Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Blessings #2

Austra - Feel It Break (2011)

When had our heroes turned to villains? We've taken these archetype images that were so relevant in our youth and twisted them so thoroughly that our culture now reveres drug dealers and serial killers. Sure they may seem like they're accomplishing some good as they defy forces even worse than them, as we revel in the way they overcome the impossible, but what is it that allows us to identify with them in the first place? Or is it that we've rejected the concept of the pure human spirit embodied in the idea of hero worship? We've all grown up and realized that these fantasies of human glory are simply illusions that only tease us as we search for a refreshing drop in the desert of our souls. There is no purity in the world. There is only a complex and divisive struggle within us that extends out and affects everything around us. Sometimes we do things that are evil or stupid or greedy. Sometimes we attempt to be noble or courageous or conscientious. It's not always good nor is it bad. It just is. Which is why it can seem wholly interesting to identify with a protagonist who is as flawed as everyone else on the planet and somehow continues to thrive in spite of it.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Tomas Alfredson (2011)

During the '70s, the "Circus", the highest level of the British Secret Service is immersed in an incredible chess match with Soviet Intelligence. An operation is set forth to discover the identity of a mole inside the circus but when that fails, the hierarchy of the circus is shifted and new players take over. Are these new powers simply being controlled by the mole and Moscow? Only someone from outside the power structure can discover the truth. Enter George Smiley, one of those who were forced out during the power shift, who starts a new game that is played in the shadows of the original but perhaps with even more at stake. An engrossing and elegant tale, told through the lens of an absolute master who never reveals too much. You simply keep searching until everything is laid out in perfect detail.

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