Saturday, January 19, 2008

the new coen brothers' film no country for old men ...

( picture of mccarthy and the coens reproduced without permission from time magazine )

you couldn't ask for better evocations of the western landscape than cormac macarthy's

he is a writers' writer

blood meridian and no country for old men are beautifully written stories which i regret having read because they are so disturbingly violent

for many people the depiction of violence in any art form tends to have a kind of pornographic fascination ... many of the cinema's customers could best be described as "users" ... so i've always tended to avoid films that are remarked for their violence & i can't justify going to see this one ... i'm not sure that the tradition of the violent western is needed any longer although i'm willing to accept that the arts must always be free to respond to whatever is fundamental in human existence

however ... despite these gripes, i did enjoy this article about the actor tommy lee jones in yesterday's guardian

1 comment:

Jmhouse said...

As a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy, I'd have to say that his violence always comes with a price, whether metaphorical or actual. The portrayal of violence without any acknowledgment of the damaged motivations and unforgivable consequences thereof is, as you say, unjustifiable. McCarthy, on the other hand, always has a point to his blood and it is never painless to recognize, which is proper. My other favorite book of McCarthy's (alongside Blood Meridian) is Suttree, placed in my old home of Knoxville, Tennessee. It is much less bloody than McCarthy's other books and is a sensitive and compassionate study of the dispossessed. I'd recommend it!