08 August 2007

Movies I'm Not Eager to See

I've changed my mind about Underdog. When I first heard such a movie was in the works, I thought it would be great fun. But the response of those who have seen it is so uniformly negative that it has all rather killed my interest. Here's a good example -- http://www.avclub.com/content/cinema/underdog

Another movie I have no interest in seeing is "Becoming Jane." But sometimes the redeeming feature of a really bad movie is that it inspires very entertaining and informative reviews, and I recommend Anthony Lane's take on Becoming Jane in the latest issue of The New Yorker.

"To the modern mind, of course, this [a writer's life without crises] is wholly unacceptable, and any decent literary agent would have counselled Miss Austen to at least have a modicum of private scandal if she wanted to sell any books."

There's another period drama in theatres nowadays that purports to present us with a literary life ... Molière. Read about it here. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796335/plotsummary

I'm not eager for that one either. It isn't that I have a bias against period dramas, mind you. But when they involve writers they are adequately captured by one old visual cliche. Imagine a writer at a table, and a sheaf of papers on the side. Imagine quick cuts forward, and crumpled up pieces of that paper start to surround the desk, representing the rejected first drafts of some great work struggling to be born. As the piles of crumbled paper get higher, at some point the Artist shouts "Eureka!"

Music swells. End of movie. Give that short film the name of any author you want, cut the customes to fit the period, use any writing implement from a quill pen to an iMac on that desk. It's all pretty much the same.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.