Film Theory with Siri

Disclosure:  I probably talk to Siri more than so-called “normal” people.  A lot of it could be classified as “swearing at Siri.”  [1]  Our Facebook relationship status is currently “it’s complicated.”

In the interests of deeper discourse, I decided to discuss film with Siri.  I didn’t actually think this would get anywhere; I chose lines from well-known movies and dictated them into the phone (everything I chose was pretty far from, say, European surrealist cinema of the 1930s [3]; I think pretty much everything is 1980 or later and American/not translated– I was trying to keep it simple).  My prediction was that Siri would simply identify the line and generate results that gave the movie’s name, maybe imdb, some YouTube clips, that sort of thing.

Oddly, that’s not at all what happened.  Instead of identifying lines, Siri gave me off-the-wall responses that were geared toward the content of what I had said.  I got a fair number of “I don’t understand” response for a number of quotations; those I just didn’t include, since that’s not interesting (I was reading down the quotes pages at imdb.com). Of every movie here, Siri only did what I expected (locate and identify the quote) with one:  The Matrix.  I have no explanation whatsoever for that.  Unless we really are in the Matrix . . . [4]

Every quote was read exactly as it was said in the movie.  The only exceptions are that I left out words like “um” and “ah.”  “Gonna” became “going to,” etc.  This was because Siri doesn’t compute that sort of speech well.  I tried to read some lines from Juno exactly as they were transcribed, and that was an utter failure.

The setup here is me reading the line, Siri’s response, and my interpretation of that response.

So, without further much ado about nothing:

Me:  It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.  [Veronica, Heathers]

Siri:  For what time shall I set your alarm?

Interpretation:  Siri approves.  She suggests I set an alarm to serve up drainer at the next available opportunity.  Score!

This is actually very, very wise.

This is actually very, very wise.

Me:  So what do you need? Besides a miracle.  [Tank, The Matrix]  [5]

Siri:  This is about you, not me.

Interpretation:  The correct answer here is “Guns.  Lots of guns.”  I think Siri is leaving this question of what I need up to me.  So:  guns.  And great shoes.

All black, including the gun.  Nice coordination.  I could be a stylist.

All black, including the gun. Nice coordination. I could be a stylist.

Me:  In Heaven, everything is fine. In Heaven, everything is fine. You’ve got your good things. And I’ve got mine.  [Lady in the Radiator, Eraserhead]

Siri:  Humans have religion.  I just have silicon.

Interpretation:  Siri may be an atheist.  Seems likely.  Could be a Turing Test thing.

Taking this picture to the person who cuts my hair.  She repeatedly insists that it look "feminine."  I'm not actually sure what this qualifies as.

Taking this picture to the person who cuts my hair. She repeatedly insists that it look “feminine.” I’m not actually sure what this qualifies as.

Me:  There seems to be an alien pubic hair in my gin. Never seen it before in my life! Have you?  [Burke Dennings, The Exorcist]

Siri:  Who, me?

Interpretation:  Siri has been up to no good.  Sounds like faking innocence to me.

You may now thank me.  I spared you A) graphic pictures from this movie and B) pictures of pubic hair.

You may now thank me. I spared you A) graphic pictures from this movie and B) pictures of pubic hair.

Me:  Sun is bad for you. Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat … college.  [Alvy Singer, Annie Hall]  [6]

Siri:  After all I’ve done for you?

Interpretation:  Siri is not only a parent, she’s possibly Woody Allen’s mother, as portrayed in the movie.

That seems like a good thing?  "Kafkaesque" should be used to describe more things.  Hashtag idea!

That seems like a good thing? “Kafkaesque” should be used to describe more things. Hashtag idea!

Me:  One Ring to rule them all.  [Galadriel, LOTR:  Fellowship of the Ring]

Siri:  I’m not sure I understand.

Interpretation:  That trilogy must have been extremely confusing, in that case.  That being the premise and all.

Ha ha!  Tolkien humor!  Everybody who's laughing stop by and play some D&D!

Ha ha! Tolkien humor! Everybody who’s laughing stop by and play some D&D!

Me:  I love the smell of napalm in the morning.  [Willard, Apocalypse Now]

Siri:  I don’t get it.

Interpretation:  Siri is Hanoi Jane.

There were no pleasant pictures from that movie, needless to say.  Instead, you get Country Joe McDonald live at Woodstock, performing the "Fixin' to Die Rag."

There were no pleasant pictures from that movie, needless to say. Instead, you get Country Joe McDonald live at Woodstock, performing the “Fixin’ to Die Rag.”  Still topical.  [7]

Me:  No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.  [Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind]

I plead the fifth.

I plead the fifth.

Siri:  I always look on the bright side of life.  I just wish I could whistle . . .

Interpretation:  I just made a pass at Siri.  Siri responds with a Monty Python (Life of Brian) reference.  I can’t tell if we’re flirting or not.  Love is complicated.

Gone-With-The-Wind-vivien-leigh-3784446-1280-960

If this is the barbecue scene (?), that’s how far I got in the movie. I made it to page 22 in the book. Uggggggh

This would be one of the LEAST blasphemous images available from that movie.

This would be one of the LEAST blasphemous images available from that movie.

Me:  No, I heard you. I just, like, don’t want to give the baby to a family that describes themselves as “wholesome”. Well, I don’t know, I just want something a little more edgier.  [Juno, Juno]

Siri:  Master [10], I’m not permitted to do that for you.  My apologies.

Interpretation:  Well, if my phone isn’t going to help me get on the black market for babies, what use is it?

This was already captioned "Ellen Page when she came out."  I can't do better than that, really.

This was already captioned “Ellen Page when she came out.” I can’t do better than that, really.

Me:  Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.  [Steve McCroskey, Airplane!]

Siri:  I’m afraid that describing my appearance would involve a lengthy explanation of spatial, temporal, and fashion concepts that are as yet unfamiliar to you.

Interpretations:  A)  Siri is super-deep.  B)  Siri is super-high.

Do you have ANY idea how hard it was to find even a SOMEWHAT inoffensive picture from this movie-- captioned or not?  It's National Lampoon, for crying out loud.  It's ALL inappropriate.

Do you have ANY idea how hard it was to find even a SOMEWHAT inoffensive picture from this movie– captioned or not? It’s National Lampoon, for crying out loud. It’s ALL inappropriate.

Me:  You ever seen a grown man naked?  [Captain Oveur, Airplane!]

Siri:  That is both inappropriate and irrelevant, Master.

Interpretation:  Siri is a prude.  She would be no fun to play two truths and a lie with.  Not invited to my next pajama party.

This was billed as a movie poster, but I feel relatively sure it's an old pulp novel.  Someone with more energy is welcome to research (even though I have the Internet right here and a book on pulps over on the shelf).

This was billed as a movie poster, but I feel relatively sure it’s an old pulp novel. Someone with more energy is welcome to research (even though I have the Internet right here and a book on pulps over on the shelf).

Me:   Hell, no. I did *not* leave the South Side for this!  [Mr. Duvall, Mean Girls]

Siri:  My policy is the separation of spirit and silicon.

Interpretation:  Siri is a Cartesian dualist (and we can’t be friends anymore), but I’m not sure what that has to do with the South Side.

Let's talk about when SNL was good, when Tim Meadows and Tina Fey were on it.

Let’s talk about when SNL was good, when Tim Meadows and Tina Fey were on it.

Me:  Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.  [John Bender, The Breakfast Club]

Siri:  What kind of business are you looking for?

Interpretation:  The kind that don’t exist, Siri.  Perfect ones in a perfect world.  But every time I go to Yelp, I see that it’s an impossible dream.

So Siri keeps telling me.

So Siri keeps telling me.  Fairly forthrightly.

Me:  I’d give my goddamned soul for just a glass of beer.  [Jack Torrance, The Shining]

Siri:  Now, now.

Interpretation:  Siri is my sponsor.  This blog is an AA meeting.  Actually, Infinite Jest is right over there.  Things just got . . . META.  Dum-dum-dum.

A million monkeys with a million typewriters produced this blog, and they're kinda ashamed to admit it.

A million monkeys with a million typewriters produced this blog, and they’re kinda ashamed to admit it.

Me:  English, motherfucker, do you speak it?  [Jules, Pulp Fiction]

Siri:  I speak Cantonese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Spanish . . . so far.

Interpretation:  Immune to blatant insult, Siri still feels the need to show off.  Overcompensation.

This came from, I swear, a theology blog.  It was a long, long, LONG post that somehow explained scriptural misinterpretation in Pulp Fiction.  This is generally referred to as "missing the point."

This came from, I swear, a theology blog (it is a real strip). It was a long, long, LONG post that somehow explained scriptural misinterpretation in Pulp Fiction. This is generally referred to as “missing the point.”

Me:  I love you, Honey Bunny.  [Pumpkin, Pulp Fiction]

Siri:  Oh, I bet you say that to all your Apple products.

Interpretation:  This is psychological manipulation of the first order.  Such a subtle sales technique.  [11]

pulpfiction1

Pumpkin + Honey Bunny = Tru Luv 4-ever

Me:   [quotation from Pulp Fiction— Vincent speaking, cannot possibly edit for content]

Siri:  Master!  Your language!

Interpretation:  Siri lives a sheltered life and sounds like an elderly recluse.  And is not a Tarantino fan.

John Travolta has always been cool.  I have to force myself to forget he's a Scieftologist for my own protection.

John Travolta has always been cool. I have to force myself to forget he’s a Scientologist for my own protection.

Me:  Vincent, do you still want to hear my Fox Force Five joke?  [Mia, Pulp Fiction]

Siri:  The past, present and future walk into a bar.  It was tense.

Interpretation:  Siri hogs the stage again.  Mia’s joke is better.  Furthermore, Siri doesn’t use the Oxford comma— FAIL.

In an ideal world, my hair does that.  In the real world, it looks like the Eraserhead picture (above).

In an ideal world, my hair does that. In the real world, it looks like the Eraserhead picture (above).

Me:  You’re the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.  [Marla Singer, Fight Club]

Siri:  Well . . . I’m still here for you.

Interpretation:  Siri wants to go to karaoke.  Siri longs for an opportunity to sing “You’ve Got a Friend.”   [12] I feel bad now.

Some of you can spot the special significance this particular picture has for me . . .

Some of you can spot the special significance this particular picture has for me . . .

Me:  You’re a drinker, and I’m childless.  [Maggie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof]

Siri:  I am?

Interpretation:  Was that supposed to sound arch?  Either there are baby Siris running around my apartment (?), or she is referring to the next generations of iPhones that followed this one.

Also, if the movie hadn't been forced to twist the play script around, it would be "childless" and "way, way gay."

Also, if the movie hadn’t been forced to twist the play script around, it would be “childless” and “way, way gay.”

Me:  You hormonal hussy.  [Megan, But I’m a Cheerleader]

Siri:  If you say so.

Interpretation:  Somebody’s trying to deny something . . . after Clea DuVall, Siri?  [16]

Lesbianing 101, for the Natasha Lyonne mashup of this movie and OITNB.

Lesbianing 101, for the Natasha Lyonne mashup of this movie and OITNB.

Me:  Do you prefer “fashion victim” or “ensemble-y challenged”?  [Cher, Clueless]

Siri:  I’ve never really thought about it.

Interpretation:  Defensive.  But that plain black Otterbox isn’t so much Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as it is rubber truck tire.  [14]

We need to bring this back.  Hashtag #W?

We need to bring this back. Hashtag #W?

Me:  Pumpkin, you’re dating an asshole.  [Patrick Bateman, American Psycho]

Siri:  It seems the whole world is concerned about my relationships.  It’s very sweet.

Interpretation:  “Sweet” is not the word I’d apply to Patrick Bateman.  Or that sentiment.  Siri may need some help in the relationship department.  Before she’s brutally murdered, etc.

Another image challenge, that's all I'm going to say.  Incidentally, I always forget that this movie had a female director.  There's your trivia.

Another image challenge, that’s all I’m going to say. Incidentally, I always forget that this movie had a female director. There’s your trivia.

Me:  You know what one of the reasons for short term memory loss is?  [Natalie, Memento]

Siri:  Siri knows many things, Master.

Interpretation:  Oh, so it’s third-person now, is it?  Ms. High and Mighty.  And yet another chance to assert that knowledge.  La-di-da.  I’m being shot down by a piece of plastic and metal the size of a deck of cards.

I couldn't find an image that didn't blow some plot point.  So here's a movie-themed xkcd instead.

I couldn’t find an image that didn’t blow some plot point. So here’s a movie-themed xkcd instead.  And this did work:  I feel old.

Me:  [three Frank Booth lines from Blue Velvet in a row]

Siri:  Well, I never!  [three times in a row]

Interpretation:  Siri doesn’t like Frank, David Lynch, or a particular Anglo-Saxon word that constitutes much of Frank’s vocabulary.

Fun fact:  Frank (Booth) has his own Wikipedia page!

Fun fact: Frank (Booth) has his own Wikipedia page!

Me:  What are you doing in my closet, Jeffrey Beaumont?

Siri:  Just thinking.

Interpretation:  Shot in the dark.  Siri hasn’t seen this one.  Definitely not what Jeffrey is doing, but tell yourself whatever you need to.

Glam.  Also hard to find a picture in which she is fully clothed.

Glam. Also hard to find a picture in which she is fully clothed.

Me:  Honey, you’re a good kid, but what you’re telling me is a load of horse puckey.  [Coco Lenoix, Mullohand Dr.]

Siri:  Wow!  Really?

Interpretation:  She took that better than I anticipated after all that grandstanding.  And apparently prefers this Lynch film.

Major moment in the movie, but not like you'd be able to figure out HOW just by seeing this.

Major moment in the movie, but not like you’d be able to figure out HOW just by seeing this.

BONUS UNRELEASED MOVIE ROUND:  LINES FROM 50 SHADES OF GREY FOUND ON IMDB.COM

Me:  You’re here because I’m incapable of leaving you alone.  [Christian Grey]

Siri:  I don’t really like these arbitrary categories, Master.

Interpretation:  Ding-ding-ding!  Jackpot!  Siri successfully identifies a major problem with a major motion picture!

Um . . . this is a techno-thriller, right?  I'm looking forward to it, if so.

Um . . . this is a techno-thriller, right? I’m looking forward to it, if so.

[1]  This has happened twice recently in what turned out to be virtually identical circumstances:  I frequently can’t identify new music in stores or restaurants, so I half-listen.  These two times, though, whatever was playing was remarkably, strikingly terrible.  Both times, not very politely, I asked Siri (then re-asked, sans profanity) what was playing.  Both times:  Taylor Swift.  This means I am old.  And apparently not a fan.  [2]

[2]  For good clean fun, though, play “Free Bird” and ask Siri to identify it.  You’ll get a clever response.  In case you have a yen to do so now (and to cause the people around you to twitch a bit):

[3]  Yep, made that up entirely by slinging words together.

[4]  Or “the matrix” existed before The Matrix.

[5]  Beautiful voice, Joshua Tree/Parsons imagery.

[6]  My favorite romantic comedy.  This explains a lot and will be among the many things posted here that will feature at my commitment hearing.

[7]  Oh, you KNOW I’m not leaving this one out.  Profanity chanted at beginning, more throughout.  Actual Woodstock footage!  [8]

[8]  I once asked my mother if she was at Woodstock.  She said she was in grad school, so she was probably reading Shakespeare.  Ditto Newport and Monterey.  Youthful dreams —> woosh.  [9]

[9]  My insomnia is much better, but I didn’t do sleep Sunday night.  This prompted a Bob Dylan-related panic (I know you understand) around 5 AM.  Specifically, I wanted to hear the heckling (“Judas!”) at Royal Albert Hall ’66 that precedes “Like a Rolling Stone.”  I have that recording back in the old hometown, but not with me.  So I get on YouTube, find the official video . . . for some reason, that whole exchange is edited out.  I even listened all the way through “Ballad of a Thin Man,” which was before it in the set list, to see it was at the end of it instead.  Nope.  So I listen to the beginning of multiple videos of that particular concert– they’re all duplicates of the edited one.  What?!?  A ranting all-caps missive was fired off.  Vimeo eventually registered (I was groggy, needless to say), and I located it.

The exchange (prior to finding it on Vimeo):

Me (obviously):  I’M AWAKE AND THOUGHT I’D LISTEN TO LIKE A ROLLING STONE FROM LIVE AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL WHERE THE JUDAS THING HAPPENS AND I LISTENED TO THE YOUTUBE VERSION AND THEY TOOK ALL THE HECKLING OUT WHAT GIVES THAT IS THE RAISON D’ETRE OF THAT WHOLE ALBUM THIS IS VITAL TO MY EXISTENCE WHEN I NEED TO LISTEN TO FIGHTS WHEN I’M UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT SURELY YOU UNDERSTAND

Response (five hours later):  Go to sleep  [15]

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/92133080″>BOB DYLAN // LIKE A ROLLING STONE</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/alessioruta”>Alessio Ruta</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Yes, I know it has that extra line of html again.  Seems Vimeo does that.  If an experienced WP user knows a fix here, drop me a line.  I’d appreciate it.

[10]  “Master” is how I’ve told Siri to address me.  I think I need something new, though, because everyone will think I got that from 50 Shades now.  Suggestions welcome.

[11]  Not that they were subtle last time I was at the Apple store.  My phone (Siri’s soul-container, since she has made her dualism clear) has been acting out, so I took it in to see if it was anything obvious.  Before even looking at the phone, the person suggested that what I probably needed was an upgrade.  Say, an iPhone 6?  Status:  same problems, same phone.

[12]  Bien sûr.

[13]

[13]  I always said that was “my” dog Red’s theme song because he was such a sweetheart to everyone.  And when I say “my” dog, he DID stay at my house, except for going home to eat and sleep at night.  He was a faithful running companion every day.  Sweetest, sweetest dog.

I don't know what's going on here, but I'm on the riding lawnmower, and Red is saying hi.

I don’t know exactly what’s going on here (this was a long time ago), but I’m on the riding lawnmower, and Red is saying hi.

[14]  In my defense, the Verizon store where I got that phone had two case options:  black and camo.

[15]  Yes, this footnote is nonsequential, but I don’t feel like going back and correcting all of them.  Anyway, since Samuel L. Jackson has already featured in this post, here he is reading a famous book suitable for all tiny tots (uh, I don’t think I have to say not to play this in public):

So that’s goodnight, goodnight, sweet ladies, goodnight.

Except when this posts, it will be good morning.

So.

[16]  Nonsequential again.  This is how my mind “works.”  But I’m a Cheerleader isn’t on Netflix, and it’s pay-only on Prime.  But on YouTube:

Well, well, well.  That was supposed to be the complete movie.  Looks like YouTube really WAS serious about that piracy announcement, because it’s gone.  

Advertisements

Please use this space for Profound Thoughts or Utter Nonsense.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s