It feels like we are in a golden period of film entertainment that I haven’t experienced in a very long time.
In the last couple of months I have watched the first season of the Showtime serial Homeland, which is absolutely brilliant. Way better than 24, which I loved until it ran out of gas in its later years.
I saw Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s latest, and it was a terrific flick, even though I admit I slept through some of the first hour.
I also recently saw The Impossible, a film about the aftermath of the Thailand tsunami in 2004, through the eyes of one family desperately hoping to survive and find one another. It’s a “put you through the wringer” masterpiece. The Spanish director, Juan Antonio Bayona should win the Academy Award for best director, but with Hollywood politics, Spielberg probably picks up another.
And finally, Zero Dark Thirty, controversial for a waterboarding scene early in the movie in which American interrogators use torture to acquire an important piece of information which eventually leads to Osama Bin Ladin.
The movie is really not political. It is a brilliant piece of quasi-journalism, fabulous acting, a superb script, and remarkable moviemaking about the finding and killing of Bin Laden. The plot centers on Maya, a fictional CIA agent (likely based on several real agents), who pursues Bin Laden almost maniacally for 10 years and finally finds her man.
Zero Dark Thirty shares some kinship with Homeland, which stars Claire Danes as an obsessed CIA analyst who follows her hunches and U.S. spy data to stop an attack on America she knows is coming. The Danes character in Homeland and Jessica Chastain’s Maya in Zero Dark Thirty are sisters in their single-minded devotion to their similar missions.
These three works are amalgams of journalism and dramatic embellishment. I think we are in a remarkable period of creativity in filmmaking. The proliferation of new platforms to watch drama and reward the artists is working now.
But can somebody please tell me how I can get the second season of Homeland? I cannot wait until it comes out in August. I hear it’s available in Australia.
Question: Is torture justifiable for the defense of the United States?