Perhaps it’s sacrilege to recast a movie which is already perfectly casted, but I’m going to do it anyway. Since I have a new podcast episode today where I dive deep into the movie, there isn’t much more I can say. Either it’s covered in the episode or it’s been covered in the large realm of online film discussion.
I watched Boyhood again because I gained a lot of respect for Linklater after watching his Before movies. He obviously has a lot to say about life and how it functions in a real, everyday way. Because of course, movies portray life in a completely different way than it actually unfolds. But Linklater tries to blur the line between real life and fiction, especially in Boyhood.
My head is telling me we’re at a point where the quote about politicians not understanding the reasons to do good is his most relevant line of dialogue. But because Bird’s movies are all about being positive, my heart says that there is hope and we can and will do better.
Mac is able to enact inspire and spark a small scale “uprising” through personal relationships. He leads by example and shows his friends what they are missing out on. Instead of some difficult to grasp abstract idea, it’s the personal relationship and firsthand experience which they latch on to, and that is extremely special.
We long to see ourselves onscreen, or to be represented in some way. For me, this could be by seeing a twenty-something guy live in America. Or for many others, it could be a Black superhero finally portrayed in a major franchise film. But at the most basic position, we are all audience members watching stories which are often larger-than-life, and that is why I love audience surrogates.
I fully accept that this is my personal bias. Maybe I just feel less cheated by La La Land. But I think Whiplash is the type of movie I will always be able to appreciate, but never love.
But while this is the conclusion I’ve come to with J.K. Rowling, it doesn’t mean it’s a hard and fast rule. Separating art from the artist is highly a case by case basis where you need to evaluate the case and even yourself in the process. It’s about deciding what you believe in, deem acceptable, and want to support in some way. There’s no right answer. And unfortunately, I’ll likely continue to get chances to put my method to the test.
I have to say, when I first watched The Godfather movies, I wasn’t thinking that I would be comparing them to the Mamma Mia! films. But it is a classic example of filmmakers learning lessons from something great to improve their own work.
I’m not saying Jojo Rabbit is a bad movie, but I also don’t think it’s any better than “solid.” It does interpersonal relationships with comedy mixed in very well and it has a ton of heart, but I just don’t think it ever justifies its backdrop.
I derive a lot of meaning and understanding in life from stories – books, movies, TV shows, plays, conversational accounts. When something moves me, I like to cherish the feeling.