Friday, September 3, 2010

Leone senza umore

The Australian western The Proposition (2005) forever settles the question, "What if you tried to make a Sergio Leone movie without any sense of humor?" This is a movie about bleak--bleak story, bleak characters, bleak landscape; without an ounce of release for the audience. There is good and interesting music in The Proposition, but nothing like the witty eye-wink scores of Morricone, which seemed to say, "Ingrid, it's only a mo-o-o-o-vie."

And whereas the Western often turns on the establishment or restoration of order, here the order is corrupt and evil. So there is no safe resting place, no comfort for the audience. This film is like the guest that came along with your friend who starts yakking in his grating voice and just...won't...stop. Also, I'm sorry about how the white Australians treated the aboriginal people, but they haven't got a thing on how both the English and white Americans treated native peoples they encountered--the latter seemed to me to be far, far worse.

In looking for something else to say about this baked-out, washed-out, shoot-em-in-the-head fest (without the whoop-up fun of a real shoot-em-up), I came across this quote: "...What The Proposition's characters have in common—the only thing they have in common, really—is the desire for community..." I have no idea what this yobbo is talking about. The only thing that happens is that some people get raped, then some people get shot, then some people get beaten, then more people get shot, then John Hurt natters on about something for 6 or 7 months, then the world's biggest psycho says it's all about family, and then his brother kills him, and do I really need to go on. This isn't a revival of the western genre, it's a concerted effort to destroy it forever.

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