Friday, August 31, 2012

Movies for Republicans

American Graffiti: Baby boomer Fifties-nostalgia piece about a group of teenagers driving around in cars the night before they go off to university, work, etc. To be honest I just found the lot of them annoying, and the sheer amount of petrol being consumed in the making of it probably sparked the fuel crisis. The diner is rather pretty though.

Million Dollar Baby: Simultaneously uplifting and depressing film about a female professional boxer, her coach (Clint Eastwood in his current angry-old-man persona) and Morgan Freeman (as the narrator).

The Hurt Locker: Film about a bomb squad in Iraq, and the personal conflict which develops between a by-the-book soldier who's counting the days until his term is up and his show-off NCO who's an eccentric with a death wish and a developing persecution complex, with the third member of the team, who appears to be about 17 and suffering from advanced PTSD, caught between them.

Restrepo: Feature-length documentary about the Afghan War, specifically about a unit of soldiers spending a year manning an outpost in an isolated valley. They don't know why they're here; the locals are understandably more inclined to trust their cousins and brothers in the Taliban over a group of strange interlopers who keep killing their livestock and arresting their village elders; the officer in charge appears to be hanging on to sanity by a very thin thread indeed. Sort of like a modern Full Metal Jacket, without actors.

Starship Troopers: Watching it the first time, I did get the twist that we have been watching a propaganda film for a fascist government of a future society. This time around, though, the film is scarier as the propaganda seems closer and closer to the sort of things one actually sees and hears in film and television, like the patriotic phrases desperately spouted by the dazed and traumatized soldiers in Restrepo. Nineties fashions are also starting to hit the 'naff' phase of the cycle (contemporary --> naff --> retro), with all these grey long-pointed, wasp-waisted suit jackets. Also slightly jarring to realise that the drill sergeant would go on to be Brother Justin in Carnivale.

Movie count for 2012: 54