Tag: Christians

Where Do We Go Now?

May 17th, 2012 — 4:52am


Where Do We Go Now? sp—It could have been New York City and the gang war between the Jets and the Sharks as seen in Westside Story. Or perhaps it could be the Bloods and the Crypts  who in reality  have an uneasy truce in Los Angeles which usually prevents them from killing each other. However this movie takes us to small village in Lebanon (although the name of the country is never mentioned to suggest a certain universality to the theme). In this case there are two factions Muslims and Christians with their respective houses of worship being literally facing each other. They live side by side in this small village but all too often friction occurs and the men are at each other and young men die. It is not this way with the women of this village who are friends and share their mourning and grief as they periodically bury their men. Second time Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki who wrote, directed and starred in this movie was inspired to create this movie shortly after she had her first child and was in anguish over a political rift in her country during which men were fighting in the street. She was moved to consider how horrible it must be to raise your son in this environment. She wrote a screenplay of what might happen if the women of this village were to get together and conspire to stop this senseless killing of the boys and men. The result is a poignant and comedic fable, which reminds us what women can do when they work together to try to protect their families. Ms. Labaki is not only inspired but is very talented. She created this movie using mostly non-actors, who often worked from the concept of a scene rather than following a tight script. Nevertheless there were some particularly authentic dramatic moments, which were done quite well. It did take a little while for us to get completely oriented to the storyline and the 100 minutes running time could have been edited more tightly. The theme partially echoes an  Albanian film The Forgiveness of Blood where ancient traditions of mediation are used to try to prevent the feuds but in the current film Ms Labaki‘s  instincts clearly focuses on the power of women. (2012)  

Comment » | 3 Stars, Drama, Foreign

Life of Brian (Monty Python)

March 25th, 2011 — 4:12am


Life of  Brian ( Monty Python) nf – Every once an awhile we get a hankering to see an old movie that people always talk about but we have not seen.  This time we chose this comedy classic that was made 31 years ago and more recently we heard some folks even older than we reminiscing about what a funny film this was. Now we realize that we can’t judge it by contemporary standards. Satire always is at its best when the events that it is making fun of have recently happened. This movie however, is ridiculing events that happened more than 2000 years ago! It was unique in film making at the time as it attempted to  take on religious history and show absolutely no reverence for either Christians or Jews. I don’t recall if any groups boycotted the film but you can see how that might happen.  Ironically, if you turned on today’s news reports and you didn’t know when this film was made you might also think that it was  trying to be a satire of the struggling factions in the middle east taking on their despotic powerful leaders in 2011. The movie opens as Brian ( Graham Chapman ) is a new born child in the stable next door to where Jesus was born and the 3 Wise Men almost mistake him for the Messiah as they came bearing gifts. Brian grows up to join one of the three waring factions which are pitted against the powerful Romans. His buddies in his particular group are the other stars of the movie (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Ifle and Michael Palin) and everyone had a British accent. Incidentally, all the stars including the director Terry Jones play multiple parts in the movie. The physical setting (filmed apparently in Tunisia) and the costumes are very realistic which makes all the satire and humor come off so well. Once you allow yourself to go with the flow and put aside your respect for human life and people’s religious beliefs, you might find yourself getting some good laughs. Women feel that it is not fair to their sex that they are not allowed to go to a stoning so they wear fake beards so they can participate. There is an argument about people having big noses. People mistake Brian for the Jesus like leader  because they didn’t understand what he was saying and they are willing to follow him anywhere. There is a great musical number sung during a mass crucifixion. If you think you can handle these events, you might enjoy this movie and appreciate why it is a classic.  (1979)

Comment » | 3 Stars, Comedy

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