Saturday, November 8, 2014

Week 9: Cinema, Technology, Politics

This week was Independance Day.  While I do like this film, and remember when it came out that it was a marvellous work, I don't really agree with most of what Benjamin says regarding technology and the way that film detracts from actors.  I believe that film gives the opportunity for actors to do much more than they are able to in a play on a stage, and that just because the camera creates some type of 'non-original' type feeling about what we are watching, does not mean that my opinion or pleasure of the thing is diminished.  The quality of the filmmaking and the acting is what will affect that opinion.  Therefore, if the artist (be it filmmaker, actor, special effects guy) does their job well, then I will enjoy the film.

No, if we were to extrapolate this idea out and not look at the film, but at the subject of it instead, I think there would be more sense made of Benjamin's arguments.  In the film, take the aliens themselves.  The first time that we see them, we see a massive hardened being.  We assume this is their original form.  But then we see one cracked open, and that the hardened shell was just that; a shell or suit, and that the real original alien is small and weak inside it.  This changes our perspective on the alien all together, and this is what I think Benjamin is driving at.  I feel that this point could have been arrived at better with something like, Star Trek: First Contact while dealing with the Borg, and if they were human or machine first, and Data's struggles with his new emotions and his quest for humanity, or with The Chronicles of Riddick, and looking at who Riddick actually is at the end of the story, and how our opinion of him changes.

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