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Showing posts from December, 2016

Moonlight – Coming of Age in the Ghetto

This is a violent film.  Not as overtly violent as the reluctant wife feared - though there are powerfully, intimately violent scenes and it was no surprise to discover that Brad Pitt, who starred in the even more violent film Fight Club that addresses similar themes, is a producer – but there is a great deal of implicit violence.  It is a film about identity – about how we build an identity and how, in the process of doing that, we preserve our core identity – one that may be at odds with the identity that we construct.
The film is billed as a film about the development of a gay identity within contemporary American Black culture – and it has been billed as a coming of age film about African American Men in the Ghetto (heck, I even referred to it that way in my title).  Each of these characterizations is problematic.  It has been hailed as a great film – and I think it is, at the very least, a very good, if flawed, film; and, in so far as it is a great film it is because it deals wi…

Das Boot - How Necessary is Good Government?

A number of years ago, I visited a favorite Aunt and Uncle in Houston while I was on vacation.  My aunt and I took a trip to NASA’s Mission Control.  At the end of the tour, I noticed that there were some local news guys interviewing people on the grounds and convinced my aunt to go talk to them with me.  The President (I think it was Ronald Reagan) had announced that day that a teacher would be sent into space on the space shuttle and they were interviewing people who had come to tour the center about how they would use their profession in space.  My aunt, much to my surprise, was up to talking with them and talked quite eloquently about how what duties she would perform – I was convinced she should go.  She was erudite and clear and had interesting ideas about performing domestic functions especially on a long space flight.  When they turned to the camera to me, I had nothing so deep or profound to say – I simply stated that there was no way they could get me into space inside a ti…

The Movie Caché: An Austro-French take on hidden guilt.

There are lots of papers to grade and clinical work to do and we are having house-guests tonight, but I have to write about the movie I saw last night, Caché (2005).  There is some irony here.  The movie was shown at a gathering at the Psychoanalytic Institute and the reluctant wife chose not to go because so many movies shown there are, as she says, like watching paint dry.  She qualifies that by saying that it is frequently interesting paint, but paint none the less.  And this movie qualified.  Nothing happened for long stretches.  And when things did happen they were disorienting.  It was unclear for a long time who the characters were and what was going to happen.  And there was no sense of urgency for a very long time.  So my urgency to write is somewhat ironic.
My hurry to write is also likely doomed to failure.   In a quick scan, there are many who have seen the film who cannot solve the riddle of how the plot works (and yet it is considered one of the best movies of the 2000s