Thursday, November 20, 2008

Impromptu Movie Night

Yesterday evening, T and I had our friends Nick and Burke over for dinner and movie night. It was not a very formal affair, since T got the idea that afternoon when they all met up, by chance, at a coffee shop near campus, but we had fun. 
I served leftover minestrone soup (with turnips this time), with bread and butter (see what I mean about impromptu? I don't usually serve leftovers when "entertaining"). Few things are as great as warm soup on a COLD, windy night, sitting in a cozy house, chatting with friends. The boys had beer, of course, but I stuck with water.  I don't know why I don't like beer--I can't seem to acquire that particular taste :) 
After dinner we rearranged our living room, to have enough seating in front of the tv (we have to move the couch anytime we want to watch a movie anyway, but this time we had to move both couches), and put in The Wild Bunch, which Nick said was the greatest western of all time. I think the movie was raising the question of who was really good and who was really bad.  The so-called "out-laws" always kept their word and looked out for their own people. They were even rather noble, in their own right. The "law," represented by various groups (the railroad tycoon, the dopey, unexperienced American soldiers, or the selfish, unruley, unprincipled, trigger-happy "guns for hire"), was not noble and seemed to care little for the people they claimed to protect. 
So, although it was a good movie, with some interesting ideas I'll have to think on for a while, I can't say it was the greatest western (sorry, Nick!).  There was a lot of throaty (very "cowboy") laughing, sometimes for no clear reason, and topless women were present in abundance (I guess boobs were the thing in the 60s!). The action scenes were well-done, and even artistic for the time, but a lot of elements were left unresolved. Was "society" really more barbarous than the out-laws? Were the out-laws actually better than the "good" guys, or were they only better with regard to certain things. In one scene, Pike (the out-law leader) says, "It doesn't matter. He gave his word!"  To which is partner returns, "It doesn't matter! What matters is who you give it to!" But the only guy who survives by the end of the movie kept his word, even though he gave it to the "good" guys (who were actually the bad guys?).  So.. I dunno. Interesting, definitely, though. Nick wrote a paper on it, which I should read before casting final judgment :)
Off the top of my head, The Cowboys comes to mind as the greatest western :) and T would hold up The Magnificient Seven, undoubtedly :) 
Also, during the movie I knitted one legwarmer! Don't worry--I'll knit another one for the other leg :) I'll be busy with those this year, I think. Lots of knitting for C'mas presents. But this one only took me a couple hours, so it shouldn't be too bad :) 

1 comment:

  1. The theme of mixing up the traditional "good guys" and "bad guys" seems to be ever popular in Hollywood. I noticed that theme in the fist Pirates of the Carribean movie. (Pirates - who are actually theives and mischief makers seem interesting and heroic, and the British soliders who are supposed to protect citizens, are boring and oppressive) But I share your misgivings about this objectively working. Maybe I am too old fashion, but I prefer the noble hero to be the clear victor and someone the audience can look up to. Of course, the good guy doesn't have to necessarily be perfect, because all are human, but why do we have the mix them in with the bad crowd? Is it to keep stories interesting? Are people bored with the traditional "good guy?"