Jon Polito Saying 'Ethics'


In the opening of the great, great, great Miller’s Crossing, Mr. Jon Polito describes the importance of being able to trust a fixed fight, concluding with spreading his hands and saying: ‘So back we go to these questions–friendship, character, ethics.’

The black hole of irony, and Mr. Polito’s utter commitment to his character’s belief is what I think about whenever I see characters acting evil in movies where we supposed to think of them as good. I can hear him in my head: ‘Ethics’.

Even if we don’t like it, films are about ethics, fables where the moral is the ending. The rogue hero is an archetype not despite this but because of it – their conversion is coming, and generally more interesting than the one who is a nice guy throughout.

Many films, and I’m sorry to say most of them modern, but I haven’t seen all the films from 1954, eschew morality, as it’s assumed that we’re all in for ourselves. This is a tangent of I(S)Q, that we want our characters to be stupid, but not so stupid that we lose all sympathy. They same must logically apply to characters actively actings immorally – that we want some evil, so we like them, but no so much that we can’t pretend that we aren’t actually like that, even if we are.