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House M.D.: House's Head (2008)
These episodes keep getting better...
A month ago when the episode wherein a doctor trapped in the antarctic must perform medical practices on herself and her partner, everybody--including myself--seemed to think that that was the best House episode ever. Now, just two episodes later, I find the same thing coming from my mouth.
This episode is absolutely incredible. It's enthralling and weird, and really defies the usual House formula of "Faint or seize, credits, convince House to take case, diagnosis one, screw up, diagnosis two, screw up, random dialogue, five minute long expression of realization, diagnosis three, success, credits." Let me just say that the last few episodes of this season have managed to create more positive feelings towards Amber, and that for a few seconds on the screen, House shows a little more desperation to save someone than we have ever seen. It's an incredible episode. If you haven't watched it, you need to.
The Laramie Project (2002)
What is important is that we, the audience, suffer with the citizens of Laramie, and are better for it.
I have just recently moved to Denver, Colorado from Boise, Idaho. We drove all the way down here, and as we entered Wyoming, or sometime before we left it (I cannot remember which) I saw the town Laramie on the sign. I had heard the name before but couldn't remember exactly the significance of the town.
It wasn't until after I had seen the movie Hostage with Bruce Willis in it, and had checked who the actor who played Mars Krupcheck was also in The Laramie Project. I remember my friend Ricky telling me about the Laramie Project, that it covered the story of the gay boy who had been savagely beaten to death there.
Matthew Sheppard was a college kid attending the University of Wyoming. He had left the Fireside Bar with two other boys. They had hit him in the back of the head with a pistol and tied him to a fence post, beat him some more, stole his shoes and money, and left him for dead. This scene is never depicted in the movie. In fact, Matthew Sheppard does not make an appearance, even in a photograph.
Being a homosexual myself, this movie held a great amount of significance for me. Sitting through, and watching the information presented to the audience through Sheppard's families and friends, of the religious figures in the movie... all of it hit very close to home. I cried almost all the way through this movie. I didn't just feel sorry for Matthew and his family. I felt sorry for the perpetrators, sorry for what they had allowed themselves to do.
I've always been pro-death penalty, and I still am, but I think that if I had been in Matthew's position, I would not have wanted those two boys killed.
The movie, while slightly off at times, is amazingly touching. I can't stress that enough. If you have ever pondered what it's like to live in a town that is defined by a crime, if you've ever wondered what it was like to go through such a situation, this is the right movie. We may have had nothing to do with the events in Laramie, or we may have even been there the day it happened. What is important is that we, the audience, suffer with the people depicted in this movie, and that we are better because of it.