Monday, June 28, 2010

I Don't Know Me

I used to think I knew myself pretty well. I knew I liked to read mysteries and write poetry. I knew I liked disaster and action movies and situation comedies on television. I knew I liked bawdy jokes. I knew I didn't like people much, at least more than one at a time. I knew I didn't like anyone's kids but my own. There were oh so many things I was sure I knew about myself. But, lately, I'm not so sure I know myself at all.

My tastes seem to have taken a drastic change. I first noticed this phenomenon when I found myself looking forward to the next episode of "The Shield." My reading also took a more serious turn when I started looking for meatier, more intricate plots. Then, this year I got hooked on "The Sopranos" on A&E on Sunday mornings. I never miss it. Also, I fell in love with "Treme" on HBO. Now that the first season is over, I am in mourning, and anxiously awaiting the next season.

In the past couple of years, I have started watching Coen Brothers movies. I rarely understood them, but I was strangely drawn to them. Which brings me to today. I watched yet another Coen Brothers film called "A Serious Man". This movie chronicled the life of a Jewish family man, a Physics professor, whose life begind to unravel and leaves him with a serious case of angst. He is up for tenure at his college, and someone is sending anonymous letters accusing him of all manner of immoral activities. He suspects the sender of the letters is a student from South Korea who failed his Physics class and who tried to bribe him into a passing grade with an envelope full of money. His wife stuns him with the information that she wants a divorce so she can marry another man who apparently wants to stay friends with him. His brother, who has been sleeping on their couch, is arrested and suffering a meltdown. His son owes a bully $20.00 for pot that he bought from him, and has to run home from the school bus every day to avoid a beating. His daughter seems to have a hair-washing fetish.

All of the above happens in the first 30 minutes of the movie, and things just don't get any sunnier. After I watch Coen Brothers movies, I tend to try to analyze them, but that way lies madness. For this particular movie, I am content to characterize it in the following way: Sh*t happens and then you die.

The next movie on my Netflix list is Avatar. Should be uplifting.

Stay tuned.


Tincanman said...

Thanks for the movie review, Betty. Think I’ll skip “A Serious Man” based on your review. Sounds a little too depressing. :-)

I enjoyed the Coen Brothers “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” (I watch it over and over) and “No Country For Old Men” (saw it once, thank you, won’t watch it again).

I think who we are is a constantly changing portrait based on genetics and the ever-changing world in which we live and interact. The important thing is to always be yourself, no matter what that is on a given day. After all, you have to be yourself because everyone else is taken.

Looking to the Stars said...

"Oh, Brother Where Art Thou" is my favorite and we watch it at least twice a year, love the music. But, I think I will stay away from "A Serious Man". Just doesn't sound like my cup of tea.

Let us know what you think of Avatar. I did a post on it after we saw it. Will be looking forward to your view on it :)

Tincanman has said it the best I have ever read or heard about being yourself. Very enlightened words :)

take care

NitWit1 said...

I love your summary of "A Serious Man"

In Movies I love epics that mimic history or fictional characters set in a historical moment in time.

I guess we all change interests. I chnage hobbies except for one, photography--would love to have been employed by National Geographic Society to lug camera equipment all over the world. What an adventure it would have been.

Betty said...

Tincanman: It was actually a pretty funny movie, except that I found myself why I was laughing at that poor man. On the other hand, I LOVED "No Country For Old Men". So, go figure.

Looking to the Stars: I liked "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" too. Maybe George Clooney had something to do with it.

NitWit1: I would love to be a photographer, but I'm just no good at it. I do like historical fiction, too.

Arkansas Patti said...

Thanks for the review but think I will pass. I like movies that make me laugh till I pee my pants at smart writing or allow me to enjoy a happy cry or a triumphant ending. Simple minded here.
I loved Avatar so you might not like it. Hope you do however.
The only thing you could do that would truly make me "not know" you is if you switched parties. Then I'd be worried.

Darlene said...

My tastes have changed as I grew older. I chalk it up to maturity. ;-)

I am very curious by nature so will probably put "A Serious Man" in my queue just to see how it ends.

Betty said...

Arkansas Patti: Change parties? Bite your tongue! That won't happen in this lifetime. And, if I have to come back as a Republican, I just won't come back. lol

Darlene: I purposely don't tell the ending of a review. And, I try not to say anything that will give it away inadvertently. I don't like "spoilers."

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've seen a lot of Coen Brothers movies...and liked most of them. I may put this one in my queue...another quirky Coen film...I may like it. Thanks Betty.

kenju said...

I've seen 2 Coen movies and I may get this one, based on what you say.

I have caught the very end of Treme sometimes (on the way to see something else) and I keep meaning to see the whole episode some day. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting how we continue to grow even after we are "grown up". Haven't watched the new Coen Brothers movie, but it sounds realistic-most people like fantasy.