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.


Anonymous said...

Why did you say Seth was "miscast?" I think he's dreamy!


Sharon Rose said...

Hey Sara! How's the knitting coming? Did you get that blanket pattern?

Two reasons:
1) Mr. Bullock had plentiful experience in laaw enforcement of the frontier kind. His type would look a tad older (more worn) and considerably more scarred. At a minimum he would have a broken nose.

2) Tim Olyphant is too pretty for me, too slick and "Hollywood." His habit of looking up from under his eyebrows seems phony rather than inherently tough. I think he was chosen because his voice and physical mannerisms are so similar to Clint Eastwood's. He even has his tight, rounded walk. Or maybe he studied Clint after landing the role? I've never seen him in anything else.