Thursday, February 18, 2016

Daniel Craig in Defiance, a 2008 movie + literary analysis--

I liked this movie which I saw in 2008 while working briefly in Rockville, MD with the Burmese govt in exile on a Plan for Democracy and Development in Burma--

It is my practice when walking past a movie theater to see what they are showing, and in this case it was this movie Defiance,

staring Daniel Craig and based on a real story of Jews hiding in a forest.

The other movie I saw in the same theater was Nixon and Frost, based on a play of the same name.

I know there was a controversy about the languages spoken in the movie, much like Michelle Yeoh speaking a terrible Chinese-accented "Burmese" phonetically in The Lady, as Aung San Suu Kyi and being hailed as a linguist! :(

but movies seldom get it right or change everything for dramatic effect.

However, I don't agree with the august NYTs reviewer--

I found it very moving.

Somewhat like Kurasawa's Ran, in the bloody scene where the parents are assassinated by being shot point blank at the dinner table, and blood spattering on the walls.

But then I like masculine or muscular movies, violence and blood and a gritty kind of realism.

I don't know why the Wiki synopsis does not describe the most affecting scene of all, in which the character played by Craig is very sick in the forest hideout and expected to die, and has to handle a coup in the group.

These sorts of things are very common among rebel groups.

see--Burma--the Pajau murders of the 1990s

among the ABSDF.

--well, the Craig character is able to kill the coup leader in a surprise move during a showdown. Daniel Craig's acting, honed on James Bond movies, makes this scene credible.

The author Nachama Tec who based her non-fiction book on the
real life story of the Bielski brothers, says the group was focused on survival, not on attack, but anyway, a movie is a movie. No one is saying it is non-fiction also.

Kazuo Ishiguru said at that book reading in Philadelphia, that he thought in the end, "If the title still remains Remains of the Day, that's enough."

Really powerful authors like J.K. Rawling can put in clauses for artistic control and final say, but I don't think it happens often. It may not even be a good thing, as most writers are too close to their baby.

And usually the plot changes, e.g. in Revenant, which includes new characters such as the half breed son and the rescue of an Indian woman from rape, not to mention a completely different ending than the book by Michael Punke, also based on a real story, are for the better (as a movie).

One of my writing mentors B.E. used to say, "Each novel is a different animal," and it is.

Movies and books are different animals too.

A book you can read over 8 hours if it's the thriller type, over 3 to 7 days if otherwise, and Howard Zinn's A Workers' History of the United States, I have been reading for about 19 years. Not because it is not good, but because it is so good each "episode" based on real letters, of slaves, servants etc. is so intense, it takes a lot of digesting.

A movie has to be told in 2 hours, and you go for a different kind of intensified
visual experience, with sounds and lights.

They cost a lot to make, and you as the audience have to feel your effort to go there is justified, with your 10-17? $$

That's about the price of an average medium level Chinese dinner.

A French dinner will cost more.

I don't know how much prostitutes cost, though I did see, on my way to work at terrible radio station, a prostitute giving her business card to 4 business men in suits.

And how did I know she was a prostitute?

Well, obviously she did not know them, and it was a business relationship, and she was dressed as if for the beach.

I also saw a prostitute making a cash deposit at a money machine. She shrugged when she saw me staring at her, A girl has to make money somehow.

Stories are everywhere, they just need to be written down.

A Time to Write.
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