James Franco Stands up for BlackfishJanuary 10, 2014 • By Sasha Stone
I know he’s famous for his writing in addition to his acting. I guess I never figured he was this good of a writer:
Blackfish could’ve easily been yet another monotonous “save the whales” documentary where they give us all the facts about the human-created plights of whales both in and out of captivity. Instead of preaching and using pretty but uninspired long-lens shots of whales frolicking peacefully in the ocean, the documentary, like so many successful action and crime movies, relies on visceral violence in the context of the age-old battle of man versus Mother Nature. This is amplified by the film’s main setting, an amusement park ostensibly designed for parents hoping to instill joyful memories in their young children. Is the severe trauma of a relative handful of impressionable kids worth the happiness of those who were spared what on the surface are lovely ballets of beast and human but under the waves and splashes are constructs of abuse and violence? When you fuck with animals, it’s inevitable that every once in a while the wild underbelly rises to the surface and someone is killed, and sometimes it’s in front of the children! In the age where there are so many choices for entertainment, it’s overwhelming (and one where, as far as I can tell, young children are more entertained by iPads than anything else), do we really need to be training animals for human amusement anymore? I am not here to answer that question, but it’s not going to do you any harm to ponder it and decide where you stand.
The Academy may or may not nominate Blackfish on January 16. That would be using their power wisely. They are not known for such things. The Act of Killing is still the frontrunner but Blackfish just need a nomination. Fingers crossed.