Species Thoughts

When Peter Jackson’s KING KONG opened in 2005, I realized that I was a thrill seeker at the movies and, in fact, always had been.  Epics from GONE WITH THE WIND to LAWRENCE OF ARABIA to GANDHI thrilled my soul.  I saw some of these epics on tv by necessity — they were before my time — but epic is always BIG and even better on the wide screen. KING KONG was a thrill maker, an adventurers’ adventure.  I’d forgotten the dinosaurs (there in the 1933 original).  And Adrian Brody isn’t much of a hero.  But what this version of the movie got right was species thinking.  Thinking between species.  Or, of that’s too much, the kinds of feelings between species that any pet owner knows exists.  Or any fans of KING KONG.  The 2005 Ann loves King Kong and sees (as 1933’s Fay Wray did not) that he wants to protect her and, like her, loves beauty. He wants to take her far away from the 1930s crowd, always vulgar in the film. I’m thinking about KONG because I am teaching it this week. But it’s part of who we are too.