Thursday, 11 April 2002

The man who wasn’t there

Listening to:

Shostakovich, piano concerto no. 1, op. 35. This piece features an amazing trumpet solo part in the final movement. (The CD traversal continues.)

A recent movie:

The man who wasn’t there. This is an amazingly stylish film, with a slightly creepy tone, and a delicious black humour. It’s brilliantly shot, all in black and white: from the opening credits featuring a striped barber's pole, endlessly spiralling to the strains of Beethoven; to the very last scene which is done in an incredibly clinical and bleached white.

If forced to attempt a “deep analysis” of its theme, I’d say that this film is all about the allure of the American Dream, and how difficult its realisation can be, and the disillusionment of failed hopes. But, it’s probably not worth trying to sum it up in short sentences. Probably the best film I saw in 2001.

Talking of movies, a reaction to the theory that Star Wars was carefully constructed to embody mythic archetypes, as identified by guru, Joseph Campbell. Makes all the obvious points.

Finally, a creepy, and thought-provoking essay from the LRB, all about a woman and her relationship with World War One.