5/20/2005

Cinematic Analogy

Darth Vader, Bush, Republic, Empire Similar articles elsewhere. People often see parallels after a film has been seen or a book has been read. Usually, these parallels become meaningful in a specific context which may or may not have been the target of the author. With those ideas often comes the notion that such a text (movie, book, etc.), which can be interpreted differently by different people, has a richer significance than a similar item too directly tied to its original context. Here, Lucas draws on parallels between the period during which he first wrote "his story," and the current period of time, with political overtones. A type of self-analysis which goes well with the practice of having a "commentary" track on a DVD. Does it take something away from the text if the author spells what s/he saw in the work? Does it preclude other interpretations? It surely helps to spark rather intense discussions. Buzz, you say? As for the transformation of a Republic into an Empire, shouldn't this be the perfect time to look at history? Of course, history repeats itself only partly. Not like a circle, more like a spiral. Or a sine wave, going back to its origin each period. And even those analogies are overworked, but still. Shouldn't we re-read Plato's Republic? And rewatch Ridley Scott's Gladiator (2000) or even Denys Arcand's Le déclin de l'empire américain (1986)? Then again, maybe not. We've been there. We've revisited so many things. Maybe Sting wasn't so far off with lessons of history.

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