Hidden Meaning in Arrival – Earthling Cinema

Hidden Meaning in Arrival – Earthling Cinema


Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Arrival, starring
thirty-eight time Oscar nominee and zero time Oscar winner Amy Adams, long may she reign. The film begins with an adult female taking
care of her young daughter as she dies of one of Earth’s many popular diseases. This adult is Louise, a linguistics professor
at Human University. She’s got a lot of papers to grade, but if
a bunch of military guys show up and ask for her help, sure yeah, the TA can just take
care of it. Which is exactly what happens, on account
of the alien spaceships that have plopped themselves down in different places all over
planet Earth — twelve to be exact, a couple handfuls to be inexact. And because this random teacher is the best
goddamn translator on the planet, it’s up to her to figure out how to communicate with
these a-holes. The “a” stands for “arrival.” Well these arrival-holes are called heptapods
and they look like big seven-fingered hands, or what all hands look like before circumcision. Louise quickly uses her translator powers
to deduce that the heptapod language isn’t spoken, it’s written in circular air tattoos,
duh. But then the army guys tell her she has to
keep doing the translation thing since China is getting antsy and wants to attack the spaceships. So Louise tells the heptapods she’s sick of
doing all this unpaid work, just give her the answers already. They tell her she’s no fun, but ok: the daughter
stuff is from the future, which is crazy because it means Louise isn’t going to age for at
least another ten or twelve years. Turns out the heptabuddies are here to given
humans their language, which has the power to alter time in some magical way that you’ll
just have to go along with. This gift is sort of a “you scratch our giant
hand, we’ll scratch yours” type thing, since in 3000 years they’re gonna need Earth’s help
moving to a new apartment. Louise gets a vision of herself at some kind
of Bar Mitzvah, where the Chinese general is thanking her for stopping his attack on
the spaceship. So she dusts off her old routine of just having
someone else give her all the answers, and he tells her his phone number and exactly
what to say. Back in the present she plugs in all the info
and boom, peace is restored. Ian, the male lead, tells Louise he loves
her in order to justify his presence on the mission. And even though she knows he’s the future
father of her dead daughter and will abandon her to go hang out with the Avengers, she
can’t pass up an opportunity for free sex. Arrival depicts humanity’s response to a profound
paradigm shift, which is also what I call my bowel movements. The heptapod arrival is an unprecedented event,
and the human efforts to apply understood frameworks on the situation are predictably
obtuse for a Class 12 species. The resulting confusion is exemplified visually
when the humans enter the ship and try to throw a rave in a new, gnarlier form of gravity. The film causes viewers to share the characters’
disorientation by manipulating traditional aesthetics and structures of film. The heptapod viewing area is shaped like a
Samsung Galaxy Note screen, or really any screen, a visual motif that serves to remind
us of the way we typically consume media. We expect movies that conform to certain architectures,
such as a linear chronology and straightforward cinematography. And if it’s a big blockbuster, we also expect
Jeremy Renner to show up at some point to grab his check. Arrival gives us more J-Ren than we can handle,
but it also gives us something different — upside down shots, confusing perspectives, and a
timeline that eschews a beginning and an end. This philosophy is embodied in the design
of the heptapod enclosure, which was inspired by John Turrell’s art installation “Breathing
Light”, one of my top five favorite art installations of his. By eliminating depth perception, the work
dislodges the viewer’s preconceptions about his surroundings and lets him just chill out
for once, Karen. Thus, just as the scientists must forego their
usual arsenal of data points, so too must the audience come to terms with the fact that
this is an alien movie without any cool battle scenes. The film suggests that communication is not
only about translation, but also perspective. Initially, the so-called “scientists” try
to understand the literal meaning of the heptapod words using their so-called “logic”. However, these interpretations do more harm
than good because humans process everything through the Instagram filter of their own
experiences. It’s only when Louise becomes fluent in the
heptapod language in about a week and begins to experience time from the heptapod point
of view that she can grasp their purpose. Similarly, as the audience’s preconceptions
dissolve, we realize Louise’s flashbacks were actually flash forwards, causing us to flashback
to when the TV show Lost did it first. The circular heptapod language reflects their view of time, without a beginning or an end, just 100% all-natural, grade-A
middle. Likewise, Louise names her daughter Hannah,
which is a palindrome. It can be read in either direction – from
end to beginning, or future to present. Just like this video, which can be watched
forward or rewound and watched forward again. For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Goodbye in Chinese.

100 thoughts on “Hidden Meaning in Arrival – Earthling Cinema

  1. Strong interpretation of the Sapir-Whorf theory. For philologists and linguists an interesting watch 🙂

  2. Like I thought, literally no hidden meaning here. Everything was revealed in exposition. I liked the movie, but this fact made me hurt. I felt like the movie makers treated me as stupid and as I can't draw the conclusions by myself

  3. Arrival is a masterpiece(absolutely no doubt about it). But where in the world does he gives us a "HIDDEN MEANING"?

  4. Every single episode of Earthling Cinema always has at least one moment that makes me burst out loud with laughter. This episode's moment: Goodbye in Chinese.

  5. The "language changes how you see time" thing is based on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. The hypothesis says that people's languages change their thought process and how they experience the world. A lot. If that hypothesis were true, then Arrival's language time thing would be possible.

    That said, pretty much all linguists think it's bullshit at this point. The people who thought of it based their hypothesis on a bad misunderstanding of Hopi. They thought that because their grammar etc. was so different, then Hopi speakers must literally experience time differently than English speakers. (So basically Arrival.)

    That said, your language does have some effect on how you see the world, just not in a time-jumpy sense. Linguists are trying to figure out exactly how much, but they're confident time travel is not involved.

    Although that would be AWESOME.

  6. This guy's sarcasm implies he doesn't hold this film in high regard.  But its an amazing movie with so much meaning and symbolism and has some great messages in the end.

  7. The writer of this movie is delusional n on agenda, blaming China being the aggressor from start to end. BUT WHO FUUCKING C4 THE ALIEN FIRST IN THE MOVIE?

  8. Much of my reason for liking this movie was that i was patting myself on the back for being someone who likes alien films that are 'a bit different'. I felt a bit superior and special. Now i think I didn't get anything from it, not even enjoyment. It annoys me for being duped.

  9. Not being familiar with DoD/Gov/Military information sharing policies, I can understand why it seemed weird for the military to come to McAdams in the first place, as you mentioned. However, I found the Colonel seeking her out as logical. First thing is first. If you're an individual with Top SC/SSBI clearance that is active, which was for McAdams as stated in the movie, she had already gone through the lengthy process of having an OPM background investigator literally Pick-A-Part her life, interview her neighbors at all the addresses of every place she has ever lived and as a result, it is determined that she can have information disclosed to her without any harm being done to the National Security of the United States. Contrary to popular belief, TSC/SSBI clearances are not perpetual and they are valid for a specified amount of time usually 5 years. In order to renew that clearance beyond 5 years, one has to go through readjudication process. I say that so we can narrow the group of people who could or would be asked to consult on a government project like what happened in the movie. Before there's even a discussion about your competency when it comes to language interpretation, the first question that is asked is whether an individual would have the clearance necessary. They probably went through their roster of language interpreters/specialists to see who have active clearances. Couple that with the fact that the Colonel was already familiar with her work as he had collaborated with her in the past as it said in the movie, it's not surprising that he would go to her first. I made this comment because I kind of got the impression that you didn't think she was qualified and that in the movie, her selection was basically how Hollywood does things sometimes. All I'm saying is that there is some logic behind why she was consulted.

  10. Relatively early during my first viewing of Arrival, it started becoming increasingly obvious to me that the "flashbacks" were actually flash-forwards; however I felt like the filmmakers were expecting me to already "get it" by that point, so I spent the rest of the movie waiting for them to develop the idea and utilize it in a clever way at the end to blow my mind away. Instead, they spent the rest of the movie trying to explain the basics of the concept to the audience; The End. 🙁

    It's a little like guessing the ending of "The Usual Suspects" halfway through. Happened to a friend of mine. He could still tell that the movie was ingeniusly-made, but he just couldn't enjoy the movie simply because he happened to be cleverer than the filmmakers expected him to be.

  11. I can’t believe that you guys didn’t talk about the obvious philosophy of langage that traverses the film! The aliens langage gives the ability to perceive time in a circular way because their langage is circular ( the way they write don’t have a beginning or ending; it is given as a whole, at « the same time »). As the film explicits this theory, our mind and the langage in which it thinks are inseparable : once she learns to think in their langage, she then also perceive time differently.

  12. you totaly missed the main idea of the movie. the main idea is thet language shape the way we think. they even say it in the movie. so because Amy Adamas learnd the language of the aliens, she could have tjink the way they thinks (without time)

  13. Great concept for the first act of a larger more interesting film, i know it's supposed to be a personal story within a sci fi world but it could have been shorter or contain a better payoff

  14. I will pretend that my opinion matters. Aliens were not really thought through because they would need large amounts of energy to run their bodies, so they would never become intelligent because it would require large amounts of resources to get them going. But I'm not really intelligent either, and i go along just fine 😀

  15. As a linguist (in training), I must say… this really did the major linguistic concepts of the film justice.

  16. Life of tree 33 paths and 22 path is daat 3rd eye hidden path abyss even god have no power on entity of this path Darth Vader makes Luke jump into nothingness void it is only one abyss it is 2001 space Odyssey monolith or room 273. (maybe Truman last door exit and Snake Plisken enter into world trade center 🙂 ) or maybe The Who Baba o'reiley Robot chicken Palpatine death in hole of nothingness, crap hippies sucks in all galaxies LoL

  17. you got something on Monty Pythons Meaning of Life? WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MIDDLE OF THE FILM SECTION?

  18. "Moving to a new apartment"
    "She can't pass up an opportunity for free sex"
    These two jokes killed me 👍👍

  19. oh, i thought this was the one with charlie sheen from the 90s. maybe that's the arrival. can't be the arrivals though, that one's a conspiracy show by some muslim dudes, so…

  20. My oldest daughter is named Hannah. I left her mother because she went crazy. I do theoretical physics whenever possible. This was a strange movie to watch for me. The strangest was however that after watching how meticulously she decodes the first 20 simple symbols to construct two word sentences, the next day she can have an unhindered dialogue wit Albert and Castello. I think 15 minutes of nerdy linguistics was cut from the final edit. Which wasn't done in the Jody Foster movie Contact, which made it a far more compelling movie in that respect.

  21. the "Weapon" or Gift was altering the H U M A N perception of time to being non-linear
    m o v i e / / t i m e

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *