-Mandela arrived in the mail last week from Netflix. Coincidentally, last week was also the week I taught Mandela's "Rivonia Trial Speech" to my AP students. Reading the speech, which I highly suggest doing here, renders the film's Mandela a rather pale shade of a man too complex for a mere two hours and nineteen minutes. I don't fault the writers, the producers, the director, nor the actors. Simply too much material was crammed into too little space, and that's probably not any one individual's fault. However, allowing the man's life to breathe at a more measured pace would have allowed the politics of the ANC to be placed in the forefront, as well as the true strain placed on Mandela's personal life by his political life. Instead, everything feels constructed within the space of a tiny jail cell, which doesn't work for a subject whose persona was always greater than flesh and blood; metal bars and hard stones. In a way that is not nearly as devastating, the film mimics the white South African government's handling of the controversial figure by compressing and reducing him into a much more palatable flavor of cinematic sheen.
In my mind, the film should have at least been a trilogy (his militancy, his time in prison, his time as President), even though Mandela's life offers enough material for a full blown mini-series in the manner that HBO delivered David McCullough's John Adams. Such space would have also given audiences the opportunity to see Idris Elba push himself for the duration of the event, a la Benicio Del Toro in parts one and two of Che; a film project whose subject may have been less worthy than Mandela of such time and scope.
|ANC call to arms.|
Alright, sermon over. Back to sports.
-David Schoenfield says what every Atlanta Brave fan has at least felt for years and has probably even said for years about Dan Uggla. I had hoped Uggla would display some of his former might at the plat after eye surgery towards the end of last season, but that hasn't happened.
-In a similar vein to Schoenfield's article on Uggla, this SLC Dunk piece on Marvin Williams is more true than I also want to admit. At least we'll always have these memories where Marvin is forever young.
-This surreal BallerBall piece offers a unique take on advanced stats. This BallerBall piece solves everything. This BallerBall piece I wrote just prior to the UK-UCONN championship game.
-Oh, and this Steve McPherson piece on the Spurs, David Foster Wallace, and Wes Anderson over at Hardwood Paroxysm. McPherson also wrote the first BallerBall piece I mentioned in this post, so I guess he's somewhat featured here (or elsewhere).
A year after its release, I've been listening to a lot of The Strokes' Comedown Machine. And I like it. I like it a lot.