The Taser's Edge

Your Movie Noose
October 21, 2006, 11:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Before I begin, I must admit that this post is entirely based upon the New York Times Movie Page.

The first thing I found interesting was about Clint Eastwood's new film (as director–remember that he has directed Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, and Unforgiven (and Bridges of Madison County)) , Flags of Our Fathers, which is about the men who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, that famous photo.

Now, whether you like or dislike war movies, perhaps you will find this as interesting and cool as I did: Clint Eastwood's next film, Letters from Iwo Jima, is also about the battle of Iwo Jima, but from the Japanese perspective.  I think I might have to see both films because that is about the best idea ever.

But I hyperb.  And, unfortunately, the other thing that I learned about new movies this morning is horrifying.  There is a new movie out titled The Bridge, by director Eric Steel.  From January 1 to December 31, 2004, he set up cameras on the Golden Gate Bridge from dawn to dusk, sometimes manned, sometimes unmanned.  His intent was to capture images of people jumping.  And in that year he filmed fourteen suicides, several of them with the camera following the victim (I say victim because someone who commits suicide is still a victim, just of him- or herself.  It seemed to be the most appropriate language when I wrote this.) all the way to the water.  He then worked the footage into a documentary, which he claims was made to raise suicide awareness and help prevention efforts.

I must admit that I think that artists are interested in raising their own publicity through any means necessary, and that a favorite trick is to shock.  An unknown director of a miniscule-budgeted documentary would not likely otherwise be mentioned in the New York Times.  However, even understanding the director's claims most charitably, I think that, in this case, the end doesn't justify the means.  I can see far more people watching and laughing at the YouTube video of a tormented individual taking her own life than volunteering for the local suicide hotline.

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