David Lynch’s second feature film, The Elephant Man (1980), is one of his finest works. In many ways, The Elephant Man is Lynch’s most conventional “Hollywood” film. (Dune too is a “Hollywood” film, but a failed one.) The cast of The Elephant Man is quite distinguished, including John Hurt, Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Wendy Hiller, and Anne Bancroft. The film was produced by Mel Brooks, who left his name off so that people would not expect a comedy. (more…)
A couple of months have passed since a five-year-old boy, Landen, was thrown off a third floor balcony in the Mall of America by an individual named Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda. Emmanuel had pre-planned a murder that day, stating at his sentencing that he had been angered by his string of rejections by women at the mall. He is now serving nineteen years in jail; a clear example of an unjust punishment, especially when viewed alongside the plight of our own political prisoners serving sentences for the crime of wrongthink.
Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) is commonly found on lists of the world’s greatest movies, and deservedly so. Rashomon features avant-garde narrative techniques (flashbacks, multiple points of view), dynamic black-and-white cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa, compelling Ravel-like music by Fumio Hayasaka, subtle and intensely dramatic performances, and a complex but tightly edited script, all combined into a fast-paced 88-minute masterpiece with an emotionally devastating climax. (more…)
Schopenhauer & Hitler, Part 3
Genius, Religion, & Compassion
Part 3 of 3
Schopenhauer on Genius
In contrast with the mediocre majority of mankind, there is the rare genius. Schopenhauer’s ruminations on the tragic loneliness of the genius, no doubt in part autobiographical, are some of the most touching and the most consoling. There is reason to think Hitler sympathized with and perhaps attempted to live up to the model of the Schopenhauerian genius. (more…)