Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"Red Riding" is better than "The Godfather"...

...sez David Thomson in the NYRB,

"...but it makes you feel so much worse, and the business plan of watching a film is never realized if it doesn't make you feel it's leaving you assured, ready to sleep...fulfilled. That's what we expect from entertainment, isn't it? Something that'll give you a warm inner glow at the end of a day when you've been ruined, humiliated, out of work, and lied to over your obituary. No need to rub that in, is there? Turn on the telly. You're less alone with the telly on, and less given to the thought that there are types of loss and anger and betrayal that might have you shouting in the streets. So "Red Riding" is a deeper pool than "The Godfather," but it doesn't encourage swimming.
Well worth $3.00.

1 comment:

Tulkinghorn said...

And isn't this why old friends blog together?

When not making fun of Avatar, my time over these holidays has been spent to a large extent in first reading "1974" (the first volume of the four books) and then in sitting down yesterday afternoon and watching "1974" (the first film of the three) -- which is available on video from Amazon UK.

I've been bursting with reactions but they all reduce to a strong suggestion that everyone here do the same.

The three films were directed by different people but, crucially, written by one -- a guy named Tony Grisoni who seems to be the house writer for Terry Gilliam.

You could fill a semester discussing the pros and cons of the compression necessary to make 1974 a movie -- I'm not even sort of convinced myself that it's a success
or even worth doing.

For one thing, I don't believe that the movie makes ANY sense (even with character consolidation, plotline dropping, incident compression, bowdlerization) without the book.

Crucial here are the 'deleted scenes' on the DVD which indicate that an initial attempt was made to reflect the ending of the book and then dropped -- almost certainly because the book's plot would seem unacceptably silly when filmed.

Problem is, you're left with no ending at all, really.

I could go on, but can't really. Good fun.

BTW, nobody will tell you but me that what is now called "Yorkshire" was originally divided into three areas called North, East and West Riding. Brothers Grimm and old geography in one name. Cool.