June 8, 2009

WHAT IS MORE CYNICAL TO THE LIBERAL...:

Revanche (James Bowman, 6.8.09, American Prospect)

Though I don't quite know why, I've been having some trouble defining for myself just what it was I so much enjoyed about Revanche, by the Austrian director Götz Spielmann, a movie which A.O. Scott of the New York Times calls "a tidy, glum thriller that aims for a tone of sour humanism, perched just on the near edge of cynical despair." This judgment seems to me to be completely wrong, wrong in every particular. At least on the basis of its immediate effect, I would say that the film is neither tidy, glum nor a thriller, except in the sense that any movie with a plot can be called a thriller. Nowadays, even thrillers often don't bother with plots. Nobody seems to mind being whisked from one exciting moment to the next without bothering about the connections between them. This movie is therefore old-fashioned in having a plot, and a well-developed one, but the effect it produces is more thoughtful than thrilling.

And then there's "sour humanism," which corresponds to nothing I could see in the picture -- which, if anything, has a powerfully theistic subtext, though people are likely to disagree about what it means.


...than theism, which tells us the unpleasant truth about human nature? If you're on the Left the two most cynical texts in history must be Genesis and Federalist 51.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2009 5:49 AM
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