Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I'm just a fella now, I ain't no different from anyone else no more

Ah, Clint Eastwood as a tired old killer who swore off the drink after meeting a nice lady, sitting around a campfire looking back on regret on his old wickedness as he is traveling to kill some no good cowboys. At least he don't work for the railroad shooting Chinamen like old English Bob.

Wendell is watching Unforgiven right now while I tick away at the computer. I remember when this movie first came out that I was very excited after reading reviews about the film. The buzz was that Clint Eastwood hadn't made a good western (which would have been reason enough to go to the theater) but that he had made a great western. Here it was the 1990's and Clint had revived a dying breed of film and made. I was thrilled. To know me is to know that I enjoy a good western, usually those starring John Wayne as directed by that one-eyed guy.

What I love most about Unforgiven is how it is filmed. I don't know if it's shot all in natural light but it sure looks like natural light is used throughout the movie. The early scenes in which the two no-good cowboys cut up the young whore there is almost no detail to see. It's like the only light in the room is actaully emanating for a few oil lamps and candles just like a room would be lit in them days. One of the weaknesses of Rio Bravo (one of my favorite movies) is the even shadowless lighting that fills the room of the saloon where Dino digs a coin out of a spitoon so he can have ease his alcoholic craving with one more whisky drink. The lighting in Unforgiven is what makes the chilling finale at the billiards hall so otherworldly dramatic.

Right now the scene is playing where the sheriff, Little Bill, is disarming English Bob. I don't recall ever seeing a scene where the tension of a face off between two truly dangerous men is so perfectly portrayed. Uh oh, Little Bill is kicking the shit out of Bob. Time to go watch.

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