Monday, February 28, 2005

A Good Story

After a truly craptastic day, I could not do anything except retreat to 3W and watch the PB. One of two movies that can rectify most any mood that I am in. As I was watching the movie feature after the movie, I think that all the people associated with the movie kinda got it wrong, except Mandy Patankin. He said that when he read the line "You killed my father, prepare to die" he could not help but think of his father who had died of cancer a decade earlier. Through this myth, he was coming to terms with his own life. Good fairy tales allow us to reflect on things and mythologize them, as we cannot do ourselves, because we can never be at the center of our own myth. Stories are not just for kids.
Ben, Rebecca and I were talking about the celebrity myth making culture (after I exclaimed that I liked watching the Oscars- a festive evening I abstained from to watch PB, fittingly). The only intelligent thing I had to say was that celebrity myth making is important because there need to be mythical characters in our world. Every child is in awe of their parent. "Wow, my Dad is a doctor." you think to yourself. Problem is when you actually become that doctor (lo alaynu), it ceases to be so magical. You can never be at the center of your own myth.
Movies do it though. More than theater, more than music. When movies are shot, they do not resemble the final product. When you see the movie, in its finished form, the acotrs are no longer at the center of the myth. I think that is part of the appeal of movies, no one, not even the actors that shoot the movies, are the ultimate keepers of the stories and myths they create. I wonder how this fits into my larger ideas of Hobbes' story of the Common-Wealth, and the Jewish notion of Yetziat Mitzraim and Maamad Har Sinai?

Side Note: I am really happy about the Oscar results. This is the first year in a while hat I can remember being happy with Oscar outcomes (or not being sad). MDB won for best picture, director, best use of Morgan Freeman and actress. Sideways (which I have not seen) won for best adapted screenplay and Eternal Sunshine won for best original screenplay. As screenplay is often given to the movie which, if the Oscar were more avant garde, would have been nominated for best picture- I am always happy when cool movies win, e.g. Eternal Sunshine.
To disagree with Caryn James of NYT I think that MDB won all those awards because Hollywood likes ol' timey movies. The kind that we like so much that we can imagine watching them with our grandparents and grandchildren. LotR is not one of those movies. Neither of my two grandparents would (have) understand WTH was going on and would have been quite bored. LotR is a lot of smoke and very little movie. While Hollywood likes larger-than-life, I think it likes ol'-timey better, which is why they gave such resounding approval to MDB (I stole much of this last rant from Jr. Ginsbu).

1 comment:

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