You’ll have to excuse me if my intelligibility dips below acceptable levels; I am inconceivably tired but also sick of neglecting my blog and depriving the world (i.e. all three of you!) of my fantastic inner workings.
Last night Jared and I went to see No Country For Old Men, which I wanted to see it solely because Javier Bardem was in it. The only other film I have seen Bardem in is The Sea Inside, which we saw a few months ago. That was an astoundingly well-told story about a man who becomes paralyzed and, some decades later, assembles a group of friends to help him kill himself. Bardem plays an old man for most of the movie, and until some brief flashback scenes of his character earlier in life, I had no inkling that he (the actor) was not elderly. Similarly, when I watched him in No Country, he seemed to take up about three times as much physical space as he did in The Sea, and his voice and eyes were entirely different. That, to me, is what makes a good actor: complete immersion in a charcter, the ability to leave out one’s personal tics and mannerisms. So anyway, I thought he was neat and I enjoyed the movie.
My favorite thing to do after watching a movie is to go on imdb.com or read published reviews to see what other people thought. In so doing I came across this review and was immediately disgusted. The reviewer doesn’t like the movie, he doesn’t get it, whatever; that’s not what I take issue with. It’s this load of maggot-infested feces, about the movie’s directors and their treatment of the source material:
“They even manage to acknowledge briefly the relevance of all this mayhem to the present occupation of Iraq (albeit somewhat anachronistically, as the action is set in 1980). At one point, [a character] ruefully reflects to a colleague, â€œItâ€™s just all-out warâ€”there isnâ€™t any other word for it,â€ and goes on to comment about the sad times weâ€™re living in, when some people even resort to senseless torture, making particular allusion to Abu Ghraib by mentioning a torturer placing a dog collar around the neck of one of his victims.”
This is a common meme in the world of morons: the insistence to link every fucking thing that happens in the media and in your personal life to whatever war happens to be on at the time. This movie didn’t have a single thing to do with the Iraq war, or with any war; it’s a violent movie, and war is violent, but that’s where the connection ends. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people try to describe popular media as “an escape from these turbulent times” or “a response to the conflict overseas”. The vast majority of us aren’t at war, don’t have loved ones who are at war, and are not actually affected by the current war any more than we’re affected by every other atrocity that goes on in the world every day. The journalists and academics and others who have been perpetuating this kind of pseudo-intellectual garbage since the beginning of time would be well-advised to experience something -anything- on its own merit and not purely as a response to that day’s headlines.
It’s one thing to make a passing mention of politics when describing why Dylan’s music became so popular in the sixties…it’s another thing to take your morning dump and then expound upon how constipated you’ve become in this post-9/11 world.