Author Topic: One really great aspect of a really bad film ...  (Read 1075 times)

sdb_1970

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One really great aspect of a really bad film ...
« on: December 17, 2011, 07:48:49 PM »
Did you ever see a really, really bad film that had one really, really great aspect?  Something that made you think?  An utterly stellar performance?  A compelling or hilarious scene that you would perform in your Theatre 101 class?

Back when I was in college, I saw this film that was new on video - 'Mr. Frost' (1990) - with Jeff Goldblum portrarying a character who may or may not be the devil himself.  The film is weak for many reasons, and we could probably have endless debates about whether this is Goldblum's best or worst performance.  But for me, there were these great little details in the script - in giving the devil a personality - that have always stayed with me (SPOILERS AHEAD).

In one scene, there is this idea that language is actually the invention of the devil - the false sense of security created from the unapparent unreliability of words (what they purport to reveal, but actually conceal) and the unintended effect of context.  I came to appreciate all of this later in life when I became a lawyer, and more specifically, the first time I cross-examined a witness with respect to something he had written many years ago.

Over the years, I have thought about this idea in the context of the great writers of fiction - how they use the devil's invention to tell what is essentially a lie, but in doing so, convey a greater truth than the rest of us mere mortals could ever do with our feet planted in the realm of the literal.
[insert pithy expression of false modesty here]

 

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