Lone Scherfig’s One Day

It is good and right in this life to be rich and white and attractive. The whiter you become the richer you become. The richer you become the whiter your friends become. The whiter your friends become the more good and right life seems to feel. Anne Hathaway is a negro. You wouldn’t know it to look at her. But she has negro problems. She’s poor. She’s desperate. She gets killed in the street. One Day would like to approach racial violence without the scandal of a bi-racial romance. That is, what Anne Hathaway perceives to be romance. Therefore Anne Hathaway supplants the idea of the negro within her pasty animal body.

Jim Sturgess does not love Anne Hathaway. Sometimes with no other friends around he thinks he can tolerate her. But it is clear if there exists a thing called love he cannot produce it for her. It is mostly because Jim Sturgess cannot see himself with a black woman. It is not that he hates black women, which is what he says out loud in public. It is that he thinks it to himself quite loudly. Anne Hathaway knows it. The filmmakers knew it all along. The audience is unsure. They are divided. The film has divided the world people into two categories. But this is not a problem in the world already divided on so many things. Whiteness and blackness. Richness and also blackness. White people who make laws and black people who get arrested. Jim Sturgess’s lack of love is not the subject of One Day. The subject of One Day is pity. More specifically the capacity of one person to pity another person who is profoundly more privileged than they are.

Mostly it is the job of Anne Hathaway to produce pity. She is a champion. A factory of pity. While the physical drain, stress and degradation of her life is portrayed as humorous – it is an ostensible tragedy for Jim Sturgess to live wealthy, famous, well-connected, charismatic, and able to magnetize as much stanky toward his hang-low as a toilet seat. Apparently the strain of his hyper-Anglo life is too much for him. He takes to drinking a lot of top-shelf alcohol. He takes to sleeping with too many attractive women. He takes to thinking of himself as an artist who is not afforded the integrity he deserves. He takes to crying on stormy nights when Anne Hathaway out betraying his attention with her mediocre boyfriend.

Anne Hathaway has a need to prove her love to Jim Sturgess and the audience. It is because women are capricious and we cannot trust their attractions. It is only when she abandons a superior man that we are allowed to accept her sincerity of love for Jim Sturgess. We weren’t sure because black-people love is cheaper and less sincere than white-people love. It is Anne Hathaway’s ability to produce pity for Jim Sturgess’s white-people problems (i.e. problems that are produced by the white person and the white person’s perception of the world, though not the world itself) where her negro-love is raised to the level of white-people love. And at that moment she transforms from negro status back into a white woman.

No, Jim Sturgess does not love Anne Hathaway. Even after she dies. Some bridges cannot be crossed and are better left burned. But sometimes he wonders if he did love her so as to intensify the pity he feels for himself. The audience also lets themselves believe in his love so as to produce more pity for Jim Sturgess. And that is what makes us better people in the world – our willingness to pity a person in a privileged position. Perhaps we are all negroes in this life. But probably not. Probably only as far as Jim Sturgess is concerned. It is more likely we are all white. Otherwise we would have no desire to see One Day or read or write a review about it . . . $3

If you heart One Day:

Recommendations by Day Gun Sho
When Harry Met Sally
Before Sunrise
Four Weddings and a Funeral

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J.J. Abrams’s Super 8

There is not much to deter audiences from watching Super 8 this summer. There is friendship, suspense, young love, even a black doctor to dispel rumors floating that Super 8 was maintaining an exclusively white cast. The only hitch for moviegoers is they will almost certainly be subjected to the Larry Crowne preview. Larry Crowne or How I Learned to Stop Loving Julia Roberts and Start Calling Tom Hanks a Hasbeen. The trailer for LC is the cinematic equivalent of Magic Johnson getting AIDS – basically the most shameful and degrading method of signaling an end to a bright career. The LC trailer is literally the worse thing I’ve ever seen and I once saw a police officer rub a retarded child in honey and ants. I once saw Cameron Diaz rape a homeless Chinese man. And even then I chuckled.

As stated, it is unlikely Super 8 will face much opposition on its way to becoming the American summer blockbuster of 2011. Green Lantern (or as I like to call it – Retarded Avatar) will certainly muster no objections. Neither will the likes of Thor, Pirates, Transformers, Twilight or any other in the parade of unwarranted and predictable summer features. Why do children and teenagers become dramatically more mentally handicapped over summer vacation? Is it the mind-numbing heat? The lack of schooling? The repetition of a customer service job? The enforcement of high-cost, low-quality cinematic franchises upon younger audiences? Drug dealers?

Whatever it may be – movie studios aren’t helping matters during the summer. There is a marked drought of meaningful flicks over the period of late-May until September. Which is why Super 8 comes as a remarkable surprise – a giant among dwarf babies. Part monster movie. Part government conspiracy. And most importantly about how friendships between children can be the most fiercely loyal and remarkable. Pretty much the best child-actor performances I’ve seen since Stand By Me (excluding Tree of Life which exists on another plain of film-making). And the most inventive and efficient storytelling this summer . . . $10

If you heart Super 8:

Recommendations by Quispy
Bong Joon-ho’s The Host
Stand By Me
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Lee Unkrich’s Toy Story 3

NOTE TO SELF: Show up minimum of ten minutes late to animated features. Horrendously-bad trailers such as for Alpha and Omega leave bad scarring in the brain. Instead use that time for Sudoku to repair mental retardation. END NOTE.

O you’ve come to visit me once again haven’t you – you spirit of delight! With the recent influx of lame to mediocre, computer-generated projects you have broken free! From gunk. From the wave of infant piss and condescension that is becoming family cinema. You have separated yourself like cream over raw sewage. But I have to ask myself why are you so much better? Is there something in the water over there at PIXAR?

I think your freshness is the key. Films like Twilight and Avatar have taken movie tropes and turned them into something even more contrived and weak-minded. But you take our memorabilia, our nostalgia, and you reinvent it. Make it fresh and shiny and hilarious again. I think what separates good films like you from mentally midgeted films like Avatar is simply – creativity. Avatar was an incredibly anti-creative film. It limped along on its technology-based spectacle and carpet bombing marketing. Luckily for Avatar American box offices do not hold films accountable for producing original ideas or novel story.

But I do and here is what I have to say – Toy Story 3 – you extend my creativity. You extend the audience’s imagination. And that is far beyond any expectations for the mainstream movies these days. And also not going to lie – by the end of you – not a dry eye in the house . . . $8

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