Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bleak Beauty

Note: click on highlighted words for the expansive experience.
The first mainstream American film to fire bullet holes through the fabled myth of Giuliani's 'cleaned-up, crime-less New York' (spanning '95 to 9/11), Scott Frank's A Walk Among the Tombstones is also a bona fide spellbinder.

Neeson is Scudder is The City - tall, gaunt, scarred but still dignified, lumbering forward amongst taller, oft-dilapidated buildings (the titular tombstones), many of which will soon fall.

Indeed, the picture's pre-millennium-set policier-cum-noir-cum-horror-film surface is scale compared to broader insinuations of a world populace in perpetual peril from the most unspeakable evil (in the form of 'random' violence).

Like the seminal, subversive homegrown films of the Vietnam era (Night of the Living Dead, Last House On the Left), it starkly suggests we are never safe, anywhere, at any time, gentrification or no.

Here hope lies in a refugee's stolen moments of grace - the sound of rain on the rooftop of an empty library at night, a decent diner meal, an AA fellowship meeting, a purposeful case solved.

Or a good movie.

Surveying the sickness.

 Little Red Riding Hood.

 Watery graveyard, mirroring one of our endless female victim's'.