Monday, October 6, 2008

Standard Operating Procedure

S.O.P. *finally* made it to Paris, and though it was - as everyone told me it would be - very disappointing, I am happy I rushed out to see it. The problem with all of Morris's mediocre films is that they don't know what they want to be. So is this film an interrogation of the reality claims of photographs in general? Is it an indictment of the upper echelons of US military and government? In particular, the complete refusal to take responsibility for the war in Iraq? Is it a portrait of the people behind the cameras and in the photographs taken at Abu Ghraib? Or is it about something else? I don't know. But if it is about one of the above, it doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. S.O.P. looks just fabulous. With his fancy digital equipment, Morris comes up with some wonderful images and images of images. But I can't say the big budget would not have been better spent on supporting a more political film. Go see it, if for no other reason than to engage in dinner party conversations about the Abu Ghraib. A conversation that should be had at ever dinner table until the troops are out of there. 

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