Tuesday, May 8, 2007

the duck of death*

rain in the films martin and unforgiven.

martin, 1977 directed by george a. romero, cinematography by michael gornick.
great rain montage between the bizarre murders committed by the (possible) vampire.
this section and others really stood out and gave the film the feeling of an european art-house film, which i found to go nice with the senseless murdering. the ending of michelangelo antonioni's l'eclisse came to mind.

unforgiven, 1992 directed by clint eastwood, cinematography by jack n. green.
beautiful montage in unforgiven where the 3 killers try to get control of their horses in the rain, and eastwood mumbles some unsavoury curses. the focus goes between the 3 riders, the rain, and the trees, and is quite beautiful. green's work throughout the film is stunning.
most of the end of the film is shot in the rain, introduced by hackman's character saying "looks like rain".


on a side note:
eastwood's character william 'bill' munny is described as: "a known murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and *intemperate disposition". reads like jorge luis borges' the universal history of iniquity. there is some great iniquity talk in this film which would be good for another blog some day.
* (given to or characterized by excessive or immoderate indulgence in alcoholic beverages.)

*blog title comes from my favourite line from unforgiven when gene hackman (little bill daggett) reads from the duke of death (an apocryphal biography of outlaw english bob), calling it the duck of death (because it is about an unsavory character), and the 3rd or 4th time he is corrected on duke, he replies "duck i says". of course, ducks love rain.


Milena said...

"Look son, being a good shot, being quick with a pistol, that don't do no harm, but it don't mean much next to being cool-headed. A man who will keep his head and not get rattled under fire, like as not, he'll kill ya. It ain't so easy to shoot a man anyhow, especially if the son-of-a-bitch is shootin' back at you." :)

Very good movie, won few Oscars if I recall correctly...

the art of memory said...

very good indeed, one of my most watched.
that is a good quote, i had planned to go through and have a photo with a good quote, but it would have taken to much time.
a couple this last viewing i had not really noticed or remembered, like the line eastwood gives to his horse that has continuously tossed him, it comes out of nowhere, and a little shocking.
i think it won best picture. maybe another as well.
did you have that one memorized?

Milena said...

I have quotes collection from various movies but I do remember some, specially one-liners like: "Don't threaten me with a dead fish!" LOL or: "I don't advise a haircut, man. All hairdressers are in the employment of the government. Hairs are your aerials. They pick up signals from the cosmos, and transmit them directly into the brain. This is the reason bald-headed men are uptight" (from Withnail and I).

Now, I had to check that Oscar issue since I don't remember precisely... Yes, the movie won 4 Oscars actually:

- Gene Hackman as the best actor in a supporting role

- Joel Cox for the best film editing

- Clint Eastwood as the best director and for the best picture

the art of memory said...

i always remember them wrong, but the duck scene has always had a big influence on me, sounds absurd. its like duchamp in the wild wild west.

Doug said...

Big fan of Romero's film, here--those are great stills--and I agree, it has an uncommonly European feel to it, partly due to the sheer ambiguity with which it enshrouds the protagonist. (Not unlike Eastwood's film, come to think of it...good pairing!) A friend of mine described Martin as a neorealist vampire move; it fits.

the art of memory said...

that is a good description.
can you think of other horror films from that period that have the art house feel? out of curiosity.
it was a great film, there will be some more stills in train #2 that i am collecting for, it is actually one of the essential train films. who would have thought...

Doug said...

From that period? Hmm...mostly, I think of European-influenced SF movies, like THX-1138 or Slaughterhouse Five or Zardoz. Carpenter's early work was quite sophisticated for its day, particularly in its use of widescreen, but you probably know that given your comments on The Thing.

the art of memory said...

thanks doug, i haven't seen zardoz, i will check it out.
also, the dp did the 2nd and 3rd dead movies by romero, but the first has more of the neorealist feel.
but martin seems very unique.