Let's debate ambiguous works!

I encountered one ambiguous work, and learned of the ambiguity in another work, today. Let’s debate these! I suggest spoiler boxes except in the case of very old well known works, but use your best judgement. My two examples are films but feel free to discuss other creative works.

  1. After.Life: OK so it’s not a spoiler to say there’s some ambiguity for part of the film about whether she’s really dead or whether she’s being scammed by the funeral director but

As far as I’m concerned, the ambiguity continues all the way to the bitter end. My friend is of the opinion that we finally discover that she’s not dead, but I maintain that in every scene, the facts can be interpreted in either way. Feel free to discuss!

But in this case, I’m of the opinion that the creator purposely left it ambiguous, and that’s what we are supposed to take away from it.

  1. Monsters: There’s some controversy about the first night vision scene

Some people think this scene actually occurs chronologically last. That it’s the humvee that picks up our heroic couple and gets sidelined by the monsters. Others think it’s thematically similar, but is actually a different scene. I think it’s clear that the girl is in both scenes, but that is true in either case. Pro-beginners give as evidence that the same footage seems to be on the TV in the beginning, and be explained as the girl when her hotel was attacked. Pro-enders cite the commonality of the “theme music” sung by the soldier.

In this case, however, I’m not as convinced that it’s supposed to be ambiguous. Confusing and tricky and misleading perhaps, but I suspect that more careful inspection of transcript and screencaps might lead to an actual definitive answer.

What do you think about these? And please give your own favorite examples!

As an aside, there was ‘movie mistake’ regarding Monsters in terms of the placement of Mesoamerican pyramids. Does anyone know what the most northern pyramid in the Americas is, or can point me to a map of all of them?

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this issue.

I felt cheated by the ambiguous non-ending of Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon.

I’ve watched the extra features on the disc, and the director maintains she was obviously alive throughout. Also, when you see Liam Neeson’s collection of autopsy photos, the ones with open eyes were alive, and closed eyes were dead.

12 Monkeys – happy ending, or worse than we even thought?