Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On Cinema

I saw two great movies last week: I'm Not There and No Country For Old Men. The first is the fictionalization of Bob Dylan's life from the time of his emergence to his motorcycle crash in 1966. Dylan is portrayed by six different characters, none of whom actually go by Dylan's name. The best moments are provided by Cate Blanchett - she captures all of Dylan's posturing, nervousness, deceit and brilliance - and by Jim James and Calexico's rendition of Going to Acapulco. The rest of the movie is merely great.

No Country For Old Men is something different entirely. I did not enjoy a minute of it. I cannot wait to see it again. The brothers Coen have not made their best movie, but they have set a recent standard for faithful adaptation of a novel and for unremitting tension. If you want to get a sense of what happens when a man takes on a task and a landscape bigger then himself, unaware of its danger and sure of his ability, watch this movie and consider how ignoble and plain is the protagonist's end.

That shall likely be it until the New Year, so best of the season to my three readers.


burlivespipe said...

I completely concur with No Country... It left my skin crawling, the villan was so evil and almost cut from a horror movie. The doomed fate of so many characters, almost all likeable and human in some way, seeped through and left a stain on my memory.
I'd have to say it is one of their top-5 films. But I'm not certain that I care to sit through it immediately, and it is a film that will take on a completely different meaning come a second viewing.

Jim Johnson said...

Peter, I've seen neither, but thought I'd say Happy New Year. Jim