Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Local Hero

The characters in Local Hero were reflections of the frameworks discussed by Carlson.  In particular, Ben's personification of the aesthetics of engagement was an example of the downfalls of Carlson's argument.  Ben was the one character in the film who was not willing to compromise with the oil company.  His argument was partially aesthetic even though he had only minor qualifications for an aesthetic judgment according to Carlson.  He uses myth and symbol to appreciate his home more than science and form.  Contemporary use and history also contributed to his appreciation and may redeem his judgment a little.

Furthermore, Ben primarily evaluates the beach as his home, not just territory or terrain.  The place and setting he focuses on are where he finds true beauty.  His home is not merely beautiful, but irreplaceable for Ben.  Ben's connection to the beach made it impossible for the oil company to buy it from him.  It is that engagement with the beach that makes it so special for Ben.  This is reflected in his aesthetic appreciation and makes it the most powerful in the film.  This is where Carlson's theory is lacking.  Many people appreciate nature through the curriculum Carlson provides.  However, the disregard for other sources of appreciation undermines appreciation through engagement such as Ben's.

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