The Surprising Virtue of Ignorance


I don’t go to see a lot of “films” the movies that I like tend to be “flicks” or “fluff.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I went through an indie film phase in high school and basically decided that it wasn’t for me.

Lately I’ve been having a sort of weird Newsroom-ish fight with myself about my hobbies. I’m a smart person. I’ve always been smart. I’ve always liked to read, and study and work when it came to the things I love. But the things I love aren’t high art, they never have been and I don’t want them to be.

So what does this have to do with Birdman? I’m not really sure, but something, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot more since seeing the movie.

I’m not exactly sure what Birdman was trying to say about art, or if it was just trying to paint a portrait of a man on the edge, but it got me thinking a lot.

The plot, such as it is, is about Riggan Tomas, a movie star who played the superhero Birdman for three films, who has dedicated the past ten years to getting his self written, directed and starring adaptation of a Raymond Chandler short story on Broadway. He’s also dealing with his ex wife, current wife (who is also starring in the show), and his daughter, who post rehab is working as his assistant. He enlists a theater darling to be his costar, who as it turns out, is kind of a nutjob.

The movie is a dark comedy masterpiece and if you know anything about theater it’s hard not to recognize a lot of it. Michael Keaton plays our hero, which has its own resonance. Keaton take on Batman paved the way for the wonderful world we live in now, where we get 3 superhero movies a year minimum.

Edward Norton, on the other hand, um, you got the feeling he was making fun of his own persona as artist control freak.

Emma stone was amazing, but to me this entire movie belonged to Zach Galifinakas. His role as Riggan’s manager and producing partner was amazing and he gave a flawless performance.

This isn’t a movie that’s doing anything new, watching Keaton have a breakdown after giving his life to art is, if anything kind of trite, but Michael Keaton’s particular gift for selling different kinds of madness make it a little bit more special, it’s a bit of stunt casting that does it’s job well.

Also, I really couldn’t help but think that if Riggan had told Mike (Norton) what was going on, he would roll his eyes and say, “Yeah, yeah, I am Joe’s big fat Broadway flop, can we move on?”

So yeah, that’s where we are.

  1. Guardians of The Galaxy
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. Mockingjay: Part 1
  4. Interstellar
  5. Godzilla
  6. Birdman
  7. Chef
  8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  9. The 100 Foot Journey
  10. The Judge
  11. How To Train Your Dragon 2
  12. Lucy
  13. The Boxtrolls
  14. Jersey Boys
  15. Maleficent
  16. The Amazing Spider-Man 2


I wasn’t planning on seeing the The Immitation Game, but god damn does it not look fabulous.

There were a few others. Many of which looked pretty interesting. It’s hard to believe that movie season is wrapping up in the next few weeks. But here we are.


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