Monday, June 27, 2005

Memories...pressed between the pages of my mind...

thoughts on movies and memories and sin-eaters...

I love it when movies serve not only to entertain, but to stimulate thought and discussion. Such was the case over the weekend when my sister-in-law and I watched The Final Cut, starring Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel.

According to "Set in a world with memory implants, Robin Williams plays a cutter, someone with the power of final edit over people's recorded histories. His latest assignment is one that puts him in danger."

I found the movie fascinating on several levels. In the story, there are "anti-implant" protesters who picket at the "rememories"--memorial services where friends and loved ones gather to watch the person's life through that person's own eyes.

After all, one could never be quite sure if the person you're talking to has one of the "zoe implants." Isn't it a major invasion of privacy that everything YOU say and do with that person could end up on a screen at a rememory? Also, it's up to the cutter to discard unpleasant and ugly would be possible to delete so many things that a really bad person could be made to look good.

Another interesting fact the movie highlighted is how inaccurate our memories really are. Don't you wonder how many of your childhood memories may be hugely different from what actually happened? I mean, if you could go back and play the tape, would you find that many scenes YOU think you remember perfectly...many conversations you think you remember word-for-word...were quite different in reality?

Interestingly, Robin Williams as the cutter compares himself to what used to be called a "sin-eater." I first heard of sin-eaters when I read Francine Rivers' excellent novel, The Last Sin-Eater.

Here's the Wikipedia definition of the term:

"The sin-eater was (in British tradition) a person who, through ritual means and for material gain, would take on the sins of a dying person, thus absolving the dying of their sins while receiving the burden of the same. Traditionally, each village maintained its own sin-eater. The sin-eater would be brought to the dying person's bedside, and there either he or a relative would place a bit of bread on the breast of the dying. After praying and/or reciting the ritual, he would then remove the bread from the breast and eat it, the act of which would remove the sin from the dying and take it into himself."

Apparently, this practice may have carried over into some remote parts of Appalachia, where the Rivers novel is set.

How sad that people were ignorant of the fact that Christ has already absorbed AND paid for all our sins on the cross--that the ultimtate sacrifice has already been made, and there is no need for a sin-eater.

Very intriguing stuff.

Speaking of movies and movie-related stuff...

What is up with Tom Cruise? Is the man imploding, or what?

First his erratic, sofa-jumping uber-glee over his romance with Katie Holmes, then losing his temper at a practical joker, then going off on Matt Lauer about Ritalin, psychiatry, etc. (See Tom Cruise: once aloof, now widely-spoofed.)
All I can say is, let this be a lesson to you. Don't pay a whole lot of attention to what movie stars say. Just because you're famous and get paid exorbitant amounts of money to pretend to be other people doesn't mean you have any special wisdom, credibility or gravitas. Certainly, don't vote based on their recommendations!

And in the why-don't-they-make-more-movies-like-that department...

While alone at my house for a few hours over the weekend, I caught most of You've Got Mail on cable, and was reminded of what a charming and enjoyable movie this was, and what a shame it is that they don't make very many movies like this.

Lighthearted, witty, warm romances, notably lacking in a lot of foul language, vulgarity and gratuitous sexual situations. Movies that make you laugh and empathize and even shed a little tear here and there. Why are they so rare?Hollywood, you're wondering why ticket sales are so dismal these days? GET A CLUE!!!

In my opinion, this was Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at their best. Frankly, I'm disappointed that Tom Hanks is going to star in the movie version of "The DaVinci Code"...a movie I have absolutely no desire to see, by the way.

And I hope Meg Ryan finds her footing despite the fact that she's now past her ingenue status. Diane Keaton still manages to be cute and adorable on film; Meg could do it too.

Anyway, even though I can truly enjoy and appreciate what they do on screen, they're actors, people. They pretend for a living. They're entitled to their opinions, but we don't have to give those opinions any weight whatsoever.

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