Saturday, December 10, 2005

cine extremes

I can't help but snicker over Aaron McGruder's strip, Boondocks, for the last few days. Grandpa and his Oreo neighbor are off to see Brokeback Mountain, under the impression that it's a cowboy movie, and the characters will do manly things with horses, sheep, and lassos.

A few months ago I caught its preview, and sunk in my seat with my hand clapped over my mouth to stifle my laughter. It was the matinee, after all, with an audience of not more than ten; The Constant Gardener was at the very end of its run. The rest of the audience, I suspect, was in a similar condition. Two cowpokes (hmmm) flailing arms around each other, looking more like they're wrestling than caressing, yelling endearments at each other, does not leave one with an impression of romance. Yet that's what it's supposed to be. I just don't see this coming off convincingly, so I won't waste my time.

Sex between heterosexual humans is strange-looking enough as it is, and the parties involved were intended to fit together. Sex between homosexuals of either gender has got to be considerably more awkward. Romance between gay men, to me, is stranger yet. Yes, I know gay couples who are completely committed to each other, but at the same time I also know that the greater proportion of the subculture is committed to cruising.

On the other end of the spectrum, I do intend to see The Chronicles of Narnia. To my disappointment, I've heard it's not nearly as well done as the Harry Potter movies, and that it's been called "boring." This seven-book series was a staple of my childhood, and occupies a few inches of my present shelf space. You could read the entire set in less time than for a single volume of Rowling's, and feel just as satisfied.

I was completely unaware of the Jesus metaphor until I was thirteen or fourteen, and by the time I was old enough to articulate social views, I was more disturbed that the bad guys were obvious Muslims. In my opinion, Lewis gave a relatively soft touch to the Christian theme. I suppose the parallel would have been clearer in fifties England with its more widespread Christian beliefs. Aslan's death on the Stone Table is not a sacrifice for all of humanity's sins, but for the betrayal of just one person. Lewis, perversely, calls this magic, and theologian that he was, the term is apt. Unless the producers have gone wildly overboard, I think even atheists could let their kids see this one and still have a pretty good time.

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