Lazy Luddite Log


Curious Century

I recently saw The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button in which the central character (played by Brad Pitt) reverse ages (bodily) from decrepitude to infancy. This peculiar concept is the side-effect of a supernatural wish-fulfillment described in the movie. It is a stirring and moving film and well-worth seeing. The make-up effects alone are impressive.

The overall effect of the film is to see a whole lifetime depicted in just a few hours. I enjoyed this aspect as several decades of the Twentieth Century were evoked in the many scenes of the film and last century fascinates me. I even was fooled by the supernatural aspect of the story into thinking that the 'time-traveling' of the central character was itself supernatural. I had to remind myself that the other central character (played by Cate Blanchett) also experiences the passage of decades in the same way and she is aging normally.

So life is depicted in a forward direction despite the gimmick of the story. We all experience this traversing of time. We all witness changes. Moving at normal speed (rather than the skipping of chunks of life as happens in movies) we sometimes miss those changes as they are too gradual. Sometimes however we do notice - in so many movies as in non-fiction one notices how different the world seems before and after World War II (and that is so also in this movie).

I have witnessed all or part of four decades so far. I wonder what is next in store.



  • I've not seen that film, but on the death of someone close to me, it occurred to me that, relative to those of us still living, he is moving into the past. He always was drawn to the idea of time travel.

    By Blogger Jac, At 23 January, 2009  

  • My condolences Jac. Your comment put me in mind of a particular image (which I hope is okay with you):

    The living are in a boat sailing upstream. However once a person dies they fall into the water and start moving downstream as we continue to move upstream.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 30 January, 2009  

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