10 January 2009

from their cold, dead hands . . .

Posted by at 9:28 AM Read our previous post
I'm going to discontinue anonymous comments. I just rejected one for a post, partly because it had little to do with the point of the post, but really because I find that most flamers love the "anonymous" choice on these blogs. They grow muscles they didn't know they had when they can indulge their anonymity this way. This imagined "safe" zone might be similar to the one that allows the freeway driver to give the middle finger to the vehicle next to them if its bumper sticker offends her.

It occurs to me: Geoff Hudson might be nuts, but at least he has enough balls temerity to sign every post and comment he so floridly composes.

Anyway . . . I'd like to share the post here on the main part of a post because I think it illustrates very nicely some of the points I've been blogging about lately. Essentially, it purports to be a film review Here it is in its entirety (my own commentary is in pink):

Critique on film:
Another rip roaring entertainment like braveheart and another grave examination of faith, belief, and reality. (Reality? Would you care to expound on this, madam? In addition to being patently vague, this statement seems designed to say that the film is somehow "anti-catholic," a warning to the "faithful" that the director paints faith in a bad light. But in fact, there is an important scene in which the bishops are all conferring on the day's proceedings, where one particularly wise old priest complains of the kangaroo-court that the trial potentially is. He then refuses to partake in such a charade, and announces that he will return to Rome to give a negative report concerning the treatment given Joan to the pope, whereupon he is instantly arrested by the English military command. Any anti-church propaganda perceived is entirely in Anonymous' head only.)
Thrown all together in the least subtle way possible, The Messenger emerges as a catastrophe of epic proportions. (Again, could you be a little vaguer?)

Very unfortunately, 140 minute running length (and I counted them, every minute. (Really? Did you sit there with a bean counter? Hash marks on paper? Either way, it's no wonder you missed a lot of the nuance in this gorgeous film, then. It happens. When one braces oneself for an impending imaginary catastrophe, one usually appears. Life is poetic like that.)), the story is scant.
Milla Jovovich, who was presumably cast as Joan because she physically resembles a little boy ( and being the main squeeze of the director at the time doesn’t hurt either) (Yes. She was made to look boyish in the film. Isn't that the POINT of casting a film about this historical character?)

The device Besson uses is that of a personification of her conscience, played by Dustin Hoffman. In tight close-ups with a digitally lowered voice, Hoffman hams the Grand Inquisitor role, suggesting that Joan’s “voices” were constructs of her own imagination (What??!!??! Is this even possible??!! . . . . Oh, wait . . . it is??? . . . . . :O . . . . hmm . . . Are you sure?? . . . . I want proof!!! . . . . etc. . o_Ó ) and that her entire campaign is based on bloodlust for her sister’s rape at the beginning of the film (Nice over-simplification, but then . . . you were busy counting minutes, so I'm not surprised that the only scene you focused in on was the sex scene ;). . (The Grand Inquisitor doesn’t seem to remember that Joan talked to voices before the rape. (The grand inquisitor doesn't KNOW much about her voices yet. This is why there is an inquisition in process, madam. Besides: How is the inquisitor's foreknowledge (or lack of) relevant to anything? . o_Ó ) When Joan is not be harangued by her conscience, she is being cross-examined by Church and State officials on grounds of heresy. In a series of familiar fishbowl-lensed scenes, Joan is badgered for repentance, while all she asks is to have her confession heard.

So, if you enjoy overblown period-piece spectacles with no consistency of tone or theme, rush thee out to see The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. If you do not, then I, at least, forgive you and absolve you of all responsibility for seeing this film. (Does this last sentence stink --and I mean a "to-high-heaven" kind of stench-- of self-important smug posturing to anyone else but me?)

peace to all!

"anonymous" (Of course!)
It's amazing how such a passionate paroxysm can be so petty and empty of real substance. Some people seem to think that haughtiness can substitute for content.
To relate it to the scene in my original post: ...
Why does something tell me that this anonymous commenter chooses the last miraculous possibility as to how the sword got to the field as the only allowable one? Call it a hunch.




1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:22 AM

    Ah, the joys of anonymous believers ranting ...


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