Monthly Archives: November 2015

Hang’em High

I was married back in Denver. His name was Paul. He was a doctor, and a very fine man. He used to say this was his place, this was were doctors were needed. One night, after we’d camped, we sat around the fire, talking, husband and wife talk, about how many children we were going to have, and what a wonderful life we were going to have together. And then they came.

So sad the night at Paris, so sorry for the victims and their families.

Let’s see they won’t come back.

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The Last Sunset

THE FILM — Superb. Probably the best western I’ve ever seen. A perfectly linked succession of non-trivial tropes very creatively enacted over a powerful Freudian symbolism worth of a Zizek review. No wonder that Lauren Bacall was offered the role of Belle Breckinridge but found the subject matter to be rather offensive (imdb).

A LINK — Between this dialogue, that takes place in front of a Mexican church,

STRIBLING (Rock Hudson): Lots of hopes, lots of prayers must’ve started here.

BELLE (Dorothy Malone): Or ended. Babies being christened, women burying their dead.

STRIBLING: Sometimes men, too.

BELLE: Men?

STRIBLING: I lost my wife and two daughters in an Osage war party.

BELLE: Oh, I’m sorry. I’m afraid I was only thinking of myself. To me, it’s always seemed like the women who keep on living. Men kill or get killed. And women bury them. We’re professional survivors.

and what Mircea Eliade (The Sacred and the Profane) has to say about the mythical justification of cannibalism in those societies where it’s actually practiced, based on a religious vision of life:

For the vegetable world to continue, man must kill and be killed; in addition, he must assume sexuality to its extreme limit —the orgy. An Abyssinian song declares this: “She who has not yet engendered, let her engender; he who has not yet killed, let him kill!” This is a way of saying that the two sexes are doomed to assume their destiny”

SO, THE TWO SEXES — Masculinity at its best both in the roles played (masterfully) by Kirk Douglas and Rock Hudson: protectiveness, straightforwardness, sportsmanship, trueness to one’s word, courage, sense of duty, absence of malice, and strength; with some of their inevitable counterparts as well, like ingenuity, pig-headedness, roughness, and helplessness when the danger comes not frankly. Masculinity at its worst in the roles of Mr Breckenridge and of course the hired treacherous cowboys. Feminity at its worst in the role of Belle-Mrs Breckenridge, and feminity at its best in that of her daughter Missy-Melissa,

BREN: Of course you can. And one of these days, a boy’ll come along…

MELISSA: I don’t want a boy. I want you.

BREN: You want someone who’ll fill your heart with warmth and sunlight. You want a young man, not me. All I can do is throw a cloud over you.

MELISSA: I’m not afraid of clouds. I’m not afraid of anything.

that is, determination, fearlessness, love and caring, long-term thinking, independence of character.

And the joy of life, male or female.

You say you want a revolution

Revolution? Don’t dare talk me about revolution. I know all about revolutions and how they start. The people that read the books they go to the people that don’t read the books, the poor people and say, the time has come to have a change, uh? So the poor people make the change, uh? Then the people who read the books they all sit around big tables and they talk and talk and talk and eat and eat and eat. But what has happened to the poor people? They’re dead. That’s your revolution.

There are people out there who I admire that have a positive approach to other people and things —they presuppose the best of them until disappointment comes. They’re outward, radiant, confident, embracing; they can also be bitter, vindictive, and mean. My way, for better or for worse, is just the opposite —I expect the worst until proven wrong. First thing I think first time I meet someone or something (be it a person, a song, a novel, a film, an idea, a new political star, a website, you name it) it’s this is gonna be a waste of time. Most of the time it is, so I quit.

But what exhilarating an emotion you get when it isn’t!

Sergio Leone‘s Giù la testa (A Fistful of Dynamite, aka Duck, You Sucker) gives you one of those.

—If you leave me now, what the fuck is going to happen to me?

—They’ll make you a general.

—Shit, I don’t want to be a general.

Man versus Leviathan, wins Leviathan.

If you happen to have any adolescent boy around in the house, make it happen, just casually —have him watch this film before it’s late.

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