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Friday, October 12, 2007

Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Darjeeling Limited 

Elizabeth: The Golden Age:

Many, many times throughout Elizabeth: The Golden Age, we half-see the action around corners, through windows, peeking through a doorway. The idea is to give us the impression of peeking in on the private life of a very public figure, as it might be seen in short bursts by the faceless servants of her castle. Here is a woman, we are made to consider, who wields power so immense only a dozen other people in the world can match it. And for that power she must sacrifice all semblance of a private life and embrace the persona of “the Queen” in all the minutes of her life. Given who (a woman) and what (a Protestant) she is, her every concession to normality can be taken as weakness, and reason enough for her many enemies to strike. Her private life is half-observed, and so is it also half-lived.

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The Darjeeling Limited:

What is it about India and Westerners, anyway? An extended visit to India rates right up there with “backpacking across Europe” as the number one brag for people aged 20-25 in the United States. And if you’ve ever been trapped in a room with someone who’s just been backpacking across Europe, you know that boast gets very old, very fast. India, at least, is just different enough to be almost alien. And the right people visiting the right locations under the right circumstances can produce something truly great; just look at The White Album.

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