Last year saw the release of Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, and subsequently rebranded as Live. Die. Repeat. It is an adaption of the Japenese light novel All You Need is Kill by Sakurazaka Hiroshi.1
Edge of Tomorrow follows William Cage (Tom Cruise) as he is forced to fight on the front lines against the alien Mimics. In a disastrous battle, Cage is cornered by a Mimic and he detonates an explosive, killing them both. This would be the end for our brave protagonist in most other films, but instead Cage wakes from death at the beginning of the previous day only to return to the same battle to fight and die again as the film’s tagline suggests. Cage quickly discovers he is trapped in a time loop, the most recognizable example of which is most likely Groundhog Day (1993).
It’s been a busy week, what with final edits on my next work before release, plus I’m writing for a competition that ends this month. When it’s busy, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and read, so I thought I’d give a reading recommendation for those moments when you want to read, but don’t have much time to dedicate.
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
― Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II
“What’s in a name,” indeed.
There are two main methods for naming characters. One is the name of significance. In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet argues that names are interchangeable and do not ultimately affect the nature of what is named. This runs contrary to the method of naming for significance.
An example of this is in the 2003 film Oldboy, which I saw for the first time last week. The main character of Oldboy is named Oh Dae-su and, in an interview with director Park Chan-wook, Park stated “I named Oh Dae-su in Oldboy to remind the viewer of Oedipus. I was thinking of Greek myth or the classics.” In this case, Park deliberately uses the name to refer to the themes of incest, shame, and predestination from the myth of Oedipus. These same themes run through Oldboy, building upon one another as the film’s mysteries unfold. To me, the best part of this naming is that it is not an in-your-face reference, demanding attention from the viewer. Even as someone quite familiar with the myth of Oedipus, I did not realize the connection until I read up on the film afterwards.