There is a lot to praise about No Country For Old Men, the latest effort of the Cohen Bros (and the bleakest Western this side of The Great Silence). The rugged choreography, the relentlessly graphic yet understated violence, the abruptly ended story archs which owe more to the unsatisfying randomness of reality than the crowd-pleasing conventions of narratology. All in all, pretty much an upgraded return to their first Texan film (and directorial debut), Blood Simple.
Yet still, it is the incomprehensible evil in the form of Prince Valiant-haired Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), dispatching unfortunate victims with a cattle stun gun, which will haunt this viewer for ages. John Doe, Hannibal Lecter and Keyzer Söze will now have to make room in the Pantheon of Penultimate Cinematic Evil for a new name.
If you haven’t already done it, go read the official Evil Atheist Conspiracy Novel™ of the season. As you’ve probably noticed, the screen adaptation has set the fundietards reeling.)
On a related note, I think The Parable of the Hobbit Necromancer Commandos has some genuine meme potential. If nothing else, it’s a most welcome variation from those orbiting teapots and pink invisible unicorns.
In one of the grander mischaracterizations in cinematic history, American distributors promoted the 1953 Ingmar Bergman film Summer with Monika as a lurid exploitation flick. No telling if The Virgin Spring was recut as rape-revenge, or Winter Light as a nunsploitation feature.
…and suddenly, it makes perfect sense that James Cameron might be the director.
I so wish Arnold was right about this, but I’m afraid it’s a little too naive. One of the local competitors would probably just fill the empty slot, and we’d end up dealing with Manichaean creationists or Zoroastrian dominionists instead. It would be kinda cool to hear the State of the Nation speech end with “And may the mighty Peacock Angel Melek Taus continually bless America”, though.
I don’t provide the analysis of accuracy – just the link. Let’s just say I’ve seen weirder things on real Russian public broadcasts.
(Oh, and while we’re at it anyway… here’s the glorious main theme of the show. Pure pop euphoria.)
Filed under Film, Humor, Music
“There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie Boy, and Dim. And we sat in the Korova Milk Bar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova Milk Bar sold milk plus – milk plus vellocet, or synthemesc, or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old Ultra-violence.”
(Alex DeLarge, A Clockwork Orange)
I absolutely adore A Clockwork Orange – and that’s not merely because I’m a professed Kubrick fan. There is just so much to like about it – its harsh dystopia, mesmerizing protagonist, inventive language, retro-futurist aesthetics and nihilistic yet strongly ethical message.
One of the other likeable things is the opening theme by Wendy Carlos (who went on to make the equally jarring score for The Shining, among others) – a chilling electronic adaptation of Henry Purcell’s The Queen’s Funeral March. Thankfully, there are a few souls out there who seem to think likewise. So until I finally make up my rassoodocks and record my readings of the script*, you can keep up with some gorgeous renditions of the main theme.
The original 1695 version, for trumpets and church organ.
Mirko Peruzzi, random Italian shirtless guy.
*I’ll probably put up some readings at YT as soon as I get hold of a decent webcam.
Ingmar Bergman, one of the greatest film auteurs ever, is dead. For once, I actually feel genuine grief – perhaps due to the fact that Bergman’s films always held a special significance for those of us who, like him, grew up in religious households. Farewell dude, and thanks a bunch.
Smiles of a summer night
Through a glass darkly/Winter Light/The Silence
Fanny and Alexander