The Cookie Crumbles

Watched a strange and very poignant comedy last night. God Bless America which is streaming on Netflix and directed by Bobcat Goldwaithe. I am no movie reviewer. I just know what I like. My tastes do not always coincide with the critics or the masses. I tend to watch most of anything, with the exception of horror and pornography (I cannot tell the difference.) But GBA is a strange and delicious black comedy. One that is most timely. Here is the synopsis:

Frank (Joel Murray) has had enough of the downward spiral of American culture. Divorced, recently fired, and possibly terminally ill, Frank truly has nothing left to live for. But instead of taking his own life, he buys a gun and decides to take out his frustration on the cruelest, stupidest, most intolerant people he can imagine — starting with some particularly odious reality television stars. Frank finds an unusual accomplice in a high-school student named Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr), who shares his sense of rage and disenfranchisement. Together they embark on a nationwide assault on our country’s most irritating celebrities.

Who hasn’t fantasized  killing the judges on American Idol,Glenn Beck or the cast of Jersey Shore? This barrage of stupidity is one of the core benefits and reasons for not owning a television. I should qualify that though, to be honest. I own a monitor, a computer and a DVD player. I am able to watch things that are either on disk or stream from the internet. In this media age that should be enough. What this affords me is freedom from a horrific marketing machine. We cannot filter out commercials, and I NEVER watch network news or any of the vacuous reality shows that are targeted in the film. What this black comedy makes clear is the incessant and constant assault on our psyche by radio personalities, reality shows, uninformed and plastic news pundits, cell phones, and the fallout of mass consumerism. The picture it draws shows how far down we have fallen as a people. It isn’t pretty.

The only film I have seen this summer on the big screen is Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan has wrapped up his trilogy very nicely with an unexpected parable of its’ own. DKR is about the fall and resurrection of Bruce Wayne/Batman. And some of the scenes in the film are prescient  to the conditions we are facing in our society right now. Nolan claims coincidence as a film is in the works for many years. But the Wall Street and Stock Exchange scenes as well as the kangaroo court punishing the fallen of Gotham City’s wealthy classes, illustrates clearly a condition we could very realistically be heading toward given the widening and destructive affects of the wealth to poor ratio in our nation. Nolan has brought Batman into the mythical universe where he has always belonged. Like Theseus, Gilgamesh, Prometheus and other mythical heroes, Batman has risen to take a place in human folklore. It is a myth befitting our time.

There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us. —Selina Kyle (Catwoman)

Also DKR has one of the coolest ad campaigns of recent films. The imposing billboard that my son and I stood in awe of the other evening, stands over Bond Street and Lafayette Ave in the Lower East side of Manhattan. I could go on to expound on Batman as a mytho-poetic icon, but I have read several articles that have done so way better than I am prepared to do right now. G. Roger Denson has done so eloquently in his July Huff Post article. It is worth the read.

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