Wednesday, November 29, 2006

usa, a-okay

I watched miracle last night. it's about the 1980 "miracle on ice" when the us hockey team beat ussr in the olympics. it's your run-of-the-mill sports flick. formula: authoritarian coach, plucky little team with a lot of heart, intimidating rivals. but i like sports, so that's okay. half the time i think sports are another anesthetic or distraction from reality, like the roman circus of old. and the other half of the time, i love how sports can bring people together and how much fun it is to play and watch. depends on the context of it, as is true of everything else in life.

as for the movie and event it documents, i was surprised at how much this hockey game meant in terms of the world politics and the morale of america at the time. it was the us vs. the menacing soviet union, and the game came to symbolize the confrontation between these two power. better than actual nuclear warfare i guess. what if the us had lost? i wonder if things would have unfolded differently. sometimes a game is just a game and sometime it isn't. who's to know?

anyway, it made me think of other cold war era, bordering on american propaganda movies that i like. which i will now discuss, but will have little meaning for people not well versed in pop culture. in no particular order:
red dawn - america is invaded! this movie is every survivalist's fantasy. and who should fend off the enemy in guerrilla warfare but the 80s brat pack stars as high school students? there's something for everyone in red dawn. this movie once held the distinction in the guinness book of world records as most violent movie, with an act of violence occurring on an average of every 2.33 seconds. go wolverines!

Rocky 4 - dude. this might be the top cold war movie ever though. rocky's got his american flag boxing trunks, and ivan drago is so evil, he has a black mouthguard. and rocky's post fight speech singlehandedly inspired mikhail gorbachev to enact the practice of glasnost and perestroika programs that brought an end to communism. seriously.

other memorable films:
top gun (duh)
spies like us
hunt for red october
war games

1 comment:

Nate said...

"Ivan Drago is so evil he has a black mouthguard." Auds, one of the most well-crafted phrases ever to meet my eyes. I'm so glad you have a blog. How you been? All's well in MO, and will be all the better when we relive some Rocky IV action. We'll have to have a marathon when you come over. Jen says hi.