by J J Cohen
I feel in bondage to this post by Eileen, but don't have a coherent thought to offer. Yet. Meanwhile, a question on a different topic.
So I never get to see movies until everyone else has already enjoyed them, analyzed them, and moved on. Such is the fate of he who depends upon a Netflix queue and who lacks sufficient leisure. Last night I finally saw There Will Be Blood, and I must state that I do not comprehend the greatness my friends promised of that film back when they saw it. I intuit that the narrative works something like a morality play, and so as a medievalist who has read the Pardoner's Tale (or even as someone who once watched Treasure of the Sierra Madre) I should udnerstand its conventions and denouement. I know the story comes from Upton Sinclair, an author not known for nuance. I also know that the film's narrative of oil, greed, and immorality probably resonated differently under Bush-Cheney than it does with a change of White House occupancy. But still. Was the message of that film anything more complicated than: capitalism fosters insatiable greed; religion and capitalism are identical twins; greed will make you drink a lot of whiskey, use cute little deaf boys as props, speak in an excessively deliberative manner, and bash people with wooden bowling pins? Is the take away message something more complicated than "oil = riches = worldly goods = bad stuff, bad bad stuff"?
The Pardoner's Tale is a lot more complicated than that. What did I miss here?