Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Giver movie--a review

Post-Emmy UPDATE: The Colbert Report has Jeff Bridges discussing this film tonight and interestingly enough, Stephen quotes the John Prine song that was performed on show last year ("How Lucky Can One Man Get") and the tie-in is beautiful.  By all means watch the Colbert Report on demand if you can get it.

Yesterday I made a point of seeing this movie mainly because I read THIS review, which mentioned a couple of favorite authors (Aldous Huxley and George Orwell), even though the review panned The Giver somewhat.  Now that I've seen it, I would say that it is indeed a mix of Brave new World and Nineteen Eighty Four, but I would add that there's The Stepford Wives in the mix, too, regarding the culture's attempt at sanitizing family unit cohesion.

Put simply, The Giver is indeed a work of art and the aspects of the art are primarily what the review complains about.  Most movies are formulaic with pointless gratuitous action, sex, gore, terror intended only to attract an audience that dotes on those things.  Not this film. The big name actors in it (Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges) clearly recognized the art of the script as such that the reviewers remained blind to.

Without actually going there, the film addresses the reason why the cultural sanitation is necessary--for every yin of a good aspect, there's the yang of a bad aspect and the point of the exercise is to exorcise the yang while preserving the yin, and then discovers that there's a yin-yang that can't be divorced--that's genetic engineering yin and the deliberate culling in an artificial Darwinist manner yang which mankind has used successfully to domesticate wild animals since the beginning of human existence.

The plot is based on sound science, which was of particular interest to me and not likely to be as great an interest to much of anyone else--the science of human emotion and perception being chemistry-dependent.  Every good citizen in this society were, by law, required to take regular medication by both tablet and injection, and when someone was determined to be deviant, they were accused of skipping either the tablet or the injection and were ordered to get their daily dose immediately or face Release, which everyone believed was a sentence to the area beyond the culture's boundary (Memory Boundary) but turned out to be euthanasia.  Yup--when you deliberately skipped medication, you got the death sentence.

Sameness was the objective, and it's unfortunate that Sameness was the result of a perverted sense of civil equality as if civil equality were a bad thing to pursue. On the other hand, the celebration of diversity is the yang to that equality yin, and again, inseparable two sides of the same coin.  As the movie progresses, it also points out that this new world order was important because of the yang of other things: happiness, sadness; delight, pain; peace, war; love, hate.  On that last dichotomy, the Giver (Bridges) launches into quite a stirring lecture to the head leader (Streep), who sees what the Giver is encouraging as dangerous, particularly in the method he uses to train the neophyte Receiver (of the society's collective memories/history).

When the movie-goer considers all these other things beyond what was superficially covered by the movie reviewers, and particularly if the movie-goer is also familiar with the aforementioned literary works (turned into movies: Brave New World, 1984, and Stepford Wives), this movie will linger in your head for quite some time to come.

Late PM PS: I just now got around to reading this month's AARP magazine and there's an article about Jeff Bridges therein. It's a good read, so if you're an AARP member who gets those, read before you toss.  There are a number of good articles about Baby Boomers and sexuality, too, so I guess in a previous post on that particular subject, it appears that the absence of hormones beyond menopause is no obstacle.  But if that's true, then I wonder what's acting in their absence to produce what we used to know as hormone insanity?  Hmmmm.  Well, it's no wonder to me that women who think the occurrence  of this nature has to be nothing short of a miracle. GO COUGARS!!!

An a propos image circulating on Facebook today, which evokes thoughts of a few specific people, some of which are sort-of masters of illusion...

In the fine print it says "Real didn't recognize real until fake showed up".  There's no better an effective cure for what's fantasy/imagination than the cold hard reality of recognizing fake when fake shows up. Just like the saying says: snit just got real.


I've also noticed some more traffic from the UK, and I also know that a new season of Doctor Who has begun, which may account for some of the hits on the posts where I've posted some TARDIS navigation instructions.  Well, I've deleted some of those, so if you guys want to pick up on TARDIS navigation classes, you'll have to begin at the beginning. No shortcuts. Email me if you want to sign up for classes next term. No exceptions.
Post a Comment