Saturday, July 21, 2007

TYI At The Movies

I saw Rescue Dawn last night, and it's easily the best film ever produced by a former Bull, All-Star power forward.

Actually, smart-ass, back-handed praise aside, it's very, very good. I had an excellent reason for admiring Elton Brand already, but the fact that he's using his cash to help a truly awesome director like Werner Herzog make movies warms the cockles of my heart. Go see it and then read on, because I'm about to ruin the ending. (And if anybody knows how to HTML code "under the fold," please let me know in the Comments, because that knowledge would have been very handy for this post.)

Some folks have taken issue with what they consider the "unambiguously" triumphal, "knee-jerk militarism" of its ending, but to my mind, such a reading demostrates knee-jerk stupidity. (Indeed, even the normally very astute Matt Zoller Seitz made this mistake in an otherwise excellent review.) For what actually triumphs in the end is not the military, which is "unambiguously" shown to be crudely instrumental in its attempts to exploit Dengler's heroic persistence for its own abstract, inspirational ends. Dengler, however, is equally heroic when he steadfastly denies this impulse, positing in its place a strictly materialist view of humanity that eschews flag-rallying notions like "God" and "Country." (This doesn't deny inspiration per se, it simply asserts that "Spirit is a Bone.") Indeed, it is Dengler's knowledge and love of the material world as it is that allows him to survive in the first place. At a time when your local Omniplex is drowning in utter shite, Rescue Dawn provides a much-needed breath of fresh air. Thank You, Elton!


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