Thursday, February 01, 2007

Babel and The Role of Movies to Provoke Change

few more notes on movies, from an email to a friend

finally saw dirty pretty things and loved it
also rules of attraction i found exhilerating, better than the book, based on what i have read so far, and avary's filmmaking chops seem to me to put tarantino's in the shade. But again the movie came and went without much support
as for babel, i did like it, quite a lot, but thought 21 grams was superior, and that babel was not nearly as powerful as it wanted and needed to be. it was harrowing, but not (for me) in the end all that moving. 21 grams on the other hand i found heartbreaking.
as for being "important" - to its credit i didn't think it attempted to hammer home any specific message and so i can't really see how (my friend) means that - important to who or what? at a pinch i can see the the writer and director are attempting some challenging things as filmmakers, but so far as....did you mean politically? i think only movies like clockwork orange or fight club (or nat born killers), ones that potentially provoke violence, can ever really impact society. calls for compassion are famously ineffective becoz in the end (tho this may be cynicism on my part) they are always really just preaching to the converted.
that said, i think babel was certainly one of the films of the year, 2006, unlike so many other stinkers that are being shortlisted.
as you may have noticed, i am getting unnecessarily exasperated with the lack of critical judgment these days!! it is not that it is almost a moral question. it actually is a moral question! the ability to tell the difference between good and bad movies seems to be disappearing in a society almost devoid of moral direction or context....
oh well

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