Monday, September 11, 2006

All the King's Men

I never saw or heard of the 1949 movie with the same name. I am more familar with the history of the Huey Long. A populist who gained power until whacked by a doctor. When the movie/novel of All the King's Men is a roman à clef about Huey Long. A roman à clef is neccessary when you need to disguise the subject, either because it is the author's own story or because of a depiction of power, influential people with power, influential lawyers. However at this point who truely cares about protecting the good name of Long. Normally the long dead, no pun, have no ranks of surporters to resist any libel, slander or truth that would damage a hero's reputation. Althrough a certain 7th century Arabian bandit still is defended by fans and followers.

Often movies are filmed to flatter the eye and make the world and its people in it more alive, handsome and beautiful. This film takes a different emphasis. Everybody in the film are shot with an ugly lens to emphasize the replusive human characteristics. Even the various poppies that governor tarries with are filmed this way. We see a figure skater at her "audition", she has a mustache, or noticable hair on upper lip.

Most of the upper class characters are played by Brits. They leve a more grander life than the hard scrabble existance of the countryside, where Willie Stark Fuller Brush salesman comes from. We see houses and apartments of the elite. The reporter Jack Burden and his childhood friend live in huge shabby genteel apartments filled with expensive leatherbound books. The two plantations houses we see, Jack's mother's and his godfather are lush and extensive. This is one the few American movies that accepts that upper class might not the same interests and prioities as every body else. Increased government spending is negatively for 2 reasons higher standards of living make labour costs more expensive and some of the new spending comes from individuals and business who don't want to pay. There is awareness that underneath the comtempt that the elite has for Willie Stark there is no little fear.

What I learned: Stay away from Lousianna, it is too class ridden.

No comments: