blogenlust
11.06.2004

Movies


I've seen a few movies lately, but haven't really commented on them because my attention has been in other places the last few weeks. Last night, I saw The Motorcycle Diaries, which is about the young Che Guevara's travels through South America with a good friend. I thought the movie was great--the scenery was beautiful and the acting and dialogue were top-notch, too. It looks at the part of Che's life when society's injustices really became apparent to him, and as a result, I got an understanding of how Che Guevara became the Che Guevara he is remembered as today. Gael Garcia Bernal does an excellent job as Guevara, and if you haven't seen him in Y Tu Mama, Tambien, you should. Last weekend I saw Friday Night Lights, which also is great. It's based on the book of the same title, which is itself based on a true story of a Texas high school football team in the late 1980s. It does an awesome job of depicting how serious high school football is in Texas. One of my favorite lines illustrates this: In the scene, people were listenening to a local radio show discussing a recent loss by the team, and a caller complains that the team is doing "too much learning in school" and that's the reason they lost. Back in college, we discussed this book in a class on the rhetoric of war, and the film just reinforces everything we talked about. The imagery, tactics, and emotions are extremely war-like. Billy Bob Thorton plays a really good coach, too. Finally, a few weeks ago I saw a strange, but pretty good autobiographical documentary called Tarnation. It's about a guy who grew up in a not-so normal family--his mom suffered from schizophrenia and was largely absent from his upbringing (both physically and mentally) and he lived with his grandparents, who we later realize were responsible for his mother's health. The main character and director is Jonathon Caouette and the content of the film is entirely old home-videos that were culled together using his Mac. The result is an incredibly personal portrait of Jonathon's life and a close-up look at the many problems he faced. The one issue I had with the film is that I didn't think it came to much of a conclusion. As an emotional film to watch, I sort of expected more closure at the end. Nevertheless, it is still remarkably made and I would recommend it to anyone interested in documentaries.