Thursday, August 23, 2012

Compliance, Premium Rush and More

I was as surprised as anyone to see the outpouring of critical acclaim for Craig Zobel's Compliance, a film that apparently divided critics and audiences during its run on the festival circuit, but met with near universal accolades upon its recent theatrical release. I found this to be especially disheartening as Zobel's film is one that really rankles, a work full of unjustified sadism, couched in a dishonestly presented framework. I also felt that too many critics were too willing to take the movie at its word, arguing that it successfully implicates the viewer's (inevitably) passive observation. As I wrote (via e-mail) to a colleague:

The thing everyone says is that Zobel "implicates" the viewer. This is only half true. He would certainly like to implicate the viewer but he doesn't really know how. He gives us no choice but to watch passively what goes on, so, yeah, in that sense we're implicated, but he also lets us off the hook (not in the sense that we're not subjected to much unpleasantness though) by placing us in a superior position to everyone on screen. It's a bad faith manipulation that makes nonsense of any constructive purpose Zobel might imagine he's attempting.

So, yeah, I didn't like the movie for reasons stated above - and below in my review. But, in other, better news, there's also Premium Rush. Also, I tried my hand at another music review.

Film
Premium Rush (Slant)
Compliance (Slant)
Why Stop Now (Slant)
Somewhere Between (Indiewire)

Music
Henry Threadgill & Zooid: Tomorrow Sunny/The Revelry, Spp (In Review Online)

1 comment:

Maria Maria said...

In 2005, my wife and I adopted our daughter from Hunan, China. We were (and are) perfectly aware that there would be a lot of questions for her (and us) to deal with as the years went by. Right now, at age 8, our daughter's a pretty typical Canadian girl who knows that she was born in China and left outside a school, sent to an orphanage, raised by a foster family and then adopted by us. She's not expressed great interest in China, but we're not going to be surprised if one day she does. "Somewhere Between" was a documentary that we had to watch. It traces the journey of several now teenaged girls born in China but adopted by Americans and raised in the United States. For us, there are some tug at your heart strings moments - especially the shot of the "adoption room" in Changsha, Hunan, where we first held our little girl. consulta en linea medico en linea pediatra en linea medico en linea doctor en linea dermatologo en linea veterinario en linea veterinario en linea vet online consulta en linea abogado en linea abogado en linea abogado en linea abogado en linea abogado en linea psicologo en linea doctor en linea psicologo en linea abogado en linea abogado en linea The girls whose stories are being told are remarkably eloquent about their experience and about the challenge of being in some ways torn between two worlds - with Chinese skin but American culture. They respond in different ways to this, and it's interesting to watch. The film stresses the importance of having connections with other Chinese adoptees,and pulls no punches about the presence of racism (even sometimes benign racism) in society.