The deadline for submitting papers to the Molinari Societys symposium on intellectual property is now one month away.
Archive | April 5, 2009
I saw Duplicity, which I thought was a lot of fun. Clive Owen strikes me as being much better suited to playing James Bond I mean the James Bond of the books than anyone whos actually played him. And for what its worth, based on her performance in this film Julia Roberts now strikes me as a viable albeit imperfect Dagny Taggart.
The movie also has a terrific theme song: Being Bad by bitter:sweet.
But whats up with the reviews of that movie? Ive seen review after review moaning not just that the plot is complicated (which it is) but that its a hopeless incomprehensible tangle (which it isnt).
the movie never does reveal, at least not with enough precision to be truly satisfying, just what Claire and Rays prefab conversation (which will recur at intervals throughout the movie) is all about.
Um … yes it does. Its explained completely. Were we watching the same movie? The third enactment of the conversation contains an explicit backward reference to the second one and an explicit forward reference to the first spelling it out loud and clear for the audience just in case there could be any doubt. [SPOILER OVER]
Admittedly the movie cuts forward and backward in time, and we often dont fully understand what was really going on in one scene until we see a later (i.e. later for us, but earlier in internal chronology) scene. But this is not exactly some bewilderingly innovative postmodern narrative technique, and its a bit odd to be thrown by it. By the end of the movie there are no major puzzles left unexplained at least to audiences that were paying attention.
But the reviews that complain about the movie being bewildering arent the most bewildering reviews. That prize would have to go to this one: [SERIOUS SPOILER follows and I mean SERIOUS, as in IF YOURE PLANNING TO SEE THE MOVIE, STOP READING NOW:]
Its pretty people versus ugly people. Guess who wins? … the movie boils down to this rudimentary formula: morality and success are functions of beauty.
Here I have to ask once again, in a still more incredulous tone: Were we watching the same movie? You can debate about who wins the morality points in the movie its not obvious that anyone does, really but success? The pretty people lose. Thats what that whole scene was about at the end, you know, with the two pretty people sitting there looking all depressed? Remember the end? You did stay for the whole movie, right? [SECOND SPOILER OVER]
Okay, rant over.
Often topics arise in the comments sections that are only tangentially related to the original post. In case you missed these:
My post on cultural literacy has generated a debate on feminism; my post on Wa Lma Rt has generated two pages of debate on left-libertarianism (Ill try to answer some more of the comments tomorrow); and the L & P version of my post on the Atlas Shrugged movie has provoked a whole new post there by William Marina on Rands awful awfulness.
Check out this 1916 poem by Amy Lowell (of the same family as fellow poets James Russell Lowell and Robert Lowell).