Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Number 23: A fable about confessional self-publishing

The Number 23 (2007, New Line Cinema, 95 min, director Joel Schumacher, R) opened in area theaters on Friday February 23, 2007 (when else?), and follows on to the theme, in the previous post, of thrillers dealing with the general problem of artistic people wanting to reveal the truth and publish it, even if the truth turns out to be their own misdeeds. Schumacher had already visited this area with a dark film about snuff "8 mm" in 1999, and again we have a film noir looking low tech although filmed in present day (actually in Florida). Here, a dogcatcher (Jim Carrey) has written a book, self-published and self-printed, and it even looks like a typewritten original, without computers. (Why doesn't his gifted teenage son played by Logan Lerman (from "Jack & Bobby") solve the mystery by surfing the Internet?) It turns out that the wrong man is in prison for a murder, and Sparrow (Carrey's character) doesn't remember writing his own book, which indeed is an evidentiary confession.

The concept of a film like this is interesting now, given all of the media coverage during the past eighteen months about the tendency for many young people to incriminate themselves on social networking sites and blogs.

I've noticed that more and more films list studio teachers in the closing credits. The kind of teens that play in the movies these days probably don't need any academic supervision, even though the law would require it.

The film offers a clever quote from Numbers 32:23 ".... Be sure your sin will find you out."

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