October 08, 2004

Flirting With Disaster

I saw "I Heart Huckabees" tonight, and generally enjoyed it, although I felt it played like a film school exercise: Make an entertaining and funny movie in which the characters speak in nothing but psychobabble. I liked the movie because it had some good performances and five or six great scenes, but ultimately I let the psychobabble slide because I thought we were supposed to be laughing at it.

That is, until I read this interview with director David O. Russell and star Jason Schwartzman, which revealed that, you guessed it, both men not only take the film's nonsensical philosophy seriously, but actually see some grand political subtext behind it! But even worse, "Three Kings" director Russell threw in this nugget:

"Nothing has substantiality, beyond temporary, impermanent being. The only really woken-up point of view that is openhearted and loving is the one that is going to not even hate them. Gandhi said, 'Don't fight Hitler. You'll become like Hitler. You'll start having a military-industrial complex like Hitler.' I gotta tell you, there's some truth in it."
Now normally I'm not one to play the whole juvenile gotcha game with Hollywood types. But did Russell actually just say we were wrong to fight Hitler?

Posted by Stephen Silver at October 8, 2004 01:46 AM

Oh, and what's more, Gandhi never said anything like that. He supported non-violent opposition to Britain because he knew the British had a conscience; I'm practically certain I remember reading him quoted somewhere as saying violent resistance would be the only possible and moral way to respond if the Germans and/or Japanese got to India.

Posted by: Dave J at October 8, 2004 09:45 AM

but dude, don't you remember? schwartzman is a pompous douche. why are you surprised by this?

Posted by: LilB at October 8, 2004 12:52 PM

I hate the "Nothing has substantiality" mindset. On a theoretical level, it has a lot of good things to offer ... You learn how to not sweat the small stuff, etc. But it can also just be an excuse. "If nothing has substantiality ... then what is real???" It can be an excuse for inaction.

Blow-hard. He doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.

Posted by: red at October 8, 2004 02:11 PM

The mindset that believes appeasement/turn the other cheek would triumph against organized evil is appalling. These people purposefully choose to ignore that Hitler attempted to eradicate an entire subset of the human race. If he had been challenged only with nonviolent opposition, it is likely he would have succeeded. Confronting genocide, homocidal bigotry, religious fanaticism, etc. is an ugly business requiring a steel spine and a resolute recognition that it takes sacrifice and action to defeat such evil.

Posted by: DBrooks at October 13, 2004 09:26 AM
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