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652031 Posts in 26054 Topics by 3716 Members - Latest Member: Smile_Essence1 November 11, 2019, 04:22:14 PM
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Author Topic: Seconds on Amazon Prime  (Read 971 times)
juggler
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« on: October 16, 2019, 01:09:06 AM »

Heads up...  John Frankenheimer's movie "Seconds" (1966) is among the recently added titles on Amazon Prime Video.
 Since the film has something of an infamous place in Smile-era Beach Boys history, and as I hadn't previously seen it, I decided it to watch it this evening. In my opinion, it's a somewhat mediocre film and certainly not on par with Frankenheimer's best flims such as Manchurian Candidate.  And, of course, the similarities of the movie's "Mr Wilson" character to BW are pure coincidence.   BUT, I have to say, after watching the movie, Brian's interpretation of the film as something of a parody of his life, though objectively wrong, was not completely unreasonable.   There are a heck of a lot similarities and coincidences to see if you're looking for them.  
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 01:13:17 AM by juggler » Logged
JakeH
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 05:36:28 PM »

BUT, I have to say, after watching the movie, Brian's interpretation of the film as something of a parody of his life, though objectively wrong, was not completely unreasonable.   There are a heck of a lot similarities and coincidences to see if you're looking for them.  

Right.  But there really is no way to objectively evaluate whether or not Brian's interpretation of what was on the screen was valid or not.  So, as you've done, you look at it subjectively - from Brian's p.o.v. at the time, and then you see that, like you said, it's "not completely unreasonaable." I would use stronger language that that - it's actually "very reasonable," for Brian to be spooked; his response was valid, given the way his life had been going up to that point.   What Brian was wrong about was the idea that the film was intentionally financed and made with the specific purpose of spooking Brian Wilson, individually.  That was basically paranoia, which is generally thought of as a kind of psychological defense mechanism to guard against, and/or rationalize emotions and feelings (such as, in Brian's case, tremendous anxiety and fear) whose true cause remains hidden or denied.  Remember, Brian was already hearing voices by this point, which it's fair to assume was a secret that he wasn't telling anyone. (that is, I've never read any comment from anyone who knew Brian in the 1960s saying, "yeah, Brian was telling me that he was hearing voices." All they saw was that this guy was "weird" or "paranoid" or whatever)

Seconds, in the end, is a mind-gangster film (like Manchurian Candidate). Mind control.  Of course, what happens to Rock Hudson in the movie represents what would happen to Brian in real life during the 1980s, and in many ways what had been occurring in his life under the Hawthorne-based abuse and mind-gangsterism of [fill-in-the-blank]  In Seconds, the mind gangsters are doctors, technicians, businessmen (if I remember correctly).  In Manchurian Candidate the mind-gangsters are communists, and with the preeminent mind-gangster being the mother of the main character, which means that the guy is basically screwed.

Apprently, while filming Seconds, Rock Hudson (who it can be said, was in some ways leading a publlicly false life - living a lie) had some sort of an emotional breakdown. Another anecdote: The screenwriter of Seconds took a friend of his to a screening of the film when it came out. In the middle of the movie, the friend gets up and walks out of the theater. The writer follows him and asks, what's wrong, dont you like the movie? The friend tells him, something like, "I can't watch this movie. This is my life up there on screen, I can't take it." (source for this is a book on Rock Hudson called "Idol") So there's that; Brian wasn't alone. And in fact the movie did poorly at the box office probably because people stayed away once word got out.

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juggler
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 06:27:38 PM »

That's interesting info about Rock Hudson.

Yes, obviously it's tough to duplicate the experience of watching it from Brian's perspective, but just knowing public information about his history, I was sitting there thinking... hmmm, yeah, I can kinda see his point...
"Mr Wilson" having a brief panic attack on an airplane... check
"Mr Wilson"  moving into an upscale, modern house in Southern California... check
Some random guy in an airport saying to him, "Where's the fire?"... check
Long, extended beach shots and scenes... check
"Mr Wilson" actually making some kind of mention of hearing voices in his head... check
"Mr Wilson" being a kind of square guy who gets caught up in a hippie bacchanal ... check

And that's just for starters.  And, of course, for someone who had gone from anonymous young man in Hawthorne to world-famous, avant-garde musical genius in 4 or 5 years, there had to have been resonance with just the overall premise of Mr Wilson taking on a new identity as an artist and radically changing his life.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 06:28:56 PM by juggler » Logged
rn57
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2019, 05:18:53 PM »

If youíre not an Amazon Prime subscriber, Seconds can be seen for free here:

https://archive.org/details/John.Frankenheimer..Seconds.1966angeeParaZoowoman.website

Fast forward to the 20 minute mark if you want to start at the point Brian walked in to see it.... though I should add that even when seen from the beginning this is uneasy viewing and if watched after dark preferably should not be seen alone.

Iíve discussed Seconds a bit in other topic threads about the movie here so will just note, again, that the casting of two actors playing the same person naturally brings Love and Mercy to mind though I donít know if Bill Pohlad had seen this film before deciding to use two actors to play Brian. That said there are definite similarities between the second half of L&M and the second and third ďactsĒ of Seconds....
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hideyotsuburaya
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2019, 11:12:16 AM »

"...., though objectively wrong, was not completely unreasonable."

I swear I haven't a clue what that means but I certainly like the sound of it for the time being

"Mr. Wilson" is of course given considerable lip-service courtesy Mason Gamble in another major motion-picture DENNIS THE MENACE

If Rock Hudson suffered a nervous breakdown while filming SECONDS no doubt he sought treatment for it from (do I have to say) Eugene Landy
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 07:15:41 AM by hideyotsuburaya » Logged
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