Category Archives: Movies

What’s There To Debate – It’s Rape!

Thank you John Stewart for making my life so easy.  I mean, why take the time to write something when he already wrote it, fact checked it, delivered it to a live audience, and provided cool graphics?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I found the previous story very disturbing and when you add to it, the bizarre outrage over the detainment of Roman Polanski by some, it makes you wonder what the hell is going on?

A lot of commentaries were published once Polanski was jailed, some for, some against and some to fill in the blanks for those of us not in the know back in ’77 (my favorite being one written by Megan Carpentier.)

Now I get that back in the 70’s, rape laws as well as society’s view of women in general were very different from today.  I get that at one point in history a man was allowed to do whatever he wanted to a woman sexually and before rape shield laws went into affect, a woman’s past sexual history was allowed to be as on trial as her alleged rapist.  I get that a plea deal was made (as inconceivable as that seems after reading some of the grand jury transcripts from the case) but as a mother, I also get why you’d be okay with a plea deal to save your child from the trauma of the press coverage that would have come with a trial.

What I don’t get is why he was allowed to leave the country to finish the movie he was working on and why he ran in the first place?  He had a plea deal in place and was going to avoid jail time.  Why run?  Why didn’t he think that the judge would honor it?

Perhaps it was because while out of the country wrapping his flick, the judge read reports and saw pictures of Polanski with his new underage lover, a 15-year-old Natasha Kinski.  Kinski has never denied their relationship, in fact she is quoted as saying, “[On Roman Polanski, who directed her in Tess (1979): As a director, he was 10 times more wonderful than as a lover.”

Ouch.  I guess when you’re not drugged you have higher standards.

As of this morning’s writing, Polanski is temporarily out of jail and receiving medical attention, Franken’s law passed and per the latest figures via a special report on women by Maria Shriver, women now make up 50% of the workforce.  In fact 80% of the recent job losses we’ve experienced have happened to men and increasingly wives are earning more than their husbands. So perhaps moving forward as women gain more control, less time will be wasted on debating rape or justifying sexual deviance due to someone’s creative genius.  But until that happens, God love all of the many men out there that don’t fall for such antiquated thinking.

And thank you Chris Rock for as usual, cutting right through the bullshit and putting it all into perspective:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Advertisements

Rachel Telling The Truth

rachel_getting_married

I finally saw Rachel Getting Married.  Bravo to Anne Hathaway and the entire cast for great performances and for Jonathen Demme’s decision to film in an organic, collaborative and intuitive way.

It’s a movie that stays with you long after the credits roll.  I loved the brutal honesty of Hathaway’s character, Kym.  It is the type of honesty that makes you uncomfortable yet enviable of her need or perhaps compulsion to tell her truth even when it’s inappropriate.  Because of this I was waiting for the moment when she was going to take it too far and ruin her sister’s wedding.  Since she was also only hours out of rehab and I was also waiting for her to slip up and drink.  Thus even though the movie was free of car chases,  explosions and international intrigue, I was literally on the edge of my seat until the credits rolled.

Unlike most mainstream movies this one was filled with eclectic, independent music that played in the background as they filmed.  No post production scoring for this flick.  If a character had something to say during the reception, they had to say it over the band just like at a real wedding.  Since half of the “guests” were musician friends of the musically-based main family, they were able to put amazing artists together in one film (and likewise, one soundtrack).

As frustrating as her truth telling was, you knew where you stood with Kym, what was bothering her, what she needed to deal with and work on.  As the family’s darker secrets and deep wounds are revealed you begin to realize that the truths that shape these characters are incredibly painful.  You begin to see why their coping mechanisms are what they are and like all good movies the character you’ve pigeonholed as “villain” or “victim” changes as the story progresses.

As the credits rolled, I desperately wanted to know what happened next. It has been three weeks since I watched it and I still find myself thinking about these imaginary people.  I want a sequel called Rachel Having a Baby so that everyone can gather again and catch me up on their lives.  I want to know if Kym, once she’s a year post rehab and not just 3 days out, still speaks her mind without apology and wants that to be reciprocated or if she, like the rest of us, simply needs a version of the truth to survive and remain clean, sober and sane.

Ultimately the whole movie got me thinking about honesty and how we claim to want it yet become expert at avoiding it, twisting it and misusing it to our advantage.  Steven Colbert hit the nail on the head in 2005 when he entered the word “truthiness” into our nation’s vocabulary:

..And that’s exactly what’s pulling our country apart today. ‘Cause face it, folks; we are a divided nation. Not between Democrats and Republicans, or conservatives and liberals, or tops and bottoms. No, we are divided between those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart.

Perhaps in the end, it’s truthiness that really sets us free.  As Colbert told 60 Minutes during an interview, “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer, as opposed to what reality will support.”

Maybe the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is, in the end, simply too much to handle.

Doubt

20LV.THGUY.VERT

I saw Doubt – the play, in New Orleans last year.  I also enjoyed Doubt – the movie, just as much. What impressed me the most was that like the play, the movie actually trusts you to draw your own conclusion.  I thought for sure, Hollywood would try to tie this movie up with a bow and force feed an ending to us.  This freedom is also frustrating because, like the play, you leave the movie thinking you know if the priest is guilty or not, only to remember a line of dialogue or a scene which changes your opinion.

ms

When I saw the play I left believing that Father Flynn was innocent, however, when I left the movie, I believed that Sister Aloysious had better proven her case this time.  I’m not sure if this is due to the script, the acting, or from seeing a movie that “shows you the information” versus a play that via dialogue, “tells you the information.” Or perhaps it’s easier for me to believe that Meryl Streep is telling the truth and that Philip Seymour Hoffman is a creepy, pedophile.  

psh

The movie gives you much more subtle, visual information:  The non-verbal behaviors of the children, the weird obsession with the long length of Father Flynn’s nails, as well as the social rules of the the 1960’s.  Specifically that nuns and priests couldn’t be alone behind closed doors without a third party and that nuns were expected, albeit, required to be subservient to the priests.  

This hierarchy, finally explains to me how so much pedophilia went on in the Catholic church. I finally get that a nun busting a priest would have been as difficult as a member of the police force busting a dirty cop.  I often wondered why nuns so embroiled and in charge of the children they taught, didn’t intervene more on behalf of children.  Yet as doubt indicates, (Spoiler Alert – Stop reading if you haven’t seen the film yet) even though Sister Aloysious succeeded in removing Father Flynn, he was simply moved to another parish and promoted, not investigated.

So I’m curious.  If you saw the movie was he guilty or not?  Did you believe the priest or the nun?  And if you saw the play as well as the movie, did you think differently about the ending depending upon the medium?