Sunday, July 18, 2010

fading flowers


This is truly the summer of fading flowers - though these ones (daisies, bought yesterday in the market, and already emitting an odd smell that had me wondering if something had died in an undisclosed place) owe less to Jude than to the temperature. I think it only went up to around 106 today.

Seeing Winter's Bone - very much recommended - had me wondering what Hardy's Wessex would have looked like if meth had been available: would Jude have succumbed to it rather than heading for the bottle when things got bad? Or, to put it in a less fanciful way, can one compare rural poverty today with rural poverty a hundred plus years ago in any meaningful way (let alone transatlantically)? This had me hurling myself at Amazon to see what's been published about US rural poverty recently - which seems to focus (as one would expect) on the decline of agriculture as a productive enterprise, and on the intensification of class divisions, between those who have power within a community and those who have not - the latter then feeling as though they have no investment in "the community" itself. But Winter's Bone seemed to suggest the continuation of bonds that lie (for both good and bad) within the idea, though not necessarily the ideal, of family - not least with an older sibling driven by a far tougher sense of responsibility to look after her younger brother and sister (yes, I know they are all older, but one can hardly see Father Time growing up with such a sense of teaching the younger ones self-sufficiency). I guess, therefore, that despite the film's bleakness about the Ozarks, there is, still, a powerful and driving sense of a future within it.

And nothing bad happened to any cats, or dogs (so if you haven't yet seen it, do not worry about them: their vulnerable appearance, early on, was just one of the film's visual clues that was never followed up on). Squirrels, now - that's a different story ...

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete