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Peter T Chattaway

Amour a.k.a. These Two

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My point remains.

I have no idea what point that might be, except that it seems to have nothing to do with whether or not people in Hollywood care about subtlety as well as commercial success (among other things, such as avoiding off-the-cuff un-PC remarks).

My semi-educated understanding would be that Hollywood people bear with films like Bay's movies because they make money, which allows Hollywood to make the subtle more artful films that many of them want to make in the first place. Many of these people are artists who want to make good work, and feel that this is important.

Edited by Attica

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To the first, you're the one who brought up Transformers 3 as an index of Hollywood "subtlety." How does the ostracization of Brett Ratner help your case that Transformers 3 is a useful index of Hollywood subtlety? Did you think anything I said implied that as long as a director fills theater seats, he will be unreservedly embraced? Wasn't my point kind of the opposite of that?
Michael Bay is still a working director for big-budget tentpole pictures. Brett Ratner, not so much. That's the difference.

But a difference that makes no difference as regards the question at issue, namely, the different ways in which Hollywood appreciates blockbuster filmmakers and filmmaking artists. Ratner's Academy hiccup in no way supports your claim that when it comes to subtlety, Hollywood is basically a Transformers 3 culture. It's not like Ratner got the Oscar boot for making some intellectual, allusive remark that was too elitist for Hollywood dullards.

I'm very much aware that Hollywood has to embrace both the popular acheivements, but also want to be renowned for its artistry. The artistry gives them longevity and purpose; the blockbuster achievements pay the bills so that the artistry can be made at all. No money, no time for making lasting Oscar baits. To folks like Peter Guber, it all comes down to money; make enough money, then you can make the art. No money, no art. Simple as that.

Ratner got the Oscar boot, and seriously hampered his momentum, from an isolated, off-the-cuff, comment that was imbecilic but also offensive to an entire (increasingly vocal) subset of the Hollywood community that retaliated. This is the same type of community that caused an uproar that caused the Superman comic book artist to fired and scrap the entire project _just yesterday_. A couple of years ago, a prominent Californian theater musical director was kicked off of his post because it became known that he, a devout Mormon, donated to the cause of Prop. 8.

That kind of undermines B's argument that the win demonstrates Hollywood's culture of death affinity, no?

But it seems unlikely that Amour got nominated for best picture without a lot of people in Hollywood seeing it. Of those who did it and voted for it, presumably a significant percentage have pro-euthanasia sensibilities, as B argues. But probably essentially all of those, and many others who voted for it, also considered the film a serious work of art.

A Goebbels style work of propaganda, ending with an altar call for legalized euthanasia (to be overseen by the state no less) would not have won the Palm D'Or at Cannes, would not have been so widely embraced by critics, and would not have been nominated for best picture or won best foreign picture. Hollywood people care about the difference. Hollywood Christians who don't have time for such distinctions are only marginalizing themselves, or repositioning themselves for a different social context.

A film can still be a serious work of art, but also promote an agenda that undermines traditional morality. There is no either-or here. You may have issues of Barb N's usage of Nazi imagery; I don't. To be fair, she backed it up by finding a film with a roughly similar plot (which must have been purely accidental).

I've not seen the film, so I cannot comment on it, but I've read both viewpoints. My main point is that these two viewpoints are not opposites, nor are they mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible that a film can be both perceived as propaganda for a most controversial act, *and* a film be a subtle exploration of weighty themes, allowing for a study but not an endorsement of the same act. What works in Barb N's favor--sorry guys--is that it's by no means an outlier; there's plenty of company where this film came from, all within a short period of time.

Edited by Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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And would it be possible to hive this discussion off to an appropriate thread? As this is very far afield of Haneke's film.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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And would it be possible to hive this discussion off to an appropriate thread? As this is very far afield of Haneke's film.

I'd like to think that my final two paragraphs brought it back to the subject at hand.

But if the powers-that-be wish to move it, at least give it a cool name, like "That Weird Amour/Brett-Ratner Thread."

Nick


Nick Alexander

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Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Chris Sprouse was not fired. Nor was Orson Scott Card. The book in question is still being published. The story in question is still planned to be published in a later issue. They are replacing the story at this time with other stories that still have artists.

But nobody got fired and the story is slated to go on.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Chris Sprouse was not fired. Nor was Orson Scott Card. The book in question is still being published. The story in question is still planned to be published in a later issue. They are replacing the story at this time with other stories that still have artists.

But nobody got fired and the story is slated to go on.

Correction... when I said "the entire project" I meant solely Card's story. With the ensuing outcry that began with Sprouse's stepping down, I do not believe for one single moment that Card's story will ever be published, at least not until Card makes some sort of restitution with this community. A person's views about gay marriage ought to have no standing whatsoever within the entertainment industry... and yet, there you are.

Nick Alexander

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Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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A film can still be a serious work of art, but also promote an agenda that undermines traditional morality. There is no either-or here. You may have issues of Barb N's usage of Nazi imagery; I don't. To be fair, she backed it up by finding a film with a roughly similar plot (which must have been purely accidental).

I've not seen the film, so I cannot comment on it, but I've read both viewpoints. My main point is that these two viewpoints are not opposites, nor are they mutually exclusive. It is entirely possible that a film can be both perceived as propaganda for a most controversial act, *and* a film be a subtle exploration of weighty themes, allowing for a study but not an endorsement of the same act. What works in Barb N's favor--sorry guys--is that it's by no means an outlier; there's plenty of company where this film came from, all within a short period of time.

Prescinding from the Ratner discussion, the relevance of which continues to escape me…

Whether Amour "promote an agenda that undermines traditional morality" is a legitimate question that can be honestly debated. Whether it is a work of Goebbels style propaganda is not. It is a simple matter of fact, and the fact is that it is not.

Bona fide propaganda of that sort is not something that can be mistaken for or reclassified as a subtle exploration of weighty themes. It wears its message loud and proud, and ends with a clarion call for its chosen cause. It may be well-made or not, entertaining or not, but the identification of that sort of film as propaganda is a matter of simple fact, not critical discernment.

I Accuse strikes me as a well-directed film with some creative camerawork and nice performances. I could also say nice things about Mrs. Miniver, a 1942 anti-Nazi propaganda film that happened to win Best Picture. Based on the way both films end, no sensible person would question that they are works of propaganda. It is a matter of simple fact. It is equally a matter of fact that Amour is not a work of that kind.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Overstreet said:

:If I were a better man, I'd just grin and bear it. (And really, I'm resigned, from here on out, to just take the beatings, since that seems to be what I hear people recommending.) But what I see is that, for years now, while I write about films and try to engage their ideas, she turns our disagreement on various movies into cause for character assassination, accusing me of living in "self-loathing" about my Christian faith, etc. On this occasion, it was Victor who informed me of what I'd been called. And while I receive lots of private messages of encouragement, which are well-intentioned, I wonder if I have any hope to see this behavior challenged publicly by somebody other than the person slandered.

I'm tired of it. I work hard not to let film disagreements turn into personal mudslinging. When Ted Baehr told a radio show host that Jeffrey Overstreet has "never read the Bible," I did my best to let his public bullying speak for itself, and tried to focus on the actual subject ("Is there anything at all worthwhile in the Harry Potter stories?" My suggestion that yes, there just might be, apparently exposed my utter lack of familiarity with the Scriptures.) But this is only the latest in a series of remarkable claims that Barbara has made about me without any evident attempt to actually engage what I have said or written.

At the risk of taking this away again from the subject at hand, sorry. I do have some thoughts on Jeff's. comment. I expect that B's piece had so many links because it obviously aligned with the views of many people reading it. But what I see you doing Jeff is to try and engage what the film is saying and what the culture is saying around this. It would then seem to me that in engaging in this conversation your trying not to be the bully.

As to folks like Ted Baehr. They seem to be incapable of a dialogue with their film reviews. He may talk about reading the Bible but I don't perceive the heart of Christ in what his organization is saying, or at least in how it is being expressed.

My beef isn't just that your being bullied. My beef is also that I think there are a whole lot of Christians, with some valuable insights into film amongst other things, that are afraid to even speak up because of this kind of nonsense, and so they are either shutting up and being dumbed down, or they are giving up and leaving the Christian system in general.

I think your input over the years has helped some people to have a more thoughtful, balanced, engagement of the arts. As a way of listening, understanding and connecting, rather than division. To some Christian's perspective this concept is foreign. I think your walking on the higher, more spiritually attuned, ground.

Edited by Attica

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I do not care what you believe will happen with the story. I care about what we know so far. You do not get to state speculation as fact. You declared someone was fired and the project cancelled. Current situation is that DC still plans to publish it (Both the series and the OSC story).

But I want to respect M.'s request. I was still composing my previous response as he added his request. Sorry about diverging like that.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Whether Amour "promote an agenda that undermines traditional morality" is a legitimate question that can be honestly debated. Whether it is a work of Goebbels style propaganda is not. It is a simple matter of fact, and the fact is that it is not.

Bona fide propaganda of that sort is not something that can be mistaken for or reclassified as a subtle exploration of weighty themes. It wears its message loud and proud, and ends with a clarion call for its chosen cause. It may be well-made or not, entertaining or not, but the identification of that sort of film as propaganda is a matter of simple fact, not critical discernment.

I will respectfully disagree with you, but I understand what you're trying to say. I think propaganda can have layers. I think propaganda can be over the top (Birth of A Nation--a great movie and an evil movie), but I also think propaganda can be genuinely subtle... a minor character story-arc, for instance. The bigger issue isn't that a film like this cannot be debated... the issue is that it was greenlit at all, with the ending in mind, along with many other films where certain characters made similar decisions, and the near-absence of films which do not opt to go this route. It's as if Ebert's Movie Glossary had an additional entry, screenwriters following suit to craft an ending like this.

BTW, subtlety does not sell international tickets.


Nick Alexander

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... the issue is that it was greenlit at all, with the ending in mind, along with many other films where certain characters made similar decisions, and the near-absence of films which do not opt to go this route...

BTW, subtlety does not sell international tickets.

Nick, what in the world are you talking about? I've read your comments here and not engaged them, largely because others have done so ably and because you're just throwing stuff at the wall at this point. But these last statements are particularly ludicrous.

First, the film was "greenlit" (to the extent that concept really applies here) because the writer-director won the freaking Palme d'Or last time out, and has on his resume a series of art films that win critical accolades and garner modest box office. Haneke could have ended his film with Georges and Anne playing Asteroids on an Atari 2600 with a banner hung above the telly that read, "Suck it, Culture of Death" and the film still would have been "greenlit" because it's Haneke.

Second, apart from the impossibility of ever proving a non-statement like "subtlety does not sell international tickets," you seem to have disregarded Barb's first non-reason for dismissing the film's Oscar nomination-worthiness: it didn't make money, or at least didn't make money in the manner in which they measure money in Hollywood, that magical warzone.

And, to Miguel, I did see your comments regarding the film and have been turning them around in my mind. They deserve engagement, and I intend to oblige.

Edited by Russ

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So I've been thinking about AMOUR quite a bit since seeing it, and even more since reading Jeff's review yesterday.

I admired AMOUR for a lot of the reasons that have already been cited in this thread, and the "empathic depiction" of their relationship totally sucked me into the film. And the film as a whole has had me thinking about the future--about my own marriage, and about being the son of parents advancing in age. For the film's ability to evoke significant thinking and feeling on those two fronts--to present a scenario that I will, to some extent, find myself in at some point in some role--I'm grateful.

And, yet, I can't escape M. Leary's criticism that the set up feels slightly manipulative. I guess I agree with Jeff's case insofar as he advances the thesis that what happens in the end of the film is dark and tragic, but what I'm not sure about (and hope to find clarification about in a second viewing) is whether what we're being given here is a sometimes necessary tragic act as part of love's equation. As such, the question isn't so much whether or not Haneke is "celebrating" the act, but, rather, is he condoning it as something like a "necessary difficulty" to endure that might be couched within "amour."

I'm not saying I have a decided answer to that question--just saying it's what I'm wrestling with.

SPOILERS

Yeah, I think it is intolerably goofy to say that the film condones euthanasia or anything like that (though one need not look far for different kinds of euthanasia as a practice that characterizes end of life care in modern health care). So I continue to read the film as more about the breakdown of health care systems and family systems that lead to these kinds of intolerable, awful choices.

I am more having a problem with Haneke's schtick here. In the past, I have enjoyed the way he has wedded different cinema tropes (classical formalism, horror, near-Dogme, etc...) to absurdist storylines that undermine the often self-congratulatory veneer of these traditions in Euro cinema. But this has meant that Haneke has often been a bit of a game in which we as the audience have to play along in this expectation vs. plot twist schema. I actually don't mind this. Haneke certainly represents an important seam of European cinema.

But I don't like the way this euthanasia event is the structural pivot for Haneke's expectation vs. plot twist schema in this film, this embedded Haneke bait and switch signaled by the title Amour, which forces us to coordinate our thoughts about marital love, aging, and despair with the act of feeling forced to suffocate one's wife. I wish I had a white board to illustrate this, but there are a lot of ways to tell this story, and I don't agree with Haneke's framing of the drama. My impression here is that using the euthanasia event as the structural/narrative pivot for the typical Haneke bait and switch actually has the effect of devaluing the tragedy of the act itself.

In addition, I think Haneke's insistence that the film lacks any ideological perspective on euthanasia is false. I do agree with Zizek that claiming something like this as ideology-free is problematic enough to be false at best or dishonest at worst. Sure, this is a film about love, aging, loss, dementia, etc... And it is a very good one on those points. But... it is also a film about euthanasia and its related medical, social, and familial networks. Given that this event is the narrative heart of the film, we just can't escape that.

(Caveat: To say the film condones euthanasia is not possible. I may think it is about euthanasia in the wrong way, but this is different from saying it condones or celebrates things. Haneke does neither about anything in his cinema.)

Possibly because I'm sick at present (and thus not thinking straight), I'm having a bit of trouble orienting your response to mine (the quoted portion you've responded to, I mean). Which is to say: I'm not sure if, and if so to what extent, you are distancing yourself from the way I've framed the issues at stake. Because while I've distanced myself from Amour-as-propaganda for, or Amour-as-celebration of, euthanasia, I did leave the word "condone"--used in a specific sense distinguishable from something like celebration or unqualified approval--open as a question. So I'm not sure if you're lumping my framing of the issue in with those that are "intolerably goofy." And I mean that I'm genuinely not sure.

I'm especially not sure because it does seem to me that the difficulty you're elucidating complements my use of "condone" as something like "circumstantially induced acceptability"--a construal that allows for the climactic event to have a tragic feel/shape, even while to some degree undervaluing that tragic quality.

Pardon me if I've missed something simple. I just want to make sure I understand your response as a reply to what I said. And if the nature of your response is one in which you feel the need to clarify your position because I've misrepresented it somehow--my apologies!


"What is inside is also outside." -Goethe via Merleau-Ponty, in conclusion to the latter's one extended rumination on film
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I don't want to stray too far off topic, but I would like to respond to some of the things posted here.

Nick Alexander: there is a difference between Barbara's approach and Jeffrey's approach. There is nothing wrong in claiming that Amour supports euthanasia, if that's how one interprets the entire film. I think that's completely misreading the film, but everyone is entitled to their own opinions. There certainly are people who think the film supports the culture of death, but that does not mean that interpretation is accurate. Barbara has gone further than just stating her opinion that Amour is a culture of death film. She compared the filmmakers to Nazis adding that someone needed to "make Haneke own up." Guilt by association also suggests that she is accusing anyone who likes Amour of degrading themselves to the moral equivalent of Nazis.

And going back to The Master, in her comment box when asked about Jeffrey's review, she said she would respond to Jeffrey: "but for Wales," clearly accusing him of selling his soul, which is what that line refers to, which she admitted. For a Christian, that is the nastiest, lowest insult I can think of.

Jeffrey may have expressed frustration in commenting about Barbara's claims, but I have not seen him accuse her of Nazi sympathies or selling her soul. He has addressed what she wrote, not speculated about her spiritual state. Maybe he became somewhat pointed, but given her accusations it's hard to blame him.

Jeffrey: I would like to thank you for your writing and work in film. As someone who has received from family members the line: "Would Jesus watch that movie?" - with the clear answer being: "No, He would not, and you're on the fast road to Hell for even wanting to watch that trash." I am very grateful for your reviews, which have made me think and consider what films are saying, especially difficult films. If I had a little more nerve, I would start up my own film blog.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Russ...

You want me to clarify my comments, but you also don't want me to clarify my comments until I've seen the film. This is tricky.

Since a lot of people are confused by comments, which is my attempt to play peacemaker between two critics I greatly admire, I'm just gonna smother myself with a pillow.

Edited by Nick Alexander

Nick Alexander

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Since a lot of people are confused by comments, which is my attempt to play peacemaker between two critics I greatly admire, I'm just gonna smother myself with a pillow.

NAZI!!!!!!


Yeah ... well ... I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with you there on that one.

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I've edited accordingly. Nick, I went further than I should have. In my view, the meta-discussion about the discussion of the film is less interesting than discussion of the film.


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Since a lot of people are confused by comments, which is my attempt to play peacemaker between two critics I greatly admire, I'm just gonna smother myself with a pillow.

Try playing peacemaker on the BN side of the equation and see how far that gets you.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Since a lot of people are confused by comments, which is my attempt to play peacemaker between two critics I greatly admire, I'm just gonna smother myself with a pillow.

NAZI!!!!!!

Well, it is not like he is advocating smothering one of his admired critics...or are you suggesting he is a self loathing Nazi by suggesting smothering himself?


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Evan C said:

: As someone who has received from family members the line: "Would Jesus watch that movie?"

Thanks for your post Evan. I thought it was great.

One thought as to the line that we so often hear "would Jesus watch that movie." The whole Old Testament is about God "watching" or observing and interacting with all kinds of despicable behaviour. In the New Testament God becomes human and walks amongst us eating with "the worst and the least." He leaves us with the understanding that Christ is here with us and active in the world.

Then add to this the fact that many Christians are being impacted by Holy Spirit in watching some of these movies. God is speaking to people through some of them.

So, to my mind, this question of whether or not Jesus would watch a movie is really kind of silly. If the triune God is all knowing and all seeing and here involved in humanity than Jesus IS watching those movies.

Edited by Attica

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But given that, I am still very cautious about the set-up here, in that Haneke's narrative pivots on a systematic removal of options that I don't find realistic (no GP follow-up? No surgical follow-up?). The film certainly doesn't have to be realistic, but then I am free to respond to it in terms of myth or fable. Even if I don't like it, the film reads better from that direction anyway.

Mike, thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

I'll be clear, I didn't much like the film, and I don't much care for Haneke's oeuvre (never could spell that word), though I recognize I am in the minority on both counts and, as such, if I want to be given a voice in any community outside my own echo chamber I need to acknowledge that to some degree or another. (Not everyone wants a voice outside his or her own echo chamber, and that's fine.)

I've been thinking about this exchange, because it encapsulates what I don't like about Haneke. There is a mousetrappish construction to his plot that I find unpalatable and that rings false for me. But I'm not one who insists on realism in my entertainment, and I've been thinking that there are others who have used this type of "caught in a conundrum"/case study construction and created works I esteem. (Two that come to mind are Graham Greene's The Tenth Man and Shakespeare's Measure for Measure). So I've been thinking about what it is that makes them different in my viewing experience than Amour. I don't know how well this will explain it for anyone else, but in those works I feel like the artists are using the conundrum to explore life and expand our understanding of it and what it means to live it; in Haneke's case I feel like he is simply saying "this is life." And I don't think it is.

That's not to say that nobody ever has been or ever will be in Georges' situation (or Anne's), but that there is something about the film and the oeuvre (there's that word again) that makes me feel like I am being asked to accept this situation as the anagoge for life rather than a tragic coalescence of circumstances in one life. And that troubles me. Not enough to make me condemn the film but enough to make me put it down without much thought and seek works that spur me to more productive thoughts.

*************************

Jeff, your pain is noted and mourned. I hope that you find the place somewhere in between simply turning the other cheek and being enmeshed in disputes you don't really want.

If I had a little more nerve, I would start up my own film blog.

Evan, there are a lot of blogs that accept submissions. Sometimes it can be less threatening than creating your own blog to put your work "out there" and see if you have a taste for it, can develop the habits, etc.

Edited by kenmorefield

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Possibly because I'm sick at present (and thus not thinking straight), I'm having a bit of trouble orienting your response to mine (the quoted portion you've responded to, I mean). Which is to say: I'm not sure if, and if so to what extent, you are distancing yourself from the way I've framed the issues at stake. Because while I've distanced myself from Amour-as-propaganda for, or Amour-as-celebration of, euthanasia, I did leave the word "condone"--used in a specific sense distinguishable from something like celebration or unqualified approval--open as a question. So I'm not sure if you're lumping my framing of the issue in with those that are "intolerably goofy." And I mean that I'm genuinely not sure.

I'm especially not sure because it does seem to me that the difficulty you're elucidating complements my use of "condone" as something like "circumstantially induced acceptability"--a construal that allows for the climactic event to have a tragic feel/shape, even while to some degree undervaluing that tragic quality.

Pardon me if I've missed something simple. I just want to make sure I understand your response as a reply to what I said. And if the nature of your response is one in which you feel the need to clarify your position because I've misrepresented it somehow--my apologies!

Sorry... My thoughts here are still a bit muddled, which may be transmitting as confusing. I was further expanding on an agreeing with your statement that the "set up feels slightly manipulative." It does to me as well, and I have ethical problems with that, given my comments about how euthanasia serves as the structural pivot for Haneke's classic narrative maneuvering.

"I'm especially not sure because it does seem to me that the difficulty you're elucidating complements my use of "condone" as something like "circumstantially induced acceptability"--a construal that allows for the climactic event to have a tragic feel/shape, even while to some degree undervaluing that tragic quality."

What I said does complement this sentence, though I think you have said it better.

I think it is "goofy" to reject the film via claims that it is propaganda for euthanasia. The film just doesn't support such a reading (especially given the awful surface sense of tragedy). But, given the formal placement of the act in question, the film is arguably about euthanasia in a problematic way.

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Ok thanks Mike--that definitely helps. Near as I can tell, I'm in agreement with you. And I'd love to see the conversation about the film stray away from propaganda v. not propaganda, because I think there is a trickier middle ground that we've not really traversed yet, though your post from earlier today is a great start.

Edited by Nick Olson

"What is inside is also outside." -Goethe via Merleau-Ponty, in conclusion to the latter's one extended rumination on film
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Thanks, Attica. Yes, I agree that line is silly. I think I responded, "I don't see why not," which really surprised the person who asked me. I don't think the line came from Old Testament notions of God watching us, but the notion that watching R-rated films is sinful, especially intense R-rated films, which a few family members of mine do subscribe to. Although I do love your points about Jesus in the New Testament.


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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After all that I've written, do you really think that I can clear anything else up?

At all the points where I discuss "subtlety" in a film, I am basically saying that an interpretation that appears to condone an illicit act will be held by _some_. If I were a person training Christian filmmakers, this would be something I'd greatly frown upon, which is exactly how Barb N is taking it.

SDG took affront that this meant that I would discourage subtlety at all... by no means. Many great films allow for multiple interpretations. Just not one that would appear to condone an illicit act.

Part of SDG's affront was the assumption that being against subtletly would be a deterrent to making it in Hollywood. Thus, this thread got derailed, as I demonstrated a number of highly-profitable tentpole pictures that were not made with subtlety in mind. If Hollywood were to choose between having the Academy Awards and tentpole pictures, it's very clear that in the last few years, it's been the tentpole pictures keeping the industry afloat. Expensive as they are, they also translate very well into the international market.

I do recognize that the filmmaking community is diverse one, encapsulating all viewpoints, religions, political views, etc. But it's not offensive to state that the industry tilts left. It's not offensive to state that there are campaigns against individuals for not towing the party line on controversial issues (a fact that Thom Wade doesn't credit me for).

SDG: In fairness to Barb N, she did revise her post about Jeff. I have discussed things in the past with her, and she even graciously posted my alternate viewpoint on Million Dollar Baby, all those years ago. I don't agree with Barb N nor Jeff O on everything. And I don't think it's fair to paint Barb N into Ted Baehr country; she's much better than that. But there's something to be said for her anger on being suckerpunched in multiple movies over the past year.


Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Just a note, but I was pretty against seeing this movie.

Because of Jeffrey's review, and thoughts here, I now want to see it.

I also agree with whoever said "self made war". Honestly, Hollywood has its share of liberal and conservatism alike. Look at how quickly people decided to forgive Mel Gibson, and Robert Downey Jr.'s touching remarks about Gibson a couple years back.

If there is any flaw in Hollywood, it's that it's very reactionary without much reflection to the "story" of the moment. And that's true on both sides. Also true of most humanity at large.

I'm really tired of the war rhetoric, we always have to be in a us vs. them mentality. It's the very thing that causes things like what B did to Jeff.


"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

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