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Mpls, MN, United States

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

"And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales..."

Thanks, The Last King of Scotland: now I know that dictatorships are bad.

To be fair, I didn't mind most of this film, and the saturated colors and creative lighting were quite striking and beautiful, although I found the cinematography and editing distracting. It was also quite well-acted. However, the film proved to be merely a thriller with only slight political (or thoughtful) overtones, and with lots of (often gratuitous) sex, violence, gore, and DANGER. Unlike Catch a Fire, which I felt provided valuable insight into the psychology of the rulers and citizens of unstable states, The Last King of Scotland seemed like a high-budget excuse to portray a notorious villain in the most sexy and suspenseful narrative possible, without the compulsion to provoke real thought.

Also, I don't do torture. I had to cover my eyes.

Although I do think Amin's representation in this film has the potential to provide a fascinating parallel to Count Orlock in Nosferatu, I do wish viewing this film hadn't been required--for the students or for me. I don't need those images in my head.

On the other hand, should you happen to have images of Robert Frank's The Americans in your head, this is quite an amazing music video. (The same professor for whom I TA teaches my Thursday seminar; he brought this in today, taped off of VH1 almost 20 years ago.)

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