Saturday, August 20, 2005

On the Place of Evil in Film

Interesting discussion on Cinematical featuring a dialogue between Roger Ebert and the filmmakers behind the movie Chaos (Ebert gave it 0 stars). The blogger quotes Ebert’s response, and Ebert has himself posted in the blog comments to clarify things. Worth reading. I tend to agree with Ebert on this one. If you’re going to do a film that includes a take on evil, you need to say something about it one way or the other—mere reporting is a cop-out, an artistic failing.

As my friend the ethicist says in his recent book, “People go on telling stories because they want to find and clarify meaning for their lives, never just for self-titillation. It matters to every human being that his or her life has meaning and purpose. Yet just as there is right and wrong, there are good stories and bad stories. Stories not only reflect life, they shape it. It is of no small account what stories we tell and what stories we live by.

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