~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Good luck with the Were Rabbit curse ~ Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Yes, a bit of a contrast, but we recently saw both "Good Night and Good Luck", about journalist Edward Murrow and his struggles to expose the draconian methods of Senator McCarthy, and "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit".

GNAGL: A moody, interesting piece. I also thought it interesting that the writers (George Clooney and Grant Heslov) chose to go with a relatively straightforward, more realistic story line rather than something with heightened dramatic tension. I had mixed feelings about that. Perhaps, having been weaned on the high drama (even in domestic contexts) and extremity, in some ways the story arc felt a little flat: man is indignant at injustices, takes on authority, experiences relatively minor (compared with what could have happened) setbacks, then triumphs. The final turning point is given a darker tone since it coincides with a less pleasant culimination of one of the other subplots. Still, don't expect head shavings, dark interrogations and "v for vendetta" style insurgency (or even a few orders of magnitude less than that).

Instead, think of it as a portrait of the times, in the context of the news media--which is fascinating to view with a contemporary sensibility (bearing in mind that it was made from the selfsame sensibility--but has attempted to evoke an earlier view of the way things might have been).

And so it is, once upon a time, in the days before Michael Moore and other skilled but manipulative documentarians (yes, that's a whole other argument--whether there was ever a day before documentaries manipulated, but let's say, these days, they do so more explicitly--few strive to eliminate their biases, and I don't think viewers particularly trust those that do). Today it's widely known that with a little bit of skill and a lot of patience, it is possible to use actual footage of public figures out of context in order to incriminate them (sometimes justly, and sometimes less than justly)--but in those days, if it was said on film, then it's tight--it's evidence. And so, we have the good newsmen at CBS, headed by Murrow and Friendly, who are aghast at the injustices being perpetrated by McCarthy's posse. And so, they assemble their evidence and are able to expose him, thus helping to precipitate his downfall.

Satisfying. It's also assuring to be in that black and white world (literally, since the film was shot in b&w), where news is news (not spin) and there's genuine interest in deposing injustice and exposing truths--rather than playing the ratings game, first and foremost. A world where a man with integrity can actually expose that injustice without it being viewed as manipulative positioning--and once again, spin. It would be nice to be able to think that just because it was said on film, it's true. Just because lies can be exposed, there will be repercussions (like re-election?) for those who deceived the public. And it seemed that in the world of "Good Night and Good Luck", this was the reality--and that was part of the charm and the interest of the film, for me.

"The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" was fun and fluffy and the rabbits, with their little piggy noses, were cute. Wallace, as usual, was a little irritating (sorry to say it, but even in the t.v. series, he annoyed me) and Gromit stole the show (also as per usual). The pacing was not as tight (understandable, given that the t.v. shows were much shorter)--and I was a bit tired, so I had less patience for the latter part of the film. But it was still sweet and charming.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 12:03 PM::::


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Anduril Elessar
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