Monday, November 12, 2007

lions for lambs

In some senses Robert Redford is the father of modern independent filmmaking, not to mention the patron saint of Hollywood liberalism – his Sundance Film Festival has launched a couple of dozen major careers, and his concern for progressive environmental policies is well known. And United Artists used to be known for making the kind of movie that entertained and provoked at the same time – from 'In the Heat of the Night' to 'Being There' to 'Rain Man'.

After a decade or more in the doldrums, the studio has been resurrected by Tom Cruise, and the first film released under this banner is the Redford-helmed 'Lions for Lambs' – a tub-thumping intellectual thriller that pits brains against brawn as a liberal university professor, a neo-conservative senator, and a smart journalist duke it out for the prize of 'who gets to direct the war on terror' - which the film shows still to be fought by the poor.

Such a film could have been a thoughtful exploration of the nature of American liberalism post-9/11, a call to action, or an intelligent treatment of the questions of how to respond to injustice without repeating it (or overcoming evil with good, as the New Testament would have it). Yet sadly it ends up a wasted opportunity - with mostly old arguments being rehearsed once more in a film whose performances are flat and is without visual interest.

There is, however, some merit in 'Lions for Lambs'...Read the rest of this post on the God's Politics blog.


Volney Faustini said...

I was eagerly waiting for your post on "Lions ..." Seeing the movie here in Brazil was a relief. People from this part of the world (and myself included) is amused at how weak criticism has been on the war issue. Even with the majority of the evangelical leadership. Poor prophetic voices - with exceptions, of course.

So in one sense, more than the war issue, the sense on challenge for this generation is what is at stake. Consumerism, being pro active in striking first before they strike "US", the pressure on oil, 'sell' the news - not 'tell' the news ...

It was a good substitute for a Sunday sermon: to establish an agenda and being pratical on areas where the Kingdom of God can be effectively manifested.

David A. Campton said...

Slightly frustrated by the current crop of anti-war films (don't like that phrase but can't think of a better one at 1.45am) coming out of the states at the moment. There is a lazy liberalism about them, that has no real creative, dramatic or political dynamism. The thing about the crop of films that came out in the late sixties and early seventies in response to the Vietnam war was that they were artistically robust and came at the issue from different angles: Apocalypse Now recasting Conrad's novel, MASH abstracting the issue to the safe distance of the Korean war etc. The recent crop are, at times, little more than ill thought-out liberal, finger-wagging sermons... and like most liberal sermons, they really don't get the blood pumping.

For your pleasure... said...

Good stuff...and always an enjoyable read. If you have time, stop by