Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TOO MUCH BLOODY PERSPECTIVE ON CRONENBERG


Over at Caption Jockey’s Too Much Bloody Perspective you can find, amongst the sharp political writing and commentary, a recent post (dated October 8, 2005) in which he engages with David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence. CJ saw it and loved it, as did I, but he got to it way before I’ll get a chance to, and his observations and reactions are strong and worth reading, so I feel honored to be able to recommend them and link you to them-- but only if you’ve seen the movie. Cronenberg’s amazing film works like a down-and-dirty B-movie programmer made under the gun (no pun intended) by someone like Phil Karlson-- it’s that brutal and efficient and prickly and limber of tone. But it’s also insistently disturbing in its ability to feed on both our impulses to see brutal violence, to participate in it, and our need to stand back from it and take measure of the moral quandary we’ve steeped ourselves in by doing so. CJ has more, especially on Viggo Mortensen, so if you’ve experienced the movie I urge you to experience what Caption Jockey has to say about it. If you haven’t seen it, it may already be too late, but I hope you can stay relatively far away from any reviews (including CJ’s) which might point, however directly or indirectly, to elements of the story that are integral to the film’s meaning and impact, elements that should be experienced as fresh and without foreknowledge as is possible. I’ll have more to say on the movie later, as I suspect it will stay where it is now, very near the top of my list of best films of the year.

4 comments:

blaaagh said...

OK, I'm up for a matinee--if we can spare time from our heavy schedule of horror films in the coming days! I'm having a hard time not reading the article you reference, so I'd better hurry and see the movie before I give in; I already read the first few sentences before I stopped myself!

blaaagh said...

Not that anyone's reading this far down anymore, but I finally saw "A History of Violence" yesterday in Berkeley, and both Pattie and I thought it was excellent and very thought-provoking. Really good article by CaptionJockey, too. It was a pleasure (of sorts) to see such an intelligent new film that has me thinking and figuring out the day after; special mention to Peter Suschitzky (sp?)'s cinematography--I didn't even know he was still working, and of course had always liked his work. Pattie commented specifically on the way the film looks, too.

psaga said...

Er, not that anyone's reading this far down anymore :) but I finally saw A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE last night at the Darkside! And I finally got to let myself read CJ's post! And I had the discipline not to read it before seeing the movie!

It was a pleasure to see this film in the company of four boys relatively inexperienced in things Cronenbergian. Astute film critic that I am, I pointed out the characteristic dangling flesh in the first scene of violence. Born Hoosier that I am, I nonetheless found it difficult to answer the inquiry, "So, is that what Indiana is like?"

Cheers!

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Jeez, even I don't read down this far anymore...

But thanks for your Cronenbergian scholarship. I'm sure your fellow cinephiles appreciated it too, especially when it distracted you from your pontificating on the merits of the film's star!

There's a fun little debate about the merits of the movie going on here-- http://tinyurl.com/b6ff6