Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Malice"-scious Thoughts

"Absence of Malice?" More like absence of any ethical standard or thought process whatsoever! I mean, come on Sally Fields! You once played a nun for crying out loud! Oh, sure, it was a nun that could fly and had a big hat (I'm not making this up), but it was a nun none the less! Ok, stupid jokes aside, "Absence of Malice" is a film that deftly explores that tricky line between what constitutes an accurate story or what is merely an accumulation of facts without the necessary context, among other things. The parallels between the news story that opened the film and the Herald Journal story that we examined in class a few weeks ago are pretty glaring. Both fail to be "accurate" and more or less provide a "truth" from merely one side of a complicated story and subject. The film also clearly addresses the dangers of bias or attachment to a story and subject, something that can be difficult to avoid but is clearly pretty necessary. I definitely disagreed with my on-screen namesake at several points during the film and kinda wondered how a newspaper editor would allow his reporter to keep doing stories about a subject she was obviously getting far too attached to. And then there's the matter of being respectful to the wishes of sources vs. providing a thorough and accurate account of what happened, but I guess I should probably save some stuff for our movie critiques...

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