Big Screen Stimulus: Guns & Guts Inspire
Good day, everyone. I cannot say this blog is anything more than a strangely concocted jambalaya of feelings triggered by a movie filled with guns, guts and blood. Hey now, half the week has gone by and girlfriend needs to let it out! I cannot make any promises, but I foresee this post grazing upon a field of both vicious and enlightening topics of conversation. I guess I will consider it a freewrite, a brainstorm of some Agatha Christie meets self-help guru 2000. Oh! Add vanity to the list.
While I am neither on the level of the Queen of murder mysteries or have any qualifications self-helping people, I have a brain whose thought processes works in weird ways. Watch me ramble, you will see.
Tuesday night, in order to knock off one more Oscar winner for Best Picture from my Life List, I watched No County For Old Men. The story was first told as a novel by Cormac McCarthy in 2005 and the flick came out two years later in 2007. I know, I am late for the train.
Directed by the Coen Brothers and starring Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones, this film adaptation gave me fucking nightmares. Let me first start by saying this movie deserved its Oscar wins, which included Best Actor in a Supporting Role by Bardem. I suggest this movie to all whose stomach can handle painstaking suspense and bloodshed. It was freakishly good.
Texas hunter Llewelyn, played by Brolin, stumbles upon a drug trade gone wrong (dead Mexican drug traffickers galore) and in turn finds about $2 million in cash. He goes on to take the money but is soon pursued by Bardem’s crazy whacked out character, Anton Chigurh or “Sugar.” The killing starts almost immediately. This Chigurh nutcase carries around a Captive Bolt Pistol, used to slaughter livestock (and, spoiler alert: the Woody Harrelson character). It shoots a bolt into the head of the victim, which does not instantly kill. There is no ammo and is almost silent. For some reason, and I will blame it on the essence of manhood, the guys I was watching with knew all about this gun. Shiver. Basically, the Captive Bolt Pistol is a much different method of butchery often found in movies. I was anxious for a majority of the first half. Animals were dying, old people were dying, and I was nervous that Brolin’s cowboy sex appeal would leave me turned on and by my lonesome too early in the movie.
So between my heavy breathing, caused by non-existent sexual tension between Mr. Cowboy and I, and the suspense over which poor old man was going to get whacked next, I got up for another drink. I had to, it was becoming too much. I was scaring myself with thoughts. Right, Sarah, keep on drinking. That will make your crazy thoughts disappear!
I started to get really sucked into Bardem’s character, who showed no remorse for any living thing. He was everything that makes up a sociopath. Drunkenness took my mind to not only that place, you know, the dark and morbid corner of your brain but also something more enlightening. Hold on, I will explain.
Certainly, no one wants to die. After watching Silence of the Lambs last week, when the Senator’s daughter helps the disguised killer move the couch into the van, I was shocked. Well, mostly because I could see myself doing that. Maybe because I am a nice person, or maybe because my common sense slips away from me sometimes. There are so many ways to be lured into traps. Even worse, there are so many innocent daily chores I go about where people could just come and scoop me up. Unfortunately, we hear stories of kidnapping, rape and murder every day. How can anyone ever be sure they will not end up in a ditch off of the Interstate, unidentifiable. No one can be too sure. And while movies like No Country for Old Men and Silence of the Lambs are glamorous, they still have me thinking twice about how I see a parking lot at night.
Then my thoughts took a jog deeper into the woods, searching for answers people have long had a hard time answering. At what point in a rage of anger does one come back down to reality before considering the benefits of investing in a Captive Bolt Pistol? Will I ever go off the deep end? While I can assure you I am quite the angel, what triggers some of the most seemingly normal people to go apeshit? Maybe continual humiliation and desperation. For some reason, and do not get scared for me, I could understand the hurt of rejection. When you are unable to move on, consumed with agony. Soon enough, you end up reenacting a Godfather gun down scene. I would rather a trip to Vegas with unlimited buffets and four straight nights of Chippendale’s to get over heartbreak, but I can only speak for myself.
All the time you spend trying to get back what’s been took from you, more is going out the door.
I was retreating back down from outer space and started to think of the technicalities involved in making a movie, and an award-winning movie at that. The hard work and dedication that goes into special effects, the talent of the actors, the skill of writing a good plot, editing and then selling it to a national audience. It is all so far beyond my comprehension. But I want to be part of the people who are productive and creates. I made great progress in the analyzing of the movie. I am glad I was able to move past the murder and mayhem and find something else to focus on- my future!
I obviously have no experience in film making or even a great interest. However, those creative people, including actors, directors and producers really did inspire me after seeing No Country For Old Men. So much to the point where I would feel less than happy with myself if I did not use my creativity to make something that others can enjoy. Actually, because this film was a book first, something I can wholly relate to, I long more for a creative line of work. I am talking about making a life for myself that is not too ordinary. While I put my faith in nurses and doctors quite often, I have no passion there. Tell me that Journalism majors have the highest unemployment rate of all the other fields and I will still not consider poking needles into people’s arms. Anyway, the credits rolled onto the screen and I just stared at their titles. First key, second key? What is that? Can I do it? Surely. Well then get off your ass, Sarah, and go do it!
Why did this blood-filled movie inspire me? It just did. Everything about it made me think a little more than let’s say, Beverly Hills Chihuahua might have. I know for sure, though, that I want to have my name out there. In whatever medium of art I take up for my career, I want to be able to inspire, or even scare people. Sometimes, being scared is good. It gives us a reason to reason with ourselves. When we are scared- of our future, of our deaths, of our nothingness, we make plans to buck up and build up. Fiction translates sometimes, and this right here, the impact of No Country For Old Men, translated into me wanting to be a part of something way bigger than myself; the realization that there is room out there for me, too.