Monday, March 13, 2006

BOY IN BLACK NAMED BLUE

Saw Broken Flowers, the Jim Jarmusch/Bill Murray movie. It was fine, great acting, lots of atmosphere. LOTS of atmosphere. Oh MY GOD—quit it with the atmosphere already! Yes, I understand that Jarmusch was trying to convey the emptiness of Murray's life and he was allowing us to focus on Murray's very subtle transformation, but I need a denser filmgoing experience.

It made me think about the way comics (nonart-comics) are trying harder and harder to seem like movies, but no one's going to the movies anymore. Movies should try to be more like tv. And while I think comics should try to be as much like comics as possible, if they need to be like something else, they should go with tv too.

Also saw Walk the Line by the great James Mangold. I say great because he somehow managed to make Copland a decade ago, despite the fact he clearly had no script. "Line" is the cliff notes/80s tv movie of the week approach to Cash's pre-San Quentin concert life. It's all about the great love story between him and June Carter and manages to fail in the most obvious way, namely what was so important about Johnny and June Carter Cash's lives that was worthy of making a movie? Why are they significant figures in American culture? Why would Phoenix leave his hot wife for a screeching cat who looks like Skeletor? Glow-in-the-Dark Skeletor.

It's filled with all those great bad movie signifiers. The dad is an alcoholic, so here is the scene where is is drunk and yelly. Cash slept with other women? Here's the scene with him walking out of somewhere with TWO girls. Ok. Done. June Carter is an embarasment to her family? Here's the drugstore scene where a woman calls her immoral.

If Broken Flowers suffered from driving a single point home too hard, Line suffers from a complete lack of focus. It also suffers from not playing all of "Ring of Fire." Or ANY of "A Boy Named Sue." What crap.

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