Thursday, April 17, 2008

Art and Hope

From a commentary by Mike Boehm in the LA Times, October 14, 2007 RE sports heroes; comparing Barry Levinson's and Robert Redford's uplifting film "The Natural" with the far more grittier book upon it was based, written by Bernard Malamud:

"What we take from [the book] 'The Natural' is that decent enough people can give in to temptation; that they repeat mistakes instead of learning from them; that the fear of appearing to be vulnerable, flawed and old is a damaging fear of what's unavoidably human; that wonders ever cease; and that this is all very sad."

Little wonder Barry Levinson (the writer/director of the film version) changed the ending, making Redford's character in the film a hero who conquers. Do we really want to know Malamud's deeper, darker, perhaps 'truer' truth? Isn't there a good reason why we 'kill the messenger'?

On some level art must convert truth into hope...else it ceases to be art, and only remains fact. The truth is all human beings are specks of sand on a larger speck of sand floating through an infinite universe. Do you want to face that fact every time you go to the movies, or read a book?


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