ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Friday, January 09, 2004                                                                                       View Comments

SIMONE- pop culture commentary, or Religious Allegory?

sent in by Deamond

I rented the Movie "Simone", partly because of my personal interest in CGI (I have Poser 4, 5, 3D Studio Max 5, and some Freeware called Anim8or, but that's a whole other story.)

The movie is about a director who, frustrated with an ultra-demanding lead actress (Winona Reider) begins to use some CGI software called "Simulation One" to create an artificial actress named "Simone".

Reider is replaced in the movie entirely because of a disagreement about a trailer. She wanted the biggest trailer on the lot, and he got a trailer so long they don't even make 'em that long anymore, but the trailer right next to hers happened to be TALLER. He desperately tried to claim the tires were over inflated, but she stormed out anyway, and her lawyer informed him that if even a single frame of Reider's footage is used, she'll sue.

I won't bother explaining how he got the software, but he used it to finish the movie, as well as replace Reider with "Simone".

To his own surprise, the movie is a hit, and everyone is in love with Simone, who everyone believes to be a real person. She's the perfect director's actress; she's pretty, she's obedient to the point of not blinking until she's told, she's completely undemanding, she's got no problem with nudity, she'll do her own stunts, HE'S her make-up artist, and best of all, people believe in her. They admire her, they're obsessed with her, etc. So basically he's go a million dollar actress who doesn't cost a cent!

(Of course, in real life, for CGI characters, like Gollum, you'd still need an Animator, a voice actor, a stand-in for lighting, motion references, etc. So you still wouldn't be saving too much money. But hey! It's a movie.)

on the surface, it's a movie about pop culture, technology, and fame, and all that stuff. But I think there's a more interesting way to look at it;

Towards the end of the movie, the director tried more than once to destroy Simone's image. At one point, making a whole movie called "I Am Pig" (even crediting it as being directed by Simone) in which Simone, wearing a wedding dress, spends the whole movie crawling in mud and eating from a pig though, surrounded by real pigs. Then he pretended she died, but he himself became a suspect for murder.

After the Director's ex-wife and Daughter begin investigating themselves, the ex-wife points out that there's no proof that she doesn't exist, and his daughter points out that she's no proof that she does.

I trust you've spotted the Christian allegory there.

The Director goes to great lengths to explain away the lack of proof that she exists, or create proof that she does. A lot of it contradicts itself (But then, he doesn't necessarily tell the same person more than one excuse.)

At one point, he claims that she's acrophobic, and fears contact with people, At another point, when his ex wife asks why Simone wasn't at a party which she attended, he claimed that Simone WAS there, and shows her an altered photograph taken at the party, with Simone standing behind her.

He also goes to a hotel, planting evidence that a woman was staying there (Which is odd, because in any other country in the world, investigation of such evidence would be illegal. We're talking invasion of privacy, as well as burglary.) A tabloid investigator pays someone to let him in(!!) and then takes (!!) items from the room for further investigation, including lipstick smeared glasses and lingerie. Result; some of the director's fingerprints, A lot of the investigators fingerprints (Lets just say, he enjoyed his visit) but none of Simone's fingerprints.

In spite of this evidence, no one comes to the conclusion that the lingerie in question was never touched by a woman, or that the woman in question does not exist.

Simone did a live TV interview, supposedly from the set of her next movie, a place in the desert.

The investigator recognized the spot, and the tree in the background, and immediately drove out to the spot.

He's not surpised that she'd gone, but what does surprised him is that, in the screenshot from the interview, there was no hotel in front of the mountain in the background, but there is one when he got there. He correctly concluded that he actually used an old library photo and used a computer to place her there, but still didn't figure out that she doesn't exist.

The investigator actually ended up with his own explanation; the Director's keeping Simone locked in a cage as a personal sex slave. Close, but no cigar.

In a deleted scene on the DVD, the investigator brought the director to a woman who he claims is the mother of Simone. She's shown a picture of Simone, and immediately says, "My Baby! My Baby!" He then tests a theory, and indeed, she also said "my Baby" when he showed her his own driver's license. How did the Investigators react to this? He tried to shoo his hand away.

People in the Movie are often claiming to know Simone's will; an actor who was Simone's co-star (but who actually worked with Reider) wanted to work with Simone in her second movie, and claimed she herself told him it'd be a good idea.

Another actor, at a red carpet thing, claimed to be dating Simone, but immediately went into the "why won't you people leave us alone?' act, even punching a paparatzi.

No one has ever seen a god, no one has any proof of the existence of gods, there's no bones, footprints, fingerprints, photographs, recordings, indeed, nothing whatsoever that proves any god exists. And what "Evidence" is there?

Well, there's an old storybook written by humans, there's pieces of moldy bread that almost look like a guy with a beard, there the "feeling" religious fanatics get when they go into epileptic fits and start speaking in gibberish, there's "Faith", here's shapes in clouds,etc.

I once saw, on TV, a glass church (probably actually made of plastic) which had a couple of bens in some of the windows which "The Faithful" were claiming was a image of the Virgin Mary. I thought it looked more like Buddha, although it looked even more like two potatoes. Surely, even the stupidest Christians must have heard of worship tests.

In the crusades, when the Muslims first invaded Bethlehem, the Pope, who had never actually seen Jehovah, GUESSED that God wouldn't be happy, GUESSED that he'd want him to do something about it, and TOLD everyone what he GUESSED God wanted, and they EXCEPTED it as TRUTH! People were fighting and dying because of what some guy probably thought a fictional character may or may not have wanted.

There are girls apparently who admire Mary, and with to be a virgin like her. This is very similar to the scene where Winina comes crawling back to the director with a whole new attitude, slicked-back hair (to make her hair look more artificial, like Simones) and tries to impress him with a more Simone-like acting style. He is impressed, but makes the mistake of mentioning a little dimple in her face that he'd like to incorporate into Simone, which she finds creepy, because she thought he was talking about plastic surgery.

Some scholars believe that 'Virgin Birth" is simply a metaphor used at the time, simply meaning Jesus was born closer to the marriage than he was supposed to be, suggesting he was conceived at a time at which she was SUPPOSED to still be a virgin. Plus, as we all know, Joseph himself doubted her fidelity.

When he's arrested for murder, and claims Simone's a CGI figure,the Authorities string up hundreds of photos, magazine covers etc, as "Evidence" that she existed. I myself have often altered images, and I can usually tell when an image has been altered at first glance. These detectives are not like me.