I see the latest Star Wars movie is out. I didn’t understand the first one in 1977 so I doubt I would understand the latest.
I remember taking our son, who was nearly 8, and sitting in the dark and wondering what was happening.
“Why is the human allied with that furry guy?” I asked, and he shushed me.
Was some of it symbolic or allegorical? Did it refer to our own foolish wars, past or present or future? What were their motivations? I didn’t know. Still don’t.
I could figure out some kind of oedipal tension between the old human and the kid, but the only person I could relate to was the Harrison Ford character, named Han Solo. In this huge universe, aren’t we all Han Solo?
I also liked Ford in “The Frisco Kid” (1979) about a Polish rabbi and an outlaw and some even worse outlaws in the west. The hairy creatures were real. The rabbi (Gene Wilder) asked the Han-Solo outlaw (Ford) what he was going to do next, and Ford replied in lascivious and bigoted language.
This was before Ford’s features became frozen permanently between fear and anger. He was young then.
Star Wars did have some sex appeal. We got a report about The Empire Strikes Back (1980) after our younger daughter went with friends from high school.
Apparently, one of the human characters was about to be killed in some outer-space way, and one girl shouted at the screen, “You can’t kill Billy Dee Williams! He be the sexiest man in the galaxy!”
I love some supernatural touches: Emma Thompson as the merciful angel, Meryl Streep as the spirit of Ethel Rosenberg, in “Angels in America.”
Generally I favor movies with reference to some moral code -- Orson Welles lurking in the shadows, Tony and Maria seeing each other across the gym, Clint avenging his buddy’s death in a “shit-hole” bar.
Movies have gotten away from me. Zombie films and Harry Potter films and extra-terrestial films.
Who needs new monsters? Trump and Cruz scare me enough.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.