Another Syriana

I don’t like to watch movie when it’s screening. A lot of reasons. I am a guy who enjoy coincidence and chance, rather than planning. I might have the capacity of producing logical analytic discourses, but movie is absolutely categorized by me to the coincidence side, rather than logical, analytic side. You really need to happen to meet some movies in some chances. Because planning to watch movie is out of feeling. In Chinese we say “緣分", fate, you might call it.

Syriana is one of the example. I would like to watch it for a long period of time, but I never got chance to encounter this film. The off-wave watching makes me feel like a solitude movie goer in one big empty screening room. You can then concentrate on every move of it without distracted by noises nearby.

Like these words commenting “Corruption" (I think about the president in my country facing indirect corruption charges, and soon to be forgotten by everyone) on the street:

…Some trust fund prosecutor, got off-message at Yale, thinks he’s gonna run this up the flagpole, make a name for himself, maybe get elected some two-bit, congressman from nowhere, with the result that Russia or China can suddenly start having, at our expense, all the advantages we enjoy here. No, I tell you. No, sir. Corruption charges! Corruption? Corruption is government intrusion into market efficiencies in the form of regulations. That’s Milton Friedman. He got a goddamn Nobel Prize. We have laws against it precisely so we can get away with it. Corruption is our protection. Corruption keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why you and I are prancing around in here instead of fighting over scraps of meat out in the streets. Corruption is why we win.

A very impressive script talking about the US-centered, mainstream view of dark reality. I picked it up from, memorable quotes.

And today I found in New York Times, A.O. Scott’s review article about its success in genre like “geopolitical thriller" (what does that mean anyway?)

…it aims to be a great deal more than a standard geopolitical thriller and thereby succeeds in being one of the best geopolitical thrillers in a very long time.

As people said it is a kind of “hyperlink cinema", New York Times’ review has described it carefully for the operation process:

Parsing its details requires a good deal of concentration: important information is conveyed through whispered conversations and sidelong glances, and you may sometimes wish for a chart diagraming all the patterns of influence, connection and coincidence. But the mental labor of figuring out just what is going on is part of what makes the film such a rich and entertaining experience.

You need to work it out mentally, just like solving a puzzle. The montage effect accelerates that process, and make you realize that why someone is becoming the president, enjoying the feast and party when the other one with ideas is facing death, paying his price. Outside of the real politics, a good movie always brings us to the connection with current references immediately, and that’s the most entertaining part.

Though “Syriana" is expressly a work of fiction, it will no doubt be subjected to a round of pseudo-fact-checking, and its dark, conspiratorial view of the present and recent past is likely to be challenged, either because it is too complicated or not complicated enough.

Ha. That’s it. But still, my favorite part is Clooney’s low, careful gait (and Chris Cooper’s negotiation, etc.). It is neither sexy, and the one who express that kind of idealistic behavior represented on the remote satellite screen…. is nor alive at all.



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