Monday, January 16, 2017

Manchester by the Sea and Jaroslav Halák

Saw Manchester by the Sea. A moving, engrossing film, full of trauma and sorrow. Casey Affleck did a great job of acting affectless and Matthew Broderick had a hilarious bit part as an evangelical Christian. Well-acted, well-directed, well-scored.  I do hear the critics who thought it universalized while male experience a bit too much. The funny thing is, though, the movie, set in 2015, featured an old clip of hockey goaltender Jaroslav Halák, a star when the clip was filmed, now a failed and humiliated figure. I noticed this, and then after the movie two guys behind me could only talk about Halák, and I turned around and said I had noticed it to: two hours of moving story and all three men in a well-heeled, culturally sophisticated part of Manhattan could talk about was this odd hockey detail! In a way the hockey issue brings up the problem of normed white masculinity that Alicia Christoff brings up in her essay  from the other end, that perhaps the film so assumes a model of white maleness that it does not bother to get right just the details that actual working class white men, who would be likelier than average to know who Jaroslav Halák is and appreciate the declivity of his career,  would notice and respond to…it's an echo of Trump, that their stereotypes are being addressed,but not their real needs...

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