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  • Lance Mannion
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« Pretty stories | Main | Hollywood's Right Wing agenda »


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blue girl

I haven't seen "Munich," but I have read lots of criticism from the right wing. And have also heard from my right wing friend things he's learned from that Michael Medved character. The right wing is saying that Stephen Spielberg does a horrible job with the movie because, instead of coming right out and saying who's wrong and who's right -- who's evil and who's good -- he "confuses" the issue by portraying each side as human beings in the middle of a murky nightmare. (And they don't put it that nicely.)

Not that I like to generalize, but I think there's a good example of the difference between the left and right. We don't so much mind trying to understand why things are the way they are -- where they just like to be told the way things are by people they agree with.


Don't forget the evil/good Riddick pitted against the evil/evil Necromongers. To fight evil sometimes a different kind of evil is required.

Elayne Riggs

Clearly you don't read a lot of modern comics. I'd say about 80% of mainstream output in the last 25 years has been about anti-heroes, superheroes who certainly would not have been considered "good guys" before Frank Miller and Alan Moore ushered in the era of "grim and gritty." Current comics aficionades are repeatedly asked - nay, URGED - to identify with some very unsavory characters indeed. Supposedly this is all part of deconstruction. I consider it part of depressing storytelling.

Adorable Girlfriend

I have never read a comic. Am I sheltered or what?

Exiled in NJ

I picked up a DVD of Cape Fear, the original, for $5.50 in Sam's emporium. I'd seen it when it came out and found it frigthening then, and do so now. It shows pure evil on the loose. Last week I used the 'Select Scene' function to skip the parts where Gregory Peck finds there is nothing he can do legally to stop Mitchum's Max Cady, and went to the finale, just to see Good triumph.

There was a short "making" feature where Peck, who produced the film, mentions that he realized that Mitchum's character had the meaty part, but I doubt that any viewer would emphasize or self-identify with him. Max Cady was always evil, never having to convert to the bad side.

I've seen Scorcese's remake, which teeters on the edge of deconstructionism. Besides giving his buddy DeNiro another chance to play a raving psycho, the director inserts little hints that maybe Nick Nolte, who took Peck's role, had it coming....that he did not play fair, that he is being punished by dallying with evil. Relativism is the word, and it is a crutch Conservatives use to beat Liberals over the head with, and when I see this simple story given shades of gray, I wonder if sometimes they are right.

Then I remember the words given to Eastwood's Bill Munny in the magnificent essay on using evil to fight evil, Unforgiven, 'we all have it coming.'

Kevin Wolf

As always, Lance, plenty of food for thought here. I'm one of those people who isn't afraid of a little ambiguity in the depiction of good vs evil. It seems obvious to me - but somehow not to everybody - that the scope of human behavior is huge and encompasses everybody from Goody Two-Shoes to Hitler. Art, if it's to be of any use at all - if, in fact, it is to be art - has to deal with this in some way.


Rarely are we put on the side of the monster. We are almost never given a villain for a protagonist, as Shakespeare did with Richard III and Macbeth. When we are, it's usually a version of Richard not of Macbeth, a charismatic monster like Ripley we can side with as a way to escape vicariously from the oppressions of our own consciences, inhibitions, super-egos, shames, and fears, and only for the length of time it takes to read the book or watch the show or sit through the movie.

Heh. Guess which Ripley I thought you were referring to here?


Somewhat OT, although you can find connections....I think you would be interested in this

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