The Universal Language of Babel, Rune, and Apocalypto

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Today's movies and what they are saying about us.

It's becoming more and more obvious that, people are interested in other cultures, now more than ever. And with the internet virtually connecting the world's 6 billion people to each other, people may just be finding that there aren't as many differences between them and their Asian, Russian or Inuit counterparts as they thought. Movies like Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel" (http://www.babelmovie.com) delve into and demonstrate what seem to be monumental cultural and linguistic differences but ultimately conclude that a human being is a human being. What really seems to make people different is economics, and even that doesn't go that deep. What seems to be creeping to the surface of these films more and more is the unavoidable conclusion that all human's are prone to feelings of desperation, capable of tremendous strength, have an undying survival instinct and need to feel connected to other people. These works of film appear to share a thread that unifies their collective voice saying, a human being is a human being is a human being and there is no other kind.

In terms of language, Mel Gibson's recent work spans the gambit, employing the all but dead ancient Aramaic in his celebrated if controversial work, "The Passion of the Christ". His latest work, "Apocalypto", is a film entirely in the Mayan language, another one of the lasting languages that is still spoken today but is part of the ancient tongues that many linguists in the last century believed held clues to reconstructing the mythical Urlanguage -- or first language from which all modern languages may have emerged. Some movies prefer to tackle the issues head on; Arayna Thomas and S.E. Kenlon's "Rune" (http://www.runethemovie.com) takes a more sci-fi approach putting out the idea that all humans actually have the ability, albeit dormant, to communicate because all people of the world descend from a time when human beings spoke only one language -- again supporting the notion that even one of the most obvious differences could be overcome with some collective effort.

Other films like Vadim Perelman's "House of Sand and Fog" attempt to show how age, background, language and race are superficial differences that don't stand up on their own, the humanness of the person under all that is no more than that and when the chips are down, a person, any person, will fight for their livelihood. "Lost in Translation", by Sofia Coppola, shows how incredibly isolated a person can feel when surrounded by people that do not share their language. It seems that these myriad works from filmmakers from various socioeconomic backgrounds are part of a crazy-guy on the street, if you will, type of voice screaming that all human's are prone to feelings of desperation, capable of tremendous strength, have an undying survival instinct and need to feel connected to other people. In short, all humans are, in a very real all-encompassing sense, the same. These works of film appear to share a thread that unifies their collective voice saying that a human being is a human being is a human being and there is no other kind. To many this may seem obvious, but the works keep being made with the similar themes over the years, and increasingly more so in recent years, and when held up against the world's climate one has to ask themselves: is it really that obvious?

Billing Block, which should be accurate and in proper order.

BABEL | Directed by ALEJANDRO GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU | Written by GUILLERMO ARRIAGA, based on an idea by IÑÁRRITU and ARRIAGA | Produced by JON KILIK and STEVE GOLIN | Released by Paramount Vantage | http://www.babelmovie.com
Babel was released October 27, 2006 in select cities.

RUNE | Directed by ARAYNA THOMAS & S.E. KENLON | Written by ARAYNA THOMAS | Executive Producer DAVID VELOZ | Released by YOUR SLATE HERE | http://www.runethemovie.com
Rune was released October 10, 2006 as the first feature film to premiere on the iPod

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Henry Eshelman

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