Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Deadwood and other stories
Bear with Deadwood's awkward pilot - it gets better immediately. It's a Western based on the beginning of said town, involving real people like Wild Bill Hickock & Calamity Jane as well as the obligate invented characters. I've been reading up on my history and like how they have tried to stick to the truth in tone, if not in story. Wild Bill never met Seth Bullock in real life (they only shared residency of Deadwood for one day), but it's true that WB was "courtly with women and fond of children," and that he wrote lies to his wife about working hard at prospecting when he was really drinking and gambling. Anyway - I recommend this series highly based on the characters and their realistic reactions to their lawless situation. It's a nice ensemble piece with multiple intermingling subplots. I think Bullock was miscast, but otherwise they are dead on. Great dialogue, sets, costumes, lighting... I've taken to watching the episodes once with subtitles to catch all the snide mutterings, then again with Matt to appreciate the beauty and rhythm. Another part of the fun is Googling the references I don't know and learning a bit of history. Consider yourself warned: Deadwood is not for the young or delicate. Much of the action centers around the town brothels and the commerce within, and nearly every sentence contains at least one vulgarity.
I've just fallen in love with Mae West. My Little Chickadee is pure genius. She wrote much of her material: This is the woman who originated "Is that a gun in your pocket or are you happy to see me?" She's voluptuous and captivating in a very mature way, and of course laugh-out-loud funny.
Other recent movie favorites: Breakfast on Pluto is adorable. 12 Monkeys is a wild ride - nobody does insanity like Brad Pitt - with a different take on time travel. David Macaulay's Castle is a detailed yet entertaining look at the form and function of the medival fortress.