All entries for Thursday 24 May 2007
May 24, 2007
In order to agree or disagree with him, though, one has to look into what it means to be the greatest nation on Earth.
- Nation – what is a nation? To me, it means a set of cultural heritage, that binds people together. It is more than waving a flag around – oh no, that is only for people who uphold a vision of the nation that is different from what actually is, and need a symbol to rally to. [aside]Interesting enough, by the way, that these were brought in the French presidential debate.[/aside] The nation is some marks you can actually identify, in this case, the UK with.
- Greatest. Tony Blair chose his words carefully – he did not say most influential or most powerful, or any such thing the French might come up with. He said greatest; and in terms of nations, what does it mean? It could mean loveable, but that would be entirely subjective, and not quite fit in. Though I am sure the ex-PM is in love with his nation. What I think he meant there is that, no matter what, the UK has still a unique feel, an unbreakable set of chartacteristics, and a creative culture. And he is well right.
The UK is, nowadays, patly based on immigrant population. They remain within small or large communities; but still take on a big chunk of British culture – from the language to tea. And the oddity to drive on the left. Etc. etc. – they may be thought of as foreigners, but truly they are British. And that’s without having to wave a flag around.
This is why, truly, the UK is the greatest nation on Earth. And I am proud to live in it.
(Disclaimer: abuse at the French is purely jocular)
- Spiderman 3
The main problem with Holywood sequels is that they try to top off what has been done before. Thus, Spiderman 3 could be dubbed bigger, better, with this time not one, not two, but three villains. Quite ambitious to bring the Sandman, Venom and Goblin mark II in one single movie.
And, to be honest, it doesn’t work. Well, that is, at the beginning: too much time is spent on the Sandman’s background, without quite convincing us; and Spidey/Pete’s bliss is borderline boring. You see a new Spiderman, full of pride, which is quite a leap from the one we had seen in the first two parts.
However, this all serves a purpose, and builds up to what can be named a masterpiece. For this movie revolves around one central theme, as did the previous two; but more subtly, and with a more general scope than before. What Spidey 3 is about, ultimately, is not exploring the dark side of the superhero – because that cannot work – it is about forgiveness. And it is seen from every possible angle: forget but not forgive, at the beginning – which clearly leaves some guilt in the “culprit”; Aunt May’s “forgive yourself first”; revenge; forgiveness that brings peace of mind; rejected forgiveness… I don’t think there’s any other way to tackle the issue; and yet it does not feel hackneyed in the film; on the contrary, thanks to the long and slow-paced beginning, it just feels right.
So we’re ready to forgive some awkward scenes (such as the French maître d’), and to focus on the amazing performances given by the lead cast: Tobey Maguire is, as ever, very good – even when he becomes the baddie; Kirsten Dunst is annoying but only when she’s supposed to be, and, for this once, does not give a flat, boring pretty-face act; and finally, Harry is just great! Suspension of disbelief works in every single scene he’s in; and that was important in order to make a farfetched twist quite believable. The supporting cast is quite good as well, especially the arrogant Eddie.
So, yeah, the storylines from the previous two movies are dramatically altered (who killed whom?), and yeah it’s overcrowded with villains – but it is all for the best, and iit works!
Spiderman 3 will be shown next term in the Student Cinema – worth the 2 or 3 quid!