Saturday, March 06, 2010

Michael Moriarty's Close Reading of Communism/Progressivism in "On The Water Front"

Michael Moriarty is great actor and a serious scholar. I learned that Mr. Moriarty had Chicago roots ( Grandfather was baseball great George Moriarty - born in 'Back O' The Yards and buried at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Evergreen Park). Mr. Moriarty played Henry Wiggen in the great American film Bang the Drum Slowly.

Mr. Moriarty writes for Big Hollywood. The other day Moriarty presented a close reading of Elia Kazan's classic film On The Waterfront and presented some sobering thoughts on American Political culture, Marlon’s Mao: Part Three.

Michael Moriarty is a good read. Click my post title for the full article.

Here is a sample:

Close Reading/Reading to Write
Definition of genre

Close reading—usually of a written text, but quite possibly of a film, a painting, or another work of art—is the first stage in writing an essay that responds to or builds upon the ideas in the original text. That is why a close reading is sometimes called “reading to write” or “reader response.” Rather than merely extracting facts from the text, a close reading prepares you to analyze it critically through your own writing.
This, the Great American Tragedy of Communism’s homicidal insistence upon invading America as a “Progressive Movement” – the assassination of the very Catholic President John F. Kenney being one of its most disgracefully high points – will, I have massive faith, eventually turn out to be just another triumph of America over the mortal enemies of her infinitely and universally resonant Declaration of Independence.
Here, while basking in the relevance of On The Waterfront, I suddenly see the cosa nostra metaphor, the Brechtian fascination with Chicago mobs, the Obama administration’s Red-packed Czardom and Mao Zedong himself as the Godfather of all Godfathers … this mounting tower of Progressive Babel, making absolutely no sense whatsoever unless you have a ruthless mob willing to enforce it.
Our Second Amendment?!
If we don’t have weapons in our hands, the enlightened despots still know that we’re packing heat.
Most important is our American knowledge of the truth and the power of love.
With our government now run by no more than an Ivy-league educated, gangster’s mob, I recall Terry Malloy’s reluctant acceptance of a pistol from his doomed lawyer brother who insists – following one of screen history’s greatest moments of acting, Rod Steiger’s resigned and tragic sigh, the beginning of his surrender to the inevitability of his own death – “You’re gonna need it!”
Here is where, even before Karl Malden’s firey priest makes his re-entrance, God begins to arrive.
Then, of course, the hair-raising race down the darkened alley when Terry Malloy and Edie Doyle first barely escape being run down by Johnny Friendly’s hit team truck, then see the hanging, dead body of Rod Steiger.
Brando’s childlike plea to Eva Marie Saint to take care of his brother’s now fallen body, that gun in his possession, ready to do business.
Terry goes to Friendly’s bar to reek revenge upon his brother’s killers. With his hand still bleeding from the near-death escape with Edie, Terry hunches on the bar, gun in hand, to await the arrival of Johnny Friendly.
Who shows up?
A priest … a Catholic priest.
God again!!

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