29 January 2008
It's probably a sign of how far behind I am that I watched Babel for the first time this weekend. It was a good film, though. I was quite on edge through most of it wondering what would go wrong next. The performances were all strong and the images - cinematography - was also great. Films it made me think of... Crash and Magnolia. They also have several intersecting stories. Somehow, when the there are parallel stories happening within a film, it starts to give the film the texture of a novel. It also adds a nice mental challenge to try and figure out just how everything fits together.
This reminds me of an article I read recently in the New Yorker, "Twilight of the Books". It describes a decline the amount that people read over the past 70 years. The first surprise is that anyone even keeps track of these things. But the article also suggests that watching TV and reading are about the same thing in so far as they are both forms of entertainment. I'm not so sure what I think of that. I suppose it works for me if the parallel is drawn further. Watching reality TV might be the same as reading People magazine, for example. How much do you think about the quality of what you watch and read? Are your criteria the same for both media? Is there a difference between quality and entertainment?