Harold and Maude (Spoilers like a fox)

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Harold and Maude (Spoilers like a fox)

Postby Sprocket » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:47 pm UTC

So I just saw this movie last night. Oh me yarm it was weird! I'd love to see it with a bunch of people in a more energeised environment, more full of laughter and such.

Anyone else seen it? I think I'd like to discuss it.
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Postby OmenPigeon » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:32 pm UTC

The first time I saw Harold and Maude was when I was about ten or eleven, at a Halloween party. My father (who has a widely known dislike of scary movies) was chosen to provide to film entertainment for the evening. Apparently, he decided that Harold and Maude was good Halloween fare because, hey, dude kills himself a bunch of times!

I think I've watched six or seven times since then. It's pretty awesome, and the reason I listen to Cat Stevens.

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Postby Sprocket » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:59 pm UTC

awesome. I saw it for the first time last night. My best friend has always recomended it to me, since we were in highschool probably. So I finally saw it. I had no idea what I was in for. I knew it was about a relationship between an old woman and a young man, but that was it.
She would also often sing "if you wanna sing out sing out and if you wanna be free be free" she's a silly. I had no idea there was a connection.

This movie has so clearly inspired a lot of the sort of Indy-retro film making style that's going on. I love seeing things and going "ah, that's where Wes Anderson got that."

The mother was great. She was SO crazy! She just didn't get it at all. My biggest problem though was that I just don't see that woman deciding that on her 80th birthday she wanted to stop living. She LOVED life! She was so into vibrance etc. Why would SHE decide to end it? If it had anything to do with the tattoo on her arm...I still don't think it made sense. I know she'd been hinting at it for awhile, but whatever deep dark pain she had hidden inside, I don't think she'd say "ok 80 is enough, let's get this over with." NO sense in it. But I loved the ending.
"She’s a free spirit, a wind-rider, she’s at one with nature, and walks with the kodama eidolons”
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Postby OmenPigeon » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:28 pm UTC

The tattoo is a Holocaust concentration camp number - she was in a camp during the war and managed to escape or survive. Thats actually one of my favorite pieces of the movie; it's this huge detail that could easily swallow her whole character, but we only get to see half the tattoo for a moment, and no one ever mentions it.

The way I interpret her killing herself is that shes making sure that she has actually enjoyed all of her life. Once you get much past 80 you aren't going to be able to take care of yourself anymore, you'll have to rely on nurses or relatives or something. More importantly, you won't be able to do anything with your life. How can you revolt when you're stuck in bed ad the only thing you can eat is vitamins crushed in applesauce?

In another way, it's a sort of passing the torch to Harold. As long as Maude's around, Harold's going to be hanging off her coattails. He'll be living a richer and more interesting life than when his mother was setting him up with floozy dates, but it'll be Maude's life, not his. By taking herself out of the picture, shes letting him free to do his own thing.

Also, it's an acknowledgment that she's no longer relevant. It's like that umbrella - the time for her to be out on the front lines fighting the good fight is over, it's Harold's turn. And if Maude can't be doing something amazing and crazy, there's not much point in her doing anything at all.
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Postby Pixel » Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:39 pm UTC

OmenPigeon wrote:The tattoo is a Holocaust concentration camp number - she was in a camp during the war and managed to escape or survive. Thats actually one of my favorite pieces of the movie; it's this huge detail that could easily swallow her whole character, but we only get to see half the tattoo for a moment, and no one ever mentions it.


I didn't even recognize the tattoo for what it was until the second or third time I saw the move. At which point I shouted something to the effect of "Holey Crap!" and kinda gibbered under my breath as a bunch of things from that movie clicked into place.

I love Harold & Maude, the movie makes me delighted with the world every time I see it. I only wish they hadn't killed the Jag hearse. I have an original promo poster from the movie stashed somewhere in my apartment, I need to get it framed one of these days.
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Postby Sprocket » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:38 pm UTC

OmenPigeon wrote:The tattoo is a Holocaust concentration camp number - she was in a camp during the war and managed to escape or survive. Thats actually one of my favorite pieces of the movie; it's this huge detail that could easily swallow her whole character, but we only get to see half the tattoo for a moment, and no one ever mentions it.
That's what I assumed. I still don't think she'd kill herself at 80. I think she'd want to make the most of what she got. She could take that pill at any point, the day she finds out she has cancer, the day she can't get out of bed, the day she starts to loose her mind, why take it when you're still perfectly healthy?


I saw the passing the torch thing, definitely. The car crashed, the suicidal part of his life ended, one last fake-out and then Harold's transformed into a big-ol-hippie with a banjo.
Last edited by Sprocket on Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:42 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Zohar wrote: Down with the hipster binary! It's a SPECTRUM!

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Postby Bondolon » Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:43 pm UTC

This is one of my five favorite movies in the whole world. Better than any other of the time, I think, they almost exploit how badly the medium records the action, and so things have a "fuzzier" edge on them. In any case, I loved it. The plot, the irony, the absolute symbolism. It's a brilliant piece of artwork.

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Re: Harold and Maude (with a hope of critical theory)

Postby Mr. Beck » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

My all time favorite movie.
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you can do it today...
The ending was one of the greatest moments in film. Ever.

(Yay thread resurrection!)

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Re: Harold and Maude (with a hope of critical theory)

Postby Girl™ » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:27 pm UTC

Psst. You might want to mention in the title that there are spoilers.
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Re: Harold and Maude (Spoilers like a fox)

Postby Torben » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

Ruddy good film though, I have only seen it once and it's stuck in my mind since. Cat Stevens is playing right now, and that's what actually inspired me to search for this thread :)

EDIT: Twice now :)
1101010111111110001111001111111 - tell me if you get it...


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