Friday, March 29, 2013
Rental Roundup #2: Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, plus John Dies At The End
To confess, I also am a little more inclined to entertain non-mainstream versions (see here) of Osama Bin Laden's reported execution and the disposal of his body than I am about other aspects of the 9/11 narrative. The lack of information and images released to the press, the shiftiness, haste, and lack of public discussion that accompanied the alleged dumping-at-sea, the lack of any apparent desire to disprove theories that bin Laden died years ago, all scream that secrets were being kept, that the truth was not being told to us. I don't understand the film's utter lack of interest in such things, in its willingness to play along with authority. Zero Dark Thirty consolidates and endorses a comfortable official narrative about the hunt for "UBL," as he's called in the film, while failing to grapple with the most confusing and provocative part of the tale (no explanation is given or mention made of the alleged ocean disposal, and the leaked emails that suggest he was actually flown back to the US to be cremated are not touched on in the film at all, like Bigelow didn't even find this stuff curious, or worth mentioning). I should imagine 9/11 Truthers wouldn't like this film much. In fact, I should imagine anyone with any sort of passionate feelings about 9/11, the war on terror, and so forth will find Zero Dark Thirty a little too dispassionate, a little too cold, too safe, too hollow... Bigelow is a superb craftsman (craftsperson?) but there's something lacking from her vision, and from this film.
Having given fairly negative reviews to both films, I must say, still, that I did enjoy watching both of them more than I expected I would.