Sunday, February 25, 2007

thoughts about the timeliness of narratives

In Philadelphia, I used to go to movies by myself all the time. Here in NYC, it's the opposite situation. Today, for example, I went to the movies with 7 friends. And this is without five or six other people who would have readily come if they weren't otherwise engaged. It was funny to be in the Angelika, running around in the theater before the show began, saying hello to everybody.

Oh and the movie we saw, the movie eight people wanted to see? "The Lives of Others," an incredibly depressing, but moving German film that clocks in at over two hours. I cried throughout the end of the film. I was so engaged. John reminded me of the time I sobbed through "Far from Heaven" with him back at Dartmouth. Unlike "Far from Heaven," "The Lives of Others" is not a melodrama. Far from it, its bleak reality leaves you craving color and light. In a sense, what you get is a taste of live in East Germany. And it isn't a place for which many people feel any sense of nostalgia. With reason.

Everyone should go see this movie. I think it's easy to say this will be the first of many German reunification stories (in film and literature) that will be making their way to the United States in the coming year or so. The excellence of this film and the soon-to-be-published lit also lead me to wonder if Americans could have been so wise as to hold off on post 9/11 fictional narratives. Or I could say that it gives us hope for sensitive, evocative and thoughtful narratives down the line. Here's hoping that the same is true of post-Katrina narratives.


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