B2 High-Intermediate US 1560 Folder Collection
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Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx
Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is The Lego Movie, based on the tiny
choking hazards humans used to train their army of child
architects. The film tells the story of yellow
humanoid creature Emmet Brickowski, a construction worker who is rather
unpopular despite having the voice of a charismatic and bankable
leading man. One day, Emmet sees a cute girl, which naturally leads him to
fall down a big hole. He gets a doohickey stuck to his back, but
fortunately it’s the famed Piece of Resistance, so now everyone wants
to hang out with him. During this chillsesh, Emmet learns
that President Business plans to freeze the world with a weapon
called the Kragle, which is smidge megalomaniacal for a government
official. The cute girl, whose named is Wyldstyle with two Y’s
because humans were the worst, returns to save Emmet with some
fancy punches. She takes him to meet Vitruvius, who is known to
locate certain things from time to time. They believe Emmet is the
One, I mean the Boy Who Lived, I mean the Special. They visit one of
my recurring nightmares to meet with the Master Builders, who don’t need
instruction manuals, but could use an etiquette lesson or two.
The cops follow them there and destroy the place, so Emmet
gallantly hides in a couch, then even more gallantly leads an attack
on President Business’ headquarters. Let’s hope
there’s an elevator.
Doesn’t matter, because President Business immediately defeats
everyone and sentences them to join a thinktank. Vitruvius tells Emmet
he made up the prophecy about the Special, so Emmet jumps out the
window. As luck would have it, he falls
right into a wormhole and awakens in another dimension, where it is
revealed that he and all his friends are toys in some kind of
“toy story.” Turns out the larger conflict is between the kid from
The Wonder Years and his rule-crazy father, actor-slash-entrepreneur
Will Ferrell. They have a nice little heart to heart about easing
up on the Krazy Glue, then everyone has a good cry and we all go home
to call our parents. The Lego Movie may be fashioned as
a movie for children and brandwhores, but it’s actually a
satirical jab at the 21st century American political, economic, and
social landscape. President Business is the president, as one
half of his name suggests, but the other half suggests he’s all about
the bottom line. This juxtaposition satirizes the effect money has over
politics, and the increasingly blurred line -- you know you want
it -- between corporate and political power. In a prime example
of crony capitalism, all media, business, government, and
interpersonal interactions are controlled by a single corporation.
The Octan Energy Corp is a sly reference to the behemoths that
controlled life on Earth: Bing, Google Plus, and, of course, Tidal
high-fidelity, lossless laundry detergent.
President Business is a corporate
despot, and wants to maintain the status quo by gluing everyone in
place, something I’ve considered with my children on more than one
occasion. He uses his control of the economy to subjugate his
citizens, even using a coin as an actual weapon. The
proletariat is subdued into silence and complacency with the allure of
Taco Tuesday, proving once and for all that humans were powerless to
resist alliteration. Citizens are also dulled into submission by
watching “Where Are My Pants”, a show that pokes fun at an
era of mindless television, not to mention its cheap, short-form,
internet-only facsimiles. And if that wasn’t enough to take
television down a peg, the film also includes numerous literary
allusions. An “I’ve got my eye on you” poster and surveillance camera call
to mind George Orwell’s 1984 classic, 1984. Cloud Cuckoo
Land is a reference to a play by Aristophanes called “The Birds”
featuring a chaotic realm of the same name. The name “Vitruvius” is
architecture, which later inspired Da Vinci to create his famous “Vitruvian Guy".
architecture, which later inspired Da Vinci to create his famous “Vitruvian
Guy," or “Truvie” to his friends.
The film also features some bizarre existential undertones. After his
death trip into oblivion, Emmet enters a heightened reality
where he realizes free will is an illusion, and he is nothing more
than a puppet being controlled by some snot-nosed fleshmonster. When
Emmet wiggles off the table, he is undergoing an existential
rebellion, refusing to let anyone define him -- be it his societal
overlords, his God, or beloved child star Fred Savage.
Emmet becomes a religious figure, which is appropriate, given that
his name means “truth” in Hebrew. His entry into the “real world”
symbolizes death, so his return is a Christ-like resurrection. And
just like Christ, he ends up stealing Batman’s girlfriend.
Ultimately, The Lego Movie is a celebration of creativity and
individualism over uniformity. Emmet lives in a society as rigid
as the blocks themselves, his individual will smothered by
instructions and a terrifyingly catchy song. As Emmet eventually
learns, to become the Special, "you must embrace what is special about
YOU.” Don’t settle for being just another cog in some larger machine.
Now this may seem like a harsh indictment of corporations for a
glorified two-hour toy commercial, but keep in mind that Earth’s
greatest export was hypocrisy. For Earthling Cinema, I’m
Wormuloid. Sweet dreams.
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The LEGO Movie's Hidden Meaning – Earthling Cinema

1560 Folder Collection
陳俊翰 published on June 8, 2015
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