ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

I did not dislike Battlefield Earth

Discussion in 'Movies, Plays, and Documentaries about Scientology' started by minnesotabrant, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Very interesting.

    I'll think about your question in a bit but I wanted to ask a bit more about the title "EX MACHINA", just out of curiosity. That was cool that you tried your hand at script writing and even bumped into that term. But when you saw the movie, did you know why that was the title?

    You mention "hand of God", sure that is related to the term---but that's not actually the meaning of ex-machina and I am wondering if you knew the specific meaning of that Latin term at that time. Sorry, I am word guy and having done both script writing and development and marketing for movies (helping design the poster or "tag line") I was always curious if people seeing Ex Machina knew specifically why that was the title (when the saw the movie) and whether that affected the box-office. For a film that received an Oscar (special effects) it did almost no business at all, which an oddity.
    I am not trying to push you into a corner and don't actually care if you didn't know the actual meaning, but i am curious if you did or didn't at that time. I guess after you discover the meaning of that term that you will also conclude that it is a perfectly clever and brilliant title for that brilliant movie. But, as I say, it doesn't mean "hand of God". Check it out.

    As to your question about my nominations for best sci-fi films, that is a long list but it would certainly include (in no particular order): 2001 A Space Oddysey, ET, Terminator, Close Encounters, Alien and most of the other "classic" films that appear on any of the "TOP 100 SCI-FI MOVIES OF ALL TIME". I don't have an esoteric ones that you likely don't know about already.

    What is funny in those lists is to read the "CRITICS PICK TOP 100..." movie lists. They routinely try to impress EACH OTHER by selecting really odd and esoteric choices to show that they have an ultra-sophisticated palate. For example on one "TOP FILM CRITICS" list of best Sci-Fi movies, they put 2001 A Space Oddysey around #27 and "WALL-E" in the top 3 or 4. How the hell is that even possible???!!! LOL

    Similarly, other "GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME" lists by film critics have flavor of the decade trends that are curious. Back in the 70s the "critics in the know" tended to pick "THE BICYCLE THIEF" as the greatest movie of all time. It was just a fad, even though that movie is incredibly beautiful and a small masterpiece. Another small movie masterpiece that later rose to critic's #1 slot for a short time was Francois Traffaut's "THE 400 BLOWS" (it wasn't a documentary about Int. Gold Base in Hemet, lol)
    Mimsey Borogrove and Type4_PTS like this.
  2. ILove2Lurk

    ILove2Lurk Lisbeth Salander

    What do you think about this swap in the #1 and #2 rankings?

    The 50 Greatest Films of All Time

    I just got a copy of Vertigo in Blu ray and watching it again, I'm tending
    to agree with this ranking. But then again, I'm always drawn to San Fran,
    how it was, that is. And Hitchcock.


    I know the movie isn't perfect but the fine cinematography and musical
    score are hard to beat. And the glamour of that long gone age.

    I never cared for Citizen Kane at #1. But that's just me. :coolwink:
  3. Clay Pigeon

    Clay Pigeon Gold Meritorious Patron

    And after he wipes out Russia, the book goes on as if Russia had never even been there...

    And The Greatest Movie Ever Made, "Doctor Strangelove" didn't even make the list
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  4. TomKat

    TomKat Patron Meritorious

    Speaking of screenplays, Hollyweird seems to be out of ideas for the last 25 years, but it's worse now than ever before. I recently heard about a guy who started a comic book so he could pitch screenplays based on it. Some minor success, I think.
  5. Clay Pigeon

    Clay Pigeon Gold Meritorious Patron

    My god!

    There's no shortage of great ideas for screenplays.

    How about a gorgeous 1925 period piece written around the drama of the dogsleds carrying the serum to Nome?

    How many people today recognize that was a watershed event of history. Radio was brand new and the entire nation was riveted to the drama unfolding on the fringe of the Arctic Circle. It was the first great electronic media event and it's magnitude would not be surpassed until December 7, 1941.

    Just come up with a Pantheon grade screenplay where the race to Nome is both center and backdrop to four or five braided storylines playing out in the lower 48 and you got a nomination for Best Picture wrapped around your little finger...
  6. TomKat

    TomKat Patron Meritorious

    Yes, the old pantheon grade screenplay -- where did I put that? ... and it needs a superhero.
  7. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Well for starters, your list is all wrong, wrong, wrong, I tell ya! LOL

    I can scientifically PROVE that Vertigo is not the greatest movie ever made. Because the top film experts in the world voted for their TOP "50 BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME" and Vertigo did not even make it to that list.

    But "WALL-E" and "HOOP DREAMS" did, LOL. WTF.

    These people are experts so don't even try to disagree.
  8. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    What's wrong with Wall-E... EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVah?
  9. strativarius

    strativarius Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband

    Yes indeed, what's wrong with WALL-E? I was mesmerised when I first saw it.

    Those old Hitchcock movies - 'Vertigo', 'Rear Window' etc. seem terribly contrived and dated to me now.
    freethinker likes this.
  10. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    I knew the term prior to seeing the movie - but when you asked if I knew why that was the title, frankly I never wondered why it was titled thus. And no clear answer sprung to mind. I did look up ex machina later in the day - it was the lowering of a god into the play from a crane, but still, it is as I said the hand of god to set things right. I also read an interview with the writer director, Alex Garland, but it wasn't all that clear about he meaning of the title. He was concerned about that we know less about technology and security (compiling information on us) than they know bout us. ( I am paraphrasing - I can't find the article for an exact quote, because I am in a hurry to go skiing, but along those lines) So here is your answer:

    As I think about the title now, it means: no longer a machine. ex machine. The AI robot is alive and conscious.

  11. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    The full term is Deus ex machina and represents a god delivered from a machine to solve an Unsolvable situation for which a solution is being demanded.

    The crane aspect was used in theatre to lower actors playing gods onto a stage to present the solution.

    Deus ex machina (Latin: [ˈdeʊs ɛks ˈmaː.kʰɪ.naː]: /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækɪnə/;[1] plural: dei ex machina; English ‘god from the machine’) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem in a story is suddenly and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and seemingly unlikely occurrence, typically so much as to seem contrived.[2][3] Its function can be to resolve an otherwise irresolvable plot situation, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or act as a comedic device.

    Deus ex machina (disambiguation)

    Deus ex machina is a Latin term meaning "god from a device", and is used to indicate a person or event which provides a sudden, unexpected solution to a story.

    Think Sophia...

    Creepy AI

  12. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Thanks. At this point, I probably should just help you understand what it means. Again, it doesn't mean "the hand of God". That phrase is most often used as the descriptive for the famous masterpiece by Michelangelo otherwise known as "The Creation of Adam".

    Ex Machina: The "EX" does not mean "no longer a machine", because ex in this context does not mean former (as in ex-Scientology message board). It is Latin, meaning "FROM" or "OUT OF". To wit, if you want to drive out of (i.e. away from) a parking garage, you look for the EXit sign)

    Thus at the end of a classic Greek/Roman play, when there was no possible solution to the predicament the protagonist got themselves into, the climactic resolution was (as you have said) the "lowering of a God" down on the theater's stage by use of a crane. Ergo, the God came FROM (by means of) a machine.

    In the movie Ex Machina, the beautiful robot and all her emotionally/erotically seductive A.I. powers came into this world FROM a machine, literally. Her body was a machine and her mind (A.I.) likewise came FROM machines. Her mind/lifeforce derived FROM the machine known as a computer (i.e. "AI"). So, the entire concept was that this new form of intelligent LIFE came from a machine.

    Starting to make sense now?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
    freethinker likes this.
  13. strativarius

    strativarius Inveterate gnashnab & snoutband

    LOL. Ask any Englishman over the age of about 50 what the 'Hand of God' means to him. He's not likely to mention Michelangelo.
  14. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on


    I have concluded that the miraculous gains, powers and states of beingness in Scientology certainly qualifies as (DEUS) EX MACHINA.

    Homo Sapiens in the protagonist in the ruinous tragedy known as "life on earth". They have pathetically tried for millions of years to cure disease, feed the poor, eliminate crime, stop wars and to prevent death itself. Talk about a tragic third act, LOL! Alas, man has miserably failed and there is no hope that he won't die, perish, become MEST and suffer for eternity.

    But wait!!

    (cue movie trailer guy with the deeply resonant gravitas voice): "In a world where there is no hope for mankind....comes a miraculous solution!")

    Yeah, if it's a movie trailer, CUT TO: Something glowing in deep space....we are approaching this distant mystical object du curiosité. We draw light years closer and the object is massive---a veritable MONLITH (think 2001 A Space Oddysey). Now we are within viewing distance. OMG, it's an e-meter! The all-new-and-improved OT X meter, required for all Scientologists who wish to audit themselves on the "soon to be released FIRST REAL OT LEVELS!"

    The OT 10 METER is the solution to all of mankind's problems. It's why Scientology has not yet created a world without war, insanity and criminality. It's why Scientology was not able to Clear the Planet. It's the reason the greatest OTs in the universe could not even make a dent in "Salvaging This Sector". It's why OTs can't Operate. It's why Clears can't remember that a Clear is supposed to have perfect memory.

    This miraculous MACHINE will solve it all.

    Ron is using a metaphysical crane to "lower it" to this slave planet where it becomes the Ex Machina solution to delivering everything that Dr. Hubbard promised us!

    It's literally GFAM.

    God (Dr. Hubbard) From A Machine.

    Wait...or was that GIFAM?[sup]1[/sup]

    [sup]1 [/sup] G.I. from a machine.

    HELPFUL TIP TO TOTAL FREEDOM SEEKERS: Sacred scripture mandates that each Scientologist purchase two (2) e-meters. This is in case there is a planetary emergency during session, where the first meter fails and you are telepathically in the middle of blowing/shattering SP aliens who are trying to pull the air cover off the planet. Yeah, that's an actual thing in Scientology. LOL.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
    Operating DB and Type4_PTS like this.
  15. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    Wow, this post descended like a god from a machine.

    Deus ex machina!
  16. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on


    That post has inspired the KosmiK Ksw Koan of the day. The legendary "Clear Cog". . .



    thursDEUS EX MACHINA-it-up

  17. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Well, I did look it up. In the unabridged second edition Random House it says for the root: ex-1 [,L, comb. form of ex, e (prep.)out(of), from, beyond] which is what you said, though in the same dictionary, there is yet another definition of ex meaning: former.

    So, both could be correct. But wait! There's more:

    Ex Machina = from (the) machine
    Ex Machina = out of (the) machine
    Ex Machina = beyond (the) machine
    Ex Machina = former machine

    Anyway, I see your point and don't disagree.

  18. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    At the risk of being an annoying logic nazi. . .

    How could both of the two contradictory things you said (above) possibly be true?

    A) "both could be correct"​

    B) "I see your point and don't disagree"​
    If "A" is true then "B" cannot be true.

    Why do you feel the need to equivocate? It doesn't hurt or cost anything to admit that you don't understand something.

    I was honestly trying to help you learn a cool term---but then you start that routine again where you insist you are right even after you learn you weren't. If you ever wondered why people get so annoyed with you, this habit of yours might be a very good first place to look, LOL.​
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  19. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Wait - I don't disagree with you but there are other definitions that work and have appropriate meanings. I don't see that as a conflict. What is unknown is Alex's intent. His definition. I looked at several interviews with Alex to see if he gives any meaning for the title, to no avail. The below is fairly typical of the interviews he gave at the time. I guess I banked my choice on the concept that he's presenting Ava as being conscious, a former machine, but Alex never says Ava is or isn't conscious. He leaves that to the viewer of the movie to decide. So my choice of former machine may or may not be correct. Hence, I don't disagree with you.

    In one of the interviews he discussed the pushback by Alicia about how she wanted to play the robot, and she didn't want to portray it as a clunky jerky traditional robot, but she wanted every movement to be perfect. He went with that contribution on her part. In that choice I see your definition over mine. Mimsey

    Unlike most films about artificial intelligence, Ex Machina isn't about technological anxiety. "The anxiety in this film is much more directed at the humans," director Alex Garland tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "It was more in defense of artificial intelligence."

    Garland tackled the zombie apocalypse as the writer behind the film 28 Days Later. In Ex Machina — his first film as director — he introduces us to Ava, a creation that is part woman and part machine. There's no hiding that Ava is a machine — but a very, very smart one.

    "It's almost like a sort of post-Turing test," Garland says, referring to the test of whether or not a human can tell when they are interacting with a machine. Traditionally the Turing test was a blind one: "The machine would be on the other side of a closed door ... and there'd be a bunch of controls and if the human was tricked into believing they were interacting with another human rather than a machine, then the test was deemed to have been passed."

    But the test in Ex Machina is different. "The machine is presented clearly as a machine," Garland explains. "There's no attempt to hide that it might be a machine. And it's really just a test to see if the machine has sentience or a humanlike consciousness."

    Ex Machina raises questions about how we define consciousness, and how our instincts about consciousness may mislead us. And it also recasts what the face of artificial intelligence might look like. Garland explains that he used the film's sound design to give a "slightly nursery" quality to the character. It's "intended to present Ava the machine as having a kind of innocence, a sort of undamaged, untarnished quality," he says.

    More at link.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  20. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Also - I read somewhere one of the definitions of life is that it is self replicating. We see Ava taking parts off earlier versions of her self to complete herself, so she is clearly smart enough to self replicate, though she is clearly a machine.

    An argument could be floated that neither of us are correct. She is a machine with self learning AI, but lacks a thetan. :roflmao:The title being a red herring.