Monday, March 15, 2010

Two Films I Recommend
I Tortured A Cat Once

Thanks to my netflix subscription I now have the ability to easily follow along with films that have received accolades.

There are two movies I saw recently that I liked and had a few thoughts on:

I used to not care for the Coen Brothers, then I watched Fargo, and after that I viewed more of their movies like The Big Lebowski, and I think I understand them. I'm a fan now and I have the pleasure of still not having seen some of their lesser known works. I watched A Serious Man because it was their latest movie and I heard a lot of reports that could be summarized as "WTF." The film does have a point though that point might differ depending on who you are.

I took it as a very unique view into what it's like to be a Jew, and more specifically, what it's like to think like a Jew. The film isn't religious and it is only accidentally about the culture of Judaism. The story is about the people of that faith and how they respond to the world around them. The opening scene is absolutely well done and I took from that scene that the Coen Brothers might suspect that Jewish people are cursed with a supernatural mistrust of people.

Watch it if you don't believe me. I've heard from others that the film is really about how Jews uniformly deal with adversity, and how this behavior hardly matters because life's events are so chaotic that to fall back on one strict moral code hardly makes any sense. This sounds good but it doesn't explain the great parable that plays during the intro to the movie, it's about a mistrustful Jewish wife and a visiting rabbi who might not be what he appears to be (or maybe he is), killer stuff!

The second film is Precious. You've probably heard of it. Precious is fat, she's black, and those are the very least of her problems in this well-made ghetto drama. I think this shares that people-first attitude that A Serious Man has. If you've wondered why poor colored folk don't just pull themselves up by the boot straps then you might get a clue watching this film. Shit begets shits. Precious is a surly tank of a girl who regularly uses unwarranted force on bullies and innocent little kids alike.

I remember torturing a cat once while at a sitter's house in her yard, I flung it by it's tail, when it came back it scratched me. Why did I do that? I don't know because I'm not that person any more. What I can gather is that I wasn't too different from Precious (maybe separated by several important Happy Meals) but the oppressive feeling of the ghetto. The story is fictional but the people and the attitudes are real. Our only hope is education which is the key to the pulling of one's bootstraps. It's a shame when I hear stories about our school system's falling behind, or about how we should teach religion in science class.

Oh and that actress that played Precious was robbed by that dumb cow Sandra Bullock.


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