Down in the thread on my last Hail, Caesar! post, I received some great feedback from occasional pomocon commenter Titus Techera. Even more importantly, I learned that Titus has a film blog: Titus on Film. It will be a delight to pomocon readers hungering for more cultural-criticism. It gives you pithy, philosophy-grounded summation of what particular films are at bottom about. Titus wastes no time with Hollywood chit-chat nor with worries about spoilers.
Here are a few excerpts, ripped out almost at random. On American Sniper:
Chris Kyle is the man who saves his brother. He is willing to look at people up close & kill them. Death comes by his hand, but not his eye. He serves a political order which he believes to be just, but he knows that justice is different than victory. The men who fight for America walk under the protection of his watchful arm. His power to keep them alive itself is necessary because of the way Americans wage war. He is invisible. He is not winning wars; he is not victorious over his enemies; he merely defends those who walk into the coming chaos.
On The Terminator:
The Terminator’s shape is a reproach, indeed a terror unto mankind. The sculptural pose it assumes when it first appears in Los Angeles certainly is impressive. The man says it can bleed & sweat; he leaves crying unmentioned. It is excessively manly, let us say. It toils always. But the human shape already implies the inability of the machines to destroy the human beings. The machines are imperfect imitators; their order is deficient. Why are humans irreplaceable?
Cooper’s willingness to serve as farmer shows endurance & self-control; at a different level, this is the prudence that guides him in his daring adventure. Unlike the scientists, he understands suffering & sacrifice. He shows nobility they lack.
Manliness is particular theme that Titus dwells upon, which might account for his greater tolerance for action and super-hero movies than yours truly. Somewhere a few years ago my soul reached its final, cannot see even one more super-hero movie limit, so I’m no good in telling you anything thoughtful about them. I’d like more real-heroes movies, please.
Anyhow, Titus actually will show you what, if anything, is thoughtful about those sorts of films, and his site will take you through the films of “several directors conservatives should know more about,” a number of classics like Lawrence of Arabia, and much more. His latest posts are on Joy, but I encourage you to explore the whole site.
Maybe he’d would like to tell us below more about his main motivations for writing on film, and point to what he thinks his best posts are. In any case, our thanks to him for his fine work!