In “Looper,” this year’s dose of existential quandary set to science fiction aesthetics, Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “The Brothers Bloom”) directs Joseph Gordon-Levitt as one version of Joe, an assassin who finds himself marked to kill or be killed by his older self, played by Bruce Willis. Intermission was lucky enough to pick the brains of director Rian Johnson and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Here the two reflect on just a sampling of the questions “Looper” raises.
Since the beginning of summer, I have intended to write an article on what I call the Stanford Perception Syndrome: an effect I’ve observed that occurs when people treat Stanford students/alumni according to a preconceived notion of them. Sometimes–thankfully, usually–this has positive consequences, like assuming a level of capability or know-how. But sometimes it feels challenging, almost hostile, and sometimes–not to go all Gretchen Wieners-levels of “Sorry I’m popular” and fall into a crowd of un-extended arms–it feels bitter.
The world of progressive, meat-eating Southerners was rocked weeks ago when our beloved–anointed, even–Chick-fil-A announced its horribly backwards stance on gay marriage (it’s against it). Not only is this a blow because of the general anti-free-love vibes which are just harshing my mellow, but also because I love Chick-fil-A. I mean, I want to boycott the restaurant, but it’s just so good. (But is it too good?) This is no new conundrum; people have been conflicted with whether to buy or boycott since the less-than-glamorous Boston Tea Party–though we’d like to believe that that self-inflicted embargo was because of the subjugation of India and not high tea prices.
You know that feeling when you’re watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and you really just want Kim and Kourt to apologize to Khloe, by far the funniest and most verbally abused one in the family, but that little part of you creepily hopes Kim will leave her a scathing voicemail, just to keep the tension soaring? That’s just like watching the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Media voices have been quick to defend “The Dark Knight Rises,” a violent action movie based on a comic book, against blame for having influenced or caused this senseless massacre. And though in the end, the film truly can’t be blamed for recent events, the relationship between the shooting and the violence depicted in the film certainly needs to be examined.
Fine. I don’t like “The Dark Knight.” In fact, I will say that I hate “The Dark Knight,” if only because everyone else is so utterly, blindly and unquestioningly in love with “The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan and matte black that I just can’t take it anymore. I’m coming out of my reticent party corner to dispel these ridiculous misconceptions of what could and should have been the greatest movie of our time, and why it spiraled so delicately into a pile of simply written dialogue and morally lofty set pieces.
Stanford is the only school I ever wanted to go to–before I knew it was hard to get in to, before I knew it was even a good school. I just thought it was cute. Like most things in life, I was attracted to the packaging. Call me shallow but it worked out, amirite?