Friday, November 6, 2009

Where the Underdogs Are, We Know, It's What We Don't Know That Scares Me [Part II of II]

Continued From Part I

Me?!

But I was the lamb. I was the sweet herbivorial prey. Sweet innocent me, he says, craning his neck to daintily tooth-pull leaf from tree, I wouldn't hurt a fly, not unless it really annoyed me or, apparently, if it didn't seem in my righteous mind deserved enough to be part of my circle.

(For more on this, read Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye; to my mind it is her masterpiece. I don't believe in girl books and guy hooks, in chick flicks and dick flicks. It's all nonsense. A good movie is a good movie is a good movie. Same with book and painting and person. There. I've said it. So get over it. Yes, of course Margaret Atwood writes about women. In Cat's Eye, it's about girls, and how cruel they can be to each other. And for all who believe it's only girls who spread cruelty, see the major events of the 20th century, or, more immediately, any school playground.)

You ever have a drawn-out fight with someone? (If yes, proceed. If no, stop reading. You're either a liar or an angel. I say liar. Angels don't read blogs.) But really, you ever notice how the real tricky element of a long fight is that you both feel right, both feel wronged, both feel victim, both the poor fat kid. Ever notice how much that fuels your right to believe you can breath fire?

If everyone is a victim, how to ever end the war?

Because this does of course relate perfectly to the way countries interact, just like junior high school kids. And I'm not even just referring to the obvious, to Israel and Palestine. But that's not a blog post, that's a blog lifetime. I prefer to try my hand at understanding one small part of the world through the way it was in our youth.

This is one reason why I recommend Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. Because of how human Max is, how good and bad, how glee glad and terribly sad.

A few other reasons to see Spike Jonze's film include:
+Heart;
+Integrity;
+Authenticity;
+Acting performances, both human and puppet;
+The puppets;
+The vision;
+The humanity (that should come earlier, if this list is supposed to be in order of importance; it isn't);
+Catherine Keener;
+For five seconds of Marc Ruffalo (which is never enough and yet manages always to be so so much);
+For the character named Carol, to name but one of the many I fell for (and for how very far he is from the Tony Soprano voice behind him); and
+For a movie for kids that might not be entirely for kids, fine, but I took my seven year-old nephew and he wasn't bored, he endured, he enjoyed, sitting through a movie without pyrotechnics or clever sidekicks or Disney tied in Big Mac toy treats, for a movie for kids that is actually about something, many things that include death and love and loss and sorrow not to mention what I addressed before, and that deals with them in a way that seems so real, so resonating right.

This movie, as an old creative writing classmate/poet friend of mine (Jason Guriel) so perfectly put it, will be considered a great movie ten years from now.

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