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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

KICK EM WHILE THEY'RE DOWN

you don't want to see this in your rear view mirror


Saw a film today of the isolation of the individual in the contemporary world. It was called RENDITION. Found it at the grocery store for $4.99. It looked like it might be a well made and a serious film. It was. I learned years ago in looking through bargain book bins a truth that applies to cds and movies, too. Those bins are loaded with the worst, movies I'd rather jump off a skyscraper than watch. But, hidden among the worst is also the best. The best doesn't sell any better than the worst. I also found GRAN TORINO, which I've seen, but know I want to see again, and might pass it on to somebody. I saw half a dozen really good movies in the bin, but have seen them and owned one. RENDITION was about it's title, the new word that means torture in America where we officially by policy do not torture. We commit rendition. Curious word. It used to mean a particular jazz artist's particular version, or rendition, of a given tune, like Body and Soul by Sonny Rollins. It's his rendition of that particular standard.



Rendition is the denial word for torture. I suppose the film is what might be called an espionage thriller. It's not really either one, but it has that kind of feeling about it. It concerned the time of the Cheney-Rummy-Rice-Bush Gang of Four flying prisoners to countries like, in this case, Morocco, for rendition, to hear the jazz of them screaming in agony. Several times, like headings for a new chapter, a scene of Condi Rice at a press conference or something of the sort making a public statement, each one a bald-faced lie, just as much then as now. It's some of that tv footage that made us laugh when hearing her speak these atrocities to our ears like she believed we believed it. Reminders that we are in a time when anything our government tells us we already know to be false. Just because the government told it. The government only lies.



Every film I see of American involvement in the Muslim world, documentary or in story form, makes me feel like this anti-human power, the American Deathstar, is raping children. In the shadow of the Deathstar's incredibly advanced technology and the indifference for humanity that goes with it, the Islamic world, where they still ride donkeys and care about each other, wants to live in peace among themselves. But, unfortunately for them, their lives are sitting on great underground seas of oil, which the American government (international corporations) will provide the military might paid for by the American working taxpayers to start pre-emptive wars to take over their oil, or strategic location, on a pretext like terrorism. The pre-emptive military take-over creates a predictable nationalist reaction (terrorism) to be put down under the title insurgents, that dirty, dirty word. Insurgent. Ba-ad. Not good. Yer either with us or against us, quoth the serial liar, the one who is such a liar even the republicans have to admit he only lies. The American president known for only lying to us is now a hot dog fundamentalist evangelist makings big bucks filling huge auditorium events on money collected for Jesus.



It's looking like the false that has characterized our American world for so very long has finally come to a place it can't be denied any more. Republicans are about all the people left who can go on living in denial like there's never going to be a "margin call" on bullshit. At home, sitting with the laptop telling you these stories, I remember conversations in Selma's with Joe, Moxley, Todd, Selma and others. As always, conversation is lively and animated. It was a cold, cold day of chilly wind blowing through the Twin Oaks Gap and Gap Civil (Sparta) down the canyon of the walls along highway 21, the route of the wind current through the gaps. The snow was blowing parallel to the ground all day, blowing snow from the dusting of dry snow we had in the night. The temperature is way too cold for it to be wet snow.



Roger Ebert is quoted saying on the box the dvd came in of RENDITION, "This film is perfect." I didn't believe it in the grocery store looking it over. I don't believe it after seeing it. The film was very well made. Perfect? That stretches my imagination. My idea of a perfect film is perhaps one made by Danish directors, Bille August or Susanne Bier. A case could be made for a given Bergman film to be a perfect film. Of the maybe 3 or 4 films I'm come away from calling them perfect, Rendition would not be one. I would never think to call it a perfect film, esp to have it in print with my name attached. I'd call it a extra good without hesitation. Maybe it is. Maybe it's not. I don't care to call something perfect, because perfect is nothing. To my understanding of the word, it raises its subject to nothingness. Like calling Jesus perfect puts him out of reach, out of range, out of conception. Same with a movie called perfect. What makes a perfect movie? My suspicion is he's thinking about how it was pieced together as a film and the relevance of the story told. I'm nit-picking corporate packaging. How absurd is that?



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