Monday, August 2, 2010

Grand Canyon (1991): review- 3.5/10

Ensemble piece set in LA, featuring blacks of the working classes, various whites -usually wealthy- and the charmless progeny of both races.*

This eliptical fim attempts to make some sort of moral-existential point, but fails: the sort of parables as comprise films such as these demand a dramatic energy that is missing here.

This could be because the script lacks a clear central ethical dilemma, or because the characters are suffocated by a worthiness (suffocated by the sentimental presence of de-liturgicised religion- "spirituality", constantly exhorted by the director to Do
Good) that reduces the scope of choices available to the the characters, sapping their spirits.

Indeed, probably, the only characters in the film who get any real fun out of life are the robbers at the start.

And you always know to be wary when humour is completely absent in a narrative art work; because where humour is absent, mawkishness or moralism enter.

*Quite why do Americans have such atrocious table manners? Could it be the cowboy legacy, when meals were eaten in the dark round a campfire after a hard days droving, and none of your fellows could see how you chewed with your mouth open and waved your fork around like a fly swat?

No comments:

Post a Comment