In the comments here, Lesley and I were sharing our hatred of Viggo Mortensen (note to self: Quit threadjacking coblogger's excellent posts! Why am I always such an asshole?), but I have to tell you, that hatred pales next to my hatred of Michael Douglas; it is as nothing. See, I don't just hate Michael Douglas; I hate the dead skin cells that slough off daily from Michael Douglas, creating layers of dust for other people to clean up. I cannot stand Michael Douglas. Please attempt no defenses of Michael Douglas in the comments, for I will delete them! There is nothing you can say to make me change my mind about this. Some things just are: Death is inescapable, taxes are inevitable, Michael Douglas is loathesome, The End. We're not arguing about this. This blog is not a democracy.
That, however, was not what I wanted to talk about here. I wanted to give a big cheer for this observation of Nezua's:
Sometimes in conversation or these kinds of talks one may hear "you are parsing too much." But oye! Not a cherry pit appears on screen that is not intended to affect you (save the frequent camera crew reflection in a glass door type of incident). This I studied. This I did. This I know. Although I imagine most readers of blogs are pretty media-savvy vat@s, I say this because of my own arc. Even aware of media, I used to entertain the notion—buying into the Art Director's skillz—that a background might (sometimes?) be as-is. Real life. Or just populated with random objects. That was before I became parts of fueds between a D.P. (me) and an Art Director, in a struggle over the Director's ear and creative lean. Now I know that every item is deliberated over, and all springs from the Director's interpretation of the script.
I have a friend who also studied film and would back him up on this. Every detail matters.
But more generally, I note that "you're over-thinking this," "you're reading too much into that," "you're being too sensitive," and all these remarks are common methods of camouflaging a simpler desire, one normally verbalized as "Shut up." Feminists get it, people of color get it, transgendered people get it--everyone who deviates from the norm gets this one at some point or another. And it's not that you can't debate intent versus context in specific situations; you can, and people do. But when someone who knows more than you do about how films are made, or how novels are written, or how sculptures are created, or how bridges are designed, or how it feels to be non-white, non-Christian, non-male, non-heterosexual--how it feels to be outside the dominant culture--when that person speaks, if your impulse is to yell "shut up," even if you mask that impulse with "quit taking everything so literally," you're the ignorant one, and you'd be better off listening to the one you've mentally labeled "too sensitive." Nine times out of ten it is not that they are too sensitive. It is that they see with a keener eye.
And now, back to enjoying the view through a keener eye. Some days the internet's not so bad, you know?