In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Grey

I really dislike rants about books or film where the ranter hasn't read the book or seen the film. But I'm breaking my own rule. Furthermore, I love Liam Neeson. Love him, and I've forgiven him for getting that glazed, empty-eyed plastic surgery job that he got a few years ago. In spite of that awful eye job, he's still dreamy. However, it's impossible to forgive him for starring in a movie like The Grey, which is --  I assume, based on the previews -- basically, Moby Dick. Only on land, and with a wolf and not a whale. No, I haven't seen the movie, and I probably won't, unless it's late and it comes on cable and I think "what the hell..."

I am intrigued by Roger Ebert's review of the film. I respect Ebert, and often agree with him (except with his review of Blue Velvet, though  I might feel differently if I were to see the film again after so many years.) Did Ebert mean the The Grey isn't what we who haven't seen the film and assume it's about big evil meanie wolves killing people isn't that at all? Or that, in spite of the former -- it being exactly that -- there are redeeming qualities? I'm sure the acting and direction are excellent; but in film, like literature and art, that's not enough.

Wolves are not the enemy. Exploiting animals -- using them as allegories for human anxieties and fears, unease and dissatisfactions -- is a tradition in human artistic expression. It's more creative, fun, silly, and interesting, to make up fantastical creatures or frightening monsters, to make up weirdness to scare, creep out, amuse, than it is to feed the greed gene and titillate with supposed horrors from the animal kingdom. 

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