The Elephant Man (1980)

The severity of John Merrick’s disfigurement is confrontational to our worst sense and the cold street life of poverty in Victorian England, where the film is set, distancing and aloof from his plight.

One feels quite separated from the film, much like the distance one may feel from Merrick, but that the better response is not repulsion, but compassion, so one can be inside the story of “The Elephant Man”.

The Elephant Man (1980) is about dignity. Dignity for those who are, through no fault of their own, impaired, but get ridiculed and oppressed.

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It’s not disillusionment, though

I have been objective about the Star Wars films since the new batch that started with The Phantom Menace in 1999. I tended to see the style and tone of the films even if coming up short in some if not many respects. Wasn’t Rogue One overrated. And I am still not going to embrace the Force. There is something else. I can’t embrace any of the new characters as I could with the original trilogy.

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In a rush of inspiration…

I remember writing the following article in a rush of inspiration, so some parts could have been thought through a little better.

I was writing this one for Challenge Weekly, a Christian newspaper, whom I thought might have been interested in the premise of my article at least: are the latest blockbusters family friendly?

Looking back at the article, I found I described, and didn’t really give an opinion or judgment on the films being family friendly or not, which looking back was a little disappointing. However, it’s something I should apply now.

Here’s the article, written in 2005.

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Retirement, sort-of

A little while ago, I said I would be posting reviews on the anniversary of the film’s release, but have had a change of mind, and have decided to retire from film reviewing, after considering it with some thought. Big reveal–not, really. May still review albums and music and probably will. It’s about retiring the film reviewing, but will still read about film and watch them occasionally, without the necessity to review them.

Thinking about the unknown

An underrated film is 1984’s 2010. I’ve watched 2010 again and enjoyed every minute of it, more so than before.

There is something spiritual about this film which for me gives it more buoyance than most films. It shows me there is something more out there and that someone is trying to get through to us—before we lose out on the essence that comes from outside of ourselves.

In the film, the “presumed dead” David Bowman, a scientist, reappears to his wife, his mother, and a scientist. Bowman comes with a warning for the scientist as well as a message that something wonderful is about to happen. The scientist takes the warning on good faith. Believing in it is not rational, but he must believe, to save his life.

I can just imagine it’s like God telling us to have faith and believe him because it’s going to be good for us, but we wouldn’t have a clue about what God’s talking about. That’s because thinking about what’s ‘out there’ is frightening, unusual and we are uncertain what we will find there. We want to protect ourselves from anything we are not familiar with. So, we hide.

But the other thing that Bowman tells the scientist is that by believing in his message and acting on it something wonderful is going to happen. This is like when something wonderful happens to someone who believes in the Christian message: that if one believes in Jesus, one can be awakened from living only for the material world.

Jesus holds his hand out and says, won’t you come with me? By saying yes to Jesus, something good happens in the spiritual realm. It is something we know has happened. God can get through to us, to know we can be “born again” from beyond this world, even as we live behind the walls that surround our earthly existences. 2010 is such a great film for raising this spiritual theme.