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Good Will Hunting: Bar Scene

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Ripplemagne posted on Sat, Feb 18 2012 11:57 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymsHLkB8u3s&feature=player_embedded#!

 

I'm surprised this hasn't been brought up before. I just got finished watching Jay and Silent Bob and there's a particular nod to this scene midway through. And I thought it'd be a good subject to get perspectives here on.

 

I haven't read the works of Wood, Lemon or Vickers and as far as I can tell, Pete Garrison is a made up character. But the subject matter is still pretty interesting andI was wondering if anyone had read up on the subject otherwise.

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During his first meeting with Robin Williams' character he recommends A People's History of the United States stating "that book'll knock your fuckin socks off" or something to that effect.  In return, the washed-up shrink offers up Manufacturing Consent.

I think that says all you need to know about the Academy Award-winning ghostwriters behind that film.

 

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Answered (Not Verified) hashem replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 11:56 AM
Suggested by MaikU

That wasn't the bar scene, but on that off-topic I saw that scene differently, properly I presume... Granted, it's an establishment production, but I saw the hero of the movie—the whole point is that he's a brilliant genius hero—telling his mentor that the mentor had it wrong. I think Will says something to the effect of "you've got the right idea, but you're reading all the wrong books" and then recommends A People's History.

That said, all I have to say of the bar scene was that it could have been better if the hero was an anarchist...

EDIT: Also, this was meant to be a reply, not as a "suggested answer" but I just went for the big green button and didn't notice until after.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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Groucho replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 12:48 PM

John James:
During his first meeting with Robin Williams' character he recommends A People's History of the United States stating "that book'll knock your fuckin socks off" or something to that effect.  In return, the washed-up shrink offers up Manufacturing Consent.

I think that says all you need to know about the Academy Award-winning ghostwriters behind that film.

To be fair, I'm sure the writers of the film had no familiarity with either. Sort of like in Star Trek when they throw about physics terms.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Malachi replied on Sun, Feb 19 2012 12:56 PM
I cannot testify as to intent, but it still is effective as propaganda. Like when star trek names a ship the Pasteur so now instead of associating louis pasteur with the disgusting industrial foods industry of the 19th they think of him as one of the great scientists of humanity and put pasteurization alongside agriculture and the state as one of the great inventions of all time.

I take a gestalt view of the products of the human mind.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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hashem:
That wasn't the bar scene

Uh.  I'm aware of that.  The bar scene is linked in the OP.  None of that dialog appears in that scene.  Not even Robin Williams appears in that scene.  Hence my introduction of "During his first meeting with Robin Williams' character".

 

I saw that scene differently, properly I presume... Granted, it's an establishment production, but I saw the hero of the movie—the whole point is that he's a brilliant genius hero—telling his mentor that the mentor had it wrong. I think Will says something to the effect of "you've got the right idea, but you're reading all the wrong books" and then recommends A People's History.

False.  You evidently don't remember that scene correctly, nor did you even read the chronology of what I said.  The "hero" recommends A People's History of the United States and the Robin Williams character "the washed-up shrink" offers up Manufacturing Consent in return.  As in, after.

How in the world could the "hero" be telling his mentor he "had it wrong" if the mentor's suggestion came after the hero's?  I recommend you find the scene and watch it again.

Yes, the Matt Damon character says "you spend all your money of these fucking fancy books and surround yourself with em and they're the wrong fucking books."  But again, this is after he makes his recommendation of A People's History and after Robin Williams asks what he thinks about Manufacturing Consent.  The Damon character ignores the question as if it was never asked and continues on his train of thought while looking at the bookshelf.

The point of the matter is those titles were recommended for a reason.  If nothing else, they are supposed to represent "the right books"...the books a genius would recommend.

And my entire point was, that scene and the fact that those are the titles that are mentioned by name, offers a glimpse into the ideology (or at least the mentality) behind the authors of the script.  And I think anyone who recommends Zinn and Chomsky (in back to back lines, no less) can be pretty easily read from there on.  So, even if one knows nothing about Wood, Lemon or Vickers, one can have a decent guess as to what their history might look like...hence "I think that says all you need to know about the Academy Award-winning ghostwriters behind that film."

However, those authors were named in a different context...one that was suggesting those were the typical authors that would get assigned in grad school.  But this could just be a bad assessment on the scriptwriter's part, because I know for a fact both Wood and Zinn appear on undergrad syllabi.

 

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Groucho:
To be fair, I'm sure the writers of the film had no familiarity with either. Sort of like in Star Trek when they throw about physics terms.

Oh you're "sure", are you?

 

(You seriously thought they'd just throw out titles like that out of nowhere?)

 

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John, seriously, what reason do you see for being so abrasive to people?

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

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"How you like them apples?" was the punch line. That is, the whole point of the scene is that Matt Damon got the girl's number.

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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That was an excellent movie. But like Damon, isn't Howard Zinn a huge liberal?

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MDay1985:
isn't Howard Zinn a huge liberal?

Well...he's dead, so, I'm not sure if that completely fits, but yeah, I guess. wink

 

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Haha. I did notice them name-dropping Zinn and Chompsky and was still left waiting for the "right fucking books". Because those sure as Hell aren't 'em.

 

The affiliation of the writers is pretty obvious even to the layman, me thinks. The scene where he turns down the job proposal is a good demonstration of that. But interestingly enough, Damon's character seems to deride "Marxian historians" ("Pete Garrison, probably") during the bar scene and there doesn't seem to be as much of a political bent in this particular scene.

 

In fact, it kind of struck me how he doesn't quite go out on a limb at all during the scene; it was probably a literary technique to absolve the possibility of someone proving the boy genius wrong after watching the movie. But what's so striking is that he never quite lets on what he thinks is wrong with any of the premises; he simply cites the dictum as a problem.

 

I found of bit of writing of Gordon Wood's on the internet, so I'm starting to inch my way into his works. I'm not too impressed.

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Ripplemagne:
Damon's character seems to deride "Marxian historians" ("Pete Garrison, probably") during the bar scene

How the heck do you know that "Pete Garrison" is supposed to be a "Marxian historian" if he's a made up character mentioned in that one line in the whole movie?

 

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Feb 21 2012 10:01 AM

Haven't you heard of divination?  Powerful stuff, man.

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No, I haven't.  Teach me about it.

 

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