Sunday, December 04, 2005

The apocalyptic week in film

Here's an idea for a new Netflix feature: move past the one-at-a-time recommendation service and start to evaluate a user's queue with an eye towards warning people if their queue could do with a little diversification in terms of genre etc. If they had such a feature, for example, they could have given us a warning along the lines of "Unless you're feeling really, really chipper or thinking about suicide and just need that extra little bit that'll push you over the edge, you may want to consider inserting a few more light-hearted movies into the top of your queue."

I say this because we've just, unintentionally, had a bit of a depressing week when it comes to movies:
- It started off innocently enough with "War of the Worlds" which, while fictional, wasn't exactly a feel-good movie [and had some plot points I took issue with].
- Next came "War Photographer", a documentary about James Nachtwey, a man who has spent the last 25 years chronicling pretty much every depressing thing known to man -- wars, famine, the AIDS epidemic etc; check out his website for some very powerful pictures. According to his colleagues, he's been able to take pictures of suffering and misery for a quarter-century without becoming cynical or detached, like many other war photographers. In the interview clips shown with him in this documentary, he's an amazingly calm and soft-spoken man, so he's either figured out how to let off all the pressure that must come from what he
's seen or he's kept it all bottled up and when he does explode, he's going to take several city blocks with him.
- The third movie was "The Sea Inside", a movie inspired by the story of Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fought for several years to be allowed to die. Talk about feeling powerless when you're so disabled that you can't even kill yourself ...
... and to cap it off, we watched "Hotel Rwanda" last night, the story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager in Rwanda who sheltered over a thousand Tutsis during the 1994 massacres in Rwanda. That man should be canonized [if he's a Catholic] and given the Nobel Peace Price without any discussion. The movie doesn't dwell much on the cowardice of the UN, the Europeans and US in failing to deal with what was going on; read "We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families" if you want to get really pissed-off about that.

After all that, we're ready for some lighter fare, like, say, Babe.

1 Comments:

Blogger Corey said...

Crikey. Throw some 'Elf' in there. 'Tis the season, and I'll be surprised if the shot of Elf and the kid decorating the xmas tree doesn't have you cracking up like it does me. The scene where he comes shooting in from off camera, one hop from the couch to a full facial of Douglas Fir as he straddles the tree trying to get the topper on ... Waaaaahahhahaha!!

7:58 PM  

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