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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chance and Faith

John and I just saw the film Children of Men. It's a harrowing look at the future when the Department of Homeland Security in Britain runs amok and wages an endless war to deport all immigrants, at the same time that all the world's women lose their ability to procreate. This is a film that's almost too much to take, but it's definitely worth seeing. It shows the utter stupidity of war and the story doesn't compromise. I remarked to John afterward that the plot is rather a reworking of the "flight into Egypt" myth to escape Herod's slaughter, and we discussed how reality doesn't unfold like a story and yet we understand reality in terms of story, seeing recurrent patterns in history and making them into tales that help us make sense of life.

Within this larger story is a smaller one, told by Jasper, the character played by Michael Caine, about the death of the young son of the protagonist, Theo. Life, says Jasper, is a juxtaposition of faith and chance. Faith brought a man and a woman, Theo and Julianne, both political activists, to a rally, for they believed that they could change the world; but by chance they met within the crowd of people. Faith made them have a child, but chance (avian flu) struck the child down. Throughout the film, the embittered Theo expresses cynicism about any "larger purpose" to all the suffering he sees around him, in contrast to the midwife Miriam who is always reciting Hindu chants and saying "everything happens for a reason"; and yet Theo is no nihilist, for he's the only one who sizes up events quickly and without illusion, and he rescues Miriam and the young Kee, a helpless girl with a huge secret. The faith of which Jasper speaks is not religious faith, but trust; the ability to look life in the face and yet believe in tomorrow ("Tomorrow" being also the name of a ship that will help them escape).

If you can stand it, also check out The King. Be warned: it's a rewarding and important film but its ending is about as awful as that of The Wicker Man (the original). My review of The King appeared in this issue of the Minnesota Atheist newsletter.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am getting too old and have seen too many movies, but in my humble opion this film is overblown drek. I came full of hope and an open mind. I left having seen too many things explode and no sense being made.
Yuk!

January 28, 2007 3:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, it's hard to take, as I said. Did you think the film made London look like Baghdad? I sure did. Yes, yuck, but how about that scene when the battle stops because everyone is in awe of the baby? That pretty much says it all, doesn't it? Everyone wants to same thing--and then they all start fighting again. It's so stupid.

Don't go see The King, then. Things don't blow up (except emotionally), but my hands were plowing through my hair at the end and everyone in the theatre was wigging out. And poor, cute Paul Dano--I was screaming inside at what happened to him.

January 28, 2007 3:47 PM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

I've been looking forward to seeing Children of Men. Thanks for the review.

Maybe I can Mrs. Pi to take me out this weekend.

January 28, 2007 4:29 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Let me know what you think if you do go!

January 28, 2007 8:23 PM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Hey Kristine,

A few things:

Sorry I've neglected your blog. I've been busy.

You've convinced me to see COM. I had wondered if it was any good or not.

I just finished watching Friends of God. You should check it out. I think you'd enjoy it.

Finally I wanted to award you with the Whore Church Seal of Approval. Enjoy.

Have a great day,

Scary

January 28, 2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

One more thing...

I can't believe how much better WordPress.com is than Blogger. I know you have a ton of stuff here, but after Janie turned me on...to WP I couldn't believe the added functionality and higher page views than I had been getting at Blogger. Try it, you'll like it.

January 28, 2007 11:28 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Finally I wanted to award you with the Whore Church Seal of Approval. Enjoy.

Wow, Scary/Kevin! (Is it okay if I call you that?) You don't know what this means to me. It means a whole lot. Thank you!

And thanks for the advice. When I get something resembling a life back, maybe I'll try Wordpress. But I've got such a steep learning curve already at school to deal with.

January 29, 2007 9:37 AM  

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