Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chasing rainbows and dirty deeds

My friend Maj inspired me to watch Bonnie and Clyde which I've incidentally had laying around ever since my sister gave it to me for Christmas. And really what was not to love about the sultry colors, the story of the outlaws that are good at heart, the otherworldly beautiful and splendid actors - Faye Dunaway and Warren Beaty of course, but also Michael Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons were perfect. No, all in all, it was quite a treat to watch.

It struck me that it was quite cartoon-like in its content, for lack of a better word, everything so fast-paced and loud, the acting exaggerated and mannered - I guess something that the Hollywood New Wave (as I've just read the movie was part of) snitched from the French Nouvelle Vague. But it wasn't just the formal aspects though that struck me to have these characteristics. I think it was equally so the story and the acting and the conveyance of feelings and emotions, always these extreme emotions that last for only a second or two. I don't know if this rings a bell with any of you, but I found that you see teeth so much - teeth shown in big broad smiles, teeth shown in moments of pain, boredom, agony, excitement, pleasure - the works.

On top of that I found it a great example of one those movies that manage to ooze sex without ever showing the dirty deed. The colors, the heat, the dust and the dirt of the south and Midwest serve as a perfect backdrop for the kids that are bored out of their mind, chasing for life at its most extreme, and yet unable to indulge in what's under their very noses: Each other.

I think Bonnie and Clyde' drinking coke on a hot afternoon will go down in the history of my mind as one of the sexiest scenes I've ever seen, as will their love-making gone awry due to Clyde's impotence, as well as the scene in which he comforts her by planting his hands on her face.

I guess it's the age-old of capturing the imagination of the viewer by alluding to what you should only long to have, chase for, but never catch. The bitter-sweetness of desire at its very best.

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