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Movie of the week: IRIS

Posted by Anntichrist S Coulter on December 27, 2006 – 3:00 am

Though I have long adored Dame Judy Dench and been awestruck by her body of work, it wasn’t until Iris that she broke my heart. Never before did I realize, either, how truly beautiful and powerful that Kate Winslet can be, in the guts of her work.

This movie is about love and truth, but it is also about Alzheimer’s and loss and pain. It will rip your heart out. But it will do it so beautifully, that you will be grateful for having had the experience.

I think that the appreciation of beauty, especially the beauty in truth, is highly underrated in our world. Of course I don’t speak about superficial, anorexic, commercialized parodies of “beauty,” but the real beauty, the truth that lies in all of us. The beauty in the eyes of someone whom you respect, whose mind fascinates you, the beauty in the formation of words and thoughts and concepts as real, tangible things that can change human beings, can change the world… These things are being lost to us, as surely as Iris’ amazing and utterly honest mind was lost to her and her husband John and to the world at large. The main thing that occurred and reoccurred to me, throughout this film, was gratitude that my Nannie never had to go through Alzheimer’s, even though she was taken from me all too soon.

Beyond the politics and the backbiting and the bullshitting of blogtopia, we all need to reconnect to the beauty of truth, and knowing how to hold onto the truth, even as we are assaulted on all sides by volleys of bullshit and ignorance and conformity. We need to remember why we love words so much, and why they hold such power, and why we are so drawn to finding the truth in them.

If & when I ever do finish all of the amazing books that Seattle Tammy & Dan have sent, as well as my beloved Le Petit Fromage and others, Iris Murdoch is one author whom I seriously intend to examine at length. Iris was so unafraid of the “norm,” of what “society expects” and of what is supposed to be “done.” She sought to find and to prove the existence and worth of beauty, of love, and of truth, and how they are the real trinity, the highest forms of human evolution and expression, and I can’t imagine anyone with whom I could agree more.

(I wanted to include one of the lovely still photos of this amazing film, but imdb wouldn’t let me copy the damned things. Go look.)


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  1. 1. MzNicky Said:

    Annti — speaking of Kate Winslet: I’ve been a fan of hers since her first movie, “Heavenly Creatures.” If you haven’t seen it you must. It’s outstanding.

    I can’t wait to see the new movie with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. They both rock too.

  2. 2. Mentis Fugit Said:

    I was going to recommend Heavenly Creatures too. Whatever your opinion of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was this film that gave Peter Jackson the credentials to go on to make them.

    Mind you, I think you’d also appreciate Jacksons earliest splatter-comic work if you haven’t encountered it already: the direly low-budget and deliciously gross Bad Taste, and Dead Alive… Sumatran rat-monkeys and kung-fu priests kicking zombie ass for the Lord and all…

  3. 3. Anntichrist S. Coulter Said:

    Y’know, Mentis, you just describe things in such a way that they seem IRRESISTABLE… heh heh heh…

    And yes, thanks to y’all’s recommendations (And Ren’s!), I have added “Heavenly Creatures” to the Netflix queue that’s all I’ve got to watch on TV nowadays.

    After “Iris”?

    “Jackass: NUMBER TWO.”

    What can one say… I’ve already seen “Felix The Cat.”

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