Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Basement Matinee: Experimenter

This week, I take a good look at 2015's Experimenter...

Hello and welcome to the Basement, and Basement Matinee

In 1961, Stanley Milgram conducted a series of radical behavior experiments that tested ordinary humans willingness to obey authority.

These experiments and others are what is depicted in the 2015 film, 'The Experimenter', a bio-pic detailing Milgram's work, theories and the impact that spoke a lot of society in the 1960s... and probably is more relevant now here in 2016.

Now Milgram's experiments were... quite ahead of their time.. inspired by the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem regarding his actions in the Holocaust and a question that asked 'Could it be that he was just following orders?' So the aim was to see how easily ordinary people like you or me, could be influenced into committing atrocities. Certainly a fascinating subject, and one that I think if Milgram was alive today, would probably expand on in regards to the 'obey the authority of the mob' mentality, the (insert name here) live matter.

Anyway, the movie is told in a break the fourth wall, where Stanley Milgram (played by Peter Sarsgaard) interacts with his wife (Winona Ryder) and colleagues in a tradition bio-pic manner, but he's also addressing the viewer, telling us the details of his experiments, taking us inside the mind of the man, explaining why his work was important instead of just playing lip service in an attempt to re-write history, like some other bio-pics I can mention...

Instead of a story 'dolled up' for theatrical release, with re-written history & forced elements to try an connect things together, The Experimenter is a film where the story is told as if by the subject itself, recalling memories and detouring at moments naturally as if you were having a conservation. Hell this film accomplishes more in 98 minutes than some other bio pics do with a 145 minutes and stays true to what its showing. We don't get too involved with seeing Milgram's personal life, because it wasn't key to what we're being shown.

It is a fascinating film, with the ideas being presented in a way that makes you think about them. And I highly recommend checking it out on Netflix.

Difference Between The Vlog Version and The Blog Version: In the vlog... I attempt to explain how the process of Milgran's famous experiment

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