Thursday, January 13, 2011

Blue jeaned babies & L.A. ladies

Music is just as important to me as film. I treat it in the same respect. So naturally, I was inclined to check out Untitled. There's a scene in which the lead character asks the guitarist from Stillwater a question. What do you love about music? The scene acts as a fitting coda to the many transcendent moments that preceeded-- the Tiny Dancer tourbus singalong, the golden god roof scene and the airplane scene.

Like a great album, there are no weak tracks. It is strong the whole way through and leaves you humming the tunes. To quote the great Lester Bangs "the greatest gobbledygook ever."

I've had Dark Knight fever and have been stricken with occasional Full Metal Jacket syndrome. But seldom do I have that intangible feeling one experiences when they've found a movie that they feel was made for them. This is that film for me. Here is a film that has been called that "o" word by film elitists. No, not orgasmic. Overrated. I can only respond to that statement with this: the film was probably not made for you. I enjoy ambiguity, artistry & audacity. But films like these come along so rarely. One that is grounded in reality and never falls off the deep end into over-sentimentality. It's a real film.

Upon watching this I wanted to be around at that time. There are only a handful of films about that era with the ability to reproduce such a feeling of being "in the moment" in terms of that era as this one. Each character and moment a new verse to an exuberant piece of music. It's the epitome of nostalgia. Even though these memories, both happy and sad, are ones I haven't experienced, it still puts me in a trance. A state of ever present longing to be with these characters that lasts well over the running time.

It's the look of resolution on William Miller's face when Penny says that he is home. Or Penny Lane's misty eyes as she learns about Russell's true feelings about her. Or the look of complete unstrestraint on Russell's face when he shouts "I am a golden god" on the rooftop. It's hard picking just one great song off this fantastic album. Above all else, it affirms my love for the subject of the film itself-- music. Something that chooses you. "It lives in your car. Or alone listening to your headphones on the vast scenic bridges and angelic choirs in your brain. A place apart from the benign lap of America."

So, what do I love about this movie? The answer to that is in the response given by Stillwater's guitarist to William Miller's question at the end of the film.

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