The motion picture All the President’s Men is almost foreign for its intimate view of power: it represents the kind of palace intrigue one imagines in old European capitals among kings and queens and their minions. It is a great reminder of what evil can happen here.
What can the company do to save itself? Does it sell its toxic assets to others? Will it ever be trusted again? Who will take the blame for the losing strategy that led to this moment? Who should have anticipated this? What will be the effect on other companies, and on the larger society? How will the lives of those in this particular office be changed? The film is a compelling and a surprising pleasure.
Sometimes we want instant change, and are willing to settle for its appearance rather than work for a new authority, a new purpose, and a new structure that would make it real. There has been a betrayal of legacy in African-American culture and politics that is rarely discussed, but aspects of it can be seen in writer and director Tanya Hamilton’s film Night Catches Us, starring Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington.
This last dance is, as well as being thrilling and climactic and incredibly moving, simply an incredible performance. For how do you attain in dance an absolute abandonment (one culminating in the loss of life itself) while retaining always at least a crumb of control? Death may no longer be a taboo; but dying is.
The film Think Like A Man is more entertaining and satisfying than one would expect from its genre or premise—and that is thanks to a group of attractive, intelligent actors, women and men who deserve more opportunity for demanding, thoughtful, well-conceived work.
Gavin Wiesen’s film The Art of Getting By is an interesting portrait of a unique young man’s coming of age in a cosmopolitan city; a film with a good subject, script, and cast and crew, illustrating the attractions, confusions, and dangers of a smart boy’s life.
Gladiator is example of an entertaining epic, of a film that has great action and large themes—courage, family, honor, integrity, nation, democracy—that are attractive to a mass audience, and to individuals who want something to think about.
It is a story presented with excellent craft. The film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has a lot of style, in its cinematography, and in its structure; and its landscapes are gorgeous, musical interludes romantic, and it has well-measured pacing. Its use of silent film and black-and-white photographs, tinged sepia, are a nice touch.
The Piano Lesson, as presented by Hallmark, has some staginess still, but what remain impressive are August Wilson’s language, spirit, and vision. Wilson’s language is more natural than poetic, but it is ever flowing—creating character and music and relationship—and summoned are a particular time, 1936, and place, America (Mississippi and Pittsburgh).
The film has a leisurely pace with a nice score, interspersed with a huge lot of popular songs of emotion and energy. The songs confirm what is at stake in a relationship, the excitement of that. The film’s languor allows us to know its characters and their relationships and situations.