Friday, June 02, 2006


Subject: Cinema
(Blogger's been bloggered, so trying again today...)

For the remains of the long weekend, I had a couple of non-anime rentals from Blockbuster to try. After an awesome sunset on Sunday, I was in a contemplative mood, but I also wanted to try and get through at least one of those discs so I could return them eventually.

So I gave Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride" a try. Armature animation (can't remember if it was actually CGI or poseable figures), with the typical Tim Burton gloomy goth style. And overall it was rather competently done, but I wound up stopping it about 15 or 20 minutes in -- basically, once it got to the song-n-dance number at the "afterlife bar". It was just too cliche and stupid for me to want to continue at that point. Someday I'll give it another try, but I really wasn't in the mood for that.

The other disc I had from Blockbuster was the recent "Good Night and Good Luck", but I wasn't quite in the mood for that either... So I split the difference, and fired up a slightly silly disc from my collection that had George Clooney in it as well: the Coen Bros. "O Brother, Where Art Thou?". I really enjoy this film, and have seen it a couple of times. It's sort of a loose re-telling of Homer's "Oddessy", set in 1930's Depression-era Mississippi, completely steeped in "old-timey" folk music tradition. The dialogue is quintessentially Coen Brothers, and everyone's delivery and timing on-camera is perfect. George Clooney particularly hams it up with the round-a-bout, florid speechifyin'. And the folk songs are quite a refreshing change from the usual soundtracks I listen to. That made for a better cap for the evening overall.

Eventually, I did get to "Good Night and Good Luck", though. This was another period-piece, as it were; set in the 1950's at the CBS newsroom, where Edward R. Murrow decided to expose Joe McCarthy's communist witchunting tactics and rhetoric for what it really was. It's mostly a simple character piece overall, where the intent is to just frame the actual words used in public by Murrow and McCarthy in the context of the time. In fact, there was no actual actor playing McCarthy; just the real footage for the time was sewn into that context.

Obviously, it was intended to let you draw a parallel between the rhetoric then and that found in more current events. If there were differences, those were probably glossed over a bit. Because if you replace the words "communist" with "liberal" or "terrorist", you can pretty much see what Clooney and everyone was driving at. It wasn't heavy-handed or anything, but is was rather illuminating. "Same sh*, different day".

Anyway, more anime coming for the weekend!

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