Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some Good Movies

Lately, we've been homebodies, staying in and watching movies.

Here we go:

"Robots" - Kinda strange take on problematic mothers, and a bit too much about the big, noble capitalist who can make everything right again. But the whole point for me was to watch it stoned, and it was quite enjoyable to watch whilst high. And, maybe it was just "Stoner-Thwap" getting conned, but the second time the doorman robot-puppet opened the gates for the hero, i was kinda taken in myself.

"Capote" - Really artistically done. Really well-written, acted, filmed. I got the sense (from Phillip Seymour Hoffman's masterful work) of a deeply talented writer, who's gift is to really feel and communicate what is going on, in any particular moment. This makes him a sort of split-personality, seemingly callous individual. This version Truman Capote is, in fact, a callous character, a manipulative character, but his redeeming characteristic is that he also feels very deeply about what he's experiencing during any particular moment. His tears for the doomed murderer are real, as is his exploitation of him.

"The Assasination of Richard Nixon" - Sean Penn plays Sam Bicke, a sadsack American failure who decided to take his revenge on the system by going after one of the masters of the system, then-president Richard Nixon. How? By crashing a passenger plane into the Whitehouse on a day that Nixon is scheduled to be there. Based on a true story. The character of Bicke is portrayed as a deeply flawed character, but one whose flaws also reveal important qualities. Bicke's tragedy is that he cannot coherently articulate, rationalize, or control his idealism, he isn't possessed of either the self-control, or the brains, to direct his qualities.

He deeply loves his family. He deeply wants to try and work on his problems with his family. But he fails his family as a provider because he cannot deal with the world of business. He sees the fraud and dishonesty of business, of sales, and of the American dream, with the ill treatment suffered by the powerless, especially blacks, in that country. He swallows his pride, stows his ideals, and attempts to play the game, but still fails.

Perhaps the best example of his clumsiness is his attempt to join the Black Panthers. As a white man, he's obviously going to have problems in achieving this. But he tries to convince the BP representative that he's a victim, just as US blacks are. In fact, the BP could vastly expand its membership if it acknowledged this identity of suffering and allowed white victims in too. For that, they'd need a new name. Bicke suggests "The Zebras," for obvious reasons. For equally obvious reasons, the BP representative is skeptical.

Some intense violence at the end, as the flawed Bicke finally snaps and conducts his botched hijacking.

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