Friday, July 30, 2010

Polanski’s "Ghost Writer": A Work of Genius With Meta Messages (Movie review) by Edwin L. Young, PhD

Ghost Writer
Reviewed by Edwin Young

I got back from seeing “Ghost Writer”, back and forth on long bus rides, hadn’t eaten since early morn, ate a tidbit, tried to watch TV and zonked out and just now awakened almost four hours later at 11PM and, bleary-eyed or not, I just had to say this: What a fantastic movie. One for those who keep up with world-shaking shenanigans; those with eyes to see, ears to hears, and minds to understand; --- this is a work of true genius and remarkable guts. No one but a world citizen, entangled between evil, global, clandestine principalities that are subjugated by their stealthy, almighty imperators; only a person with the mind of a great artist as well; no one but a Polanski could have made this particular movie at this particular tipping point in history.

He will only get a virtual Oscar from ‘the few’ scattered across the ‘Western Axis of Evil’, but who are not of their world, and only from those who, accidentally, have been prepped to receive his meta-message. I am still in awe that he could pull it off with Hitchcock-like surprising twists while using innuendos to expose a still smoldering, extremely complex, international intrigue. This could only have been produced by German, French, and disaffected UK leaders. No wonder there has been such a tug of war over his extradition. It is not shocking that it has, so far, mostly been seen in Europe. It is no wonder none of the major US theaters have booked it. It has had ‘limited’ release in US, mostly art house theaters – was made on a 40Mil budget, and has had a low gross so far. It is probably Caviar for the EU, but a hot potato for the US, with the exception of CA movie land, the US Northeast, and the Florida coast, as you might have guessed! Its reception appears to be like those movies dubbed ‘Banned in Boston’, only for “Ghost Writer” it is “Banned in the Red States.”

How ‘spot on’ he pegged Tony Blair. And, his cryptic, brief and chilling, allusions to Bush and Cheney should be epithets for both of their epitaphs. Such clever nuggets like these alone make it worth seeing.

Cheesh! What a movie! I have been a fan of his film noir style since “Repulsion” in 1965. Remember “Rosemary’s Baby”? But my god, in this movie, he reveals that has he matured into the cinema artist’s epitome of Jung’s Modern Man as described in “Modern Man in Search of a Soul” but with laser like insight into and detection of, and a genius international spy’s grasp of, the grisly, ugly, ruthless, behind the scenes, lofty, conspiratorial world of power. Traces of “The Good Sheppard”, and the many others of that ilk dotting this decade of cinematic critiques of the secret, ruthless side of government, flickered across my mind as the movie advanced to the denouement. And, as an additional bonus, I found a new love in Olivia Williams who played that intriguing, sinister wife, Ruth Lang.

I’m not sure why but I have a hunch that Polanski’s very existence on earth is like a shiv in the heart of Stephen Spielberg.

The only real justice in the world is poetic justice. With this film, Polanski got his by turning the tables on his judges and adversaries!

Author bio:

Edwin is a 76 year old, retired, psychotherapist/institution reformer. His greatest satisfaction came from reforming many juvenile correctional institutions, a maximum security prison, a West Texas mental hospital, and the huge Job Corps in San Marcos, Texas. All in all there were thirteen institutions that he successfully reformed. In the last year of his PhD program, Edwin was one of the two PhD graduate students to be awarded the annual University Research Institute grant. His dissertation committee said his was the longest, best, and most complex in the history of the department. Since retiring, Edwin spends his time writing. His site is: The Natural Systems Institute.

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