Movie Review: Australia (2008)

Big budget movie is an artistic gem _ 9/10

AustraliaNullah: Missus Boss, I sing you to me.
Lady Sarah Ashley: And I will hear you.

Magarri: If you’ve got no love in your heart, you’ve got nothing… No dreaming, no story, nothing.

First the conventional large-budget blockbuster, which was disappointing at the box office: It’s fascinating, the effect of corporate marketing on a film, so much of the success of the effort depending on how the executives represent it. I remember the fuss the marketers made about the supposed epic love story between characters played by Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman—both major Hollywood stars, both born and raised in Australia, and both 10s on the physical attractiveness meter. First, the movie is fundamentally not a love story. Second, the true leading characters are an Aboriginal old man named King George (David Gulpilil) and a mixed-race pre-teen boy named Nullah (Brandon Walters). Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Liberty and Celebrity

Some thoughts on ‘being known for being known’
and what it means to the freedom movement

This definition of celebrity—being known for being known—is pretty close to a quote from a an interesting piece I read from a Web article by Daniel Epstein published a couple of years ago in The Weekly Standard of all places[1].  Actually, Epstein was quoting Daniel Boorstin from The Image: Or What Happened to the American Dream: “The celebrity,” Boorstin wrote, “is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness.”[2]

Epstein continues by making a distinction between fame and celebrity: fame being based more on actual achievement, while celebrity especially recently become more the art of being paid attention to by large numbers of people on television regardless of any personal noteworthiness. Probably the most classic example is Brian “Kato” Kaelin, the house guest of OJ Simpson.  The Kaelin persona reminds me of the Woody Allen movie, Zelig, in which a nondescript man seeks to blend in and dissemble as if he were one of the famous people himself. Continue reading