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George Town Tasmania
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BEING JOHN MALKOVICH: Some Reflections
Being John Malkovich was an American dramedy fantasy which opened in October 1999 just as I was retiring after a 50 year student and employment life, a career of 32 years as a teacher, and another 18 as a student. In October 1999 I was settling into a little town by the sea, and beginning the recreation of myself as a writer and author, poet and publisher, online blogger and journalist, editor and researcher, reader and scholar. I did not see the film, however, until sometime in the first decade after my retirement from FT, PT and casual-paid jobs. I have now enjoyed a full retirement from 2006 to 2015.
Critic Roger Ebert, whose film review column has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times for more than 40 years, wrote that: "Rare is the movie where the last half hour surprises you just as much as the first, and in ways you're not expecting. The movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films, but the director and his cast handle them so surely that we never feel hard-pressed; we're enchanted by one development after the next." Ebert went on to say that: "Either Being John Malkovich gets nominated for best picture, or the members of the Academy need portals into their brains." Other top critic Peter Rainer commented "Dazzlingly singular movies aren't often this much fun," and Owen Gleiberman boldly stated that he felt it was "The most excitingly original movie of the year."-Ron Price with thanks to Being John Malkovich, Wikipedia, 4 July 2010.
As I was retiring from all those
classroom jobs of wall-to-wall
people out there in the Baha’i
community as well after those
30 years---the same year Ebert
started writing his film reviews,1
a film came out whose plot had
brought to the forefront several
issues in the modern philosophy
of mind such as the nature of self
and consciousness, the dichotomy
of mind-body as well as sensory
perception…This film would have
been useful in those social science &
philosophy courses I took and taught
over those 35+ years……1963-1999.
The film became a cult classic and in
our modern world there are 1000s of
cults, sects, schools, denominations,
isms, wasms, branches and divisions
of everything that is imaginable in this
planetizing Kingdom of God’s Earth.2
1 In 1967 I started my career as a teacher and Roger Ebert started writing film reviews.
2 Janet Maslin, “Being John Malkovich: A Portal Leading to Self-Parody,” The New York Times, October 1, 1999. This review appeared in my first week in George Town Tasmania, the place I came to for a sea-change after the demands of a lifetime of jobs and people in community.
2 This film explores the prospect of being able to sneak into the mind of another person an exercise I provide in my 2600 page autobiography, an exercise that is, sadly, not as much fun as this film for our fun-culture.
4/7/’10 to 23/6/’15.____________________________________________________
The plot of the film Being John Malkovitch, FYI, is as follows: Craig and Lotte Schwartz's marriage is so lacking in anything at all that even saying it's on the rocks is a misnomer. It's a nothing state going nowhere. It doesn't help that Craig is a failure at the profession he loves - puppeteering - and has to get a job as file clerk for Lester Corp which occupies the 7.5th floor of a building in Manhattan. However, on this floor is a door which takes him directly into a ditch near the NJ Turnpike, via the mind of John Malkovich. Lotte also has her own adventures through the door and so does Maxine Lunde. But you can't venture into the mind of someone else without learning something about yourself.
John Gavin Malkovich(1953-) is an American actor, director, producer, and fashion designer. He has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award nominations. He has also appeared in films such as Empire of the Sun, The Killing Fields, Con Air, Of Mice and Men, Being John Malkovich, Burn After Reading, RED, and Warm Bodies, as well as producing films such as Ghost World, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. He has had an incredible life which I was reminded of when Being John Malkovitch was televised again last night.1
Malkovich stated in a 2011 interview that "I'm not a political person actually, and I don't have an ideology". He also said that he had not voted since George McGovern lost his presidential run in 1972. However, according to actor William Hootkins, Malkovich is "so right-wing you have to wonder if he's kidding".
When asked in an interview with the Toronto Star whether it was necessary to have spiritual beliefs to portray a spiritual character, Malkovich said: "No, I'd say not... I'm an atheist. I wouldn't say I'm without spiritual belief particularly, or rather, specifically. Maybe I'm agnostic, but I'm not quite sure there's some great creator somehow controlling everything and giving us free will. I don't know; it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me.”2-Ron Price with thanks to 1SBSONE TV, 22/6/’15 and 2Wikipedia.
Everyone has to work-out
their take on life, what their
view is of ideology, religion,
and philosophy…..but many
millions remain fundamentally
agnostic….never acquire any
ideology, never affiliate with
a religion, but live their lives
until the roll up-yonder calls
them, and they go into a hole
for those who speak no more.
Then, as things fall apart, & the
centre cannot hold, mere anarchy
is loosed upon the world, the blood-
dimmed tide is also loosed. The best
lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity, and
some new revelation is at hand; it’s
a second coming with a beast born.1
1 W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming
married for 48 years, a teacher for 32; an internal and external student for 32, a writer and editor for 16, as well as a Baha'i for 56(in 2015)