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Passions in Poetry

Masked and Anonymous

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Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


0 posted 07-11-2004 05:28 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Critics have called this movie egotistical and pointless.  But to say this movie is pointless is to say that a roller coaster just goes around in a big circle.  It may be a fact but it doesn't quite catch the reality that the ride is a lot of fun.  Unlike the roller coaster though -- this flick takes about as many directions as it has stars.  There's Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, Cheech Marin, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Bauer, Luke Wilson, Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Penelope Cruz, and.. too many more to string together in a coherent constellation.

As soon as the viewer thinks he might know where the plot is going to tie everything together it unravels into a new metaphor and you begin to feel the movie's question 'Would you reach out your hand to a drowning man if you thought he might pull you in?'  is exactly what's happened here.

In this place that isn't quite a place Bob (Jack Fate) is the ultimate protagonist caught up in a stream of civil war and violence he seems oblivious to.  Jessica Lange asks 'In this day and age what does war mean?'  and once again Bob has answered -- blowin in the wind.

It will take me several viewings of the DVD to try to begin to comprehend the layers and layers here, but the subtlety, music, acting, and imagery will make it an easy path to walk again and again.  And in the end -- that may be the point.  There is no point except the journey.

Uncle Sweethart -- the smarmy promoter played by John Goodman -- may have the best take as he tries to describe one of Dylan's songs.  It's about trying to do good by manipulating the forces of evil.

Whatever it is... I liked it.

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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1 posted 07-11-2004 05:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

You talked me into it.

heading to netflix now!

Thanks Reb.

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


2 posted 07-11-2004 05:40 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Done deal. It's next on the mailing list.

I'll let you know what I think (when have I ever NOT?)



thanks again!

Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


3 posted 07-12-2004 12:23 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ah, good to know I wasn't the last one to this party  

It's an interesting slam against the music/show biz and isn't afraid to take on the fans too.

A mother approaches Bob with her young daughter and tells him that she (the daughter) has memorized all his songs.

Bob replies, "Now why in the world would anybody bother to do that?"

It would be an interesting discussion to see if others have seen the same meanings in it as I have.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


4 posted 07-15-2004 07:11 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"Uncle Sweethart -- the smarmy promoter played by John Goodman -- may have the best take as he tries to describe one of Dylan's songs.  It's about trying to do good by manipulating the forces of evil."

I liked that part too. I truly did love the speech and there are other moments like that one that appealed to my intellect, but yet, I had to conclude that the entire film was merely an excuse to make those speeches.I think I'm going to go a thumb's down on this one, Reb.

I agree with your assessment here too:

"As soon as the viewer thinks he might know where the plot is going to tie everything together it unravels into a new metaphor"

but I like my metaphors in film to be a bit more subtle and fluid. I didn't see a whole lot of connecting going on between the metaphors--it merely "unraveled".

I think they just tried too hard to be deep.
It reminded me of a student art film at times--a really good student art film--sure, but without that stellar cast? tsk. It was a bit pretentious for my taste, but yet I'm laughing to myself too, because Dylan has been wearing that aura since the sixties. (and I'm a Dylan fan too)

But I'll watch it again to see if the movie just made a bad first impression.

and I've gotta get back to the couch. I've a few movies to watch yet.

"Following" is up next

Thanks for the tip Reb--although it wasn't to my taste, it was certainly interesting.


Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


5 posted 07-15-2004 11:55 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

It was a bit pretentious for my taste, but yet I'm laughing to myself too, because Dylan has been wearing that aura since the sixties. (and I'm a Dylan fan too)



Exactly, I think that's the joke.  What you see as pretentious, the critics see as egotistical, I see as self deprecating humor.  Tom Friend is his alter ego -- come to belittle him by being unimpressed.  He slaps at everything about the biz and most importantly his own image -- a callback to the days when he went electric and half his folk fans went into apocalyptical hysteria.

Where you see student art film style I see a Eugene O'neil play -- not a movie really -- and while it is packed with vignettes to present one-liners -- hey -- isn't that what a song is?  A poem?  Where you see it trying to go deep I see as meaning that it can't go there -- because everything about the biz is shallow..

To wit Uncle Sweethart -- "save the world and make a little money at the same time"

Jack Fate -- "You ain't gonna do none of those things."
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


6 posted 07-16-2004 12:00 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Oh, yeah, and -- I didn't mention the overarcing messiah theme he plays out...
Kellie_Cantrell
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since 05-22-2002
Posts 1680
Washington State


7 posted 07-22-2004 01:47 AM       View Profile for Kellie_Cantrell   Email Kellie_Cantrell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kellie_Cantrell

Sounds interesting! I am going to look for it.
 
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