Far from being tossed onto the trash heap of history, the
Russian Communist Party has recovered very nicely from the downfall of the Soviet Union by entering another field: film criticism.
After ripping “Armageddon” a few years ago because it impugned the quality
of Russian space hardware, they are
taking to task Steven Spielberg’s International blockbuster “Indiana Jones and
the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Because of his many, memorable appearances on screen, Sydney
Pollack, who just died at the age of 73, might
have the been the most familiar of contemporary directors to the average moviegoer. In
most roles (but not Stanley Kubrick’s "Eyes Wide Shut." Yikes!) he seemed that
hardbitten, savvy guy with a heart of gold whom you wouldn’t mind having a beer
with and whom you could rely on to help you out in a pinch.
Who needed drugs back in 1970 when there were peyote-powered
brain bogglers like Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell’s Performance, Alejandro
Jodorowsky’s El Topo and Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small on the
screen? Those psychedelic, boundary breaking days might be coming back despite the perpetual complaints about the death of independent cinema.
The conventional wisdom says that C.S. Lewis’s Narnia and the movie adaptations of the books offer aproper Christian alternative to the godless moonshine of Philip Pullman’s "The Golden Compass" and the satan worshipping witchcraft of Harry Potter.
But how Christian is it? I’m not referring to the scene in 2005’s “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in which Father Christmas (that’s Santa Claus, or the Spirit of Rampant Consumerism as he is known to us on this side of the Atlantic) presenting children lethal weapons as holiday presents.