Journal: News & Comment

Thursday, December 22, 2005
# 2:20:00 PM:

Crying for Kong

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King KongKing Kong is a fantastic movie, in both senses of the word: it's extremely good, and it is a grand fantasy, showing us places and things that could never exist, or which are long gone, and yet in which we can believe for the moment. I doubt anything else, for instance, could do as good a job of showing us in 2005 what the New York of the mid-1930s looked and felt like, at least in legend.

My seven-year-old daughter came with me, and she is just old enough to handle it, I think. She hid her eyes from the scariest things (no, not the giant swamp maggots or dinosaurs or Kong himself—that would be the people, especially the human residents of Skull Island), but she loved the movie. And, because she is young and among the few moviegoers in the world who didn't know the story beforehand, it is the first film where she cried at the end.

Her first experience with movie tragedy frightened her a little—I don't think she expected her emotional reaction to the film. But we discussed it and I told her that it was okay, that sometimes movies make us sad, as well as excited and scared and amazed. To take a fundamentally silly, if mythic, concept and make it work so well is quite an achievement. I sniffled too.


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