The Ballad of Buster Scruggsi is easily the best film that came out since the previous one. As such you must absolutely watch it, because if one doesn't see the current Miss Cinema then what is one doing, living among the reliquary dust of memory ?
It's a composition of parts, in the vein of what Satiri's Fellynicon so utterly fails to manage (but, as people with actual cinematic understanding and actual directorial experience might deign to tell you -- it's always better to use a more modest scripture, one that dares not try and get in the way of things). The first I deem strictly excellent, meta-cognitive post-cultural deconstruction of "the western" as a ~1960s era pantsuit sterile space "of the imagination" -- you know, for children.ii The second's strictly excellent, a luxuriant, flowing, superb cinematic joke. Just one huge gag, liberated from the "conventions" of MNLFsiii the directors proceed to really explore the studio space. Pan shot!!! The third's tiresome, in no small part because of the reiterated recitation of lines from some of the worlds' shittiest speeches by the previous Hussein Bahamas title holder (some obscure railway worker from the indian territories) coupled with some dubious English importsiv ; but even its tiresome far far surpasses anything else coming out of the intellectually sad femstate of the day. The fourth is easily the best part, and it had me howling in tears, because you know for a fact Tom Waits didn't just walk away, there's no such thing as "nothing important" in that context, and truer to life film was never yet made. I can scarcely summon to mind fifteen minutes of reel that can stand up to these fifteen minutes, so very blinded by grandeur I find myself. One can't, simply put, one can not live and not see this.
The fifth's quite excellent, even though it speaks of a world I've not known in so long, it holds no strings nor contains barely any meaning for me. Indisciplined, confused yet eager slavegirls ? I guess, it's just such a strange space to mentally get into... The sixth and last one's not really worth the mention, exists rather like what I interpret to be the signature autoportrait of the authors (true to self-image if not true to what you or I might perceive over dinner with Ethan & Joel). The three opposites, including the incomprehending engineer, the "overcomprehending" Frenchman and finally if centrally the aforementioned Mrs. Betjeman rather describe to me the schmucks the directors encounteed making their film (carried, in a most adequate corpse-like form, above the carriage). Such is life -- in life. Such is life in cinema only for the very best of rolls, and in the very best of cases.
But in any case : accept no substitutes!———
- 2018, by Ethan&Joel Cohen, with a laundry list of have-beens, hams and 2nd handers. I'm not listing them because no beautiful chix, and that's the punishment : if you work without sluts your name will not be remembered. [↩]
- Yes they actually did this, 1960s "wild west" is a cultural artefact exactly equivalent, both in production procedures and intended use, to the late 1800s "santa claus" or the contemporary "modern democracy". Not even fairy tales, quaintly modest in their hedonic appeal, but rather fairy systems, intellectually offensive as emotionally incomfortable. [↩]
- Moms nobody'd like to fuck. What, you've never heard of this ?
They're the majority, you know. By very far the unfucking majority. [↩]
- "We wonder, and some Hunter may express wonder like ours, when through wilderness where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace he meets some fragment, huge, and there stops to guess. What powerful but unrecorded race once dwelt in that annihilated place ?" way the fuck better than Shelley's version, wouldn't you say ? [↩]