Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3

Rather nervously I confess that I liked it, certainly more than Spiderman 3. II don't apologize for going - I'm one of those people whose money burns a hole in their pocket until they've followed the other lemmings through the blockbuster boxoffice - but it's not often that I actually enjoy them.
I was struck, however, by the opening, where (in an anti-bush moment) pirates, and suppliers of pirates, and associates of pirates were hanged in rows. They included a child. It is very, very rare to show the hanging of a child - an eight-year-old? - almost unheard-of, really. and it does seem to indicate a deadening in our cultural signals; previously it would have been seen as sufficiently evil to have hanged a woman. The expectation was that the kid would be rescued, and the movie faltered a bit around then when he wasn't.
I remember the transgressive power of the killing of the child around the start of Boetticher's The Tall T, and the slightly lesser (because less clear) hit of the killing of the boy by Angel Eyes around the opening of The Good the Bad and the Ugly; but they were serious, it was intended to mean something. PotC is one of those movies where only the leads have lives that are seen as having any value; such actions as betraying a person, or trying to kill them, or allying with them to kill others, have moral significance only when they concern featured players, not the ordinary crew members or soldiers or citizens.

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