Friday, January 16, 2009

Hiding Out

Darkblack has put one of those mysterious links in a comment on my tag of him for the current meme. I figured Darkblack might not want to play, but a woman can dream can't she? Here is the piece from the link and it is quite eloquent. Thank you Darkblack. I now officially have a blog crush on you. So are you male or female--not that it really matters? I have a girl crush on Freida of the Bees and an abiding love for Lisa. I've lusted after Tengrain, and even got a thrill or two from the attention of Kelso and his nuts. The one blogger who used to scare me when he left a comment was Fairlane, and he seems to have taken a long vacation. I hope he returns soon. I liked Jonestown a lot, especially when Fairlane was posting and especially when Scarlet Blue made an appearance. I swear he's kidnapped her and has her locked up somewhere, so hiding out might be a good thing for him.

For now, I'm going to be hiding out trying to finish the final edit on the novel, Maggy. Hang in there with me. I obviously like teh blogging or I'd shut the hell up and get to work.

Gran Torino: Eastwood's Swan Song

If you liked Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, you'll probably love Gran Torino. If the Spaghetti Westerns that started him acting with the snarl as a permanent expression on his face, you like Grand Torino. After seeing Gran Torino I'm hoping this is Eastwood's last staring movie role. I never liked stereotypes. Never liked the snarling male as icon. And this is a film about that stereotype and stereotypes in general.

Phillip of Sitenoise wrote a partial review of the film but hated the beginning half hour of the movie so much he couldn't finish watching it. It's received some good reviews but I'm betting these are reviewers who just loved the Dirty Harry snarling male stereotype.

I didn't become an Eastwood fan until he began directing. He made a couple very good films as a director--his western The Unforgiven was worth watching. It wasn't the best western I'd ever seen, but it was pretty good. But it was Million Dollar Baby was so good I was prepared to believe that he would continue to make great movies. I figured he'd learned something about getting nuanced, sensitive performances from the other actors he was directing as well as from himself.

If Eastwood continues to make movies I hope it's in the capacity of Director. Think Letters from Iwo Jima. I wouldn't mind seeing him in a small cameo role with a bit more nuance than the snarling old bastard he plays in Gran Torino. But I think his days as central leading character are, and should be, over.

All of that said, I did begin crying toward the end of the movie and wondered what is was about the character at the end that made me weep. Nick and I talked about that, and Nick said, "You're affected and moved by almost everything right now." And maybe it's as simple as that. But this portrait of a man at the end of his life who views everything through the prism of prejudice, cynicism, and alienation is so very sad and not in a heart warming way.

I'm guessing there were clues to Eastwood's career in things like the 1972 cherry Ford Gran Torino that is his baby in the movie. High Plains Drifter came out in 1973, so there might be a bit of symbolism that he was making that film when Gran Torino's mean old bastard character was supposedly working on the assembly line for Ford the year the Gran Torino auto of the film refers to was made, but I'm stretching to give it a reason to have been made at all.

It is only the Hmong characters who form the core of his changing neighborhood, his changing world, the world he does not recognize and has such disdain for, who give really good performances.

I'd only give this film 2 stars at best, and that's a stretch.

Darkblack Says This Is My Obamicon, Too

But why don't I recognize myself? I thought that this was Darkblack's Obmaican and that Darkblack is a nice looking younger woman. Humm. I liked her looks a lot. So this can't be me. But even if this isn't me, and is a trick Darkblack is playing on me, a through the looking glass experience like the early acid years, I don't care.