Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Serious Man – The Coen Brothers….an 8 out of 10 on the Jay Wolin Scale

I have delayed righting anything on this…..I have been thinking about the movie for a week now….which for me is the sign of great movie…..I have to wonder though if someone who did not grow up in the Jewish faith would appreciate it as much as those who did…..the zen like or sometimes incoherent story from the rabbi, the fear of anti-Semitism, the lack of empathy for non Jews, the preparing for the bar mitvah….If one hasn’t experienced that culture, does the story have as much impact….makes one recognize how we might not fully understand the impact of others cultural upbringings...There is nothing subtle about the Coen brothers….and everything is subtle……questions of whether the morality of our actions, impact our life. Is there a cause and effect. Is there divine judgement that follows us and our descendents….For me the point of the movie is something inside of us dies when we do unethical things…..and we are enriched even if not in a material way, for doing a mitzvah (good deed)….and we are being eternally tested…and then we die….the opening quote as the movie starts with says it all “Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you – Rashi – this says it all…for both good and bad….

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Time Travellers Wife – a 5 out of 10 on the Jay Wolin Movie Rating Scale

It was an interesting movie, but I cant say I really liked it. A man who travels in time, but uncontrolled, so he appears and disappears unexpectedly. He travels to similar locations at different times. So of course he runs into the same people. Now I found it a little creepy that as an adult, he kept going back to meet this young girl who would eventually be his wife. Maybe this is some fantasy, but it certainly felt like manipulation of a young mind for his personal needs. Even the girl grown up says “I really didn’t have a choice” Was it inevitable fate that drew them together across time? I guess that is the message of the movie which I didn’t like. We are fated to our destiny with no way to change it. The corresponding positive message is if we know our fate, to accept it, and to therefore appreciate every moment that we do have with the people we love. Of course the movie has some time travel anomalies, like why could he go and meet himself in the past and change how his younger self dealt with the death of his mother, but he could not go to the past and change other events and people. But mostly I objected to the concept of the movie, that we can not change our future, that our life, our destiny is mapped out for us waiting to unfold. That is not my theology, that is not my belief. I will just have to wait and let my life continue to unfold until I find out if I am right :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

quote from movie Contact

I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision... of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everyone, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope - Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) - Movie Contact