Saturday, March 01, 2008

Talking to Salvo

I am very happy to note that I will be doing a regular podcast and print interview for Salvo Magazine which editor Bobby Maddex proposed to me as, "How about I just call you up every quarter and you can talk about whatever it is you are thinking about pop-culturewise?" This is an irresistible offer to me because I just can't seem to find the time, discipline and favorable conditions lately to write a proper article. And also, I really like Salvo which I think is smart and hip, and I am honored to be part of it.

We recorded our first interview this week, and it was basically an Oscar redux. Here is Bobby's article teasing the interview which will appear in the next issue of Salvo.

A snip....

In Salvo 5, I talk to Barbara Nicolosi, a Hollywood screenwriter and film critic, about Juno, as well as the other films nominated for academy awards this year. She, too, admires Juno, but will not concede that it is a pro-life movie. Indeed, when I contend that 2007 was the year of the pro-life film, citing Knocked Up, Juno, Waitress, and Bella, she is quick to correct me with a very compelling argument.

According to Nicolosi, such films do not reflect pro-life attitudes, but rather culture-of-life attitudes. Here's the distinction:

Those constituting the new generation of filmmakers responsible for Juno et al. care little for either the pro-life or pro-choice political positions. The debate between these positions was the province of the Boomers, and for this reason alone they do not participate in it. At the same time, this is a generation (in which I count myself) that grew up with photographs of sonograms on the refrigerator, making it extremely difficult for those within it to deny that embryos are children. It is also a generation that exhibits a sort of collective survivor guilt, elicited by the knowledge that many within it were themselves the victims of abortion, which has resulted in an avoidance of the practice whenever possible. This in part explains why abortion rates are falling.

Consequently, Nicolosi maintains that 2007 was not so much the year of the pro-life movie as the first indication that we are entering a new culture of life that is being built in response to the culture of death that has held sway since the Sixties. Generation X or the Millennials or whatever you want to call them (us) may not pay lip service to the pro-life position, but they are actually doing something far better. They are actively choosing life. And this, says Nicolosi, is reason for hope. Hope for the culture and hope for the kinds of stories that will be told by the next generation of filmmakers. In the end, maybe such hope is what I actually experienced while watching Juno, and perhaps it is hope that explains why I can't stop thinking about the film.

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