Perhaps this should also come under “comments” to your previous post, but as it contains a key decision and begins a new conversation on a particular moral dilemma, I have decided to create a new post.
First, let me address some grievous errors in your post. Given our recent time together, during which I drank a cup of coffee every morning, and given my statement to you at the time that I have started almost every day of the past six months with a cup of java, and given that I have loved coffee since I was a teen (despite my sensitivity to caffeine), I was surprised to read that I didn’t like the black brew. So “mugs” it is! I think it’s a great idea - you can be much more creative with mugs than with thumbs (compare “two big thumbs up” with “two mugs of
The second error, much more grievous than the first, was suggesting that Altman’s Short Cuts is not a masterpiece. I can see how some people, put off by Altman’s unique style, might think that a number of classic Altman films, like M*A*S*H,
Regarding my four-star rating system: Any film that I give at least three stars to is a film that I thought worth watching (as opposed to a film which gets less than three stars). To get 3.5 stars, a film has to have something special that makes me eager to see it again. A 3.5 star film is one I thoroughly enjoyed, whether it be for the writing, the acting, the cinematography, the score or any combination of these. Four stars are reserved for the chosen few films which approach perfection in all the categories or which seriously wowed me. I am very stingy on handing out four stars (only four or five films a year). Short Cuts, and the three related films mentioned in the previous paragraph, all got four stars. The other three Altman films mentioned above only got 3.5 stars. Regarding my previous post, Jindabyne was not a snorefest for me and was intriguing enough (and had enough good acting) to come close to that 3.5 mark (and were it not for Short Cuts, it might have made it).
As for the moral dilemma: Okay, you and the boys travel many miles from civilization for a weekend fishing trip. You discover the body of a young woman in a remote river. What do you do? Do you rush back to civilization (or at least to cell phone reception range) to report the body? Or do you keep fishing for another 24 hours, knowing the woman has been dead for quite awhile and cannot be saved by anything you do or don’t do? Do you touch the body or move the body, knowing it might drift downstream if you leave it where it is? Does it make a difference if it is the body of an Aboriginal woman? Well, you know what the guys do. And while they may not have broken any laws, wow, do they ever live to regret their decision. The difference in how the men and women react to this dilemma is key here, and needs to be discussed in a mixed group of people who trust each other. I’m not sure I’m willing to discuss my own reaction in a public setting, except to say that I don’t fully sympathize with the actions and reactions of any of those involved in either film, but I can understand some better than others.
Readers: Stay tuned for my review of Perfume, my favourite film of 2006, coming up during the weekend.