The Triune Brain

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The Triune Brain

Postby Slade » Fri Jun 17, 2005 6:32 am

This is for you, MM (because I know the subject is one that fascinates you) and any other Sladists who wish to join in.

You'll recall the discussion in CUTTHROAT between Zinc Chandler and Carol Tate about our three-brains-in-one. The reptilian brain - the R-complex - at the top of the spinal cord controls our body language. The irrational limbic system - home to the Four Fs, feeding, fighting, fleeing and sexual relations - controls our emotions. And trying to bronco bust those two is the cerebral cortex, our center of rational thought.

To illustrate the interrelationship of the three, Zinc told Carol the story about the fellow who unexpectedly runs into an old flame in the bar.

Well, I've found the perfect example - two examples actually - of those three brains in action.

On Sunday night, the highlights section of TV GUIDE suggested this: "BEFORE SUNSET. In 1995, director Richard Linklater teamed with actors Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy for the wonderfully simple and sublime drama BEFORE SUNRISE. Nine years later, the trio regrouped for this 2004 sequel, which picks up the lives of Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) nine years after their first enchanted meeting and follows the same story-telling formula - walking and talking through a beautiful European city. Novelist Jesse is in Paris on a book tour and preparing to head home when he unexpectedly encounters Celine. Eager to reconnect and catch up, the duo opt to wander the city streets once again before Jesse has to leave for the airport."

So I watched it.

http://wip.warnerbros.com/beforesunset/

The next day, I went to the video store to get BEFORE SUNRISE.

http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movie ... e_sun.html

Back to back, these two movies illustrate as nothing else I have seen, the three brains in action at once on-screen. Of course, it helps that I'm an Ethan Hawke fan. DEAD POETS SOCIETY is one of my favorite films, and the bathtub scene in TRAINING DAY ranks up there with the Russian roulette scene in THE DEER HUNTER for excruciating tension.

As for Delpy, the wonder of movies is that they create and feed our fantasies, and when it comes to celluloid fantasy women, she's definitely one of mine!

Ooh-la-la!

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Postby MarylandManson » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:31 am

Slade: That's an excellent double-bill recommendation, thank you! I've seen neither of the two films, but I will. As for Hawke, he's also a favorite of mine. GATTACA is the premier Hawke vehicle so far (he's pivotal but still one in the ensemble of DEAD POETS SOCIETY--by the way, I enjoyed that film, but more for Weir than anyone else). And TRAINING DAY remains high on the must-see list. I'll be curious to see how the "Before" movies compare to GREAT EXPECTATIONS, a guilty-pleasure flick that no one else seems to have watched. I loved it for Hawke's performance, the music, and the painterly theme, and Gwyneth wasn't half-bad, either. Besame mucho!

The three brains are quite fascinating. Interesting how, ever since reading about them in CUTTHROAT, I've incorporated that model into my perceptions. It just makes so much sense. And it's interesting to watch one's own inner movie, as well as the actions of others, in those terms.

Given this topic and the forum in which it resides, it might be fun to think about movies, music, and TV in the context of which brain component a work stimulates (I think we can safely eliminate the reptile brain). For example...

When I saw GREAT EXPECTATIONS in the theater (twice), I just let the lush, romantic music, the colorful images, and Gwyneth's sexual appeal wash over me. I didn't (rationally) think about it all too much. I just enjoyed it!

Rock and roll appeals to both the limbic and rational brains. AC/DC is much more toward the limbic brain, King Crimson toward the rational brain. Led Zeppelin is somewhere in the middle.

Of TV shows, the most nerve-wracking I ever saw was the deeply paranoid NOWHERE MAN. And BATTLEFIELD BRITAIN appeals to the rational brain but has enough limbic "kick" to it that it should appeal to a far broader audience than would most historical documentaries.

Well...it all depends on where one finds one's fun. Is it possible to think too much about the brain?

Cheers! MM
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Postby PohlSE » Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:33 pm

I caught a program on one of the discovery channels a few months ago about new car design. One of the things they took into account when designing vehicles was what part of the brain they appealed to. The Hummer, for example, was described as a pure lizard brain vehicle; big, powerful, gives a sense of invulnerability, etc.
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Postby Slade » Fri Jun 17, 2005 4:53 pm

MM & PoulSE,

There's so much that will come out of this discussion once it gets rolling. But the first decision you have to make is in which order will you watch the movies? Will it be SUNSET first (as I did), and thereby have the CASABLANCA experience: "We'll always have Paris." - though actually Vienna? Or do you want to watch the relationship develop from its beginning?

As for the three brains, I have always seen the reptile brain as the least important. But no more. I watched SUNSET on Sunday. I watched SUNRISE on Tuesday. Then I watched SUNRISE again on Wednesday just to study the body language. Note the scene where he reaches for the wayward strand of hair, and how she mimics an American, and how he does Dylan Thomas reading W.H. Auden.

Enthralling!

On Saturday, I'll rewatch SUNSET for the workings of the reptile brain, particularly in the scene where she does Nina Simone.

Oh yeah, and I'm off to the bookstore to get a volume of Auden's poems. The movie reminded me that I've telling myself since I was their SUNRISE age and on my European trek (Was there really a time when you could do Europe on $5 a Day...or am I dreaming?) that I must get into Auden:

But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.

In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you kiss.

In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.

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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:00 am

Okay, folks. It's official. I'm going out on a limb.

BEFORE SUNRISE and BEFORE SUNSET viewed back-to-back is the best romance I have ever seen.

I don't want to get arty-farty on you, but there comes a time when - given the current state of most filmmaking - you feel like you want to scream, to paraphrase John Lennon, Give me some truth!

With luck, someone answers...in fiction:

http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/spring ... is_day.php

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Postby MarylandManson » Sun Jun 19, 2005 2:28 pm

A strong contender for best romance ever--especially when considering the triune brain--would be the "Peter and Assumpta" relationship in the BBC-Ireland series BALLYKISSANGEL, which airs on PBS.

What happens when a young English priest comes into an Irish village (Ardmore and Avoca in real life); breathes in the lush, green, mountain air; and captures the attention of the feisty young beauty who owns and operates the town pub? What body language will they exhibit, what depth of passion will they feel for each other, and how intensely will they put up an intellectual wall of words in denial of their instinctive, profound attraction?

Well, it would take some effort to find out over the course of the first three seasons (26 episodes all told) of the series, especially if one starts from the first episode--which is the only way to do it right. Then there are the DVDs. But for anyone who makes the effort, it's worthwhile.

Here's a deliberately scant overview that gives away no spoilers:

http://www.lpb.org/whatson/britwit/ballykissangel.html

Cheers! MM
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Postby steelclaw32 » Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:18 pm

Nice one good call too MarylandManson :P :P been to both truly beautiful
places, and the pints aren't bad either!!! :D :D :D :D
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Postby Starra » Sun Jun 19, 2005 5:43 pm

I might be guilty of TMI with this post, but the idea of "truthful romance" has piqued my interest.

My love affairs have always been a little bit closer to "Natural Born Killers" than to "Sleepless in Seattle".

Though, I've never gone on a killing spree.

I'm going to check these flix out. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Postby Slade » Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:17 pm

So I sat down at the computer and thought, "Who of the Sladists will be the first to engage me on this? It won't be MM. He always comes through, but he's the Tortoise, not the Hare. If I had to put money on it, I would bet on Starra, PoulSE or Moonflee. Why? Because they're the ones who sought out THE THREE COFFINS and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE in order to partake in the double kickoff in The Well."

Then I thought, "My bet would be on Starra. She wears her heart on her sleeve. But she seems to flying all over the place - Ohio, Ottawa - so she's on the run. No, it will probably be Moonflee or PoulSE."

The Board has developed an ever-changing ebb and flow. The mainstays at one time might step into the background, or suddenly a new voice will burst onto the scene. For me, that's part of the fun.

I imagine some of you are thinking, "Oh boy, Slade is going into some sort of mid-life crisis. He's found two movies - actually one - that feed into his lost youth, and God only knows what this is going to do to the books. Will he switch publishers to Harlequin?"

Actually, there's something much deeper going on, but that will have to wait until one of you engages me on this.

So here they come around the corner and into the final stretch. Is it going to be a predictable crossing of the finish line?

Or is there a dark horse coming up on the outside track?

Carpe diem, folks.

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Postby PohlSE » Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:32 pm

Slade wrote: No, it will probably be Moonflee or PoulSE."


A very flattering way of telling me I talk too much? :lol: :lol:

All jokes aside though, the main reasons I haven't said much on the topic of these films is that I've never seen them and I have never been one for hard-core romance movies. Movies like Love Story just never affected me. Now I can live with a romantic comedy, like Sleepless in Seattle, or even a romance with a historical (or skewed) backdrop, like Titanic or True Romance. But not strait-up romances.

I don't want to drop myself onto the analyst's couch and go digging into all the reasons, but suffice to say it isn't just a 'guy-thing,' its just me.

Slade wrote:Actually, there's something much deeper going on, but that will have to wait until one of you engages me on this.


I'll bite, what is causing this love affair with romance to bloom? The majesty of spring sliding gently into summer, the bird song twittering happily through the air, or are you researching on how to marry off DeClerq? :wink:
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Postby Slade » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:07 am

Come on, PoulSE, you hard-bitten old sea dog, you. Do you really think old Slade would lead you down the garden path of mushy, sentimental crap? No, instead I offer you a thinking man's romance. Berlin is a hard crowd, and this one brought them to their feet. Or do I put you in with the "freedom fries" guys, and chalk it up to the fact she's French?

Goad, goad.

Okay, Moonflee...Looks like it's up to you.

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Postby moonflee » Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:28 am

Slade wrote:Okay, Moonflee...Looks like it's up to you.


Well I did TiVo Before Sunset this weekend.

Your other romantic recommendation, from many moons ago, Love Actually was fantastic.

Also this gore loving - horror movie enthusiast - will always say Casablanca is his favorite film.
Nothing’s so loud
As hearing when we lie
The truth is not kind
And you’ve said neither am I
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Postby moonflee » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:19 am

Well right after that last post I had to go feed mini-moonflee. I flipped through the channel guide and Before Sunrise is on tonight. So I will have both TiVo'ed.

Now I have to get the time to watch them.
Nothing’s so loud
As hearing when we lie
The truth is not kind
And you’ve said neither am I
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Postby MarylandManson » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:29 am

Speaking of CASABLANCA, Slade, I think we deserve some delineation on what the "Before" movies displaced as your "best romance" placers. I'm guessing that MY FAIR LADY, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, and--though I haven't yet seen it--THE LITTLE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER rated high on the Sladian list, as did Bogey and his hill of beans. Also, my guess is that some of the younger Sladists (break out the walkers and incontinence pants, Grandma!) rate SAY ANYTHING and maybe even WHEN HARRY MET SALLY pretty highly...but maybe they're off your radar screen.

And now here's this remark about a "thinking man's romance." Dare I bring up Truffaut's JULES AND JIM? Too bad I've never seen WUTHERING HEIGHTS with Olivier and Oberon--the novel is deep in the zone. But no, the French have huge market share in romance...as seen in the pure cinematic charm of AMELIE. L'amour, toujours!

All of which is just circling around the target until I have my "revenge" for that tortoise remark.

Cheers! MM
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Postby Slade » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:47 am

Moonflee & MM,

Okay, my "romance" recommendations would be mighty ecclectic.

1/ BEFORE SUNRISE/BEFORE SUNSET wins hands down. And to think that as of a week ago tonight, I had never heard of either one! The moral of that story is, Think of all the fantastic stuff out there that will thrill us to the core...if only we can hook up.

2/ THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER. You gotta love the set-up. The chance of finding your perfect soul mate is next to none, but these two have. Now if only this jerk I'm working with would leave me alone to fantasize my way to bliss in peace.

3/ LOVE ACTUALLY. I would love this movie for the Portuguese woman story alone, but to have all the others as well...oh yeah!

More to come,

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