Film Junk Premium Podcast #89: Neill Blomkamp

neillblomkamp

“I’m not interested in your little ideas. I’m interested in something much larger. This habitat is dying. There is a political sickness inside of it. A tumor that needs to be removed.” With the upcoming release of Neill Blomkamp’s next film Demonic, we found ourselves itching to revisit his first three films: District 9, Elysium and Chappie. With a little bit of distance from them we find some new perspectives and even with only three titles on the docket there was no shortage of material to discuss. We cover such topics as Blomkamp’s mastery of realistic CG, his collaborations with Sharlto Copley, his use of Johannesburg as a backdrop, the implications of transferring consciousness and auto-healing med-bays as well as Neill Blomkamp’s overall career trajectory. Do Blomkamp’s movies have a deep political message or are they only intended to be entertaining with a capital E? Is Elysium more relevant now than ever? Did Chappie get unfairly dismissed by critics or is it legitimately bad? Keep it gangsta and download this month’s premium podcast below.

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  • Could’ve done a bonus review of Short Circuit. And I do hope Sean or Jay bring up that Johannesburg is a character in these films.

  • OsoDuck

    So, let me get this straight, District 9 is anti-racist, but the black people of South Africa are represented as insect aliens? Like Muslims are represented as insect aliens in Starship Troopers? Like Russians are alien plants in Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Like the Japanese were represented as chimps in WWII propaganda? Like Darwin wrote about how black people were little more than missing link ape people? Truly, District 9 is the most compassionate look at the plight of subhuman insects ever put to film. We have advanced so far since Darwin’s pseudo-scientific racism began to take hold in the minds of westerners in the late nineteenth century. Racism is over.

    I think its completely fair to argue that we’re going backwards, and the pseudo-scientific cult-like racism gets worse and worse as years go by. You ever think that Jackson and Blomkamp tried to dial it back on the claim that District 9 is an allegory for racism in South Africa when the black people are represented as alien monster insects?

  • OsoDuck

    Ouch, check out that subtitle. Problematic!! When are we going to start pulling the Darwin statues down?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3395d0398192b203695823b22064cf10be0fe78a8c580e9b1887104d91cf3598.jpg

  • Nic

    This is your brain on American media and culture war hysteria

  • Johnny

    Lmaoo nice

  • The portrayal of actual black people in form of the Nigerians is also not very delicate.

  • devolutionary

    I can completely see how immersive and engaging the “tech” effects are implemented in Chappie; but there are too many holes to ignore in the script and characters. The best way to enjoy Chappie is by not taking it serously and skimming over any serious or meaningful commentary.

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  • Hold on, did Frank just say that he watched District 9 on Blu-ray?? Wow.

  • SLOTH

    I completely forgot that District 9 was nominated for Best Picture that year at the oscars! I immediately started laughing once I remembered that because that would never happen currently.

  • OsoDuck

    Not sure what you’re getting at, Nic, but I despise American media and the ongoing culture war. My comment is in response to the Film Junk crew’s insinuation that Neil Blomkamp is a good, woke individual. Blomkamp is on the right side of history. He’s politically correct. You get me? I’m simply pointing out that Blomkamp’s political correctness is simply a game of fashionable Hollywood power politics because although District 9 may be fashionably “politically correct” beyond that, if one truly looks at the product, it represents white men as human beings and black men as alien insect sea creatures. In other words, woke political correctness wants to give the appearance of equality with one hand but it unconsciously takes it away with the other hand because those who have come up with wokism and political correctness are racists at heart. Here’s another example I came upon: blackface in OG Star Trek?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f739ebc4adb6300cc87e737fe9da6aa2ddbaad398580ea5b8f3b80e74fb056a.jpg

    The Klingons are the evil black people it appears. Violent gangbangers, looking to rape white women, and steal all our electronic devices, no doubt. But where is the outcry? Why isn’t Star Trek cancelled forever? Well, Let me mansplain to you why: Star Trek has always been served up as veritable liberal feast, a smorgasbord, of wokism. It’s the UN in space. It’s always been presented as that. So it’s okay that they villify black people in the form of Klingons, because the “good” Klingons like Worf (which sounds like a dog’s name) and Whoopi Goldberg are hanging out with Kirk and Picard. Worf is a good boy, allowed to hang out on the porch of the Enterprise. He’s a good porch Klingon. It’s okay that Romulans and Vulcans are caricatures of Asian people, as was Ming the Merciless before them and the Asian fish aliens in the Star Wars prequels after, because the “good” Asians like Spock and Tuvok are on the right side of history, waiting on all of us dried up crackers to bark some orders. The hypocrisy is so rank it staggers the mind. And the woke can’t see it.

    Here’s some parting images of Star Trek’s Asian caricatures and their close relations https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b2727f6526a7f4e0d8b426860d76a25ee4d6acdbec85c6ccbf9599efdc7af5f4.jpg :
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/28bfb040f7feccda8d9bbab3b15389942debc6aedc469be060c3f4db4081c5a7.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/88b6e92c032f6b97a8dab1e4b762f578dd98ef713ad47b60e44a6f759a9e3e6d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc8f3dd4610b7d06cffc21433dcca0c5f9da4987cdf2d7f2d96e84c17f3bf561.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fdaf81c4da7e688e8027e2db9ef5e48596a8f5b276629ce56cf8e7d3b9bff07f.jpg

    Blomkamp on Black people:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d190eb483d3406255ae83fdc3f378c12ab636218efe716ac3726abbfdef0b795.jpg

    Get bent, Nic.

  • Deven Science

    Jay’s point reflecting how futuristic L.A. to Elysium looks exactly like some less developed countries to L.A. now blew me away. Great observation.

    Also, I thought it odd that Dax went after Jody Foster’s French accent, since she speaks French fluently. She went to school in France for several years, if memory serves.

  • colin the dude

    Sean being bullied for having a completely normal reaction to the far-from-perfect Chappie is such bullshit. Frank is the weirdo for creaming his jeans over that numbingly average film where Blompkamp is utterly repeating his themes and visual again, shoving in a nonsensical antagonist in Hugh Jackman and completely overstaying its welcome. Cut 25 minutes from that robot, Jesus Christ.

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