B2 High-Intermediate 560 Folder Collection
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Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx
Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Forrest Gump, starring Earth’s own
Tom Hanks, widely considered to be the poor man’s Jason Biggs.
Forrest Gump tells the story of a feather-collector named Forrest
Forrest Gump, who likes to bombard people with his life story for no
apparent reason, often not even noticing when his audience changes.
Although he is born a cyborg, his robotic implants soon
fall apart and he is able to pass as a human. At human school, he
meets a miniature female named Jenny. He plays football, which is
really easy and doesn’t require anything but running in a straight
line. After that, Forrest joins the Army
on a whim. He saves everyone from getting exploded, but his friend
Bubba dies of shrimp poisoning. For his trouble, Forrest gets a shiny
new necklace. He plays ping pong and becomes a
national celebrity, because ping pong was America’s most popular and
widely discussed sport, other than flasketball.
Forrest coincidentally reconnects with his old sergeant, Lieutenant
Dan, right around the time they start a chain of restaurants
together. Jenny comes back for a quickie and runs away again just
for kicks. Forrest goes for a jog to think
things over, then meets his son, marries Jenny, and buries Jenny.
Finally, we get one last look at the true hero of the film, that
goddamn feather.
Aside from the Martin Luther King assassination and the Abraham
Lincoln assassination, Forrest Gump features nearly every significant
social or political event of the 60s and 70s.
But whereas everyone around Forrest is engrossed by all that political
mumbo jumbo, Forrest is oblivious, singularly focused on the thing he
best understands: love. Yes he does, Jenny.
The defining characteristic of the film is its perspective. Through
the eyes of an innocent simpleton, we see an idealized vision of Earth
that ignores grim social realities like a pair of cinematic beer
goggles. When Forrest talks about the Vietnam war, he’s all sunshine
and lollipops. With Jenny, he sees a pretty, pretty princess,
even though in reality she’s a pretty, pretty big mess.
Young Forrest runs through picturesque Southern landscapes,
and, moments later, breezes past a prison chain gang like it ain’t no
nevermind. He has an entire conversation with Lieutenant
Dan before the camera reveals he lost his legs -- Forrest
still sees him as a whole man, apparently unaware that human
beings can’t regrow their limbs. What’s more, Forrest may be raising
a kid that isn't his. Jenny has a history of emotional manipulation,
and could have just decided to call him once she got sick and needed
help. Her “get out of parenthood free” card, if you will.
Yet Forrest sees it as high romance, as does the audience.
In fact, it is entirely possible that Forrest is an unreliable
narrator, something I find utterly deplorable. Much of the story
depends on his memory, which is idealized and perhaps a bit faulty. In both
instances where Jenny tells Forrest to “run, Forrest, run”, everyone is
wearing the same clothes -- except Jenny, who only buys designer shit.
Either this is magical realism, or Forrest’s mind is conflating the
two memories. While with his platoon in Vietnam, he recalls
unnatural weather shifts, made all the more suspect when
immediately punctuated by an enemy attack. And if we can’t trust a man
to accurately report meteorological activity, we can’t trust him for
anything. In any case, as the great
philosopher Forrest Gump’s mom says, life is like a box of
chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. But if you look
at the world through Forrest Gump’s eyes, you can bet it’s going to be
sweet. And knowing my luck, it’ll probably have fucking coconut.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. To replace your legs
with titanium rods, click the subscribe button
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Hidden Meaning in Forrest Gump – Earthling Cinema

560 Folder Collection
林欣彤 published on August 9, 2016
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