Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Writing Strange Things

(just some notes while I get back into the groove of writing on this thing)

(oh, and an idea, I'll start posting our scenes for the new short we're shooting and the breakdowns, get some feedback. duh.I'll do that sometime today)

I went to go see 3:10 to Yuma the other day, partly based on their great posters, partly because I love westerns, but mainly because there was the small chance that There Will Be Blood would show up in the previews. For those of you who still haven't heard the echo from your balconies of me super-sonically pooping myself in excitement, Jonny Greenwood is going to be doing the soundtrack. Alas the preview did not play.

Here are the two posters.

The trailer to Yuma was actually ridiculously clunky, but the movie itself was really fun to watch, and only had a few moments when I laughed at it unreasonably. You can really tell that Mangold, Mr. Director-Man, was trying for something of greater scope and could only barely hang on to any kind of control over the camera. There in the middle, when Luke Wilson shows up (some great cameos...Ben Foster is a pretty fucking good actor, and Peter Fonda is fun to watch, and Alan Tudyk from UCB!) it looks like something straight out of Brisco County Jr. Which in no way is bad, just very easily bordering on out-of-control.

Anyways, that brings us to our point: Mangold, Mr. Director-Man, and writing weird things. He directed Walk The Line, of course, but he also wrote and directed Girl Interrupted. And directed Identity, with John Cusack. And Copland!!

Copland is the subject of my oft-recalled notion that Sylvester Stallone went through a mid-life-crisis in reverse. Usually one, finding oneself beyond one's prime years, without exactly the bulging physique one had when young, would purchase an expensive car, compensate for being unmanly, buy some hip shirts, perhaps sporting a clever catchphrase punning on "Idaho" or proclaiming a fondness of Jewish girls, or a savior whom is now one's "homeboy." But, Sly, having already wielded his huge guns, sprung into action bare-fisted, climbed mountains and been to the future with Rob Schneider back when there was still a question whether Rob Schneider was actually as unfunny as was possible, hits mid-life and plays a fat cop, an ant, a man in love, and then goes and acts in Spy Kids 3-D. Sly's back though baby! New Rambo! Yow!

Mangold has worked on these movies that you just assume sprung from the vacuum-womb that is Hollywood. These movies that no could have really worked on, right? Movies so normal they become totally ubiquitous, entirely Angelina and Winona. That's weird, right?

Or, did you know that the guy who did the awesome Hungarian movie KONTROLL did Vacancy? Now I'm going to have to go watch Vacancy. Or the guy who did that random 1985 movie Runaway Train with John Voight was Tarkovsky's screenwriter and wrote Andrei Rublev, and Runaway Train was based on a screenplay by Kurosawa. Very strange.

I guess the point is ... I don't know what the point is. These people, maybe Mangold I'm not sure, but maybe the others as well, are doing their own thing in a really distinct way. They are just writing and working on the things they want to work on, whatever that means. The guy who's doing Mr. Woodcock (I laughed my fucking ass off at the last half of that stupid trailer) has only done one movie before this, and get this! Look at this cast!
Lars and the Real Girl
That's a fucking quality cast! I just don't see any reason to put some kind of limit or expecation on what you want to do, or...who you are, I guess. There's this quote from Terrance Mallick, talking to David Gordon Green, about his 25 year gaps in between movies. Terrance just tells him "I have a number of interests that have nothing at all to do with movies." I think that's pretty cool. All I do is rant about movies on this damn blog, but still, I get it. Balance is a good thing to look for. Focus as well.

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