Saturday, November 10, 2007

Movie Musings: A Movie is Nothing

The floor of the old convenience store is wooden and dirty. I walk slowly towards the counter. Things are slow and easy in my world, as familiar as the sound of my cowboy boots on the old wood.

A man, useless and red faced, is standing at the counter.

"How much for these? And the gas?" I say picking up a small bag of sunflower seeds. I open them slowly and begin eating them one at a time.
"Will there be anything else for you, sir?" he asks as if he didn't hear me.

Weak and stupidly polite. The rest of our exchange seems so mildly confrontational, but in the end we are negotiating for the man's life and he knows it.

Today I saw the movie "No Country for Old Men." And I'll confess because I'm sort of proud of this even though most of you might think it's nuts, but who cares what you all think of my movie goings? I saw "No Country for Old Men " at the 1:55 pm show and then again at the 4:50 pm show. Same theater, paid for it twice.

Why did I do that? Because I can do whatever the fuck I want, that's why. I don't have anybody to bitch at me or anyone to tell me that what I REALLY want to do is somehow wrong or stupid or not what THEY want to do.

Now when I say I couldn't take my eyes off this film, I mean that literally and I have the movie tickets to prove it. I loved this film. I loved it's uncompromising ending. I loved the cast, but especially Javier Bardem. If you want something that's going to be a clean, tidy and satisfying ending on a meditation about the nature of evil then don't go see this movie because you won't like it.

What I liked best about it was watching the characters closely. They are all vividly drawn and a wonderful study for when I think about my own characters. Even the minor characters, the ones who only had a part of a scene, are vivid and distinctive. The dialog is just great. Some great lines there.

On the other hand, a movie is nothing. It's a bunch of lies called a story that flashes up there on the screen so you can sit in the dark (or in your living room) staring. Sometimes such a thing can elicit an emotional response or make you think or be enjoyable, but that's it. I don't think it's all that much. I passed two young women on the way out of the mall where the movie was playing and they were chatting about how "cute" all these useless Christmas displays were, how much they loved certain stores. I looked around and everyone was carrying a large shopping bag. I can't believe I used to be like those girls at one time. I can't believe I used to believe that shopping was a recreational activity.

(and what's more, I can't believe that men want to fall in love with such shallow girls, even men my age. they don't seem to care about them shopping and cooing about Christmas displays. as long as they're young, thin and "hot" that's all they're interested in).

Which is "better" watching a bunch of lies called a movie (or book for that matter) or supporting our economy by going shopping (and sounding like a dipshit while you're at it)? Since I consider myself one of the "liars" who make up stories, I'm going to go with making up a bunch of "lies" as the better activity. At least I'm moved and intrigued. Is that better? I don't know.

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