Sunday, August 25, 2013

12 pubs, 12 questions about Edgar Wright's The World's End

1) How, exactly, do the 12 pubs in The World's End work as "tarot cards" that "prefigure" events in the movie? The pubs' names are The First Post, The Old Familiar, The Famous Cock, The Cross Hands, The Good Companions, The Trusty Servant, The Two Headed Dog, The Mermaid, The Beehive, The King's Head, The Hole in the Wall, and The World's End.

2) How does The World's End explore its central theme of freedom vs. middle-aged enslavement in the system? As Gary (Simon Pegg) says to his four friends at one point, "You're all jealous, because I'm free and you are all slaves."

3) Are the light-emitting capabilities of the antagonists of The World's End allusions to Village of the Damned (1960) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986)?

4) How much of the threat of The World's End the loss of cultural individuality in terms of the "Starbucking" of one's home town as the chains overtake it? How much is the threat the loss of personal individuality due to the pressures of conformity when one grows up and joins the workforce?

5) How is this scene in The Wild Angels (1966) important? The World's End alludes to it twice.

6) How do both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The World's End explore the idea of the pub as a refuge?

7) Edgar Wright admitted that he was influenced by the Syd Field paradigm of screenwriting when he composed Shaun of the Dead (complete with plot points). Does The World's End follow the same pattern?

8) Wright tends to use lots of close ups and wipe cuts in a given scene. What kind of editing syntax does he tend to use? (Note: I'm in awe of the editing of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010).)

9) In terms of film technique, is The World's End something of a retreat from the comic/videogame allusive innovations of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? As Guillermo del Toro pointed out, "Scott Pilgrim is the first movie to articulate our popular culture."

10) Why do different characters narrate the beginning and end of The World's End?

11) How much is The World's End an attack on the baleful international influence of Facebook and Apple?

12) As Edgar Wright said, "Are you in or are you out? Are you going to be a McPerson, or are you going to be completely off the grid?"

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