Login/Sign up

World Association of International Studies

Post Deja-Vu, Plus Ca Change, and Groundhog Day
Created by John Eipper on 02/04/18 7:32 AM

Previous posts in this discussion:


Deja-Vu, Plus Ca Change, and Groundhog Day (David Duggan, USA, 02/04/18 7:32 am)

I don't mean to quibble with my fellow Romance language enthusiast and editor, but I believe the proper French expression for what Groundhog Day is conveying is "déjà vu," not "plus ça change."

The idea of the movie was that this misanthropic newscaster was condemned to repeat his doomed existence of reporting on Punxsutawney Phil, the prognosticating rodent, for the rest of his life. Phil Connor, the newscaster, is able to realize the endless and unbreakable loop of his existence, and to alter his behavior, if not that of those around him. In that respect, the only change was to Phil's attitude.

And as to movies becoming metaphors, I'm not sure that The Manchurian Candidate, Sophie's Choice, Fight Club or The Matrix qualify. The metaphorical beauty of Groundhog Day is that the ridiculous holiday has developed a secondary meaning of repeating your life again and again, and just about anyone can relate to that. Matrix is simply another word for a web from which there is no escape; the Manchurian Candidate is simply a Trojan Horse in a business suit (anyone born in Manchuria would be ineligible to be president under the Constitution); Sophie's Choice is a life-or-death decision by a parent to decide which of two children should live faced with a concentration camp, which I hope nobody has to make; and Fight Club was a dystopian underground demimonde, the first rule of which was that you do not talk about it. Like Catch-22, they were all novels before being made into films; Groundhog Day was sui generis. High Noon comes close: nothing in the title itself suggests an hour of decision on a dusty street under the sun's relentless glare.

As to Groundhog Day's release date of Feb. 12 twenty-five years ago, of course that was for the Valentine's Day weekend. As a "rom-com," the movie needed to peg itself to some sort of date-night which I'm happy to say, Groundhog Day has not become. One thing which I neglected, however, and which bears mentioning is that Groundhog Day was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, the county seat of McHenry County, some 70 miles northwest of Chicago. With its own opera house where Orson Welles first learned his craft as a high school student, Woodstock is the epitome of small-town America.

JE comments:  Mea culpa and fait accompli.  You're absolutely right, David.  Déjà vu it is.  As for the filming of Groundhog Day, I assumed it was in Punxsutawney (Pennsylvania), the spelling of which I checked.  Twice.  There's a book to be written on how stand-in cities are selected for film projects.  (I recall a Sylvester Stallone film from the 1970s, F. I. S. T., which was set in Cleveland but filmed in Dubuque, Iowa, because it "looked more like Cleveland in the 1930s.")  Presently, tax incentives may be the most decisive factor.

Rate this post
Informational value 
Reader Ratings (0)
Informational value0%

Visits: 121


Please login/register to reply or comment: Login/Sign up

Trending Now

All Forums with Published Content (44645 posts)

- Unassigned

Culture & Language

American Indians Art Awards Bestiary of Insults Books Conspiracy Theories Culture Ethics Film Food Futurology Gender Issues Humor Intellectuals Jews Language Literature Media Coverage Movies Music Newspapers Numismatics Philosophy Plagiarism Prisons Racial Issues Sports Tattoos Western Civilization World Communications


Capitalism Economics International Finance World Bank World Economy


Education Hoover Institution Journal Publications Libraries Universities World Bibliography Series


Biographies Conspiracies Crime Decline of West German Holocaust Historical Figures History Holocausts Individuals Japanese Holocaust Leaders Learning Biographies Learning History Russian Holocaust Turkish Holocaust


Afghanistan Africa Albania Algeria Argentina Asia Australia Austria Bangladesh Belgium Belize Bolivia Brazil Canada Central America Chechnya Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark East Europe East Timor Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Estonia Ethiopia Europe European Union Finland France French Guiana Germany Greece Guatemala Haiti Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Persia) Iraq Ireland Israel/Palestine Italy Japan Jordan Kenya Korea Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latin America Liberia Libya Mali Mexico Middle East Mongolia Morocco Namibia Nations Compared Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria North America Norway Pacific Islands Pakistan Palestine Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Polombia Portugal Romania Saudi Arabia Scandinavia Scotland Serbia Singapore Slovakia South Africa South America Southeast Asia Spain Sudan Sweden Switzerland Syria Thailand The Pacific Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine USA (America) USSR/Russia Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Europe Yemen Yugoslavia Zaire


Balkanization Communism Constitutions Democracy Dictators Diplomacy Floism Global Issues Hegemony Homeland Security Human Rights Immigration International Events Law Nationalism NATO Organizations Peace Politics Terrorism United Nations US Elections 2008 US Elections 2012 US Elections 2016 US Elections 2020 Violence War War Crimes Within the US


Christianity Hinduism Islam Judaism Liberation Theology Religion

Science & Technology

Alcohol Anthropology Automotives Biological Weapons Design and Architecture Drugs Energy Environment Internet Landmines Mathematics Medicine Natural Disasters Psychology Recycling Research Science and Humanities Sexuality Space Technology World Wide Web (Internet)


Geography Maps Tourism Transportation


1-TRIBUTES TO PROFESSOR HILTON 2001 Conference on Globalizations Academic WAR Forums Ask WAIS Experts Benefactors Chairman General News Member Information Member Nomination PAIS Research News Ronald Hilton Quotes Seasonal Messages Tributes to Prof. Hilton Varia Various Topics WAIS WAIS 2006 Conference WAIS Board Members WAIS History WAIS Interviews WAIS NEWS waisworld.org launch WAR Forums on Media & Research Who's Who