Monday, November 3, 2014

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), the former Birdman superhero in three Hollywood blockbusters, has come to New York and Broadway seeking relevancy. Toward that end, he's the writer, star and director of a play based on a Raymond Chandler story.

Question No. 1: Is it only Riggan who needs to be relevant? Or is that what all of us are looking for? On the street outside the theater, a man recites Shakespeare's soliloquy, "All the world's a stage; and we are merely players."

The Chandler play is about love. But does being relevant trump being loved?

Birdman is a stunning movie, visually, aurally and intellectually. It asks a lot of questions but never crosses over to pretension.

Remember the old philosophy question: If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Birdman, which gives us much to ponder about our digital age, updates that inquiry. If you achieve a feat and it's not mentioned on social media, did you really accomplish anything?

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