Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WHAT DO THEY KNOW LESS ABOUT -- CULTURE, OR WAR? Lastest culture-war stand at NRO: Cheryl Rhoads disses Michael Moore filmfest, and runs down what she imagines to be the political content of a couple of movies shown therein, including the Kevin Bacon drama The Woodsman, of which she says
The general spin of the script is that the world just isn’t giving a sporting second chance to sex offenders. There’s subtle indoctrination here, and in the end, it seems, it could change the minds of those who support measures to alert local communities to the presence of child molesters. In deliberately choosing to stage his film festival in the heartland, Moore yearns to moderate himself in the eyes of ordinary Americans, and in doing so, to conceal what most people would consider an extremely radical agenda. The Woodsman is a case in point...
I haven't seen the picture, but I note that Rhoads' analysis differs radically not only from any mainstream review of The Woodsman I've seen, but also from those of Christian reviewer Darrell Manson ("As hard as it may be for us to fathom, God is willing to forgive even those like Walter if they seek God’s forgiveness"), Instapundit-endorsed BlogCritics ("a good choice for fans of more serious and thought-provoking dramas"), Arts & Faith -- and, at National Review itself, the very conservative Roger L. Simon ("The script, although still a little bound to its theatrical roots, is worthy and Ms. Kassell's direction is first rate... See it when you can").

Please remember this, folks: not everything is politics. People who write about works of art as if they were position papers or campaign ads are merely dumbly manipulating cultural artifacts to achieve their own small goals, as a chimpanzee might use a DVD to dig in the earth. They themselves have no idea what culture is, nor what it's for.

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