Monday, August 08, 2005

Muse Power

My friend and I were intending to see that movie about the Penguins but because of a confusion that can only be explained as unexplainable, we ended up going to the wrong movie house.

When we got there, we looked up at the movie board. There was the Chocolate Factory...Nah, already heard something mediocre about that. And then, there was the wedding crasher movie with Owen Wilson and I'm told it's funny, but somehow that didn't feel right. And then, there was this weird movie called Hustle and Flow.

Earlier, just as we were leaving the restaurant, I asked the guy next to me what movies he wanted to see and he said Hustle and Flow.

So, it was in the stars I guess.

Here are some trailers and clips.

I hadn't looked it up in the reviews of the local weekly, so I didn't know how many stars somebody had given it, so we were really going on faith here.

Often you can judge a movie by the trailers in front of it.

This made me real nervous. It seemed like every one of them had blacks and violence and guns. Not a good sign. But we hung in there.

Tonight, I looked at the reviews and I really don't think any of them communicate what I saw in the movie. But here is Roger Ebert's review which may be the best and it gives the set up.

"Sometimes you never really see an actor until the right roles bring him into focus. Terrence Howard has made 22 movies and a lot of TV (most notably the series "Sparks"), but now in "Crash" and "Hustle & Flow," he creates such clearly-seen characters in such different worlds that his range and depth becomes unmistakable.

In "Crash," he was the successful Hollywood television director, humiliated when his wife is assaulted by a cop. In "Hustle & Flow," he plays a Memphis pimp and drug dealer who yearns to make something of himself -- to become a rap artist. His quest for success is seen so clearly and with such sympathy by writer-director Craig Brewer that the movie transcends the crime genre and becomes powerful drama.

Terrence Howard modulates Djay with great love and consideration for the character. He never cheapens him, or condescends. He builds him inside-out. He is a pimp and a dealer because he is smart and has ambition, and that is how, in his world, with his background, he can find success.

The film accumulates many subtle moments to show how his feelings for Shug(one of his whores) develop, how he begins by giving her the kind of "love" pimps use as a control mechanism, and slowly realizes that another kind of love is growing."

Written and directed by Craig Brewer, this movie is pretty good.

But, for me, the movie was about something else.

This movie starts with the most basic of the human desires,

Raw Sex on a Stick.

And, it is pretty rough at the beginning.

You almost wish you had subtitles because of the Memphis jive.

And then, there is this moment when the pimp is moved.

As humans, few of us are exempt from the dragons

of our sexual natures.

And we should not be.

But music, and dance, and poetry, and great movies,

and the other muses,

do more than just give us a forgetfulness from evil

and rest from our cares,

as Hesiod said in his Theogony.

They lift us up and transform us just a little.

They help bring us to our higher natures.

This movie is not about having a dream,

even though DJay clearly has a dream.

This movie is about the power of making things more beautiful.

It is about the power of working together.

It is about the power of working towards harmony,

It is about the power of cooperation,

and creation.

It is about the healing and uplifting power,

of the arts.




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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks, I'm going to go see it. I like the transforming power of art theme of this post.

8:48 AM  
Blogger head lem said...

When it comes to music
To the March of the Maternal Penguins,

Democrats are Deafer than a Donkey

Do they not hear the Cinderella in the Sheehan?

Do they not understand the sound and the fury?

"She" comes in the "name" of the mother
"She" comes in the shadow of the fallen son

Too damn cerebral to hear the message.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the link to the Met is super.

what better way to open the door to the world of art.

good work.

MS

10:30 AM  

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