OK, so no one understood my last mymind. You suck.
I wrote what follows a few hours ago, and I think I should preface it, maybe explain my interest in things. When I was in high school (actually college preparatory) my senior year I was in this great English class. One of the things I am most grateful for about Bellarmine was it’s English program, because I think it really exposed me to a lot of great literature, and made me think about interesting things. At any rate, this teacher, Mr. Allessandri, was the best. Everyone loved him. And he taught this class very well.
So he had various themes that he used to choose books and poetry and films. I think the theme of the first semester was the scariness of modern society, and stuff like that. So we started with stuff like what’s that poem? The one that talks about the widening gyre. Keats? Yeats? We read Ode to a Grecian Urn as well, as that’s kind of about longing for the past, a desire to see the past forever chiseled, stuff like that. It was quite good.
But the second semester, I think, changed my thought life forever. The theme of that semester was illusion versus reality. Just how what we perceive to be reality is really so often not that far from illusion. So we read stuff like The French Lieutenant’s Woman, an amazing book, saw movies like Apocalypse Now and The Stunt Man, with Peter O’Toole. Also the Purple Rose of Cairo, the Woody Allen film. We saw a lot of films. Also Brazil, the Terry Gilliam film. These films I have mentioned, by the way, are all excellent films. This class was a really well taught class. One that makes you think.
Anyway, ever since then I have really been into the subject of illusion and reality. I wrote about my anticipation of The Truman Show before, but that’s why I was so into it. Illusion versus reality.
Having written all that, I realize that it actually has no relevance whatsoever to what I did in fact write earlier. But that’s OK, you can read it anyway:
Last night I saw this movie Pleasantville, and it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Maybe second to Shawshank. The movie was incredible, and I highly highly recommend it. It just made me think about so many things. I seriously think it was brilliant.
I’ve kind of been working on this mymind for a while, and here’s what I’ve realized – one of the reasons I liked it so much is that I didn’t know much about it going into it. And as the reviewer for the Charlotte Observer noted, “a promo that undervalues the picture, giving no sign of what makes it unique, is rare. “Pleasantville” is that rarity.” You may have seen the promos or ads, but I promise you, you don’t know anything about the movie, and it is best viewed that way. So I highly suggest you stop reading and go watch that movie. Again, from the Kansas City Star: “Gary Ross’ ‘Pleasantville’ is a pleasant surprise, a seemingly lightweight little fantasy that blossoms into something moving and a lot smarter than it first appears.” The Miami Herald issues similar sentiments.
OK, only keep reading if you know you won’t see it, in which case you suck. Here’s the thing about the movie; you think it’s one type of movie, then halfway through you realize wait, it’s not that type of movie at all. It’s terribly deep, terrribly clever, and amazing how they put it all together. My goodness. So now go watch the movie and keep in mind that what you’re watching is not all you’re watching. It’s amazing.
The sad thing is, I don’t think a lot of people got it. I mean, understood the movie. I was watching people in the theater at parts I found either clever or deep, and no reaction. It’s not just a movie about people trapped in a TV show; it’s a metaphor for how people want to keep society pleasant and unchanging, and it’s really clever how he does that. So you won’t appreciate it until you recognize that.
You can see that in some online reviews. On CNN.com, the reviewer was ecstatic about the film, because he got it. On mrshowbiz.com, the guy gave it a positive review (80/100) but he didn’t get it, and you can tell. You have to get it. Roger Ebert got it (4 stars). If you get it, and if you’re not so cynical you’re unwilling to accept what the movie has to say, it’s really an amazing film. I think amazing regardless. Wow. Yeah, so reviews, (I’ve been scouring the web) are split pretty much into two camps, those who find it incredible, and those who find it just good (the lowest rating is a 7/10, which isn’t bad). My claim is the just good people just didn’t get it, because to them, the metaphoric stuff at the end bothered them, and they felt it out of place. How sad. The point is, the whole movie was set up for the last half, not the other way around. I’m actually angry about that, when people don’t get it. One abnormality is moovies.com, which I don’t feel fully got it but still called it a “brillaint film,” “one of the most clever films I have seen.” So, you should watch it and depending on your reaction, you’re either cool or you suck.
OK, I’m still looking at Web sites, and I’m angry at Entertainment Weekly, who totally did not get it. It had the gall to call it “as simpleminded as the ’50s TV to which it condescends; certainly it’s got none of the depth, poignance, and brilliance of ‘The Truman Show.'” OK, you are an idiot. I saw Truman Show, and liked it, and it made me think, but Pleasantville is way deeper. I’m actually angry at that reviewer. She didn’t even pick up any of the heavy elements that kind of bothered other reviewers who didn’t get it. Idiot.
I can’t tell if Janet Maslin, NY Times got it. She likes the movie, and I generally respect her, but she misfires sometimes. Her review for Titanic was just like, what? I can’t tell if she’s intelligent or not. Hmm.
OK, the Mercury News review is probably the best review that I have read so far. Excellent review. It is right on about the movie. The Detroit Free Press review is also a very very excellent review of the movie. And not just because I agree with them, it’s just very intelligently written. And the Charlotte Observer review is also excellent.
You know, I’m not going to write about the movie today. So go watch it. I’ll write about some things I thought were very very clever later. It’s got great reviews, for good reason. Have a great day.