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Author Topic: 8 Mile Review
Michael Hardner
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posted 07 November 2002 12:35 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
8 Mile is about a white rapper, Rabbit - well played by Emminem (sp?) - who is trying to get a foothold in the entertainment industry with his art. He is a young while male growing up in the largely black inner city of Detroit.

The film's theme is individual strength in the face of adversity. I don't find this particularly interesting, especially since the film makes no effort to examine WHY the inner city hell-hole Rabbit lives in exists. The socio-cultural aspect of inner city life is treated as though it's as unchangable as the weather, and that's sad.

But the theme IS classic American, and it keeps the story going. At the end, Rabbit reaches a milestone, but he is by no means finished his work so it's not the Hollywood ending which would have ruined the film.

What did keep me interested was the primer on rap culture that has so far been unfathomable to me. The film achieves a remarkable crossover in communicating what the culture is about, it's strengths and its weaknesses.

For example, there are scenes where Rabbit, at break beside the coffee truck outside his factory workplace, joins some spontaneous rapping with his co-workers. In other scenes, Rabbit rhymes with his friends. The words are real. It's about their lives, their problems their world.

I feel that I better understand how rap fits in with other American art forms as a result of this film.

I recommend 8 Mile to fans and non-fans alike.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 07 November 2002 01:53 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'd rather cut off my left tit than support a movie about Eminem. I am not interested in supporting that misoginistic little prick. The title track on the soundtrack is him whining that the only way he can afford to feed his family is if he makes it as a rapper. I guess getting an education just didn't occur to him, or maybe birth control until he could afford a child?

And furthermore, a movie about rap culture should not star a white guy. How about a movie about Tu-pac, or Grand Master Flash or Run DMC. Not a stupid white kid appropriating another culture for profit.

He never takes any responsibilty for what he says or the influence he has. It's not censorship to not want a women-hater who talks about killing his wife or gang-raping a guy's virgin sister off the radio . And the excuse that he makes great beat and is good at rhyming and that is why someone listens to him are just not good enough answers for me. If a racist, encouraging crubing sounds like Shakespeare it doesn't make it okay to ignore the content for the pretty window dressings.

And if Eminem plays himself well, is that a surprise? Was it a surprise that Courtney Love plays a good heroin addict? Come on, acting isn't about being yourself.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 07 November 2002 02:19 PM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'd rather cut off my left tit than support a movie about Eminem.

It's not about him, exactly. It's a fictional story that bears close resemblance to his life.

quote:

I am not interested in supporting that misoginistic little prick. The title track on the soundtrack is him whining that the only way he can afford to feed his family is if he makes it as a rapper. I guess getting an education just didn't occur to him, or maybe birth control until he could afford a child?

Interestingly, I don't think that song actually appears in the film.

He seems to be shouting more in the song, then whining.

quote:

And furthermore, a movie about rap culture should not star a white guy. How about a movie about Tu-pac, or Grand Master Flash or Run DMC. Not a stupid white kid appropriating another culture for profit.

Actually, if the movie bears any resemblence to his life his culture IS black culture, despite the colour of his skin.

Those other movies would be good ideas, too, I think. The only other rap movies I've seen in the video stores look like lame comedies...

quote:

He never takes any responsibilty for what he says or the influence he has. It's not censorship to not want a women-hater who talks about killing his wife or gang-raping a guy's virgin sister off the radio . And the excuse that he makes great beat and is good at rhyming and that is why someone listens to him are just not good enough answers for me. If a racist, encouraging crubing sounds like Shakespeare it doesn't make it okay to ignore the content for the pretty window dressings.

This isn't about the film so much as it is about him.

I never really understood how this new dominant youth culture swept in without a deluge of public criticism from social progressives. I think it may be because they felt uneasy about criticizing black artists for the content of their work, but feel less guilty for criticizing E for the same thing.

I'm not sure.

The party line from the artists is that it's all characterization - they're not promoting the values they rap about, it's the character they're playing promoting those values... blah blah blah - but that's a little too convenient for me to believe easily.

As for the young people that buy this stuff, I always swore that I wouldn't curse the music of young people as I got older. But it really makes you wonder. Most young people I talk to say the same thing about rap, video games, and movies -> it's not real, and they don't take it seriously.

quote:

And if Eminem plays himself well, is that a surprise? Was it a surprise that Courtney Love plays a good heroin addict? Come on, acting isn't about being yourself.

Actually, as an actor I can say that it can be very different to let yourself alone enough to be "natural". Many Hollywood actors have made careers of playing themselves. I don't recall any great characterizations from Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, or Helen Hunt for example.


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 07 November 2002 02:37 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Real Slim Shady?
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 07 November 2002 02:40 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
bd: I confess I don't understand that article at all.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 07 November 2002 04:23 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's from GNN. It's not suppose to make much sense.

Scout, white-assed honkies aren't allowed to freestyle with the best of da black brothers, g? We's got to fuse da MC with da vibes he's kickin'? You whack?

I just want to add that I had to read Hemmingway in school. My CD collection is strewn with lyrics like "I wanna fuck you like an animal", "ya got a bullet in you're fucking head" and "white trash get on your knees, time for cake and sodomy." Pop culture hasn't been this bad since there was no separation of church and state.

I suspect that a lot of hip-hop is about phony imagery, too. Hell, the industry spits out ten-year olds who go, "word-up" and cross their arms like a good crack-dealer. Those kids are no more "legit" than Britney.

quote:
Should Eminem make that leap, he will hardly be the first pop rebel to do so. When you are the No. 1 act in music, no matter how provocative your songs or how ugly your rap sheet, the culture industry has a vested interest not merely in protecting the franchise but also in expanding it. Moral scolds can condemn each new rock phenomenon as loudly as they like -- as they have been doing since the 1950's -- but the music is just too contagious and the money too dizzying for anyone in authority to counter the power of a roaring market. Thus has Mick Jagger, the antichrist of Altamont, become both a knight and an establishment corporate franchise, celebrated as a C.E.O. on the cover of Fortune. Ozzy Osbourne is a lovable TV star. Yesterday's ''Revolution'' can always be tomorrow's Nike commercial.

If there's a particular template for Eminem's career at this early point, it's that of the young Elvis (a comparison that Eminem hates). Both men took a musical form invented by African-Americans and gave it a popular white face. But Eminem has advantages Elvis did not. He writes his own idiosyncratic material rather than singing anyone else's songs. His mentor isn't a white Machiavelli like Colonel Parker, but the legendary hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, whose endorsement gave him instant credibility with black and white audiences alike and shielded him from accusations of cultural theft. (''I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley, to do black music so selfishly and use it to get myself wealthy'' goes one of the many Eminem lyrics in which he pre-empts any such criticism.)



Mr Ambasodor

On the movie:

quote:
How is Eminem as an actor? Better than Sinatra in Robin and the 7 Hoods, worse than Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate. Worse than Elvis in Jailhouse Rock, better than Vanilla Ice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. Better than Madonna. On the one hand, when that mechanic-from-Hamtramck nose fills the screen it's hard to see him getting romantic lead parts. On the other hand, the guy has a hard look in his eye that would kill an iceberg.

8 Mile's flimsy script is made interesting by a good director and a charismatic star. What makes it important, maybe, is its belief that race doesn't matter. Working the stamping plant during the day, hanging with an integrated and uniformly motley crew at night, Rabbit is at home in the company of his fellow impoverished. The movie doesn't just provide the trailer trash; it shows the rusty septic tank behind the trailer. Race, it says, is exploited by those who stand to gain from dividing the masses—leaders of the free world, MCs looking for an edge. Hunger defines all: It generates realness and wins over a skeptical house.


Crossover dream

I don't know if I'll see this movie. I don't mind Eminem, but rapping isn't my thing. If I want to see a music movie, I'll go watch This is Spinal Tap.

[ November 07, 2002: Message edited by: clockwork ]


From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
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posted 07 November 2002 04:28 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How do ya mean, VT? The authour's own self-aggrandizment aside. I think the point is that what makes Eminem so "dangerous" is that he's both hugely popular and very critical of the contemporary social/political structure, a combination that is bound to make some individuals very nervous. Now, granted, Eminem's lyrics are designed to dredge up controversy (no such thing as bad press, eh?) and I'm sure most kids buying the Eminem Show do it for the piss of the folks factor as oppossed to socio-political insights, but for what it's worth, I respect his market savvy.

quote:

So to the parents of America
I am the derringer aimed at little Erica, to attack her character
The ringleader of this circus of worthless pawns
Set to lead the march right up to the steps of Congress
And piss on the lawns of the White House
and replace it with a Parental Advisory sticker
To spit liquor in the face in this democracy of hypocrisy


Fuck you Ms. Cheney!

Fuck you Tipper Gore!

Fuck you with the freest of speech this divided states of embarassment will allow me to have,



From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 07 November 2002 04:39 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Scout, white-assed honkies aren't allowed to freestyle with the best of da black brothers, g? We's got to fuse da MC with da vibes he's kickin'? You whack?

Sure they can, I was merely addressing Michael H. mentioning that this movie was his rap history lesson. I think Def Jam might be a better source for a history lesson that Eminem.

quote:
I just want to add that I had to read Hemmingway in school. My CD collection is strewn with lyrics like "I wanna fuck you like an animal", "ya got a bullet in you're fucking head" and "white trash get on your knees, time for cake and sodomy." Pop culture hasn't been this bad since there was no separation of church and state.

Me too? I think I am missing your point.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 07 November 2002 04:47 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Scout, white-assed honkies aren't allowed to freestyle with the best of da black brothers, g? We's got to fuse da MC with da vibes he's kickin'? You whack?

Sure they can, I was merely addressing Michael H. mentioning that this movie was his rap history lesson. I think Def Jam might be a better source for a history lesson that Eminem.

quote:
I just want to add that I had to read Hemmingway in school. My CD collection is strewn with lyrics like "I wanna fuck you like an animal", "ya got a bullet in you're fucking head" and "white trash get on your knees, time for cake and sodomy." Pop culture hasn't been this bad since there was no separation of church and state.

Me too? I think I am missing your point.


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
clockwork
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posted 07 November 2002 05:11 PM      Profile for clockwork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sure Scout. Like I said, rap music ain't my thing although I do like some of it.

And my point, as I thought was kinda brought up before, is that we'll see this type of stuff again and again.

You also said:

quote:
I am not interested in supporting that misoginistic little prick.

to which my Hemmingway reference was directed. As I understand, he was a bit of a misogynistic little prick, too. I'm not saying Eminem is analogous Hemmingway, but I was under the impression that Eminem is critically acclaimed.

From: Pokaroo! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 09 November 2002 04:22 AM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had assumed just from the couple trailers I saw that this movie would be just like Britney's "Crossroads" only with a different setting and characters. A stupid movie, with a weak plot, and annoying characters played by even more annoying entertainers. But some of my friends have said it won't be like that at all. I'll wait to hear what they think after they see it before I form a new judgement.

No matter what, though, I still dislike eminem. He's a sour, homophobic, misogynistic, prima donna. Why waste the $8.50 to see it on a big screen on the weekend, when I can just sit in on a grade 9 compulsory class on monday, and see the same thing for free?


From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 09 November 2002 06:02 AM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'm not saying Eminem is analogous Hemmingway, but I was under the impression that Eminem is critically acclaimed.

By some critics. However, I'm not sure it's deserved. We'll have to look back in twenty years and see what we think then. It's pretty "uncool" not to like him.

I wish he'd cut it with the women-hating/anti-queer bullshit. And stop singing. I think he's pretty talented apart from that.

Also, Hemingway (one M, sorry to mention, but that one's kinda crucial) didn't write about raping or killing women. Mind you, I think Eminem does it for the shock value, not because he believes it, but you've got to have some serious issues (and some serious gall) to come up with that shit - and then say it in public.


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 09 November 2002 12:11 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
to which my Hemmingway reference was directed. As I understand, he was a bit of a misogynistic little prick, too.

Yeah, I bought a bunch of second hand Stephen Leacock books just before earthmother informed me that he was a real nasty SOB when it came to women. Lovely.

I wonder if we're less quick to condemn an "establishment" artist or writer for misogyny than we are to condemn an artist from a more marginalized artform?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
meades
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posted 09 November 2002 07:13 PM      Profile for meades     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I heard a review on DNTO this afternoon, and it actually sounds good! I'm really genuinely surprised.
From: Sault Ste. Marie | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Hardner
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posted 11 November 2002 10:53 AM      Profile for Michael Hardner   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Meades:

quote:
No matter what, though, I still dislike eminem. He's a sour, homophobic, misogynistic, prima donna. Why waste the $8.50 to see it on a big screen on the weekend, when I can just sit in on a grade 9 compulsory class on monday, and see the same thing for free?

Are you saying this on the basis of the content of his music, or on something he himself has said ?


quote:
I wonder if we're less quick to condemn an "establishment" artist or writer for misogyny than we are to condemn an artist from a more marginalized artform?

Michelle:

This is that whole issue about evaluating the artist vs evaluating the art.

If we had to throw out peoples' ideas based on their personality, there are a whole lot of intellectuals we wouldn't ever listen to, right ?


From: Toronto | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
rebel boy
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posted 12 November 2002 04:10 PM      Profile for rebel boy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A bud of mine went to see it because his girlfriend wanted to see it. He wasn't expecting much but said it was better than he thought it'd be. Personally I wish he'd get some professional help and do us all a favour.
From: in a land far far away | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
statica
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posted 12 November 2002 10:36 PM      Profile for statica   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
most the film is ‘medium effort’ foreplay, but if you're into words and rhyme, then the last 20 minutes -- the rhyme battle at the end of the film -- makes the whole thing worthwhile. the skill is awesome, and everyone throws it down, but rabbit is fucking superb. the sound play eminem produced as the music for the film is also fierce, even just the backbeats.
From: t-oront-o | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wide Eyes
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posted 19 November 2002 01:37 AM      Profile for Wide Eyes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I find it interesting that those who haven't seen the movie seem to have the most to say about it. I saw it last night, and despite all the hype and laudings from critics, I thought the movie was quite good. Eminem performed well. What I found interesting was that colour wasn't a central theme in this. The majority of the cast was black and it played out as everyone was equal.
The premise was very Rocky like, without the hollywood ending.
If you don't like Eminem, fine. But unless you've seen the movie, you have no clue what you're talking about.

From: a lofty perch in my basement | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 19 November 2002 09:09 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Michelle:

This is that whole issue about evaluating the artist vs evaluating the art.

If we had to throw out peoples' ideas based on their personality, there are a whole lot of intellectuals we wouldn't ever listen to, right?


You're absolutely right. That's exactly the issue I'm talking about. Which is why, when there are thousands of composers out there whose works I haven't heard yet, I will not bother with Wagner since he was such an anti-Semitic jerk. Which is why, as long as there are a million philosophers out there to read, I'll read all of them before I'll read Heidegger, who was a member of the Nazi party.

I'm not one of those people who thinks that people's creative or intellectual products are created in a void, and completely separate from their attitudes. If someone has enough of a poisoned soul to be a misogynist or a Nazi, then I have a hard time believing that it will not affect their creative or philosophical attitudes.

See, it's just a matter of volume. If there were only 5 artists out there or 5 movies out there to watch, sure I'd listen to Eminem or watch his movie. But knowing what a misogynistic jerk he is, why would I waste money and time on his movie and music when there are so many more deserving artists out there to whom I could be giving my money and time?

It's the same principle that the Israeli Symphony uses when they refuse to play Wagner. I don't feel any need to see someone who bashes people like me.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 19 November 2002 10:05 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't seen 8 Mile - I might when it comes out on video - so I can't comment on it. As for Emminem, as controversy and offensiveness in music go, he's pretty small potatoes. Are rappers like Shaggy or Nelly less "misogynistic" because all of their videos feature scantily clad gyrating women in decorative, non-functioning roles? I'd say they are more anti-women. At least the women in Emminem songs have power, of a kind. Is Emminem appropriating Black culture? Well, if rap culture is Black culture, then I guess he is. But if rap culture is Inner City Poverty culture, then he's not.

I don't want to defend the guy - any artist who puts controversy over content isn't high on my list, and yeah, his attitude towards women, at least the women in his life, sucks. Foul-mouthed? Sure, but I've heard alot worse from punk and hard core bands. Hell, death metal is pretty outrageous stuff, and if it were as mainstream as Emminem or Marilyn Manson or whatever, parents would be crapping in their dockers to hear some of the lyrics their kidlets were pumping into their brains.

I like hiphop, and triphop too, because it tends to be more articulate, panmusical and sociopolitical. I wish we heard more from World hiphop artists, but most of the best music on the planet doesn't get airplay because the artist hasn't, or won't suck corporate cock.

Sigh.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Daoine
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posted 19 November 2002 02:21 PM      Profile for Daoine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Spontaneous extended rap is difficult, particularly if you are telling a story or weaving around a unified theme. Before rap appeared on recording industry radar, there were a few "legendary" raps that were very reminiscent of epic ballads.

I'm afraid I tend to relate much modern rap to bardic tradition much as i relate modern country music to the appalachian (and ultimately gaelic) folk roots from which it grew. modern country is largely "beer and lifestyle" music. (I propose that there wouldn't be so many "she's leavin' me" songs if there were fewer "I'm a pick-up man"'s floating about)

Is this fair or justified? Probably not. I detest Eminem's themes, and I'm not much swayed by "critical acclaim" in today's music scene; there's too much PR and hype, and it pollutes the whole business in my opinion.

In the guerilla news article, the popularity of his news show and related paraphernalia is cited as demonstrating how relevant he is as a journalist. I'm not at all sure I agree.

His language is problematic and his themes are often worse. The article considers him a radical voice for necessary change. Is blind rebellion really a necessary change? There are unquestionably bad parents, but does that make it ok to reinforce young peoples' natural tendency to view all parents as arbitrarily cruel and oppressive?

A lot of what he decries should be decried, but even there he overgeneralizes to the point that he often invalidates his own message. And he also rails, apparently indiscriminately, against "straw man" issues that don't seem to have broad social relevance but that resonate with ideas commonly held by young people. I was a young person. I was capable of thinking, and I had a lot of insight. I was also a real bozo on some issues, and I suspect that this is just part of the process of moving from child to adult. But those are the issues that his music plays upon.

In my opinion!

Popularity shouldn't be weighed any more heavily now than it deserved to be weighed in high school. Controversy for controversy's sake, particularly when it is commonly presented as significant controversy (e.g. trolls in forums), only muddies the water. Personally, I think Rage against the Mathine has a lot more to say and is a lot more socially relevant.

Regardless of any of the above, we shouldn't consider banning him (nobody suggested it, but considering my emphases here, I thought I should clarify).

And you're right on the money, Michelle, speaking of the importance of context. Nietzsche's ideas really must be considered in terms of the environment that prompted them, for example. Ignoring that background is precisely how he was twisted to appear to justify the final solution.

(edit: Yeth, Rage againtht the Mathine Rockth!)

[ November 19, 2002: Message edited by: Daoine ]


From: Gulag Alabamadze | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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