Friday, October 16, 2009
Thanks to a simple embed code courtesy of Hulu, I can post the entirety of a great movie on this site that few have heard about or even seen. I watched this film for the first time myself earlier this year and think you should take the advantage of seeing it for free. This may be the way films like this will be discovered in the future.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR SPOILERS!)
When the truth is found to be lies
And all the hope inside you dies
Don't you want somebody to love?
Don't you need somebody to love?
Wouldn't you love somebody to love
You better find somebody to love
For all the discussion recently about how editing and cinematography have contributed to the decline of film, I would argue that the greatest problem with film today often lies in the screenwriting. It is one particular flaw that has become more evident as contributing to the dumbing down of cinema. That would be the unnecessary tendency for films to explain themselves. It is almost considered offensive to many filmgoers that their movies require them to think about their ideas or to not have every narrative turn's logic mapped out for them. This often results in bloated scenes with tedious dialogue where characters are given loads of expositional information to unload to make sure every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. This is rather boring form for movie storytelling, when some of us believe story and theme do not need to be so crystal clear to be successful.
I read the screenplay for Joel and Ethan Coen's "A Serious Man" several months ago. Not only was it rather easy to visualize the film due to scenes and dialogue that were truly animated on the page, but the script also left me perplexed and with many questions. My response to these questions was not anger that the Coens did not explain what they were getting at. Instead, it made me anticipate the film even more so that I can experience the story visually and once again try to wrestle with the subject matter of the film. This is what the movies are all about to me.
Why are people so mad these days? I'm not talking about anger at social injustice. I'm talking about getting mad at anything that does not go your way or anyone that does not agree with your point of view. Since one of the reasons I even started this blog was to counter what I feel was the descent of some film discussion into alternately fanboy worship or cinephile bomb throwing, a subject that will recur on this blog is the act of discourse itself. For all the attention centered on the declining quality of our arts, I think discourse in our society has driven off a cliff and crashed into the rocks with a fiery explosion during the last decade.
Outrage is defined as the anger and resentment aroused by injury or insult or an act that violates accepted standards of behavior or taste. By definition, an outrage should arise out of an assault on one's personal morals. However, in today's culture, outrage is the goto mode of expressing one's anger at anything whether it has any effect on your personal life or not. It is often demonstrated in the most grandiose fashion and aided with the tools of our media. I would also argue that nowadays it is often more about building up the often dubious moral credibility of those who seem to be addicted to expressing their outrage publicly.