"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen."

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Best Years of Your Life?

It started with The Assassination of a High School President.  It's a light mystery of sorts as a ne'erdowell school journalist tries to uncover who stole the SATs.  Trust no one.  It has fun old-school mystery lines like, "Clara was one tough cookie.  All I wanted was a taste."  It reminded me of an episode of Community when Chang gets a little overzealous as a security guard.

What I like best about Assassination is that the teenagers, most of them anyway, look and act like teenagers.  And who wouldn't want Bruce Willis as their principal?  Or the notion of an in-school suspension meaning kids are locked in a room for the whole day monitored by a reliable student!

Then I watched a movie to which many reviewers compared Assassination:  Brick.  It's got that gumshoe detective quality, but it's much heavier.  There are many nods to The Maltese Falcon, right down to the cane, and burgeoning film buffs should check that out first to get the references.

Brick is a murder mystery involving high school kids.  It honours the genre more than reality, which works for me, although I have a hard time accepting Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a tough guy.

Then I ventured into another Joseph Gordon-Levitt film, Mysterious Skin.  From the Netflix synopsis, it sounded like it was about aliens.  It wasn't.  Not really.  It's a stark and brutal exploration of childhood sexual abuse.  It was excellent, but I wish I had watched the films in reverse order!  I have issues with children.  Anytime I watched an episode of ER back in the day, if there was a kid in the trailer, I'd switch channels.  I don't like seeing children sick or hurt.  This film was sneaky and led me into their world before it became clear what was happening.  Well, before I caught on anyway.  It was worth it, though, because of the realistic way the aftermath of it all played out.  There are many different ways people are affected by sexual abuse, but the affect for anyone is hard to shake.


The overriding message?  Adults don't understand anything!

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