Thursday, 23 February 2012

Movie Overdose

We arrived in London safely and just a little behind schedule. No matter how frustrating aspects of air travel can be, I never cease to be amazed and grateful at how easy and cheap it is to travel halfway around the world in a little over twenty-four hours.

As usual I spent most of the time watching movies and some TV.

  • The Debt: Interesting.
  • In Time: Intriguing premise, decent execution.
  • Boy: Quite good.
  • Network: Exceedingly dull and overwrought.
  • Man On Fire: OK execution of routine material.
  • Mural (weird Chinese film with female spirits who don't understand men (this is a genre)): Difficult to evaluate.
  • The Night Watch: Not bad.
  • A Shot In The Dark: Tedious (like all the other Clouseau films).
  • The Big Sleep (1946): Brilliant. More great dialogue than all the other movies put together.

This movie binge reminded me how wrong mass media is. Based on movies, you would conclude that the most common occupation is "professional assassin", that outbreaks of violence and murder tend to be ignored by the authorities, that there are no happy marriages, and that there are no Christians (barring the odd exorcist or villain). I fully understand that movies focus on the abnormal because it's more interesting, and that most people can distinguish fiction from reality, but I'm too much of a pessimist to imagine that our unconscious assumptions are perfectly firewalled from our movie and TV diet.


  1. Yes, and it's been a theory of mine for about ten years that a scary number of real life US cops (and possibly soldiers in Iraq etc) are modeling themselves off what they've seen in Hollywood movies, and not off the actual law and training.

  2. Which version of "The Big Sleep" did you see, the 1946 release cut or the 1945 original cut? See for more.

    One of my all-time favorite movies (either version; I favor the 1946 release cut still).

    Did you know that Leigh Brackett's last work was on the screenplay for "The Empire Strikes Back"? What of her work survives in the final screenplay is unclear.


  3. The 1946 release, I think. I didn't even know the original cut was available...

  4. Just watched the new TED talk on Abundance by Peter Diamandis. His first point is the media bias toward showing us violence and crisis. His other points relate to what is really happening in the world: exponential positive trends.