Thursday, March 26, 2009
Distress, was a word used in the film Everything is Illuminated frequently. I would say it is a perfect word to describe the overall tone of the movie. Although the broken Ukrainian English butchering was very humorous it only masked what was really going on in this film. I would have to say that my favorite character was definitely the grandfather, because of his complex character vs. that of Jonathan or Alex. He was the character that stuck out to me from the very beginning as just off, as if there was something to be in fact “illuminated” about him or potentially his past. Usually it’s the bitter ones that we learn from in life, that typically culminating in the form of don’t grow up to be like me or something pretty close. Now I am Jewish so I guess perhaps I should have some deeper connection with this movie but in actuality I really don’t because I am not very religious. What I do know is a simple life lesson, no one is bitter for no reason. When I saw grandfather I knew something had happened to him, not sure what but I knew he was unhappy with himself, and obviously beat himself up about it on a regular basis. Finding out at the end of the film that he was actually a Jew was a bit of a revelation for me, considering I was harboring an inclination that he was in actuality one of the ones responsible for the sacking of Trachinbrod. I suppose in some way my initial gut feeling was correct, he did have a reason to be unhappy; pretending to be something he wasn’t by being an anti-Semitic prick. Given his experiences in life I would say he was the most pained of all the characters aside from the lone woman in Trachinbrod. She represented the alienation of the past. Never been in a car, didn’t know if the war was over etc. she didn’t want to know about the future, only cared about preserving her past, which unfortunately was burned and gunned down decades earlier. Jonathan was just funny to watch, given his peculiar tendencies. I would say he was even more deranged than the “seeing eye bitch”. The only thing I can’t seem to figure out was why grandfather pretended to be blind, I am still pondering on the significance of that; as well as why was the only character grandfather connected with was the seeing eye bitch. Finally we have Alex, a simple boy who embraced the past, or more aptly put just an out of date hip hop phase. Although the clothing was fly, I would say he was the most naive of them all. How do you not know that the people of your own country harbored anti-Semitisms? Overall I enjoyed the movie especially the broken English because that alone was painful. As for the overall message of the film I would say it was well received and that I would recommend this film as a movie to fall into repose with.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Now this was a lecture I happened to find interesting. 911 is such an interesting topic primarily due to the fact that it is different for everyone. How we see it, look back on it, remember it, etc. When we were showed the picture of the falling man everyone in the room had a different reaction. I was honestly watching everyone else look at the picture because that is what I found interesting. I have seen that iconic image many times; in fact I think it’s sort of embedded into my brain somewhere. We really don’t talk about 911 very much and I believe that is a terrible thing. I never really understood why if we think something is bad we don’t talk about it. Why not talk about just how terrible something is? We are a society that loves to shut up about what bothers us. I think that makes us weak personally. When it comes to 911 yes it was a hurtful tragedy but why in the world would we ever even dream of forgetting it? It was a day that touched each and every one of us in such a uniquely profound way. It is a reason to make art over. Art should be beautiful, and even the most tragic occurrences can be seen as such depending on the depiction. What Grayton Parrish made was an example of such, because it is indeed a beautiful depiction of something horrific. The work titled “Cycle of Terror and Tragedy” is actually astounding in my opinion. It reflects all the lost voices of 911 and even the ones who simply shut up. When I looked at the picture of that painting I thought, I couldn’t help it. It struck me as so powerful a depiction. In my mind this is how it should be. How tragic days such as 911 should be remembered by future generations. It is very hard to recreate the profound feelings associated with that day and I often wonder myself how I will explain it to my hopefully future children, or anyone for that matter. A part of any explanation will be missing. The emotion will be lost, totally annihilated just like the falling man. The only reason he is remembered is by that picture; a mode of cataloging various events in time to suit our needs. Otherwise he would have only been remembered for about ten seconds in the minds of whoever saw him jump. Parrish chose a different route to remember, he painted a picture for us all, both present and future to behold and understand; of a day that we should never forget…