"Hello and welcome to Weekend Update. I'm Chevy Chase and you're not."

Sunday – 23 January 2011
It’s a quiet, but sunny (and cold) Sunday morning.
I haven’t looked outside… at least not beyond the immediate neighborhood, so I have no idea if yesterday’s snow flurries managed to clear any of the haze out of the air.

Over the past couple of days, SaraRules and I have attended three movies that are part of the Sundance Film Festival: I Saw the Devil, Sing Your Song and Knuckle. Trying to compare the movies would be like trying to compare apples to elephants, so I’ll just cover each one on its own merits:

  • I Saw the Devil – This movie follows agent Kim Soo-hyeon as he pursues the man who killed his fiancee. His aim is not to bring him to justice, but to torture him… repeatedly. This was a straight-up revenge movie. Unlike other movies, it was more of a game of cat-and-mouse, with Kim Soon-hyeon tracking the movements of his prey, waiting until he was about to commit another murder and then ruthlessly and mercilessly attacking him. It was a good example of the Nietzsche adage: “When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.” The director, Ji-woon Kim, pulled no punches in showing the savagery and brutality of the murders or of Kim Soo-hyeon’s actions against the killers. And, at the movie’s end, it’s hard to say whether “good” truly triumphed over “evil.” All-in-all, it was a good movie… but I am not sure that I really need to see it again.
  • Sing Your Song – This has been my favorite movie, so far. (We still have three more movies to see…) This was a documentary about Harry Belafonte and the journey his life has taken, from a poor boy born in Harlem to an international crusader for civil and human rights. His work as an activist was interestingly juxtaposed against both his career as an entertainer and as a husband and father. Belafonte spoke, rather candidly, about his life and work and detailed the things – good and bad – that have driven him. This film presented an interesting counterpoint to last year’s Freedom Riders, in the way that it showed one man’s struggle with the hatred around him, as opposed to the organization of a group of people to fight injustice.
  • Knuckle – This movie, another documentary, related twelve years of feuds between Irish families in Ireland and England and the manner in which they (temporarily) settled them: Bare-knuckle fights. The movie mostly focused on two of the clans involved: The Quinn McDonaghs and the Joyces. The curious thing about it all: The families are related. The feuding had a very strong Hatfield vs. McCoy feel to it, with the origins leading back to the 1980s, when a member of one clan was killed (manslaughter) by a member from another clan. There was also a level of honor (upholding the family name) and an odd kind of one-upsmanship (“No [Family A] will ever beat a [Family B]…”) that was heaped onto the fights, fueling the animosity between clans. After a while, I found myself mostly feeling sad for the families, as there seemed to be no way to end the cycle.

Stray Toasters

And with that, I’m off to have breakfast with SaraRules! and then on to play some ‘Clix with the guys.