Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Honey, we all got to go sometime, reason or no reason. Dyin's as natural as livin'. The man who's too afraid to die is too afraid to live.

No 207 - The Misfits
Director - John Huston

I was tricked. Duped even. I thought the Misfits was going to be a knockabout comedy... My hero Clark Gable and the impossible cartoon of sexiness that is Marilyn Monroe. There would be quips and sparring and maybe some hilarious mistaken identities and farcical moments.


This is a serious film... with a lot of sad faces and a the two aforementioned actors cracking out their last feature length films before they die.

The Misfits is an odd film - as it seems to be one which is structured on disappointment and compromise. Nearly every character is coming out of a relationship - mostly through divorce but a couple are widows and widowers. They're then settling into this harsh cold world and trying to find any comfort to help them through. It isn't pretty. Most of the characters appear to be drunk about 90% of the time. I'd be quite interested in playing a The Misfits Drinking Game - because there is a fair amount of Whiskey getting polished off throughout.

So when a pretty little Widow like Monroe's Roslyn comes into the equation, a fierce competition happens. Everyone vies for her attention. Everyone tries to woo her. Everyone seems to get seriously fucked up when they realise they can't have her.

This is a film in which Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach are constantly backstabbing each other to get (a NEWLY DIVORCED) Marilyn Monroe into bed.... ethics are all over the shop.

The film then takes a strange existential angle. Looking at the value of life, and the way that the world has changed. Clark Gable's beat up old cow boy is tragic, a man who hasn't quite come to grips with how the world has modernised and changed around him. But all 3 men are equally as bad... they're men who's wartime experiences have seen them desensitized to life and death. They're men who refuse to see the way the world changes and who hang on to old values.

Monroe may come off as a bit hysterical throughout the film - but they need that... they need that to realise that times have changed. That you have to work. That the world is cruel. That you can't always get what you want....

Maybe I just watched this film in a glum mood (and I did) hoping to be cheered up... but that's what I got out of it. That life is a challenge, and the truly brave people are the people who rise to that challenge and be the better man.

Then you can be haggard and worn down (and hilariously called Gay) and still sleep with Marilyn Monroe....

I want to see what love looks like when it's triumphant. I haven't had a good laugh in a week.

No 297 – It Happened One Night
Director – Frank Capra

Hello…. My name is Clark Gable and I am utterly awesome in every way…. From my brill-creamed hair to the tips of my beautiful brogues – and don’t forget my moustache. It’s a very good moustache

Oh yes…. Everyone loves me, from olden day womens to trendy electro-hipsters.

The Postal Service - Clark Gable

So basically – all this film does is point out the Clark Gable may be the single greatest human being to have ever graced the Earth… from his unsubtle entrance (a motley crew of drunks parade him around whilst declaring ‘Long Live The King’) - He then spends the majority of the film being a cocky little shit, utterly hilarious and generally awesome. He even looks awesome in PJs.

But this film wasn’t just about me developing a severe man-crush on Clark Gable, it is also a great little fast paced romp about relationships changing and love and that. We follow Ellie - who is glamorous in that 20's/30's way in which people can only aspire to nowadays, she is an heiress and engaged to wed some chap who is generally regarded as a chump. Now, this is despite there being no actual evidence of his chumpishness... however, nobody likes him and Ellie and Gable's Peter do develop a genuine rapport throughout.

This is important, because I feel uncomfortable watching films like His Girl Friday - where the central pair bicker and ight all film and then she leaves her husband for him, just because he's Cary Grant. Just doesn't feel fair.

But here, the relationship is genuine, the banter is top notch and the film whizzes by, wittily and entertainingly.

To be honest... I watched this film ages ago but have only just got round to writing it.... My notes are nothing but 3 pages of "Clark Gable is Awesome!". I remember enjoying the film and finding it witty and inoffensive.....

Go and watch it, but remember this one thing:

Death and honor are thought to be the same, but today I have learned that sometimes they are not.

No 131 – The Last of the Mohicans
Director – Michael Mann

So I’m back… July has been manic, but I have been really busy:

Cough Cough *CLICK ON THE LINK* Cough Cough

So deal with it… anyway, here are some bloggles for you to gawp at:

I expected this to be another story from the ‘Outsider is taken in by tribe of natives and then fights with them’ genre… and whilst TECHNICALLY it is (as Daniel Day Lewis could never be passed off as an actual Native American), the act of being initiated into the society happens many years before the film starts – so it isn’t really part of the plot.

The plot is about revenge, double crossing and war – and whilst that may sound really juicy, the film also manages to be really fucking dull. How dull? Well I stopped the film several times. Once to make myself some dinner, and once to answer the phone and have a little chat. I didn’t even pull that shit with Tree of Wooden Clogs.

This film is not as dull as Tree of Wooden Clogs.

But lets talk about the good bits first…. It was lovely to have a film in which the Native Americans and the American settlers live together amicably. I’m so used to it all being cowboys ‘n’ injuns that it felt refreshing to see a new villain, though ‘villain’ seems the wrong word. This film triumphs in painting everything with shades of grey… so morality is never black and white. The baddies are really all that bad. The goodies aren’t really all that good. It feels realistic.

It is also worth recording this one description of the French:

They’d rather eat and make love with their faces than fight

AMEN! Never before have I been so proud of my duel nationality.

So, the film plods along as Daniel Day Lewis and his Mohican friends escort a British army chap and his ladies off to see the ladies’ dad – who is in a camp. Meanwhile the American settlers are tricked and bullied and there is talk of sedition and King and Country and yada yada.

There is a love triangle… people act like cocks…. People then see the error of the ways and get all noble. Everything in the film is pretty standard and is very well executed, I just couldn’t connect with a single character. I just didn’t give a shit about their plights or anything…. I can’t pin point what was wrong with the film… but something was definitely wrong when the only element of the film that piques my interest are the beautiful beautiful military uniforms.

I would love to enter a society where we could start wearing tri-corner hats again.

So… as the title implies – which means it can’t be a spoiler (but if you don’t want to know how this film ends just stop reading)… shit goes down and leaves only ONE MOHICAN…. The last of them…. And just look at the Mohican army:

Tough battle….

But that last Mohican isn’t Daniel Day Lewis… oh no, even though he lived all his life with that tribe, they don’t want his honky ass polluting their blood stream. So even though he has a lady by the end and they can have all the babies, the Mohican tribe dies out due to one man’s racism.

Or at least that’s what I took away from it all….