Monday, December 28, 2009

The Road (2009)

What can I say that hasn't been said about this movie. It is a scary and upsetting film about the end of days. I had to catch this film before it vanished from theaters. With Avatar and all the new holiday films glutting up the theater screens I raced to the theater before the distributor pulls it. I understand why not many people have seen this film. It's a hard film to watch. There is no Mad Max action that usually is standard in films that deal with the Apocalypse of civilization. Maybe the film "2012" seems to have covered that territory and more audiences went to see that then "The Road".

I haven't seen "2012" and from the coming attractions I'll wait for the DVD. I know I'll miss the spectacle of the end of day shots that Roland Emmerich has compiled for the BIG screen, but I'll put my money on John Hillcoat's version of the end of the world thank you very much.

Why? You ask. Simple. It's a better film. The mood, the feel, and the performances of its actors in "the Road" are all of top notch quality. It is this quality that makes the film a real masterpiece of cinema. I'm not putting Mr. Emmerich's film down. After all sometimes spectacle is really cool, and fun. But for true heart "the Road" will have you gripping the theaters chair not from suspense, but of the sheer emotional onslaught that the film will deliver to your senses. "The Road is based on the book by Cormac McCarthy who wrote "No Country for Old Men". The filmmaker follows the book from what I am told, and it's because of this that the film is so powerful. There is not much dialogue in this film. The musical score is haunting, along with it's cinematography., but not just one element can be singled out in this film. It is ALL these elements that make the film such a powerful viewing experience.

Viggo Mortensen, and Kodi McPhee give outstanding performances. I have to say all the performances in the film are top notch. Charlize Theron is and will always be an actress who is severely under-appreciated.

If you can. Go see this film before it leaves the theaters. It's worth seeing. It's a film that stays with you for awhile, and that's a good thing. It makes you appreciate the here and now, and what we have, and maybe makes you even think about how dark it can become. This is a dark film, and one that grips you from beginning to end. Maybe not something you would see around the holidays, but if you do yourself a favor and love cinema I suggest you go see it. It's a film that is timeless, and will eventually become a classic.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bless you Tiny Tim!

Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" has been played out on stage and screen for longer then Dickens was alive, and yet several adaptations of the story have become classics. On of my favorites is the one with George C. Scott. Maybe it's because of nostalgic reasons I like it a lot, but seeing it does make me well up, and get emotional. I was watching that very version the other night with my mom, and thought that that's what a film really needs to do. It needs to move me. It's kind of cathartic when one sees a good movie that hits the viewer with a variety of emotions which we all share.

I've been silent because in this season of what has become a consumers nightmare of overload I've stepped back. Maybe it's because I'm older and I have kids, or maybe it's just getting back to basics for me. Where's the fun, and the excitement of it all. Personally I see a lot of ups and downs headed my way, and I'm sure many of you out there also see the same. I also grimace at not working at what I love to do, and that is making films.

For all its chaos and frustration film making is still a fun endeavor to do, and one I find rewarding. I complain of lack of time, lack of money, and lack of just plain faith, but its all excuses really. If you have the will to do something creative usually that creative spark finds a way out. It's like you can't contain the spark within oneself for too long. With all the tools available to an artist now in today's age there is a way to self expression no matter what the odds are.

Which brings me to this little entry. No more words, it's time to throw up things and see where they land. Being that movie making is a collaborative art form it is time to bring others into the fold. My idea is like a rock, and I need to toss it out there. Like a rock hitting water the ripples do occur and spread out hitting other ripples. Ideas are no good alone. They need to be shared, and talked about. Maybe the idea becomes something different, and evolves, but it all starts with and idea. Your idea.

The currency we use is our own desire to self expression. Meeting other artists who want to do the same is the key. The desire for a story to be told is all that is needed. The how's, the whys, and the what's will be answered by others who see differently then you, yet also share a desire to tell a story.

Of course there is reality. Nothing happens in a vacuum. The realities are family, finance, time, location, etc, etc, etc. One overcomes when one needs to. Life is to brief to think otherwise.

People talk about plans and business proposals when they should think more outside the box. If the system is broken, or different then work with it, and be innovative. Do what you love. If you love it that much that idea should rise to the top and be heard. If not, it doesn't matter. The desire is to tell a story or stories is what matters. Dickens did so, and was not compensated for his work very well in his time. I won't compare myself to Dickens, but I will dream of his greatness through reading and or watching his stories.

Now go out there and be the story teller you want to be, and be unconventional. The time is now, because you hear that BIG clock tick, tick, ticking away. That's your life going on by, and there is so much to be said before one is through. Thanks Mr. Dickens for the stories.