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 Post subject: The plot hole thread!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:49 pm 
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A place to ask questions and make wild accusations about my lazy storytelling. I doubt any of our crew here has much to post, but on the sage advice of our moderator this is where I will direct all twitter questions. I'll try to check in and diplomatically answer as many as I can, and we'll see if this works.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:50 pm 
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OK.

Old Seth is immediately diced-up as young Seth is being sliced up.
Old Seth is not bleeding. He has scars, as in old healed wounds.
It is possible that young Seth was kept alive in this condition, though highly unlikely.
(A very effective expansion on a similar scene in Frequency.)
However, when young Joe shoots himself, old Joe vanishes. There is no body.
Thus, now old Joe did not exist, yet there is the car he drove and the gold.
How is it that there exists two opposing outcomes to similar scenarios?
Why didn't old Joe just die with the same wounds as young Joe just inflicted???

(Some say:If old Joe didn't exist, then young Joe wouldn't have shown up to stop him.
Then young Joe wouldn't need to shoot himself. Then old Joe would exist. Infinity.)
Other fans can pm me if my question needs editing or if you want to offer your opinions.
Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:25 pm 
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The man in the gun closet is clearly an apple peddler from Prague.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:19 pm 
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This:
futuro.asesinos wrote:
Old Seth is not bleeding. He has scars, as in old healed wounds.

Contradicts this:
futuro.asesinos wrote:
Why didn't old Joe just die with the same wounds as young Joe just inflicted???


My take on all the "BUT IF JOE NEVER GOT OLD WHY IS ANYONE EVEN WHERE THEY ARE" is that according to Looper's rules of time travel, the only thing you can affect is your own body. You can't change events that have already happened. Therefore: you can put scars on the body of Old You, and you can make Old You disappear if you die. But you can't make objects disappear (Old Seth's car, the gold on the road), and you can't undo events (Young Joe's body is still there, even though if Old Joe never existed he technically never had reason to be there).

As far as after-effects go, I personally like the idea about memories growing hazy and fading. Old Joe doesn't forget his wife, but she gets harder to remember. Sara didn't instantly forget Joe, but maybe in the years to come she'll remember the events differently. Maybe she won't be able to remember why Joe came to her farm in the first place, but she'll remember he was there, and that he died to save Cid.

An important thing to remember that most Looper detractors seem to have forgotten is, say it with me now, time travel hasn't been invented yet. And it may never be. It might be impossible. Therefore, there are no rules, except the ones each work of fiction sets for themselves. You can't apply Back to the Future rules to Looper, you can't apply H.G. Wells rules to Terminator. Nothing is set in stone. Because it may be impossible, anything is possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Justin wrote:
The man in the gun closet is clearly an apple peddler from Prague.


Also he's Old Rian.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:28 am 
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In conversation I've started referring to Looper's time travel as "expressive consequence"; the purpose of it is to always immediately reveal the effect of a character's decisions on themselves and the world around them.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:03 am 
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Once again...this is for posting plot hole questions directed toward Rian.

If you don't have a question to post, please don't load this thread with your comments.
Start your own thread or private message those who post questions for Rian here.
Simple enough?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:44 am 
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Hey look everyone, we got a new moderator!

Oh wait, we didn't? Carry on then.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:50 am 
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Last edited by maxfrost on Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:49 am 
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futuro.asesinos wrote:
Once again...this is for posting plot hole questions directed toward Rian.

If you don't have a question to post, please don't load this thread with your comments.
Start your own thread or private message those who post questions for Rian here.
Simple enough?


Futuro, this is a forum. It exists for discussion. If you only want to hear from Rian, you are welcome to ignore other commentary. But this would be a very dull place if we just sat around waiting for Rian to chime in.

Now, play nice.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Ultimately what I liked about the film is that it had two science fiction "buys." "Buys" being defined here as two sub-genre elements of science fiction/fantasy. I.E. Come for the time-travel stay for the TK. What I find interesting about both those plot elements is that they are actually classically fantasy elements and not science-fiction per se. So, it almost gives you (Mister Johnson) some flexibility with the genre to talk about important things like raising children, being loyal to your wife, selflessness, etc.

I guess my plot hole submission would come with how the film treats the exposition of time-travel. You can't really explain TK, but you can explain time-travel. The film seems to push away from explaining time-travel, it almost rally's against it; that line Mr. Willis has about how he and Joe would be drawing diagrams with straws is an example of this.

I keep seeing Rian have to explain on twitter that the time machine is "not adjustable." I really think if there had even been two lines of exposition where Abe said, "I'm from the future, it's not adjustable." or some sort of established rule beyond the "wound in present is wound in present future" there would have been more clarity to the time-travel element of the plot. As it ended up there seems to be more flexibility in the narrative there, but as it ended up, the TK plot becomes more relevant to the story at hand.

Which I guess brings me to my most inherent frustration with the narrative. When Joe kills himself as the end, it's played off as a selfless act. Something he does in order to prevent the rainmaker from ever occurring. But ultimately I disagree, it comes off to me as very selfish. I don't believe in self-sacrifice as being the answer to a problem, I think it reaffirms that Joe learns nothing the whole film and just ends up not changing at all.

Which is fine, I'm fine with that, because the movie is actually about Cid and Sara right? It's about their future, it's not a story about Joe anymore, but the film is descends into montage. I'm given around 3 to 5 minutes to digest that somehow this single mother is going to raise her son right because she has a lot of gold now? I wish there was a scene that showed me something at the end beyond that, I really do- because it would have but a solid closed loop on their plot line. Something beyond Cid in a bath, maybe her and Cid go into town to a General Store (leaning on the western theme) and they see a poor child and Cid asks "Why?" and she has to explain something to him. To me the ending as it is violates the "show don't tell" rule. The film is telling me that the Loop is closed, but not showing me.

Edit: Obligatory rant apology. Read at your own risk.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:58 am 
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circuitsnake wrote:
Which I guess brings me to my most inherent frustration with the narrative. When Joe kills himself as the end, it's played off as a selfless act. Something he does in order to prevent the rainmaker from ever occurring. But ultimately I disagree, it comes off to me as very selfish. I don't believe in self-sacrifice as being the answer to a problem, I think it reaffirms that Joe learns nothing the whole film and just ends up not changing at all.

Which is fine, I'm fine with that, because the movie is actually about Cid and Sara right? It's about their future, it's not a story about Joe anymore, but the film is descends into montage. I'm given around 3 to 5 minutes to digest that somehow this single mother is going to raise her son right because she has a lot of gold now? I wish there was a scene that showed me something at the end beyond that, I really do- because it would have but a solid closed loop on their plot line. Something beyond Cid in a bath, maybe her and Cid go into town to a General Store (leaning on the western theme) and they see a poor child and Cid asks "Why?" and she has to explain something to him. To me the ending as it is violates the "show don't tell" rule. The film is telling me that the Loop is closed, but not showing me.


I disagree. To me, the reason why this was told, not shown, is because it is not a fact.
The yellowish flashforwards that Young Joe has right before he shoots himself are not the future that will definately be when Old Joe kills Cid's mom, it's just what Young Joe thinks might happen.
So the reason it was not shown that Sara and Cid become happy, is that Cid might still become the rainmaker. We don't know if anything the Joe's did made any difference. Maybe the reason he becomes the rainmaker doesn't happen until Cid is fifteen.
So we are told everything will be good know, because that is what Joe thinks will happen, and is still a possibility in those moments right after Young Joe shoots himself, but nobody knows this.
So if we had seen Sara being a perfect Huxtable-type mother, this would've taken away, for me, the minority report style ending of 'maybe nothing is solved and the ending is not good at all, maybe Joe just thinks he saved the day, but all he did is just commit suicide (and save Old Joe's wife, because he can't meet her anymore)'. The film has a false happy ending.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:53 am 
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I don't think the film says "Cid will grow up good because his mother now has money". I think it says "Cid might grow up good because his mother loves him". The turning point in Cid's journey (which is of equal importance, I think, to Joe's) is that he finally acknowledges Sara as his mother, that she's not a "liar", as he accused her of being previously.

The film's thesis is - I'm pretty sure - about the importance of motherhood and parenting (there are no real fathers in the film; the closest is Abe talking about his grandfather). One of the earliest lines of dialogue is the hobo yelling at Seth that "[Seth's] mother didn't raise him right".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:43 am 
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futuro.asesinos wrote:
OK.

Old Seth is immediately diced-up as young Seth is being sliced up.
Old Seth is not bleeding. He has scars, as in old healed wounds.
It is possible that young Seth was kept alive in this condition, though highly unlikely.
(A very effective expansion on a similar scene in Frequency.)
However, when young Joe shoots himself, old Joe vanishes. There is no body.
Thus, now old Joe did not exist, yet there is the car he drove and the gold.
How is it that there exists two opposing outcomes to similar scenarios?
Why didn't old Joe just die with the same wounds as young Joe just inflicted???

(Some say:If old Joe didn't exist, then young Joe wouldn't have shown up to stop him.
Then young Joe wouldn't need to shoot himself. Then old Joe would exist. Infinity.)
Other fans can pm me if my question needs editing or if you want to offer your opinions.
Thanks


You can illustrate what's happening using timelines, but it gets complicated very quickly. It also requires acknowledging that we're seeing these timelines from an experiential point of view and not a map-like point of view, which is hard to wrap your head around.

The more clear way I think of it is the older self is in an envelope of causality. So any changes that are made to the younger self, the universe tries to duplicate as best it can in the older self. It's as if he's in a bubble from the future, if that makes sense.

And either way you approach it, we clearly play out the rule that what has happened has happened until it changes - things are not retroactively adjusted in the timeline, and the world itself it not adjusted at all, just the physical state of the time traveller.

As for Seth - if you think about his actual injuries, there is no reason at all he couldn't live for the next 30 years. It's all cosmetic damage and loss of extremities, which could be replaced with artificial limbs.

(Also, everything Sarah said about the forum. And welcome!)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:01 am 
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circuitsnake wrote:
Ultimately what I liked about the film is that it had two science fiction "buys." "Buys" being defined here as two sub-genre elements of science fiction/fantasy. I.E. Come for the time-travel stay for the TK. What I find interesting about both those plot elements is that they are actually classically fantasy elements and not science-fiction per se. So, it almost gives you (Mister Johnson) some flexibility with the genre to talk about important things like raising children, being loyal to your wife, selflessness, etc.

I guess my plot hole submission would come with how the film treats the exposition of time-travel. You can't really explain TK, but you can explain time-travel. The film seems to push away from explaining time-travel, it almost rally's against it; that line Mr. Willis has about how he and Joe would be drawing diagrams with straws is an example of this.

I keep seeing Rian have to explain on twitter that the time machine is "not adjustable." I really think if there had even been two lines of exposition where Abe said, "I'm from the future, it's not adjustable." or some sort of established rule beyond the "wound in present is wound in present future" there would have been more clarity to the time-travel element of the plot. As it ended up there seems to be more flexibility in the narrative there, but as it ended up, the TK plot becomes more relevant to the story at hand.


This seems to be a big question that all of our time travel friends keep coming back to - the movie's responsibility to not just show the rules in action, but to tell in detail the mechanics of those rules. My approach in the film is to show, not tell. If you think that the rules change based on the needs of the story, as someone who spent two years setting those rules in stone and making sure the story stuck to them I'd ask you to go back through it and have another look. The rules are consistent, and though like all time travel rules they create their own framework of quasi-logic, within that framework they are rock solid.

The implication that because of that diner line I'm asking the audience to not think about time travel sets my teeth on edge, because that is actually the exact opposite of what your true complaint is. You're not accusing me of asking you to not think about time travel - you're accusing me of making you think about time travel. Instead of spelling it all out with lines of exposition, I'm presenting a working world, and if you want to think it through and figure out how it works, it's designed to stand up to that scrutiny. The one thing I'm not doing is connecting the dots for you. The non-adjustable time machine is a good example. I don't spend a line of dialogue explaining it. Why? Because if you care about it, and if you look at the way this looping system works and how it's all set up, you have two options: 1. Assume the time travel machine can be adjusted and the movie makes no sense, or 2. Assume the time travel machine is not adjustable, in which case the way it's set up and the way all the characters use it makes total sense. Having built and clearly shown a world where only option 2 makes sense, I reject that idea that it's my responsibility as a storyteller to explicitly tell the audience that it's option 2.

circuitsnake wrote:
Which I guess brings me to my most inherent frustration with the narrative. When Joe kills himself as the end, it's played off as a selfless act. Something he does in order to prevent the rainmaker from ever occurring. But ultimately I disagree, it comes off to me as very selfish. I don't believe in self-sacrifice as being the answer to a problem, I think it reaffirms that Joe learns nothing the whole film and just ends up not changing at all.

Which is fine, I'm fine with that, because the movie is actually about Cid and Sara right? It's about their future, it's not a story about Joe anymore, but the film is descends into montage. I'm given around 3 to 5 minutes to digest that somehow this single mother is going to raise her son right because she has a lot of gold now? I wish there was a scene that showed me something at the end beyond that, I really do- because it would have but a solid closed loop on their plot line. Something beyond Cid in a bath, maybe her and Cid go into town to a General Store (leaning on the western theme) and they see a poor child and Cid asks "Why?" and she has to explain something to him. To me the ending as it is violates the "show don't tell" rule. The film is telling me that the Loop is closed, but not showing me.

Edit: Obligatory rant apology. Read at your own risk.


Obviously I disagree, but that's something I probably shouldn't engage with, because it's more a debate about thematics of the film. I will say that I don't think my ending has a problem of "telling not showing" so much as "not showing you exactly what you wanted to see."

I will also give you a big hug right now and say "good talk." :-)


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