Friday, January 24, 2003

enough rage and helplessness and your love turns to something else .... steaming piss

Given that Atlanta is reeling from a cold wave and yesterday's barometer dipped to as low as -9 oC, our choice of movie was quite apt: Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter: a lyrical temporally fragmented adaptation of Russell Bank's acclaimed novel. This moral tale of the human condition explores the lives of families in the aftermath of a disaster in a remote town in British Columbia. Egoyan eschews all trademarks of Hollywood kitsch or pretentious nonsense to avail of a cold bleak landscape (just like Chris Nolan did a few years later in Insomnia), excellent performances and an interesting soundtrack to aid a juxtaposition of Robert Browning's "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and give us a dream-like examination of the fragile ties that bind.

The film reminded me of Peter Bogdanovich's critically acclaimed The Last Picture Show, but scored over that, at least for me. I have more respect for Bogdanovich as a film student and writer than as a director. TLPS was, despite all its apparent merits, a Hollywood-style exploration of human suffering, grief and nostalgia. Something I've come to get tired of.

Coincidentally, a month ago, I read Russell Banks' essay in The Best American Movie Writing: 2001 documenting his satisfaction with the adaptations of The Sweet Hereafter and Afflliction.

Next up on a to-watch list: Affliction. Other films by Egoyan. On the to-read list (ever-growing): Russell Banks.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.