Friday, May 18, 2007

"Do you know my poetry?"

I hope you all enjoyed Monsier Catalogues's marvellously cruel review of 28 Weeks Later; I confess I haven't seen it yet, but it sounds like another example of Hollywood slapping any shitty thing onto celluloid in the hope of making some money and generating a sucessful "franchise." I can't wait for the prequel to Romeo and Juliet.

Partially as a counterpoint to the astounding badness and greedy cynicism of 28 Weeks Later, and partly out of sheer joy at its visionary power, I want to direct all readers of the French Catalogues to Jim Jarmusch's 1995 film Dead Man. Monsieur Catalogues and I tried to watch it a few years ago, late at night and after watching Donnie Darko (surely the most overrated film of the last decade). That's not the proper setting for watching Dead Man; the film needs a clear head and deep attention. Not attention in the sense of looking for important details and trying to spot references to the writings of William Blake (which I love; he's the poet I loved earliest and best). Just watch the film and let it speak to you: let the shots of the bare pines and rain on a lake, or a haggard and sinister Robert Mitchum gazing up at a stuffed grizzly bear, or Johnny Depp's face changing from that of a fearful and hapless accountant to that of a painted poet-warrior speak to you just as much as Nobody's quotations from Blake.

It's a strange, spacious, graceful film. I shan't give any more away. Just watch it. And don't miss Iggy Pop in a dress.

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