Nicolas Winding Refn’s & Hossein Amini’s Drive

Drive is about perfection. Which is to say PERFECTION is what Drive IS DOING. Ryan Gosling for example has no pores. Pores for him would be a marker of defeat. There is no defeat in Ryan Gosling’s complexion. His complexion is a flawless ecosystem of radiance and coincidental lubrications. Ryan Gosling’s face is in fact an epiphyte. An epiphyte collecting its radiance from the moisture and nutrients in the air and rain and other coincidental detritus.

There is something perfect about watching a cat chase a mouse. Especially when the cat is deranged Albert Brooks armed with many shivs and abalone-encrusted razorblades.

People who saw Anton Corbijn’s The American know it was not perfect. The American did not contain Ryan Gosling for one thing. Well, Ryan Gosling could never be CONTAINED. But The American did not make an attempt to touch Ryan Gosling, did not attempt to CORRAL him, which was its primary mistake. In other ways The American was allowed to share some characteristics of Drive’s perfection. Its sparseness. Its assiduous attention to the movement and pacing of THE SCENE. Its desire to connect lonely souls for momentary alleviations of sufferings. Its desire to tear loved ones apart so as to intensify the sensation of longing. Its longing. Its willingness to produce longing. A longing to break from unsalvageable situations.

Sofia Coppola should sue Drive. For one thing Drive has stolen HER MOVIE from her. They have stolen HER MOVIE and made it better than she could have made it. That is the most painful form of stealing. As when a thief steals your lemons and makes his lemonade. As when a thief steals your girlfriend and puts her on a diet. Drive gives the illusion the narrative is meandering when the opposite is true. Each deviation adds up to the tightly-wound contraption of their narrative.

No Country for Old Men was perfect but not because of Javier Bardem’s haircut. Or was it? Maybe aesthetic perfection can be achieved by making a handsome man very, very ugly.

Oscar Isaac does something ingenious with his role. He saves his role from being easily forgettable. He is his own savior. That is sort of like being Jesus Christ if Jesus only saved one person. And that person was a role in a movie.

Violence – too much? A lot of spurting involved. A lot of spurting and Ryan Gosling stomping his boot through skulls. Skulls are like pumpkins to this guy.

Music. David Lynch thinks music should be very intrusive upon the spell the movie is making. David Lynch also thinks the Transcendental Meditation technique is going to help him levitate. The soundtrack of Drive does seem to levitate and speak above our conscious desires. When I put the Drive soundtrack in my own car I did think I was levitating for a moment, but it turned out I was only driving very slowly up a hill. Then I felt disappointed in the car I was driving. Conversely my car felt even more disappointed I was not Ryan Gosling.

Carey Mulligan is looking good as a blonde.

Slow motion. No one uses slow motion anymore. That is because nothing is perfect anymore except for brevity. But Drive is not afraid of slow motion. So as to prolong brevity. So as to prolong the only scrap of perfection that is offered to us.

Best movie out right now . . . $11

If you heart Drive:

Recommendations by Day Gun Sho
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Wild at Heart
Punch-Drunk Love

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Inside Job

Begs the question – where is Jesus during all this? Millions of jobs evaporated. Thousands made homeless overnight. Pensions stolen. The highest order of academia infiltrated by self-interested consultants. Global financial Armageddon. Only the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have seen it fit to rain down billions of dollars in bonuses to the highest paid 1% on their way to scour the powerless and the meek with fire, brimstone, unemployment, depression, homelessness, no insurance, no health care, and a double-dose of voicelessness. If there is a Jesus it would be excruciatingly difficult for him to comprehend the complexity of today’s financial system. You would have to get him up to speed on a lot of things. Such as what a computer is and why there are no more slaves.

Inside Job does an admirable job (for myself, the layman with literally no money possessed to be at stake) mapping out the failings of the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush pt II, and Obama administrations to understand or regulate the financial system. It becomes quickly clear finance in the US is one roided-out bully that effectively pushes government around. When massive companies such as Goldman Sachs or AIG aren’t telling government to shut up – they’re telling government to pay up.

But one problem with Inside Job – after identifying a slew of problems – why do you offer no solutions? What am I supposed to do with all my anger? Should I march on Washington? Should I be robbing these CEOs and distributing their wealth in tent cities across America? With a problem as deep-seeded and wide-spread occurs, the best solution may be to move to Canada. Jesus seems like an immobile choice for rescue . . . $8

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