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Posts Tagged ‘photojournalism’

So here’s this nice family with two kids, a boy and a girl, and we get the happy-homelife shots to establish what a happy homelife they have, a lovely genteel life with their own greenhouse where Harrison cultivates exotic blooms. Plus, Harrison and Sarah are still passionately involved lovers.

He’s a photojournalist who wants to get out of the game, and even though Sarah is some kind of news person too, she also wants him to stay home and be safe. Harrison’s boss convinces him to stick with it a bit longer, and Harrison says okay, but after their discussion is over the boss says, “Anyway, you’re under contract, remember?” which is a gratuitous jab, because he had already obtained agreement – just the kind of thing a bastardly boss is likely to do.

Harrison and Sarah go to an awards ceremony where Harrison gives a speech and there’s a beatnik-looking guy in the audience (Kyle Morrison, played by Adrien Brody) whose expressions range from bored to snarky. From reading the box I know Harrison will be lost someplace, and my prediction is: the beatnik-looking guy with the attitude is the one who will help Sarah look for him, and probably make a pass at her.

In the men’s room, where Kyle is “powdering his nose.” (Astonishingly, and though it’s so obvious, I’d never before run across this euphemism for snorting coke.) There’s an argument with Harrison who, we are given to understand, is in the habit of taking the moral high ground. Kyle tells him about an independent photographer he knows, who was unable to get an assignment from anyone, but went to the war zone on his own, “And now he’s fuckin’ dead – on his own nickel.” Which is probably the best line in the script.

Because he’s been accused of being a sellout (and because he’s under contract!) Harrison goes to the war and word comes back that he’s dead beneath a collapsed building. In her soul, Sarah knows this is not true, and goes to the war to find him, and of course immediately lands in deep shit. She’s rescued by a band of photojournalists including – of course – Kyle. They tell her to go home, but she won’t, so they help her look for Harrison. (What I’m wondering is, where do they get the gasoline to go tooling around in this war zone? That’s the kind of gritty detail a discerning viewer wants.)

All the while, of course, the photojournalists are snapping pictures of whatever atrocious death scenes they stumble across while trying to reach the town where they believe Harrison is, if he’s anyplace. Nobody actually makes any accusations about what these ghouls are doing taking pictures of dead bodies, but Kyle explains to Sarah anyway: “They know that our photos are going to tell the story of this war…If we don’t take them, nobody will. They want us to do what we do.”( I mention this because it is an oft-encountered theme, e.g. Medium Cool.)

Of course Kyle gets killed (without having had the opportunity to make a pass at Sarah) and of course after many ordeals, Sarah finds her husband, catatonic and badly burned, in a hospital that is currently under attack. The siege ends just in time, and they make it back home and a year later Harrison snaps out of his catatonia and switches to taking pictures of flowers. The end.

Related: The Dreamers (photographers as voyeurs theme)

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