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On The International and Father’s Day

Someone on Twitter said The International was the best film he'd seen in years. I think it was in theaters here for all of a week, which is a good sign, as the better a film is, the shorter its tenure at the local multiplex in South Florida. But you only find out how long it's in the theater when it leaves, and by then it's too late to see it. Interesting quandary if you're playing the I'll-find-it-somewhere-next-week game.

Was it a great film, in my opinion? Not fantastic, but good. But what kept my interest was the topic, and how true it is (badly phrased–weapons sales aren't so much about controlling the war but controlling the debt). And there are loads of goofs that confused me and made me stop and rewind to determine if my eyes were wrong. Then there were the predictable twists.

And some of the dialogue was of on-the-nose variety that all screenwriting books tell you to avoid like the plague. But the dialogue I liked was of the Greek chorus-variety or even the "Confucius say . . .". My favorite lines were:

  • I'm more comfortable tense.
  • What you need to remember is that there's what people want to hear, what people want to believe, everything else, and then there's the truth. . . . The truth means responsibility . . . . That's why everyone dreads it.
  • The difference between truth and fiction, is that fiction has to make sense.
  • Character is easily kept than recovered.
  • Sometimes a man can meet his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.

Thanks to my dad, on Father's Day, with whom we studied film as he studied film at Columbia when we were tots, for teaching me what to look for when I see, and listen for when I hear. And also for teaching me that just because a film or an idea isn't popular, doesn't mean it isn't great.

Happy Father's Day!

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