Friday, April 25, 2014

Miranda Prorsus

A must read if you are in the motion picture industry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

You Can't Stop Whats Coming


Here I am reflecting on one of my favourite films.

"No Country For Old Men"

There are many key moments in this film and in fact there are no wasted moments at all (as far as I can tell) every shot is for a reason.I will discuss a few key elements but the underlying main theme of the film which is reflected in its title is people keep thinking as they get older that things are changing around them as they age, when in reality, nothing in the history of any society has changed ever. Technology is different,music evolves,people invent different ways to kill each other but the crime of murder,the thought of evil,the sadness of aftermath and collateral damage is always the same, at the heart of it all its always the same cycle.It is the inevitable fall of the old guard as society evolves into something more uncontrollable and machinist, evil has taken a hold and it is not quantifiable even for established lawmen like Ed Tom Bell. 

Anton Chigurh represents a different type of moral, probably the most realistic moral that people accept today, that randomness by large, controls your fate as opposed to Bells’s dream which is a life that resembles most conventional stories.

It's a humbling & hard lesson when a man finally realizes he has little control of things close to his heart, regardless of what his expectations were. Llewelyn Moss comes across a drug deal in the desert that has gone bad and the desert floor is littered with bodies.One of the men is still alive although close to death and begs Llewellyn for water, which Llewelyn claims he has none.He does not try and help the man nor does he go seek the police for help. Llewellyn then tracks down the “last man standing” along with a sacthel filled with 2 million dollars. This gives Llewllellen a another important moral choice, should he take the money or turn it in. He takes the money and by doing this he co-operated with evil, which leads him to be pursued relentlessly by the Machiavellian Nihilistic  Anton Chigurh. Lewellyn convinces himself that he can get away with taking the money. He obviouly believes the risk is worth it and that lady fortunae is on his side, so he wants to take advantage of it. The relentless pursuit of Chigurh is a perfect symbol of how evil is always after us and will not let us go, we try to play a self deceiving game where we convince ourselves “I can get away with this” But evil will have its way once we get involved with it.

In the film Chigurh kills good people and bad people and sometimes he will decide his victims fate with the flip of a coin.Chigurh is a great symbol for the inevitability of death, in our daily lives we don’t give much thought to death, we attempt to avoid it, block it out but it eventually will break through. Chigurh just like a lawman values justice, but a justice that was on his terms and his alone.Chigurh’s principles and adherence to his "moral code", evil as it may seem,I think did represent the pervasive evil in society, which is why it would make sense for his character to go on in the end of the film.Moss’ intentions might have been noble, i.e. retire his wife, but he was attached to nothing but the money and that is what influenced his every move and that was ultimately his downfall. In contrast Chigurh had no attachments, but stuck to his mission of recovering the money, for an unknown source. Chigurh seems to be the devil with principles, but in comparison to Moss and Bell has the most principles. Chigurh is the most untainted character in the film; there are numerous shots of him washing his hands, making sure his boots don't get dirty, taking off filthy socks, ect. And then there is Bell's perplexed reaction to Chigurh, coming across as frustrated and uninterested. Bell did not want to face this evil. In contrast, Moss was willing to gamble and face evil head on at whatever expense.

Chigurh cannot control the flip of the coin but he controls which of the victims he offers the coin toss in the first place. With this logic when Chigurh feels like killing someone to save his own ego he can flip a coin giving himself a 50-50 chance of being able to kill and pass the act off as God’s will (fate ) rather than his own. Hence the avoidance of personal responsibility.His aim is to make his victims feel as if it is their own fault that they are going to die. He makes them question their own life decisions and actions so that the victims cannot hold Chigurh accountable.

As stated above there are many “key” revealing scenes to this film however the crux scene for me is when Bell goes to visit his uncle Ellis.
“the more time you spend trying to get back whats been took from you,the more thats going out the door”
Moss contemplates that good and evil aren't meaningful and that life is just random and chaotic events. This scene shows that Bell has succumbed to a meaningless life (he feels he has lost god, lost his place in the world and that morals and ethics are fading in his area). Bell never confronts Chigurh and Chigurh is ultimately bested by his own principles of chance and fate with the random car crash at the end.

 "After awhile you just got to get a tourniquet on it."

The other man in the room (the accountant?) then asks if Chigurh is going to kill him. Chigurh says, "That depends. Do you see me?" That's called foreshadowing, folks! Chigurh is there in room 114 (at least for a while). Bell just doesn't see him, but notices the dime on the floor is showing heads. Remember, that's what the gas station attendant called (and won with).
I feel it symbolizes the duality of Bell-Chigurh. And what about the parallels between the three characters? Chigurh says "Hold still" and the next line of the movie is Moss saying "Hold Still". When injured, both trade shirts for cash. Chigurh and Bell drink milk and watch their reflections in the TV set. They all share traits and they never meet each other.

He doesn't want to meet something he "don't understand.”

 The world isn't descending into moral incomprehensibility. The world has always been this way:

Bell feels "overmatched" by the evil he has been facing. And God doesn't look like He's going to rescue the situation.

A few valid points were taken from Word on Fire Ministries.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blessed Be God

                                  This is one of the best prayer books I have ever owned.

Parish Priest "Slams" Parishioner from Pulpit

Fr.Daniel Geddes FSSP, Assistant Superior General. Click on link below to hear full sermon.