Blogvember … there will be blood … post the eleventh

Black films

In the past five years when I have gone to the movies, the experience has fallen into two distinct categories.

The films I have chosen, and the films in which everyone dies.

The first film Robert and I saw together was No Country for Old Men, a Cohen brothers thriller, it is one of the most pessimistic films ever and naturally, everyone dies. Well almost everyone. There is an awful lot of shooting and blood. Characters check their shoes after walking through doorways and out of rooms. It is a film devoid of sentimentality.

Which brings me to another of my favourite movie experiences with Robert. There Will Be Blood, which features many deaths and litres of blood, as well as a character who gets beaten to death with a bowling pin.

There are some notable cinema experiences among the other everyone-dies-films. Gran Turino, an isolated war veteran assists a neighbouring family who are subject to ethnic gang violence, lots of baddies and our hero die. Burn After Reading, full of idiotic characters who are mistaken for people they are not, with a psychotic ex-CIA analyst getting burned by everyone at its core, a film in which everyone dies, some of them hilariously, including Brad Pitt.

In the Valley of Elah in which a military father, drained of humanity attempts to find out what happened to his dead son, who is killed, as it turns out, by his fellow soldiers over something pety. Another Tommy Lee Jones classic of nihilistic despair.

Inglorious Basterds – everyone dies, the whole film is a bloodbath. Enough said about that one.

Coriolanus – everyone dies and it leaves the viewer with a nihilistic despair it takes weeks to recover from. The lack of any shred of redemption for humanity in that story left me reeling. Shakespeare really knew how to do black and I am going have trouble with Ralph Fiennes from now on.

Which brings us to Seven Psychopaths. I should have been tipped off by the title! While everyone dies, almost, this is an extremely good film with sensational dialogue. The interplay between characters and the convoluted plot are fabulous.  The actors are an exceptional ensemble cast, including Harry Dean Stanton, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits and Colin Farrell. There is a lot of blood and it includes the most anticipated and self-reflexive final shoot-out I think I have ever seen.

Mostly I enjoy our sanguine trips to the movies. Occasionally, I long for a quiet pastoral drama with good looking French men who quietly and calmly fight over their women and jealously, verbally duel with one another, but if I want to see those films, I better hope that there is not a Tommy Lee Jones film screening at the same time.

How’s your cinematic compatibility? Constant conflict and compromise? Or smooth sailing?