Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eastwood's Gran Torino

I guess this is my movie pick of the year... which says a lot to me. First, It was good -- the redemption factor of Unforgiven and the very direct film-making style of Million Dollar Baby. I like a movie that delivers the forms of "modernity" and leaves the abstraction to the viewer... bizarre stories with no real endings or resolution leave me exasperated. I'll take postmodernism for spirituality, politics, and philosophic discourse, but I'll stick with modernism for art, film, architecture, and food. Second, when I think of what the film does to me, I am reminded of some of my other favourite films like Deliverance, The Mission, Clearcut, Apocalypse Now, and Rupert's Land -- intact stories with round characters, a generous pace, and a complex of values which emerge from the telling. I could see it coming but was still floored by Walt Kowalski laying down his life in an act of nonviolence (yet no less bravely/insanely than a Dirty Harry move). Third, I loved the references to his other film characters... especially the spitting of large wads of chaw-juice. Fourth, I liked the car, even though he never drove it... the nostalgia reminds me of my 1972 Dodge Charger which I got to drive from 1986-1991 ish. Fifth, the racial epithets were handled well... the idea of slandering and denigrating everything "Other" (saving acts of kindness which were given tender treatment) was an interesting way to convey time (i.e. time periods), history, and values. Sixth, it says a not because I don;'t really read much anymore (when will that change?) and I've seen a fest of movies in the last few months so yeah this one rose to the top.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

I just watched it last night and I was nice to see Clint back as the classic bad guy / good guy. Still I think the movie might have been improved by replacing the Gran Torino with my old vehicle the 74 Vega.