Thursday, November 22, 2007

No Country for Old Men d. Ethan Coen/Joel Coen, 2007

Perfect, except for one bathetic old lady (and she might even work thematically; I need a second viewing real bad, preferably one where I'm not a frigtard who decides it's a great idea to drink two cups of tea in order to keep awake for a late night screening: unlike some folks, I make sure my bladder knows who's boss when it comes to theater-going.) I can't quality exactly why I feel this way, but I do know that the movie hits three of my (admittedly related) favorite themes: 1) Aging 2) The Dehumanization of Man/Nature vs. Civilization 3) The insuperable gap, partially brought on by the advent of new technologies, that divides generations. A deeper critical analysis - certainly illuminating those themes - will follow upon second viewing, assuming school isn't kicking a downed man at that point in time. Until then:

Sailing to Byzantium
-W.B. Yeats

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another's arms, birds in the trees
- Those dying generations - at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God's holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

"Of what is past, or passing, or to come." That collapse...chills.


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