by Anthony King
A quick recap before we get to the topic at hand: I have liked or loved the last ten movies I've watched. That's a pretty good run. Hopefully I can keep it up.The Northman (2022) is another brooding, dark, period piece from the writer/director that showed he has what it takes to make a brutal action flick as well as a slow-burn creepfest. At over two hours it overstays its welcome by just a hair, but the superb cast – including Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, and especially Claes Bang – is remarkable to watch in this oft-neglected setting. For this week's Family Movie Night we sat down with Robert Zemeckis' Pinocchio (2022). Eben (10) enjoyed it, but this is easily one of the worst movies I've seen in a very long time. And finally, Bobbie and I watched the latest from Wes Anderson, The French Dispatch (2021). I'm never in the mood to watch a Wes Anderson film, but when I do I think, “Why aren't I ALWAYS watching a Wes Anderson film?” His overly stylized sets, dialogue, and cinematography seem to annoy (or even anger) some people. When I'm not watching one of his movies, I fall into that category. But as soon as I'm transported inside his mind I never want to leave. Out of the seven I've seen, Dispatch is easily Anderson's funniest. The rapid-fire dialogue (hello, T. Chalamet and A. Brody) and brilliant characterizations (hello, Tilda and Jeffrey), I spent a good portion of the time belly laughing.
Maybe art isn't supposed to inspire action. That's the job of propaganda. Maybe art is only meant to inspire positive action, and when it inspires negative action that's a chemical imbalance in the viewer. Art is a reflection. These are the things bouncing around my head after watching Ordinary People, a movie neither about art inspiring people in negative or positive ways, or propagandizing specific subjects. Maybe this is the point of art: to raise questions in our minds to help us grow. Because what happens if something stops growing? It starts dying.