Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Road Less Traveled

The new movie based on a book by illusive artist Cormac McCarthy is quite atypical of his previous work, yet may interest a broader audience. The Road is an apocalyptical Sci-Fi movie,which is quite a departure from The Border Trilogy. The novel eventually earned McCarthy a Pulitzer prize.

McCarthy recently gave and extremely rare interview (he's one of those hermit writers like Pynchon) regarding this most recent movie to the Wall Street Journal of all things..

All The Pretty Horses, the first in the Border Trilogy was also made into a film, albeit a crappy one. It was actually so crappy that a professor teaching a class on McCarthy chose to just not have class on the day it was to be shown. It's Southern Gothic about two young cowboys who head down to Mexico looking for work as ranch hands (of course). They find work at a ranch where the bosses daughter is beautiful and the rest is pretty predictable.

His other novels outside the Border Trilogy take and extreme turn as well. Blood Meridian is a completely gory Western based on the non-fitional Clanton Gang. It is not only historically mostly historically accurate with exception being the some of the characters, is saturated with violence complete with skinned Comanche babies hanging from trees. Seriously..I'm not exaggerating, I'm actually just skimming the surface. Interestingly Blood Meridian is now considered one of the acclaimed novels of the 20th century keeping company with Don Delilo's Underworld, Toni Morrison's Beloved and John Updike's four novels about Rabbit Angstrom.

McCarthy's ninth novel No Country For Old Men was made into a movie by The Coen brothers and is more of a crime thriller film set in more recent times. Maybe it was the genre change, or maybe it was The Coen Brothers, but this film was a success winning two Golden Globes and four Academy awards, one of which was awarded to the Coen Brothers themselves for Best Director.

I'm interested to see how well The Road is received. Even though I was emotionally scarred by reading Blood Meridian and Mr. McCarthy haunts my dreams to this day, it's like a train wreck. I haven't been to the movies in at least five years, but I'm going to make a special effort to see this one.

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