Anybody see it? I've read most of the Whitman collection in its original incarnation, before he expanded it a zillion times, but I thought that the recent Edward Norton film of the same name was just brilliant. It's got family issues, a redneck drug war, identical twin brothers, deep philosophical inquiry, and drug use. And I found it entertaining as hell . . .
One piece of the narrative that seems to have either been edited out or forgotten is the subplot introduced in the beginning, where he is offered a gig at Harvard Law as the head of a new/expanded philosophy department. Other than that, every line of dialogue had a purpose, and each was delivered with an uncanny performance.
As the boys in Oklahoma might say: What y'all think?
I still need to read the book. My favorite thing about it was Edward Norton. I love pretty much anything he is in. But from what I've heard, Leaves Of Grass just seems like one of those books that shouldn't be adapted. Like adapting Ulysses or something?
Well, I didn't really see it as an adaptation so much as just a very overt bit of intertextuality. But yeah, Norton is definitely one of the best actors out there. My biggest gripe about the Avengers flick is that he won't reprise his role as the Hulk.
As for Leaves of Grass the book, it's not the kind of thing that's really even possible to adapt. It's a thousand lyrical vignettes about a thousand different characters living a thousand different moments, most of which are vague or understated. There are a handful of really brilliant poems in the collection, but otherwise it's widely criticized for the right reasons. It feels like a very self-important work, and if it hadn't been so revolutionary in terms of both style and subject matter, I'm sure that we'd never have heard of it. I dunno. To me, the quality of his verse isn't anything to shout about compared to the likes of other nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets. But I prefer fiction when it comes to both reading and writing, so ask a poet I guess.
i loved the movie, too. i think tim blake nelson needs to get behind the camera a lot more often. it seeped into cheese in the execition of some scenes, but the two Nortons were AWESOME, and it had one of the best, most simple dialog exchanges i'd heard in a long time:
Daisy: What do YOU consider good grammar?"
Buddy: (palms up) Rythm.
BRILLIANT. worth seeing to hear that bit of genius.
and you know, Steve Earle.
I haven't seen it, but I love Edward Norton and he rarely chooses disappointing scripts. I'll have to check it.
It was okay. Norton was terrific, of course, but the movie just didn't amount to much for me.
It's pleasurable enough while it's happening, I suppose.
i like that. 'pleasurable.'
As an Oklahoman - I can attest to the fact that the accent was shit - Norton, as all movies depicting Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, overdid the accent into someting you will not hear in any small town within those states. Listen to Tobey Keith, Garth Brooks, George Straight, Rodney Carrington - People from there.
Kane said 'every line of dialogue had a purpose'. That is straight up old school utility in the deep country. Old people around these parts talk that way with every breath - words with a depth of meaning - sentences with purpose beyond the flimsy words of today - and done with a better, more powerful accent. Words aren't wasted. They're cherished, put on a proper pedestal - something to separate themselves from all the farm animals clucking and mooing and neighing about.
As for the movie - it had it's moments. My main gripe was the contrived ending - the writers got lazy there - ending was way weak.
It is about Rhythm.
Kane - the 'Watch y'all think?' is a might disjointed in the tellin. An Oklahoman who wanted to pose a question to peers in regards to whatever would say, "Yaw like that?", or "Watcha reckon..." or he'd just point at it and spit some snuff with some raised eyebrows. 'Y'all' is used, but that's more for the Georgians - Okies are more 'yaw' no 'Ls" and no Gs at verb endings - ever...
OK - I'm rambling - tired - I did watch said movie - It was good except for the crap end and some of the stereotypes ( which could have been done so much better and to greater effect)
movies just have one broad accent they label "REDNECK" and call it good. but norton's ability to change his chin and back in such a way to always be so distinctly two different people was admirable.
i think i liked it (as an Appalachian currently residing at this moment in southern Ohio) because it's maybe the only movie i've ever seen where the 'dumb redneck' was actually the enlightened character with nothing to prove. he was the calm center, it was only the larger world's complications that twisted him up in problem-solving to try and maintain that calm center he had created. he had that deep, simple understanding that happiness achieved is the greatest success. most of the time anyone from the backwoods is portrayed not as satisfied or intelligent, but as too dumb to know they've got it bad.
i wonder where tim blake nelson is from....
googled. oklahoma. that makes sense :)
Wait wait wait.... :). Are you actually sayin that ripping off drug dealers to grow your own high tech illegal maryJ operation with no avenue of repaying. :) - then faking ur own death. Along with many things ive probanly forgotten... All that.. Are the actions of an intelligent calm center and a maligned society?
Well, that's how I roll anyway, Senor Wolfe.
no, i was just saying he made a happy place, actually achieved happiness on his own terms, but did a bunch of stupid shit trying to keep it :)
he seemed pretty centered. very 'i just want to grow weed and have my life here, let's work this all out so everyone can be happy. we can't? well, my brain can't really comprehend your lack of empathy so now i will throw myself into a whirlwind of hare-brained problem-solving.'
it was fun. i could serously keep going with this forever, even though the ending was stupid and some of the stuff didn't fly, because the parts that worked - they worked sooo well. :)