September 17th, 2009
|09:29 am - The Hurt Locker|
I've been ill for a few days, but I'm feeling quite a lot better today. I was in bed asleep most of that time, with a temperature. Now I feel tired and fragile and I have decided not to go back to work until tomorrow. Before I got ill I watched the film The Hurt Locker, so here is a little pocket review of it.
The Hurt Locker is a film by one of my favourite directors, Kathryn Bigelow, about a bomb disposal squad in Iraq. This is one of those modern films about war - and I'm thinking for example of Jarhead - with events but no plot. I guess this reflects the experience of people in real war situations. And coincidentally I see this point made by an actual bomb disposal expert in the Guardian a few days ago.
The film does succeed in showing that on a tour of duty, there is no overarching story – it's just a series of incidents. Compared to Jarhead each individual event is very intense, but there is no overall meaning or progression in the story. The overall feeling is exciting pointlessness.
The subject of the story is a charismatic but suicidally reckless bomb disposal Staff Sergeant and his relationship with the Sergeant who provides military cover for his operations: here is a picture. The expert is a sort of genius white trash, and the military man an educated black professional.
I think all Kathryn Bigelow films are about the relationship between two strong and good looking leads. One is intelligent and anxious, the other charismatic and doomed. Sometimes it's a man and a woman (Near Dark, Blue Steel, Strange Days) sometimes it's two men (Hurt Locker, Point Break and K-19). In this film she does get the two guys to strip off, get drunk and have a punch-fight, but like the rest of the film it sort of doesn't go anywhere.
At one point the disposal guy says to the Sergeant 'Do you know why I'm like this?' and you think 'At last, some kind of explanation.' And then there's complete silence, and you realise it was a question - he's asking this other guy who he's only known a few weeks, to tell him why he acts the way he does. The silence lengthens, and the other guy looks out the window of the armoured car glumly at the ruined streets of Bagdad, and there is no explanation.
So glad you're feeling a bit better - stay home until you're well!
I feel a bit guilty but I think it's best to take it slow today
|Date:||September 17th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)|| |
Piffle. I always take an extra day past when I think I'm okay, because I know that during that day, I'll do odds'n'sods - or try to - and think, uh-oh.
Going back too soon just prolongs it. I fight to keep my minions from coming in when they're ill.
|Date:||September 17th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)|| |
I've only seen of Kathryn Bigelow's films, Near Dark. Which was interesting, but didn't really make me want to see more of her work. Mind you, it was an 80s movie, and I have a very negative reaction to anything 80s. It's depressing that she's now making war movies.
She's an extremely macho director. I think Point Break is quite an iconic macho-erotic film.
|Date:||September 17th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)|| |
She's an extremely macho director.
Based on Near Dark I'd agree. I find that terribly depressing.
|Date:||September 17th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)|| |
OMG Kathryn Bigelow is one of my favourite directors! I haven't seen THL yet but not for lack of trying. Maybe this weekend if I get time. Having not seen it yet, can't really comment but when has that stopped me before? *g*
So I'm thinking, if a tour of duty is a series of events - rather than having an arc, and therefore a defined beginning, middle and end - no wonder people who have been in warzones or people who are soldiers get PSTD. They don't even 'know' it's 'Post' if you see what I mean.
In fact, wasn't this point, or a very similar one, made by the Juliette Lewis character, Faith, in Strange Days? "You know one of the ways movies are still better than playback? The music comes up, there's credits, and you always know when it's over."
God, that's a really good point. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to tell you that the film is broken up by signs saying 'n days until end of tour of duty' a number which changes through the film but has no meaning.
|Date:||September 17th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)|| |
And sorry, I meant to spell that PTSD. Fecking dyslexia.
Hope you're feeling better.