The Delicate Art of the Rifle
Posted 27 June 2008 - 12:40 PM
Posted 27 June 2008 - 07:46 PM
Just caught it on IFC. Never even heard of it before this.
Yeah, me too. It's bizarre and amazing but I'm not sure that justifies taking the real life
story of Charles Whitman shooting people from the tower and making his first name Walt
and presenting a strange, time warping trick mirror of that event with a character added
to have conversations with him while he's shooting people.
Certainly it's a well made film and other filmmakers take real events and spin them
but I'm not sure that I see the point here and I think there ought to be one significant enough to justify doing this. "JFK" by Oliver Stone made some people angry, saying that he was distorting history, but I think that he did a valuable service in presenting his take on a major piece of history that many people long felt had already been distorted by
a kangaroo commission and lying government officials.
If kneading s story helps to get some sense out of it then I think that's justifiable but to
offer an entertaining movie that somehow leaves out the agony of the real people shot and left to lay for hours on the ground, without illuminating anything about this crazed action,
is unwarranted. At that point I think a filmmaker(s) should just go write/direct his/her
original story, which even if based on certain events, has more distance.
I was impressed with the casting, particularly how close they came to the "Walt" Whitman
character having that particular innocent corn fed blonde crewcut All-American look just like Charles Whitman in all the photos I've seen of him (although perhaps I never saw one good enough and close enough to show something in or lacking in his eyes that would offer more clues than are in this film's depiction.) I also thought that the performances and everything else in the movie were all well done.
I think that storytellers ought to feel a sense of responsibility when using real people's stories and, although I'm interested in watching it again to see, I'm not sure that this film meets the burden of whatever standards might be for such a test.
How about you?
Posted 27 June 2008 - 11:18 PM
Posted 28 June 2008 - 02:30 AM
I didn't know anything of the real Whitman story until I researched it after the movie. I wouldn't have known to research that except for the folks on IMDB having the same concerns as you. I watched it in ignorance and took it only for what the makers presented. I liked it better when it was just a peculiar movie. I found its burden well relieved by the epilogue. What a cost effective, yet, poetic ambiguity to Walt's unresolved issues.
Usually I get criticized for my tendency toward being critical of people glomming onto other people's stories so it's good to hear that
there is some consensus on this one; I'll check out the IMDB page.
Yeah, good film, talented people, smart as you say in concluding the story resourcefully and powerfully. Why couldn't they have had enough faith
in their skills to have poured more of the foundation themselves?