Sunday, December 10, 2006

Crimes and Townes Van Zandt

Two days ago I lay in my bed for the entire day and didn't do anything but watch the Townes Van Zandt documentary two times in a row, and then Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors." (I suppose that only accounts for 6 or so out of the 24 hours...Oh, quit being such an anal fuck! I had cable the rest of the time...) ;p

Van Zandt has such an Austin connection, and my 4-year-old nephew is named after him (by parents who are independent-minded but not truly free-spirited), so I was paying especial attention. While I admired his work (as presented in the film), I didn't LOVE it, and I didn't particularly like him or want to be like him, but I UNDERSTOOD him and his dilemma about wanting/needing to give up everything for his vision, just to SEE. One story told that struck home: Townes wanted to see what it felt like to fall from 4 stories up. So, while at a party, he leaned backwards over a balcony, intending to see how it felt to fall...up until the point of falling. But then he realized...he wouldn't know how it felt to fall until he actually fell. And so he let go.

I can't go that far, but I deeply admire those who can...

As for "Crimes and Misdemeanors": Much safer. Allen couches even the worst of human nature in neutral tones, as I'm sure some of the worst of human nature must be couched in. A profound movie. Allen's been making shitty movies lately, for the most part, but then again I just saw his "Match Point," which was stylishly and perfectly made. Though the theme was "Crimes" but dumbed down several notches, without the intellectual layers of the former. The point of both: Life is nothing but Dumb Luck. I agree.

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