Ms. Gokturk                                                               Name: __________________________

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Study Questions for 12 MONKEYS DAY 1

(directed by Terry Gillam)

 

“Maybe people deserved to be wiped out.” – James Cole, 1990

 

Major Cast

James Cole – Bruce Willis

Jeffrey Goines – Brad Pitt

Dr. Kathryn Railly – Madeline Stowe

Dr. Goines – Christopher Plummer

Dr. Peters (Goines’ assistant) – David Morse

Jose: Jon Seda

 

In 1996 a deadly virus swept across the earth, killing 5 billion people. The survivors moved underground, leaving the surface of the earth to be ruled by wild animals. Now, in 2035, prisoner James Cole has "volunteered" to return to 1996 as part of a scientific research, in hopes that man will be able to re-inhabit the surface of the earth. His mission: to find the "Army of the 12 Monkeys" who, it is believed were responsible for the release of the virus.

Movie Timeline

Begins in 2035.

James Cole is sent to 1996 but ends up in 1990.

Cole returns to 2035.

 

  1. How does Cole’s dream differ each time it appears?  In each, he is a young boy in an airport, but the other people in the dream change.  Explain for each.

 

Airport scene #1:

 

 

 

Airport scene #2:

 

 

 

Airport scene #3:

 

 

 

  1. Pay attention to televisions and screens. What images are depicted?  Be specific – for example, what is the content of the cartoon or commercial or newscast?  How do these images help develop the themes?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.      When Cole ends up in the mental hospital, he meets another patient, LJ Washington.  He says, “I don't really come from outer space…Don't mock me my friend [Goines]. It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?” What evidence supports that Cole is “mentally divergent”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Complete the chart.

The Future (2035)

The Past  /  Our “Present”

James Cole searches for specimens in the opening scene.  He puts it in a container. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When and how does Cole get his specimen?

In jail in the future, James Cole is scrubbed brutally by the guards in order to decontaminate his body.  Of what are they afraid?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is he scrubbed and by whom?

He sees a bear.  What does the bear’s presence signify?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What role do animals play?  Where do we see them?  How are they treated?

He’s locked up. Institutionalized. Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s locked up. Institutionalized. Why?

 

Cole is interviewed many times.  Note the content and nature of each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cole is interviewed many times.  Note the content and nature of each.

 

 

 

Ms. Gokturk                                                               Name: __________________________

Trends

Study Questions for 12 MONKEYS DAY 2

(directed by Terry Gillam)

 

“You haven’t become addicted, Cole, to that dying world?”  -- 2035 scientist

 

Timeline

The scientists send him back to 1996, but he ends up in WWI.

Cole then ends up in 1996 when he kidnaps Railly.

He returns to 2035.

Then back to 1996.

 

  1. What is changing in Cole’s airport dream?  Explain for each.

 

Airport scene #4:

 

 

 

Airport scene #5:

 

 

 

  1. Explain the “Cassandra Complex.” How does this help support that Cole is a time traveler?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. “You live in a beautiful world, but you don’t know it.  You have freedom, sunshine, air you can breathe.  I would do anything to stay here, but I must leave,” says James Cole.  Discuss how the film presents this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Jeffrey Goines, despite his madness, has been the voice of reason in the film.  He is not happy with the modern world.  What sins have we committed, according to him?

 

 

 

 

 

  1. “You might say human beings are the next on the endangered species, list,” Dr. Jones says to Dr. Peters on the plane.  What does she mean?  And what does she mean when she says, “I’m in insurance”?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool Quotes from Twelve Monkeys

The poet says, “Yet among the myriad microwaves, the infra-red messages, the gigabytes of ones and zeroes, we find words, infinitesimally small, byte-sized now, tinier even than science lurking in some vague electricity but if we but listen we can hear the solitary voice of that poet telling us,

 

Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;

Tomorrow's Silence, Triumph or Despair:

Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:

Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where." 

 

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. ... of the luminous conversation between Edward FitzGerald and Omar Khayyám

 

L.J. Washington: I don't really come from outer space.

Jeffrey Goines: Oh. L. J. Washington. He doesn't really come from outer space.

L.J. Washington: Don't mock me my friend. It's a condition of mental divergence. I find myself on the planet Ogo, part of an intellectual elite, preparing to subjugate the barbarian hordes on Pluto. But even though this is a totally convincing reality for me in every way, nevertheless Ogo is actually a construct of my psyche. I am mentally divergent, in that I am escaping certain unnamed realities that plague my life here. When I stop going there, I will be well. Are you also divergent, friend?” 

 

“There's the television. It's all right there — all right there. Look, listen, kneel, pray. Commercials! We're not productive any more. We don't make things any more. It's all automated. What are we for, then? We're consumers, Jim. Yeah. Okay, okay. Buy a lot of stuff, you're a good citizen. But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally ill. Fact, Jim, fact: if you don't buy things — toilet paper, new cars, computerized yo-yos, electrically-operated sexual devices, servo systems with brain-implanted headphones, screwdrivers with miniature built-in radar devices, voice-activated computers...” – Jeffrey Goines

 

Jeffrey Goines: In the eighteenth century, no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person, anyway. Ah! Ah! Along comes this doctor, uh, uh, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He's trying to convince people, well, other doctors mainly, that's there's these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. Ah? He's trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do you call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, cut to the 20th century. Last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger in this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. Jim, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it's all OK. "What about the germs?" I say. He says, "I don't believe in germs. Germs is just a plot they made up so they can sell you disinfectants and soaps." Now he's crazy, right? See?

 

 

You know what "crazy" is?  "Crazy" is "majority rules."  

 

Railly, speaking about her new book, says, "In a season of great pestilence...there are omens and divinations. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels...seven golden vials full of the wrath of God...who liveth forever and ever. "Revelations. In the 14th century, according to accounts of officials of that time...this man appeared suddenly in the village of Wyle near Stonehenge...in April of 1362. Using unfamiliar words and speaking in a strange accent...the man made dire prognostications about a pestilence...which he said would wipe out humanity in approximately 600 years. Obviously this plague-doomsday scenario is considerably more compelling...when reality supports it with a virulent disease...whether it's the bubonic plague, small pox or AIDS. Now we have technological horrors as well...such as chemical warfare, which first reared its ugly head...during the deadly mustard gas attacks of World War I. During such an attack in the French trenches in October of 1917...we have an account of this soldier...who, during an assault, was wounded by shrapnel...and hospitalized, apparently in a state of hysteria. Doctors found he had lost all comprehension of French...but that he spoke English fluently...albeit in a regional dialect they didn't recognize. The man, though physically unaffected by the gas...was beside himself. He claimed that he had come from the future...that he was looking for a pure germ...that would ultimately wipe mankind off the face of the Earth...starting in the year 1996.Though injured, the young soldier disappeared from the hospital...no doubt trying to carry on his mission to warn others...and substituting for the agony of war...a self-inflicted agony we call "the Cassandra complex." Cassandra, in Greek legend, was condemned to know the future...but to be disbelieved when she foretold it. Hence, the agony of foreknowledge, plus the impotence to do anything about it.” 

 

“My father said that to me. He said, ‘Never cry wolf.’ Then people won't believe you if something really happens.”

 

“We were in the day room watching television... and you were upset about the desecration of the planet, which I understand. Then you said, "Wouldn't it be great to have a germ or virus... that would wipe out mankind and leave the animals and trees?" --Goines