Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Forrest Gump - Southern Sentimentality & The Punctuated Assassinations Of The U.S.


It's been so long since I saw Forrest Gump I could barely recall any more than the eponymous character but I had a feeling I'd enjoy it and my intuition was richly rewarded. Like Into The Wild, it's a movie that made me think a fair bit, smile lots, laugh often and  occasionally well up with the odd tear of reality's harshness and regret for the frequent coup d'etats of the United States, punctuated by bullet's often misunderstood by the duped mainstream as threadbare 'lone gunman' stories pedalled by a complicit corporate media.

There's lots of ways to cut this movie as some sort of dual mirror-image-narrative of innocence, marginally succeeding against submerging under a parallel and reflected world of cynical reality. Even then that's only 'just succeeding' as his love is rejected by an unsophisticated world view and propensity for doing as told by those he trusts. A character trait assumed to be essential in close relationships.

In some ways it's also a celebration of a long gone American meritocracy where with hard work and a level playing field (insisted on by his mother) everyone get's a chance but that opens up deeper questions of free will, probability and chance I'm increasingly interested in since I've taken a close look at the NDE (Near Death Experience) data and it's unproven relationship to life journeys and incarnations that raise more questions than provide answers.

Even the one point of artistic insensitivity, a gratuitous product placement by NIKE (as Tom Hanks did in all his movies at one point) was immediately forgiven as the trainers are the only NIKE trainers I ever bought. Which meant I loved them. The NIKE Old School Classic Cortez. The rest for me are hip hop pimp rollers or Chav dealing white trash affairs. As a Goldman Sach's excecutives put it recently, Hermes is the Air Jordan's of wealthy white people.