Friday, December 28, 2007
I Need The Blood
Sometimes I feel myself becoming less interested in writing about new films at the time of release. Not because of any negative reactions, but simply the feeling that I sometimes need to let these things digest a little to separate the movie from all the hype. After all, I’m not working on a deadline or anything here. There’s also the case of films both good and bad that I simply feel like I don’t have much to say about them. That said, go and see WALK HARD, which is absolutely hysterical and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t understand comedy. As for some of the bad ones, some of them are more mediocre than anything else and spending much time thinking about them isn’t worth the effort. But every now and then there’s a film that can just render you speechless and any insightful commentary seems almost impossible.
I first saw THERE WILL BE BLOOD about three weeks ago and when the closing credits first flashed on screen I felt totally flummoxed. It was as if I had been the subject of an assault in watching this film, but whatever I had just seen couldn’t simply be described. At some point during my second viewing Thursday night, I began to feel this vice-like grip encircling inside of me, and I realized that I had experienced the exact same sensation the first time around. It’s a harsh film, a tough film, a brutal film and this recurring feeling made me realize just how much it was seeping in to me. Naturally, at the very last frame, I couldn’t help but have this enormous, possibly evil, smile on my face. See, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is many things and inspires many thoughts. For starters, it could simply be considered a gangbang between Altman, Cimino, Malick, Ford, Welles and, of course, Kubrick, which results in a child that has been injected with the opinion Paul Thomas Anderson appears to have of humanity. An opinion which may rank somewhere beyond the boundaries of cynicism, but even that doesn’t adequately convey my feelings about it.
I’m going to let this one sit a little longer in me, because throwing around words like “brilliant” and “masterpiece” is too frivolous. It is, in fact, a monumental achievement which cannot be dismissed but it will annoy, perplex and anger as many people as those who become its converts. How much I am one of those converts is something I’m still working out in my own head. There will be further viewings and I anxiously await them. I’m not saying that it’s the best film of the year, because it’s possible that to me it may not be. And I’m not saying that it’s a work without flaws, as it’s possible that even on the film’s own gargantuan terms I’m not certain that maybe I don’t have some issues. However, there are so many things I could list which I love or am disturbed by or feel enlivened by in this film but to do that would rob anyone reading this of the chance to experience those things for themselves. You don’t need me telling you what lies within THERE WILL BE BLOOD ahead of time. For now, I’m finished.