Syriana

Well, OK. I’m behind the times. I happen to live in a city where what films are shown are predicated on (a) how few people (read conservative, Christian people of African descent) will be offended, and (b) how much money the flick will make the theatre. And so things that I really want to see are often (a) banned; (b) run for so short a time you blink and they’re gone; (c) skipped over because “nobody”‘s going to go see them.

Now I can’t say for sure that that’s what happened to Syriana. I can’t say that that’s why I didn’t see the film in the theatres, when everybody else was seeing it. It could’ve been because of my aversion to cellphone conversations while I’m sitting in a $7 seat, or because of my need to see films as matinees, when the smallest possible crowd is in the movie house. But anyway.

We own it on DVD and watched it last night.

And were suitably impressed.

Natch. After all, we’re Seventies Film Junkies, and if there’s one thing this movie reminded me of, it’s a seventies film. Complete with dashed hopes and martyred idealists.

Now I know that though this had some positive critical reviews, it wasn’t overly popular; the blogs I’ve seen on it have indicated disappointment. But from my perspective on the edge of America, where we have more in common with the Persian Gulf than the people in Washington, complete with the wholesale giveaway of our interests to foreign companies (except, well, who really cares about some beach and some sand anyway?). The despair, and the idea that some people might want to stand up and fight out of desperation, were real enough for my purposes.

So. I liked the flick.

Sue me.

The writer on the movie

Some bloggers on the movie:

http://www.sindark.com/2007/01/07/syriana/

http://marccooper.com/syriana-so-what/

http://www.cinemarati.org/index.php/archives/syriana/

http://www.filmdailies.com/archives/review-syriana/

http://blogfromitaly.wordpress.com/2006/07/24/syriana/

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4 thoughts on “Syriana

  1. Yes, I have been viewing a DVD copy of SYRIANA. The elements of the seventies suspense movie making is present. The themes of late twentieth century optimism are interlinked with the International high technology of the twenty-first to tell a story. If the documentary story line is fictional realism; it is effective. The themes of idealism versus global greed [corruption]are as old as those promoted in the name of Adam Smith or one may suggest since the classical voicing in the “Great Books” tradition of the Old Testament or even Homeric mythology. The background of the Persian Gulf desert and the south Texan scrub country contrast with the modern cities of Central Asia. The moralist message if there is one does not promise a progressive future for current western society.

    The question is how much longer can the Occident continue with its current life style and modern conveniences as seen in the American cities of Houston, New York, and Las Vegas? Will those cities suffer the same fate as Beirut or Baghdad? SYRIANA offers an alternative version answer to this question. It is not a pleasant resolution for late twenty century idealists. One is not sure that that the realists would want to discuss the film makers’ alternative vision in public debate. SYRIANA as a message of corruption and idealism will be a subject in post “09/11” cultural exchanges between cultural relativists and the so call American “neo-conseratives”. The solution will not be a simple dismissal of the story and its consequences that American movie viewers have done with past feature films. Syriana is one of the very few films with a moral message made by “Hollywood” that deserves serious criticism and discussion from the American and English speaking Canadian publics.

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