Movie Scrapbook

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The Devil’s Advocate
2017 06 24 The other day Jan didn’t recognize Charlize Theron: so I named a few of her titles: still no recognition: so I ordered The Devil’s Advocate: quality from multiple sources: and we saw it last evening: she for her first, me for at least the third time: wonderful casting, funny script … But there’s at least one thing I hate about it. No, not them duplicating a plot twist of mine from a story of 1969 or so; no: their lame brained indulgence in the illiterate confusion between lawyers as stadning up for the law and lawyers as disgustingly paid knights errant. A trial is supposed to establish facts: that’s a goal separate from whethr or not the facts are repugnant. This flick establishes a straw man and palms it as a heroic struggle. The math teacher appears to be an abuser of underage girls: the school fed the pervert a stream of victims. It’s our young-lawyer-hero’s first case: and he’s suffering a non-existent crisis / whether to deend the skumball. No, no, no, no: the law requires the scumball to be defended: that one of the most basic delusions of state-based government, centralized power.
Humans know that they’re not very good at determining truth and that truth-telling is punished, not rewarded: a Jesus needs an outside source of energy. Simultaneously humans fall for the same state/church trick every time: if the people doubt that the church has a special relation to truth, then the king does: if this king doesn’t then that king does: revolution, revolution, revolution, with nothing important every changing for long. And if we put Newon in the palace then Newton’s son will be an idiot, or his daughter, his friends. If the republicans have about as much integrity as a Mississippi gambler, then oust them and enthrone democracy: or believe in communism instead: the early Christians did.
The early Christians believed a lot of balderdash, just like the later Christians.
Anyway, the current imbecility believes in rituals of law: if the communists and the royalists are similarly stupid then our survival will be entirely the result of luck: bad luck, we survivce.
Well this flick has Al Pacino as a Satan, Satan has a son, the lawyer, Satan steers resources to his son and heir: he wins case after case as prosecutor, then wins case after case as defense attorney, Satan always seeing that the guilty win, the guilty get off, the no-good lawyers live in the pentshouse.
That’s funny: Satan up top; just the reverse of usual theo-cosmology.
Anyway, our bed of delusions preaches that “fair trials” are a constitutional right, descended from all those churches, palaces, political parties. Satan’s son is good at it, his wife isn’t so sure, and … never mind; the accused’s defense attorney is still supposed to work to see that certain core rituals are observed: stack the jury, then declare the schmuck guilty: or innocent.
So what’s duplicated from my story? I had a solipsist being driven crazy by the noise of civilization: a neighbor is dragging boxes, the solipsist freaks out: “I know how to stop you!” And he blows his own brains out.
Steven King used the same gag: decades after I did.
Note: civilization doesn’t know what’s what if it allows the liars and the cheaters control over the “facts”.
We say we tried this and that: we don’t know what we tried: the media, the Times, the Library … something sould have to be truthful. Infallible.
But never mind: Charlize Theron is gorgeous, so is Satan’s daughter, the lawyer’s sister, Connie Nielsen. Jan loved it.

Inter-Species Intra-Tribal Warfare
The Jungle Book (2016 film)
2017 05 26 Disney’s Jungle Book is something else, great voice acting, great everything: but best of all for me today is the coincidence of watching it climax within hours of reading Chapter II ff. of Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday. In traditional warfare groups form alliances, change alliances … States form, and war continues with alliances, betrayals … In this Kipling-based movie the wolves ally with the bear and the panther allies against the tiger, against the orangutang, the monkeys … Absurdly anthropomorphic? Sure, but not obnoxiously so. The deep symbolism is profound.
2017 06 21 Last evening I showed E.T. to Jan, she seeing it for the first time. Menacing federally organized, key-bearing adults scare the ets among California forest and hills: the aliens take off in their ship, our ET is left behind: he hides in the toolshed of our particular family, doesn’t hide too well, is found by our Elliott. Children and aliens are shown as natural allies, war is shown as natural between divorced families and federally organized adults: no fair play but lots of Terry Gilliam technology, nonsense ducts, tubes, plastic. But it’s all ET’s fault anyway: what an oaf to get separated from his group. Why didn’t the aliens nuke the adult feds? Why didn’t they burn everything, then study it?
Why? ’cause it’s Hollywood.

I grew up believing war could be fixed, racism could be transcended, ignorance overcome. I was deeply offended to notice that Hitler believed that war is inevitable, why not try to win it? to profit from it? Now I agree with Hitler, but don’t expect anyone can “win” anything for long. “Profit” from destroying the environment? Absurd.

This is a famously loveable movie, but it sure breaks a bunch of standards for stupidity.
Steven Spielberg references Peter Pan in parallel throughout. Faith-based magic, healing powers: no consequences that can’t be overcome: so long as morons run society.

ET sure does cast for adorable children: the blond girl in the frog-dissection class is world-class female: the one Elliot climbs on a human ladder to kiss. So I looked her up! Damn if this Erika Eleniak didn’t become a Playboy model! But she was totally beautiful in ET, twelve or thirteen years old!

Now there’s a fuss about some kid going to North Korea, getter mashed, railroaded: who before dumb Americans would have thought cultural trespassers should be safe?!

Download Diamond’s Yesterday: Check out the photograph of the first encounter:

That‘s what ET would look like! realizing he‘s for dinner!

Once upon a time people were wary to venture from their hearth to their yard. Go back far enough and you didn’t dare to have a yard. You cowered in the cave, there were no yards. The were extremely wary to venture through their style to the neighbors. If your neighbor didn’t have you for dinner yesterday does not mean that he won’t have you for dinner today. It helps if you saw him in church last month. Maybe you were an usher at his daughter’s wedding. It doesn’t matter: watch your back, watch your front, watch your sides. Recognize that you’re a hypocrite. It stands to reason that you’re a hypocrite. It helps to believe that you control your God, that God forgives you, no matter what you do, even if you crucify and torture his own son. He wants to forgive you, the fool.
If you don’t trust him you can always trust Hitler.

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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