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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Guest post from Elliott Cahan

Fellow Readers of JCOP:

My name is Elliott Cahan and I regularly write a blog about my family life in Modiin, Israel which you can find here. It is my honor to do a guest blog here for JCOP, but I have earned it by guessing what movie one of the quotes he posted came from (which by the way was Fiddler on the Roof).

Ironically, since I have my own blog, one might think that writing for someone else would be more of a burden then a reward. Oh, but how contra-ire, my friends. Writing in this forum allows me to venture into an area or subject that I really never deal with on my blog. Since, JCOP seems to be such a big movie fan, I thought I would give some thoughts to movies, and some of the movies I have seen lately and what I look for in a movie.

Recently, me and my better half have been watching more movies than usual. Most of them have been pretty good, but at least one we have found to be quite disturbing. In general, we both enjoy comedies and of course she loves them so call "chick flicks". I find that I'm really not into horror movies, sci-fi, and some dramas. Why do I tend to prefer comedies? It's pretty simple. When I watch a movie, I want to be taken away from the day to day, predictability of life, I want to see the absurd, I want to laugh and the more the better. I'm a fan of classics such as Airplane, Animal House, Blues Brothers, and Caddy Shack. I'll take Eddie Murphy, Rodney Dangerfield, Steve Martin, and others any day. We all need to laugh because we take life so seriously.

Maybe, that's why I tend to stay away from movies like "Saving Private Ryan" a movie that we saw recently (we're very behind by the way on the movies we've seen). While I haven't seen Spielberg's latest movie "Munich" I have the same problem with Private Ryan that some are having about Munich. In Ryan, the viewer is catapulted into a boat about to land at Normandy on D-Day. There is no historical context at all to the movie. There is a great deal of blood and gore. In fact, even though I have worked in the health care field, I was shocked by the gruesome details that I saw in the movie. Clearly, Spielberg is anti-war as deals with the conflict of 8 soldiers out on a mission to save one. I am upset with Spielberg's intellectual dishonesty of not giving his viewer the very important context of World War II and the true nature of good versus evil that existed in that conflict. When America joined the war after Pearl Harbor, the country was united against Germany and their Allies to a degree that we have rarely if ever witnessed since.

In any case, we were very shaken by the movie and had a hard time falling a sleep after wards. While we can argue and debate Spielberg's philosophy about the movie that is secondary to me than the other point I have made above. Since, we have moved to Israel, I think we have both realized or at least in the background is our awareness of the fragile peace, security, and to some extent tranquility that we have been blessed with since we have moved. However, life in Israel is much more intense and in your face than in the U.S. because of the security and political situation. Therefore, movies allow us to escape that reality and for a couple of hours be taken some where else to a different world that allows us to have fun or dream. I don't need Spielberg to lecture me for almost 3 hours about his view of war and such.

So, my friends, I think we will continue to watch movies like Serendipity, Dave, and Salah Shabbati. If you have any other recommendations I would welcome them.

Elliott Cahan

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln


At 11:52 AM, January 29, 2006, Blogger westbankmama said...

Elliot - I agree with you about movies being an escape that we really need here.


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