October 31, 2007

It Begins Tomorrow

The 77 Santas holiday season kicks off tomorrow. We’re going to be at it everyday until Christmas. Dare we say better than last year? Well, it just might be. Check back in then.

But before we kick it off, I had one last post I wanted to make. Over the weekend, I had the chance to see The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. If you’ve never heard of this movie, you’re not alone. Warner Bros. has gone out of their way to not market this film, even though it stars Brad Pitt, one of the biggest movie stars in the world. What little promotion they have done makes the film look like a shoot-em-up western. This film is anything but. The film is akin to Terrance Malick’s beautiful mood pieces like The New World and Days of Heaven—it is slow and contemplative, full of meandering plot. Yes, something mainstream audiences won’t like. But those are the types of films I love and Jesse James will become a forgotten masterpiece. Roger Deakins is without a doubt the finest cinematographer working in film today. His compositions and lighting are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in a movie. The myths and legends of the Old West are obliterated in the film—though the sweeping shots of the prairie and wide open sky are beautiful, this is really a character film and a reflection of American society from over a century ago. There is deep loneliness in the characters—they are haunted by their past and by what they had once aspired to become. And they are obsessed with fame and how they will be remembered. If you are in the mood for essentially a tone poem on film, check this movie out. It’s definitely not for everyone’s tastes, but it earned a solid A from me.

One of the standouts of the film was the gorgeous score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Cave already dabbled in westerns, writing last year’s The Proposition, and is a perfect choice for this very literary film. Cave’s songs read like brilliant and dark short stories. His delicate and brooding score should at least get him nominated for an Oscar. The score comes out November 13, but here’s a preview of three tracks.

Rather Lovely Thing – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Song for Jesse – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Song for Bob – Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

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1 comment:

z. said...

I wanted to thank you so much for letting me know about this film. I went last night to see it, and really enjoyed it.

Also, I wanted to thank you for reposting the 77 Santas song - it was so great to be able to finally hear this song!