Connect with us

The Post is a Modern Classic

Published

on

Martin Scorsese says that each film usually has a single frame that in visual terms defines and encapsulates the film. Think of George Bailey, in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, clutching his wife and children beside the Christmas tree, gratefully looking up to heaven to congratulate the angel Clarence on getting his wings. Scorsese argued that these were not shots that the filmmakers mindfully planned as the definitive image, but rather the image that they and the audience discovered as the tell-tale sign.

NOR_D30_071017_204253_204322_R_COMP – Tom Hanks (as Ben Bradlee) and Meryl Streep (as Kay Graham) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE POST. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise.

Or think of the Norman Rockwell painting of the little African-American girl being led by the Federal Marshals past the hateful graffiti into the desegregated school. It is a work that nails a moment in history, and in doing so signifies both what happened and how it is to be seen. It also signifies, as time passes and new perspectives and new voices arise, what other ways the scene can be viewed.

All this brings us to a shot in Steven Spielberg’s newest film, The Post, a fictionalized retelling of the publication of the Pentagon Papers, the top secret report leaked by Daniel Ellsberg revealing decades of lies concerning involvement in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, told to the American people by several administrations.

The shot is of Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), the owner of the Washington Post, walking down the steps of the Supreme Court Building. While the reporters throw questions to the owner of the New York Times, who were the first to published the Papers, Graham silently descends pass a group of young women who fawningly eye her, this icon of a woman in power. Add John Williams’ lush strings and voila! A tableau. A moment.

NOR_D00_052317_7961_R – Meryl Streep, Director Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks on the set of THE POST. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise.

It’s classic Spielberg…committed, heartfelt, sincere, and obvious. Is obviousness a fault? If it is then much of Spielberg’s early career has to be reevaluated, for he built a career, as did his hero, Frank Capra, before him, on playing straight to the heart. The Post acts as a bridging film, combining the earnest qualities of his early films with the darker, more mature style and subject matter of his later years.

With nuanced and solid performances from his stars (Streep as Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee), as well as down the line excellence in the supporting cast, the film is engaging, well paced, and smart. This is Hollywood doing what it does best.

It is only in the last third, when Spielberg and his writers, Elizabeth Hannah and Josh Singer(Spotlight), start drawing the parallels to our current historical moment, that the heavier hand begins to be applied. Yet, if they’re going to go there, can they afford to be subtle? Is ours a moment of measurable subtly? After all, what’s at stake, the filmmakers seem to be arguing, is the 1st Amendment and Freedom of the Press. For in this film, the giants battling are not the left and right, the Democrats and the Republicans, but the Press and Power. And the gospel goes that a combative Press is the People, our right to know, our right to not be lied to and manipulated. (Cue the John Williams music, please)

NOR_D10_061217_0738_0732_R2_COMP – L-R: Howard Simons (David Cross), Frederick “Fritz” Beebe (Tracy Letts), Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), Arthur Parsons (Bradley Whitford), Chalmers Roberts (Philip Casnoff), Paul Ignatius (Brent Langdon), Meg Greenfield (Carrie Coon, seated) and other members of The Washington Post in Twentieth Century Fox’s THE POST. Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise.

Overall, The Post is a strong film, a muscular statement for our time, but will people who believe that the Press is phony and corrupt buy in, either to the premise, the facts, the drama, or at the box office? Will the story and the principles embedded in the historical narrative be overshadowed by the tribal beliefs of our moment? Do we agree with Supreme Court Justice Black when he wrote in the Pentagon Papers decision, 
“Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.”

The Post is betting that you will agree. It’s also betting that the everyman appeal of Tom Hanks will make the pill easier to swallow. It’s also hoping that Spielberg is back in his Frank Capra/Norman Rockwell groove; once again being America’s most beloved entertainer.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TV

Frogfathers lessons from the Normandy surf

Published

on

Frog Fathers: Lessons from the Normandy Surf” is a deeply moving documentary directed by Bob Whitney, narrated by John C McGinley, and presented by World of Warships and FORCE BLUE. It chronicles the journey of four Navy SEAL veterans revisiting the site of the D-Day landings to honor their forefathers and gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made during World War II.

The film’s strength lies in its raw emotional impact and historical significance. It blends personal narratives with archival footage, offering a poignant tribute to the bravery and resilience of those who fought on June 6, 1944. The veterans’ reflections and the cinematography effectively capture the solemnity and reverence of their pilgrimage.

While the documentary focuses primarily on the veterans’ experiences, it also serves as an educational tool, highlighting the strategic importance of the Normandy invasion and its pivotal role in shaping modern history. The film’s respectful approach and engaging storytelling make it a compelling watch for anyone interested in military history and the enduring legacy of the D-Day heroes.

Overall, “Frog Fathers” is a powerful and heartfelt documentary that honors the past while inspiring present and future generations to remember the sacrifices made for freedom 

Continue Reading

TV

American Horror Story: Delicate

Published

on

As most of us are already aware, the 12th Season of AHS has been fraught with all kinds of differences to the previous seasons, mainly in that this is the first one to be based entirely off a novel, ‘Delicate Condition’ by Danielle Valentine. The first half of the season aired in October 2023 to mediocre reviews, while the SAG-AFTRA strike caused production and airing delays for the latter half of the season, and the episodes of Part 2 were all cut to less than an hour long apiece. And none of that is even getting into the disjointed attempt at storytelling for Season 12, so let’s dive into this! 

Meet Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), former young ling star of Hollywood now struggling to recapture fame as an adult, who wants a baby, very very badly. Bad enough to drive herself and her husband Dex (Matt Czuchry) through multiple unsuccessful rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization), bad enough to keep trying no matter how crushing each failure turns out to be, bad enough to involve her purported best friend and bougie publicist Siobhan Corbyn (Kim Kardashian) in her struggles, and maybe, just maybe, bad enough to give up on a burgeoning resurgence of her career after interest in her comeback role for The Auteur begins garnering her Oscar-worthy attention. 

So, Anna and Dex are going to go through yet another round of IVF, likely one of their last attempts at it, from a different doctor, Dr. Andrew Hill (Denis O’Hare), and clinic based on Siobhan’s recommendation. And already, strange things are beginning to happen to Anna – her appointments that she set herself begin springing up incorrectly, a doom saying woman called Preacher (Julia White) shows up spouting warnings about trusting no one, dire warnings appear in unlikely places, and BTW, it seems as though long-suffering but good-nurtured Dex has a side-piece too. It doesn’t help that Dex’s new partner at his art gallery, Sonia Shawcross (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), bears a striking resemblance to his dead ex-wife Adeline, either. Those spiked emerald heels start appearing weirdly too, and it seems as though no one will listen to Anna as she grows more and more suspicious that some sort of sinister cult has designs on her as-yet-unborn baby. At the same time, Anna tries to live the life of a successful returning actress, attending parties and gallery openings while draping her rapidly-expanding middle in shimmering fabrics and actively ‘campaigning’ for that little golden statue that most actors covet. Competition is fierce, even among her co-stars of The Auteur, and while Anna wants to be supportive of her fellow entertainers, she clearly appears to be incapable of doing both at the same time – wanting the baby and the little gold award at the same time is too much to ask, apparently. 

Elsewhere, mostly in the past, various women in states of desperation formed from one situation or another are visited by sinister-looking women in prim black dresses, headgear reminiscent of – to me anyway – an odd cross betwixt birds and bunnies, my guess is an ostensive nod to fertility in general, and a general feeling of blood-bound witchery about them at critical moments of crossroad choices. 

Though the second half of the season moves a good deal faster than the first, the attempts at callbacks and reminder flashes to Part 1 hit with all the impact of a dropped bag of garbage onto their friends Talia’s (Julia Canfield) borrowed bougie kitchen floor – splat, into incomprehensible silence, from all parties, both characters and audience, concerned. Even the reminders that, in Part 1 of Delicate Dex’s mother Virginia Harding (Debra Monk) did indeed have perfectly valid memories of abuse at the hands of a black cult and Dex’s own father Dex Sr. (Reed Birney), the revelation pales and peels away in the face of Dex’s true parentage. 

Which brings us back around full circle kinda sorta, to the only real character worth a damn in this entire miserable season of strange feminism and aspirations of world domination through a kind of idiotic Rosemary’s Baby nightmare scenario, we should have known she’d steal the show when Kardashian was cast for it, Siobhan Corbyn, leader of the blood cult her high and mighty (old) self. Throughout the whole show her character has remained exactly the same, and it’s a wonder Anna can stare at her all stupefied while Siobhan does her villain speech at the end of the last episode. Siobhan never masked her ambition or greed, her mysterious protective vibe and even deep love for Anna, and can always be counted on to have secret plans of her own, already in motion, bitch. 

The idea that Anna herself was used as a surrogate for Siobhan and her incestuous eugenicist plans, plus the sweet little demon baby she just birthed, has an ironic the-world-is-tilting-the-wrong-way kind of witchy madness to it. Sure, Anna really can have it all, the baby and the golden statue, if only she joins the patriarchy-crushing cabal of blood witches with world domination plans, got it. 

I have questions, or I would have, but things are moving on and Anna is being saved by … Dex’s dead ex, Adaline the former member of the coven right okay her, she’s going to show back up and offer Anna a simple chant to Hestia her patron Goddess, and that is somehow enough to deal with Siobhan entirely – poof. And finally, after all that rigamarole, decades of planning and scheming and witchy plotting finally settled, Anna really can have it all as a White Witch of Hollywood, heaven help us, with her perfectly human baby and that damned little golden statue, clutched in an only slightly desperate grip. 

As with any season of AHS there are a great deal of statements that could be implied just under the skin of the season – the canker way of ambition, the millenia-old pain of a woman giving birth, the savagery and bloodshed that comes with bringing forth life, pushback against both the patriarchy and ultra-feminism, the absolute desperation of humans wanting to have a child, and perhaps strangest and most open to interpretation of all, what it means to be feminine. The worlds population of women who can’t or don’t or simply won’t have children, for any reason or none, are relegated to servants, expendable servants at that, for this new world order that Siobhan is proposing, and that is far too close a comfort to things like outright slavery. A dictator is a dictator, no matter how great she looks in those emerald spiked heels. 

It’s not the really beautiful grotesquerie that Ryan Murphy and his AHS gang are often known for, nor is it utterly terrible and should be burned at the stake. What Delicate should be, is put back together with missing and cut footage, an hour long per episode again come on folks, fleshed some more of Siobhan’s baby-stealing adventures in the past and given us an actual reason to like anything about the whiny Anna, at least the Part 2 we as longtime AHS fans deserve. Toss in some more spidery hijinks! Give us the actual origin of those weird feather bunny-ear headdresses! 

American Horror Story Delicate the whole season can be seen on FX! 

Continue Reading

Streaming

Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery in a World Gone Prehistoric!

Published

on

Hold onto your hats, dino fans! The highly anticipated sequel to the adrenaline-pumping Camp Cretaceous saga is here, and it’s taking us on a wild ride six years in the making. Following the harrowing events of Camp Cretaceous, our beloved “Nublar Six” are back, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. In fact, they’re about to plunge headfirst into a world where dinosaurs roam freely alongside dangerous humans, and trust us when we say, it’s a Jurassic jungle out there!

Picture this: a world where survival isn’t just about avoiding sharp-toothed predators but also navigating the treacherous waters of human greed and deceit. As our resilient heroes reunite in the aftermath of a heart-wrenching tragedy, they quickly realize that danger lurks around every corner, and trust is a luxury they can’t afford. 

But wait, there’s more! Prepare to embark on a globetrotting adventure like no other as the Nublar Six find themselves thrust into the heart of a conspiracy that threatens not only the fragile balance between dinosaurs and humanity but also their very existence. From the lush jungles of Isla Nublar to the bustling streets of bustling cities, buckle up for a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions as our intrepid group races against time to uncover the truth about one of their own and, ultimately, save both dinosaur and humankind from certain doom.

So, dear readers, if you thought you’d seen it all in Jurassic Park, think again! With heart-stopping action, pulse-pounding suspense, and jaw-dropping revelations, this latest installment promises to be a game-changer in the Jurassic universe. Get ready to roar with excitement because Jurassic Park: Unraveling the Mystery is about to take a bite out of your imagination and leave you hungry for more!

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 That's My Entertainment