Sunday, February 17, 2008

clever song lyrics here

has anyone ever seen Syriana?? did you feel like you really got it? i know when i first saw it, i was theater hopping with some friends and we went into rent directly after, which made it really seem like that rent/aids part in Team America -- "AIDs AIDs AIDs AIDs AIDs AIDs AIDs AIDs. Everyone has AIDS." i mean, they could have just called it AIDs for sure. it also made being a junkie in the '90s in the lower east side look like being a 9 year old at disney world and that made me think, maybe its not all bologna sandwiches in the bullpen and blow jobs in porta-potties for a hit, and I've been wasting my time in aa for all these years. but i was too overcome with the "what the fuck" sense you get at the end of Syriana after seeing it for the first time to do anything about that.

besides the exemplary cast and acting (an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Clooney), I was thinking about it today and i don't think i've seen another movie that did as good of a job as Syriana at highlighting and actually explaining things like political nuances within a nation-state, cultural pluralism, religion, statecraft and other topics which play huge parts in shaping the global political spectrum that we live in today. It's true you you have to watch the entire thing from start to finish and you cannot let your attention slip for a second in order to understand the movie, but the pay-off is well worth it.

its also true the name is a metaphor for foreign intervention in the middle east, taken from a post-WW2 think tank of strategic studies for the creation of an artificial state, (such as Iraq -- does anyone know how Iraq was made? yup, white guys in britain carving up a map) that would ensure continued Western access to crude oil.

the director himself, stephen gaghan said he saw Syriana as "a great word that could stand for man's perpetual hope of remaking any geographic region to suit his own needs."

today, syria and half of lebanon and the Gaza Strip and Iran and maybe even pakistan and afghanistan, seem to not suit our needs very well. what will we do about that?

this charlie rose interview with stephan gaghan (director of syriana) blew my fucking mind. for real. i know its 54 minutes or whatever, but that shit was amazing and dude is one of those people you just want to listen to, amazingly well spoken and insightful. really a pleasure to hear what he brings to the table. brilliant!


stacey said...

I bring this movie up constantly when talking about oil and religion politics in the Middle East. The thing that stays with me most is the Muslim prayer circle where ol' boy goes, "The answer to the pain of modern existence is not an adoption of Western liberal values. The answer to the pain of modern existence is a return to the teachings of the Koran."

Also, I know so many people bitched and moaned about how you have to pay attention from beginning to end and it is a long long movie, but since when is movie-going more enjoyable when you don't have to pay attention the whole way through?

yeti said...

you know, i saw syriana and left the movie theater feeling intensely dissatisfied. i felt like it could have had more depth to it in the way it presented the stories of the various characters, particularly the young Pakistani guy.

i'm always willing to watch something again and re-evaluate it though, so i'll do that just as soon as I'm done bootlegging these other DVDs I got here...

Clayton said...

good movie, i read that clooney/soderberg cut out a bunch of the movie and the director claims they "ruined it". not sure if he goes into that on the charlie rose interview, which i am now bound to track down and watch.

Clayton said...

oh the interview is right there. haha, my internet sucks and the videos didnt show up the first time. just wanted to clarify that i am not that big of an idiot