Tag Archives: jesus

Selma (2014)

Selma (2014) is one masterful movie. Stirring, patient, and relevant, Selma manages to resurrect a small, yet vital, sliver of the Civil Rights Movement and make it feel like it happened only yesterday. Then again, in many ways, it did—yet somehow amidst all the recent doubt, outrage, and controversy this film shines, capitalizing on its moment in the sun and leaving me deeply impacted. Selma is a hard film to criticize, but an easy one to be inspired by. So, given what today is, I think I’ll depart from precise analysis and go right where my mind has been since viewing the piece (often a dangerous thing).

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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Scorsese has been telling this story for years: Goodfellas, Gangs of New York–and now–The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s a story about a dream, an American dream, and the people who try to remove the roadblocks to attaining it. Scorsese has never been an idealist; his character’s don’t achieve success and its trappings by birth or any sort of entitlement. Rather, his films are crime films for a reason: success cannot always be had by peaceful means. Scorsese’s protagonists are often endearing Nietzscheans, endearing not only for clever personalities and determination of spirit, but because of their humanism–their desire to see their deserving, overlooked friends achieve success alongside them. In The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belford becomes a Messiah to his “wolf-pit” of young, ex-working class yuppies. Scorsese, in my opinion, masterfully manages to arouse a measure of sympathy for Belford (particularly through breaking of the fourth wall) despite Belford’s constantly deplorable actions. A large part of this sympathy, too, is grounded in the “underdog” nature of the blue-collar salesmen which Belford surrounds himself with. Can they be faulted for visions of the American dream? Continue reading

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