Versus Title: Joe's "battle" with the volcano never happens anyway. LA, which is beautiful and glorious to him, is better than Staten Island, but still fake, as typified by the vapid Angelica. Joe and Patricia end up in the ocean. I don’t know what your situation is but I wanted you to know what mine is not just to explain some rude behavior, but because we’re on a little boat for a while and… I’m soul sick. Waturi is choosing to turn this office into a circle of hell. I don’t want to know. In this Invaders from Mars -like dream logic, the movie is a stylized picture book because it's being dreamed by a reader of stylized picture books, a kid. In JVtV, the shopping trip unwinds a little differently. All symbolised here and also by the colour red, worn by Tibetan monks. Directed by John Patrick Shanley. I won't attempt to explain what this means, but I just thought it was interesting. My life! So I think it’s important to note that Joe Versus the Volcano gives 20 minutes of its hour-and-42-minute runtime to the horrors of Joe’s job at American Panascope (Home of the Rectal Probe). 2) the Great Danes (don't know what they might represent, but they showed up several times and Joe himself even noted them. He says, “All right I’ll do it,” in the tone of a man agreeing to run to the store for more beer, but really, what choice does he have? They are pure and in love, they sacrifice their desires for something greater. WTF was this shit? The moment that Small Leah found unbearably cheesy now plays as a necessary fairy tale ending, with the adult twists that the Waponis are wiped out, the crew of the Tweedle Dee is dead, Joe and Patricia are now married and need to make that relationship work for longer than five minutes, it seems likely that Joe’s new father-in-law almost murdered him… and that’s all before we address the fact that the newlyweds are drifting through the South Pacific on luggage, with no land in sight. He works in the prosthetic dept. Not the opera scene, or Richard Gere’s declaration of love, no—the emotional peak of this film comes on Rodeo Drive. - … Eventually Joe picks up 4 steamer trunks and salesman wishes him a 1000 years of life. The luggage-raft serves as a perfect floating master class in metaphor. I am an English teacher and this movie is a gem in teaching archetypes, symbolism, mythology, and Joseph Campbell's hero cycle. We learn that it isn't a real disease killing him, it is his own hypochondria and anxiety/depression- like Joe. This distillation of life into money is made even more explicit the next morning, when Samuel Graynamore shows up at his door. Joe Versus the Volcano This fantasy-comedy was the first pairing of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, yet it polarizes viewers like a Blue Velvet or Happiness. As in his last nights in New York and L.A., he’s alone—Patricia is still unconscious, there are no crewmates or friends, it’s just him and the moon. He has tried to woo women, failed, and instead attempted to attain emotional closeness with them. As the only directorial effort from John Patrick Shanley (the Oscar-winning writer of Moonstruck), it is something special, and it's hard to resist the film's feather-light heart tugging. One of the through lines of the film is that, from the moment Joe gets his diagnosis, he’s alone. There are a few reasons for that. Patricia, who has talked a good game about being awake and conscious of life, makes the choice to stand next to him. At the dawn of the ’90s, a film was released that was so quirky, so wei Best. I sold it to you for three hundred dollars a week! Joe is an everyman who wanders into life-changing moments, filled with bizarre characters, and I love it when Patricia says something like, "It's always going to be something, isn't it Joe?" We are all being manipulated by billionaires right this minute, and we all have brain clouds. I thought the idea of the same actress, Meg Ryan, playing the three female parts brings this out. She has her own struggles. But! Then we meet the Graynamore sisters. All of those other narratives? Once he buys his luggage, he has a physical tether, in the form of ridiculous bags that he has to cart around everywhere. I don’t know who you are. "Joe Versus the Volcano" achieves a kind of magnificent goofiness. And finally it appears on the volcano, which is again leading to his death. (I love seeing "Fish" as the native chief!!!) One centers on the idea that Joe versus the Volcano is a child's fairy tale inspired by Joe's juvenile lamp, the one with the 'island paradise' pattern that becomes a motif. I watched it for the first time this last weekend. Anyway, the whole thing might be one big dream, period, which is interesting for sure. The Chief once again asks his people if any of them are willing to make the sacrifice for the rest of the tribe, but they all shuffle their feet and stare awkwardly at the ground. My family suffered losses in its past that shaped my own life. Interestingly the Volcano erupts every 1000 years. Joe is alone for his last night in New York, which is really his last night in his old life. When people call this a romantic comedy, they are committing a great injustice to this film. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. A volcano, or any mountain, is a place where the heavens and earth meet. This was a fantastic analysis. Sleeps With Monsters: Romance and Magic in Julia Ember’s. Or is Joe a jerk for asking her out at all, when he know he only has six months to live? My Husband and I are Christian and have watched this movie many times realising that the content was so symbolic. The post-makeover shopping spree follows Joe as he buys absurd, frivolous things: ginormous umbrellas? 4/14/89 88. This would be how Joe spent his last night before his journey, welcomed into a family that wasn’t his, fortified by their love for the difficult task ahead of him. Finally Joe meets the neshama, the highest part of his soul, symbolized by Patricia (from the Latin for "noble"), who is searching for independence and meaning, willing to explore philosophical questions and infused with optimism. As in Groundhog Day, which balances its irony and sincerity with perfect precision, JVtV is as much about the sheer joy of dancing on a luggage-raft as it is about the numb depression of Mr. Waturi’s office. The trailer outlines the entire plot of the film, so that the only surprise awaiting theatergoers was…well, the film’s soul, which is nowhere to be seen here: See? It may not be a cinematic masterpiece but to me it is. Death was not a flower-strewn path, or a marshaling of one’s self. Back in 2007, AV Club writer Nathan Rabin coined the phrase Manic Pixie Dream Girl to sum up a type of character common to rom-coms, and JVtV’s Angelica Graynamore seems to be a prescient critique of that stock character. Consciousness itself? So I’ve also always sought out narratives to help me process that fact. And in the end he has to face the volcano alone…until he doesn’t. 0 comments. A man can contact higher powers and experience the presence of the gods at a mountain or a volcano. This is going to have references to the old classic as well as "B" movies of the past. The timing is slightly off on this, but I choose to assert that the whole sequence with Marshall is a critique of the Magical Negro crap in general, and Driving Miss Daisy in particular. But… Joe is killing himself. When Joe and DeDe are having dinner, he extends his open hand to her, and she puts her tightly balled fist into it. Joe Versus the Volcano is a true early-1990s cult film. You could look at it as a self-help text, or apply Campbell’s Hero Arc to it. Auden. When Patricia hears the name of Joe's doctor, she recognizes it … Anyway, I don't know if the screenwriter meant to make a nod to Poe, but I certainly see some similarities. Sorry to be late to the party. He brings highly theatrical and stylized dialogue, repetition and symbolism to this tale. You Have to Have Jews : The Waponis are descended from Polynesians, Romans, Celts and Jews, which gives the filmmakers an excuse to make Jewish jokes, like having the Waponis sing … I love this movie and am discovering more each time. I love that Harry Potter has to walk into the Forbidden Forest to face Voldemort, that Luke goes to the second Death Star knowing that the Emperor will kill him, that Meg Murry walks back into Camazotz knowing that she can’t defeat IT, and that Atreyu battles Gmork rather than just sitting back and waiting for The Nothing. Thanks again for all the great insights. The first level is the nefesh, "animal soul", shared by humans and all sentiment life, which is concerned with the instinct for survival, procreation, and the like. But rather than taking the obvious route and having Joe abandon his baggage as he gets closer to the Big Wu, the movie follows its own crooked path. Actually, any of you other posters too...we need to chat! Perhaps he’d even have some sort of rooftop heart-to-heart with the youngest child? Joe vs. the Volcano John Patrick Shanley's name has been in the news again, largely due to his success with his new Broadway play, "Dirty Story." Indeed, the … When Waturi, sneers at him, “I promise you, you’ll be easy to replace!” Joe snaps, pushes Waturi against the wall, and yells, “And why, I ask myself, why have I put up with you? Tom Hanks' character finds redemption on an unlikely and surreal voyage. Most of all, it looks like a by-the-numbers rom-com. He’s changed his outward appearance, but that hasn’t really touched his interior life, and he still needs to prepare himself to die. It has a lot of thematic symbolism, and is better the more times you see it. Surely the hero wouldn’t have to go through with this insanity? Thus, the luggage salesman probably isn't a drone but someone like an angel who facilitates Joe's passage from this low and fallen world to a higher sphere. I really enjoyed your analysis and presentation. Patricia confesses her love for him, insists they get married, and then tries to talk him out of it. Joe is overwhelmed by it as it rises over the horizon. 157 joe's pov - island l57 joe versus the volcano - rev. This was Ryan’s first film after When Harry Met Sally, and Shanley’s first after Moonstruck, so (especially given the quirky trailer) audiences probably expected a fun movie bursting with colorful locations, swoony romance, and neuroses that serve to strengthen relationships. Considered by many to be Tom Hanks' worst movie. ... the movie as a collection of symbolism, then you can really start to enjoy the movie. A volcano, or any mountain, is a place where the heavens and earth meet. But he doesn’t offer that information, and she lashes out at him: Angelica: You must be tired. You’re lucky I don’t kill you!” This is the first time it becomes explicit: Joe has been selling his life without questioning the transaction (the way most of us do), and only now that he sees an endpoint does he realize how much more he was worth. It’s also … But the version of JVtV that is a manual on the preparation for death needs this scene. Joe Versus the Volcano is a 1990 American romantic comedy film written and directed by John Patrick Shanley and starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.Hanks plays a man who, after being told he is dying of a rare disease, accepts a financial offer to travel to a South Pacific island and throw himself into a volcano on behalf of the superstitious natives. When he turns on the lamp, a tropical island with a volcano appears on it. Recurring symbolism in "Joe Versus the Volcano" (1990 / Production designer: Bo Welch) 2 points. The plot goes thusly: Tom Hanks plays Joe, a hypochondriac with a dead-end job he hates. level 1. I can't believe this...That I can Identify with what you revealed in your analysis and the deeper parts of this movie prove i'm insane or just like everybody else...wow. Work isn’t supposed to be fun in Mr. Waturi’s mind, and since he’s the boss he’s allowed to humiliate his worker by treating him like a child, at the same moment that he demands his worker put away childish things. Surely they can see that life in this office is actually a living death? Thank you for your great insights. save. As funny as Joe Versus the Volcano is, though, it deals in some heavy questions about life and meaning, all under the guise of a fable, a myth in sync with the likes of Homer’s The Odyssey. And it’s significant that the first thing we see as people trudge to their jobs is Joe literally losing his sole. The luggage is what allows him to float, and becomes the site of ridiculous dance sequences, a mini-golf game, and a spiritual epiphany. It is almost as if salesman gave Joe eternal life. Is this like dying and being raised form the fallen world to the skies and ultimately. He keeps throwing his hats away as though trying on and discarding different personas, none of which are the real Joe. It's the part of us seeking comfort. It is a place where the gods live. Hello Skipper Steve Morris,That's a nice observation about the hats. After childhood, it’s a fact of life.”. By the same token, every time the camera rests on anything for more than a second, there is another story I am trying to tell you.The screenwriter is not trying to be smarter than us, he's just giving us the credit of being smart enough to catch the smiles, jokes and he has framed for us that find their analogs in each of our lives. But the film is also making a point about life, and the need to avoid losing your soul/Toby/humanity. In Usher, the narrator visits a friend who is in failing health due to some unknown disease. 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