The Man Who Wasn’t There

So yesterday I went with Day and Nicole to see ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’, the latest opus from Les Frères Coen. As usual, it was beautifully shot, as Roger Deakins helmed the camera. If you don’t know, it is a sort of homage to film noir, and most of the film is in black and white (I suspect digitally-created black and white, rather than black and white film, for them to have gotten such nice hues all the time – somewhat like the sepia of ‘O Brother Where art Thou?’).

I thoroughly enjoyed the film, although I found it a little empty – lacking some sort of meaning/message/heart/what-have-you. Of course, if one reads American Film Noir as North America’s response to post-war Eurpoean existentialism, this makes some sense. Like much of Film Noir, it embraces the common man’s response to the seemingly random meanderings that life takes you on. It also includes some great dialogue that I’m tempted to think has been lifted directly from old films.

Sitting behind us, however, were some people who talked all the way through the movie. This over-enthusiastic idiot repeatedly made comments such as ‘excellent!’, ‘wonderful!’ and other gushing tributes to the film. Most humorous, was during a preview of Blackhawk Down, we heard ‘which war was that?’. (If you don’t know anything about the story behind Blackhawk Down, have a look at Philidephia Online’s excellent repository of information at Blackhawk Down : An American War Story. It’s an intriguing look at the event surrounding the ‘even’t in Mogadishu back in 1993.

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