#BlogElul via the Movies 22 – Seeing

No matter how self-aware we think we are, we often don’t see things right in front of us. Our flaws. The way we treat others. The piece of spinach stuck between our teeth.

Where would the movies be without this trope – out inability to see what’s right there. How many romantic comedies do we – the audience – see that the protagonists are in love and they are blind to it? Answer: All of them.

My favorite “don’t see it” movie is a class hybrid of action thriller, brilliant director, and the two greatest cheesy lead actors of my lifetime – John Travolta and Nicolas Cage – Face/Off.

Face/Off is the 1997 film by (Academy Award Winning Director) Ang Lee that tells the story of an FBI agent and an arch-criminal who, through preposterous plot points that somehow work in the film, trade faces and therefore lives. This results in the actors have to pretend to be each other – and better yet to pretend to be each other pretending to be each other. Try imitating a friend and then try imitating the friend imitating you without getting ridiculous. With Cage and Travolta, it is cinematic gold – and not in the Battlefield Earth or Ghost Rider way you might be thinking.

Throughout the movie, each character has to convince their enemy’s loved ones that they are whom they appear to be. And each character has to convince their own loved ones that despite appearances they are their true self. They both pull it off – as characters and as actors.

We are blind to so much around us – and we don’t know what we are missing. This new year, get some help in uncovering a hidden truth and see the world anew.

#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.

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2 comments on “#BlogElul via the Movies 22 – Seeing

  1. Jeff says:

    As an exercise in this, perhaps we should ask our friends and family to do their best imitation of us and watch.

    We don’t have to ask our kids…they do this without being asked either in your face (you know my son, Sam) or, more subtly by the way they develop and reflect our values… and affectations.

  2. mkaiserman says:

    Originally Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were in mind to play the lead roles, but when John Woo was brought in to direct, he decided that John Travolta and Nicolas Cage would be more suited to the roles. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119094/trivia?tab=tr&item=tr0754495) – Not sure if this is true, but it would have been a ridiculous idea not just for the acting, but the 5 inch height difference (Cage and Travolta only 2 inch difference)

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