[Marxism] A Serious Man; The Informant!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 17 16:50:34 MDT 2009

With the New York Film Critics Online annual awards meeting only a 
couple months away, I decided to make time in my busy schedule for some 
mainstream movies. Instead of my usual fare of strident leftwing 
documentaries and neorealist fictional movies from semi-peripheral 
countries, I decided to check out some of the Hollywood blockbusters now 
showing in New York. Of course, this does not mean going to something 
like “Couples Retreat”, which for me is an experience more dreaded than 
cataract surgery.

Instead I decided to check out the latest movies by “edgy” directors who 
started out as indies. I fully expected to dislike all of them but was 
pleasantly surprised by Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”, a 
movie that I will review separately in conjunction with an obscure movie 
about the General’s plot directed by G.W. Pabst, who was referred to 
knowingly in Basterds. As you may know, much of the action takes place 
in a Parisian movie theater commandeered by the Nazi high command that 
speaks reverentially of Pabst and actor Emil Jannings.

The other two did not pass muster. Stephen Soderberg’s “The Informant!” 
was based on a book about Mark Whitacre, a whistle blower who helped the 
FBI nail top executives at Archer-Daniels-Midland involved in 
price-fixing while he was embezzling millions from the company himself. 
Despite the nominally socio-economic backdrop, the movie is much more 
about Whitacre’s compulsive lying. If you liked Leonard DiCaprio in 
“Catch Me If You Can”, then you might like this one. I had no use for 
either film since the central characters were so off-putting and 
difficult to identify with. Why spend eleven dollars to see movies about 
characters that are so much like those who are running the country?

read full review: 

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