Impossible to blog daily at the moment as I am back in Canberra with the house in chaos as my lovely builders transform everything. Next week I will post before and afters. I am sitting at my computer with piles of crap all around me; I can't get through to my printer, but the keyboard is clear. I have work alarmingly backed up, so I feel guilty blogging... but I just have to register my utter utter disappointment in David Stratton.
While we were unable to get into the house on the weekend, Best Beloved and I sat in Belconnen Mall and read the papers, then saw a movie. We decided upon Team America: World Police, as we are both big South Park fans. While we were waiting, I read David Stratton's review of it in the Review section of the Weekend Australian (4-5 Dec, p. R22). I have an SBS/ABC watcher's innate and longstanding respect for David and Margaret; I don't take sides with either, preferring (as a Libran) to consider both sides. Until now. Oh, David!
This is what he has to say at the start of his review:
"... A sharp dose of political satire would be rather welcome at the moment, but Parker and Stone have come up with a movie that makes South Park look like an exercise in sophistication and maturity. To start with, there's the questionable decision of featuring string puppets (the strings are plainly visible) rather than animated characters; the puppets are ugly and comparatively clumsy, and decidedly off-putting..."
Oh, David... Der fucking DUH!!!! I can't believe how completely you missed the point. Team America is so obviously a homage to the Thunderbirds in every sense, from the plethora of flying/underwater craft to the dashing square-jawed heros to the hidden base camp in a major American domestic tourist destination. The use of these 'unsophisticated' puppets is a perfect metaphor for American foreign (and internal) affairs. They are, actually, quite sophisticated; the strings may be visible but the faces -- and special effects -- are computer-animated. Wouldn't it be wonderful if strings were always this visible? Then we'd get a clear view at the sort of control multinationals have over political issues. I'm sorry David, but you've lost any skerrick of review credibility for me. From now on, I'm with Margaret.
I don't want to ruin the story for anyone re. Team America, but go in with an open mind and a strong stomach. There is a lot you can do with string marionettes, especially if you stuff them with cat meat. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, especially the fact that, unlike many other movies bent on selling soundtrack spinoffs, every lyric counts. Highly recommended.