Saturday, January 29, 2011

Frank Rich on True Grit, The Social Network

I get the NY Times on Sunday and generally spend all week reading it. At some point during the week I always turn to the editorials page for my favorite columnist, Frank Rich. He usually dices up whatever political shenanigans are current, spicing his astute observations with widely varied references to the arts and pop culture. I didn't get to it until today this week.

Last Sunday Rich chose to focus on two very popular movies, True Grit and The Social Network. I enjoyed both very much. I saw The Social Network as commentary on power, greed, and moral turpitude. True Grit had all of that under its veneer of historical distance, which can create the illusion that none of it need be taken too seriously. But the longer I consider it, the more I see True Grit as belonging to a higher order of filmmaking than the typical old fashion Western. It is art and allegory and worth a second viewing. What appears to be heroism turns out to be the opposite when justice devolves into revenge. In the end, both stories wallow in an amorality that may resonate uncomfortably throughout our contemporary culture.

Rich's analysis deepened my appreciation. He not only compares and contrasts two movies that at first glance seem to have nothing in common but also adds political and social commentary, which I find adds pithy and welcome depth. Art and life are inseparable, after all!

Read Frank Rich's column:  The One-Eyed Man is King.

Barry Blitt, NY Times

1 comment:

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