Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When There Wasn't Even Any Hollywood

Before the fall when they wrote it on the wall
When there wasn't even any Hollywood

Steely Dan, The Caves of Altamira

This isn't a movie review blog. I don't have the patience for writing a detailed dissection of the shortcomings and strong points of the very eclectic range of movies I watch. But I am keen to express my enthusiasm for what I love, sound off about what annoys me and explore the trains of thought that particular movies or other's opinions of said movies tend to set in motion. I hope you will have fun reading my thoughts and share your thoughts with me. It would make me particularly happy if I encourage you to try a movie that falls outside your usual viewing habits, and also hope to discover some new favourites from you.

You may be wondering why I've called this blog Plato's Picture Palace. In his major philosophical treatise The Republic Plato used the analogy of a cave to describe our condition of being cut off from the universal truths. In this cave men were chained to the ground facing the cave wall so that they couldn't look behind them. Behind them burned a fire in front of which puppeteers moved their puppets causing the shadows to move on the wall. Plato felt that what we take as reality is nothing more than the shadows of something which is itself artificial, and that we have as little knowledge of reality as the cave-dwellers have of the sunlight. So in 380 BC Plato invented the cinema. And in 1999 Hollywood made Plato's cave analogy into a movie and called it The Matix.

I'm sure that all of us have at one time or another been told that we spend too much time watching movies and need to "get a life". This is probably true, but I don't mind being one of Plato's slaves... as long as I like the movie.

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