Monday, March 26, 2012

Movies...Reely? No Book Chatter?

We all have movie and TV villains we love to hate, but this past weekend, I began a list of movies I hate to love. They aren't exactly guilty pleasure movies, because they do have some redeeming qualities. However, in the great continuum of movie goodness, they probably fall short.

The Birds...who doesn't love the silly expressions on Tippi Hendren's face, the fear in her eyes, as she dashes away from plastic birds picking at her stylish up-do? We all know they are wind-up birds, and that in many cases, they are flying into a plexiglas shield, still we flinch. We cringe. We hope that Tippi will be able to save the children, keep her purse secured, and not break an ankle as she rows a boat, or runs on gravel roads in her high heels, and business suit.

Topping my list of L2H movies are A Clockwork Orange, and The Handmaid's Tale, both dystopian society films. Over the top violence toward women, and extreme egotism, propel the main characters to commit unspeakable acts with great joy. However, these are skillfully crafted films with fascinating, provocative storytelling.

The French Lieutenant's Woman...probably my favorite movie of all times. This just makes my list because I love to torment my book group with references to this movie. Most have seen it, and don't come close to sharing my respect for the artistry, or for the performances of Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons. I will admit that Irons comes off creepy in many movie roles, but not in this case. He is quite sympathtic, actually. As a heartbreaking, sob inducing movie, it ranks up there with Love in the time of Cholera...another title I am forbidden to mention at our meetings!

Last weekend I saw The Hunger Games. That's what got me thinking about this whole topic. I'm still shaking my head in disbelief that I have no explantion for why I find this violent book and movie so captivating. Kids kill kids, for pete's sake. How can that be entertaining? Maybe it is a warning that I, like many, have been desensitized. Sure, there are many, many other issues worthy of discussion in this story of rich v. poor, government v. the masses, but the fact remains that the draw is the distasteful theme of kids fighting to the death. I believe it will be a long time before I understand my relationship to this story.


Did you happen to catch "Harry's Law" last weekend? There was an evil shoe store manager who showed no iota of humanity or compassion toward her workers, and they eventually rebelled. Her name? Chua. Yes, just like the evil Amy Chua, he woman who wrote The Battle Hymn of the Dragon Mother - the woman who will never be named mother of the year. **********

I can't close without mentioning the tragedy that took the lives of two teens last week. I didn't know either of these kids, but they, and their families have been on my mind. Also on my mind... the many, many people I have heard commenting on the parents' part in the events, throwing stones, blaming. Surely the parents' minds are filled with these same questions, and don't need the help of idiots who use public soapboxes such as the HTR forums to stick their noses into a private situation. Will we ever return to the days in which thoughtfulness and compassion are the norm or are we permanently stuck in a place where anyone can say anything cloaked by anonimity?

Of course, there were many heartfelt comments shared as well. Classmates, friends and relatives posted thoughts on the HTR obituatry page. Many sweet, sad words were written directly to the two kids. I hoped that those same words had been shared when they kids were alive. The greater lesson for me is to not pass up an opportunity to thank people, the tell them how lucky I am to know them, and to share laughter. Thank you all.

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