Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Lion for lambs by Redford versus Half Nelson by Ryan Fleck

For a week now I've been picking dvds at the video club next door, this is one of the advantages of being sedentary! I have an address which is mine!
Most of the time I consider that a visit to the video club is supposed to lead to an obscure and potentially cult movie, but this club is not old enough, and I've heard or seen most of the stuff they've got so my choice has to be on dealing with lost time and movies I wanted but couldn't see. When that we'll be done, I'll try the dubious ones but my mood and my soul need to be fed now, so I stay in the drama/ intelligent session at the moment.
So last week I saw Southland tales, and I'll definitely talk about it, so stay connected, but what I am intrigued by , right now, is the choice I made yesterday of two very different things expressing similar thesis:
Lions for Lambs by Robert Redford
Half nelson by… Ryan Fleck

Lions for Lambs

Lions for lambs is made of three stories related which each others, two of dialogues, and one of action. A journalist is interviewing a senator who wants to promote a new tactic to win the war in Afghanistan, a political science teacher is trying to get a bright student back to class, telling the story of two other students, very promising ones who enrolled in the army, the action part is the story of the intervention in Afghanistan and what is happening to those two promising student professor redford is using in his demonstration.
Of the three the most important part is the one of the dialogue between the teacher and the student. A talented student doesn't want to commit in politics because the game is already played, does this experience comes from life? No only from considerations, and lack of belief that if you pay attention to things the world can change. What is the biggest problem in politics? no one gets involved besides those in love with power, the "failing" of a generation, thour parent's one the sixties, the fact that they became ordinary citizen and that all in all nothing changed, made us just interested in saving our own asses!
The whole film is dialectics, confrontation between two generations 68 and 2008, trying to convince someone to beleive in what another beleive. Most of the "protests" films are, or were about teaching things to ignorant people: what happened etc? The whole goal of Spielberg when he made the Schindler list was to show what shoah has been to Americans but for those who know…
lions for lambs is different, it doesn't say here's what's right, here what's wrong, the whole point, is get involved in what's going on, because politics are not something outside of your life , politics are what's you are making of your life.
On a human scale it also shows how individuals are sacrificed on a day to day basis and how it is easy to get spoiled!
I love the fact that old Robert Redford still whispering in human ears is trying still to wake people up.
This ante universal crisis film seems to predict what is now getting real in our streets! take care of politics if not politics will take care of you!

Half Nelson

Dan Dunn is a history teacher in a ghetto medium school, he's teaching history and tries to write a children book about dialectics. History is made of changes, of confronting forces, and through this motto he's teaching 8th grade children about the big fight for rights of the twentieth century.
But our guy, though extremely talented is fucked up, the feeling of failing leads him to drug use, and abuse, he can't deal with the realities of everyday life, and destroys everything around besides the kids that he's sincerely trying to help.
Drey whose older brother has been imprisoned for dealing drugs discovers her teacher's addiction.
Both teacher and pupil will go on their path to destruction, like two forces fighting and helping each other, the whole film is rythmed by the exposé of kid with document film on the civil rights fights, south africa… The actors are amazing, little Drey react like a kid, and the paradigm of the brilliant but fucked up teacher, demonstrates fantastically how tough it is to be a human being in a fucked up world.
This film is brilliant, not only because the intrigue is, but also because it's filmed like a documentary sometimes, the lighting is beautiful and the story and the levels of interpretations are multiple.
I have to say that it's not depressing; there is such a good energy in it, that you are boosted by this film though it depicts tough events.
Half Nelson is a wrestling pass, isn't it? So teaching is wrestling, life is wrestling! As Redford said in Lions for Lambs: "The decisions you make now bud, can't be changed or with years and years of hard work to redo it, in those years you become something different everybody does, time passes, you get married, you get in debt but you're never gonna be the same person you are now and promises and potential, it's very frail and it just might not be there anymore!"
Strangely Dan is trying to do the same thing that Redford :helping the talented one to change the world but he got lost on his way. In both films there are similarities of dialogues, and I am amazed by the luck that made me chose them both on the same day!!

1 comment:

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