Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Meiosis-Fight Club

December 10, 2011 3 comments

Tapinosis is another similar term to meiosis.  An example of this device can be found in David Fincher’s 1999 film Fight Club.  This movie revolves around “two men” that come together, form an alliance, and make a place wheter them as well as otehr males can come together and fight and release their aggressions.  This movie is a very serious and thrilling movie.  The particular scene that exhibits tapinosis is in a speech that Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) gives.  He delivers it outside while men, the men that he has recruited and that he has bought a house for, are digging holes into the backyard.  Durden says to them, “Listen up, maggots.  You are not special.  You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.  You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”  This is a very interesting juxtaposistion of decaying matter and the digging of the holes, which the dirt is full of this.  This speech exemplifies tapinosis because Durden is belittling these people by calling them maggots and saying that they are not special.  This is what one of the big devices of tapinosis is, the belittling of people.    This is a very serious statement to them because there is no joking tone to his tone.  These statements can also easily play on the emotions of these men that are digging.  It can do this because the degrading tone could get to them.

Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Brad Pitt. Fox, 1999. DVD. Also available:

Categories: emotion, film, meiosis


December 10, 2011 2 comments

One of the other closely related terms of litotes can be found in Jason Reitman’s 2007 release of Juno.  This movie follows the life of a pregnant teenager (Ellen Page) and her struggle of whether or not she would to keep the baby.  There are many other issues that arise in this film as well.  This movie is a comedy and is set in and around teenagers.  Even though that it is this it is also very “mature” its themes.  The particular scene that shows the device of litotes in action is the one where an ultrasound technician, Juno, her friend (Leah), and her mother (Bren) are all of them are at the doctor’s office.  Also, in this scene they are all they are looking at the ultrasound of the baby and talking of whether or not they would like to know the sex of the baby and a lot of other things to the like.  The doctor then says something that upsets Juno’s mother and in response to that she says, “Oh, you think you’re so special because you get to play Picture Pages up  there?  Well, my five-year old daughter could do that and let me tell you, she’s not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.  So why don’t you go back to night school in Mantino and learn a real trade.”  The most important thing to take out of this is the saying of that her daughter is not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed.  This is a very nice way of putting that she is dumb.  It makes it sound like she is not the brightest but she could be one of the brightest, not necessarily the dimmest though either.  This is a very nice way of implying the dumb hypothesis.  This is done in a very comedic sense even though the undertones of this movie are very serious.  The comment is not very nice but it is meant to be funny.  This is an effective example of litotes because Bren does not directly say that her daughter is stupid but she is implying it and that is how litotes is effectively portrayed.

Juno. Dir. Jason Reitman. Perf. Ellen Page, Olivia Thirlby, Allison Janney, and Kaaren De Zilva. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2007. DVD. Also available:


Categories: description, film, humor, meiosis


December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Meiosis can also be found in our everyday speech and generally is.  We may use the term and not even realize this.  This is where I feel that this next example is sort of taken.  This example happens to be taken from another term for a profession.  As I have heard of and I am sure you have heard, the term “shrink” can be considered as meiosis.  The term shrink is used in place of psychologist in many places and instances.  The particular example that I have chosen here is actually in the title of the movie itself as well as in the trailer for the movie.  This film centers around a down and out psychologist, Kevin Spacey, who gets involved with drugs and has his own struggles that can be similar to the issues that his patients come to him about.  In the particular trailer, we here one of the other characters interviewing him and calls him, “the shrink to the stars.”  We can kind of guess what this movie would be about just by the title alone and as we analyze and view the trailer we realize that are assumption was correct.  The term shrink in this sense is very degrading to the profession and is a good example of meiosis for that reason.  It does not speak highly on his particular profession.  It is a very effective example as well because of this.  At times, even hearing this term makes one think of the credibility of the individual themselves.  It even gives us a short of description of the person himself.

Shrink. Dir. Jonas Pate. Perf. Kevin Spacey. Roadside Attractions, 2009. DVD. Also available:

An Oldy but a Goody – Chleuasmos in the Film “Gone with the Wind”

December 10, 2011 3 comments

Ultimately, how could a project on the term chleuasmos close without offering its readers at least one peek at the workings of chleuasmos in a true classic of cinema history?  Classic, however, does not mean current; therefore, this clip should only be viewed for entertainment purposes.

In the final scene of Gone with the Wind, when Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) has finally had all he can stand of his manipulating and frigid wife, Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) he decides to leave.  Scarlett chases him to the door imploring him to stay and asking, “Rhett, Rhett, if you go, where shall I go, what shall I do?”  To which Rhett looks her directly in the face and replies, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”  he then puts on his hat and walks briskly into the fog.  The End!!!!!

Gone with the Wind. Dir. Victor Fleming.  Perf. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh. Warner Brothers. 1939. YouTube. Uploaded by on Feb 2, 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Chleuasmos in the Film “Scent of a Woman”

December 10, 2011 1 comment

Considered by many as one of the greatest speeches ever delivered in a film, the final oration by Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino) in A Scent of a Woman also achieves chleuasmos.

When Charlie Simms (Chris O’Donnell) appears before the Baird School Disciplinary Committee, charged with being a cover-up artist and a liar for not divulging the names of the three boys who vandalized the headmaster’s office, Colonel Frank Slade sits beside him for support.  As the proceedings wind down, the headmaster, Mr. Trask, is about to expel Charlie for not speaking up, rather than discipline the actual boys who have perpetrated the crime.  The movie audience knows that this is because all the other boys involved have parents who contribute money to the school.  Charley, whose parents are not wealthy, becomes a convenient scapegoat.  However, just as Mr. Trask insults Charlie a cover-up artist and a liar, Colonel Frank Slade speaks up.  In his defense of Charlie, Colonel Slade verbally attacks the very foundation of the Baird School and accuses the school of producing the wrong kind of leaders.  He states,

As I came in here, I heard those words: “cradle of leadership. Well, when the

bough breaks, the cradle will fall, and it has fallen here. It has fallen. Makers of

men, creators of leaders. Be careful what kind of leaders you’re producin’ here.

I don’t know if Charlie’s silence here today…is right or wrong; I’m not a judge

or jury.  But I can tell you this: he won’t sell anybody out… to buy his future!

And that, my friends, is called integrity. That’s called courage. Now that’s the stuff

leaders should be made of.

When Colonel Slade finishes his speech, Mr. Trask stands speechless and the student body erupts in applause.  The Disciplinary Committee acquits Charley of all charges related to the matter.

Once again, achieving chleuasmos does more than raise the ante of the insult.  In most cases, to achieve chleuasmos, the person speaking must have the intelligence to attack his challenger at the very core of his argument.  The intelligence or wit of the reply usually causes chleuasmos as opposed to the insult itself.  In “The Scent of a Woman” Colonel Slade’s chleuasmos does more than leave Mr. Trask thoroughly insulted and without replay, it clears Charlie and allows him to continue with his education at the Baird School.–IcPqrLDBA&feature=related

Scent of a Woman. Dir. Martin Brest. Perf. Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell. Universal Pictures. 1992. YouTube. Uploaded by on May 14, 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Chleuasmos in the Film “The Sandlot”

December 10, 2011 3 comments

The film The Sandlot demonstrates an excellent example of Chleuasmos.  In this movie, a group of middle school age boys, from a small suburban neighborhood, play baseball.  That is all they do.  They eat, breathe and dream baseball.  In fact, the film’s title derives from their makeshift field, the sandlot, where they play the game from sunup until sundown; everyday.

One hot afternoon, another group of baseball loving boys, from the right side of the tracks, arrives at the sandlot to pose a challenge to the gang.  A rivalry clearly exists between these two teams.  The movie sheds no light on the history of this rivalry, but when the interlopers arrive on their bicycles, wearing nice uniforms, a verbal confrontation ensues.  The two gangs of boys engage in a volley of petty insults escalating along this thread:

Watch it, Jerk!

Shut-up, idiot!


Scab eater!

Butt sniffer!

Puss licker!

Fart smeller!

You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!

You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!

You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!

This exchange abruptly ends, however, when Ham Porter hollers, “You play ball like a girl.”  With this final comment, the entire group stands in shocked silence; no one knows what to say next.  Clearly, Porter has crossed a line, his arrow has hit the very heart of what all these boys hold sacred and his words have achieved chleuasmos.

Nevertheless, this state of chleuasmos serves a function in the film.  It stops the onslaught of insults between the boys and allows for the intended purpose of the visit to come out.  The rich kids challenge the boys from the sandlot to a ballgame on their real baseball diamond and the plot moves along.  

The Sandlot. Dir. David M. Evans. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 1993. YouTube. Uploaded by on Apr 4, 2008. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

Categories: argument, chleuasmos, film

Chleuasmos in the Film “8 Mile”

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Chleuasmos, as represented in the film 8 Mile, not only defines the result of a verbal battle; it also, metaphorically, symbolizes the main character’s coming of age.

The film 8 Mile stars Eminem as Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith, a young, neophyte, white, rapper, trying to break into the predominantly black world of Hip-Hop.  The film expresses that one does this through a battle, not by way of a physical fight, but through a verbal sparring match.

At night, in the Hip-Hop clubs of Detroit, rappers “battle” one another with abusive and insulting rhymes aimed at theiropponent.  The contestant who inflicts the most damage upon his competitor rises as the victor.  The ultimate goal is to achieve Chleuasmos by leaving your adversary speechless.  Throughout the movie, B-Rabbit repeatedly loses these battles because his life is so open to scrutiny.  He lives in a trailer with his mother, he works a dead-end job, his girlfriend screws around on him, his best friend is the slow-witted Cheddar Bob, but worst of all, B-Rabbit is white.  All of these “flaws’ are used against him by the rival members of the Hip-Hop gangs, not just in these battles, but also in his real life.   B-Rabbit also views himself as flawed, but eventually learns to accept himself for who he is and expresses this enlightenment in a final battle scene.  In this scene, B-Rabbit beats his opponent, Papa Doc, by rhetorically exposing himself for what he is, white, trailer trash that lives with his mom, whose best friend shot himself with his own gun and whose girlfriend slept with someone else.  He then points out that Doc calls himself a Gangsta but went to a private school, has rich parents and comes from a wealthy neighborhood.  By doing this, he completely unarms Papa Doc leaving him with no ammunition to do battle.  B-Rabbit then tosses the microphone to Papa Doc and says, “Now tell them something they don’t know about me.”  Papa Doc just stands there holding the mic and B-Rabbit has achieved Chleuasmos.  With this newfound understanding of self, B-Rabbit also gains more confidence outside the Hip-Hop clubs, thereby, finding life a little more pleasant.

8 Mile. Dir. Curtis Hanson. Perf. Eminem. Universal Pictures. 2002. YouTube Uploaded by on Aug 8, 2011. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Categories: chleuasmos, credibility, film Tags: