Sunday, August 24, 2008

all things that are good

O Brother Where Art Thou?
Planet Terror
Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O'connor)

George Clooney is fricking hilarious as an idiot. I hope he does many more pictures with the Coens. The thing I loved most about O Brother was the music, or just generally watching George Clooney be an idiot. He does a great idiot as Miles Massey in Intolerable Cruelty too. The best scene for me was in Woolworth's was when he leaned in close to Holly Hunter saying, "I have travelled many a weary mile to be with my wife and my six girls. . . " and she gives him a look like she might rip his clothes off and make out with him but really she's super pissed at him and keeps telling the daughters how he was hit by a train. If I was Holly Hunter I probably would have wanted about 45909 takes of that scene. The Coens have a great way of seeing the ridiculous humor in life, even if it's a dark humor. Things still pretty much end okay in their films.

Robert Rodriguez really knows how to make a film. Planet Terror for me was like Halloween 3, Season of the Witch but done well and with zombies instead of robots. I have to protest a little with the kid shooting his head off in the car, just because it's really disturbing and I don't know necessary (better than being ripped apart by zombies?). Or is he putting the blame on the mother for leaving him in that car, alone with a loaded gun? Maybe old man Brolin got him, who knows. Even though I know that Rodriguez has 4 boys and that he'll know things and make decisions (re: kids in film) in a different way than the childless Tarantino, it seems to me Tarantino and Uma Thurman had more rapport going when it came to being parentally sensitive. I don't think any **actual** mother would have left her child alone in the car where zombies might get him, especially with a loaded gun. (Blind Mary INgalls leaving the baby in the burning school while she helps OTHER KIDS? No.) Hit the road and don't look back, DAKOTA. See? Beatrix Kiddo would never have done that.

A Good Man is Hard to Find: Very, very disheartening. Who shoots babies? Is the theme of this story that these kids were brats, the parents didn't teach them to be better, more respectful, so they had it coming? Very disturbing. I thought of how stories like these are realistic, in the run of things, since the world is so full of disturbing events, normally. To deny this is to deny reality. I just don't know if I like read about it or watch it, this disturbing reality. I sometimes prefer my rose-colored false reality where everything is all right, people are basically good at heart, and love is enough.

Which brings me to Anne Lamott. I loved her book, Bird by Bird, but I got the distinct feeling that she has led a very jaded, manic life. Does everything have to be so damned dismal? She's very clever and a great teacher of the craft of writing, but sometimes I had to wonder if someone with a more optimistic approach could have written the same thing with a more uplifting, positive feel to it. You can tell right away if someone is pissed at the world. . . I think she might be.