Monday, August 17, 2009

Finding Truth in Alien Movies

For reasons I'm still digesting, 'District 9' might be the most important movie of the year.

I'm an amateur critic at best, but I know what makes a movie. 'District 9' combines all of the right elements to fashion something wholly true out of something wholly alien. Although the movie draws from a deep well of traditional action-movie standards (see: cursing, vaporizing aliens/humans, screaming) it reads like a moving war documentary, one you know is simultaneously indecent and incredibly true.

The actors won't win awards, but not because they weren't great. They were. Mostly because, (with the exception of the chinstrap-sporting badguy) throughout the movie, you really forgot they were actors. There were no dramatic monologues or one-liners agonized over by geniuses in the writing room. They were human (and alien) extensions of our reality. I think this is the central theme to the film.

The movie is terrifying, but not because of the aliens. I'm used to the alien antagonist, the inexplicably blood-drunk extra-terrestrial hellbent on human eradication. Those kinds of evils are safe, distanced. This movie was not. The evils in 'District 9' were found not unlikely futuristic circumstances, but in the truth of ruthlessness, which is far more transcendent.

This was a "drive home in silence" kind of movie. If you saw the movie with a few people, you might note the deflated sighs and general "it's hard to talk with a 50 pound weight on your chest" vibe 'round the auto.

I didn't dare reach for distraction.

I realize this is a vague and spotty review at best. But like I said, I'm still processing the movie; still digesting. It's like I prayed for 2 hours while eating the largest meal of my life. The 50 pound weight is getting a little lighter, but much of it is still there. And for some reason, I'm not ready for it to go away.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

High Coup

Pathetic poems
Tough to do well, works in pinch
Learned in seventh grade

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tonight's War

Each of these
Small, sweaty soldiers,
bruised and battle-worn
All anxious and subject to deletion.

At the mercy of their boy-general
Drunk on his own idealism.
He pushes them into battle,
Untrained and unarmed.

But If they could peel themselves from the page
They would
gather their own twelve-point uprising 99 soldiers strong
All these letters, with hyphens drawn
And small period grenades.

Would launch themselves upon me
For my misdirection and brazen indiscretion
A mutiny upon me, their battle cry echoes quiet and clear
"What did you think this would take?
Ambition alone does not a poet make!"

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Artificial Heart

Busy beats the artificial heart
Calculated and perfect
Efficient and profitable

Thank god we've replaced
the One he was born with.
What with all of its inconsistencies

Soaring and racing and sinking
Like mad water birds
The kind you watch for hours.

Busy beats the artificial heart
No longer flesh
Now, strong, even and cool.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

The Old Man

There is an old man singing
Singing to no one and also everyone.
He's as blind as lady justice
And probably just as old.

He might have been strong once,
Before the music
And his incessant talking

But now, he sits stooped over bourbon
Singing and singing and singing
To no one and to everyone and to me

He might have been strong once
But probably never this happy.