original vs remake of True Grit

The diction in the 2010 production of True Grit is much different than that of the 1969 True Grit. Why did the Coen brothers decide to follow the diction of the original novel so closely? Did folks ...
11
votes
1answer
292 views

What's the purpose of the giant door?

King Kong (1933) A massive wall protects the native village from King Kong. But if you build a wall to keep a giant ape out, why would you put a door in that's conveniently his size? My Question: ...
11
votes
1answer
746 views

In “Synecdoche, New York” what is the meaning of the character name Sammy Barnathan?

Sammy Barnathan is a key character in "Synecdoche, New York," which was written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. In the interview excerpt below, Kaufman suggests that there is meaning behind the name: ...
11
votes
1answer
310 views

What exactly is the alphanumeric string in A Scandal in Belgravia?

In A Scandal in Belgravia Irene Adler shows the following text to Sherlock 007 Confirmed allocation 4C12C45F13E13G60A60B61F34G34J60D12H33K34K and he figures out "these are seat allocations on a ...