Image of Libraries in Popular Culture

Until the End of the World (1991)

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OrangesSmoranges: Meeting Minutes 11/11/01

adrianelibrarian: I liked it but I thought it was flawed a little bit

DSNemitz: Parts of it were good, but it seemed the editor fell asleep - too long.

OrangesSmoranges: I thought it was very very long

CABartel: I thought it was wonderful.

DanaVinke: are we talking about the same movie?

OrangesSmoranges: I think we are

adrianelibrarian: It was originally intended to be five hours. Wenders is very frustrated by what he calls the "reader's digest version" we see. He said he had to take out a lot of the humor and a critic said that in this "shorter" version the themes

adrianelibrarian: seemed more heavy handed and less dream like because they had to coem through faster.

DanaVinke: Well, I guess we should consider ourselves lucky

OrangesSmoranges: Yes we should, that sounds horrible

CABartel: I had a hard time the first time I watched it because I kept waiting for it to get to the point. But the second time I didn't worry about that and just enjoyed it.

OrangesSmoranges: so, "How do major aspects of society will change due to future information technology"

DanaVinke: Hmm, that was smooth

OrangesSmoranges: not a good sentence though, sorry

adrianelibrarian: Ebert had this negative comment people can react to (if I get to type all of it): The moral is clear: We humans should remain centered in our traditional storytelling skills and not allow technology to dicttate the way we communicat

OrangesSmoranges: someone just came over. this virtual stuff is a pain

adrianelibrarian: e and dream. It is a wise lesson; one, indeed this film might ahve profited from

CABartel: I think the movie had a lot of messages. I wouldn't argue that that is one.

adrianelibrarian: Ebert also made the negative comment that the film took almost until the end to find which genre it was comfortable being

OrangesSmoranges: So, this was made in 91 and the car talked to the woman, with the maps and things.

CABartel: A lot of the technology they showed has either happened already or is in process.

OrangesSmoranges: my point exactly

CABartel: About the technology or the genre?

OrangesSmoranges: technology

OrangesSmoranges: cars talk to people now

DSNemitz: The car was basically a GPS system.

DanaVinke: The detective made a few interesting comments, especially in regards to the machine

CABartel: Mhm. And you can be tracked by your credit card.

adrianelibrarian: I think that the mulitple genres were intentional and part of a self-refleixive theme... he was exploring his own use of media to communicate a story at the same time as he was showing media's effect on the characters

OrangesSmoranges: video phones

DanaVinke: He said that even with that expensive computer, you still need a detective

DanaVinke: I felt like saying librarian

CABartel: The ones about "this is where technology ends.."?

adrianelibrarian: how about the pay per use tunnel and the car that gave directions

CABartel: I had the same thought.

DSNemitz: Commodification of everything.

OrangesSmoranges: did anyone else notice that the voice recognition computer was a "SONY", how much did they finance the movie do you think?

CABartel: I seemed to recall Sony on several things. Probably at least a fair amount.

OrangesSmoranges: There was the issue of tech being used for good or bad, with the camera. The govt wanted to steal it so they could use it for 'bad', but the people wanted to use it for 'good'.

CABartel: Although look how that turned out...

adrianelibrarian: well... the attempts to communicate via technology didnt' work. At the end they had to both "see" into the googles and "remember" and at best they came up with 63% or soemthing. yes the technodeterminsm theme was there a little bit

adrianelibrarian: because it ended up being a problem anyway

DanaVinke: Were the dreams that became so addictive in the end a representation of forbidden information?

OrangesSmoranges: maybe

OrangesSmoranges: the info is too human or something

CABartel: I saw it a way of seeing into the soul. It also really smacked of narcisism.

OrangesSmoranges: Isn't it interesting that this film was also (like WOW) very affected by an "electromagnetic field"

adrianelibrarian: I think "seeing" truth through mediated experiences and technology isnt' possible in this film. I noticed that, similarly the "truth drug" didn't work either. Once Claire took it she spoke French to the bounty hunter and he still g

adrianelibrarian: got nowhere

DSNemitz: electromagnetic fields were in the first movie too.

CABartel: It is possible to speak the truth and still have no one understand? That is yet another communication issue in here.

adrianelibrarian: how many of us knew the mother would end up hating the images!

OrangesSmoranges: Same idea too, that tech will go too far and it will wipe us out

adrianelibrarian: I think it's impossible to have someone else see the exact same "truth" partially

CABartel: Supposedly she was the one it was supposed to help. She didn't care about the technology though, she cared about the people.

DSNemitz: Technology, like information, in the hands of the wrong a very bad thing.

OrangesSmoranges: And each truth is different to different people

DanaVinke: When Hurt's character kept having eye problems it made me also think that the act of recording information somehow made you less able to experience it

adrianelibrarian: there was a big theme of alienation in it. the characters in different ways were very alienated from the beginning and tried to use the tech. to over come it but it made things worse

OrangesSmoranges: RIGHT DANA!

DSNemitz: True.

CABartel: It definitely distances you. Just like going overboard on taking photos when you're on vacation.

OrangesSmoranges: do you notice parents at the first b-day party of their baby, with their heads stuck behind cameras? They give up the experience to RECORD IT

DanaVinke: It reminds me of all the people atr disneyland with camcorders

OrangesSmoranges: I am very Anti-camcorder

DSNemitz: Same with cameras on vacation - you interrupt reality to take a picture - a symbol of reality.

OrangesSmoranges: Pro-experience

CABartel: Exactly. And what do they remember afterwards? Only what the film shows.

adrianelibrarian: yes it burned their eyes to become so rapt in images. the movie was saturated with images. There were posters everywhere and even in the japanesse natural setting there were posters and images

OrangesSmoranges: right.

DanaVinke: I do charactitures instead

DanaVinke: sorry about that

OrangesSmoranges: you threw the whole flow off!!! ThANKS

DSNemitz: What about the nuclear satellite? Was that a symbol of man's distruction due to tinkering with nature?

CABartel: I read an article by a man who no longers takes pictures on his trips because he felt that it was damaging his memory, that all he had left afterwards were the photos instead of remembering all the depth of the experience.

DanaVinke: hahaha

DanaVinke: what about the mother

adrianelibrarian: william hurt broke up his family on a pay phone... not in person... more of that alienated by tech. theme. Was the ending ironic or positive? Claire is up there watching but I suppose doing something constructive?

OrangesSmoranges: wow, that is amazing cheryl. But wouldn't you be afraid to do that?

OrangesSmoranges: that maybe your memory will fail you, or you couldn't explain things good enough to people?

DanaVinke: was she informationless or lacking communication because she was blind

DanaVinke: She seemed to be the most balanced

CABartel: I try to walk the line in between. I also like pictures as an art form. I just try not to take it too far.

OrangesSmoranges: But how often does anyone look at their vacation photos and how many people can you force to look at them?

adrianelibrarian: she had her own way of seeing before the googles which i think we were supposed to think was nice and natural... feeling faces, etc.

OrangesSmoranges: yesh, i like the art

OrangesSmoranges: very human-->feeling

DSNemitz: No one likes to look at vacation photos as much as the person who took them because they have positive feelings associated with them.

OrangesSmoranges: depending on your vacation

CABartel: She also understood much more of the information she took in than most of the other characters did.

DanaVinke: the parents were very sensual, that was something that you didn't get from the younger people

adrianelibrarian: I think Wenders was trying to figure out at what point he was conveying meaning through the images he was making and at what point he was creating confussion --maybe

CABartel: The father too? I definitely got that from the mother.

OrangesSmoranges: i dont' think the father so much.

adrianelibrarian: There was an art as a transcendant theme with the Sam Neil character and his typewriter talking about the redemptive healing power of storytelling. if one can't get "truth" one can share interpretations through narrative

DanaVinke: Yes, there were a couple of scenes where he seemed really caring despite his obsession

DSNemitz: true

OrangesSmoranges: he was WAY into technology and didn't seem to care about people

DanaVinke: then it was back to the typewriter

CABartel: He was so involved in what he was going to do, that he couldn't see whether it was a good idea or not.

adrianelibrarian: The dad had serious problems.... he was not being a father to his son and his obsession caused his son to leave his wife and child in turn. He wasn't sensitive to what was really happening with the wife

CABartel: Leading to her death. Pretty extreme!

OrangesSmoranges: But he has a point, why care about people?

OrangesSmoranges: What will be important in the future is the tech that you invent?

DanaVinke: he should have read men are from mars women are from venus

OrangesSmoranges: no kidding!

DanaVinke: He was in the cave

DanaVinke: He was intent on fixing the probelm

OrangesSmoranges: the curly haired babe should have read "Women Who Love Too Much"

DanaVinke: She was annoying

CABartel: People are what keep things going. Even when a lot of the technology stopped, people kept going.

OrangesSmoranges: yep

DanaVinke: back to old technology

adrianelibrarian: The dad had a revealing conversation with Claire. he said the googles showed "the soul singing to itself" and said it was it's own god etc. Claire disagreed. He said it needed nothing and she said no everything." He didn't understan

OrangesSmoranges: but, did you notice that they kept going back to the old tech.

adrianelibrarian: d that he was creating alienation

OrangesSmoranges: crystal radios, typewriters. they needed to start the process over

DSNemitz: backk to old tech, but not wayy back

DanaVinke: What I don't get is why these movies take us back to old technology

DanaVinke: Why not all the way back

OrangesSmoranges: telling us not to throw out the turntables

DanaVinke: It seems to say typewriters are ok, but not computers

DSNemitz: Telling us that technology is not the answer.

CABartel: What about the end where the new satellite tracked pollution levels? And allowed them to celebrate her birthday together?

DanaVinke: Well, it is in small doses

adrianelibrarian: well Wenders is himself using a lot of technology (and huge budget) to make the film in the first place. I think he's trying to say something about using it responsibly... is that part of the ending? it's confusing though

OrangesSmoranges: well, he didn't even know how to type, his computer was voice activated. Maybe tech is ok, if you have to participate more.

DanaVinke: The printing press - good, the cell phone - bad

DanaVinke: Moderation in all things

DSNemitz: That's a good rule

OrangesSmoranges: right

OrangesSmoranges: how about the lab?

OrangesSmoranges: Do all labs have to have water gurgling and 3D brain images circling on computer screens?

CABartel: I think the point is that technology is a tool, and should not take over and dictate how we should live. We should be the ones in charge. But maybe I am just putting my own opinions into the film.

adrianelibrarian: I think not letting mediated experience replace human contact... sort of like we are having problems with now!!!

OrangesSmoranges: you are probably right c

adrianelibrarian: I typed that as Cheryl's comment was coming on screen... I agree Cheryl

OrangesSmoranges: I am not having a problem anymore. Now that this thing works, I think it is AWESOME

DanaVinke: I think that we have probelms because we were not born with this technology

CABartel: Sort of the BF Skinner view? From Walden II?

OrangesSmoranges: OH, my girlfriend has a 1 yr old, I went shopping to get him a present and I could only find one item (in three stores) besides stuffed animals that wasn't operated with batteries.

DanaVinke: Future generations will question where we are going and if we are wise enought to go there

adrianelibrarian: There was a scene after the plane landed where W.Hurt and Claire looked like they were being kicked out of Eden. He had this weird walking stick and there was a song playing about Eden (Lou Reed maybe?)

OrangesSmoranges: So what does that say about todays children

DanaVinke: ludites

CABartel: And she was stuck lugging around the artifact of past technology, the plane door?

OrangesSmoranges: I thought it was interesting that cash had become "dangerous and rare"

CABartel: Just as an aside, wasn't it interesting that the US solution to a dangerous rogue satellite was to shoot it down?

OrangesSmoranges: is it too tangible?

adrianelibrarian: what do we think about the technology available to the bounty hunters to find people? is it like the face matching thing at the superbowl a little? I think also it was symbolic of the characters alienation that they had to go to leg

adrianelibrarian: lengths to "find" people

DanaVinke: I really liked the Bear program

DSNemitz: It was rudimentary looking, but linked a lot of systems together.

adrianelibrarian: as far as the nuke... it's also interesting that the characters in Australia were so obsessed with their invention that they didn't seem to care to try harder to find out if there was mass devestation or not

OrangesSmoranges: yes ch, wasn't this during "star wars" era?

adrianelibrarian: It reminded me of the Bruins! I think I have too many papers. I feel like UCLA is hunting us down!

CABartel: I think so. I also don't think things have really changed much. When confronted with a complex situation, there is still the reaction to just "shoot it down"

OrangesSmoranges: right

DanaVinke: As I remember the rest of the world was quite upset about that

CABartel: I liked the bear program too. I thought it was interested that the program gave you something to look at rather than just telling you what it was doing.

OrangesSmoranges: they were a little loose int he translation with what the "electromagentic field" affected. Why didn't anytihng in the cave stop working?

CABartel: Yes, the impression I got was that the US was really alone on that one.

CABartel: The father muttered something at one point about all of their things being digital, that was about the only explanation I got from it.

OrangesSmoranges: oh, okay, I missed that comment

adrianelibrarian: I was a little annoyed at the portrayal of the aborigionees in that I knew they were going to be unequivocably good guys and set opposite the traps the Von Sydow character was falling into.. but I feel like it dehumainzes them to be

adrianelibrarian: portrayed as all the same and not having the same kind of depth and issues as the other characters. They were a device instead of fleshed out

DanaVinke: You're right, they left at just the right time

OrangesSmoranges: how is that different from every other movie?

adrianelibrarian: well that's part of the problem for me. Its a tired convention. Its the same in Brave New World and many others where natives are sort of noble savages lacking the same range of ups and down as the others even though ostenisbly it's

CABartel: Maybe they were given more detail in the other 2.5 hours of the movie...

adrianelibrarian: showing that their way is better

adrianelibrarian: yes this could be. some of the criticism might not be fair if the product is not what he intended

OrangesSmoranges: good point cheryl

OrangesSmoranges: but I won't sit through it to find out DSNemitz: I think it would have helped me...I felt lost in it.

CABartel: But then again, maybe not. We'll never know!

DanaVinke: Wait for the DVD OrangesSmoranges: you wait for it

CABartel: What D? The other 2.5 hours?

DanaVinke: exactly

adrianelibrarian: are we to assume that the story was "real" or that it turned out to be sam neil's book in the end or even one of her dreams set up in the beginning?

OrangesSmoranges: cheryl? you watched it twice, you would be the best to answer that

CABartel: Since he does the voice over from the very beginning, I took it to be the visual representation of his book.

OrangesSmoranges: ok. It would have been more interesting if it was a dream

DSNemitz: oh thats right

CABartel: With implications that his book was based on something that actually happened.

adrianelibrarian: I think it was set up to seem like an art work a little. Van Sydow says when he meets them something like, " scene two can wait a few more minutes" something like that. I think it's part of the self reflexive theme

OrangesSmoranges: Why would someone write a book with the world in such a state of disorder?

CABartel: I thought the tie-in from opening with her dreams to the dream recording was interesting.

CABartel: Because it would be a fascinating topic.

OrangesSmoranges: but who is going to read it? OrangesSmoranges: does art matter, when you are on the edge of the end of the world? does anything?

CABartel: Sometimes the creative urge has more to do with the creator than it does the audience.

DSNemitz: sometimes you create it for yourself more than others - like a diary

adrianelibrarian: he also played around with so many film conventions. The detective was Noir (esp. when she went to see him with that hat) . they made fun of vampire movies (remember the cross they put at the detective then all three of them laughed

CABartel: And sometimes the act of creating can help the creator make sense of a lot of confusion.

OrangesSmoranges: yes, i know that for sure (no one likes my painting besides me), but isn't it a bit depressing to create something, jsut to have the world enld?

DSNemitz: same reason he kept creating his invention

adrianelibrarian: and also one part reminded me of It Happened one night. there was vaudville music in one part (the japanese arcade) ... I think he was placing his film within the history of film sort of.

CABartel: But the world didn't end, not really.

OrangesSmoranges: right, but who knew?

DSNemitz: for the aborigines, life was the same - oral tradition.

OrangesSmoranges: I don't know, it must be me. Even now with the world in the state it is in, I don't feel very creative.

CABartel: I think the implication was that the world would have to end if technology ground to a halt, but then everyone just kept right on going.

DanaVinke: I am going back to my trusty typewriter

CABartel: And you'll mail us your comments?

OrangesSmoranges: It might take a LONGG time to have a meeting that way.

OrangesSmoranges: speaking of time.....

CABartel: Would it be a good excuse for why we weren't done by the end of the quarter?

CABartel: Yes, we are way over.

DSNemitz: Yes. we should move on.

OrangesSmoranges: ok, moving on.

OrangesSmoranges: When is the next meeting?

DanaVinke: right, do we want talk about the articles? Or call it a day?

OrangesSmoranges: do we even care to try to figure it out.

OrangesSmoranges: no articles, I had somewhere to be at 2.

CABartel: I think today was just for the movie.

adrianelibrarian: can we have our next meeting in person???

OrangesSmoranges: that depends

OrangesSmoranges: on the electromagnetic fields

CABartel: Fine with me! When do we want to do it? Should we talk about it on Wednesday?

OrangesSmoranges: Do we want to just work it out on Wednesday?

OrangesSmoranges: That kind of thing is easiest if we can bicker in person

CABartel: H, you and your electromagnetic fields!

adrianelibrarian: are we going to cut and paste this as our film discussion?

OrangesSmoranges: yes

OrangesSmoranges: ok, good place to end

OrangesSmoranges: see you all on wednesday.

OrangesSmoranges: Oh, wait

CABartel: Okay bye!

DSNemitz: so, are we meeting before class?

DSNemitz: or in class?

OrangesSmoranges: if we don't meet this week, the next week is T-Day

OrangesSmoranges: and who wants to do that?

adrianelibrarian: what is T-Day?

DSNemitz: isnt this wed the presentation?

OrangesSmoranges: thanksgiving

OrangesSmoranges: yes

adrianelibrarian: no.... we have to present the sci-fi talk not the whole website though

OrangesSmoranges: we do have a small presentation

DSNemitz: Oh, okay.

OrangesSmoranges: then a bigger one later

DanaVinke: This one should be rather informal right?

OrangesSmoranges: yes

adrianelibrarian: is cheryl still there?

CABartel: That's what I'm hoping.

CABartel: Yes!

OrangesSmoranges: i think we can get away with just talking about what we have talked about and next time do the website

DSNemitz: good.

CABartel: I think that sounds good.

OrangesSmoranges: ok, lets get off this annoying piece of tech

adrianelibrarian: Can you help me cut and past my librarians with alteregos thing wednesday. at least that could be up.... i haven't done the children's one yet .

OrangesSmoranges: I have taken a copy of it cheryl

CABartel: Not a problem. I can be there by around 12:30?

DanaVinke: ok, then I guess I will see you all on Wednesday

OrangesSmoranges: ok wed

CABartel: Good, I will too, just in case...

DSNemitz: Adriane did you need your pic book images scanned by then?

CABartel: Bye! See you all Wednesday!

adrianelibrarian: I will try to make sure to bring them in since time is running out I guess.

DSNemitz: ok - whatever you can get, we can do.

OrangesSmoranges: ADIOS!

OrangesSmoranges has left the room.

DSNemitz: I'll probably be in the lab at 12.

adrianelibrarian: O.k. Bye everyone I guess I will see Cheryl and others? at 12:30ish. or 12 darlynn? o.k.

DanaVinke: ok, see you all then.

DSNemitz: ok 12ish.

adrianelibrarian: bye

DSNemitz: bye all

adrianelibrarian has left the room.

DSNemitz has left the room.

DanaVinke has left the room.